Fall of Dhaka: ‘We should apologise to Bengalis for the discrimination’

'We should apologise to Bengalis for their suffering at the hands of people from West Pakistan.'

Hassan Naqvi December 21, 2013
A file photo of Bangladesh's flag. PHOTO: REUTERS/ FILE


“Bangla is an older language than Urdu yet in his 1948 speech in East Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam declared Urdu the national language of Pakistan,” Journalist Khalid Chaudhry said on Friday.

He was speaking at a discussion titled Fall of Dhaka Who is Responsible, here at the South Asian Free Media Association auditorium.

Chaudhry said not many countries were established on the basis of religion. “We should apologise to the Bengalis for the discrimination they faced,” he said.

SAFMA Secretary General Imtiaz Alam said the Hamoodur Rehman Commission report should be published and its gist included in the curriculum.

Alam said Bengalis were discriminated against. “Not a single chief secretary was from East Pakistan,” he said.

“The Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) acted as an ally of Yahya Khan, who was responsible for the military operation.”

He said it was sad that Pakistan had not learnt from history. “We should apologise to Bengalis for their suffering at the hands of people from West Pakistan,” he said.

Reazud Din Ahmed, a Bangladeshi journalist, speaking via conference call said the people of Bangladesh were not happy with the PTI chief’s statement that Qadir was executed because he had been loyal to Pakistan. “Bengalis want an apology over this,” he said.

Awami National Party (ANP) Central Secretary General Ehsan Wynne said the Bengalis were tolerant people “otherwise East Pakistan would seceded much sooner.”

“The army and feudals in West Pakistan wanted dictatorship, Bengalis were in favour of democracy,” he said.

He said the political leaders of the time were responsible for the military operation of 1970. Wynne said East and West Pakistan had little in common “the way we forced them to seek separation wasn’t right.”

Published in The Express Tribune, December 21st, 2013.


Arij | 7 years ago | Reply

@dgggg: oh you mean dirt poor during the "discrimination period" and then richer after "independence"? in that case, you're spot on.

Concerned Citizen | 7 years ago | Reply

@Naveed Ausaf: English would probably have been a better idea for a language at the federal level. The provinces meanwhile free to do their business in their own local languages.

English would have avoided feelings of resentment and discrimination. Any other language would be supported by its native speakers and opposed or resented by others. Urdu may be a beautiful language with its poets and all but to support it on these grounds seems to ignore qualities of other native languages. If we like this language then we can still learn it for our selves.

Why not another foreign language then? Well, English is important enough internationally in its own right as well.

Too late for this idea now maybe. We should have adopted it at the start.

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