Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bangladesh and Pakistan

There is so much venom in Bangladeshis of all age, size and color, for Pakistanis that I have given up any hope of having any reconciliation between the two countries, at least in my life time. There are strained relationships between many other countries like China and Japan, Indonesia and East Timor, Korea and Japan etc. due to one reason or other, but the amount of open hatred oozed by Bangladeshis cannot be matched by any.

I have felt it, seen it and have been targeted by it in Bangladesh and also in the US and Australia. If you look at different Bangladeshi forums on the internet, you will notice how the young and old alike like to just talk about what Pakistani army did in 1971. To the extent that war crimes are morally wrong, no matter against whom, I find the extension of hatred of the Bongs towards Pakistanis irrational and counter productive for peace in South Asia.

Despite apologies from Pakistan government, on several occasions for the atrocities of Pakistan Army perpertrated on Bengalis (East Pakistanis) in the 1971 War, Bangladeshis have neither forgiven nor forgotten the past. May be the whole nation's collective psyche has nothing else to mull about in the absence of any bright future of the poverty trapped country. A joint hatred towards Pakistan at least gives them a thread of nationalism, commonality and something to be passionate about.

It may take one or two generations for Bangladeshis to come out of their arrested development caused by living in the past and they may realize that channeling their energies to solve real problems of the country like poverty is far more useful in the long run, than to hound the Jamat leaders in the country and mourn 1971. So, may be meanwhile Pakistan and Pakistanis should stop providing apologies for the wrongs of 1971 and let time heal the wounds of the two countries.

1 comment:

Sabahat24 said...

I beg to disagree. And would love to get some sources on Pakistanis apologizing to Bengladeshis in any official capacity. Indians and Pakistanis have still not forgotten 1947, to expect that a pogron like 1971 be forgotten so soon, is rather callous.

Though the point that hatred against Pakistanis unites Bangladesh may be absolutely right, but they have a rightful reason for it, and as such i don't see it diminishing soon. The only thing that COULD change it is continuous humility from Pakistanis, not one or two off-hand apologies (if indeed there are any).