Courtesy: BBC News
By Shahzeb Jillani South Asia Editor, BBC World Service
Pakistan was losing a war and it was also losing its eastern half, separated from the rest of the country by more than 1,600km (990 miles) of India.
After nine months of internal strife and a military crackdown against Bangladeshi separatists, the full-scale war with India was swift and decisive. It lasted just 13 days.
The defeat of the Pakistani army on 16 December 1971 was a triumph for India and the Bengali insurgents it had assisted.
For Pakistan, it was perhaps the darkest moment in its history and the ultimate humiliation. The army stood accused of mass murder, torture and rape. Tens of thousands of Pakistani soldiers were taken prisoners of war.
Even after 40 years a vast majority of Pakistani civilians is unaware of the military operations in Bangladesh. Since the silent majority of Pakistan ignored this atrocity of its political leaders, it led to the creation of a fanatic government that tramples upon the human rights of its innocent civilians. The sectarian violence in recent years and the ongoing persecution of minorities especially the blatant disregard of human right of Ahmadi Muslims and Christians are an offshoot of the monstrous political apparatus resulted from 1971 war. So it is imperative that the Pakistani silent majority investigates the facts of the war and make its government accountable for its mistakes. Bangladesh has taken the bold step to start a war tribunal where the collaborators of 1971 that led to the massacre of thousands of civilians are brought to justice. We encourage both the Islamic governments of Pakistan and Bangladesh to present to the world good example of Islamic teachings as they deal with each other and their own citizens. We cannot change the past but we can learn from history that without absolute justice there will be no peace and Martin Luther King Jr eloquently expressed that injustice anywhere is threat to justice everywhere. Allah has Mercy on these two nations!