“Tormented Truth 1971 & Beyond…”
The India Study Centre (ISC) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) organized the Book Launch of “Tormented Truth 1971 & Beyond…” authored by Group Captain (Retd) S. M. Hali SI (M) on November 16, 2021, at ISSI, Islamabad. The event was attended by diplomats, dignitaries, scholars, students, journalists, and people from all walks of life.
Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director General ISSI, welcomed the Chief Guest General Ehsan ul Haq, NI (M), (Retd), the distinguished audience and participants. The DG ISSI expressed his utmost delight for covering a rather neglected research topic in the history of Pakistan and congratulated the author Group Captain (Retd) S. M. Hali. He recalled his teenage years when the unfortunate event of 1971 happened. He said that it is tormented history in which Gen. Yahya, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto share a responsibility. Their actions provided India an opportunity to dismember Pakistan. However, the DG ISSI Amb. Chaudhry did condemn the illegal and immoral Indian intervention in Pakistan’s internal affairs.
Earlier, Dr. Saif ur Rehman Malik, Director ISC, lauded Group Captain (Retd) S. M. Hali for producing the book. He said that the ISC under the able guidance of DG ISSI Amb. Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry has so far conducted 16 major events involving national and international speakers. Recently, the ISC has also produced a book entitled “India’s Relations with Neighbours: Cooperation or Confrontation?,” covering India’s foreign relations with its neighbours, he added.
Group Captain (Retd) S. M. Hali, SI (M) while shedding lights on his book said that his research and title of the book tell the truth about the dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971. He said that it is very important to know that why he had written this book. The book is written with the aim of to get rid of the myth of three million Bengalis genocide carried out by Pakistan Army in 1971. The myth of three million Bengalis genocide is a part of Bangladeshi syllabus. Hali said that he had realized that the truth must be told to the world. We acknowledge that Bangladesh is a reality, and it has been thriving and we Pakistan are proud of their success but still the truth must be told and every few years the old wounds are opened that Pakistan Army has to apologize and the people of Pakistan have to apologize. In last, he said that let’s move forward with message of friendship.
Senator Javed Jabbar while expressing his views articulated that why truth is associated with torment and truth is supposed to be beautiful and supreme revealing everything. The truth can be a source of great pain and the truth sometimes cannot be born. When sometimes the truth is distorted as it has been since 1971. And 1971 will remain a source of disturbing memory. Hali has made an extensively researched effort and added further literature. The creation of Bangladesh did not reject the reality of Muslim nationalism in South Asia. It rejected the original state structure of Pakistan even the constitution of Bangladesh Article 2A says that the state religion will remain Islam, he added.
Later, Ambassador Salahuddin Chaudhry, said that being a person of Bengali origin, he followed the advice of his father (Vice Chancellor International Islamic University) to stay in Rawalpindi and he vehemently argued that he is a proud Pakistani. He shared his personal experiences of Hindu Bengalis and people of India tormenting the people of East Pakistan, especially those who had a patriotic view of Pakistan. Amb. Chaudhry did congratulate the author for laborious research and worthy analysis.
Air Vice Marshal Zubair Alam, HI (M), (Retd) said that he was a member of the team who wrote the official history of the Pakistan Air Force called the “The Story of the PAF.” Air Vice Marshal Alam remembered that he took part in the 1971 Indo-Pak War when he flew C-130 transport aircraft in combat support and airfield assault operations. Prior to that, he also took part in the flood relief operations in 1970 by flying from West to East Pakistan. He lamented that continental transport was rendered impossible by the militants and miscreants of Mukti Bahini trained and supported by India. Air Vice Marshal Alam said that the title says it all and praised the author.
General Ehsan ul Haq, NI (M), (Retd) made a glowing ovation and congratulated the author for such a wonderful scholarship of unbiased and objective literature. He said that we should adopt the policy of forget and forgive. He also urged that the people of Pakistan should come out of the “Bangladesh Syndrome” and should move ahead by learning from the past mistakes.