India Accuses Pakistan for Atrocities in Bangladesh
Since the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and leader of the ruling party, Awami League (AL) Sheikh Hasina Wajid came into power, India has been employing various tactics to entrap Bangladesh by exploiting her pro-Indian tilt to fulfill its strategic interests, especially against Pakistan.
Two persons have been killed in Bangladesh in the deadly clashes erupted in the country on January 5, this year on the first anniversary of controversial elections 2014, and police besieged the head of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Begum Khaleda Zia in her office.
In fact, with the support of India, for her second tenure, Sheikh Hasina won the elections 2014 in wake of bloodshed due to her dictatorial steps. In this regard, head of the BNP, Begum Khaleda Zia who was leading the alliance of the opposition parties boycotted the general elections, as to keep her in power, Prime Minister Hasina amended the constitution for holding of elections under a non-party set up and the opposition accused her of manipulating the electoral process to establish one party state. The country’s largest religious party, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) was also banned from taking part in the elections.
In this regard, Prime Minister Hasina Wajid has continuously been pursuing Indian directions by conducting anti-Pakistan campaign. Therefore, after passing of 42 years to the events of 1971, which resulted into the separation of East Pakistan—in connivance with the judiciary, she hurriedly executed her political opponent Abdul Qadir Mullah-leader of Jl because of his loyalty to Pakistan.
Reviving old animosity, media of Bangladesh and India also started highlighting issue of 195 Pakistan Army officers allegedly involved in killing of Bengalis in 1971 war. Although they were repatriated to Pakistan after tripartite agreement between Pakistan, India and Bangladesh in 1974, yet Prime Minister Hasina Wajid intended to file cases against them at International Crime Tribunal (ICT).
By neglecting Islamabad’s positive approach, Bangladesh government has continued its anti-Pakistan approach to please India. It could be judged from the statement of Prime Minister Hasina Wajid who has vocally said, “Bangladesh has no room for the people loving Pakistan.”
However, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been following pro-Indian policies. In this context, on the secret insistence of New Delhi, unlike the past years, a ceremony was held in Dhaka on March 24, 2013, with full pump and show to honour ‘Foreign Friends of Bangladesh Award’ in relation to the separation of East Pakistan. For this aim, several foreign friends who included various institutions and media anchors from various countries, particularly India were invited. The main purpose behind was to distort the image of Pakistan and its armed forces regarding alleged atrocities, committed against the Bengalis. Notably, in December, 2012, Prime Minister Hasina had refused to attend D-8 conference in Islamabad unless Pakistan tendered apology for the alleged genocide of Bengalis.
While, as part of pre-planned scheme with the Bangladesh government, India also launched false propaganda, accusing Pak Army for rape and killings of the Bengalis in 1971 war.
In this respect, a famous Bengali journalist Sarmila Bose authored a book, “Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War” after thorough investigation. Her book was published in 2011. While countering exaggerations of the Indian and Bengali Journalists, Bose argues that the number of Bengalis killed in 1971 was not three million, but around 50,000, while Bengalis were equally involved in the bloodshed of Punjabis, Biharis, Pashtoons and Balochis.
Indian secret agency, RAW has a long history of sinister activities in the East Pakistan, backing secular areas of Hindu minority who had played an important role in motivating Bengali Muslims against West Pakistan. RAW’s well-paid agents had activated themselves in East Pakistan in the 1960’s so as to dismember Pakistan. For this aim, it funded Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s general elections in 1970. It colluded with the pro-Indian persons and had paid full attention in training and arming the Mukti Bahnis. RAW, playing with the bloodshed of Muslims, succeeded in initiating a civil war in East Pakistan. However, huge quantity of arms started entering East Pakistan along with the guideline of Indian army and RAW. Meanwhile, India welcomed the refugees from East Pakistan, providing them with every facility to provocate them against West Pakistan.
No doubt, Majib was already in connivance with India for separation of East Pakistan. Therefore, when East Pakistan was occupied by Indian Army in 1971, he stated with pleasure that his 24 years old dream of an independent Bangladesh had been fulfilled.
As a matter of fact, we cannot see Indian accusations against Pak Army regarding atrocities committed in Bangladesh in 1971 war in isolation, as these are part of Indian perennial psychological warfare against Pakistan. And New Delhi wants to divert attention of international community from its own atrocities which continues unabated in the Indian-held Kashmir.
In this respect, since 1989, Indian military troops have been employing every possible tactic of state terrorism and ethnic cleansing to disturb the majority population of Kashmiris. During and after the so-called elections, intermittent curfews, crackdowns, killings, kidnaps, torture, rape and massacre of the innocent Kashmiri people by the Indian security forces keep on going to crush the war of liberation of the Kashmiris. Moreover, in the recent years, discovery of thousands of unmarked graves of the innocent Muslims who were killed by the Indian security forces in the fake encounters in the occupied Kashmir might be cited as another instance.
It is notable that several international agencies, human rights organizations, State Human Rights Commission and UN including Indian writers and researchers like Dr. Anjana Chatterjee and Dr. Sharmila exposed Indian false propaganda and violence of human Rights. They pointed out, “New Delhi has been suppressing the innocent people of Indian dominated Kashmir through mass extra judicial killings, forced disappearances at the hands of forces—gang rapes, indiscriminate use of force and torture, firing on demonstrations, custodial killings, fake encounters, detentions etc. Since 1989, nearly 100,000, Kashmiri people have been killed.”
A recent report by Amnesty International stated that up to 20,000 people have been detained under a law called Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Indian-administered Kashmir.
Besides, following the tactics of psychological warfare—supporting subversive acts in our country and unprovoked cross-border shelling, India has also started cultural penetration in Pakistan through dramas and films which are making handful of loyal viewership because there is no any official resistance or prohibiting laws in our country in this respect. However, Indian cultural assault through electronic media—movies, drama and cartoons must be countered proactively by Pakistan’s media. There is need to promote our own culture by helping our TV channels and film industry making them lucrative so that Pakistani talent could divert their energies in serving their own audience.
Nonetheless, Pakistan’s top officials and media must counter Indian propaganda campaign which is aimed at distorting the image of Pak Army by accusing the latter about alleged atrocities, committed in Bangladesh in 1971 war. In this regard, Prime Minister Hasina Wajid should also change its pro-Indian tilt by rectifying anti-Pakistan policy which is essential for stability and peace in the region.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations