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Niazi plans to decide fate of Bangalees by 'Operation Searchlight'

by Asraful Huq and Mahmudul Hasan Raju

DHAKA, March 24, 2014 (BSS) - The brutal Pakistani army had planned the "Operation Searchlight" well before March 25, 1971 and it came from the wicked brain of its commander of Eastern Command Lt General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi.

The plan was found in a letter of Niazi for Major General Rao Forman Ali Khan, military law administrator of then Zone B, and it was aimed at deciding the fate of the people of Bangladesh, the then East Pakistan.

"There (East Pakistan-now Bangladesh) must be more killing, more mopping up and more witch hunting," this is how Niazi's anguish towards Bangalees was penned in his letter.

The then labour officer of Latif Bawani Jute Mills, Mustafizur Rahman, collected the letter of Niazi from a file of a businessman, Eahiya Ahmed Bawani, and then it was recollected by IBS Secretary of Rajshahi University SM Golam Nabi.

Noted historian Professor Dr Muntassir Mamoon narrated the blueprint in an article "Niazir Chithite Ganohattar Neelnaksha (Genocide blueprint in Niazi's letter) in his edited book "Muktijuddher Chhinna Dalilpatra".

Niazi in his letter gave nine specific proposals to eliminate Bangalees.

The proposals were:

"75 percent Bengali civil officers must be eliminated including doctors, and professors, and the balance of top staff be transferred to West Pakistan. The army, police and civil armed forces be freed from Bengalis.

All intelligence services including, provincial and central departments should be freed from Bengalis, who have been keeping the government in darkness about the conspiracies of separationists.

There should be one language for the whole Pakistan and that should be the only medium of instruction. The provincial education departments must be streamlined. Constitution of Pakistan be promulgated under which Bengal should be given a special status for 10 years or till all Mukti Bahini or infiltrator activities, in the opinion of the CinC of the Army, has been completely eliminated.

Behari population be consolidated in four places of East Pakistan, 1. Dacca 2. Chittagong 3. Khulna 4. Saidpur-Parbatipur.

There should be non-Bengali majority in the above three towns so that in future any anti-Pak movement may not be initiated or consolidated in these nerve centers of this province.

Every Behari between the ages of 18 to 50 be given short training and be armed, excepting those against whom the Army intelligence gives adverse report.

Housing and settlement and Relief departments be manned by Non-Bengalis at least in the upper cadre."

Also there are other evidences that indicated to the fact that the Pakistani army's "Operation Searchlight" in Dacca on March 25 midnight were part of a well-organized plan. One of such evidences was a transcript of monitored radio messages passed between army units during the early hours of March 25 in 1971.

The then temporary government (Mujibnagar Government) of independent Bangladesh found the transcript and sent copies to the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) and all heads of government.

The transcript of some part of the radio message was published in "The Times" on June 2 in 1971.