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In his last public address as the army chief of Pakistan Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has censured the ‘anti-army’ rhetoric with surprising vehemence. The remarks in this regard that he made as the outgoing are spot on and profound.

He was absolutely right and accurate on all the points or issues that he raised during his speech except one: what actually led to the fall of Dhaka or secession of the then eastern wing of Pakistan? According to him, the debacle was not a military failure, it was a ‘political failure’.

In other words, he has held politicians or civilians responsible for the breakup of Pakistan. It is true that the Pakistan army had found itself pitted against some truly formidable odds such as a much bigger Indian army in terms of numbers aided and supported by thousands of secessionists led by Mukti Bahini, Gen Yahya Khan and Tikka Khan, for example, were as responsible for the growing political unrest that ultimately led to secession of East Pakistan from its western wing of the country as Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Mujibur Rahman.

Gen Bajwa, in my view, has said the truth; but it’s not the whole truth. He ought to have reflected without omission, embellishment, or alteration, which he unfortunately didn’t. Be that as it may, Gen Bajwa will always be remembered for, among other things, successfully persuading his colleagues to do something historic in the real sense of the word: shun politics forever. I salute Gen Bajwa.

Mehdi Hasan (Lahore)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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