The Awami League government declared March 25 as Genocide Day last year in remembrance of the brutality carried out by the Pakistani Army on the night of March 25, 1971, and leaders of Awami League hope that the United Nations will recognize March 25 as International Genocide Day.
Historians, freedom fighters, and other esteemed individuals also demanded that the United Nations recognize March 25 as Genocide Day, as the atrocities committed by the Pakistan army on this day in 1971 were planned and intentional.
On Friday, Home Minister Assaduzzaman Kamal said: “We are hopeful about getting the recognition from the United Nations, but we need to raise the issue properly before the people of the world.”
He also said: “The world observes August 9 as World Genocide Day, but we want the day to be observed on March 25 as the worst genocide in history began on March 25 against the people of Bangladesh.”
Food Minister and Awami League executive member Quamrul Islam said: “The world now recognizes Pohela Boishakh and Ekushey February, and now we would like for them to recognize March 25 as International Genocide day.”
Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahabubul Alam Hanif said: “We have made this demand before, but it did not happen. We will make the demand again this year, and hopefully United Nations will accept and recognize March 25 as the new International Genocide Day,” said Hanif.
Awami League government is already observing the day as Genocide Day, with various programs being planned throughout the day.
The ruling party will also arrange a discussion meeting on March 25 marking the ‘National Genocide Day’. The discussion will be held in Dhaka’s Bangabandhu International Conference Centre at 4:00 pm with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as the chair.
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader urged party leaders and activists to observe the day in a befitting manner.
In November, supporters of the Liberation War urged the government to push for the recognition at an international seminar titled ‘1971: Genocide, Torture and the Liberation War’, jointly organized by the Centre for Genocide-Torture and Liberation War Studies and 1971 Genocide-Torture Archive Museum in Dhaka’s Bangla Academy in November.
American Thomas A Dine, a former member of the Israel Policy Forum said in his speech: “During those days, I worked at the USA Embassy in Delhi. I heard about the March 25 killings on March 26 and my gut instinct told me that it was a planned genocide.”
Furthermore, India based researcher Jayanta Kumar Ray claimed that in 1971, the US government supplied arms worth $1.5 billion to Pakistan which were used to carry out the genocide.
Bangladeshi journalist, film maker, and human rights activist Shahriar Kabir also urged the government to take all necessary steps to convince the UN to declare March 25 International Genocide Day.
In addition, Indian veteran Brigadier RP Singh, VSM (retd) said: “The war is not finished yet. The war will not end until we can punish the 194 Pakistani Army officials and all the collaborators who committed the genocide.”
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Prime Minister’s Political and International Affairs advisors HT Imam and Gowher Rizvi, and Bir Protik Lt Col Quazi Sajjad Ali Zahir also urged the United Nations to recognize March 25 as International Genocide day.