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Revisiting 1971: Fear, fury force & Bengali pride
Posted:Dec 16, 2016
 
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By Tahir Mehdi
 
The areas that constituted Pakistan in 1947 were ruled by the British under different arrangements. Bengal, Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (then 'NWFP') were provinces with elected assemblies. Balochistan was governed by an appointed Commissioner; tribal areas by Political Agents; and a number of so-called princely states by Rajas under the paramountcy of the British Crown. 
 
The people who were handed over the reigns of the new country on August 14 were tasked with working out a system which allowed all the above-mentioned entities to coexist peacefully and prosper together. But when they sat down to figure out this formula for an equal distribution of power, every option they considered led to the same concern: the Bengalis were more in number than all the rest put together, and under a democracy, nothing could bar them from getting a majority share in the new state. Now that did not sit well at all with the infant country's larger, grander designs of spearheading a new Islamic renaissance and hoisting its flag on every other building in South Asia. 
 
 
The Tribune, December 17, 2016
 
 
 
 
 
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