Bangladesh 'war crimes' list out

Group of independent war veterans publish list of war criminals sparking furore.


    Matiur Rahman Nizami, Jamaat-e-Islami leader, has denied the allegation of being a war criminal [EPA]
    Prominent names

    Among the big names on the list are Yahya Khan, president of Pakistan during the 1971 war, General Tikka Khan, under whose command Pakistan launched the military crackdown to crush the liberation movement in Bangladesh and Lieutenant General Ameer Abdullah Khan Niazi, the Pakistani general who surrendered to India in December 1971.

    Among the Bangladeshis on the list was Matiur Rahman Nizami, the head of the Jamaat-e-Islami party and a minister in a coalition government until October 2006.

    There are several Jamaat-e-Islami members on the list, but

    the party has dismissed charges against them.

    Tasnim Alam, the party spokesman, said: "Only the country's highest court can declare anyone a war criminal. No individual, agency or organisation has any such right."

    The group that published the list, however, said around half of those listed were still alive and many were members of Jamaat-e-Islami.

    'Bangladeshi collaborators'

    MA Hasan of the WFCC said: "Out of the 1,597 people on the list, 369 were Pakistani army personnel. The rest were Bangladeshi collaborators."

    "We have been investigating for 17 years.

    The list is on the basis of field-level investigation, mass graves and eyewitness statements," Hasan added.

    "We will give this list to the government and the election commission. Ou

    r demand to the government is that those perpetrators should be punished and disqualified from the next election."

    A court in the capital Dhaka has also ordered the police to submit a  report on allegations against Nizami.

    In a case filed by a former Bangladeshi freedom fighter, Nizami has been accused along with 12 others of helping the Pakistani army plan mass killings in which thousands of villagers died.

    However, Jamaat-e-Islami has dismissed the charge as an attempt to  "defame" the party.

    Since Bangladesh's emergency government came to power in January 2007, war veterans have led calls for prosecution of war criminals.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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