DHAKA: The leading Pakistani English daily ‘Dawn’ Sunday published its editorial regarding the long-standing issue – ‘Pakistan’s apology to Bangladesh for 1971 war crimes’.
The editorial is as follows:
It is a welcome sign that, despite the deep grudge many in Bangladesh still bear against the West Pakistani military action of 1971, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has accepted Pak Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar’s invitation to attend the D-8 summit in Islamabad this month.
Dhaka would like a proper apology from the Pakistani government for the large-scale killing of Bengalis. It was not satisfied with then president Gen (retd) Musharraf’s expression of “regret” in 2002. According to the Bangladesh foreign secretary, “some unresolved issues” still exist although, he says, Ms Khar stated that Pakistan had “regretted in different forms and … it was time to move on”.
The debate by academicians and propagandists on both sides will continue; they will fight over the actual number--in thousands for some, millions for others—of Bengalis killed while resisting the injustices perpetrated on them by an insensitive western wing.
What cannot be denied is that brute military force was used to exterminate activists, intellectuals and ordinary supporters of what was united Pakistan’s largest political party, and that consequently led to Indian action and the creation of Bangladesh.
On its part Pakistan must recognize the wrongs committed by its leadership during those days, and issue a full-fledged apology — not just expressions of regret — that is acceptable to Dhaka.
In doing so, it would be joining the ranks of other countries and institutions that have been courageous enough to admit the historical wrongs they have committed in order to give both themselves and the victim nation a chance to move on.
The Vatican has apologized for the actions of Catholics who persecuted non-Catholics, and expressed sorrow over the attack on Constantinople during the Crusades.
Japan has apologized to Koreans for wartime aggression. It is time for Pakistan, too, to come to terms with its past.
BDST: 1945 HRS, NOV 11, 2012
All rights reserved. Sale, redistribution or reproduction of information/photos/illustrations/video/audio contents on this website in any form without prior permission from banglanews24.com are strictly prohibited and liable to legal action.