Bangladesh genocide: Bangladeshis demand American recognition of the 1971 genocide

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To commemorate their 50th Victory Day, members of the Bangladeshi community in the Washington DC metro area staged a protest outside the White House on Demember 18, demanding recognition of the genocide perpetrated by the Pakistani military in 1971.

They were led by Priya Saha, executive director of the US-based Minority Human Rights Congress of Bangladesh (HRCBM), and Pranesh Haldar, HRCBM metropolitan area coordinator in Washington DC. Protesters carried placards and waved slogans calling on the US Congress to hold Pakistan responsible for the “Bengali genocide”.

Saha informed the assembly that the Pakistani army killed three million Bengalis and raped around 400,000 Bengali women and girls during the 1971 genocide. This is the second largest genocide after the Holocaust and should be recognized as such by the world community.

The US administration must also sanction Pakistan and its military officers involved in the 1971 genocide under Magnitsky Law, she asked.

Pranesh Haldar demanded that the Pakistani government issue a formal apology to the government of Bangladesh for the genocide perpetrated by its military.

The Afghan community in Washington DC also supported the protests. Afghan activist Nisar Ahmed who attended the protests said Afghans stand side by side with their Bangladeshi brethren in condemning the atrocities of the Pakistani military.

HRCBM is leading efforts to educate members of the United States Congress on the atrocities perpetrated by the Pakistani military and its radical supporters on the defenseless population of Bangladesh between March 25, 1971 and December 16, 1971.

He lobbied for formal recognition of the 1971 Bengali genocide by the US Congress. It will be remembered that the United States had supported the Pakistani army and that the Nixon administration of the day refused to accept the genocide.

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