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An eye witness to surrender – Mazher Saeed, Pakistani naval officer

Mazher saeed, a Pakistani naval officer on merchant ship “Karnaphuli” expressed his feelings and accounts on 71 war:

“I am an honorary naval officer recruited in the mid of august by an scheme of navy to recruit the officers and seamans. Because most of the naval crew left the merchant and naval vessels due to being Bengalis as it was an operation going on in East Pakistan.

After the training me and some of my batch mates signed on the merchant ship “Karnaphuli” whose main task is to supply arms and ammunition to East Pakistan forces from West Pakistan. We were determined to perform our duties against the rebels who were fighting against Pakistan sovereignty. As it was commonly being said on those days that Bengalis are gaddars etc. etc.

In mid of October our ship was ready to sail across the Indian ocean for the supply of ammunition and food for army. And we were successful in doing that and return to Karachi with out any difficulties. In a period of a month we are given another task to again supply the arms from west to East Pakistan but this time it was really a hard job for us to sail safely across Indian ocean. There was rumors and news all around that hostilities with India is about to commence. So we were given strict orders to sail as far as from Indian coast to avoid detection. Our ship safely reached the Chittagong port on 9 December and unloaded the ammunition quickly and in a carefull manner but due to intense air raids from Indian air force we failed to unload some assets. Then we went back to sea to avoid attack from air. This thing continued till 12 Dec when our ship was again back to port to unload our cargo suddenly two IAF planes approached from the heights of sky and fired two missiles on our ship. One of those missiles exploded in our engine room entering from the top deck and in a few minutes our captain gave us the orders to quit the ship and ran for the safety of there lives.

After the sinking of “Karnaphuli” the whole crew of the ship decided to fight along with the army to save motherland from Indian aggression. We got some ammunition and our orders was to join the company fighting outside the city. When we enter in the city it was shocking for all of us. We didn’t believe on our eyes that what has suddenly happened to all the city. A total destruction of humanity and Islamic values were going on. Our army was busy in fighting with the common people. The mentally of soldiers and there morale was completely destroyed. The company major told us that its all happened by the orders of our “great leaders” we did not get a chance to fight with Indians but we got a chance to see the destruction in East Pakistan.”

Afterwards Eastern Command surrendered and we all become POWs. In the Jail i asked the question of That mass killings of people we saw in the cities and villages to the army officers and soldiers and then they told us that by the orders of some Generals the authority was given to officers to shoot any one they sight and do any thing they want to suppress these Benglais. And those officers who are present in the city and villages were responsible for these whole picture.

We also witnessed that the soldiers and officers who should prefer suicide then doing all these things in the end surrendering to Indian army. After 2 years of imprisonment we were finally released from Indian jails and reached our homes. We were all completely mentally disturbed and ashamed for what we see in this ruthless and brutal war against our brothers and sisters.

After some days news were came that about 3 million peoples were killed and 200,000 women were raped by the army in the Eastern Theater. In the end I just want to say to my Bengali brothers that mass killings and raping of women were surly done by some officers and soldiers from the orders of their superiors to do what ever they want to suppress the uprising “but not in such numbers”.

Islam teaches us that the sin to kill one human is equal to kill thousand and also the sin to rape a women also regarded in such manner and such people should be killed in front of a people by crushing their evil heads. But we should also not forget that some officers and soldiers did not perform these ruthless things and they would prefer suicide instead to perform such things and to face surrender. Allah will surely not forgive those who did these unislamic things whether it was Pakistan army or the freedom fighters.”

Retrieved from here

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