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April 1971

April 1: New York Times reports heavy killing in Dhaka.

Muslim League President Mumtaz Daultana:

Mujib’s demands were much as President Yahya had spelled out in his address to the nation, except that Yahya had not detailed Mujib’s views on an interim central government. Mujib had wanted Yahya to remain as President with no political government at the Center. Mujib was not “particularly concerned” about the Six Points and was willing to accept an interim arrangement based on the 1962 Constitution. However, he envisaged that the President would allow the Awami League to exercise full control over the affairs of East Pakistan, while the President would perform a coordinating role for inter-provincial affairs of the West Wing. On the “two-Assembly” proposal, Daultana said Mujib had been rather vague as to whether he really envisaged two separate assemblies or two subcommittees of the National Assembly.

Mujib replied, and Daultana accepted his response as sincere, that while he was under great pressure to declare an independent Bangla Desh, he wanted to maintain Pakistan. Mujib was convinced the West Pakistan establishment as represented by Yahya and Bhutto would never permit Bengalis to rule Pakistan.

April 3: Background to the Thinning Out of the U.S. Presence in East Pakistan

April 4: The Pakistani ambassador to USA Agha Hilaly tells Assistant Secretary (USA) Sisco:

The army had to kill people in order to keep the country together.

The Slaughter in East Pakistan“, Editorial, The Times, London

“From the evidence available one must conclude that the aim was so to wipeout the Awami League leadership that it could no longer provide an effec­tive leadership for any resistance movement.”

mujib-newsweek.jpg

April 6: Archer Blood, the US Consul General, officers of USAID and USIS sents the famous blood telegram to the Department of State condemning the failure of the US to denounce the suppression of democracy and the widespread attrocities.

Converstaion between Nixon and Kissinger

April 7:Foreign evacuees from East Pakistan tell of grim fight“, Sydney H. Schanberg, in New York Times.

April 8: Telegram From the Embassy in Pakistan to the Department of State:

“Two weeks after Yahya sent army into action, Pak military has control major cities in east, but Bengalis still hold major areas, especially in countryside. Bengali grievances now etched in blood. For present, Awami Leaguers leading resistance forces. If AL movement crumbles before it able consolidate position on ground, resistance movement likely to pass to more radical and left extremist groups such as Naxalites.

Bhutto is eager for power and he may be prepared make deal with military to play key, if not leading role, in new central government.”

April 10: The proclamation of independence order from Mujib Nagar (which was issued on April 10 shall be deemed to have come into effect from March 26, 1971).
The gadget of proclamation of independence on April 10, 1971

US Consul General Archer Blood’s telegram from Dhaka:

“It is, in our opinion, a minor miracle that no American was killed or injured by trigger-happy Pak troops fresh from killing and looting during the delay caused by our accetance of Govt. of Pakistan arrangements.”

April 11: Radio adress by Mr. Tajuddin Ahmed, Prime Minister, on behalf of the
Government of Bangla Desh headed by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, broadcast by Swadhin
Bangla Desh Betar Kendra to the people of Bangladesh.

“Today a mighty army is being formed around the nucleus of professional soldiers, from the Bengal Regiment and E.P.R. who have rallied to the cause of the liberation struggle. These have been joined by the Police, Ansars and Mujahids and now by thou­sands of Awami League and other volunteers and are being trained into a fighting force ready to use the captured weapons from the defeated West Pakistani mercenaries and fresh arms being purchased from funds collected by our Bengali Brothers overseas.

In Chittagong and Noakhali we have commissioned Major Zia Rahman of the Bengal Regiment to take full command of operations. His heroic defence of Chittagong City against overwhelming odds, which included attacks from the air and sea, will take its place with the defence of Stalingrad in the annals of warfare.”

Mujib is the Head of War Cabinet for Bangladesh.

April 12: CIA’s assessment about the present and prospective state of Pakistani civil war and role of India and other powers.

April 13: “Chinese government holds that what is happening in Pakistan at present is purely internal affair of Pakistan, which can only be settled by Pakistan people themselves and which brooks no foreign interference whatsoever.” –Chou En Lai

April 14:Rhetoric and Reality”, Editorial, Guardian, London:

“Nobody can tell precisely what Yahya’s strategists whispered in his ear three weeks ago. They appear to have thought that cutting off the head would kill Bengali nationalism: precisely the reverse. They appear to have forgotten about world opinion. They appear, most insanely of all, to have ruled India out of the military calculations, so that the uncontrolled border and aid seeping in has them as much by the throat as proliferatin- diplomatic complications.”

Liberation forces organized, General MAG Osmani made Chief in command

April 16:Blood of Bangla Desh“, New Statesman, London:

“If blood is the price of a people’s right to independence, Bangla Desh has overpaid. The Bengalis’ case for statehood may be hard to refute, but it is inconvenient to every one else. And yet, by an unusual combination of circum­stances, Bangla Desh has managed to obey all the rules. So, this may be the moment to consider what we, and other countries, mean by those splendid words which recur like a chorus in the United Nations charter: `the right to self-deter­mination of peoples’. Objectively or subjectively, in Chinese or English, in capi­talist or socialist jargon, it is hard to fault the East Bengalis, or justify their abandonment by all the major powers.”

Memorandum from Senior Review Group meeting regarding Pakistan – American relations

April 17: The formation of Bangladesh Government:

mujibnagardibash.jpg

The First Bangladesh Government is Formed in exile. Awami League leaders convene in the district of Meherpur near the Indian border in Jessore, in the village of Baidyanathtala later renamed Mujibnagar, and affirm Sheikh Mujib’s March 26 proclamation for an independent Bangladesh. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is declared the President of the newly formed Republic, and Syed Nazrul Islam the Vice-President. Nazrul Islam assumes the reponsibilities of the Interim President, and appoints Tajuddin Ahmed as the Prime Minsiter to lead the provisional government.

* Tajuddin Ahmed’s April 10, 1971 Proclamation
* Members of The Mujibnagar Government

More here:
Mujibnagar Day: A milestone in our liberation war
BANGLA DESH BECOMES A REPUBLIC – THE SUNDAY STATESMAN, New Delhi-April 18, 1971

April 18: Telegram from the Department of State to the embassy in Pakistan on the Provisional Government of Bangla Desh.

April 19: Minutes of Senior Review Group meeting regarding Pakistan.

Kissinger: “I agree I used to think that 30,000 men couldn’t possibly subdue 75 million, which I suppose is the Western way of looking at it. But if the 75 million don’t organize and don’t fight, the situation is different.”

April 20: Press Statement issued by Professor Muzaffar Ahamed, President of National Awami Party (NAP), Bangla Desh concerning full support to Bangla Desh Government:

“We declare in unequivocal terms that the government headed by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is the only legally constituted government of Bangla Desh. And urge upon all the democratic and progressive nations of the world ‘to recognise the newly-born state and its government and to render all material help and moral support.”

April 21: Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani’s appeal to world leaders:

“I appeal to you. Mr. Secretary-General (UN), in the name of humanity to issue an immediate appeal to stop these brutal massacres of innocent people and to extend all possible help for the relief of the victims of dictator General Yahya Khan against military rule in Bangla Desh. I would welcome sending your observers inside Bangla Desh to see the nature and volume of looting, arson, mass killings and molestation of women by West Pakistani Army so that they can reveal the true picture of the sordid tale of Bangla Desh to the people of the world through the United Nations.”

Justice Abu Sayeed Chowdhury made special representative of Bangladesh Government.

abu-sayeed-chow.jpg

April 22: Press statement of Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani, President of National Awami Party, Bangladesh:

“The question is whether the people of the world and nation of the world will support the struggle of the 71 crore people of Bengal for independence or support the abominable conspiracy of the dictatorial exploiting ruling clique which is indulg­ing in mass murder.

Yahya, who is a Muslim himself, in the name of religion is mercilessly killing lakhs of Muslims, Hindus, Christians and Buddhists. His soldiers who say that they are Muslims are raping women, including Muslim women. Though Muslims themselves, they are destroying mosques. They kill Muslims who are offering prayers. What will the Muslim world do about this ? Will they support the un-Islamic antihumanity abominable policy of Yahya ? Or will they support the cause of truth, justice and love as preached by Islam ?”

April 27: Maulana Abdul Mannan, General Secretary of Muslim League issued a statement saying that “patriotic” (by which he meant Islamic minded) people imbued with the zeal of crusading (Jihad) had come forward to welcome the (maurauding) army of West Pakistan.

April 28: Tajuddin pleas for arms aid and thus help a new-born country to free itself from the clutches of a murderous army. (The Times of India- New Delhi-April 29, 1971)

Henry Kissinger wrote in a secret memo to President Nixon:

The Pakistani army was poised to “retake” physical control of the major towns and that the ressistance was too poorly organised. He also said that the West Pakistanis were afraid that their economy would crash without emergency foreign aid. Till this day the country survives on foreign aid, like Bangladesh. Kissinger feared that Yahya might be forced to let East Pakistan (Bangladesh) go if this news leaked out.

Kissinger recommended Give serious assistance to Yahya Khan to end the war and bring about an arrangement which would be transitional to autonomy in Bangladesh. He suggested sending aid to Pakistan so that later the US would be in a position to pressurize Pakistan into adhering to the arangement.

The feedback from Nixon was an instruction not to squeeze Yahya Khan at the moment.

April 29: Memorandum from Haig to President Nixon on relief assistance for East Pakistani refugees in India:

According to the Indians, there are now over 500,000 East Pakistani refugees and they expect their numbers could eventually total one to two million. The magnitude of this problem-coming suddenly as it does-is beyond India’s limited resources.

It is recommended that you approve this $2.5 million modest program of assistance to East Pakistani refugees to be administered through appropriate international and voluntary agencies.*

* President Nixon initialed his approval of the recommendation on April 29. The Embassy in India was informed of the President’s decision in telegram 75479 to New Delhi, May 1.”

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