LONDON: Bangladeshi nationals on Friday staged a protest outside the Pakistan High Commission in London demanding an official apology from Islamabad for committing 1971 genocide.
The demonstration was organized by ‘Bangabandu Parishad’ and the protesters were seen carrying posters with the slogan, “You have blood in your hands, apologise now”, written on them.
A spokesman of the organisation told media at the occasion that the genocide in Bangladesh started on Mar 26, 1971, with the launch of Operation Searchlight when West Pakistan began a military crackdown on the Eastern wing of the nation to suppress Bengali calls for self-determination rights.
The protest was held at a time when Pakistani community was celebrating ‘Pakistan Day’ and the celebrations were going on at the High Commission.
Bangladeshis maintain that during the nine-month-long Bangladesh war for independence, the Pakistani military and supporting Islamist militias from Jamaat-e-Islami killed and raped millions of people during their independence struggle, the spokesman alleged.
The South Asian Bengali speaking nation with the help of India witnessed a fierce struggle for attaining freedom during that period. Last year, famous poet Ahmad Salim said Pakistan must try the perpetrators of the 1971 genocide carried out in the eastern part of the country as it existed then, understand the gravity of the war-related crimes committed then and apologise to Bangladesh officially on the issue.