Jamaat-e-Islami in 1971: A part of Pakistan Military Government

অতিথি লেখক's picture
Submitted by guest_writer on Sat, 16/02/2013 - 10:26pm

Main Article by Tanveer: একাত্তরে জামায়াতে ইসলামীর ভূমিকা ও আন্তর্জাতিক অপরাধ ট্রাইবুনালে এর উপস্থাপন

Dreadful crimes were perpetrated during the 9-month liberation war in 1971, which resulted in the birth of independent Bangladesh. Since March 1971, the country had been engulfed by torture, rape, mass-killings and other acts against humanity, led by the Pakistan army. A group of local collaborators, mostly the members of the political party Jamaat-e-Islami, facilitated and also actively participated in these war crimes.

In 2010, Bangladesh established a war crime tribunal, called International Crime Tribunal (ICT), to investigate and bring to trial the war criminals. Since the constitution of ICT, Jamaat-e-Islami is claiming the trial as a part of political vendetta as most of the charges are against its leaders. The party is also criticizing the tribunal for bringing charges against their leaders and collaborators bypassing the Pakistani military government and military force.

Interestingly, Jamaat-e-Islami was also a part of Pakistan Military Government and armed forces in 1971 and actively participated in all kinds of crimes against humanity, such as killings, genocide, rape, loot, arson, etc. The then Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami, Ghulam Azam, along with the high command of its student wing ‘Islami Jamiat-e-Tulbah’, including Matiur Rahman Nizamee took all the related decisions and led the atrocities. On the other hand, four leaders of ‘Jamaat-e-Islami East Pakistan’ joined the Military Government of the province in September ’71 as the ministers of revenue, education, commerce & industry and local government. Apparently, Jamaat-e-Islami was a part of the then Tikka Khan Military Government. Their role in 71 cannot be treated separately from the then Pakistan Government nor they can be compared to other political parties supporting the government.

In September 1971, the alliance between the Jama’at and the army was made official when four members of the Jama’at-i Islami of East Pakistan join the military government of the province.

The four portfolios given to the Jama’at provincial ministers were revenue, education, commerce and industry, and local government.
Ref: The Vanguard of the Islamic Revolution: The Jama’at-i Islami of Pakistan (1994), page 169 and 255

It is evident from many news articles that Ghulam Azam took a stance in support of Pakistan Army long before, since April ’71. He formed paramilitary units, namely, ‘Al-Badr’, ‘Al-Shams’ with the help of ‘Nizami Army’ and with the members of ‘Islami Jamiat-e-Tulbah’. It is to be mentioned that, even though the ‘Al-Badr’, ‘Al-Shams’, and Razakars are familiar as pro-Pakistani voluntary force, they were actually under Pakistani Army command, well funded, trained and armed by the army. The then East Pakistan Governor Tikka Khan created the Razakar force under the ‘Razakar Ordinance’ promulgated in May 1971 and eventually the Razakars, ‘Al-Badr’, ‘Al-Shams’ joined the Pakistani army.

Initially, the force was under the command of local pro-Pakistani committees, but through the East Pakistan Razakar Ordinance (promulgated by General Tikka Khan on 1 June 1971) and a Ministry of Defence ordinance (promulgated 7 September 1971), Razakars were recognized as members of the Pakistan Army.

Razakars were receiving monthly salary and ration (food supplies). Major General Jamsid was head of Razakar force.
Ref: http://pages.rediff.com/razakars--pakistan-/619605

The Razakar force was created under the Razakar Ordinance promulgated in May 1971 by the Governor of East Pakistan, Lieutenant General Tikka Khan.

Together with the Al-Badr and Al-Shams paramilitary forces, the Razakar were under Pakistani Army command.
Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Razakars_%28Pakistan%29

How Al-Badr‘ and ‘Al-Shams’ were formed with the help of Nizami is also described in:

in May 1971, when the IJT joined the army’s counterinsurgency campaign in East Pakistan. With the help of the army the IJT organized two paramilitary units, called al-Badr and al-Shams, to fight the Bengali guerrillas. Most of al-Badr consisted of IJT members, who also galvanized support for the operation among the Muhajir community settled in East Pakistan. Muti‘ u’ l- Rahman Nizami , the IJT’s nazim-i a‘la (supreme head or organizer) at the time, organized al-Badr and al-Shams from Dhaka University.
Ref: The Vangaurd of the Islamic Revolution:The Jama‘at-i Islami of Pakistan (1994), Page 66

It is the leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami East Pakistan, who plotted most of the crimes committed by Jamaat-e-Islami during the liberation war. To be more specific, Ghulam Azam was the mastermind of these perpetrations. Vanguard says:

Its position was, in good measure, the result of decisions made by the Jama’at-i Islami of East Pakistan, then led by Ghulam A’zam and Khurram Jah Murad. This branch of the Jama’at, faced with annihilation, was thoroughly radicalized, and acted with increasing independence in doing the bidding of the military regime in Dhaka.
Ref: The Vangaurd of the Islamic Revolution:The Jama‘at-i Islami of Pakistan (1994), Page 169

Moreover, they sent a group of representatives to Europe to explain and defend the heinous activities of Pakistan Army during the war. Another group of representatives was sent to Arab world to gain support.

A group of Jamaat members went to Europe to explain Pakistan’s cause and defend what the Army was doing in East Pakistan; another group was sent to the Arab World, where Jamaat drew upon its considerable influence to gain support.
Ref: The Vangaurd of the Islamic Revolution:The Jama‘at-i Islami of Pakistan (1994), Page 169

To be fair, in 1971, Jamaat-e-Islami was not only a mere collaborator, but also a part of the Pakistan Military Government and the army. Their gravity of the offence is no lesser than the Pakistan Government and the army. Rather they were the main think tank and instigators of all the crimes against humanity.


Shamsher's picture

Nicely written. With the references provided here from original Pakistani books, it will be helpful to argue against the propaganda of Jamat denying their involvement in genocide. I think it would have been handy to give some more links showing evidence of genocide happened in bangladesh in 1971.
I am sharing it, if you permit.

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