Blood over Different Shades of Green: East Pakistan 1971: History Revisited

ISBN : 9780190702274

Ikram Sehgal; Bettina Robotka
420 Pages
138 x 216 mm
Pub date
Mar 2020
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The famous British philosopher and historian, R.G. Collingwood, suggested that a historian must reconstruct history by using 'historical imagination' to're-enact' the thought processes of historical persons based on information and evidence from historical sources. That is what the authors of the present book have tried to do. The events of 1971 that resulted in the breakup of Pakistan are a milestone in Pakistans history. To retrieve what happened and why it happened is an exercise that so far has been avoided or left at best incomplete. The book based on published and unpublished memories of activists of 1971 attempts to give a critical assessment of the events and spell out lessons that have to be learnt.


Preface by Bettina Robotka
Introduction by Ikram Sehgal
1. The Cultural Identity of East Bengalis
2. The Language Movement
3. Purba Pakistan: The United Bengal Plan, and the Partition of Bengal
4. Economic Disparity and Delayed Development of East Pakistan
5. Political Differences between East and West Pakistan
6. The 1965 War, the Six-Point Movement, and Agartala
7. Towards Open Confrontation
8. First General Election in Pakistan: December 1970
9. Election Aftermath
10. Outrage in March 1971
11. A Deadly Polarisation
12. The Stalemate
13. Operation Searchlight Phase-I
14. Winning the Battle but Losing the War-I
15. Accusations of Rape and Genocide
16. Winning the Battle but Losing the War-II
17. India's Role in the East Pakistan Crisis
18. Dhaka Daze
19. The Theatre of the Absurd: September and October 1971
20. The Beginning of the End
21. The Last Days of United Pakistan
22. The Aftermath of 1971: Lessons to be Learned
1 Extracts from Ikram Sehgal's books published in 2010
2 (a). Facsimile of a Letter by General (retd.) M.A.G. Osmany, 30 June 1983
(b). Facsimile of a Letter by General (retd.) M.A.G. Osmany, 5 September 1983
3 Operation Searchlight Phase I
4 Operation Searchlight Phase II
5 Lt. Gen. Ali Kuli Khan Khattak HI (M)
6 Lt. Gen. Imtiaz Waraich HI (M), SJ
7 Brief Narrative by Col. (retd) Salman Ahmed
8 16 December 1971: Lessons not Learned by Brigadier (retd) Mujahid Alam

About the author: 

Ikram Sehgal graduated from the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA), Kakul, in October 1965. Commissioned into 2 EB (Junior Tigers), he served the regiment till 1968, before qualifying as a pilot in Pakistan Army Aviation where he served from 1968 to 1971. He became a prisoner of war (POW) in April 1971 while serving in former East Pakistan (Bangladesh), and was sent to the Panagarh POW camp in India. In July 1971, Ikram Sehgal became the first Pakistani officer to escape from an Indian POW camp. Sehgal set up his own business in 1977, specializing in trading and counter trade. He is the chairman of the Pathfinder Group Pakistan. Sehgal is a regular contributor of articles in newspapers that include the Daily Times, Express Tribune, Daily Express, Ausaf, Taqat, Khabrain, Intekhab, Ittehad, and Awami Awaz (Sindhi) as well as the South Asian Monitor (Malaysia). He has also written regularly for The Nation, Nawa-i-Waqt, The News, and Daily Jang for several years.; Bettina Robotka has a PhD from the Institute of Asian and African Studies (IAAS), Humboldt University, on the Indian National Movement in nineteenth century UP. For over thirty years, she taught various aspects of Indian colonial and Pakistan history at the IAAS. From 2005 to 2010 and 2012 to 2013, she joined the Higher Education Commission (HEC) foreign faculty programme as a full professor and taught various courses in history and social sciences at IBA and IoBM, Karachi. Robotka has published extensively on topics like history of the national movement in the subcontinent, Iqbal, political system of Pakistan, democracy in South Asia, and the role of Islam in politics. She is now working on aspects of Pakistans international relations and foreign policy. She reviews articles for several HEC recognized journals of Pakistan and evaluates PhD theses for the University of the Punjab, IIUI, and Area Study Center for Europe, University of Karachi.

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