Opinion Column on 1971 War Ignores Historical Facts

Dec 16th, 2009 | By | Category: The Nation

The opinion page of The Nation today is a perfect demonstration of the poisoned and fact-averse environment created by conspiracy theorists. In writing about the 1971 war, Tariq Majeed makes the most incredible claim that the entire affair was part of a secret Jewish conspiracy.

Much has been written about the history of the 1971 war and its aftermath. Sober assessments of this tragedy have been made by military and political historians who can find very credible and reasonable actions that ultimately led to the regrettable separation of East Pakistan. In none of these chronicles and academic studies does there exist some claim that the 1971 war was a project of some international Jewish conspiracy.

But the fact that this idea has come from thin air is not the only problem with this conspiracy theory. Majeed writes that the conspiracy was “executed jointly by USA, Israel, Britain, India and former Soviet Union.” According to Majeed, USA and Soviet Union – in the middle of the Cold War when both nations had nuclear ICBMs pointed at each other – these two arch enemies were actually working together to break up Pakistan?

Majeed’s conspiracy theory also fails to take account of the fact that the US mostly ignored the crisis, though it did lend some minor support to Pakistan when US President Richard Nixon sent the American Navy to the Bay of Bengal to oppose Indian support of Mujib’s separatists. Nixon even called India a “Soviet stooge, supported by Soviet arms.” How could US and Soviet Union be working together if they were working against each other? Majeed’s theory makes no sense.

This theory also ignores the fact that the American diplomat in Dhaka, Archer Blood, who supported Mujib’s efforts to break from Pakistan, was rebuffed by Washington for his support of the separatists. The “Blood Telegram” proves that there was no American support for Mujib or the breakup of Pakistan. Has Majeed never studied the history of the 1971 war? How could he get so many of the facts wrong?

Tariq Majeed’s column in today’s The Nation is a prime example of what is wrong with conspiracy theory journalism. Once you start down a road of conjecture based on pure fantasy, all facts must be thrown away and forgotten. Only then can the conspiracy theorist weave together the most ridiculous contradictions to fit his fantasy. In the end, you must accept the most outrageous things, even when all the facts point elsewhere.

The 1971 war is a somber moment in Pakistan’s history, and the men who fought and died in that war deserve more respect than to be simply the pawns in a conspiracy theory. We owe them better.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment »

  1. Good analysis. No proof of any jewish influence. All you had was ZA Bhuttos selfishness of Hum Yahan tum wahan which destroyed Pakistan. PPP is to blame along with the Army and not some Jewish conspiracy.

  2. Just before the “FALL OF DHAKA” do enjoy the picture of General Yahya Khan awith Nixon [Yahya’s Rampant Assassination Brigade were Butchering Bengalis (60% voted for Pakistan) in the Former East Pakistan, Dear Avdul please upload the pictures and Nixon’s instructions to the US State Deptt. for protecting Yahya. [FRM DECLASSIFIED US GOVT. DOCUMENTS]


    Handwritten note from President Richard M. Nixon on an April 28, 1971, National Security Council decision paper: “To all hands. Don’t squeeze Yahya at this time – RMN”

    The Tilt: The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971
    National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 79


    Let give you a glimpse as to who is ruling and ruining and running the country:


    Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report


    Chapter 1

    The Moral Aspect


    In Chapter I of Part V of the Main Report, we have dealt at some length with the moral aspect of the causes of our defeat in the 1971 War. This became necessary in view of the vehement assertions made before the Commission by a large number of respectable witnesses drawn from various sections of society, including highly placed and responsible Service Officers, to the effect that due to corruption arising out of the performance of Martial Law duties, lust for wine and women and greed for lands and houses, a large number of senior Army Officers, particularly those occupying the highest positions, had not only lost the will to fight but also the professional competence necessary for taking the vital and critical decisions demanded of them for the successful prosecution of the war. It was asserted by these witnesses that men given to a disreputable way of life could hardly be expected to lead the Pakistan Army to victory


  3. The series of assassinations in Former East Pakistan [now Bangladesh] was started from 1969 when a Shams Duaa-Haa, professor of Chemistry in Rajshahi University, was assassinated in daylight. Let me explain what the Al-Badar and Al-Shams were and are? Al-Badar was and is militant wing of Jamait Islami and a paramilitary force formed in Bangladesh in 1971 by General Yahya INC. Al-Badar forget that what the real Jihad is ?

    And fight against the Muslims in Bangladesh, Bengalis use to call Al-Badar as “Butcher of Bangladesh.” The Al Badar was assigned a variety of combat and non-combat tasks including taking part in the operations, spying against Bengali Intellectuals, interrogation, working as the guides for Tikka Khan and Niazi, assassination, detecting and killing Bengali intellectuals. The force was composed of madrassah students-teachers, supporters of Muslim League and Jamait Islami. History tell us that killings which began on 25 March 1971 and sparked the Bangladesh Liberation War and also led to the deaths of at least 26,000 people as admitted by Pakistan on one hand (by the Hamoodur Rahman Commission) and 3,000,000 by Bangladesh on the other hand, (From 1972 to 1975 the first post-war prime minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, mentioned on several occasions that at least three million died).

    Doctor Fazl Rabbi was an eye specialist; he was kidnapped by Al-Badar. Next day his body was found from a drainage line. His both eyes were vanished and there were marks of switchblade. “What should we think about such peccadilloes?”

    Ex-militants of Al-Badar are settled in UK and other European countries and they are appointed as cleric of mosques there. And I want to remind the readers that too, “Jamait Islami’s former leader Maulana Modudi had rejected the theory of Pakistan but since 1947, when Pakistan came into being, it is claimed by the leaders of Jamait Islami that they are playing leading role of toady.

  4. Ayub’s secularism as part of the military culture of British Indian Army was like an open book without any fine print. Even the prefix Islamic attaching to the Republic of Pakistan was dropped until restored under the writ of superior judiciary.

    That continued to be the case until the fateful day of 1965 when India attacked Pakistan along the international border, with Lahore as its principal target. Even in his first address to the nation within hours of the Indian invasion, Ayub went on to recite the ‘Kalama-i-Tayyaba’ in a stirring, emotion-choked voice.

    His subsequent meeting with religious parties – mainly the Jamaat-i-Islami under Maulana ‘Abul ‘Ala Maududi – marked the beginning of the military-mullah nexus. Yahya would not have much to do with things spiritual until the induction of retired Maj.-Gen. Sher Ali Khan into his cabinet as minister in-charge of information and national affairs. He initiated Yahya into ideological lore and saddled him with the mission of protecting the ‘ideology of Pakistan and the glory of Islam’.

    Yahya’s intelligence chief, Major-(later Lieut.) Gen. Muhammad Akbar Khan made no secret of his close liaison with the Jamaat-i-Islami especially in respect of its pro-active role in East Pakistan. The Jamaat was to go even to the extent of certifying Yahya’s draft constitution as Islamic. The draft was authored by Justice A.R. Cornelius, Yahya’s law minister. As for Zia, he embarked on his Islamization programme even as he assumed his army command.

Leave Comment