Friday, September 25, 2009

Bangladesh, Independence War (Reactions)

The defeat and dismemberment of half the nation was not only shocking but unexpected to the top military and civilians of West Pakistan. Yahya Khan dictatorship collapsed and gave way to Bhutto who took the opportunity to rise to power . General Niazi , who surrendered along with 93, 000 troops, was viewed with suspicion and hatred upon his return to Pakistan. He was shunned and branded with traitor . The war also exposed the shortcoming of Pakistan's declared strategic doctrine that the "defence of East Pakistan lat in East Pakistan." Pakistan also failed to gather the international support, and were found fighting a lone battle with only the USA providing any external help. This embittered the Pakistanis who had faced the worst military defeat of an army in decades.
The debacle immediatelt prompted an enquiry headed by Justice Hamdoor Rahman, known as Hamdoor Rahman Commision. It was initially suppressed by Bhutto as it criticised the activity of the military. It also condemned the atroccities and war crimes committed by the armed forces.
Bangladeshi authorities claim that 3,000,000 people were killed , while the Hamidoor Commission put the figures as low as 26,000 civilian casualities. The international media and reference books in English had also published figures which vary greatly from 200,000 to 300,000 for Bangladesh as a whole.
On 16 Dec, 2002, The George Washington University's National Security Archive published a collection of declassified documents, consisting mostly of communications between US embassy officials and United States Information service centers in Dhaka and India, and officials in Washington DC.