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British lawmaker advocates Bangladesh's independence during war

By Asraful Huq and Mahmudul Hasan Raju

DHAKA, Dec 10, 2016 (BSS) - A British political leader, Reginald Prentice, strongly advocated absolute independence of former East Pakistan, now Bangladesh after visiting the war ravaged country in 1971 as a member of British parliamentary delegation.

"There was no alternative to giving full independence to Bangladesh to solve the crisis between the then West and East Pakistan," according to an article of Prentice titled "The Repression of Bengal", published in the Sunday Times (London) on July 11, 1971.

Seeing the Pakistani atrocities on Bangladeshis during the war, Prentice strongly condemned it and said, "All including different governments, parliaments, and influential personalities must come forward to condemn heavily the inhuman atrocities on Bangladeshis by Pakistani government."

"It was urgently needed to clear that all the governments and people across the globe were completely in favour of hopes and aspirations of Bangladeshi people," the British politician said.

Calling upon all to work in favour of Bangladesh, he also said, "This was the high time to act (in favour of Bangladesh) as it was not the time to work in accordance with the diplomatic norms."

He also demanded that supplying arms to Pakistan from America be stopped immediately: "At this moment, there was no logic for China and America to work jointly in supplying firearms to the Pakistani armed forces."

The British politician requested all to form global opinion in favour of the decision of Senators and Congressmen of America regarding halting supply of firearms to Pakistan.

Realizing the reality of the problem, he opined that the crisis would be deepened further if the problem was not solved politically.

"Atrocities on Bangladeshis would be increased as General Yahya had no option to keep his power intact on 7.30 crore people of Bangladesh," he also said.

Many experts opined that the adversity of the war (in Bangladesh) would turn into the situation like Vietnam, he added.

All this content was taken from an article written by Reg Prentice and published in Bengali in a book titled "Muktijuddher Chhinna Dalilpatra" composed by noted historian Professor Dr. Muntassir Mamoon.

The title of the article was "Bangladeshe Barbor Damon Nitir Protibade British Janomat" (British voice against the barbaric atrocities on Bangladeshis.