Dhaka, Tuesday, May 23, 2017

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Bangabandhu's declaration of independence was picked up globally

DHAKA, Mar 25, 2016(BSS)--In the wee hours of March 26, 1971 Bangabandhu made a declaration. It said "Today Bangladesh is a sovereign and independent country. On Thursday night, West Pakistani armed forces suddenly attacked the police barracks at Razarbagh and the EPR headquarters at Pilkhana in Dhaka. Many innocent and unarmed have been killed in Dhaka city and other places of Bangladesh. Violent clashes between E.P.R. and Police on the one hand and the armed forces of Pakistan on the other, are going on. The Bengalis are fighting the enemy with great courage for an independent Bangladesh. May Allah aid us in our fight for freedom. Joy Bangla".

The message was picked up by a number of sources including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the US government and it conveyed the message to the State Department. The issue, naturally, came up for discussion in a number of high-level meetings in Washington D C. on March 27, 1971 (US Eastern time) and after.

The news was also printed in a number of US dailies of March 27, 1971 that included the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Baltimore Sun and L.A. Times. It was also broadcast by American television network CBS and a couple of other channels.

In neighboring India most media outlets carried the Father of the Nation's declaration. Apparently it was sent by EPR, now BGB, wireless before the Pakistan army arrested him at 1 am on March 26, 1971.

According to US declassified files they were surprised that the Pakistan army had gone on the "rampage" after such a fruitful discussion between Mujib and Yahya. Their conclusion was Yahya would not be able to sell the deal in West Pakistan. Also that the "talks" were a "decoy" for military build-up and crackdown in what was still then East Pakistan.