[The Baloch resistance claims that what we are not seeing in Balochistan is the real strategy that is being employed there by the Pakistani Army. The Army is allegedly pursuing the same strategy which they used in 1971 in a bloody attempt to quell Bengali nationalism in what was then, East Pakistan.
For those of us who are unfamiliar with what happened there in '71 (the year I graduated high school), I have dug-up these old Indian videos. (I remember thinking at that time that it was all about famine. I really don't recall hearing about the military angle.) The first video was at the end of the article excerpted below. Obviously they are one-sided, considering that the Pak Army would not have documented the criminal behavior displayed in that vile episode? There is no Pakistani rebuttal possible.
After the three videos comes the brutal truth of the Bangladesh Genocide Archive. I see nothing like this happening in Balochistan, except perhaps the expulsion of all foreign journalists. On the other hand, the campaign of targeted killings is similar, but the atrocities in Balochistan are a drop in the bucket, compared to Bangladesh. If the Baloch resistance movement is real, it will survive a limited campaign against its leadership and grow even stronger as a result. Those who worry about an all-out assault upon the elements of resistance should ease their minds with the knowledge that Pakistan can never risk becoming once again a total pariah nation in the eyes of the world. Pakistan needs to rehabilitate its tarnished image, in order to keep receiving the global aid that is vital to its existence as a nation.
If the truth wins out eventually in Balochistan, it will either reveal that Pakistan is not behind the waves of murder and abductions of Baloch political activists, or that it is. If the truth sifts-out the latter explanation, then exposure of the plan will help to prevent the final reenactment of the Pak Army slaughtering the nationalists who once again threaten the state's fragile unity.
God help the innocents caught between the guns.]
WASHINGTON, DC: Balochistan-based shadowy outfits, working under direct command of the infamous Inter-Services Intelligence, have vowed to eliminate Baloch activists and leaders in foreign countries, including Afghanistan.
Daily threats are being issued in Urdu newspapers by these death squads set up by the I.S.I., according to Baloch freedom activists.
One of the main outfits, Sipah-i-Shuhada in a press release said a meeting of the radical organization chaired by its amir, Ghazi Abu Muslim, was attended by Punjabi settlers and armed brigades of a force named “Ghazis of Islam.”
The word Ghazi in Arabic translates into crusaders.
“They call themselves Sipah-i-Shuhada, but they are basically Sipah-i-Punjab,” said Faiz Baluch, a London-based Balochistan freedom activist. Sipah means sword and shuhada means martyrs or settlers killed by Baloch resistance in tit-for-tat actions against Pakistan military brutalities in Balochistan.
Faiz Baluch was arrested along with Balochistan national hero Hyrbyair Marri in London on charges of terrorism under pressure of the former military government of coup leader General Pervez Musharraf.
Baloch nationalists are accusing Pakistan military of re-enacting the crimes against humanity they perpetrated in the erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, during the war of liberation there in 1971. In the last couple of weeks, Pakistan secret services began throwing badly mutilated bodies of Balochistan freedom activist who were victims of enforced disappearances. (read HERE)
“…… we were told to kill the hindus and Kafirs (non-believer in God). One day in June, we cordoned a village and were ordered to kill the Kafirs in that area. We found all the village women reciting from the Holy Quran, and the men holding special congregational prayers seeking God’s mercy. But they were unlucky. Our commanding officer ordered us not to waste any time.”
According to New York Times (3/28/71) 10,000 people were killed; New York Times (3/29/71) 5,000-7,000 people were killed in Dhaka; The Sydney Morning Herald (3/29/71) 10,000 – 100,000 were killed; New York Times (4/1/71) 35,000 were killed in Dhaka during operation searchlight.
Genocide in Bangladesh, 1971
The Guinness Book of Records lists the Bangladesh Genocide as one of the top 5 genocides in the 20th century.
The gendercide against Bengali men
There is no doubt whatsoever about the targets of the genocide. They were: (1) The Bengali militarymen of the East Bengal Regiment, the East Pakistan Rifles, police and para-military Ansars and Mujahids. (2) The Hindus — “We are only killing the men; the women and children go free. We are soldiers not cowards to kill them …” I was to hear in Comilla [site of a major military base] [Comments R.J. Rummel: "One would think that murdering an unarmed man was a heroic act" (Death By Government, p. 323)] (3) The Awami Leaguers — all office bearers and volunteers down to the lowest link in the chain of command. (4) The students — college and university boys and some of the more militant girls. (5) Bengali intellectuals such as professors and teachers whenever damned by the army as “militant.” (Anthony Mascarenhas, The Rape of Bangla Desh [Delhi: Vikas Publications, 1972(?)], pp. 116-17.)
London, 6/13/71). The Sunday Times…..”The Government’s policy for East Bengal was spelled out to me in the Eastern Command headquarters at Dacca. It has three elements:1. The Bengalis have proved themselves unreliable and must be ruled by West Pakistanis;
2. The Bengalis will have to be re-educated along proper Islamic lines. The – Islamization of the masses – this is the official jargon – is intended to eliminate secessionist tendencies and provide a strong religious bond with West Pakistan;
3. When the Hindus have been eliminated by death and fight, their property will be used as a golden carrot to win over the under privileged Muslim middle-class. This will provide the base for erecting administrative and political structures in the future.”
Bengali man and boys massacred by the West Pakistani regime.
In the dead region surrounding Dacca, the military authorities conducted experiments in mass extermination in places unlikely to be seen by journalists. At Hariharpara, a once thriving village on the banks of the Buriganga River near Dacca, they found the three elements necessary for killing people in large numbers: a prison in which to hold the victims, a place for executing the prisoners, and a method for disposing of the bodies. The prison was a large riverside warehouse, or godown, belonging to the Pakistan National Oil Company, the place of execution was the river edge, or the shallows near the shore, and the bodies were disposed of by the simple means of permitting them to float downstream. The killing took place night after night. Usually the prisoners were roped together and made to wade out into the river. They were in batches of six or eight, and in the light of a powerful electric arc lamp, they were easy targets, black against the silvery water. The executioners stood on the pier, shooting down at the compact bunches of prisoners wading in the water. There were screams in the hot night air, and then silence. The prisoners fell on their sides and their bodies lapped against the shore. Then a new bunch of prisoners was brought out, and the process was repeated. In the morning the village boatmen hauled the bodies into midstream and the ropes binding the bodies were cut so that each body drifted separately downstream. (Payne, Massacre [Macmillan, 1973], p. 55.)
How many died?
Bangladeshi authorities claim that 3 million people were killed, while the Hamoodur Rahman Commission, an official Pakistan Government investigation, put the figure as low as 26,000 civilian casualties. The fact is that the number of dead in Bangladesh in 1971 was almost certainly well into seven figures. It was one of the worst genocides of the World War II era, outstripping Rwanda (800,000 killed) and probably surpassing even Indonesia (1 million to 1.5 million killed in 1965-66).
The human death toll over only 267 days was incredible. Just to give for five out of the eighteen districts some incomplete statistics published in Bangladesh newspapers or by an Inquiry Committee, the Pakistani army killed 100,000 Bengalis in Dacca, 150,000 in Khulna, 75,000 in Jessore, 95,000 in Comilla, and 100,000 in Chittagong. For eighteen districts the total is 1,247,000 killed. This was an incomplete toll, and to this day no one really knows the final toll. Some estimates of the democide [Rummel's "death by government"] are much lower — one is of 300,000 dead — but most range from 1 million to 3 million. … The Pakistani army and allied paramilitary groups killed about one out of every sixty-one people in Pakistan overall; one out of every twenty-five Bengalis, Hindus, and others in East Pakistan. If the rate of killing for all of Pakistan is annualized over the years the Yahya martial law regime was in power (March 1969 to December 1971), then this one regime was more lethal than that of the Soviet Union, China under the communists, or Japan under the military (even through World War II). (Rummel, Death By Government, p. 331.)
Who was responsible?
The genocide and gendercidal atrocities were also perpetrated by lower-ranking officers and ordinary soldiers. These “willing executioners” were fuelled by an abiding anti-Bengali racism, especially against the Hindu minority. “Bengalis were often compared with monkeys and chickens. Said Pakistan General Niazi, ‘It was a low lying land of low lying people.’ The Hindus among the Bengalis were as Jews to the Nazis: scum and vermin that [should] best be exterminated. As to the Moslem Bengalis, they were to live only on the sufferance of the soldiers: any infraction, any suspicion cast on them, any need for reprisal, could mean their death. And the soldiers were free to kill at will. The journalist Dan Coggin quoted one Punjabi captain as telling him, ‘We can kill anyone for anything. We are accountable to no one.’ This is the arrogance of Power.” (Rummel, Death By Government, p. 335.)
Chuknagar: The largest genocide during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971
It is among the surest indicators of further genocidal massacres. The perpetrators of genocide dig up the mass graves, burn the bodies, try to cover up the evidence and intimidate the witnesses. They deny that they committed any crimes, and often blame