August 14, 1947, marks the Independence Day of Pakistan. On its creation, the country had two parts, present-day Pakistan was West Pakistan and present-day Bangladesh was East Pakistan, Rizki noted in a statement on Thursday.
Rizki remarked that almost two decades later, in 1971, Bangladesh became an independent country, and it celebrates its Independence Day on March 26.
As with every nation-state in the world, the history of Bangladesh and its relations after independence with Pakistan have been shaped through a multitude of internal and external factors, outside actors, and self-interests of those in power, Rizki pointed out.
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He stated that Bangladesh is a reality, a prospering Muslim-majority country and so is its history embedded with Pakistan.
As is the case with all historians, there are always two sides of the story, he noted.
While there is no contesting the fact that innocent people lost their lives in erstwhile East Pakistan, their numbers have never been verified by a neutral authority, he stated.
Moreover, he said, the violent environment in 1971 had the involvement of various external and internal actors.
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Renowned Bengali writers, such as Sarmila Bose and Chowdhury Abdul Mumin, provide an insight bearing a different reality on ground in 1971, highlighting the involvement of Indian trained Bengalis — Mukti Bahini — alongside foreign intelligence agencies in fomenting the crisis in erstwhile East Pakistan.
No history is perfect, and alternative views will always exist. We live in a time when disinformation is a norm, and only a thorough study can reveal the truth about any aspect of history.
The aim of studying history is to learn from it and promote reconciliation to achieve a win-win situation. He highlighted the quote of Harriet Woods that one can stand tall without standing on someone.
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