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Oxford University Press launches book on the East Pakistan debacle


Karachi : Oxford University Press (OUP) launched an important book titled Blood over Different Shades of Green—East Pakistan 1971: History Revisited. The publication has been authored by Ikram Sehgal and Bettina Robotka. The event hosted in Karachi was well attended by the media, authors, academics, and foreign dignitaries.

The book examines the events of 1971 that led to the dismemberment of Pakistan. The authors describe these events as very significant milestones in Pakistan’s history. The book based on published and unpublished memories of the activists of 1971 attempts to give a critical assessment of the catastrophic developments leading to the separation of East Pakistan and spell out lessons that have to be learnt from it.
Javed Jabbar, author and former minister and senator; Dr Huma Baqai, Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts, IBA; Ikram Sehgal, Chairman Pathfinder Group; Lt Gen. Ali Kuli Khan Khattak (Retired), former Chief of General Staff; Arshad Saeed Husain, Managing Director Oxford University Press; Bettina Robotka Sirajuddin Aziz, CEO, Group Financial Institutions, Habib Bank AG Zurich; at the book launch ceremony organized by Oxford University Press

Ikram Sehgal is the chairman of the Pathfinder Group Pakistan, which includes two of the largest private security companies in the country in the Security Services Division (SSD) and the largest IT and relevant companies in the Financial Services and Technology Division (FSTD). He is a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Director of the East West Institute (EWI). He has served on the Board of Directors of Bank Alfalah and as Chairman of K-Electric. Sehgal is a regular contributor of articles in newspapers and appears regularly on current affairs programmes on television in his capacity as a defence and security analyst.


Bettina Robotka has taught various aspects of Indian colonial and Pakistan history at the IAAS for over thirty years. From 2005 to 2010 and 2012 to 2013, she joined the Higher Education Commission (HEC) foreign faculty programme as a full professor and taught various courses in history and social sciences at IBA and IoBM, Karachi. Bettina Robotka has published extensively on topics like history of the national movement in the subcontinent, Iqbal, political system of Pakistan, democracy in South Asia, and the role of Islam in politics. She is now working on aspects of Pakistan’s international relations and foreign policy.

The event featured an invigorating discussion around the book in which Lt Gen. Ali Kuli Khan Khattak (Retired), former Chief of General Staff; Sirajuddin Aziz, CEO, Group Financial Institutions, Habib Bank AG Zurich; Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, politician and columnist; Javed Jabbar, author and former minister and senator; and the two authors participated. The speakers highlighted that the book addressed the dire need to set the record straight concerning the events and the role of many people which led to the breakup of Pakistan. The discussion was moderated by Dr Huma Baqai, Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts, IBA.
In his welcome address, Arshad Saeed Husain, Managing Director, OUP Pakistan, said, “The authors provide a balanced account of the events, based on the personal experiences of Mr Sehgal, providing the reader with an alternative to more partisan narrations and analyses.” He further added that the book is a genuinely objective chronicle that can give us a sound understanding of the events of 1971 and especially of the Pakistani position on those events.

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