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'Global media saw end of Pakistan on March 15, 1971'

DHAKA, March 15, 2016 (BSS) - Leading Bengali intelligentsia recalled Bangabandhu's landmark March 14, 1971 to have sealed off Pakistan's fate while the global media endorsed the event as virtual death of united Pakistan.

"From March 14, Pakistan government had virtually lost all its authority over the (East Pakistan)," said eminent literary critic and close witness to the March 1971 events Professor Rafiqul Islam as the nation prepares to celebrate the 45th Independence Day.

He recalled that on that day Bangabandhu issued a 35-point directive as to how "Bangladesh" would run while it appeared in newspapers on the next day's issues.

In line with the directives the then Chhatra Sangram Parishad on March 15 erected makeshift check posts in Dhaka to prevent military's ration supply lines and transfer of assets to West Pakistan.

The US-based Time magazine in its March 15, 1971 issue wrote "Pakistan as it stands today is finished", two days after The Economist carried an article with nearly identical comments.

A close high ranking Bengali adviser to the then military ruler General Yahya Khan, Professor GW Choudhury in his "Last Days of United Pakistan" also endorsed the comments albeit from his own perspective being a pro-Pakistani.

"Yahya's trip to Dacca on March 15, 1971 and his final bids to save the unity of Pakistan were something like giving oxygen to a dying patient when the doctors have declared him a lost case," he wrote.

Noted cultural personality Ramendu Majumdar said, "In fact, Bangabandhu took the administrative power of Bangladesh (the then East Pakistan) through the 35-point directive".

On behalf of Bangabandhu, Awami League's the then general secretary Tajuddin Ahmed issued the 35-point directives saying all government and semi-government offices would remain closed; no communications with West Pakistan, inter-wing telex, telephone and wireless communications will be allowed.

"The spirit of Freedom in Bangladesh cannot be extinguished . . . the struggle shall, therefore, continue with renewed vigor until our goal of emancipation is realized," Bangabandhu's statement read.