New Delhi: Arundhati Roy is drawing criticism from many quarters after a 2011 video of her began circulating on social media, in which she says that Pakistan never used its Army against its own people. She was speaking about dissent in China and India at the University of Westminster Regents Campus when she made this controversial statement.
While telling that Indian state deployed its army against Indians in many regions of the country she said, “…Pakistan has not deployed its army against its people the way India has…”
Her, now surfaced, remarks have surprised and angered many intellectuals and ordinary people in Pakistan and Bangladesh, who have suffered at the hands of the Pakistani Army. She was reminded of the atrocities that Pakistani Army committed in East Pakistan and also in Balochistan.
Pakistan born Canadian journalist and activist, Tarek Fatah, tweeted, “Arundhati Roy claims Pakistan has never deployed its military against its own people. Was she blind & deaf when 3 Million died in the Bangladesh genocide by Pak Army in 1971? Is she unaware of #Balochistan? She’s literally reading off a Pakistan ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan] briefing note.”
Her statements also hurt the Bangladeshi people who were tortured and murdered by Pakistani Army when the country was part of Pakistan.
Giving a befitting reply to Arundhati Roy, the Bangladeshi daily, Daily Tribune’s editorial wrote, “To this day, Pakistan refuses to acknowledge the atrocities committed against our people in 1971 — crimes which included murder, torture, rape, and looting.”
The editorial added, “that the Booker-winning author and humanitarian learns the error in her statement, and corrects herself, because it is one thing to get small facts wrong, and an entirely different thing to dismiss the plights of millions across the sub-continent.”
Even the Baloch Republican Party spokesperson, Sher Mohammad Bugti, also gave a brief but heart wrenching statement about the Pakistani Army on the Baloch people who are citizens of Pakistan.
He tweeted, “Dear #ArundhatiRoy, the indiscriminate bombardment of Pakistani jets fighter, loud thunder of large cannons in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh have been heard all over the world. But you didn’t, you may have also forgotten era 71 Bangaladesh.”
Arundhati Roy, a Booker Prize winner, has been a vocal supporter of Maoist insurgency and has always tried to picture the left extremists in a more sympathetic light. This has helped the insurgents gain ground in academic centres like Jawaharlal Nehru University and poison young minds.