Ansar Ahmed Ullah
The Europe-based Bangladeshi diaspora organisation, European Bangladesh Forum (EBF) organised a demonstration on Wednesday 14 April 2021 to demand from the Pakistan government an ‘unconditional official apology’ for the Genocide the Pakistan army committed in Bangladesh during the Liberation War in 1971. The demonstration took place at Paleisstraaat, close to Pakistan Embassy in the Hague, participated by the Bangladeshis living in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. The demonstrators carried banners, placards depicting the atrocities committed by Pakistani soldiers and chanted slogans demanding punishment to those responsible for the genocide. Many organisations of Bangladesh origin from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany took part in the event including, Netherlands Awami League, Belgium Awami League, Bangabandhu Foundation Germany, Netherlands Awami Jubo League and Global Solidarity for Peace, Belgium amongst others.
The speakers at the demo demanded of the world leaders, including the European governments, to raise their voices against such atrocities and hold Pakistan responsible for the crime in the International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice. They said, in 1971 in Bangladesh, the world media including The Telegraph, The Times, The Sunday Times, The New York Times and several news agencies reported the massacre of the Bengalis by the Pakistan Army and told the world. Pakistan Army under a blue print systematically also killed the intellectuals and professionals of Bangladesh, apart from the mass killing. They said, Pakistan government promised to try the key Pakistani army officers and soldiers responsible for the genocide, but they remain in immunity and Pakistan has not tried them.
The demonstration was addressed by Mr Jahangir Chowdhury Ratan, General Secretary, Belgium Awami League, Mr Kawsar Ahmed, a human right activist, Netherlands, Mr Emdad Hossain, Acting President of Netherlands Awami League, Mr Emran Hussain, Vice President, Netherlands Awami League, Mr Murad Khan, General Secretary of Netherlands Awami League, Mr Shahidul Haque, President Belgium Awami League, Mr Bikash Roy, founding Secretary of European Bangladesh Forum (EBF), Mr Akhteruzzaman, Publicity Secretary of Belgium Awami League, Mr Miraz Hossain, Joint Secretary, Netherlands Awami Jubo League, Mr Amzad Hossain, member of Global Solidarity for Peace, Belgium, Mr Khokon Sharif, Advisor, Belgium Awami League and Bikash Chowdhury of EBF.
In a petition to the Pakistani Ambassador Shujjat Ali Rathore, the organisers said the present government of Bangladesh has tried a number of the key war criminals of Bangladeshi origin who collaborated in the genocidal acts with the Pakistani occupying army. But the key Pakistani army officers and soldiers remain in immunity and have not been tried by the Pakistan government as promised.
The European Bengali diaspora demanded that the Pakistan government offer an official unconditional apology for the genocide the Pakistan army committed in Bangladesh during the Liberation War in 1971, try the Pakistan army and civil officials who were responsible for the genocide in 1971, provide compensation to the families of those killed in the genocide and compensate Bangladesh government for the damage and destruction of the national properties and take back the stranded Pakistanis (Biharis) to Pakistan.