DISMEMBERMENT OF PAKISTAN (1971)
Pakistan was marred by a variety of problems and challenges in its early period The challenges include settlement of immigrants, constitutional deadlock, geographical discontinuity between the two units, India aggression, distribution of economic resources and rise of regionalism. These challenges were so strong that Pakistan could not evolve such a system to build strong institutions on all fronts. The irresponsible role of politicians, lack of awareness among the masses and aspirant role of the civil and military bureaucracy in the polotical arena, did not allow the political institutions to flourish. The regional disharmony ultimately proved to be fatal to the federation in Pakistan. The constitutional policies introduced by the every day changing governments in '50s sowed the seeds of disintegration of Pakistan. The economic polices of military regime resulted in economic disparity among the two wings of Pakistan. There was erosion of credibility on the part of federation. Distrust among the regions was such a reality which weakened the writ of federation.
The political straggling among the then politicians, especially Bhutto Mujeeb politicking, Uncontrolled political configuration and Yahya's weak posture led to the dismemberment of Pakistan.
The main episodes leading towards sad debacle of 1971 are summarized hereunder:-
- Geographic contiguity (1000 miles separated by Indian territory).
- Western Wing elites were unwilling to share policy making powers (the Eastern Wing was deliberately kept on a diminishing role in nation building process).
- Some unpatriotic Bengali leaders' role (Tagore's philosophy was intended to be made popular which was distasteful to the ideology of Pakistan).
- Superiority among the Urdu speaking elite of West Pakistan.
- The constitutional development was insufficient to create a climate of credibility that could satisfy the disgruntled Eastern Unit.
- Scorn for Bengali language.
- Highly centralized Presidential system.
- Economic loopholes ban on regional trade.
- There was flow of resources towards West Pakistan, e.g., foreign exchange earnings were being generated largely by Eastern Wing while developmental expenditure was channelized towards West Pakistan.
- West Pakistan's hold on military and civil bureaucracy.
- For industrial development, there was deliberate effort on the part of Central government in showering the benevolence on the Western Wing.
- Adamant stance of Bhutto an Mujeeb on formation of government,
- The role of Awami League and Mujeeb's six points of Mujeeb while attempting question).
- Issue of parity could not be addressed by either constitution from ab initio.
- Elections of 1970 that followed soaring relations between the two wings.
- The negative role of US and USSR.
- United Nations Organization did not discourage Indian aggression
- International media supported disintegration of Pakistan
- The decision of military action was a blunder that added fuel to fire.
- The role of Indian army paved the way of their influence upon Mujeeb after calling him in New Delhi.
Commenting on East Pakistan's debacle, Indra Gandhi said 'we have thrown Two Nation Theory into Indian ocean.'
Indra was absolutely wrong in her observation as it was not defeat of Two Nation Theory, but, a failure of politicians and irresponsible attitude of all other segments of society that led to the division on united Pakistan. It is beyond doubt that the two countries emerging at '71 represent Two Nation Theory on its very foundation. However, had Bangla Desh become part of India, certainly it would have been a great blow to the ideology of Pakistan. The statement of a member of National Assembly of Bengla Desh is worth-quoting 'before '71 India was to confront with one Pakistan and, now, two 'Pakistan' .