Harry van Bommel, a former Dutch legislator, urged Pakistan to publicly designate the crimes Pakistan perpetrated during the Liberation War as genocide, according to The Daily Star.
Bommel led a three-person European mission to look into the genocide Pakistan perpetrated in 1971. He also urged Islamabad to make its position on the matter known.
The crew arrived in Bangladesh on May 21 and will depart tonight, on Saturday.
The Daily Star reports that the panel also includes political analyst Chris Blackburn and genocidal expert Dr. Anthonie Holslag.
The Daily Star is an independent newspaper with headquarters in Bangladesh that first appeared in 1991.
The former Dutch MP reminded Pakistan of its responsibilities as a civilized nation, saying, “It would be wise for the Pakistani government to accept reality and officially declare that there was a genocide in 1971.”
“It is important for Pakistan to take a clear position regarding the 1971 genocide,” the author claims, using empirical methodologies based on UN criteria that have previously declared it to be a genocide. Genocide, not a massacre, occurred.
The Dutch human rights activist added that there were plans to petition the Netherlands parliament about the genocide committed against Bangladeshis during their 1971 Liberation War by Pakistani occupation forces and to set up witness testimony before lawmakers.
In an interview with The Daily Star, Bommel said, “I believe that such actions can be replicated by the international community in other countries to support the recognition of the Bangladesh genocide.”
He continued by saying that Bangladesh can successfully create awareness for recognition by collaborating closely with the expatriate populations.
Thanks to the efforts of the Armenian diaspora in other countries, he stated, “29 countries now recognize the Armenian genocide.”
Van Bommel said, “Diasporas can play a big role by organizing public discussions and submitting petitions to foreign parliaments to raise awareness of the matter. When a diaspora is numerous, vociferous, and well-known, like the European Bangladesh Forum, an organization fighting since 2017 for this cause in European nations, politicians in other countries often pay attention to them.
To garner support for the cause, he advised compiling testimony from witnesses, victims’ families, and other pertinent parties and producing a book about the genocide in Bangladesh.
The former Dutch politician from May 1998 to March 2017 shed light on the need of worldwide recognition of genocide by stating that recognition, especially on an international level, gives solace to families who have lost loved ones and become victims themselves. They feel a feeling of justice and acceptance for the atrocities they have seen because of it.
Additionally, he said that identification on a global scale might result in legal actions where offenders can be charged with crimes committed abroad.
Additionally, he said that admitting the genocide is a sort of prevention.
The awful message that such crimes are acceptable is sent when criminals are not held responsible for their actions. “By acknowledging the genocide, we send a message that such acts will not be tolerated in the future, promoting a culture of deterrence,” the statement reads.
Three million Bangladeshis were murdered by Pakistani occupation troops during the 1971 Liberation War, the most since World War II. Between 2 and 4 lakh women were also raped by them. More than 10 million individuals sought sanctuary in India as a result of their crimes. With the aid of their local allies, they also massacred hundreds of intellectuals when the conflict came to a conclusion.
When challenged about Pakistan’s ongoing denial of the genocide committed against the Bangladeshis, Harry van Bommel pointed out that they had previously seen similar responses from criminals. These patterns have existed for a while.
The atrocities carried out in Bangladesh in 1971 were, according to four eminent scientific organizations, a genocide. It is obvious that the events in Bangladesh fit the criteria for genocide under the United Nations treaty against genocide. It met the requirements for genocide since the goal was to deliberately destroy or substantially reduce a particular group with the help of a state.
Therefore, it is the responsibility of the international community to politically recognise this truth, which would then trigger discussions and debates inside the UN, according to Van Bommel.
He continued by saying that Pakistan’s relations with the West during the Cold War may be part of the cause for this lack of acknowledgment.
He said, “Despite the passage of time, Pakistan continues to be viewed as an important partner by countries like the US and others, despite the global fight against terrorism and Pakistan’s possession of nuclear weapons,” according to The Daily Star.