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Kissinger should have apologised to people of Bangladesh for his role in 1971: Momen tells WION

Update : 01 Dec 2023, 12:18

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has criticised former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who died at the age of 100, for his role in the Liberation War of 1971. Momen said that Kissinger backed the Pakistani military leadership during the war and did not apologise to the people of Bangladesh, reports WION news. 

Kissinger, an important figure in Cold War foreign policy, died on Thursday .

"Henry Kissinger has been an iconic diplomat, he played an immense role in the diplomatic world, particularly in designing US policy abroad," Momen said, commenting on Kissinger's overall legacy, said the report. 

However, the foreign minister did not shy away from mentioning Kissinger's role during the 1971 saying, "But unfortunately, in 1971, he was dead against the people of the then East Pakistan."

Momen underlined his (Kissinger's) participation in breaching "all American laws and international laws to support the Pakistani military junta and also supplied weapons to Pakistan's illegally occupying forces."

During the 1971 Liberation War, the Nixon administration, in which Kissinger served, took a strong anti-India position and supported Pakistan, the report said.

During the Liberation War, West Pakistani military operations in East Pakistan resulted in the deaths of over a million people and the displacement of millions more. "That is very sad for such a smart man to do such inhumane things; it is not acceptable," the foreign minister added.

During the war, the US dispatched the battleship USS Enterprise in the Bay of Bengal to help the then-West Pakistan, although this gave the Pakistani military establishment no benefit, the report also said.

Momen deconstructed Kissinger's problematic judgements, claiming that his pursuit of "ping pong diplomacy" and ambition to alter US ties with China and Pakistan affected his posture during the 1971 war.

"In order to satisfy General Yahya [Khan], he did all those mischievous things, so it's very sad," he added.

"When you take a decision, that should be fact-based, not subject to emotions. Unfortunately, people like Kissinger with so much wisdom failed to rise to the occasion,” Momen said.

"We feel that he should have apologised to the people of Bangladesh for what he has done—the genocide, mass killing of the people of then East Pakistan," he added. 



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