Thursday, November 08, 2007

Excerpted from a letter written by Mr Farmuzul Huq to Gen. Ayub Khan's assistant in 1958. Personal communications left out.

Dear Colonel Sahib

Please tell General Ayub Khan that even though I was a sitting member of Parliament when he seized power and dissolved it, and I should be most adversely affected, yet I heaved a sigh of relief, so unruly had democracy become in our country and so close to the edge we had gone to becoming a failed state.

I sat in Parliament as a member of the ruling Awami Party but I was morally opposed to their Joint Electorate plan. I felt that my party had betrayed me for the socialist policies of Bhashani and Congress. As a result, I left the party and joined the opposition with a view to wreck the Awami government. However, we were defeated by the brutal and unparliamentary tactics of the Ruling Awami Coalition. I felt that as a country and a government we were lost and stumbling in the dark. It was in that state of hopelessness that I received the news of declaration of martial law. My immediate reaction was that the country had been saved and I am willing to serve in the new government should I be needed.

I graduated from Calcutta University and soon thereafter organized the Broja movement against the tyranny of the Hindu zamindars and when Jinnah organized the Committee of the Bengal Provincial Muslim League (BPML) in 1938, I joined the movement. In the first election of the BPML held in 1939, I was elected Assistant Secretary of the organization and also served as office secretary. I continued to work in that capacity until 1943. In the 1943 BPML elections, Mr Abul Hashem was elected General Secretary and I was elected Joint Secretary while continuing to serve as office secretary. I held that office until August 14, 1947, the day that India became free of British rule and the new nation of Pakistan was carved out of India.

During the same period, 1939 to 1947, I also served as a member of the All India Muslim League Council and an elected member of the Indian Constituent Assembly. After partition, I worked as a secretary in the Ministry of Heath for the government of Pakistan even as my name was suggested by Mr H. S. Suhrawardy for a place in Fazlul Huq's cabinet. Unfortunately, Fazlul Huq was opposed to me on personal grounds and so I was left out. Mr Suhrawardy had me in his list of Awami Ministers in East Pakistan but as I had fallen out with him on the Joint Electorate issue, he lamented, saying "He has dug his own grave".

Farmuzul Huq
76 Shantinagar
Dacca, East Pakistan
October, 1958

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