Bangladeshi veterans from the 1971 war of independence have called for collaborators to be put on trial:
“Hundreds of the veterans who took part in the victorious war against Pakistan travelled to Dhaka to issue the call at the request of their former commanders. They say Bangladeshis who collaborated with Pakistani forces caused the deaths of thousands of civilians. Many of those they want tried are politically influential figures.
They include the leaders of Bangladesh’s
largest partylargest religious-based party, Jamaat-e-Islami – which at the time opposed the break-up of Pakistan. To this day, the leaders of the party deny a war of liberation took place, rather calling it a civil war between Pakistanis. They also deny involvement in a youth militia which carried out many of the killings.”
Thus the question is not whether they are guilty, but whether this will benefit Bangladesh. We in Britain have allowed terrorists to walk free in Northern Ireland for the sake of peace, while many constantly urge Israel and Palestine to do the same. Should justice be sacrificed to stability?
Update: Sid points out that the BBC report is inaccurate, as Jamaat-e-Islami is not even close to being Bangladesh’s largest party. The BBC has now changed it to “largest religious-based party”.
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Filed in: Bangladesh,Current affairs,History