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“Friends of Bangladesh” Award

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Mukti Bahini and Indian soldiers killing Biharies

“History maybe twisted but truth never remains hidden; at sometime it does surface and puts its concealers to shame even if it is posthumously.” Raja Mujtaba

By S. M. Hali

 Bangladesh is a sovereign country and has every right to award anyone of its choice for contributing to its “liberation”, whether they are Indians, Americans,Russians, French, Australian, British, Swedes, Sri Lankan, Nepalese or Bhutanese. Conferring the awards forty-one years late is Bangladesh’s internal matter but twisting historical facts to embarrass Pakistan necessitates comment.

On December 15, 2012, the Bangladeshi Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina Wajid bestowed the “Bangladesh Liberation War Honour” upon 60 individuals and two institutions at a function at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the fourth phase under a plan undertaken by her government in 2011 to honour more than 500 nominees for their support and cooperation to the War of Liberation of Bangladesh in 1971.

Reportedly, Dhaka also plans to honour 11 Pakistanis who stood by it. Among them are the late Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz and poet-activist Habib Jalib. The names of the other Pakistani recipients have not been declared but when the question was posed to Bangladeshi State Minister for Liberation War Affairs Captain (Retd.) AB Tajul Islam and Foreign Minister Dipu Moni at a press briefing before the ceremony, Dipu Moni responded that their names would be on the list in the next phase.

It would embarrass Pakistan, whose arm is being twisted by the Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajid seeking an apology for alleged  war crimes committed by Pakistan Army during the 1971 insurgency; something even her father Sheikh Mujib did not demand, when invited by Bhutto to attend the 1974 Islamic Summit Conference at Lahore. Declassified US reports, Indian and Pakistani military officers’ accounts, General Niazi’s memoirs and a number of published books and articles like Subversion in East Pakistan, by AMK Maswani, Second Thoughts on Bangladesh and Bangladesh Today—Indictment and a Lament, by the distinguished East Pakistani intellectual Matiur Rahman and Sarmila Bose’s Dead Reckoningspecify that both Pakistani forces and Bengali insurgents were responsible for cold-blooded genocide of civilians and their military counterparts. Yet, taking advantage of a pro-India Government in Bangladesh, macabre forces are bent upon raking up old scars in order to humiliate Pakistan and appease India.

Although former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and late Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora, the co-signatory of the surrender pact with Pakistan’s General Niazi, have been honoured but prominent omissions from the list of Indian awardees are the late Rameshwar Nath Kao, the founder and first chief of India’s external intelligence agency, the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) and Major General Shabeg Singh. Asoka Raina, in his exposé Inside RAW: the story of India’s secret service, reveals that the Bangladesh operation, beginning with sowing seeds of dissension, leading to the Agartala Conspiracy, creation of Mukti Bahini and under its garb, conducting guerrilla operations in East Pakistan, damaged the morale of Pakistani troops and RAW won the war for India even before the battle began. RAW’s interference in Bangladesh did not end with its liberation. According to the September 18-24, 1988 issue of Indian weekly Sunday, RAW was on the verge of assassinating Bangladesh’s President General Zia-ur-Rahman (with Indira Gandhi’s approval) when the Congress government fell. RAW briefed the new Prime Minister Morarji Desai about it, who forbade the murder. General Zia continued to rule Bangladesh, but was assassinated after Indira Gandhi returned to power.

The other glaring exclusion from the list of Indian awardees, the late Major General Shabeg Singh, was handpicked by the Indian Army Chief, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw and made in-charge of Delta Sector with Headquarters at Agartala. He was responsible for planning, organizing and directing insurgency operations in the whole of Central and East “Bangladesh”. All Bengali officers, who had deserted from the Pakistan Army, including Colonel Osmani, Majors Zia-ur-Rehman and Mustaq were placed under his command. That is a different story that Zia-ur-Rehman later became the President of Bangladesh and Mustaq, the Army Chief, while Shabeg Singh was hunted as a militant and massacred with Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale at the Golden Temple Amritsar in June 1984.

Indian machinations in East Pakistan for its liberation were not out of love for Bengalis but hatred for Pakistan. Former Indian foreign secretary J.N. Dixit is on record saying, “We helped in the liberation of Bangladesh in mutual interest, it was not a favour.” The best laid plans go awry and contrary to Indian desire, successive Bangladeshi governments drew closer to Pakistan but now with a pro-India Prime Minister, a wedge is being drawn between the erstwhile friends Bangladesh and Pakistan.

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  1. Raja Habib Jalib says:

    It is clear that Raw is one of the most important Organization which created Bangladesh. The wanted the Bangladesh to be united with West Begal. But later on this idea was abandaned due to the big Muslim papulation of Bangaldesh ,and India realized that seaprate & weak Bangladesh will serve the purpose. But with their agent Mujeeb Ur Rehamn out from sight ,they tried to control others but Ziaur Reman made clear that Bangladesh will not play in the hands of India. Bangladesh flourisehd in business World, but India did not like this idesa ,so they pushed Haseena to put all the Islamic Party on trail. They new who they wanted to target so that in future ,no one represent the Muslims of Bangaldesh. I was talking to Bangldeshi Scholar ,who gave me the information about the murder of EX pResident of Bangladesh ,he said that Khalida Zia new very well those people but unfortunatly India was unable to bring its own agent that time. Now Hasian did some thing which will haunt her rest of her life ,she targetted an Islamic Party ,which she knows well that it has nothing to do with killing , Killing was done by Mukti Bhani ,which was the commondo force of Indian Raw , they targetd Bangali as well as non Bangali ,and accused Pakistan for all the crimes so that Bangladeshi papulation go against Pak army & India will have easy time to invade,and that is what India did ,now India wants complete control of Bangladesh with the help of Hasian Wajid ,will it work ,we will see in near future but Bangaldeshi people will not go under the rule of Calcauuta again.(Raja Habib Jalib (chairman J&K huamn rights Council Int Wing)

  2. Raja Habib Jalib says:

    I would prefer an International Criminal Court ,which should put Mukti Bahni & all other people on trail in World cxriminal Court like Serbian leaders ,and bring out all the truth about over half a million Biharis killed by Mukti Bani & Indian army.They were human being too ,who gave these people licence to kill unarmed civilians.
    Raja Habib Jalib.

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