Dec 16: No lessons learnt

IT was on December 16, 1971 that the country of the Quaid split into two due to internal policy failures and external intervention.
India, which did not accept the reality of an independent and sovereign Pakistan, succeeded in its design to dismember the country, taking advantage of the discontent prevailing in the then East Pakistan.
This was a monumental tragedy and since then, every year, patriotic Pakistanis go through introspection as to what happened and why and how to prevent recurrence of such colossal tragedies in future. Functions and events are held, reasons are identified, circumstances are analysed and strategists, thinkers suggest ways and means to strengthen national solidarity but all this turns out to be a one-day phenomenon and there is business as usual from the next day. There were a number of factors that led to Fall of Dhaka but some circles conveniently put the entire burden on one man, forgetting that there were a series of events that alienated people in East Pakistan and India exploited the situation to its advantage, taking revenge of 1,000 years of Muslim rule in Sub-Continent, as Indira Gandhi put it. According to Minister Ahsan Iqbal though 60s is considered as a golden era of Pakistan when the country saw industrial and infrastructure boom yet the development policies of Ayub Khan caused economic and social disparities in different regions and as a result sense of deprivation and alienation strengthened in some regions including then East Pakistan. It is also a fact that the West did not allow the East to have due share in governance and people of East Pakistan felt they were being treated like a colony. No doubt, six points of Sheikh Mujib were bitter and hard to accept but things would have changed if the focus was on dialogue and not use of force. Political infighting and greed for power did not allow politicians and others to see beyond their nose and they sacrificed the State of Pakistan at the altar of their lust and short-sightedness. Absence of good governance, transparent accountability and equality before law of the land is totally missing in the society that has created worst phase of polarisation in the country and our enemies are taking advantage of our internal chaos and discord. There are sharp divisions on political, religious and ethnic basis and regrettably these are being sharpened by unscrupulous elements. Why are we bent upon inflicting harm on the remaining Pakistan?

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