The reading titled ‘the struggle for Pakistan’ by Ayesha Jalal explains how East and West Pakistan broke into two separate countries that are now known as Pakistan and Bangladesh. It all came under light in Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s tenure is Prime minister of Pakistan. Sheikh Mujib ur Rahman was the founder of Bangladesh, he declared his six points and demanded that the new constitution of Pakistan should be based on them. There was no doubt that east Pakistan was treated on the basis of racism by civil bureaucrats and Bhutto even made concerted attacks on them for doing so. Sheikh Mujib and his party showed extreme rigidity when asked to amend a few points. The Awami League, the most popular party of the East Pakistan, was so emotional about it that all its members swore an oath to die trying to implement the Six-Point Program. And it was due to that very formula that, when not accepted by the central government of Pakistan, the Awami League declared the independence of Bengal. Problems arose as 2 of the 6 points were totally unacceptable to Bhutto who was willing to discuss the others to clear any doubts. He urged the government to find a political solution to the problem. The differences in the points of view of Bhutto and Mujib are so that the awami league wanted a formula for seccesion while on the other hand, Bhutto considered Pakistan as the property of the people. It can be seen that Bhutto wanted Pakistan to be united and so he wrote to Yahya khan that If east Pakistanis cannot get their share of political or economic power then a hostile public in both wings would be created which could be dangerous in the presence of our biggest enemy india. So who caused the separation in 1971? 3 separate takes on this suggest that it cannot be answered with certainty. It is said that after the british left, the Pakistani army wanted to secure it’s own interests before passing the mantle to the victorious parties according to jalal. She also argues that Bhutto in his greed for power bamboozled an unfit yahya khan to dismember the country. The problems in east Pakistan for not in the 1960’s only, there had always been doubts even before creation of Pakistan on the viability of a country separated in 2 wings by a 1000 miles having nothing in common except religion. Even Iqbal and Jinnah failed to see Bengal as a part of Pakistan.
Talking politically, according to jalal, the creation of Bangladesh was the result of autocratic policies of Pakistan’s state managers rather than any other cultural or social differences. The interests of dominant non-elected institutions was more effectively represented as compared to regional socioeconomic groups. The political privilege and supremacy to the Punjabi army and bureaucracy had served as a major reason of the grievances of the non Punjabis. In the wake of all these increasing tensions, Islam could not serve as the binding force for these people to form a united nation. Moreover, the provinces were deprived of financial autonomy and had to act dependant on central handouts which were insufficient for the their developmental needs. People in the Eastern wing were too united since they were linguistically and culturally homogeneous. Western wing officials also felt they were politically more volatile than West Pakistan and hence gave more support to the merger of western wing under one unit scheme. Bengalis were passionate about their autonomy and hated their hard earned foreign exchange being used in military establishment and protection purposes. Thus, neither the involvement of India, nor the force of Islam could save the political differences which seems fairly reasonable when we look at the political problems associated between the two wings and that how majority of the Bengal was complaining and extremely unhappy. Thus I reinforce the point of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto “why should east Pakistanis want to stay as part of Pakistan.” The suspension of democratic government reinforced these sentiments and the entire political matter is perfectly concluded by Jalal “Unable to allocate financial resources equitably to the provinces and unwilling to grant them their share of power, the federal union of Pakistan was built on a fragile branch which was liable to break under the weight of it’s own contradictions. ”
In economic terms, the eastern wing was the poorer one among the two wings. More than twice as much foreign aid and capital investment went into west Pakistan as compared to east Pakistan. Benglis also believed that their earnings from trade of jute were used in west Pakistan. Between 1949 to 1960 per capita income in wes Pakistan increased from Rs 330 to 373 while in East Pakistan it fell from 305 to 288, the difference grew from 15% to 40%. The Bengalis believed that growth in west Pakistan had been a result of transfer of resources from east to west. More differences in other institutions can be seen e.g health and education.
Cultural differences were also aggrevated by making urdu the national language while majority pakistani’s spoke Bengali at that time. The language controversy turned out to be one of the main factors to cause differences between the people of the eastern and the western wing.
Ayub Khan was solely determined on economic flourishment of Pakistan, and he believed any provincial rights would harm the progress.
In my opinion, if the six points of the awami league were accepted then Pakistan would have remained in a state of disunity and uncertainty till date. The leaders and the people of the two wings did not get along and had separate visions for the country, such massive differences would not have been sustainable in the long run. Sheikh Mujib seemed pretty arrogant and determined upon the 6 points and some of his demands seemed unusual. Moreover, the Bengalis were unhappy with their current economic, social, and political situation and making them satisfied would not happen just by accepting the 6 points thus unrest, I believe, would have been expected to continue. Thus the breakup seems reasonable as West Pakistan could not meet the demands of Bengalis.