Context: (1947-1971) One day before the creation of Pakistan the Constitute assembly was established under the Indian independence act and was given a machinery by British government for transferring power to Pakistan, built up the constitution, East Pakistanis was equally featured as west Pakistanis in this assembly. Communal discrimination was experienced by East Pakistan so they considered themselves as more pro Pakistan as compare to West Pakistan. This can be a reason that Pakistan went out of her way to elect from her selected people 6 Urdu speaking non Pakistani which includes Mr. Liaqat Ali khan first prime minister of Pakistan. Mr. Tamizuddin khan who is known by his constitutional fight on 1954 against the governor general held the chairmanship assembly.
The main reason of this assembly was to pass the resolution in 1949 but till 1956 no resolution was passed. East Pakistan was represented by 4/5 politicians in Liaqat Ali Khan’s first centre. Khuwaja Nazimuddin handed on as Governor General after death of Jinnah and when Liaqat ali khan died he thought to took over the seat of prime minister forced that it should be hand over to East Pakistani. As far as the centre legislature is concerned, that was a major decision and in it East Pakistani were featured. Hence he enjoyed participation of politics and was much active in their work as the other parties of the country were in a collective sense.
On defeat of Muslims league rule at provincial level in 1954 a radical change was made in East Pakistan in 1955. Than the parties who won said that old Muslim league member shall be replaced by second assembly. Among new members Mr H.S Shurawardy, who was the ex-chief of awami league had assumed the office of prime minister of Pakistan. He claimed that 98% self- government had already being enjoyed by East Pakistan at a meeting held at Platan Maidan in Dacca on 14 June 1957.
Mr.Ata ur rehman khan, Mr. A.K- Fazlul Haq were also part of this meeting.
In 1956 during their membership first Pakistani Constitution was passed, so it can be said with proof that they had designed the nation destiny. That’s why it is unusual to say that East Pakistanis were less citizens then west Pakistanis. East Pakistan was the major part of federation of Pakistan. East Pakistan was separated from West Pakistan in 1971 due to many minor and major issues. Sheikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman put stress on General Muhammad Yahya Khan for his rule on administration but government fully opposed his demand, the desire of General Muhammad Yahya khan to stay in his position had resulted in more critical condition. Meanwhile Sheikh Mujeeb-Ur-Rehman announced Non Cooperation movement with governmental affairs. Due to this protest, not giving of taxes, increase of assassination and boycott from courts became daily routine.
To overcome the circumstances General Tikka Khan was appointed as the Governor of East Pakistan but still situation was not controlled by government. During this Sheikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman positions a parallel government under the supervision of India. On 23rd March 1971 Sheikh Mujeeb-urRehman waved Bangladesh flag on his house, in these situations Sheikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman was arrested and this made the Atmosphere more worst .Civil war broke out and then India had his full support with Awami league and started sending terrorist in east Pakistan due to which millions of people started to migrate in India. Making an excuse of helping East Pakistan, Government of India attacked them. Due to slit of groundwater, aerial and with the collaboration with local people effective operation was unable to establish in East Pakistan.
At last India succeeded in his mission and East Pakistan was separated from West Pakistan. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto play a vital role in this separation as he abused people of East Pakistan in his speeches and he also said on many occasion “Udhar Tum Idhar Hum” which means dividing the nation into two parts and it is clear from his context. Thus on 16th December 1971 Pakistan was distributed into two parts and main cause of Separation of East Pakistan was Rise of Bengali Sub-Nationalism which boosted the other issues with it. Some issues are discussed below:- Political Gripes and Isolation of East Pakistan: Number of political objections and shocks for the East Pakistani’s played a role in separation of East Pakistan. In 1947 when Hussain Shahid was not allowed for parliamentary leadership of East Pakistan assembly, instead Nazimuddin was selected as chief minister, Bengalis got the first political shock.
The Bengalis got short tempered when Nazimuddin ministry was dismissed by Governor General Ghulam Muhammad. In 1954 Muslim league was defeated which resulted from the rise of Bengali nationalism and Anti-West Pakistan feeling.in August 1955 Chaudhry Muhammad Ali became the prime minister which triggered the bitter reaction in East Pakistan because he violated the establish tradition of selection. In short the Bengali grievances of political separation seemed credible. Lack of National Leadership: After death of Quaid e Azam and Liaqat Ali khan there were not such leaders who could possess patriotic leadership like them.
Leaders thought that it was only their right to rule people of Pakistan. And this was the major reason that Muslim leaders were unable to win the trust of Pakistani citizens. They were incapable of understanding problems faced by their people because they were not in continuous contact with the citizens of Pakistan. The Degeneration of Muslim League and the Rise of Local Bengali Parties: After independence Muslim League get into selfish hand and became a center of conspiracies. The personal issues of party led to the decline of national organization of country and a rise for different regional parties. In 1948 Maulana Abdul Hameed Bhashani and Fazlul Haq left the Muslim League and in 1949 they created their own party, East Pakistan Awami Muslim League and Maulana Abdul Hameed Bhashani selected as President and Sheikh Mujeeb ur Rehman as sectary of party. In April 1953 Awami Muslim League dropped the word Muslim and became Awami league. The old Muslim leaders resigned and bribed Hindus leader took their place.
Fazlul haq formed his own party Krishak Sramik Party (The Labour Peasant Party) Language Issue: The language issue was a prevailing issue before independence. Bengali spoke their own language whereas Urdu was declared as national language after creation of Pakistan, which Bengalis thought that it’s a language of Muslim league and therefore they started Bengali Language Movement with the support of Bengali civil servants, students, minister and provincial assembly members. They demanded that Bengali should be one of the state language along with Urdu. In 1948 controversy started. Protestants gathered on streets which were even arrested. In March 1948 Jinnah’s visit to Dacca and his announcement that Bengali could be province language but state language will be Urdu, led to a chain of disturbances. In 1952 recommendation of Urdu as state language by the constituent sparked off a bitter reaction and Bengalis held protest meetings as a response.
Although, after all this controversies Bengali was recognized as state language along with Urdu in 1956 constitution. In 1956 Bengali and Urdu were declared as national language in the constitution of Pakistan. But this new amendment in the constitution could not eliminate the desire of separate nationalism from the minds of Bengalis. Differences over Constitution Building: The Controversy over constitution making started when Objective Resolution was adapted, to report on the main principles regarding main constitution of Pakistan in march 1949.The two main issues were ratio of representation in central legislature and power distribution in center and provinces, when East Pakistan was not satisfied by uni-cameral legislature with parity of representation between East and West in 1956.The demand for more provincial sovereignty still continued and it finally resulted into the Six-Point program of Sheikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman. (Which will be discussed later) Ayub Khan Dictatorial Era: Ayub Khan Government was imposed for 10 years in Pakistan¸ they had taken such steps that oppress citizens and the reaction was unbearable, that causes revolt. The citizens of East Pakistan was uncomfortable in such circumstances and was forced for separation.
Adverse effect of 1958 Martial Law: In 1959 countrywide elections were held, If the elections were allowed also democracy had given its survival chance then it was possible that East Pakistan might be featured as a single large group in the parliament and can join hands with minded forces in West Pakistan. The central government at Karachi might be runned by national alliance on a single program, but just by so called ‘Saving’ the forces of west Pakistani born General Ayub khan. The constitution was opposed and martial law was imposed on 7 Oct 1958. This was the main factor that was deprived by East Pakistani. If East Pakistani was represented geographically and half of the army was from East Pakistani, than the result would have been a Scuffle between armed forces and total population of Pakistan. Ayub khan tried to create an impression of loss feeling politics East Pakistan by establishing main democracy and by adding his number of successive East Pakistan cabinet. But that democracy was not acceptable by East Pakistanis mainly the parties which had supported the united front of 1954 not even the people picked up by him. This became prominent when sheikh mujib’s personal nominated politics lost twice in his own residence constituency and Nurul Amin who was the exchief of East Pakistan, Chairman Pakistan Democratic Party.
National Assembly almost lost the 1965 elections. East Pakistan had best chance to realize that West Pakistan can’t defend herself at Indo-Pak armed conflict. Rise of Sheikh Mujeeb ur Rehman: Six points formula of Sheikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman had a bigger role in this partition.
He had the desire of freedom of provinces and expressed that provinces should be separated as a separate country or semi-federation state. He was against the establishment of central government in West Pakistan. For this he convinced the poor and needy people of Bengal emotionally. This attempt of Sheikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman’s was trick to make his government in East Pakistan. During this time Sheikh Mujeeb ur Rehman group of Awami league presented their famous six points. The six points were: 1) Federation of Pakistan should be provided to the constitution of Pakistan in its genuine sense on the basis of Lahore Resolution and Government of Legislature should be elected by adult franchise. 2) Only 2 subjects shall be deal by the Federal Government Firstly about Defence and Foreign Affairs Secondly that the currency shall be maintained for whole country. 3) There should be two separate currencies, two separate entity that has the power of freely convertible or a bank with two different head one for West and one for East Pakistani.
4) A setting of Paramilitary force should be established in East Pakistan. 5) East Pakistan should have its own account where earnings of East Pakistanis shall be saved in East instead of handing over to West Pakistan. 6) The Power of Tax shall be rested in provincial units and no one else shall have its authority. Regional Autonomy: A look at six points: After reading these six points we can say that Sheikh Mujeeb ur Rehman was looking for adequate regional autonomy. When we go through the above points, we actually come to know His intention was not to dissociate Pakistan into two parts. It will be recalled that both major parties (Congress and Muslim league) had their mindsets that British should quit India in order to achieve Independence. Sheikh’s Awami League Vision: Looking at the history of Awami league nowhere in any of their resolution or public meetings was declared that they want separation from West Pakistan. No doubt Agartula conspiracy was on the peak on that time and Sheikh mujeeeb and company was not having a good time in Army camp but still His loyalty to Pakistan was undoubtful.
After Sheikh Mujeeb was released from jail, He straightaway attended the Round Table Conference which was called by Ayub Khan in 1969. In that conference He stepped up and focused on His six points and was not ashamed of declaring that His part was a Party of freedom fighters of Pakistan. He came up with strong points which proved that He and His party was working to strengthen Pakistan.
The last words of His speech were “LONG LIVE PAKISTAN”. Economic Disparity: Economy of East Pakistan was very poor from the beginning. Before partition, Industries of Hindus were the main factors of economic sustain of West Bengal, Shaikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman claimed for an individual economic system for them. People of East Pakistan believe that the basic reason of their exploitation was People of West Pakistan because they were unable to receive their part in fund and International aids. Most part of the countries revenue were spent in West Pakistan instead of east because there were federal Capital. Furthermore almost all budget was paid out on defense in West Pakistan.
Foreign Exchange that East Pakistan Earns by exporting Jute, however most of it was spent on the improvement of industries in West Pakistan. Negative Role of Hindu Teachers: When Pakistan was established, the government could not succeeded to develop the spirit of nationalism for Pakistan in the hearts of Muslims of Pakistan. There were some Bengali teachers but most of the teachers were belonged to Hindu religion that were teaching the Muslims of Bengal.
They taught the new generation of Bengal to rise Bengali Nationalism. They changed the mind of Bengali students from Pakistan Nationalism towards Bengali Nationalism. This was one of the major reasons to get separated from the West Pakistan.
Poor development system: In the six-year development package (July 1951 to June 1957), and in the First and Second Five Year Plans (1955-60 and 1960-65), again East Pakistan was deprived from privileges. The economic difference between East and West Pakistan was recognized in many activities. Ayub Khan admitted the injustice and promised that he will accelerate development in East Pakistan. The Constitution of 1962 also assured to implement such policies that will remove differences between the provinces but due to deprived leadership of Ayub Khan the disparity rate rises after ten years rule of Ayub Khan. General Yahya Khan also tried to remove disparity among the country step by step but people of West Pakistan was too impatient that they could not wait for evolutionary process. Geographical and Cultural issues: The unique geographical position of East Pakistan poses destructive impact on the unity of country. Excluding the religion and struggle for independence, nothing was common in East and West Pakistan, which weakened the unity-bond of nation.
Geographical position prove to be a germ for other differences including racial identity, language and culture. Total area and the total population were inversely proportional in that area being only One-Seventh of total country and the population more than other provinces. Anti-Pakistan literature being poured by the India created more issues. The leadership, professionals, and lawyers in short all government official in West Pakistan came from the East Pakistan. Therefore they were more conscious about political matter.
Education was the strength of East Pakistan. This great diversity among two wings unfortunately causes negative consequences and thus psychologically divided the country culturally, before 1971 crisis. Discrimination in civil services and Army: The Bengalis were unequally represented in civil services and army.
Even the West Pakistan official’s assigned for East Pakistan consider Bengali as inferior Muslim converts from lower cast Hindu’s. There was no justification for disparity in bureaucracy, civil services and armed forces, as a result Bengali’s opposed military rule and never trusted the system. Ayub Khan sort this out and try to maintain the state of equality. Yayha Khan provide Bengalis with top position in administration and doubled the quota for Bengali enlistment in armed forces.
Provincial Prejudice: The province of Bengal had 56% of the Pakistan’s total population. Though it was a big unit but politicians of Bengal want their representation in national assembly with respect to their proportion of total population in whole Pakistan. The politicians of Bengal and West Pakistan opposed each other on the problem. This problem divides the country into separate states. Territorial Politics of the Politicians: Muslim league failed to win the elections of 1954 from the province of Bengal. Suharwardy, Bhashani and Fazl-ul-Haq wanted to get the power and support from Hindu members of assembly.
The politicians took the negative approach to become the people in favor of them. Conspiracies of Big Powers: India signed a deal with Russia. This deal has the points of the involvement of India and Russia in Asia. Russia gave the aid to Indian army to set some operations. America supported these confederacies .America gave the army equipment’s to Israel to give these equipment’s to India as an aid. America had no objection on this aid. But when Saudi Arabia and Yemen wished to support Pakistan, America opposed this aid.
So East Pakistan was separated by the combined attempts of India, Israel and America. Bhutto – Mujeeb Differences: The future goals of zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Sheikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman were different from each other. This difference raised the matter of partition. Bhutto refused to attend the session of national assembly on 3 March 1971 which was held in Dhaka.
This refusal played a role to disintegrate the East and West Pakistan. Success of Regional Parties: Sheikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman won elections in East Pakistan with 167 seats out of 169. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto won elections in West Pakistan with 88 seats out of 144.
National Awami party succeeded in N.W.F.P and Baluchistan.
There were 2 major parties in West Pakistan and 1 major party in East Pakistan. No party was eligible for the complete transfer of power. So this was a reason of the establishment of government of Sheikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in East and West Pakistan respectively. Military Action: Sheikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman declared a non-co-operation movement on 23rd March 1971.
This made the situation more critical. People, which were from West Pakistan and Bihari were killed. General Ayub khan was said by the other powers for the military action but he did not do so and resigned.
General Ayub khan was exchanged by General Tikka Khan. The situation became worse by the activity of general Tikka Khan and people showed more rudeness for the West Pakistan. This made the people less relied on the central government. Hijacking of Ganga Aeroplane: An aeroplane was hijacked by India and this aeroplane was sent to Lahore. India blamed that this hijacking is from Pakistan. After this incident, India cut the aerial communications in between Pakistan and India.
Although it was not a bigger problem but this was a confederacy from the India to separate both the states. The West Pakistan couldn’t sent it’s armaments to East Pakistan for army action in East Pakistan. So, this was not possible for the army to take action in the East Pakistan.
India’s Military Interference: The desire of India was to weaken the Pakistan through anyway. For this purpose India sent thousands of the workers of Makti bahni in East Pakistan and attacked on it. Pakistan was not in the situation to defeat Indian army because of cutting of aerial communications between East and West Pakistan. So Pakistan army had to surrender and this caused the separation of East Pakistan and West Pakistan. General Election 1970 under Yahya’s L.F.O: The next big step was the election of 1970 which was controlled under General Yahya’s legal frame work order.
Sheikh’s Awami league accepted this fame work but still protest was observed. These six points were the objective for Awami league in this election. On June 1970 Sheikh mujeeb (The Chief of Awami league) despite the objection of Mr Nurul Amin, declared that on these six points election was to be referendum. He recalled the time when India was undivided and said that when “Congress had opposed the partition of India, the Muslims voted for Pakistan through referendum”. There was a doubt that these six points might affect the integrity of Pakistan but he declared that “Pakistan has come to stay and that there was no force which could destroy it” East Pakistan’s approval of 6 points and Army cracked down: Awami League won the referendum by a one sided contest by a margin of (169 out of 171). This contest resulted in Political breakdown, but still Sheikh Mujeeb tried his best to control the situation.
Within whole this drama, a news broke down in the middle that Sheikh mujeeb had made a deal with Yahya Khan and a full-fledged solution is expected. On 24th March 1971 it was given out that a settlement is expected in 2 to 3 days. After that night, East Pakistan witnessed Army Crackdown which was due to the failures of talks by Awami League. On the same night 25th March 1971 Sheikh Mujeeb was taken in military custody from his residence at Dhaka. Even at the time, when He was captured by army; He didn’t said a word about separation of East Pakistan from West. The following day Major Zia ur Rehman of East Bengal was the first person who announced from Chittagong Radio Station about formation of provisional government of Bangladesh. Dissolution of East Pakistan’s partnership with West Pakistan: From the above discussion we can come up with the following points:- a) East Pakistan was the one who took the lead to form the partnership with West Pakistan in 1906.
b) Again it was an East Pakistani (Mr Fazalul Haq) who was the leader of the Lahore Resolution of 1940 which in actual resulted in two muslim majority states (East and West Pakistan) c) Once again in 1946 another East Pakistani (H.S Suhara Wardy) focused on the points of 1940 resolution which was in favor of one state. d) The aim of those six points of Awami League was to make this partnership better with West Pakistan and not to cause political gap. Conclusion: The separation of East Pakistan from West was totally related to Lahore Resolution 1940 which was actually Two Nation Theory. After 1971 no doubt , Bangladesh (East Pakistan) developed quickly by all means but the bottom line still remains that it is one poorest Nations of the World till date and need a big time push (Rise Up) or else? Among the factors that resulted in the separation of East Pakistan, Two major factors were: a) The reign of terror and killings unleashed by West Pakistan Army during those ten months from March to December 1971 .
b) The intervention of the Indian Army in the Civil war in December 1971