...............continued from part 38
Betrayal of Islam by the Nationalists: Pakistan
In October 1946, the Muslim League agreed to participate in the interim government. In the second week of October, a communal riot flared up in Noakhali, Bengal. There followed a terrific 'retaliation' and unprecedented bloodshed in Bihar in early November.
It was estimated 50,000 Muslims were ruthlessly butchered including women and chlidren. Jawaharlal Nehru, when he himself visited the scene could not believe his seyes that human beings could be capable of perpetrating such inhuman crimes (Saiyid; op. cit.; pp. 424).
Threatened with the possibility of a civil war, the British issued a long statement on February 20, 1947 on the decision to execute a final transfer of authority no later than June 1948. On March 5, communal fighting broke out with the Hindus and the Sikhs pitted against the Muslims.
The Sikhs, seemed to have taken the initiative in this conflict (Wilber; op. cit.; pp.113). Master Tara Singh, the Sikh leader, ceremoniously unsheathed his kirpan (sword) on the steps of the Punjab Legislative Assembly and declared: The time has come when the might of the sword alone shall rule. The Sikhs are ready. We have to bring the Muslims to their senses...... I have sounded the bugle, finish the Muslim League. (Pakistan History Board; 1975, pp. 4389; Wilber; op. cit.; pp. 113)
..............to be continued