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Bangladesh at 50: A nation created in violence and still bearing scars of a troubled birth

Bangladesh Independence day

Bangladesh at 50 Bangladeshi children at the Independence Day celebrations in Dhaka in 2012. AP Photo/Pavel Rahman Tazreena Sajjad, American University School of International Service March 26 marks 50 years since the start of Bangladesh’s liberation war, a bloody nine-month campaign that culminated in the nation’s independence on Dec. 16, 1971. It was a violent birth, with some of its roots in the 1947 partition of India – when Pakistan was created as a separate nation. As the British Empire left the subcontinent, an estimated 200,000 to 1.5 million people were killed in sectarian violence associated with the partition and 10 million to 15 million were forcibly displaced. Newly independent Pakistan comprised two separate geographical areas separated by over a thousand miles of Indian terrain. While both regions included significant Muslim populations, West Pakistan was made up largely of Punjabi, …

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