following is a summary of the principal conclusions in this study:
During the civil war from 25 March to 3 December and during the
international war from 4 to 18 December, massive violations of human
rights occurred in East Pakistan. These were committed (a) by the
Pakistani army and auxiliary forces against Bengalis, and in particular
against members of the Awami League, students, and Hindus, and (b) by
Bengali insurgent forces and mobs against Biharis and other non-Bengalis
(Part II (b)).
These violations involved the indiscriminate killing of civilians,
including women and children; the attempt to exterminate or drive out of
the country a large part of the Hindu population of approximately 10
million people; the arrest, torture and killing without trial of
suspects; the raping of women; the destruction of villages and towns;
and the looting of property. The scale of these crimes was massive, but
it is impossible to quantify them. Figures given by both sides tend to
be greatly exaggerated (Part II (b)).
In addition to criminal offences under domestic law, there is a strong
prima facie case that criminal offences were committed in international
law, namely war crimes and crimes against humanity under the law
relating to armed conflict, breaches of Article 3 of the Geneva
Conventions 1949, and acts of genocide under the Genocide Convention
1949 (Part IV).
Persons who have committed or were responsible for such crimes are
liable to be tried under international law by an international court.
If, as has been reported, the Bangladesh government are to put on trial
senior Pakistani officers and civilians, they should set up an
international court for the purpose with a majority of judges from
neutral countries (Part IV).
The martial law regime of General Yahya Khan was unconstitutional and
illegal under domestic Pakistan law, but owing to its recognition by
other states its validity cannot be challenged under international law
The Awami League leaders were not entitled in international law to
proclaim the independence of Bangladesh in March 1971 under the
principle of the right of self-determination of peoples (Part V).
They were, however, justified under domestic law in using force to
resist the attempt by the self-appointed and illegal military regime to
impose a different form of constitution upon the country to that
approved by the majority of the people in a fair and free election (Part
(8) The United Nations failed to use its available machinery to deal
with the situation either with a view to terminating the gross
violations of human rights which were occurring or to deal with the
threat to international peace which they constituted (Part VI).
India's supply of arms and training facilities to the insurgent forces
was in breach of her duty of neutrality under international law (Part
(10) India's claim that her invasion of Pakistan was justified in
international law under the doctrine of self-defence and on the grounds
that she was acting in support of her Bangladesh ally cannot be accepted
(11) India could, however, have justified the invasion on the grounds of
humanitarian intervention, in view of the failure of the United Nations
to deal with the massive violations of human rights in East Pakistan
which were causing a continuing and intolerable refugee burden to India