Gafur Baloch

The story of a Pakistani who was on the side of Bangladesh in the war of liberation

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Not the story of the movie. Despite being a Pakistani, Gafur Baloch did not accept Pakistan’s oppression of Bengalis in the war of independence of this country. Only one Pakistani stood in front of the Pakistani aggressors. His support was for the freedom-loving people of this country. Let’s hear the story of the man who made Bangladesh his own on the golden jubilee of victory.

Thamthame Bangladesh, 1971. Gopibagh in Dhaka is even more turbulent.Some people who did not see the light of hope left the illusion of life in the hands of the future and stayed in their own home in Gopibagh. No matter how lucky they were, only one Pakistani stood in front of the Pakistani aggressors for them.

Not a movie story, really. The man was Pakistan national team footballer Abdul Gafur Baloch. Despite being a Pakistani, he did not accept the oppression of the Bengalis in the war of independence of this country. His support was for the freedom-loving people of this country. With the Kabuliwala tag of football in 1956, the bond with the pulse-stars of the then East Pakistan, the non-Bengali Gafur’s love affair with Bengal during the War of Independence became deeper and deeper. And in the end, the people of the Baloch community of Pakistan made the soil of independent Bangladesh their arrogant and last resort.

The stopper of the Pakistan national team first set foot in ‘Bangla’ in 1956 to play in the Aga Khan Gold Cup held in Dhaka. From then on, the story of his becoming a ‘Bangladeshi’ started. He started his playing career in East Pakistan in Wanderers jersey.However, a Gafur has crossed the playing field and is sitting in the seat of hero in the hearts of Bangladeshis by becoming Bangladeshi from Pakistani.

Beyond the boundaries of the footballer’s identity, he became known as the ‘Ustad Gafur’ of the Brothers. And without discriminating between Bengalis and non-Bengalis, he proved the identity of the players by proving that this independent Bangladesh is his address. Bangladesh honored Gafoor’s ‘Bangladeshi’ identity by coaching the national team at the 1982 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in Karachi, Pakistan. The morning of June 25, 1997, had just begun to roll at noon.

He made his Dhaka League debut in the 1959 Wanderers jersey and played for seven consecutive seasons. He joined EPIDC (now BJMC) in 1986 and made the team the league champions in 1986-8. Went back to Wanderers the following year. The last time he wore a jersey was after independence in 1973. But in the last game, he retired wearing a jersey. That year the team also became the champion. After that, the era of ‘Gafur Ustad’ started with enrolling in coaching.

He did not return to Karachi during the war of independence but worked indirectly for Bangladesh. The ghost of Gopibagh lived in Bengal (now Ansar Camp).He also used to arrange food for the freedom fighters. ‘

In 1973, Gafur himself told Shahiduddin, “An army officer used to play with me. Suspicious of me all the time. He used to come to me and say, I have given shelter to the freedom fighters. He would peek into the room, but he would never check. ‘

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