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Pakistan surrendered to India in '71: Rafiqul

Edit Date:10/1/2010 12:00:00 AM


Fri, Oct 1st, 2010 5:12 pm BdST
Dhaka, Oct 1 (bdnews24.com) —Days after a Jamaat-e-Islami lawyer's startling statement belittling the nation's freedom struggle, a BNP policymaker takes cue from him to claim the surrender documents from the independence war talks about the war between Pakistan and India.

"It is written in the documents that Pakistani forces surrendered to Indian forces. There is no mention of Pakistani forces having surrendered to Bangladesh's freedom fighters," Rafiqul Islam Mia said on Friday.

Rafiqul was speaking at a discussion on Peelkhana Killings & Border Guard Bangladesh Act-2010, organised by Sacheton Nagorik Samaj, at the National Press Club.

On Sep 22, Fakhrul Islam, legal representative of the top Jamaat leaders being tried by the International Crimes Tribunal, in their defence, questioned the legality of the tribunal, which drew a lot of flak. Fakhrul had said that the 1971 war had taken place between Pakistan and India, not Bangladesh.

Following the comment, charges have been lodged against the lawyer around the country.

A documentary on the Feb 25-26, 2009 BDR mutiny was screened at the discussion.

Pointing out that the then East Bengal Regiment were the first to revolt against the Pakistani occupation forces, Rafiqul sharply criticised the government's initiative to rename the BDR. "It is no way acceptable," he said.

"The independence war and our independence are related to the name, BDR, but the name is being erased. It seems to me conspiratorial."

He referred to his meeting with India's Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora in Dhaka in 1997 and claimed that the supreme commander of Bangladesh's freedom fighters M A G Osmani was not present during the surrender on Dec 16, 1971.

Rafiqul claimed that he had asked Aurora about the surrender in 1971 and who were present at the time; Aurora could not answer well but only said that he had acted as ordered by Delhi.

The BNP standing committee member quoted Aurora that he had "looked for M A G Osmani, but did not find him there during the surrender of Pakistani occupation forces."

Maj Gen (retd) Mohammad Ainuddin, Jatiya Ganatantrik Party president Shafiul Alam Pradhan and BNP MP of reserved seats for women Nilufar Yasmin Moni, among others, were present in the programme.

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