Linked together by bonds of history, culture and faith, Pakistan and Bangladesh share a common nationhood. Despite the history, it has not been easy to severe the ties of their deep rooted history. Both nations have failed to come out of the bitter shadow of their past. Five decades and many lies later, we are still not completely sure of what caused their separation. After years of false narratives and selective half-truths, it is time we recognise what really happened. It is not about proving who is right and who is wrong, but about sifting through the purposeful haze and moving towards renewing relationships.
Recently screened in Karachi, a documentary launched by Javed Jabbar ‘Separation of East Pakistan - The Untold Story’ aims to unveil the truth behind the separation. The documentary is a first of its kind, sharing facts and information not revealed before. International and national experts and intellectual leaders address the false information and share lesser known facts about 1971. The documentary tells us how East Pakistan did not want an independent nation and how India was actively involved in the separation. It shows how dirty politics were played to divide a nation. Javed Jabbar has shown intellectual integrity in analysing where we went wrong and how the East Pakistanis were alienated to the point of separation.
The producer of the documentary, Erum Binte Shahid, talked about her collaboration. “I am honoured to have had the privilege to share the true story of 1971 with the people of South Asia, especially those who were not witness to the events of those years that led to those events. I am humbled to have contributed towards demystifying the false information that has unfortunately become the mainstream history,” she shared.
While addressing the audience Javed Jabbar, writer and executive producer, said that unfolding the truth in any case is important. “The history of 1971 has purposefully been diluted by exaggeration and false information. After 50 years it is time, we tell the untold story,” he elucidated.
Through the documentary the writer highlights how our neighbouring country’s involvement was not based on an immediate response to a humanitarian crisis. It was in fact, a well-crafted long-term strategy.
Pakistan has always accepted the reality of Bangladesh with an open heart and wished them the best as a brotherly nation. However, moving forward in good faith makes it imperative to revisit the past and review what had happened.
The documentary was a collaborative effort with Muhammad Zeeshan as the content director, and Mitra Bonshahi, Mehreen Jabbar and M. Bilal as the consulting editors.
It was well received on its screening and received applause and nods from the audience.
–– You desk!