Why did East Pakistan separate from West Pakistan? Explain the causes. | web4study

Why did East Pakistan separate from West Pakistan? Explain the causes.

Category: Pakistan Studies questions and answers ,

causes of separation of  East Pakistan


The following are the causes of separation of  East Pakistan:



The distance between the two parts of Pakistan was more than sixteen hundred kilometers separated from India. The people of both the parts could not come close to each other. This created misunderstanding among the people of East and West Pakistan. India took advantage of this misunderstanding and started vicious propaganda against the people of West Pakistan to misguide the people of East Pakistan.



The problems of the people of both provinces were different. Hence they could not develop the understanding of each other. The officers belonging to East Pakistan were more friendly and close to the people. They tried to solve their problems. On the contrary, the officers from West Pakistan, where posted in East Pakistan had a different attitude towards the people. They maintained a distance from the people. This created a sense of hatred against West Pakistan. The people of East Pakistan started feeling that they were not made real partners in the administration of the government.



Imposition of martial laws created a sense of deprivation among the people of East Pakistan. General Muhammad Ayub Khan accused the politicians that they were responsible for the failure of the parliamentary system of government whereas the public leaders believed that Martial Laws were the real obstacle in the way of the establishment of a. parliamentary system of govt.



The federal government’s policy on the issue of official language was opposed by the people of East Pakistan. The demonstration was held against the government and a number of Bengali students lost their lives. This agitated the minds of Bengalis.



East Pakistan wanted complete provincial autonomy. This demand was not accepted till India had attacked East Pakistan in 1971.



Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman, a leader of Awami League party in Bengal propagated that Bengalis were economically deprived and demanded separate economic system for East Pakistan. He presented a six-point manifesto of Awami League. He started developing a secret relation with India.

All India radio through its programmes created hatred in the hearts of Bengalis against the people of West Pakistan.



A large number of Hindu teachers were teaching in the educational institutions in East Pakistan. They produced such literature which created negative thinking in the minds of Bengalis against the people of West Pakistan.



About 10 million Hindus were living in East Pakistan. India stood at the back of these Hindus to protect their interests. India wanted to separate East Pakistan to strengthen the economic position of the Hindus. Many Hindus acted as spies for India.



In the General elections of December 1970, the Awami League of Sheikh Mujib gained a vital majority and won 167 out of a total of 169 seats. On winning the majority in the elections, Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman started increasing his demands, which were ignored by the military junta ruling Pak.



After the general elections of December 1970, the law and order situation in East Pakistan had gone from bad to worse. Instead of finding a political solution to the situation the then Military regime decided to suppress the Awami league. General Yahya Khan declared Awami League an illegal party and put an embargo on the political activities of Awami League. This fanned the flame. Army started military action against the separatist movement of Awami League. This created hatred among Bengalis and them also started-armed struggle.



As a result of military action, leaders of Awami League and a large number of Bengalis escaped to India. India started interfering in the affairs of Pakistan. India termed military action in East Pakistan as an attack on India. Sheikh Mujib had organized a semi-military organization, called “Mukti’ bahini”. It started guerrilla warfare against Pakistan Army. In its support, India also started attacks on Pakistan Army. 

On December 3, 1971, the war between Pakistan and India began. Due to the lack of support of the local populace and the poor arrangements of supply of men and material, Pakistani soldiers surrendered before the Indian army on December 16, 1971, whereas the cease-fire on West Pakistan front was declared without launching a significant attack. On December 16, 1971, East Pakistan became an independent and free state of Bangladesh.



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