Bangladeshi diaspora in Geneva protest against Pakistan, demand apology for 1971 massacre

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Demanding an apology from Islamabad for the ‘Bangladesh genocide of 1971’, members of Bangladeshi diaspora living in Europe staged an anti-Pakistan protest on the sidelines of the 48th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Geneva, Switzerland): Bangladesh has never had normal relations with Pakistan since its independence by India during the 1971 war.

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Demanding an apology from Islamabad for the ‘Bangladesh genocide’ of 1971, members of Bangladeshi diaspora living in Europe staged an anti-Pakistan protest on Thursday on the sidelines of the 48th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The demonstrators highlighted that in 1971 the Pakistani army committed large-scale atrocities and systematically killed nearly three million people demanding self-determination. The protesters urged the United Nations to recognize the atrocities globally as genocide and to launch trials against the perpetrators.

Khalilur Rahman, a Bangladeshi human rights activist who lives in Switzerland, said, “Pakistan has not apologized to Bangladesh and still genocide (is going on) in Balochistan in Pakistan. In Sindh, in Kashmir, a genocide (is being done by Pakistan). We are demanding that Pakistan should apologize to Bangladesh and the United Nations (UN) should recognize the Bangladesh 1971 genocide internationally.”

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Murshad, a Bangladesh-based human rights activist and president of the Belgium-based Global Resident Solidarity for Peace, said, “We have gathered here to receive international recognition of the 1971 Genocide Day. Therefore, we feel it is not too late to do so. We demand the world. People and concerned authorities to recognize Genocide Day, which was done by Pakistani Army on 25 March 1971.

Human rights activists and politicians from Europe were among the protesters in Bangladesh.

Harry van Bommel, a former member of the Dutch parliament who joined the protest, said, “Obviously Pakistan has played a very dirty and very lousy role. So, I think it has to be done internationally like the United Nations, the European Union, etc. bodies. were killed.”

Pakistan took a military action from 1948–1971 on its eastern wing, now Bangladesh, to suppress the Bengali call for self-determination.

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Bangladesh finally achieved independence with India’s help in December 1971 after a nine-month war against West Pakistan.

First published:October 1, 2021, 3:20 pm

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