Al-Badr (East Pakistan)

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The Al-Badr (Bengali: আল বদর) was a paramilitary wing of the Pakistan Army, which operated in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) against the Bengali nationalist movement during the Bangladesh Liberation War.[1]


The name of the paramilitary formation, Al-Badr, means the full moon and refer to the Battle of Badr.[2]


Members of Al-Badr were recruited from public schools and madrasas (religious schools). The unit was used for raids and special operations;[1] the Pakistan army command initially planned to use the locally recruited militias (Al-Badr, Razakar, Al-Shams) for policing cities of East Pakistan, and regular army units to defend the border with India.[3] Most members of Al-Badr appear to have been Biharis.[4][full citation needed]

Together with the Razakar and Al-Shams, Al-Badr was formed in order to counter the guerrilla activities of the Mukti Bahini which grew increasingly organised and militarily successful during in the second half of 1971. All three groups operated under Pakistani command.[5]


After the surrender of the Pakistani army on 16 December 1971, Al-Badr was dissolved together with the Razakar and Al-Shams. Many of the members of this elite unit were arrested. However, during the time of president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, all of the collaborators, including those of Al Badr were pardoned and in 1975 any attempt to try them was repealed.[6]

Allegations of war crimes[edit]

It is alleged that Al-Badr perpetrated atrocities against civilians during the war of 1971, in particular, the massacre of intellectuals in Dhaka that occurred on 15 December 1971.[7][full citation needed] According to journalist Azadur Rahman Chandan The Al-Badr was experimentally launched in Jamalpur, Mymensingh on April 1971 as a voluntary force with Islami Chhatra Sangha activists as its first recruits to wage war against the nationalist fighters. They were enlisted and trained under the guidance of Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, the assistant secretary general of Jamaat.[8][additional citation needed]

Al-Badr is accused of carrying out a planned massacre and particularly the killing of the leading intelligentsia just two days ahead of the final victory on 16 December 1971. Citing excerpts from an investigative report published in the New York Times on 3 January 1972, Azadur Rahman Chandan said, 'Dressed in black sweaters and khaki pants, members of the group, known as Al-Badar, rounded up their victims on the last three nights of the war.'... 'Their goal, captured members have since said, was to wipe out all Bengali intellectuals who advocated independence from Pakistan and the creation of a secular, non-Moslem state.' [9][full citation needed][additional citation needed]

Leaders of Al-Badr[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Sisson, Richard; Rose, Leo E. (1991). War and Secession: Pakistan, India, and the Creation of Bangladesh. University of California Press. p. 165. ISBN 978-0-520-07665-5. 
  2. ^ Haqqani, Husain (2005). Pakistan: between mosque and military. Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. p. 79. ISBN 0-87003-285-2. 
  3. ^ Siddiqi, A. R. (2004). East Pakistan the Endgame: An Onlooker's Journal 1969-1971. Karachi: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-579993-4. 
  4. ^ Siddiqui 1990, p. 153.
  5. ^ Hasina, Sheikh (1999). "Opposition Leader Sheikh Hasina's parliamentary speech given on 16 April 1992 on the subject of Golam Azam and the public tribunal". Documents on crimes against humanity committed by Pakistan Army and their agents in Bangladesh during 1971. Dhaka: Liberation War Museum. ISBN 984311048X. Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. 
  6. ^ Islam, Md Saidul (March 2011). "'Minority Islam' in Muslim Majority Bangladesh". Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. 31 (1): 130. doi:10.1080/13602004.2011.556893. ISSN 1360-2004. Retrieved 22 July 2016. 
  7. ^ P. Hazelhurst in The Times, 3 Jan 1972, p. 4.
  8. ^ Chandan, Azadur Rahman (February 2011) [2009]. একাত্তরের ঘাতক ও দালালরা [The Killers and Collaborators of 71] (in Bengali) (Revised 2nd ed.). Dhaka: Jatiya Sahitya Prakash. pp. 48–54. 
  9. ^ "none". Kaler Kantho. 14 December 2012. 
  10. ^ Karlekar, Hiranmay (2005). Bangladesh: The Next Afghanistan?. New Delhi: Sage. p. 152. ISBN 978-0-7619-3401-1. 
  11. ^ Faruq, Mohiuddin (6 January 2016). "Supreme Court seals fate of Nizami, confirms Jamaat chief's death sentence for horrific war crimes". Retrieved 31 January 2016. 
  12. ^ "Supreme Court to fix war criminal Mir Qausem's appeal hearing on Wednesday". 5 January 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2016. 
  13. ^ Kabir, Monor (2006). Politics and development of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh. New Delhi: South Asian Publishers. p. 67. ISBN 978-8170033059.