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The martial spirit of East Pakistan (20th Mar 1948)

Speech at the Ceremonial Army Parade at Kurmitolla Airport on 20th March, 1948.

Officers and Men,

I thank you for the honor you have done me in giving me the salute.I shall always remember this opportunity that has been afforded to me

You know that Pakistan had to start from scratch. East Bengal is one of its most powerful components and you have got now an opportunity which you have not had for, may I say, two centuries or more. Bengal generally, in which of course, East Bengal was included where happens to be the largest Muslim population, was considered as negligible in quality and quantity, for military purposes. The martial spirit of Bengal is historically known, and specially the part the Muslims played in the history of the past Bengal. That martial spirit, like many other great qualities was oppressed, suppressed and the martial spirit was dead –with a sort of damper put on –and in Bengal we got to a point when as I said Bengal did not count for military purposes. Now, in free Pakistan which is going to be a great nation, one of the largest in the world, you have under sovereign, independent, free Pakistan, every opportunity to revise your martial spirit and show to the world what –Bengal can do. It is in your hands. I am sure, you realize that yours is the responsibility for the security and the defense of the State, and I am confident, you will not fail but serve it loyally and faithfully, ready to die for its security and defense. I thank you.

Pakistan Zindabad

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