Isha khan’s Weblog

South Asian Terrorism: All Roads Lead To The British Empire
March 31, 2009, 10:32 am
Filed under: Bangladesh, India, Muslims, Pakistan, SubContinent

South Asian Terrorism: All Roads Lead To The British Empire

By Ramtanu Maitra

This is the first part of a two-part series. Next week:“Baluchistan and FATA in Pakistan.”

The growing violence throughout Pakistan since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in the Winter of 2001, the November 2008 attack on Mumbai, India, and many other smaller terrorist-directed killings in India, and the gruesome killing of at least 70 top Bangladeshi Army officers in a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed last month, were evidence that the terrorists have declared war against the sovereign nation-states in South Asia. The only bright spot in this context is Sri Lanka, where a powerful terrorist group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), better known as the Tamil Tigers, are about to lose their home base. That, however, may not end the LTTE terrorism, particularly since it is headquartered in London, where many South Asian terrorists are maintained in separate cages for future use by British intelligence, with the blessings of Her Majesty’s Service.


Since none of the South Asian countries, where the terrorists are gaining ground, have, so far, shown the ability to evaluate, and thus, eliminate, the growth of this terrorism, it is necessary to know its genesis, and how it has affected the leaders of the South Asian nations to the detriment of their respective security. What is evident is that the South Asian terrorism has little to do with territorial disputes among nations, but everything to do with the past British colonial rule which poisoned the minds of the locals, so they have become disloyal to their own countries.


In this article, we will deal with the terrorism that continues to prosper in India’s northeast; and the terrorism in Sri Lanka, brought about by the British-induced ethnic animosity among its citizens. This history is the narration of a tragedy, since those who fought for independence in these South Asian nations, made enormous sacrifices to bring about their independence; many of those heroic figures turned out to be mental slaves of the British Empire, and pursued relentlessly the policies that the British had implemented to run their degenerate Empire.


India’s Northeast

Six decades after India wrested independence from its colonial rulers, its northeast region is a cauldron of trouble. Located in a highly strategic area, with land contiguous to five countries—Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and China—it is full of militant separatists, who take refuge in the neighboring countries under pressure from Indian security forces. Since most of these neighboring countries do not have the reach to control the border areas, the separatist groups have set up armed training camps, which, over the years, have attracted international drug and gun traffickers. As a result of such unrelenting terrorist actions, and violent demonstrations over the last five decades, this part of India remains today a dangerous place.


These secessionist groups were not created by New Delhi, although New Delhi failed to understand that the promotion of ethnic, sub-ethnic, and tribal identities were policies of the British, who had come to India to expand their empire. The British Empire survived, and then thrived, through identification, within the subcontinent, of various ethnic and sub-ethnic groups and their conflict points; and then, exploited those conflict points to keep the groups divided and hostile to each other.


India and the other South Asian nations failed to comprehend that it was suicidal to allow a degenerate colonial power to pursue such policies against their nations. As a result, they were carried out by New Delhi for two ostensible reasons: One, to appease the militants, and the other, to “allow them to keep” what they wanted— their sub-national ethnic identity. The policy deprived the majority of the people of the Northeast of the justification for identifying themselves as Indians.


The die was cast in the subversion of the sovereignty of an independent India by the British Raj in 1862, when it laid down the law of apartheid, to isolate “the tribal groups.” The British came into the area in the 1820s, following the Burmese conquest of Manipur and parts of Assam. The area had become unstable in the latter part of the 18th Century, following the over-extension of the Burmese-based Ahom kingdom, which reached into Assam. The instability caused by the weakening of the Ahom kingdom prompted the Burmese to move to secure their western flank. But the Burmese action also helped to bring in the British. The British East India Company was lying in wait for the Ahom kingdom to disintegrate.


The Anglo-Burmese War of 1824-26 ended with a British victory. By the terms of the peace treaty signed at Yandaboo on Feb. 24, 1826, the British annexed the whole of lower Assam and parts of upper Assam (now Arunachal Pradesh). The Treaty of Yandaboo provided the British with the foothold they needed to annex Northeast India, launch further campaigns to capture Burma’s vital coastal areas, and gain complete control of the territory from the Andaman Sea to the mouth of the Irrawaddy River. What were London’s motives in this venture? The British claimed that their occupation of the northeast region was required to protect the plains of Assam from “tribal outrages and depredations and to maintain law and order in the sub-mountainous region.”


The ‘Apartheid Law’

Following annexation of Northeast India, the first strategy of the British East India Company toward the area was to set it up as a separate entity. At the outset, British strategy toward Northeast India was:


• to make sure that the tribal people remained separated from the plains people, and the economic interests of the British in the plains were not disturbed;

• to ensure that all tribal aspirations were ruthlessly curbed, by keeping the bogeyman of the plains people dangling in their faces; and,

• to ensure the tribal feudal order remained intact, with the paraphernalia of tribal chiefs and voodoo doctors kept in place. Part of this plan was carried out through the bribing of tribal chiefs with paltry gifts.


Lord Palmerston’s Zoo

The British plan to cordon off the northeast tribal areas was part of its policy of setting up a multicultural human zoo, during the 1850s, under the premiership of Henry Temple, the third Viscount Palmerston. Lord Palmerston, as Henry Temple was called, had three “friends”—the British Foreign Office, the Home Office, and Whitehall.


The apartheid program eliminated the Northeast Frontier Agency from the political map of India, and segregated the tribal population from Assam, as the British had done in southern Africa and would later do in Sudan. By 1875, British intentions became clear, even to those Englishmen who believed that the purpose of Mother England’s intervention in India, and the Northeast in particular, was to improve the conditions of the heathens. In an 1875 intelligence document, one operative wrote: “At this juncture, we find our local officers frankly declaring that our relations with the Nagas could not possibly be on a worse footing than they were then, and that the non-interference policy, which sounds excellent in theory, had utterly failed in practice.”


Apartheid also helped the British to function freely in this closed environment. Soon enough, the British Crown introduced another feature: It allowed Christian missionaries to proselytize among the tribal population and units of the Frontier Constabulary. The Land of the Nagas was identified as “virgin soil” for planting Christianity.


“Among a people so thoroughly primitive, and so independent of religious profession, we might reasonably expect missionary zeal would be most successful,” stated the 1875 document, as quoted in the “Descriptive Account of Assam,” by William Robinson and Angus Hamilton.


Missionaries were also encouraged to open government-aided schools in the Naga Hills. Between 1891 and 1901, the number of native Christians increased 128%. The chief proselytizers were the Welsh Presbyterians, headquartered in Khasi and the Jaintia Hills.British Baptists were given the franchise of the Mizo (Lushai) and Naga Hills, and the Baptist mission was set up in 1836.


British Mindset Controlled New Delhi

Since India’s Independence in 1947, the Northeast has been split up into smaller and smaller states and autonomous regions. The divisions were made to accommodate the wishes of tribes and ethnic groups which want to assert their sub-national identity, and obtain an area where the diktat of their little coterie is recognized.


New Delhi has yet to comprehend that its policy of accepting and institutionalizing the superficial identities of these ethnic, linguistic, and tribal groups has ensured more irrational demands for even smaller states. Assam has been cut up into many states since Britain’s exit. The autonomous regions of Karbi Anglong, Bodo Autonomous Region, and Meghalaya were all part of pre-independence Assam. Citing the influx of Bengali Muslims since the 1947 formation of East Pakistan, which became Bangladesh in 1971, the locals demand the ouster of these “foreigners” from their soil.


Two terrorist groups in Assam, the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the National Democratic front of Bodoland (NDFB) (set up originally as the Bodo Security Force), are now practically demanding “ethnic cleansing” in their respective areas. To fund their movements, both the ULFA and the NDFB have been trafficking heroin and other narcotics, and indulging in killing sprees against other ethnic groups and against Delhi’s law-and-order machinery. Both these groups have also developed close links with other major guerrilla-terrorist groups operating in the area, including the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Muivah) and the People’s Liberation Army in Manipur. In 1972, Meghalaya was carved out of Assam through a peaceful process. Unfortunately, peace did not last long in this “abode of the clouds.” In 1979, the first violent demonstration against “foreigners” resulted in a number of deaths and arson. The “foreigners” in this case were Bengalis, Marwaris, Biharis, and Nepalis, many of whom had settled in Meghalaya decades ago. By 1990, firebrand groups such as the Federation of Khasi, Jaintia, and Garo People (FKJGP), and the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) came to the fore, ostensibly to uphold the rights of the “hill people” from Khasi, Jaintia, and the Garo hills. Violence erupted in 1979, 1987, 1989, and 1990. The last violent terrorist acts were in 1992.


Similar “anti-foreigner” movements have sprouted up across the Northeast, from Arunachal Pradesh in the East and North, to Sikkim in the West, and Mizoram and Tripura in the South. Along the Myanmar border, the states of Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram remain unstable and extremely porous.


While New Delhi was busy maintaining the status quo in this area by telling the tribal and ethnic groups that India is not going to take away what the British Raj had given to them, Britain picked the Nagas as the most efficient warriors (also, a large number of them had been converted to Christianity by the Welsh missionaries), and began arming and funding them. The British connection to the NSCN existed from the early days of the Naga National Council. Angami Zapu Phizo, the mentor of both factions of the NSCN, had led the charge against the Indian government, spearheading well-organized guerrilla warfare. Phizo left Nagaland hiding in a coffin. He then turned up in 1963 in Britain, holding a Peruvian passport. It is strongly suspected that the British Baptist Church, which is very powerful in Nagaland, is the contact between British intelligence and the NSCN terrorists operating on the ground at the time.


‘Dirty Bertie’ and the Nagas

Once Phizo arrived in Britain, Lord Bertrand (“Dirty Bertie”) Russell, the atheist, courted Phizo, and became his new friend. Russell was deeply impressed with Phizo’s “earnestness” for a peaceful settlement. What, perhaps, impressed Russell the most is that Phizo had control over the militant Nagas, who had launched a movement in the mid-1950s under the Naga National Council (NNC) to secede from the Indian Republic. In a letter dated Feb. 12, 1963, Sir Bertrand told Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, “I find it hard to understand the difficulty of coming to an agreement which would put an end to the very painful occurrences incidental to the present policy of India.”

It is believed in some circles that New Delhi’s 1964 ceasefire with the Nagas might have been influenced by the letter from Russell that was handed to Nehru by Rev. Michael Scott. Scott later went to Nagaland as part of a peace mission, along with two senior Indian political leaders.


While Russell was pushing Nehru to make the Nagas an independent country through peaceful negotiations, British involvement in direct conflict continued. On Jan. 30, 1992, soldiers of the Assam Rifles arrested two British nationals along the Nagaland-Burma border. David Ward and Stephen Hill posed as members of BBC-TV, and were travelling in jeeps with Naga rebels carrying arms. Subsequent interrogation revealed that both were operatives of Naga Vigil, a U.K.-based group. Both Ward and Hill claimed that they started the organization while in jail, influenced by Phizo’s niece, Rano Soriza. Both have served six-year prison terms for various crimes in Britain. Naga Vigil petitioned for their release in the Guwahti High Court. Phizo’s niece took up the issue with then-Nagaland Chief Minister Vamuzo.


Sri Lanka’s Violent Ethnic Strife

In Sri Lanka, the Tamil Tiger terrorist group is in its last throes. Ousted by the Sri Lankan Army from almost all of its “claimed” territories, the militants are now holding on to about 19 square kilometers of land, with about 70,000 Sri Lankan citizens, mostly of Tamil ethnic origin, as their hostages. It is evident that they will be totally routed by the end of this month.


While the U.S. Pacific Command personnel in contact with New Delhi are formulating an evacuation plan for the hostages, London and the European Union are trying to protect the last vestiges of Tiger territory by urging Colombo to work out a cease fire with the terrorists.


The emergence of violent conflict between the Tamil Sri Lankans and the Sinhala Sri Lankans, which gave birth to the London-backed Tamil Tigers, was yet another product of the British colonial legacy. This ethnic conflict, which has engulfed this little island, and unleashed unlimited violence in the region for almost three decades, is, as in the case of Northeast India, due to the British mindset of the Sri Lankan and Indian leaders involved in “resolving “the crisis.


To begin with, Sri Lanka (then, Ceylon) had the misfortune to be colonized by three brutal European colonial powers—the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British. Nonetheless, it is to the credit of the locals that they withstood these brutes and prevented the break-up of the country.


After the Dutch ceded Sri Lanka in the 1801 Peace of Amiens, it became Britain’s first crown colony. Immediately, the British colonials started setting up the chess pieces. The ruling Kandyan King, of Tamil ancestry, was ousted with the help of local chieftains of Tamil and Sinhala origin. The coup set up the British crown as the new King.


As part of the “divide and rule” policy, the British colonials promoted the Buddhist religion, resulting in the 1817 Uva rebellion. The Buddhist religion was given protection by the Crown, and the people were told that Christianity would not be imposed on the unwilling masses as had happened during Portuguese and Dutch rule. Following the quelling of the rebellion, the British did what they do best: They carried out one of the worst massacres of the 19th Century, wiping out all able-bodied Sinhalese men from the Hill Country, and 80% of the native population of able-bodied, according to one report. The Kandyan Kingdom was the kingdom of both the Tamils and Sinhalas—both these groups came from India to settle on that island.


One specific impact of the British colonial presence was the emergence of English as the local language, undermining both the Sinhala and Tamil languages. According to one historian, the two most important effects observed during British rule were: one, by the start of 20th Century, the English language became the passport to getting employment; and those who had an English education became dominant in Britain’s handcrafted Sri Lankan society. Due to input of the Christian missionaries, more minority Tamils could read and write English, as opposed to the southern Sinhalese and Kandyan Sinhalese.


The other observed impact on Sri Lankan society of British colonial rule, was the reconstituting of the Legislative Assembly. The Assembly of 1921 had 12 Sinhalese and 10 non-Sinhalese, at a time when the Sinhalese constituted more than 70% of the population. Things changed in 1931, when, out of 61 seats, the Sinhalese won 38. This troubled the Tamils, because they had had special privileges under British, and never wanted to accept the dominance of the Sinhalese majority.


In addition, the British also brought to the island a million workers of Tamil ethnic background from Tamil Nadu, and made them indentured laborers in the Hill Country. This was in addition to the million Tamils already living in the provinces, and another million Mappilla Muslims, whose mother tongue is Tamil. Thus, the British sowed seeds of ethnic discord. During the colonial rule, the minority Tamils had a disproportionate representation in the bureaucracy.

The Role of British Assets in Independent Sri Lanka

However, when in 1948, the British finally left the island, they left behind their assets, in powerful places, many of whom were educated at Oxford-Cambridge, and some of whom had adopted Christianity, on both sides of the ethnic divide London had so carefully created.


Instead of seizing the opportunity to build the nation and set about undoing the misdeeds they were forced to carry out under British rule, beginning in the 1950s, Sinhalese-dominated governments implemented public policies that would institutionalize the majority community’s dominance. Sinhala was declared to be the country’s sole official language; Buddhism was favored as the state religion; and the unitary nature of the state ensured Sinhalese political domination. Major Sinhalese-Tamil riots in 1956, 1981, and 1983 further heightened Tamil insecurities.


Meanwhile, the Tamils began to press for autonomy. Political parties, such as the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), utilized conventional means, which included participating in coalition governments. Militant Tamils, the LTTE, sought the creation of an independent Tamil state, referred to as Tamil Eelam, which would comprise the North and East of the country.


Throughout the 1980s, various Tamil rebel groups engaged in attacks against the Colombo government and its security apparatus. However, the situation worsened on that island because of the British mindset of New Delhi, which made a number of attempts to intervene in the violent Sri Lankan situation. Besides helping the Tamils to get armed training and intelligence, New Delhi, under late-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, deployed around 50,000 Indian peacekeepers (IPKF) in Tamil areas in Sri Lanka to help ensure peace. In return, the Sri Lankan government agreed to devolve power to the North and East through the creation of autonomous provincial councils.

Neither Colombo nor the Tamil militants were sincere about the deal; both were looking at the Indian troops as the barriers against their independent state. The failure of the Indian intervention led to more deaths and the assassination of Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa, and India’s Rajiv Gandhi, among many other high-level Sri Lankan officials, by the terrorist Tamil Tigers.

London: Break Up India into 100 Hong Kongs

But, the British were in the middle of all this. Besides the fact that the LTTE was headquartered in London, and raising most of its illegitimate funds from Britain and its former colonies in Australia, South Africa, and Canada, within ten days of Gandhi’s death, Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa, who would be assassinated by the LTTE in May 1993, forced the hasty departure from Sri Lanka of British High Commissioner David Gladstone. The charge was that Gladstone, a descendant of the Victorian-age Prime Minister William Gladstone, was interfering in local election politics. But he had also been criticized earlier for allegedly meeting with known drug traffickers in Sri Lanka. Gladstone, who had previously spent years in the Middle East, was a known British intelligence link to the Israeli intelligence service, the Mossad, which was involved in training both the Sri Lankan Armed Forces and the LTTE

Britain’s continuing intent to break up India was also expressed openly in this political context. On May 26, 1991, only five days after the British-controlled LTTE-led assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, the Times of London, the premier voice for the British Foreign Office, put forward this view in an editorial entitled “Home Truths”: “There are so many lessons to be learnt from sorrowing India, and most are being muttered too politely. The over-huge federation of almost 900 million people spreads across too many languages, cultures, religions, and castes. It has three times as many often incompatible and thus resentful people as the Soviet Union, which now faces the same bloody strains and ignored solutions as India. . . .

“The way forward for India, as for the Soviet Union, will be to say a great prize can go to any States and sub-States that maintain order without murders and riots. They should be allowed to disregard Delhi’s corrupt licensing restrictions, run their own economic policies, and bring in as much foreign investment and as many free-market principles as they like. Maybe India’s richest course from the beginning would have been to split into 100 Hong Kongs


2nd Report on the findings of the People’s Inquiry Commission on the activities of the War Criminals and the Collaborators
February 15, 2009, 7:05 pm
Filed under: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan

2nd Report on the findings of the People’s Inquiry Commission on the activities of the War Criminals and the Collaborators

(Summary of the investigation published on 26 March 1995)

‘National Co-ordinating Committee for Realisation of Bangladesh Liberation War Ideals and Trial of Bangladesh War Criminals of 1971’ announced its programme to unveil the misdeeds of the war criminals of 1971 at a rally on March 26, 1993 while observing its first anniversary of the public trial of prime accused war criminal Golam Azam.

A national committee, hereby called, the ‘National People’s Inquiry Commission’, was constituted to investigate into the activities of the leading war criminals and to determine the logic for their trail.

Poet, women leader and human rights activist Begum Sufia Kamal was made the chairperson of the committee while writer Shawkat Osman, educationist Khan Sarwar Murshid, Justice Debesh Bhattacharya, Justice KM Sobhan, poet Shamsur Rahman, Professor Anupam Sen, Professor M A Khaleq, former lawmaker Advocate Salahuddin Yusuf, Air Vice Marshal (retd.) Sadruddin Ahmed and Barrister Shafiq Ahmed were made member of the committee.

The country bust into protest when Gulam Azam, the prime collaborator of the 1971 Pakistani occupation forces and war criminal, was made Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh on 29 January 1991. The fanatic party violated the country’s constitution and undermined once again the spirit of the liberation war by announcing a Pakistani citizen, Azam, the Ameer of its party. As the government was unheeded about the matter, country’s renowned personalities have came together and formed a committee to resist the collaborators and uphold the spirit of the liberation war i.e. secular democracy. Jahanara Imam was made chief of the organisation.

Based on the investigation report, Golam was found guilty on ten specific account that is eligible for capital punishment by a public -trial at Sarwardi Uddyan on March 26, 1992. Then, the movement against the fundamentalism geared up with an intensified demand of banning on the fascist fundamentalist politics of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh and other radicals. The people’s Inquiry Commission was formed in March 1993 in this direction.

The commission on the first phase decided to investigate allegations of criminal activities of eight well known war criminals and come up with major disclosure on March 26, 1994 at a public rally. On the second phase the commission decided to continue investigation against eight more notorious persons 1) S A M Solaiman, 2) Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury, 3) Maolana Abdus Sobhan, 4) Maolana AKM Yusuf, 5) Mohammad Aen-ud-din, 6) Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, 7) ABM Khaleque Majumder and 8) Dr. Syed Sajjad Hossain.

The Commission gave responsibility to writer-journalist Shahriar Kabir for documentation of newspaper reportings, historical books and also to conduct a physical investigation. It asked Kabir to report back to the commission. A group of young journalists including Julfiker Ali Manik, Emon Sikder, Mehedi Hasan, Provash Amin, Barrister Sarah Hossain, Javed Hasan Mahmud, Asaduzzaman, Abu Junaed Seneka, Faezuddin Ahmed, Umme Habiba Sumi, Faiz Ahmed Setu and Mohammd Reza extended their support to the investigation process. On march 23, 1995 the commission finally approved the draft report and handed to the National Co-ordinating Committee to make it public.

The Commission abandoned field level investigation into allegation against Dr. Syed Sajjad Hossain as he died during the investigation process. Part of his anti-Bangladesh activities during the liberation, which was published in the newspaper during the 1971 and ’72 and some government documents, were attached with the report. It was learnt through the investigation that the rest seven were still hatching various conspiracies against the country and were creating panic situation in their respective areas. As a result many people harassed in their hands during the war, have requested not to disclose their names fearing that their lives could be endangered.

The people’s Inquiry Commission observed that the major information could not be recovered due to non-cooperation by different government agencies and many evidences were destroyed. The minority Hindu community, the prime target of the Pakistani occupation forces and their collaborators, was still panic-stricken for socio-political adversities. As many of the Hindus left the country during this period, one of the commission had no other option but to testify their neighbours. Therefore, this time also the nature and extent of crimes committed by the killers and collaborators were partially disclosed like the previous report. The extent of crimes is more than that of the allegations.
The accused and the Evidance

A S M Solaiman
A S M SOLAIMAN, son of Md. Jonab Ali, Village – Boydder Bazar, Post Office – Boidder Bazar, Thana – Soanargaon, Dist – Narayanganj. At present : 20/1, Pallabi, Thana – Pallabi, District – Dhaka. He is the president of Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Party now.

Solaiman as the minister of Malek cabinet of with the portfolio of Labour, Social welfare and Family Planning and as chief of the district coordination committee presided over a meeting with DC office, police officers and other communities on December 8, 1971. The meeting expressed firm determination to maintain law and order and took some decision.

From the very beginning of the war, Solaiman was very active. In a statement on April 8, 1971 he called upon the then armed forces for ‘bringing back normalcy in the country by fighting the anti-social and anti-state elements’. On May 7, he also called upon the members of the Peace
Committee at a meeting to ‘check all common people and anti-state elements’ in a bid to catch the freedom fighters. On November 15, 1971, he told newsmen in Karachi, “Razarkers were doing praise-worthy and they should be called the national heroes.” (Genocide ’71 : An Account of the Killers and Collaborators, Edited by Dr. Ahmad Sharif, Qazi Nur-uz-Zaman, Dr. Serajul Islam Chowdhury & Shahriar Kabir, published by Muktijuddha Chetona Bikash Kendra, Dhaka, February 1987)

Inhabitants in Sonargaon brought allegation against Soliman of direct or indirect involvement in killing, looting, torching, raping and various forms of atrocities. President of Aminpur Union Awami League and an elected Union Parishad Member, Mohammad Tayebur Rahman, narrated formation of Razaker Bahini by ASM Solaiman in 11 unions of Sonargaon thana.

Tayebur informed Solaiman had appointed every chairman of the then Union Parisads as chairman of the ‘Peace Committee’. Among them (1) Raja Moulavi of Aminpur (2) Shamsul Haq Khan of Perojpur (3) Alauddin of Boiddyer Bazar (4) Gafur Sarker of Sammandi (5) Abdul Mannaf Bhuiyan of Jampur UP (6) Hossain Khan of Kanchpur (7) Bakhar Ali of Sathipur (8) Nasiruddin of Noaga (9) Abdur Rob Milkey of Barodi (10) Rafiqul Islam of Mograpara and (11) M A Jaher of Shomvupura Union Pariashad were appointed as chairmen of the Peace Committee. Soanrgaon Peace Committee chairman ASM Solaiman led them as their leader. M A Zaher was also appointed the General Secretary and Raja Moulavi as Organising Secretary of Sonargaon unit of Peace Committee (PC). Alauddin and Mohiuddin Mollah, a brother of Solaiman, acted in absence of Solaiman.

Tayebur Rahman also informed that Jamir Ali Kerani, an associate of Solaiman, handed over a Hindu girl named Bibha Rani to the Pakistani occupation forces in mid-May .The military-men released her in a critical condition after raping overnight. Bibha is now in India. Ali also led an attack on the home of one Narendra Patel in Boiddyer Bazar. Tayebur at that time risking his life reached at the scene and rescued five girl from the scene and taken to a nearby village for their safety, he said.

Tayebur said that the Soliaman-gang had attacked on a freedom fighters’ meeting on May 24 at Boiddyer Bazar. Tayebur was caught by the PC members twice and was released on request from a non-bengali postmaster at the area. The gang, he said, set on fire homes, more than hundred in Sammanadi, ten in Companiganj, five in Shatipur and the entire homes of Pirojpur village. Jamir and Allauddin executed the plan of Solaiman from women supply to torching.

Moshammat Azimon Nahar of Haria Gopindi village told the commission that her husband Siddiq Mia was killed on December 14 near Adamjee area. She alleged Soliamn’s gang and local razakars were involved in her husband’s killing.. She demanded trial of her husband’s killing.
An Awami League worker, Sumon, of Hatkopa village when appeared to the commission said, the Pakistani forces attacked his home with the help of Tekka Shamsu, a trust-worthy associate of ASM Solaiman, in a bid to catch the young women of his home. He said the women saved them hiding in a nearby jute plantation.

Freedom fighter Nurul Islam of Basan Daradi village said, geographically Sonargaon was ab important area and all goods were being transported through the Sonargaon river port. At the very beginning of the war Solaiman and his associates, especially the Razaker Bahini, used to loot the goods like rice, sugar, flour, oil, fertiliser, tea etc. from various vehicles. Traders lodged a number of complaints at freedom fighter’s camp in Sammanadi village, according to Islam.

He said being informed by the Razakars, Pakistani forces unleashed attack on the training camp of the freedom fighters at that village. During the attack the Razakars on their way took away two young girls from the village. But none of the girls returned. He said many such incidents were suppressed social humiliation apprehending.

According to eyewitnesses account, Razakars set their eyes on the Hindu dominated Shahapur, Baninathpur, Joyrampur, Vattapur, Barirghubhanga, Baghmucha, Panamnagar, Boiddyer Bazar, Satbhayapara, Ramganj and Panchabati for the Hindu girls. As per the directions from Solaiman, Jamir Kerani and Shamsu led the Razakers to supply women to the Pakistani camp at Boiddyer Bazar.
Apart from this, the commission learnt that a number of incidents of firing, looting and killing took place in the area perpetrated by the Razakars led by Solaiman and his associats.

Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury
SALAHUDDIN KADER CHOWDHURY, son of late Fazlul Kader Chowdhury, Village-Gahira, Thana -Rawzan, District-Chittagong . He was a minister in the autocratic General Ershad’s cabinet. He is now leader of the National Democratic Party.

Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury opposed Bangladesh’s independence and took a number of measures against the freedom fighters during the Liberation War of 1971. He used to provide all out support to the Pakistani occupation forces. His area was grater Chittagong district. He along with his father Fazlul Kader Chowdhury, brother Giasuddin Kader Chowdhury organised a number of collaborators against the liberation war. They had been out and out anti-Bangladeshi elements and perpetrated whatever they wanted to do in the name of opposing the freedom struggle.

The vernacular daily news paper ‘Dainik Bangla’ published a report on 8 January 1972 featuring the activities of Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury and his family. The paper reported “Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury and his father Fazlul Kader Chowdhury brought a good number of young boys at Good Hill’s residence in Chittagong and unleashed repression on them. Salahuddin in association with Pakistan army killed one Faruk, a then student leader, at his residence on July 17, 1971. A platoon of Pakistan army was deployed in front of Salahuddin’s residence from the beginning up to the end of the war. The common people caught him and his father when they were trying to flee with a mound of gold on

December 18, 1971, two days after the Pakistan army surrendered to the joint forces.”
Shakhawat Hossain Majnu, a prolific author, in his book “Torture Cells and Killing Grounds in Chittagong during the Liberation War” gave a vivid description of the torture cells. He writes about the Good Hill’s residence of Salahuddin, “The torture centre was being led by extremists of the Muslim League. The home belongs to Fazlul Kader Chowdhury. He was not involved with the crimes at the early stage of the war. But, from May inspired by the Muslim League extremists, he started assisting the Pakistani forces. At one stage his Good Hills residence become a torture centre of the pro-liberation forces. It is heard that his son Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury was directly involved with the torture. Pro-liberation elements were being caught from different city points and beaten up mercilessly after being tied. Omar Faruk, a well known freedom fighter was killed at this home. Members of the Al-Badr forces had directly been given support to the torture.”

In a book tilled ‘Bangalir Muktijudhher Itibritto’, written by Mahbubul Alam described the torture. On page 69 of the book, the author writes, “Nizamuddin got free from Jail on November 18, 1971. He says … I was arrested on July 5. I was taken to Fazlul Kader. I was tied back-folded and beaten up for continuous five hours by Fazlul Kader’s son Salahuddin, associate Khoka, Khalil and Yousuf. I got unconscious. I was sent to the stadium on July 6. Until then I was given neither food nor water. Once I wanted water, they said that you became a Hindu, we will not give you water even. On July 13, I was taken to the jail. At this time I was being beaten hanged from upside down. When I was dropped once in a day was being provided with two pieces of bread and water, but they didn’t feel offended to kick my back. Then I started to pray regular to avoid torture. But the soldiers did not spare me. They kicked me on my back saying, fuck you, you became a hindu,
what pray you need to offer.”

In the same book, the writer told about an incident of April 13 an attack on Kundeshawri Bhaban. “Principal Notun Chandra Singha was murdered in the Kundershawri Bhaban on April 13. From the morning, the military started firing from Gahira High School. They set up mortars on the roof of the school and was continuing firing toward Kundeshwari Bhaban. The principal had sent all other members of his family to some safe place but he remained with the Kundeshawri temple.

Presuming that the military might come, the principal placed some chairs and tables on the courtyard to welcome the soldiers. Two jeeps, followed by four tanks, had droved down at Kundeshwari Bhaban. Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury was one of them accompanying the soldiers. The principal made the soldiers understand that what he had done for the people of that area and what his plan was for the future. The military went back. But Salahuddin again brought them back saying that this Malaun (infidel) should be killed as per his father’s order. On that day seventy years old Principal Notun Chandra Shingha set an example of strong courage. He stood before the statue of god without any fear. They shot three gunfire, the principal laid down in front of the temple and died praying. Both the Muslims and Hindus got shocked with the killing, but Salahuddin prevented the Muslims not to deplore the death of Malaun (Hindu). Then Salahuddin gang killed two more people,
including one college student Dayal Hari Biswash in Gahira.” (page 254-255)

Local Awami League leader Abdullah Al Harun filed an election case against Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury on April 25, 1991, Kader was the prime accused of among the seven. The petition narrated the wrongdoings of Salahuddin during the war of liberation and said, “the top accused does not bother the law and he believes in terrorism and unleashing attacks and terrorise the locality. He has neither honour to the election code of conduct nor he has regard for the people’s vote. .. the petitioner said the aforesaid person was accused charged with collaborator act of 1972. He was accused in a case (No. 13.4.72) under the act. He was also charged in Notun Chandra Singha murder case 41 (1) 72 and 43 (1) 72. Immediately before the emergence of Bangladesh, this criminal had fled the country, and later he managed to take a seat in the Ershad’s cabinet”, said the petitioner.

On depositions from witnesses, investigators charge-sheeted all the accused of Notun Chandra Singha murder case filed in 1972 (FIR NO. U/S/302/120( 13)/298 BPC). The case started on 29 January 1972. Of the accused Salahuddin’s father and five others were in jail and the five rest were absconding.

Sheikh Muhammad Jahangir, a son of a martyr freedom fighter, told the Commission that Salahuddin Kader in association with the Pakistani army killed his father Sheikh Muzaffar Ahmed and brother Sheikh Alamgir on April 17, 1971. They had taken his father and brother near Hathazari military camp and killed there. After the independence, Jahangir also filed a case against Salahuddin and his gang.
Chittagong Jatiya party leader Harun-or-Rashid was the liaison officer the liberation war of 1971. He said that, he had formed a publicity cell in favour of the freedom fighters to collect information about the anti-liberation forces. He made a report on Salahuddin’s activities including killing and looting, and handed over to Sector Commander Maj. Rafiqul Islam.

Harun came to know that Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury, his father Fazlul Kader Chowdhury and other members of their gang had tortured on uncountable number of freedom-loving citizens and killed them at the Good Hills residence. They also supplied innocent Bengali women to the Pakistan Army for their gratification. He said Salahuddin fled the country immediately before the country gained independence. He was shot at by the freedom fighters while running away.

Even after 24 years of the liberation war, Salahuddin still killing innocent people and terrorising entire Raujan area in Chittagong. Agency reports will qualify those allegations. Still, the NDA leader is accused in three criminal cases filed in Roujan police station.
Moulana Abdus Sobhan
MOULANA ABDUS SOBHAN, son of late Noimuddin, Pathartala, Pabna, is the member of the fundamentalist Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami’ s central Shura (committee) and Member of Parliament elected from Pabna Sadar in 1991, and deputy leader of the Jamaat’s parliamentary group.

Sobhan had been serving the Jamaat-e-Islami as acting Ameer (chief) of Pabna during the liberation war and he nominated for the so-called by-election in 1971. He was the vice president of Pabna unit of Peace Committee, an organisation of Pakistani collaborators. Field level investigation revealed that Sobhan organised the Al-Badar, Razakar and formed the PC and had been involved in a number of criminal activities. As he was fluent in spoken Urdu, he easily managed to come close to the Pakistanis and become a policy maker of anti-liberation forces. He supervised almost every activities of the Razakers and Al Badars.

Sobhan was implicated in a special tribunal case for his activities against the freedom struggle and killing of the freedom fighters, innocent people and assisting in killing 3 million people, assaulting and repressing women and other heinous activities. He was asked to attend before the Sub-divisional magistrate court on February 29, 1972. But he fled to Pakistan with Gulam Azam at that time (Source : ‘Ekattorer Dalalra’ by Shafiq Ahmed and Advocate Shafiqul Islam Shibly, Patahrtala Pabna).

Like Dhaka, Pakistani forces also unleashed attack on innocent people of Pabna on the very night of March 25, 1971. But the situation in Pabna was a bit different. An aged woman told the investigation commission that the Pakistani forces caught Pabna’s eminent personalities searching their homes and brought to their camps on the night. On March 26, she said that she had been seeing an army lorry stopped on the road at Rayer Bazar area. More or less 100 people were tied with rope behind the van. They were being dragged. Their clothes have been tore, blood letting from injury marks. She witnessed Mowlana Sobhan along with three Pakistani soldiers in the van. Among the dragged people, the woman could recognised Pabna’s eminent businessmen Syed Talukder, Professor Harun of Edward College, dentist Amulendu Dakshi and Awami League Leader Advocate Aminuddin. The soldiers came down from the lorry and burnt some national flags hoisting on the building tops. The
woman preferring anonymity said the soldiers killed all the people they dragged to various points within March 29. She farther said that, on 27 March she went to visit Amalendu Dakshi’s residence. Dakshi’s wife informed her, it was Maolana Sobhan who came to pick her husband.
Senior Advocate of Pabna Judge Court and former Public Prosecutor Awami League leader Golam Hasnaen said, “Sobhan took the Pakistan Army to the residence of Awami League leader Aminuddin.” Sobhan organised all the Al Badar, Razakar and Peace Committee members. Daily Ittefaq’s Pabna correspondent Anwarul Haq and Advocate Shafiqul Haq Shibly said that Sobhan inspired the Pakistan army to kill Pabna Zilla School teacher Kochimuddin. He also directed killing of freedom fighter and musician Shadhon, informed Shadhon’s mother Sufia Begum.
Retired principal Md. Abdul Ghani of Kalachand Para, Pabna, said Sobhan along with the Pakistani soldiers raided hindu-dominated Kuchiapara and Shankharipara on April 17. Eight people including Sudhir Chandra Chowdhury, Ashok Kumar Shaha, Gopal Chandra Chowdhury were killed during the operation. The army torched as many as 25 homesteads, looted valuables and assaulted the Hindu women.

He said a strong group of collaborators led by Sobhan, Ishaq, Tegar and many others killed over 1000 people and torches homes in Faridpur thana in Pabna district in the month of May. The second largest mass killing in Pabna took place in Sujanagar. It was one of the dawn of the first week of May, the Pakistanis’ killed some 400 people at Nazirganj in Satbaria, according to freedom fighter Zahirul Islam Bishu. He said his Mujib Bahini had arrested one of the gang leader Moulavi Modhu in late May and later killed him. Modhu during the interrogation admitted that before they go for attack they had a meeting ahead of the attack at Sobhan’s residence. He said before any attack the collaborators used to had meeting at Sobhan’s residence.

Maulana A K M Yousuf
MAULANA A K M YOUSUF, village-Rajoir, Thana-Saran Khola, District-Bagerhat. Presently he is the Naeb-e- Ameer of the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh. He was one of the leading anti-liberation organizers during the 1971 war. As part of his role in the anti-liberation activities he became a member of Malek cabinet during the war. He first formed ‘Razakar Bahini’ comprising 96 members of Jamaat-e-Islami in Khulna district. He became the leader of the Jamaat well before the freedom War started. He started his anti-Bangladesh role and cooperating the Pakistani forces as soon as the war began on March 25.. His responsibilities were to issue statement, organize the anti-liberation forces and lead attacks, killing, looting and arson by his groups. He also helped the members of the Pakistani forces to do the same.

His statements published in the newspapers where he opposed the liberation war and urged the collaborators to resist the pro-liberation forces. On October 10, 1971, this anti-liberation leader praised activities of the Razakars in a public rally and said, “we will have to make the people understand that the so-called Bangladesh concept is created by Indian authorities is valueless. Naxalaits, separatists and criminals are trying to create anarchy in this part of the country. They should be ousted by root.” (Genocide ’71, Muktijuddha Chetana Bikish Kendra, Dhaka, February 1987).

On October 26, at a gathering in Sylhet, he said, “a section of ignorant youths inspired by Indian propaganda has been unleashing separatist activities on our land. You spread over every nook and corner of the country to resist this movement and uproot the concept of so-called Bengali nationalism” . He warned the allied forces saying, “Had there been any war imposed on them, then heroes of Razakar and soldiers would face with all courage.” On November 12, 1971, he praised the Razakar activities while visiting Razakar camps in Shatkhira. He commented, “the Razakars have been doing their best to resist the spies and intruders of India”. He also assured the Razakars that he would provide them with government jobs.

On November 28, while he was discussing with newsmen in Karachi, Yousuf said that the Razakar have been working hand in hand with the soldiers. He demanded supply of modern arms to the hands of razakars to eliminate freedom fighters. “now the number of Razakar and Al-shams stood to some 1 lakh. Apart from them, there were Mujahid bahini also. They all are in guarding the borders along with the soldiers. The razakars have been operating successfully resulting in reduce of criminal activities”. (Ibid)

Guljan Bibi, a mother of martyr Shahid Seikh, informed that one Razakar Khaleq Member asked her son to join in the Razakar Bahini during the monsoon of freedom War. As Shahid rejected his proposal, the member called him out a month after. On the same day she learnt that her son was handed to the Pakistani forces. Later she rushed to the founder of the Razakar force, Maolana A K M Yousuf and requested him to free his son. At that time Khaleq Member was also with Yousuf who turned down her request. Guljan Bibi did not get her son back, later she came to learn that Pakistanis killed her son. Guljan demanded trial of her son’s killing.

Yousuf along with his associates Khaleque and Adam Ali had killed number of males and females during the war. They raped many women. These information were disclosed by the citizens of Khulna, but still after 24 years of independence they are tight lipped for the sake of their own security. One of them told the commission that Yousuf forced many people from his own area Morelganj to join in the Razakar force. He forced them to work against the liberation war. Yousuf’s headquarters was the then ‘Ghost House’ which is now being used as district Anasr camp. This camp was the prime torture centre. Apart from this they used to torture the freedom-loving people at Khulna Shipyard, Bhashani Biddalaya and many other camps. They also killed people at such places wherever they felt comfortable. They handed over the innocent Bengalis to Pakistani Army stationed at the prime camp Circuit House, and other makeshift camps at Helipad, Naval base, hotel Shahin, Asiana
Hotel etc. The Razakar and other fundamentalist forces maintained regular connection with the camps. They used to kill the people at Gallamari, forest Ghat, Station road and some other places.
Mohammad Ayen ud Din

ADVOCATE MOHAMMAD AYEN UD DIN, son of Late Md. Moinuddin, Village and Post Office : Shaympur, thana : Motihar, District : Rajshahi. He serves the Muslim League as Secretary General and work as an advocate in the Dhaka High Court. The Muslim League leader resorted to do whatever needed to oppose the creation of Bangladesh. He was the chairman of the then Peace Committee (PC) Rajshahi region and he contested by-election to the then provincial assembly from Rajshahi-13 constituency. Under his direct supervision the Peace Committee, Razakar Force and Al Badar Force were constituted in Rajshahi at that time. He and his associates led all the killings outside the battlefields in the northern Rajshahi area.

“They have been able to face the enemy with unlimited tolerance. Normalcy restored all over Rajshahi. Peace Committee was formed at every sub-division, thana and union levels,” he told the Daily Azad in an interview on May 31, 1971, after the formation of the PC. On August 4, 71 the Daily Sangram reported – “The closing session of the first batch training of Razakar Bahini held at Jinnah Islamic Institution. The trainees took oath on the Koran. In his speech, Ayenuddin advised the Razakar Bahini to do their duties sincerely for an integrated Pakistan. Local personalities and military officers attended the function.”

His kin and kith and locals alleged that Ayenuddin indulged him in killing, torching, looting, repressing the women, forced joining to the Razakar forces and appointing of some persons against their willingness for bridge vigilance. He was also charged with looting assets and property of innocent people who were handed over to Pakistani military by him.

Freedom fighter Advocate Abdullah-hil- Baki and Professor Zinnatunnesa told the Inquiry commission that Ayenuddin started announcing by microphone in the city that if anyone catches Baki, live or dead then he will be awarded Taka 10,000. Ayenuddin, in a letter (D-44 CPC Date 13-09-71) to the then army captain, Mohammad Ilius Khan provided a list of 10 people from the city with a request for immediate arrest. Baki was one among the ten.

Baki said one Abdur Rahman (son of Solaiman, village- Ramchandarpur, thana-Paba), listed in the letter, was arrested from Parila village in September. During a army raid in that area Pakistani forces killed some 30 people at the village and torched some 150 homesteads.
Zinnatunnesa said Ayenuddin killed one Harunur Rashid of Chandua village in Tanore thana because of rivalry over property in April. Then he took away Harun’s nine-year old girl and 13-year old daughter-in- law and then handed over to the Pakistani soldiers, according to an eyewitness of Harun killing.

Awami League district unit vice president and central member of Bangladesh Krishak League Abdus Sobhan told the investigation team that Ayenuddin helped arrest of nine people, including Rahimuddin Sarker, his son Pintu. These nine was later killed at a killing field behind the Joha hall of Rajshahi University.

In late November, he said, Ayenuddin in association with the army picked up Aminul Haq Chowdhury, a hotel owner, Mokbul Chowdhury, Advocate Taslim Uddin, Contractor Altaf Hossain, Nowrozuddula Khan, Advocate Abul Hossain and many others. On December 18, after two day of the victory, the bodies of most of them were recovered from a sandy shoal in the Padma. There were no injury mark on the bodies and it was assumed that all of them were buried alive in the sand.

Sobhan said that Ayenuddin had grown up at their home and studied from there. “But he killed my father in 1955 when he was hardly a student of intermediate. He was implicated in the murder case, but he was spared because two of the juries, from the then Muslim League, helped him to escape.

Preferring anonymous, one local said that the Pakistan army raided a village and arrested several hundred people from there. Ayenuddin came to the scene and separated five of them and asked the army personnel to kill them. Two of them were killed in the hand of Pakistanis, the rest three were released. These five had been campaigning against him during the provincial election held under Pakistani army junta.

Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid.
ALI AHSAN MUHAMMAD MUJAHID, now is one of the assistant secretary general of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh. He was the president of East Pakistan Islami Chhatra Shangho and chief of the Al Badar Bahini in Dhaka in 1971. As per his commitment to the party, Mujahid helped in the massacre, looting and women repression during the 71. He led the killings of the intellectuals only two days ahead of the victory of the war.

His anti-liberation activities were evident from his statements published in the then newspapers. While addressing a function of the Chhatra Shangha in Faridpur on September 15, ’71, he had announced that they should have captured Assam before taking control of India. He called upon his cadres to be prepared for such actions. He was quoted in a report published on October 15, as saying that Mujahid criticised Bhutto, Kawsar Niazi and Mufti Mahmud for their objectionable comments on the Razakars and Al Badars. “The youths of the Razakars and Al Badar forces and all other voluntary organisations have been working for the nation to protect it from the collaborators and spy of India. But, recently it was observed that a section of political leaders like Z A Bhutto, Kawsar Niazi, Mufti Mahmud and Asgar Khan have been making objectionable remarks about the patriots.” He called upon the government to take measures to stop such activities by the sections of
leaders. And at the same time he urged the students to come back to classes and help the army to bring back normalcy.

In another statement on October 25, Mujahid called upon for observing Badar day on 17 Ramadan and said, ‘We are now facing anti-islamic forces. We will today take oath for the interest of the nation to establish Islam in the country.’ (Genocide ’71 Muktijuddha Chetona Bikash Kendra, Dhaka February 1987).

Mujahid used to stay at various homes in Fakirerpul and Nayapaltan in Dhaka during 1971. His main place was 181, Fakirerpul, Garompanir Golli of some Feroz Mia. This Feroz was a commander of Razakar forces, according to eyewitness accounts of Jatiya Party leader Abdus Salam, journalist GM Gaus, freedom fighter and columnist Mahbub Kamal.

This home was not only the den of local Razakars, but all the anti-liberation forces had been thronging to this house to make their plan. Razakars were used to use this home as their training centre and meeting place. Many people were taken at this home blind folded and they were being subject to torture. Mujahid was the gang-chief. As he was the party chief, his associates were bout to execute his directives.

GM Gaus said that they have known Mujahid as a leader of one Islamic organisation. He used to stay on rent in the area and tried to convince the general students to join in his party from ’70. After March ’71, the entire Razakar Bahini was formed in the area under his direct supervision. He nominated Feroz Mia as the local commander and organised armed training for the recruited Razakars. Mujahid was also responsible for collecting money and arms.. During the mid-way of the war, Mujahid started operation at various places and picked up intellectuals and resorted to torture on them. Even he led the operation in Dhaka University to kill the teachers, scientists and the writers, said Gaus.

Abdus Salam echoed Gaus saying as a central leader Mujahid’s activities were spread all over the city. “I recovered a number of important documents and photos from Firoz Mia’s home. The evidences included list of Dhaka’s Razakars, their bio-data and various photographs of their activities. Later, the documents were lost during police raids at my home,” he said. After the victory, Firoz Mia’s home was used temporarily a camp of the freedom fighters.

Columnist Mhabub Kamal termed the home as the den of conspiracy. The Razakers used to raid the homes of freedom fighters from this home. He said the residence of the then union Awami League leader Jobed Ali was raided several times. “They also searched home of one of my friend, Nazu, who was missing since August at that year. It is assumed that Nazu was killed by Feroz Mia and his gangs.” He said during the liberation war one of his cousin, Mohsin, came in Dhaka in search of a job. Mohsin used to offer his daily prayer at the Mosque where Mujahid asked him to join the Razakar Bahini. Later, we sent him to Rajshahi secretly to save him from Mujahid.

According to locals, Firoz Mia formed a Razakar platoon of 300 who had been killing innocent people. They resorted to repression on the women in the area. One of the noted footballers who was taken by Feroz’s men said he was brutally tortured at that home. He found a number of hapless young women tied up in houses. They were being tortured everyday. (Genocide ’71 Muktijuddha Chetona Bikash Kendra, Dhaka February 1987)

Photos of anti-liberation activities by Mujahid were also brought up in the newspapers. A photo caption contained in the daily Azad that the Al Badar chief Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid speaking at a street corner rally of the Al Badars issuing warning to the rumour creators.
His anti-liberation activities and acts of terrorism were not stopped in the 1971. Mujahid has been continuing the same until today. According to a news report in the weekly Bichitra that in 1978 Shibir activists killed their opponent student leader, Abdus Sobhan. It was learnt that Mujahid led the killing.
ABM Khaleq Majumder

ABM KHALEQ MAJUMDER, son of Abdul Majid Majumder, Village: Dohatta, thana : Haziganj, District: Comilla. He was office secretary of the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, Dhaka city unit, during the 1971 liberation war. Now he is not so active in politics. He helped the Pakistani forces as per his party belief during the war and he also killed many a people by his own hands. He had served as a commander of the Al Badar Bahini of the Jamaat during the war. He is charged with the intellectuals’ murders.

On December 14 evening, he along with his associates forcibly picked up the then joint-editor of daily ‘Sangbad’ and noted litterateur Shahidullah Kaiser from 29 Kayet Tuli. Kaiser did not returned, even his body was yet to be recovered. Shahidullah’ s wife Saifunnahar alias Panna Kaiser, Nasir Ahmed, husband of Shahidullah’ s youngest sister, younger brother Zakaria Habib and his wife Neela Jakaria witnessed the incident.

According to their witnesses account, due to the war a number of Kaiser’s relatives took shelter at his home. On the December 14 evening, Zakaria along with some others had been trying to listen to the ‘Sawdhin Bangla Betar Kendro’ (A radio station operated by the freedom fighters) programme. The entire area darkened due to blackout. At that time someone knocked loudly the outside door. Zakaria rushed to first floor. Shahidullah Kaiser was taking tea at the drawing room at that time, Neela was accompanying him. Informing that someone came at the door, Zakaria came down. Gripped by fear, Kaiser’s sisters and other switched on all the lights on the ground and first floor. Kaiser was trying to make a phone call, but the intruders entered breaking the door inside. They first knocked Obaidullah (younger brother of Shahidullah) down by the rifle butt. The masked-men went up to Shahidullah’ s bedroom. Identifying himself, Shahidullah wanted to know the reason
for their coming.

Getting Shahidullah’ s identity, one of the masked-men exclaimed saying “Mil gaya” (we got him) in Urdu and hold him by his hair. The others caught him by shirt, by hand and dragged him out. At that time wife Panna Kaiser, sister Shahana Begum and brother-in-law Nasir tried to rescue him from the cluster of the abductors. At one stage, Shahana tore one of the mask-men and everybody known him. Later, during identification of Khaleq Majumder in the court they said this man had gone to abduct Shahidullah Kaiser on the evening of December 14.
As the abductor was identified on the spot, he kicked Shahana and forcibly dragged out Shahidullah and Jakaria Habib. Shahidullah tried his best to resist the abductors, but failed. Finally, the abductors released Zakaria on the road but took away Sahaidullah by a waiting jeep. Khaleq Majumder was also the inhabitant of the area. He used to live at 47, Agamosi Lane.

Imam of the Kaet Tuli Mosque Ashrafullah who now works for the Banani graveyard said, on December 14, 1971 afternoon Khaleq Majumder wanted to know when Shahidullah Kaiser was available at his home. In response, Ashrafullah told him that he did not know. He even did not know that Majumder was looking for Kaiser to kill him. On that night, the Imam had been watching that Kaiser was trying hard to resist the abductors and was screaming ‘help, save me’. And a number of people were picking up in a jeep. On December 17, Ashrafullah informed it to Nasir Ahmed and Zakaria Habib.

On December 14 night, Nasir Ahmed informed about the abduction to Kotowali police station, but no service could be provided due to a lack of police administration at that time. After the country was freed from the occupation forces on December 16, Nasir Ahmed was looking for Khaleq Majumder and filed a case with Kotowali thana.

Khaleq Majumder fled from his home fearing reprisal for his activities. Nasir Ahmed, Zakaria Habib and others went to his home. But he was not there. They found a revolver loaded with bullets, plenty of important documents with names of military officers and members of the Al Badar forces. These evidences were handed to the investigation commission formed to find out the culprits of intellectuals’ killing. In fact: Nasir Ahmed along with a number of freedom fighters from Sector-2 had been looking for Khaleq Majumder to get Shahidullah Kaiser back. Finally, Majumder was arrested from one of his relative’s home in Malibagh. The case proved that he abducted Shahidullah Kaiser to kill him and the court in its verdict on July 17 (1972) awarded Khaleq Majumder seven years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of taka 10,000. As Khaleq was convicted based on specific charges, he was out of the purview of the general amnesty announced by the then Prime Minister
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

But with the changed political scenario, Khaleq Majumder got acquitted from the case on appeal to the High Court on April 29, 1976 during the Ziaur Rahman’s regime.

In his book “shikol Pora Dingulo’ Khaleq himself admitted that he was the secretary of Jamaat office of Siddique Bazar. His party was against the independent war in 1971. They had been assisting the Pakistani forces by mobilising Razakar and Albadar forces and directly involved themselves in genocide, rape, arson, torching etc. He admitted that due to his loyalty to the party he had to implement those things. He also admitted that he was well know with the other war criminal Matiur Rahman Nizami and operation in charge of intellectuals’ killing Chowdhury Moinuddin. It was also learnt from his book that he maintained very good relations with the Pakistan army. In his book that came out 14 years after the independence, he expressed his hatred to the Bangladesh’s freedom. When seventy million people were expressing their joys with the victory on December 16, 1971, the writer of the book was feeling frustrated saying “Alas! Everybody was surprised ….on
that very morning one Jamaat leader sent me to the Jamaat office in a hurry… my mind was disappeared with disappointment listening to the news. …” (Shikol Pora Dinguli, page 10). He continued writing “I was not certain about my future. But I did not feel well. The day was ended with a long breath of frustration. The night fell down with all its darkness. The fortunate star bade good-bye from our sky etc.”

Dr. Syed SaJJad Hossain
PROFESSOR SYED SAJJAD HOSSAIN was the Vice-Chancellor of Rajshahi University during the early times of the war. He was appointed VC of Dhaka University in May 1971. He was active against the war of independence at that time. He had been trying to save his misdeeds by issuing press statements praising the activities of the Pakistan army. And he had used to maintain regular lesion with the army.

On January 10, 1972, a ‘Dainik Bangla’ report said “Dr. Sajjad had foreign trip to propagate against Independent Bangladesh within a few days of attacking by notorious Yahia’s army on the innocent people.” One of his letters were published in the London Times newspaper. The letter carried, “It was not right what is being told to be happened in Bangladesh.” He opined in the letter that the Pakistani forces were not responsible for the post-March 25 killings of the teachers of Dhaka University inside the campus. They died of cross firing of two groups. Mentionable, those who died on March 25 and 26 by the army were the classmates of Dr. Sazzad.

A letter with his signature published in the Dainik Bangla newspaper on January 10, 1972 is still being considered as one of the proof of his collaboration with Pakistan. He wrote, according to the office order of London Embassy of Pakistan I should be paid money as per the following rate.-a) 50% D/A from June 24 to July 1, 25 pound 25 penny as per three pound 75 penny per day. b) 150 pound cash. My hotel fare will be given latter.

Dr. Sajjad was the number one signatory of a statement of 55 professors, writer, journalists and artists denouncing the war. The joint statement was published in the papers on May 17, 1971, which condemned the liberation New York based International University Emergency
Committee for extending its support to the Bangladeshi people. The statement termed the war as an Indian mission and the university was being used for political purposes. It also said that extremists in the Awami League has been making the simple demand of autonomy into an independent state. “We are frustrated with the demand … we had been expressing our grievances within the one sate structure.. we never wanted such happening, as a result we become very sorry and frustrated with the developments. ”

According to the investigation by the National People’s Inquiry Commission, the logic of trial for the aforesaid eight persons are valid. As they have been assisting an organised force for massacre, war crime, anti-human right activities and indulging them in the similar crimes, their trial is under the purview of international and national laws. The international laws of war crime are base on the historic Nuremberg and Tokyo trial. And the United Nations conventions, declaration, and the human rights documents emphasised trial of war crimes and crimes related to the violation of human rights.

Many countries have introduced laws for trial of the war criminals to uphold the moral base. Bangladesh is not an exception. Bangladesh introduced the International Crime (Tribunal) Act 1973 was defined to try the offences under anti-peace, war crimes, human rights violation and genocide related crimes. The law also defined the crime of imposing an unusual war on a section of people despite having political, religious, race, language and cultural differences, and resorted to killing, raping, detaining, destroying their property, and also help doing this misdeeds. The act suggested formation of special tribunal and to take evidences from the then newspapers, media as witnesses.

The Inquiry Commission after reviewing the offences of the accused and related laws came to a conclusion that these criminals can be tried under the International Crime (Tribunal) Act 1973.

To make the sovereignty of Bangladesh safe and sound, to ensure peace, human rights and dignity these criminals (killers, collaborators and war criminals) must be brought to the justice. Bangladesh has an elected government in office now. The government as well as the opposition parties are talking about human rights. The National People’s Inquiry Commission believes without trying those who assisted the Pakistani occupation forces during the unequal war, those who resorted to killing, torture, rape, torched homesteads, and participated directly or indirectly to the massacre, democracy and human rights cannot be upheld. In this regard the responsibility goes to the government. The government has the authority to try such offence.

The commission strongly recommends trial of these offences under the International Crime (Tribunal) Act of 1973. In this connection this commission recommends further to revival of the laws, repealed herewith, and ensure trial of the offences against humanity.

Sufia Kamal
National People’s Inquiry Commission
Dhaka, 26 March 1995

Posted by Isha Khan, who can be reached at

Indian Army-Hindu terrorists nexus: Sinister Facist plans
February 11, 2009, 5:53 pm
Filed under: India, Pakistan
Indian Army-Hindu terrorists nexus: Sinister Facist plans
 By Farzana Shah
Links of Indian military with Hindutva organizations are no secret now. Most of organizations are working in Indian society since ages like Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal etc have long history of having links with military establishment at different level. The root of this cooperation is decades-old appeal: “India is for Hindus only”. This is nothing new but there is something new and that is the growing influence of this ideology among Indian military and elements that are now not in control of Indian military or Indian government but they are on their own agenda of Hindutva, a name given to same old appeal of race and religion regarding India.
Over the years Indian youth is becoming part of these militant outfits working under these organizations with same ideology of Hindu fascism but it never ends here as same youth got recruited into Indian military on regular basis. After being recruited these Hindu fundamentalist keep their links intact with entities like RSS, VHP, Bagrang Dal, Shiv Sena etc.
This dual linkage of young Indian officers with both military and Hindu fascist organisations has caused a cancer to the military establishment in India. It has brought elements into Indian military who have their own goals which do not conform well with military discipline. An army with irrepressible elements is as dangerous to any country as its real enemy’s army can be or even more. 
Officers like Gen (R) Premnath Hoon joined Indian army decades ago and served at different posts all the way to rank of General before he retired. What is revealing that he was one of the founding fathers of military wing of Shiv Sena. This also proves that either before joining or during his service in military he established links with Shiv Sena but what is more important is that he was not alone in this venture but there was active support from Indian military through his contacts he made during service like Colonel Jayant Chitale who was also incharge in military selection center at Pune for many years. Initiating military training from scratch has its own prerequisites like infrastructure, trainers, weapons and most importantly a slogan to motivate new recruitment.
This is where assets belonging to RSS/Bagrang Dal/VHP and Shiv Sena in Indian military and RAW enter into equation to bail out above mentioned Hindu terrorist organisations all of them vying for Hindu Rashstra (Hindu State). This process is in place there since many decades and now it is impossible to tell exactly at till what level these elements are controlling Indian military and RAW’s resources to complete Hindu Rashtra dream.
RAW also needs these militants to carry out its operation both inside and outside India. As it happens in intelligence business it is not always necessary to give minutest details to government officials until state is getting its objective served. It was matter of time when these terrorists take over RAW as well. Without active support of RAW it is not possible to carry out these massive training programs, coordination among different groups spread all over India and abroad, Only a military intelligence organisation like RAW can make all this happen. RAW reports to Indian prime minister directly, what is more startling to know is how world’s biggest democracy is involved in destabilising its neighbours. There are many operations launched by RAW against its neighbours specially Pakistan and Sri Lanka due to reason that both these SRAAC countries are located at critical geopolitical location on map.
All these operations were carried out with consent of different Indian PMs during their occupancy in Dehli. In all these operations RAW always used terrorists trained by Hidutva organizations and in return RAW and intelligence agencies turned a blind eye to whatever these organisationns were doing to the minorities in India be it Muslims, Christians or Sikhs, no one is immune to this dormant infection of Hindutva in Indian society. Successive Indian governments until recently ignored this ever growing influence of Hindutva ideology in military and RAW as there is always an excuse in minds of Indian politicians i.e. Pakistan and ISI to put all the blame on for all the sufferings of Indian minorities.
Lt Col Jayant Chitale:
The close relations between Gen Hoon and Col Jayant Chitale are not a secret. The two have been involved in forming Hindu suicide squad to be used against minorities in India on pretext of fighting the terrorism. Just on last Thursday Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Jayant Rao Chitale once again openly admitted training suicide Hindu bombers although he tried to reject that only Hindus are part of suicide squad bys saying that the suicide squad was secular.
Lt Col Chitale, the dictator of ‘Maharashtra Military Foundation while speaking to the media said “Ours is a truly secular suicide squad. Every Indian is welcome to join my suicide squad.” The training session for the suicide squad, which includes the use of lathis and swords, takes place near Vasat Village at Ambernath, an industrial town, which is over 50 kilometres away from Mumbai from where according to Lt Col Chitale a batch of 30 students has passed out in the last 15 days.
Earlier a the chief of a Hindu fanatic organisation Shiv Sena called for forming ‘Hindu suicide squads’ to tackle terrorism in India.Further openly admitting training Hindu youth for suicide bombing the Indian Army officer Lt Col Jayant Chitale said “I have been requesting the government for the last three years to form this suicide squad,” he said. “I have sent letters to the Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, President Abdul Kalam and the army chief about the formation of these suicide squads, but there was no response. So, I started the training programme.”

Asked what his recruits would do, he said, “The Pakistanis have disturbed the internal peace in India and my suicide squads will do the same thing in Pakistan.”It was earlier mentioned that Lt Col Chitale has been supported by Lt Col (retired) Lt Gen P N Hoon and a few other ex-servicemen belonging to the Shiv Sena.
In this context when media asked Lt Gen Hoon for his comments he only denied that Shiv Sena was backing the suicide bombing training but he shamelessly “We have started this program on our own because the country needs such youth to tackle terrorism. Today, the country is being destroyed by the Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan. And we have to do something about it. So, we feel that these suicide squads are the answer for the Pakistanis.”

clip_image005(RSS Trainging)
Now it must be no surprise that both Gen (R) Premnath Hoon and Colonel Jayant Chitale also served RAW at different positions. Police on several occasion got information about the involvement of these elements in terrorist activities but every time some unseen hidden hands stopped the investigation in middle before it could be completed. One such example is ATS (Anti Terror Squad) ‘s investigations from Col Jayant in 2002. The investigations were forced to stop when ATS was about to prove links between Indian military and Hindu Zionists and this intervention came from nowhere else but from RAW.
Role of Hindutva in 26/11 & its goals
Recent attacks in Mumbai was another manifestation of these Hindu elements who perpetrated Babri Mosque, Godhra Train fire, Gujrat Massacre, killing of Christians, Malegoan bombing, Samjhuta Express and countless other operations against minorities.
Till start of November 08 every Indian newspaper was publishing reports of arrest of Col. Prouhit and his confession about Malegoan bombing and supplying deadly RDX for Samjhuta Express inferno in 2007. What was the most shocking news in first 15 minutes of Mumbai attacks was murder of 3 top ATS officers including ATS chief Hemant Karkare at the hands of “gunmen” on 26th Nov. 2008. It is now becoming more and more evident that he was actually murdered by cold blooded assassins of Hidutva trained in RAW’s training camps. This linkage of RAW and terrorists was exactly what Hament Karkare was investigating from Col Shinkar Purohit, a serving officer in Indian army currently deputed in RAW who was arrested by ATS in connection with the Malegoan bomb blasts and Samjhuta express.
It was only after 8th Nov. 2008 when news started surfacing about Col. Purohit’s confession in Malegoan blasts and Samjhuta express incident. He also revealed that he was not only serving army officer who is linked to Gen Premnath Hoon’s terror network. Ramesh Upadhyaya a retired Major in Army was also among accused in Malegoan blasts. But ATS soon disclosed that there may be two other serving colonels facing charges of involvement in these blasts in Malegoan in Sep. 07. Now it was clear that ATS will soon uncover the whole cartel of Hindu terrorists in midst of Indian military establishment and RAW.
 So the hardliner Hindus from fundamentalist organizations started giving life threats to chief of Anti-Terrorist Court, Hament Karkare but he carried on his work till the D-Day arrived i.e 26/11/08. Investigations were little slow as ATS was not receiving required corporation from police in neighbouring states but still at that time a lot was already known to media and masses both about where actual problem lies.
After calculating the expected damage to their cartel, the fundamentalist Hindu groups decided to eliminate Karkare. But it was to be done in a way that no body should have doubts about Indian military’s involvement in this. Again trained terrorists of Atma Ghatak Phatak (AGP) [suicidal squad once desired by Bal Thackeray] were picked for job to eliminate Karkare in a way that the blame can put be on Pakistan and ISI.
India tried its best to stage a perfect terrorist plot being planned and controlled from Pakistan by ISI. But it seems now that India fell into hole it dig for Pakistan as more and more reports are coming on media about these attacks and inefficiency of Indian Police, Army, RAW to protect Indian citizens. More confessions are on the way to unleash the sinister nexus between RAW, Indian army and terrorists. All this happened due to very strong rebuttal from Pakistani media in reaction to what Indian was propagating to the world during crisis when no investigations were even started. So considerable portion of Indian intelligentsia started to look for problem within instead of believing what government news agencies were selling to the world and Indian masses.
Latest investigation from Col Purohit revealed that more colonels and a major were also part of Malegeon. At start Indian army was very mortified when Col. Purohit’s confession came to media about Malegeon and Samjhuta Express. Col Raikar & Col Hasmukh Patel was also part of masterminding Malegeon blasts. Recently it is learned that above mentioned officers although not charged but are going under investigation as their names were also mentioned by the Col Purohit. Other serving officer who is being accused and investigated in official charge sheet is Colonel Bapaditya Dhar of Parachute regiment at Panchmarhi.
After looking at these names it is safe to assume that on further investigation from this new accused Col. Dhar more links of Indian Army with fundamentalist Hindu organizations uncovering fascist elements among top ranks of Indian Army. After these facts emerged Indian establishment was forced to pretend as they were never aware of these terrorists in their midst. One such statement was made by Defence minister A K Antony saying that his ministry and the Army were “fully cooperating” with the investigating agencies. “It’s a matter of serious concern to all of us…. We are determined to go to the root of the entire issue,” he said. “We are awaiting their (ATS and IB) report…. We will take all necessary steps after that. We are also taking internal steps (to prevent any occurrence of such incidents),” he added.
It is ironic why he is not ready to throw light on what former Indian Prime Minister VP Singh said in front of Jain Commission in Nov. 1996 about the forming LTTE terrorist network 1983. Mr. Singh said,” First batch of training of Sri Lankan Tamil militants was done by India in 1983 under the orders of then Prime Minister (Late) Mrs. Indira Gandhi. The camp was located at Chakrata, Tamil Nadu.”
So it is clear now that Indian governments and intelligence agencies were not only aware of these links of Indian military with terrorist organisations but they used these links in order to pursue national policy of state terrorism and the practice is still going on. (There are highly active offices and training camps of RAW working along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan and creating low intensity conflicts with Pakistani state and military in order to soften it up for a major military battle on Eastern front.)
Like recently out of embarrassment Indian Army Chief General Kapoor said, “Steps are being taken to prevent involvement of its officers in terror attacks”. From this statement it seems that he wanted to say “Steps are being taken to prevent any clue to be ended in ATS hands in terror attacks.”
It is ironic that why he did not announce a broader inquiry to find out remains of this nexus between Indian military and Hindutva terrorists. But after looking at above facts and history of these relations it is not a very wise thing to think about any such inquiry in Indian military ever. Immediate goals of 26/11 are clearer than ever before…
  1. Eliminate Hament Karkare along with his team to put breaks on ongoing investigations which were illuminating all links between Indian military, RAW and Hindutva organizations.
  2. Divert attention towards ISI so that next time no one in India could ask about those investigations done by Karkare and his team before they got assassinated.
  3. Advocate Hindutva message that Muslims are root cause of panic in India so these must be either converted to Hinduism or must be eliminated from Indian soil.
  4. Create a media wave to divert attention from incidents like Malegeon and Samjhuta Express blast and hence diverting attention from investigations of these incidents as well.
It is also to be noted that Lt Col Jayant Chitale and serving Indian Col Purohit are also neighbours where as Gen Hoon and many other ex-Indian army officers are active contributors of suicide bombing training to Hindu youth and also admit it openly.. This is a dangerous scenario for India in common and the world in general where the elements from Indian army are taking part in training suicide bombers after becoming part of Hindu fundamentalist organisations.
If these elements are let loose in future which is a sure possibility keeping in view track record of RAW then there is strong possibility of falling of Indian nukes into the hands of Hindu fundamentalists who are more dangerous to the world than Pakistani religious groups.
India had been having civilian governments throughout its history while armed forces have been sidelined in many issues including nukes which are under the civilian government more than the Indian army. But unfortunately Indian politics and successive governments over the years have been manipulated by Hindu fundamentalist orgnisations like RSS, Bajrang Dal and BJP. These organisations over the decades since creation of India have gradually penetrated the Indian army. Now with top ranking officials of Indian army having links with Hindu hardliner politicians who are fanatics and running suicide training camps, it is feared that Indian nuclear assets might be slipped into the hands of these Hindu fundamentalists who have been ruthlessly killing Christians, Muslims and Dalits in India. God forbid if these Hindu fundamentalist took over Indian nuclear weapons then the region will face the biggest threat.
(The author can be reached at

The month of mourning
January 31, 2009, 9:41 pm
Filed under: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan
The month of mourning

By Amar Jaleel

December comes with a sharp reminder of the tragic events of 1971.The month of December, since 1971, reminds us of our loved ones and friends in East Pakistan who were separated from us as a result of painful and lamentable political events systematically nurtured for 24 years from 1947. My generation is eyewitness to the treacherous conspiracies West Pakistani politicians hatched during civilian and military rule against the Bengalis that ultimately compelled them to opt for parting of the ways. The conspirators had their vested interests in masterminding the separation of East Pakistan.

“Why would some of the politicians desire separation of East Pakistan from West Pakistan?”

This is a valid question that is bound to lurk in the mind of those born after 1958, the year General Ayub Khan took over the country and gave fickle-minded Pakistanis first taste of Martial Law. In the chain of events the Martial Law changed hands in 1968, giving General Yahya Khan an occasion to rule the restless country. By the time people born in 1958 were 13 years of age, Pakistan disintegrated in December 1971. East Pakistan became Bangladesh. West Pakistan was given the name of Pakistan. It is unfair to expect from a child of 13 to retrace the complex political problems Pakistan was beset with that compounded under Martial Law from the year 1958.

The State-controlled electronic media bombarded the masses in West Pakistan with disinformation about the situation in East Pakistan. Based on the malicious information, the 13-year-old boy would conveniently recall that the disgruntled elements with the assistance from India succeeded in separating East Pakistan from West Pakistan. The misleading information made inroads in our history, found a place in it, and it is taught to generation after generation since the catastrophic parting of the ways between the brothers in 1971.

Huge trees do not grow overnight. The seeds of separation for reaping the harvest in 1971 were sowed in 1948 within one year of the coming into being of Pakistan. Separated by a thousand mile Indian territory, East Pakistan nurtured a homogenous population of 45 million, and West Pakistan’s heterogeneous population was 30 million. The Central (Federal) Government consisting of handpicked favourites utterly failed in maintaining parity between the two wings of Pakistan. The constitutional proposals and the provisions of Liaqat Ali Khan in 1950 earmarked 200 seats each for East Pakistan and West Pakistan in the Lower House, and 60 seats each in the Upper House. It was a violation of the provision of the number of seats in the lower and upper houses on the basis of population.

Liaqat Ali Khan’s constitutional proposals ignored Bengali, the language of an overwhelming majority, and proposed Urdu for becoming the state language of Pakistan. It opened the two-year-old wounds of the infuriated aBengalis. Early in 1948, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, then Governor General, in his address to the nation said, “Urdu and Urdu alone shall be the state language of Pakistan.”

Here, I would like to speak briefly about Urdu, and then return to our subject of discussion today, parting of the ways. Urdu a phenomenon, a prodigy is a charismatic language. It is soft and poetic, and draws you naturally. You feel cosy and comfortable in its fold. It refuses geographic confinements. It takes wings to distant places, and alien cultures, and is welcomed. It is amazing that a vast majority of writers and poets in Urdu belong to other linguistic nationalities in Pakistan, India, and else where in the world.

Unfortunately, Urdu was hijacked by the Muslim League in early 20th Century, and was ruthlessly exploited for political purposes.

The language of love and romance was used as a weapon in Pakistan movement. Urdu, the language of India, (at times called Hindustani) was relegated. Urdu became the language of the Muslims who were bent on seeing the break-up of India with a piece of it going to the Muslims for a separate homeland. They succeeded in their mission. The Muslim League became the ruling party in Pakistan. The idiosyncratic rulers immediately put Urdu in conflict with the popular Pakistani languages, Bengali, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi, and Punjabi, and made it controversial. The rest is history.

The attitude of the centre remained the same towards the Bengalis who were enlightened, intelligent, scholarly and artistic in their approach to the realities in life. The West Pakistani jagirdars, sardars, choudhries, and the waderas were no match for the professors, intellectuals, thinkers, scholars and the artistes from East Pakistan who sat with them in the National Assembly.

What perturbed the rulers was that the population of East Pakistan was more than the cumulative population of the four provinces in West Pakistan, Punjab, Sindh, NWFP and Balochistan.

Bengalis refused to be bulldozed by the federal government. They fought for their legitimate rights, language, proportionate share in the government, jobs, equity and shifting of the National Assembly and the State Bank to Dhaka. The Bengalis suspiciously viewed the influx of investment of the wealthy West Pakistanis in East Pakistan. They feared if not resisted, the West Pakistani billionaires would purchase the land and the resources of the East Pakistan.

To quell the Bengalis, the rulers used brute force against them. The force was met with force. India conveniently stepped in. The Muslim League for the second time in history succeeded in the break up of their own country.

Posted by Isha Khan

The Pak Spectator interviews Isha Khan
January 30, 2009, 9:57 am
Filed under: Bangladesh, Pakistan

The Pak Spectator interviews Isha Khan

January 16, 2009, 9:25 pm
Filed under: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan

1. On July 2, 1972, the President of Pakistan and the Prime Minister of India signed an historic agreement at Simla under which they resolved that the two countries put to an end the conflict and confrontation that has hitherto marred their relations and work for the promotion of a friendly and harmonious relationship and the establishment of a durable peace in the sub-continent. The Agreement also provided for the settlement of “their difference by peaceful means by bilateral negotiations or by any other peaceful means mutually agreed upon.

2. Bangladesh welcomed the Simla Agreement. The Prime Minister of Bangladesh strongly supported its objective of reconciliation, good neighborliness’ and establishment of durable peace in the sub-continent.

3. The humanitarian problem arising in the wake of the tragic events of 1971 constituted a major obstacle in the way of reconciliation and normalization among the countries of the sub-continent. In the absence of reconciliation, it was not possible to have tripartite talks to settle the humanitarian problems, as Bangladesh could not participate in such meeting on the basis of sovereign equality.

4. On April 17, 1973, India and Bangladesh took a major step forward to break the deadlock on the humanitarian issues by setting aside the political problems of recognition. In a Declaration issued on the date they said that they “are resolved to continue their efforts to reduce tension, promote friendly and harmonious relationship in the sub-continent and work together towards the establishment of a durable peace “. Inspired by the vision and “in the larger interest of reconciliation, peace and stability in the sub-continent” they jointly proposed that the problem of the detained and stranded persons should be resolved on humanitarian considerations through simultaneous repatriation of all such persons except those Pakistani prisoners of war who might be required by the Government of Bangladesh for trial on certain charges.

5. Following the Declaration there were a series of talks between India and Bangladesh and India and Pakistan. These talks resulted in an agreement at Delhi on August 28, 1973 between India and Pakistan with the concurrence of Bangladesh, which provided for a solution of the outstanding humanitarian problems.

6. In pursuance of the Agreement, the process of three-way repatriation commenced on September 19, 1973. So far nearly 300,000 persons have been repatriated which has generated an atmosphere of reconciliation and paved the way for normalization of relations in the sub-continent.

7. In February 1974, recognition took place thus facilitating the participation of Bangladesh in the tripartite meeting envisaged in the Delhi Agreement, on the basis of sovereign equality. Accordingly His Excellency Dr.Kamal Hossain, Foreign Minster of the Government of Bangladesh, His Excellency Sardar Swaran Singh, Minister of External Affairs, Government of India and His Excellency Mr.Aziz Ahmed, the Minister of State for Defense and Foreign Affairs of the Government of Pakistan met in New Delhi from April 5 to April 9, 1974 and discussed the various issues mentioned in the Delhi Agreement in particular the question of the 195 prisoners of war and the completion of the three-way process of repatriation involving Bangalees in Pakistan, Pakistanis in Bangladesh and Pakistani prisoners of war in India.

8. The Ministries reviewed the progress of the three-way repatriation under the Delhi Agreement of August 28, 1973. They were gratified that such a large number of persons detained or stranded in the three countries had since reached their destinations.

9. The Ministers also considered steps that needed to be taken in order expeditiously to bring the process of the three-way repatriation to a satisfactory conclusion.

10. The Indian side stated that the remaining Pakistani prisoners of war and civilians internees in India to be repatriated under the Delhi Agreement, numbering approximately 6,500, would be repatriated at the usual pace of rain on alternate days and the likely short-fall [text illegible] April 10, 1974 on account of Kumb Mela, would be made up by running additional trains after April 19. It was thus hoped that the repatriation of prisoners of war would be completed by the end of April 1974.

11. The Pakistani side stated that the repatriation of Bangladesh nationals from Pakistan was approaching completion. The remaining Bangladesh nationals in Pakistan would also repatriated without let or hindrance.

12. In respect of non-Bangalees in Bangladesh, the Pakistan side stated that the Government of Pakistan had already issued clearances for movement to Pakistan in favor of those non-Bangalees who were either domiciled in former West Pakistan, were employees of the Central Government and their families or were members of the divided families, irrespective of their original domicile. The issuance of the clearance to 25,000 persons who constitute hardship cases was also in progress. The Pakistan side reiterated that all those who fall under the first three categorize would be received by Pakistan without any limits to numbers. In respect of persons whose applications had been rejected, the Government of Pakistan would upon request, provide reasons why any particular case was rejected. Any aggrieved applicant could, at any time, seek a review of his application provided he was able to supply new facts or further information to the Government of Pakistan in support of his contention that he qualified in one or other of the three categories. The claims of such persons would not be time-barred. In the event of the decision of the review of a case being adverse, the Government of Pakistan and Bangladesh might seek to resolve it by mutual consultation.

13. The question of 195 Pakistani prisoners of war was discussed by the three Ministers, in the context of the earnest desire of the Governments for reconciliation, peace and friendship in the sub-continent. The Foreign Minister of Bangladesh stated that the excesses and manifold crimes committed by these prisoners of war constituted according to the relevant provisions of the U.N General Assembly Resolutions and International Law, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, and that there was universal consensus that persons charged with such crimes as the 195 Pakistani prisoners of war should be held to account and subjected to the dues process of Law. The Minister of State for Defense and Foreign Affairs of the Government of Pakistan said that his Government condemned and deeply regretted any crimes that may have been committed.

14. In this connection the three Ministers noted that the matter should be viewed in the context of the determination of the three countries to continue resolutely to work for reconciliation. The Minister further noted that following recognition, the Prime Minister of Pakistan declared that he would visit Bangladesh in response to the invitation of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and appeal to the people of Bangladesh, to forgive and forget the mistakes of the past. Similarly, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh had declared with regard to the atrocities and destruction committed in Bangladesh in 1971 that he wanted the people to forget the past and to make a fresh start,stating that the people of Bangladesh knew how to forgive.

15. In the light of the foregoing and, in particular, having regard to the appeal of the Prime Minister of Pakistan to the people of Bangladesh to forgive and forget the mistakes of the past, the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh stated that the Government of Bangladesh has decided not to proceed with the trials as an act of clemency. It was agreed that the 195 prisoners of war may be repatriated to Pakistan along with the other prisoners of war now in process of repatriation under the Delhi Agreement.

16. The Minister expressed their convictions that the above agreements provide a firm basis for the resolution of the humanitarian problems arising out of the conflict of 1971. They reaffirmed the vital stake of seven hundred million people of the three countries have in peace and progress and reiterated the resolve of their Governments to work for the promotion of normalization of relations and the establishment of durable peace in the sub-continent.

Signed in New Delhi on April 9, 1974 in three original, each of which is equally authentic.

Dr.Kamal Hossain, Foreign Minster of the Government of Bangladesh,

Sardar Swaran Singh, Minister of External Affairs, Government of India

Mr.Aziz Ahmed, the Minister of State for Defense and Foreign Affairs of the Government of Pakistan

The India Doctrine 1947-2007
January 3, 2009, 8:41 am
Filed under: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan
Book Review: The India Doctrine 1947-2007

A K Zaman

It is almost two years since the first edition of The India Doctrine appeared on Bangladesh bookshelves to wide acclaim and appreciation. The newly revised edition now titled The India Doctrine (1947-2007) is an astonishing work of exceptional depth and analysis and is probably the first book of its kind not only in Bangladesh but also in South Asia as a whole. It is indeed a stupendous effort by Barrister MBI Munshi. While I had a few words of criticism for the original version of the book which appeared to me to be fragmentary and a little disjointed this revised edition is an exceptional work and its various parts have been finely consolidated and is also far better written and organized. As the author reminds us, he had almost two years to write this revised edition and it was certainly time well spent as the language and style is now much easier to follow and effortless to comprehend.

The Bangladesh Defence Journal (BDJ) has published the book at a price of Tk. 1200 or roughly $17 and is 636 pages in length. Of those pages one third consists of end notes and references which number in their thousands leaving in no doubt the strong evidentiary grounds on which Barristers Munshi’s thesis is based. The book also contains a useful foreword by the editor of BDJ, Mr. Abu Rushd, who earlier wrote the ground breaking ‘RAW in Bangladesh.’ Mr. Rushd in his foreword contrasts the original version of ‘The India Doctrine’ and the present edition stating that, “The first edition was a turning point in political and historical writing in Bangladesh. The second edition continues this trend with further elaboration of issues … covered in the earlier book but on very recent events such as the causes behind the cancellation of elections in 2007 and new material on the 1971 liberation war and India’s motivations in assisting [an] emergent Bangladesh.”

Mr. Rushd further elaborates on the importance of the book in the context of South Asia’s geo-strategic realities, “The book is certainly a must read for those interested in South Asian affairs, geo-strategy, intelligence, and the political, diplomatic and economic influences of an increasingly important region of the world which contains almost a sixth of the world population, two nuclear powers and several more in the near vicinity. The book will hopefully inspire others to explore the subject of Indian hegemony and expansionism and also allow policy-makers in the West to better comprehend the risks of permitting an unrestrained India to dominate the region.” The last remark seems particularly relevant in light of the Mumbai terror attacks in December 2008 and the increasingly hostile attitude taken by India towards its neighbour Pakistan who it accuses of having direct involvement in the incident although only a few weeks earlier a Col. Srikant Pirohit had been apprehended for supplying explosives to Hindu fanatics to carry out similar outrages.

Mr. Rushd concludes that the book should hopefully, “educate the policy-makers and military planners in Bangladesh about possible threats emanating from our neighbour and the consequences of New Delhi’s influence in our internal affairs as well as the principal cause of instability.” This is probably even more pertinent after the overwhelming victory of the Awami League (AL) party in the recently concluded 2008 national elections. The AL has often aligned itself with the interests of New Delhi in both foreign and internal matters and this has aggravated tensions within the country. It would be wise for the AL leaders to take some lessons from this book and adopt a more cautious attitude to New Delhi since our own history shows that a two-thirds majority in parliament is no guarantee of longevity or permanence in power especially when deeply held views about our national interest are constantly and arrogantly offended.

The obvious reason for publishing this new edition is that the original book had many gaps and overlooked many significant issues principally due to the time limitations placed on the author. Barrister Munshi states in his opening remarks in the preface that, “By all accounts the first edition of ‘The India Doctrine’ was a book incomplete. While it covered the essentials of the periods 1947 and 1971 fairly well it managed to convey only a fraction of the notable events and incidents that were to take place during 2006 and which were to reach a climax in 2007. The years 2006-2007 had much less of the cruelty, violence and bloodshed associated with 1947 and 1971 but nevertheless represents a significant period of transition that witnessed a revival of great power politics in South Asia that was to significantly affect the terms of the India Doctrine.” This short period indeed witnessed immense and often tragic and horrendous events that will undoubtedly have lasting effects on the South Asian perspective and psyche.

The author next deals quite comprehensively with the internal struggles within India and its new alliance with the United States built upon the tenuous foundations of the nuclear agreement passed amidst intense opposition, particularly in India. The author explores how this new strategic relationship affects the regional balance and includes reference to China and Russia and the wider geo-strategic imperatives of the United States and India. The author then surveys the influence of the India doctrine and Forward Policy on the South Asian neighbourhood and the internal conflicts this incited in many countries of the region (i.e. Sri Lanka, Nepal, Sikkim, Pakistan and Bangladesh).. The next few chapters on the liberation war and Indian propaganda have been completely redone and large segments rearranged to fit more logically the shape, context and logic of the book. New material and information is incorporated into chapters 4-8 and recent developments on the CHT insurgency and peace agreement is rendered in the last of these chapters.

From a Bangladesh perspective the most controversial sections of the book will probably be Chapters 9 and 10 that deal with India’s project to have Bangladesh declared a failed state. The chosen method to achieve this objective has been through propaganda with the labeling of Bangladesh as a ‘hotbed’ of Islamist terrorism. The media campaign orchestrated by India has been so successful that many voters in the 2008 elections actually believed this nonsense not realizing that such malicious canards were being propagated by Indian intelligence (i.e. RAW) via our local media. Another method favoured by India to have Bangladesh rendered a failed state is through economic sabotage and as Barrister Munshi explains, “For India to secure its political and military supremacy and control over the South Asian region it has become necessary for it to continuously maintain and protect her lead over other economies even by unfair means such as sabotage, fomenting and encouraging political instability in neighbouring countries and most obviously through propaganda.” However, it is interference in the political sphere that India has been most successful in undermining Bangladesh’s democratic institutions and Barrister Munshi traces the chaotic events surrounding the transfer of power to a caretaker government in 2006 to the release of Sheikh Hasina from custody in June 2008 with each event being heavily influenced by external actors and in particular India. Barrister Munshi provides a convincing argument and analysis on all the above issues and his contribution to the book stands as an extraordinary achievement that will set the standard for such works in Bangladesh and probably elsewhere in South Asia. The 557 pages written by Barrister Munshi will hopefully gain widespread readership in Bangladesh since the issues raised in the book are incredibly important to the continued independence and integrity of the nation against the hegemonic and domineering tendencies of India. The chapters written by the author will likely stand out as the most important to be written on South Asian affairs for the last 60 years at least. It presents a completely new perspective on South Asia rarely seen in writing from this region and hardly discussed in western literature on the subject.

The final two chapters of the book are authored by two Pakistanis and this is a major development on the first edition which had no chapters on Pakistan and this is probably the only collaboration between writers of both countries on this type of subject matter. Chapter 11 of the book is titled ‘The Peace Charade’ and is written by Mr. Ahmed Quraishi. Mr. Quraishi is a prominent media personality in Pakistan and his background as an investigative journalist, columnist, roving reporter and head of a private, independent think tank are all very impressive and raise his credentials as a highly respected and informed writer. According to Mr. Quraishi, India had by early 2008 been conducting a massive intelligence operation with Pakistan as its target. Afghanistan was being used by New Delhi as a springboard and the Islamists were the tools of this operation. Israel is said to have provided help and the US position as Pakistan’s ally is described as somewhat ambiguous. This brief summary sets the tone for a very interesting and well researched chapter with its premise based on the discovery of a document that reveals a conspiracy ‘to break the stranglehold of the intelligence agencies, the bureaucracy and the military in Pakistan’ as these are believed by India to be responsible for keeping the Kashmir issue alive. Chapter 12 of the book is written by Dr. Prevaiz Iqbal Cheema who has an outstanding academic career. He obtained and M. Litt in Strategic Studies from Aberdeen University and a Ph.D. from Quaid-i-Azam University in Pakistan. He has been a teacher for almost 28 years with posts held in Pakistan, Australia, Singapore and the United States. His excellent and lucidly argued chapter discusses the Kashmir dispute and Pakistan-India relations. His chapter initially discusses the origin and nature of the Kashmir dispute highlighting the policies of both India and Pakistan followed by a discussion on the internationalization of the dispute. Finally the paper focuses on the new developments that have impacted upon the dispute and the current status of Indo-Pak relations. Dr. Cheema concludes his survey of the issues by commenting that, “Without the resolution of [the] Kashmir dispute, not only India and Pakistan would never enjoy proper fruits of peace and cooperation but South Asia would also be deprived of much desired peaceful environment.” It is, therefore, unfortunate that India has not shown the requisite sincerity in negotiations for this sensible and desired outcome for regional peace and security.

Overall, this book, The India Doctrine (1947-2007), is an extraordinary and astounding effort requiring not only immense dedication but also a significant amount of courage, boldness and resolution. Writing in the hostile and threatening atmosphere created by India in Bangladesh the writers have shown admirable willpower and fortitude. The book not only deserves success but also our respect.

Isha Khan