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The Splitting of East-Pakistan from West-Pakistan in 1971: The Role of India

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After the termination of British government in the Indian sub-continent (200 long-years) marked the birth of two nations-Pakistan, and India. Pakistan celebrate their independence on 14 August, 1947, and India celebrate their independence on 15 August, 1947. Pakistan had two parts one was East-Pakistan ( now is Bangladesh ) and West-Pakistan ( the current Pakistan in which we are living ); it was Muslim majority areas, 65 million people  were in East-Pakistan and 58 million people in West-Pakistan, 147610 square kilometers and 881913 square kilometers respectfully. India was Hindu majority area that get independence from British reign on 15 August, 1947.  During the partition Pakistan received very low resources and facilities from the Indian due to the dishonest distribution of resources and facilities and especially of man-power (skillful and educated people) had also gone on the Indian account. So on the initial stages Pakistan roots remain weak (Mansergh, Winter, 1965/1966).

As we know that Pakistan had two parts East-Pakistan and West-Pakistan which were separated by about 1000 miles;

there is a lot of reasons  about the separation of East-Pakistan from West-Pakistan, first reason was that East-Pakistan was very far away from West-Pakistan and all surrounded by Indian territory. The second reason is that these people have different culture and language although have similar religion. The third reason, West-Pakistani leaders have humiliated East-Pakistani in every aspect either that are resources or facilities, they discriminated East-Pakistani every time, they don’t have serious concerns to solve their problems; in which one of them is the 1970 “Bhola Cyclone” had caused the death of 500,000 people. In that Cyclone, infrastructure, transport, and other serves were totally damaged and the central government of Pakistan had blamed for the slow response and misuse of funds. The fourth and most important reason was the “War of Power” between “Zulfiqar Ali Butto” and “Sheikh Mujibur Rahman”. The fourth reason was very problematic and very huge that escalated the Indo-Pak 1971 War(story of Pakistan, multimedia journey, n.d.).

Political instability in East-Pakistan and people response

In Decembers 1970 Awami league win the remarkable victory and get clear majority with 160 in the National Assembly and 298 of the 310 seats in the provincial Assembly of East-Pakistan. The PPP won only 81 seats in the National Assembly, but were the winning party in Punjab and Sindh. By this majority the next Prime Minister was Sheikh Mujeeb Rahman but that’s didn’t happened because Butto don’t want to share power with Mujeeb. General Yahya Khan tried to share power between Butto and Mujeeb and they didn’t success. Actually they were pro Butto(story of Pakistan, multimedia journey, n.d.).

Due high level of chaotic and instable situation in East-Pakistan civil insurgency started against Pak-Army. Mukti Bahini and other guerrilla groups incentivized and trained by Indian Army against Pak-Army. Most of the East-Bengali military fled to India and joined Mukti Bahini and other several guerrilla groups and labeled themselves Bengali liberation force. On 25 March 1971 “Operation search light” was started by Pak-Army against the Bengali Nationalist movement, to curb them and arrested Sheikh Mujeeb Rahman and transferred into secret place; so that’s created a more chaotic and dangerous situation. Due to this act Bengali military and civil people joined Mukti Bhini like guerilla groups and showed a hard resistance to Pak-Army.

India Propaganda against Pakistan Army

It was the time to tackle accounts with Pakistan with huge cost. When people of East-Pakistan started hatred from West-Pakistan that created an uncertain situation and that uncertain situation was utilized by Indian Government very properly. They started diplomatic, political and economical and logistical support to the people of Eest-Pakistan. Mukti Bhini (the guerillas resistance movement) and several other guerilla forces were trained and equipped by Indian Army. For the defamation of Pak-Army Indian forces were wearing Pak-Army uniforms and raped Bengali women and girls. That’s type of acts created a lot of hates in the hearts of East-Pakistan people. In Mukti Bhini a lot of Indian career military officers and soldiers, they perform atrocities and massacre in the East-Pakistan and then blamed Pak-Army.A thousands of Awami league miscreants were trained and backed by RAW and Indian military. The guerilla movements became the “liberation of Bangladesh” from West-Pakistan. A lot of atrocities and genocides were done by Mukti Bhini, and Awami league miscreants and blamed Pak-Army for this acts. These all things were politically hijacked by Sheikh Mujeeb Rahman and Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for its own personal interests (Mohammad Zubair Iqbal ,Shabir Hussain, 2018).

1971 War

It was direct confrontation between Indian and Pakistani Army. It was a full scale war. Due to the Mukti Bhini and Awami league miscreants local insurgency were on the top in East-Pakistan and Pakistani forces were trying to eliminate the insurgents. The environment was very favorable to foreign forces to intervene on the name of violation of human rights by Pak-Army in East-Pakistan. The war lasted just for just 13 days, and one of the shortest war in history. The military confrontation between India and Pakistan occurred from 3 December 1971 to the fall of Dhaka on 16 December 1971. It is estimated that between 300,000 and 3, 00,000 civilian were killed in Bangladesh and about 3900 Indian soldiers died, 9851 wounded and 93,000 Pakistani were taken “Prisoners of the War” but this figure is very suspicious some reports says that this figure is round about 34000 soldiers were taken Prisoners of War. In this war Pakistan suffered a lot of damages because Indian military had cut up the logistic line and blockade seas and Air-ways; that is the backbone of any Army in any war. There was none supply chain of ammunition, military soldiers and foods, everything was under controlled of unified forces of Mukti Bhini and Indian military. The reason of the loose of war, that Pakistani Army were surrounded from all sides by Indian military and guerilla forces and second reason Pak-Army were less in numbers compare 200,000 Indian Army. Citizens and intellectuals were main target of this mass genocide by Mukti Bhini and Indian Military. The fall of the city to the Indian Army on 16 December 1971 marked the creation of the independent state of Bangladesh. Dhaka became the capital of Bangladesh (JENKINS, july, 1974).

Conclusion

In this whole article I have reached on two points; the first is that whenever you behave your most friendly and dearest friend discriminately and dislikely that will turn down you and will behave you in the same manner like you have towards them. The second thing is that foreigners will take advantage of the situation. Its mean that third party will properly utilize your hostility for its own interests. So thoroughly never underestimate the power of a common and weak people they can create very big problem in the future. That’s all were happened in East-Pakistan. The result was separation of East-Pakistan from West-Pakistan.

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South Asia

As Sri Lanka struggles with Chinese debt-trap, Maldives moves closer to the Quad

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The Indian Ocean’s geopolitical currents have witnessed drastic transformation this year, particularly in the past three months, with India shedding the exclusive right of its sphere of influence over the Indian Ocean, by allowing the United States in its own backyard. Washington and New Delhi seems to have entered into what few analysts call a ‘soft alliance’.

Sri Lanka and Maldives are strategically located in the northern section of the Indian Ocean, and have long been historically, culturally, and geopolitically under India’s sphere of influence. But, things are beginning to change as Chinese debt-trap looms over these islands.

The Quad grouping, consisting of India, Japan, the United States and Australia, has demonstrated its collective military might in the maritime sphere of India with the recently concluded annual Malabar naval exercise. It also led to the emergence of new dynamics of cooperation in previously reticent areas, built upon confidence in each other’s abilities and consciousness of where it stands in the newly unravelling geopolitical equation.

India’s new strategic comfort with bringing in partners from the Quad partners lying external to the Indian Ocean Region, namely the US and Japan into its long-held exclusive sphere of influence signals a tilt in strategic imperatives for New Delhi in favour of the US that too in an evolving cold war-like situation involving Washington and Beijing with different set of countries rallying behind each side.

India has recently welcomed the US-Maldives Defense Cooperation Agreement signed in September, this year. The following month saw US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Male where he announced Washington’s intent to open an embassy soon.

Less than three months after the defence pact with Washington, Male signed a new agreement with Tokyo this month, for availing a Japanese grant of $7.6 million to strengthen the archipelago’s Coast Guard capacities, in a second major pact with a Quad member.

New Delhi’s newfound willingness to work with external actors in the Indian Ocean is a sign of strategic comfort stemming out from realist foreign policy considerations to expand its circle of friends and coalition partners in its own backyard against a common and more powerful adversary, Beijing, with which it also have decades-long tensions in the Himalayan frontiers.

Even though both these two countries succumbed to disproportionately superior Chinese economic might since the past one decade, it seems Maldives has somehow managed to come out of its dangerous level of dependency on China since Ibrahim Mohammed Solih of the Maldivian Democratic Party assumed presidency of the island nation two years back in November 2018.

The Sri Lankan economy went into a tailspin since the civil war ended in 2009. The country’s exchequer was badly in need of financial support to sustain itself. It was also the time when Beijing just began to project its military and economic power in its neighbourhood and beyond as the flamboyant 2008 Beijing Olympics concluded.

The island of Sri Lanka soon acquired new geoeconomic significance when President Xi Jinping launched the most ambitious infrastructure project of this century in 2013, the Belt and Road Infrastructure, connecting three continents with the Indian Ocean as its epicenter of vitality.

With BRI, a tangled web of debt-trap rapidly began to loom over Sri Lanka as Beijing pumped-in investments into the war-battered island with malicious intentions.

The story of handover of Hambantota port, strategically located in the southern tip of Sri Lankan coast, to China for a 99-year lease in 2017, and the Colombo Port City project being built with Chinese assistance are just examples of how economic leverage gained geopolitically advantageous positions for Beijing overlooking the Indian Ocean. These assets are going to play a significant role in the connectivity of BRI’s ‘Maritime Silk Road’ aspect.

Chinese-led projects are built and managed by Chinese workers themselves as they do in any other part of the world, naturally bringing presence of Chinese personnel to the areas where it operates.

The BRI, however, enhances Sri Lanka’s significance in what theorists call the String of Pearls, wherein Beijing attempts to encircle India by a series of ports and maritime installations under its control in the Indian Ocean such as the overseas military base in Djibouti, Gwadar in Pakistan, and the ports in Bay of Bengal under Chinese influence hosted by either Bangladesh or Myanmar. Chinese submarine presence is also a new reality, particularly in areas surrounding the Malacca Straits.

All these factors naturally brought New Delhi closer to Washington to formulate a ‘collective strategy’ against the expansionist tendencies manifested by Chinese behaviour. At the same time, India has been taking proactive steps in its individual capacity to boost ties with other island and littoral states in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), like Mauritius and Seychelles where India’s listening posts to monitor sea-lanes also operate.

The Indian Navy has always been the first responder to any HADR (Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief) situations in the IOR which earned significant soft power and respect for India in the countries of the region. This vision has been immortalized in India’s maritime doctrine for regional cooperation in the Indian Ocean, SAGAR (Security and Growth for all in the Region), that was unveiled in 2015.

With the entry of the US, which already has its presence in the British Indian Ocean Territory of Diego Garcia lying mid-way of the ocean, that too with India’s approval, and France in Reunion in the western Indian Ocean, the geostrategic picture of IOR is beginning to change.

Maldives stands as a good example of how to overcome Chinese dominating agenda by boosting cooperation among democracies. But, the Abdullah Yameen-era nightmare of Chinese debt burden is still far from over. In fact, Sri Lanka too is well aware of the Chinese trap from which it yearns to decouple itself. But, Colombo is left with limited options or alternatives to do so.

The renewed Indo-US strategic cooperation, if not translated into offering a viable solution to the debt-trap conundrum, Sri Lanka might irreversibly evolve into another extension of Beijing’s legs in the Indian Ocean threatening the sovereignty of democracies in the region.

Recent steps in the strategic realm are welcome, but the Indo-Pacific democracies, particularly India and the US, should cooperate with these two key island states more in the economic realm as well, if possible near to the extent of Beijing as a collective move.

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South Asia

The Dysfunctional Pakistan’s Legislature

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The legislature of Pakistan has several problems and because of this very reason governments are unable to make any landmark laws for the state that can prove to be effective in resulting some socio-political or economic changes in the society. The noncooperation among the parties in the house is the major problem that leads no healthy debate. People have never seen the political parties having a healthy debate among the political parties on some key matters that need to address. Political parties prefer crosstalk on each other that mostly ends up on the dismal of legislature. Mostly in the house the opposition and the party in power never each on consensus on anything that shows their no seriousness towards the legislation.

 In my opinion the opposition of Pakistan perceives its role to be negative always. The opposition perceives as their duty to walk out from the house, make fun of their fellow colleagues, bringing our historical facts to propagate negativity about the agenda. This attitude results in no fruitful law-making.

The scenario of national assembly of Pakistan is that if the ruling party does not has two-third majority in the house they will be paralyzed as the opposition has imagines role of not supporting the government to pass laws and bills that can benefit their reputation among the public. In this game of interest the parties forget the importance of legislation and national interest rather they are more focused on protecting their own interests and interests of their political parties.

The tussle between the government and the opposition is endless that is negatively impacting the legislative system of Pakistan.

Another factor that weakens the legislative process of Pakistan is the issues within the upper house. This plays a vital role in enacting the laws without senate’s cooperation legislation cannot improve and strength.

 The sustained bitterness and confrontation with the government and opposition leads to no progress in the making of legislation and strengthening the rule of law. For example the PTI coalition passed the bills and introduced 8 ordinances in its first year of government.

The ten bills passed by national assembly faced a new challenge which was the Senate of Pakistan where PTI also does not hold the majority. Ten out of 4 bills sailed through Senate whereas 3 remained pending in Senate. Only 7 bills turned into acts in the first year of PTI government.

The lack of coordination and seriousness in the parliament is affecting the progress of Pakistan. Without rules and making of new legislation how can the country progress? In a democratic system the rule of law is one of the pillars for true democratic practices but unfortunately in Pakistan we only see leg-pulling and blame game between the institutions.  The lack of political consensus among the parties is another problem. On the other hand the formation of Standing Committees of national assembly is important for the functioning of the system. According to the Rules of Procedure of national assembly the members of Standing Committees has to be elected within 30 days after the elections of the leader of house but according to the data of PILDAT previous assembly managed to form these in 3 months instead of 30 days. This indicated lack of seriousness of the members.

The current government has only got the executive authority and not the legislative competence that makes them dysfunctional as they are dependent on the opposition and then Senate for passing of the legislation and making it a law.

Another factor that weakens the legislative system of Pakistan is the overactive judiciary and the intervention of the military in law making. Through this intervention the legacy of the military rule is still being kept alive. Most of the time the Supreme Court and the judiciary intervene in the legislation to serve their interest and weaken their opponents sitting in the government. The overactive judiciary encroaches the governance agenda, legislative advice etc. the legislative procedure in Pakistan is still developing its institutional identity.

The duty of the legislature is to respond to its public needs and also exercise oversight of the executive, but there is not engagement in the civil society and no research is being conducted on the public policy for better and effective policy making.

In the end it can be concluded that the system is also faulty but the attitude of the parliamentarians is more disappointing and discouraging. The whole system is unsuitable for a less educated population of Pakistan as most of the parliamentarians are unaware of policy-making and its importance for the state. The process is also complex and complicated as it has to go through several steps for making a bill a law.

Through this process, law-making on controversial issues is nearly impossible because in Pakistan people protect their interest instead of their state. Even if the government is serious for law-making the judiciary, military and bureaucracy will not allow the government to do its job. This is high time to adopt a new system in this country and draw lines for every institutions particularly judiciary that is the most rigid institutions and creates hurdles for every government by interrupting them.

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Reinforcing the Role of the International Community in Resolving the Rohingya Crisis

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A young Rohingya girl holds her brother outside a youth club in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. © UNHCR/Vincent Tremeau

Bangladesh is hosting more than 1.1 million Rohingya refugees since August 2017. The United Nations defined Myanmar’s August 2017 atrocities to the Rohingyas as “Textbook case of ethnic cleansing”. On July 02, 2018, during his visit to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General noted that “I have no doubt that the Rohingya people have always been one of, if not the, most discriminated people in the world, without any recognition of the most basic rights starting by the recognition of the right of citizenship by their own country – Myanmar”. Thus, the severity of the Rohingya crisis is well-recognized by the international community. This article focuses on the necessity of the international community’s role in facilitating a safe and sustainable Rohingya crisis solution.

The ironic story is that though it is already three years passed, no concrete action is manifested to facilitate the Rohingya refugee repatriation. In the United Nations Security Council, Russia and China applied veto power in the case of Rohingya refugee resolution, which made strong impediments to the repatriation process. Russia and China did this calculating their narrowly defined interest rather than humanity which is in fact, ironic for the world. Thus, the United Nations could not play a crucial role in facilitating the Rohingya refugee repatriation.

Bangladesh is one of the densely populated countries in the world. Though Bangladesh is a rising economic power, feeding more than 170 million people is not an easy task. Also, more than 1.1 million Rohingya refugees have added extra socio-economic pressures in the country. For Bangladesh’s continued growth, prosperity, and stability, there is no alternative to repatriate the Rohingya refugees in Myanmar as early as possible. Since Myanmar committed ethnic cleansing to the Rohingyas, and the country is not interested in taking back the Rohingyas, only the international community including the United Nations, the European Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) can pressurize Myanmar to ensure a safe and sustainable repatriation.

Bangladesh strongly believes that the international community can play an essential role in resolving the Rohingya refugee crisis permanently. For instance, at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly, Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, offered five points proposal including the full implementation of recommendations of the Kofi Annan Commission, and the establishment of civilian monitored safe zone in the Rakhine State to the international community to resolve the issue. Similarly, at the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Sheikh Hasina offered a four points-proposal to resolve the Rohingya crisis highlighting the role of the international community. Sheikh Hasina emphasized that the international community must ensure that the root causes of the Rohingya problem area addressed and the violation of human rights and other atrocity crimes committed against the Rohingyas are accounted for.

The good news is that the on November 19, 2020, the United Nations has adopted a resolution on “The Situation of Human Rights of the Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar” while Bangladesh seeks a peaceful solution to the Rohingya crisis. The Resolution called for taking concrete actions by Myanmar to address the root causes of the Rohingya crisis, i.e. granting them citizenship, ensuring the safe and sustainable return of the Rohingyas to their homes by creating a conducive environment. Bangladesh Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Rabab Fatima notes that “As a country that hosts over 1.1 million forcibly displaced Rohingyas, Bangladesh continues to seek a peaceful solution to this crisis, which lies in their safe and dignified return to Myanmar”.

Notably, Germany on behalf of the European Union and Saudi Arabia on behalf of the OIC co-tabled the Resolution which was sponsored by the 104 member states including the USA, Canada, and Australia. It is also a positive development that a total of 132 countries voted in favour of the Resolution while nine countries voted against and 31 countries abstained. It demonstrates that most of the countries in the world want a permanent, sustainable and peaceful solution to the Rohingya crisis. It also signifies that these countries care for the humanity while the nine countries who voted against the Resolution only care for their narrowly defined interest. The future generations will undoubtedly read and know the actions of those nine countries who do not care for humanity. Those nine countries need to know that despite several domestic challenges, Sheikh Hasina has shown kindness, humanitarian gesture and thus protected and sheltered those Rohingyas from killing by the Myanmar armies.

Notably, Bangladesh is one of the top ten countries in the world in terms of hosting refugees. This will remain as a humanitarian example in the world. One also needs to keep in mind that the socio-economic realities of Turkey (who is the top in hosting refugees), and Bangladesh is not the same. While the GDP (per capita) of Turkey is US$ 9043, Bangladesh’s GDP (per capita) is US$ 1856, the population density of Turkey is 108 per square kilometres, and Bangladesh’s population density is 1116 per square kilometres. Thus, considering the contexts, and socio-economic realities of Bangladesh, the international community needs to reinforce the Rohingya refugee repatriation process. Most importantly, the international community needs to execute the adopted Resolution as early as possible for the sake of humanity, for the sake of a just cause. The future world will certainly note the noble actions taken by the international community for such a just, and reasonable cause.

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