Bhutto, Sheikh Mujib and Hamid Mir

Apr 21st, 2011 | By | Category: Jang

In Daily Jang of 18 April, Hamid Mir tells the tale of a recent trip to Dhaka for a journalism conference celebrating the 20th anniversary of English newspaper Daily Star. But the story is not about journalism rather it is about American conspiracies in which Hamid Mir claims that the assassinations of Bhutto and Sheikh Mujib both were plots masterminded by the USA.

Hamid Mir: Bhutto, Sheikh Mujib Aur America

Hamid Mir tells that “The mastermind behind the two murders appears to be America”, but he offers no evidence to support this claim. Actually, the sources that he does reference, specifically the research of American journalist Lawrence Lifschultz, suggest that the US intelligence agencies knew that Bangladeshi soldiers were plotting a coup, but not that the Americans organized or supported such acts. This should come as no surprise as it is the job of intelligence agencies to know secrets. But there is an important difference between knowing about a coup before it happens and orchestrating or supporting such an act.

More importantly, the report of Mr Lawrence LifschultzAnatomy of a Coup: A Journey of a Quarter Century” published in Daily Star in 2000 tells a much more complicated story of the killing of Sheikh Mujib than is admitted by Hamid Mir.

According to Mr Lifschultz, “the American Ambassador, Davis Eugene Booster, gave strict orders that all contacts with the group planning the coup be broken off. In January 1975, we came to an understanding in the embassy that we would stay out of it.” Sources of Mr Lifschultz 25 years later have said that even though the official policy of the USA was to “stay out of it”, some CIA officers have have had meetings with the coup plotters so that they would not be taken by surprise. But this is far different from being the “mastermind” as Hamid Mir claims.

Actually, the story is even more complicated which Hamid Mir would know if he had read Mr Lifschultz’s reporting. According to a declassified secret White House memorandum referred to by Mr Lifschultz the US was on the side of Pakistan and against India in 1971.

[The President] “holds no brief” for what President Yahya has done. The US “must not–cannot–allow” India to use the refugees as a pretext for breaking up Pakistan. The President said with a great deal of emphasis that he is “convinced” that that is what India wants to do.

The American President went on to tell his national security team that

If there is a war, I will go on national television and ask Congress to cut off all aid to India. They won’t get a dime.

Speaking of the political situation, the American President said the following:

It is not our job to determine the political future of Pakistan. The Pakistanis have to work out their own future.

The American President also made very clear that

“We can’t allow India to dictate the political future of East Pakistan.”

Throughout this top secret memorandum, the White House is very clear that they support Pakistan, not India, and that they do not want to see Pakistan divided and believe it is up to Pakistan to determine its own future. The only reference to a possible coup comes near the end of the memo when Under Secretary of State Mr John Irwin tells the president that

“We have had reports in recent days of the possibility that some Awami League leaders in Calcutta want to negotiate with Yahya on the basis of giving up their claim for the independence of East Pakistan.”

According to Mr Lifschultz report, the coup was masterminded not by CIA. Rather he states very clearly that

The coup itself was an inside job by right wing elements within Mujib’s own party, his own cabinet, his own secretariat, and his own national intelligence service, who viewed Mujib’s leadership as no longer capable of holding out against a left wing challenge to their interests.

But that is not what Hamid Mir tells his readers. According to Hamid Mir, “Sheikh Mujib and Bhutto had reached a settlement to share power” and the Americans masterminded the murder of Sheikh Mujib and Bhutto “because they appeared increasingly inclined towards China”. But this directly contradicts Mir’s source Mr Lawrence Lifschultz who notes that

Henry Kissinger [was] then working with Pakistan’s military junta, through whom he was simultaneously channelling the most sensitive negotiations of his career – those with China…

The Americans were not worried about Pakistan being inclined towards China. Actually the Americans required Pakistan’s relationship with China to facilitate secret talks between the US and China during the cold war. But that is not all. Hamid Mir’s claim of a US masterminded coup also directly contradicts his own source and the top secret White House memorandum of the time.


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  1. Imran Khan and Mir Khalil ur Rehman Foundation have joined for Pakistan:) undercaptioned “Pukar for Pakistan” but amazes me the most is Pukar of Najam Sethi from the GEO TV on Imran Khan:) Imran Khan’s Alleged Principled Stand & General Musharraf’s Fraudulent Referendum.

  2. plots masterminded by the USA.:)

    Sometimes I wonder as to who “Masterminded” the Voice of America Contract with the GEO TV????

    PRESS RELEASES VOA Launches Urdu TV For Pakistan 11/13/2005 For more information, call VOA’s Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959 or E-Mail
    Washington, D.C. – The Voice of America (VOA) will launch Beyond the Headlines-its new television program in Urdu-on Monday, Nov. 14. The half-hour program will air on GEO TV in Pakistan at 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and on selected international satellites, including AsiaSat (Virtual Channel 409) and IOR (Virtual Channel 420). Beyond the Headlines (Khabron se Aage), a fast-paced, contemporary production designed with young and urban Pakistanis in mind, will continue VOA’s 63-year tradition of broadcasting accurate and balanced information. Programs will examine international developments, technology, politics, social issues, education, religion, sports, and entertainment. “We look forward to opening this important new channel of communication between the American people and Pakistan,” said Steven J. Simmons, a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which oversees all United States international radio and television services. Simmons is chairman of the BBG’s Voice of America Committee, and has played a key role in increasing radio and TV service to Pakistan, including Beyond the Headlines. “We’re particularly delighted with our partnership with GEO TV, the leading cable/satellite broadcaster in the Urdu language,” Simmons added. “This new program, together with our expanded radio service, demonstrates our growing commitment to reach the people of Pakistan with new, engaging programs on both radio and TV.” “The links between Pakistan and the United States are strong and growing, and our new show is a reflection of that,” said VOA Director David S. Jackson. “Beyond the Headlines will focus not only on the big issues of the day, but also on features, business, and culture stories that illuminate the world we live in. For example, we’ll show how Pakistanis live and work and go to school in the U.S. We want to provide a unique mix of stories that viewers can’t find anywhere else.”

    Farah Ispahani is the managing editor and executive producer for Beyond the Headlines. She joined VOA earlier this year, bringing more than 20 years of experience in print and television media at such news organizations as CNN, ABC, and NBC. Before she joined VOA, Ispahani, who is a fluent Urdu speaker, was instrumental in the launch of CNN’s Paula Zahn Now and Anderson Cooper 360. Anchoring Beyond the Headlines will be Aneka Osman. A familiar face to Pakistanis, Osman worked as an English language news anchor on Pakistan Television. She has covered regional and national security issues, Pakistan-India relations, the conflict in the Middle East, and Pakistan’s general elections. She has also worked on Prime Television, the UK-based Pakistani channel, and on the Business Plus Channel.

    Ayaz Gul is VOA Urdu’s Chief Reporter and Pakistan Coverage Coordinator for Radio Aap ki Dunyaa (Your World Radio), VOA’s Urdu radio service, and Beyond the Headlines. Gul, who is based in Pakistan, has been filing on-the-scene reports in Urdu and English for VOA since 1996, and his reports are translated into numerous languages throughout VOA. Prior to joining VOA, he worked for the Japanese network NHK and for the German news agency DPA as a reporter specializing in Pakistan’s foreign and domestic news. VOA’s Urdu Service broadcasts 12 hours a day of news and information to millions of Pakistanis and other Urdu speakers on Radio Aap ki Dunyaa. The program is distributed by medium wave at 972 kHz, digital audio satellite, the Internet and a three-hour shortwave broadcast. The launch of Beyond the Headlines adds two-and-half hours of television to the Urdu Service’s weekly broadcast schedule. The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages.

  3. plots masterminded by the USA.:)

    پروفیسر مبارک حیدر مصنف اور مدرس ہیں۔ ان کی کتاب ’تہذیبی نرگیسیت’ میں مسلم معاشرے کے چند اہم مسائل کی جو ان کی ترقی کی راہ میں رکاوٹ بن رہے ہیں، نشاندہی کی گئی ہے۔ پروفیسر مبارک سے بات چیت۔۔۔

    ’تہذیبی نرگسیت‘ کی بات

    آخری وقت اشاعت: جمعرات 21 اپريل 2011 ,‭ 18:02 GMT 23:02 PST

  4. Ansar Abbasi again “quotes” Wiki Leaks which he himself never believed:)

  5. Nowadays, the media has become the only storytelling vehicle and journalists have become the key players in legend making and identity building. Professional journalists are responsible for encouraging the youth of Pakistan to behave like responsible Pakistanis. The effort should be focused on supporting the national image rather than highlighting the most harmful and depressing news to de-motivate the common man in Pakistan. The media has always been a unique and sophisticated ground to play on when we talk about image building. It is good to be truthful, but it is our obligation to let certain issues get sorted out within our own people without undue media attention. The international community will never come forward to extend its support to resolve our domestic problems. Rather, it will take advantage of the situation and work on its agenda of ‘divide and rule.

  6. CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry & Judiciary should apologise to Makhdoom Javed Hashmi.

  7. Here is the story: ) CIA Involvement in Sheikh Mujib Killing by Lawrence Lifschultz SUNDAY, MAY 10, 2009

    Lawrence Lifschultz also did this story and I hope Mr. Hamid Mir would do that as well in Jang with the same spirit:) For the ISI’s connections with the CIA, see Lawrence Lifschultz, ‘Dangerous Liaison: The CIA-ISI connection’,

  8. Mukhtaran Mai, Sanctimonious Judiciary & Pseudo Lawyers Movement.

  9. Mubashir Lucman & Dunya News “RAPE” Mukhtaran Mai “Again”!

  10. […] we explained a few days ago, Hamid Mir claims that America “masterminded” assassination of Sheikh Mujib even though the source […]

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