Hamoodur Rahman Commission
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Hamoodur Rahman Commission (otherwise known as War Enquiry Commission), was a judicial inquiry commission that assessed Pakistan's political–military involvement in East-Pakistan from 1947 to 1971.
- Another significant statement was made in this regard by Maj. Gen. Rao Barman Ali, Adviser to the Governor of East Pakistan namely: "Harrowing tales of rape, loot, arson, harassment, and of insulting and degrading behaviour were narrated in general terms.... I wrote out an instruction to act as a guide for decent behaviour and recommended action required to be taken to win over the hearts of the people. This instruction under General Tikka Khan's signature was sent to Eastern Command. I found that General Tikka's position was also deliberately undermined and his instructions ignored...excesses were explained away by false and concocted stories and figures."
- The use of excessive force during the military action and the conduct of some of the officers and men of the Pakistan Army during the sweep operations had only served to alienate the sympathies of the people of East Pakistan. The practice of the troops living off the land, in the absence of a proper organisation of their own logistic arrangements during their operations in the country-side, encouraged the troops to indulge in looting. The arbitrary methods adopted by the Martial Law administration in dealing with respectable East Pakistanis, and then sudden disappearances by a process euphemistically called "being sent to Bangladesh" made matters worse. The attitude of the Army authorities towards the Hindu minority also resulted in large-scale exodus to India. The avowed intention of India to disember Pakistan was only too well known, but even then the need for an early political settlement was not realised by General Yahya Khan.
- The statements appearing in the evidence of Lt. Col. Aziz Ahmed Khan (Witness no 276) who was Commanding Officer 8 Baluch and then CO 86 Mujahid Battalion are also directly relevant. "Brigadier Arbbab also told me to destroy all houses in Joydepur. To a great extent I executed this order. General Niazi visited my unit at Thakargaon and Bogra. He asked us how many Hindus we had killed. In May, there was an order in writing to kill Hindus. This order was from Brigadier Abdullah Malik of 23 Brigade."
- 15. Lt Col. Mansoorul Hag, GSO-I, Division, appearing as Witness No 260, has made detailed and specific allegations as follows: "A Bengali, who was alleged to be a Mukti Bahini or Awami Leaguer, was being sent to Bangladesh-a code name for death without trial, without detailed investigations and without any written order by any authorised authority." Indiscriminate killing and looting could only serve the cause of the enemies of Pakistan. In the harshness, we lost the support of the silent majority of the people of East Pakistan.... The Comilla Cantt massacre (on 27th/28th of March, 1971) under the orders of CO 53 Field Regiment, Lt. Gen. Yakub Malik, in which 17 Bengali Officers and 915 men were just slain by a flick of one Officer's fingers should suffice as an example. There was a general feeling of hatred against Bengalis amongst the soldiers and officers including Generals. There were verbal instructions to eliminate Hindus.
Quotes about the commission
- Days after the shooting stopped, Bhutto set up a judicial commission to investigate the battlefield defeat in East Pakistan. Led by Pakistan’s chief justice as well as two other eminent judges, it produced a scathing official record condemning the military for corruption, turpitude, and brutality, and demanding courts-martial for Yahya, Niazi, and other disgraced military leaders. While the report concentrates on military defeats, it includes frank testimony on the atrocities from senior army officers and civilian officials. This judicial commission, convinced that “there can be no doubt that a very large number of unprovoked and vindictive atrocities did in fact take place,” urged Pakistan’s government to set up a “high-powered court or commission of inquiry” to “hold trials of those who indulged in these atrocities, brought a bad name to the Pakistan Army and alienated the sympathies of the local population by their acts of wanton cruelty and immorality against our own people.”
But nothing happened. The report was so harsh on the military that it was suppressed...
- Bass, G. J. (2014). The Blood telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a forgotten genocide. Epilogue