The book, "1971: Bhetore Baire" (1971: Inside and Outside), provides a holistic view of the planning, tactics and strategies of the liberation war, but a few remarks might raise controversies that already afflict the country's history, speakers observed at its publication ceremony yesterday.
The book, written by Air Vice Marshal (retd) AK Khandaker and published by Prothoma Prokashan, reads in the first chapter that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman concluded his historic March 7 speech in 1971 by saying "Joy Pakistan".
Referring to this portion, Liberation War Museum trustee Sarwar Ali said neither the tape recorded by Abul Khair, member of the national assembly from Gopalganj nor the copy of Swaraj published on March 8, 1971 had those words.
He must have heard it from someone who did not know what the actual speech was, Ali told the launch in Bengal Shilpalay in the capital's Dhanmondi, organised by Prothoma.
Pointing out that Khandaker is not a historian but a witness to the liberation war, Ali Riaz, professor of politics and government at Illinois University, US, referred to a number of pages where the writer expressed his views on different subjects including raising questions about the announcement of independence by Bangabandhu on March 26.
Professor Emeritus Anisuzzaman, however, said all the claims about the March 26, announcement of independence by Bangabandhu should be compared to bring out the truth.
The writer, however, said he tried to mention the truth, which he witnessed during the liberation war, which many might not like.
He said that there were faults in the planning stage of the war and gave an instance how only members of a particular political party were initially recruited for conducting the guerrilla war and many suitable youths were rejected just because they did not belong to that party.
"The nation had to pay the price for the low performance of those who were initially recruited," he said, adding that during the last five months, however, suitable youths were recruited bringing a change to the initial strategy.
Chairing the programme, history professor Sirajul Islam said the book provided a balanced presentation of history and the outline of the war and the interest of different vested groups surrounding the war came up in it.
Khandaker represented Bangladesh in the surrender ceremony of the Pakistani forces to the allied forces after the Liberation War on December 16, 1971.