A call for justice, or re-opening old wounds?


by Rumbold
21st March, 2008 at 5:50 pm    

Bangladeshi veterans from the 1971 war of independence have called for collaborators to be put on trial:

“Hundreds of the veterans who took part in the victorious war against Pakistan travelled to Dhaka to issue the call at the request of their former commanders. They say Bangladeshis who collaborated with Pakistani forces caused the deaths of thousands of civilians. Many of those they want tried are politically influential figures.

They include the leaders of Bangladesh’s largest party largest religious-based party, Jamaat-e-Islami – which at the time opposed the break-up of Pakistan. To this day, the leaders of the party deny a war of liberation took place, rather calling it a civil war between Pakistanis. They also deny involvement in a youth militia which carried out many of the killings.”

Thus the question is not whether they are guilty, but whether this will benefit Bangladesh. We in Britain have allowed terrorists to walk free in Northern Ireland for the sake of peace, while many constantly urge Israel and Palestine to do the same. Should justice be sacrificed to stability?

Update: Sid points out that the BBC report is inaccurate, as Jamaat-e-Islami is not even close to being Bangladesh’s largest party. The BBC has now changed it to “largest religious-based party”.


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  1. Sid — on 21st March, 2008 at 11:12 pm  

    I welcome this. This looks like re-opening old wounds but actually these are wounds that, after 35 years, are yet to heal.

    Bangladesh’s political history is closely based along fissure lines caused by the war. The subsequent paralysis in the political discourse, the impossibility of gaining closure, the lack of a process of healing and regeneration has been caused by the failure in bringing the perpetrators of the genocide and atrocties to justice.

    There is now a growing movement, spearheaded by the younger generation who were not alive in 1971, to bring these war criminals to trial. If the number of facebook groups who are pro-justice is anything to go by, then it seems the indifference to these issues is falling away.

    This groundswell does not come a minute too late. A book by the “historian” and genocide-denier, Sarmila Bose will be published next month which attempst to re-write history along the lines of the Pakistan army’s version of events. This version also happens to be the one that is congruent with the line adopted by the Islamists, since they, then led by the Jamaati Islami, were the Bengali component of the anti-independence movement. And they were also behind the gruesome murder of hundreds of thousands of people. But I don’t expect Bose will be be bringing any of that up.

    On 13 December 1971, a black ops by the Pakistani military massacred 270 professors, journalists, artists and intellectuals was with the used the intelligence by local Islamist collaborators. If you look at the events in greater depth it looks like the orders came from London. The Channel 4 Dispatches documentary covered this event in 1997. Most of the Islamic fundamentalists who were involved, including their leader, went on to live in London, and ran a Mosque in the East End, until Dispatches exposed them. The leader of the group, Choudhury Mueen-Uddin was invited to 10 Downing street and shook hands with the PM, John Major. He founded and is the treasurer of the well-known UK-based Muslim charity Muslim Aid.

    By the way, the BBC reports in that link that Jamaati Islami is “Bangladesh’s largest party”. This is incorrect because I can think of at least 4 which are larger. I would urge the BBC’s editors to correct that error soonest otherwise it’s a falsehood.

  2. Rumbold — on 22nd March, 2008 at 10:16 am  

    Sid:

    “By the way, the BBC reports in that link that Jamaati Islami is “Bangladesh’s largest party”. This is incorrect because I can think of at least 4 which are larger. I would urge the BBC’s editors to correct that error soonest otherwise it’s a falsehood.”

    I thought that was strange, what with the BNP and Awami League. I will e-mail the BBC.

  3. Ashik — on 22nd March, 2008 at 11:56 am  

    The problem with a trial now, 35 years later, are both practical as well as political. The judicial machinery is just not there. Identifying collaborators would be near impossible. The standard of evidence would definitely be an issue. The Liberation War has been used to legitimise political dynasties by both the main parties ie. the Awami League (AL) and the BNP. There are too many vested interests for justice to prevail. Previous such endeavours eg. the Nirmul Commission, have been seen to be too close to the AL.

    As for Jamaat, they have achieved little political headway precisely because they are considered Razakar (Quislings) by the population at large. Jamaat can only hope to ascend to power through secular AL or BNP patronage. One reason why the extreme right and uber religious types have tried to re-write history to edit the Pakistani army’s genocidal actions in 1971 is because of the widespread hatred of Razakars throughout Bangladesh regardless of political affiliation.

  4. sonia — on 22nd March, 2008 at 9:51 pm  

    yes what is the bbc thinking? its reporting is absolutely apalling nowadays. They might qualify as the largest party that tries to call itself Islamic perhaps.

    jamaat had allied itself with BNP in a coalition and hence had formed part of the last government before it was dissolved and the caretaker govt took power in jan 2007. as a party in its own right, it certainly had no pulling power. but it was worrying how many people overlooked the BNP’s alliance with them and that effectively through that alliance – were sharing power.

    there is currently a large amount of speculation re: how much influence it has on the current military backed caretaker government.

    personally i think the time has passed to try people and it would be unlikely it would actually happen in reality, given the current situation. but it shouldn’t be something that’s forgotten, given how jamaat likes to paint itself in a different light. As sid points out, there is a big danger that revisionist historians are gaining too much of a foothold. it really is outrageous that jamaat has any currency as a political party AT ALL given their history. We should have suggested they fuck off to Pakistan, but hey, we didn’t. I think they can stick around, but really the problem was that anyone took them seriously enough to campaign for leadership of an entity they tried their best to extinguish. Isn’t that just hypocritical? Point to their hypocrisy, that’s what’s significant. I can totally understand where these calls are coming from – and of course they won’t lead to anything – i mean calls for democracy don’t seem to be listened to – but it is important i think to make the point.

    And I would hope their hypocrisy should make people in Bangladesh sit up and think about the kind of people who are passing themselves of as ‘Islamic’.

  5. SalmanRush — on 25th March, 2008 at 3:22 am  

    is there such a thing as statute of limitations for war crimes?

    would 35 years be beyond such a statute if it exists?

  6. null — on 25th March, 2008 at 9:05 am  

    There was nothing wrong in the Jamiat Islami opposing the breakup of pakistan in principle provided they adhered to islamic principles.
    After all bengali nationalism was assabiyah anyway
    I need not relate the relevant hadiths

  7. Refresh — on 25th March, 2008 at 9:58 am  

    I support the idea of tracking down anyone responsible for any deaths.

    Which also reminds me of the killings of civilians by the Mukhti Bahini guerillas (probably be called terrorists in todays parlance). I recall a most distressing scene where a line of traditionally dressed men was pulled out in front of the camera, with I beleive, young Jon Snow reporting.

    Each had their hands tied in front of them, and then roped to each other. Resting on each pair of hands was a Koran. Once they were all lined up against a luxuriant backdrop of palm trees and undergrowth of rural Bangladesh, Jon Snow tells the viewers that the cameras will now turn away.

    When the camera pans back, there are 7 or 8 old men either already dead or in their final throes. Each in a pool of their own blood.

    I can’t recall whether they’d had been stabbed or had their throats cut.

    Their crime was that they were West Pakistanis.

    There are good reasons of natural justice for finding those with blood on their hands, but it certainly wouldn’t be for collaboration.

    What you need is a truth and reconciliation process.

  8. Refresh — on 25th March, 2008 at 10:07 am  

    It was a civil war which ended up as a war of independence. I am not sure whether you have collaborators in a civil war, especially if they were backing the government of the day.

  9. Sid — on 25th March, 2008 at 11:10 am  

    After all bengali nationalism was assabiyah anyway
    I need not relate the relevant hadiths

    If you are suggesting that the Pakistani army was Islamically justfied to do what they did to quell “nationlism”, would you be kind enough to relate the relevant hadiths whereby rape and mass-murder of innocents is justified in jihad?

  10. Ashik — on 25th March, 2008 at 11:30 am  

    Null, I don’t even know what to say to that Islamist crap.

    Assabiya or nationalism of various sorts is the dominant political force in most Muslim majority countries. Even Islamism is a form of nationalism. Islam is practiced differently throughout the world and is infused with local traditions and culture. We are not proto Arabs. Even our Prophet (PBUH) distinguished between his Qureish tribe and other tribes. Hence the Islamic edict that in an Islamic system Qureish should be head of state and Non-Qureish Ministers. The early Khalifs were chosen according to tribe.

    The Pakistani ‘government’ of that time was an unelected Punjabi military dictatorship which excluded and discriminated against the majority Bengalis. Hardly a legitimate government. They refused to recognise the mandate of the people who elected the Awami League with a majority in parliament.

    The collaborators that would be put on trial are presumably those who were involved in murder, rape and drawing up lists of intellectuals to murder ie. not within ‘Islamic principles’. These are criminal acts in any jurisdiction. Merely voting for Pro-Union parties (who didn’t get many Bengali votes anyway) would not make one a collaborator.

    It really says something about the basic anti-intellectualism of Islamist politics that the educated Bengali types were murdered so systematically. Thankfully the Pakistanis are reaping what they sowed in so many other countries as the foot soldiers of political Islam. Their Saudi paymasters are not far behind for comeuppance.

  11. Sid — on 25th March, 2008 at 11:33 am  

    Refresh:
    Do you have any links to this piece of reportage or are you recounting from memory? I don’t think Jon Snow was a reporter in East Pakistan in 1971.

    Their crime was that they were West Pakistanis.

    I’m not condoning that brutality you’ve retold there, but are you categorically sure that was their only crime was that they were West Pakistanis, or are you speculating? Are you sure they weren’t involved with any atrocities themselves?

  12. Refresh — on 25th March, 2008 at 11:57 am  

    Sid,

    That’s how remember it. Vivid as anything. As for whether it was Jon Snow, not certain. Sorry no link. I just remember being horrified by that and all else that followed.

    ‘Their crime was that they were West Pakistanis.’

    That is what the reporter told the viewers. I can’t know more. That specific comment stuck particularly as the reporter and camera crew had been called in for the staged event.

    I remember it also because I recall my mum’s horror and in our innocence questioned as to why the reporter hadn’t intervened.

    I can’t imagine what crime would have to have been committed for summary executions. In the end Bangladesh has to come to terms with itself, and it will not do that on the basis of hunting down ‘collaborators’ of 35 years ago.

  13. Refresh — on 25th March, 2008 at 12:16 pm  

    Null, there was no justification for what happened in East Pakistan.

    Awami League won the elections and they should have been allowed to put in place their policies for the whole of Pakistan, East and West.

    Sadly, Bangladesh hasn’t really followed through its own promises to the people, given they too can’t seem to shake off the influence of their own military.

  14. Sid — on 25th March, 2008 at 12:30 pm  

    In the end this is a very subjective view which, because it has been untouched first hand by death and loss, is going to be unmoved by the legitimate loss of others. But that’s absolutely normal, since no one can be expected to feel the loss of a third party.

    But what is unfair about your comment is the insinuation that it the violence was one-sided or that the brunt of violence was faced by West Pakistanis only, when that’s clearly rubbish. What you’re failing to consider is that these people might have been involved in atrocities against others themselves.

    Furthermore how do you know they were summary executions rather than sharia executions, brutal and sickening as they are.

    In the end Bangladesh has to come to terms with itself, and it will not do that on the basis of hunting down ‘collaborators’ of 35 years ago.

    In the end, justice should be seen to be served. Thus far, not a single case has been brought to injustice. This is a travesty. The situation is further complicated by the fact that the ‘collaborators’ or Quislings now hold positions in public office.

  15. Refresh — on 25th March, 2008 at 12:46 pm  

    As you wish Sid. I thought I was trying to make an objective point.

    I have long held the view that everyone who is implicated should be held accountable. Which of course means on both sides.

    Your last para. seems to suggest its probably a political move and not one for justice.

  16. Sid — on 25th March, 2008 at 12:52 pm  

    Sorry Refresh, if you are going to use a personal anecdote which illustrates the brutality faced by a number of West Pakistanis but remain silent on the crimes that resulted in a genocide or mass rapes of women and children, then you lose the right to call your opinion objective.

    Your last para. seems to suggest its probably a political move and not one for justice.

    Forgive me if my writing is crap, but what I meant is that the course to justice is complicated by the fact that the perpetrators now hold offices of power. Some are even in the UK where they are regarded as pillars of the Bangladeshi community and shake hands with PMs and Princes of Wales.

  17. AsifB — on 25th March, 2008 at 12:53 pm  

    Just popping up to say you guys must be thinking of Jon Pilger, World In Action reporter in 1971 – not the slightly younger Jon Snow.

    Mukhti Bahini means freedom fighter and as they did win (‘ok kind of if you’re being picky’) it is only diehard Yayha supporters who would still call them terrorists.

    By the way, Pilger ( who was friendly with Mujib) writes about being appalled by the post Victory Mukhti Bahini summarry executions in the Bangladesh chapter of his ’1985 Greatest Hits’ compilation book “Heroes.”

    The bayonetting pictures that his tv crew refused to film won global press awards – so for the rest of the world, two of the most famous images of the 1971 War of Independence are a George Harrison album cover and brutal revenge (not unlike France 1944 perhaps – but of little help in explaining the Bangladeshi case to outsiders – for which there was at the time ample evidence of war crimes committed by the Pakistan army and its allies)

    I think a Truth Commission is probably the only practical way to go for those seeking Justice- this is not because of any Statute of limitations – all legal trends are to toughen up international enforcement on war crimes – see the Balkans, Chile, and Mossad.

    The central problem here is that Mujib’s own government gave a blanket amnesty and gave up pursuing the Pakistani generals early on in his rule (essentially in return for UN recognition) – and no subsequent Bangladesh government has reversed this (pragmatically intended but regrettable) decision.

    If you throw into this mix that the top Pakistani generals have all died in comfortable retirement that the most serious cases for which there is well known evidence would now involve charges against Bengalis – who were given an amnesty by Mujib -and its easy to see why this is a can of worms.

    For which a Truth commission should be a good answer.

  18. Sid — on 25th March, 2008 at 1:13 pm  

    Pilger’s lost it. Nowadays he’s a buffoon.

  19. Refresh — on 25th March, 2008 at 1:26 pm  

    Sid, your grossly unfair:

    ‘Sorry Refresh, if you are going to use a personal anecdote which illustrates the brutality faced by a number of West Pakistanis but remain silent on the crimes that resulted in a genocide or mass rapes of women and children, then you lose the right to call your opinion objective.’

    I don’t believe anyone reading what I had said would see that. Not remaining silent.

    You are complicating it beyond reason. Keep it simple. Crimes were committed – bring them all to account.

    My point is much better made it seems by AsifB.

    Truth and reconciliation.

    AsifB, I think it may well have been Pilger. I shall re-read Heroes.

    I hadn’t seen Mukhti Bahini described as terrorists ever. Although in current useage that would not be a surprise.

  20. Sid — on 25th March, 2008 at 1:32 pm  

    Refresh,

    The Fourth Geneva Convention (or GCIV) relates to the protection of civilians during times of war “in the hands” of an enemy and under any occupation by a foreign power. This should not be confused with the better known Third Geneva Convention, which deals with the treatment of prisoners of war. The convention was published on August 12, 1949, at the end of a conference held in Geneva from April 21 to August 12, 1949. The convention entered into force on October 21, 1950.

    Keep it simple yes, but more importantly stick to correct definitions when meting out culpability. When we describe war crimes in East Pakistan, we are talking about the killings of civilians and non-combatants.

  21. fugstar — on 25th March, 2008 at 1:51 pm  

    Truth and Reconciliation is a nice aim, but there’s so much political capitalism, social engineering and vindictive ideological gaming piled on top of this that it will be difficult.

  22. Sid — on 25th March, 2008 at 2:21 pm  

    Truth will out.

  23. Ros — on 25th March, 2008 at 7:07 pm  

    Dear old Sid said: “Pilger’s lost it. Nowadays he’s a buffoon.” (Post 18)
    It’s so easy to belch assertions without evidence to make a transient impact but it doesn;t last.

    Sid, can you kindly substantiate your assertion in a logical, coherent way (without getting emotional)?

  24. ZinZin — on 25th March, 2008 at 7:48 pm  

    Ros
    Have you read any of Pilgers articles over the past oh say five years?

    “Lost it” is an apt description and I say that as a fan of his work. Only his reporting on the Chagos Islanders does him any credit.

  25. Sid — on 25th March, 2008 at 7:57 pm  

    Sid, can you kindly substantiate your assertion in a logical, coherent way (without getting emotional)?

    Watch this space.

  26. Ros — on 25th March, 2008 at 7:59 pm  

    Yes, Zinzin – I have read virtually every article of his for the last 5 years and more and most of his books – the last being Freedom the next time.

    So what are you trying to say?
    (Please stay along the rational path.)

  27. ZinZin — on 25th March, 2008 at 9:14 pm  

    (Please stay along the rational path.)

    Steer clear of the condescending path.

  28. Refresh — on 25th March, 2008 at 11:30 pm  

    Sid, I am totally lost where you want to go with this. You don’t know when someone is agreeing with you – and you’re beginning to see everything as a rejection of your pain.

    Not sure how the geneva convention came into it or how suddenly Pilger is a buffoon.

  29. null — on 26th March, 2008 at 5:07 am  

    Refresh I said
    “There was nothing wrong in the Jamiat Islami opposing the breakup of pakistan in principle provided they adhered to ISLAMIC principles.
    So how can the Pakistani armies’ atrocities be justified ? Of course the Awami League Party should have been allowed to hold power.

    My point is there is nothing wrong if some people were against secession.
    That said some of the bengali nationalists killed Urdu speaking people including my relatives living in dhaka so the question would they also be tried ?
    I agree with ashik that those guilty of actual crimes – rape,murder be they secession opponents or supporters be punished.
    Or would this turn into a secularist witchhunt against those who opposed secession on Islamic principles ?

    . It is narrated by Abu Da’wud that the Messenger of Allah (saaw) said “He is not one us who calls for `Asabiyyah, (nationalism/tribalism) or who fights for `Asabiyyah or who dies for
    `Asabiyyah And in another Hadith, the Messenger
    of Allah (saaw) referring to nationalism,said “Leave it, it is rotten.” [Muslim and Bukhari]

  30. Sid — on 26th March, 2008 at 8:36 am  

    Refresh, I can post material but alas I can’t make you understand it. If it’s a problem with my English, then I apologise. However, I wonder if sometimes people are being willfully obtuse. Pilger is a buffoon because of an article he has recently written, on which I am prepareing an article, so watch this space.

    Null, I have many a time heard from Islamists that the “secession” of Bangladesh was anti-Islamic, or to be precise “asabiyya” – nationalism.

    But there’s a very large self-defeating hole in your logic – and it is this: if you’re going to use the word “secession”, and you have more than once, then that implies that there is a preceding nation to secede from. That first nation is, of course, Pakistan. So why is it fine for Islamists like yourself not to regard Paksitani nationalism as asabiyya?

    It is exactly this form of double standard – whereby Pakistani implies more Islamic and thereby more Islamically credible, that has been the underlying pretext of Jamaati Islami’s defence of it’s murderous actions.

    Which brings me the first question I aksed you (and which you haven’t answered):
    If you are suggesting that the Pakistani army was Islamically justfied to do what they did to quell “nationlism” or asabiyya, would you be kind enough to relate the relevant hadiths whereby rape and mass-murder of innocents is justified in their “jihad”?

    Given that you can call genocide a “Jihad”. But if you’re sympathetic to Islamist politics and Jamaati Islami in particular, I have no doubt you can.

  31. null — on 26th March, 2008 at 9:41 am  

    Of course the pakistani armies actions in raping,killing etc were not Islamically justified .
    The Jamaat has a number of faults but is atleast trying to inject islamic values in the public sphere which for you people is a problem.
    Yes excessive pakistani nationalism is not good.

  32. null — on 26th March, 2008 at 9:55 am  

    sid
    I don’t know how you concluded that I supported the pakistani armies atrocities ? I don’t support the further breakup of states on narrow ethnic and lingustic asabiyyats

  33. Sid — on 26th March, 2008 at 10:13 am  

    null, I haven’t said you support Jamaat.
    However, I am waiting for the answer to my two questions, which, surmised are:
    1) Why isn’t Pakistani nationalism asibiyya?
    2) Where are your hadith to suggest the Pakistani army’s actions, which have never been criticised by the Jamaat (but lots ot criticism of Bangali secular nationalism) actions (rape and genocide) are justifed?

  34. Sid — on 26th March, 2008 at 10:15 am  

    Yes excessive pakistani nationalism is not good.

    Not good but not asabiyya, right?

  35. Ashik — on 26th March, 2008 at 10:47 am  

    Pakistanis subconsciously see themselves as the best Muslims and standard bearers of Islam in the subcontinent in tandem with a naive and childlike veneration of Arabs. A product of the disparate ethnic/linguistic nature of Pakistan. Racially there is no such thing as a Pakistani.

    The reason Bengali was initially rejected as a state language of Pakistan, despite being the language of the majority population, was that Urdu was considered the more ‘Islamic’ language. Bengali was considered a Sanskritised ‘Hindu’ language unworthy of recognition. Up to 1971 works by Bengali cultural giants like Nobel winner Tagore was discouraged from being played over the radio.

    Yet the reality is that Urdu is very similar in spoken form to Hindi from which it originated. The Pakistanis had to introduce a more ‘Islamic’ script to codify the new language because they couldn’t bear this similarity to the Hindus.

  36. null — on 26th March, 2008 at 10:49 am  

    Yes pakistani nationalism is assabiyat .
    However bengali nationalism within pakistan was promoting divisions amongst largely muslim peoples based on narrow linguistic/ethnic lines.
    Why should there be hadith to justify to pakistani armies atrocities ? They were unislamic

  37. null — on 26th March, 2008 at 10:59 am  

    “The Pakistanis had to introduce a more ‘Islamic’ script to codify the new language because they couldn’t bear this similarity to the Hindus.”

    Urdu script is common between India and pakistan and has been so much before the partition of India .
    So which more “islamic” script did the pakistanis introduce ?
    Of course the concept of superiority of urdu over bengali or vice versa is another form of assabiyat which the pakistani elite were guilty of

  38. Sid — on 26th March, 2008 at 11:01 am  

    Yes pakistani nationalism is assabiyat

    So just to be sure, we can conclude that the Jamaati Islami defence of the Pakistani Army in 1971 was asabiyyat.

    Why should there be hadith to justify to pakistani armies atrocities ? They were unislamic

    Because I have heard lots of hadiths quoted (and even here on this thread) to suggest that the Bangali nationalism was anti-Islamic but I have heard no Islamic injunctions or hadith that suggest the Pakistani army’s actions were unInslamic. One can conclude from their silence on the Pakistani actions (and their defence of them) that there was an Islamic pretext for committing them. Once could conclude from this silence that Islam condemns nationalism but rewards rape and murder.

  39. fugstar — on 26th March, 2008 at 11:10 am  

    allow the language play, its irrelevant. its part of the political gaming around the issue.

    there’s engravings during the sultani era of bangla being written in the arabic script (a little). what you are confusing it the extensive reengineering of ‘chaste’ bangla during the 19th century to remove muslim influence. the bengali renaissance around then wasnt a very muslim affair and was a fruit of the mercantile baniyas of kolkata, a specifically different culture.

    in violent confrontation, we aren’t even allowed to strike each other in the face. if you haven’t heard much on say… the fiqh of war fighting… then thats because you are a product of a syncretic stew.

  40. Sid — on 26th March, 2008 at 11:15 am  

    ah “syncretic stew” – coded language for “not muslim enough”.

    It’s perfectly Islamic to rape and murder in the name of Islam. “Asabiyya” if you defend yourself.

  41. null — on 26th March, 2008 at 11:16 am  

    Once could conclude from this silence that Islam condemns nationalism but rewards rape and murder.
    Astaghfirullah !!! I don’t know how Sid you a muslim can conclude this ?

  42. Sid — on 26th March, 2008 at 11:20 am  

    Oh I didn’t conclude it. Jamaati Islam have remained silent on the crimes of the Pakistani army, so we can infer that they were acting legally as per Jamaati rules of the game.

  43. Ashik — on 26th March, 2008 at 11:22 am  

    Null,

    ‘Promoting divisions’

    Those divisions were present from day one. The language movement in Bangladesh gave rise to the independence movement. The main cause of the independence movement was the economic exploitation of East Bengal by the Punjabis. The Pakistanis essentially stole billions of dollars in foreign currency earned through jute export and invested it in West Pakistan to build Islamabad etc.
    It was to address this issue that Bengalis voted overwhelmingly for the Awami League, which should have been permitted to form the govt.

    As for ‘promoting divisions amongst largely muslim peoples’, lest we forget the creation of Pakistan doomed nearly as many Indian Muslims to live in a Hindu dominated India. Areas of Muslim civilisation like Hyderabad and Ahmedabad were lost to India, as were places of Muslim learning like Aligarh.

    Language, Nashtalik Urdu script was standardised in Pakistan.

  44. null — on 26th March, 2008 at 11:27 am  

    The point is Sid would you be equally willing to prosecute former mukti bahini members who killed urdu speaking civilains in homes ?

  45. Ashik — on 26th March, 2008 at 11:28 am  

    A good Muslim should never defend a wrong, whoever is the perpetrator.

    The evidence on this forum shows that politicised Muslims do just that through omissions and caveats. Hence the reason as a Muslim I cannot support those advocating political ideological Islam.

  46. null — on 26th March, 2008 at 11:35 am  

    Ashik agree with you.
    By the way I am from India and still live in India .
    Urdu was already being widely used in pre-partition with urdu newspapers and magazines being published in nastaliq script .
    So I am not sure what you mean by nastaliq being standardized in pakistan ?

  47. Sid — on 26th March, 2008 at 11:35 am  

    The point is Sid would you be equally willing to prosecute former mukti bahini members who killed urdu speaking civilains in homes

    Absolutely. And they would be exposed by a Truth Commission that AsifB spoke about.

    What are the chances that Jamaati Islami will make a statement that they were involved with mass killings of hundreds of thousands, with the Pakistani Army? Would you agree to bringing Jamaati leaders to trial for crimes against humanity?

  48. null — on 26th March, 2008 at 11:39 am  

    Yes Jamiat activists involved in killing should be prosecuted.Ashik agree with you entirely.

    We muslims need remind ourselves of the Quranic verse of Stand up for Justice even against yourself.

    By the way I am from India and still live in India .
    Urdu was already being widely used in pre-partition with urdu newspapers and magazines being published in nastaliq script .
    So I am not sure what you mean by nastaliq being standardized in pakistan ?

  49. fugstar — on 26th March, 2008 at 12:01 pm  

    Yes sid, i want to rape you very much and blame you for it and then mock your selective and imprecise memory.

    Its hard to prosecute leaders who were atrocious and came across as valiant victors, because they have written themselves into the national mythology. knowledge that pious non awami-conformist people were slaughtered as well as non bengalis is very widespread in the country, if less stridently and venomously followed up upon. (mainly because of the scale). That there were violent political crimes from some liberation forces that wound up the authorities is also widely remembered. id be careful of one-sided narratives. Each side, of which there were three interacting ones had several sub-components.

    id like for the evolution of the jamaati view of pak govt support to be available for the scrutiny of the haters. Just like the evolution of the post 1970 election victory awami view, its much less hegemonic than many paint and you can see how the farsighted are sidelined.

    In Bangladesh today, freedom fighters number many of Jamats membership, even election candidates. High level workers tend local marytrs graveyards, a 1970 candidate work fed up with the baggage isue now may work for a different party.

    people arent so singular and change over time.

  50. Ashik — on 26th March, 2008 at 12:18 pm  

    The problems of the subcontinent in part stem from hasty & botched partition.

    Rather than giving independence to two unstable religious units, India and Pakistan, the British colonial authorities should have carved up the subcontinent into dozens of states having due regard to ethnic, linguistic and religious factors in each region. This would have prevented some (probably not all) the bloodshed during partition and the Liberation War and the creation of millions of refugees.

    Even to this day most of the constituent states of India (eg. Assam, Bengal, Kashmir & Punjab) and Pakistan (eg. Kashmir, Baluchistan and Sindh) have groups actively fighting over them for autonomy and even independence from central govt. Neither country is fully accepted by substantial numbers of it’s own citizens. Bangladesh has largely escaped this, with the exception of the Hill Tracts.

  51. Sid — on 26th March, 2008 at 12:22 pm  

    Yes sid, i want to rape you very much and blame you for it and then mock your selective and imprecise memory.

    steady on.

  52. Rumbold — on 26th March, 2008 at 1:03 pm  

    Null:

    Sorry, you seem to keep getting caught in the spam filter for some reason.

  53. sonia — on 26th March, 2008 at 1:13 pm  

    rumbold, i object to fugstar’s first line in comment. no. 49. its just disgusting

  54. Rumbold — on 26th March, 2008 at 1:20 pm  

    Sonia:

    “Rumbold, i object to fugstar’s first line in comment. no. 49. its just disgusting.”

    I feel that it sums up Fugstar’s attitude towards things very well.

  55. fugstar — on 26th March, 2008 at 1:28 pm  

    Before the chorus of righteous indignation becomes even more unmelodious…

    The statement (towards Sid) means i reject being guilt-tripped by accusations of blind eyeing rape and murder.

  56. Ashik — on 26th March, 2008 at 1:38 pm  

    Fug, there is a better way to express that sentiment.
    Especially as murder n rape are very sensitive and serious matters.

  57. sonia — on 26th March, 2008 at 3:19 pm  

    Good point from Ashik.

  58. AsifB — on 26th March, 2008 at 3:48 pm  

    Well I make that over a dozen posts today by people of Bangladeshi origin (correct me if i’m wrong) going over old ground on an old thread with no-one mentioning that today is Bangladesh Independence Day

    Rather than quote an American
    “Nothing we can say is gonna change anything now”
    -Independence Day, I’d just like to throw in a gentle
    “Yes there are two paths you can go by but in the long run there’s still time to change the road you’re on.”

  59. fugstar — on 26th March, 2008 at 3:52 pm  

    and she’s buying a stairway to heaven.

  60. Sid — on 26th March, 2008 at 4:36 pm  

    right AsifB,
    Happy Indepence Day :)

  61. fugstar — on 26th March, 2008 at 9:04 pm  

    note on bbc’s designated status of JI as the largest religious based party.

    ‘Largest religious based party’ is still not accurate.

    The jatiyo party (BJP) and the BNP both have a commitment to ‘islamic ideology’ (whatever that means) hardwired into their political script. i would link to the bnp website, but they still havent gotten around to rebuilding it for the past 2 years.

  62. Refresh — on 27th March, 2008 at 12:30 am  

    ‘Refresh, I can post material but alas I can’t make you understand it. If it’s a problem with my English, then I apologise. However, I wonder if sometimes people are being willfully obtuse. Pilger is a buffoon because of an article he has recently written, on which I am preparing an article, so watch this space.’

    Its better you don’t post material I am unlikely to understand.

    I presume you declaring Pilger a buffoon is related to his latest article, but accept his earlier work in the 70′s. Yet it seems it was his earlier work which upset you.

    You are too complicated for me.

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