The Break-up of Pakistan and Emergence of Bangladesh

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Presented to Presented by :


Mr. Naseer Rehan Tafseer(09-4430)

TOPIC “The Betrayal Of East Pakistan”

The Betrayal Of East Pakistan

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The break up of Pakistan and emergence of Bangladesh is the most important event in the recent history of South Asia and will remain a subject of great interest for a long time. The disintegration of Pakistan has not altered the political balance in this region but also altered the psyche of the Pakistani Nation. This is likely to have far reaching repercussions and may unleash the regionalist tendencies in the politically under-developed countries. The phenomena of disintegration of Pakistan can’t be understood unless Pakistan history and politics is analysed in it’s proper perspectives.

The Betrayal Of East Pakistan

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British India was partitioned in 1947, into the independent states of Pakistan and India. The Province of Bengal was split between them. The western part of the province became the West Bengal state of India and the eastern part became the East Bengal province of the Dominion of Pakistan, with an overwhelming Muslim majority and a large Hindu minority and much smaller minorities of Buddhists, Animists, and Christans. East Bengal formed one of the five provinces of unified Pakistan. The other four Pakistani provinces (West Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, and the North-West Frontier Province) were positioned on the other side of India, forming West Pakistan.*1

The Process of Polarization(19471958)
The Situation Arising from Partition: The politicians who had envisioned Pakistan had expected all of Bengal, with Assam, to form Pakistan. Yet by 1948, Bengal had been split in two. West Bengal, with the provincial capital and major port of Calcutta, formed a part of this Republic of India. East Bengal, with the district of Sylhet (hitherto Assam),formed East Pakistan. During and immediately after the First Indo-Pakistani War, 3.3 million of East Bengalis, mostly Hindus, fled into India, while 1.3 million Muslims from the adjacent states of India, mainly Biharis, fled into East Bengal. East Pakistan had to establish a new capital at Dacca.

The Betrayal Of East Pakistan

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Domestic Politics: One of the most important issues which sowed permanent seeds of mistrust and bitterness between the two was the language problem. The controversy in February 1948, when a Hindu member From the East Pakistan, Mr. Dhirender Dutt, moved an amendment to the Constituent Assembly rules pleading that Bengali should also make an official Language *2 . Liaquat Ali Kahn opposed the motion arguing that the amendment was designed to create rift among the Pakistanis and that the Urdu alone would be the national language of Pakistan*3 . This announcement led to a serious controversy at the national level. The Bengalis, who adored their language, refused to accept superiority of any other language.* 4. Bengalis resented the fact that Urdu had been declared official language, a fact which resulted in Urdu-speaking Biharis being given preferential treatment by many employers. Bengali intellectuals responded by founding the Language Movement (1948). In 1949 the Awami League was founded in East Pakistan, aiming at establishing autonomy for East Bengal. From 1951 to 1953, Bengali Khawaja Nazimuddin served as PM of Pakistan; when he declared that individual provinces could decide over official languages in their province, but Urdu was to remain the sole national language, many Bengalis were disappointed. Elections for the East Bengal Assembly, originally scheduled for 1951, were only held in 1954, when the Muslim League suffered a resounding defeat at the hands of the United Front, an alliance of opposition parties the most important of which was the Awami League. Bengali was declared, next to Urdu, official language in East Bengal. Following riots in Dacca, a state of emergency was declared, the cabinet dismissed and General Iskander Mirza...
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