March 1971: Pakistan’s Genocide and Mass Rape of Bengalis

Indian soldiers helping East Pakistan citizens during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. (Getty Images)

Source: Bangladesh wants UN to declare March 25 as Genocide Day in remembrance of 1971 | world-news | Hindustan Times

Bangladesh on Thursday said it would reach out to the UN to declare March 25 as Genocide Day globally, in remembrance of the atrocities carried out by the Pakistan Army on the same day in 1971.

The Bangladesh Parliament earlier this month unanimously adopted a resolution declaring March 25 as the Genocide Day.

The Pakistani army launched their infamous ‘Operation Searchlight’ on March 25 to suppress Bengali people’s calls for self-determination, killing over 20,000 people alone in Dhaka.

Officially three million people were killed in the subsequent nine-month Liberation War.


And from Wikipedia, with footnotes:

Following the partition of India, the new state of Pakistan represented a geographical anomaly, with two wings separated by 1,000 miles of Indian territory.[23] The wings were not only separated geographically, but also culturally. The authorities of the West viewed the Bengali Muslims in the East as “too Bengali” and their application of Islam as “inferior and impure”, believing this made the Bengalis unreliable “co-religionists”. To this extent the West began a strategy to forcibly assimilate the Bengalis culturally.[24]

The Bengali people were the demographic majority in Pakistan, making up an estimated 75 million in East Pakistan, compared with 55 million in the predominantly Punjabi-speaking West Pakistan.[25] The majority in the East were Muslim, with large minorities of Hindus, Buddhists and Christians. The West considered the people of the East to be second-class citizens, and Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, who served as head of the Pakistani Forces in East Pakistan in 1971, referred to the region as a “low-lying land of low-lying people”.[26]


More details from an archived excerpt of the book Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape by Susan Brownmiller

Bengal was a state of 75 million people, officially East Pakistan, when the Bangladesh government declared its independence in March of 1971 with the support of India. Troops from West Pakistan were flown to the East to put down the rebellion. During the nine-month terror, terminated by the two-week armed intervention of India, a possible three million persons lost their lives, ten million fled across the border to India, and 200,000, 300,000 or possibly 400,000 women ( three sets of statistics have been variously quoted) were raped. Eighty percent of the raped women were Moslems, reflecting the population of Bangladesh, but Hindu and Christian women were not exempt. As Moslems, most Bengali women were used to living in purdah, strict, veiled isolation that includes separate, secluded shelter arrangements apart from men, even in their own homes. The Pakistanis were also Moslem, but there the similarity stopped.


And from the genocidebangladesh.org website:

“…… we were told to kill the hindus and Kafirs (non-believer in God). One day in June, we cordoned a village and were ordered to kill the Kafirs in that area. We found all the village women reciting from the Holy Quran, and the men holding special congregational prayers seeking God’s mercy. But they were unlucky. Our commanding officer ordered us not to waste any time.”

Confession of a Pakistani Soldier


Religion of peace? Ask the million dead and hundreds of thousands of raped Bengalis.

 

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