Tribute to 3 Pakistani Generals who Tried to Save the Bangalis in 1971
We all know that what Pakistani armed forces killed the Bengali in 1971. It was a plan to destroy the nation to fulfill the power. The Pakistani Army not only killed the Bengali civilians, but also they killed some of their Bengali officers. In a research, it is proved that the army killed 43 of their officers who were Bengali. Some of these Bengali officers were in the rank of Major and Lieutenant colonel.
Pak army started their ruthless killing from 25th march, 1971. But they were planning it a long ago. As it was a top secret and confidential, most of the Pakistani army officers didn’t know about this killing before 25th march when officially the authority ordered them to kill the Bengali.
In this post, I am telling about 3 High ranked Pakistani military officials who refused to kill the Bengali and immediately left East Pakistan before the massacre took part.
They are :
- Vice Admiral Syed Mohammad Ahsan (3 star general of pakistan navy)
- Lieutenant General Sahabzada Yaqub Khan (3 star general) and
- Air Commodore Mohammad Zafar Masud ( 1 star general of pakistan air force )
I am writing about them serially and their contribution to avoid the killing.
Vice Admiral Syed Mohammad Ahsan was the former Chief of Pakistan navy. He was a very close person of President Ayub khan and was also a finance minister in that time. After ending his time as a naval chief, he then promoted to the governor of East Pakistan. in 1970, Awami leage won the majority part in the election and Yahya khan refused that. From that moment, Pakistan Army was planning to take military actions in Bangladesh.
Syed Mohammad Ahsan researched and analysed the situation. He had a very good relationships with the Awami league leaders and assured them to help them in this situation. So In February 1971, Admiral Ahsan attended the meeting with President yahya khan and offered his suggestions not to take any military actions in Bangladesh. In that meeting, he passed a very tough time. That meeting was anti-Bengali atmosphere and Admiral Ahsan was the only man who supported the Bengalis. He continuously asked Yahya to handle the situation politically. That meeting made him much unpopular in the Pakistan military. The generals told that he became the broker of the Bengali( বাঙ্গালীদের দালাল)।
In february 22th, he attented the last meeting with the Generals. Again he tried to convince them to handle the situations politically. But he failed. Disheartened and dissapointed by his colleagues, Ahsan Resigned from his post and immediately left Bangladesh in 7th march, 1971. He knew that a planned massacre was coming. He didn’t talk a single sentence before the independence of Bangladesh. After the independence, he said that he tried several times to stop the military actions. But nobody paid any heed about his opinion. He was the only supporter for the 7 million Bengali.
Lieutenant General Sahabzada Yaqub Khan was the governor of East Pakistan and he attended that meeting with Admiral Ahsan with the same opinion. He was also against the military actions and tried to handle it politically. But he also failed. He was the only Pakistany army general who supported the Bengalis. He was highly respected by the Bengali officers of Pakistan army. He was very much fond of Bangladeshi culture and learned Bangla as well.
In that meeting, he was fierce ( হিংস্র) and strictly gave his opinion against any type of military actions in Bangladesh. He had done a lot of jobs when the Cyclone hit the country in 1970 and after that he attained much popularity among the Bangalis.
As he failed to handle the situation, he quickly gave his resignation letter and posted back to Pakistan. He retired from Army in 1972 and didn’t take participation in the war in 1971.
Air Commodore Mohammad Zafar Masud. This 1 star Pakistan air force officer was really talent and he was popular in the military. He was supposed to be the next Chief of Air staff ( head of air force). In the meeting with president Yahya khan, he continuously argued with the generals and told that the political situation of Bangladesh can not be solved by taking military actions. But nobody heard about his opinion. He was the only air force officer in that meeting to support the Bengali. After the surprising resignation of Vice admiral Ahsan, he was given the order to command the miliatry in Bangladesh. He tried his best to stop the military actions. But he failed.
He was shocked when Pakistan army started the massacre at 25th march. He immediately tried to contact yahya khan, but he again failed. That time, Zafar beame very angry. He quickly flew to Pakistan and tried to contact with Yahya . Again he failed. Being angry and frustrated, he suddenly resigned his position and took retirement from Pakistan air force. He tried to say what is happening in Bangladesh to the newspapers, but the senior ranking officers of pakistan Army ordered him not to tell anything. So He didn’t tell anything before the end of the war.