Dr. Zafruallah Chowdhury, Freedom Fighter & Founder of Gonoshasthaya Kendra : Even if, Lt. General J.F.R. Jacob termed Major General Ataul Gani Osmani as Colonel in his book it is not a big issue. There is no need of any controversy centring it. Gen. Osmani retired as a Colonel long before the Liberation War. He later became the Army Chief; the rank was similar to the ministerial rank.
Let’s consider this, I am a doctor. Am I supposed to be belittled if I get called as a doctor after I became a minister? Or consider that I was a lecturer before. I became a minister after I retired from the college. I am not supposed to get demeaned being called a lecturer, am I?
General Osmani was not taken to Dhaka at the surrender ceremony of the Pakistanis in the Liberation War. Because, India wanted to claim its credit. Now, India is the idiosyncratic claimer of the glory. This wouldn’t have been possible if Gen. Osmani was present.
Gen. Osmani was the youngest Major for the British Army during the Second World War. He was the first of his kind and age to get promoted to a Major in such an early age. The Pakistanis, on the other hand, didn’t want Osmani as the Chief of Army Staff. That is why, he was not promoted further. He went to retirement after serving as a Colonel for years.
Basically, what happened was, Indians wanted to control the civil administration of Bangladesh. But Osmani opposed them at his maximum. He said that there are enough CSP officers left in Bangladesh. Not all of them participated in the Liberation War. They have the capabilities to run the country well. Based on an interview by Ashiq Rahman, translated by Sofian Khan.
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