‘Military interventions, violations of constitution led to fall of Dhaka’

‘Military interventions, violations of constitution led to fall of Dhaka’
Staff Report, Daily Times, December 17, 2008

KARACHI: Intellectuals and historians gathered at the Sir Adamjee Institute and Intermediate College for Science and Commerce, Tuesday to mark the 37th anniversary of Saqoot-e-Dhaka.

They pointed out that poor leadership, constant breaches in the constitution and military interventions led to the separation of former East Pakistan in 1971. At the seminar titled “Re-visiting 16 December 1971,” speakers said that the armed forces, the judiciary and the civil society, are to blame and that no single stakeholder could be held responsible alone.

Pakistan Study Centre Director Dr Syed Jaffer Ahmed said that military officials are not capable of understanding the intricacies of the political system simply because they are not trained in that manner. Recalling the political and judicial history of Pakistan, he said that then President Yahya Khan and his subservient lieutenants failed to resolve the issue of former East Pakistan through dialogue. “After the failure of the tripartite dialogue between Yahya Khan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Sheikh Mujeebur Rehman, a military operation was launched that provided India with the opportunity to strike, which was waiting for such a golden chance,” he said.

Renowned historian, Dr Muhammad Reza Kazmi, attributed the Fall of Dhaka to a lack of cultural communication between East and West Pakistan while ruling out the perception that a geographical communication gap was the main reason behind the creation of Bangladesh. “West Pakistanis were arrogant of their cultural traditions which led to an inferiority complex among the Bangladeshi,” he added. The two intellectuals also suggested that the present economic system of the country ought to be revamped in order to avoid similar incidents in the future. Measures should be adopted to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor with a just distribution of wealth, they maintained. “A strong judicial system is also the dire need of the country which is meant to support all instead of just the influential.” Sir Adamjee Institute Principal Cdr (Retd) Najeeb Anjum proposed establishing a Truth Reconciliation Commission on the likes of the one in South Africa. He said it is imperative that people know the truth about the separation of the country.

For Pakistani View, See:
Fall of Dhaka: we must learn from history - The News
Army generals responsible of Dhaka Fall: Nizami - The Nation

For Bangladeshi view, see:
Nation celebrates Victory Day today - The Bangladesh Today
Nizami sings old Jinnah song - Daily Star
Upholding the spirit of Victory Day - The New Nation

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