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LAHORE: A talk was given on “The Creation of Bangladesh: Myths Shattered” by Dr. Junaid Ahmad, academician, writer and researcher at Government College University (GCU) on Thursday.

A number of statements by Indian Prime Ministers Indra Gandhi and Narendra Modi and some diplomats were shown on the slides with their assertions and plan regarding the dismemberment of Pakistan, as well as aid to the Awami League and the formation of the Mukti Bahini guerrilla.

Dr Junaid said he did extensive research into the creations of the 1971 incidents.

He said that a myth was created that the government ignored East Pakistan, which was not true. The efforts of industrialization, infrastructure development including airlines, ports, oil fields / refineries and hydroelectric projects have shown that special attention is being paid to the progress of East Pakistan.

He said the first problem arose when Urdu was declared the national language and the people of East Pakistan did not support it. Police officers by mishap shot dead students on February 21, 1952, and later the day became Mother Tongue Day.

He said it was propaganda that Operation Searchlight (March 25, 1971) was launched against innocent civilians. After Yahya Khan, chief martial law administrator, announced to postpone the session of the National Assembly, the Awami leaguers hit the road. They were armed and started the vandalism, arson, looting and murder.

He said that from the postponement of the National Assembly session until the start of Operation Searchlight, thousands of innocent people had been killed, the national flag was desecrated every day, and prison breaks occurred regularly. Because of this anarchy, Operation Searchlight was launched against the leaders of the Awami League and its militant supporters.

Mr Ahmed rejected the genocide figure of three million Bengalis, saying there was no official data to prove it. Only Sheikh Mujibur Rehman announced this figure after his return to Bangladesh and several investigative testimonies had rejected these fictitious allegations.

He also pointed out the number of soldiers who surrendered and called it exaggerated and false. The actual number was 34,000 soldiers and 11,000 police, rangers, scouts and militias. This makes the total number of combatants 45,000.

Consequently, the number of 93,000 mentioned by the Indians is unfounded.

He was of the opinion that the current government had also sentenced to death a number of people, forgiven by his father after the creation of Bangladesh. Pakistan and Bangladesh could become friends, and the governments of both sides should cooperate. The only threat to peace in the region is India.

Posted in Dawn, le 10 December 2021