Tuesday, 18 December 2012

QOTD: Bhutto & East Pakistan

 Writer Khalid Hasan writing about the mood in West Pakistan prior to Yahya Khans brutal crackdown and a revealing quote about Z.A Bhutto's own reasons for not taking a stand against the killings. -

 What we need to remind ourselves, but don’t, is that there was hardly a voice raised in West Pakistan against the army action in East Pakistan. In fact, the overwhelming opinion in the Punjab was that Yahya had done the right thing, his only mistake being just one: he had moved too late and let the situation deteriorate. In Lahore, the only person who publicly spoke against the army crackdown was the journalist and life-long communist Abdullah Malik who told a meeting of students at the Engineering University, “We are with the suppressed people of Bangladesh.” He had said in Urdu, “Hum Bangladesh ke mazloom awam ke saath hain.” Malik was hauled up, produced before a summary martial law court and sentenced to a jail term and a fine. He was spared lashes because the major presiding over the court said he was being spared that particular punishment because of his “age”. The ever youthful Malik, then 51 years old told us, “This offends me more than my sentence.”

I once said to Bhutto on one of his visits to Lahore that he should raise his voice against what was going on in East Pakistan. He turned to me and replied, “Marain gai.” (I will be killed)

No comments: