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Ghulam Azam incited genocide in ’71

Times National Desk - February 21st, 2013

War crimes accused Jamaat-e-Islami former chief Ghulam Azam incited his men for committing genocide during the Liberation War in 1971, the prosecution yesterday told the International Crimes Tribunal-1. The war crimes accused also made plans at different times as to how the auxiliary forces of the Pakistani army would operate their mission against freedom fighters in the nine-month war.
Prosecutor Sultan Mahmud Simon said these on the fourth day of closing arguments in the war crimes case against Ghulam Azam.
The prosecution’s arguments were based on newspaper reports, documents and statements allegedly made by Ghulam Azam in 1971.
Ghulam Azam, ameer of East Pakistan Jamaat-e-Islami during the Liberation War, is facing five charges — of conspiracy, planning, incitement, complicity, torture and murder — of crimes against humanity.
Before placing his argument on incitement, Simon explained how the killing led by the auxiliary forces, like Peace Committee, Al-Badr, Al-Shams and Razakars, were genocide as per the Geneva Convention, 1948.
According to article 2 of the Geneva Convention, 1948, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, such as: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Simon said, “The incidents [killing of people] took place during the Liberation War in 1971 are genocide and he [Ghulam Azam] had direct involvement in these. It is not possible for him in anyway to avert the liabilities of it [genocide] as he had affiliation with politics and the army.”
Ghulam Azam along with Jamaat’s publicity secretary Moulana Nuruzzaman and another Jamaat leader Gholam Sarwar made a joint statement on April 7, 1971.
The statement reads: “India is interfering in the internal affairs of East Pakistan. Wherever patriotic Pakistanis see Indian agents or anti-Pakistan elements and infiltrators they will destroy them.”
The prosecutor explained that Ghulam Azam referred activists of auxiliary forces as patriotic Pakistanis while freedom fighters as Indian agents or anti-Pakistan elements and infiltrators.