Bangabandhu’s nation-building challenges: “Recognise first, then talk” | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 10, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:19 AM, February 10, 2020

First year of Bangladesh

Bangabandhu’s nation-building challenges: “Recognise first, then talk”

FEBRUARY 10, 1972

BANGABANDHU MEETS

BHASHANI

In the morning Bangabandhu meets Maulana Bhashani at PG Hospital where the Maulana was admitted the day before for treatment. Bangabandhu spends half an hour with Bhashani, sits on his bedside and enquires about his health. Seeing Bangabandhu, the Maulana exclaims: “You have come. May Allah grant you a long life.”

NO TALKS BEFORE RECOGNITION

Bangabandhu rules out the possibility of any talks with Pakistani President ZA Bhutto before the latter recognises Bangladesh as a sovereign independent state. 

JAPAN ACCORDS RECOGNITION

Japan today recognises Bangladesh. Japanese Prime Minister Eisaku Sato has sent a telegram to Bangabndhu felicitating the birth of the new South Asian nation and praying for its future development. 

Welcoming the Japanese government’s decision to recognise Bangladesh, Bangbandhu says, “I have no doubt that the areas of cooperation between our two countries will steadily expand in the future to the mutual benefit of our two peoples. On behalf of my government and people, I take this opportunity to extend our warm greetings and felicitations to the government and people of Japan.”

NON-BENGALI’S LIFE, PROPERTY SECURE

In a telegram to the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Tunku Abdur Rahman, Bangabandhu offers full cooperation to the representatives of the Secretary-General to visit Mirpur, the non-Bengali suburb. 

Bangabandhu says, “I should like to assure your excellency that life and property of non-Bengali population here are secure, in spite of many provocations over the past nine months.

The feeling against them is now so bitter that for their protection the government must maintain for some time the protective cordon, but there is nothing to hide and the Secretary General’s representative will be extended full cooperation to visit Mirpur.

In contrast to the situation here, Bengali residents in Pakistan are living in a state of terror and are being subjected to harassment and personal indignities. It is a matter of regret that you haven’t felt it necessary to say anything about the position of the Bengalis in Pakistan.

I have also to recall with regret that during the last nine months when three million Bengalis in Bangladesh were killed in cold blood by the West Pakistani forces, you didn’t raise your voice to stop the killings of innocent Muslims and members of other communities in the second largest Muslim state.”

40,000 BENGALIS TO BE REPATRIATED

About 28,000 Bengali officials and men belonging to defence services of Pakistan and another 12,000 Bengali civil servants in the Pakistan Central Government will be soon allowed to go on leave for repatriation in Bangladesh, informs official sources of the Pakistan government. 

SOURCES: February 11, 1972 issues of Dainik Bangla, The Daily Ittefaq, Azad, Morning News, The Bangladesh Observer and Purbodesh.

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