Salute to Great Mujahid, M. M. Alam

By Syeda Qudsiya Mashhadi


A great Muslim Mujahid, pride of Pakistan, Air Commodore M. M. Alam departed from this corporeal life on 18th March 2013 at the age of 78. He was born on 6th July, 1935 in a well-educated family of Calcutta, British India. After completing his secondary education from Government High School, Dhaka, in 1951, M. M. Alam joined PAF in 1952 and was granted commission on 2nd of October, 1953. A hero of the 1965 Pakistan-India war, M.M. Alam, downed nine war planes in the aerial fighting. His record remains unbeaten. 7th September 1965 was the day when M. M. Alam rewrote the history of Air Warfare by setting new records while defending Pakistan’s Airspace against the aggressors. He shot down 5 Hawker Hunter fighters of Indian Air Force, in air-to-air combat by shooting down five Indian aircrafts in less than sixty seconds, the first four within a span of 30 seconds only. For such an awe inspiring feat of gallantry, M. M. Alam was awarded Sitara-e-Jurrat and also became the first and only “Jet Ace” in one mission. He retired in 1982 as an Air Commodore.

I never had the honour of meeting the great soul that M. M. Alam was, but what I learned about him from the people who had been close to him made me realize that he was not just a war hero as we have been brought up to believe. An acquaintance of M. M. Alam said about him, “M. M. Alam is a dervesh and a faqeer whose dua for Pakistan is accepted with Allah (swt).” This is the religious and spiritual dimension of M. M. Alam that we rarely see people writing about. Once M. M. Alam was asked about the secret of Allah’s special blessing on him; the reason he was given great respect and honour due to his monumental feats. M. M. Alam replied that for him PAF and Pakistan were his Ishq [true love]; it was not just a job for him. Even during Ramazan, in the scorching heat of the afternoon, he would sit inside his plane practicing aiming the guns so that he would not miss a single fire when the time came. It is a fact, that whoever has truly loved this Pak Sarzameen and done his duty to the utmost, Allah has given him glory here and in the hereafter. With the limited fire-power of his Sabre F-86, he shot down 5 planes in a minute. Such feats are only possible when you are zeroing your guns in unbearable heat, discarding all the comfort. This is true Ishq and Junoon which brings great honour and glory.

He was a humble person and he never let fame and success swell his head, if anything it increased his humility and faith in the Almighty. Once when a student [Aqib Khalique] asked him to explain to the young generation of today how he managed to shoot down five enemy aircraft during a dogfight in less than a minute, which is a world record to date, M. M. Alam sahib replied:

“I don’t like praising myself but I will just like to say that it was just the sheer motivation, determination and utmost courage in me and my fellows which gave us the power to tackle an enemy much larger than us in every proportion. In array of gunshots and thundering of bombs we just didn’t know how to stop. There was something pumping inside our hearts known as honour.”

When he was asked about the difference between today’s generation and the one that created this ideological state, he said:

“The difference is massive. At the time we and as an individual me too had an inspiration, an invisible belief, extreme determination and a sense of upheaval that whether we live or die we will create Pakistan. We had a vision for Pakistan and for us it was like something we dreamed of day in and night out, Pakistan was and is and will always remain the name of an ideology, a dream, a wish and an aspiration that drives and accelerated the thoughts of masses.

At that time me and my young fellows aspired to join the armed forces or the civil service of Pakistan unlike today’s youngsters who wish to be a part of some international firm situated outside this great land. Our youth as a whole is confused and divided today among ethical and social lines. The generation belonging to the elite class generally doesn’t think about this country and are more busy in improving their personal lives, furthermore those living under the poverty line fight a battle every day for a chunk of meal which they shouldn’t be blamed for. We are in need of a change like never before. A REVOLUTION!”

He believed that every single Pakistani was responsible for Pakistan’s destiny and had to work towards achieving that noble objective. He said:

Revolutions and major changes across this globe have always been brought by those who had an empty belly or half-filled one, so I expect the middle class youth of today to bring that long awaited shift. But that doesn’t mean that young people of upper class and others can’t work or don’t possess the abilities to be a part of that. They have much more resources then those who are inferior to them in many ways. I am not against students going abroad for further studies as even our religion has ordained us to do whatever is takes to gain knowledge.

0.1 Million Chinese study in American universities but did that make them American? Did that cause them to stop thinking about their nation? The answer is surprisingly NO. They come back to their homeland to contribute in whatever way possible. Every single one of us should first try to be a better Pakistani and must pledge not to contribute in any action against morality. Be it voting for a corrupt leader on ethical grounds or compromising your national interest for the sake of your own interest in any way.

There might be hundreds of innate leaders present in today’s society of ours but the only thing that’s lacking is the courage to speak against evil. We should have it, not having which might cause us to lose the freedom that we as a nation possess today.”

When the student asked him what message he would like to give to the young generation and what would he predict about the future of the great state, Pakistan, he replied:

“I will like to conclude by saying that our younger generation has more potential and the resources as compared to the youth of 1947 when Pakistan was created but the only thing lacking is sheer willpower to make a change. They must make a difference on every level possible. We only need the right intentions to make a difference and the political leadership which we could easily find in our own general populace.

How is that possible that we fail at finding a bunch of honest people? Pakistan was made for a reason; it consumed more than a million lives and countless loss of belongings in the creation of it. I just cannot believe that it will be destroyed or whatever the West’s propaganda is about its future.

It will survive and a revolution will come and this corrupt, ruthless and brutal elite will be overthrown by the masses. Justice will prevail InshaAllah, hopelessness is disbelief according to our religion. The younger generation should care about the country that has provided them with all the well-being and freedom of action that they have today. Our youth must rise as it’s now or never. It’s up to them to decide whether they select to be buried among those people who got demolished due to their hibernation.”

What beautiful words indeed! InshaAllah we will make Pakistan what M. M. Alam had envisioned it to be.

Pakistan Zindabaad! Pak Armed Forces Paindabaad!

The truth about 1971 massacres – Documents from the U.S. National Archives

Even after forty years, Bengalis in Muslim Bengal are going through the continuation of same civil war that the rest of country went through.

Even after four decades, the Awami League is still conducting programs against pro-Pakistan masses. Today all of Bangladesh is holding a country-wide “hartal” to protest the prosecution of those who the Awami League thinks supported Pakistan or still support Pakistan.

Mukti Bahini in Dhaka Stadium

Mukti Bahini in Dhaka Stadium

Indian Support of Mukti Bahini Guerrillas (Documents from the U.S. National Archives)

  • Initially, the Indians are likely to confine their actions to expressions of sympathy for and perhaps support to East Bengalis. They will watch closely for signs as to the strength and prospects for success on the part of East Bengal dissidents. If the evidence indicates to the Indians that the East Bengal independence movement has reasonably good prospects for success, the GOI may do any of several things: tolerate privately provided cross-border assistance to the East Bengalis. This assistance could range from propaganda support to weapons and explosives; permit East Bengal dissidents to use India as a refuge and to conduct cross-border activities from within India; covertly provide supplies, including weapons, and perhaps some training, to East Bengal dissidents. Indian Reaction to Pakistan Events, Mar. 29, 1971
  • Shahi displayed concern over evolution of events in East Pakistan and thought competing communist elements from India could set off armed struggle between left and right forces in East Bengal which could overshadow current hostilities between separatists and army. Pakistan PERMREP Protests Indian Interference, Apr. 9, 1971
  • Pakistan High Commissioner told Ambassador today that Pakistan and India on verge of war. … He claimed 3,000 Indians armed with regulation Indian Army equipment either killed or captured by Pakistani troops in East Pakistan. Conversation with Pakistan High Commissioner, April 30, 1971
  • In addition to its concern about the refugee problem, the GOI has been taking steps to support the Bengali struggle for independence in the face of the military successes of the Pakistan Army. The BSF has established camps at which 10,000 Bengalis are reportedly receiving training in guerrilla and sabotage tactics. Limited quantities of arms and ammunition continue to be provided to the Bengali separatists and some Indian forces have infiltrated into East Bengal to provide assistance and training to the separatists. … [W]e have learned from intelligence sources that China may have given a conditional promise to assist Pakistan in the event hostilities break out with India. The Chinese may have also given assurances that they will initiate military action “along the Tibetan border” if Indian troops deliberately cross the Pakistani border in force. Should the Chinese become directly involved,it is likely that the Soviet Union will openly support India and will presumably provide such military assistance as required. Contingency Study for Indo-Pakistan Hostilities, May 25, 1971
  • For some time now India has been systematically interfering in internal affairs of Pakistan with clear aim of jeopardizing Pakistan’s territorial integrity. India has sent armed infiltrators into East Pakistan to create disturbances and to help anti-state elements. She has circulated false and highly distorted and tendentious accounts of events in East Pakistan through government-controlled radio and press. She has not only provided shelter to anti-state elements on her soil but has also persistently allowed so-called members of “Bangla Desh Government” to use her radio and other mass media to stir up rebellion against legitimate government of country. Pakistan Protest Note to India, May 26, 1971
  • We have pursued three courses with regard to the Indians. First, since the refugee burden seems to be India’s major problem now, we have taken a number of steps to encourage India to manage this problem by getting international assistance rather than by taking direct action against East Pakistan as some Indians are urging. Partly because of our actions U Thant is getting an effective international assistance program underway. We are already helping and will be stepping up our assistance. Second, we have taken up with the Indians their cross-border support to guerrillas and have privately cautioned them against direct action. Third, in order to persuade the Indians that a solution to the East Pakistan problem can be achieved without their direct military intervention, we have confidentially briefed them on the positions we are taking privately with Pakistan. Possible India-Pakistan War, May 26, 1971
  • Following based on Corr’s personal observations and discussions with M.A.K. Chaudhry, Inspector General Police (IGP), East Pakistan, formerly IGP North West Frontier Province (NWFP). Joint Embassy-USAID Message, June 25, 1971
  • Choudhury admitted that attacks by Mukti Bahini forces against police stations in rural areas seemed to be continuing at a high level but asserted that at least now police were fighting back rather than dropping their rifles and running. … Referring to Dacca, he said bombings and sabotage were a major headache for his forces. Recalling press item three days ago announcing capture of young Bengali carrying explosives, IG said man was part of three man team designated to disrupt SSC (matriculation) examinations. He said young man was found with impressive supply of grenades adn other explosive devices, all with Indian markings. Man admitted to membership BM and to having been trained at Argatala before undertaking mission. Status of East Pak Police, July 23, 1971
  • Two successive batches of insurgents have now completed training in India and have boosted number and quality of infiltrators. Number of Mukti Bahini have received training at Dehra Dun and been commissioned as officers. Additional numbers are now in training at various Indian centers. Meanwhile extremist elements including Naxalites have taken advantage of opportunity to step up their own activity, on the other hand, Hamid said, Mukti Bahini are not so successful as they would like to have people believe. Conversation with Pak Army Chief of Staff: East Pak Situation, Aug. 11, 1971
  • Acting Secretary Johnson called in Indian Ambassador Jha August 23 to discuss USG concerns about reports of GOI intention to step up its support to Mukti Bahini and to express USG hope that GOI could use its influence with Mukti Bahini to discourage and prevent attacks on relief facilities and personnel in East Pakistan. Jha in response indicated historical tradition of anarchic violence in Bengal and physical and poltiical difficulties which GOI would face if it tried disarm guerrillas. Jha stressed dangers of radicalization of Mukti Bahini. Indian Support to Mukti Bahini, Aug. 12, 1971
  • During Hilaly’s call on Cisco August 13, Hilaly raised question of role Senator Church and his office playing on behalf of Bangla Desh Movement. Hilaly’s Call on Sisco, Aug. 14, 1971
  • Primary problem is not cross-border activity by Paks but rather by Indians, including vital support they are giving to Mukti Bahini. We believe problem of potential serious cross-border action by Paks would be easily eliminated if India halted its own support for military operation within East Pakistan. Indo-Pak Escalation, August 20, 1971
  • Three months ago East Bengali leftist parties sought the formation of a United Front Government. They were then rebuffed by the Awami League, which asserted that its sweeping victory in East Bengal in the December 1970 general elections conferred on it a mandate as exclusive representative of the people of East Bengal. The creation of the council is thus a major shift in the Awami League’s stance. Some sources believe that the council was formed as a result of pressure from leftists within the Mukhti Bahini; since the “liberation force” appears to have drawn heavily on students, it is very likely that it has a higher than average complement of leftists. Moreover, the Mukhti Bahini runs the day-to-day risks in the struggle against the Pakistan Government and now has more immediate contact with the people of East Bengal than the BDG, whose members are in India. Thus, the Mukhti Bahini might have been able to convince the Awami League of the need to broaden the BDG’s base. Bangla Desh: A “National Liberation Front” Emerging? Sept. 21, 1971

The National Archives support what Sarmila Bose and the Hamood Ur Rehman Commission have written:

  • Serious concern over Indian military deployments, strengths, and intentions was expressed during Sep 30 briefing of Congressman Frelinghuysen by Major General Jilani, Director General, Inter Services Intelligence, and his staff. … They also portrayed 69 Indian-sponsored insurgent training camps bordering East Pakistan, with an estimated total of 30 – 50 thousand rebels in training. Pak Military Intelligence Briefing for Congressman Frelinghuysen, Oct. 1, 1971
  • Although India had not started the crisis, it was, for reasons of its own, supporting guerrilla activity in East Pakistan, even though this was denied. Memorandum of Conversation with Foreign Secretary Douglas-Home (Great Britain), Oct. 3, 1971
  • Sir Terence asked about US representations to India on latter’s aid to Mukti Bahini. I replied that GOI position is that it gives sympathy and support, as demanded by Pariament, to members of Mukti Bahini who enter India and then go back with or without arms. GOI makes clear it will not stop this support. However, GOI will not admit that it is supporting training camps for Mukti Bahini on Indian soil, despite ample evidence to contrary. I expressed doubt regular Indian Army units or personnel are participating in military activity in EAst Pakistan, though some Indian Bengalis might be involved. Sir Terence noted incidence of shooting, including artillery, across the border. I speculated that if Paks retaliate it will probably be in Kashmir in order to seize territory for bargaining purposes. War or Peace in South Asia, October 7, 1971
  • We now have specific report (Calcutta 2605 – protect source) to effect that Mukti Bahini plans to inject as many as 40,000 armed men across border by October 15, with additional 20,000 to follow by end October. This action reportedly would be accomplished with support diversionary actions by Indian Army to keep Pak Armed Forces off balance while infiltration took place. We are not convinced that intensified guerrilla activity will achieve results compatible with India’s interests. Risks of War in Indo-Pak Confrontation, Oct. 7, 1971
  • Oct 8 press reported 79 Indian agents eliminated the previous day in two separate actions in Rangpur District. First action in which 44 were claimed killed occurred mile and a half outside Pakistan territory near Daikhata. In second action, north of Lalmanirhat, 35 infiltrators were reportedly killed. In both cases, large quantities of ammunition, including machine guns, grenades and explosives claimed captured. Comment: Press reports of Indian agents and/or infiltrators killed this week now totals 136. More Indian Agents, Oct. 8, 1971
  • Status of insurgency: In Dacca 2733 we suggested two chief unknowns this situation were: (1) whether population of province had will continue support [sic] MB in face of difficulties and reprisals and (2) whether MB would be able organize itself for long guerrilla struggle. In past two months we have gathered some evidence on both points: (A) On question of popular support our impression is that urban bourgeoisie showing some signs weariness. People in this class hate West Pakistan as much as in April and May but some beginning wish things would settle down. However, peasants who must actually feed and shelter guerrillas appear be on side of MB as much as ever. This true despite fact that there are now more guerrillas than in July, placing correspondingly heavier burden on rural people. Army’s reprisals against villagers for MB actions appear counterproductive in sense of increasing their hatred of the army and support of MB. In sum, MB’s popular support appears to be holding up. (B) Question of organization somewhat more obscure. As reported in Dacca 4066, MB in Gopalganj claims existence permanent chain of command from Colonel Usmani down to Thana-level guerrillas. MB sources informed Australian Deputy High Commissioner (protect) that MB has about 28,000 EBRS, EPRS, police, locally-recruited militia (Ansars) and veterans; 40,000 men in camps being trained for conventional war; and 35,000 men who have completed guerrilla training and are already active; latter reportedly supposedly scattered among 69 base camps and 100 sub-bases throughout province. According this source, MB intends establish 90 base camps eventually. Best judgment we can make at this point is that while MB has not yet developed its organization to degree necessary to overcome Pak Army, it has made considerable progress. First evidence of parallel BD shadow government appeared during month: as reported Dacca 4066, Time Correspondent Dan Coggin met individuals in Gopalganj Subdivision claiming to be governing area in name Bangla Desh Government. Pakistan Internal Situation, Oct. 9, 1971
  • Former East Pakistan Governor Abdul Monem Khan shot to death night October 13 at his home in Dacca. As Monem Khan had been conferring with conservative politicians for past several months with view toward ending his retirement, strong likelihood is that assassination carried out by Mukti Bahini. Assassination of Monem Khan, Oct. 14, 1971
  • The Pakistan Army in East Pakistan has achieved nearly autonomous control of the province, in many respects independent of the policies and direction of President Yahya Khan in Islamabad. Only foreign affairs affecting East Pakistan is firmly in the hands of Islamabad. The relative isolation of President Yahya Khan is probably the result of many factors. Indications of this isolation are that Army commandersi in the East pursue independent military operations, the Army governs the province behind the facade of the puppet civilian Governor Malik and his cabinet — who are completely dependent on the Army for their personal security — with limited reference to Islamabad, little but Pakistani successes and India’s perfidy is reported from Dacca to Islamabad, and President Yahya Khan lacks independent means of observation, reporting and verification of events in the East. … The myth of growing political stability in East Pakistan is almost certainly fed to Yahya Khan by reports from his civilian Governor and his Army commanders. The reality is that Army policies and operations — behind the facade of a civilian government — are progressively and seriously alienating the Bengali population in East Pakistan, and that the seeds of rebellion are not only those sown by India. President Yahya Khan’s Control in East Pakistan is Increasingly Limited, Nov. 5, 1971
  • General Farman Ali Khan described the loevel of Mukti guerrilla insurgency as somewhat intensifed but manageable because the newly trained Bengali guerrillas entering from India feared to take action. Over 1,400 guerrillas had entered Dacca district in the last 30 days but only a few had chosen to fight. He acknowledged, off-the-record, that this was due to the terroristic reprisal policy. He also acknowledged that terror and reprisal had an “unfortunate effect on Bengali attitudes.” But he said, “all Army commanders had concluded that insurgency was more of a problem in areas where the Army had been too lenient and had not demonstrated clean-up operations.” … General Farman Ali Khan said the Army sought to leave the fighting of the Mukti guerrillas to the newly armed Bengali “Rasikars,” who now numbered 60,000. He acknowledged that “Rasikars” — raised as village levies for guard duty with only ten days training, and without NCOs or officers — did not constitute a disciplined force. However, the “Rasikars” are a destabilizing element — living off the land, able to make life and death decisions by denouncing collaborators and openly pillaging and terrorizing villages without apparent restraint from the Army. With villagers caught between the Rasikars and Mukti guerrillas, law and order is breaking down rapidly in rural East Pakistan. Hence, the rural population is moving either to the cities which are now overpopulated or going to India. … General Farman Ali Khan accepted the estimate that at least 80 percent of the Hindus had left East Pakistan. He, off-the-record, spoke of about six million refugees who had gone to India and he anticipated that a further 1,500,000 refugees would probably go to India “before the situation settles down.” President Yahya Khan’s Control in East Pakistan is Increasingly Limited, Nov. 5, 1971
  • [I]nitially, insurgence was weak. Indians needed several months to train Mukhti Bahini. Mukhti Bahini have conducted border crossings, and we are satisfied there is active Indian involvement in Pakistan fighting. This is mixed operations, with about four times more Indians than Mukhti Bahini. Indians have publicly acknowledged their direct involvement during last 48 hours. Minister of Defense has said Indian troops are permitted to cross border and go far enough into East Pakistan to quell artillery. India-Pakistan Briefing for Yugoslav, Nov. 30, 1971
  • Prime minister Indira Gandhi announced to packed Lok Sabha … that one hour earlier General Niazi, Pak commander in East Bengal, had surrendered unconditionally in Dacca to General Arora, Indian General commanding joint Indian Army / Mukti Bahini operations. Telegram from New Delhi Embassy to Secretary of State, Dec. 16, 1971

  • Reports continue to pour in of wanton killings of civilians by Indian armed forces personnel and Mukti Bahini in East Pakistan. In fact, American TV networks have shown pictures of huge crowds of people witnessing the torture and execution of people without any trial. … The Government of Pakistan would be grateful if the Government of the United States would impress upon the Government of India that the Indian occupation forces would be held responsible for the arson, loot, murder and rape by Mukti Bahini and other elements in East Pakistan. Aide Memoire, Dec. 20, 1971
  • Citizens of largely Bihari areas of Mohammedpur and Mirpur, on the outskirts of Dacca, are living in state of terror. Areas are cut off from communications and food. Lawlessness reigns. The Bihari Question, Dec. 23, 1971

Sheikh Mujib and Indira Gandhi signs the 25-year treaty of friendship and cooperation between Bangladesh and India in Dhaka.

1971 War

  • Reliable sources report that the Pakistan Army has been placed on a low-level alert; less reliable sources indicate that Indian units may have also been put on alert. Substantial numbers of Indian troops have been deployed along the border with East Bengal, and there have been indications of possible Indian deployments in the West. Exchanges of artillery and mortar fire across the eastern Indo-Pakistani border have grown in number and volume over the past few weeks. A variety of sources indicate that India is preparing for major military operations in September. The order of July 28 banning foreign relief workers in India from border areas could signal the start of accelerated military preparations. India-Pakistan: The Guns of August, July 30, 1971
  • As a result of indications of a military build-up on both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border and of an early massive increase in cross-border infiltration, we instructed Ambassador Keating to see Mrs. Gandhi and Charge’ Sober to see President Yahya (a) to propose a pullback of military forces, (b) to point out to the Indians and the Pakistanis the grave damage to our bilateral relations which would result if either provoked a conflict, (c) to indicate the importance which we attached to a political settlement with the elected leaders of East Pakistan, and (d) to ask the Indians to prevent a massive cross-border infiltration of guerrillas. … Foreign Minister Swaran Singh (Mrs. Gandhi was unavailable) said the U.S. was “distorting” the sequence of events leading up to the present crisis and emphasized the need for genuine reconciliation in East Pakistan. He nevertheless categorically stated that (1) the Mukti Bahini was not present on the Indian border in such numbers ready to march openly into India; (2) the Indian Army would not undertake diversions to cover a Mukti Bahini attack, and (3) India would not attack or make any incursion against Pakistan. He also said India would consider withdrawal of Indian forces if Pakistani forces withdrew. Foreign Secretary Kaul subsequently reaffirmed a willingness to “reconsider” the situation if Pak forces withdrew from the “threatening” positions they now occupy. Proposal for Mutual Withdrawal from Indo-Pak Borders, Oct. 20, 1971
  • He stressed that any Indian attack on Lahore would invite Pakistani retaliation on Indian cities such as Amritsar and Ferozepore. He noted Pakistani artillery of considerably longer range and higher fire power than any Indians believed to possess. He further stated Pak reconnaissance aircraft have penetrated India as far as Srinigar and returned safely despite Indian pursuit. Pakistan Military Tactics in Lahore Area, Oct. 20, 1971
  • Reports of extensive and presumably Indian-supported Mukti Bahini penetrations along East Pakistan border could represent serious escalation in Indian/Mukti Bahini pressure tactics against Pakistan. On behalf of President Amb. Keating is conveying to GOI our deep concern over this development. We are also instructing Amb. Beam in Moscow to convey to Soviets our concern over these developments and our hope that USSR will use its influence for restraint by GOI. You should seek immediate appointment with President Yahya to inform him of actions we are taking with Indians and Soviets. You should take not of Yahya letter to President (septel), expressing President’s strong appreciation for Yahya’s determination continue exercise greatest possible degree of military restraint and “avoid senseless and destructive war with India.” Secret Telegram from State Dept to Islamabad Embassy, Nov. 23, 1971
  • On November 21 an Indian Army Brigade group supported by armed helicopters ingressed into Chittagong Hill Tracts over-running our border out-posts and ingressing approximately 10 miles in our territory. On the same day, another brigade group of 23rd Indian Division launched an attack in the Belonia Salient of Noakhali District pushing 8 miles deep into Pakistan territory, supported by the rest of the Division. In the Brahmambaria subdivision also on November 21 attacks were launched by a battalion group each from 57th Division against two of our border posts at Mukandpur and Saldandi which were over-run. In Sylhet District Maulvi Bazar subdivision, two battalion groups attacked and over-ran our border out-posts at Dhalai, Atheram and Zakigauj. The battalion groups included two companies of Gurkhas. On November 21, another attack was launched in Rangpur District in the Burangamari Salient where an Indian Brigade Group penetrated 15 miles into Pakistan territory up to Nageshwari. On the same day in Jessore District, a major offensive was launched by a brigade group of 9th Indian Division supported by armor and air cover. The attack was launched opposite Chaugacha and Indian tanks penetrated about 8 miles into Pakistan territory. … As many as 12 Indian Divisions have been deployed around East Pakistan. In additon there are 38 battalions of the Indian border security force. 2nd and 5th Indian mountain divisions which were previously deploted on the borders with China have also been moved towards East Pakistan. The 8th Mountain Division (of 6 brigades) has also been moved to East Pakistan borders towards Sylhet from Nagaland where only one brigade is now left. … Mr. President, as you are aware Indian armed forces in the last few months have maintained pressure all along our Eastern borders. Apart from training, equipping and launching rebels supported by Indian Border Security force personnel into Pakistan territory, Indian artillery units have been constantly shelling areas in East Pakistan. But as I have pointed out above, in the last 3 or 4 days the Indian Armed Forces have turned from localized attacks to open and large scale warfare on so many fronts. Letter from President Yahya to President Nixon, Nov. 23, 1971
  • Lest there be any possible misunderstanding on subject of Niazi’s intentions in making his approach to me, I should like to emphasize that Niazi is appealing for our most speedy assistance in bringing his proposal to attention of Indian army authorities as quickly as humanly possible in order to reduce liklihood that beginning of assault in Dacca (which could occur beginning with daylight tomorrow) may unleash bloodbath. Today’s heavy bombing and strafing of targets in Dacca and elsewhere lend point to Niazi’s urgency. I strongly recommend that New Delhi or Calcutta or both be immediately authorized convey Niazi’s message directly to Indian army authorities asap. Niazi Cease Fire Proposal, Dec. 14, 1971
  • “Pakistan Government is putting out false allegations against Indian in and outside UN. They have alleged that India has launched massive attack with tanks and troops in East Pakistan. This allegation is false and baseless and is designed to cover up massing of Pakistani infantry, artillery and armor right up to our borders in an attempt to crush freedom movement in East Bengal and push more refugees into India. To exacerbate the situation further, President Yahya has declared a stae of emergency throughout Pakistan on November 22. This has been done following Pak offensive of November 21 supported by tanks and artillery against freedom fighters who were holding liberated area around Boyra in East Bengal five miles from Indian border. Pakistani armor under heavy artillery cover advanced to our border threatening our defensive position. Their shells fell into our territory wounding a number of our men. The local Indian military commander took appropriate action to break up Pakistani attack. In doing so he destroyed thirteen Chafee tanks whereupon the Pak troops fell back. On November 22 Pakistani forces called up an air strike of four Sabre jets on our positions. These were intercepted within Indian territory by our Gnats who destroyed three Sabre jets.” South Asia Crisis, Nov. 24, 1971
  • Current GOI attitudes toward West Pakistan are necessarily tentative pending Indo-Pak peace settlement and unfolding of President Bhutto’s declared policy and actual practice over next months. … Should Bhutto opt for postures of revanchism and revision, for military buildup, for anti-Indian alliance strategy, GOI might respond by abetting the weakening of West Pakistan from within. Indian Intentions Re Baluchistan and Pashtunistan, Jan. 17. 1972
  • NY Times and Washington Post Wednesday editions carried Schanberg/Lescaze stories attributed to Indian sources suggesting USG deliberately delayed transmission of surrender proposal from Niazi to Indian authorities. … Spokesman has emphasized that nothing like 20-odd hours lost; that only even potentially avoidable delay fell within period 1620-2300 December 14 when we unable to establish contact with Pakistanis or Indians; that delay was completely unintended and stories suggesting contrary are unfounded and inaccurate. Alleged Delay in Transmission of Surrender Proposal, Jan. 26, 1972.

See also The Report of the Commission of Inquiry – 1971 War declassified by the government of Pakistan.  Paul Wolf, 2003-2004. No copyright to original government works. For educational use only.

‘Dead Reckoning’ redefines history of 1971

Dead Reckoning by Sarmila Bose: This ground-breaking book chronicles the 1971 war in South Asia by reconstituting the memories of those on opposing sides of the conflict. 1971 was marked by a bitter civil war within Pakistan and war between India and Pakistan, backed respectively by the Soviet Union and the United States. It was fought over the territory of East Pakistan, which seceded to become Bangladesh. Through a detailed investigation of events on the ground, Sarmila Bose contextualises and humanises the war while analysing what the events reveal about the nature of the conflict itself. The story of 1971 has so far been dominated by the narrative of the victorious side. All parties to the war are still largely imprisoned by wartime partisan mythologies. Bose reconstructs events via interviews conducted in Bangladesh and Pakistan, published and unpublished reminiscences in Bengali and English of participants on all sides, official documents, foreign media reports and other sources. Her book challenges assumptions about the nature of the conflict, and exposes the ways in which the 1971 war is still playing out in the region.

Product code: 455601, ISBN13: 9781849040495, 288 pages, paperback, Published by C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd in 2011

indo-pakistani_war_1971_mukti_bahini training

Indo-Pak War 1971 – Training of Mukti Bahini

SARMILA BOSE is Senior Research Fellow in the Politics of South Asia at the University of Oxford. She was a political journalist in India and combines academic and media work. She was educated at Bryn Mawr College and Harvard University.

Here is a dose of sanity from Sarmila Bose:

Ms. Sarmila Bose in her paper entitled “Losing the Victims: Problems of Using Women as Weapons in Recounting the Bangladesh War” paints a picture of the Pakistani military as a disciplined force that spared women and children. She writes:

During my field research on several incidents in East Pakistan during 1971, Bangladeshi participants and eyewitnesses described battles, raids, massacres and executions, but told me that women were not harmed by the army in these events except by chance such as in crossfire. The pattern that emerged from these incidents was that the Pakistan Army targeted adult males while sparing women and children.

She also quotes the passage from the Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report that I cited above to support her assertion that so many rapes could not have occurred. 20,000-34,000 could not have raped 200,000 to 400,000 women in the space of nine months.

She states in the introduction:

That rape occurred in East Pakistan in 1971 has never been in any doubt. The question is what was the true extent of rape, who were the victims and who the perpetrators and was there any systematic policy of rape by any party, as opposed to opportunistic sexual crimes in times of war.

To try to bolster her argument that the Pakistani forces in Bangladesh could not have raped so many women, she claims:

The number of West Pakistani armed forces personnel in East Pakistan was about 20,000 at the beginning of the conflict, rising to 34,000 by December. Another 11,000 men — civil police and non-combat personnel — also held arms.

For an army of 34,000 to rape on this scale in eight or nine months (while fighting insurgency, guerrilla war and an invasion by India), each would-be perpetrator would have had to commit rape at an incredible rate.

There are numerous reports out there now which negates the well-established beliefs. The declassified US reports, Indian military officers’ account, Pakistan military officers’ account, General Niazi’s memoirs, Sharmila Bose, Hamoodurahman commission report.

Pakistan Military officers fought hard. Many foreign correspondents speak well of their bravery. It is the bravery of a Muslim soldier that Indian Military got tough fight. These Pakistani Mard-e-Momin fought so hard that they had almost regained the control of East Pakistan from the dirty hands of Mukti-Bahini. When India saw this, She then started the military action which resulted in the fall of Dhaka.

Then Mujib showed his true colors after the formation of Bangladesh with his BAKSAL party. How he became authoritative and usurped democracy is not a secret anymore. He was going to make Bangladesh part of India that he was killed timely by the Pakistani military officers (yes those Bengalis who never gave up allegiance to Pakistan. I stand in honour for them).

In the end, 1971 was an ephemeral event for Bharat. It forced Pakistan to go Nuclear, and the events of 1971 created parity between Bharat which is 9 times bigger than its neighbour, and Pakistan. It also focused Pakistan towards Central Asia, blocking trade of Bharat with the region north of the Amu Darya. The events of 1971 created turmoil in Afghanistan, and an overconfident USSR, encouraged by Bharati policy makers ventured into Afghanistan. Exactly 20 years after the events of December 16th, 1971, the USSR imploded. On 17th December 1971 the USSR ceased to exist. Pakistan had exacted its revenge on the Soviet Union for assisting Bharat. The events of 1971 also created a huge schism between Bharat and China which has not been bridged, despite the fact that China uses Bharat as a mining colony taking raw materials and exporting back shoddy Chinese goods which it cannot export to the West.

1971 was the worst form of terror in this century. The fact that the West tolerated the Bharati plan of sending 80,000 armed terrorists disguised as Pakistani soldiers into Bengal to create havoc with the local population is a fact that lives in ignominy. The West sanctified Bharati aggression and stood back and watched the disintegration of a state which the US had two Executive Defense pacts and was also tied into defense agreements in SEATO and CENTO.

1971 led to Pakistan’s JF-17 Thunder and Nuclear and Missile programs which have created colossal headaches for Bharat and others that have supported it. Because of the nuclear weapons, the US could not invade Pakistan, like it invaded Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. The American defeat in Afghanistan is a direct result of the events of 1971 and Pakistan’s nuclear status. As the US begins to leave the area before 2014, the inevitable union of Afghanistan and Pakistan will ensure robust trade with Central Asia and strategic depth for Pakistan and Afghanistan both.

1971 halted economic growth in South Asia. Bharat was a pariah nation for a decade after that–and the entire region has still to recover from the effects. Bangladesh has half the GDP of Pakistan. Bharat has been unable to convince Pakistan to allow it a land route to Iran and Europe. The economic cost of the barrier to Bharati trade is colossal.

1971 galvanized Kashmir and tied down 800,000 Bharati soldiers and the militancy rages on affecting the rest of Bharat. The entire region became radicalized, and Asama dn the Naxals control large swathes of Bharati territory where there is no writ of the Central Government.

1971 gave rise to fundamentalism in Bharat. With the rise of the BJP and RSS, the nature of the Bharati landscape has changed. Its clash with the West is inevitable and will bring tragic results to South Asia.

The events of 1971 brought about the Oil embargo on the West with a decade of recession and malaise which radicalized America and moved it to the right. The events of 1971 radicalized Arab youth, and created the OBLs of the world. The events of 971 brought about two Martial Laws in Pakistan which led to various issues in the society and for the region. It allowed the US claim a stake in the neighbourhood.

1971 radicalized Bharati society and created militant Muslim groups in Bharat. The Indian Mujahideen and SIMI and others will continue to grow in the slum infested waters of penury and poverty.

The events of 1971 galvanized the Naxal insurrection in Bharat and the Maoist insurgency in Nepal, deeply affecting Bharat.

The vents of 1971 forced Pakistan to look westward. It now thinks of South Asia as its past the Central and West Asia as its future.

1971 consolidated Pakistan as never before, and with the discovery of Coal and Gold reserves, the country is re-evaluating its political landscape and bringing in new leadership to deal with the new realities of prosperity and growth.

In the end Bangladesh also became a belligerent state for Bharat, deeply impacting the demographics of West Bengal, which is now headed towards Muslim majority status. Bangladesh itself is in a Civil war with itself. Right after 1971, Mujib, the Indian agent declared himself dictator for life and banned all the political parties that existed. On 14th August 1974 patriotic patriots killed Mujib and threw his body in the streets for days. They killed all members of the Mujib family. In a dramatic reversal of events, Bhart’s “Rakhi Bahni” which had planned to incorporate Bangladesh into an Indian province was thrown out of Bangladesh, the treaty of friendship was torn up and Delhi’s dream of taking over Muslim Bengal never materialized.

The events of 1971 laid bare the intentions of the US, and its lack of support. This has led to a colossal tide of anti-Americanism in Pakistan and the region which is detrimental to America and Europe. Eventually China and Russia were the beneficiaries of this sort of avoidable negativity.

The Bangladeshis resurrected the Two Nation Theory, and refused to join West Bengal. Despite persecution of the Islamic forces, Bangladesh remains a deeply religious nation and has better relations with Islamabad than it has with Delhi. The suppression of Islam in Bangladesh has created a time-bomb that will affect the entire Northeast region.

The events of 1971 have led to a large presence of Chinese forces and possibly bases in Pakistan. Islamabad constructed two new ports, an effort unparalleled in the history of the world.

The Sinking of INS Khukri – Great history of Pakistan Navy

During 1971 Indo-Pak war, the burden of Pakistan Navy’s offensive effort hinged on the small but effective submarine force. PN Submarine HANGOR sailed in the early hours of 22 November 1971 to patrol off the Indian Kathiawar coast under the command of Commander Ahmed Tasnim S.J.

PNS/M Hangor

On 9 Dec, in an effort to locate the evasive enemy, HANGOR extended her patrol northward to investigate some radio transmissions intercepted on her sensors. Two contacts were picked up on passive sonar and were identified as warships. The initial range was 6 to 8 miles. A pursuit of the enemy began but the first attempt to attack these ships failed due to speed disadvantage. The submarine however managed to forecast target ships movement and succeeded in taking up a tactically advantageous position on the path of the patrolling frigates by 1900. At 1957 the submarine fired a down the throat shot with a homing torpedo at the northerly ship from a depth of 40 meters.

Captain Ahmed Tasnim (later Vice Admiral)(a man standing), directing the final stages of the torpedo attack on INS Khukri Lieutenant Fasih Bokhari – Captain Ahmed Tasnim – Lieutenant A.U. Khan
The torpedo was tracked but no explosion was heard. The second torpedo was therefore fired immediately on the incomming southerly ship and this was followed by a tremendous explosion. The torpedo had found its mark. The other enemy frigate came straight for the submarine when a third torpedo was fired. A distant explosion was heard subsequently and the submarine turned west towards deeper waters for evasion.

INS Khukri

In this spectacular action, INS KHUKRI, the ship of the Squadron Commander of Indian 14th Frigate Sqn was sunk within two minutes after receiving a hit in the magazine where explosives were held. This was the first submarine kill since World War II. 18 Officers and 176 sailors including the Commanding Officer lost their lives. This came as a shattering blow to the Indian Navy. HANGOR’s action demonstrated Pakistan Navy’s tactical superiority in sub-surface warfare and after the war even the BBC commentators praised Pakistan Naval effort. Considering the shape, size and age of the ships at its command, they said that the Pakistan Navy had acquitted itself well against the Indian Navy.

Sinking of the Khukri


Celebrating Eid with tribal families in South Waziristan


(The author, Hira Binte Asim is 15 years old girl, a student of Class 10th. She is a fond reader and a debater. She has won essay writing competitions at school level and debating competitions at school, college and division level. She has traveled overseas to six different countries. A fond domestic tourist, to travel through length and breadth of Pakistan from Chinese border to Afghan and Indian borders. )

Travlling on a carpeted double road towards Waziristan, enjoying the changing weather and terrain conditions, I was listening to my father while he replied to my questions about the tribal areas and the situation there. My younger brother was even more inquisitive, but my father replied most of our questions saying that “experience is different than perceptions”. Indeed we had developed perceptions about tribal areas through media programs, news and student gossip but today we were travlling to South Waziristan to spend our Eid holidays. Past few days flashed back while I was looking at a group of children waving at our vehicle and my father telling us that over 30,000 Internally Displaced People (IDP) have returned back to their homes in South Waziristan, since December 2010 (including 16800 children). One day back we were sitting in Okara, prepared to spend lonely Eid holidays without our father, when we got a call from him that we were to celebrate Eid with him in South Waziristan. In spite of our perceptions about Tribal areas we were excited to travel to him. I knew it would be enjoyable, thrilling and surely educating. We have travelled and trekked with him across mountains, lakes and glaciers; there is nothing that we fear in his company. I remember being on his back during trekking and on horseback during ride outs. May it be Australian coastline, Malaysian forests, Thall desert, Karakorum ranges, Chinese, Afghan or Indian border; as long as we were together adventures would just get underway.


The journey to Dera Ismail Khan was long; we passed through lush green fields and cultivated crops of Punjab. As we crossed River Jhelum, our surroundings began to differ from green plains to barren region. We observed thorny bushes and dry scrubs growing along the roadside, with just a few verdant plants left behind. After a while the leafy plants vanished altogether as we entered the desert of Thal. With the falling night, sand shimmered in the moonlight, the desert stretched over 100 kilometers. The sight to me was a sketch taken from some horror movie, yet it looked picturesque. After hours of the lengthy journey we crossed River Indus and entered Kheybar Pakhtun Khua Province and were few miles away from our destination. “You are now entering the district of Dera Ismail Khan”- the board stirred up our excitement once again, though we read it with half open eyes. Tired and drowsy we stumbled our way to the guestroom and were embraced by our father, who too was cheerful to see us.


             I was deeply engrossed in my thoughts when I saw a boy saluting my father. That was a REALITY far away from my PERCEPTION. It was surely a sight which lifted me up. I had heard my relatives, classmates, media anchors, criticizing the role of army with regards to war on terror and its employment in tribal areas. These small waving hands said lot of unspoken words to me and surely to all the men in uniform.
It took us two hours from D.I khan to reach a place called ‘Manzai’. We entered a small fort of Khattak Scouts. This fort was built during the British era in early 20th century. We visited the Commandant’s house, who was a friend and course mate of my father. It was an exciting place, especially with birds and deer roaming freely in the garden. We stayed in the Scouts Mess, where British resided over half a century back. It had a huge wooden building, massive doors and high ceilings, the construction gave an outlook of royalty, it did have a magnificent feel to it.


            Then came the Eid day; my father and brother Hamza offered prayers in a local mosque, met soldiers and local people. Hamza, like me was under the impression that people in this area might not be friendly and wouldn’t well receive our presence around. But the fact was opposite; they were greeted so well by the locals and were invited by everyone for the feast / Eid festive. Their opinions and views about army were far different from what we had heard and seen. People were friendly and grateful to army for restoring peace. Later, we drove to a nearby post to greet the FC troops and see how uncomfortably they live to keep our countrymen comfortable.


            In the afternoon, we left for ‘Jandola’, a famous town marking the start of South Waziristan (FATA). It was British hub of fortress defence against Afghans and tribesmen. Jandola was also the main resistance center of militants in Operation AL MEEZAN. The historical Jandola Fort has been repaired and occupied by Scouts and the Army. We saw commercial activity and variety of civil transport in Jandola. Few civic facilities have also come up including civil hospital, with military assistance.


Over 6000 families of South Waziristan Agency, who saw their hometowns reduced to rubble, had returned home since Dec 2010. The rehabilitation and development work undertaken by the army and FWO was far more than what we had seen on the media. The “Eid Mela” organized by army for the local children was a clear sign of blossoming peace and the end of era dominated by militants.The next day we made our journey to “Sararogha”, another famous town towards Razmak. It was a pleasure drive through coloured / mineral rich mountains, low clouds, cold and rainy weather. Villages are composed of mud houses with thick walls and high roofs, like mini fortresses built along the road sides and on the mountains. It seems that relative height of house and the size of gate is a sign of prestige amongst tribesmen.  We saw children playing beside their houses and people celebrating the joy of Eid. They waved as our vehicle passed by and my father mostly stopped over to return their greetings and offer sweets to children, who were excited to shake hand with him.


While passing through a village “Murghaband”, we visited a tribal family to wish Eid Greetings. Crossing a stream in the midst of mountains we made our way towards their house, built on a breath-taking sight. We hesitated as we stepped through the door which led to a spacious courtyard surrounded by 16 rooms for the joint family, with few hens and a lamb resting in the corner. The courtyard marked center of the house; two beds covered by embroided sheets and few chairs were laid in the middle. We were greeted by the family members with such warmth that I felt being related to them. Few moments later, my perception of “strangers” was changed, that too by the people who are perceived to be “different”. There was something that bonds us together; religion? History? Ideology? Or Pakistan? As the family members greeted us one by one and gathered around, we sat down on the bed in the courtyard. The elderly ladies did not speak Urdu but one of their daughters did and she helped us communicate. Their friendly and warm attitude gave me confidence and I started sharing their experiences of pre and post war era. I had so many questions to ask, but I was little hesitant.


They were excited that we had visited them to greet Eid. They shared their feelings of being back home and that they felt exiled in the camps of DI Khan. Now that they were permitted to return back to their village, they had mixed feelings of returning back homes and seeing the destruction all around. Most of the houses were destroyed, schools damaged, fields barren and social life upset. They were thankful to Army for assisting them, developing infrastructure, repairing their houses, constructing  roads, schools, women skill development center, starting livelihood projects and bringing life to their fields. They had no money no jobs, the possessions they had left in their house were looted. They were facing cold weather ahead and army was doing its bit (through various donors) to arrange quilts and warm clothes, besides arranging for food and non food items for poor families. The little girl said “no matter what the situation is or no matter where we go; our country and village will always be ours; we are free here, the love we have for this place can never die”. These words spoken from a young, little, uneducated girl were enough to bring tears to my eyes. They were inquisitive about us, our native places, our education, livelihood etc. They also wanted to get educated, they wanted to earn money for their family and live a better life. They had hope from Army and we promised them our bit and motivated them to work.  After a fine conversation with the tribal family and enjoying their hospitality, we said goodbye and embraced good wishes. Though we didn’t speak the same language and didn’t belong to the same region; “we are Pakistanis and we are a family”.


It had started to rain and we continued our journey to Sararogha. All the way my mind was boggling, I was comparing our lives with them and feeling ashamed that we don’t really are thankful to God to Pakistan, for what we have been blessed. There are people living in the same country, our brethren, who don’t have enough food to eat, warm clothes to wear, sufficient shelter to stay in, money to buy books and schools to go to; yet they are contented with their lives and struggle for better. They also have a right to live free and sophisticated lives like us. I pray that Allah guide us to the right path and forgive our corrupt and immoral attitude.


Driving through winding roads, along the water stream of “Tank Zam”, we passed famous “Kotkai”, a village which was hub of terrorists and was speaking for its own disaster. However, new road, upcoming markets, cultivated fields, grazing cattle, poultry farms, fish farms, stadium, schools and waving children spoke for their hope in future. Who could say in 2010 that this place could ever flourish or even get back to its life. The miracle has been possible with army spearheading the efforts of governmental and Non Governmental Organisations .


We reached Sararogha another famous and land mark village that we heard during military operations. This was comparatively a bigger village and open valley. Relative height was more than the places we stayed or passed through. Rain had stopped but temperature had fallen and we felt little cold, especially after the sun set.  We were offered place to stay by one of my father’s old friend and his course mate that we had known since childhood. He had made the room sufficiently comfortable for us, but when he told us that the house belonged to the well known militant leader of the area named “Taj Gul”, I felt uncomfortable (my mother had the same feelings, which she shared little later. Though she had been to far more threatened and risky places with my father but perhaps it was psychological this time). Few days back I had read about him in the news paper and international media. He was a wanted terrorist commander who was known for his bravery and cruelty. Having taken so many innocent lives of civilians and military personals, he was killed in the last drone attack few days back. The house was apparently the biggest in town, built on relatively high plateau, with heavy iron gates (approx 25 – 30 feet high) and “roof top observation posts” on both sides of the house.(pic 13). We were told that this was the traditional style of constructing houses even before military operations; bigger the house, higher the walls and gate, dominating the place, bigger would be stature of the owner. So these were the status symbols. Barring few houses of the commoners, most of the houses had huge gates and observation posts on the top.


Next day we went along to see the village and meet local families. Population appeared to be less but the developmental work spoke for its better future. The nearby school had just started with the singular efforts of army and now it had the strength of 141 children including 57 girls. The dispensary had started working (though military medical camps for local civilians are a regular feature in the area). We also saw two poultry farms and a grand market (45 shops) coming up. I could imagine the hustle bustle of town revived by coming spring season, Insha Allah.
We visited the village which was celebrating the joy of Eid. The house of the Malik (call him tribal chief) was also partially destroyed and they were busy reconstructing it, stone by stone. We stopped over at his house, where he lived with his family. They were pleased to return back to their village and was proud and gratified to army. We sat over at his place for some time, shared similar views as of the last family, delivered Eid gift package to the family and drove further deep into the village.


People of all ages (all boys and men) were roaming and gossiping in groups, festive of Eid was visible. My father visited an under construction mosque that army was constructing with the help of locals. The way he was greeted and surrounded by the villagers was heartening and reassuring. We then passed through a semi destroyed house, with a newly constructed room in the courtyard. This house belonged to a widow, whose family was no more and she lived with her grand children. A fairly big house, almost destroyed, sheltering this left over family. Who would take care of their basic needs their livelihood?? I asked this question to my father and he replied “the tribal system and the Army (surely after Allah, who is our protector and guardian). He asked us to visit the widow. A boy nearby accompanied us into the house. He told us that the lady lived in a cave inside the village (like many others) and recently shifted here. Stepping inside the broken door, stumbling our way through the rubble (which used to be stairs sometime back), we entered a small courtyard and a cemented room where she lived (recently built by the army). The widow was unable to speak Urdu but her expressions spoke more than her words. Having spent ten minutes and delivered some ration for Eid we came out of the house with mixed feelings of sympathy and hope for the lady and many like her. Again, the heartening feeling was respect and gratitude for the army, committed in their rehabilitation and welfare work. The same army which was reputed and misperceived for killing, being a foreign army.


           We drove up to a nearby village called “Jannata”, as the name spells; it was a beautiful valley, with lot of wild fruit, naturally grown in the open spaces. The significant to note was wild olive; never expected to see olives trees spread over such a large area. The village was vacant and we didn’t come across any local. We were told that army was preparing to welcome the inhabitants in near future. We then started our journey back to Manzai. On our way back we stopped over at village “Chagmalai” near Jandola. A place known for terrorists activities and now fairly developed by the army as a model for rehabilitation oof displaced citizens. We were taken around and we saw hustle bustle in the recently developed market and eid festive mood. There was a grand “children mela” organized in this village by army, to celebrate Eid in its cultural fervor.

Picture Most remarkable memory was seeing the high school. The building was newly renovated; the furniture was top of the line, comparable to any school of the country. The computer lab had brand new LCD screen on every desk, library was fairly rich and science lab equipped with everything that could be required for students of high school. Yet refreshing sight was of the green lawns with a functional canteen on a side. Stadium annexed to the school was large enough to house larger gathering than this village alone. Various sports events and celebrations were centrally organized here. Then came even a bigger surprise; in the shape of “Waziristan Institute of Technical education”. A well laid out institution which had just taken off with its first batch of students, all efforts spearheaded by the army. I felt so proud of myself and my army.

Amongst low clouds, cold breeze and soft pattering rain, we continued our journey back to Dera Ismail Khan, all lost in the thoughts and memories of Eid in tribal area; comparing my “perceptions” and my “experience”.

Pages from diary of a Shaheed who fought TTP

Pages from diary of Lt.Wajeeh Ullah Bangash Shaheed-123 PMA LC

22 Nov 2011, one fine morning, performing my duty as Reserve QRF Comd. for Corp Comd’s visit, I got an sms. I thought it would be some forwarded sms. Yeah, it was a forwarded sms BUT that sms made me on fire, I was shocked, trembled, my heart.
I don’t have the words to explain my condition because that sms was about shahadat of one of my dear course-mate, my course being very large in number. 601 passed out. I didn’t have that much interaction with Lt. Adnan Shaheed, but being a course-mate, the news of his shahadat put me on fire. I just wanted and prayed to have wings and fly over to that place where he embraced shahadat, and tear apart those bastards who did this. I am now thinking what would be the condition of his parents, his family and if he had any beloved, what will be their condition.
Oh my Lord! Rest his soul in peace and please please please My Lord take me to that place and let me given a chance from Your side to take revenge of this buddy and other lucky ones who will be, I am dead sure, enjoying in the world not seen by us.
My Lord, I have one wish. Please bless me with the same blessings and let me die in Your name, let me have bullets on my chest, but first to kill those bastards who may become reason for so many other such incidents.
My Lord! Bless me with this blessing. Bless me with this blessing. Bless me with this blessing. Ilahi Ameen.