The details of the genocide waged by the rebels in those murderous months were concealed from the people of West Pakistan by the then federal government to prevent reprisals against the local Bengalis and also not to wreck the prospects of a negotiated settlement with the Awami League. The danger of such a reprisal has now been eliminated by the repatriation to Bangladesh from Pakistan of all the Bengalis who wished to go there. The eye-witnesses, whose tragic accounts of their splintered and trauma-stricken lives are contained in this book, were picked from amongst nearly families repatriated to Pakistan from Bangladesh between the autumn of and the spring of Although they hail from 55 towns of East Pakistan, their narratives and the published dispatches of foreign newsmen quoted in this book, cover places where the slaughter of the innocents took place. The majority of eyewitnesses consist of the parents who saw their children slam, the wives who were forced by the rebels to witness the murder of their husbands, the girls who were ravished and the rare escapees from the rebel-operated human slaughterhouses.
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The details of the genocide waged by the rebels in those murderous months were concealed from the people of West Pakistan by the then federal government to prevent reprisals against the local Bengalis and also not to wreck the prospects of a negotiated settlement with the Awami League. The danger of such a reprisal has now been eliminated by the repatriation to Bangladesh from Pakistan of all the Bengalis who wished to go there.
The eye-witnesses, whose tragic accounts of their splintered and trauma-stricken lives are contained in this book, were picked from amongst nearly families repatriated to Pakistan from Bangladesh between the autumn of and the spring of Although they hail from 55 towns of East Pakistan, their narratives and the published dispatches of foreign newsmen quoted in this book, cover places where the slaughter of the innocents took place.
The majority of eyewitnesses consist of the parents who saw their children slam, the wives who were forced by the rebels to witness the murder of their husbands, the girls who were ravished and the rare escapees from the rebel-operated human slaughterhouses. The book highlights the courage and heroism of many Bengalis who saved their non-Bengali friends from the fire and fury of the bloodthirsty insurgents.
When I remonstrated with the Information Ministry official that it was unethical to damp a blackout on the news, he explained that press reporting of the killing of non-Bengalis in East Pakistan would unleash a serious repercussions in West Pakistan and provoke reprisals against the Bengalis residing in the western wing of the country.
The argument had an element of sound logic and a humanitarian veneer. The Awami League militants had gained control over the telecommunications network in East Pakistan during the first few days of their uprising and they showed meticulous care in excising even the haziest mention of the massacre of non-Bengalis in press and private telegrams to West Pakistan and overseas world.
But no newspaper in the Western Wing of the country dared report it in print. Early in the third week of March, a shipload of some 5, terror-stricken West Pakistanis and other non-Bengalis reached Karachi from Chittagong.
Not a word of their plight filtered into the daily press in West Pakistan. In fact one of the local newspapers had the audacity to report that the arrivals from Chittagong said that the situation in the province was normal -as if this broken mass of humanity had run away from an idyllic state of blissful normalcy.
For days on end all through the troubled month of March , swarms of terrorised non-Bengalis lay at the Army-controlled Dacca Airport, awaiting their turn to be wafted to the safety of West Pakistan.
But neither the world press nor the press in West Pakistan reported the gory carnage of the innocents which had made them fugitives from the Awami Leagues grisly terror. Caskets containing the mutilated dead bodies of West Pakistani military personnel and civilians reached Karachi with the planeloads of non-Bengali refugees from Dacca and their bereaved families milled and wailed at the Karachi Airport. Responding to my plea, retired Justice Z.
Lari, a Karachi leader of the Council Muslim League, who had migrated to Pakistan from India in the Partition and whose party was toying with the idea of a political alliance with the Awami League in the National Assembly, issued a mildly-worded press statement, in the second week of March , in which he appealed to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to protect the non-Bengalis in East Pakistan.
Looking at the tragic events of March, in retrospect, I must confess that even I, although my press service commanded a sizeable network of district correspondents in the interior of East Pakistan, was not fully aware of the scale, ferocity and dimension of the province-wide massacre of the non-Bengalis. Dacca and Chittagong were the only two cities from where sketchy reports of the slayings of non-Bengalis had trickled to me in Karachi, mostly through the escapees I met at the Karachi Airport on their arrival from East Pakistan.
I had practically no news of the mass butchery which was being conducted by the Awami League militants and their accomplices from the East Pakistan Rifles and the East Bengal Regiment in many scores of other cities and towns which were caught in the sweep of a cyclone of fire and death. There were some 35 foreign newsmen on the prowl in Dacca right up to March 26, But strangely their newspapers and news agencies reported barely a word or two about the spiralling pogrom against the non-Bengalis all over East Pakistan.
Many of the American journalists in this motley crowd of foreign reporters whose souls were saturated with compassion for the Bengali victims of the November cyclone tragedy were so charmed by the public relations operatives of the Awami League that they were just not prepared to believe that their darlings in this fascist organization could commit or instigate the murder of the non-Bengalis.
But she wrote not a word about their manhandling by the Bengalis in any issue of her great newspaper either in March or April Some Biharis in Dacca, whose relatives had been murdered in the city and at other places in the province, tried to contact foreign press reporters based at the Hotel Intercontinental.
Awami League toughs who controlled all the access routes to the Hotel prevented their meeting. A British press correspondent, who was in Dacca in March , told me that a Bengali telephone operator cut off his long-distance conversation with his newspaper colleague in New Delhi in the third week of the month the moment he made mention of the blood-chilling massacre of non-Bengalis all over the province. The Pakistan Government paid very dearly for its folly of banishing from Dacca some 35 foreign newsmen on March 26, , a day after the federal Army had gone into action against the Awami League militants and other Bengali rebels.
Amongst them were quite a few American journalists of eminence and influence. They bore a deep grouse against the military regime in Pakistan, and all through , no good word about Pakistan flowed from their powerful pens. Thus one of the bloodiest slaughters of modern times went largely unreported in the international press. Late in the first week of April , the federal Information Ministry took a group of Pakistani press correspondents on a conducted tour of the rebel-devastated parts of East Pakistan.
As I was keen to submit it to the provincial administration before the deadline of April, 12, I politely declined the invitation. It shed at least a kink of light on the vast dimension of the widespread and sadistic massacre of some , non-Bengalis in East Pakistan by the Bengali rebels.
Seduced and tempted by the Indians, Mascarenhas and his family arrived in London early in June from Karachi and the Sunday Times published in a score of columns his venomous blast at the Pakistan Army for its alleged genocide against the Hindus of East Pakistan.
Women were raped or had their breasts torn out with specially fashioned knives. Children did not escape the horror: the lucky ones were killed with their parents; but many thousands of others must go through what life remains for them with eyes gouged out and limbs roughly amputated.
More than 20, bodies of the non-Bengalis have been found in the main towns such as Chittagong, Khulna and Jessore. I was stupefied when I heard blood-chilling accounts of the butchery practised by the Awami League rebels on their non-Bengali victims in Chittagong from friends who escaped to Karachi in mid-April.
I was shocked beyond words because I rather like the Bengalis for their gentle and artistic traits and it was very hard for me to believe that any Bengali would indulge in the savagery which my informants from Chittagong attributed to the Awami League militants such as M. I counted amongst my esteemed Bengali friends his illustrious father-in-law, Mr. Abul Kasem Khan, a former federal Minister and legislator, and was impressed by his sartorial perfection and his amiable manners. In the third week of April, the federal Information Ministry whose Bengali head had been replaced by a West Pakistani requested me to proceed post haste to the United States on deputation to the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington D.
Late in April, , the Pakistan Embassy in Washington published a booklet containing a chronology of the federal intervention in East Pakistan. The immediate impact of its mass distribution in the United States was that many legislators and academicians sought information from the Embassy about the genesis of the word Bihari and the ethnic background of the Biharis.
American, Indian and Bengali protagonists of the secessionist cause cast aspersions on the integrity of these foreign newsmen by charging that they were duped into believing that the mass graves they were shown were of non-Bengalis although, according to the phony claim of the secessionists, they were of Bengalis liquidated by the Army.
Indian propagandists dished out to foreign correspondents in New Delhi pictures of burnt houses and razed market places as evidence of the devastation caused by the Pakistan Army in East Pakistan although in reality most of the destruction was caused by the well-armed Bengali rebels when they went on the rampage against the non-Bengalis in a bloody and flaming spree of loot, arson and murder.
West Pakistanis were branded in these Indian propaganda books as worse than the Huns and the Nazis. This miasma of lies and fibs, innovated by Indian publicists, was so ingeniously purveyed and sustained that the massive abridgement of the non-Bengali population by the Bengali rebels in March-April faded into the background and lay on the dust-heap of forgotten history.
The White Paper on the East Pakistan crisis, published by the Government of Pakistan in August , failed to make any significant international impact. It was inordinately delayed and gave a disappointingly sketchy account of the massacres of the non-Bengalis by the Awami Leaguers and other rebels.
Dozens of places where, it now appears, non-Bengalis were slaughtered by the thousands in March-April were not mentioned in the White Paper. In psychological warfare, the element of time is often of crucial importance, especially when one is pitted against an unscrupulous enemy with scant regard for truth and ethics. By August , India had so virulently poisoned a large segment of public opinion in the West by blatantly magnifying the refugee influx and blaming the Pakistan Army for this exodus that our White Paper neither set the record straight nor did it counter the many scores of books and pamphlets with which India flooded the world to malign Pakistan and its Army.
If adequate funds were available, it could have been shown on important television networks in the United States by buying time. It showed the rubble of homes and shopping blocks shot up or put to the torch by the rebels but it gave very little evidence of the infernal slaughter-houses and torture chambers set up by the rebels in March to liquidate many thousands of their non-Bengali victims.
Early in , I met a number of non-Bengali war-displaced persons from East Pakistan who had taken up abode in shacks in the shanty township of Orangi in Karachi. I thought of writing a book based on their testimony but I did not have eye-witnesses from all of the many scores of towns in East Pakistan where non-Bengali communities were wholly or partially exterminated.
It was published in January In the summer and autumn of , when I travelled extensively in the Middle East, Western Europe and the United States, I saw a number of books derogatory to Pakistan and its fine army in bookshops, especially those which sell foreign publications.
I did not see in these overseas bookstalls a single book about the gruesome atrocities perpetrated by the Bengali rebels on the hapless Biharis and other non-Bengalis in East Pakistan in March The general impression in the United States and Western Europe, at least until the autumn of , was that the Biharis had joined hands with the Pakistan Army in its operations in East Pakistan and that after the defeat of the Pakistan Army in the third week of December , the Bengalis had a lawful right to inflict retributive justice and violence on the Biharis.
As the Chairman of an official Committee for the relief and rehabilitation of war-displaced persons from East Pakistan in the Orangi township in Karachi, I met many hundreds of non-Bengali repatriates—men, women and children. Their evidence gave me the impression that the non-Bengali death toll in the murderous period of March-April was in the vicinity of , It was then that I decided that the full story of this horrifying pogrom and the atrocities committed on the hapless non-Bengalis and other patriotic Pakistanis in East Pakistan breakaway Bangladesh should be unravelled before the world.
Hence this book. The eye-witnesses, whose testimonies or interviews are contained in this book in abridged form have been chosen from a universe of more than 5, repatriated non-Bengali families.
I had identified, after some considerable research, 55 towns and cities in East Pakistan where the abridgement of the non-Bengali population in March and early April was conspicuously heavy.
The collection and compilation of these eyewitness accounts was started in January and completed in twelve weeks. A team of four reporters, commissioned for interviewing the witnesses from all these 55 towns and cities of East Pakistan, worked with intense devotion to secure their testimony. Many of the interviews were prolonged because the witnesses broke down in a flurry of sobs and tears as they related the agonising stories of their wrecked lives.
I had issued in February an appeal in the newspapers for such eye-witness accounts, and I am grateful to the many hundreds of witnesses who promptly responded to my call. The statements and interviews of the witnesses were recorded on a fairly comprehensive proforma, along with their signatures. In selecting a witness, I exercised utmost care in assessing his background, his reliability and his suitability for narrating faithfully the details of the massacre he had witnessed or the suffering he had borne in March-April I have also pored over mounds of records, documents and foreign and Pakistani press clippings of that period.
For their full exposure, another book is needed. I regret that it was not possible for me to accommodate in this book the many hundreds of other testimonies that I received.
Aside from the overriding consideration of space, another reason was my keenness that the witnesses, whose evidence is recorded in this book, should be the parents who saw their children slaughtered, the wives who were forced to see the ruthless slaying of their husbands, the girls who were kidnapped and raped by their captors and the escapees from the fiendish human slaughter-houses operated by the rebels.
I was also anxious that the witnesses I select should have no relatives left in Bangladesh. I have incorporated in this book the acts of heroism and courage of those brave and patriotic Bengalis who sheltered and protected, at great peril to themselves, their terror-stricken non-Bengali friends and neighbours.
This silent majority, it seemed, was awed, immobilised and neutralised by the terrifying power, weapons and ruthlessness of a misguided minority hell-bent on accomplishing the secession of East Pakistan. I must stress, with all the force and sincerity at my command, that this bock is not intended to be a racist indictment of the Bengalis as a nation.
In writing and publishing this book, I am not motivated by any revanchist obsession or a wish to condemn my erstwhile Bengali compatriots as a nation. Even today there are vast numbers of them who are braving the pain and agony of endless incarceration in hundreds of jails in Bangladesh because of their loyalty to Pakistan — a country in whose creation their noble forebears played a leading role. Just as it is stupid to condemn the great German people for the sins of the Nazis, it would be foolish to blame the Bengali people as a whole for the dark deeds of the Awami League militants and their accomplices.
As a people, I hold the Bengalis in high esteem. Time is a great healer of wounds and I hope and pray that God, in his benign mercy, will reunite the Muslims of Pakistan and Bangladesh, if not physically, at least in mind and soul. The succour and rehabilitation of the multitudes of Biharis and other non-Bengalis, now repatriated to Pakistan, is our moral and social responsibility. They have suffered because they and their parents or children were devoted to the ideology of Pakistan and many shed their blood for it.
Even as the victims of a catastrophe, not of their own making, they are entitled to the fullest measure of our sympathy, empathy and support in restoring the splintered planks of their tragedy-stricken lives. Theirs is, indeed, a very sad story, largely untold, and this book mirrors, in part, the agony and trauma they suffered in the not-too-distant past, and the raw wounds they still carry in their tormented hearts.
During this dark period of loot, arson and murder, more than 5, non-Bengalis were done to death by the Awami League militants and their supporters. For months, before the Ides of March , the hardcore leadership of the Awami League had primed its terror machine for confrontation with the authority of the federal government.
Fire-breathing demagogues of the Awami League had saturated the consciousness of their volatile followers with hatred for the West Pakistanis, the Biharis and other non-Bengalis. They propagated a racist and obscurantist brand of Bengali nationalism. Secession from the Pakistani nationhood was undoubtedly their camouflaged goal. At a hurriedly summoned press conference in Dacca, he ordered a general strike in the provincial capital to paralyse the administration and to usurp the authority of the lawfully-established Government in East Pakistan.
Blood and Tears by Qutubuddin Aziz
Late in April,the Pakistan Embassy in Washington published a booklet containing a chronology of the federal intervention in East Pakistan. In Pubail and Tangibari, the Awami League militants and their rebel confederates murdered dozens of affluent Biharis. Blood and tears Three of my very close relatives were killed in the carnage. Repatriated to Karachi in Januaryalong with her 4 year old orphaned daughter, from a Red Cross Camp in Dacca, Nasima gave this hair-raising account of her travail 45 Blood and Tears by Qutubuddin Aziz in Late in the first week of Aprilthe federal Information Ministry took a group of Pakistani press correspondents on a conducted tour of the rebel-devastated parts of East Pakistan. The Awami Leaguers were inciting the Bengali labourers to kill the non Bengalis.
BLOOD AND TEARS
The details of the genocide waged by the rebels in those murderous months were concealed from the people of West Pakistan by the then federal government to prevent reprisals against the local Bengalis and also not to wreck the prospects of a negotiated settlement with the Awami League. The danger of such a reprisal has now been eliminated by the repatriation to Bangladesh from Pakistan of all the Bengalis who wished to go there. The eye-witnesses, whose tragic accounts of their splintered and trauma-stricken lives are contained in this book, were picked from amongst nearly families repatriated to Pakistan from Bangladesh between the autumn of and the spring of Although they hail from 55 towns of East Pakistan, their narratives and the published dispatches of foreign newsmen quoted in this book, cover places where the slaughter of the innocents took place. The majority of eyewitnesses consist of the parents who saw their children slam, the wives who were forced by the rebels to witness the murder of their husbands, the girls who were ravished and the rare escapees from the rebel-operated human slaughterhouses. The book highlights the courage and heroism of many Bengalis who saved their non-Bengali friends from the fire and fury of the bloodthirsty insurgents.
BLOOD AND TEARS BY QUTUBUDDIN AZIZ PDF
Blood and tears Blood and Tears by Qutubuddin Aziz. She fainted and lost consciousness. The killers swarmed into my unit and attacked the non- Bengal employees. Her husband was an employee of the East Pakistan Government and he owned a small house in Mirpur where he and his family lived.
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