The Armenian National Committee of America Western Region (ANCA-WR) stands in solidarity with Bengali and Hindu communities on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Bengali Hindu genocide perpetrated by the Pakistani military.
On March 25th, 1971 the Pakistani military began a genocidal campaign known as “Operation Searchlight” primarily targeting Bengali Hindu communities in what was then known as East Pakistan. Over the course of 10 months, an estimated 2-3 million people were killed and a further 10 million were displaced. Experts also estimate that up to 400,000 women and girls were subjected to a systematic campaign of sexual abuse and rape.
To this day, Pakistan and much of the international community refuse to acknowledge the crime for what it was; the deliberate and systematic destruction of a community on the basis of its identity – genocide. Often referred to as the ‘forgotten genocide’ the victims and survivors of this horrific crime against humanity continue to fight for justice and recognition.
Holocaust survivor and human rights activist Elie Wiesel once denounced genocide denial as a “double killing” – the re-victimization of the survivors of genocidal violence by denying the trauma victims and survivors of genocide continue to live with to this day; reinforcing and replicating their dehumanization. Genocide denial cannot be seen as anything other than a continuation of genocide itself.
As the descendents of survivors of the still unrecognized and unpunished Armenian genocide, the denial and impunity Pakistan has been afforded out of political expediency for its perpetration of the Bengali Hindu genocide is an all too familiar story.
Today, we stand in solidarity with the victims of the Bengali Hindu genocide – and all genocides – in demanding justice, accountability and recognition as we uphold our committment to ensure that never again will this great crime against humanity be repeated.
For more information on the history of the Bengali Hindu genocide and to take action, visit: https://www.hinduamerican.org/1971-bangladesh-genocide