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'Pak Army repeating its mistakes of ’71'

world Updated: Aug 06, 2007 03:00 IST
Amit Baruah
Amit Baruah
Hindustan Times
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The Pakistani Army is repeating the mistakes it committed in 1971 in East Pakistan by taking on militant Islamists in the country today, the Lashkar-e-Taiba has warned in a recent statement posted on its website jamatdawah.org.

"Unfortunately, our rulers are making Pakistan's armed forces commit the same mistakes that they had previously committed in East Pakistan… the situation, therefore, is becoming critical with every passing day," the statement said.

The Lashkar — which functions under the Jamaat-ud-Dawa — is ‘banned’ in Pakistan. But its chief Hafiz Saeed continues his weekly sermons which receive wide publicity on the website that is updated regularly.

The Lashkar argues that the army’s action against militant Islamists in Pakistan today is as unpopular as what the khakis did in East Pakistan in 1971 — when Yahya Khan and other generals played a “despicable role” in “destroying the morals” of unit commanders by participating in and encouraging acts of “licentiousness and lewdness”.

"The result was widespread hatred against the army in East Pakistan and it had to fight a war against its own people," the Lashkar said.
The organisation’s warnings are a pointer to the dangers posed by militant Islamists in Pakistan, which has long received sustenance from the country’s military.

The statement claimed the army’s reputation had been tainted by the Lal Masjid incident, adding that Pakistan’s rulers must “apologise to the nation for the debacle”.