Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called upon the international community, including the United Nations, to recognise Mar 25, 1971, as International Genocide Day.
Hasina, also the president of the ruling Awami League, made the call while presiding over the party’s parliamentary board meeting at her official Ganabhaban residence on Saturday, reports BSS.
"The Pakistan occupation forces committed mass killings on this day [Mar 25, 1971]. We want the 25th of March to be recognised as International Genocide Day. So, I urge the world, including the UN, to consider this," she said
There is no official record of how many people were killed during the ethnic cleansing operation, codenamed “Operation Searchlight”, on that dreadful night, but unofficial counts put the number to at least 7,000 people in Dhaka alone.
Hasina said the Pakistani occupation forces had resorted to attacks on unarmed people of then East Pakistan, the largest province in the whole of Pakistan, on the night of Mar 25, 1971, and continued the killings for nine months.
As a result of the atrocities, 30 million people became homeless, and 10 million took refuge in India, out of the 70 million-strong population, she said.
Paying tributes to all the martyrs, the prime minister said the people of the country are committed to the martyrs, including Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in building a developed and prosperous country.
“I want to say that the blood of the martyrs never goes in vain. We have achieved independence, and today we have achieved the status of a developing nation.”