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Naming The Names -Introducing The War Criminals

Bangladesh News (Voice of the Bangladeshis in Australia)/Dec 16, 1999
Registered as a newspaper in Victoria
Level 10, 459 Little Collins St, Melbourne Vic 3000, Australia
Naming The Names –Introducing The War Criminals (By: Ahmed Ziauddin)

When on 17th April 1973 the Government, for the first time, announced its decision to try 195 Pakistani Prisoners of War for serious crimes, it became clear that it had abandoned its earlier absurd policy to try all Pakistani soldiers and their collaborators. Rhetoric political statement was replaced by pragmatic policy.

The Government, it was revealed, screened these individuals following a special investigation commissioned to identify the major war criminals. This report was never made public, nor the names of the 195 principal planners and executioners of Bangladesh genocide.

In a number of articles on Bangladesh genocide, and in seminars, I have urged publication of that report, which, at least, would reveal the names of the alleged criminals for others to pursue. Although we had fairly good idea about the people involved, but it was rather difficult, until now, to be absolutely certain about the existence of the report.

Recently, sources at Muktijuddher Jadughar, an unique organisation in Bangladesh that devotes itself exclusively on Bangladesh genocide and liberation war, has supplied some documents, which appears to be the long lost report, or at least its part, on the principal war criminals.

This article intends to virtually reproduce the materials, but before its done, a brief background to refresh our memories.

Pakistani soldiers lost on 16th day of Deceber 1971 its eastern part; despite their freehand in prosecuting genocidal war against largely unarmed Bangalee population, hundreds and thousands of its best fighters too surrendered to the Allied Command. Lt.Gen.Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi led his soldiers to put down the arms which were henceforth freely used to keep Pakistan’s integrity. Bangladesh was born and Pakistan disintegrated.

The Government of Bangladesh that led the war of liberation from exile returned to its capital following Pakistan’s defeat. The new government held its first cabinet meeting in liberated Dacca on 23rd December 19971 and was reported that 89.000 regulars of the Pakistan Army have surrendered in Bangladesh and five thousand of them had already been removed to India.

The Home Minister, Mr.A.H.M.Kamruzzaman, declared on 24th December, 1971 that the collaborators would not escape from justice, and a large number of collaborators, including former Governor, Dr.A.M.Malik, and Members of his Cabinet, were officially reported to have been taken in custody.

On 31st December 1971, the cabinet decided to set up an Inquiry Committee to probe into the dimension and extent of genocide committed by the Pakistani army in Bangladesh. The Prime Minister asked the MCAs and Awami League workers to submit data regarding genocide. A Presidential Order providing for the setting up of special tribunals to try collaborators of the Pakistan armed forces was issued.

The Prime Minister, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, declared on 29th January 1972 that his government would not forgive those who were guilty of genocide in Bangladesh. Accordingly, in accordance with the Geneva Convention, the Government decided to set up two tribunals – one for the trial of persons accused of genocide and another for the trial of war criminals.

After the withdrawal in March 1972 of the Indian Army from Bangladesh, the Indian Prime Minister arrived in Dacca. In the public meeting on 17th March at Suhrawardy Uddyan attended by Mrs.Indira Gandhi, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared that the Pakistani Prisoners of War would be handed over to Bangladesh for trial.

The Government then appointed Mr.S.R.Pal and Mr.Serajul Haque (MCA) as Chief Government Prosecutors of the War Crimes Tribunals to try the Pakistani Prisoners of War accused of genocide. Indira Gandhi then on 12th July told in New Delhi that she considered war crimes trial issue to be bilateral matter between Bangladesh and Pakistan. On the eve of the first Victory Day anniversary on 16th December 1972, the Prime Minister reiterated that the trial of war criminals in Bangladesh would be held

Regardless of Government’s repeated pronouncement, the government soon realised impossibility of putting surrendered thousands of Pakistani Army personnel to trial, and on 17th April 1973 announced its decision to try 195 Pakistani Prisoners of War for serious crimes.

(The writer teaches Law at Brussels Catholic University and heads, Bangladesh Centre For Genocide Studies).


Partial list of the war criminals with accusations and charges

Bangladesh News (Voice of the Bangladeshis in Australia)/Dec 16, 1999
Registered as a newspaper in Victoria
Level 10, 459 Little Collins St, Melbourne Vic 3000, Australia
Naming The Names –Introducing The War Criminals (By: Ahmed Ziauddin)
[Excerpt] Following is a partial list of the war criminals with accusations and charges.

Name: Lt.Gen.Niazi
No: PA 477
Post held: Corps Commander, Martial Law Administrator Zone B

Allegations: The accused is alleged to have arrived incognito at least by the 1st of March in Dacca. Thereafter, he participated in a series of high level conferences where the military operations connected with genocide were planned and finalised. His participation was under cover. After he took over as Martial Law Administrator Zone B, the accused made a large number of public statements and issued a large number of orders in respect of the plan of genocide and the military operations connected therewith. He also took upon himself the whole responsibility for all criminal acts by men under his command and indeed for all acts of his troops during the military occupation of Bangladesh. Evidences are available about mass rape and the criminal violation of women by the men under his command. It is alleged that he was personally present on the scene of the systematic murder of Bangalee intellectuals on or about 12th to 16th December, 1971. He is also alleged to have visited the site for the plan of murder of intellectuals in Brahmanbaria prior to the commission of the acts. He is also alleged to have illegally detained at least 50 women and girls in Dacca “for his personal pleasure”.

Proposed charges: Conspiracy to wage aggressive war, conspiracy to commit genocide, conspiracy to commit crime against humanity, complicity in the commission of genocide and war crimes and crimes against humanity. Failure to maintain discipline, false arrests, rape, assault and battery and murder and criminal violation of international agreements.

Name: Major General Rao Farman Ali Khan
No: PA 1364
Post Held: Deputy Martial Law Administrator Zone B (as Brigadier in March 1969 to July 1970); from July 1970 Major General Civil Affairs)

Functions: To use the civil administration for the purpose of Martial Law, screening of civil servants before posting in districts, political appreciation through daily or weekly meetings either with civil officers or intelligence officers and feeding information to military junta in Islamabad.

Allegations: Participation in all secret meetings held by General Yahya Khan from 15th March onwards in Dacca Cantonment. Participation in all military exercises in Bangladesh. His recommendations and formulation of the master plan to eliminate all Bengalee intellectuals and Awami Leaguers and selection of time and date for army crackdown in Bangladesh in executing the master plan.

Proposed charges: Conspiracy to wage a war of aggression, conspiracy to commit genocide and crime against humanity, complicity in the commission of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Execution of plan of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Name: Major General Mohammad Hussain Ansari
No. PA 4404
Post held: Station Commander, Dacca (prior to 25th March 1971). Station Commander, Chittagong, G.O.C. 9th Division, Sub-Martial Law Administrator, Sector III.

Allegations: Evidence indicates that the accused was associated with and participated in planning of the military operations that were launched from 25th March, 1971. He appears to have attended a number of high level staff and operational planning sessions in which the details of the plan of genocide were finalised. In Chittagong, he was associated with and directed the operations designed to eliminate the Bengalee military personnel serving in Chittagong Garrison. When he assumed Command as GOC, 9th Division and Sub-Martial Law Administrator, Section III, he became responsible for a large area comprising Jessore, Jinadah, Barisal, Khulna, Khulna Port, Satkhira, Magura, Kushtia, Faridpur, Chaudanga, Gopalganj, Madaripur, Patuakhali, Bhola and Bagerhat. There is wide evidence of widespread mass atrocities including murder, torture, rape and arson in the area under his control or members of the formation under his command as from July 1971 till surrender.

Proposed charges: Conspiracy to commit genocide and crimes against humanity. Execution and direction of operations in pursuance of the conspiracy to commit genocide, mass murder, torture, rape, arson, false arrest and detention etc.

Name: Colonel M.Yakub Malik
No: PA 3837
Unit: 53 Field Artillery Regiment (53 Brigade 14 Division)
Post held: C.O.

Allegations: His unit was stationed at Comilla even prior to 25th March, 1971 and remained in Bangladesh till surrender. On and between the 25th and 29th March 1971, 300 Bangalee military officers and other ranks were disarmed and detained in Comilla at Brigade Headquarters. In addition, 1600 civilians were also arrested. On the 30th March 1971, batches of 15 and 20 persons from among those detained were taken out and killed in the precincts of Brigade Headquarters. In the same night with the help of petromax light, these bodies of persons killed were buried in mass graves in the cantonment limits. The accused was at all material times in Comilla and on the date of the killings was actually present through the day at Brigade Headquarters where the killings occurred.

Proposed charges: Execution of planned genocide, mass murder, torture, criminal violation of international agreements, false arrest and detention etc.

Name: Lt.Col. A. Shams-ul-Zaman (also known as Col.Shams)
No: PA 4745
Unit: 22 FFR and Infantry Battalion (107 Brigade, 14 Division)
Post: Assistant Sub-Martial Law Administrator (Khulna) till June 1971; Sub-Martial Maw Administrator (Jessore) July 1971.

Allegations: The accused was stationed at Jessore even prior to 25th March 1971. Later, he moved to Khulna and appears to have returned to Jessore. He was at all material times in Bangladesh. There is evidence of widespread atrocities in area Jessore-Khulna. For example, on 4th April 1971, military personnel of Pakistani army, in company strength, went to Chachara Mahalla of Jessore town and opened indiscriminate fire killing 200 persons. From March to May 1971, nearly 2000 persons in batches were brought to Khulna Circuit House, tortured and killed at Forest Ghat which is 200 yards from the Circuit House. During this period, the accused was living in Circuit House and personally inspected the torture chambers.

Proposed charges: Execution of planned genocide, mass murder, torture, criminal violation of international agreements, false arrest and detention, etc.

Name: Major Mohammad Abdullah Khan
No: PTC 5911
Post held: Deputy Sub-Martial Law Administrator, Sub-Sector 12, Brahamanbaria.

Allegations: On 21st November 1971, the accused is alleged to have taken some 50 persons from Brahmanbaria sub-jail and killed them at a place near Pairtala Bridge where subsequently 42 bodies were disinterred. Eyewitness accounts are available. This area was visited by Lt.General Niazi and Major General Majid Khan prior to the murder of intellectuals in Brahmanbaria. Evidence discloses a design to commit genocide in that area.

Proposed charges: Execution of plan of genocide, murder, false arrest, etc.

Name: Major Khurshid Omar
No: PA 4553
Unit: 614 Field Intelligence Unit, Jessore Cantonment.

Allegations: The accused was in-charge of field intelligence unit at Jessore Cantonment at least from March, 1971 till the surrender. He appears to have had responsibility for the collection of political intelligence and submission of intelligence reports of the political situation in that area. He was also in-charge in this connection with the interrogation and screening of Bangalee military and civilian personnel with a view to executing the plan of genocide; At least 900 persons were brought before him, interrogated and in many cases tortured under his order and or supervision. The accused appears to have specialised in devising ingenious instruments of torture.

Proposed charges: Execution of the plan of genocide, murder, torture, false arrest and detention and criminal violation of international law and agreements.

Name: Captain Abdul Wahid
No: PSS 8464
Unit: 30 FF

Allegations: The accused was posted in Dacca city at about the time of military crack down which commenced on the 25th March 1971. Evidence exists of his participation in the acts of murder, loot and arson that were perpetrated on that day in Dacca.

Proposed charges: Murder, loot, arson, failure to maintain discipline.

(The writer teaches Law at Brussels Catholic University and heads, Bangladesh Centre For Genocide Studies).


The Travail of Ashrafuzzaman Khan’s Infamous Diary

By Jamal Hasan

Who’s Ashrafuzzaman Khan? Why is it so important that we now know the content of his dairy? Please be patient and read this write-up. I will let you draw your own conclusion regarding the culpability of this man.

It was the first week of December of 1971 — it was also the final chapter in our nine month long days of fire and blood. Forces under the joint command of our valiant Mukti Bahini and the Indian army had almost encircled Dacca from all directions. But even as all seemed lost for the beleaguered Pakistani armed forces, sinister forces were at work at the Governor’s House determined more than ever to deliver the coup de grâce to the “upstarts” who had refused to accept the fate of a subject race. General Niazi was huddling with his comrade the infamous Major General Rao Farman Ali, and their chief troubleshooter, Major Siddique Salek. They had just received the list they had been expecting from Al-Badr and Al-Shams. Ashrafuzzaman Khan, a commander of the brutal Al-Badr, had just compiled a list of Bengali intellectuals for the “benefit” of the high command in the Governor’s House. It was the list of intellectuals who have been targeted for elimination. The plan was to kill them immediately so that if Bangladesh becomes an independent nation, it will have to make do without those that can contribute significantly to rebuild the infrastructure of the devastated nation. It would be Pakistan’s parting kick to Bangladesh, so to speak.

Many of the Bengali intellectuals listed by Ashrafuzzaman Khan were taken out of their homes in the dead of night in that eventful week of December in 1971. Needless to say, none of them lived to see the light of day. Even in the moment of their defeat, Generals Niazi and Ali must have relished the thought that they have forced Bangladesh to pay an extremely heavy price for its independence. It must have given them no little pleasure to imagine that Bangladesh will fall apart in no time without the services of so many of its leading intellectuals.

Bangladesh was liberated on December 16, 1971. Unfortunately, it took longer than it should have taken for the new administration to attend to its tasks. By the time the investigators arrived at the residence of Ashrafuzzaman Khan, he had fled. However, in haste, he had left behind a crucial piece of evidence. The investigators rummaging through his leftover items managed to recover that piece of the puzzle from his house. They found Ashrafuzzaman Khan’s diary. In it was that infamous list of intellectuals in his own handwriting. It was indeed a gruesome find that shocked the people. Ashrafuzzaman Khan was a wanted man. Photos of the suspect were posted in all Bangladeshi newspapers. People were urged to apprehend the criminal. But all this was too late. Ashrafuzzaman had managed to flee not just his residence, but his country as well by the time the search was on for his arrest.

Today, Ashrafuzzaman Khan leads an active life of all places in New York. He has assumed a role of leadership in the Islamic movement in the city. Ashrafuzzaman Khan is now the President of the Islamic Circle of North America. I was reminded anew of his terrible past as I read a recent issue of the Washington Post (November 1, 1999). It carried a statement by Ashrafuzzaman Khan on the tragic Egypt air accident. Ashrafuzzaman Khan was quoted as saying, “Sometimes, we face that we are helpless…. another man lost his parents. Nobody knows anything. Everybody is sad. But we have to put our faith in God.” This is coming from the man whose infamous list had left so many children without their fathers in that fateful week in December of 1971. What an irony it is that this conspirator par excellence of Bangalee intellectual killings in 1971, is now a dyed-in-the-wool humanist, after all these years! But, is he a humanist? No. He is just a wolf in sheep’s skin. That is what he is!

We, Bangladeshis, seem to be singularly devoid of self-esteem. Bangladesh had failed miserably to bring the war criminals to justice after the surrender of Generals Niazi and Ali on 16th December 1971. And today, Sheikh Hasina seems to be more interested in pursuing only those that had killed her kith and kin on 15th August 1975. No one seems interested to bring the killers of 1971 to justice. To me, this is the greatest travesty of justice in Bangladesh.

Of course, Ashrafuzzman Khan hasn’t quite been allowed to forget his criminal past. A few years ago, Shahriar Kabir, a leader of Ghatok Dalal Nirmul (Efface the killers and conspirators) Committee exposed the whereabouts of Ashrafuzzaman Khan who, needless to say, stoutly denies any wrongdoing. But editions of the directory of collaborators, “Ekatturer Ghatok Dalal Kay Kothai” (Where are the killers and conspirators of 1971?”) continues to carry Ashrafuzzaman Khan’s photo together with a print of the pages of his infamous diary.

The Nirmul (Efface) Committee has branches in almost all States of USA. Most of the members were very active under the leadership of Shaheed Janani Jahanara Imam. They had even sent a lawyer to assist the prosecution during the epoch making People’s Trial of Prof. Golam Azam and his cohorts. When will they go after Ashrafuzzaman Khan? In America, it shouldn’t be too difficult to force a war criminal to answer in a court of law. The million-dollar question is — who will bell the cat?

Jamal Hasan writes from Washington, DC. His email address is:

“Genocide’71 – an account of the killers and collaborators”, Published in Dhaka, Page 189: Segment where Ashrafuzzaman Khan (now in New York, and head of Queens branch of ICNA) is cited.

Similarly, Saudi Arabia is serving as a sanctuary for some of the leading Al-Badrs (leaders of death squads in 1971). Here we would like to give the example of Ashrafuzzaman Khan, one of the Al-Badr high command. Ashrafuzzaman Khan, was one of the chief Al-Badr executioners. It has been clearly proved that he himself shot to death 7 teachers of the Dhaka University in the killing fields at Mirpur. A certain Mofizzuddin, who drove the vehicle which took these helpless victims of Ashrafuzzaman to Mirpur, has clearly identified Ashrafuzzaman as the “chief executer” of the intellectuals.

After Liberation, Ashrafuzzaman’s personal diary was recovered from 350 Nakhal Para where he resided. On two pages of the diary, the names of 19 teachers of the University have been entered, as well as their addresses in the University quarters. The name of the Dhaka University Medical Officer, Mohammad Murtaza, has also been noted down in this diary. Of these 20 persons, eight were missing on December 14: Munier Chowdhury (Bengali), Dr. Abul Khair (History), Ghiasuddin Ahmed (History), Rashidul Hasan (English), Dr. Faizul Mohi (I. E. R) Dr. Munaza (Medical Officer).

From the confession of Mofizuddin, it has been learned that Ashrafuzzaman shot these people with his own hands. As a result of Mofizuddin’s confession, the decomposed bodies of these unfortunate teachers were recovered from the marshes of Rayer Bazar and the mass grave at Shiyal Bari at Mirpur. There were other names in the diary including the following: Dr. Wakil Ahmed (Bengali), Dr. Nilima Ibrahim (Bengali), Dr. Latif (I. E. R), Dr. Maniruzzaman (Geography), K. M. Saaduddin (Sociology), A. M. M. Shahidullah (Mathematics), Dr. Sirajul Islam (Islamic History), Dr. Akhtar Ahmed (Education), Zahirul Huq (Psychology), Ahsanul Huq (English), Serajul Islam Chowdbury (English), and Kabir Chowdhury.

On another page of the diary there were the names of 16 collaborating teachers of the University. Apart from these there were also the names of Chowdbury Moinuddin, the man in charge of the operation to kill intellectuals, Showkat Imran, a member of the central Al-Badr command, and the head of the Dhaka Badr forces.

Apart from the names of the slain intellectuals, the diary also contained the names and addresses of several other Bengalis. All of them lost their lives at the hands of the Al-Badr. On a small piece of paper the name of the Member Finance of the Pakistan Jute Board, Abdul Khaleq, had been written down, along with the name of his father, his Dhaka address, as well as his permanent address. On December 9, 1971, the Al-Badr took away Abdul Khaleq from his office. They demanded Taka 10,000 as ransom. The Al-Badr then went to Abdul Khaleq’s house carrying a letter from him in which he asked that the money be paid to his kidnappers. Abdul Khaleq’s wife was unable to give more than Taka 450 at the time. She promised that she would give them the rest of the money later, and pleaded with them to return her husband. But Abdul Khaleq never came back.

Ashrafuzzaman has also been implicated in the murder of some journalists. It was Ashrafuzzaman who kidnapped the shift-in- charge of the Purbodesh, and the Literary Editor, A. N. M. Gholam Mustafa.

Ashrafuzzaman Khan, was a member of the Central Committee of the Islami Chhatra Sangha. After liberation he went to Pakistan. At present he is employed in Radio Pakistan.
Update: Since publication of this book, Ashrafuzzaman Khan has moved to New York and now heads the Queens branch of ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America)


Tikka Khan

Tikka KhanTikka Khan (b. 1915 d. March 28, 2002) was Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff from March 1972–March 1976).

Raja Tikka Khan was born in the village of Jochha Mamdot in Kahuta Tehsil near Rawalpindi, in 1915 (in what was then British India). He was a graduate of the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun, and was commissioned in 1939.

He fought in World War II as part of the Indian Army, and was injured on multiple occasions during the fighting. He was in action in numerous battles on both the Burmese and Italian fronts. He was also a prisoner of war for more than two years during the war, before he and his fellow troops escaped.

After his return from World War II, Khan was an instructor at the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun for some time. During the independence, Major Tikka Khan remained in what is now Pakistan, and became an officer in the Pakistan Army.

After Independence, he served in only one Artillery Regiment of Royal Pakistan Artillery, where he raised and commanded the first post partition Medium Regiment of Royal Pakistan Artillery, i.e., 12 Medium Regiment Artillery.

He was promoted to the rank of Major General in 1962.

Between the wars

Tikka Khan was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General in 1969. He was also the commander IV Corps at Lahore during the same time, a time when he earned a reputation of being a tough administrator and strict disciplinarian. Lahore’s Fortess Stadium was constructed under General Tikka Khan’s tenure as corps commander.

1971 Crisis

The 1970 elections in East Pakistan and West Pakistan resulted in a situation where Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Awami League won most of the seats (160 out of 300) whereas Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) won 81 seats. In the crisis that followed he was sent out by General Yahya Khan of Pakistan to put down unrest swelling in East Pakistan. Tikka took over Eastern Command (equivalent to a Corps) on 7 March 1971 after the previous commander Lt Gen Sahabzada Yaqub Khan resigned. Because of his role in the ensuing Operation Searchlight and Bangladesh Liberation War that began on 25 March 1971, Tikka is referred to as the “Butcher of Bengal” by Bangladeshis. He was the leading commander of the II Corps responsible for the defence on the Western front of the War in 1971. After a brief but notable stay at East Pakistan, he was then posted as the first commander II Corps at Multan and commanded through the actual Indo-Pakistan conflict in December.

Tikka was later superseded by Lt Gen Gul Hassan Khan, when he was selected as the Commander-in-Chief in December 1971.

Post retirement

Tikka Khan’s tenure ended in March 1976, and he was later appointed Defence Minister by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq’s July 1977 coup led to the arrest of both Bhutto and General Tikka Khan. Bhutto was executed in 1979, after which General Tikka Khan emerged as one of the leaders of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), becoming its Secretary General, during a time when many party stalwarts abandoned it. General Tikka was imprisoned numerous times for his political activities during the late 1970s and 1980s, until Zia-ul-Haq died in August 1988 in an airplane explosion over Bahawalpur. General Tikka Khan was appointed the Governor of Pakistan’s largest province, the Punjab, in December 1988. His tenure as the Governor was cut short by the dismissal of the Benazir Bhutto government in August 1990, after which he retired from active politics. During his tenure as Chief he directly influenced an entire generation of military personnel, imbuing in them qualities of professionalism and military duty.

Later life and death

General Tikka Khan died on March 28, 2002 after several years of illness. He received a state burial with full military honors and his funeral was attended by thousands of people, including the entire top brass of the Pakistan Army. In a message to the General’s son, Col. Khalid M. Khan, Benazir Bhutto, who had spent many years campaigning with the General, remembered him as a person who, “rose to the highest offices of this country due to his hard work and respect for the rule of law.”

From Wikipedia

Major General Rao Farman Ali Khan

Major General Rao Farman Ali Khan (1923 – January 21, 2004). He took commission in an artillery regiment in 1942 and later commanded the 26 Field Regiment. He was the artillery commander in East Pakistan from where he was promoted to the rank of Maj Gen in 1970 and was then the adviser to the governor of East Pakistan. During his tenure of services in East Pakistan in 1971, he was allegedly involved in the genocide and killing of the Bengali intellectuals. During his military career he was the Director General of Military Training and of Military Operations in the General Headquarters.

Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report

The Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report (HCR), denied the involvement of Pakistan army personnel in the murders of Bengalis. Gen. Farman Ali categorically denied the charge levelled against him that he had 200 intellectuals killed. The Bengali’s claimed these killings occurred on December 14, and not on December 16 of 1971, as General Farman contends. While the latter accepts that a sizeable number of corpses were found on the morning of December 17, he maintains that Pakistani army personnel could not have conducted the killings since they had already surrendered on December 16. According to Maj. Gen. Farman Ali on December 9 or 10, 1971, he was summoned by Maj. Gen. Jamshed to Peelkhana. On reaching the headquarters he says, he saw a large number of vehicles parked there. Maj. Gen. Jamshed was getting into a car and asked Maj. Gen. Farman Ali to come along. On the way, Gen. Jamshed informed Gen. Farman that they were thinking of arresting certain people. Gen. Farman Ali maintains he advised against it. On reaching General Niazi’s headquarters he says, he repeated his advice, but neither Gen. Niazi nor Gen. Jamshed responded. Gen. Farman Ali states that he does not know what transpired after he left, but he thinks no further action was taken.

Rao on Mukti Bahini and General Niazi

In his book, How Pakistan got divided , Maj. Gen. Rao Farman does express the fear that “orders countermanding the earlier orders were perhaps not issued and some people were arrested. I do not till this day know where they were kept. Perhaps they were confined in an area which was guarded by mujahids. The corps or the Dacca garrison commander lost control over them after surrender and they ran away out of fear of the Mukti Bahini who were mercilessly killing mujahids. The detained persons might have been killed by Muktis or even by the Indian army to give the Pakistan army a bad name. Dacca had already been taken over by the Indians.

Maj. Gen. Rao Farman Ali, Adviser to the Governor of East Pakistan said, in (HCR) regarding General Niazi”Harrowing tales of rape, loot, arson, harassment, and of insulting and degrading behaviour were narrated in general terms…. I wrote out an instruction to act as a guide for decent behaviour and recommended action required to be taken to win over the hearts of the people. This instruction under General Tikka Khan’s signature was sent to Eastern Command. I found that General Tikka’s position was also deliberately undermined and his instructions ignored…excesses were explained away by false and concocted stories and figures.

Rao’s controversial letter and diary

The Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, made a formal complaint with Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto at Dacca on Friday, the June 28, 1974 that Maj Gen Rao Farman Ali had written on Government stationery that “The green of East Pakistan will have to be painted red.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman promised to supply a copy of this document to the Government of Pakistan. The insinuation was that this writing amounted to a written declaration of the intentions of the Pakistani Army and the martial law administration in East Pakistan to indulge in large-scale bloodshed in order to suppress the movement for Bangladesh. This writing was put forward as a proof of the killings alleged to have been carried out in East Pakistan during the military operations.

Maj. Gen. Farman Ali explained the significance of this writing and the circumstances under which it came to be made by him. He stated that the words “the green of East Pakistan will have to be painted red” were uttered by one of the NPA leaders in Paltan Maidan, Dacca, now called Dhaka in a public speech during June 1970. The Martial Law headquarters thought that these words had been uttered by Mr Mohammad Toha of the NAP, and the General was asked to call for the explanation of Mr Toha and warn him not to say things prejudicial to public peace. To remind himself he wrote these words down on the back of his table diary, when they were repeated to him on telephone by Lt. Gen. Sahabzada Yakub Khan, the then Zonal Martial Law administrator in East Pakistan. Toha later denied having uttered these words and mentioned the names of Qazi Zafar and Rashid Menon in this connection. As these gentlemen had gone underground, General Farman Ali could not take any further action against them. The General further explained that as Mr Toha and his associates had communist leanings, these words were intended to convey their conviction and objective that East Pakistan would be turned into a communist state, and not that there would be bloodshed. Finally, Maj. Gen. Farman Ali has stated that he did not give any importance to this note and it must have fallen into the hands of his Bengali Personal Assistant, when the diary for the year 1970 was replaced at the close of that year.

Doubts on Rao’s version of 1971

He served in Dhaka cantonment for more than a decade and was involved in intelligence gathering, making strategic decisions and formulating policies. He was also involved in buying Bengali politicians to subvert nationalist movements. He was in charge of the civil administration, knew about Bangladesh more than his peers.

In the book ‘The Betrayal of East Pakistan‘, General Niazi described General Farman as an opportunist, a conspirator and a swindler. Niazi also said, implicating Farman’s involvement in the killing of the intellectuals, that Farman requested Niazi to send him back to Pakistan, for, “Mukti Bahini would kill him of his alleged massacre of the Bangalees and intellectuals on the night of 15-16 December. It was a pathetic sight to see him pale and almost on the verge of break down“.

When asked about Farman’s refusal to admit his involvement in the killing of the intellectuals Brigadier Siddique Saliq, another senior military officer during the war, said,” ….He (Farman) was the major general in charge of civil administration. As such nothing would happen which he would not know?…“.

In The Separation of East Pakistan, Mr Hasan Zahir, a Pakistani civil servant wrote: “ Major General Farman Ali was the executioner of Dhaka part of ‘Operation Searchlight’. He succeeded in ‘shock action’ by concentrated and indiscriminate firing on target areas…….

Brigadier Siddique Saliq in his book, Witness to Surrender, wrote,”The plan for operation Searchlight-1 visualized the setting up of two headquarters. Major General Farman with 57 Brigade under Brigadier Arbab, was responsible for operations in Dacca city and its suburbs while Major General Khadim Raja was to look after the rest of the province. In addition Lieutenant General Tikka Khan and his staff were to spend the night at the Martial Law Headquarters in the Second Capital to watch the progress of action in and outside Dacca…..

Mr Altaf Gohar, recounted an incident from his memory. One of Gohar’s friends told him that a hit list had been drawn up for elimination of certain Bangalis. A friend of his was also in the list and he requested Gohar if he could do something to save his friend. Gohar then took the matter to one of his close friends who was a common friend with Farman. Gohar’s friend met with Farman and requested him to drop the name from his hit list. ” Farman took, said Gaohar’s friend, a diary out of his drawer and crossed the name out. The name was of Mr Sanaul Huq and he was spared.” After civil war of 1971 Farman’s diary was recovered from the ruins of the Governor’s house. The copy of a page from the diary shows the list of intellectuals from Dhaka University. 14 of them were killed on 14 December, 1971.

It is said that Rao Farman suffered from the purity complex, where he believed that due to the Hindu influence, Bengalis were not pure Muslims. Farman firmly believed that the impurities of the Bengalis could have been mended if they were absolved of the Hindu influence.

Maj. Gen. Rao Farman Ali died in 2004 after a brief illness. He was 82.

From Wikipedia

Zulfiker Ali Bhuttos speech in UN Security Council on December 15, 1971

December 15: UN Security Council

We have met here today at a grave moment in the history of my country and I would request the Council kindly to bear with me and to hear the truth, the bitter truth. I know the United Nations; I know the Security Council I have attended their sessions before. The time has come when, as far as Pakistan is concerned, we shall have to speak the truth whether members of the Council like it or not. We were hoping that the Security Council, mindful of its responsibilities for the maintenance of world peace and justice, would act according to principles and bring an end to a naked, brutal aggression against my people. I came here for this reason. I was needed by the people of Pakistan, and when I was leaving Pakistan I. was in two minds whether: to go to the Security Council to represent the cause of my country, to represent the cause of a people that had been subjected to aggression, or to remain with my people, by their side, while they were being subjected to attack and violence. However, I felt that it was imperative for me to come here and seek justice from the Security Council. But I must say, whether the members like it or not, that the Security Council has denied my country that justice. From the moment I arrived we have been subjected to dilatory tactics.

It will be recalled that when the Indian Foreign Minister spoke and I spoke after him, I said that filibustering was taking place. That was my immediate observation. The Security Council, I am afraid, has excelled; in the art of filibustering, not only on substance but also on procedural matters. With some cynicism, I watched yesterday a full hour of the Security Council’s time wasted on whether the members of the Council would be ready to meet at 9.30 a.m. or that bed and breakfast required that they should meet at 11 a.m.

The representative of Somalia referred to the population of East Pakistan as 56 million, but later on he corrected himself to say that the population of Bengal-of Muslim Bengal-was 76 million. If he had waited for a few more days he need not have corrected himself because millions are dying, and it would have come to 56 million if the Council had kept on filibust ering and discussing whether it should meet today or tomorrow or the day after tomorrow-whether the lines of communication between New York and Moscow and Peking and other capitals would permit the members to obtain new instructions. Thus, we could have gone on and on. That is why I requested you, Mr. President, to convene a meeting of the Security Council immediately and I am thankful to you for having convened this meeting, because precious time is being lost. My countrymen, my people, are dying. So I think I can facilitate your efforts if I speak now. Perhaps this will be my last speech in the Security Council. So please bear with me because -I have some home truths to tell the Security Council. The world must know. My people must know. I have not come here to accept abject surrender. If the Security Council wants me to be a party to the legalization of abject surrender, then I say that under no circumstances shall it be so. Yesterday my eleven year old son telephoned me from Karachi and said “Do not come back with a document of surrender. We do not want to see you back in Pakistan if you do that.” I will not take back a document of surrender from the Security Council. I will not be a party to the legalization of aggression.

The Security Council has failed miserably, shamefully. “The Charter of the United Nations,” “the San Francisco Conference,” “international peace and justice”-these are the words we heard in our youth, and we were inspired by the concept of the United Nations maintaining international peace and justice and security. President Woodrow Wilson said that he fought the First World War to end wars for all time. The League of Nations came into being, and then the United Nations after it. What has the United Nations done? I know of the farce and the fraud of the United Nations. They come here and say, “Excellence, Excellence, comment allez-vous?” and all that. “A very good speech-you have spoken very well, tres bien.” We have heard all these things. The United Nations resembles those fashion houses which hide ugly realities by draping ungainly figures in alluring apparel. The concealment of realities is common to both but the ugly realities cannot remain hidden. You do not need a Secretary-General. You need a chief executioner.

Let us face the stark truth. I have got no stakes left for the moment. That is why I am speaking the truth from my heart. For four days we have been deliberating here. For four days the Security Council has procrastinated. Why? Because the object was for Dacca to fall. That was the object. It was quite clear to me from the beginning. All right, so what if Dacca falls? Cities and countries have fallen before. They have come under foreign occupation. China was under foreign occupation for years. Other countries have been under foreign occupation. France was under foreign occupation. Western Europe was under foreign occupation. So what if Dacca falls? So what if the whole of East Pakistan falls? So what if the whole of West Pakistan falls? So what if our state is obliterated? We will build a new Pakistan. We will build a better Pakistan. We will build a greater Pakistan.

The Security Council has acted short-sightedly by acquiescing in these dilatory tactics. You have reached a point when we shall say, “Do what you like.” If this point had not been reached we could have made a commit ment. We could have said, “All right, we are prepared to do some things.” Now why should we? You want us to be silenced by guns. Why should we say that we shall agree to anything? Now you decide what you like. Your decision will not be binding on us. You can decide what you like. If you had left us a margin of hope, we might have been a party to some settlement.

But the Indians are so short-sighted. Mr. President, you referred to the “distinguished” Foreign Minister of India. What may I ask is so “distin guished” about a policy of aggression he is trying to justify. How is he distinguished when his hands are full of blood, when his heart is full of venom? But you know they do not have vision.

The partition of India in 1947 took place because they did. not have vision. Now also they are lacking in vision. They talk about their ancient civilization and the mystique of India and all that. But they do not have vision at all. If I had been in his place, I would have acted differently. I extended a hand of friendship to him the other day. He should have seen what I meant. I am not talking as a puppet. I am talking as the authentic leader of the people of West Pakistan who elected me at the polls in a more impressive victory than the victory that Mujibur Rahman received in East Pakistan, and he should have taken cognizance of that. But he did not take cognizance of it. We could have opened a new page, a new chapter in our relations.

As I said, if the French and the Germans can come to terms, why cannot India and Pakistan come to terms? If the Turks and the Greeks can still talk sensibly as civilized people over Cyprus, why cannot India and Pakistan do likewise? If the Soviet Union and the United States can open a new page in their history, if China and the United States can open a new page in their history, why can we not usher a new era in. our relations? We could have done so. But as it was said about the 1967 Arab-Israel war, the military victory of Israel made it more difficult for Israel and the Arabs to reach a settlement. If you want to subjugate Pakistan militarily, you will find it more difficult to bring peace. I say that the choice for us is either to accept living in the-same subcontinent and co-operating for peace and progress, or to be implacable enemies of each other forever.

The Permanent Representative of the Soviet Union does not like my reference to the Roman Empire. I do not know what objection he has to it, unless he sees some similarity between his empire and the Roman Empire. I do not really see why he had any objection to that. But I shall again refer to the Roman Empire, and I hope that the Permanent Representative of the Soviet Union will have no objection to it because we want to have good relations with the Soviet Union and we want to open a new chapter with the Soviet Union because we are neighbors. I go back to the Roman Empire and I say what Cato said to the Romans, “Carthage must be destroyed.” If India thinks that it is going to subjugate Pakistan, Eastern Pakistan as well as Western Pakistan-because we are one people, we are one state- then we shall say, “Carthage must be destroyed.” We shall tell our children and they will tell their children that Carthage must be destroyed.

So please, Mr. President and members of the Security Council, realize the implications. The Pakistani nation is a brave nation. One of the greatest British generals said that the best infantry fighters in the world are the Pakistanis. We will fight. We will fight for a thousand years, if it comes to that. So do not go by momentary military victories. Stalingrad was over whelmed. Leningrad was besieged for a thousand days. People who want to be free and who want to maintain their personality will fight and will continue to fight for principles.

We were told about the realities; to accept the realities. What are the realities? Realities keep changing, the Permanent Representative of the Soviet Union knows that once the reality was that the Nazis were out side the gates of Moscow, but you fought valiantly, bravely, and the world saluted the Soviet Union for having resisted the realities that were sought to be imposed on it. The reality was that China was under the occupation of Japan, that Manchuria was taken-half of China. That was the reality. Since the Opium War, China has seen reality. The reality for France was that it was under occupation. But there were great men like President de Gaulle who left France and fought from across the seas. Ethiopia was under Fascist domination. But the Ethiopians fought. The Emperor of Ethiopia left his country and sought asylum in Britain. Ethiopia is free today. The realities that matter are those which are not temporary phenomena which are rooted in historic principles. The principle is that Pakistan is an indepen dent, sovereign state which came into being because of the volition of its people. That is the basic reality which has existed for 24 years. Pakistan would not have faced dismemberment like this if it had not been attacked by another country. This is not an internal movement. We have been subjected to attack by a militarily powerful neighbor. Who says that the new reality arose out of free will? Had there been the exercise of free will, India would not have attacked Pakistan. If India talks about the will of the people of East Pakistan and claims that it had to attack Pakistan in order to impose the will of the people of East Pakistan, then what has it done about Kashmir? East Pakistan is an integral part of Pakistan. Kashmir is a disputed territory. Why does India then not permit it to exercise its will?

But yesterday I saw how the Security Council was pandering to India. Even the great powers are pandering to India, saying to us, “Do not misunderstand,” “Would you please let us know” and “Would you please answer the following questions; I am not insisting on those questions, but if you do not mind.” India is intoxicated today with its military successes.

I told the Indian Permanent Representative in 1967 that we wanted good relations between the two countries-but based on principles, based on justice, based on equity, not based on exploitation and domination, because such relations cannot be lasting. What we want is a lasting, a permanent solution. I do not say this just today; I said that in 1967 to their Permanent Representative who was then the High Commissioner of India to Pakistan. I said that to the Foreign Minister of India when we were negotiating on Kashmir, “Let us settle this problem on the basis of equity and justice, so that we can live as good neighbors.” And I add today: we can still live as good neighbors, as friends. Do not wipe out that possibility by military conquest and military power.

This has been the worst form of aggression, of naked aggression. Even Poland was not invaded by Germany in this fashion. Even in that case there were some pretences, some excuses that were made. Here the excuse was, “We have refugees, so we must invade another country.” We said, “We are prepared to take those refugees back.” If we had said, “We arc not prepared to take them back,” then you could have said, “Well, you will be sunk.” India’s population rises by 13 million a year. The number of refugees was alleged to be 9 million, 10 million. According to our estimate they were 5 million. But that is not important; figures are not important. The point is that we were prepared to take them back. If India’s population can grow by 13 million a year, then with all the aid and assistance that India was getting for the refugees, it could have held on for a short period till Pakistan had a civilian government to negotiate the return of the refugees. I told the United States Ambassador in Pakistan that once a civilian govern ment came into power in Pakistan, was prepared to go to the refugee camps myself to talk to them. But India pre-empted it all because the refugee problem was used as a pretext to dismember my country. The refugee problem was used as a pretext, an ugly, crude pretext, a shameful pretext to invade my country, to invade East Pakistan.

The great powers will forgive me. I have addressed them in this moment of anguish, and they should understand. The great powers or the super powers-the super-duper-powers, the razzling-dazzling powers-the super powers have imposed their super will for the moment. But I am thankful to the people and the Government of the United States among the super powers, for the position it has taken. The people of the United States, to some extent have been misled by massive Indian propaganda. Because we had no paraphernalia of popular administration and government in Pakistan, there was a political vacuum. The Indians took advantage of that political vacuum and they spread out fast to project their point of view. As a result, American public opinion and public opinion in Great Britain and France and other countries was influenced. Unfortunately, nothing was said of the massacres that took place between 1 March and 25 March. No doubt there were mistakes on our side. I said yesterday that mistakes were made, and the Permanent Representative of the Soviet Union said that I had admitted mistakes. Well, that is not a sign of weakness, is it? Do we not all make mistakes? Are India and the Soviet Union the only two countries that have never made mistakes? I have made mistakes personally. But mistakes do not mean that my country must be destroyed, that my country must be dismembered. That is not the consequence of mistakes of government. Which government does not make mistakes? But if some government has made a mistake, does it-follow that the country itself must be dismembered, obliterated? Is that going to be the conclusion of the Security Council if it legalizes Indian aggression on the soil of Pakistan?

So you will see now: this is not the end of the road, this is the beginning of the road; this is not the end of the chapter, a new chapter has begun a new page has been written in international relations. This is gunboat diplomacy in its worst form. In a sense, it makes the Hitlerite aggression pale into insignificance because Hitlerite aggression was not accepted by the world. If the world is going to endorse this aggression, it will mean a new and most unfortunate chapter in international relations. A new chapter may have begun in India and Pakistan, but please do not start a new dreadful chapter in international relations. For us, it is a hand-to-hand, day-to-day, minute-to-minute fight. But do not do that to the rest of the world. Please do not permit this kind of naked, shameful barbaric aggression to hold sway. In the old days great warriors swept over the world-Changiz Khan, Subutai Khan, Alexander, Caesar, coming down to the great Napoleon. But this is worse, this is much worse than all that was done by the great conquerors of the world in the past. If the United Nations becomes a party to this kind of conquest, it will be much worse than all that has been done in the past. You will be turning the medium-sized and the small countries into the harlots of the world. You cannot do that. It is against civilized concepts: it is against all the rules of civilization and of international morality and justice.

The United States Government was criticized for supporting the position of Pakistan. What crime has the United States Government committed? It has taken a position identical to that of the whole world on the India-Pakistan conflict. That position was supported by 105 countries-it was 104 officially, but it was really 105 because one representative did not press the right button. That was the voice of the world. It was an international referendum. You talk about the election of 1970. Well, I am proud of the election of 1970 because my party emerged as the strongest party in West Pakistan. But here was an international poll and India flouted it. With such an attitude towards international opinion, how can India pretend to be sensitive to a national election in another country? The same India that refuses to hold a referendum in Kashmir?

The Permanent Representative of the Soviet Union talked about realities. Mr. Permanent Representative of the Soviet Union look at this reality. I know that you are the representative of a great country. You behave like one. The way you throw out your chest, the way you thump the table. you do not talk like Comrade Malik; you talk like Czar Malik. I see you are smiling. Well, I am not because my heart is bleeding. We want to be friends, but this is not the way to be friends when my country is decimated, sought to be destroyed, wiped out.

Why should China and the United States be criticized when the whole world is for Pakistan? You know that we have won a great political victory. We might have suffered a military defeat, but a political victory is more important than a military defeat because political victory is permanent while military defeat is temporary. The United States Government has acted according to its great traditions by supporting Pakistan, and I. will go to the people of the United States before I return home and tell them the truth. The United States has stood by the traditions of Jefferson, Madison. Hamilton, right down to Roosevelt and Wilson by supporting Pakistan as an independent state, its national integrity and its national unity. What wrong and crime has the United States committed? Why is the Indian delegation so annoyed with the United States? The Indian delegation is annoyed with U.S.-can you imagine that? If it had not been for the massive food assistance that the United States gave to India, India would have had starvation; its millions would have died. What hope will India give to the people of East Pakistan? What picture of hope is it going to give when its own people in Western Bengal sleep in the streets, where there is terrible poverty, where there is terrible injustice and exploitation, when the parlia mentary rule in West Bengal has been superseded by presidential rule? Is India going to do better for East Pakistan, for Muslim Bengal, than it has done for West Bengal? Thousands of West Bengali people sleep in the streets of Calcutta. The people of West Bengal are the poorest. India goes hat in hand to the United States for six million tons of food. If they are going to impose presidential-rule in West Bengal, in their Bengal, how can they do any better in our Bengal? They will not. And time will show that they will not.

So the United States has taken a correct and moral position. Thomas Jefferson once said, “I have sworn eternal hostility against any form of tyranny practiced over the mind of man”. This is a vast form of tyranny practiced over the mind of man and over the body of man. So the United States has adhered to its tradition. And if some misguided Senators were here, some young, misguided Senators who have been overtaken by Indian propaganda-and if the Permanent Representative of the United States were not from Texas-I would have told those young Senators that I was setting up the headquarters for a republic of Texas and making the former President-of the United States, Lyndon Johnson, the chief of that republic, in order to spread the cult of Bangladesh everywhere. Why can Texas not be free? Let there be a republic of Texas. We did not buy Bengal as Alaska was bought by the United States. We did not pay money to get our territory. We did not pay dollars to acquire territory. The people of the United States should appreciate the position taken by their Government.

Muslim Bengal was a part of Pakistan of its free will, not through money. We did not buy it as Alaska was purchased. Why do the people of the United States not see that? And we are beholden and thankful to the great People’s Republic of China. We shall always remain thankful for the position it has taken. It has taken a position based on principles of justice. And I thank the Third World for having supported a just cause, a right cause.

And now in the Security Council we have been frustrated by a veto. Let us build a monument to the veto, a big monument to the veto. Let us build a monument to the impotence and incapacity of the Security Council and the General Assembly. As you sow, so shall you reap. Remember that Biblical saying. Today, it is Pakistan. We are your guinea pigs today. But there will be other guinea pigs and you will see what happens. You will see how the chain of events unfolds itself. You want us to lick the dust. We are not going to lick the dust.

Britain and France have abstained from voting in order to play a role. I said the other day, with all due respect to those two great powers, that they have really exhausted their position in trying to play a role because now the only role they can play is to accept a shameless fait accompli. Britain and France abstained, and that abstention has cost us dearly. Gallic logic and Anglo-Saxon experience, whatever it is, have cost us dearly. If Britain and France had put their powerful weight behind the international community rather than sitting on the fence, the issue might have been different. There is no such animal as a neutral animal. You take positions. In that respect we admire the Soviet Union; it took a position, a wrong position, but it took a position. You have to take a position on these matters. You have to be either on the side of justice or on the side of injustice; you are either on the side of justice or on the side of injustice; you have to be either on the side of the aggressor or of the victim. There is no third road. It is a black and white situation in these matters; there is no grey involved. You are either for right or you are for wrong; you are either for justice or for injustice; you are either for aggression or for the victim. If the United Kingdom and France had earlier put their full weight behind the verdict of the inter­national community, I think that we would not have reached this position. But Great Britain and France want to come back into the subcontinent as Clive and Dupleix, in a different role, the role of peacemakers. They want a foot here and they want a foot there. I know that British interests in East Pakistan required this kind of opportunistic role because in East Pakistan they have their tea estates. They want the jute of East Pakistan. So that is why they sat on the fence. And I am sorry at France’s position because with France we had developed very good relations, extremely good relations. But they took this position. And now, today, neither Britain nor France can play a role because their resolution has been overtaken by events. There is a lot of goodwill for France in Pakistan, and they will not get the same goodwill in East Pakistan because in East Pakistan already the clock is now moving in another direction. Everyday that the Indian Army of occupation stays there, it will be a grim reminder for Muslim Bengal that they are under Hindu occupation, and you will see the result of it. You will see how it will turn out. Let them stay-why not? Let them stay. Let them swagger around. If they want to take East Pakistan, let them stay as an army of occupation. They are an army of occupation; how can they be called liberators? They will stay, and they will see how the clock is going to move in a different direction.

Finally, I am not a rat. I have never ratted in my life. I have faced assassination attempts, I have faced imprisonments. I have always confront ed crises. Today I am not ratting, but I am leaving your Security Council. I find it disgraceful to my person and to my country to remain here a moment longer than is necessary. I am not boycotting. Impose any decision, have a treaty worse than the Treaty of Versailles, legalize aggression, legalize occupation, legalize everything that has been illegal upto 15 December 1971. I will not be a party to it. We will fight; we will go back and fight. My country beckons me. Why should I waste my time here in the Security Council? I will not be a party to the ignominious surrender of a part of my country. You can take your Security Council. Here you are. I am going.

Via Doc Kazi

নারী মুক্তিযোদ্ধাদের মূল্যায়ন হয়নি

যুগান্তর, আগস্ট ২৫, ২০০৮

– ফারহানা রেজা

দেখতে দেখতে এক এক করে সাঁইত্রিশটি বছর পেরিয়ে গেল। প্রতি বছর স্বাধীনতা ও বিজয় দিবসে মুক্তিযুদ্ধ ও মুক্তিযোদ্ধাদের নাম স্মরণ করি আমরা। একটি বিশেষ দিবস উদযাপনের অনুষঙ্গ হিসেবেই মুক্তিযোদ্ধাদের নিয়ে স্মৃতিচারণই হয়ে ওঠে মুখ্য বিষয়। স্বাধীনতা দিবস ও বিজয় দিবসকে কেন্দ্র করে আমরা যারা পত্রপত্রিকায় টিভি ক্যামেরায় নিজের চেহারা দেখানোর প্রতিযোগিতায় নামি তারা কি কখনও ভেবে দেখেছি সাঁইত্রিশ বছর অতিক্রান্ত হওয়ার পরও আমাদের স্বাধীনতার ইতিহাস পূর্ণতা পায়নি! এ দেশের স্বাধীনতার ইতিহাস রচিত হয়েছে। কিন্তু সে ইতিহাসে নারী মুক্তিযোদ্ধা ও এ দেশের নারী সমাজের অনবদ্য অবদানের কথা নেই। সরকারি উদ্যোগে প্রকাশিত মুক্তিযুদ্ধের ১৬ খণ্ড গ্রন্থেও নারী মুক্তিযোদ্ধাদের কোন তথ্য নেই। সেখানেও নারীর ভূমিকা চিত্রিত হয়েছে শুধু নির্যাতিতা হিসেবে। মুক্তিযুদ্ধের ইতিহাসে নারীর ভূমিকা সীমাবদ্ধ রয়ে গেছে সহযোগী হিসেবে কোথাও তারা মুক্তিযোদ্ধাদের রান্না করে খাইয়েছে, অস্ত্র লুকিয়ে রেখেছে, আশ্রয় দিয়েছে, তথ্য সংগ্রহ করে দিয়েছে এর বেশি কিছু নয়। এ দেশের নারী মুক্তিযোদ্ধারা স্বাধীনতার ইতিহাসে যেমন উপেক্ষিত, রাষ্ট্রীয় এবং সমাজ জীবনেও তাদের কেউ যথাযথ সম্মান দেয়নি। শুধু মুক্তিযুদ্ধই নয়, বায়ান্নর ভাষা আন্দোলন থেকে শুরু করে প্রতিটি ধাপে ছিল নারীর সরব উপস্থিতি ও সাহসী পদচারণা। অথচ ইতিহাসে নারীর সেই অবদানের স্বীকৃতি দিতে আমরা ক্ষমাহীন কার্পণ্য করেছি।

বলা হয়ে থাকে, মুক্তিযুদ্ধে এ দেশের ৩০ লাখ মানুষের গণহত্যার শিকার হয়, যার অন্তত ২০ শতাংশ নারী। কিন্তু দুঃখজনক হলেও সরকারি নথিপত্রে এর কোন তথ্য প্রমাণ নেই। তৎকালীন সরকারের হিসাব মতে একাত্তরের মুক্তিযুদ্ধে দুই লাখ মা-বোন নির্যাতিত হয়েছেন। কিন্তু মাঠভিত্তিক গবেষণা চালাতে গিয়ে বিভিন্ন বেসরকারি সংগঠনের গবেষণা কর্মীদের মনে নিশ্চিত ধারণা জন্মেছে মুক্তিযুদ্ধকালে নির্যাতিত নারীর সংখ্যা যা এতদিন বলা হয়ে আসছে, আসলে তা এর চেয়েও অনেক বেশি। তবে এতদিন পর তথ্য-প্রমাণ দিয়ে হয়তো এসব প্রমাণ করার সুযোগ কম। তাছাড়া নির্যাতিতরা সামাজিক সম্মান ও নিরাপত্তার কারণেই চান না এতদিন পর এসব নিয়ে আর ঘাঁটাঘাঁটি হোক। এসব কারণেই অনেক নির্যাতিত নারী তাদের ওপর নির্যাতনের লোমহর্ষক কাহিনী গবেষণা কর্মীদের কাছে মুখে মুখে বললেও তা টেপরেকর্ডারে রেকর্ড করতে বা লিপিবদ্ধ করতে দিতে চাননি। তাদের অনেকেই এক্ষেত্রে অনুযোগের সুরে একটা কথাই বলে থাকেন, ‘এতদিন পর্যন্ত যেহেতু আমাদের কোন মূল্যায়ন হয়নি এখন আর এসব নিয়ে গবেষণা করে কি হবে’? তবে দারিদ্র্যের কষাঘাতে বিপর্যস্ত অনেক নির্যাতিত নারীই এখন আর নিজেদের লজ্জা-গ্লানি ঢেকে রাখতে চান না, তাদের বক্তব্য ‘জীবনই যেখানে চলছে না সেখানে এত লজ্জা-শরম রেখে আর লাভ কি?’ মুখ বুজে থাকার জন্যই তাদের স্বীকৃতি মেলেনি, তারা রাষ্ট্রীয় কোন সাহায্য-সহযোগিতা পাননি। কেউ তাদের পাশে দাঁড়ায়নি। এমন অভিমতও অনেকের।
একাত্তরে দেশের তৃণমূলের নারীরা যেমন পাক বাহিনীর নির্যাতনের শিকার হয়েছেন তেমনি শহরের মধ্যবিত্ত ও উচ্চবিত্তের নারীদের ওপরও নির্যাতন কম হয়নি। গ্রামের ঘটনাগুলো প্রচার পেয়েছে বেশি আর শহরের ঘটনাগুলো সামাজিক অবস্থানগত কারণেই ধামাচাপা পড়ে গেছে। ইতিহাস বলে শুধু আমাদের দেশেই নয়, সারাবিশ্বেই যুদ্ধে নারী ও শিশুরাই বেশি ভিক্টিমাইজ হয়। একাত্তরের মুক্তিযুদ্ধে এদেশের কতজন নারী নির্যাতিত হয়েছিল এর সঠিক তথ্য দেশের কোথাও নেই। আমাদের দেশে মুক্তিযুদ্ধ বিষয়ক মন্ত্রণালয় হয়েছে, সেখানেও নারী মুক্তিযোদ্ধা ও নির্যাতিত নারীদের কোন তথ্য-উপাত্ত নেই। শুধু কি নির্যাতিত নারীর পরিসংখ্যান? বাংলাদেশে পুরুষ মুক্তিযোদ্ধাদের তালিকা হয়েছে কয়েকবার, কিন্তু নারী মুক্তিযোদ্ধাদের কোন পূর্ণাঙ্গ তালিকা এ পর্যন্ত করা হয়নি। নারী মুক্তিযোদ্ধারা কতটা অবহেলিত তার প্রমাণ হচ্ছে অনেক নারী মুক্তিযোদ্ধার মধ্যে খেতাবপ্রাপ্ত মাত্র দু’জন নারী মুক্তিযোদ্ধা। তাদের একজন (তারামন বিবি) তার খেতাব প্রাপ্তির কথা জেনেছেন প্রায় ৩০ বছর পর। অথচ স্বাধীনতা অর্জনে দেশের তৃণমূল পর্যায়ের মানুষ ও আমাদের নারী সমাজেরও ছিল বিশাল অবদান।

যুদ্ধের ভয়াবহতা মানুষ দেখেছে, শুনেছে। কিন্তু যুদ্ধকালে নারীদের ওপর যে নির্মম নির্যাতন হয়েছে তার ক্ষত নিয়ে এখনও অনেক নারী বেঁচে আছেন। তাদের কষ্ট বেদনার ভার কেউ নেয়নি। কেউ তাদের আশ্বাসে-বিশ্বাসে কাছে টেনে নেয়নি।

পেশাগত কারণেই আমি বিভিন্ন জেলার এমন বেশ ক’জন নির্যাতিত নারীর মুখোমুখি হয়ে সরাসরি তাদের মুখ থেকে সেই ভয়াবহতার কথা শুনেছি। গাজীপুরের বীরাঙ্গনা মমতাজ, মুক্তিযুদ্ধ যার জীবনটাকে লণ্ডভণ্ড করে দিয়েছে। যুদ্ধকালে গ্যাং রেপের শিকার মমতাজের যৌনিপথ আর পায়ুপথ এক হয়ে গেছে। সাঁইত্রিশ বছর ধরে পেটে পাইপ বসিয়ে তাকে প্রাকৃতিক কর্মকাণ্ড সারতে হচ্ছে। স্ত্রীর চিকিৎসা করাতে করাতে তার স্বামী সচ্ছল কৃষক থেকে এখন শুধু ভূমিহীনই নয়, ভিটেবাড়িও হারাতে হয়েছে তাকে। অথচ সুচিকিৎসা পেলে মমতাজ সুস্থ হয়ে উঠতে পারতেন। কেউ তার পাশে দাঁড়ায়নি। জীবনযুদ্ধে বিপর্যস্ত মমতাজ বলেন, মুক্তিযুদ্ধ আমার জীবন থেকে সব কেড়ে নিয়েছে। যুদ্ধে এত মানুষের মরণ হল, কিন্তু আমার মরণ হল না কেন? চৌদ্দগ্রামের মানিকের বউ যুবতী খঞ্জনীকে এলাকার মানুষের বাড়িঘর ও জীবন বাঁচাতে স্থানীয় মোড়লরা পাক বাহিনীর হাতে তুলে দিয়েছিল। স্বাধীনতাবিরোধী সেসব মোড়ল সমাজে আজও মাথা উঁচু করে বিচরণ করছে। অথচ যে নারী তার সর্বস্ব বিলিয়ে গোটা গ্রামের মানুষের জীবন রক্ষা করল, স্বাধীন দেশে সে গ্রামেই স্থান হয়নি খঞ্জনীর। সব হারিয়ে পাগলিনী খঞ্জনী এখন পাশের গ্রামে এক সচ্ছল পরিবারের গোয়াল ঘরে মানবেতর জীবনযাপন করছে। মুক্তিযুদ্ধ তার সংসার, সম্মান, বর্তমান, ভবিষ্যৎ সব কেড়ে নিয়েছে। এখন কেউ তার পাশে নেই। বিপন্ন বিস্ময় নিয়ে নির্বাক খঞ্জনী এখনও বেঁচে আছে মুক্তিযুদ্ধের চেতনার শেষ দেখতে! গৌরনদীর নূরজাহান ওরফে নুরীর বৃদ্ধ পিতাকে নির্মমভাবে হত্যা করেছিল পাক বাহিনী। পিতার মৃত্যুর প্রতিশোধ নিতে যুবতী নূরী আত্মহননের হুমকি দিয়ে স্থানীয় মুক্তিযোদ্ধাদের দলে যোগ দেন। ইনফরমার হিসেবে জীবনের ঝুঁকি নিয়ে পাক শিবিরের তথ্য সংগ্রহের কাজ শুরু করেন। পাক বাহিনীর অনেক অপারেশনের খবর নূরী এনে দিতেন মুক্তিযোদ্ধাদের। ১৯৭১ সালের ৫ নভেম্বর ঢাকা-বরিশাল মহাসড়কের শিকারপুর পাক বাহিনীর হাতে ধরা পড়েন নূরী। পালানোর চেষ্টাকালে তার পায়ে গুলি লাগে। তারপর থেকে ১৮ ডিসেম্বর পর্যন্ত নূরী গৌরনদী কলেজে পাক ক্যাম্পে বন্দি ছিলেন। গৌরনদী থেকে পাক বাহিনী পালিয়ে যাওয়ার পর নূরীসহ আরও চৌদ্দজন নারীকে পাক বাহিনীর ক্যাম্প থেকে উদ্ধার করে মুক্তিযোদ্ধারা। ক্যাম্পে আটক অবস্থায় আহত নূরীর ওপর চলে সীমাহীন যৌন নির্যাতন। সেই নূরী স্বাধীন দেশে নিজ পরিবারে ঠাঁই না পেয়ে ঢাকার এক বস্তিতে এসে ওঠেন। বাসা বাড়িতে ঝিয়ের কাজ আর দাইয়ের কাজ করে জীবন কাটছে তার। কুষ্টিয়ার তিন বীরাঙ্গনা নারী দুলজান নেসা, এলেজান নেসা ও মাসুদা খানমের কথা বলা যায়। ২০০৬ সালে নারীকণ্ঠ ফাউন্ডেশনের পক্ষ থেকে আমরা তাদের ঢাকায় এনে সংবর্ধনা দিয়েছিলাম। সংবর্ধনার জবাবে প্রচণ্ড ক্ষোভ প্রকাশ করে এই তিন নারী অভিন্ন কণ্ঠেই উচ্চারণ করেছেন, ‘মুক্তিযুদ্ধ আর দ্যাশ আমাদের অপমান, অবজ্ঞা আর গঞ্জনা ছাড়া কিছুই দিতে পারেনি’। পেশাগত দায়িত্বের সুবাদেই এমন শতাধিক নারী মুক্তিযোদ্ধা ও বীরাঙ্গনা নারীকে জানি যারা অভাব-অনটনে বিপর্যস্ত। স্বাধীন দেশ হয়েছে, নতুন পতাকা হয়েছে। কিন্তু এসব নারী মুক্তিযোদ্ধা ও বীরাঙ্গনা নারীদের ভাগ্যে উপেক্ষা ছাড়া আর কিছুই জোটেনি। মুক্তিযুদ্ধ বিষয়ক মন্ত্রণালয় কাজ শুরু করেছে কয়েক বছর হল সেখানেও নারী মুক্তিযোদ্ধা ও একাত্তরের নির্যাতিত নারীদের কোন তথ্য-উপাত্ত নেই। এই মন্ত্রণালয়ের হর্তাকর্তারা কি বলতে পারবেন এদেশে কতজন নারী মুক্তিযোদ্ধা আছেন? তারা কোথায় কেমন আছেন? জানি, এসবের উত্তর তারা দিতে পারবে না। এমন বিচিত্র আমাদের এই দেশ যেখানে যুদ্ধাপরাধীরা দাবড়ে বেড়ায় আর মুক্তিযোদ্ধারা ভিক্ষা করে, রিকশা চালায়, দিনমজুরি করে সংসার চালায়, মুক্তিযোদ্ধার স্ত্রীকে বঙ্গভবনে এঁটো কুড়াতে হয়, খঞ্জনীদের নিজ গ্রাম ছেড়ে অন্য গ্রামের গোয়াল ঘরে মাথা গুঁজতে হয়। একটি পৃথক মন্ত্রণালয় থাকার পরও এভাবে আর কতকাল এ দেশের মুক্তিযোদ্ধা, নারী মুক্তিযোদ্ধা ও বীর কন্যারা উপেক্ষিত থাকবে?

– ফারহানা রেজা : মুক্তিযুদ্ধ গবেষক ও নির্বাহী পরিচালক, নারীকণ্ঠ ফাউন্ডেশন

An eye witness to surrender – Mazher Saeed, Pakistani naval officer

Mazher saeed, a Pakistani naval officer on merchant ship “Karnaphuli” expressed his feelings and accounts on 71 war:

“I am an honorary naval officer recruited in the mid of august by an scheme of navy to recruit the officers and seamans. Because most of the naval crew left the merchant and naval vessels due to being Bengalis as it was an operation going on in East Pakistan.

After the training me and some of my batch mates signed on the merchant ship “Karnaphuli” whose main task is to supply arms and ammunition to East Pakistan forces from West Pakistan. We were determined to perform our duties against the rebels who were fighting against Pakistan sovereignty. As it was commonly being said on those days that Bengalis are gaddars etc. etc.

In mid of October our ship was ready to sail across the Indian ocean for the supply of ammunition and food for army. And we were successful in doing that and return to Karachi with out any difficulties. In a period of a month we are given another task to again supply the arms from west to East Pakistan but this time it was really a hard job for us to sail safely across Indian ocean. There was rumors and news all around that hostilities with India is about to commence. So we were given strict orders to sail as far as from Indian coast to avoid detection. Our ship safely reached the Chittagong port on 9 December and unloaded the ammunition quickly and in a carefull manner but due to intense air raids from Indian air force we failed to unload some assets. Then we went back to sea to avoid attack from air. This thing continued till 12 Dec when our ship was again back to port to unload our cargo suddenly two IAF planes approached from the heights of sky and fired two missiles on our ship. One of those missiles exploded in our engine room entering from the top deck and in a few minutes our captain gave us the orders to quit the ship and ran for the safety of there lives.

After the sinking of “Karnaphuli” the whole crew of the ship decided to fight along with the army to save motherland from Indian aggression. We got some ammunition and our orders was to join the company fighting outside the city. When we enter in the city it was shocking for all of us. We didn’t believe on our eyes that what has suddenly happened to all the city. A total destruction of humanity and Islamic values were going on. Our army was busy in fighting with the common people. The mentally of soldiers and there morale was completely destroyed. The company major told us that its all happened by the orders of our “great leaders” we did not get a chance to fight with Indians but we got a chance to see the destruction in East Pakistan.”

Afterwards Eastern Command surrendered and we all become POWs. In the Jail i asked the question of That mass killings of people we saw in the cities and villages to the army officers and soldiers and then they told us that by the orders of some Generals the authority was given to officers to shoot any one they sight and do any thing they want to suppress these Benglais. And those officers who are present in the city and villages were responsible for these whole picture.

We also witnessed that the soldiers and officers who should prefer suicide then doing all these things in the end surrendering to Indian army. After 2 years of imprisonment we were finally released from Indian jails and reached our homes. We were all completely mentally disturbed and ashamed for what we see in this ruthless and brutal war against our brothers and sisters.

After some days news were came that about 3 million peoples were killed and 200,000 women were raped by the army in the Eastern Theater. In the end I just want to say to my Bengali brothers that mass killings and raping of women were surly done by some officers and soldiers from the orders of their superiors to do what ever they want to suppress the uprising “but not in such numbers”.

Islam teaches us that the sin to kill one human is equal to kill thousand and also the sin to rape a women also regarded in such manner and such people should be killed in front of a people by crushing their evil heads. But we should also not forget that some officers and soldiers did not perform these ruthless things and they would prefer suicide instead to perform such things and to face surrender. Allah will surely not forgive those who did these unislamic things whether it was Pakistan army or the freedom fighters.”

Retrieved from here

Press quotes

* International Herald Tribune, March 27-28, 1971


New Delhi, March 26 (Reuters) – Thousands of villagers have joined Awami League volunteers fighting West Pakistani troops in the streets of four major cities of East Pakistan, the Press Trust of India reported to night.

* The Statesman, March 27, 1971


Press Report from Delhi

Pakistan’s eastern wing, rechristened the independent state of Bangla Desh by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in a clandestine radio broadcast, was in the throes of a civil war on Friday with west wing troops restoring to force to regain control and the people, aided by the east Pakistan rifles and the police, resisting the attempt, report uni.

Heavy fighting was going on in Dacca, Chittagong, Sylhet, Comilla and other towns, according to reports from across the border gathered by UNI bureaus in Shillong and Calcutta and correspondents close to the border in the eastern sector. Casualties were believed to be heavy.

Mr. Rahman and other Awami League leaders had gone underground according to highly reliable reports received in Gauhati by PTI and UNI. A later reports said Pakistan troops went hunting for them but could not find them.

Speaking over “Swadhin Bangla” (Free Bengal) Betar Kendra, Mr. Rahman later proclaimed the birth of an independent Bangla Desh.

* The Daily Telegraph, March 29, 1971


West Pakistan troops tightened the Army grip on the Eastern province yesterday after a weekend in which many hundreds of civilians were reported to have been killed.

Our staff correspondent in Delhi cabled that East Pakistan was virtually sealed off from the outside world, but the indications were that killing was on a mass scale. The Dacca curfew was lifted yesterday, but last night more troops were flown to Chittagong to quell disturbances.

Bitter protests that the troops were showing no mercy and trying to terrorize the civilian population into submission came from supporters of Sheikh Mujibar Rahman’s Awami League.

* The Daily Telegraph, March 29, 1971


Killing on a mass scale is underway in East Pakistan, caught in the grip of a vicious civil war, according to all available indications from the province, which is now virtually sealed off from the outside world.

* The Daily Telegraph, March 29, 1971


Heavy civilian casualties can be expected form the Army takeover of East Pakistan. The shelling of the capital, Dacca, has been cold-blooded and indiscriminate although there was almost no sign of armed resistance.

* International Herald Tribune, March 30, 1971


The Eastern wing of Pakistan, much the more populous, won national elections last December and began moving peaceably to take over national power. The Western wing, which has dominated and exploited the East since Moslem Pakistan was carved out of British India in 1947, correctly perceived the threat and–rather than surrender power–stalled.

* International Herald Tribune, March 30, 1971


Dhaka (AP) After two days and night of shelling in which perhaps 7,000 Pakistanis died in Dhaka alone, the Pakistan Army appears to have crushed Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s 25 days of defiance in East Pakistan.

The army, which attacked without warning on Thursday night with infantry, artillery and American supplied M-24 tanks, destroyed parts of the city.

Its attack was aimed at the university, the populous old city, where Sheikh Mujib, the Awami League leader, had his strongest following, and the industrial areas on the outskirts of the city of 1.5 million people.

* International hearald tribune, April 2, 1971


New Delhi, April 1 (Reuters):- Indian press and radio reports said tonight that the Pakistan Army, Navy and Air Force had launched an all-out offensive to quell Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s resistance in East Pakistan.

All India radio and the Press Trust of India News agency, quoting reports reaching Calcutta said the drive followed the arrival of troops reinforcements from West Pakistan.

The radio said the Pakistan Air Force had bombed Dhaka and several other towns and that heavy fighting was going on for control of the capital.

* The Libyan Times, April 2, 1971


London, (UPI)- The Pakistan government said yesterday that armed Indians were “inflitrating the border areas of East Pakistan.”

Radio Pakistan quoted a Foreign Office Spokesman as saying the Pakistan government was fully alive to the needs of the situation.

* The Daily Telegraph, April 3, 1971


Killing on a mass scale are reported to be continuing in East Pakistan, indicating that the Army has shown no let-up in the terror campaign begun after President Yahya Khan gave it his “full authority’ to restore central Government control.

* Daily American, April 3, 1971


New Delhi, April 2 (AP)- Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s independence forces apparently were active in vast sections of the East Pakistan countryside today as the Pakistan government officially acknowledged that the province was not as normal as originally claimed.

For the first time since the civil war broke out between the West Pakistan dominated army and the Sheikh’s followers in the eastern wing, the government-controlled Radio Pakistan did not report normalcy throughout the province.

* The Observer, April 4, 1971


Whatever its military outcome, there will be no winners in the brutal conflict now going on East Pakistan. Nor will the war, which was so shortsighted started, damage only the interests of the two parties most immediately engaged in the conflict–Punjabi-dominated Pakistan and the Muslim Bengalis. It will almost certainly promote the risks of revolutionary warfare in a particularly explosive part of Asia, threatening India, Pakistan and Burma. And it will possibly draw both the Russians and the Chinese into this arena.

* Newsweek, April 5, 1971


Until the very last moment, it looked as if the two proud men entrusted with Pakistan’s density might still be able to avert a head-on clash. From the East Pakistani capital of Dacca came optimistic reports that President Mohammed Yahya Khan and Mujib–as the leader of secessionist-minded East Pakistan is known-were about to reach a compromise. But then, with stunning suddenness, the pieces of Pakistan’s complicated political puzzle flew apart. In the East Pakistan cities of Rangpur and Chittagong, federal troops poured machine gun fire into mobs of demonstrating Bengali nationalists. Swiftly, Yahya issued orders to his army to “crush the movement and restore the full authority of the government”. In his turn, Mujib proclaimed East Pakistan the “Sovereign, independent People’s Republic of Bangladesh (Bengali Nation)”. And with that, Pakistan was plunge into civil war.

* Time April 5, 1971


With the awesome fury of a cyclone off the Bay of Bengal, civil war swept across East Pakistan last week. In city after crowded, dusty city the army turned its guns on mobs of rioting civilians, Casualties mounted into the thousands. Through the full toll remained uncertain because of censorship and disorganization in the world’s most densely populated corner (1,400 people per sq. mi.) at week’s end some estimates had 2,000 dead. Even if President Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan is prepared to accept casualties of geometrically greater magnitude, the outcome is likely to be the final breakup of East Pakistan and the painful birth of a new nation named Bangladesh (Bengal State).

* The daily telegraph, April 5, 1971


India could not remain a silent spectator of events in East Pakistan, Mrs. Gandhi, Prime Minister, said yesterday, But she called on Indians to keep emotions in check.

* International herald tribune, April 5, 1971


New Delhi, April 4 (NYT)- Radio Pakistan has charged that nine Indian “vehicles’ loaded with arms and ammunition crossed the East Pakistan border and were stopped by West Pakistani troops.

* International herald tribune, April 6, 1971


Chuadanga, East Pakistan, April 5 (AP)- Sheikh Mujibur Rahaman’s independence forces held on today to stretches of East Pakistani territory along the border with India, vowing to fight until they defeat the Pakistan Army.

* The daily telegraph, April 8, 1971


The American Government, as chief supplier of arms to Pakistan, has made it’s first move to express concern over reports that American military equipment is being used against civilians in East Pakistan.

The Assistant Secretary of State, Mr. Joseph Sisco, is reported to have voiced this feeling in a meeting with the Pakistan Ambassador, Mr. Agha Hilaly.

* Daily American, April 9, 1971


New Delhi, April 8 (AP)- The Pakistan government said yesterday that the Indian armed forces were preparing ‘for possible operations’ in East Pakistan.

* Daily American, April 9, 1971


New Delhi, April 9 (UPI)- The Bengali secessionist forces have claimed almost complete control of the western part of East Pakistan, reports in the Indian Press said today.

* International herald tribune, April 12, 1971


Washington, April 11 (NYT)- The United States is continuing to ship to Pakistan ammunition and spare for weapons under a program begun in 1967.

There is growing evidence that the Pakistani Army has been using American tanks, jet aircraft and other equipment in its attempt to crush the movement for autonomy by the predominantly Bengali citizens in the eastern half of the country.

* Time, April 12, 1971


“There is no doubt” said a foreign diplomat in East Pakistan last week, “that the word massacre applies to the situation.” Said another Western official: “It’s a veritable bloodbath. The troops have been utterly merciless.”

As Round I of Pakistan’s bitter civil war ended last week, the winner– predictably was the tough West Pakistan army, which has a powerful force of 80,000 Punjabi and Pathan soldiers on duty in rebellious East Pakistan. Reports coming out of the East via diplomats, frightened refugees and clandestine broadcasts varied widely. Estimates of the total dead ran as high as 300,000. A figure of 10,000 to 15,000 is accepted by several Western governments, but no one can be sure of anything except that untold thousands perished.

Mass Graves

Opposed only by bands of Bengali peasants armed with stones and bamboo sticks, tanks rolled through Dacca, the East’s capital, blowing houses to bits. At the University, soldiers slaughtered students inside the British Council building. “It was like Chengis Khan,” said a shocked Western official who witnessed the scene. Near Dacca’s marketplace, Urdu-speaking government soldiers ordered Bengali-speaking townspeople to surrender, then gunned them down when they failed to comply. Bodies lay in mass graves at the University, in the old city, and near the municipal dump.

* The Time, April 13, 1971


An Account of Three Days of Carnage at Dacca University:

A student who survived the three days of carnage at Dacca University last month has given an eyewitness account of how the West Pakistani Army systematically shot down students and lecturers who were trapped in the encircled dormitories.

“I jumped out of the dormitory window and hid in the top of the tree for the night”, he told a science lecturer at Notre Dame College, Dacca, who has now sought asylum in Calcutta.

“The firing continued. In the morning there was a lull and I saw some Pakistani soldiers giving orders to the terrified bearers. After a while I saw the bearer dragging the bodies of students and lecturers towards the football ground.

“They were ordered to dig a huge grave. The Pakistani soldiers told the eight or nine bearers to sit down. After a while they were ordered to stand and line up near the grave. The guns fired again and they fell next to the bodies of my friends.”

* International Herald Tribune, April 13, 1971


New Delhi, April 12 (AP)- An independent republic of Bangladesh (Bengali Nation) was formed tonight, with Sheikh Mujibur Rhaman as president of the secessionist province of East Pakistan, Indian radio monitors reported.

They said that announcement of the government’s formation was heard on a newly set-up Free Bangladesh Radio, which had gone off the air two weeks ago, a few days after the civil war in the province broke out between the Sheikh’s followers and the West Pakistan-dominated army.

Both of Indian’s national news agencies carried the announcement.

The Free Bangladesh Radio also was quoted as announcing that Tajuddin ahmed, a close associate of Sheikh Mujib, would be the prime minister and foreign minister.

Syed Nazrul Islam, Vice-President of the Sheikh’s outlawed Awami League, was named vice-president Bangladesh, the radio added.

* The Times, April 14, 1971


Chuadanga, East Pakistan, April 13, Armed resistance in much of East Bengal was crumbling fast today before the advancing columns of President Yahya Khan’s Pakistan Army.

* International Herald Tribune, April 15, 1971


New Delhi, April 14 (AP)- East Pakistan independence forces appealed today to other countries for arms and ammunition as the Pakistan Army intensified a two-pronged offensive to crush the three-week old rebellion in the secessionist province.

Meanwhile, refugees from East Pakistan poured into India today, fleeing from the advancing Pakistan Army troops. ‘What was a trickle has become a stream’, said a high Indian official, describing the influx of refugees.

* The Daily Telegraph, April 17, 1971


Pakistan Government forces last night took the town of Chuadanga, proclaimed two weeks ago as the provisional capital of Bangladesh, the breakaway eastern province.

The Observer, April 18, 1971


Calcutta, 17 April- Troops from West Pakistan loyal to General Yahya Khan, the country’s military ruler are now rolling up the map of Bangladesh. They have ended, for the time being, Bengali dreams of secession and freedom in East Pakistan.

In spite of their passionate hopes, the unwar like Bengalis have been no match for the Frontier soldiers from the West- traditionally the best and most ruthless warriors on the Indian subcontinent.

But after a 200-mile journey through the tragic landscape of Bangladesh. I am sure that from now on President Yahya will hold his eastern province only by force and that his rule will be harassed by continual resistance, however, ill-organised and futile it may be. The Bengalis will never forget or forgive the happening of the past few weeks.

* Wall Street Journal, April 21, 1971


East Pakistanis pledge to fight to the death but mostly they don’t…. They lack Arms, Leadership to Prolong their Revolt; No Aid by other Nations.

* International Herald Tribune, April 24-25, 1971


New Delhi, April 23 (Reuters)- The so-called Bangladesh (Bengali Nation) government in East Pakistan tonight sent an appeal to world governments for recognition as the Pakistan Army gained more ground in its push against the secessionist regime’s forces.

* The Sunday Times, April 25, 1971


An appalling picture of widespread devastation throughout the country is given by the latest reports reaching The Sunday Times from East Bengal. The vast, stricken area will take many weeks to make even a partial recovery from its wounds, and ‘normality’ in any pre-March, 1971, sense can probably never be restored.

* Newsweek, April 26, 1971


For more than two weeks, the Pakistani Army of President Mohammad Yahya Khan had played curious waiting game. Siting tight in their well-fortified cantonments in the rebellious eastern wing of their divided country, the federal troops virtually ignored the taunts of the secessionist ‘liberation forces’. But then early last week, the lull came to a sudden end. Springing from their strong-holds the Punjabi regulars simultaneously staged more than a dozen devastating attacks from one end of beleaguered East Pakistan to the other. And when the blitzkrieg was over, it was clear that the less-than-one-month-old Republic of Bangladesh (Bengali Nation) had been delivered a stunning blow.

* The Libyan Times, April 27, 1971


Moscow, (AP, UPI) – M. Arshad Hussein, special envoy of Pakistani President Mohamed Yahya Khan met yesterday with Soviet Preminer Alexei Kosygin for a private conference on undisclosed subjects.

An official announcement said Pakistani Ambassador to Moscow also took part in the meeting.

Arshad Hussein arrived in Moscow about five days ago, apparently to serve as Yahya Khan’s spokesman with Soviet Officials about the trouble in East Pakistan and the explosive India-Pakistani climate.

* International Herald Tribune, May 4, 1971


Karachi, May 3, (NYT)- Pakistan accused India today of ‘creating an atmosphere of confrontation’ and said Indian border units had shelled Pakistani positions.

* International Herald Tribune, May 8-9, 1971


Dacca, East Pakistan, May 7 (NYT)- Gen Tikka Khan, the military governor of East Pakistan, said today that his staff had estimated that 150 persons were killed in Dacca on the night of March 25, when the army moved to reassert control over the province.

The General speaking at a reception, said that other estimates of the number of people killed, ranging up to 10,000 were wildly exaggerated.

* International Herald Tribune, May 19, 1971


New Delhi, May 18 (AP)- Prime Minister Indira Gandhi complained today that “no prosperous country” or any of the “upholders of democracy has tried to help the nearly three million East Pakistani refugees now in India.

* International Herald Tribune, May 22-23, 1971


Firm figures of massacre in East Pakistan, as anywhere, are hard to verify. Some say thousands, others insist on two hundred thousand. Probably 50,000 is a conservative estimate. Numbers of refugees are more obtainable: 650,000 in four Indian states on May 1.

* The Weekly Economist, May 29, 1971


President Yahya needs to acknowledge realities, Mrs. Gandhi needs to maintain her cool, and the rest of us should be more helpful.

It is a standard practice of governments, especially those which are fighting wars, to putout self-justifying propaganda. This propaganda may fail to convince, which is troublesome. Or it may convince so well that the propagandists themselves are taken in, which is positively dangerous. The Government of Pakistan has clearly dug itself a credibility gap. The question now is whether it has also buried its head in the sand.

* International Herald Tribune, May 29-30, 1971


New Delhi, May 28 (NYT)- Despite official descriptions of normality in East Pakistan, guerrilla activity and the army crackdown continue, according to reports from the area.

The foreign informants report that the Pakistani Army has been able to widen its control of vital installations and major towns and cities. But they say that guerrilla and terrorist activity by Bengali insurgents-but tressed by Bengali noncooperation in general– has prevented the army from establishing an effective civil administration in most of East Pakistan.

* International Herald Tribune, May 31, 1971


New Delhi, May 30 (Reuters)- Indian announced today that more than four million East Pakistanis have fled into its territory since the Martial-Law crackdown in their province.

Reports have said living conditions in overcrowded temporary border camps have led to 300 deaths from cholera and gastroenteritis.

* The Times, June 4, 1971


Within the space of a few short weeks both East and West Bengal have suddenly become international trouble sports. Millions of people have been uprooted by civil war, thousands have been killed, famine and disease are already beginning to stalk the countryside and a full scale war between India and Pakistan threatens to break out at any moment.

* The Sunday Times, June 6, 1971


The life of the refugee produces its own particular kind of hopelessness. Isolated in a foreign country, physically weak, surrounded by strangers, these Bengalis swiftly find themselves victims of increasing lethargy, silently awaiting any new blow from an almost universally hostile world. The old men, who in their own country had great dignity, are now reduced to queuing like children for food. If they are ill, like the half-crippled man with his stick and umbrella, they merely sit and wait for someone to help them. No one does. If they are your, or part of a united family, they can at least scavenge for food and fuel to recreate a vagabond imitation of their former life in Pakistan.

* International Herald Tribune, June 8, 1971


Calcutta, June 7 (WP)- Talk of a war with Pakistan has increased here as a result of the continuing flow of refuges into India, which confronts this country with an enormous, unwanted burden.

* International Herald Tribune, June 14, 1971


London, June 13 (NYT)- A West Pakistani journalist who accompanied the Pakistani journalist when it crushed the independence movement in East Pakistan alleged yesterday that the government troops “deliberately massacred” people in East Bengal.

Mr. Mascarenhas writes that the Pakistani government has suppressed “the second and worse horror which followed when its own army took over the killing”. He says that officials in West Pakistan privately estimate that 250,000 persons have been killed by both sides in the fighting–not including those who have died from hunger or disease.

* International Herald Tribune, June 14, 1971


Shikarpur, India, June 13 (AP)- The Pakistan army had launched a scorched-earth operation along the frontier between East Pakistan and India, according to Indian military and civilian authorities on the spot.

President Yahya Khan’s troops are burning frontier villages, destroying jute and sugar-cane plantations and ordering those inhabitants who have not already fled to India to pull back at least five miles from the border, the Indians report.

The operation seems designed as a defensive measure against guerrilla attacks by East Pakistani secessionist forces-the Mukhti Fauj-building up their strength in the safety of Indian territory.

* The Sunday Times, June 20, 1971


As world opinion becomes increasingly increased at the West Pakistani army’s brutal region of terror in East Bengal, and at the pitiful sight of the ever-growing millions of refugees fleeing form that terror, one voice remains conspicuously silent. It is the voice of the Secretary General of the United States Nations, U Thant.

* International Herald Tribune, June 22, 1971


India’s suggestion that international aid to Pakistan be suspended “until a political solution acceptable to the people of East Bengal is found” is offensive in its reference to East Pakistan as “East Bengal”, but otherwise apt. It is unthinkable that donors would want to underwrite a minority military government’s cruel war against its own citizens, thousands of whom it has murdered, millions of whom it has forced into flight. Moreover, strictly from the technical standard of whether Pakistan in its disrupted condition can spent aid funds efficiently, it hardly can qualify.

* International Herald Tribune, June 28, 1971


Dacca (NYT)- People talk with foreigners in a whisper and keep looking behind them to see if anyone is listening. Soldiers and special police-brought from West Pakistan, more than, 1,000 miles away stop and search cars and buses and persons carrying bundles.

Arrests are made and denied. When families ask the martial law authorities what has happened to a son or father, the army replies that he was released after questioning and that if he has not returned home, then maybe he has fled to India.

Many persons listen to the clandestine Bangladesh (Bengal Nation) Radio every day, although the penalties are severe.

This is the nervous and unhappy flavor of Dacca, capital of East Pakistan, three months after the army launched its offensive to try to crush the Bengali autonomy movement throughout the province.

The army is clearly in control of this city, but “normality”- the word the government uses to describe conditions here- does not exist.

Dacca today can best be described as a city under the occupation of a military force that rules by strength, intimidation and terror, but which has been unable to revive an effective civil administration.

* The Daily Telegraph, June 29, 1971


The British Parliamentary Delegation to East Bengal led by Mr. Arthur Bottomley, Labour MP for Middles borough East left Dacca for Calcutta yesterday in a frustrated and gloomy mood.

He has spent some hours in a vain attempt to visit Boliadi, a village 15 miles north of Dacca, which was destroyed at dawn on Sunday morning by the West Pakistan Army.

For reasons not yet explained six villages have recently been razed to the ground in this area, to the north of the small industrial town of Tongi, and firing can still be heard there.

* International Herald Tribune, July 1, 1971


After months of equivocation and evasion, the State Department has finally made it clear that the administration intends to keep on furnishing military and economic assistance to the government of Pakistan despite continuing acts of repression in East Pakistan that have shocked the world. This incredible policy decision defies understanding.

* The Observer, July 4, 1971


Dacca, 3 July: As Secretary of Dacca’s Council Muslim League, Mr. Abdul Matin, a Bengali and a lawyer, is a firm believer in the unity of the two Pakistans. He is also a lucky man.

At 1.55 one morning this week, he escaped unhurt when a bomb went off in his home. It woke the city and blew a hole the size of a football in a thick brick wall. The bomb was the Mukti Fouj’s (Freedom Fighters) way of reminding people that nowadays it pays to be a Begali first and a Muslim second.

* The Observer, July 4, 1971


The Enormous and increasing scale of the refugee exodus from East Pakistan to India confronts the world not only with the greatest humanitarian relief task since World War Two but also with a political crisis of growing magnitude. Already five or six million people – more than the entire population of one of the smaller European States- have fled from their homes through fear or hunger. Millions more may move by the autumn if famine occurs through a breakdown of minimal food distribution.

There is a growing danger that if the exodus continues, the whole of the Indian sub-continent may be dragged into war and unpredictable social convulsions.

* International Herald Tribune, July 6, 1971


The army is, indeed, in control, except for a few areas near the active and growing more so-with aid from India.

* The Economist, July 10, 1971


But even when the list is out, the continued activities of the Mukti Fouj may deter people from collaborating with the Martial Law regime. At the moment the main activity of the Bengali resistance is confined to the border areas, where India provides sanctuary and a certain amount of assistance from Indian regular troops in the form of coverage fire. Even Rajshahi-separated from India by the Ganges, which is some five miles wide during the monsoon I heard noises of skirmishing in the night. Most of the Mukti Fouj’s work is sabotage and in one district alone, Comilla, it is officially admitted that eight rail bridges and 15 road bridges have been down. This is enough to keep the 60,000 men of the Pakistani army in the east busy.

In the interior, the army has more or less had to limit its operations to the Madhupur Forest area north of Dacca, where, there are still more than 100 deserters from the East Pakistan Rifles and the East Bengal Regiment with a few machine-guns and mortars; the Noakhali area, where the Bengali communist leader, Mohammad Toaha, is operating the Barisal area, where those members of the large community of Hindus who have not made it to India have apparently armed themselves; and the Khulna district, where there is evidence that Naxalites slipped over the border from West Bengal. Otherwise guarding the interior has had to be pretty well a police job.

* The Observer, July 4, 1971


Dacca, 3 July: As Secretary of Dacca’s Council Muslim League, Mr. Abdul Matin, a Bengali and a lawyer, is a firm believer in the unity of the two Pakistans. He is also a lucky man.

At 1.55 one morning this week, he escaped unhurt when a bomb went off in his home. It woke the city and blew a hole the size of a football in a thick brick wall. The bomb was the Mukti Fouj’s (Freedom Fighters) way of reminding people that nowadays it pays to be a Bengali first and a Muslim second.

* The Obeserver, July 4, 1971


The Enormous and increasing scale of the refugee exodus from East Pakistan to India confronts the world not only with the greatest humanitarian relief task since World War Two but also with a political crisis of growing magnitude. Already five or six million people – more than the entire population of one of the smaller European States- have fled from their homes through fear or hunger. Millions more may move by the autumn if famine occurs through a breakdown of minimal food distribution.

There is a growing danger that if the exodus continues, the whole of the Indian sub-continent may be dragged into war and unpredictable social convulsions.

* International Herald Tribune, July 6, 1971


Dacca (NYT)– “Doesn’t the world realize that they’re nothing but butchers?” asked a foreigner who has lived in East Pakistan for many years. ” That they killed — and are still killing-Bengalis just to intimidate them, to make slaves out of them? That they wiped out whole villages opening fire at first light and stopping only when they got tired?”.

The foreigner, normally a calm man, was talking about the Pakistani Army and the bloodbath it has inflicted on East Pakistan in its effort to crush the Bengali independence movement.

Most of the foreign residents–diplomats, missionaries, businessmen– also talk the way this man does now. And they are eager to tell what they know to those foreign newsmen who were permitted to re-enter East Pakistan in mid-June and travel around unescorted for the first time since March 25.

* The Economist, July 10, 1971


At the moment the main activity of the Bengali resistance is confined to the border areas, where India provides sanctuary and a certain amount of assistance from Indian regular troops in the form of coverage fire. Even Rajshahi-separated from India by the Ganges, which is some five miles wide during the monsoon I heard noises of skirmishing in the night. Most of the Mukti Fouj’s work is sabotage and in one district alone, Comilla, it is officially admitted that eight rail bridges and 15 road bridges have been down. This is enough to keep the 60,000 men of the Pakistani army in the east busy.

In the interior, the army has more or less had to limit its operations to the Madhupur Forest area north of Dacca, where, there are still more than 100 deserters from the East Pakistan Rifles and the East Bengal Regiment with a few machine-guns and mortars; the Noakhali area, where the Bengali communist leader, Mohammad Toaha, is operating the Barisal area, where those members of the large community of Hindus who have not made it to India have apparently armed themselves; and the Khulna district, where there is evidence that Naxalites slipped over the border from West Bengal. Otherwise guarding the interior has had to be pretty well a police job.

* International Herald Tribune, July 16, 1971


New Delhi, July 15 (NYT)- The resistance fighters in East Pakistan have been increasing their hit-and-run attacks on small West Pakistani Army units and police stations.

As the still disorganized Bengali autonomy movement appears to be gaining momentum, the guerrillas have been avoiding frontal battles but have inflicted a sizeable number of casualties.

They have also stepped up executions, sometimes by beheading of those collaborating with the army.

In many areas the army pulls back to the relative safety of its cantonments at night, leaving the rebels free to move through the countryside.

With the growing resistance, the army has had to reimpose curfews in an increasing number of towns. Foreign observers are beginning to draw parallels to Vietnam.

* International Herald Tribune, July 16, 1971


Washington, July 15 (NYT)- The House Foreign Affairs Committee voted today to withhold all military and economic assistance for Pakistan and Greece.

The action on Pakistan proposes to cut off United States funds until East Pakistani refugees have been returned to their homes and “reasonable stability” has been achieved in the country where the army crushed an East Pakistani movement for political autonomy.

* The Weekly Economist, July 17, 1971


India is known to be giving the Mukti Fouj-the guerrillas in East Pakistan, some help. But how much help, niether party is eager to reveal. Sanctuary, invaluable to all guerrillas, is certainly being granted, and perhaps covering fire from the Indian border security forces. Training may still be in the hands of guerrillas themselves. But since even those of them who were previously a regular part of the Pakistan army had no training with explosives, and since they have recently pulled off some spectacular bridge bowling, it is likely that Indian sappers haves been providing the explosives and know-how. Certainly the Mukti Fouj needs training. The East Pakistan Rifles and the East Bengal Regiments, which have now been merged into it, have dropped their previous tacties of fighting in battlle order and now operate in small groups. But it will be harder to persuade them to swallow their regimental pride and wear civilian clothes.

* Newsweek, July 19, 1971


“I am glad to be able to tell you”, declared Pakistan President Mohammad Yahya Khan in a recent address to his nation “that the army is in full control of the situation in East Pakistan. It has crushed the mischief-mongers, saboteurs and infiltrators”. Alas for Yahya, the facts told a different story. Throughout East Pakistan, the embattled Bengali resistance movement seemed more determined than ever to prove, that it was alive and well-and capable of making life extremely difficult for the heavily armed but thinly spread occupation forces of the Pakistani Army.

* The Telegraph, July 23, 1971


Bangladesh guerrillas have reoccupied an area of 150 square miles in the Jessore district of East Pakistan near the frontier with India.

They were carlier driven from these positions to take refuge in India when Pakistani Army reinforcements move form Jessore cantonment in April to obliterate Pockets of Bengali resistance in the border regions.

* International Herald Tribune, July 31-August 1, 1971


United Nations, July 30 (UPI)- Secretary General U Thant has warned the Security Council in a secret memorandum that humanitarian aid will not suffice to avert “Potential disaster” in the Inadia-Pakistan crisis, it was reliably learned yesterday. He expressed his deep concern about the situation and described it as a “potential threat to peace and security which could no longer be ignored by the international community.

* International Herald Tribune, August 5, 1971


Washington, Aug. 4 (IHT) – Fourteen Pakistani diplomats, including the No. 2 United Nations delegate, resigned today to join the East Pakistan independence movement. They sought political asylum in the United States. They are all East Pakistanis.

* Internal Herald Tribune, August 9, 1971


Washington, Aug 8 (NYT)- The Principal Western powers, the Soviet Union, China and Secretary General Thant were reported yesterday to be engaged in new diplomatic efforts to prevent the possible outbreak of fighting between India and Pakistan.

* International Herald Tribune, August 10, 1971


Rawalpindi, Aug. 9 (AP)- Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, President of the banned Awami League will be tried by a special military court for “waging war against Pakistan” and other offensives, a note issued by the office of President Mohammad Yahya Khan said today.

The trial, which will start on Wednesday, will be held in secrecy the announcement said.

* The Daily Telegraph, August 10, 1971


Russia will back India with force if necessary in the event of a war with Pakistan under a 20 year treaty, signed in New Delhi yesterday, that puts India firmly in the Russian camp after years of non-alignment.

It was signed by Mr. Gromyko, Soviet Foreign Minister and Mr. Singh, his Indian counterpart. The treaty of “friendship, peace and co-operation” provides for mutual defence arrangements.

* The Times, August 12, 1971


Delhi, Aug. 11- The Soviet Union and India said tonight that they considered urgent steps were necessary to achieve a political solution to the problems of East Pakistan and that there could be no military solution.

Their views were expressed in a joint statement issued here at the conclusion of three days of talks between Mr. Gromyko, Soviet Foreign Minister, and Mr. Singh, his Indian counterpart, during which a treaty of “peace, friendship and cooperation” was signed.

* International Herald Tribune, August 14-15, 1971


New Delhi, Aug. 13 (Reuters)- Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has described the situation created by the East Pakistan crisis as the nation’s “greatest challenge since independence”.

“The Bangladesh situation has produced all the consequences of war without the actuality of engaging in a war”, she said in an apparent reference to the influx of millions of refugees into India and increased border clashes along the East Pakistan borders.

* International Herald Tribune, August 17, 1971


New Delhi, Aug. 16 (NYT) – Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D. Mass., today denounced Pakistan’s military repression in East Pakistan as genocide and said that the secret trial of the East Pakistani leader, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was “an outrage of every concept of international law”.

* International Herald Tribune, August 17, 1971


Washington, Aug 16 (WP)- Indian Ambassador Lakshmi Kant Jha admitted yesterday that India was permitted its territory to be used as a sanctuary for Bengali rebels fighting for an independent East Pakistan.

* The Daily Morning Post (Nigeria), September 10, 1971


Pakistan occupies a prominent position in the political might of Asia. Being the biggest Muslim state and fifth largest in world population, her affairs can easily become the affairs of the world. No wonder the civil war in the country had so provoked worldwide comments in the Press. And now the frightening reality of the aftermath of the Pakistani crisis is the refugee problem whereby some million homeless people are reported to have gone over to India. What is the cause of Pakistan’s predicament? A secession was being attempted by a political group belonging to the majority in term of population and the government of Pakistan ordered an action to arrest the situation. But after facing an armed resistance from the secessionists, the government brought the situation under control and is now engaged in restoring economic life and organising relief measures in East Pakistan- the territory that attempted to secede. Contrary to sensational reports that a worsening situation is being experienced in East Pakistan, reliable and accurate sources disclose that many factories and industrial units have resumed their normal work. Communications and transportation on railways and the reverence have been largely restored. Also, the movement and distribution of food grains and other essential goods have also been resumed.

* The Daily Al-Bilad (Jeddah), September 17, 1971


It is a great honour for Pakistan that of all the countries Mujibur Rahman’s secessionists contracted Israel for assistance. They party who does not find help but from sources like Israel, is well-known throughout the world that it is a tail to the colonisation and racialism. It is a party whose endeavour has failed and whose merchandise remained unused, and its wind will blow out shortly because bankruptcy in the beginning results necessarily to bankruptcy at the end. I hesitated much before commenting on news reports, received yesterday, about the arrival of an envoy of the secessionists of Mujibur Rahman is Israel to seek assistance from the Israel’s- the enemies of humanity, Arabs and Islam. But the fact that the envoy held a press conference in Jerusalem along with Mardakhay Shnorson and Saul Karif from Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has removed every doubt from my mind, and ascertained this tragedy.

* The Daily Ayandegan (Tehran), September 19, 1971


News from Pakistan has been more encouraging. After the appointment of a Bengali- Dr. Abdul Malik- as the East Pakistan Governor is place of Lt. Gen. Tikka Khan, now a 10 man cabinet, including some members of the Awami League, has been constituted to administer the Government. The army and the Martial Law Administration headed by Lt. Gen. A. A. K. Niazi, have been instructed only to assist the civilian Government. In addition to this, President Yahya Khan has announced general amnesty for all those accused of committing atrocities during March 1 and September 5 this year and as a result, a large number of Bengali police and military personnel have also been released.

* The Al-Thaura (Tripoli), September 22, 1971


People of the Libya Arab Republic have supported the people of Pakistan in their hour of crisis with unmatched steadfastness and sincerity. However, it is necessary that the brotherly people of the Libya Arab Republic should know that they are their brethren, but because they are supporting a right and just cause. International and Zionist propaganda consider the present crisis in Pakistan as a “golden opportunity” to eliminate Pakistan and thereby to eliminate one of the most fraternal allies of the Arabs.

* International Herald Tribune, September 30, 1971


Moscow, Sept. 29 (NYT): Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the Indian Prime Minister, left Moscow today after a 48-hour visit, reportedly pleased with an explicit show of Soviet support on the issure of East Pakistan refugees.

A joint Soviet-Indian statement issued after her departure affirmed the Kremlin’s endorsement of India’s stand on East Pakistan voiced yesterday in a luncheon speech by Premier Alexei N. Kosygin.

* The Al-Madina (Jeddah), September 30, 1971


The Indo-Russian statement issued in Moscow yesterday is yet another step of interference of Russians and Indians in the Internal affairs of East Pakistan, as this statement reflexes the two parties’ pretension to be worried about the situation in East Pakistan. It is certain that a large number of refugees crossed into India, but they are not 9 million as the Indian propaganda puts it. The refugee swept to India in order to escape the saboteurs coming from the in order to escape the saboteurs coming from the Indian territories.

* The Indonesia Observer, October 7, 1971


Time is fast running out for Pakistan’s military regime under General Yahya Khan as the combined forces of public opinion in the world as well as within the country itself exert great pressure for political economic reforms. Yahya Khan’s desperate attempt to avert his country’s total bankruptcy by announcing general amnesty and the replacement of East Pakistan’s military governor by a civilian has not aroused the least interest among the 9 million refugees from East Pakistan in India. The Pakistan President has not touched the essential core of the problem in promising a lenient attitude towards the refugees. He did mention about the future legislature of Pakistan as result of the general elections of last December in which the Awami League achieved an overwhelming victory.

* International Herald Tribune, October 7, 1971


United Nations, N.Y. Oct. 6 (NYT): Pakistan’s Chief delegate to the United Nations, Mahmud Ali, said yesterday that India has been carrying on a clandestine war against Pakistan “for the past few months,” Chiefly since violence erupted in East Pakistan in March.

Speaking in the General Assembly, Mr. Ali said Pakistan is willing to acept UN border observers, an idea that has been rejected by India.

* The York Times, October 11, 1971


Dhaka Oct. 10:- The horror of life in East Pakistan shows every sign of becoming permanently institutionalised, and most, if not all, the foreigners who came hoping to help are on the verge of despair.

In particular, the chances of reversing the tide of millions of destitute refugees who have fled to India seem remote. Most governments consider the refugee problem the main catalyst in the atmosphere of war prevailing on the subcontinent.

* International Herald Tribune, October 13, 1971


Calcutta, Oct. 12 (NYT): Under heavy security, several special freight trains carrying military supplies have been arriving in Calcutta every day for some time. The arms are reported to be earmarked for the insurgent Bangali forces fighting for East Pakistan’s independence, who are believed to be preparing to step up their activities against the Pakistan Army within a few weeks or possibly sooner.

Meanwhile, an air of suspense continues to build between the opposingarmies of India and Pakistan, on both the eastern and western borders. Reliable reports here indicated that both sides have reinforced their troops on these always sensitive frontiers. This correspondent has observed sizable Indian troop movements along the border with East Pakistan. Near one border point, at petrapole, Indian regular troops were training with recoilless rifles, which are often used against tanks.

Speculation abounds about the possibility of another India-Pakistani war, but there is no strong evidence that war is imminent, and the troop movements might be elaborate psychological warfare.

* The Lybian Times October 20, 1971


Karachi (AFP): Pakistani Air Force Commander Air Marshal Rahim Khan Yesterday warned his Planes would take “appropriate action” against further violations of Pakistani airspace by indian aircraft.

In a telegram to his Indian counterpart, Air Marshal Rahim Khan said “Indian aircraft have been violating air space over both wings of Pakistan for some time”.

* International Herald Tribune, October 25, 1971


Karachi, Oct. 24 (NYT). –The Pakistan government said its forces in East Pakistan today repulsed tow battalion-sized attacks by Bengali guerrilas supported by Indian troops and artillery.

The two attacks were said to have taken place in Comilla District near East Pakistan’s eastern frontier with India.

Casualties were heavy, according to government announcement.

* International Herald Tribune, October 27, 1971


Karachi, Oct. 26 (NYT)– The Pakistani Army continued mopping up “Indian troops and agents” in the Kasba area of Comilla District, in East Pakistan to day and, according to an evening communique, 78 more enemy bodies were found.

The latest claim brought to 579 the number of insurgents said by Pakistan to have been killed in the last three days.

Pakistan has reported that the attacks Sunday and yesterday involved around 1,000 “Indian troops and agents”.

The communique noted that India has claimed the Kasba area as being under the control of rebel Mukti Bahini forces, but reiterated Pakistan’s contention that all the territory in East Pakistan is under the control of Islamabad’s forces.

Government communiques do not mention Pakistani military casualties.

* The Financial Times (London), October 27, 1971


In spite of the military regime’s persistent denials, the Pakistan army and police continue to take reprisals against unarmed civilians living where the Bengali rebels operate, even within sight of the residence of the new civilian governor in the middle of Dacca. Authoritative sources say the American Government also continues to urge the Pakistani army to halt the attacks in an effort to create a tranquil atmosphere to attract back some of the millions of refugees who have left East Pakistan since March 25, when the army cracked down against the Awami League and its leader, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, throwing the predominantly Bengali province of 75 million people into civil war.

*International Herald Tribune, November 1, 1971


New Delhi, Oct. 31 (UPI).– The commander of the Soviet Air force arrived yesterday for a six-day visit while government spokesmen charged Pakistan with a series of border violations, including one in which six Pakistani soldiers were reported to have been killed.

Two Pakistani aircraft intruded into Indian airspace over northern Jammu and Kashmir states yesterday, the All-India Radio reported. It said that the planes had flown back to Pakistan before they could be engaged.

Air Marshal Pavel S.Kouthakov, who is a deputy defense minister and commands the Soviet Air Force, met Defense Minister Jagjivan Ram quickly after his arrival.

* Internal Herald Tribune, November 2, 1971


London, Nov. 1 (NYT). Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of INdia said today that the United States was taking a “short-term” view of the crisis with pakistan and warned that the influx of East Pakistan refugees had strained India beyond the breaking point.

* Newsweek, November 8, 1971


In their 24 years as independent nations, India and Pakistan have shown a boundless capacity for squabbling with each other. They have argued endlessly over Kashmir and a bit of wasteland called the Rann of Kutch, and six years ago they plunged into a brief but bloody war. “These two countries,” remarked one Western diplomat, “have hardly ever been genuinely at peace.” And certainly they were not last week. Along 3,000 miles of border, Indian and Pakistani troops massed in menacing formations. Most observers felt that the current travels of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who is due in the U.S. this week, ruled out the likelihood that India would go to war for the moment. But there remained the omnious feeling in both nations that, sooner or later, they would stumble into conflict.

* The Daily Telegraph, November 9, 1971


Any aggressor crossing into Pakistan “would be doome.” Mr. Ali Bhutto, President Yahya’s personal envoy, said in Rawalpindi yesterday on his return from three days of talks in Peking with Chou En Lai Chinese Prime Minister.

Mr. Bhutto led a high-powered military and diplomatic mission to he Chinese capital.

While he conferred with Chou En-lai, three Pakistani Service chiefs–Air Mahshal Rahim Khan, Lt-Gen Gul Hasan and Cdre Rashid, had talks with their Chinese counterparts and members of the Chinese Military commission.

* The Daily Telegraph, November 9, 1971


America announced yesterday its decision to cancel licences for the export of
1.4 million worth of military equipment to Pakistan by “mutual consent.”

By this step the Nixon Administration hopes that a major irritant will be removed in relations with India, and that America will be placed in a better position to persuaded India to reduce tension along the India-Pakistan border where troops are massing.

America imposed an arms embargo on Pakistan last April after military operations had begun in East Pakistan.

The Daily Telegraph, November 13, 1971


Mr. Zulfika r Ali Bhutto, leader of West Pakistan’s Leftist People’s party gave a warning yesterday that he would not tolerate any attemptv to form an East Pakistan dominated Government after next month’s by-elections in the province, “We will

topple it within 40 days.” he declared.

* Newsweek, November 22, 1971


From the moment last March that Pakistan’s President Mohammed Yahya Khan unleashed a reign of terror against the Bengalis of East Pakistan, his army has been embroiled in bloody–and losing–guerrilla war there. By now, the Bengali insurgents–known as the Mukti Bahini–claim a force of insurgents–known as the Mukti Bahini–claim a force of 100,000 soldiers and control roughly one-fourth of the countryside of East Pakistan.

* International Herald Tribune, November 23, 1971


There United Nations is drifting toward a disastrous failure on the Indian subcontinent because it is attempting to treat a potentially mortal wound with bandaids.

While India and Pakistan move closer to all-out war, the world organization has been wrangling over relief measures for an estimated nine million refugees, who have fled to India from East Bengal and for the 66-odd million Bengalis they left behind in that rebellious Pakistani province.

* International Herald Tribune, November 25, 1971


The Indians and Pakistanis have finally got their war. Indians wanted it to humiliate Pakistan, rationalizing (fairly enough) that no other way was left to be rid of the refugees. Pakistanis want it to cover their frustration at failing to suppress the Bengali insurgents in East Pakistan. Mrs. Gandhi went around the world asking for help ; none was forthcoming so her government proceeded alone. Gen. Yahaya Khan took the opposite course, trying unsuccessfully to subdue East Pakistan himself. Now he probably hopes the international community will step in the before the Indians beat him too badly, in the West as well as the East. The Indians, fighting an undeclared war, seem to hope they’ll be able to lick the Pakistanis before international pressures enforce a cease fire.

* International Herald Tribune, November 29, 1971



Calcutta, (NYT). – India and Pakistan were born 24 years ago in a burst or commual hatred that consumed hundreds of thousands of Hindu and moslem lives before subsiding., although never really dying out. The old hatred flared into two wars. And last week the two neighbours of the Indian subcontinent stood on the brink of third war–potentially the most dangerous collision of all.

* International Herald Tribune, November 29, 1971


Karachi, Nov. 28 (WP).– The Pakistan government indicated today that Pakistan troops in the eastern wing of the country have lost ground in the past 24 hours as fighting reportedly continues.

An official statement, alleging that Indian forces had launched three major attacks against Pakistani positions, said the attackers had made some “dents” in Pakistani forward positions in the Jessore area.

* International Herald Tribune, December 4–5, 1971


New Delhi, Dec. 3 (Reuters).- Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi tonight declared that Pakistan had launched full-scale war on India.

Speaking in a nationwide broadcast, Mrs. Gandhi said that she had no option but to put the country on a war footing.

Her speech came shortly after Indian President V.V. Giri Issued a proclamation declaring a national state of emergency. He said a bill would be introduced in Parliament tomorrow for immediate enactment of emergency measures which will give the government virtually unlimited powers.

Pakistan President Mohammed Yahya Khan declared a state of emergency in his country on Nov. 23.

* Sunday Telegraph, December 5, 1971


India yesterday launched a full scale invasion of East Pakistan with the object of driving out the 70,000 West Pakistan troops in the province, Indian forces linked up with the Bengladesh guerrillas, and claimed to have captured several towns in the eastern areas.

The drive got under way as Mrs. Gandhi, the Indian Prime Minister, said that Pakistan had declared war on India, and that this would be fully met.

* Sunday Telegraph, December 5, 1971


The following is the text of the statement by Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the Indian Prime Minister, to the Indian Parliament yesterday:

This morning the Government of West Pakistan has declared a war upon us. Last evening, the West Pakistani Air Force violated our airspace wantonly and attacked a large number of our airfields. Simultaneously, their ground forces shelled our positions along the Western border.

Their propaganda media have made totally baseless allegations that India has launched an assault.

* Sunday Telegraph, December 5, 1971


In a broadcast in Urdu yesterday President Yahya Khan of Pakistan said:

We are fighting for our country’s integrity and honour, God is with us in our mission. Our enemy has once again challenged us. The armed forces of India have launched a full-scale war on us.

India’s hate and enmity for Pakistan are known to the whole world. India has always tried to weaken and destroy Pakistan. This is India’s biggest and final war against us.

So far Pakistan has acted with supreme patience. We have tolerated enough. The time has now come to give a crushing reply to the Indian aggressors.

* The Daily Telegraph, December 6, 1971


India’s armed forces, totalling a million men kept up their heavy and concerted assault yesterday on both East and West Pakistan in the air, at sea and on the ground, claiming heavy enemy losses and casualties with only light to moderate Indian losses.

The main thrust is being concentrated on East Pakistan, with a holding operation along the Western front.

The Daily Telegraph, December 6, 1971


The Security Council was to meet again in emergency session last night after a long and bitter debate during which a United States proposal for a ceasefire and withdrawal of troops was vetoed by the Soviet Union.

Two other resolutions call for an immediate end to the fighting, while one from the Soviet Union seeks a political solution of the conflict “leading to a cessation of hostilities.”

The Times, December 7, 1971


India gave the “Democratic Republic of Bangladesh” full recognition yesterday, as its invading forces thrust deeper into Pakistan’s eastern province towards the capital of Dacca. Justifying India’s decision, Mrs. Gandhi told Parliament in Delhi that President Yahya Khan was now “totally incapable” of regaining control of the territory.

* International Herald Tribune, December 7, 1971


United Nations, N.Y., Dec. 6 (Reuters): Security Council members failed to agree tonight on the terms of a ceasefire resolution in the India-Pakistan conflict and prepared for a possible transfer of the problem to the General Assembly.

This was the third attempt in as many days by the 15-nation council to draft a unanimous resolution that would call for a halt to the fighting between India and Pakistan.

The two previous attempts were blocked by a Soviet veto. Russia had maintained that cease-fire resolution should not contain a commitment for the withdrawal of troops, but the United States insisted I should.

* International Herald Tribune, December 8, 1971


New Delhi, Dec. 7.: After reporting that Indian troops had battered their way into Jessore, the Pakistani Army’s chief garrison town in western East Pakistan, the Indian Army’s chief of staff broadeast a dramatic appeal to the 70,000 Pakistani soldiers in the eastern province:

“Your fate is sealed. Time is running out. Lay down your arms before it is too late.”

Gen Sam Manekshaw, the chief of staff, told the enemy forces they were surrounded not only by Indian troops but also by East Pakistani guerrillas– the Mukti Bahini–and he said he guerrillas were “ready to take revenge for the cruelties and atrocities you have committed”.

* International Herald Tribune, December 8, 1971


Islamabad, Pakistan, Dec. 7.:– President Mohammad Yahya Khan today named a center coalition government headed by an East Pakistani as premier with the most powerful politician in West Pakistan as deputy premier.

In a move obviously designed to show that the eastern and western sections of Pakistan remain united in one state, despite India’s recognition yesterday of East Pakistan’s breakaway regime of Bangladesh, Pakistan announced that the coalition had been formed” in light of the present war situation.

* International Herald Tribune, December 9, 1971


United Nations, N.Y., Dec. 8 (WP).– The General Assembly adopted a resolution last night calling on India and Pakistan to cease hostilities and withdraw their armed forces to their own sides of the borders. The vote was 104 to 11 with 11 abstentions. The resolution was essentially the same as the one the Soviet Union vetoed in the Security Council Sunday. The Council voted late Monday night to send the question to the assembly under the “united-for-peace” resolution originally used to deal with the Korean War in 1950– after two Soviet vetoes and the Threat of a third.

The Assembly has neither a veto nor the power to make its resolutions compulsory.

While 57 speakers expressed their countries’ views, Indian troops and Bangladesh guerrillas moved toward making the People’s Republic of Bangladesh a fact on the ground rather than a fiction of diplomacy.

* International Herald Tribune, December 10, 1971


Defying a United Nations plea for a ceasefire, Indian forces appear on the verge of achieving New Delhi’s major objectives in East Pakistan. These are the defeat of West Pakistani military repression in the disaffected Bengali province and the creation of conditions that will facilitate the speedy repatriation of nearly 10 million refugees– Moslem and Hindu–to an independent, friendly and secular “Bangladesh”.

* The Daily Telegraph, December 11, 1971


India and Bangladesh have signed an agreement whereby Indian troops will remain in Bangladesh to “restore conditions of absolute normalcy.”

Working in Concert with the Mukti Fouj, the Bangladesh army, Indian forces will under the agreement help to restore essential services and public utilities, and facilitate the return of 9,7000,000 refugees now in India.

They will also “try to provide” protection to everybody in areas under their control from mob violence.

One significant feature of the agreement is that it clearly indicates that Indian troops will not withdraw from Bangladesh for some time. The point about is a crucial one for the future of Bangladesh in coming months.

* The Observer, December 12, 1971


Calcutta, 11 December.– In the last desperate days of East Pakistan, the retreating soldiers of the Pakistani Army appear to be digging in for a final face-saving stand against the advancing Indian columns.

Over the last 24 hours, the speed of the Indian push towards Dacca has noticeably lessened and in some places has slowed to a painful crawl.

On all fronts the severity of the fighting has increased and for the first time Indian field commanders are admitting to heavier casualties than at any other time since war broke out. Significantly, the number of Pakistani troops surrendering has also grown. Since Friday, more than 1,000 have given themselves up as Indian units more deliberately to isolate the more remote areas of the country.

* The Daily Telegraph, December 13, 1971


The Government of independent Bangladesh, which returned over the weekend to the former Pakistani district capital of Jessore, has stated that its first priority is to restore law and order to its now chaoitic country.

In a triumphant procession led by armed guerrillas and Indian Army military police, Mr. Tajuddin Ahmed, the Prime Minister and Syed Nazrul Islam, the Acting President, drove in two commandeered Pakistani diplomatic corps Chevrolets from Petrapole, on the Indian border, to Jessore on Saturday.

Addressing a crowd of thousands in the centre of the town, the two Bengali leaders urged their people not to take the law into their own hands by killing “traitors and Pakistani collaborators.”

They said that a special war tribunal would be held soon in Dacca at which these men would be tired.

* The Times, December 14, 1971


Dacca Dec. 13. Seated on a shooting stick at a street corner in Dacca, General A.A.K. “Tiger” Niazi, the commander of Pakistan’s forces in the east, vowed todya to fight to the last man in the face of advancing Indian forces.

He made the pledge to jounralists as the Indians were reported to be as close as nine miles on their southern push to the city.

General Niazi, told the reporters: “It does not matter if we don’t have enough men to defend the city. It’s now a question of living or dying and we shall fight to the last man.”

* The Times, December 15, 1971


As Indian Migs destroyed his official residence and the final assault on Dacca began, Mr. A.M. Malik, Governor of East Pakistan, last night wrote his resignation and that of his entire Cabinet on a scrap of paper addressed to President Yahya Khan.

Senior Government officials joined foreigners seeking refuge in a Red Cross neutral Zone in the city which India has ordered its forces to respect. The East Pakistan capital was attacked from all sides and All-India Radio claimed that part of the garrison had already surrendered Indian armoued and infantry columns were locked with the Pakistanis in the city’s outer defences and military (targets were pounded both by an artillery barrage and through air strikes.

Russia advised Delhi that it had received warnings from both China and the United States that they might be forced to intervene if the integrity of West Pakistan were threatened. In the Security Council, Britain and France launched a new, but undisclosed attempt to solve the deadlock.

* The Times, December 16, 1971


Calcutta, Dec. 15. India has given the Pakistani Army in the east until 9 a.m. tomorrow to stop fighting after a dramatic inquity about a cease-fire from Lieutenant General A A K Niazi, the army’s commander in chief, in Dacca tonight.

A pause was immediately ordered in the intense Indian bombing of Dacca while the Pakistan Command considers proposals made to it by General Sam Manekshaw Chief of Staff of the Indian Army.

However, the elation that greeted the news when it broke here just after 6 p.m. was slightly damped when the full meaning of General Niazi’s inquiry became known. He is asking, in fact, for a chance to withdraw his soldiers to safe areas from which they could be repatriated to West Pakistan and he has not talked yet in terms of a total surrender.

Informed observers here tonight are wondering whether General Niazi, who promised previously that his men would “fight to the last”, is playing for time or is opening the bargaining in a nigh-long diplomatic give and take.

General Manekshaw’s reply to the inquiry from Dacca said: “Since you have indicated your desire to stop fighting I expect you to issue orders to all forces under your command in Bangladesh to ceasefiring immediately and surrender to my advancing forces wherever they are located.

“I am giving you my solemn assurance that the personnel who surrender shall be treated with the dignity and respect that soldiers are entitled to and we will abide by the provisions of the Geneva Convention.

“Further, as you have many wounded I shall ensure that they are well cared for and your dead properly burried. No one need have any fear for their safety, no matter where they come from, nor shall there be any reprisals by the forces operating under my command.”

If a positive response was received, he added, he would direct General Jagjit Singh Aurora, Commander-in-Chief, Eastern Command, to halt air and ground action in East Pakistan. But if there were no such response he would be left with no alternative but to continue his offensive with the utmost vigour.

A radio link was being kept open tonight so that communications could be continued before the deadline expires tomorrow.

A later message said that General Niazi had been persuaded to make his tentative inquiry about a ceasefire by United Nations officials in Dacca, after the general had been found earlier today to be almost a breaking point.

His message was countersigned by Major-General Farman Ali Khan, military adviser to the governor of East Pakistan, whose own peace initiative to U Thant, the United Nations Secretary-General was countermanded by President Yahya Khan several days ago.

News of the latest initiatives reached here just after it had been announced that Indian soldiers had crossed all the waterways separating them from Dacca, including the Lakhya on the city’s eastern outskirts, and were now mortaring the capital from only a mile or so outside.

* The Times, December 16, 1971


Calcutta, Dec. 15.– The Bangladesh Government is remaining in Calcutta while waiting for the Indian Army, with the help of the Mukti Bahini, to capture Dacca. As soon as the East Pakistan capital falls, the Government plans to install itself there.

The regime’s officials feel that this will signify their full establishment of power and legitimacy. They are hoping that friendly nations such as the Soviet Union, which have so far declined to follow India’s lead in granting diplomatic recognition, will then recognize Bangladesh.

Mukti bahini officials have been travelling extensively inside the captured or liberated areas lately, but Calcutta remains their base of operations.

Mukti Bahini is getting a regional civil administration restored. In some cases, former officials who fled before Pakistan Army repression and joined the Bangladesh cause are returning to their old posts. In other cases, those who stayed and collaborated with the Army are being purged and new officials assigned.

India is sending is some of its own officials to help with administration and police organization, and in technical fields such as medical and engineering services. Already this has given rise to some discontent, some beginning of ill-will.

* The Daily Telegraph, December 17, 1971


All Pakistan’s forces on the Eastern front surrendered unconditionally to India yesterday. In return the Delhi Government offered a total cease-fire to include the Western front as well, but Pakistan’s President Yahya Khan said the “Holy war” would go on.

Pakistan’s Gen. “Tiger” Niazi, pledged to “fight to the last man” in Dacca, surrendered only 10 minutes before hte Indian ultimatum expired. He dropped previously-made evacuation conditions.

Gen. Niazi stripped off an epaulette marking his rank and handed his revolver to Lt.-Gen. J.S.Aurora, India’s commander in the East. The surrender documents were “in the highest terms of gallantry and chivalry,” it was claimed in Delhi.

While Bengalis were giving the victorious Indians a rapturous welcome, Mrs Gandhi, Indian Prime Minister, in announcing her ceasefire offer, said Dacca was now the “free capital of a free country.” India rejoiced in the triumph of Bangladesh.

Mrs Gandhi told a cheering Parliament that India had no territorial ambitions, and further conflict would be pointless. A defence spokesman pointed out that the surrender was military occasion, not a political negotiation, but the Bangladesh Government would take over today.

* THE SUNDAY TIMES, December 19, 1971


Before they surrendered at Dacca on Thursday, the Pakistani Army arrested and then shot more than 50 of the city’s surviving intellectuals, scientists and businessmen. It was a closely planned elimination of elite Bengali citizens, carried out as a sudden military operation. It must therefore have been done with the full knowledge of the Pakistan high command, including the commanding officer, General Niazi.

The discovery of the bodies can only increase tension in Dacca, make revenge killings and riots more likely, and possibly even cause friction between the Mukti Bahini guerrillas and the Indian Army.

If the occupying forces have to clamp down on the liberated Bengalis, they co8ld come to resent even Indian occupation; and there are small signs of this ominous development already in Dacca.

The murdered intellectuals were discovered in some isolated clay pits on the outskirts of the town at a place called Rayar Bazer. I actually saw 35 bodies there, in a decomposed condition which indicates they were killed four or five days ago. There are probably many more, and from kidnap reports, some in Dacca are putting the number of killed as high as 150.

Compiled by Sajjatul Islam Nobel

India wasn’t architect of Bangladesh: former RAW deputy chief . New Delhi

A former deputy chief of India’s external intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing, better known as RAW, says that India was not the architect of an independent Bangladesh.

‘India’s role was more of a facilitator than a creator. It was a war jointly won by India and the people of East Pakistan,’ writes B Raman, one of India’s best-known spies, in his new book.

‘The Kaoboys of RAW,’ Raman’s new book that has hit the stands this week, gives enormous credit to the people of the then East Pakistan for the creation of Bangladesh.

‘Without the desire and the will of the people of Bangladesh, there would have been no Bangladesh. Their sacrifices for their cause were immense. How many were brutally killed by the Pakistan Army!

‘How many Bengali intellectuals were massacred by the Pakistan Army and by terrorist organisations such as Al Badr and Al Shams created by the ISI! It is their sacrifice which laid the foundation for an independent Bangladesh,’ writes Raman in the second chapter of his book.

‘What India did under the leadership of Indira Gandhi was to make sure that their sacrifices were not in vain,’ he adds.

The former intelligence agent claims that the on-ground support for the people of the then East Pakistan turned 1971 into a ‘dream situation for professional intelligence officers (of India )’.

‘Often, they did not have to go after intelligence. It came after them. There was such a total alienation of the people of East Pakistan,’ he writes.

The book traverses through India’s contemporary history — importantly the 1971 war, insurgency in the Northeast, Punjab and Kashmir, the emergency, the war in Afghanistan and how Indian intelligence functioned under several Indian prime ministers such as Indira Gandhi, Morarji Desai, Rajiv Gandhi, VP Singh, Chandra Shekhar and Narasimha Rao.

Raman, who had worked in RAW for 26 years, provides rare insights into the functioning of the intelligence agency.