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Question: Why did East Pakistan broke up in 1971?

Fall Of East Pakistan 1971


Fall of East Pakistan 1971 was one of the biggest tragedy happened in the history of Pakistan.Many of the research has been done on it and many political thinkers have different viewpoints about this incident.According to me following are the factors which played an important decisive role in the fall of Dhaka:

1.Cultural And Linguistic Differences:


There was a big cultural difference present between the people of East and West Pakistan.People of East Pakistan were culturally more close with Indians especially with people of West Bengal.They had their own language totally different from Urdu and they considered it as their single identity.Bengalis were very educated people.A lot of work in literature like poetry,prose novels and short stories etc. was done in Bengali language.So they took their language as their national identity.They were not ready to learn or speak Urdu and to accept it as national language.They claimed that becuse of their majority Bengali should only be the national language of Pakistan and that was the first difference rose between people of both sides.

2. Differnce In Political Thinking:


People of East Pakistan were very much politically conscious. They were mainly educated middle class people.Most of the political movements in British India especially related with Muslims started from Bengal like the formation of All India Muslim League in 1906, then Maulana Fazal Haq put forward Pakistan Resolution on 23rd March 1940.He was also a leader of Bengal.Politicians of East Pakistan were mostly consisted of lawyers,professors and retired government servants.On the other hand West Pakistan's politics was completely dominated by feudal lords.Political thinking of both sides was quite different.Most of the politicians of East Pakistan were in favour of a Secular Democratic state.They all have compromised on the issue of Secular state but when first martial law came in 1958 unde Ayub Khan then their politicians had decided that now we cannot remain with Pakistan and their claim was right that Democracy cannot survive in a country like Pakistan where military establishment is so much involved in politics of country.

3. Objectives Resolution:
Objectives resolution was another factor.According to the Objectives Resolution Pakistan was declared as an Islamic state which was complete deviation of a modern liberal state.Most of the politicians from the East Pakistan didnot support it because they all were in the favour of a Secular state.Only Maulana Fazal Haq and Maulana Bhashani supported it.All the other politicians of East Pakistan rejected it especially the NonMuslim members from East Pakistan and that was the first time when Bengali politicians felt that they were ignored by the politicians of the West Pakistan.This all shows the difference in politics and political thinking of both sides.Today Bangladesh is a Secular country.

4.Issue Of Representation:
People of East Pakistan also have many objections on issue of representation.They wanted representation on equal basis.They ere in majority according to population. East Pakistan was more populous than West Pakistan so they wanted more seats in assemblies and their claim was right.Because of this claim One Unit formula came to give both sides an identity of single province which was against the desires of East Pakistanis and hence that claim was not fulfilled by West Pakistan.

5.Geographical Distance:
There was a long distance of more than thousand Kilometers between both the wings of country and India as an enemy was present between them.Land route was not present.India has its border present with East Pakistan and it could easily intervene.India also took full advantage of this geographical condition during the war of 1971.We lost that war because of this situation.Proper communication was also not present between people of East and West Pakistan due to very long distance.

6.Constitution Of 1956:
In constitution of 1956 politicians of East Pakistan have objections on two main issues.One was the electorate system.East Pakistanis wanted joint electorate in 1956 constitution.On the other hand West Pakistanis wanted a seperate electorate.First of all right of joint electorate was given to East Pakistan and seperate to West Pakistan but then right of seperate electorate was given to both the wings.Their other objection was provincial autonomy which was not fully given to them.

7.Prejudice Attitude Of West Pakistan:


Prejudice attitude was one of the biggest factor and it played a vital role.West Pakistani politicians had a prejudice attitude

against East Pakistanis.They were not given equal jobs and big posts in bureaucracy,military and other government services.Development and progress was also not done in East Pakistan on equal basis.As a result of this complexes started to build in minds of East Paksitanis.Provintialism was also very strong on both the sides due which hatred developed in hearts of people which ended as a result of fall of Dhaka.

8.Role Of Establishment:
Establishment wanted to be a part of Pakistani politics from the day one.Bureaucracy and military two important components of establishment mostly belonged from West Pakistan didnot want East Pakistanis in government because in this way their authority could be challenged.Military had a very bad and cruel role in East Pakistan and army should be shameful for that.According to Hamood-Ur-Rehman Commission report 26000-30000 Bengalis were killed by Pakistan army while the claim of Bengalis are in lacs. One lac Bengali girls and women were raped by Pakistan army which is unfortunately very dear to us.Thats why during the war of 1971 Bengalis supported Indian army instead of supporting Pakistan army.

9.Ayub's Era:
Ayub's era played a vital role before this incident.East Pakistanis were not satisfied by the reforms of Ayub Khan especially the common people.In East Pakistan as a result of those reforms only big caplitalists got the advantage and local people remained unsatisfied.Then army from West Pakistan also did a lot of cruelity in East Pakistan in Ayub's era.Politicians of East Pakistan were also not satisfied from the constitution of 1962 as it was not centralized and democratized.Political activities and political parties were also banned and people of East Pakistan were all very conscious.During this period all the economic development was done in West Pakistan but East Pakistan remained ignored.Ayub was a military man and he did many mistakes on this issue.During the war of 1965 East Pakistanis claimed that West Pakistan left them alone to kill from the hands of Indian army.This destroyed their confidence over our army and government.Then during the Ayub's period Sheikh Mujeeb met several times with Indian high command and Indian Intelligence members in London but Ayub took no action against him.Agartala conspiracy was also a part of it where Mujeeb met with army generals and Indira Gandhi and they formulated a plan of coup against Ayub Khan which disturbed and decreased the popularity and reputation of Ayub Khan.

10.Judicial Role:

East Pakistanis also have many objections with judiciary.Justice was not given to them especially in Shaheed Suharwardi and Mehndi Ali Khan case.High court in East Pakistan gave different decision in Mehndi Ali Khan case about waqf properties but Chief Justice Supreme court Justice Munir rejected that and gave decisions against it.This created a sense of descrimination among East Pakistanis about judiciary of West Pakistan.

11.Role Of India:
India played an important role in fall of East Pakistan.Indian army and Intelligence agency supported millitant association Mukti Bahni by giving them arms and funds.India also sent their soldiers in form of Mukti Bahni to kill Pakistani soldiers.India also started war of 1971 on both Eastern and Western fronts and fully supported Bengalis and sother seperatists elements.The role of Indira Gandhi PrimeMinister India was very clear.She was a very shrude lady and anti Pakistan leader and on 16th December 1971 when Pakistan military surrendered and East Pakistan broke up she gave a famous statement.She said"Today we have drowned Pakistan ideology in the Bay of Bengal."

12.Elections Of 7th December 1970:


Elections of 7th December 1970 completely showed the differnce in political thinking of both wings.Awami League won all the seats in East Pakistan but not a single one in West Pakistan.On other hand Pakistans Peoples Party won all the seats in West Pakistan but not a single in East Pakistan.Although Awami League had the majority but the election results showed that political parties of both the wings were not popular in the opposite wings.Awami League was totally unpopular in West Pakistan and Peoples Party wa also unpopular in East Pakistan.After the result of elections East Pakistanis started to think in a different way.

13.6 Points Formula:


6 Points formula was the most decisive factor and Sheikh Mujeeb-Ur-Rehman of Awami League refused to reconciliate without that formula.But question is who was founder of 6 points?Probably most political thinkers and think that IndianIntelligence RAW or a senior bureaucrat of Ayub's time would be the writer or founder of these points.But now many political analysts think that Nationalist Bengali politicians and political thinkers would be the founder of 6 points.In 1974 Morning news declared and revealed that Dr.Muzaffar Ahmed Chaudhry played an important role in formation of 6 points.In 6 points Mujeeb demanded seperate trade,seperate currency,seperate funds and seperate forces for

both the wings of country which completely reflected his seperatist nature.

14.Role Of Super Powers:


Super Powers also had their role in that incident.Soviet Union completely supported India and people of East Pakistan by giving weapons,arms and funds as India had close ties with Soviet Union.USA supprted Paistan but no proper help in any form came in Pakistan from USA.President Nixon tried to stop Indo-Pak war of 1971 and wanted to help Pakistan.Thats why it is said that the 7th American Naval Fleet present in Indian Ocean was also sent by President Nixon in East Pakistan to help Pakistan military but before its arrival Pakistan army surrendered.China supported Pakistan during the war and provided Pakistan army with ammunition.Many political analysts think that China also trusted Pakistan to intervene during the war but in the end no actual intervention was done by China on Western front.

15.Role Of Militants And MuktiBahni:


MuktiBahni was the militant association of militant Bengalis and Indian army and Intelligence agency sas supporting them.Those militants were responsible for all that chaos and riots in East Pakistan.Civil Disobedience started from 7th March1971.Militants of MuktiBahni killed many Non-Bengalis and raped their women.Cruelity and nationalism of Bengalis was at its peak.They looted Non-Bengalis and burnt their houses.According to Anthony Mascarenhas one lac Non-Bengalis were killed by militants.According to him In Military academy Chitagong Colonel Commandant of Pakistan army and his eight months pregnant wife both were cruely killed by Bengalis.It is also said that from many places naked dead bodies of Non-Bengali young boys and girls were found.Under such circumstances never the less Pakistan government had to start military action against these Bengali militants.

16.Irresponsible Attitude Of Yahya And Bhutto:


Yahya as president of Pakistan did many mistakes.First one was when he postponed session of assembly which was expected on 3rdMarch 1971.Yahya also repeated the same mistake which Ayub did.He took no notice of Mujeeb's secret meetings with Indira Gandhi and other Indian officials after elections.Decission of military action was necessary at that time because of activities of Bengali militants but solution could also be found without military action.Then decision of arrest of Sheikh Mujeeb further made the situation critical.Bhutto on other hand never tried to reconciliate even during the war instead he did many emotional speeches in Security Council.Bhutto claimed that 6 points and seperatist attitude of

Mujeeb were the hurdles in way of reconciliation and transfer of power and he was also right to some extent but Bhutto should try to reconciliate with Bengali politicians.

17.Seperatist Nature Of Mujeeb-Ur-Rehman:


Sheikh Mujeeb was a complete seperatist.He had full support of India at his back.His secret meetings with Indira Gandhi and other officials of Indian Intelligence agency and his 6 points formula prooved it.He was representing the different and seperatist political thinking of entire Bengali nation.He raised flag of Bangladesh on 23rdMarch 1971and was arrested afterwards.In one of his statements given to Foriegn Ministers of Iran and Turkey after elections of 1970 he said"I would like to become the founder of Bangladesh instead of becoming the PrimeMinister of Pakistan."Indira Gandhi in one of his speeches also declared Mujeeb as his son.Mujeeb just wanted a very link with West Pakistan to become financially strong and then seperation.Thats why he didnot reconciliate without 6 points formula.On 3rd January1971 in his address in Rimna Racecourse Dhaka he said"We will not compromise on 6 points at any case and will destroy every hurdle which will come in this way."Finally his desire ended on 16thDecember 1971 as a result of fall of Dhaka.