Thursday 18th April 2024,
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1971 ‘Jihad’: Print ads from West Pakistan

1971 ‘Jihad’: Print ads from West Pakistan

Flashback to a darker time through print ads that ran December 14-18 1971 in the Dawn newspaper.

Estimates say 2.4 million Hindus killed in 1971 – where was the world then ?

“As the Pakistan army moved out into the countryside to “crush the Awami League,” all evidence-including the simple fact that the bulk of the refugees ! in India are Hindu-suggest this objective was coupled with a policy of terror directed primarily at the minority Hindu population. The following eyewitness field account-filed with the Sub committee in August and repeated again and again in the Sub committee files-graphically describes the plight of Hindus in recent months.

THe next village where we stopped was Mirakati in Barisal district. Our guide, a Hindu, showed us his house, a mound of burned out rubbish from which nothing could be saved. Everything had been burnt to the ground. Every other house in the village was burned out. When we arrived in this village there were no signs of life. However, after a time our guide made signals to a very frightened women who then emerged. She told us that she had seen her husband and child killed and that she is now left alone with one remaining child. Eight days ago the army had came aking her for 100 rupees as payment so that they would leave her alone and unharrassed.

“In some areas, according to eyewitness reports in the late summer, Pakistan troops were painting large yellow “H” signs on Hindu shops, so as to identify the property of the minority which had become a special target. To show they were not Hindus, members of the Muslim majority-although not fully exempt from the army’s terror-were painting sign saying “All Muslim House” on their homes and shops. In turn the small community of Christians were putting crosses on their doors and stitching crosses in red thread on their clothes. Not since Nazi Germany were so many citizens of a country publicly marked with religious labels and symbols. America’s heavy support of Islamabad (West Pakistan) is nothing short of complicity in the human and political tragedy of East Bengal.”  ‘late Senator Ted Kennedy

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.)

(Death By Government, p. 329.) Rummel describes (p. 323) a chilling gendercidal ritual, reminiscent of Nazi procedure towards Jewish males: “In what became province-wide acts of genocide, Hindus were sought out and killed on the spot. As a matter of course, soldiers would check males for the obligated circumcision among Moslems. If circumcised, they might live; if not, sure death.”


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