Asslamo Allaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh,
As I have written previously, my father served in Bangladesh for many years. Many of our relatives married women from Bangladesh while serving there and speak the language fluently.
My father wasn’t in the military but a civilian.
Growing up, my older Brothers and Sisters have memories of Dhaka (and praying for rain for the Schools to shut down) so they can play with the other kids in the street while skipping School.
My interaction apart from (relatives) with people of Bangladesh is actually outside of Pakistan and it has been terrible. I (as a Pakistani) have been subjected to taunts, abuse, sarcasm and originally I thought that this was a problem confined to older generation.
Now, I am beginning to reflect on the matter (deeply) and I realise that this attitude is prevalent even amongst younger generation who are born in USA, UK and other lands and actually have little knowledge of their country or language.
I was in Makkah and we went to Dinner at a Bengali Restaurant with 3 other Brothers. The waiter spoke no English, Arabic, Urdu so we asked the (British) Bengali Brother to convey what we wanted to order and he was unable to communicate (in Bengali). We somehow managed to order, a little later the Brother explained that he is not fluent in Bengali and hasn’t really visited there. 30 minutes later the same Brother got into a heated argument with a (Pakistani) Brother and became an expert on the atrocities committed by Pakistani Army in 1971. The (Pakistani) Brother said something about Pakistan Army and the conversation turned very nasty. The (Pakistani) Brother repeated kept saying that I know nothing about 1971 but whoever killed or committed atrocities against Muslims should be punished accordingly, there is no defence for it.
On my last day in Saudi Arabia while packing, I ran out of rope late at night. I drove through town and found a person at the side of the street selling rope. After purchasing the rope the guy asked me my Nationality (I said Pakistan) so he replied, “All Praise be to Allah (SWT) who delivered us from your oppression”. I asked him as to when he was born and he replied (1977 or 1979), I gave him 10 Riyals as a gift and told him to enjoy his freedom but remember that I had nothing to do with him or his freedom!
In UK where there is a large contingent of Brothers from Bangladesh there are definitely undertones and currents of resentment towards Pakistanees, the older generation (actually tell you) while it simmers and comes to the surface (occasionally) for the younger generation based on the testimony of their “uncles & aunties”. Same in USA, I know a Pakistani brother who prayed in a Bangali Masjid for months (lead Salah) and the minute they found out his (Nationality and Job in Pakistan) he was denied food (deliberately) and given a cold shoulder (until today).
Yesterday (9th of March 2015) Bangladesh knocked England out of the Cricket World cup, during the victory speech Bangladesh Captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (Bron 1983) dedicated their victory to the “Freedom Fighters of Bangladesh”.
For majority of Pakistanees (today) these matters bemuse us, they are neither offensive nor insulting but bewildering. You got your freedom, you got your country, you got your constitution if you were wronged seek redress via United Nations or International Criminal Court etc.
There isn’t a single Pakistani who defends, approves or gloats in atrocities (actual or perceived) on 1971 but it’s time to move on. We are (Muslims) and that should be the first basis of our interaction.
Good on you for dumping England, enjoy it. :P
May Allah (SWT) give you the best of success in this world and the next (Ameen).
Me (personally), I don’t really care much for Nationalism.