In a very strong message conveyed by Bangladesh’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam to the Pakistani envoy to Dhaka, Imran Ahmed Siddiqui, Pakistan has been asked to apologize for the 1971 war genocide in the country. The year 1971 saw Pakistani troops committing heinous atrocities in the then East Pakistan which subsequently led to the Bangladesh Liberation War 1971. This apology demand comes at a time when the country commemorates the historic 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s Independence.

Bangladesh won its Liberation War against Pakistan with the help of India in 1971. After facing defeat in the 1971 war, the then Army Chief of Pakistan General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, along with his 93,000 troops, surrendered to allied forces, which also comprised Indian Army personnel. It is notable to add that such apology demands are not for the first time. Earlier Bangladeshi PM Shiekh Hasina in December had sternly reminded Islamabad that atrocities committed by the Pakistani army against her country can neither be forgotten nor forgiven.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had rejected Pakistan’s several attempts to woo her nations, reminding them about the 1971 Genocide. Carved out of Pakistan, Bangladesh shared its troubled history of coups with the same country it was created from. But unlike Pakistan, Bangladesh believes in democracy. Pakistan’s military was accused of killing three million people during the 1970s but the Pakistani side never apologised to Bangladesh for their military excesses and deadly killings.

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The bloody nine-month Bangladesh Liberation War was carried on from March 25 to Dec 16. As per Defence sources, the Bangladesh Army delegation would be taking part this year in India’s Republic Day parade on January 26.