Root Causes of Pakistan Bangladesh Separation


After the partition of the subcontinent in 1947 Bangladesh, a Muslim Majority area was incorporated with Pakistan as East Bengal.

Though both areas were different geographically, culturally, and linguistically.

This incorporation of East Bengal was based on religious affinity.

After joining with West Pakistan people of Bengal were hoping that they will be able to enjoy their freedom and fundamental rights which were abolished by the Hindu government.

But here scenario was changed.

West Pakistan’s government was more discriminative towards West Pakistan in all aspects of their life social, political, and economic.

All these brutalities badly affected Pakistan Bangladesh friendship and become the main cause of their partition.

Root Causes of Separation:

Political Discrimination:

There was a lot of political discrimination in East Pakistan.

All governmental headquarters were established in West Pakistan.

West Pakistan was dominated by Punjabis, an elite group in West Pakistan.

The Bengali population was not able to get political power even in their province. During military rule, ethnic groups couldn’t get access to political parties.

For higher posts like “Governor General” Bengali were not considered. Such positions were fixed for West Pakistani people and the migrant people who came from India.

The West Pakistan elites made several attempts to seize control of East Bengal away from the West.

But the Western elites were forced to acknowledge Bengalis’ rule as a result of the continuous struggle of Bengalis in politics.

During the reign of military General Ayyub Khan, East Pakistan suffered incalculable devastation.

Bengali was not allowed to participate in the 1962 elections.

As a result, East Pakistani were frustrated with West Pakistani due to their discontent with West Pakistan.

This anger can be seen in India-Pakistan War in 1965.

Economic Exploitation:

East Pakistan was also facing economic exploitation.

The Pak-Bangla relations reflected the brutal economic exploitation of the subcontinent by the British colonial power.

Similar to the British government, the West Pakistani government benefited from the East wing while making an insufficient investment for the growth of East Pakistan.

On the other hand, the number of East wing employees was very low in highly respectable professions.

Though the population of West Pakistan was smaller as compared to East Pakistan after the partition the major share of the national budget (75%) was spent on West Pakistan.

There was a negligible budget for West Pakistan.

This situation also created the discontent of East Pakistanis with West Pakistanis which urged emotions of hatred against them.

Besides this economic exploitation, the rate of military growth and betterment for East Pakistan was also very poor.

The West wing had 25 times higher military personnel.

In response to the 1965 war, Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rahman postulated six points’ demands.

These postulates were highly accepted by the East wing but rejected by Western Wing political powers.

In the history of Bangladesh, these six points played a key role.

Despite rejection from West Pakistan, these six points played a key role in the election campaign of Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman during the election of 1970.

Social Exploitation:

After the formation of Pakistan West Pakistan always realized inferior to East Pakistan which developed feelings of hatred and anger in both nations.

In East, Pakistan Hindus were also living.

The East wing does not have any concern with them regarding religion.

While people of West Pakistan were critical of their religion.

The Pakistani government was criticizing the closeness of Hindus and Muslims.

Then East Pakistan started their movement named as “Bengali League Movement”.

Bangladesh was continuously facing political, economic, and social exploitation.

Which resulted to put an end to this national conflict and bring about Bangladesh’s Independence.

Agartala Conspiracy Case:

The popularity of Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman for six postulates induced a wave of fear in West Pakistan.

On the 19th of June 1968, the Ayyub khan government arrested Sheikh Mujibur Rehman with six other Bengali civilians and military officers.

This case is popularly known as the Agartala conspiracy case.

Operation Searchlight:

This operation was started by West Pakistani against the East Pakistani wing on the 25th of March 1971.

This operation resulted from Mujib’s party’s victory in the General Election of Pakistan in 1970.

The West Pakistani government was not accepting Mujib’s government at any cost therefore National Assembly was dismissed.

This made the East Pakistani government very furious.

Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman summoned a five-day-long strike and protest for an indefinite period for the sake of partition.

This strike provoked the struggle for Independence in East Pakistan.

Bengali stated protest in the streets for their freedom.

During this period a meeting of the Awami League National Anthem of Bangladesh was chosen.

General Ayyub Khan started a searchlight operation to eradicate the force of Bengali Nationalism.

Operation searchlight resulted in the massacre of 30,000 people only in one week.

The Liberation War 1971:

Due to the cruel massacre on the 25th of March 1971, Bengali started their fight against West Pakistan.

Every Bengali took part in the fight for their independence with their family.

This war ends the Pakistan Bangladesh relation forever.

The East Pakistani Bengali military officers controlled the military operations while the Bengali Nationalists put together a meager military force known as “Mukti Bahini” (The Force of Independence).

As a result of this incidental partition, Bangladesh became a recognized independent state.


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