Anti-liberation forces tried to erase the history of genocide in Bangladesh – committed during the War of Liberation in 1971 by the Pakistani Army and their allies – as they were in power for 30 out of 50 years of independence, said Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque on Thursday.
He said in order to inform the new generation of the true history of the Liberation War, the story of victory and the history of oppression and genocide by the Pakistani occupation forces must also be told.
While addressing a discussion programme as the chief guest at the Liberation War Museum organised by the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs, on the occasion of Genocide Day, the minister also demanded that 25 March be recognised as "International Day of Genocide".
"More extensive efforts are needed to gain international recognition for the genocide," he said, adding, "The Ministry of Liberation War Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are working to garner international support in this regard."
Speakers at the discussion described the 1971 genocide as the worst genocide in the history of the world and stressed on ensuring international recognition of this genocide and punishment of the perpetrators.
At the same time, Pakistan must apologise to Bangladesh and compensate for their crime, they added.
Tapan Kanti Ghosh, liberation war affairs secretary, presided over the discussion, while Shajahan Khan, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs, was present as the special guest.
Besides, Prof Dr Muntasir Mamun, historian and Bangabandhu Chair of the University of Chittagong, delivered the keynote address. Liberation War Museum Trustee Mofidul Haque also spoke on the occasion.
Shahjahan Khan said the defeated Pakistani forces are still conspiring against Bangladesh. The process of forcing Pakistanis to apologise and pay compensation to Bangladesh must continue.
Muntasir Mamun said, "It's a sad truth that we had to protest to observe the day of genocide in Bangladesh."
He claimed although it is said that 3 million people were martyred in 1971, the number was even higher. In addition, five lakh women were raped.
Mamun continued, "We are trying to protect the mass graves of freedom fighters, the memories of the martyrs, and memorials of torture at the union-upazila and district level of the country."
He also emphasised research on the genocide and Liberation War.
Meanwhile, Mofidul Haque said, "We have to take the issue of genocide in Bangladesh to the international arena. The Liberation War Museum is informing the world about this by organising various international seminars."