Bangladesh drives past Pakistan, with lessons for India
Bangladesh and India's relations are strong on social, cultural and economic level. ties through cultural exchange programs and different assistance, But if we look at foreign relations of Pakistan and Bangladesh of the. Overview; Population; Physical Setting; Climate; Culture; Economic Differences : The differences between Pakistan and Bangladesh outweigh their common. Culture of Bangladesh - history, people, clothing, traditions, women, beliefs, food, customs, family A-Bo. However, differences in dialect consist primarily of slight differences in accent or pronunciation History and Ethnic Relations From the beginning of Pakistan's creation, the Bengali population in the east was more.
These will be fuelled by the clash of interests of international powers and consequently both wings will separate. The birth of Bangladesh was unique in the sense that in the history of international relations, possibly for the first time an oppressed numerical majority, pushed between rock and a hard place, waged a successful armed struggle against West Pakistan to get independence. He argues that elements from India, soon after August 14,began to stoke sentiments among the people of East Pakistan against West Pakistan.
There has been very little or no debate in Pakistan over the most important historical questions such as what factors were responsible for the creation of Pakistan? Pakistani students from the very beginning, through their history textbooks, learn that Muhammad Ali Jinnah created Pakistan. The Muslim elite may have voted with their hands for Pakistan. But the Muslim masses voted with their feet to stay on in India.
In popular jokes, the PIA connection was the strongest among the three. Besides the absence of geographical connect, there were a lot of striking and unbridgeable differences between East and West Pakistan. Whereas West Pakistan was multi-ethnic and multi-lingual, East Pakistan had one dominant Bengali language and Bangla culture of which every East Pakistani was proud of. With the passage of time these unaddressed grievances alienated East Pakistan from West Pakistan and former came to believe that the latter is using it as its colony.
The situation got complicated after first general elections in Pakistan in December The election results confirmed a wide gap between both the wings of Pakistan.
Usually looking into these figures, one would logically assume that Awami League won a landslide victory and was entitled to rule over Pakistan. A close look into the matter made it amply clear that Awami League won out of directly contested seats in East Pakistan, while PPP won 81 out of directly contested seats in West Pakistan. Both the parties could not open their account in the other wing meaning that PPP did not get a single seat in East Pakistan and Awami League could not open its account in West Pakistan.
Why Pakistan cannot say sorry to Bangladesh | Dhaka Tribune
In a parliamentary system, numbers matter the most and in this case Awami League had the required numbers with itself. However, the politico-security establishment did not want to hand over power to a Bengali. Military regime of Yahya Khan deliberately delayed the process by not inviting Mujib-ur-Rahman to form the next government which brought Bengalis on the streets for protest demonstrations.
In one of the telegrams on 31 MarchBlood noted that: As case previous nights, scattered firing heard throughout night from various parts of city. Hindus undeniably special focus of military brutality Bengali businessman not all supporter saw six naked female bodies at Rokeya Hall, Dacca U. Bits of rope hanging from ceiling fans. Apparently raped, shot and hung by heels from fans.
Workmen who forced dig one of the two mass graves at Dacca U. Other grave equally as large Army broadcasts monitored here indicated one unit in desperate situation near Pabna on March Called for help, including air strikes. Justice Hamdoor Rahman Commission report in its finding too confirmed brutalities by the Pakistani military.
Niazi himself testified before the commission on the role of his predecessor Lt. Tikka Khan in continuing the crackdown on the innocent citizens. He categorically stated that: On the assumption of command I was very much concerned with the discipline of troops, and on 15th of April,that is within four days of my command, I addressed a letter to all formations located in the area and insisted that loot, rape, arson, killing of people at random must stop and a high standard of discipline should be maintained.
I had come to know that looted material had been sent to West Pakistan which included cars, refrigerators and air conditioners etc. The commission recommended trials for senior officers found guilty by the commission. In its supplementary report the commission noted that: Then the commission recommended: Mitha should be publically tried for being party to a criminal conspiracy to illegally usurp power from F.
Mohammad Ayub Khan in power if necessary by the use of force. In furtherance of their common purpose they did actually try to influence political parties by threats, inducements and even bribes to support their designs both for bringing about a particular kind of result during the elections ofand later persuading some of the political parties and the elected members of the National Assembly scheduled to be held at Dacca on the 3rd of March, They, furthermore, in agreement with each other brought about a situation in East Pakistan which led to a civil disobedience movement, armed revolt by the Awami League and subsequently to the surrender of our troops in East Pakistan and dismemberment of Pakistan.
Such brutal crackdown led millions of Bengalis to flee into the Indian Territory. Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi accused Pakistani establishment of settling its internal problem with the use of brutal force and appealed the international community for help. The situation in these areas can very easily become explosive. The influx of refugees thus constitutes a grave security risk which no responsible government can allow to develop.
Bangladesh drives past Pakistan, with lessons for India
Soon Awami League declared independence and established a government in exile. It is no secret that India provided help and training to Mukti Bahini but had been quite careful in monitoring and supervising their activities.
It never allowed radical and extremist elements to take charge of the force and ensured that moderate faction of Awami League led the movement. However, the reality is different and very few Pakistanis accept that.
For Pakistan, the loss of half of the territory and population was like a trauma that posed a big question mark on its national identity and ideology. Bangladesh too was in no position to forget the sufferings easily. The problem was that the two leaders, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Shaikh Mujib-ur-Rahman set conditions for talking to each other.
Mujib-ur-Rahman ruled out any discussion with Bhutto until Pakistan recognised Bangladesh, while the latter linked the recognition of Bangladesh with the resolution of all major issues, especially the repatriation of Prisoners of War PoWs.
The most complicated issues, immediately after the end of war, were: Division of Assets between Pakistan and Bangladesh. Repatriation of Pakistanis, commonly referred as Biharis, stranded in Bangladesh. Repatriation of Bengalis from Pakistan to Bangladesh.
These issues were not easy to resolve. Bangladesh wanted to try at least PoWs on charges of genocide while Pakistan wanted all the PoWs back as soon as possible. As per Geneva ConventionPoWs were required to be released unconditionally soon after the cessation of hostilities. Pakistan wanted all issues to be resolved before settling the issue of recognition. Bangladesh too was in no mood to be soft on the issue. With the passage of time, international pressure grew on India to resolve the PoWs and other issues that came to the fore because of the war with Pakistan.
In JulyIndia and Pakistan signed Simla Accord which provided a set of mutually agreed guiding principles that were to be followed by both countries in their future relationship. Later India persuaded Bangladesh to de-link the repatriation and recognition issue. This joint declaration was followed by a formal agreement between India and Pakistan in New Delhi on 28 August which devised a three-way repatriation scheme.
Repatriation of all PoWs, except held by Bangladesh for trial, and civil internees held in India to Pakistan. Repatriation of all Bengalis in Pakistan to Bangladesh. Repatriation of all non-Bengalis, who opted for Pakistan, stranded in Bangladesh to Pakistan. Pakistan, however, agreed to take only four categories of Pakistanis;26 A. Persons of West Pakistan domicile. Central government employees and their family irrespective of their domicile.
Members of divided families irrespective of domicile. And some hardship cases. The question of recognition of Bangladesh by Pakistan could not be resolved even after this agreement because the former wanted to try PoWs on the charges of war crime, but the latter wanted all of them back unhurt before settling the recognition question.
We know that the Bengalis passed on information during the war. There will be specific charges. How many will be tried, I cannot say. Initially there was no enthusiasm on the part of Bangladesh but Shaikh Sabah Al-ahmad al Jaber, Foreign Minister of Kuwait who led a seven member delegation to Bangladesh, persuaded Mujib to participate in the summit.
Bhutto used the occasion of summit to officially recognise Bangladesh. In his first visit to independent Bangladesh, he held discussions with Mujib-ur-Rhaman on a range of issues which resulted in signing of two agreements to resume trade relations and stop hostile propaganda against each other. However, nothing tangible could come out on the more complicated issues such as division of assets and repatriation of stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh which gave an impression of failure of these talks.
On the question of repatriation, Bhutto was of the view that since Biharis, as the stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh are called, had originally migrated to East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, why should Pakistan take them back. Since Mujib-ur-Rahman had linked the division of assets and repatriation of Biharis with establishing formal diplomatic relations, the two countries could not move forward to establish resident diplomatic missions. Mujib- ur-Rahman tried hard diplomatically and raised the issue at various international fora, including United Nations and Commonwealth, to push Pakistan but with no success.
In a tragic event on 15 August Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rahman along with his family members, except his two daughters Sheikh Hasina Wajed and Sheikh Rehana, was assassinated. The military coup, conducted by junior officers, brought Khundkar Moshtaq to power. Some scholars suggest that the donation of 50, tons of rice and 15 million yards of cloth by Pakistan to Bangladesh was because Pakistan wanted Bangladesh to adopt some Islamic nomenclature.
Zia-ur- Rahman to the presidency.
Pakistan and Bangladesh
Under the new military regime in Bangladesh, diplomatic missions of the two countries assumed their responsibility in January With this the initial engagement between the two countries got institutionalised.
In AugustTobarak Hussain, Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh, visited Pakistan and held discussions with Pakistani leaders over a number of important issues.
During their discussion, leaders of the two countries emphasised the shared past and common religio-cultural linkages and agreed to strengthen brotherly relationship between Pakistan and Bangladesh. In their view strengthening of relationship between the two South Asian countries would significantly contribute to peace and stability of the region.
On the economic front, both parties agreed to increase overall trade volume. There was no substantial progress on the contentious issues of division of assets and repatriation of non-Bengalis to Pakistan.
The visit is considered to be a watershed in Pakistan-Bangladesh relations, as it paved the way for cooperation and engagement in multiple sectors such as trade, banking, shipping, telecommunication, air services etc. Later, showing some generosity, Pakistan gifted a Boeing, 28 railway carriages, and 8, tons of cement to Bangladesh.
After his death, army supported a civilian regime for a while and later in March Gen. Ershad imposed martial law. Ershad visited Islamabad and held discussions with Gen. At the end of the visit, agreements regarding trade and cultural exchanges were concluded. The two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding reciprocally exchanging plots in diplomatic areas in Islamabad and Dhaka so that a building could be constructed for the diplomatic mission of each country.
Changing his earlier attitude, in JulyGen. The trust had the responsibility of mobilising funds to repatriate aroundBiharis. However, with the death of Pakistani President in an air crash inthe repatriation got postponed. Military did not want the daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, earlier executed by Gen. Zia-ul-Haq without a fair trial, to lead the country.
Benazir herself mentions in her autobiography how generals tried to create hurdles in her way. More or less same was the case with Nawaz Sharif regime. Both Benazir and Nawaz Sharif, during the democratic interlude, served as Prime Minister twice, yet military dominated from behind the veil. Both the leaders during their tenures were preoccupied in political problems at home and relations with Bangladesh could not become a priority. On the economic front, in August Pakistan-Bangladesh Economic Commission met for the third time in Dhaka in which it was agreed that both the parties would work to widen and diversify their trade and economic relations.
This visit was publicised as introducing a new era of closer cooperation between the two countries. In official circles, it was maintained that Pakistan was very much willing to cooperate with Bangladesh in almost all areas. During the visit, Benazir said that: We can do much in matters of commerce, trade and economic development to better the lot of our peoples.
Over the years, we have traversed a journey, which at times was difficult, at times traumatic. We in Pakistan follow, with great interest your effort to promote prosperity and well- being of your people.
These words undoubtedly pleased many in Bangladesh. However, a careful analysis suggests that nothing of that sort happened which could be termed path-breaking or ushering a new era in the relationship. In fact, the visit was near failure as nothing concrete could come out in the end. The two countries only signed an agreement for cultural exchanges. Given, her political weakness at home, Benazir is reported to have even requested Dhaka to resettle Biharis permanently in Bangladesh and agreed to secure financial assistance for the purpose through contributions by Pakistan and other Islamic countries.
Nawaz Sharif, during his first tenure in office, made some progress on the repatriation issue and constituted three committees to accelerate the process. Soon it was agreed that a symbolic repatriation would take place by December with a batch of Biharis coming back to settle permanently in Pakistan. In August Bangladeshi Prime Minister Khaleda Zia came to Pakistan on an official visit and held talks with her Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif over a variety of issues including the repatriation of Biharis, sharing of assets and liabilities.
The joint statement issued by Pakistan and Bangladesh stated that the repatriation would begin soon. However, growing domestic pressure in Pakistan against the repatriation blocked the process.
Later with the dismissal of Nawaz Sharif government the situation changed and the issue was put into cold storage. Benazir Bhutto, during her second term in office, visited Bangladesh in October to participate in a conference of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.
However, nothing concrete could come out of that meeting. During his second tenure in office, Nawaz Sharif in January visited Bangladesh to attend India-Bangladesh-Pakistan business summit.
However, the reaction in Pakistan was quite opposite and in a way hostile too. During her meeting with Nawaz Sharif, Sheikh Hasina Wajed made it quite clear that the Biharis were unacceptable to Bangladesh and her government could not support them indefinitely. Pervez Musharraf came to power in Octoberhe faced the problem of legitimacy. Not much had happened on the external front till September 11, terrorist attack that brought Pakistan back into the focus of international attention.
Under intense international pressure, Musharraf agreed to make Pakistan a frontline state in the US-led war on terrorism.
It opted wholeheartedly to concentrate on and participate in developments more closely in the deeply disturbed West Asian region. If this meant inviting unrest and chaos, there were compensations too.
So long as the US and the EU continued to use Islamabad as their ally in the battle against Islamic terrorism, the dollars kept coming -- never mind the international revulsion and the moral opprobrium, which can be borne better when people are well-fed and elections are a joke.
And yet, it is not fair to condemn Pakistan as a country for the shocking killing of nearly three million people in There are any number of ordinary, decent Pakistani citizens who deeply regret the breaking up of their country and the loss of its eastern wing.
Mostly these are younger generation Pakistanis who have no direct experience of the Liberation War in Bangladesh. But there are elder citizens too, including senior people in the administration, in different political parties, not to mention journalists and members of the commentariat who are bitterly critical of the break-up. There are several Pakistani TV channels where the younger set are shown discussing how Bangladesh has left Pakistan well behind in creating better health facilities for the people, in women empowerment, poverty reduction, family planning, and general education.
Bangladesh does not suffer crippling power cuts like Pakistan, consuming around 16, megawatts daily, a figure expected to touch 22, MWs in the s. In garments exports, it ranks second in the world. Byalong with Myanmar and Laos, Bangladesh is poised to join the ranks of middle-income countries, an elevation from the ranks of 47 least developed countries, at its present rate of growth -- in the sectors of personal income, economic vulnerability, and human assets creation. It needs stressing here that the present writer has taken these figures mostly covering the period, from Pakistani print and electronic media.