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Friday, March 11, 2016, Falgun 28, 1422 BS, Jamadiul Awwal 30, 1437 Hijri


On This Day
Hawks ascendant in Pakistan army
Daily Observer Report
Published :Friday, 11 March, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 29
On this day, March 11 in 1971, Awami League general secretary Tajuddin Ahmed thanked the people of Bangladesh for rallying behind the party in making a success of the civil disobedience movement launched by Bangabandhu earlier in the month. By now it had become clear that all sections of Bengalis and all professional groups in the province had linked up in a mass movement for democracy to be established on the basis of the Six Point movement.
Away in Rawalpindi, however, hawks in the military establishment were getting the upper hand. Men like General Abdul Hamid Khan, chief of general staff of the Pakistan army, General Gul Hassan and General SGMM Peerzada were clearly of the opinion that the Bengali movement had to be crushed and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman severely dealt with. Interestingly, not one among the military hierarchy thought it necessary to condemn Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for having pushed the country into such a deep crisis. All that they were concerned with was the humiliating loss of authority in Bangladesh on the part of the regime. President Yahya Khan appeared dazed and unable to take any decision. It was clear that authority was slipping from his hands and a small coterie of generals was beginning to assert itself.
Another intriguing circumstance was the consistent encouragement the army was giving the non-Bengali population in Dhaka's Mohammadpur and Mirpur areas. Although the entire province was scrupulously observing the general strike, indeed the non-cooperation movement called by the Awami League, the Bihari community by and large refused to have the movement observed in Mohammadpur and Mirpur. In fact, many Bengali families inhabiting these two areas were intimidated, with some being forced to look for residential accommodation elsewhere. There were, however, groups of enlightened Biharis who were vocal in their support for the movement and readily identified with it.









Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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