16 December 1971 is the darkest page of our history when secession of our Eastern wing took place. Various excuses for this horrific downfall have been put forward by different researchers and analyst. Yet the gravity of this great loss is still immeasurable. A nation that gallantly fought and secured freedom from the jaws of British could merely stay together for less than three decades and split into two owing to innumerable intrigues; both from within and outside. This day reminds us that united we stay and divided we fall.

Our ideological borders are still being bombarded from all corners of world and a strong defense of our ideologies is as essential as is our national borders. It is said that the only lesson we learn from history is that we learn no lesson from history. The tragedy of fall of Dhaka has been analyzed by many researchers. Eight books have been written by Army Officers who were witness to this catastrophe. The Breaking of Pakistan by General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan (1972), The Betrayal of East Pakistan by Lieutenant General A.A.K. Niazi (1998), How Pakistan Got Divided by Major General Rao Farman Ali (1992), Tragedy of Errors by Kamal Matinuddin (1994), The 1971 Indo Pakistan Was: A Soldier’s Narrative by Major General Hakeem Arshad Qureshi (2002), Major General A.O. Mitha, Unlikely Beginnings: A Soldier’s Life (2003), Brigadiar Siddiq Salik, Witness to surrender, (1977), East Pakistan: The End Game by Brigadiar A.R. Siddiqui (2004). These books shed light on various causes of the great tragedy; the largest Muslim country of the world faced soon after its independence. We should not close our from some grey areas of our history and must include extracts from these books in our syllabus at different level of education so that students do not shy away from this segment of our history.

Researching the causes of failures confirms that errors committed in past will not be repeated and this leads to concrete victory and undefeatable valor. The gallantries of our soldiers who fought with India bravely and fearlessly have not been made known to our next generation. Apathy of so called friendly countries sank the ship of Pakistan in dangerous concurrent waves of horrible whirlpool. In recent times researchers have nullified the rhetoric’s myths of 3 Million. Abdul Momin Choudhr’s book behind the Myth of 3 Million logically rejects all the allegations raised against Pakistan Army. Similary, Sarmila Bose’s book Dead Reckoning is another evidence to act as a catalyst. It has also rejected all baseless allegations leveled against Pakistan Army. Rather its shows true faces of large number of hypocrites who deceived people of both sides and their betrayal is now part of history.

The crux of discussion is, if an arm is amputated we must care of remaining body and also strategically improve ourselves that nothing bad happens again.

IFTIKHAR MIRZA,

Islamabad, December 16.