Monday, August 22, 2011


Karachi, once the most prosperous, promising and developing financial hub of Pakistan is now at stake. The people of Karachi are left with nothing but a feeling of insecurity and uncertainty. Stray bullets and unidentified killers are ruling over this metropolitan city. In spite of their best efforts the provincial government, the police, the Rangers and even the leaders of various political parties have yet not succeeded in finding out the actual root cause of this blood shed. The city is turning to a land of horror and fright.

 Some analysts are of the view that the situation is in fact an outcome of long time ethnic conflicts and differences, fuelled by political forces. Some others are of the opinion that people belonging to different land-mafia and drug-mafia are behind this warlike scenario in the streets of Karachi. God knows better which are the hands trying to scatter and shatter the peace and prosperity of Karachi but one thing is very much obvious that the disturbance and unrest in Karachi is not the result of any ethnic conflict neither it is a racial problem. Whenever there is a bomb blast, a suicide attack or falling down of a building, one can easily find people from all ethnic identities rushing to the spot to help out the effected ones.

 One day before the Independence Day celebrations on 13th August, some miscreants set a minibus on fire near a post office in Keamari area of Karachi. There were about fifteen passengers in that minibus. “The attackers set the bus on fire and ran away before the passengers could understand the situation”, said the in-charge of the local police station, “The blaze left one man dead and four others injured”. The passengers of this unlucky minibus did not belong to any particular ethnic community neither they were the members or workers of some particular political party. It means the miscreants targeted this bus not to victimize some particular ethnic or political segment of society but their only aim was to generate an air of horror and fright. Three weeks prior to this incident the media reported murder of a six years old innocent girl Liaba. It was 10th of July 2011 when Liaba, the only daughter of a poor Pashtun rickshaw driver was returning to her home from her madrassa. She was a few steps away from her door when some stray bullets deprived her of life. The brutal killing of this innocent girl filled all eyes with tears. Without any discrimination of caste and creed her murder was mourned over and condemned by everyone. In such a situation where the bullet and the target both are absolutely stranger to each other, it seems completely out of place to call such episodes ‘target killings’. In most of the cases the victims are rarely targeted on their ethnic or political identity. How can we call it ‘target killing’ when Innocent people including fruit and vegetable vendors, general stores and tuck-shop owners, labourers, daily-wagers and bus passengers are being sentenced to death pitilessly by ‘invisible authorities’.

 Worsening of the law and order situation in Karachi is not a new phenomenon. It was somewhere in mid 1980s when people from varied ethnic and cultural backgrounds started hailing to Karachi as their permanent destination. Since then different invisible forces have been trying their best to create an air of mistrust and disbelief among different communities living here. Now after a long struggle of almost three decades these forces have succeeded in changing the face and fate of Karachi. This city now appears to have entered an era where mass killing of people has become a hobby for the professional killers. Innocent people are being murdered without any rhyme and reason. The local administration seems helpless and the law enforcing agencies seem powerless. In the beginning it was reported that the militant political forces were only targeting their rivals but now attacks on residents are becoming progressively more haphazard. In a recent incident of the same type of ‘target killing’ on 17th August former Pakistan People’s Party MNA Waja Karim Dad and his friend Sadruddin Bhai were shot dead when they were sitting along with other friends at a hotel in the remits of Jackson police station. They were breaking their fast when a group of motorcyclists arrived on the spot and opened firing on them. Resultantly, both received bullet injuries and died on the spot. Later, the same group of unidentified armed men allegedly opened indiscriminate firing at a food stall, where people were sitting for Aftari near Achi Qabar Mithadar. Resultantly a young man of 35 died on the spot while six others got seriously injured. The incident shows that most of the time the miscreants have only one aim and objective; to generate an air of fear and harassment and to promote a general feeling of insecurity among the people of Karachi. The situation has become so complex and complicated that people have lost all their trust and confidence in the political government. They feel that the law and order situation in Karachi cannot be controlled without the interference of army. In fact it is the planning of the international conspirators to drag the Pakistan army into the blazing inferno of Karachi. They want to divert the attention of the army from the borders where internationally supported terrorists are always busy in planning to destabilize Pakistan with their cruel terrorist activities.

The situation in Karachi is not very much different from that of Baluchistan and Khayber Pakhtunkhawh. From Quetta to Peshawar innocent people are being murdered in the same way. Bomb blasts, suicide attacks and target killings have become a routine matter. In fact the blazing fire of terrorism which once started from KPK has now reached Karachi after engulfing the fertile lands of Baluchistan. Though the situation seems extremely out of control but someone will have to step forward and take the responsibility of playing the role of savior and rescue this city from the cruel clutches of such a depressing state of horror and fear. The government must not allow the law of jungle hold here supreme. Karachi is an international city; peace and prosperity of Karachi means peace and prosperity of Pakistan. The government of Pakistan must take serious action to control the situation before it is too late.

The World: Bangladesh: Out of War, A Nation Is Born

JAI Bangla! Jai Bangla!" From the banks of the great Ganges and the broad Brahmaputra, from the emerald rice fields and mustard-colored hills of the countryside, from the countless squares of countless villages came the cry. "Victory to Bengal! Victory to Bengal!" They danced on the roofs of buses and marched down city streets singing their anthem Golden Bengal. They brought the green, red and gold banner of Bengal out of secret hiding places to flutter freely from buildings, while huge pictures of their imprisoned leader, Sheik Mujibur Rahman, sprang up overnight on trucks, houses and signposts. As Indian troops advanced first to Jessore, then to Comilla, then to the outskirts of the capital of Dacca, small children clambered over their trucks and Bengalis everywhere cheered and greeted the soldiers as liberators. 

Thus last week, amid a war that still raged on, the new nation of Bangladesh was born. So far only India and Bhutan have formally recognized it, but it ranks eighth among the world's 148 nations in terms of population (78 million), behind China, India, the Soviet Union, the U.S., Indonesia, Japan and Brazil. Its birth, moreover, may be followed by grave complications. In West Pakistan, a political upheaval is a foregone conclusion in the wake of defeat and dismemberment. In India, the creation of a Bengali state next door to its own impoverished West Bengal state could very well strengthen the centrifugal forces that have tugged at the country since independence in 1947. 

The breakaway of Pakistan's eastern wing became a virtual certainty when the Islamabad government launched air strikes against at least eight Indian airfields two weeks ago. Responding in force, the Indian air force managed to wipe out the Pakistani air force in the East within two days, giving India control of the skies. In the Bay of Bengal and the Ganges delta region as well, the Indian navy was in unchallenged command. Its blockade of Chittagong and Chalna harbors cut off all reinforcements, supplies and chances of evacuation for the Pakistani forces, who found themselves far outnumbered (80,000 v. India's 200,000) and trapped in an enclave more than 1,000 miles from their home bases in the West. 

There were even heavier and bloodier battles, including tank clashes on the Punjabi plain and in the deserts to the south, along the 1,400-mile border between India and the western wing of Pakistan, where the two armies have deployed about 250,000 men. Civilians were fleeing from the border areas, and residents of Karachi, Rawalpindi and Islamabad were in a virtual state of siege and panic over day and night harassment raids by buzzing Indian planes. 

The U.N. did its best to stop the war, but its best was not nearly good enough. After three days of procedural wrangles and futile resolutions, the Security Council gave up; stymied by the Soviet nyets, the council passed the buck to the even wordier and less effectual General Assembly. There, a resolution calling for a cease-fire and withdrawal of Indian and Pakistan forces behind their own borders swiftly passed by an overwhelming vote of 104 to 11. 

The Pakistanis, with their armies in retreat, said they would honor the ceasefire provided India did. The Indians, with victory in view, said they "were considering" the ceasefire, which meant they would stall until they had achieved their objective of dismembering Pakistan. There was nothing the assembly could do to enforce its will. There was considerable irony in India's reluctance to obey the U.N. resolution in view of New Delhi's irritating penchant in the past for lecturing other nations on their moral duty to do the bidding of the world organization. Similarly the Soviet Union, which is encouraging India in its defiance, has never hesitated to lecture Israel on its obligation to heed U.N. resolutions calling for withdrawal from Arab territories. 

Hopeless Task 

In any case, a cease-fire is not now likely to alter the military situation in the East. As Indian infantrymen advanced to within 25 miles of Dacca late last week and as reports circulated that 5,000 Indian paratroopers were landing on the edges of the beleaguered eastern capital, thousands fled for fear that the Pakistani army might decide to make a pitched stand. Daily, and often hourly, Indian planes strafed airports in Dacca, Karachi and Islamabad. Some 300 children were said to have died in a Dacca orphanage when a piston-engine plane dropped three 750-lb. bombs on the Rahmat-e-Alam Islamic Mission near the airport while 400 children slept inside. Earlier in the week, two large bombs fell on workers' shanties near a jute mill in nearby Narayan-ganj, killing 275 people.

Forty workers died and more than 100 others were injured when they were caught by air strikes as they attempted to repair huge bomb craters in the Dacca airport runway. India declared a temporary moratorium on air strikes late last week so that the runway could be repaired and 400 U.N. relief personnel and other foreigners could be flown out. It was repaired, but the Pakistanis changed their mind and refused to allow the U.N.'s evacuation aircraft to land at Dacca, leaving U.N. personnel trapped as potential hostages. The International Red Cross declared Dacca's Intercontinental Hotel and nearby Holy Family Hospital "neutral zones" to receive wounded and provide a haven for foreigners. 

For its part, the Pakistani army was said to have killed some Bengalis who they believed informed or aided the Indian forces. But the reprisals apparently were not on a wide scale. Both civilian and military casualties were considered relatively light in East Bengal, largely because the Indian army skirted big cities and populated areas in an effort to avoid standoff battles with the retreating Pakistani troops.

The first major city to fall was Jessore. TIME'S William Stewart, who rode into the key railroad junction with the Indian troops, cabled: "Jessore, India's first strategic prize, fell as easily as a mango ripened by a long Bengal summer. It shows no damage from fighting. In fact, the Pakistani 9th Division headquarters had quit Jessore days before the Indian advance, and only four battalions were left to face the onslaught.

"Nevertheless, two Pakistani battalions slipped away, while the other two were badly cut up. The Indian army was everywhere wildly cheered by the Bengalis, who shouted: 'Jai Bangla!' and 'Indira Gandhi Zindabad! [Long Live Indira Gandhi!].' In Jhingergacha, a half-deserted city of about 5,000 nearby, people gather to tell of their ordeal. The Pakistanis shot us when we didn't understand,' said one old man. 'But they spoke Urdu and we speak Bengali.' " 

Death Awaits 

By no means all of East Bengal was freed of Pakistani rule last week. Pakistani troops were said to be retreating to two river ports, Narayanganj and Barisal, where it was speculated they might make a stand or alternatively seek some route of escape. They were also putting up a strong defense in battalion-plus strength in three garrison towns where Indian forces reportedly had encircled them. The Indians have yet to capture the major cities of Chittagong and Dinajpur. Neither army permitted newsmen unreserved access to the contested areas, but on several occasions the Indian military command did allow reporters to accompany its forces. The three pronged Indian pincer movement, however, moved much more rapidly than was earlier believed possible. Its success was largely attributed to decisive air and naval support. 

Demoralized and in disarray, the Pakistani troops were urged to obey the "soldier to soldier" radio call to surrender, repeatedly broadcast by Indian Army Chief of Staff General Sam Manekshaw. "Should you not heed my advice to surrender to my army and endeavour to escape," he warned, "I assure you certain death awaits you." He also assured the Pakistanis that if they surrendered they would be treated as prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention. To insure that the Mukti Bahini would also adhere to the Geneva code, India officially put the liberation forces under its military command. 

Pakistani prisoners were reported surrendering in fair numbers. But many others seemed to be fleeing into the countryside, perhaps in hopes of finding escape routes disguised as civilians. "In some garrison towns stout resistance is being offered," said an Indian spokesman, "and though the troops themselves wish to surrender, they are being instructed by the generals: 'Gain time. Something big may happen. Hold on.' " He added sarcastically that the only big thing that could happen was that the commanders of the military regime in East Pakistan might pull a vanishing act. 

All week long, meanwhile, the Pakistani regime kept up a running drumfire about Pakistan's jihad, or holy war, with India. An army colonel insisted there were no Pakistani losses whatsoever on the battlefield. His reasoning: "In the pursuit of jihad, nobody dies. He lives forever." Pakistan radio and television blared forth patriotic songs such as All of Pakistan Is Wide Awake and The Martyr's Blood Will Not Go Wasted. The propaganda was accompanied by a totally unrealistic picture of the war. At one point, government spokesmen claimed that Pakistan had knocked out 123 Indian aircraft to a loss of seven of their own, a most unlikely kill ratio of nearly 18 to l. Islamabad insisted that Pakistani forces were still holding on to the city of Jessore even though newsmen rode into the city only hours after its liberation.

Late last week, however. President Agha Mohammed Yahya Khan's gov ernment appeared to be getting ready to prepare its people for the truth: the East is lost. An official spokesman admitted for the first time that the Pakistani air force was no longer operating in the East. Pakistani forces were "handicapped in the face of a superior enemy war machine," he said, and were outnumbered six to one by the Indians in terms of men and materiel—a superiority that seemed slightly exaggerated. 

Sikhs and Gurkhas 

As the fate of Bangladesh, and of Pakistan itself, was being decided in the East, Indian and Pakistani forces were making painful stabs at one another along the 1,400-mile border that reaches from the icy heights of Kashmir through the flat plains of the Punjab down to the desert of western India. There the battle was being waged by bearded Sikhs wearing khaki turbans, tough, flat-faced Gurkhas, who carry a curved knife known as a kukri in their belts, and many other ethnic strains. Mostly, the action was confined to border thrusts by both sides to straighten out salients that are difficult to defend. 

The battles have pitted planes, tanks, artillery against each other, and in fact both materiel losses and casualties appear to have run far higher than in the east. Most of the sites were the very places where the two armies slugged it out in their last war in 1965. Yet there were no all-out offensives. The Indian army's tactic was to maintain a defensive posture, launching no attacks except where they assisted its defenses.
Old Boy Attitude 

The bloodiest action was at Chhamb, a flat plateau about six miles from the cease-fire line that since 1949 has divided the disputed Kashmir region almost equally between Pakistan and India. The Pakistanis were putting up "a most determined attack," according to an Indian spokesman, who admitted that Indian casualties had been heavy. But he added that Pakistani casualties were heavier. The Pakistanis' aim was to strike for the Indian city of Jammu and the 200-mile-long Jammu-Srinagar highway, which links India with the Vale of Kashmir. The Indians were forced to retreat from the west bank of the Munnawar Tawi River, where they had tried desperately to hold on. 

Except for Chhamb and other isolated battles, both sides seemed to be going about the war with an "old boy" attitude: "If you don't really hit my important bases, I won't bomb yours." Behind all this, of course, is the fact that many Indian and Pakistani officers, including the two countries' commanding generals, went to school with one another at Sandhurst or Dehra Dun. India's commanding general in the east, Lieut. General Jagjit Singh Aurora, was a classmate of Pakistan's President Yahya. "We went to school together to learn how best to kill each other," said one Indian officer. 

"To an outsider," TIME'S Marsh Clark cabled after a tour of the western front, "the Indian army seemed precise, old-fashioned and sane. The closer you get to the front, the more tea and cookies you get,' one American correspondent complained. But things get done. Convoys move up rapidly, artillery officers direct their fire with dispatch. Morale is extremely high, and Indian officers always refer to the Pakistanis, though rather condescendingly, as 'those chaps.' " 

Abandoned Britches 

On a visit to Sehjra, a key town in a Pakistani salient that pokes into Indian territory east of Lahore where Indian troops have been advancing, Clark found turbaned men working in the fields while jets flew overhead and artillery sounded in the distance. "There are free tea stalls along the road," he reported, "and teenagers throw bags of nuts, plus oranges and bananas, into the Jeeps carrying troops to the front, and shout encouragement. When our Jeep stops, kids surround it and yell at us, demanding that we write a story saying their village is still free and not captured, as claimed by Pakistani radio. 

"As we come up on the border, the Indian commander receives us. He recounts how his Gurkha soldiers kicked off the operation at 9 o'clock at night and hit the well-entrenched Pakistanis at midnight. I think we took them by surprise,' he says, and an inspection of the hooch of the Pakistani area commanding officer confirms it. On his bed is a suitcase, its confusion indicating it was hastily packed. There are several shirts, some socks. And his trousers. Nice trousers of gray flannel made, according to the label, by Mr. Abass, a tailor in Rawalpindi. The colonel, it is clear, has departed town and left his britches behind." 

South of Sehjra, Indian armored units have been plowing through sand across the West Pakistan border, taking hundreds of square miles of desert and announcing the advance of their troops to places that apparently consist of two palm trees and a shallow pool of brackish water. Among the enemy equipment reported captured: several camels. The reason behind this rather ridiculous adventure is the fear that Pakistan will try to seize large tracts of Indian territory to hold as ransom for the return of East Bengal. That now seems an impossibility with Bangladesh an independent nation, but India wants to have land in the west to bargain with.
The western part of India is on full wartime alert. All cities are completely blacked out at night, fulfilling, as it were, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's warning that it would be a "long, dark December." Air raid sirens wail almost continuously. During one 15-hour period in the Punjab, there were eleven airraid alerts. One all-clear was sounded by the jittery control room before the warning blast was given. The nervousness, though, was justified: two towns in the area had been bombed with a large loss of life as Pakistani air force planes zipped repeatedly across the border. Included in their attacks was the city of Amritsar, whose Golden Temple is the holiest of holies to all Sikhs. At Agra, which was bombed in the Pakistanis' first blitz, the Taj Mahal was camouflaged with a forest of twigs and leaves and draped with burlap because its marble glowed like a white beacon in the moonlight. 

The fact that India is not launching any major offensives in the western sector suggests that New Delhi wants to keep the war there as uncomplicated as possible. Though the two nations have tangled twice before in what is officially called the state of Jammu and Kashmir, neither country has gained any territory since the original cease fire line was drawn in 1949. There are several reasons why New Delhi is not likely to try to press now for control of the disputed area.

The first is a doubt that the people of Azad Kashmir, as the Pakistani portion is called, would welcome control by India; in that case, India could be confronted with an embarrassing uprising.
The second reason is that in 1963, shortly after India's brief but bloody war with China, Pakistan worked out a provisional border agreement with Peking ceding some 1,300 sq. mi. of Kashmir to China. Peking has since linked up the old "silk route" highway from Sinkiang province to the city of Gilgit in Pakistani Kashmir with an all-weather macadam motor highway running down to the northern region of Ladakh near the cease-fire line. Should Indian troops get anywhere near China's highway or try to grasp its portion of Kashmir, New Delhi could expect to have a has sle with Peking on its hands. 

Constant Harassment Pakistan, on the other hand, has much to gain if it can wrest the disputed province, particularly the lush and fabled Vale, from Indian control. Strategically, the region is extremely important, bor dering on both China and Afghanistan as well as India and Pakistan. More over, Kashmir's population is predominantly Moslem. 

Still, the war was also beginning to take its toll on the people of West Pakistan. " The almost constant air raids over Islamabad, Karachi and other cities have brought deep apprehension, even panic," TIME'S Louis Kraar cabled from Rawalpindi. "It is not massive bombing, just constant harassment — though there have been several hundred civilian casualties. Thus when the planes roar overhead, life completely halts in the capital and people scurry into trenches or stand in doorways with woolen shawls over their heads, ostrichlike. Be cause of the Kashmir mountains, the radar in the area does not pick up Indian planes until they are about 15 miles away. 

"Pakistanis have taken to caking mud all over their autos in the belief that it camouflages them from Indian planes. In nightly blackouts, the road traffic moves along with absolutely no lights, and fear has prevailed so com pletely over common sense that there has probably been more bloodshed in traffic accidents than in the air raids. The government has begun urging motorists only to shield their lights, but peasants throw stones at any car that keeps them on. In this uneasy atmosphere, Pakistani antiaircraft gunners opened up on their own high-flying Sabre jets one evening last week. At one point, the military stationed an antiaircraft ma chine gun atop the Rawalpindi Inter continental Hotel, but guests convinced them it was dangerous." 

Soviet Airlift In New Delhi, the mood was not so much jingoism as jubilation that India's main goal — the establishment of a government in East Bengal that would en sure the return of the refugees — was ac complished so quickly. There was little surprise when Prime Minister Gandhi announced to both houses of Parliament early last week that India would become the first government to recognize Bangladesh. Still, members thumped their desks, cheered loudly and jumped in the aisles to express their delight. "The valiant struggle of the people of Bangladesh in the face of tremendous odds has opened a new chapter of heroism in the history of freedom movements," Mrs. Gandhi said. "The whole world is now aware that [Bangladesh] reflects the will of an overwhelming majority of the people, which not many governments can claim to represent."

There was little joy in New Delhi, however, over the Nixon Administration's hasty declaration blaming India for the war in the subcontinent, or over U.N. Ambassador George Bush's remark that India was guilty of "aggression" (see box). Indian officials were also reported shocked by the General Assembly's unusually swift and one-sided vote calling for a cease-fire and withdrawal of troops. 

Call for Armaments 

Meanwhile, there was still the danger that other nations could get involved. Pakistan was reported putting pressure on Turkey, itself afflicted with internal problems, to provide ships, tanks, bazookas, and small arms and ammunition. Since Turkey obtains heavy arms from the U.S., it would be necessary to have American approval to give them to Pakistan. There was also a report that the Soviet Union was using Cairo's military airbase Almaza as a refueling stop in flying reinforcements to India. Some 30 giant Antonov-12 transports, each capable of carrying two dismantled MIGs or two SAM batteries, reportedly touched down last week. The airlift was said to have displeased the Egyptians, who are disturbed over India's role in the war. For its part, Washington stressed that its SEATO and CENTO treaties with Pakistan in no way bind it to come to its aid. 

If the Bangladesh government was not yet ensconced in the capital of Dacca by week's end, it did appear that its foundations had been firmly laid. As Mrs. Gandhi said in her speech to Parliament, the leaders of the People's Republic of Bangladesh—as the new nation will be officially known —"have proclaimed their basic principles of state policy to be democracy, socialism, secularism and establishment of an egalitarian society in which there would be no discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex or creed. In regard to foreign relations, the Bangladesh government have expressed their determination to follow a policy of nonalignment, peaceful coexistence and opposition to colonialism, racialism and imperialism." 

Bangladesh was born of a dream twice deferred. Twenty-four years ago, Bengalis voted to join the new nation of Pakistan, which had been carved out of British India as a Moslem homeland. Before long, religious unity disintegrated into racial and regional bigotry as the autocratic Moslems of West Pakistan systematically exploited their Bengali brethren in the East. One year ago last week, the Bengalis thronged the polls in Pakistan's first free nationwide election, only to see their overwhelming mandate to Mujib brutally reversed by West Pakistani soldiers. That crackdown took a terrible toll: perhaps 1,000,000 dead, 10 million refugees, untold thousands homeless, hungry and sick.

The memories are still fresh of those who died of cholera on the muddy paths to India, or suffered unspeakable atrocities at the hands of the Pakistani military. And there are children, blind and brain-damaged, who will carry the scars of malnutrition for the rest of their lives. As a Bangladesh official put it at the opening of the new nation's first diplomatic mission in New Delhi last week: "It is a dream come true, but you must also remember that we went through a nightmare." 

Economic Prospects

How stable is the new nation? Economically, Bangladesh has nowhere to go but up. As Pakistan's eastern wing, it contributed between 50% and 70% of that country's foreign exchange earnings but received only a small percentage in return. The danger to East Bengal's economy lies mainly in the fact that it is heavily based on jute and burlap, and synthetic substitutes are gradually replacing both. But if it can keep all of its own foreign exchange, as it now will, it should be able to develop other industries. It will also open up trade with India's West Bengal, and instead of competing with India, may frame joint marketing policies with New Delhi. India also intends to help with Bangladesh's food problems in the next year.

One of the main conditions of India's support is that Bangladesh organize the expeditious return of the refugees and restore their lands and belongings to them. The Bangladesh government is also intent on seeking war reparations from Pakistan if possible.

What of West Pakistan? The loss of East Pakistan will no doubt be a tremendous blow to its spirit and a destabilizing factor in its politics. But the Islamabad regime, shorn of a region that was politically, logistically and militarily difficult to manage and stripped down to a population of 58 million, may prove a much more homogeneous unit. In that sense, the breakup could prove to be a blessing in disguise. Both nations, moreover, might be expected to get considerable foreign aid to help them back onto their feet.

Leadership Vacuum 

Last week Yahya announced the appointment of a 77-year-old Bengali named Nurul Amin as the Prime Minister-designate for a future civilian government, to which he has promised to turn over some of his military regime's power. Amin figured in last December's elections, which precipitated the whole tragedy. In those elections Mujib's Awami League won 167 of the 169 Assembly seats at stake; Amin, an independent who enjoyed prestige as an elder statesman, won one of the two others. But he is essentially a figurehead, and former Foreign Minister Zulfikar All Bhutto was appointed his deputy, which means that he will probably have the lion's share of the power. That may come sooner than expected. There were reports last week that Yahya's fall from power may be imminent. Bhutto is a contentious, pro-Chinese politician who was instrumental in persuading Yahya in effect to set aside the results of the election and to keep Mujib from becoming Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Bangladesh's main difficulty is apt to come from a leadership vacuum should Yahya refuse to release Mujib, the spellbinding leader who has led the fight for Bengali civil liberties since partition. All of the Awami Leaguers who formed the provisional government of Bangladesh in exile last April are old colleagues of Mujib's and have grown accustomed to handling responsibilities since he went to prison. But running a volatile war-weakened new nation is considerably more difficult than managing a political party. The trouble is that none of them have the tremendous charisma that attracted million-strong throngs to hear Mujib. The top leaders, all of whom won seats in the aborted National Assembly last December by overwhelming margins, are: — Syed Nazrul Islam, 46, acting President in the absence of Mujib, a lawyer who frequently served as the Sheik's deputy in the past. He was active in the struggle against former President Ayub Khan, and when Mujib was thrown in jail, he led the party through the crisis.
Tajuddin Ahmed, 46. Prime Minister, a lawyer who has been a chief organizer in the Awami League since its founding in 1949. He is an expert in economics and is considered one of the party's leading intellectuals. — Khandakar Moshtaque Ahmed, 53, Foreign Minister, a lawyer who was active in the Indian independence movement and helped found the Awami League.

The most immediate problem is to prevent a bloodbath in Bangladesh against non-Bengalis accused of collaborating with the Pakistani military. Toward this end. East Bengal government officials who chose to remain in Bangladesh through the fighting are being inducted into the new administration and taking over as soon as areas are liberated. Actually, India's recognition came earlier than planned. One reason was to circumvent a charge reportedly budding in the U.N. that India had joined the battle to annex the province to India. Another was to enable the Bangladesh government to assume charge as soon as large chunks of territory were liberated by the army. Since New Delhi does not want to be accused of having exchanged West Pakistani colonialism for Indian colonialism, it is expected to lean over backward to let the Bangladesh government do things its way.

The Walk Back 

Is there any chance that the Pakistanis may yet engineer a startling turn of the tide, rout the Indians from the East and destroy the new nation in its infancy? Virtually none. As Correspondent Clark cabled: "Touts who are betting on the outcome between India and Pakistan might ponder the fact that two of the TIME correspondents who were visiting Pakistan this week [Clark in the West, Stewart deep in the East] were there with Indian forces."

And so at week's end the streams of refugees who walked so long and so far to get to India began making the long journey back home to pick up the threads of their lives. For some, there were happy reunions with relatives and friends, for others tears and the bitter sense of loss for those who will never return. But there were new homes to be raised, new shrines to be built, and a new nation to be formed. The land was there too, lush and green.

"Man's history is waiting in patience for the triumph of the insulted man," Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel-prizewinning Bengali poet, once wrote. Triumph he had, but at a terrible price. With the subcontinent at war, and the newborn land still wracked by bone-shattering poverty, the joy in Bangladesh was necessarily tempered by sorrow.

*Pakistan claimed the plane was India's. Some Bengalis and foreign observers believed it was Pakistani, but other observers pointed out that the only forces known to be flying piston-engined aircraft were the Mukti Bahini, the Bengali liberation forces.

Enclave Dwellers stage Protest

Just a few hours before the Prime Minister's visit to Kolkata on Sunday, nearly 2,000 Bangladeshi nationals staged a demonstration at Metro channel, in the heart of the city, demanding immediate recognition of their identity as Indian by speedy exchange of enclaves.

The agitating Bangladeshis are actually residents of Bangladeshi enclaves located inside Indian mainland in Cooch Behar. Since Partition, these small patches of land remained inside Indian territory, isolated from Bangladesh, but officially as part of Bangladesh. Similarly thousands of people in Indian enclaves remained isolated from India inside Bangladesh. Since Independence, these people virtually remained stateless, deprived of basic services and with an identity crisis as none of the governments do not accept them.
To ease the situation, long back in 1974, then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had signed an agreement with her Bangladesh counterpart Seikh Mujibur Rahman where both countries had accepted to exchange the enclaves and to merge the enclave lands with the mainland. But since then nothing happened.
For the past few years, enclave dwellers of both countries have floated a common platform - Bharat Bangladesh Enclave Exchange Coordination Committee (BBEECC) and raised their voice to both governments demanding speedy exchange to end the land lock.

The movement however prodded both the governments to conduct a census at enclaves in 2011 for the first time since independence. And the enclave exchange issue is a major one in coming bilateral meet in Dhaka where Indian premier will meet his Bangladesh counterpart.
The leadership of the forum however fears that influential sections of both governments are active to delay the process citing security reason. "We know who all are trying to delay the process and how their vested interest will be harmed after the exchange. So we have come to Kolkata along with nearly 2,000 enclave dwellers, who are officially Bangladesh national so that the PM comes to know about our plight," said Diptiman Sengupta, assistant secretary of BBEECC.

"It's our appeal to the Prime Minister to take prompt action to end this unbearable humiliation of thousand of people who are struggling for minimum identity," said Ahsan Hasan, another leader of the forum.

Unfair Advantage Via Satellite Channels

The information minister let it be known that efforts are on to enable Indian citizens to view Bangladeshi satellite channels from within every one of its states. It is indeed about time the government applied its mind to this long ignored, less than sound, situation. The fact is, while viewers in Bangladesh are bombarded with all kinds of Indian 'infotainment' -- TV serials, cinemas, talk shows and what-not, with hefty doses of advertisements of consumer products -- via their satellite channels, Bangladeshi TV channels are yet to enjoy similar access to viewers.

Indian as well as foreign companies which advertise on Indian satellite channels have thus been enjoying a great deal of unfair economic advantage. This brings double jeopardy for Bangladesh, hurting the potential of the country's growing advertising industry and other business in general. The products and messages advertised on Indian channels are getting beamed into Bangladeshi homes at no cost at all, and all gain, to themselves. Obviously not even a paisa's worth of revenue comes for Bangladesh from this unilateral 'generosity' towards Indian channels, and those affected in the country have therefore been calling for rationalization of sky-based competition.

The information minister's statement about on-going efforts to do so came in the course of a question-time session in the Jatiya Sangsad last Thursday. An up to date advertising policy is also said to be in the making. It is not known whether the 'jamming' of Bangladesh channels from the Indian side, to prevent easy viewing by its citizens, has anything to do with improving the Bangladesh policy on advertising, but on both counts there is much that needs to be done to put sky-sharing on a fair and healthy footing. The satellite channels of Bangladesh have much potential to charm the bordering states at least, if not the other cosmopolitan expanses of this vast neighbour.

The details of sharing advertisements, revenues and even programmes could surely be worked out for the maximum mutual benefit. The revenue earned from advertising in Bangladesh is estimated to be between Taka 12 billion and Taka 15 billion. Compared to booming India, this may not be anything to write home about, but the growing domestic industry is certainly to be reckoned with. It provides direct jobs and all kinds of spin-offs, and has tremendous potential for further expansion. Earnings via direct advertisements of foreign products through the increasingly sophisticated satellite channels could make a big difference in the sector and this could be facilitated through honest deals with Indian TV companies to share both regional and global opportunities.

As for the expressed intention to improve Bangladesh's advertisement policy, it is hoped the government would take a more enlightened approach than that currently working. Companies must be obliged to take care of the design and content of their messages in order to avoid misleading or harming susceptible viewers and consumers. A case in point is an advertisement for an insecticide that most Indian channels run over and over again. It shows children playing hide and seek with the mother and the latter spraying the product in her hiding place to kill mosquitoes. The smell of the poison, which is shown as being inhaled most joyfully by the players, gave the hideout away! Such moronic messages need to be shot down forthwith and the designers and companies duly penalized, for insecticides can very much kill vulnerable children and must not be deliberately inhaled. These serious aspects ought to be kept in mind when reforming Bangladesh's advertisement policy and when dealing with foreign ads as well.

BANGLADESH: Mujib's Road from Prison to Power

 TO some Western observers, the scene stirred thoughts of Pontius Pilate deciding the fates of Jesus and Barabbas. "Do you want Mujib freed?" cried Pakistan President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, at a rally of more than 100,000 supporters in Karachi. The crowd roared its assent, as audiences often do when subjected to Bhutto's powerful oratory. Bowing his head, the President answered: "You have relieved me of a great burden." 

Thus last week Bhutto publicly announced what he had previously told TIME Correspondent Dan Coggin: his decision to release his celebrated prisoner, Sheik Mujibur ("Mujib") Rahman, the undisputed political leader of what was once East Pakistan, and President of what is now the independent country of Bangladesh.
Five days later, after two meetings with Mujib, Bhutto lived up to his promise. He drove to Islamabad Airport to see Mujib off for London aboard a chartered Pakistani jetliner. To maintain the utmost secrecy, the flight left at 3 a.m. The secret departure was not announced to newsmen in Pakistan until ten hours later, just before the arrival of the Shah of Iran at the same airport for a six-hour visit with Bhutto. By that time Mujib had reached London—tired but seemingly in good health. "As you can see, I am very much alive and well," said Mujib, jauntily puffing on a brier pipe. "At this stage I only want to be seen and not heard." 

A few hours later, however, after talking by telephone with India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in New Delhi and with the acting President of Bangladesh, Syed Nazrul Islam, in Dacca, Mujib held a press conference in the ballroom of Claridge's Hotel. While scores of jubilant East Bengalis gathered outside the hotel, Mujib called for world recognition of Bangladesh, which he described as "an unchallengeable reality," and asked that it be admitted to the United Nations. 

Clearly seething with rage, Mujib described his life "in a condemned cell in a desert area in the scorching heat," for nine months without news of his family or the outside world. He was ready to be executed, he said. "And a man who is ready to die, nobody can kill." He knew of the war, he said, because "army planes were moving, and there was the blackout." Only after his first meeting with Bhutto did he know that Bangladesh had formed its own government. Of the Pakistani army's slaughter of East Bengalis, Mujib declared: "If Hitler could have been alive today, he would be ashamed." 

Mujib spoke well of Bhutto, however, but emphasized that he had made no promise that Bangladesh and Pakistan would maintain a link that Bhutto anxiously wants to have. "I told him I could only answer that after I returned to my people," said the sheik. Why had he flown to London instead of to Dacca or some closer neutral point? "Don't you know I was a prisoner?" Mujib snapped. "It was the Pakistan government's will, not mine." While in London, he said, he hoped to meet with British Prime Minister Edward Heath before leaving for a triumphal return to Bangladesh.

Little Choice. Although Mujib's flight to London rather than to Dacca was something of a surprise, his release from house arrest was not. In truth, Bhutto had little choice but to set him free. A Mujib imprisoned, Bhutto evidently decided, was of no real benefit to Pakistan; a Mujib dead and martyred would only have deepened the East Bengalis' hatred of their former countrymen. But a Mujib allowed to return to his rejoicing people might perhaps be used to coax Bangladesh into forming some sort of loose association with Pakistan.
In the light of Mujib's angry words about Pakistan at the London press conference, Bhutto's dream of reconciliation with Bangladesh appeared unreal. Yet some form of association may not be entirely beyond hope of achievement. For the time being, Bangladesh will be dependent upon India for financial, military and other aid. Bhutto may well have been reasoning that sooner or later the Bangladesh leaders will tire of the presence of Indian troops and civil servants, and be willing to consider a new relation with their humbled Moslem brothers.

Bangladesh, moreover, may find it profitable and even necessary to reestablish some of the old trade ties with Pakistan. As Bhutto put it: 

"The existing realities do not constitute the permanent realities."
Stupendous Homecoming. One existing reality that Bhutto could hardly ignore was Bangladesh's euphoric sense of well-being after independence. 

When the news reached Bangladesh that Mujib had been freed, Dacca be gan preparing a stupendous homecoming for its national hero. All week long the capital had been electric with expectation. In the wake of the first reports that his arrival was imminent, Bengalis poured into the streets of Dacca, shouting, dancing, singing, firing rifles into the air and roaring the now-familiar cry of liberation "Joi Bangla." Many of the rejoicing citizens made a pilgrimage to the small bungalow where Mujib's wife and children had been held captive by the Pakistani army. The Begum had spent the day fasting. "When I heard the gun fire in March it was to kill the people of Bangladesh," she tearfully told the well-wishers. "Now it is to demonstrate their joy."
The people of Bangladesh will need all the joy that they can muster in the next few months. The world's new est nation is also one of its poorest. 

In the aftermath of the Pakistani army's rampage last March, a special team of inspectors from the World Bank observed that some cities looked "like the morning after a nuclear at tack." Since then, the destruction has only been magnified. An estimated 6,000,000 homes have been destroyed, and nearly 1,400,000 farm families have been left without tools or animals to work their lands. Transportation and communications systems are totally disrupted. Roads are damaged, bridges out and inland waterways blocked.

Little Choice. Although Mujib's flight to London rather than to Dacca was something of a surprise, his release from house arrest was not. In truth, Bhutto had little choice but to set him free. A Mujib imprisoned, Bhutto evidently decided, was of no real benefit to Pakistan; a Mujib dead and martyred would only have deepened the East Bengalis' hatred of their former countrymen. But a Mujib allowed to return to his rejoicing people might perhaps be used to coax Bangladesh into forming some sort of loose association with Pakistan.
In the light of Mujib's angry words about Pakistan at the London press conference, Bhutto's dream of reconciliation with Bangladesh appeared unreal. Yet some form of association may not be entirely beyond hope of achievement. For the time being, Bangladesh will be dependent upon India for financial, military and other aid. Bhutto may well have been reasoning that sooner or later the Bangladesh leaders will tire of the presence of Indian troops and civil servants, and be willing to consider a new relation with their humbled Moslem brothers.

Bangladesh, moreover, may find it profitable and even necessary to reestablish some of the old trade ties with Pakistan. As Bhutto put it:

"The existing realities do not constitute the permanent realities."
Stupendous Homecoming. One existing reality that Bhutto could hardly ignore was Bangladesh's euphoric sense of well-being after independence.

When the news reached Bangladesh that Mujib had been freed, Dacca be gan preparing a stupendous homecoming for its national hero. All week long the capital had been electric with expectation. In the wake of the first reports that his arrival was imminent, Bengalis poured into the streets of Dacca, shouting, dancing, singing, firing rifles into the air and roaring the now-familiar cry of liberation "Joi Bangla." Many of the rejoicing citizens made a pilgrimage to the small bungalow where Mujib's wife and children had been held captive by the Pakistani army. The Begum had spent the day fasting. "When I heard the gun fire in March it was to kill the people of Bangladesh," she tearfully told the well-wishers. "Now it is to demonstrate their joy."
The people of Bangladesh will need all the joy that they can muster in the next few months. The world's new est nation is also one of its poorest.

In the aftermath of the Pakistani army's rampage last March, a special team of inspectors from the World Bank observed that some cities looked "like the morning after a nuclear at tack." Since then, the destruction has only been magnified. An estimated 6,000,000 homes have been destroyed, and nearly 1,400,000 farm families have been left without tools or animals to work their lands. Transportation and communications systems are totally disrupted. Roads are damaged, bridges out and inland waterways blocked.

The rape of the country continued right up until the Pakistani army surrendered a month ago. In the last days of the war, West Pakistani-owned businesses—which included nearly every commercial enterprise in the country—remitted virtually all their funds to the West. Pakistan International Airlines left exactly 117 rupees ($16) in its account at the port city of Chittagong. The army also destroyed bank notes and coins, so that many areas now suffer from a severe shortage of ready cash. Private cars were picked up off the streets or confiscated from auto dealers and shipped to the West before the ports were closed.

Ruined Gardens. The principal source of foreign exchange in Bangladesh—$207 million in 1969-70—is jute; it cannot be moved from mills to markets until inland transportation is restored. Repairing vital industrial machinery smashed by the Pakistanis will not take nearly as long as making Bangladesh's ruined tea gardens productive again. Beyond that, the growers, whose poor-quality, lowland tea was sold almost exclusively to West Pakistan, must find alternative markets for their product. Bangladesh must also print its own currency and, more important, find gold reserves to back it up. "We need foreign exchange, that is, hard currency," says one Dacca banker. "That means moving the jute that is already at the mills. It means selling for cash, not in exchange for Indian rupees or East European machinery. It means getting foreign aid, food relief, and fixing the transportation system, all at the same time. It also means chopping imports."

The Bangladesh Planning Commission is more precise: it will take $3 billion just to get the country back to its 1969-70 economic level (when the per capita annual income was still an abysmally inadequate $30). In the wake of independence, the government of Bangladesh, headed by Acting President Syed Nazrul Islam and Prime Minister Tajuddin Ahmed, has instituted stringent measures to control inflation, including a devaluation of the rupee in terms of the pound sterling (from 15 to 18), imposing a ceiling of $140 a month on all salaries and limiting the amount of money that Bengalis can draw from banks. Such measures hit hardest at the urban, middle-class base of the dominant Awami League, but there has been little opposition, largely because most Bengalis seem to approve of the moderately socialist course laid out by the government. Last week Nazrul Islam announced that the government will soon nationalize the banking, insurance, foreign trade and basic industries as a step toward creating an "exploitation-free economy."

Not the least of the new nation's problems is the repatriation of the 10 million refugees who fled to India. As of last week, Indian officials said that more than 1,000,000 had already returned, most of them from the states of West Bengal and Tripura. To encourage the refugees, camp officials gave each returning family a small gift consisting of a new set of aluminum kitchen utensils, some oil, charcoal, a piece of chocolate, two weeks' rations of rice and grain and the equivalent of 50¢ in cash.

Within Bangladesh, transit camps have been set up to provide overnight sleeping facilities. The government acknowledges that it will need foreign aid and United Nations assistance.

Some U.N. supplies are already stockpiled in the ports, awaiting restoration of distribution facilities.
The political future of Bangladesh is equally uncertain. For the moment, there is all but universal devotion to the words and wisdom of Mujib, but whether he can institute reforms quickly enough to maintain his total hold on his countrymen is another question. Many of the more radical young guerrillas who fought with the Mukti Bahini (liberation forces) may not be content with the moderate course charted by the middle-aged politicians of the Awami League. Moreover, the present Dacca government is a very remote power in country villages where the local cadres of the Mukti Bahini are highly visible.

Already the guerrillas have split into factions, according to India's Sunanda Datta-Ray in the Statesman. The elite Mujib Bahini, named after the sheik, has now begun to call itself the "Mission," and one of its commanders, Ali Ashraf Chowdurdy, 22, told Datta-Ray: "We will never lay down our arms until our social ideals have been realized." Another guerrilla put the matter more bluntly: "For us the revolution is not over. It has only begun." So far the Mujib Bahini has done a commendable job of protecting the Biharis, the non-Bengali Moslems who earned Bengali wrath by siding with the Pakistani army. But the government is anxious to disarm the Mujib Bahini, and has plans to organize it into a constabulary that would carry out both police and militia duties.

Front Windshields. Despite its ravaged past and troubled future, Bangladesh is still a lovely land to behold, according to TIME'S William Stewart. "There is little direct evidence of the fighting along the main highway from Calcutta to Dacca," he cabled from Dacca last week, "although in some areas there are artillery-shell craters and the blackened skeletons of houses. Local markets do a brisk business in fruit and staple goods, but by Bengali standards many of the villages are all but deserted.

"Dacca has all the friendliness of a provincial town, its streets filled with hundreds of bicycle-driven rickshas, each one painted with flowers and proudly flying the new flag of Bangladesh. In fact every single car in Dacca flies the national flag, and many have Mujib's photo on the front windshield. The city is dotted with half-completed construction projects, including the new capital buildings designed by U.S. Architect Louis Kahn. Some day, when and if they are completed, Dacca will find itself with a collection of public buildings that might well be the envy of many a richer and more established capital.

"But whether you arrive at Dacca's war-damaged airport or travel the tree-lined main road from Calcutta, it is the relaxed, peaceful atmosphere that is most noticeable. Even as travel to Bangladesh becomes more difficult, customs and immigration officials are genuinely friendly and polite, smiling broadly, cheerily altering your entry forms so that you conform with the latest regulations. There is no antagonism to individual Americans. Once it is known that you are an American, however, the inevitable question is: How could the Nixon Administration have behaved the way that it did? There is in fact an almost universal belief that the American people are with them.

"That sentiment was echoed by Tajuddin Ahmed, who told me in an interview: The Nixon Administration has inflicted a great wound. Time heals wounds, of course, but there will be a scar. We are grateful to the American press, intellectual leaders and all those who raised their voices against injustice. Pakistan turned this country into a hell. We are very sorry that some administrations of friendly countries were giving support to killers of the Bengali nation. For the people of Bangladesh, any aid from Nixon would be disliked. It would be difficult, but we do not bear any lasting enmity.'"