Memories of a Lacerated Heart gives us a painful insight into one of the most brutal and historically under-reported wars, and its effects not just on the country but on the mind of a patriotic and unassuming army officer. In 1947 the Indian subcontinent was split into two countries, India and Pakistan. East and West Pakistan were geographically separated by the larger nation of India and the country was ruled by martial law for the first 25 years after gaining independence. The governing of the two wings of the country, hundreds of miles apart, was a logistical challenge and the cultural, economic, geographical and language differences became divisive. East Pakistan had the larger population, albeit in a smaller area, but West Pakistan held the political and economic power. East Pakistan secured the majority of seats in the 1970 elections but, despite winning the majority vote, it was deprived of the right to govern. This lead to a bloody civil war that later escalated into a conflict between Pakistan and India. This is the memoir of one Pakistani Army officer who witnessed the events first-hand and suffered as a consequence of being a patriotic young company commander who passionately wanted to prevent the break-up of his country. It is a formal collection of his diary entries documenting his experiences during the civil war, the subsequent conflict with India, and as a prisoner of war. While still a war memoir, it is also the raw and heartfelt account of a man separated by duty from his loved ones, and ordered, along with his young soldiers, to fight a pointless war ruthlessly orchestrated by generals and politicians.
Iftikhar-Ud-Din Ahmad was born on June 1st, 1933 in Patti, a town in the district of Lahore in Amritsar, India. His family moved to the newly-created Pakistan after the partition of India and he joined the Pakistan army in 1959. After his repatriation to Pakistan in 1974, he served in various posts until his retirement in 1984. He originally published his memoir in Urdu in 2009, and the English translation was completed few years after he passed away in March 2014.