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Dhaka Tribune

AK Khandker apologizes for using 'Joy Pakistan' in his book

He wrote in his book that Bangabandhu uttered 'Joy Pakistan' at the end of his March 7 speech

Update : 01 Jun 2019, 03:56 PM

Former chief of air staff AK Khandker (Bir Uttom) has apologized to the nation for using "Joy Bangla, Joy Pakistan" in his book "1971 Bhitore Bahire [The Ins-and-Outs of 1971]."

He made the public apology at a press briefing held in the Sagar-Runi auditorium of the Dhaka Reporters' Unity, in Segunbagicha of Dhaka, on Saturday afternoon.

Khandker, also the deputy chief of staff of Bangladesh Armed Forces during the Liberation War, said: "My book, '1971 Bhitore Bahire,' was published by Prothoma Publications in August, 2014. 

"On page 32, I said: 'I do not think Bangabandhu's speech started the movement for freedom in 1971, because, Bangabandhu ended his speech with the words: Joy Bangla, Joy Pakistan. How can he call for freedom if he ended it with Joy Pakistan...?'," Khandker said.

"I believe I hurt the sentiments of a lot of patriots when I wrote that part of the book," he continued. "Regardless of the source, I take the responsibility for writing these false words. Bangabandhu never uttered 'Joy Pakistan' in his March 7 speech."

Khandker asked for Prothoma Publications to cut out the controversial section on page 32, and republish the book. "I am withdrawing that whole section from page 32," he said.

Calling that particular section "one of the biggest mistakes in my entire life," Khandker said: "I am 90 years old. Now, at the winter of my life, my conscience has made me realize that my actions require an apology, both to Bangabandhu's departed soul, and to the nation. Please, forgive me."

Meanwhile, Khandker's wife, Farida Khandker—after initially claiming that the mistake was overlooked by the editors of Prothoma Publications—finally gave in to reporters' queries, and said: "Tajuddin Ahmed's Personal Secretary (PS) Maidul Hasan, and Kazi Zafrullah, stopped us from correcting the mistake."

She added: "They said: 'Now that you have fired the shot, take the hit'."


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