The Hamood-ur-Rehman Commission Report | A Review

Dec 2012
By M.A.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had only been in power for one week, when he asked the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Hamood-ur-Rehman, to investigate “the circumstances in which the Commander, Eastern command, surrendered”, “laid down their arms” and ordered “a ceasefire”.

Of the 12 copies submitted by Hamood-ur-Rehman, all but one was destroyed. Bhutto kept the final copy.

Ten years ago, India Today got a hold of the supplementary report. The report was later declassified by the Pakistani government–after being kept under wraps for 30 years. It is this supplementary report that we have access to today. And though it leaves out some key aspects (like the Hamood-ur-Rehman Commission’s analysis of the international and local context within which 1971 took place), it is nevertheless a fascinating, and telling, read.

Its 68 (A4) pages read like a war thriller. Skip through the heavy parts, and you’ll run into stories about the “moral lapses” of the Pakistan Army, how the Mukti Bahini “butchered” “West Pakistani officers”, and the long list of “allegations” and “excesses committed by the Pakistani Army”–including “senseless wanton arson and killings”, “killings of intellectuals and professionals”, “deliberate killing of members of the Hindu minority” and “Raping of a large number of East Pakistani women (…) as a deliberate act of revenge, retaliation and torture”.

Tanqeed revisits the report, 41 years after Pakistani soldiers surrendered to the Indo-Bangladeshi High Command, and 10 years after the supplementary report as declassified.

Click here for the full report.

And here is our take on its top 5 most interesting parts.

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