Category Archives: 1971

Bangladesh War of Independence: West Pakistani Soldiers Kill Catholic Priests

Photo Courtesy: Father Evans (Holy Cross Church, Luxmibazar, Dhaka),
Father Veronesi (Bishop’s House Archives, Khulna), Father Marandi
(Catholic Beginnings in North Bengal by by Luigi Pinos, P.I.M.E.)
Layout and Design: Joachim Romeo D’Costa

The Pakistani ruling elite always considered the Hindus in East Pakistan as enemies and agents of India. During their nine-month long deadly crackdown in 1971, West Pakistani soldiers not only demolished many Hindu temples, but also killed a sizable number of Hindu priests, besides Hindu intellectuals, influential persons and common folks in different parts of the eastern wing of the country.

Comparatively, Christians did not suffer that much death and destruction as suffered by the Hindus. Yet, they were not totally spared. In certain pockets of East Pakistan, death and destruction visited them as well. In many mission church and school compounds, internal refugees –Hindus, Muslims and Christians — fleeing West Pakistani military crackdown and barbarity had taken shelter. They were fed and clothed. In this process, a good number of local priests and foreign missionaries — both Catholic and Protestant — faced threats and harassment from the West Pakistani military personnel.

Three Catholic priests — two foreign and one East Pakistani — were brutally killed, too. They were:

  • Father William P. Evans, C.S.C. (1919 – 1971):

Father William P. Evans, C.S.C., killed on November 23, 1971, was an American priest and missionary, belonging to the Congregation of Holy Cross. After coming to East Pakistan, he served at different capacities in various Catholic parish churches and, one time, at the Bandura Little Flower Seminary. Finally, he was the parish priest of Golla Catholic Church in Nawabganj Upazilla of Dhaka District.

Although he was a foreigner, he loved the Bangalis dearly and empathized with them and their aspirations. He aided many internal refugees and gave moral support to the muktijuddhas (fredom fighters) of the locality. West Pakistani army personnel in that area was aware of his support of the freedom fighters.

On November 13, 1971, as usual once a week, he was going by a boat to offer Mass at Bakshanagar Village, a mission station a few kilometres away from Golla. As his boat was passing by the army camp at Nawabganj, the soldiers signaled the boat to make a stoppage at the camp. When the boat reached the shore, soldiers grabbed Father Evans and struck him so hard with the rifle butt that he fell on the ground. His body was bayonated several times and ultimately he was killed with two bullets. Then they threw his corpse into the river that carried it several kilometres downstream.

Ordinary people recovered his body and brought it to Golla Church compound. Thousands of Catholics, Muslims and Hindus of the area came to pay their last respect to this holy man before his burial at the church graveyard.

Father Evans’ innate smiling face, love of people, humility, humour, and empathy drew people of all faiths to him. He was called a “holy man.” Till now, many people visit his grave.

In the Little Flower Seminary at Bandura in the early 60’s, he was our rector. From time to time, he used to give us writing assignments in English and after checking them would give his comments. On my assignment sheets, he would often remark: “Short sentences, but complete thought. Keep up the good work.” My later journalism and writing career in life was the result of his inspiration.

Father Evans has been honoured in different ways in Bangladesh. The Tribeni Chhatra Kallyan Sangha (youth organization) in 1972 started to give “Father Evans Scholarship” to poor but excelling students. In 1973, this organization had also started “Father Evans Memorial Football Tournament”. Later Shurid Sangha (another youth organization) in old Dhaka started its annual “Shaheed Father Evans Memorial Basketball Competition” among different youth organizations.

Source: Bangladeshey Catholic Mondoli (The Catholic Church in Bangladesh)
by Jerome D’Costa (Dhaka: Pratibeshi Prakashani, 1986), pp.302-303

  • Father Mario Veronesi, S.X. (1912 – 1971):

After West Pakistani military started their crackdown on the East Pakistanis (now Bangladesh) from March 25, 1971 onwards, many people of all faiths began to take refuge in church compounds — both Catholic and Protestant. In Jessore town, a number of such people took shelter in the church compound where Father Mario Veronesi, an Italian Xaverian priest and missionary, was the parish priest.

On April 4, 1971 it was the Palm Sunday. Father was taking care of the internal refugees who had taken shelter in his church compound. When the soldiers with their rifles and sub-machine guns entered the compound and were proceeding towards the building, Father Veronesi came out to meet them with his raised hands. He had a large red cross badge on his chest because there was also the Fatima Hospital adjacent to the place. The soldiers immediately started to fire at him and the building. He got bullets in his chest and died there. The soldiers then entered the church and shot and killed four of the refugees.

Initially, he was buried in Jessore. Later his body was taken to Shimulia Catholic Church compound and re-buried near the grave of another Italian Xaverian missionary Father Valerian Cobbe, S.X., who was killed on October 14, 1974 by robbers.

After the independence of Bangladesh in December, 1971, a Muslim student, named Ismail Hossain, wrote a letter to Father Valerian Cobbe and paid tribute to Father Mario Veronesi: “At last we have achieved independence and freedom! We rejoice and thank God and ask him to help our nation progress and live in tranquility. The memory of so many victims is the thing that saddens us most and gives us great pain. The best members of our society have died. Father Mario Veronesi is among these martyrs of our independence. We feel very proud of him: he paid the highest price for our independence!”

This 58-year-old Italian was a priest for 28 years, 19 of which he spent in East Pakistan. He worked in various capacity in different parish churches under the Diocese of Khulna. He is best remembered for working for the upliftment of the poor.


  • Father Lucas Marandi (1922 – 1971):

Father Lucas Marandi, belonging to the local Santal ethnic group, was a diocesan priest for 18 years under the Diocese of Dinajpur, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). In 1971, he was the parish priest of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church at Ruhea in Thakurgaon District. He had a strong patriotic feeling for his country when the West Pakistani army began their bloody crackdown on the East Pakistani on March 25, 1971.

Thousands upon thousands of East Pakistanis in various districts and localities were fleeing the merciless attacks of the West Pakistani soldiers. Many were taking refuge in different border districts of India.

Father Marandi received the news that four Catholic mission centres of the Diocese of Dinajpur were abandoned after the military plunderings. In the Ruhea area itself, most of the members of the minority groups and many Muslims left their abodes and fled to nearby India. His parishoners, through messengers, were appealing him time and again to leave Ruhea and join them in India.

Finally, Father Marandi decided to move. He got the church bullock cart loaded with the parish archives and his personal belongings. He told the cart driver to move towards the border that was marked by the shallow Nagor River, six miles ( kilometres) away. He then reached the riverbank on his motor cycle.

When the cart reached the designated spot, the cart and he himself on the motor cycle crossed the river together. On reaching the Indian side of the river bank, he turned toward the Ruhea Church and kept on looking intently for quite some time. His companions could realize that something ominous was going on in his mind. When someone told him to make a move towards India, Father Marandi turned toward him and said gravely: “No, it has all been a mistake! Let’s go back to Ruhea!” He then crossed the river and started to return to his church.

Father Lucas Marandi was all alone in the Ruhea church compound except a few Catholics living nearby. After three days, on April 21, 1971, a West Pakistani army jeep pulled up at the priest’s residence. Father greeted them and offered them tea and biscuits. They then left for the north. He felt quite relieved of his tension, but temporarily. After three hours the jeep returned.

Father Marandi came out again, but the soldiers pushed him inside his residence and started to torture him for the next 15 minutes or so. They bayoneted his face beyond recognition. Blood splattered all over the walls. When they left the compound, mortally wounded Father was dying.

A few Catholics who lived nearby rushed in to see what had happened. Seeing his grave condition, they decided to take him to India by the very bullock cart that Father had used earlier. Before reaching the destination, Father Lucas Marandi expired. His corpse was taken to the Catholic Church at Islampur on the Indian side of the border where he is still buried.

Sooner they left the church compound then a bunch of local looters appeared and ransacked the church and priest’s residence and carried away everything available.

Source: Catholic Beginnings in North Bengal by Father Luigi Pinos, P.I.M.E.
(Saidpur: Catholic Church, 1984), pp.26-27)

These three priests are the testimonies of the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the ferocious and brutal West Pakistani soldiers.

Used with permission from Jerome D’Costa:

Rape of Bengal: Humanity’s Darkest Hour

Photo: Potrait of Ahmed Makhdoon, a staunch Sindiyat nationalist, written on his mind, inscribed in his heart and injected into his soul

Photo: Potrait of Ahmed Makhdoon, a staunch Sindiyat nationalist, written on his mind, inscribed in his heart and injected into his soul


ساٸين سسداٸين ڪرين مٿي سنڌ سڪار؍ دوست مٺا دلدار؍ عالم سڀ آباد ڪزين شاھ

ON 16TH December 1971 one of the most horrifying and horrendous, shameful and scandalous, disgraceful and dishonourable, ignominious and infamous act of cowardice and inhumanity came to an end after nine month long saga of chaos, genocide, arson and rape. It is on this day that the barbaric, savage and brutal Pakistan army – about 96,000 animals in uniform – surrendered in Dhaka to the Indian army. The preceding nine months of horror, tyranny and terror will go down in the history of mankind, without any doubt as its darkest hour.

And, I saw with my sinful eyes the rape of the daughters of Bengal and the massacre of the millions of innocent sons of Bengal take place right in my own front yard. And, I lived to tell the world what I saw!

Saturday, 7th November 2009, I was in London, where I attended a gathering – organised by Liberation Group at Irish Cultural Centre – gathering of the tortured, troubled, truncated, tormented and terrorised nations of the world–being brutally bludgeoned by the tyrants of the day. As a humble son of Jeejal Sindhrree, I was there, together with my evergreen warrior sister, Suraiya, and a young, proud dedicated Sindhi with a Sindhi cap, Saaeen Aachar Bozdar.

There were Palestinians, Iraqis, Kurds from Iraq and Turkey, Polisario from Morocco and Bengalees from Bangladesh. We were thoroughly entertained by a remarkable group of Turkish Kurds – with their traditional music and songs. There were speeches too by various nations screaming, sacrificing, striving, struggling g for freedom and human rights.

I, too, had an opportunity to present the case of my brutalised motherland, and fatherland, Sindh, savaged by the vultures, wolves and werewolves of the erstwhile, godless, gutless, senseless country known as Pakistan.

Although not much of a singer, I was so much impressed and inspired by an Irish gentleman and a young Kurdish girl and the lilting melodies of Turkish music band, that I had to come on the floor and dance and sing too in my course voice – I sang a song of Sindh, in sweet language of my motherland, “Peirein pawandee saan, chawandee saan, rahee vancju raat Bhambhore mein.”

پيرين پوندي سان؍ چوندي سان؍ رھي وڃ رات ڀنڀور ۾؍

This prompted a middle-aged handsome Bengalee brother to come forward and embrace and hug me. He told me about Bangladesh and asked me where I was at the time Bengalees got their independence. Here is what I told him……

1964 – I joined Juldia Maritime Academy, Chittagong, on a two-year Maritime Studies Course. We were three Sindhis at that time – from 2nd and 3rd Batches of the Academy: Saaeen Altaf Shaikh, who later became a Chief Engineer and a well-known Sindhi travelogue writer, Saaeen Bashir Vistro, my ggothaaee ڳوٺاٸي (from nearby village in Sindh, where I spent my childhood), who later on became a Master Mariner and a senior officer in the Shipping Company in Karachi, and myself.

We had Bengali friends who used to regularly take us to their homes in Dacca, Chittagong, and elsewhere in the then East Pakistan and introduce us to their folks. We had a special relationship with these cultured, artistic-minded, literate, highly sober, astute and loveable Bengalis. In return, we Sindhis were adored, respected and pampered with love and gifts and treated as members of their families.

One of my best friend was a Bengali from Dacca, Nurul Amin. They were seven brothers and had a little sister whom they used to call “Champa,” a sweet, cherubic, angel-faced girl of twelve, with pony tails and a flower in her hair. What a talented little angel she was! She used to play piano – a must item in almost every Bengali’s home – and used to sing with such a sweet and graceful voice that we used to sit transfixed and mesmerised as we heard her play the rhythmic tones of piano and sing.

There was one particular song that I loved to listen over and over again, and she used to always oblige me and my constant demands (farmaaish) and requests. The song was:

“Shaat bhaaee champa, jago rei jago rei; ghuum ghuum thaakei na ghuumei ree ghorei…..”
شات ڀاٸي چمپا جاگو ري؍ جاگو ري؍ گھوم گھوم ٿاڪي نا گھومي ري ھوري؍

This song was about seven brothers and their little sister (just like her own family). Till this day I have not forgotten that cherubic pony-tailed face, and that golden voice and the sweet melodies of her song, “Shaat bahee champa….”

1971 – I was a young Navigating Officer on board a ship and we were in Chittagong, the premier port of the then East Pakistan, loading Jute for Rotterdam and Antwerp.

Suddenly, we heard the guns screaming all over the ship. My wonderful friend, a Bengali, Second Officer, and the Bengali crew were massacred by the brutal, cowards and animals in uniform of the Pakistani Punjabi Army. I survived as I hid myself for four days – without any food, without any water – in the Fore Peak store of the ship.

Bangladesh was born as I came out of my sanctuary. My Bengalee brethren helped me, fed me, took care of me and showered love, affections and kindness over me. They paid for my Air Passage to Singapore, where I was to start a new life, a new beginning, a new chapter in the not-so-long history of my life, far, far away from my motherland, my fatherland, Sindh.

Singapore became my homeland for over forty years since then – and my friends the Bengalees constructed a beautiful home, cottages, palaces in my heart, mind and soul, which I would cherish for as long as I live.

Back to 1971 – what I saw in Chittagong had left deep wounds on my heart and soul – wounds inflicted by the rapists, murderers, barbarian Pakistani soldiers, as I saw streets reddened by the blood of innocent Bengalees, young girls raped and brutally cut into pieces, infants snatched from the arms of their mothers and banged viciously in cold blood against the walls and tree trunks till only the tiny feet were left in the pitiless, merciless. Filthy hands of the barbarians and savages in uniform. The young mothers were than brutally gang-raped and subsequently dismembered, tortured and bludgeoned to death. What I saw was much, much and much more – even the animals will not do the same to their pray – I do not have any words to describe the way children, men and women were lynched by these barbarous, sadistic savages as they shouted, “Allah-o-Akbar.”

I went to Dacca to meet my dear friend, Nurul Amin, and his family and especially to hear the song of Shaat Bhaaee Champa. What I heard and saw made me to scream at my Creator, “Why, Oh Lord, Why?” My dear friend was savagely murdered by the coward Pakistan Army and my sweet dear little twelve-year Champa was gang-raped by these animals, and was grabbed by these barbarians from her tiny legs and continuously hit on the walls of the house, till there were nothing but pieces of her flash and bones and blood all over.

Bengalees were now free – freedom that came at a great expense and tremendous sacrifices – free to take destiny in their own hands. JOEI BANGLA – amee tomakei bhalo bhashee.

جوٸي بنگلا؍ امي توماڪي ڀالو ڀاشي؍

I love you my brave, valiant brothers and sisters, sons and daughters in Bangladesh!. We Sindhis had loved you and will always love you, my dear Bengalees. Long Live Bangladesh! Long Live Sindh!

And, Murshid Saaeen Bhittai says:

جي مون گھر اچين سپرين٫ ھوڏَ ڇڏي ھيڏي٫ ڳالھيون ڳجھ اندر جيون٫ تنِ گھريون تو ڏي٫ جي وھين گڏ گوڏي٫ تَ دونر سڻاياٸن دل جا ………(سر بروو ۱؍۱۸)

Jei muun ghari acheen supreen, hodda chhaddei heiddei, Ggaalhiyuun ggujha andara jyuun, tani ghuriyuun to ddei, Jei wiheen gaddu goddei, ta donra sunnaayaeen dil jaa. (Barwo:1/18) Supposing, Beloved! Thou cometh hither, Leaving Thy Vanity far, far away yonder; Fabulous anecdotes aplenty hidden within, Lifting the veil surely with Thee whisper; Supposing, Beloved! Thou knelth together, Carols within heart, chant for Thine pleasure.

……… Translated by Ahmed Makhdoom

First published in Ahmed Makhdoom’s Facebook, December 17, 2009

Dr. Ahmed Makhdoom, Professor, Oceanographic Sciences and Maritime Studies, Singapore, Malaysia

Via: Bangladesh Watchdog

Video: Village Massacre

ABC News (11/30/1971): Village Massacre

Viewer Discretion Strongly Advised

Video of the aftermath of a massacre in a village near Dhaka. 75 villagers – men, women, children – were killed by the Pakistani army. Many bodies were burned, women were raped, and babies were bayoneted before the village was burned.

As the Pakistan army started to lose its grip on Bangladesh in late November of 1971, more and more foreign reporters started to venture into the country. As reporters began to enter villages and towns in Bangladesh, they discovered the aftermath of the massacres by the Pakistan army. The full extent of the genocide began to emerge in the following months.

[Click for high-resolution video] Continue reading

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

East Bengal Regiment of Pakistan army in 1971

Mandeep S. Bajwa & Ravi Rikhye

Regimental Flag

  • 1st EBR: Mutinied at Jessore, East Pakistan.
  • 2nd EBR: Mutinied at Joydebpur, East Pakistan.
  • 3rd EBR: Mutinied at Rangpur, East Pakistan.
  • 4th EBR: Mutinied at Comilla, East Pakistan.
  • 5th EBR: Fought in the Ajnala (Punjab) sector in the 1971 War. One of its companies defected en bloc to the Indians, led by their second in command, Subedar Samad Khan. Repatriated to Bangladesh 1975.
  • 6th EBR: Was in the desert sector and was left behind when Pakistan 18th Division concentrated for the Jaisalmer offensive. The battalion was surrounded by a minefield to prevent them from attacking the rear of the Pakistani attack. Repatriated to Bangladesh, 1975.
  • 7th EBR: First posted small parties of its personnel to units of the Frontier Force and later was redesignated 44 FF.
  • 8th EBR: Mutinied at Chittagong, East Pakistan.
  • 9th EBR: Raised under the Mukti Bahani, the Bangladesh liberation army, in 1971.
  • 10th EBR: Raised under the Mukti Bahani, the Bangladesh liberation army, in 1971.
  • 11th EBR: Raised under the Mukti Bahani, the Bangladesh liberation army, in 1971.
  • পাকিস্তান ভাঙ্গনের মুখোমুখি

    দি টাইমস, ২৮ ফেব্রুয়ারি, ১৯৭১

    পিটার হ্যাজেলহার্স্ট

    অনুবাদ: ফাহমিদুল হক

    দিল্লি, ২৭ ফেব্রুয়ারি। পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানের ও পিপলস্ পার্টির নেতা জুলফিকার আলি ভুট্টো প্রথমবারের মতো জনঅংশগ্রহণের মাধ্যমে নির্বাচিত প্রতিনিধিদের জাতীয় পরিষদের অধিবেশন বয়কট করার ফলে মীমাংসার আর কোনো পথ খোলা রইলো না। সত্যিকারের বিপদ এখন দেখা গিয়েছে। ভুট্টো ও পূর্ব পাকিস্তানের নেতা শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান অধিবেশন বসার ১২০ দিনের মধ্যে পরস্পরের কাছে সমর্থনযোগ্য ও প্রেসিডেন্ট ইয়াহিয়া খানের মাধ্যমে অনুমোদিত একটি সংবিধান প্রণয়ন করবেন বলে কথা ছিল। তেমনটি ঘটার সম্ভাবনা কমই ছিল, কিন্তু এখন যেটা দাঁড়ালো তাতে, তেমন হবার আশা অপসৃত হলো।

    এবিষয়ে কোনো সন্দেহ নেই যে যতক্ষণ না প্রেসিডেন্ট ইয়াহিয়া খান দুই নেতার মধ্যে অধিবেশন বসার তারিখ ৩ মার্চের মধ্যে মধ্যস্থতা করার কোনো ব্যবস্থা গ্রহণ না করছেন, পাকিস্তানে একটি ব্যাপক আকারের বিচ্ছিন্নতা-আন্দোলন শুরু হবার হুমকির মুখে পড়ছে। কিন্তু সমঝোতা হবার আর কোনো সুযোগ আছে বলে মনে হচ্ছে না। পূর্ব পাকিস্তানে শেখ মুজিব ও তার আওয়ামী লীগ চাচ্ছে ভুট্টো ও তার পিপলস্ পার্টিকে সহ অথবা ছাড়াই অধিবেশন আহ্বান করতে। ৩১৩টি আসনের মধ্যকার ১৬৭ আসনে বিজয়ী আওয়ামী লীগ নিজেরাই তাদের প্রস্তাবিত চূড়ান্ত-স্বায়ত্তশাসনের সংবিধান পাশ করাতে সম। তাদের প্রস্তাব অনুসারে কেন্দ্রীয় সরকার দুর্বল হবে এবং তার হাতে কেবল তিনটি দায়িত্ব থাকবে: প্রতিরক্ষা, পররাষ্ট্র ও মুদ্রা।

    অন্যদিকে ভুট্টো কার্যকর কেন্দ্রীয় সরকার চান। বাঙালিরা যদি সংখ্যাগরিষ্ঠতার মাধ্যমে তাদের সাংবিধানিক প্রস্তাবনা পাশ করিয়ে নেয়, তবে সেটা পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানের কাছে কোনোভাবেই গ্রহণযোগ্য হবে না। এমনকি ভুট্টো যদি সংবিধান প্রণয়নে অংশগ্রহণও করেন তারপরও সন্দেহ থেকে যায় যে প্রেসিডেন্ট ইয়াহিয়া এমন কোনো সংবিধান অনুমোদন করবেন বা পারবেন যা বাঙালিদের চাপে প্রণীত হয়েছে। অধিবেশন বয়কট সম্পর্কিত ব্যাখ্যা দেবার সময় ভুট্টো এই শংকার কথা ব্যক্ত করেছিলেন। এসপ্তাহের প্রথম দিকে তিনি পাকিস্তান রেডিওকে বলেছিলেন তিনি সত্যিকার অর্থে সংবিধান প্রণয়ন করতে যাচ্ছেন না … তিনি ঢাকায় যেতে পারেন কেবল এই শর্তে যে বাঙালিরা তাদের চূড়ান্ত স্বায়ত্তশাসনভিত্তিক ছয় দফার ব্যাপারে আপস করবে।

    কিন্তু বর্তমান পরিস্থিতিতে পারস্পরিক মিলিত হবার কোনো সম্ভাবনা আর দেখা যাচ্ছে না। শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান বলছেন এবং বলতে থাকবেন যে পাকিস্তানকে যদি একক দেশ হিসেবে টিকিয়ে রাখতে হয় তবে পাকিস্তানের সংখ্যাগরিষ্ঠ জনগণের ইচ্ছার ওপরে ভিত্তি করেই সংবিধান প্রণয়ন করতে হবে। তিনি তার ছয়দফা কর্মসূচীর ব্যাপারে দৃঢ় অবস্থানের কথা পুনর্ব্যক্ত করেছেন। রাজস্ব ও বৈদেশিক বাণিজ্য কি কেন্দ্রীয় সরকারের হাতেই থাকবে, না তা প্রাদেশিক সরকারের হাতে যাবে — দুই নেতার মধ্যে সত্যিকারের বিরোধ সেবিষয়েই।

    মি. ভুট্টোর জনপ্রিয়তা ভারত-বিরোধী অবস্থানের কারণেই। তিনি চান রাজস্বের ব্যাপারটি কেন্দ্রীয় সরকারের হাতেই থাকবে যাতে পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানে একটি শক্তিশালী প্রতিরা-ব্যবস্থা থাকে। শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান বুঝতে পারেন না তার প্রদেশ কেন ১২০০ মাইল দূরে অবস্থিত কাশ্মিরীদের জন্য প্রতিরা বাজেটের অর্ধেক অংশে অবদান রাখবে। কাশ্মির নিয়ে দিল্লির সঙ্গে পাঞ্জাবের বিরোধের কারণে পূর্ব পাকিস্তানের সঙ্গে ভারতের বাণিজ্য বন্ধ করে দেবার অধিকার পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানের আছে কিনা সেবিষয়েও তিনি প্রশ্ন তুলেছেন।

    এমাসের প্রথম দিকে এক সভায় দু-নেতা জনসম্মুখে ঘোষণা দিয়েছিলেন যে এই দুই দফায় তাদের মতৈক্য হয় নি এবং ফলে যে অচলাবস্থা সৃষ্টি হয় তা মি. ভুট্টোকে অধিবেশন বয়কটের সিদ্ধান্তের দিকে ঠেলে দেয়। মনে করা হচ্ছে শেখ মুজিবুর অবশ্যই নির্ধারিত ৩ মার্চেই অধিবেশন বসতে হবে। যদি সামান্য কয়েকজন পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানী সংবিধান প্রণয়নে কাজ করেন তবে যেকোনো অর্থেই পূর্ব পাকিস্তানের ইচ্ছা অনুসারেই সংবিধান প্রণীত হবে।

    এই পরিস্থিতিতে, এটা আশা করা হচ্ছে যে প্রেসিডেন্ট সংবিধান অনুমোদন করবেন না এবং হয় শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান অথবা ভুট্টো এককভাবেই স্বাধীনতা ঘোষণা করবেন।

    বাংলার সঙ্কটকাল

    দি টাইমস, ২০ ফেব্রুয়ারি, ১৯৭১

    অনুবাদ: ফাহমিদুল হক

    পূর্ব পাকিস্তান আওয়ামী লীগের নেতা শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান আজ একটি গুরুত্বপূর্ণ ঘোষণা দেবেন এবং স্বায়ত্তশাসন প্রসঙ্গে তার অবস্থান তিনি পরিবর্তন করতে পারবেন না। তার দলে এবং তার বামের দলগুলোতে পূর্ব পাকিস্তানের পশ্চিম থেকে পুরোপুরি বিচ্ছিন্ন হবার দাবি প্রতি ঘণ্টায় আরও জোরালো হয়ে উঠছে। পূর্ব পাকিস্তানকে সারা বিশ্বের সঙ্গে বিচ্ছিন্ন করে ফেলা হয়েছে, কিন্তু জনগণ ও বিক্ষোভকারীদের কাছে পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানী সেনাবাহিনী সেই শাসকের প্রতীকে পরিণত হয়েছে যাদের তারা ছুঁড়ে ফেলতে দৃঢ়প্রতিজ্ঞ। এই সেনাবাহিনীর এক তৃতীয়াংশ ও পুরো পুলিশ বাহিনীর সদস্যরা হলো বাঙালি; তাই করাচির পে বেশিদিন মতা ধরে রাখা সম্ভব হবে না, ক্ষমতাবৃদ্ধির জন্য সামনের সময়ে যাই করা হোক না কেন। এরপরও এখন পর্যন্ত এটা নিশ্চিত নয় যে পাকিস্তান ভেঙ্গে গেছে।

    এখনও এরকম একটি সম্ভাবনা আছে যে শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান দু-টি পৃথক আঞ্চলিক সংবিধান তৈরীর আহ্বান জানাতে সমর্থ হবেন, যেখানে প্রতিটি অংশই কেন্দ্রীয় সার্বভৌম কেন্দ্রীয় কর্তৃপরে বিধান পরিত্যাগ করবে এবং যার শাসনপ্রণালী ও শাসনএলাকা আলোচনার ভিত্তিতে পরবর্তী সময়ে ঠিক করা হবে। শেখ মুজিব তার দলকে গ্রহণ করতে বা গ্রহণ করানোর চেষ্টা করতে বড়জোর এইটুকুই করতে পারেন। ডিসেম্বরের নির্বাচনে আওয়ামী লীগ ৩১৩ আসনের মধ্যে ১৬৭টি আসন পেয়েছে। কিন্তু ঢাকায় যাবার ব্যাপারে অস্বীকৃতি জানিয়ে মি. ভুট্টো জাতীয় পরিষদের অধিবেশন বাতিল করতে প্রেসিডেন্ট ইয়াহিয়া খানকে প্রভাবিত করেন। এই ব্যাপারটি আওয়ামী লীগ ও বাঙালিদের বিক্ষুব্ধ করে তুলেছে।

    বিমান ছিনতাইয়ের ঘটনার পর থেকে পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানে ভারত-বিরোধী মনোভাব তৈরী হবার পরিপ্রেক্ষিতে প্রেসিডেন্টের বিরুদ্ধে ভুট্টোর অবস্থান সুসংহত হয়। পূর্ব পাকিস্তানীরা দেখলো নির্বাচনে হারার পরও পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানীরা মতা দখল করে রাখতে চাচ্ছে এবং নির্বাচন-পরবর্তী আলোচনায় পূর্ব পাকিস্তানের ন্যায্য দাবি মেনে নিচ্ছে না। তাদের বিচ্ছিন্নতাবাদী মনোভাব বছরের পর বছর ধরে বেড়ে উঠেছে। বিগত বন্যায় করাচির অমনোযোগিতার পর ডিসেম্বরের নির্বাচনে তার চূড়ান্ত বহিঃপ্রকাশ ঘটে।

    শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান প্রায় নিশ্চিতভাবেই চান না যে ইতিহাস তাকে তেমন মুসলিম নেতা হিসেবে চিহ্নিত করুক যিনি পাকিস্তানকে ভেঙ্গে দু-টুকরা করেছেন। মি. ভুট্টোই তাকে সেই দিকে ঠেলে দিয়েছেন। তার হাত যদি শক্ত হয়েই থাকে এবং বিভক্তি যদি পারস্পরিক বোঝাপড়ার মাধ্যমে না হয়ে থাকে তবে ভারত ও পাকিস্তান কঠোর সমস্যার সম্মুখিন হবে। পূর্ব পাকিস্তানে যখন ওলটপালট ঘটে চলেছে তখন পশ্চিমবঙ্গে নির্বাচন হতে যাচ্ছে যেখানে সমাজতান্ত্রিক সরকার গঠিত হবার জোর সম্ভাবনা দেখা যাচ্ছে। আওয়ামী লীগের পুরোমাত্রার ‘বাংলাদেশ’-রাষ্ট্রের দাবিকে এখন পর্যন্ত অবাস্তব বলেই মনে হচ্ছে। পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানের সঙ্গে বিরোধিতা করে যে সহিংসতা ও উত্তেজনা চালু রয়েছে তার পাল্টা জবাব হিসেবে হিন্দু সংখ্যালঘুদের ওপরে আঘাত আসতে পারে। আবার দুই বঙ্গের মধ্যে ভাষা, সাহিত্য ও ইতিহাসের ভিত্তিতে সাংস্কৃতিক সম্পর্ক রয়েছে যা নয়া দিল্লিকে চিন্তিত করে তুলতে পারে।

    যে-মুসলিম লীগের মাধ্যমে পাকিস্তানের স্বাধীনতা এসেছিল, আওয়ামী লীগ হলো পূর্ব পাকিস্তানে মৃতপ্রায় সেই মুসলিম লীগেরই উত্তরসুরী। দৃষ্টিভঙ্গীর দিক থেকে আওয়ামী লীগ জাতীয়তাবাদী ও আঞ্চলিক। অন্যদিকে পূর্ব পাকিস্তানের আওয়ামী মুসলিম লীগ হলো নিষিদ্ধ পাকিস্তান কমিউনিস্ট পার্টির বিকল্প একটি মাওবাদী সংগঠন — ছাত্র, ট্রেড ইউনিয়ন ও কৃষকদের মধ্যে যার কর্মকাণ্ড বিস্তৃত। সীমান্তের অপর পাশে, কমিউনিস্ট পার্টি অফ ইন্ডিয়া (মার্কসবাদী) নির্বাচনে জিততে যাচ্ছে। মার্কসবাদী কমিউনিস্ট পার্টি অফ ইন্ডিয়া নকশাল জঙ্গীদের সঙ্গে একত্রে সন্ত্রাসবাদী কর্মকাণ্ড চালিয়ে যাচ্ছে যাতে নির্বাচনে একটি কমিউনিস্ট-বিজয় নিশ্চিত হয়। মস্কোপন্থী অংশটি ব্যাপকভাবে অকার্যকর। উভয় বাংলায় একই ধরনের পদেক্ষেপের উদ্দেশ্য হাসিল করতে গিয়ে আসলে একটি সাধারণ হতাশা ও স্থবিরতা সৃষ্টি হয়েছে (অবশ্য শিল্প ও উন্নয়মূলক পদক্ষেপ যা কিছু দেখা যাচ্ছে তা ভারতীয় অংশেই হচ্ছে)।

    মিসেস গান্ধী ভারতের আঞ্চলিকতাবাদ ও সমন্বয়হীনতার প্রবণতাকে উল্টে দিতে সমর্থ হতে পারেন। এছাড়া চীন বাংলা-পরিস্থিতির সুবিধা নিতে পারে, যদিও পিকিং দৃশ্যপট থেকে দূরেই রয়েছে বলে মনে হতে পারে। কোন পাকিস্তান চীনের সঙ্গে সম্পর্ক বজায় রাখবে সেটা একটা প্রশ্ন। পূর্ব পাকিস্তান মনোভঙ্গির দিক থেকে অনেক কিছুই মেনে নিতে চাইবে, বিশেষত ভারতের কাছ থেকে সাহায্য নিলে (ভারতের পেছনে থাকবে সোভিয়েত ইউনিয়ন), কাশ্মির বিষয়ক ঝগড়ায় নিজেকে প্রত্যহার করে নেবে। আবার বিভক্ত পাকিস্তানেও, একটি অংশ কাশ্মির নিয়ে চীনের সঙ্গে সহযোগিতা করবে এবং অন্য অংশটি পশ্চিমবঙ্গের সঙ্গে পৃথক থাকার জন্য চীনের সঙ্গে সহযোগিতা করবে। ভারতের জন্য, ভারতীয় মহাসাগর এলাকার জন্য, রাশিয়া ও চীনের মধ্যে প্রতিযোগিতার জন্য, বাংলার সমস্যা সত্যিই গুরুতর।

    পাকিস্তানে সহিংসতা ও বিচ্ছিন্নতার দৃশ্যপট

    দি টাইমস, ১৫ জানুয়ারি, ১৯৭১

    পিটার হ্যাজেলহার্স্ট

    ফাহমিদুল হক

    ”পাকিস্তানের সংক্ষিপ্ত ইতিহাসে আজ দেশটি সবচাইতে বিপজ্জনক ও কঠিন পরিস্থিতির মুখোমুখি”

    ১২০০ মাইলের ভারতীয় ভূখণ্ড দ্বারা ভৌগোলিকভাবে বিচ্ছিন্ন ও কিন্তু ইসলামী ঐক্যের মাধ্যমে যুক্ত পশ্চিম পাঞ্জাব ও পূর্ব বাংলার ভূখণ্ডদ্বয় ২৩ বছর পূর্বে একটি একক পাকিস্তান রাষ্ট্রের উদ্ভব হয়। দু-অংশের স্পর্শকাতর সম্পর্ক গত দু-দশকে উন্নতির চাইতে অবনতিই বেশি হয়েছে। পাকিস্তানের সংক্ষিপ্ত ইতিহাসে আজ দেশটি সবচাইতে বিপজ্জনক ও কঠিন পরিস্থিতির মুখোমুখি। কারণ দেশটির দু-প্রদেশের নবনির্বাচিত নেতাদ্বয় পরস্পরের কাছে গ্রহণযোগ্য সংবিধানের রূপরেখা প্রণয়ণের জন্য মিলিত হচ্ছেন।

    পাকিস্তানের ভবিষ্যৎ ভাগ্য নির্ভর করছে তিনজন ব্যক্তির ওপরে: পূর্ব পাকিস্তানের অনলবর্ষী জাতীয়তাবাদী নেতা শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান; প্রখ্যাত আইনজীবী ও সাবেক পররাষ্ট্রমন্ত্রি জুলফিকার আলি ভুট্টো, যিনি পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানের মুকুটহীন সম্রাট; এবং প্রধান সামরিক আইন প্রশাসক প্রেসিডেন্ট ইয়াহিয়া খান, যাকে সংবিধান প্রণয়ণের কাজটি সারতে হবে। ভুট্টো এবং মুজিব উভয় নেতাই ১৩ কোটি পাকিস্তানীকে নিশ্চয়তা প্রদান করেছেন যে সংবিধান প্রণয়ণের ব্যাপারে তারা একটি আপস-মীমাংসায় পৌঁছবেন, কিন্তু সংবিধানের মৌলিক কাঠামো নিয়ে তারা পরস্পর-বিরোধী অবস্থাই গ্রহণ করেছেন। সত্যিকার অর্থে উভয় নেতাই মনে করেন আপস করলে করতে হবে উনাকে এবং তার নিজের প্রত্যাশামতো সংবিধান প্রণীত হবে। শেখ মুজিব এমন একটি সংবিধান চান যার কারণে পাকিস্তান শিথিল ফেডারেশনের পাঁচটি রাজ্যে বিভক্ত হয়ে যাবে এবং প্রাদেশিক সরকারগুলো এমন স্বায়ত্তশাসন ভোগ করবে যার মাত্র স্বাধীনতার চেয়ে সামান্য কম। যদি শেখের মতো করে সব কিছু হয় তবে প্রতিরক্ষা, পররাষ্ট্র ও মুদ্রা-ব্যবস্থা ছাড়া কেন্দ্রীয় সরকারের হাতে আর কিছুই থাকবে না।

    অন্যদিকে মি. ভুট্টো কার্যকর কেন্দ্রীয় সরকারের পক্ষে যার হাতে অর্থনৈতিক বিষয়াবলী ও রাজস্বসংক্রান্ত সবকিছুসহ প্রধান সবকিছুই থাকবে। দুই নেতাকে অনেক কিছুতেই একমত হতে হবে, কিন্তু সংবিধান প্রণয়ণ করতে চাইলে দুটি বিষয়ে একমত হতে হবে: বৈদেশিক বাণিজ্য ও রাজস্ব কেন্দ্রীয় সরকারের হাতে থাকবে না প্রাদেশিক সরকারের হাতে? এই দুই বিষয়ে যদি দুই নেতার আপসের কোনো সুযোগ থাকে তবে সেটা ছোটই; দুই ইস্যুর পেছনেই রয়েছে ইন্দো-পাকিস্তান সম্পর্ক ও কাশ্মির-প্রসঙ্গে উভয় নেতার আবেগগত ও পরস্পরবিরোধী অবস্থান। এছাড়া, উভয় নেতাই জানেন যে রাজস্ব অথবা বৈদেশিক বাণিজ্যে যদি তারা বড়ো ছাড় দেন তবে নিজ নিজ রাজনৈতিক ক্ষেত্রও ত্যাগ করতে হবে।

    এটা অস্বীকার করার কোনো উপায় নেই যে ৩১০,০০০ বর্গমাইল এলাকার ৫৭ মিলিয়ন মানুষের পশ্চিম পাকিস্তান বিগত দু-দশকে নাটকীয়ভাবে উন্নতি করেছে; কিন্তু অর্থনৈতিকভাবে পিছিয়ে পড়া, ৫৫,০০০ বর্গমাইল এলাকার জলাবদ্ধ পূর্ব পাকিস্তানে ৭৩ মিলিয়ন মানুষ ঠাসাঠাসি করে বাস করে এবং পৃথিবীর অন্যতম পশ্চাদপদ ভূখণ্ড হিসেবে থেকে গিয়েছে। ভুল হোক আর সঠিক হোক, পূর্ব পাকিস্তানীরা বিশ্বাস করে পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানের উন্নয়ন ঘটেছে পূর্ব পাকিস্তানের অর্থ ব্যয় করে। তার চাইতে গুরুত্বপূর্ণ ব্যাপার হলো কাশ্মির নিয়ে ভারতের সঙ্গে সংঘাতের কারণে পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানে অনেক বেশি অর্থ ব্যয়িত হয়ে থাকে। শেখ ও তার সমর্থকরা মনে করেন কাশ্মিরিদের তাদের নিজেদের ভাগ্য নির্ধারণ করার অধিকার আছে এবং পূর্ব বাংলা এবিষয়ে আবেগ সৃষ্টি করার ক্ষেত্রে খুবই দূরে অবস্থান করছে। তাই তারা পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানের উত্তর অংশে বিপুল পরিমাণে সেনামোতায়েনের জন্য প্রতিরা বাজেটের শতকরা ৫০ ভাগে কেন অবদান রেখে যাবে তার কেনো কারণ দেখে না (পাকিস্তানের বাজেটের প্রায় অর্ধেক প্রতিরা খাতে ব্যয়িত হয়)।

    বৈদেশিক বাণিজ্যের কথাও বলতে হয়। ভারত ও পাকিস্তানের মধ্যে বাণিজ্য ১৯৬৫ সালের পর থেকে বন্ধ রয়েছে। এর ফলে পূর্ব পাকিস্তানকে চীন থেকে টনপ্রতি ১৭২ রুপি হারে কয়লা কিনতে হচ্ছে। একই পরিমাণের কয়লা ভারত থেকে কিনলে ৫০ রুপি খরচ হতো। শেখ মুজিব জাতীয় পরিষদে বসলে ৩১৩টি আসনের মধ্যে ১৬৭টিই সম্ভবত থাকবে তার এবং তার সংবিধানকে সংখ্যাগরিষ্ঠতার মাধ্যমে পরিচালিত করতে পারবেন। বৈদেশিক বাণিজ্য ও রাজস্ব বিষয়ে তিনি নিজেকে প্রত্যাহার করবেন কিনা তা নিয়ে ঘোর সন্দেহ রয়েছে। একজন দলীয় কর্মীর মতে: ‘মনে রাখবেন এই ভোট ছিল সত্যিকার অর্থে স্বাধীনতার জন্য ভোট। শেখ মুজিবই কেবল স্বায়ত্তশাসনের প্রতিশ্রুতির কারণে স্বাধীনতাকে আটকে রেখেছেন।’ শেখও একইভাবে দৃঢ়প্রতিজ্ঞ: ‘ছয় দফা নিয়ে কোনো আপস নয়।’

    কিন্তু ১,২০০ মাইলের ওপারে ভুট্টো বলছেন অন্য কথা: ‘ছয় দফার সবগুলো আমি গ্রহণ করতে পারি না। দেশটি দু-বছরও টিকবে না।’ সাবেক পররাষ্ট্রমন্ত্রি রাজস্ব ও বিশেষত বাণিজ্য প্রসঙ্গে আপস করবেন কিনা তা নিয়ে সন্দেহ রয়েছে। মি. ভুট্টো রাজনৈতিকভাবে বিখ্যাত হয়েছেন ভারতের বিরুদ্ধে হাজার বছরের যুদ্ধের প্রতিজ্ঞা ব্যক্ত করার মাধ্যমে। তাসখন্দ চুক্তির পর থেকে তিনিই পাকিস্তানের পররাষ্ট্রনীতির প্রবক্তা বলে স্বীকৃত। তিনি দৃঢ়ভাবে মনে করেন ভারত-পাকিস্তান-সম্পর্ক ততণ স্বাভাবিক হবে না যতণ না ভারত অন্যান্য প্রান্তিক প্রশ্ন আলোচনার পূর্বে কাশ্মির-বিতর্কের সমাধান করছে। তিনি যথার্থই বলেন, ছয় দফা কাশ্মির বিতর্ককে চিরকালের জন্য ভারতের পক্ষে নিয়ে যাবে। অন্যদিকে ভারত পাকিস্তানের সঙ্গে বাণিজ্য-সম্পর্ক গড়ে তুলতে আগ্রহী এবং কাশ্মির ইস্যুর সমাধান ‘পর্যায়ক্রমে’ করতে চায়।

    বেশিরভাগ পাঞ্জাবী মনে করে পূর্ব পাকিস্তান ভারতের সঙ্গে বাণিজ্য পুনরায় শুরু করবে এবং বৈদেশিক বাণিজ্য যদি প্রদেশের হাতে যায় তবে ভুট্টোর বৈদেশিক বাণিজ্যের ক্ষেত্রে ভারতের নীতিকেই মেনে নেওয়া হবে। মি. ভুট্টো জানিয়েছেন তিনি ভারতের সঙ্গে বাণিজ্যের বিষয়টি মেনে নেবেন যদি মুজিবুর রহমান কাশ্মির ইস্যুকে একটি জাতীয় ইস্যু হিসেবে মেনে নেন। কিন্তু ব্যাপারটা মুজিবের জন্য স্ববিরোধিতা হবে। কারণ ভুট্টোর কথা মেনে নিলে মুজিবকে পাঞ্জাবে বিপুল পরিমাণে সেনা মোতায়েনে রাজি হতে হবে এবং তার ছয় দফা কর্মসূচীর উদ্দেশ্য তাতে ব্যাহত হবে।

    মি. ভুট্টো মনে করেন রাজস্বের বিষয়টি ততটা বড়ো হবে না যদি মুজিব সংবিধানে এরকম একটি ধারা যোগ করতে রাজি হন যা নিশ্চিত করবে যে কেন্দ্রীয় সরকার তার অর্থনৈতিক সমর্থনের জন্য প্রাদেশিক সরকারের ইচ্ছা-অনিচ্ছার ওপরে নির্ভর করতে হবে না। মূলত পশ্চিমা প্রদেশ বিশেষত পাঞ্জাব শেখের রাজস্ব-ফর্মুলার বিরোধিতা করছে। তারা মনে করেন প্রদেশগুলো যদি প্রতিরা খাতে অবদান রাখতে অস্বীকৃতি জানায় তবে কাশ্মির ইস্যুটি মুলতবি রাখা হবে। মুজিবুর রহমানের ফর্মুলা যদি কেন্দ্রের থলেতে অর্থ যোগান না দেয়, তার তত্ত্বানুসারে প্রতিটি প্রদেশের অর্থ ভবিষ্যতে সৈন্যবল বাড়ানোর জন্য তার নিজ প্রদেশেই ব্যয়িত হবে।

    এটা সমভাবে সন্দেহজনক যে মি. ভুট্টো এধরনের ফর্মুলা মেনে নিবেন কিনা। এটা অবশ্যই সত্যি যে পাঞ্জাবে তার শক্তিশালী রাজনৈতিক ভিত্তি গড়ে উঠেছে ভারতবিরোধিতার মাধ্যমে, তার সমাজতান্ত্রিক নীতির মাধ্যমে নয়। পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানের এই নতুন নেতা এসব ইস্যুর কোনোটির সঙ্গেই আপস করা কঠিন হবে। একজন কর্মী জানালেন, ‘আমরা পাঞ্জাবীরা কাশ্মির নিয়ে অনেক রক্ত দিয়েছি এবং মি. ভুট্টো যদি কাশ্মির নিয়ে ভারতের কাছে কোনো ছাড় দেন তবে তাকে প্রাণদণ্ড দেয়া হবে।’

    পরের ধাক্কাটি হবে সংবিধান কি এককক্ষবিশিষ্ট, না দ্বিকক্ষবিশিষ্ট সংসদ প্রণয়ন করতে যাচ্ছে। বিদ্যমান কাঠামো অনুসারে সংসদের আসনগুলো জনসংখ্যা অনুসারে প্রদেশগুলোর জন্য বরাদ্দ। এবং এজন্য বৃহৎ জনগোষ্ঠীর পূর্ব পাকিস্তান সংসদে এমনিতেই সংখ্যাগরিষ্ঠতা পেয়ে থাকে। স্বভাবতই বৃহত্তর জনগোষ্ঠীর সুবাদে পূর্ব পাকিস্তান সংসদে যে সুবিধা পেয়ে থাকে, সেকারণেই তারা এককবিশিষ্ট সংসদ চাইবে। আরেকটি বিষয় অবশ্যই মনে রাখা দরকার, এরকম একটি ধারণা গড়ে উঠছে যে শেখ যদি আপসের জন্য প্রস্তুত না হয়ে থাকেন, তবে পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানীরা দরিদ্র পূর্ব পাকিস্তানীদের ছাড়াই ভালো থাকবে।

    সবকিছু নির্ভর করছে এই দুই নেতা তাদের নিজ নিজ অঞ্চলে রাজনৈতিক ঝুঁকি নিবেন কিনা এবং এইসব গুরুত্বপূর্ণ ইস্যুতে আপস করবেন কিনা। আপাতত সেরকম কোনো সম্ভাবনা নেই। যদি তারা কোনো বোঝাপড়ায় আসতে ব্যর্থ হন তবে, ঘটনাপরম্পরা পর্যবেণ করে এরকম ধরে নেয়া যায় যে পাকিস্তান অবশ্যম্ভাবীরূপে বিচ্ছিন্নতার দিকে এগিয়ে যাবে। যদি পশ্চিমাংশ এবং পূর্বাংশ কোনোটিই ছাড় দিতে রাজি না হয়, এটা খুবই স্বাভাবিক যে উভয়াংশের বৃহত্তর মতৈক্যের ভিত্তিতে সংবিধান প্রণয়ন সম্ভব নয়। এর ফলে মি. ভুট্টোকে সাংবিধানিক সংসদে ‘বিরোধীদলীয় নেতা’ হিসেবে পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানের প্রতিনিধিত্ব করতে হবে। এই বিপজ্জনক পরিস্থিতিতে দুই প্রদেশের মধ্যে সরাসরি সংঘাতই দেখা দেবে এবং সম্পর্কের আরও অবনতি হবে বলে অনুমান করা যায়। ভুট্টো পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানের স্বার্থ তুলে ধরার মাধ্যমে আরও বড়ো নেতা হয়ে উঠতে পারেন, কিন্তু পূর্ব পাকিস্তান তাদের সংখ্যাগরিষ্ঠতার মধ্য দিয়ে সংসদের মাধ্যমে নিজেদের সংবিধান বের করে নিয়ে আসতে সম।

    এবং এর ফল যা দাঁড়াবে তাতে দেশের পরিস্থিতির কোনো উন্নতি হবে না। বাঙালিরা স্বাভাবিক কারণেই বলবে যে সংবিধান গণতান্ত্রিক প্রক্রিয়াতেই রচিত হয়েছে এবং পাশ হয়েছে। পরিভাষাগত দিক থেকে তারা হয়তো ঠিকই বলবে, কিন্তু সংবিধানটি সত্যিকার অর্থে দেশের অর্ধেক জনগোষ্ঠীর কাছে গ্রহণযোগ্য হবে না। ভুট্টোর কথামতো এটা প্রেসিডেন্টকে একটি বেদনাদায়ক দ্বিধার মধ্যে ফেলে দেবে। প্রেসিডেন্টের জন্য এমন কোনো সংবিধান অনুমোদন করা সহজ হবে না যা একটি প্রদেশের পুরোটাই তা প্রত্যাখ্যান করেছে। কিন্তু মুজিবকৃত কোনো সংবিধান প্রেসিডেন্ট অনুমোদন না করলে তাতে মুজিবের কী প্রতিক্রিয়া হবে তা সহজেই অনুমেয়। বাঙালিরা যুক্তি দেবে যে গণতান্ত্রিকভাবে নির্বাচিত আইনসভা কর্তৃক প্রণীত কোনো সংবিধান পশ্চিম প্রদেশ প্রতিহত করেছে। এই পরিস্থিতিতে মুজিবের কর্মীরা মনে করেন পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানের সঙ্গে সকল প্রকার আপসপ্রচেষ্টা বাতিল করা ছাড়া শেখের আর কোনো বিকল্প নেই। তারা নতুন একটি নির্বাচনে অংশ না নিতেও দৃঢ়প্রতিজ্ঞ।

    আওয়ামী লীগের একজন কর্মী জানালেন, ‘আরেকটি নির্বাচনের কী মানে? মনে রাখবেন, এই নির্বাচনের মাধ্যমে স্বাধীনতার পে গণরায় দেয়া হয়েছে। আমরা যদি আমাদের স্বায়ত্তশাসন পাই তবে শেখ সাহেব স্বাধীনতা নাও চাইতে পারেন। কিন্তু প্রেসিডেন্ট যদি সংবিধানে সই করতে না চান তবে শেখকে পরের প্লেনেই ঢাকা ফিরে আসতে হবে এবং ফিরে স্বাধীনতার ঘোষণা দিতে হবে।’ তিনি জোরালোভাবেই কথাগুলো বললেন। বামপন্থী থেকে ডানপন্থী, কৃষক থেকে বুদ্ধিজীবী — পূর্ব পাকিস্তানের সবারই সার্বজনীন মতামত হলো এই। এই অবস্থায় দক্ষিণ এশিয়ার ভবিষ্যৎ স্থিতিশীলতা নির্ভর করছে সেনাবাহিনীর প্রতিক্রিয়া কী হয় তার ওপরে। ব্যাপারটি অদৃশ্যমান ও পূর্বানুমানভিত্তিক, কিন্তু এবিষয়ে কোনো সন্দেহ নেই যে সেনাবাহিনী যদি চায় তবে এই পরিস্থিতিতে শেখ মুজিবকে গ্রেফতার করতে পারে। এর মানে হলো ৭৩ মিলিয়ন বাঙালিকেই গ্রেফতার করা, এবং এর ফলে পাকিস্তান ও দক্ষিণ এশিয়া দীর্ঘস্থায়ী সহিংসতা ও অস্থিতিশীলতায় নিমজ্জিত হবে।

    December 1971

    December 1: Telegram from Amconsul Calcutta to Secretary State

    “Qaiyum said MEA policy planning chairman DP Dhar in his latest visit to Calcutta had questioned BD “Foreign Minister” Mushtaq Ahmed about allegations that Mushtaq was negotiating with USG, saying that in so doing, Mushtaq was “traitor.” According Qaiyum, Mushtaq denied everything, but Dhar said he knew all about “negotiations” because State Department had told everything to In­dian Embassy in Washington.

    He told Indians BDG had not sold its soul to India and that as independent government, it could talk with any other government it wished.”

    Memorandum from Kissinger to President Nixon on summary of the exchange between Prime Minister Gandhi and Ambassador Keating in New Delhi on November 29:

    – Yahya’s problems had been self-created and “we are not in a position to make this easier for him.” That was one of the reasons why India could not withdraw its troops. India was being asked to allow the misdeeds of Yahya to stand and “we are not going to allow that.”

    – No one in all of India was more opposed to war than she was. “I wouldn’t like to take this country to war”, but, added, “this war and this situation are/4/ not of our making.”

    December 2: Memorandum from Kissinger to President Nixon:

    “India-Pakistan Situation: there are indications that the situation is starting to deteriorate in the interior where the guerrilla forces are operating more freely now that most of the Pak forces have been drawn off to defend the frontiers. Some towns as close as 17 miles from Dacca reportedly have been abandoned to the guerrillas and there are reports of the Bangla Desh flag flying in a number of towns elsewhere in the interior. The Indians have also set up a “Mukti Bahini navy” with their own forces with the priority objective of blocking shipping into East Pakistan.

    The disparity in manpower and supplies apparently is taking its toll on the Pak forces and they reportedly have abandoned a number of contested locations in the face of relentless pressure in the direction of several major provincial cities.”

    Yahya’s letter to Nixon pleads for US support to resist aggression launched by India which has enormous superiority of arms and equipment over Pakistan.

    December 3: The 3rd India Pakistan war broke out.

    Pakistan intensifies air raids on India – BBC report (including video)

    In a speech to the nation on December 3, 1971, Prime Minister Gandhi charged that Pakistan had launched a full-scale attack against India earlier in the day, shortly after 5:30 p.m. She said that Pakistan’s Air Force had struck at six Indian airfields in Kashmir and the Punjab and that Pakistani artillery was shelling Indian positions at several locations along the border between India and West Pakistan. India, Gandhi said, had no option but to adopt a war footing.

    Pakistan responded to the Indian charges in a note conveyed to the United States Embassy in Islamabad on December 3. Pakistan alleged that the Indian Air Force had been carrying out aggressive reconnaissance over the territory of West Pakistan for 3 or 4 days as a prelude to attacks launched by the Indian army between 3:30 and 4 p.m. on December 3 at several points on a front that stretched from Kashmir in the north to Rahim Yar Kham in the south. Pakistan represented the attacks on Indian airfields as necessary countermeasures.

    In Washington the question of responsibility for the initiation of warfare along the front between India and West Pakistan bore on policy considerations. The Central Intelligence Agency weighed the evidence on December 4 and concluded that it was not possible to determine with certainty which side had initiated hostilities on December 3. (Source)

    Telephone Conversation between President Nixon and Kissinger:

    It appears that West Pakistan has attacked because situation in East collapsing.

    Details on the India-Pakistan war in 1971 from Indian-Subcontinent Database

    December 4: Letter from Government of Bangla Desh to Indian Prime Minister.

    Telegram from American Embassy New Delhi to Secretary State:

    The (Indian) Foreign Secretary Kaul said that Pakistan had issued a proclama­tion that they were in a state of war against India at 0900 December 4. The government of India had not declared war. Furthermore, he said, the GOI had not yet recognized Bangla Desh, but would do so at the appropriate time and would keep us informed.

    Washington Special Actions Group Meeting:

    Helms briefed from notes that described a combined Indian-Mukti Bahini offensive in East Pakistan and the beginning stages of the fighting along the border between India and West Pakistan. Pakistani troops were being hard pressed in the east, but there was little beyond artillery exchanges in the west.

    The CIA prepared a chronology and covering memorandum entitled, “India- Pakistan: Responsibility for Initiating Hostilities on 3 December 1971″ and the chronology runs through December 4. The covering memorandum concluded that it was difficult to determine conclusively which country initiated hostilities, but the weight of evidence tended to support Indian claims that Pakistan struck first in the west with air strikes.

    December 5: Letter from Indian Prime Minister Gandhi to President Nixon:

    On the afternoon of 3rd December 1971, the Government of Pakistan led by President Yahya Khan ordered a massive attack on India across its western frontiers. This has been followed by a gazette extraordinary published by the Government of Pakistan on the forenoon of the 4th December 1971, declaring that it is a state of war against India.

    hat this aggression is premeditated and planned is evident from the fact that President Yahya Khan had declared on November 25 that he would be “off to fighting in ten days’ time”.

    I am writing to you at a moment of grave peril and danger to my country and my people. The success of the freedom movement in Bangla Desh has now become a war on India due to the adventurism of the Pakistan military machine. It has imposed upon my people and my Government the imperative responsibility of safeguarding our security and territorial integrity. We are left with no other option but to put our country on a war footing.

    May I request Your Excellency to exercise your undoubted influence with the Government of Pakistan to stop their aggressive activities against India and to deal immediately with the genesis of the problem of East Bengal which has caused so much trial and tribulations to the people not only of Pakistan but of the entire sub-continent.”

    Pakistan Request for Jordanian Military Assistance

    December 6: British Reaction to USG Position on Indo-Pak Conflict: America had been too critical to India.

    Brit­ish stance on South Asian crisis, is based on firm assumption that India will win and that Bangla Desh will be established as independent country.

    Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s Statement in Parliament recognizing Bangladesh:

    “I am glad to inform the House that in the light of the existing situation and in response to the repeated requests of the Government of Bangla Desh, the Government of India have after the most careful consideration, decided to grant recognition to the GANA PRAJATANTRI BANGLA DESH.

    Our thoughts at this moment are with the father of this new State-Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

    The Bangla Desh Government have reiterated their anxiety to organise the expeditious return of their citizens who have found temporary refuge in our country, and to restore their lands and belongings to them. We shall naturally help in every way in these arrangements.”

    Bangladesh Foreign Minister’s letter on recognition.

    Memorandum from Kissinger to President Nixon:

    -In East Pakistan the Indian forces are making gradual progress on several fronts. They are pressing the outnumbered Pak forces on several strategic fronts and the Indian gains so far may be laying the basis for more dramatic successes in the near future. The Indian objective is to force a Pak surrender in East Pakistan within the next week, if at all possible.

    -Ground action on the Indian-West Pakistan front has been increasing, but it is not yet as widespread as in the East and neither side appears to be making clear-cut major gains. The Indian strategy is to maintain an essentially defensive posture in the West until the battle is won in the East, but there are indications that the Paks may be preparing a major offensive thrust in Kashmir that would undoubtedly force an Indian counter.

    Secretary of Defense Laird’s Armed Forces Policy Council Meeting:

    “The Indian government is trying for a rapid and successful conclusion of the fighting in East Pakistan. Indian Premier Gandhi, on 3 December, stated that Indian objective was to complete action within 10 days and redeploy Indian troops to the borders with West Pakistan.

    The West Pakistan objective is to overwhelm Indian forces in Kashmir. They feel Kashmir might be sufficient compensation for the loss of East Pakistan to India.”

    National Security Council Meeting:

    “Director Helms (CIA) completed his briefing by noting that India’s recognition of Bangladesh provided a justification for intervention in East Pakistan. Helms felt that 10 days was a conservative estimate of how long it would be before the Pakistani forces in East Pakistan would be forced to surrender.”

    Message from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to the United States

    “In accordance with the above the Soviet representative in the Security Council has been instructed to seek such a solution that would closely combine two questions: a proposal for an immediate cease-fire between Pakistan and India and a demand that the Government of Pakistan immediately recognize the will of the East Pakistani population as expressed in the December 1970 elections. The Soviet leaders express the hope that the President will give instructions to the U.S. representative in the Security Council to act in the same direction.”

    Meeting between Indian Foreign Minister Swaran Singh and Keating of USEmbassy:

    “We are quite clear on what we are doing. India was making no territorial claims of any type.

    The Indian army was being welcomed as lib­erators. Indian recognition of Bangla Desh also was an effort to curb local extremist elements.

    In response to my question whether the Bangla Desh government would be led by the same people as were now in Mujibnagar, the Foreign Minister said that he didn’t know, but it was for them to de­cide. The GOI did not need to replace the existing administrative set­up. It didn’t want to interfere.”

    December 7: Jessore, Sylhet and Moulovi Bazar are liberated by the Indian troops with the help of Muktibahini.

    Message from Yahya to Nixon:

    If India should succeed in its objective, the loss of East Pakistan with a population of 70 million people dominated by Russia will also be a threat to the security of South Asia. It will bring under Soviet domination the region of Assam, Burma, Thailand and Malaysia.

    On December 7th the General Assembly by a vote of 104 to 11 with 10 abstentions called on India and Pakistan to institute an immediate cease-fire and to withdraw troops from each other’s territory. Pakistan has accepted the resolution. India has refused.

    December 8: General Manekshaw, chief of Army staff calls on Pakistani army in Bangladesh to surrender immediately to Indian army in view of the hopeless position they are situated.

    Indian troops acting in concert with Mukti Bahini liberated Comilla and Bramhonbaria.

    UN General Assembly votes a resolution calling upon India and Pakistan to cease fire immediately.

    President Nixon and Henry Kissinger’s telephone discussion on the crisis on the Indian subcontinent:

    “Kissinger pointed to the threat to West Pakistan: “At this stage, we have to prevent an Indian attack on West Pakistan.” Nixon agreed. Kissinger continued: “We have to maintain the position of withdrawal from all of Pakistan.” He concluded that if the United States held firm in its approach to India and the Soviet Union, the administration would achieve its overall goals, even if it failed to prevent India from dismembering Pakistan: “If they maintain their respect for us even if you lose, we still will come out all right.” For Kissinger, it was a question of preserving credibility and honor. By introducing United States military power into the equation, in the form of a carrier and other units from the Seventh Fleet, the United States was seeking to prevent “a Soviet stooge, supported by Soviet arms” from overrunning an ally.”

    Telegram from Secy of State to UNMission NATO:

    Yahya proceeding with his blueprint for transfer of power. Has sent Bhutto on short visit to UNGA. Yahya said that the emergency had brought about a greater unanimity of opinion among Pakistani politicians than had heretofore been in evidence, and that he was hopeful.

    He said the GOP armed forces in East Pakistan would fight qte to the last Muslim, for not only their country but their faith is in jeopardy.

    December 9: Indian troops acting in concert with Mukti Bahini liberated Chandpur and Daudkandi.

    Memo from Kissinger to Nixon:

    “Indian forces in East Pakistan are now making steady progress on several fronts and are at one point 22 miles from Dacca. At the UN, yesterday’s activity was highlighted by a strong appeal from U Thant for a Dacca area cease-fire to permit the evacuation of international community personnel there. Thant asked both the Indians and Paks to agree to a 24-hour stand-down to permit repair of runways for evacuation of foreigners.

    Both India and Pakistan are preparing for another round of debate at the UN. Indian Foreign Minister Singh is on his way to New York as is Bhutto, the new Pakistani Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.”

    Bhutto’s views on eve of departure for New York:

    People’s Party leader Z.A. Bhutto­Newly designated by Yahya as vice Primin-said he will do utmost to bring about ceasefire and withdrawal of forces. He is also ready to do what he can to achieve satisfactory political accommodation with East Pakistan. Including active negotiation with Mujib.

    Discussion with Nixon and Kissinger:

    Kissinger: Well, they will lose East Pakistan. There’s nothing to be done about that.
    Nixon: We all know that.
    Kissinger: The Brezhnev letter says the negotiations should start at the point at which they were interrupted on March 25, 1970. At that point, East Pakistan was part of Pakistan.
    Kissinger: Now if we, if you and Brezhnev, could make a joint declaration. The way I see this thing evolving.
    Kissinger: So then we’ve got the Indians at a disadvantage. And we’ll have separated the Soviets from the Indians to some extent.

    Alleged US military assistance to Pakistan was not true.

    Memo from CIA – implications of Indian victory over Pakistan:

    An intelligence report says that Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has indicated that India’s war objectives are:

    A. Liberation of Bangla Desh
    B. The incorporation into India of the southern area of Azad (Pakistani-held) Kashmir
    C. The destruction of Pakistani armored and air force strength so that Pakistan can never again threaten India.

    Memo from Kissinger to Nixon:

    “Bhutto has earlier received instructions to work for simple cease-fire resolution with the provision that the Security Council would later take up other aspects.

    Latest reports from Dacca indicate that the Indians are preparing for a final all-out assault on the city that could begin in a few hours (down Dacca time) unless last minute efforts to obtain a cease-fire are successful. Yahya has confirmed, via his Foreign Secretary to Ambassador Farland, that General Niazi’s cease-fire formula from East Pakistan can be transmitted to the Indians.

    Our carrier task force is transiting the Straits of Malacca and will ar­rive at a point near the center of the base of the Bay of Bengal tomor­row evening. Rumors about this move are already widespread in the area where they are being combined with stories that the US is con­sidering military assistance to Pakistan.

    The British are also moving some naval vessels into the area — a commando carrier and a frigate off the southern coast of Ceylon. So­viet task force, consisting of a guided missile cruiser, an oiler and diesel powered submarine continues to steam through the South China Sea toward the Indian Ocean where if it continues on that course it should arrive in about three days. The Soviets have 12 other naval ships in the Indian Ocean but none of these is in or known to be heading for areas near the Indo-Pakistani conflict.”

    Indian ambassador Jha meets undersecretary Sisco:

    “Jha noted that India had recognized Bangla Desh, but there was no intention of annexation in the East or what he termed a protectorate relationship with Bangla Desh. With respect to Azad Kashmir, he could not give any answer totally free of uncertainty. Jha then asked what are the Pak aims? Under Secretary pointed out that Pak aims were made very clear today in note to Secretary General accepting General Assembly resolution calling for ceasefire and withdrawal.”

    December 10: Laksham is liberated. The Pak commanding officer surrenders with his officers and 416 men.

    Memo from Kissinger to Nixon:

    The war in the East has reached its final stages. The Indian forces are encircling Dacca and preparing for the final assault if the Pak forces in the capital area refuse to surrender. Pak resistance elsewhere in the province appears on the verge of total collapse, although they continue to hold some isolated areas. Faced with this desperate situation, the top Pak military official in Dacca has called on the UN to arrange (a) peaceful transfer of power to the “elected representatives of East Pakistan,” (b) an immediate cease-fire, (c) repatriation of the Pak forces to West Pakistan, (d) repatriation of all other West Pak personnel who desire to leave, (e) the safety of the others settled in East Pakistan since 1947 and (f) a guarantee of no reprisals.

    In the West, the Indians seem to be successfully repulsing Pak attacks in Kashmir, but show no signs yet of initiating a major offensive of their own. Repeated Indian air strikes and shellings from naval forces on Karachi have dealt a major blow to Pakistan’s POL supply.

    The Indians have announced a bombing pause over both Dacca and Karachi for evacuation purposes. Evacuation planes will be given safe conduct into Karachi for four-hour periods today and tomorrow and the Dacca airport is to be free from attacks for 24 hours so that it can be repaired. Foreign evacuation planes bound for Dacca will then be given safe conduct for 10 hours on Saturday on the condition that they land at Calcutta before and after going to Dacca. UN personnel reportedly will remain behind in Dacca for possible assistance in arranging a cease-fire or surrender.”

    Discussion with Kissinger and Nixon:

    I’m going to hand him a very tough note to Brezhnev and say this is it now, let’s settle the, let’s get a cease-fire now. That’s the best that can be done now. They’ll lose half of their country, but at least they preserve the other half.” Nixon agreed that “our desire is to save West Pakistan.”

    Nixon asked for an assurance that the necessary steps were being taken to “keep those carriers [sic] moving.” Kissinger assured him that “everything is moving.” In addition to the carrier group, Kissinger reported that “four Jordanian planes have already moved to Pakistan, twenty-two more are coming. We’re talking to the Saudis, the Turks we’ve now found are willing to give five.”

    Ambassador to Pakistan (Farland) to Kissinger:

    Yahya proposes (a) India and Pakistan should agree to an immediate ceasefire with the separate armed forces “standing fast”; and that the United Nations or other international organization provide observers to see that the ceasefire is effective; (b) that India and Pakistan “at any effective level” immediately open negotiations aimed at a settlement of the war and troop withdrawal; and coincident therewith simultaneously enter into negotiations looking towards the political satisfaction of Bengali aspirations, i.e., a political settlement.

    December 11: Indian troops acting in concert with Mukti Bahini liberated Hilli, Mymenshingh, Kushtia and Noakhali.

    Maj. Gen Rao Forman Ali request U-Thant, UN secretary general for help in repatriating troops and West Pakistani civilians.

    Kissinger to Nixon:

    Sixteen Soviet naval units are now in the Indian Ocean area, including three space support ships. Communications intelligence indicates that most of the ships are near Ceylon and Socotra, although one space-related unit may be monitoring British naval units in the Arabian Sea. However, of the sixteen ships less than half are combatants.

    Telephone Conversation between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and Deputy Prime Minister Bhutto:

    Kissinger: Now after our original resolution is defeated, however, Mr. Minister, then I think you have to decide whether you want to go to a simple ceasefire resolution, because it isn’t that we don’t want to help you, it is that we want to preserve you. It is all very well to stand for principles, but finally we have to assure your survival. And that is the Chinese problem.

    The Indo-Pakistan Conflict — East and West

    December 12: Indian Para-troopers arive in East Pakistan to mount an assault on Dhaka.

    White house Update:

    “Haig learned that the Chinese initiative did not mean that China had decided upon military action in support of Pakistan. Instead, Huang Hua indicated that China was prepared to support the United Nations procedure Kissinger had outlined in the December 10 meeting, which was to ask for a cease-fire and mutual troop withdrawal but to settle for a standstill cease-fire.”

    Ambassador Bush introduced a resolution which, in its operative paragraphs, called for an immediate cease-fire, the withdrawal by India and Pakistan of their armed forces from each other’s territory, and the creation of conditions necessary to safeguard the lives of civilians and to facilitate the safe return of the refugees to their homes. (UN doc. S/10446 and Rev. 1) The Security Council voted 11-2 in favor of the resolution, with 2 abstentions. The resolution was not adopted because of the negative vote of the Soviet Union. (Source)

    Bush meeting with Indian Foreign Minister Singh:

    On UN action: UN cannot take useful action at this time. Further debate will only harden positions and create additional frictions. UN tied to precedent and formalistic rites and cannot deal with such complex issues. If UN has to meet in future, Bangla Desh reps must be present; it is a reality.

    Indian Aims in East. Indian aims are simple: Surrender of Pak forces with repatriation to follow; recognition of Bangla Desh. GOI very much aware need protect Biharis. Will establish safe areas under Indian control and assist in repatriation to West Pakistan if they desire. India had not attacked on ground in West.

    US was still attempting to see whether UN action “could be useful”.

    Memorandum from the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Eliot) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger):

    India Pakistan refugee problems:

    There are four classes of refugees/ displaced persons who will probably require assistance on an international basis following the termination of hostilities.
    1. Up to 10 million refugees from East Pakistan who are now in India.
    2. Over 600,000 non-Bengali Muslims in East Pakistan who may want to move to West Pakistan, as well as West Pakistani government officials and military in the East.
    3. Some 50-100,000 Bengalis living in West Pakistan, most of whom will almost certainly wish to return to East Pakistan.
    4. An undetermined number of persons who are being displaced by the fighting within East Pakistan.

    December 13: General Manekshaw asks Rao Forman Ali to stand down to prevent shedding of innocent bloods. Dhaka is surrpounded by Indian troops.

    Message from the Soviet Leadership to President Nixon:

    We have attentively examined your message over the direct communications link. In accordance with the confidential exchange of opinions existing between us, we are advising you that at the present time, we are conducting a clarification of all the circumstances in India.

    We will inform you of the results of the clarification without delay.

    December 14: Top intellectuals of the country were were taken from homes by Razakars, Al Badr and Al Shams and slaughtered in killing fields with the vain objective of cripling the nation.

    Bogra is liberated.

    The Indian casualty figures of the 10 day war is announced by Indian defence minister in parliament:

    Killed – 1978, Wounded 5025, Missing 1662.

    Pakistani causalty figures are much higher, he claims.

    Highest officers of the Pakistani administration in Bangladesh resigns fgrom their posts and seeks refuge to Red Crescent.

    Message from the Soviet Leadership to President Nixon:

    “It would be good if the American side on its part stressed to the Pakistani Government the necessity of embarking on the path towards political settlement in East Pakistan on the basis which is now rather clear.”

    The Soviet Union vetoes for the 3rd time to block US resolution for an immediate Indo-Pakistani ceasefire.

    Letter from Pakistani President Yahya to President Nixon:

    “The Russian proposal about the cease-fire, withdrawal and negotiations has by now clearly been demonstrated to have been only a hoax….The passage of time is clearly playing into the hands of the Russians. We are convinced that, after acquiring East Pakistan, they would let the Indians turn their might single-mindedly against West Pakistan for which they have already begun to equip the Indians.

    Time has come for the United States to go beyond warnings and démarches if its determination to punish aggression across international borders is to have any effect on the Soviet Union and India. The Seventh Fleet does not only have to come to our shores but also to relieve certain pressures which we by ourselves are not in a position to cope with.”

    Discussion with Pres. Yahya and US ambassador re Ceasefire:

    “President Yahya acknowledges that military situation in East Pakistan has hopelessly deteriorated. He provided me with Governor Malik’s Dec. 13 report of chaotic conditions. Because military situation now irretrievable and for over-riding humanitarian reasons, Yahya is giving Bhutto widest possible latitude at UN to effect ceasefire and troop withdrawal.”

    Soviet first deputy foreign minister came to India on December 12 to discuss the political recognition of Bangladesh. Soviet Union continued to Veto any cease fire to give India time to liberate Bangladesh. However they were growing impatient by now. (CIA information)

    December 15: Bhutto, on a diplomatic visit to the US since December 8, makes an agitated speech at the UN Security Council: (Full text and video of speech here)

    Image credit: Doc Kazi

    “So what if Dacca falls? So what if the whole of East Pakistan falls? So what if the whole of West Pakistan falls? We will build a new Pakistan. We will build a better Pakistan… We will fight for a thousand years.” Afterwards, he tears up his notes and walks out.

    Discussion with Nixon and Kissinger:

    “Brezhnev said in a letter: “The Soviet Union guarantees there will be no military action against West Pakistan.”

    Telegram from the Consulate General in Dacca to the Department of State:

    “I have been informed by Governor Malik and General Farman Ali that President Yahya Khan strongly desires to put a end to hostilities in EP. For this purpose he wishes to arrange with the Indian Govt an immediate cease-fire period of at least two hours in which discussions for this purpose can take place between the military commanders concerned. The President desires honorable conditions for Pakistani troops and protection of civilians.”

    Memo from Kissinger to Nixon:

    “Foreign Minister Bhutto declined to pass General Niazi’s ceasefire proposal to the Indians in New York, so our UN mission was instructed to communicate it to Foreign Minister Singh, and subsequently Ambassador Keating was instructed to pass its text to Mrs. Gandhi’s secretary, Haksar. In this as in the negotiations on the Security Council resolution, Bhutto is apparently being careful to sidestep onus for the surrender of East Pakistan. Meanwhile, latest Indian reports indicate that Dacca is receiving heavy artillery fire, and three Indian columns have advanced to within a few miles of Dacca where they are preparing for attack.

    Our carrier task force is transiting the Straits of Malacca and should arrive at a point near the center of the base of the Bay of Bengal this (15 Dec) evening. Rumors about this move are already widespread in the area where they are being combined with stories that the US is considering military assistance to Pakistan.”

    The Niazi Cease-Fire Proposal:

    “In order to save future loss of innocent human lives which would inevitably result from further hostilities in the major cities like Dacca, I request you to arrange for an immediate cease-fire under the following conditions:

    (A) Regrouping of Pakistan armed forces in designated areas to be mutually agreed upon between the commanders of the opposing forces;
    (B) To guarantee the safety of all military and paramilitary forces;
    (C) Safety of all those who had settled in East Pakistan since 1947;
    (D) No reprisals against those who helped the administration since March 1971.

    In those conditions, the Pakistan armed forces and paramilitary forces would immediately cease all military operations.

    Indian response to Niazi ceasefire proposal from General Manekshaw to General Niazi:

    “I had previously informed General Farman Ali in two messages that I would guarantee (a) the safety of all your military and paramilitary forces who surrender to me in Bangla Desh. (b) Complete protection to foreign nations, ethnic minorities and personnel of West Pakistan no matter who they may be. Since you have indicated your desire to stop fighting I expect you to issue orders to all forces under your command in Bangla Desh to cease fire immediately and surrender to my advancing forces wherever they are located.

    Immediately I receive a positive response from you I shall direct General Aurorea the commander of Indian and Bangla Desh forces in the Eastern theatre to refrain from all air and ground action against your forces. As a token of my good faith I have ordered that no air action shall take place over Dacca from 1700 hours today.

    I assure you I have no desire to inflict unnecessary casualties on your troops as I abhor loss of human lives.”

    Letter from the Indian Ambassador (Jha) to President Nixon

    “The tragic war, which is continuing, could have been averted if during the nine months prior to Pakistan’s attack on us on December 3, the great leaders of the world had paid some attention to the fact of revolt, tried to see the reality of the situation and searched for a genuine basis for reconciliation. Our earnest plea that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman should be released, or that, even if he were to be kept under detention, contact with him might be established, was not considered practical on the ground that the US could not urge policies which might lead to the overthrow of President Yahya Khan.

    We are asked what we want. We seek nothing for ourselves. We do not want any territory of what was East Pakistan and now constitutes Bangla Desh. We do not want any territory of West Pakistan.”

    December 16:


    The Pakistani commander Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi surrenders to Lt. Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora, the Commander of the Joint Forces, at the same Dhaka Racecourse where Sheikh Mujib had made his historic call for independence only nine months and nine days earlier.

    * The Instrument of Surrender

    More than 90,000 Pakistani soldiers are taken prisoner of war by Indian forces. The president of Bangladesh is Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who is still in prison somewhere in West Pakistan where he is denied all information about the outside world. He knows nothing of the bloodshed that has preceded the creation of his state.

    * December 16, 1971: A few moments from a historic day(video)

    People begin their search for the remains of the missing ones at the numersous execution grounds and mass gravesites around the country.


    Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi speking at Lok Sabha hailed Dacca as “the free capital of a free country.” At the same time, the Indian Government announced a cease-fire on the front between India and West Pakistan to take effect the following day. In making the announcement a government spokesman stated that India had no territorial ambitions in the conflict.

    December 17: When US ambassador Farland saw President Yahya on the morning of December 17 and urged him to accept the Indian cease-fire offer, Yahya took the position that he had previously indicated his willingness to accept a cease-fire in accepting the resolution adopted by the General Assembly on December 7. He did not see the necessity to reiterate that position and respond to what he referred to as Mrs. Gandhi’s dictates. Upon further urging from Farland, he agreed to consider responding to the Indian offer. At 3 p.m. local time on December 17, Foreign Secretary Sultan Khan brought Farland the news that Yahya was prepared to accept the Indian offer publicly. (Source)

    Memo from Kissinger to Nixon:

    Indian Foregn Minister Singh said that in the east India planned to install a civilian government of officials elected in 1970. He asked whether the U.S. could get Mujib released to head it

    US Intelligence note on Bangladesh leadership:

    December 18: Nixon meets Bhutto:

    “The Deputy Prime Minister was critical of past policies in Pakistan which he claimed were the result of the will of a clique of military leaders who were no longer in touch with the people of Pakistan. All of this contributed in large measure to the calamity which befell his nation.”


    Decembr 17-20: Pakistanis in general and young military officers in particular made it clear that they wanted Yahya Khan and his regime to go.

    At one point, General Abdul Hamid Khan, chief of staff of the Pakistan army (the army was then headed by a commander-in-chief, in this case Yahya), called a meeting of army officers in Rawalpindi cantonment and attempted to explain the causes behind the debacle in Bangladesh.

    He was greeted with expletives, one more profane than the next, and eventually was forced to leave the room. Hamid, who had after the Dhaka surrender begun nurturing ambitions of taking over from Yahya, now knew that the end was near. Officers like General Gul Hasan, in contact with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, were already planning to dominate the new circumstances.

    December 20: Bhutto arrived back in Rawalpindi around noon and was immediately whisked away to the president’s house for a meeting with General Yahya Khan. He emerged a few hours later as Pakistan’s new president and, incongruously, chief martial law administrator. Late in the evening, President Bhutto addressed the nation, and in a rambling speech promised his people that he would build a new Pakistan for them. He extolled the bravery of Pakistan’s soldiers in the just concluded war and asked forgiveness of his “brothers and sisters” in “East Pakistan.”


    Yahya Khan hands over all power to Z A Bhutto

    (Image credit: Doc Kazi from Flickr)

    He showed absolutely no contrition over his role in the making of the crisis in Bangladesh but appeared keen to reassure Pakistanis that their future was safe in his hands. He placed Yahya Khan under house arrest and appointed new chiefs of staff for the army, air force and navy.

    Memo from Kissinger to Nixon:

    Meanwhile, there is still considerable public resentment about the way the war ended. In Karachi, for example, bands of demonstrators have been roving in and out of the major business and residential areas setting fires and causing disruptions. Many educated Pakistanis are still openly attacking Yahya and saying that the people will never allow the return of a military government under any circumstances. At the same time, even those who oppose and distrust Bhutto seem inclined to give him a chance.

    The situation is still fluid in the East. The Indian Army seems to be gradually restoring a minimum of law and order in Dacca and reorganizing the administrative apparatus. The “Bangla Desh” cabinet, however, has still not arrived from Calcutta, although there are reports that it may proceed to Dacca by mid-week. The Bangla Desh “Prime Minister” is quoted by Dacca Radio as saying that there is a great need for foreign aid but that they will “not touch” any part of U.S. aid because of the “hateful and shameful” policy that the U.S. has followed toward the Bangla Desh “freedom struggle.


    December 22: Bangladesh’s provisional government arrived in Dhaka from exile. Bhutto decreed that detained Awami League leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman be moved from solitary confinement in prison to house arrest.

    At the UN, the Security Council was finally able to agree on a resolution last night by a vote of thirteen to nothing with the Soviet Union and Poland abstaining. The operative paragraph in effect formalizes the cease-fire and demands that it “remain in effect until withdrawals take place, as soon as practicable, of all armed forces to their respective territories and to the cease-fire line supervised by UNMOGIP.”

    December 27: Memo from Kissinger to Nixon:

    Bhutto is reported to have announced plans for a judicial inquiry into the causes for Pakistan’s defeat. It is not to submit its findings for three months and may be Bhutto’s effort to satisfy public opinion with a minimum move.

    Bhutto arrived at the rest house where Mujib had been moved. Surprised Mujib
    asked Bhutto: “Bhutto, how are you here?” Bhutto’s response did not fit the question: “I am president of Pakistan.” An even more surprised Mujib teased him: “But you know that position belongs to me.” He was evidently referring to the Awami League’s victory at the general
    elections of a year earlier. This time Bhutto told him: “I am also chief martial law administrator.”

    In the next hour or so, Bhutto gave Mujib to understand that the Indian army had occupied “East Pakistan” and that the two men needed to be together in the coming struggle to drive the Indians off. Mujib, ever the astute politician, knew better.

    (Source: Distant Neighbours: A Tale of the Subcontinent – Kuldip Nayar)

    November 1971

    November 1: Peking Policy in Indo-Pak Dispute

    “China’s major operational goal at the present is to avoid an Indo-Pak war and to discourage the forcible detachment of East Pakistan from the west – the latter not because the Chinese have any vital interests in the unity of Pakistan but be­cause they wish to avoid a Pak humiliation which would indirectly embarrass China, boost India’s confidence in its future dealings with the PRC, and make the Soviets appear to be the arbiter of events in South Asia.”

    November 2: Telegram from the Embassy in Pakistan to the Department of State:

    Yahya agreed to unilaterally withdrawing military units as first step in defusing explosive situation in subcontinent.

    November 3: On a possible Yahya-Nurul Islam Meeting:

    “Yahya agreed during the conversation to meet with Nurul Islam and his group of former Awami Leaguers to discuss Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s future and to explore means of effecting contacts with representatives of Bangladesh. Yahya said that he would welcome an opportunity to talk to Nurul Islam since the point of view of these “cleared” MNAs would be very interesting and, hopefully, useful. He also observed that Nurul Amin, President of Pakistan Democratic Party, would be calling upon him shortly with suggestions applicable to East Pakistan.”

    Memorandum from Kissinger to President Nixon:

    “President Yahya Khan would be willing to withdraw Pakistani forces first from the border to varying distances, depending upon the terrain of different sectors, provided the Indian Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, gives an undertaking to President Nixon that the Indian forces will then also withdraw shortly afterwards.”

    November 4: Telegram from Deputy Secretary of Defense to Hnorable U. Alexis Johnson:

    “Our research to date shows that the U.S. Army shipped 149 line items from its depots (to Pakistan) between 3 May 1971 and 30 June. The shipments repre­sented spare parts for machine guns, tanks and artillery with a total value of $83,000. During the same time frame, the Air Force continued routinely to re­lease spare parts for aircraft in two of its 89 then active sales cases for Pakistan. The two affected cases comprised the so-called depot supply support plan (DSSP) under which the purchaser was afforded direct automated access to the USAF logistical system. Under the DSSP some $2.4 million worth of lethal as well as non-lethal spares were shipped during the May-June period. This included parts for F-86 and F-104 fighters and B-57 bombers as well as Pakistani transport and trainer aircraft. Our analysis of inputs from the Navy is still incomplete, but we estimate that shipments amounting to about $61,000 in value have been made contrary to our directives. Releases of lethal spares constituted some $36,000 out of this total.”

    * (Chronology of Miltary supply to Paksitan)”


    Meeting Between President Nixon, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Mr. Parmeshwar Narain Haksar and Dr. Henry A. Kissinger:

    The President asked the Prime Minister if she believed that President Yahya could really survive if Mujib were released at this point in time. The Prime Minister said that the crucial issue remained the future of Mujib who was a symbol of the imperative for autonomy.

    November 5: A. I. D. Deputy Administrator’s Report on situation of East Pakistan:

    The Pakistan Army in East Pakistan has achieved nearly autonomous control of the province, in many respects independent of the policies and direction of President Yahya Khan in Islamabad. Only foreign affairs affecting East Pakistan is firmly in the hands of Islamabad. The relative isolation of President Yahya Khan is probably the result of many factors. Indications of this isolation are that: (a) Army commanders in the East pursue independent military operations, (b) the Army governs the province behind the facade of the puppet civilian Governor Malik and his cabinet — who are completely dependent on the Army for their personal security — with limited reference to Islamabad,
    (c) little but Pakistani successes and India’s perfidy is reported from Dacca to Islamabad, and (d) President Yahya Khan lacks independent means of observation, reporting and verification of events in the East.

    Myth and Reality on Civilian Support in East Pakistan. President Yahya Khan told us October 28 that “civilianization” of government in East Pakistan, under Governor Malik and his Cabinet, is succeeding in stabilizing the political situation. The myth of growing political stability in East Pakistan is almost certainly fed to Yahya Khan by reports from his civilian Governor and his Army commanders.

    The reality is that Army policies and operations — behind the facade of a civilian government — are progressively and seriously alienating the Bengali population in East. Pakistan, and that the seeds of rebellion are not only those sown by India. The wide gap between the myth of growing stability as seen by Yahya Khan, and the reality of political deterioration was most striking from comparing my recent visit to East Pakistan, October 21 – 26, to observations made during the earlier August 19 – 25 trip.

    Civil Affairs Run by the Military Advisor to the Governor Major General Rao Farman Ali Khan. The are even selecting the men who would be elected in the next Provincial elections.

    Army Policy is Selective Terror and Reprisal. General Farman Ali Khan described the level of Mukti guerrilla insurgency as some-what intensified but manageable because the newly trained Bengali guerrillas entering from India feared to take action.

    Despite orders from Islamabad that the Army not engage in terrorist operations against the civilian population — and repeated assurances to U. S. officials to this effect — Pakistan Army commanders continue to carry out terror raids against the population and villages, even within the environs of Dacca and in sight of its large foreign community.

    General Farman All Khan said the Army sought to leave the fighting of the Mukti guerrillas to the newly armed Bengali “Rasikars”, who now numbered 60,000. However, the “Rasikars” are a destabilizing element — living off the land, able to make life and death decisions by denouncing collaborators and openly pillaging and terrorizing villagers without apparent restraint from the Army. With villagers caught between the Rasikars and Mukti guerrillas, law and order is breaking down rapidly in rural East Pakistan.

    Army Policy to Clear East Pakistan of Hindus. The Pakistan Army is ideologically anti-Hindu and their historic experience in West Pakistan, from the time of partition, has been that Hindus should go to India. Hence, reprisal operations naturally continue to focus against Hindus. Without law or order, except that sanctioned by the Army, Hindu lives and property are not safe in East Pakistan today. General Farman All Khan accepted the estimate that at least 80 percent of the Hindus had left East Pakistan. He, off-the-record, spoke of about six million refugees who had gone to India and he anticipated that a further 1, 500, 000 refugees would probably go to India “before the situation settles down.” (1,500,000 is a reasonable estimate of the number of Hindus still in East Pakistan.)”

    Memorandum of conversation among Nixon, Kissinger and others:

    Nixon: This is just the point when she is a bitch.
    Kissinger: Well, the Indians are bastards anyway. They are starting a war there. It’s—to them East Pakistan is no longer the issue. Now, I found it very interesting how she carried on to you yesterday about West Pakistan.

    November 8: Secretary’s Meeting with Prime Minister Gandhi; East Pakistan Problem: PriMin and other members Indian delegation stated doubts that Yahya actually desires political solution.

    November 10: Journalist visits Mukti Bahini-held areas:

    Mannan was at pains to make clear that Mukti Bahini (MB) not Marxists and that Bangladesh would not be a communist country, saying that Naxalites would bet their fair share of power but that their share would not be large as they were tiny minority. Mannan stated that MB’s war aim was simply to have Awami League’s victory honored.

    De Borchgrave (The Daily Telegraph) dined with General Niazi. Niazi appeared to be misinformed about conditions in the province, showing no understanding of true situation. De Borchgrave was obviously impressed by extent of insurgency and stated belief that Bangladesh victory only a ques­tion of time.”

    Assistant Secretary Sisco discusses with Fonsec Kaul on East Pakistan Problem:

    “East Pak problem was not of India’s making. There had been discrimination against East Pak. Use of force after March 25 respon­sible for refugee problem. US also sympathizes fully in regard to refugee burden. US view was that solution to East Pak problem could not be obtained by pursuing one course of action in isolation. We should not consider exclusively refugee relief, withdrawal of forces, third party involvement, or political accommodation. All these elements should be pursued together”

    November 11: Telegram from Amconsul Dacca to Secretary State

    “Given rate at which MB activity increasing inside province and appar­ently Growing organization and self-confidence of these forces, it begins to look as if India might achieve such possible major objectives as pres­sure on Islamabad govt, weakening of Pakistan, or even independent Bangla Desh by simply continuing its present activities without esca­lating them into actual warfare.”

    November 12: Minutes of Washington Special Actions Group Meeting:

    “Mukti Bahini guerrillas were increasingly effective in East Pakistan and Cushman estimated that up to 30 percent of rural East Pakistan was under guerrilla control. Tensions between India and Pakistan had increased as Indian border security forces and Indian army troops joined in the fighting along the border between Pakistan army forces and Mukti Bahini guerrillas. Cushman noted that on the border between India and West Pakistan both sides had made preparations in anticipation of war.

    There are five or six (Pakistani army) casualties a day as opposed to three a day before October.”

    Telegram from Amembassy Islamabad to Secretary State Page 1, Page 2:

    “What was unthinkable six months ago in West Pakistan may have become acceptable today-regime could probably survive opening of negotiations with Shiekh Mujibur Rahman provided latter agreed to support unified Pakistan. Public opinion in West would now generally acquiesce in such development and some would welcome it. Reaction within army likely be more mixed, but with army discipline maintained. In East Pakistan, Mujib has become symbol of Bengali nationhood. However, to retain credibility with Bengalis Mujib in any negotiations probably could not settle for less than Awami League Six Points, certain of which are still anathema to Pak military and still carry with them seeds of eventual secession. Even if Six Points compromised, any negotiated settlement acceptable to Bengalis would probably require withdrawal of army at least to cantonments, again opening door to secession.”

    Maury Williams’ Views on Pakistan: The Army’s policy is such that the running battle with guerrillas is likely to continue with little effect on the changing practices in a way that could restore genuine civilian government.

    November 15: GOI May Be Prepared to Wait a Little Longer on War.

    Conversation among Nixon, Kissinger and Sultan Khan: The Pak Foreign Secretary (Sultan Khan) noted that there had been considerable interest in how to launch a political process which in some way involved Mujibur Rahman within the limits which President Yahya felt constraining him.

    November 16: Observers believe Mrs. Gandhi Trying Cool Political Temperature at Least Temporarily.

    November 18: Statement by the Indian Delegate, Mr. Samar Sen, on UNHCR’s report In the third committee of the U.N. General Assembly:

    “On October 26, the Special Consortium of the World Bank meeting in Paris announced that ” more than 9.5 million refugees have entered India by now and the influx is continuing “. The latest figure is 9,608,901 on November 5, the daily average influx in September was 27,000 and in October 17,000.

    It is also note­worthy that Pakistan’s figure of 200,000 refugees having returned to their homes has remained unchanged over the last three months. And then the figure is nicely divided and rounded upto 140,000 muslims and 60,000 Hindus, at the same time as the High Commissioner has been informed that 640,001 passed through reception centres and 136,000 came back on their own. Here again is another instance of counting people who, no one knows, how they came; but then people, who first described all the refugees as “criminals”, who define all free voters as ” anti-state ” elements, who call all freedom-fighters as ” miscreants ” or now ” indian infiltrators “, cannot be expected to be too scrupulous about facts.”

    Prince Sadruddin Agha Khan’s Statement in the third committee of the U. N. General Assembly echoes the same

    Discussions on the report submitted by the U.N.H.C.R in the third committee of the U.N. General Assembly. The world leaders urged Pakistan to reduce use of force and try to solve East Pakistan problem through peaceful political means and thus creating an environment for the refugees to come back.

    November 19: US Ambassador’s Conversation with President Yahya:

    “Mujib was not the key to negotiations but rather Indira Gandhi held “both the key and the lock.” From this position Yahya expressed disinclination to permit Mujibur Rahman to designate a Bangla Desh representative who could speak on his behalf and negotiate for the Bangla Desh movement with the GOP. Said GOP would be happy to meet with Bangla Desh leaders as previously agreed (Only cleared Awami Leager).

    He threatened: if India starts war, total resources of nation will be dedicated to effort of survival. Noted that Mujib will be first casualty.

    To ease refugee problem, Yahya indicated he is contemplating asking UN to take over all facilities refugee centers in Pakistan and establish circumstances under which returning refugees would be accepted under care and protection of UN.

    He sketched his scenario for a political settlement through promulgation of a constitution in mid-December, convening the National Assembly on December 27 and transfer of power “several weeks” thereafter. Then the new civilian government could, if it wished, deal with Mujib and Bangla Desh.”

    Briefing for President Nixon:

    “A frequent comment from Indian and foreign observers is that Mrs. Gandhi remains less hawkish than the country as a whole and that she apparently continues to work to avoid a major war.

    Some official U.S. observers believe that the Indian and guerrilla pressures on the Pak forces could be gradually building up to a point at which the Paks could be goaded into counteractions which could precipitate a full-scale war.”

    November 21: Resolution unanimously adopted by the third committee of the United Nations General Assembly:

    “The only solution to this grave refugee problem is the safe return of the refugees to their homes, and that this requires a favourable climate which all persons of good will should work to bring about in a spirit of respect for the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”

    UN Role in East Pakistan Problem:

    “We interpret Prime Minister Gandhi’s reply to UN Secretary Gen­eral as (A) polite, firm rejection of international mediation between India and Pakistan, (B) renewed appeal for international pressure on GOP to move toward political settlement”

    The French Government set forth its policy of neutrality regarding the India-Pakistan situation and urged the necessity of a political solution permitting the return of the refugees to East Pakistan.

    November 22: The BDG contact’s views:

    “Qaiyum said if Sheikh not released soon, communists would wrest BD lead­ership from moderates, which not in interest of BD, GOP, GOI or USG. Release, even if Sheikh restricted to West Pakistan, would cool situation considerably and allow peaceful solution to be found, since only Mujib has power to provide Yahya with face-saving way out of crisis.

    He suggested that it in best interest of Pakistan for Yahya to step down and hand over power to another military figure saying Yahya ‘has no right to destroy both parts of Pakistan.’ Qaiyum warned that time is running out for GOP leadership. Mukti Bahini increasingly successful, getting ‘all help’ from India, and BD leaders expect military victory in east within next two months”.

    Reports of Heavy Fighting in East Pakistan as Mukti Bahini strikes and Pakistan interprets it as Indian offensive:

    “Mukti Bahini forces have launched major offensive in Kushtia, Khulna and Jessore districts. According these reports Mukti Bahini have captured Chougacha in Jessore district and Maheshpur in same district. Debhata, border town in Khulna district, also said to have been taken with Mukti Bahini forces advancing to Satkhira, northeast of Debhata. In Kushtia district Mukti Bahini also reported as moving toward towns of Jibannagar and Damurhuda under cover their own artillery, having established “liberated areas” near border towns of Banpur and Gede.

    Karachi domestic service report in Eng­lish at 1500 GMT, November 22: “India, without a formal declara­tion of war, has launched an all-out offensive against East Pakistan.” Broadcast adds that Indian army has concentrated all its might in Jes­sore area where attack has been launched by nine Indian infantry di­visions, four Indian mountain divisions and two Indian tank regi­ments.

    GOI official spokesman reportedly cate­gorically denied Pakistan radio report that India had launched a big offensive in Jessore area. Spokesman referred to reports of increasing Mukti Bahini activities and said that Karachi radio report obviously mixing up Mukti Bahini activities with those of India.”

    Minutes of Washington Special Actions Group Meeting:

    Mr. Kissinger: (to Mr. Irwin) What do you think?

    Mr. Irwin: We think the Pakistanis are probably overplaying the situation and the Indians are underplaying it. We think increased participation by Indian regulars is designed either to put enough pressure on Yahya to get a more favorable political situation, or to try to provoke a Pakistani attack on India and thereby put Pakistan further in the wrong in the eyes of the world. We believe the first reason is more likely than the second.

    November 23: Letter from President Yahya to President Nixon:

    “Mr. President, as you are aware, Indian armed forces in the last few months have maintained pressure all along our eastern bor­ders. Apart from training, equipping and launching rebels sup­ported by Indian border security force personnel into Pakistan territory, Indian artillery units have been constant(y shelling ar­eas in East Pakistan. But as I have pointed out above, in the last 3 or 4 days the Indian armed forces have turned from localized attacks to open and large scale warfare on so many fronts. They have further escalated the conflict by introducing armor and air force. Pakistan army and air force units in East Pakistan have been under strict order not to cross the frontiers and to exercise utmost restraint in the face of grave provocations. The present situation, however, is such that the offensive launched by Indian armed forces must be met by us with all the force at our command in the defense of our territorial integrity.

    India continues to harp on the theme that the inroads into Pakistan are being made by the so-called “Mukti Bahini” – a rebel force created, maintained and sustained by India. No one will be deceived by the Indian claim which stands disproved by the scale of present operations and by the equipment including armor and air force elements now being used.

    I would like to say unhesitatingly that I wish to avoid a senseless and destructive war with India. But the developing situation created by India may lead us to a point of no return.”

    US Ambassador’s conversation with President Yahya:

    Yahya was hopeful that international mediation would somehow prevent a confrontation in the Subcontinent which could be an international disaster.

    Letter from the Government of Bangla Desh (sd Tajuddin) to the Prime Minister of India:

    “-The military rulers of West Pakistan are not open to persuasion to return to the path of reason and face the realities of the situation.

    – The so-called civilian government of East Pakistan are quislings who constitute the defeated candidates are sustained by a repressive martial law regime universally and hated by the people of Bangla Desh.

    – Nearly five million citizens (in addition to 10 million refugee in India) of Bangla Desh are victim of systematic brutality of Pakistani army and wandering with no succour or relief. The military regime of Pakistan has embarked on a pre-meditated and planned extermination of our race.

    – The military regime of West Pakistan still refuses negotiations with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Government of Bangla Desh.

    – The people of the North-West Frontier Province and Baluchistan have expressed their dissatisfaction in a manner which has now compelled the Government of West Pakistan to ban the National Awami Party which had won a majority in the provincial elections in these two provinces of West Pakistan.

    – The Mukti Bahini, with the universal support of the people of Bangla Desh, has achieved signal successes in regaining effective administrative control over large areas of our motherland against the military oppressor.

    – The military regime of West Pakistan has sought to divert the attention of the world from the root cause of the problem by attempting to internationalise the issue by projecting it as an Indo-Pakistan dispute.

    – Bangladesh has proclaimed independence and the basic principles of our State policy are democracy, socialism, secularism and the establishment of an egalitarian society, where there would be no discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex or creed. We assure you of our Government’s full co-operation in organising the expeditious return of the refugees back to their home.

    – We request that you accord immediate recognition to the sovereign People’s Republic of Bangla Desh.”

    November 24: Discussion with cleared Awami League MNA-elect Nurul Islam and MPA-elect S.B. Zaman:

    “Islam said he and other cleared Awami Leaguers sought no per­sonal power in present crisis, but were only interested in seeing kill­ing stopped in East Pakistan and dying of East Pakistanis in refugee camps in India brought to an end. Toward these ends he appealed to (1) seek to obtain Soviet agreement to stop arms supplies to Mukti Bahini and (2) halt Indian attacks on East Pakistan.

    Zaman said that extremists on both the right and left in East Paki­stan were supported by about 10 per cent each of East Pakistan population. Vast majority of East Pakistanis, including cleared Awami Leaguers, wanted united Pakistan on basis of six points and thereby an end to exploitation of the past. They did not seek, how­ever, independence. Islam said he agreed with Yahya’s assessment that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman would be killed by East Pakistanis, i.e. Naxalites, if he agreed to anything short of independence. In any case, Mujib’s credibility would be very suspect among general pub­lic who are likely to believe that he had been brainwashed by Army during captivity.”

    During his Nov 23 discus­sions with Yahya he proposed that in an effort to clarify current situation (1) he be permitted to meet Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to ascertain Rahman’s personal views, i.e. whether he continued to support six points approach or complete independ­ence for East Pakistan. Islam said Rahman would without ques­tion tell him that he had been out of touch for eight months and could not express his views until he had consulted with other members of the Awami League. (2) After discussion with Rahman, Islam would proceed to Calcutta for discussion with Tajuddin and other Awami Leaguers there or if government so desired, alternatively, go to other foreign countries where Bangladesh missions are maintained to meet with Awami Leaguers in those locations. Islam said President Yahya did not respond to these suggestions.

    Washington Special Actions Group Meeting considers cut off of aid and military pipeline to India and Pakistan.

    Discussion with UNHCR president Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan and Asst Secy Sisco:

    “He had feeling from his conversations (in New Delhi) that India did not want war and would accept whatever solution in East Pakistan was acceptable to Awami League. GOI leaders pressed Sadruddin to work for political solution in Islamabad.

    He said he thought current Jessore operaton was limited GOI test of its ability to use Mukti Bahini with Indian support to put pressure on Yahya. Sadruddin said it was his assessment that Mujib might not want independent Bangla Desh. Even today he wants unified Pakistan. Although Yahya claims that he could not deal with Mujib because Mujib would be killed by his own people, Sadruddin said he thought Yahya was completely wrong. Sadruddin said he had ‘pleaded’ with Yahya for many hours to establish his credibility not by transfer of power but by starting dialogue with Mujib. Yahya in response argued there would be tremendous unrest in West Pakistan. Sadruddin said he thought Yahya was definitely exaggerating reaction.

    Yahya’s solution however is to put pressure on Mrs. Gandhi to give up support of Mukti Bahini. He believes he could then clean up Mukti Bahini in matter of days and transfer power to elected representatives.

    Sadruddin emphasized that Yahya must make sure that army recognizes that there can be no military solution in East Pakistan and that it must accept political solution.”

    Minutes of Washington Special Actions Group Meeting:

    Sisco: I believe India would be willing to go along if Mujib were restored to power by peaceful means. India doesn’t want war. If Mujib were back in power, he would organize an East Pakistan Government and it wouldn’t be long before it was a separate entity or independent.

    Discussion between President Nixon, Secretary of State Rogers, and National Security Assistant Kissinger:

    Kissinger: We got the military governor replaced with a civilian governor. We got them to admit UN observers. We got them to permit UN peace.

    Rogers “agreed fully” that the United States should tilt toward Pakistan. The question was how to do it.

    November 25: Telegram from Amconsul Calcutta to Secretary State:

    Qaiyum said “war has already started on this side,” and claimed Mukti Bahini (MB) had ‘liberated’ great deal of territory. He believed MB tactics were to surround Pak troop contin­gents and wipe them out or drive them out. After that, Indian army could come in if it wanted to provide artillery support for next MB attack.

    He denied that India army doing most of fighting “inside Bangladesh” saying, “we do not want Indian army in our country any more than we want Pak army.” He allowed that In­dian army might venture into east behind MB, since there would then be no Pak army to keep them out.”

    November 26: Message from the Ambassador to Pakistan (Farland) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) on today’s discussion with Yahya:

    Yahya is continuing to exercise maximum restraint, but expressed regretfully that there was limit thereto in event India renews attacks.

    Raja Tridiv Roy in Ceylon as representative of GOP President Khan:

    Roy stated that quote Pakistan has opened the door for the refugees to return to their homeland, but India is trying to discourage them from going home in order to increase tensions in the area.

    Group calling itself Ceylon Committee for Human Rights in Bangla Desh was refused interview with Roy and promptly branded him “an outcast.. .who cannot reconcile the teachings of the compassionate Buddha with murder, rape and pillage by the military clique whose cause he had come here to espouse.”

    November 27: Presidential Message to Mrs. Gandhi from Nixon:

    “I note your Government has confirmed that your armed forces have been engaged on Pakistani territory. The situation has reached a critical stage and there is danger of all-out hostilities.

    President Yahya would be willing to take the first step in disengaging his forces on the frontier with West Pakistan provided India were willing to take reciprocal action subsequently. I have not heard from you on the point, and I hope you would agree promptly to designate a representative who could discuss a limited disengagement with a representative named by President Yahya.”

    November 29: Memorandum from the Kissinger to President Nixon:

    India-Pakistan: Active fighting continues in the border areas of East Pakistan. Indian officials seem increasingly open about the fact that Indian troops have gone across the border, but they continue to maintain that the crossings are to quell Pakistani shelling or in some other act of self-defense.

    Washington Special Actions Group Meeting:

    “India had seven divisions massed along the border with East Pakistan, but Lt. Gen. Robert E. Cushman (CIA) noted that most of the fighting within East Pakistan was being done by the Mukti Bahini supported by Indian artillery, armor, and, on occasion, troops.”

    November 30: A press release by Mujibnagar Bangla Desh Government on success of Mukti Bahini and Yahaya’s bogey of Indian attack to hide their success.