Action for a Progressive Pakistan, a group of like-minded folks (I am a proud member) has just published an op-ed in Dhaka’s Daily Star concerning the actions of West Pakistan’s army against the people of (now) Bangladesh: We Apologize.
On May 13th, Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Dipu Moni asked that Pakistan formally announce an apology for 1971. To which Pakistan answered: Let bygones be bygones. I thought the Daily Star had a powerful retort.
APP wanted to chime in:
The outrageous dismissal of Bangladesh’s demand by the Pakistani foreign office — “let bygones be bygones” — is a shameful reflection of Pakistan’s constructed amnesia over the horrific actions of its army and its political leadership. Not only has there never been any move on the part of the Pakistani state to apologise to Bangladesh, there has not even been any sustained effort by citizens’ groups to pressure the government to publicly acknowledge the truth.
As Pakistanis, we find this unconscionable. We find it unconscionable that the Pakistani army raped, killed and pillaged our brothers and sisters in East Pakistan in 1971. We find it unconscionable that the Pakistani state has steadfastly refused to acknowledge these atrocities for the past 38 years, leave alone hold those responsible for them accountable as suggested by its own chief justice in the state commissioned inquiry. We reject the Pakistani state and army’s claim that these atrocities were committed in our name.