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Friday, May 29, 2020

1971, When a Bengali girl sacrificed her whole family in love of a West Pakistani soldier

This is the story of Captain Farrukh, a young Pakistani military officer who was posted in Dhaka as a captain in the East Pakistan Rifles. Wars bring destruction but what it is like to lose your love forever with seeing your country crumble, its grief can only be felt by those who have gone through this state. 1971 was the darkest year of our history when our country was torn apart by our own mistakes and conspiracies from outsiders.
In September 1970, Captain Farrukh was posted to Dhaka. His unit consisted mostly of Bengali soldiers. At that time, there was an uprising in East Pakistan. The seeds of hatred had been sown between the two arms of the country. There was an atmosphere of mistrust on both sides. India was giving it a good wind.
In those days Captain Farrukh went to Dhaka University to meet his relatives who were studying there. While he was walking in the university, a boy from a group of Bengali students shouted at him, "This Punjabi man walks like a horse”. But one of the girls from the same group forbade him to shout in Bengali. The girl was very beautiful, her complexion was like that of Pathans and her stature was like that of Punjabis. This girl won the heart of Captain Sahib at the first sight.
After meeting his relatives in the university, the captain started looking around at the girl so that he could talk to her and thank her. The girl was seen by him, he thanked her and introduced himself. The girl was a Bengali and her name was Sonia. Captain Sahib was always lost in his thoughts. Captain Farrukh's residence was in the Dhanmandi area of ​​Dhaka where he became acquainted with many rich and senior government officials. One day the captain was also called on the Wedding anniversary  of a civil officer whose son Riazulhuq was his friend. When he arrived, Sonia's family was also present. Her father Anwarul Haq was a senior government official. The captain was very happy to see Sonia here, so love and affection between the two began to grow. Meanwhile, the situation in East Pakistan deteriorated drastically in the first week of march 1971, the massacre of non-Bengalis began, the Awami League started civil disobedience after the assembly session was adjourned, East Pakistan Rifles soldiers revolted and West Pakistani officers were mercilessly killed by them. Distrust grew to such an extent that the West Pakistani soldiers became afraid of even the Bengali khansams that they may add poison to their food. The army had to conduct Operation Search Light on 25th march 1971 which made situation worse. They did not diminish and the two continued to meet regularly, Sonia's father was very anxious to see his daughter's condition and Sonia was worried about Captain Farrukh's safety in these war situations, on the other hand Captain Farrukh was also worried about safety of Sonia and her family from Mukti Bahini. Captain Farrukh was under intense pressure from his military officers to focus on his work instead of pursuing his love in these war situations and not to put Sonia's family in trouble.  But he courageously kept doing his work on both fronts. Sonia's father was fully supporting his daughter. But his family started receiving threats from the Mukti Bahini that if he did not leave the Punjabi captain, it would be very bad for him. The Mukti Bahini had all the information about his movements as Sonia’s own uncle and cousins had met Mukti Bahini and had left for india for trainings. There was a fierce battle between the Pakistan Army and the Mukti Bahini all over East Pakistan but Captain Farrukh and Sonia Did not leave contact with each other. Sonia wanted her captain Farrukh to be safe and she was wanted to go to West Pakistan where she can live with her love away from War. In December, the situation worsened and India jumped into the war and the East Pakistani cities started falling from Pakistan one by one. On December 14, Sonia came to meet Captain Farrukh and burst into tears. The guerrillas were gnashing their teeth and their success was clearly visible. In these circumstances, those also started contacting the Mukti Bahini who were patriotic Pakistanis. Sonia's father was also demanded by Mukti Bahini to arrest his daughter's Punjabi fiancé if he wants his safety in a new country Bangladesh. But he refused to do so in love with his daughter. The unfortunate day of 16th December 1971 came when the Pakistani army surrendered to the Indian army in Dhaka. All around, the Mukti Bahini in Dhaka started massacring Biharis and patriotic Bengalis.
Capt. Farrukh was taken prisoner of War. When Captain Farrukh was imprisoned in India, he was shown pictures of Sonia and her family in jail and asked about his relationship with them. Captain Farrukh was always worried in Sonia's memory in Indian jail. But he could not do anything, he prayed for the safety of Sonia and her family. When he came to Pakistan two years later after his release from Indian prison, he tried hard to find Sonia in Bangladesh, tried to correspond with her relatives but got no response. Even he wrote letters to Red cross but he found no positive response about Sonia and her family. Captain Farrukh retired from the Pakistan Army as a Colonel and is still alive today. All these incidents he wrote in his book "Bichar Gaye" which was published in 2018. Even today, when he remembers that time, he is deeply saddened by the memory of Sonia, who sacrificed her entire family for the love of a West Pakistani soldier but did not betray her love.



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