Let’s stay together, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s last trick

বৃহস্পতিবার, ১৭ ডিসেম্বর ২০১৫

17 December 2015 It was ZA Bhutto whose machinations were behind the brutal genocide in Bangladesh. Even before the blood had dried on his hands, Bhutto wanted to form a confederation with Bangladesh. But Bangabandhu gave him a befitting reply.

Yahya had left Dhaka on the evening of March 25, 1971 after giving the nod for Operation Searchlight that started the genocide in Bangladesh but Bhutto had stayed on and “slept” in his room throughout the night. “Pakistan has been saved” was his comment to the press. Did he realise the magnitude of the ruthless monstrosity he had unleashed on the millions of unarmed civilians? Did the blood of three million Bangalis mean anything to Bhutto? Did the trail of death and destruction, tears and lamentations affect him in anyway? Apparently not as Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the villain behind the breakup of Pakistan and the political mastermind of genocide in 1971 had come up with a ludicrous proposal even before the blood of the martyrs had dried on the soil of Bangladesh.

He wanted Pakistan and Bangladesh united again into one Pakistan!

Four days into Bangladesh's birth and Pakistan's humiliating defeat, Bhutto took over power in a coup and then in an address to the nation on December 20 said Pakistan should be united with its “east wing” meaning Bangladesh.

In his address, Bhutto said he was prepared to open negotiations with leaders of “East Pakistan” for a “loose arrangement to live together.”

But for that, he put forward what he called the “first precondition” that all Indian troops should leave “East Pakistan.”

And then he tried his best to make his cynical wish a reality. He actually had the gall to propose to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, still confined in Pakistan jail, a confederation of “east and west wings.” Bangabandhu of course rejected it.


This man with a twisted thirst for power, who had conspired with the army not to allow Mujib to form government after the 1970 election that eventually led to the brutal war, had actually been in the corridors of power of Pakistan throughout his career. He had his eyes to the top position which he achieved after Pakistan lost the war.

Once the initial shock was over that Pakistan army, often touted as the world's best professional force, actually had a humiliating defeat in the war, Pakistani citizens came out to protest on the streets, seething in anger.

Just four days into the defeat in Bangladesh, thousands of angry people came out on Pakistan streets on December 20 with the demand to “hang the traitors” meaning, the defeated army generals.

At the same time rancour ran high within the military itself.

General AAK Niazi, who had surrendered to the Joint Forces on December 16 in Dhaka, wrote: “The Nation, ill-prepared for the shock, was stupefied. Its expectations were fragmented and its pride scarred. Tempers ran high and sentiment reached fever-pitch. The masses were restless. Their anger had to be cooled.”

The generals started bickering with each other. “General Hamid is shouted at by the officers led by Brigadier Fazal-e-Raziq Khan, close associate of General Gul Hassan, when General Hamid tries to address officers at GHQ and tries to explain the reasons for the defeat,” writes Niazi.

It was clear that Yahya had to go. The question was who was to take over next.

So top generals met at Lt Gen Gul Hassan's house. Hassan was the PSO of Yahya during the 1971 war.

Others present there were major general Shaukat Riza, who was sent back from East Pakistan on grounds of inefficiency, air marshal Rahim who was also blamed for failure to counter attack Indian air force jets, Shakir Ullah Durrani, and Lt-Col Nasir Ullah.

সর্বশেষ আপডেট বুধবার, ৩০ নভেম্বর -১ ০৬:০০
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