Bangladesh Government announced Sunday it would constitute a committee to investigate war-crimes allegedly committed by Pakistani occupation forces and their local agents 38 years ago, reports say.
The announcement came after the country's parliament approved a resolution late January for the speedy prosecution of war criminals in line with the ruling party's electoral promise.
Following a meeting of senior ministers and the U.N. representative to Bangladesh, the country's State Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Quamrul Islam said the decision of forming the inquiry committee would be taken at an inter-ministry meeting scheduled for Wednesday.
He described the decision for holding an inquiry as a renewed effort towards bringing suspected war criminals to justice after nearly four decades of liberation.
U.N. representative Renata Lok Dessallien, meanwhile, said: We have proposed bringing specialists here so that the trial process meets international standards. The experts will share their experiences to avoid mistakes.
Earlier, the government said the war crime trials would be carried out under Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunals Act of 1973, that barred suspected war criminals from leaving the country.
Historians say some three million unarmed persons were killed during Bangladesh's (formerly known as East Pakistan) war of independence against Pakistani in 1971. Around 200,000 women were raped, and tens of thousands of homes were torched by Pakistani forces and their local collaborators.
The Bangladesh Sector Commander Forum, a group of 1971 war veterans, revealed last year that 11,000 indicted war criminals were released from jails a few months after the assassination of independence leader and Father of Bangladesh (popularly known as 'Banga Bandhu') Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the night of August 14, 1975.
An early initiative to prosecute war criminals did not materialize after the 1975 political changover following the assassination.
For comments and feedback: contact firstname.lastname@example.org