What Was Once East Pakistan Second Edition
Serving at three places in East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, during the critical period between 1969 and 1971, Syed Shahid Husain saw the events unfold and presents in this book an analysis of the roles that each of the principal actors—Yahya Khan, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto—played. He saw history in the making, and the five decades that have passed since have not affected his conclusions. Facts are unchangeable, and it is only the opinions that differ. As Macaulay said, ‘Facts are the mere dross of history. It is from the abstract truth which interpenetrates them, and lies latent among them, like gold in the ore, that the mass derives its whole value….’ The book also contains some of his personal experiences at the time including an account of the killer cyclone that hit East Pakistan in 1970.
Syed Shahid Husain joined the Civil Service of Pakistan in 1965 after graduating in Law and Economics from the University of Sindh. He served in various civil service jobs in all parts of Pakistan, including over a year in Tank, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, eight years in Balochistan, and in the federal government. He led two official delegations to India and one to Iran. The author may perhaps be better known for his articles published in Dawn, The News, Business Recorder, and the South Asia Journal on wide variety of subjects relating to agriculture, irrigation, resource-distribution among provinces, and politics. He wrote extensively on subjects like water distribution between provinces, Indo-Pakistan disputes under Indus Water Treaty, insane food policy pursued by the government including procurement of wheat, and on other political and economic issues. He leads a retired life in the US.