World personalities express concern over 1971 Pakistani atrocities

DHAKA, The Toronto declaration made on August 21, 1971

that voiced against Pakistani atrocities globally stands as yet another

written proof that Pakistan is telling an unconcealed lie shamelessly by

denying committing war crimes during Bangladesh's war of liberation.

More than 20 eminent personalities in the world adopted the Toronto

Declaration requesting all the governments to eliminate military and

economic aid to Pakistan expressing grave concern over four months of

horrifying atrocities and military operations in East Pakistan (now

Bangladesh) during the Liberation War, 1971.

We are horrified by the events of recent months in East Pakistan which

have resulted in one of the major disasters in man's history. Millions of

refugees have fled in the wake of atrocities and military operations, the

Toronto Declaration said.

It also said, We appeal with the utmost urgency to all people in all

countries to prevail upon their governments to act while there is still

time. The declaration was made in an international conference (the South

Asia Conference) of people meeting in Toronto from August 19 through August

21, 1971 at Toronto, focused on the serious crisis in East Pakistan.

Internationally known South Asian experts including distinguished

parliamentarians, scholars, administrators, and editors from different parts

of the world took part in the conference.

The conference, sponsored by the private relief agency, Oxfam, was chaired

by Mr. Hugh Keenleyside, former director general of UN Technical assistance

and former Canadian ambassador to Indonesia and vice chaired by Prof. John

Kenneth Galbraith, of Harvard, former US ambassador to India.

From the assembly they forwarded five demands before the globe to create

pressure on the Pakistani government to put an end to their atrocities in

East Pakistan.

They requested all the governments across the globe to terminate

immediately all military deliveries to Pakistan, to suspend all economic aid

to Pakistan, to channel all possible resources into a massive emergency

program for famine relief in East Pakistan, directed and administered by the

United Nations.

Two other demands of the declaration were to make firm continuing

commitments to share fairly the economic burden of supporting the refugees in

India and to intervene to save the life of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The signers of the declaration were: Rev. E. Johnson, N.C. Dahl, G.

Papanek, J.T. Thorson, Gen. J.N. Chaudhuri, Patrick P. McDermatt, Niall

Macdermot, Chester Ronning, James Barrington, Hanna Papanek, Bernard Braine,

M.P, John Holmes, Ajit Bhattachajea, Nurul Hossain, John E. Rodhe, M.D., Rev.

Eoin A. Mackay, Gerard Lachene, Thomas A. Dine, Hugh L. Keensleyside, Rev.

Earnest Long, Judith Hart, M.P., Cornelia Rhode, Stanley Wolpert, Robert

Drofman, Horner A. Jack.

Describing the situation in East Pakistan as threat for the entire world,

the declaration said, The Present situation is a threat to peace both in the

subcontinent of South Asia and throughout the world, with danger of great

power involvement in a familiar pattern of escalation.

Stressing the need for political settlement to end the crisis in East

Pakistan, the conference called for an immediate end to all killing, saying,

This can be achieved only in the context of a political settlement. There

can be no lasting political solution without the democratic consent of the

people of East Pakistan.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)