From 20-26 May, Dutch politician and former member of parliament Harry van Bommel will accompany a European delegation to Bangladesh, where the team will investigate the genocide committed by Pakistan in 1971.
The work is an initiative of the European Bangladesh Forum (EBF) and includes genocide scholar Anthony Holzlock (VU), political analyst Chris Blackburn, British EBF chair Ansar Ahmed Ullah and Dutch EBF chair Bikash Choudhury Barua.
The purpose of this mission is to obtain first-hand information on the genocide committed by the Pakistan Army in Bangladesh during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.
The delegation wants to meet victims, witnesses, genocide researchers, academics, policymakers and government representatives in Bangladesh. In addition, the team will visit several killing fields and war museums in and around the capital Dhaka and its second largest city, Chittagong, an official statement said.
The work for Bangladesh comes at a time when global attention is being paid to the genocide in Bangladesh.
Recently, two members of the US Congress introduced a resolution to the US House of Representatives asking US President Joe Biden to recognize the crimes against humanity committed by the Pakistani military at the time.
In the United Kingdom, the recognition of the genocide of 1971 was also debated in parliament. According to delegation leader Van Bommel, “Dutch recognition of this genocide is appropriate because the Netherlands was one of the first countries to recognize the independence of Bangladesh in 1972.”
According to an official statement, the fact-finding mission will report its findings to the Dutch government and the House of Representatives. Also, the European Bangladesh Forum will host a conference on innovation.