Participants of a conference in The Hague demanded that the international community recognise the 1971 Genocide Pakistan committed in Bangladesh.
The conference also urged the international community to pressurise Pakistan for apologising unconditionally to Bangladesh for the crime committed against humanity during the 9-month long liberation war in Bangladesh.
The conference was organised by the Europe-based Bangladeshi diaspora organisation, European Bangladesh Forum (EBF) in collaboration with Switzerland Human Rights Commission Bangladesh on Tuesday. It was held at the Nieuwspoort, the International Perscentrum in The Hague.
The Hague conference was a follow-up of the Geneva conference held on the same issue on 30 September at the Geneva Press Club in Switzerland, reports the Indian Business Standard.
A documentary film titled, "War Crimes 1971" was screened at the beginning of the conference.
The 1971 Pakistani military and their local collaborators committed one of the worst mass atrocities that the world witnessed in the 20th century.
In nine months the Pakistani occupation army killed approximately three million people, violated over two hundred thousand girls and women and forced 10 million people to cross the border and take shelter in India.
The number of people killed is the highest in the world in such a short period of time. The 1971 Genocide by the Pakistan Army is well documented and reported in the international media and also in the diplomatic correspondences during that period.
Speakers opined that international recognition of any crime against humanity, in this case against Bangladesh, is immensely important and absolute necessary to show respect and honour to the three million victims and their family members.
Recognition of genocide is needed to create a world free from violation of human rights and for the safety of the next generation across the whole world.
Because, they argue, if the world community does not recognise a crime as a crime, the world community keeps the door open for that crime to happen in the future and that is exactly what is happening in Balochistan, Afghanistan and other parts of the region.
Unfortunately, Bangladesh genocide has today become a forgotten chapter in the history and we know the common phrase, "Justice delayed, justice denied."
A number of experts with international reputation working on genocide issues from the UK, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Canada and Bangladesh took part in the discussion.
Besides, speakers from different ethnic groups including Afghan, Sindh, Baloch and Pashtun also spoke on the occasion.
The speakers included Bangladesh ambassador in the Netherlands M Riaz Hamidullah, former Canadian Ambassador in Kabul Christopher A Alexander, PC, & former Minister of Canada, Prof Dr Nuzhat Chowdhury.
Member of a genocide victim family from Bangladesh, Board Member of International Crimes Strategy Forum (ICSF), Belgium,,Dr Ahmed Ziauddin, Communications Director of Swiss Inter-Strategy GroupChris Blackburn, and "Friend of Bangladesh" Award Recipient, UK, Baseer Naveed also participated in the event.