Column
PAKISTAN’S SHORT-SIGHTED GAMES WITH B’DESH

09 Jan 2016

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Coinciding with the drop in winter temperature at Murree hill resort near the Pakistani capital, there is chill in the relations with Bangladesh, the one-time eastern wing of the country, which went its own way four decades ago and has since become a role model for the ethnic Balochis, who have been leading Stone Age-like life in their resource rich province that borders Iran.

So much so, the ‘request’ of Pakistani foreign ministry to recall its senior diplomat Moushumi Rahman does not come as a surprise. Yes it is no more than a knee jerk reaction to the ignominy Pak diplomat Farina Arshad had suffered in Dhaka last month when she was caught dealing with ‘dealers’ of terror financing and fake Indian currency.

 

Why Farina did what she did? The answer is simple. Pakistan’s permanent establishment, which is the Army, has not revisited its charter or of its intelligence Agency, ISI since Lieutenant-General A.A.K. Niazi had signed Pākistānēr ātmasamarpanēr dalil – the Pakistani Instrument of Surrender at the Dhaka Race Course grounds on the evening of 16th Dec 1971. 

Turn the pages of B’desh history. What do you find? The very same old ISI making a section of Dhaka dance to its tunes orchestrated through Dubai, which has become the second unofficial capital of Pakistani leaders and Pakistani businessmen alike.

 

The reader may like to ask, “If so what”, and point out that much water has flown into the Padma – Jamuna delta. Well, you have a point but in your exuberance over liberation war, you are missing the larger picture – to borrow the old hackneyed cliché, the wood for the trees. 

 

Turn the pages of B’desh history. What do you find? The very same old ISI making a section of Dhaka dance to its tunes orchestrated through Dubai, which has become the second unofficial capital of Pakistani leaders and Pakistani businessmen alike. The enterprise succeeded because some of our very own had some IOUs with their ‘old’ friends, and, therefore, were more than willing to be the equivalents of iBalls of the digital world – high band wireless routers. 

 

The War Crimes Tribunals have not made matters easy either. The decrees that have been handed down for the execution of Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury and Motiur Rahman Nizami have raised the spectre of a new fear: Will there be calls for accountability of the 1971 guilty.  These villains has escaped censure even though the Hamidoor Rehman Commission has given a brutally frank picture of the genocide they had committed. Forget about punishment, these ‘villains’ -all had enjoyed their Post-B’desh liberation life in comfort since every one of those who had mattered had blood on their hands.

 

The short point is that the Pakistani establishment   has found in the likes of JMB and its clones Allahar Dal, Hizb-e-Amir Abu Omar, and Al Firdous instruments to undermine Bangladeshi democratic and secular structure. Saudi Arabia helped this enterprise as a part of its very own global Wahhabi campaign.  Result?  A boost to Islamic Radicalisation.   A Pakistani blogger, Noman Ansari, has found an analogy to bring home the danger.  “The extremist pizza was baked with ingredients imported from Saudi Arabia”, he wrote in The Express Tribune of Karachi recently, adding that  Saudi Arabia indoctrinates young Muslims by spreading their twisted version of Islam “through suitcases of cash, going as far and wide as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and beyond”.

 

Farina Arshad’s encounters show that ISI has been channelizing funds and other inputs into the B’deshi outfits as a part of Pakistani resolve to settle scores with descendants of Mujib-ur Rehman, who had the temerity of not only standing up as a challenger but also realising his dream of a Sonar Bangla.

 

Farina Arshad’s encounters show that ISI has been channelizing funds and other inputs into the B’deshi outfits as a part of Pakistani resolve to settle scores with descendants of Mujib-ur Rehman, who had the temerity of not only standing up as a challenger but also realising his dream of a Sonar Bangla.
The way marching orders were delivered to Moushumi Rahman shows that Pakistan has not learnt diplomatic niceties. Bangladesh High Commissioner Suhrab Hossain was summoned to the Pak Foreign Office on 5 Jan afternoon and was tersely told that Moushumi should leave. No reasons whatsoever were offered for declaring her no more than an unwanted person.  She was counsellor (political) and head of Chancery at the Bangladesh mission. What wrong she had committed to be expelled so unceremoniously?

 

What a contrast this was to the treatment Bangladesh gave to the ‘unwanted’ Pakistani diplomat, Farina. Her designation was Second Secretary (political) at the Pakistan High Commission. Her meeting and financial transactions with militant groups were up on the ‘radar’.  A JMB militant also spilled the beans in a manner of speaking when he landed in the police net. Pakistan was told of her activities, protest was lodged, and was asked to withdraw her from Dhaka on 23 Dec last year. No song and drama. No official announcement either.  That is how a civilised capital handles persona non grata diplomat!

 

The ‘expulsion’ of Moushumi Rahman has coincided with the Supreme Court upholding death penalty awarded to Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami for his crimes against humanity during the Liberation War. Any civilised society will hang its head for the charges that have been brought against him before the International Crimes Tribunal-2 on November 2, 2014, and now found valid. These are killing 450 people, raping of 32 women at Bausgari and Demra in Pabna, and involvement in murder of three people in Pabna’s Dhulaura and for killing intellectuals.  

 

Pakistan may not like to be reminded of these crimes committed by their friend of yester years but can they afford to champion Nizami’s cause or even  ruminate over his misfortune  when for much lesser crimes, Saudi Arabia, the land that presides over Pakistan as a part of trinity of As – has been sending many Pakistanis to gallows every month.




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