Ever since the Pakistani civil war broke out last March, President Mohammad Yahya Khan has done his utmost to prevent reports on the ruthless behavior of the Pakistani Army in putting down the Bengali fight for independence from reaching the outside world. Most foreign journalists have been barred from East Pakistan, and only those West Pakistani newsmen who might be expected to produce "friendly accounts" have been invited to tour East Pakistan and tell their countrymen about the rebellion.
In at least one instance, however, that policy backfired. Anthony Mascarenhas, a Karachi newsman who also writes for the London Sunday Times was so horrified by the events he witnessed that he and his family fled to London` to publish the full story. Last week, in the Times, Mascaren has wrote that he was told repeatedly by Pakistani military and civil authorities in Dacca that the Government intends "to cleanse East Pakistan once and for all of the threat of secession, even if it means killing off 2 million people". And the federal army concluded Mascarenhas "is doing exactly that with terrifying thoroughness."
That the Pakistani army is visiting a dreadful blood bath upon the people of "East Pakistan is also affirmed by newsmen and others who have witnessed the fight of 6 million terrified refugees into neighboring India. News weed`s Tony Clifton recently visited India`s refugee-clogged border regions and cabled the following report: Anyone who goes to the camps and hospitals along India`s border with Pakistan comes away believing the Punjabi army capable of any atrocity, I have seen babies who have been shot, men who have had their backs whipped raw. I`ve seen people literally struck dumb by the horror of seeing their children murdered in front of them or their daughters dragged off into sexual slavery. I have no doubt at all that there have been a hundred "Mylais" and "Lidices" in East Pakistan-and I think, there will be more.
My personal reaction is one of wonder more than anything else. I`ve seen too many bodies to be horrified by anything much anymore. But I find myself standing still again and again, wondering how any man can work himself into such a murderous frenzy.
[This is a renowned article published in Newsweek on June 28, 1971. On the occasion of the Victory month, Bangla Insider has been publishing renowned international articles that depicted the Liberation War of Bangladesh.]