Bangladesh will get global recognition of the “1971 genocide” which was committed by the Pakistan army in 1971, a former member of the Dutch Parliament and human rights activists Harry van Bommel said on Sunday, reported Bangladesh Sangbad Sangsta (BSS). “Even if it takes a hundred years to get global recognition of the Armenian Genocide, I hope it will not take that long in the case of the Bangladeshi Genocide. We want to have it within a few years, not even decades”, Bommel told a press conference at Jatiya press club in Dhaka.
Amra Ekattor, Projonmo Ekattor and the European Bangladesh Forum (EBF), a platform of the Bangladeshi diaspora in Europe, organized the press conference on the occasion of holding an international conference titled ‘International Conference on Bangladesh Genocide Recognition’ scheduled for tomorrow. In the conference, Bommel said that the cold war and the then global superpower, the United States, supporting Pakistan is the reason why the Bangladeshi Genocide has not been recognised globally even after fifty-one years of independence.
“In 1971, the US extended their cooperation to Pakistan directly providing arms while India was with Russia at that time. That’s why the US has been pretending to know nothing about the genocide even though they have been well aware of everything”, said Bommel, adding, “West’s friendship with Pakistan is the reason for this dilemma,” he added. On the night of March 25, 1971, the Pakistani military conducted Operation Searchlight, aimed at wiping out an entire generation of Bengalis. Intellectuals, activists, artists, journalists, politicians or common people going about their daily lives, nobody was spared by the Pakistan Army.
The genocide was targeted at civilians in predominantly Hindu neighbourhoods in and around the capital Dhaka and on army barracks who were loyal to Bangabandhu and other Bengali political leaders. During the nine-month war, three million Bengali civilians were killed, more than 200,000 women were violated, 10 million people took refuge in India and 30-40 million people were internally displaced.
Bangladesh, from time to time, has urged the United Nations to recognise the 1971 Genocide but still, there is no progress.