Pakistani troops were involved in rape, loot, arson in 1971
A memo of the Commander of Eastern Command (Pakistan), Lt Gen Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi dismissed the Pakistani generals' claim that their forces were not involved in killings, lootings and rape during the 1971 Liberation War.
In the memo, issued on April 15, 1971, Niazi, the martial law administrator of Zone B, said, “Numerous reports of troops indulging in loot, arson and rape have been reported.
“Even officers have been suspected of indulging in such degrading activities. If this tendency is not curbed at once, it will undermine efficiency and discipline of troops.
“Director General of EPCAF (headquarters of razakars) directs immediate steps be taken to ruthlessly stamp out indiscipline, misbehavior and indecent acts. Anybody found guilty of any such acts must be given deterrent punishment.”
This memo turned the certificates of Pakistani generals, who were in Bangladesh during the Liberation War and wrote about 1971, on the innocence of their forces null and void.
Orders were issued to distribute the memo to all officers after reducing it to three paragraphs from seven.
Niazi had mentioned loot, arson and rape, but did not mention the rape of West Pakistani women and killings committed by Pakistani forces.
After receiving the memo on April 16, 1971, Lt Col M Rashid Ahmed distributed the memo to nine centres from EPCAF.
The memo was sent to Lt Col Sikander Khan in Sylhet, Lt Col Tarek Rasul Kurashi, sector commander of Dinajpur; Lt Col Abdul Rahman Awan, signal wing commander; Lt Col Mohammad Aslam, sector commander in Jessore; Lt Col Syed Anwar Hussain, sector commander in Dhaka/Chittagong; Lt Col Abdullah Khan, sector commander in Rajshahi; Lt Col Gaidin Khan Abdullah, scout; Major Gulam Ahmed, Dhaka sector; and Major Jahanjeb of the 15 Wing Command.