Pakistanis were misled into thinking that Bangladeshis were Hindus

Noted Pakistani writer Ahmad Salim has said that before the independence of Bangladesh the Pakistan government told the people of the then West Pakistan that the then East Pakistanis were Hindu due to their multi-dimensional culture.

Ahmad SelimSalim, a former professor of the Karachi University, said that in 1971 the people of West Pakistan were in the dark totally about what was really going on in the eastern part due to the false and malicious propaganda of the then military rulers of Pakistan.

Ahmad Salim, honorary coordinator of the South Asian Research and Resource Centre under the SAARC secretariat who is visiting Bangladesh, was giving a lecture on ‘Creative Responses in West Pakistan Regarding the Tragedy of 1971’ on Saturday.

The lecture at the RC Majumdar Arts Auditorium of Dhaka University was organised by Unnayan Onneshan, a centre for development research and action.

Presided over by Zaheda Ahmed, professor of history department of DU, the discussion meeting was attended, among others, by the chairman of Unnayan Onneshan, Rashed Al Mahmud Titumir.

Ahmad Selim, who suffered jail terms for writing against military atrocity in Bangladesh in 1971, also said that there were a good number of poems and other writings in different languages by renowned Pakistani writers protesting against the West Pakistani attack on East Pakistan. ‘But most of them were banned by the military rulers,’ he said.

A book containing the writings of Pakistani wordsmiths about the West Pakistani oppression of East Pakistan in 1971 will be published simultaneously in Pakistan and Bangladesh within a few months, said Salim.

He said the book, titled ‘Another Side of a Medal’, would be a compilation of writings that will explain a lot about the thoughts of the Pakistani people who did not agree with the atrocities of the then Pakistani government on the Bangladeshi people.

The New Age, May 20, 2007