Partition of Bangladesh
We were in the final year of engineering when war broke out between India and Pakistan. As a consequence of this war, Bengalis proclaimed their separation from Pakistan and declared their independent state under the name of Bangladesh. A good number of Bengalis were studying with us and living with us in Sachal hostel. They were confused and their anxiety was understandable as their status had suddenly changed from being citizens of Pakistan to being foreigners here. Also, there was a great resentment among students’ community that the Bengalis had committed treason.
Partition of Bangladesh from Pakistan
The unrest had given rise to hatred against Bengalis which made Bengali students vulnerable to a possible backlash and untoward incident. Being hostel mates, they approached us and we told them not to worry and that we will pacify the situation. Our stance on this issue was that they were students and that they had nothing to do with what had happened in East Pakistan. They should therefore be allowed to complete their studies and to go home safely and honorably.
Sanity prevailed upon our insistence and they were able to complete their final term of engineering. All of these Bengali students were not from engineering college, as many of them were from other faculties of Sindh university, and they were all protected from any upheaval and agitation against them.
Martyr in Indo Pak War
As the war ended, we received sad news of martyrdom of our Petarian classmate, Lieutenant Saadat Farooq, kit no 275, Liaquat house. He was a lively young man and a friend of friends. Was quite popular among the students and teachers alike. Joined Pakistan army after passing out from cadet college Petaro. He was posted in East Pakistan and soon after his resumption of duties, the war broke out in which he fought valiantly and embraced martyrdom. He also secured the honour of being the first Petarian martyr. And we take pride in the fact that he was our classmate.
General Promotion Campaign
There was a small group of students who attempted a campaign that due to disturbance in the college, the students were frustrated, and could not achieve a threshold level of studies in the college. The Indo-Pakistan war also severely affected the studies. This group of students demanded that a general promotion to all students be given so as to save academic year of students. We were not in favor of such general promotion. I talked to Ghulam Nabi Morai and Suleman Chandio to take up this issue from the platform of students’ union.
After discussing pros and cons of the subject matter, a consensus was developed against any such move of a general promotion which was considered as detrimental not only for the students but also for our institution. As a consequence of our resolution from the platform of students’ union, we were able to avert the move of general promotion without appearing in examination. Accordingly, the examinations commenced by the end of year 1971 enabling issuance of certificates for that academic year.
After the Partition of Bangladesh
I now come to an end of first part of my autobiography relating to my student life. Indeed, this part of life is by far the best of all other parts due to a variety of reasons. You are young, you are energetic, you are ambitious and you have dreams of conquering everything that comes in your way. As against that, you do not carry any responsibility on your shoulders, may it be of family or social responsibility in all kinds and manifestations. And last but not the least; you are not bothered about how the money is earned to make your ends meet.
There is no free lunch
There is a famous phrase which says that there is no free lunch. We pay the price of everything that we get, whether in cash or in kind. Similarly, we enjoy all the comfort and all forms of luxuries during our student life at a cost which we have to pay for the rest of our life.