ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Anatomy of Violence

While events of 1971 continue to evoke strong emotion in both Pakistan and Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan), there has been little systematic study of the violent conflicts that prevailed in the course of the nine-month long civil war. Popular attention has, thus far, focused on the Pakistani army's action against the Bengalis, or on the India-Pakistan war. However, East Pakistan in 1971 was simultaneously a battleground for many different kinds of violent conflict that included militant rebellion, mob violence, military crackdown on a civilian population, urban terrorism to full-scale war between India and Pakistan. The culture of violence fomented by the conflict of 1971 forms the context for much of Bangladesh's subsequent history. A careful, evidence-based approach to understanding the events of 1971 is vital if the different parties to the conflict are to be ever reconciled.

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