Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina last night in parliament blasted Pakistan for publishing a book that denied carrying out genocide by the Pakistan occupation force during the Liberation War in 1971.
Strongly criticising Pakistan for its latest move to spread propaganda against the Liberation War, the PM in an unscheduled discussion said Bangladesh would formally register its protest against Pakistan.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed initiated the discussion on the issue, saying Pakistan recently published a book titled “Creation of Bangladesh: Myths Exploded” by Junaid Ahmed, which was sent to the Bangladesh High Commission in Pakistan.
He said genocide carried out by the Pakistan occupation force was denied in the book and that it contained false and fabricated information about the genocide, number of martyrs and torture to women by the Pakistan army.
Tofail added Pakistani intelligence agency ISI was involved in publishing the book to malign and humiliate Bangladesh's Liberation War.
He demanded the House adopt a proposal on acknowledging March 25 as genocide day.
Taking part in the discussion, the PM questioned, “How dare Pakistan write such a book? How dare they send the book to our high commission?”
“The entire world had noticed Pakistan carried out genocide against Bangladeshis. Now they are trying to blame our freedom fighters,” she said, adding, “This is very unfortunate. This cannot be tolerated.”
“We strongly condemn Pakistan's such initiative.”
She said her government would take necessary steps so that March 25 is observed as the genocide day nationally and internationally.
“We can place a proposal in parliament in this regard. We can provide information and proof to different international organisations so that March 25 could be observed as genocide day.”
Hasina added that Bangladesh had been demanding that Pakistan offer apology for its involvement in genocide in 1971. But instead they were trying to put the blame on freedom fighters through the book.
“Pakistan thought Bangladesh would not be able to do anything despite achieving independence. They thought Bangladesh would turn into a failed state. But Bangladesh has now become a role model for the rest of the world. That's why Pakistan couldn't accept this.”
Lambasting BNP chief Khaleda Zia, the PM said, “Khaleda had expressed her doubt about the number of martyred freedom fighters, and we can see the reflection of that claim in the book.”
Hasina said many Pakistani generals in their books admitted carrying out genocide in Bangladesh.
After the end of the PM's speech, Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, who was presiding over the sitting, said discussions would take place in parliament on a specific date in March on observing March 25 as genocide day.