DHAKA, March 14, 2015(BSS)-Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman took full control over Bangladesh through a series of directives issued.
The US administration meeting in Washington DC summed it up briefly: Mujib Takes Over East Pakistan; Yahya Flies to Dacca (Dhaka).
The directives (laws), 35 in all, issued by Bangabandhu were aimed at
continuing administrative functions, normally. Essentially it said:
- Non-co-operation movement will continue. - People's determination was applauded. And - A fresh action programme for struggle was announced s the movement entered its third week.
President Yahiya Khan arrived in Dhaka along with several other generals at 2:20 pm to meet (Bangabandhu) Mujib apparently for "negotiations".
The US analysis was:
Information Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Sisco) to Secretary of State Rogers/1/
Washington, March 15, 1971.
Mujib Takes Over East Pakistan; Yahya Flies to Dacca
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman announced in Dacca early today, that his party, the Awami League, was taking over the administration of East Pakistan on the grounds that the party had a majority (288 of 300) in the Provincial Assembly. Mujib acted unilaterally and in defiance of President Yahya Khan's Martial Law Administration which continues to be the Government of Pakistan. The fact that Mujib's announcement contained 35 "directives" for assuming control of the administration indicates that it was a deliberate and carefully planned move.
In taking this step, Mujib has directly confronted the Yahya government but has carefully avoided an unqualified declaration of East Pakistani independence and has based his action on the "democratic" voice of the people as expressed in the December election. The Yahya regime must react quickly to this critical move, and Yahya himself has flown to Dacca to talk with Mujib.
The options available to Yahya appear to be two, either of which would further endanger the already fragile unity of Pakistan. If Yahya acquiesces in the step, he has forfeited his martial law powers, at least in the East, and would be hard pressed to retain them in the West (see below regarding Bhutto's speech on Sunday/2/). If Yahya, or others in the military, decide to resist Mujib's action by force, East Pakistan will be engulfed in a struggle between the military and the Bengali nationalists, the outcome of which can only be eventual independence of Bengal and the breaking of all ties with West Pakistan-unless, as seems unlikely in the long run, the army can successfully contain a rebellion. Mujib's statement called on Bengalis to resist "by all possible means" any force used against them.
In a speech in Karachi on Sunday, West Pakistan political leader Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto demanded that power be turned over to majority parties in each wing, Bhutto's in the West, Mujib's in the East. Bhutto's speech, in fact, may have triggered Mujib's action. It may also indicate what has been suspected for some time, that Bhutto has decided that his chances of attaining power in the West are best achieved by a split-total or nearly so-in the country. However, Bhutto has less opportunity to act than Mujib because the army is strong in the West and could probably contain a rebellion.
The day's events cast further doubt on continued unity in Pakistan. Yahya's response will be the most important determining factor."
Bangabandhu's directives were:
NON-CO-OPERATION MOVEMENT TO GO ON PEOPLE'S DETERMINATION COMMENDED FRESH ACTION PROGRAMME AS STRUGGLE ENTERS 3rd WEEK Announcement of Sheik Mujibur Rahman on March 15, 1971
The Awami League chief, Sheik Mujibur Rahman, has said that the non-violent non-co-operation movement will continue till their goal is achieved, according to a Radio Pakistan broadcast yesterday.
The non-violent non-co-operation movement which entered third week passed peacefully today throughout East Pakistan.
In Dacca a number of meetings and rallies were held and processions brought out in support of Awami League chief Sheikh Mujib's four-point conditions.
All Government and semi-Government offices remained closed. Only those sections of the offices and the services which are exempted from the directives, however, functioned normally. Under the new directives by the Awami League chief, more services were allowed to function from today.
State Bank of Pakistan and all other scheduled banks today functioned between 9 a.m. to 12 noon and the Clearing House was also open. The inter-Wing teleprinter lines for the banks and the news agencies functioned after 3 p.m.
Sheikh Mujib late on Sunday night announced a fresh programme of action to he followed from Monday.
In his programme Sheikh Mujibur Rahman said: "The heroic struggle of the people marches forward. All those who cherish freedom and are struggling for it the world over, should regard our cause as their own. Our people have proved how a determined and united people can be a bulwark of freedom against those who conspire to rule by force.
"The people of Bangla Desh. (,) civil servants, office and factory workers, peasants and students have demonstrated in no uncertain terms that they would die rather than surrender."
Sheikh 1lujibur Rahman added: "It is deplorable that even at this stage some unthinking people are trying to intimidate a section of civilian employees by promulgating Martial Law Orders.
"Today the entire people are united in their determination not to submit to the Martial Law. I, therefore, urge those whom the latest order has been directed not to yield to threat that has been leveled (leveled) against them. Seventy-five million people of Bangla Desh are behind them had their families".
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman said: "The spirit of freedom in Bangla Desh cannot be extinguished. We cannot be conquered because each of us is determined to die if need be to ensure that our future generations can live in freedom and with dignity as free citizens of a free country.
"The struggle shall, therefore, continue with renewed vigour until our goal of emancipation is realised."
"I appeal to the people to remain ready for any sacrifice and should force be unleashed against them to resist it by all means possible ".
Directive 1: Secretariats of Central and Provincial Government and semiGovernment (semi-government) offices, autonomous bodies, High Courts and all other Courts throughout Bangla Desh shall observe hartal, subject to specific directives set out below and such exemptions and clarifications as may be issued from time to time.
Directive 2: All educational institutions throughout Bangla Desh shall remain closed.
Under Directive 9, Posts and Telegraph Offices shall function only for purpose of letters, telegrams and money-orders within Bangla Desh. But foreign mail service and foreign telegrams of all categories may be sent direct to the countries concerned.
Inter-Wing teleprinter channel shall remain open for one hour between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, only for the purpose of enabling banks to send and receive by teleprinter such messages as are permitted under Directive 25. Inter-Wing Press telegrams only be sent.
Directive 10: Only local and inter-district trunk telephone within Bangla Desh shall function. Necessary sections required for repair and maintenance of telephone system shall function.
Directive 11: Radio, Television and newspapers shall function and shall give complete version of all statements and news about the people's movement otherwise those working in these establishments shall not co-operate.
Under Directive 25, banks shall carry on their operations, including receiving deposits of any amount, inter-bank clearances without any limit within Bangla Desh, inter-bank transfers within Bangla Desh and drawings by T.T. or mail transfers from West Pakistan and cash transactions subject to various restrictions.
The State Bank and the National Bank of Pakistan shall continue to discount T.T. throughout Bangla Desh on the basis that reimbursement shall be effected at Dacca.
Banks with head offices in West Pakistan shall obtain necessary funds to reimburse the State Bank and the National Bank of Pakistan at Dacca.
Foreign travellers' (travelers') cheques may be encashed by authorised dealers and diplomats may freely operate their accounts and foreign nationals may operate their foreign exchange accounts and may deal with foreign exchange remittances received by them.
There shall be no operation of lockers. No remittances shall be effected outside Bangla Desh through the State Bank or otherwise.
Letters of credit may be opened against licences (licenses) including those issued on surrender of bonus vouchers for imports from foreign countries. Barter documents
(where goods have already been shipped) shall be valid. Pending export bills shall be collected through the Eastern Mercantile Banks and Eastern Banking Corporation which banks shall comply with such directives as are issued to them in this regard.
Directive 26: The State Bank shall observe the same banking and office hours as other banks and shall remain open for taking all necessary steps for smooth functioning of the banking system of Bangla Desh within the framework of restrictions defined above.
PPP forms may be sanctioned and all approved remittances to foreign countries for students and other approved recipients may be permitted.
Directive 28: All travel agents and foreign airline offices may function. Sale proceeds realised by them should be deposited in any bank within Bangla Desh.
Directive 31: (a) Until further directives are issued no land revenue shall be realised, no excise duty shall be realised on salt produced in Bangla Desh, no tax shall be realised on unmanufactured tobacco grown in Bangla Desh, handloom weavers shall be entitled to purchase cotton yarn without any payment of excise duty and mills and dealers shall sell cotton yarn to them at non-duty paid price.
(b) Subject to above, all provincial taxes, including amusement tax, tolls in respect of hats, bazars, bridges and ponds shall be realised and credited to the account of the Government of Bangla Desh.
(c) All local taxes including octroi shall be paid.
(d) All indirect Central taxes, including customs duty, excise duty, sales tax hitherto collected and realised by the Central Government shall hence forward be collected by collecting agencies, but shall not be credited to the Central Government account or be transferred or remitted to the Central Government.
Realisations so collected shall be deposited in "Special Accounts "in the Eastern Mercantile Bank and the Eastern Banking Corporation Ltd. which banks shall comply with directives issued to them in this regard. All collecting agencies shall implement these directives and such other directives as may be issued from time to time.
(e) Direct Central taxes, such as income tax, shall not be realised til (till) directives.
Directive 32: Pakistan Insurance Corporation shall function. All insurance companies including Postal Life Insurance shall function. Directive 34: Hoisting of black flags on all house tops shall continue.
(THE DAWN, Karachi-March 16, 1971)