Senior citizens of Pakistan say they are ashamed of the merciless genocide committed by the Pakistani occupation forces against Bengalis during the liberation war in 1971.
In the documentary, which has been directed by Canada-based Bangladeshi maker Fuad Chowdhury, eight elderly Canada-based Pakistani citizens from their experiences of the war felt disheartened seeing the sufferings of the Bengalis for the atrocities carried out by the Pakistani regime.
In the documentary, they also opined that the Bengalis in the then East Pakistan faced discrimination since its inception in 1947.
The one-hour documentary titled ‘Merciless Mayhem’ was screened for the first time in Bangladesh at Liberation War Museum on Friday as part of the museum’s week-long Independence Festival.
Fuad Chowdhury interviewed journalist Tariq Khan, writer Tarek Fatah, former civil servant Roshan Zamir, who worked in East Pakistan before and during the liberation war, former Pakistani Member of Parliament Javed Hashmi, businessman Moazzem Khan and others.
‘The very day Muhammad Ali Jinnah declared that Urdu will be the only state language of Pakistan, he ushered the end of the state’, says journalist Tariq Khan, who worked for Karachi-based Sun in the 1960s and 1970s.
‘From 1947 to 1971, the voices of Bengalis were ignored. No one in West Pakistan cared about them. East Pakistanis faced unlawful discrimination’, says writer Tarek Fatah.
‘We never wanted such a bloody separation of Pakistan. But president Yahya Khan and Zulfiqar ALi Bhutto, the two men who could have averted the war, did nothing to prevent the merciless genocide committed by the Pakistani occupation forces against Bengalis. Those days still haunt me and I am ashamed of it’, says Roshan Zamir, who was a civil servant stationed in Khulna during the liberation war.
Besides the interviews, the documentary also contains video footages of speeches by Yahya Khan and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto which were aired on different television channels.
Prior to the screening of the documentary, Fuad Chowdhury shared his experience of making the documentary. ‘It was not easy to make the elderly Pakistanis recall what they saw in 1971. However, I was able to persuade them to recall the events,’ said Chowdhury, who hopes to hold more screenings of the documentary in Bangladesh.
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