Abdul Quader Molla’s hanging is at best a matter of debate, though many claim he got what he truly deserved; instigating mass murder of his fellow brothers and sisters during the tragic war of 1971.

The fact that a good part of Pakistan was rent apart by our (West Pakistan’s blunders) is a logic no one is willing to admit. General Ayub’s chauvinism offers just one example when he explained away in his memoirs, the question of highly disproportionate representation within the armed forces by casually saying that Bengalis did not have the physical prowess to make good soldiers. What could be more humiliating to many millions of Bengalis who later proved their martial superiority vis-à-vis our forces led by General Niazi.

The government of Bangladesh is a democratic government and claims to be a secular state but in reality, it now has to confront the demons from the past and though it successfully buried Molla once and for all who is now just a blot in the annals of history, others remain still at large.

Detractors claim this attitude which they say borders on witch-hunt, is not in the fitness of things. Cases where world leaders have fought and struggled for the rights of the people are aplenty and although it would be an injustice to compare their case with Molla (Butcher of Mirpur) the air of violence prevailing in Bangladesh is now something that its people can ill-afford.

Unfortunately, after 42 years of Bangladesh debacle, both Bengalis and Pakistanis are up against the same hurdles; both are fighting against retrograde forces, though with Molla’s hanging a ray of hope has arisen that the country as a whole wants to come clean and set its house in order.

While we are fighting against fundamentalism as practiced and preached by the Taliban, our Bengali brothers have problems of their own.

Like many other rulers of the third world some countries are trying to cleanse the nation of the past mistakes made. In one such endeavor we have seen Bangladesh try to hold a case under the title of crimes of hate or war crimes but most people who know the historic background have claimed it as revenge. This has unfortunately backfired and has divided a people, which is not good for any nation. The rulers need to take steps which are in accordance with the world acclaimed rules of law and justice.


Lahore, December 14.