Understanding history

Justice S.A. Rehman, a former Chief Justice of Pakistan had to flee Decca Cantonment in his night suit. In the year 1968, Ayub Khan the first usurper initiated a sedition case against Sheikh Mujib-Ur-Rehman the leader of Awami League (AL).
Justice Rehman was heading the tribunal that included Justices M.R. Khan and Maksum-Ul-Hakim. Workers of the AL stormed the rest house where the Justices were staying. Once in the safety of his Gulberg home, Justice Rehman revealed the extent of support for AL and suggested a political solution for the crisis.
During the election campaign of Madre Millat Fatima Jinnah in the 1965 Presidential Elections, the AL league came to her support. They fully endorsed her demand for the restoration of the unanimously agreed 1956 constitution. Ayub Khan’s imposed 1962 constitution was disgraceful which caused fissures in Jinnah’s Pakistan.
Despite the fact that the freedom movement in the Indian Sub-continent was launched in Decca with the formation of the All India Muslim League (AIML) in 1906, the Bengali leadership was fed-up with the step-brotherly treatment of Islamabad pushing them to seek provincial autonomy to run their own affairs. Some factions within the party were blamed for conspiring with India to leave the union. In the 1970 free and fair elections the AL emerged victorious.
Only two other candidates managed to win (Nur-Ul-Amin, and Raja Tridev Roi). After the break-up of Jinnah’s Pakistan, Sheikh Mujib emerged as the father of the nation. Some historians believe that he never desired to break away and sought a political solution till the end but his efforts were frustrated by the hawks on both sides.
The then Governor Admiral (R)S.M. Ahsan and field commander Lt. Gen. Sahibzada Yaqoob Ali Khan sensing the public mood pleaded for a negotiated settlement but Gen. Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan the President and CMLA (Chief Martial Law Administrator) decided on the use of force which resulted in disastrous consequences.
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan has been a constitutional democracy since August 14, 1973. No conspiracy will be allowed to come in the way of the progress and prosperity of the people of Pakistan.
The rise of Bangladesh as an economic power in the Sub-continent should be an eye-opener for all. Strict adherence to the constitution and rule of law is the only way forward. Conspiracies are lethal and destructive which must be understood and then contained.

Dr Farid A Malik

The writer is Ex-Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation, email: fmaliks@hotmail.com

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