Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report
Chief Justice Hamoodur Rahman handing over
the HRC Report to Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, c. 1974
The War Inquiry Commission was appointed by the President of Pakistan in December 1971. In its secret report, never made public in Pakistan the commission, headed by then Chief Justice of Pakistan, Hamoodur Rahman, held widespread atrocities, other abuses of power by Pakistani generals and a complete failure in civilian and martial-law leadership responsible for the loss of East Pakistan. The report dwells on a range of sins: killing of thousands of Bangladeshis—both civilians and “Bengali” soldiers—rape, pan smuggling, looting of banks in East Pakistan, drunkenness by officers, even an instance of a Brigadier “entertaining” women while his troops were being shelled by Indian troops. It recommended a string of court-martials and trials against top officers . Nothing ever happened. The army’s role in splintering Pakistan after its greatest military debacle was largely ignored by successive Pakistani governments.
The Commission examined nearly 300 witnesses and hundreds of classified army signals between East and West Pakistan. The final report was submitted on October 23, 1974, detailing political, administrative, military and moral failings of then Pakistan.