US Resolution On ‘1971 Bangladesh Genocide’ – OpEd


Flags of Bangladesh and Pakistan


It is past time that the atrocities committed against Bangladesh by Pakistan in 1971 get universal acknowledgment. While genocides from Armenia to Rwanda are read, analyzed, and debated around the world, the horrifying genocide in Bangladesh is regrettably seldom ever denounced or even brought up.


A resolution urging the US President to recognize the atrocities committed against ethnic Bengalis and Hindus by the armed forces of Pakistan in 1971 as a genocide was initially introduced on October 15 by Congressmen Steve Chabot and Ro Khanna, both of Indian descent.


The US House of Representatives’ resolution unequivocally demands that Pakistan apologize to Bangladesh for the atrocities.


The horrifying genocide in Bangladesh was started in 1971 by the Pakistani army under the cover of Operation Searchlight. Numerous Bangladeshis were ruthlessly murdered, and tens of thousands of Bengalis also perished.


During the massacre, the Pakistani Army attacked academics, university students, teachers, and members of the Hindu community. The Pakistani military elite was certain that it could brutally put down the Bengali nationalist movement. But with India’s assistance, East Pakistan managed to free itself.


The events that occurred in Bangladesh in 1971 should be classified as genocide under the 1948 UN Convention on the Convention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG). There have been more than 50 years. The genocide committed by Pakistan in East Pakistan (Bangladesh) has not been acknowledged as such by Washington or the UN.


For obvious reasons, the US has not focused on the genocide committed in East Pakistan (Bangladesh) by the country’s former ruler, West Pakistan. The US authorities were told by Archer Blood, the country’s ambassador to India at the time, but because Pakistan was a Cold War ally, the US declined to comment.