A Sea Hawk taking-off from INS Vikrant during the Bangladesh Liberation War

Islamabad: Fifty-one years after the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, Pakistan's official discourse reveals and conceals selective aspects of the past, carefully crafting narratives that hide inconvenient histories while reinforcing national narratives, according to a report by The Dawn.

The war, however, is too recent to be forgotten and too painful to be remembered.

According to The Dawn report, Pakistan has been using some common techniques to hide facts about the war. This includes state-endorsed textbooks, military memories, and museums. "The result is not an absolute amnesia, but rather a partial and carefully guarded evocation of 1971."

The truth according to Pakistan is the violence experienced by the West Pakistanis during 1971 and the role of India in breaking up Pakistan in retaliation for Pakistan breaking up India in 1947.

"When the violence of 1971 is remembered in Pakistan, it is the violence against select bodies that is admissible. Numbers are offered, bloodshed is quantified, made measurable to maximise violence against non-Bengalis, West Pakistanis settled in what is now Bangladesh, army officers fighting in the region, and members of the Urdu-speaking community," read The Dawn report.

The violence against the Bengalis and other ethnic minorities during the war is denied, ignored, and trivialised.

Pakistani textbooks ignore the atrocities faced by the Bengalis. The entire war and its history are packed into a few paragraphs. Mainstream discourse on 1971 is limited.

Pakistan's former Chief of Army Staff, in his final public address as the army chief, made a reference to the 1971 war. He applauded the army's bravery and termed the war a "political failure" as opposed to a "military one".

The military was, however, at the political helm at the time, reported The Dawn.

A recent report by The Friday Times said that Pakistani generals have not been held accountable for the events of 1971 even after 50 years since the war.

Urdu was supported as the official language of Pakistan while neglecting East Pakistan's demand to make Bangla one of the main languages. Four students were killed in Dhaka on February 21, 1952, after they protested and called for the recognition of Bangla as one of East Pakistan's main languages, according to The Friday Times, adding further that, post Pakistan's independence in 1947, Pakistan's government and military didn't consider Bengalis as worthy members of the society.

In 1956, Bangla was finally recognized as an official language under the newly-formed Islamic Republic's constitution. Protests against West Pakistan's highhandedness had, however, become a regular occurrence in East Pakistan.

According to The Friday Times, the 1971 genocide was destructive to Pakistan's reputation. Pakistan's generals however still don't recognize the mass massacre they sponsored 50 years ago. West Pakistan under the leadership of General Tikka Khan and General Niazi, was responsible for the deaths of over three million Bengalis, and the rape of some 400,000 women across the region.