|The Separation of East Pakistan
The Rise and Realization of Bengali Muslim Nationalism
ISBN 984 05 1243 9 2001 544pp 215x136mm HB Tk.500.00 US$27.00
[ROAD TO BANGLADESH SERIES is designed to present published accounts of the background to the emergence of Bangladesh. Books in the series should be an invaluable collection for those interested in South Asian affairs, particularly students and scholars of politics, economic development and social transformation.]
The book provides penetrating Insights into the economic dimensions of the chasm between the erstwhile East and West Pakistan that eventually led to the cleavage and the conflict that marked the final parting of the ways. The focus of Hasan Zaheer’s study is more on what he feels were the internal factors that, in his view, somehow inexorably widened the mental distance between East and West Pakistan with the result that by 1970 and following the military action of March 25, 1971, the situation had reached a point of no return. Hasan Zaheer has written an incisive, Informative and detached volume spanning over 500 pages which he has appropriately sub-titled “The rise and realisation of Bengali Muslim nationalism.”
- Mushahid Hussain
in Dhaka Courier
Part I of this scholarly study examines the genesis of the federation of East and West Pakistan as a single state. It analyses the crises which marked relations between its two wings from 15 August 1947 to the fatal decision to resort to army action on 25 March 1971 as the final solution to Bengali Muslim nationalism.
Part II analyses the disastrous consequences of the army action in 1971, leading to the second Indo-Pakistan war, and the emergence of the independent state of Bangladesh with the surrender of the Pakistan army in Dhaka on 16 December 1971. Relying on primary sources - personal experience, unpublished material, and conversations and interviews with those directly involved in the 1971 crisis Zaheer has provided thoroughly documented account of events on the national and international fronts in a dispassionate manner.
Hasan Zaheer joined the Civil Service of Pakistan in, 1954 and served in various subdivisions, districts, and in the secretariat under the government of former East Pakistan from 1956 to 1962. In May 1971 he was posted to Dhaka again, this time in a senior position in the provincial secretariat. He was responsible for coordinating relief, rehabilitation, foreign assistance, and other matters related to the crisis arising from the army action of 25 March. He was in Dhaka at the time of the Pakistan army’s surrender and remained in Indian custody as a civilian internee until January 1974. Later, as Secretary to the Government he worked in various ministries. In 1990, he retired as cabinet secretary in which position he served directly under four prime ministers and two presidents.
Mr. Zaheer has a master’s degree in economics from the University of Punjab and one in public administration from Harvard. He has also attended a course in public administration at the University of Oxford.