‘The imperialists are still around us’ | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 22, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 22, 2020

First year of Bangladesh Bangabandhu’s nation-building challenges

‘The imperialists are still around us’

FEBRUARY 22, 1972

BANGABANDHU'S BTV INTERVIEW

In an interview with BTV on the reminiscence of 1952, Bangabandhu says, "Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, had no sympathy for Bengalees. He wanted to make Bangladesh a colony of West Pakistan and its business community. Jinnah didn't come to see the people of Bangladesh when they had died of starvation in 1943. Immediately after the creation of Pakistan, the exploiters and their agents hurriedly came to Dhaka to take control of the administration. They started instigating communal disturbances and tried to establish Urdu as the only state language of Pakistan. Their modus operandi was very clear -- they wanted to eliminate Bengalees and as a first step towards this end, they directed their machinations against the language and culture of the nation."

In conclusion of the interview, Bangabandhu says that the conspiracy and intrigue that had started against the Bengalees before the independence of the subcontinent have not ended yet. The imperialists are still around us, he adds.

SURRENDER WEAPONS IMMEDIATELY

Bangabandhu warns that severe measures will be taken against those who are trying to create a scare among the public by harassing them in various ways. Speaking at a function at Dhanmondi Maidan he again advises these people with unauthorised arms to surrender their weapons immediately.

MEMBERSHIP OF C'WEALTH

Sir Arnold Smith, the Commonwealth secretary general, says that Bangladesh should be able to become a member of the Commonwealth in a matter of weeks.

In a meeting with newsmen, the secretary general says that not only the Commonwealth countries, but the whole world has sympathy for Bangladesh. All the countries will gradually recognise this new state, he adds.

He informs that before Britain took its decision to accord formal recognition to Bangladesh, Bhutto threatened some members of the Commonwealth, including Britain, that Pakistan would do away with the membership of the Commonwealth if Bangladesh was recognised by them. He describes the threat of Bhutto as "illogical and foolish" action. 

Later, he calls on Bangabandhu at his official residence.

YAHYA WILL BE TRIED AS WAR CRIMINAL

Former Pakistan President General Yahya Khan and some top Pakistan army personnel would be tried as war criminals by the Bangladesh government for the genocide they had committed during the nine months of occupation, declares a government spokesperson. The government has already prepared a list of more than 500 war criminals. Against each of them, specific charges of committing genocide in Bangladesh has been framed, adds the spokesperson.

SOURCES: February 23, 1972 issues of Dainik Bangla, The Daily Ittefaq, Azad, Morning News, The Bangladesh Observer and Purbodesh.

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