You are on page 1of 16

Fall of Dhaka

A brief introduction:
Islamic Republic of Pakistan came into being on 14 Aug. 1947 as
the biggest Islamic state of the world. Pakistan comprised of two
parts at that time i.e. East Pakistan (presently Bangladesh) and
West Pakistan (present Pakistan). But unfortunately Pakistan lost
this honor of being the biggest Islamic state of the world on 16
Dec 1971 with the loss of East Pakistan.

These were some of the important facts about new born Pakistan
in 1947. In 1947 Pakistan had a population of 740000 and it was
divided in two big parts geographically.
Important crops
Major languages

East Pakistan
West Pakistan
4, 20, 63,000 (about 56 3, 37, 79,000 (about
55,000 square miles
3,10,000 square miles
Rice, Jute, Tea,
Cotton, Tobacco,
Pineapple, Coconut
Wheat, Corn
Urdu, Sindhi, Pashto,
Punjabi etc.
hot and humid, 88
hot and moderate, 12
inches annual rains
inches annual rains

Reasons for fall of Dhaka:

There are so many reasons and factors involved in this sad and
tragic incident, here we will throw light on some following

Forgotten Islamic ideology:

Pakistan was the only ideological country that was formed on an
ideology. This ideology, the ideology of Islam played a vital role in
Pakistan movement and it was the only force that helped Muslims
of sub continent to achieve their homeland in such a short period
of time. But unfortunately after the formation of Pakistan this
bond of brotherhood continuously went downward and no serious
steps were taken to increase bond of love between two parts of
the country.

Geographical and cultural

While evaluating the reasons of fall of Dhaka any historian cannot
ignore this bitter reality. Both parts of country had a distance of
about 1000 miles between them and a cunning enemy India was
laying between the two parts. Apart from that people living in
both parts of Pakistan were very much different from each other
in their life style. Poor people of East Pakistan were different in
their way of living form the people of west Pakistan. Their
dressing, their food everything was different and moreover there
was no connection between the two parts of the country, people
from West Pakistan usually ridiculed and made fun of the living
standards of east Pakistanis. This was one of the main reasons of
the hatred between two parts of country.

Role of Bureaucracy:

From the very first day after the formation of Pakistan

bureaucracy gained unreasonable power in the country.
Bureaucracy was most powerful in English reign and it kept its
previous practice of doing whatever it wanted to do in new
Pakistan as well. They practiced their powers with so much
cleverness that some of them reached very important posts, for
example Malik Ghulam Mohammad and Sikandar Mirza who never
contested any election became the head of the state. They
practiced their powers in such a way that even Quaid -E-Azam
Mohammad Ali Jinnah would not have used.
Unfortunately majority of CSP class was from Punjab and Bengal
had a very limited membership in this class, due to which they
were fascinated by this propaganda that people from Punjab are
treating them as a their colony.

Discrimination in military and

civil bureaucracy in joint

East Pakistan

West Pakistan


Major General









Navy officers


Air force officers




East Pakistan

West Pakistan



Joint Secretary


Deputy Secretary



Under Secretary



Civil bureaucracy:

Influence of Hindus in East Pakistan:

In East Pakistan Hindus were not only dominant in economy but
also in government jobs. Lawyers and think tanks were also
Hindus, they were affiliated with Indian national congress and
migrated to Pakistan and always created disturbance according to
the wishes of our enemy India. They had never accepted the
formation of Pakistan from heart. This 4 % population of Hindus in
Bengal was working day and night to cut Bengal from Pakistan
and ultimately they succeeded.

Role of Hindu teachers in East


Unfortunately Bengali Muslims were lagging behind in education

and majority of school and college teachers in Bengal were
Hindus who tried their best to urge the youth of Bengal to revolt
against the ideology of Pakistan and guided them to fight for their
freedom from Pakistan.

Lack of national leadership:

One of the major reasons for Pakistans deplorable condition in
these 65 years is that Pakistan lacked a sincere and true
leadership after Quid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. This
deficiency of national leadership also played its part in fall of
Dhaka. The Muslim league leaders had failed badly. They were
unaware of the problems of public and there coordination with
each other was zero. This in difference of leaders of Muslim
league towards Bengali people left really bad effects on the
sensitive public of Bengal.
Economic conditions of East Pakistan:
East Pakistan was always less developed and it always lagged
behind as far as economic conditions are concerned. Before
partition people from Bengal used to think that Hindus
industrialist were the main reason of their economic
backwardness but unfortunately after patrician no serious step
were taken to eradicate smuggling from east Bengal. There was a
huge difference between per capita income and the general
economic standards of East and West Pakistan and there were no
efforts made to bridge this gap. As a result east Bengal remained
economically backward and selfish elements converted in
inferiority complex of east Bengalis into hatred against the west

Provincial Prejudice:

Ideally speaking Pakistan should have formed its constitution with

in one or two years after its independence, So that all the
emotions of national unity which were present at that time could
have been maintained. But unfortunately we could not even
decide the basic principles and rules for our country in 1 st nine
years which created provincial prejudice and so many other
misunderstandings between two parts of the country. This
provincial prejudice played a vital rule in Pakistans disintegration.

President Ayub martial law:

Ayub khans so called firm government closed down all those
safety valves which helped the politicians to be aware of the
critical situation of East Pakistan. Permanent state of emergency
in the country always supported bureaucracy which always
suppressed the public. This gave birth to the gutter politics and
created hatred in hearts of the public of East Pakistan.

Language differences:
The first ever attack on the national unity of Pakistan was the
language conflict which permanently divided Pakistan into two
parts. This problem aroused in 1948 for the first time when QuaidE-Azam was alive, at that time this issue did not take much heat,
but after Quaid E Azam this issue went live again and this time
there was no national leader who could handle this problem. The
conflict was simple. Bengali was the language of 56 % of Pakistani
population and they logically and justifiably wanted Bangla to be
the national language but officials always insisted on having Urdu
and only Urdu as national language which was spoken only by
12% of Pakistani population. Ultimately both Bengali and Urdu
were taken as national languages but the damage now had been

Formation of one unit:

In beginning Pakistan had four provinces, Punjab, Sindh, NWFP
and Bengal, but population in these provinces was not balanced.
More than half of the total population lived in one province and
always demanded for their share in National Assembly and Senate
on the basis of population and this was one of the biggest
obstacles in the formation of a constitution as well. Law makers
resolved this issue by combing all the provinces of West Pakistan
in one big unit and declaring it half of the country on 14 Oct.
1955. Now Pakistan had only two provinces east and West
Pakistan. But Bengalis never accepted this decision as they were
deprived of their due right of representation in assemblies by this

Six points of Sheikh Mujeeb Ur

Sheikh Mujeeb Ur Rehman was the only recognized leader of East
Pakistan at the time of disintegration of Pakistan he was one of
the main characters involved in fall of Dhaka. He presented his
controversial six points in 1966; these six points played a vital
role in separation of Bengal,
First enunciated on February 12, 1966, the six points are as below:
1. The Constitution should provide for a Federation of Pakistan in
the true sense on the basis of the Lahore Resolution and for a
parliamentary form of government based on the supremacy of a
directly elected legislature on the basis of universal adult

2. The Federal Government shall deal with only two subjects;

Defense and Foreign Affairs. All residuary subjects will be vested
in the federating states.
3. There should be either two separate, freely convertible
currencies for the two Wings, or one currency with two separate
reserve banks to prevent inter-Wing flight of capital.
4. The power of taxation and revenue collection shall be vested in
the federating units. The Federal Government will receive a share
to meet its financial obligations.
5. Economic disparities between the two Wings shall disappear
through a series of economic, fiscal, and legal reforms.
6. A militia or paramilitary force must be created in East Pakistan,
which at present has no defense of its own.
Basically he suggested for a confederation in the cover of
provincial autonomy and started propagating against the
federation of Pakistan and ultimately broke it.

Agartala conspiracy:
In Dec 1967 a conspiracy of kidnapping and killing of General
Ayub was reveled after some days another conspiracy was
caught. This was the Agartala conspiracy. According to
government reports Indias first secretary Ojha and some leaders
of Awami League were planning to disintegrate Bengal from
Pakistan and for that purpose they were holding talks on bringing
the ammunition in Bengal. In this accusation sheikh Mujeeb was
arrested but unfortunately its effects came really bad as Mujeeb
became hero of the Bengalis and later on he was released.

Bhutto, Mujeeb and Yahya

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, sheikh Mujeeb Ur Rehman, and General Yahya,
this triangle undoubtedly is the biggest factor in fall of Dhaka.
Pakistan could have been united today if these three had thought
of national interest and not of their own personal interests. Yahya
wanted to remain president and for that he was ready to do
anything, Bhutto wanted his share in government by giving the
concept of second largest party and Mujeeb also showed rigidity
in his attitude, and this resulted in the fall of Dhaka

Military operation of Takka Khan:

When Yahya khan showed hesitation in calling the assembly for its
first meeting after elections, unrest and frustration arose in East
Pakistan but instead of talking it out Yahya ordered for a military
operation, general Takka khan conducted notorious operations
and thousands of innocent people were killed, this really fired the
hatred in Bengali people.

High jacking of Ganga plane:

India knew that East Pakistan is at the distance of 1000 miles
from West Pakistan so they started planning against Pakistan.
India played a clever trick and got on of its planes high jacked by
its own agents and made it land on Pakistani soil. Later on they
accused Pakistan for its high jacking and banned all Pakistani
planes to fly over Indian air way, by doing this they practically cut
off West Pakistan from East Pakistan.

Flood in East Pakistan:

As stated earlier Bengal was a damp area where more than 88

inches average rain was recorded annually, it was common for
Bengal to face huge floods and thunderstorms. A huge flood hit
Bengal in 1970 as well. It could have been a blessing in disguise if
Pakistani rulers had helped out the poor Bengalis at that time the
hatred could have been minimized a lot but they showed their
conventional indifference and it proved fatal, ultimately 0. 5 lac
people died and it ruined Pakistans unity as well

Elections of 1970:
In 1970 Pakistan observed the only fair elections of its history.
Awami league won in East Pakistan and Pakistan Peoples Party in
West Pakistan. But no party could win even a single seat from
other part of country. This fair election was indigestible for
Pakistani public and transfer of poor could not be made.
Ultimately the rope was broken in this cat fight and Pakistan was

Continuous Indian intervention:

India has been the biggest enemy of Pakistan from day 1. It has
never accepted Pakistan and always tried to destabilize Pakistan,
it played the most important role in Pakistan loss of Bengal, it
kept its continuous intervention in East Pakistan, sometimes by its
agents and Mukti Bahini and sometimes by its paid members in
the national assembly of Pakistan. India always used this
weakness of ours to exploit the Kashmir issue and ultimately
defeated Pakistan in 1971.

Indian attack on East Pakistan:

After weakening Pakistan in every field when India felt that now
Pakistan is weak enough to be defeated, it attacked Pakistan

directly on 24th Nov. 1971. Pakistan army resisted this attack for a
month or so but it was very difficult for army to fight without air
support and its public. Ultimately Pakistan army in spite of
recording great gestures of bravery surrendered on 16 Dec 1971
and was defeated at the hands of Indian army.

Role of foreign super powers:

If we look at the political scenario of that time we feel that USA
and USSR in order to cover china wanted Pakistan to be cut short.
For this purpose they found East Pakistan the best possible way to
be cut away from Pakistan and American ambassador Joseph
Farland seemed really busy at that time with Pakistan issue,
America also refused to give Pakistan the ammunition or any kind
of support in spite of being its ally.

Pakistans emotional attitude in

Security Council session:
Even after all these factors there was a possibility that the war
could have been resolved according to the resolutions of UNO and
we could have avoided the embarrassment of surrendering before
India but Pakistans emotional attitude in UNO proved to be the
last nail in the coffin and we lost more than half of our country on
17 Dec 1971

After effects of 1971 War:

We practically lost 55% of our country

Over 90 thousand Pakistani military and civil personals were

New stories of tyranny over Bengalis were written.
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto came to power in remaining Pakistan.
A commission under supervision of Chief Justice of Pakistan
justice Hamood Ur rehman was formed to investigate the factors
involved in fall of Dhaka, but its report could never have been
There was a huge wave of disappointment and tension among
Pakistanis as no one could believe that we had lost the war as
well as half of our country.
On 2nd July 1972 Pakistan lost another war, this time on table
buy signing Shimla Pact.
Shimla pact:
These were the points included in Simla pact;
(i) That the principles and purposes off the Charter of the United
Nations shall govern the relations between the countries;
(ii) That the two countries are resolved to settle their differences
by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations or by any other
peaceful means mutually agreed upon between them. Pending
the final settlement of any of the problems between the two
countries, neither side shall unilaterally alter the situation nor
shall both prevent the organization, assistance or encouragement
of any acts detrimental to the maintenance of peaceful and
harmonious relations.
(iii) That the pre-requisite for reconciliation, good-neighborliness
and durable peace between them is a commitment by both
countries to peaceful co-existence, respect for each other's
territorial integrity and sovereignty and non-interference in each

other's internal affairs, on the basis of equality and mutual

(iv) That the basic issues and causes of conflict which have
bedeviled the relations between the two countries of the last
twenty-five years shall be resolved by peaceful means;
(v) That they shall always respect each other's national unity,
territorial integrity, political independence and sovereign equality;
(vi) That in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations,
they shall refrain from the threat or use of force against the
territorial integrity or political independence of each other;
(II) Both Governments will take all steps within their power to
prevent hostile propaganda directed against each other.
Both countries will encourage the dissemination of such
information as would promote the development of friendly
relations between them;
(III) In order progressively to restore and normalize relations
between the two countries step by step, it was agreed that;
(i) Steps shall be taken to resume communications, postal,
telegraphic, sea, land including border posts, and air links
including over flights;
(ii) Appropriate steps shall be taken to promote travel facilities for
the nationals of the other country;
(iii) Trade and co-operation in economic and other agreed fields
will be resumed as far as possible;
(iv) Exchange in the fields of science and culture will be
In this connection delegations from the two countries will meet
from time to time to work out the necessary details.

(IV) In order to initiate the process of the establishment of

durable peace, both Governments agree that:
(i) Indian and Pakistani forces shall be withdrawn to their side of
the international border;
(ii) In Jammu and Kashmir, the line of control resulting from the
cease-fire of December 17, 1971 shall be respected by both sides
without prejudice to the recognized position of either side. Neither
side shall seek to alter it unilaterally, irrespective of mutual
differences and legal interpretations. Both sides further undertake
to refrain from the threat of the use of force in violation of this
(iii) The withdrawals shall commence upon entry into force of this
Agreement and shall be completed within a period of thirty days
(V) This Agreement will be subject to ratification by both
countries in accordance with their respective constitutional
procedures, and will come into force with effect from the date on
which the Instruments of Ratification are exchanged.
(VI) Both Governments agree that their respective Heads will
meet again at a mutually convenient time in the future and that,
in the meanwhile, the representatives of the two sides will meet
to discuss further the modalities and arrangements for the
establishment of a durable peace and normalization of relations,
including the questions of repatriation of prisoners of war and
civilian internees, a final settlement of Jammu and Kashmir and
the resumption of diplomatic relations.
Timeline of fall of Dhaka:
Linguistic violence
Elections in East Pakistan


Formation of one unit

14 Oct. 1955
First martial law
7 Oct. 1958
Mujeeb Urehmans six
Agartala conspiracy
Dec 1967
End of One Unit
1st April 1970
Legal Framework
29 mar 1970
Flood in East Pakistan
Aug 1970
General Elections
Dec 1970
Takka Khanss operation
26 mar 1971
High jacking of Ganga
30 Jan 1971
Dhaka is a butcher
18 Feb. 1971
house (Bhutto)
Indo Pak war
21 Nov 1971
Fall of Dhaka
16 Dec 1971
Shimla conference
2 July 1972
Important characters involved in fall of Dhaka:
General Ayub Khan

General Yahya Khan

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto

Sheikh Mujeeb Urehman

Chief Martial Law

Administrator, President of
Pakistan 1962-69, Chief of
Army Staf
Chief Martial Law
Administrator, President of
Pakistan 1969-71, Chief of
Army Staff
A feudal lord from Sindh,
founder of Peoples party
,Prime Minister of Pakistan
Head of Awami League,
Bangladeshs first President

General Takka Khan

General A.K Niazi

General Jagjit Singh Aroura

Indra Gandhi

and then Prime Minister

Military Governor of East
Pakistan , conducted the
notorious military operation in
East Pakistan
Deputy Chief Martial Law
Administrator, Chief
Commanding Officer of East
Indian Chief Commanding
officer of Eastern zone
Daughter of Jawahar Laal
Nehru, Prime Minister of India
1966-1977 and again in 198084

16 December 1971 is so far the darkest and most hurting day
of our history.
Have we learnt any lesson from this tragic incident?
God Forbid if we are moving towards another fall? Fall of
There is only one point in this critical evaluation that Bengal
was not separated from us, we separated it with our own hard