Shaming Bangladesh’s ongoing war crimes trial, a former Pakistan military officer said the demand for trial of former members of Pakistan Army is being done on the direction of India.
Retired colonel M Hanif came up with the theory in an article titled 'Sham trials in Bangladesh' published in the Pakistan Observer yesterday.
He blamed India for "complicating" the political scenario in the then East Pakistan in 1971 terming Bangladesh's independence struggle "Indian engineered".
In Bangladesh, while Awami League activists "continue to blame members of BD Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), Biharies, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Pakistan Army for committing atrocities and talk about conducting their trial, they do not want to try their own fellows who had committed countless atrocities on those Bengali people who were opposing separation from Pakistan", he wrote.
Hanif wrote that during the nine-month war till December 1971, "political situation in East Pakistan remained very contradictory and infighting between various Bengali groups continued, mainly among those favoring separation and others who were struggling to keep Pakistan united".
The article claimed that "whatever killings, tortures, rapes and other human rights violations might have taken place in 1971, were mainly the doing of those Bengali groups involved in the conflict".
In a bid to defend Pakistan army, he wrote it was initially trying to restore law and order, "later it was battling with Indian engineered guerilla war of Awami League separatists and then it fought war with India".
The Pak columnist questioned the figure of deaths during the 1971 liberation war.
He also questioned the institutional design of the international crimes tribunals which are dealing with 1971 war crimes cases.
"Initiation of trials after 40 years is otherwise not credible because available evidence could have been destroyed by the concerned parties," he wrote, adding that the evidence could have gone distorted in the memory of available witnesses.
Saying that some AL leaders are now talking about initiation of trial in absentia of some former Pakistani army who had performed internal security duties in East Pakistan in 1971 and are alleged to have committed atrocities, Hanif wrote that AL is using some smaller political parties for registering a case in the International Crimes Court of Justice in Geneva.
"The demand of some AL leaders for trial of alleged former members of Pakistan Army makes it quite evident that this is being done on the direction of India since that country wants to tarnish Pakistan’s and its Army’s international image," wrote the former colonel.
He also alleged that India would never like that Pakistan and Bangladesh should have friendly relations and wants tense relations between AL and BNP "since in times of BNP governments in Bangladesh Pakistan-Bangladesh relations have been good".