ISLAMABAD: The speakers at a webinar on ‘1971- facts and fictions’ organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Thursday said that Indians had hatched a conspiracy and supported a separatist movement in the-then East Pakistan in 1971 to split Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, political and security strategist and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, Rauf Hassan said that there was never any doubt about India’s intentions against Pakistan then and now. “India conspired to split Pakistan. The Indian troops and agents wearing uniform of the Pakistan army harmed the feelings of the Bengali population and launched a propaganda campaign against Pakistan,” he added.
He said to analyse the 1971 incidents, there is a need to look at three phases of the crisis – Pre-Operation, During-Operation and Post Operation. He said that some of the political decisions right from the emergence of Pakistan to incidents leading to the 1971 incident did play a role too. “We must not ignore the role of the-then political leadership and the political mistakes. Now we need to learn from the separation of East Pakistan and move ahead to make Pakistan a strong country by meeting its true potential. Pakistan has a bright future,” he added.
Commodore (retd) Naghman Chaudhry, a defense analyst, said the Pakistan Army played its role as the defender of the people of East Pakistan until the end. However, the propaganda and political maneuvering of the multi-faceted enemy-India, especially its media campaign, portrayed a negative image of Pakistani troops.
He said that the people of the-then West Pakistan had shown respect and dignity for Bengalis and no atrocities were committed against them by the army. They were allowed safe repatriation from Pakistan to Bangladesh.
India used enmity against Muslim brothers and invested billions to shape the opinion of regional think tanks. He said if the world is serious to know the true reasons for separation of East Pakistan, then they must help in initiating a joint investigation led by globally acclaimed institutions. The Pakistan Army has supported the effort of seeking truth.
Ambassador Abdul Basit said Indians have not accepted the creation of Pakistan and they used to always conspire against Pakistan. Recalling his tenure as Pakistan High Commissioner in New Delhi, he said he had the opportunity to meet people including Ajit Doval.
These people always tried to tell us to remember the fall of Dhaka in one way or the other and wanted to convey to him in other words that a Bengladesh like debacle could be repeated, he said.
He was of the view that even today after 50 years, I have no doubt that the fall of Dhaka had both internal and external dimensions. Since there were no direct geographical linkages between the then West and East Pakistan which created governance complexities for the state of Pakistan, India exploited this situation and hatched a conspiracy.
Indians trained Mukti Bahni and supported the separation movement. Even Modi has acknowledged that it was India who created Mukti Bahni and Indian support led to separation of the East Pakistan.
Earlier, Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI, in his welcome address said that the incidents of 1971 remind us of lessons learnt from history. He said that Pakistan is moving in the right direction with addressing all dimensions of security.