If there is anything that keeps the wounds of 1971 festering in our hearts it is the lack of recognition as yet by the UN that the killings by the Pakistanis of three million Bangalis can only fall within the category of genocide. We endorse the call by the speakers at the international conference organised by the Center for Genocide Studies that rigorous campaign be launched to get UN recognition in this matter.
The UN defines genocide as crime “committed with the intention to destroy in whole or part a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” And in the numerous reports quoting the Pakistani generals, their motive behind their brutal actions initiated against us on the night of 25 March 1971 with 'Operation Searchlight,” was exactly what the UN Resolution of 1948 describes.
The killings have been reflected in the international media through various reports and commentaries in 1971, and since then there are a large tome of narratives acknowledging and describing the killings as genocide.
We fail to understand why the UN has not recognised the 1971 carnage in Bangladesh as genocide when, for example, the Rwandan killings of the Tutsis by the Hutus have been recognised as such. The Guinness Book of Records lists the Bangladesh genocide as one of the top 5 genocides in the 20th century.
Procedural issues must not be allowed to stand in the UN's way of accepting the realities and giving them due recognition. This should be done not only to assuage the pains of the 160 million people of this country but to also acknowledge a dark period in history and to strengthen humanity's resolve to prevent such occurrences in future.