THIS is with reference to the article ‘The causes of the secession’ (ICON, Dec 26), which reviewed the documentary 1971: Separation of East Pakistan — The Untold Story. The writer has termed the documentary a “deliberate and one-sided account” because of the “missing perspectives of any Bangladeshi or Indian scholar or historian”. One can observe clearly that Javed Jabbar, the documentary-maker, has correctly spliced archive footages and authentic opinions by a long list of notable scholars, not only from Pakistan, but also from foreign universities.

If the writer thinks that this documentary is a one-sided account of events, he should have mentioned some authentic and credible works by any Bangladeshi or Indian scholar to show the ‘other views’ on those traumatic events. Actually, there has not been any credible work done by any Bangladeshi or Indian politician or scholar.

The writer is, however, correct in highlighting that the history of secession has been relegated to merely a few paragraphs in school curriculums. So far, no serious effort has been made to upgrade the curriculum with the actual/factual details of the independence struggle for Pakistan, or if any effort is made it was stalled by those representing vested interests.

It is imperative that the part played by certain elements during the Pakistan movement should be fully exposed and its details must be included in the curriculum at all levels. Many of such parties are still busy in their nefarious game of political subversion. If such work had been done in the past, during the early days of the country, the political canvass of Pakistan would have been better, and free from intrigues played by the remnants of the opponents and some pseudo-intellectuals.

Abid Mahmud Ansari
Islamabad

Published in Dawn, January 18th, 2022

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