It is 50 years since Bangladesh came into being and India is still pushing a narrative of hate against Pakistan, using lies and hyperboles to not only keep alive, but further fuel the mistrust, resentment, and negativity that Bangladesh has against Pakistan.
Strained relations between Pakistan and Bangladesh is a strategic win for India and for those who are against seeing strong ties amongst Muslim nations. Their Islamophobia and fear of Muslim strength started the day Pakistan became independent in 1947, and to this day has them use every tactic to ensure that it never prospers and breaks apart.
As Indira Gandhi openly confessed, “We have taken the revenge of a thousand years”, and “we have drowned the two-nation theory in the Bay of Bengal.” Recently, PM Modi also stated: “The political and personal role of the former Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, in the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 is inseparable from the country’s history”. In earlier years even Rahul Gandhi, Indira Gandhi’s grandson, also claimed “I belong to [a] family which has… never gone back on its words… [When] my family decides to do anything, it does it—be it the freedom struggle, the division of Pakistan, or taking India to the 21st century.”
A simple google search reveals the plethora of hate speech, defamation, lies and propaganda that India levels at Pakistan on the pretext of the 1971 war and the apparent humanitarian crisis it faced which forced its involvement to an extent that is waged a war against Pakistan. One has to ask if Pakistan was conducting atrocities in Dhaka, why attack Lahore? But then that is just one of many many questions that can be raised on India’s involvement.
India now proudly acknowledges that they trained militant guerrillas to support the nationalist movement. Civil unrest was given the name of “liberation struggle” to justifying the strategic break up of a Muslim nation. US and Soviet Union were not unhappy about it, with Soviet Union actively supporting India in the UN security council and arming them in the war. The US, however, warned India not to get involved in West Pakistan. They had little interest in East Pakistan.
India promotes false information and exaggerated numbers of death and rapes to taint the image of West Pakistan, first to justify their direct involvement and then later as a convenient narrative to prove the “Muslim terrorism” against a secular state.
United Pakistan flanked India on both its sides and was a security threat to India as they felt vulnerable on both sides. The vulnerability had been keenly felt in the 1965 war. For India Pakistan is an enemy and they were surrounded by their enemy. It was therefore critical that they get rid of their enemy and they did that by planting seeds of secession using Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and trained militants, Mukti Bahini, all the while falsely lamenting over the atrocities of West Pakistan, completely diverting the attention from their own initiated massacres and genocide of Bihari who were inclined towards West Pakistan and non-Bengalis. They used the convenient excuse of refugees entering India as a humanitarian crisis, to buy international support for their act of war against Pakistan.
In India, the war is fondly recalled as the nation’s finest win, a testament to its military prowess and superiority, and as revenge for Pakistan having “broken” India in 1947.
The political immaturity and misguided and miscalculated decisions by the leaders of West Pakistan did not help the cause and provided India with a ready excuse to aggressively support a handful of separatists to divide one people into two nations.
India, and its allies fear a strong Pakistan, they fear a strong united Muslim brotherhood, which is why they use every excuse to defame Pakistan. Their support to Bangladesh is weak and only till it is convenient. Many in Bangladesh realise this, which is why they support friendly ties with Pakistan.
In his recently released documentary, “Separation of East Pakistan – The Untold Story,” (www.1971untoldstory.com) Javed Jabbar (Senator [r]) Executive Producer and Writer of the documentary, makes an objective, fact based and honest quest to unveil the truth of what happened that led to the separation of East Pakistan. He, along with the producer Erum Binte Shahid, Muhammad Zeeshan the Content Director, and Mitra Bonshahi, Mehreen Jabbar and M. Bilal the Consulting Editors, unfurls the events fact by fact, with evidence and corroborated information, analysed by international and national learned scholars, expert analysts, historians and public servants who had served at the time to reveal the true story of 1971.
The documentary is a wakeup call for both Pakistan and Bangladesh to realise the global politics that was played on their homeland, and how the wounds are being purposefully kept fresh to ensure the two countries do not build friendly relations.
India should also realise that it needs to not play into its ego, and recognise the value in a strong sub-continent. India should recognise what a strong global alliance it can make, if the relationships between the three countries were improved. The future is in collaborations not dividing and ruling.
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