By Waqar Ahmed
While Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi claims that Pakistan is the hotbed of terrorism in the region, a look at India’s active role in the creation of Bangladesh is worth revealing.
The Bangladesh government has recently issued a gazette notification, defining the term ‘freedom fighter”. The definition has been finalised on the recommendation of Jatiya Muktijoddha Council. According to the notification, the following persons among others will be considered as the so-called freedom fighters: Who engaged in the war in response to the call of Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman between 26 March and 16 December 1971; those who were 13 years old on 26 March 1971 are eligible to apply for the status; those who crossed the border and received training in different Indian camps enlisting their names; professionals, including journalists, playing active role to build people’s supports abroad.
Needless to say the definition highlights a biased and lopsided approach of Haseena Wajid’s government towards the 1971’s tragic episode. The notification is part of the war launched by Mukti Bahini, created and supported by India, for dismemberment of Pakistan and creating hatred in the hearts and minds of Bengali people.
Mr Modi knows well and admitted to it that it was India that laid the foundation of cross-border terrorism. Before the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was set up on 21 September 1968, the Indian Investigation Bureau (IB) was establishing Mukti Bahini. First, it set up the Mukti Fauj, then Sangram Parishad followed by Mukti Bahini. It is now well known that for the Mukti Bahini terrorists, the Indian Army operated training camps in the Indian states of West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura. In late 1970, along with RAW and IB operatives, the Mukti Bahini had begun undertaking subversive activities in East Pakistan. If one checks newspapers of those days, one may find reports of blowing up of bridges, fuel depots, bank robberies, targeting of power plants and industries and killing of Pakistan armed forces personnel and non-Bengalis by the Mukti Bahini personnel aided by the Indian Army.
However, it should be noted that in 1971, the total number of Pakistani troops in East Pakistan was 34,000 and not 93,000 as claimed. Sharmila Bose in her book “Dead Reckoning” termed the number of killed as alleged by the BD government a gigantic rumor. The Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report considered even 26,000 dead as an exaggerated figure. Richard Sisson and Leo E. Rose in the book titled “War and Secession: Pakistan, India and the Creation of Bangladesh” and Gary Bass in his book “The Blood Telegram” clearly admit that the figures about so-called genocide were false.
Interestingly, in 2010, it was reported by the Indian media that most of the official records of the war that led to the creation of Bangladesh had been destroyed, including files on the creation of Mukti Bahini, besides others containing appreciation and assessments made by the Indian Army during the war period, the orders issued to fighting formations and other sensitive operational details.
According to TNN, the records of the period, held at the Eastern Command in Kolkota, were destroyed immediately after the 1971 war. According to at least two former chiefs of the Eastern Command and other senior army officers, the destruction may have been deliberate. The Indian Army had housed the Mukti Bahini terrorists in different camps across India, where army instructors trained them in warfare. Later, Mukti Bahini fighters were part of the operations led by the India’s Eastern Command.
The Indian media report added: “The details are significant as this operation is one of the great success stories of Indian intelligence and the army.” Yes, they are talking about the dismemberment of Pakistan.