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Razakars (Pakistan)

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Title: Razakars (Pakistan)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: 1971 Bangladesh genocide, Bangladesh Liberation War, Jathibhanga massacre, Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, Ghulam Azam
Collection: Bangladesh Liberation War, Pejorative Terms for People, Razakar
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Razakars (Pakistan)

The Razakar (Pakistan Army in East Pakistan during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.

Since the 1971 war, it has become a pejorative term in Bangladesh due to the many suspected acts of violence which the Razakars committed and/or facilitated during the war. The Razakar force was composed of mostly pro-Pakistan Bengalis and Urdu-speaking migrants who lived in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) at the time.[1] At present time, in Bangladesh, razakar means all pro-Pakistani Bangladeshis who helped Pakistan army and tried to prevent independence of Bangladesh.


  • Creation 1
  • Organisation 2
  • Dissolution 3
  • Trial 4
  • List of war crimes 5
  • List of well-known razakar 6
  • Currently in Pakistan 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10
  • Further reading 11


The East Pakistan Razakar Ordinance promulgated on 1 June 1971 by the Governor of East Pakistan, Lieutenant General Tikka Khan.[2] The Ordinance stipulates the creation of a voluntary force to be trained and equipped by the Provincial Government. This was to add to the government's forces to suppress the rebellion of people who wanted independence for the region. It is also alleged that Razakars were recruited by the Shanti Committee, which was formed by several pro-Pakistani leaders including Nurul Amin, Ghulam Azam and Khwaja Khairuddin.[3] The first recruits included 96 Jamaat party members, who started training in an Ansar camp at Shahjahan Ali Road, Khulna.[4][5]


Together with the USAID.)[9]

The Razakar force was organised into Geneva Conventions of War by raping, murdering and looting the locals.[13] They have also frequently killed many Indians during the war. On August 5, 1971, six Indians were killed by the Razakars in Panti village under Kumarkhali sub-division.[14] They killed 3 Indians in Sylhet and 19 Indians in Jessore, Gopalganj and Chittagong hill tracts.[15][16]

Quoting a declassified US secret document Azadur Rahman Chandan writes, the "Rasikars" are a destabilizing element — living off the land, able to make life and death decisions by denouncing collaborators and openly pillaging and terrorizing villagers without apparent restraint from the Army.[17]

The Razakars were also paid for their activities for the defense of united Pakistan.[18] There were urges from Amin to Yahya Khan to increase the number of Razakars and given them more arms to continue their atrocities on East Pakistan.[19]

Towards the end of 1971, increasing numbers of Razakars were deserting, as the end of the war approached with Bangladesh having achieved independence.[20]


Following the surrender of the West Pakistan army on 16 December 1971 and the proclamation of independence of Bangladesh, the Razakar units were dissolved. The Jamaat party was banned, as it had opposed independence. Many leading Razakars fled to Pakistan (previously West Pakistan).

Waves of violence followed the official end of the war, and many lower-ranking Razakars were killed in reprisals by the winning side. The government rounded up and imprisoned an estimated 36,000 men suspected of being Razakars. The government ultimately freed many of those held in jail, both in response to pressure from the United States and China, who backed Pakistan in the war, and to gain cooperation from Pakistan in releasing people held there. It was holding 200,000 Bengali-speaking military and civilian personnel who had been stranded in West Pakistan during the war.[21]

Despite this the force now operates as Police Qaumi Razakars in Pakistan and aid the police in their duties.[22][23]


In 2010 the Bangladesh government, led by the Awami League, set up an International Crimes Tribunal based on the International Crimes Tribunal Act 1973 to prosecute the people who committed war crimes and crimes against humanities during the liberation war in 1971.[24][25][26]

Several trials were concluded in early 2013: Abul Kalam Azad was convicted of eight charges and sentenced to death in January 2013.[27] Abdul Quader Mollah was convicted of five of six charges and sentenced to death in December 2013.[28][29] Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, the Nayeb-e-Ameer of Jamaat, was convicted of eight charges of war crimes and sentenced to death for two of them in February 2013.[30] However, the trial process has been termed as "politically motivated" by its critics, while the human rights groups recognized the tribunal as falling short of international standards.[31]

List of war crimes

  • Razakar Commander Forkan Mallik and his unit on August 17, 1971 held Golapi Rani Saha and raped her. His unit shot dead Hatem Ali at Kakarbunia and detained his daughter Aleya Begum who was later taken to a detention centre. Which held women prisinors who were raped by Razzakars and Pakistani army personels. He carried out the forceful conversion of Ramani Kundu, Shyam Sundar Kundu and Sunil Kundu, three brothers from Subidkhali Bazar under Mirzaganj on August 15.[13]

List of well-known razakar

  • Ghulam Azam , Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami's East Pakistan in 1971.
  • G. W. Choudhury, cabinet member of Pakistan government at 1971, later lived in exile and died in New York in 2012.
  • Syed Fazlul Karim, Chormonai pir, remained pir after liberation of Bangladesh
  • Khan A Sabur, from khulna

Currently in Pakistan

The Razakars in Pakistan now operate as the Police Qaumi Razakars and aid the police in their duties.[22][23]

See also


  1. ^ A. R. Siddiqui, East Pakistan - the Endgame: An Onlooker's Journal 1969-1971, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 171.
  2. ^ The Dacca Gazette Extraordinary, 2 August 1971. Available at
  3. ^ The Wall Street Journal, July 27, 1971; quoted in the book Muldhara 71 by Moidul Hasan
  4. ^ Daily Pakistan. May 25, 1971. 
  5. ^ Daily Azad. May 26, 1971. 
  6. ^ Sheikh Hasina, speech in Parliament on Golam Azam and the public tribunal, 16 April 1992, transcript in DOCUMENTS ON CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY COMMITTED BY PAKISTAN ARMY AND THEIR AGENTS IN BANGLADESH DURING 1971 137, (1999–2002)
  7. ^ a b The Pakistan Observer. July 18, 1971. 
  8. ^ Siddiqui (2004), p. 171.
  9. ^ L. Lifschultz, Bangladesh: The Unfinished Revolution, Zed Press, 1979, p. 123.
  10. ^ Staff Correspondent. "'"Charges pressed against 5 Kishoreganj 'Razakars. The Daily Star. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  11. ^ Staff Correspondent. "Razakars killed doc on Yusuf’s order". The Daily Star. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  12. ^ Khan, Tamanna. "V for a mother". The Daily Star. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Shaon, Ashif Islam. "Forkan Razakar’s verdict any day". Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "Six indians killed by Razakars". The Pakistan Observer. August 6, 1971. 
  15. ^ "Razakars kill indian agents". The Pakistan Observer. October 22, 1971. 
  16. ^ "Razakars kill 19 indian agents". The Pakistan Observer. November 2, 1971. 
  17. ^ Kaler Kantho. September 28, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Razakar's pay revised upwards". The Pakistan Observer. November 20, 1971. 
  19. ^ "Increase number of Razakars". The Pakistan Observer. November 7, 1971. 
  20. ^ US Department of State, "Sitrep," 5 October 1971, cited in R. Sisson and L. E. Rose. Pakistan, India, and the Creation of Bangladesh, University of California Press, 1990, p 308.
  21. ^ Dr. Mohammad Hannan, History of Liberation War of Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশের মুক্তিযুদ্ধের ইতিহাস- ড: মোহাম্মদ হান্নান)
  22. ^ a b "THE PUNJAB QAUMI RAZAKARS ORDINANCE, 1965". Punjab Laws. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  23. ^ a b Faisal, Muhammad (4 March 2014). "Failure to check corruption: Police mull razakar force abolition". The Dawn. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  24. ^ "THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMES (TRIBUNALS) ACT, 1973". Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  25. ^ "Bangladesh to Hold Trials for 1971 War Crimes", Voice of America, 2010-03-26
  26. ^ "Bangladesh sets up 1971 war crimes tribunal", BBC, 2010-03-25
  27. ^ "Azad gets death for war crimes". bdnews24. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  28. ^ "Summary of verdict in Quader Mollah case". The Daily Star. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  29. ^ "Bangladesh politician jailed for war crimes". Al Jazeera. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  30. ^ "Gallows for Sayedee". The Daily Star. 1 March 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  31. ^ "Bangladesh war crimes trial: Delwar Hossain Sayeedi to die". BBC. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 

External links

  • Razakars in training watched by Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi
  • Razakars complete their training

Further reading

  • Chandan, Azadur Rahman (February 2011) [2009]. একাত্তরের ঘাতক ও দালালরা [The Killers and Collaborators of 71] (Revised 2nd ed.). Dhaka: Jatiya Sahitya Prakash. pp. 48–54.
  • volunteers and Collaborators of 1971: An Account of Their Whereabouts, compiled and published by the Center for the Development of the Spirit of the Liberation War.
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