Date: Thu, 22 Oct 98 22:22:50 CDT
Subject: Bangladesh: Pinochet and Tikka: Birds of a Feather!
Organization: Deja News - The Leader in Internet Discussion
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Pinochet and Tikka: Birds of same feather!
By A.H. Jaffor Ullah, <email@example.com>
22 October 1998
It seems as if retired General Pinochet the infamous Chilean despot of the
last two decades is in serious trouble now. He came to the island nation of
UK to have a minor operation of some kind. After a brief convalescence, as
he was getting ready to leave for Chile, the lawmen of the island nation
converged on him and arrested him at the request of Spanish government.
You see General Augusto Pinochet has a checkered past even though he ruled
the South American nation of Chile with an iron-grip from 1973 through 1990.
He was so powerful and popular among army that he wanted to be the president
of Chile for life. Too bad, a plebiscite held in 1988 had all but rejected
his candidacy as president beyond 1990. He was, however, able to secure a
position in the senate of his country. He is now Senator Pinochet.
In 1973, General Pinochet staged a violent coup to grab power from President
Salvador Allende, a democratically elected socialist. In that violent coup,
the military bombed the presidential palace from airplane and President
Allende died in the palace. President Allende was the leader of the
left-wing Unidad Popular coalition, which promised a ‘transition to
socialism.’ The decade 1970s was mired with East-West Cold War tension
throughout the globe. The news of socialist Allende’s ascension to power in
the Western Hemisphere caused some commotion in the West. It was rumored
that CIA had a direct hand in the removal of Allende. Chilean army executed
the coup plan flawlessly and General Augusto Pinochet became a permanent
fixture in Chilean politics. However, there was a price tag to keep the
unpopular general as head of state in Chile. Pinochet and his army launched
a reign of terror in the aftermath of coup, especially in the colleges and
universities where Allende had grassroots support. Thousands of
university-college students were forcibly taken from the campus. Most never
returned alive. Their bodies were found scattered all over Santiago in
Octogenarian Pinochet thought the world had all but forgotten his misdeeds.
In Chile, the powerful army provides him the needed protection, and there
are some loyalists in the senate too. Thus, no one in Chile had ever lodged
any protest against him in the court of law. The Spanish government,
however, never gave up on Pinochet. Some Spanish citizens were murdered in
Chile during the reign of terror while Pinochet was president. Now that
Pinochet is recuperating in UK, the Spanish government has asked the UK
authority to arrest Pinochet for committing crime against humanity. They
want to extradite Pinochet to Spain so that the aging general can stand
trial for his misdeeds. I sincerely hope General Pinochet will have a date
with the Spanish court in Madrid soon.
Is there any lesson for us from Pinochet' present predicament?
Let me now turn to another sad chapter of human follies and misadventure.
That misadventure took place just two years before the socialist president
Allende was killed by the violent coup of General Pinochet. The year was
1971 and place was Bangladesh.
Pakistani army sought the help of some rouge army generals of West Pakistan
to carry out a systematic genocide in Bangladesh. Among the rouge generals,
the notables were Tikka Khan, Rao Farman Ali Khan, Niazi, etc. There were
other military men in Islamabad who also participated in Bangladesh
holocaust. Although they never stepped on Bangladesh during the period,
nevertheless, they masterminded the whole operation siting in the comfort of
their barracks. General Hameed Gul was one such conspirator.
These retired army generals are still alive in Pakistan and are respected
citizens of the land. Indeed crime pays in Pakistan because some of these
murderers occupied some important positions under various regimes. Tikka
Khan became president of Pakistan People’s Party and later became the
governor of Punjab. General Hameed Gul became the chief spy of Pakistan and
became adviser to many Prime Ministers and president. I’m sure Rao Farman
Ali also had risen through the ranks and files. All in all, these
perpetrators of Bengali genocide were rewarded for their “services” by
Pakistan. The truth to the matter is that Pakistan is yet to apologize for
the misdeeds of these army generals. There was some talk about this apology
issue in certain quarters of Pakistan. But the talk did not go too far.
It was simply squished by army.
As a leader of Bangladesh, the Prime Minister should vociferously protest to
Pakistani government to bring the goon squad of Tikka, Farman Ali, Niazi,
Hameed Gul, and others to justice. Their hands are stained with the blood
of murdered Bengalis. A crime of this magnitude should never go unpunished.
The Bengalis should start a campaign against these retired Pakistani
generals. We can most certainly write articles depicting the crime they had
perpetrated against innocent civilians. These are crime against humanity.
We have international court in The Hague, The Netherlands. If Spanish
government could persuade the British authorities to arrest Pinochet, why
cannot we persuade the civilized nations to arrest the masterminds of
Bangladesh genocide? Better yet, let us ask Pakistani government to arrest
the high priests of Pakistani army responsible for Bangladesh genocide
during 1971. Is it too much to ask?
I hope General Pinochet receives his deserving punishment from the Spanish
court. Who says crime pays! Today it is General Pinochet who is making
the headlines; tomorrow it may be Tikka Khan. I hope evil Tikka is paying
attention to all of these.
A.H. Jaffor Ullah writes from New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
His e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org