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
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
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)