Saturday, 3 June, 2023

UN must recognise Bangladesh genocide

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called upon the international community including the United Nations to recognise March 25 as International Genocide Day in commemoration of three million people who were killed at the hands of Pakistani army and their local collaborators during the War of Liberation in 1971. Bangladesh has been observing March 25 as Bengali Genocide Remembrance Day since 2017, but global recognition of the Day has long been overdue.

The government has already produced detailed information regarding genocide to international community and agencies to publicise the matter and make strong demand to observe March 25 as International Genocide Day, the day when in 1971 Pakistani military junta chief Yahya Khan unleashed the worst genocide in modern history.

We owe such a day not only to pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for our independence, but also to sensitize the world community about preventing any conflict or war, considering the rise in hostility and intolerance all across the world. Although the United Nations marks December 9 as genocide commemoration day, we believe that it will simultaneously recognise March 25 as such a day if we start acting on it.

Marking such a day is also important to create a bulwark against Pakistani propaganda. The ruling quarters in Pakistan has never apologized to Bangladesh for its military regime’ systematic campaign of mass murder in 1971, rather they hardly miss an opportunity to spread falsehood about it. For example, a couple of years back Bangladesh high commission in Pakistan received a book titled “Creation of Bangladesh: Myths exploded”, which contained false and fabricated information regarding genocide, number of martyrs, and torture of women by the Pakistani army. This is shameless at its absolute best. 

So, we think the time has come to present the genocide of 1971 before the world with facts and figures and to demand justice for those who were directly involved in this most heinous crime. Reportedly, Bangladesh has already started an initiative at the UN to get recognition for March 25 as International Genocide Day. Given the severity of the crime committed against humanity in 1971 against the Bangalees, the UN must recognise it to sensitize the world about the Bangladesh genocide.