1971 Bangladesh atrocities


1971 Bangladesh atrocities

Beginning with the start of Operation Searchlight on 25 March 1971 and continuing throughout the Bangladesh War of Independence, there were widespread violations of human rights in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) perpetrated by the Pakistan Army with support from local political and religious militias.

Bangladeshi authorities claim that 3 million people were killed,White, Matthew, " [http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat2.htm#Bangladesh Death Tolls for the Major Wars and Atrocities of the Twentieth Century] "] while the Hamoodur Rahman Commission, an official Pakistan Government investigation, put the figure as low as 26,000 civilian casualties. [http://www.bangla2000.com/Bangladesh/Independence-War/Report-Hamoodur-Rahman/default.shtm Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report] , [http://www.bangla2000.com/Bangladesh/Independence-War/Report-Hamoodur-Rahman/chapter2.shtm chapter 2] , paragraph 33] The international media and reference books in English have also published figures which vary greatly from 200,000 to 3,000,000 for Bangladesh as a whole. A further eight to ten million people fled the country to seek safety in India.Rummel, Rudolph J., [http://www.Hawaii.edu/powerkills/SOD.CHAP8.HTM "Statistics of Democide: Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900"] , ISBN 3-8258-4010-7, Chapter 8, [http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/SOD.TAB8.2.gifTable 8.2 Pakistan Genocide in Bangladesh Estimates, Sources, and Calcualtions] : lowest estimate 2 million claimed by Pakistan (reported by Aziz, Qutubuddin. "Blood and tears" Karachi: United Press of Pakistan, 1974. pp. 74,226), all the other sources used by Rummel suggest a figure of between 8 and 10 million with one (Johnson, B. L. C. "Bangladesh". New York: Barnes & Noble, 1975. pp. 73,75) that "could have been" 12 million.]

A large section of the intellectual community of Bangladesh were murdered, mostly by the Al-Shams and Al-Badr forces,Many of the eyewitness accounts of relations that were picked up by "Al Badr" forces describe them as Bengali men. The only survivor of the Rayerbazar killings describes the captors and killers of Bengali professionals as fellow Bengalis. See 37 Dilawar Hossain, account reproduced in ‘Ekattorer Ghatok-dalalera ke Kothay’ (Muktijuddha Chetona Bikash Kendro, Dhaka, 1989)] at the instruction of the Pakistani Army.Asadullah Khan " [http://www.thedailystar.net/2005/12/14/d512141501115.htm The loss continues to haunt us] " in The Daily Star (Bangladesh) December 14, 2005] There are many mass graves in Bangladesh, and more are continually being discovered (such as one in an old well near a mosque in Dhaka, located in the non-Bengali region of the city, which was discovered in August 1999). [ DPA report [http://www.tribuneindia.com/1999/99aug08/world.htm#7 Mass grave found in Bangladesh] in The Chandigarh Tribune August 8, 1999] The first night of war on Bengalis, which is documented in telegrams from the American Consulate in Dhaka to the United States State Department, saw indiscriminate killings of students of Dhaka University and other civilians. [Sajit Gandhi " [http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB79/ The Tilt: The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971 National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 79] " December 16, 2002]

Numerous women were tortured, raped and killed during the war. The exact numbers are not known and are a subject of debate. Bangladeshi sources cite a figure of 200,000 women raped, giving birth to thousands of war-babies. The Pakistan Army also kept numerous Bengali women as sex-slaves inside the Dhaka Cantonment. Most of the girls were captured from Dhaka University and private homes. [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,877316,00.html East Pakistan: Even the Skies Weep] , "Time Magazine", October 25, 1971.]

There was significant sectarian violence not only perpetrated and encouraged by the Pakistani army,U.S. Consulate (Dacca) Cable, Sitrep: [http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB79/BEBB6.pdf Army Terror Campaign Continues in Dacca; Evidence Military Faces Some Difficulties Elsewhere] , March 31, 1971, Confidential, 3 pp] but also by Bengali nationalists against non-Bengali minorities, especially Biharis.cite journal |quotes=|last=Sen |first=Sumit |authorlink= |coauthors= |year=1999 |month= |title=Stateless Refugees and the Right to Return: the Bihari Refugees of South Asia, Part 1 |journal=International Journal of Refugee Law |volume=11 |issue=4 |pages=625–645 |id= |url=http://ijrl.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/11/4/625.pdf |accessmonthday=20 October |accessyear=2006|doi=10.1093/ijrl/11.4.625|format=PDF]

On December 16, 2002, the George Washington University's National Security Archive published a collection of declassified documents, consisting mostly of communications between US embassy officials and USIS centers in Dhaka and India, and officials in Washington DC.Gandhi, Sajit, ed. (December 16, 2002), " [http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB79/ The Tilt: The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971] : National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 79"] These documents show that US officials working in diplomatic institutions within Bangladesh used the terms "selective genocide"U.S. Consulate in Dacca (March 27, 1971), " [http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB79/BEBB1.pdf Selective genocide] ", Cable (PDF)] and "genocide" (see The Blood Telegram) to describe events they had knowledge of at the time. "Genocide" is the term that is still used to describe the event in almost every major publication and newspaper in Bangladesh.Editorial " [http://www.bangladeshobserveronline.com/new/2005/12/30/editorial.htm The Jamaat Talks Back] "in The Bangladesh Observer December 30, 2005] Dr. N. Rabbee " [http://www.thedailystar.net/magazine/2005/12/03/remembrance.htm Remembering a Martyr] " Star weekend Magazine, The December 16, 2005] , although elsewhere, particularly in Pakistan, the actual death toll, motives, extent, and destructive impact of the actions of the Pakistani forces are disputed.

Operation Searchlight

Operation Searchlight was a planned military pacification carried out by the Pakistan Army to curb the Bengali nationalist movement in erstwhile East Pakistan in March of 1971. [Sarmila Bose " [http://www.epw.org.in/showArticles.php?root=2005&leaf=10&filename=9223&filetype=html Anatomy of Violence: Analysis of Civil War in East Pakistan in 1971: Military Action: Operation Searchlight] " Economic and Political Weekly Special Articles, October 8, 2005] Ordered by the government in West Pakistan, this was seen as the sequel to Operation Blitz which had been launched in November 1970.

The original plan envisioned taking control of the major cities on March 26 1971, and then eliminating all opposition, political or military [Salik, Siddiq, Witness To Surrender, p63, p228-9 id = ISBN 9-840-51373-7] , within one month. The prolonged Bengali resistance was not anticipated by Pakistani planners. [Pakistan Defence Journal, 1977, Vol 2, p2-3] The main phase of Operation Searchlight ended with the fall of the last major town in Bengali hands in mid May. The operation also began the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities. This systematic killings only served to enrage the Bengalis which ultimately resulted in the secession of East Pakistan later in the same year.

Casualties

The number of civilians that died in the Bangladesh War is not accurately known. There is a great disparity in the casualty figures put forth by Pakistan on one hand (26,000, as reported in the Hamoodur Rahman Commission [ [http://www.bangla2000.com/Bangladesh/Independence-War/Report-Hamoodur-Rahman/default.shtm Hamoodur Rahman Commission] , [http://www.bangla2000.com/Bangladesh/Independence-War/Report-Hamoodur-Rahman/chapter2.shtm Chapter 2] , Paragraph 33] ) and India and Bangladesh on the other hand. (From 1972 to 1975 the first post-war prime minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, claimed on several occasions that at least three million died)."3 MILLION Slaughtered Sheik MUJIB Charges 'Greatest Massacre'" The Portsmouth Herald, Monday, January 17, 1972, Portsmouth, New Hampshire] The international media and reference books in English have also have published figures which vary greatly: varying from 5,000–35,000 in Dhaka, and 200,000–3,000,000 for Bangladesh as a whole. [ [http://www.virtualbangladesh.com/history/holocaust.html Virtual Bangladesh: History: The Bangali Genocide, 1971] ] It is believed in certain quarters that the figure of three million has its origins in comments made by Yahya Khan to the journalist Robert Payne on February 22, 1971, "Kill three million of them, and the rest will eat out of our hands". [Pierre Stephen and Robert Payne References needs a page number] [Scott Lamb " [http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,338612,00.html Never Again?] " in Der Spiegel January 26, 2005]

The Office of the Historian of the United States Department of State held a two-day conference in late June 2005 on U.S. policy in South Asia between 1961 and 1972. The State Department invited international scholars to express their views on declassified documents recently published in the "Foreign Relations of the United States" series. According to a newspaper report published in both Pakistani and Bangladeshi newspapers, Bangladeshi speakers at the conference stated that the official Bangladeshi figure of civilian deaths was close to 300,000, which was wrongly translated from Bengali into English as three million. Ambassador Shamsher M. Chowdhury acknowledged that Bangladesh alone cannot correct this mistake and suggested Pakistan and Bangladesh should form a joint commission to investigate the 1971 disaster and prepare a report.U.S Department of State [http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/46059.htm South Asia in Crisis: United States Policy, 1961-1972 June 28-29, 2005, Loy Henderson Auditorium, Tentative Program] ] Anwar Iqbal [http://www.dawn.com/2005/07/07/nat3.htm Sheikh Mujib wanted a confederation: US papers] , The Dawn, July 7, 2005 this article was also published in the in [http://www.financialexpress-bd.com/aboutus.asp?cnd=12/16/2005 Financial Express] , 16 December 2005 under the byline "US State Department's declassified documents] "]

In 1997 R. J. Rummel published a book, which is available on the web, titled "Statistics of Democide: Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900". In Chapter 8, "Statistics Of Pakistan's Democide - Estimates, Calculations, And Sources", he states:

Rummel goes on to collate what he considers the most credible estimates published by others into what he calls democide. He writes that "Consolidating both ranges, I give a final estimate of Pakistan's democide to be 300,000 to 3,000,000, or a prudent 1,500,000."

Killing of intellectuals

During the war, the Pakistan Army and its local collaborators carried out a systematic execution of the leading Bengali intellectuals. A number of professors from Dhaka University were killed during the first few days of the war.Ajoy Roy, [http://www.mukto-mona.com/Articles/ajoy/martyr_intellectual.htm "Homage to my martyr colleagues"] , 2002] However, the most extreme cases of targeted killing of intellectuals took place during the last few days of the war. Professors, journalists, doctors, artists, engineers, writers were rounded up by Pakistan Army and the Razakar militia in Dhaka, blindfolded, taken to torture cells in Mirpur, Mohammadpur, Nakhalpara, Rajarbagh and other locations in different sections of the city to be executed en masse in the killing fields, most notably at Rayerbazar and Mirpur.cite news
first =
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title = 125 Slain in Dacca Area, Believed Elite of Bengal
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date = December 19, 1971
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quote = At least 125 persons, believed to be physicians, professors, writers and teachers were found murdered today in a field outside Dacca. All the victims' hands were tied behind their backs and they had been bayoneted, garroted or shot. They were among an estimated 300 Bengali intellectuals who had been seized by West Pakistani soldiers and locally recruited supporters.
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] cite journal| last = Murshid| first = Tazeen M. | date = 2 | year = 1997 | month = December | title = State, nation, identity: The quest for legitimacy in Bangladesh | journal = South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, | volume = 20 | issue = 2 | pages = 1–34 | publisher = Routledge| issn = 14790270| doi = 10.1080/00856409708723294] Khan, Muazzam Hussain (2003), [http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/K_0261.htm "Killing of Intellectuals"] , "Banglapedia", Asiatic Society of Bangladesh] [Shaiduzzaman (December 14, 2005), [http://www.newagebd.com/2005/dec/15/murdered/murdered.html "Martyred intellectuals: martyred history"] , "The Daily New Age", Bangladesh] Allegedly, the Pakistani Army and its paramilitary arm, the Al-Badr and Al-Shams forces created a list of doctors, teachers, poets, and scholars.Dr. Rashid Askari, [http://www.thedailystar.net/2005/12/14/d51214020321.htm "Our martyerd intellectuals"] , editorial, the Daily Star, December 14, 2005] Some sources also allege the role of the CIA in devising the plan.Dr. M.A. Hasan, "Juddhaporadh, Gonohatya o bicharer anneshan", War Crimes Fact Finding Committee and Genocide archive & Human Studies Centre, Dhaka, 2001]

On December 14, 1971, only two days before surrendering to the Indian military and the Mukhti Bahini forces, the Pakistani army with the assistance of local collaborators systematically executed an estimated 991 teachers, 13 journalists, 49 physicians, 42 lawyers, and 16 writers, artists and engineers. Even after the official ending of the war on December 16 there were reports of firing from the armed Pakistani soldiers or their collaborators. In one such incident, notable film-maker Jahir Raihan was killed on January 30, 1972 in Mirpur allegedly by the armed Beharis. In memory of the persons killed, December 14 is mourned in Bangladesh as Shaheed Buddhijibi Dibosh ("Day of the Martyred Intellectuals"). [Shahiduzzaman " [http://www.newagebd.com/2005/dec/15/murdered/murdered.html No count of the nation’s intellectual loss] " The New Age, December 15, 2005] [ [http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/K_0261.htm Killing of Intellectuals] Asiatic Society of Bangladesh]

Several noted intellectuals who were killed from the time period of 25th March to 16th December, 1971 in different parts of the country include Dhaka University professors Dr. Govinda Chandra Dev (Philosophy), Dr. Munier Chowdhury (Bengali Literature), Dr. Mufazzal Haider Chaudhury (Bengali Literature), Dr. Anwar Pasha (Bengali Literature), Dr M Abul Khair (History), Dr. Jyotirmoy Guhathakurta (English Literature), Humayun Kabir (English Literature), Rashidul Hasan (English Literature) and Saidul Hassan (Physics), as well Dr. Hobibur Rahman (Professor of Mathematics at Rajshahi University), Dr. Fazle Rabbi (Cardiologist), Dr. Alim Chowdhury (Ophthalmologist), Shahidullah Kaiser (Journalist), Nizamuddin Ahmed (Journalist), Selina Parvin (Journalist), Altaf Mahmud (Lyricist and musician), Dhirendranath Datta (Politician) and RP Saha (Philanthropist).

Violence against women

Numerous women were tortured, raped and killed during the war. Again, exact numbers are not known and are a subject of debate. Bangladeshi sources cite a figure of 200,000 women raped, giving birth to thousands of war-babies. The Pakistan Army also kept numerous Bengali women as sex-slaves inside the Dhaka Cantonment. Most of the girls were captured from Dhaka University and private homes. [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,877316,00.html East Pakistan: Even the Skies Weep] , Time Magazine, October 25, 1971.]

Among other sources, Susan Brownmiller refers to an even higher number of over 400,000. Pakistani sources claim the number is much lower, though having not completely denied rape incidents. [Debasish Roy Chowdhury " [http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/GF23Df04.html 'Indians are bastards anyway'] " in Asia Times June 23, 2005"In Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, Susan Brownmiller likens it to the Japanese rapes in Nanjing and German rapes in Russia during World War II. "... 200,000, 300,000 or possibly 400,000 women (three sets of statistics have been variously quoted) were raped.""] Brownmiller, Susan, "Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape" ISBN 0-449-90820-8, page 81] [ [http://www.bangla2000.com/Bangladesh/Independence-War/Report-Hamoodur-Rahman/default.shtm Hamoodur Rahman Commission] , [http://www.bangla2000.com/Bangladesh/Independence-War/Report-Hamoodur-Rahman/chapter2.shtm Chapter 2] , Paragraphs 32,34] Another work that has included direct experiences from the women raped is "Ami Birangona Bolchhi" ("I, the heroine, speak") by Nilima Ibrahim. The work includes in its name from the word "Birangona" (Heroine), given by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman after the war, to the raped and tortured women during the war. This was a conscious effort to alleviate any social stigma the women might face in the society. How successful this effort was is doubtful, though. In October 2005 Sarmila Bose (a Harvard-educated Bengali Indian academic related to the Indian Freedom Struggle leader Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose), published a paper suggesting that the casualties and rape allegations in the war have been greatly exaggerated for political purposes. [Sarmila Bose " [http://www.epw.org.in/showArticles.php?root=2005&leaf=10&filename=9223&filetype=html Anatomy of violence: An Analysis of Civil War in East Pakistan in 1971] ", later published in the Indian Journal, Economic and Political Weekly, issue October 8, 2005] [Editorial [ New impartial evidence debunks 1971 rape allegations against Pakistan Army] , Daily Times (Pakistan), 2 July, 2005] This work has been criticised in Bangladesh and her research methods have been attacked by expatriate Bengalis as shoddy and biased. [Salma Khatun " [http://drishtipat.org/sarmila/sarmila.htm Sarmila Bose Rewrites history] " website of Drishtipat "A non-profit, non-political expatriate Bangladeshi organization ... registered public charity in the Unitied States."]

Violence against minorities

The minorities of Bangladesh, especially the Hindus, were specific targets of the Pakistan army.U.S. Consulate (Dacca) Cable, Sitrep: [http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB79/BEBB6.pdf Army Terror Campaign Continues in Dacca; Evidence Military Faces Some Difficulties Elsewhere] , March 31, 1971, Confidential, 3 pp] There was widespread killing of Hindu males, and rapes of women. More than 60% of the Bengali refugees that had fled to India were Hindus.US State Department, "Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969-1976", Volume XI, South Asia Crisis, 1971", Page 165] It is not exactly known what percentage of the people killed by the Pakistan army were Hindus, but it is safe to say it was disproportionately high.Kennedy, Senator Edward, "Crisis in South Asia - A report to the Subcommittee investigating the Problem of Refugees and Their Settlement, Submitted to U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee", November 1, 1971, U.S. Govt. Press, page 66. Sen. Kennedy wrote, "Field reports to the U.S. Government, countless eye-witness journalistic accounts, reports of International agencies such as World Bank and additional information available to the subcommittee document the reign of terror which grips East Bengal (East Pakistan). Hardest hit have been members of the Hindu community who have been robbed of their lands and shops, systematically slaughtered, and in some places, painted with yellow patches marked 'H'. All of this has been officially sanctioned, ordered and implemented under martial law from Islamabad."] This widespread violence against Hindus was motivated by a policy to purge East Pakistan of what was seen as Hindu and Indian influences. The West Pakistani rulers identified the Bengali culture with Hindu and Indian culture, and thought that the eradication of Hindus would remove such influences from the majority Muslims in East Pakistan.The Sunday Times, London, June 13, 1971, ""The Government's policy for East Bengal was spelled out to me in the Eastern Command headquarters at Dacca. It has three elements: 1. The Bengalis have proved themselves unreliable and must be ruled by West Pakistanis; 2. The Bengalis will have to be re-educated along proper Islamic lines. The - Islamization of the masses - this is the official jargon - is intended to eliminate secessionist tendencies and provide a strong religious bond with West Pakistan; 3. When the Hindus have been eliminated by death and fight, their property will be used as a golden carrot to win over the under privileged Muslim middle-class. This will provide the base for erecting administrative and political structures in the future."]

Violence against Biharis

The period also saw a wave of sectarian violence carried out by Bengali nationalists against non-Bengali minorities, especially Biharis, in the period of December 1970 — March 1971, when Biharis were subject to systematic persecution. It is estimated that between 15,000 and 50,000 Biharis were killed in this period, and is believed by some that both Mujibur and Ziaur Rahman, and actively supported by the Indian military, intentionally incited and then failed to stop the violence against the Biharis.cite journal |quotes=|last=Sen |first=Sumit |authorlink= |coauthors= |year=1999 |month= |title=Stateless Refugees and the Right to Return: the Bihari Refugees of South Asia, Part 1 |journal=International Journal of Refugee Law |volume=11 |issue=4 |pages=625–645 |id= |url=http://ijrl.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/11/4/625.pdf |accessmonthday=20 October |accessyear=2006|doi=10.1093/ijrl/11.4.625|format=PDF]

After the defeat of the Pakistani forces, Bangladeshi nationalist forces, most notoriously the Kader Bahini militia led by Abdul Kader Siddique, exacted revenge on those who had been viewed as 'collaborators' of the Pakistani forces. In particular, Biharis, some of whom had formed Razakars and "Al Shams" Islamist militias in support of the Pakistani Army, were subjected to massive reprisal attacks. A large numbers of Biharis were killed by Mukti Bahini soldiers, while hundreds of thousands were placed in refugee camps where they languished for many years. [Interview with History by Oriani Falaci- Fallaci took this interview on January 1972 and condemned Sheikh Mujib about the massacre against Biharies by Kader Siddique and Mukti Bahini] Fearing continued persecution in the new state of Bangladesh, they sought refuge in Pakistan, however the Pakistani government was reluctant to recognize their citizenship, making them effectively a stateless people.

Genocide debate

After the minimum 20 countries became parties to the Genocide Convention, it came into force as international law on 12 January 1951. At that time however, only two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council were parties to the treaty, and it was not until after the last of the last five permanent members ratified the treaty in 1988, and the Cold War came to an end, that the international law on the crime of genocide began to be enforced. As such, the allegation that genocide took place during the Bangladesh War of 1971 was never investigated by an international tribunal set up under the auspices of the United Nations.

Although both Pakistan and its primary ally USA have denied genocide allegations, [Genocide Denial; The Case of Bangladesh by Donald W. Beachler - [http://www.isg-iags.org/events/2005iagsconference/abstracts/IAGS%202005.proposal.doc Online summary hosted at Institute for the Study of Genocide] ] the word ‘genocide’ was and is used frequently amongst observers and scholars of the events that transpired during the 1971 war. [http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB79/BEBB8.pdf DISENT FROM U.S. POLICY TOWARD EAST PAKISTAN] (PDF) April 6, 1971] Rummel, Rudolph J., [http://www.Hawaii.edu/powerkills/SOD.CHAP8.HTM "Statistics of Democide: Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900"] , ISBN 3-8258-4010-7, Chapter 8, table 8.1 ] Within Bangladesh, ‘genocide’ is the term used to describe the event in almost every major publication and newspaper. It is also used in some publications outside the subcontinent for example The Guinness Book of Records lists the Bengali atrocities as one of the top 5 genocides in the 20th century. [Guinness Book of Records 2007, pp 118-119]

On December 16, 2002, the George Washington University’s National Security Archives published a collection of declassified documents, mostly consisting of communications between US officials working in embassies and USIS centers in Dhaka and in India, and officials in Washington DC.Gandhi, Sajit (ed.), [http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB79/ The Tilt: The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971: National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 79] ] These documents show that US officials working in diplomatic institutions within Bangladesh used the terms ‘selective genocide’U.S. Consulate (Dacca) Cable, [http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB79/BEBB1.pdf Selective genocide] (PDF) March 27, 1971] and ‘genocide’ (Blood telegram) to describe events they had knowledge of at the time. They also show that President Nixon, advised by Henry Kissinger, decided to downplay this secret internal advise, because he wanted to protect the interests of Pakistan as he was apprehensive of India's friendship with the USSR, and he was seeking a closer relationship with China, who supported Pakistan. [ [http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB79/BEBB21.pdf Memorandam for the Record] (PDF) August 11 1971]

In his book "The Trials of Henry Kissinger", Christopher Hitchens elaborates on what he saw as the efforts of Henry Kissinger to subvert the aspirations of independence on the part of the Bengalis. Hitchens not only claims that the term genocide is appropriate to describe the results of the struggle, but also points to the efforts of Henry Kissinger in undermining others who condemned the then ongoing atrocities as being a genocide. [Christopher Hitchens [http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Kissinger/Bangladesh_TOHK.html The Trials of Henry Kissinger] References Pages 44,50]

War trial attempts

Immediately after the war, the topic of putting the war criminals to trial arose. Just as the war ended, Bangladeshi prime minister Tajuddin Ahmed admitted to Professor Anisuzzaman that the trial of the alleged Pakistani military personnel may not be possible because of pressures from the US. He also told that India and Soviet Union are not interested about the trial. On 24 December 1971 Home minister of Bangladesh A. H. M. Qamaruzzaman said, "war criminals will not survive from the hands of law. Pakistani military personnel who were involved with killing and raping have to face tribunal." In a joint statement after a meeting between Sheikh Mujib and Indira Gandhi, Indian government assured of giving all the assistance for bringing war criminals into justice. By July 1972, Bangladeshi government reduced the number of alleged war criminals from 400 to 195. In his book "Liberation and Beyond", JN Dixit wrote that the Bangladeshi government was not interested about gathering evidence about the handful amount of war criminals. He was uncertain about the reason behind this approach and figured it as a result of a possible negotiation between the Bangladeshi and Pakistani government. He thought that Sheikh Mujib did not want to do anything that would stop Pakistan and other Muslim states from giving Bangladesh the official recognition. Worldwide support in favor of war trial faded after the 3 nation agreement.cite book |last=Rahman |first=Muhammad Habibur |authorlink=Muhammad Habibur Rahman |title=স্বপ্ন, দুঃস্বপ্ন ও বোবার স্বপ্ন (Swapna, Dhuswapna O Bobar Swapna)|year=2002 |publisher=Annyaprokash |location=Dhaka |language=Bengali |isbn=984-868-193-0 |pages=p40-57 ]

On 29 December 1991 one of the known alleged war criminal Ghulam Azam became the Chairman or Aamir of Jamaat-E-Islami which prompted political debates. As a result, a National Committee was established after a proposal of writer and political activist Jahanara Imam. Subsequently on 14 February 1992 "Ekattorer Ghatak-Dalal Nirmul Committee" was formed to bring Azam and his followers to trial. 6 March 52 Muslim clerics supported the effort. An open court named Gonoadalot was formed and on 26 March 1992 Jahanara Imam read out the verdict against Azam. Following the verdict Sheikh Hasina moved a proposal in the house to begin the prosecution, but it was not passed.

A case was filed in the Federal Court of Australia on 20 September 2006 for alleged crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity during 1971 by the Pakistani Armed Forces and its collaborators. Raymond Solaiman & Associates acting for the plantive Mr. Solaiman, have released a press statement which among other things says: [http://www.rayimmigration.com.au/pressrelease.htm Raymond Faisal Solaiman v People's Republic of Bangladesh & Ors] In The Federal Magistrates Court of Australia at Sydney. ] On 21 May 2007, at the request of the applicant "Leave is granted to the applicant to discontinue his application filed on 20 September 2006." (FILE NO: (P)SYG2672/2006) [This judgement can be found via the [http://esearch.fedcourt.gov.au/ Federal Court of Australia home page] by following the links and using SYG/2672/2006 as the key for the database]

Further reading

* [http://www.gendercide.org/case_bangladesh.html Genocide in Bangladesh, 1971] , A Gendercide Watch case study
* Khan, Muazzam Hussain (2003), [http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/K_0261.htm "Killing of Intellectuals"] , "Banglapedia", Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
* Shaiduzzaman (December 14, 2005), [http://www.newagebd.com/2005/dec/15/murdered/murdered.html "Martyred intellectuals: martyred history"] , "The Daily New Age", Bangladesh
* [http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/SOD.TAB8.2.gifPakistan Genocide in Bangladesh] - Estimates, Sources, and Calculations
* [http://acorn.nationalinterest.in/2008/03/25/remembering-the-east-pakistan-genocide/ The 1971 Genocide in Pakistan - A Realist Perspective] - How realpolitik considerations of the states involved explain why genocide was carried out with impunity, why it was permitted by international players, why it was halted by the Indian intervention and why the perpetrators were never punished.

References

* Pierre, Stephen and Robert Payne (1973), "Massacre", New York: Macmillan, ISBN 0-02-595240-4
* Brownmiller, Susan, "Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape", ISBN 0-449-90820-8
* Ibrahim, Nilima, "Ami Virangana Bolchhi" (I, the Heroine, Speak)
* Hitchens, Christopher (2001), "The Trials of Henry Kissinger", Verso, ISBN 1-85984-631-9

Footnotes


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