This is an excerpt from Professor Ghulam Azam’s Autobiography relating to allegations of collaborating with the Pakistani army. He states that he made representations to the Army to convince them to stop the atrocities.
EXTRACTS FROM MY AUTO-BIOGRAPHY (JIBONEY JA DEKHLAM)
(Volume-3; Pages 137 to 140)
Since the crackdown on 25th March 1971 by the Pakistan Army, I was getting increasingly concerned with the way things were unfolding. About a week after the crackdown, on 3rd April, my friend and the then Secretary General of Nezam-e-Islami Party [former DUCSU VP], Moulvi Farid Ahmad, came to discuss about the situation with me. He informed me that he has already had a meeting on the previous night with Mr Nurul Amin of Pakistan Democratic Party and Mr Khawaja Khairuddin of Muslim League, and they all decided to go to General Tikka Khan to convince him that military actions and atrocities must stop to prevent repercussion amongst the people. I could sense from his talk that the General was keen to discuss and seek our advice. I was not comfortable with the situation because when Pakistan Govt planned and conducted the military operations, they never consulted. They want to discuss now, because they have realized that, to remain in power it is essential for them to keep the political parties in confidence. From that realization, I was initially unwilling to go to meet the General. However, I promised to discuss with my party leaders on his proposal. Later that day, I conferred with Jamaat leaders and decided to go. I also made up my mind what to say during our meeting.
The meeting was scheduled at the General’s office, on 4th April at10 am. I was keen to ask why they resorted to military means to keepPakistan united instead of political means, whenPakistan was created as a result of political consensus.
On 4th April, we all assembled at Mr Nurul Amin’s house and started together for the General’s Cantonment office. He warmly greeted us and started saying, without any introduction, “There has been no govt in Dhaka for last one month. Although Martial Law has not been lifted, we are unable to enforce law. President has ordered me to establish law and order situation. You are people’s leaders. You may advise people to help us in maintaining law and order situation.” No one responded to his remarks. At this time, although I was the youngest, I started, “General, if the election results were duly honoured, law and order would have been fine”. He instantly replied, “Tell that to the President. I am unable to say anything on political matters”. I asked him, “Was it essential to burn properties worth crores of taka for restoration of law and order situation”? He tried to justify their atrocities showing the activities of unruly mob during the preceding days. I even asked him why they killed students inside their hall compound, to which he said, they had reports of presence of armed rebels there.
Our meeting with Tikka Khan was followed by discussion with Brigadier Rao Forman Ali, who was also present in the meeting. Rao Forman Ali said, “We think people voted for Awami League to get their rights, and not to separate from Pakistan. We don’t think people consider India to be their friend. Awami League will now seek India’s help for separation. But, that will make the people Indian slaves. We are unable to make this point clear to the people.” He requested us to convey this message through radio speech. Mr Nurul Amin and other two agreed to give speech, but I declined. They were taken to a different room for recording their speech. Taking this opportunity, I talked to Mr Rao confidentially and told him that, “Your points are logical. But, why such a situation has been created? If the President had taken steps to solve the situation politically soon after the election, this crisis would not have erupted.” I continued, “If the President had compromised with Mr Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, things would have been normal. People may not be influenced by the speech of the political leaders whom they have not elected.” I also reminded him that, “Political problems cannot be solved militarily”. Mr Rao remained silent all through. With no response from his side, I stopped any further discussion.