Daniel Halliday
Jan 30 · Last update 17 days ago.
What caused the 1971 Bangladesh genocide?
This genocide, perpetrated during the Bangladesh War of Independence, is heavily contested with casualty estimates ranging from the tens of thousands to half a million. But what is clear is that the widespread killing of Bengalis and Biharis during this time amounts to a war crime. How did this genocide and one of the largest systematic rape campaigns in history unfold during the Bangladesh Liberation War? Which parties are to blame for these horrific acts of mass murder?
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Operation Searchlight
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Operation Searchlight

In March 1971 Major General’s Khadim Hussain Raja and Rao Farman Ali of the West Pakistani Army planned the Bengldesh Genocide under the name Operation Searchlight. Operation Searchlight was a campaign of systematic killings aimed at Bengali intellectuals, academics and the Hindu population of East Pakistan, but descended into indiscriminate violence and rape as the West Pakistani military attempted to stamp out Bengali nationalism in East Pakistan (modern day Bangladesh). The Pakistani military are undoubtedly the orchestrators of the Bangladesh genocide; with the authorisation of free and great force to be utilised, many individuals of the military are directly responsible as orders were passed down the chain of command.

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