Thursday, December 3, 2015

"915 men were just slain by a flick of one Pakistan officer’s fingers"


One has to wonder who is guiding Pakistan's Foreign ministry these days? 

On 30 November, the  ministry issued a second controversial press statement about the 1971 war where it stated that the Pakistan government:

"rejected [the Bangladesh government's] insinuation of complicity in committing crimes or war atrocities [during the 1971 war]. Nothing could be further from the truth." 
This second statement came in response to the Bangladesh government's criticism of the Pakistan foreign ministry's first statement where it had criticized the executions of Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Mujahid for crimes committed during the 1971 war.

Let us, for a moment, put to one side everything Bangladesh and the international community has said about Pakistan's role in committing atrocities during the 1971 war and just consider what Pakistan's own military and civilian officers told the Pakistan government's own  inquiry, which was set up in July 1972 and chaired by the Chief Justice Hamoodor Rahman.

The inquiry committee produced an initial report, and in 1974 after the return of Pakistan military officers who had been held in India, a supplementary report was produced after taking further evidence. It was declassified in 2000

The report is primarily - if not solely - based on evidence from these officers, and therefore its conclusions are naturally limited. However, the statements given by these officers, some of which are extracted in chapter 2 of the supplementary report, make very clear that war crimes and atrocities were committed by the army officers. In summary, Pakistan army and civilian officers told the committee:
"Action was based on use of force primarily, and at many places indiscriminate use of force was resorted to" 
"I addressed a letter to all formations located in the area and insisted that loot, rape, arson, killing of people at random must stop" 
"Excessive force was used on that night [of 25th March 1971]" 
"[Officers] took the law into their own hands to deal with the so called miscreants." 
"Miscreants were killed by firing squads." 
"Two officers and 30 men were disposed of without trial." 
"Innocent people were killed by us during sweep operations" 
"17 Bengali Officers and 915 men were just slain by a flick of one Officer’s fingers."