No request made for Israeli arms
September 17, 1971
A MONSTROUS LIE
Justice Abu Sayeed Chaudhury today described as a "monstrous" lie worthy of a Joseph Goebbels to say Bangladesh "wants to buy arms from Israel". He denied a report published in the Haaretz saying the Bangladesh leader Mahmoud Kassem had asked the Israeli government for arms. It was just a trick on the part of the regime of Pakistani President Yahya Khan, said Abu Sayeed. He explained that Bangladesh could not do such a thing because it would divide its 75 million inhabitants from the Arab states.
MALIK INSTALS PUPPET CABINET
A civilian "Council of Ministers" was installed in office today in Dhaka in pursuance of the Pakistani regime's plan to give the provincial administration a new look.
Dr AM Malik, who had replaced Lt General Tikka Khan as the governor of East Pakistan, announced in the morning the formation of a 10-member council of ministers. Nine of them took the oath in the afternoon swearing-in ceremony. There was no official explanation for the failure of the 10th minister to assume charge. With the martial law still in force, the civilian cabinet's power was very limited.
ON THE WAR FRONT
In the Rangpur-Dinajpur-Rajshahi sector, Mukti Bahini disrupted telecommunication between Chargkai-Hilli, and also blew up two road bridges in the same area. On the same day they demolished railway culverts, railway tracks and telephone poles between Phulbari-Charkai. Another group of Mukti Bahini ambushed Pakistani troops in Mahendranagar area and killed one.
Mukti Bahini attacked Pakistani troops in Lubachara area in Sylhet district killing 20 and injuring 30 enemy soldiers. Three Mukti Bahini men were wounded during this operation.
Mukti Bahini ambushed enemy troops in Uliabihar near Gaibandha, killing two Pakistani soldiers and injuring one. Mukti Bahini recovered 13 rifles, one Chinese automatic and some ammunitions.
In the Kushtia-Jashore-Khulna sector, Mukti Bahini killed two Pakistani troops in Palia area today and destroyed one Pakistani jeep and one vehicle on Sonabaria-Mandra road.
In an editorial published today South China Morning Post wrote that Pakistan President Yahya Khan was facing a dilemma as, on the one hand, People's Party leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was coming close to threatening President Yahya Khan with a popular uprising in West Pakistan unless he was made prime minister of the whole country, and on the other, Yahya Khan was far behind the deadline he himself set for the promulgation of a new constitution and convening of an election National Assembly.
It may be mentioned here that Yahya Khan said on June 28, 1971 that a new constitution would be promulgated and an elected National Assembly would be convened within four months.
The Hong Kong-based newspaper further commented, "The mood in West Pakistan and inside the army is not one of conciliation. Can President Yahya entirely ignore the strength of feeling in East Pakistan so eloquently demonstrated by the large-scale desertions of East Bengalis from the diplomatic and other forces?"
Shamsuddoza Sajen is a journalist and researcher. He can be contacted at email@example.com