April 23, 1971
PAKISTAN CLOSING CONSULATE IN CALCUTTA
The Pakistan radio said tonight that Pakistan had decided to close down the Deputy High Commission office in Calcutta and had asked India to close her Deputy High Commission office in Dacca.
The radio, quoting an announcement in Pakistan capital Islamabad, said the closures would take effect very soon.
Pakistan's move followed angry demonstrations in Calcutta against the new deputy high commissioner, appointed after the previous holder of the post switched allegiance to the Bangladesh independence movement.
Earlier today, Pakistan accused the Indian government of failing to prevent what she termed unprovoked and violent demonstrations against the new Deputy High Commissioner Mehdi Masud. It also protested that the Indian government had not taken action to remove the former deputy high commissioner from the mission premises.
CABINET MEETING HELD
A meeting of the cabinet members of the Mujibnagar Government was held today. The cabinet appointed Abdus Samad Azad as the political aide to the cabinet, MA Mannan MNA as the in-charge of public relations and Barrister Amir-ul Islam as an aide to Prime Minister Tajuddin Ahmad.
The provisional government had summoned all administrative officers from secretaries down to district officials to two different places in the eastern and western front. These officers have remained cut off from each other for over 25 days as broken communications could not be restored. In absence of instructions from the authorities, these officers had become virtually crippled and ineffectual. This is why they had been invited to the meetings, where their tasks in the changed situation would be defined.
Earlier in a press release, the Mujibnagar Government appealed to supporters of Bangladesh to report to 9, Circus Avenue, where the first Bangladesh mission is housed, with aid and supply.
AGGRESSION: BRITISH MP
Bruce Douglas-Mann, British Labour MP, told a press conference today that West Pakistan had committed aggression on Bangladesh, that Pakistan would never be one again, and Bangladesh would emerge independent. He advocated economic sanctions by the United Nations and Commonwealth to force West Pakistan to stop the war.
Douglas-Mann was in Calcutta to meet representatives from the Bangladesh government, visit refugee camps and investigate the danger of famine in Bangladesh. The British MP said a committee had been formed in London on April 18, 1971 to help restore peace and justice in Bangladesh. The committee would press the British government to express its deep concern over the repressive measures taken by the Pakistani government in Bangladesh.
Douglas-Mann visited four refugee camps on the border. After the visit he said that by talking to refugees from Bangladesh he had gathered evidence of the atrocities perpetrated by the Pakistan army. People had been killed indiscriminately. There was panic in the air.
Shamsuddoza Sajen is a journalist and researcher. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org