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JS declares March 25 as "Gonohotya Dibosh"

SANGSAD BHABAN, Mar 11, 2017 (BSS)-The Jatiya Sangsad (parliament) today unanimously adopted a resolution to observe March 25 as the "Gonohotya Dibos" (Day of Genocide) marking the brutality carried out by Pakistani Army on the unarmed Bengalis on the black night of March 25, 1971.

JSD lawmaker Shirin Akhter moved the proposal in the House under the Rule 147(1) of the Rules of Procedure to observe "Gonohatya Dibos" on March 25 as the House began its sitting at 3.11pm with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.

In her notice, Shirin Akhter proposed taking necessary initiatives to earn international recognition to one of the brutal genocides in the world history committed by the Pakistani occupation forces on the night of March 25.

The JSD lawmaker said the aim of the cruelty of Pakistani Army in Bangladesh was to destroy the nationhood of Bangalee people.

"The gravity of killing perpetrated by Pakistani Army in Bangladesh in 1971 is as same as described by the United Nations in its convention on the nature of genocide," Shirin Akhter said in her motion.

She said the Pakistani army brutally killed 30 lakh Bangalees and raped three lakh women during the nine-month bloody war in 1971 following attacks on March 25 night under the codename "Operation Search Light".

Immediately after placement of the proposal, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took the floor and asked the chair to allow screening of documentaries on the genocide of Pakistani Army and their collaborators in Bangladesh during the nine-month of war in 1971.

At the beginning of the discussion, Prime Minister and Leader of the House Sheikh Hasina said recognition of March 25 is crucial as Pakistan government in recent times repeatedly tried to deny the atrocities, which its army unleashed on the innocent people of Bangladesh.

"Pakistani Army carried out history's most barbaric genocide on Bangali people as their leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman proclaimed Bangladesh's independence to free the nation from Pakistani subjugation," she said.

Pakistani Army adopted the scorched earth policy during War of Liberation in Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina said no street, ally, university, police line, village and town were spared from their cruelty.

She also blasted Pakistani author Zunaid Ahmed for publishing a book under the supervision of the Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) distorting the history of Bangladesh's War of Liberation.

The prime minister said the Pakistani rulers could not forget the pain of their defeat in 1971. They thought that Bangladesh as an independent country would be a failed and fragile state.

But, Bangladesh now has emerged as a role model of development drawing the attention of the global community as a developed and peace-loving nation. So, Pakistan now has launched a new approach to distort the history, she said.

The brutality of the Pakistani army also vividly came in many books written by former Pak army generals, she said adding that unfortunately a former prime minister raised question on the recognized figure of martyrs of Liberation War.

Every people of Bangladesh accepted the figure, but BNP chairperson, even being a former prime minister of the country, expressed her doubt about the figure, which has given a scope to the Pakistanis to distort the Bangladesh's history.

Sheikh Hasina said Pakistan Army under the codename of 'Operation Search Light' launched attack on innocent Bangalee people with their sophisticated arms, tanks and machine guns.

The Pakistan army started killing people on March 25, 1971 in Rajarbug, Dhaka University and Pilkhana areas of Dhaka, which continued across the country till December 16 when Bangladesh got liberated, she added.

Pakistani rulers tried to destroy the nationhood of Bangalees as Banagabandhu protested their exploitation and intimidation, she said.

Pointing out the exploitation of Pakistani rulers on Bangalee people, the prime minister narrated a report published in The Dawn newspaper on
representations of Bengalis and non-Bengalis in the army and civil
administration.

Thousands of women lost their chastity in the hands of Pakistani army and their collaborators who were rehabilitated by Bangabandhu after independence, she said.

Sheikh Hasina observed that Pakistanis still could not regained their senses, that's why they are trying to misguide the people and carrying out propaganda on the War of Independence.

Taking part in the discussion, Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Begum Raushan Ershad said the Pakistani army carried out the barbaric atrocities on the March 25, 1971 killing thousands of people in a bid to destroy the Bengali nation.

But, their mission could not be succeeded since they had to surrender after being defeated during a nine month long war.

Begum Ershad said since it (March 25) was the worst ever mass killing across the world, it deserves international recognition as a " Genocide day".

She expressed the hoped that the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina would do everything possible to earn international recognition of March 25 as a genocide day.

Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad echoed the voice of the Leader of the
Opposition saying that it was undoubtedly proved that the Pakistani army carried out mass killings on the dark night of March 25, 1971.

So, he said, the March 25 should have to be declared as a "Genocide day" to pay respect to the memory of the martyrs who sacrificed their lives to liberate the country from the Pakistani occupation forces.

"We have to pay the debt we owe to the martyrs by declaring March 25 as Genocide day," he added.

Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury blasted BNP chief Begum Khaleda Zia for creating controversy over the number of martyrs in the War of Liberation.

"It was proved nationally and internally that 30 lakh people were killed during the country's War of Independence," she said citing different books and articles published after the War.

She said the genocide in March 25, 1971 surpassed the mass killings
perpetrated by Genghis Khan and Hulagu Khan of Mongolia. As a result, she demanded declaration of March 25 as a genocide day.

Taking part in the discussion, veteran Awami League Leader Tofail Ahmed gave a horrifying description of the black night of March 25, 1971 and subsequently mass killings carried out by the Pakistani army with the help of local collaborators during the nine- month country's Great War of Independence in 1971.

Citing examples from various articles, books and researches published at home and abroad on the war of independence, he said there is no scope to create controversy centering the number of freedom fighters who embraced martyrdom during the freedom struggle. He blasted those who raise the question on the issue.

Tofail Ahmed also proposed to observe December 1 as "Muktijoddahya Day" (Freedom fighters day).

Giving background of the country's Great War of Independence Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu hoped that the March 25 would be observed as Genocide day in the country marking the mass killings of Pakistani occupation forces on that day in 1971.

Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim said according to the Herald Tribune of Sydney, the Pakistani army had killed at least one lakh people on the black night of March 25, 1971. Besides, they also killed 30 lakh people and raped two lakh women during the nine-month War of Independence in 1971.

Referring to holding trial of 195 Pakistani soldiers for their crimes against humanity in 1971 in line with 'Simla agreement', he said the UN should take steps in this regard.

BNF lawmaker SM Abul Kalam Azad urged the government to observe March 7 as the "Day of Proclamation of Independence" marking the historic speech of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman before millions of freedom loving Bangladeshi people on Dhaka's Racecourse Maidan on that day in 1971.

He said Bangabandhu in his March 7 speech gave a clear guideline to the nation to achieve independence from the Pakistani ruler that immensely inspired the nation to fight for independence and liberate the country from the clutches of the Pakistani occupation forces.

Later, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon, Chief Whip A S M Feroz, Liberation War Affairs Minister A K M Mozammel Haque, Health Minister Mohammad Nasim, Minister for Relief and Disaster Management Mofazzel Hossain Chowdhury Maya, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Deputy Speaker Fazley Rabbi Mia, treasury bench members Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Food Minister Qamrul Islam, Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, Col (rtd) Shawkat Ali, State Minister for Post and Telecommunications Tarana Halim, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, State Minister for Information and Communications Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister for
Social Welfare Nuruzzaman Ahmed, Ali Ashraf, Abdur Rahman, Dr. Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, Col (Rtd) Faruk Khan, Panchanan Biswas, AB Tajul Islam, Nurul Majid Muhammad Humayun, Fazilatunessa Bappi, Monirul Islam, Abdul Mannan, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Dr Dipu Moni, Dhirendra Debnath Shambhu, AFM Bahauddin Nasim, Abdul Matin Khasru, Kamal Ahmed Majumder, Bazlul Haque Haroon, Maj. Gen. (rtd) AKM Wahab, Segufta Yesmin Emily, Kazi Rozi, Amatul Kibria Keya Chowdhury, Jatiya Party member Qazi Firoz Rashid, Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu, Nurul Islam Omar and Fakhrul Imam, Tariqat Federation member Nazibul Bashar Maizbhandari, JSD lawmaker Moinuddin Khan Badal, BNF lawmaker S M Abul Kalam Azad, independent
lawmaker Tahzib Alam Siddique and Abdul Matin, Workers Party lawmaker Begum Hazera Khatun, among others, took part in the discussion on the proposal.