European Bangladesh Forum demanded immediate international recognition of the genocide committed in 1971 by the Pakistani army. At the international symposium organized by the European Bangladesh Forum (EBF) in the seminar room of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London on Tuesday, speakers reiterated their demand for immediate international recognition of the genocide committed in 1971.
The European Bangladesh Forum (EBF) is a platform for the Bangladeshi diaspora in Europe. During the event, the speakers said that due to the ongoing geo-political cold war among the top international communities, this historically proven genocide has not been recognized internationally so far.
It may be mentioned that Britain played a significant role during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. During that period, Sir Peter Shore MP, the then Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, placed a motion in the UK parliament condemning the Pakistani atrocities in 1971 in Bangladesh. It may be recalled that more than 233 MPs later placed another motion seeking an end to the 'Genocide' in Bangladesh and the recognition of it as an independent nation. Chaired by Ansar Ahmed Ullah, President of EBF UK, the seminar was addressed among others, by Chris Blackburn, Senior British Journalist, Harry van Bommel, former Member of Parliament in the Netherlands, Claudia Wadlich, Human Rights activist, Germany, Sk Md Shahriar Mosharraf, Minister, Bangladesh High Commission in London, Dr Ayesha Siddiqa, Senior Fellow, Department of War Studies, King's College, UK and a Pakistani British citizen, Professor Dr. Tazeen Murshid, Centre for Development Research and Cooperation (DRC-Global), Belgium, Syed Badrul Ahsan, former Editor of New Age, Dhaka, Saad S Khan, Charles Wallace, Visiting Fellow at SOAS South Asia Institute, Reza Hosseinbor, Irani-Baluch Human Rights Activist, Bikash Chowdhury Barua, President EBF, Netherlands, Val Harding, Executive Member of Swadhinata Trust, UK and Willem van der Geest, noted educationist and intellectual from Belgium.
It may be mentioned that Bangladesh's genocide is one of the worst mass atrocities witnessed in the 20th century. According to the Bangladesh Government, approximately three million people were killed, over two hundred thousand women were violated and ten million people were forced to cross the border and take shelter in India. Unfortunately, the Bangladesh genocide has today become a forgotten chapter in history. EBF demanded that the 1971 genocide should be recognised internationally to give justice to the victims of the atrocities.
The London seminar provided a platform for South Asian and European activists and policymakers to discuss the issue at length. The seminar was a live broadcast for a wider audience from the Facebook and YouTube platforms of the British Bangla News TV and The New Sun Bangla Post. (ANI)