Rao Farman Ali

Pakistani general

Major General Rao Farman Ali SQA SK (Urdu: راؤ فرمان علی ; January 1, 1922 – 20 January 2004) was a Major General in the Pakistan Army, and political figure who is widely considered a key architect of the 1971 Bangladesh genocide the Bangladesh Liberation War.



The vanquished generals and the liberation war of Bangladesh by Muntassir Mamoon

The vanquished generals and the liberation war of Bangladesh by Muntassir Mamoon
  • "Green land of East Pakistan will be painted red", wrote Farman Ali in his diary. When asked about this, Farman Ali told me this was not true. Yes, he did write it in the diary, but the context was different. In those days, Kazi Zafar in one his speeches had said that he would cover the green of East Pakistan with the red flag of socialism. Farman Ali had scribbled that in his diary. Is this in any way believable? I leave it for the reader to decide.
  • The Hamudur Rahman Commission also investigated this allegation. But everyone has acquitted Farman, and that was just the natural thing to do because if Farman is proved responsible, then it means admitting that the atrocities actually happened.
  • List of intellectual to be murdered : after liberation these pages from Rao Farman Ali's diary was found in Banga Bhaban. Farman Ali himself had writen the list.
  • On the other hand, Hasan Zahir, a Pakistani civil servant at that time,writes about Operation Searchlight in his book The Separation of East Pakistan : "Major General Farman Ali was the executor of Dhaka part of 'Searchlight'. He succeeded in 'shock action' by concentrated and indiscriminate firing on the target areas". But Farman, while describing the night of March 25, has cloaked the truth like the other Pakistani Generals. His version of the story may satisfy the conscience of Pakistanis, but not ours.
  • But Niazi [Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi] has reserved his fiercest wrath for Rao Farman Ali. The latter, he says, was not only an opportunist conspirator, but was also an embezzler of money. Farman asked him to send him back to Pakistan, because "Mukti Bahini would kill him for his alleged massacre of the Bangalis and intellectuals on the night of 15/16th December. It was a pathetic sight to see him pale and almost on the verge of break-down". But Niazi assured him that he would give his life to save Farman Ali from the clutches of the Muktibahini, and he kept his word.
  • This is how Farman Ali narrates his tale. He had perfectly understood the reality, but he has avoided them skilfully. So ultimately the book becomes a mish-mash of exaggerations, half-truths and truths. But he has concocted the whole story so cleverly that it may seem believable to some readers. This is a good strategy for him, but disastrous for history or for the future. But even after all the scrutiny, there are some information in the book which are valuable for chronicling the history of 1971.
  • Farman Ali has also advocated for the genocide in this way,"When a civil war is raging, both sides are transformed into beasts. The words civil war have not been used by many of his fellow Generals. He also writes that the Pakistani Army failed to act like a national force. He gives an excuse for this failure: "Some of its members exceeded their authority and killed a number of civil and police officials without proper trial. The Army was not able to control Biharis in taking revenge when badly affected areas were liberated by Army".
  • Rao Farman Ali then devotes a whole chapter to the alleged plots by India. The Generals have all seemed to agree that India had been conspiring to break apart Pakistan since 1947, and even our Liberation War was also the result of Indian conspiracies. Pakistani Generals have never managed see past this illusion.
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