Pakistanian Conflicts Lead to the Secession of Bangladesh (Great Events from History II: Human Rights Series)
Article abstract: East Pakistanis’ perceptions of denial of political rights, especially the right of the Awami League to form a government after electoral victory, climaxed in secession through a civil war.
Summary of Event
In the wake of the British withdrawal in August, 1947, India and Pakistan emerged as two independent sovereign states following the bloody partition of the subcontinent. The demand for a separate state for Muslims was formulated by the leaders of the Muslim League, mainly between the 1920’s and the 1940’s. Self-rule became the main goal of the nationalist movement and was viewed as protection from the possible future tyranny of a Hindu-majority state. Initially, independent states were sought for the Muslim-majority areas in the northwestern and northeastern zones of undivided India. As the transfer of power from the British approached, the Muslim League, under Mohammed Ali Jinnah, negotiated for a single state for the Muslims of the two zones, which were a thousand miles apart. From the beginning, the prospects of a strong national integration of Pakistan were bleak. Religion proved to be a weak bond of unity in comparison with cultural, linguistic, and other primordial loyalties of the peoples. Retrospectively, the East Pakistanis remained dissatisfied with the Muslim League’s bargaining for a single state and apprehensive of playing second fiddle to the West Pakistanis, who dominated the...
(The entire section is 2517 words.)
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