Tikka Khan, the military governor leading the repression, argued that East Pakistan faced enslavement by India. He said that the outlawed Awami League would have brought the destruction of our country which had been carved out of the subcontinent as a homeland for Muslims after great sacrifices," the book said.
It noted that "senior officers like the COAS [chief of army staff] and CGS [chief of general staff] were often noticed jokingly asking as to how many Hindus have been killed."
"One lieutenant colonel testified that Lieutenant General A K Niazi, who became the chief martial law administrator in East Pakistan and head of the army's Eastern Command, asked as to how many Hindus we had killed. In May, there was an order in writing to kill Hindus from a brigadier."
Another lieutenant colonel said, "There was a general feeling of hatred against Bengalis amongst the soldiers and the officers including generals. There were verbal instructions to eliminate Hindus", the book says.
The then US diplomats based in Dhaka wrote to both the State Department and the White House that this was nothing less than genocide against the Hindus.
"But for all the effort that Blood put into defining and documenting genocide, the terrible term had no impact at the White House," Bass writes.
According to Bass, Blood thought that "genocide" was the right description for what was happening to the Hindus.
"He explained that the Pakistani military evidently did not make distinctions between Indians and Pakistan Hindus, treating both as enemies."
Such anti-Hindu sentiments were lingering and widespread, Blood wrote.
According to the book, the Indian government privately believed, as this aide noted, that Pakistan, by "driving out Hindus in their millions," hoped to reduce the number of Bengalis so they were no longer the majority in Pakistan, and to destroy the Awami League as a political force by getting rid of the wily Hindu who was supposed to have misled simple Bengali Muslims into demanding autonomy."
"In India we have tried to cover that up," Swaran Singh (the then External Affairs Minister) candidly told a meeting of Indian diplomats in London, "but we have no hesitation in stating