Al-Badr (East Pakistan)

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The Al-Badr (Bengali: আল বদর) was a paramilitary force composed mainly of Bihari Muslims which operated in East Pakistan against the Bengali nationalist movement during the Bangladesh Liberation War, under the patronage of the Pakistani government.[1][2]


The name Al-Badr means the full moon and refers to the Battle of Badr.[3]



Al-Badr was constituted in September 1971 under the auspices of General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, then chief of the Pakistan Army eastern command. Members of Al-Badr were recruited from public schools and madrasas (religious schools). The unit was used for raids and special operations;[2] the Pakistan army command initially planned to use locally recruited militias (Al-Badr, Razakar, Al-Shams) for policing cities of East Pakistan, and regular army units to defend the border with India. According to Brigadier Abdul Rahman Siddiqi, members of Al-Badr were mainly Biharis.[4]

Despite their similarities in opposing the independence of Bangladesh, the Razakar and Al-Badr had differences; Razakars opposed the Mukti Bahini in general, while Al-Badr's tactics were terrorism and political killings.[1] All three groups operated under Pakistani command.[5]


After the surrender of the Pakistan Army on 16 December 1971, Al-Badr was dissolved together with the Razakar and Al-Shams. Many members were arrested. 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Rahman, all of the collaborators, including those of Al-Badr were pardoned and in 1975 any attempt to try them was repealed.[6]

War crimes[edit]

Al-Badr perpetrated atrocities against civilians during the war of 1971, in particular, the massacre of intellectuals that occurred in the Rayer Bazaar area of Dhaka on 15 December 1971.[7][1] According to journalist Azadur Rahman Chandan, Al-Badr was experimentally launched in Jamalpur, Mymensingh in April 1971 as a voluntary force with Islami Chhatra Shangha 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(s) needed]

Leaders of Al-Badr[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Mamoon, Muntassir. "Al-Badr". Banglapedia. Bangladesh Asiatic Society. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Haqqani, Husain (2005). Pakistan: between mosque and military. Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. p. 79. ISBN 0-87003-285-2.
  4. ^ Siddiqi, Abdul Rahman (2004). East Pakistan, the Endgame: An Onlooker's Journal 1969-1971. Oxford University Press. p. 153. ISBN 978-0-19-579993-4.
  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 16 July 2011.
  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. S2CID 216115000. Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  7. ^ Hazelhurst, Peter (3 January 1972). "Communist Party revived in Dacca". The Times. p. 4. more corpses have been found floating in a small pond in the Rayabazar area of Dacca where scores of Bengali intellectuals were massacred three weeks ago ... There has been no official count of the number of people killed at Rayabazar. The figure is generally put at about 150 ... Most of the intellectuals were killed on the morning of December 15 by the fanatical Bengali religious group known as Al-Badr.
  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. ^ Karlekar, Hiranmay (2005). Bangladesh: The Next Afghanistan?. New Delhi: Sage. p. 152. ISBN 978-0-7619-3401-1.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Supreme Court to fix war criminal Mir Qausem's appeal hearing on Wednesday". 5 January 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  12. ^ "Don't interfere, Bangladesh tells Pakistan after remark on Mir Quasem Ali hanging". The Economic Times. 4 September 2016.
  13. ^ Kabir, Monor (2006). Politics and development of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh. New Delhi: South Asian Publishers. p. 67. ISBN 978-8170033059.