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Liberal Party Statement - Time for UK should reflect and apologise to India and Bangl
Letter to the National Press - Time for UK should reflect and apologise to India and Bangladesh
Dear Editor

It is fifty years since the War of Liberation in Bangladesh.

It is a good time for the UK to reflect on the UK response to the brutal repression by the Pakistani Military to civil protests in what was East Pakistan.

Academic studies have suggested that the Prime Minister at the time, Edward Heath and his cabinet were Eurocentric and as the Commonwealth and other external priorities receded into the background, Europe dominated the government’s foreign policy, absorbing the greater part of its attention.

The historian Moses makes a key point: government officials insisted on portraying the conflict exclusively as a civil war, despite reports indicating that systematic persecution by Pakistani forces—or ‘genocide’—was taking place.

Without doubt the UK could have done more to challenge the brutality of the Military and the targeting of violence against the Hindu Minority in East Pakistan.

Following the surrender of Pakistani Forces the UK did recognise the new government of Bangladesh following India and Bhutan.

The recognition for a democratic national movement to overthrow a military state has been a dilemma for many nations in international affairs and we should learn from our reluctance and apologise for not being more supportive earlier.

We should also praise the intervention of Indian Forces was vital to enable the majority of the 10 million refugees to return home and prevent the brutal repression continuing.

Cllr Steve Radford

Leader of The Liberal Party UK

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