Pakistan’s admission of Mollah’s guilt
By Sharier Khan
December 20, 2013
PAKISTAN’S Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s condemnation of the hanging of Quader Mollah for his war crimes of 1971 actually reinforces the proof that Mollah was indeed a collaborator of the Pakistanis and a war criminal, and that he should have stayed back in Pakistan.
This is what the Pak minister said on Friday: “Abdul Quader Mollah was undoubtedly hanged because of his loyalty and solidarity with Pakistan in 1971. Till the very end before the creation of Bangladesh, he (Mollah) remained supporter of a united Pakistan and today every Pakistani is saddened and grieved by his death.”
Nisar Ali Khan’s underlying tone was that Mollah’s support for Pakistan was heroic and laudable. But he should have also explained why, in the first place, there was a situation in 1971 where a patriotic Pakistani needed to protect the solidarity of his country and prevent it from falling apart. Pakistan was not disintegrating before March 1971. What had happened? Who was responsible for such a situation?
Does the Pak minister want to say that some miscreants led by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman imposed a war on Pakistan from March 25, 1971? Does he want to say that it was the soldiers of Bangabandhu who opened fire on the sleeping students of Dhaka University and on the general people that night? Who were the people who were trying to destroy a united Pakistan?
The minister should have also made public Mollah’s heroic actions proving his loyalty to Pakistan and how he tried to save its unity. Did Mollah try to stop the ‘miscreants’ of Bangabandhu by holding dialogues? Was he involved in a peaceful campaign to make the people understand why Pakistan should stay united and not support the freedom fighters? Did Mollah try to protect the innocent and fight the oppressors?
If we accept Nisar Ali Khan’s sentiments that Mollah was innocent, then every freedom fighter of the country is guilty of trying to break free from Pakistan. In that case, we would also have to assume that none from West Pakistan did anything wrong during that time. Pakistan was great, and it was we, the Bengalis, who were unpatriotic. And since Pakistan never said sorry for the atrocities of 1971, we would have to assume that the country faults us — the people of Bangladesh — for the war.
Nisar feels saddened by the hanging of Mollah as, according to him, this has opened up the old “wounds.” Those wounds are being carried by Pakistan, and according to him, Bangladesh has no wounds. If we must believe the Pak minister, the Bengalis here either had not suffered any loss of life, property or trauma, or whatever sufferings they endured were well-deserved.
If we accept his sentiments, then Mollah’s victims, the women and children, were also heroic — because he had to kill them to protect the country’s unity. These women and children were threats to Pakistan’s unity.
And if we must believe that Mollah never killed anyone and that we spun a myth, then once again the Pak Minister must explain what great things did Mollah do for saving Pakistan which made him so iconic that today Pakistan feels saddened by his “judicial killing”.
Pakistanis like Nisar Ali Khan or Imran Khan (who later joined the condemnation separately) would surely not understand what went on here on the soil of Bangladesh, because they were more than a thousand miles away in the west, enjoying an easy life while Bangladesh was burning.
Pakistan was one country in two different places and their people were never really united because of the distance. But of course, there were people like Quader Mollah whose body lived in this part and his mind in the other. Therefore, the Pakistanis feel sorry for them when they are hanged for their crimes against humanity.
Since the independence of Bangladesh, this is the first time Pakistan has condemned a hanging of a criminal — a war criminal. It had never condemned the killing of Bangabandhu, the killing of four leaders in jail, or for that matter anyone. By condemning the hanging of Mollah, Pakistan has proven that Jamaat’s politics till date has been influenced by Pakistan. Their senior leaders were never patriotic and they do not belong in Bangladesh.
What the Pak minister said is actually a confession that till now it had not accepted a liberated Bangladesh and its independent political existence. So far, those who opposed Bangladesh’s independence are Pakistan’s heroes. And therefore, what we hear about Jamaat and Islamist groups getting support in various ways from Pakistan, are perhaps all true.
The writer is Deputy Editor (Reporting), The Daily Star.