By Sajjad Shaukat
Since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajid came into power, India has been employing various tactics to entrap Bangladesh by manipulating her pro-Indian tilt to fulfill its strategic interests.
In this regard, Indian daily, ‘The Hindu,’ pointed out that government of Bangladesh seeks to arrange the 4th phase of ceremony on 15 December 2012 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre to award foreign friends who supported the 1971 war of independence. Earlier, in the first phase, the Bangladesh Freedom Honour was given to ex-Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on 25 July 2011. While in the second ceremony, 83 external supporters and organisations were awarded on 27 March 2012. Similarly, 61 foreign entities were honoured in the third ceremony on 20 October 2012.
Now, on the secret insistence of India, Bangladesh which will especially celebrate 1971 liberation war is inviting 150 foreign friends who include various institutions, media anchors and Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.
The names of 15 Pakistani intellectuals and media persons who favoured the so-called Bangladesh’s liberation war against their own country have also been invited. Some of them are also expected to receive the rewards. Notably, US, India and some western elements have launched a deliberate propaganda and blame game against Pakistan, its army and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
Their aim is to ‘denuclearise’ or dismember Pakistan as CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad have regularly been conducting subversisve acts in our country through their affilitated militants. Some Pakistan’s media commentators including so-called human rights groups are speaking in the tone of these foreign enemies in distorting the image of Pakistan and its security agencies. Thus, they misguide the general masses by benefitting the external elements.
However, Hasina Wajid refused to participate in the recently-held D-8 conference in Islamabad unless the latter tendered apology for the genocide of Bengalis in 1971.
Here, question arises that after 40 years of its independence, as to why special ceremony will be held in Bangladesh with full jubilation. In fact, India is employing overt and covert tactics to malign Pak Army by making Bangladeshi prime minister as a tool.
In this respect, recently a book titled, “Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: The Unfinished Memoirs” written by the Bengali leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as his autobiography has been simultaneously released in Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. The book left no stone unturned in distorting Pakistan’s history.
The publication described, “Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is a villain for many Pakistanis. One-sided history books tell us that Mujib was a traitor who broke up Pakistan with the help of India.” While indicating that Mujibur Rehaman was not opposing Pakistan, the autobiography reveals, “Mujib who joined the Muslim League, was actually an active worker of the Pakistan movement…he wrote the truth about himself in his memoirs.”
Without grasping reality, The Unfinished Memoirs, explained that it was not Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Bengalis who wanted to break up Pakistan, but actually created Pakistan. In fact, the political intrigues and blunders of military dictators broke up Pakistan—Majib was arrested and a military operation started in East Pakistan. Bengalis were massacred and their women were raped.
While speaking in line of the book, and concealing the real facts, senior media anchor of Geo News, Hamid Mir who reproduced its contents in his article, “Mujib’s Memoirs,” published in daily, ‘The News’ on November 24 praised Mujibur Ranman and implicated Pak Army. He wrote, “It’s time now to apologise officially to the people of Bangladesh.”
Notably, a renowned Bengali journalist Sarmila Bose authored a book, “Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War” after thorough investigation. Her book was published in 2011. While countering exaggerations of the Indian and Bengali Journalists, Bose argues that the number of Bengalis killed in 1971 was not three million, but around 50,000 while Bengalis were equally involved in the bloodshed of non-Bengalis.
In fact, before the 1971 war, Mujibur Rahman had announced a separate national flag for East Pakistan. His six points created prejudice among Bengali people especially against West Pakistan. The famous slogan, during his addresses and rallies was, “Punjabi dogs go back.” It was due to Mujib’s instigation that besides Punjabis, Bengalis had also tortured and killed Biharis, Pashtoons and Balochis, while their women were raped.
Majib was already in connivance with India for separation of East Pakistan. Therefore, when East Pakistan was occupied by Indian Army in 1971, he stated with pleasure that his 24 years old dream of an independent Bangladesh had been fulfilled. He had earlier developed his contacts with Indian rulers and training camps of Mukti Bahini, established by Indian army and RAW which also funded Mujibur Rehman’s general elections in 1970. Meanwhile, India welcomed the refugees from East Pakistan, and provoked them against West Pakistan.
Just like Sheikh Majibur Rahman, New Delhi has been playing a double game with Bangladesh. In this regard, on June 29, 2011, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated, “with Bangladesh, our relations are quite good. But we must reckon that 25 percent of Bangladesh’s population swears by the Jamiat-e-Islami is very anti-Indian…as to why these terrorist elements have a hold on Bangladesh.”
During her visit to Bangladesh, last year, Prime Minister Hasina assured Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari that she would not allow Bangladeshi territory to be used for terrorist activities against India.
On the other side, Indian cross-border terrorism in Bangladesh has continued unabated. In this context, Brad Adams wrote in the Guardian, “Over the past 10 years, Indian Border Security Force (BSF) has killed almost 1,000 people in the border area between India and Bangladesh, turning it into south Asian killing fields…so far, no one has been prosecuted for any of these killings, in spite of evidence in many cases.”
Despite the fact, New Delhi built a 2,000 km fence along the border of Bangladesh, but BSF has continued “a shoot-to-kill policy,” even against unarmed local villagers.
It is mentionable that India constructed the Farakka dam on its side of the Ganges River to stop flow of water to Bangladesh. In that respect, Indo-Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) met many a time to settle the dispute, but could not produce any results as India has deliberately been stopping water flow to Bangladesh. Now, New Delhi’s plan for the construction of Tipaimukh Dam on the river Barak will further harm Bangladesh’s genuine interests.
Reliable sources indicate that Ms. Hasina has directed her staff to close the chapter of water and border conflicts with India. Besides, the Awami League has given transit trade facilities to Bharat—a move which has been resisted by the Bangladeshi patriots for the past several decades. In this context, a writer has rightly said, “Hasina Wajid again started Honey Moon Period of relationship with India.”
By setting aside public protests and strikes by students and Islamic parties, while establishing close ties with New Delhi, P.M. Hasina Wajid is again giving secular orientation to the country by purging the society from religious touch. She has issued instructions for the removal of some Islamic books from academic courses.
In this connection, a survey conducted by a local agency pointed out that 98% Bangladeshis are not ready to leave Islamic culture. They also hate undue interference of India in Bangladesh’s affairs. They are quite aware that, New Delhi wants to make Bangladesh its colony. In the recent past, RAW conducted a number of subversive activities in Bangladesh like bomb blasts.
Especially, RAW assisted Ms. Hasina Wajid in coming to power. It engineered a judicial coup which allowed the Awami League to win 14 million voters of the opponent parities which were disenfranchised. Then the Jamaat-e-Islami was banned by Hasina Wajid.
Nevertheless, there are concerns amongst the patriotic people and the opposition parties of the country that the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has a strong tilt towards India which has been using various tactics to entrap Bangladesh to obtain its anti-Pakistan designs including those of the US-led some western countries.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations