Wo Humsafar Tha- The OST of the famous Pakistani drama Humsafar is a romantic melody popular among music listeners in Indo-Pak. The song is sung in the voice of Qurat-ul-Ain Balouch in the backdrop of Mahira Khan and Fawad Khan’s superhit drama Humsafar, and it is famous for its beautiful lyrics that tell the tale of separation. However, the story of Wo Humsafar Tha is historic and much painful than its otherwise on-screen context suggests. It has been among the best title tracks, but its lyrics manifest something a lot more than a tragic love story between a couple.
Wo Hum Safar Tha- In the Context of Bangladesh’s Formation
On December 16, 1971, Bangladesh came into being after Pakistan lost its Eastern wing in two weeks long war with India and Bengali Nationalist Forces. The event famous as the Fall of Dhaka in Pakistan marks the independence day of Bangladesh, which says it all about the reasons for separation.
49 years have passed since the formation of Pakistan’s then Eastern wing into present-day Bangladesh, but Pakistan still remembers the day as a tragedy that reduced the country in half.
Poet Naseer Turabi had penned the Ghazal Wo Hum Safar Tha after hearing the news of Dhaka’s Fall. A Twitter user shared a video that shows the poet reciting the poetry and expressing his feelings after hearing the news of Pakistan getting broken into two halves.
Reasons for Pakistan’s Separation from Present-Day Bangladesh
At the time of independence, Pakistan had two parts; West Pakistan and East Pakistan (which is today’s Bangladesh). The country’s Eastern wing was located at a distance of more than 2000 KM. The only binding force between the two parts of the same country was perhaps only religion on the basis of which Pakistan came into being during the subcontinent’s independence from Great Britain. Ethnic and linguistic differences coupled with the structural injustices that then East Pakistan faced at the hands of West Pakistan were one of the major reasons for the separation of two parts of the same country into two different countries.
The political and military establishment in West Pakistan failed to give people in East Pakistan their due rights in the political and economic sphere.
The sense of alienation resulted in a struggle for independence from Bengalis in a way that did liberate them from economic injustices but left a permanent scar for Pakistan. The reason is that Pakistan was not a colonizer to its Eastern wing as Britain was to the sub-continent.
As part of the same country, the Eastern and Western wing had started their journey of independence from the British colonial masters together (as reflected in the lyrics of the song Wo Humsafar Tha). However, it was the negligence and carelessness of the Western wing that made it behave like a colonizer who had an Eastern wing at its disposal for exploitation of resources.
Furthermore, the presence of India, the arch-rival of Pakistan between the two parts, also added fuel to the fire by aiding the separatist factions in East Pakistan that played a role in Pakistan’s military defeat in the 1971 war.