"I have witnessed the brutality of 'kill and burn missions' as the army units, after clearing out the rebels, pursued the pogrom in the towns and villages."
I have seen whole villages devastated by 'punitive action."
"And in the officer's mess at night I have listened incredulously as otherwise brave and honourable men proudly chewed over the day's kill.'How many did you get?"
The answers are seared in my memory."
-– Anthony Mascarhenas
The article "Genocide" written by a Pakistani reporter Anthony Mascarenhas,published on 13 June 1971 in the UK's Sunday Times, exposing the brutality of Pakistan's suppression that were being carried out in Bangladesh, then East Pakistan, turned world opinion on favour of Bangladesh in 1971.
The article said to becovered for the first time the scale of the Pakistan army's brutal campaign to suppress its breakaway eastern province in 1971.
The revelatory piece of the journalist, who was invited by its military to see the operations conducted by them, stunned the world also.
The article which forced the reporter's family to leave Pakistan, changed the history of Liberation War.
Mascarenhas was a journalist who was the assistant editor at The Morning News (Karachi).
After collecting information on the atrocities committed in Bangladesh, the then East Pakistan, he realised he could not publish the story in Pakistan.
Then, he contacted Harold Evans of The Sunday Times.
Before the publication of his report in 1971, he moved his family to Britain.
Thereafter, he worked for 14 years with The Sunday Times.
Mascarenhas's and his article 'Genocide'
In April 1971 the Pakistan army flew in 8 Pakistani reporters from West Pakistan for guided tours with the military with a mission to tell the story of normalcy to the world.
The reporters went back to West Pakistan after their military guided tours and dutifully filed stories declaring all was normal in East Pakistan.
However, one of the 8 reporters had a crisis of conscience.
This reporter was Anthony Mascarenhas.
On May 18, 1971 Mascarenhas flew to London and walked into the offices of the Sunday Times offering to write the true story of what he had witnessed in East Pakistan.
After getting agreement from the Sunday Times, he went back to Pakistan to retrieve his family.
On June 13, 1971 with Mascarenhas and his family safely out of Pakistan, the Sunday Times published a front page and center page story entitled "Genocide".
It was the first detailed eyewitness account of the genocide published in a western newspaper.
Afterwards, he was a freelance writer.
In 1972, he was awarded the Granada's Gerald Barry Award for lifetime achievement in journalism (ceremony on What The Papers Say), as well as the International Publishing Company's Special Award for reporting on the human rights violations committed during the Bangladesh Liberation War.
Mascarenhas's article to end war
The BBC writes,"There is little doubt that Mascarenhas' reportage played its part in ending the war. It helped turn world opinion against Pakistan and encouraged India to play a decisive role."
Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi stating that Mascarenhas' article led her "to prepare the ground for India's armed intervention".
The Bangladeshi government honouredMascarenhas's contribution to the nation during the 1971 liberation war by preparing an official list of names
It is such a powerful piece of reporting because Mascarenhas was clearly so well trusted by the Pakistani officers he spent time with.
His article was - from Pakistan's point of view - a huge betrayal and he was accused of being an enemy agent. It still denies its forces were behind such atrocities as those described by Mascarenhas, and blames Indian propaganda.
However, he still maintained excellent contacts there, and in 1979 became the first journalist to reveal that Pakistan had developed nuclear weapons.
In Bangladesh, of course, he is remembered more fondly, and his article is still displayed in the country's Liberation War Museum.
"This was one of the most significant articles written on the war. It came out when our country was cut off, and helped inform the world of what was going on here," says MofidulHuq, a trustee of the museum.
Source- BBC ,Bangladesh Genocide Archive