Tito calls for political solution to Bangladesh problem

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Road to Freedom: This Day in the History of the Bangladesh Liberation War

Refugee women at the Salt Lake camp in Calcutta apply Chandan paste to a portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the occasion of Bhai Phota on October 20, 1971. Source: Hindusthan Standard

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Refugee women at the Salt Lake camp in Calcutta apply Chandan paste to a portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the occasion of Bhai Phota on October 20, 1971. Source: Hindusthan Standard

October 20, 1971

THE SMELL OF WAR

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The New York Times, in an editorial published today, said: “What UN Secretary-General U Thant called a ‘potential’ threat to peace last August has become too imminent a peril to be any longer. ignored by the world organization. “

He added: “While neither government may rationally want war, the regrouping of forces [near the border] greatly increases the risk of miscalculation conflict. “

The newspaper pointed out that the source of the problems was the continued military repression in East Pakistan, and the UN must tackle this “central problem” to prevent the escalation of the crisis into war.

“As a first step,” the New York Times suggested, “the UN Security Council could empower the secretary-general to send a fact-finding mission to East Pakistan and refugee camps in India to verify conflicting claims. Pakistani and Indian women on what had happened in the Bengali region of Pakistan. “

TITO SUPPORTS INDIA ON THE CRISIS IN BANGLADESH

Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito ended his four-day state visit to India today after almost fully endorsing India’s position on the Bangladesh crisis.

A joint statement by Marshal Tito and Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared their support for “national liberation movements and the struggle against colonial domination”. He called for urgent measures to bring a political solution to the Bangladesh problem.

The two countries said any political solution should be “in accordance with the wishes, inalienable rights and legitimate interests of the people of East Bengal”.

President Tito said that a humane approach by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman would be “in the interest of a peaceful political solution and in the interest of peace and stability in the subcontinent”.

AMERICAN ASSESSMENT OF MUKTI BAHINI’S ACTIVITIES

The United States Consul General in Dhaka Herbert D Spivack, in a telegram sent today to the United States Department of State, made the following assessment of guerrilla activity in Bangladesh: “Over the past three months, the East Pakistan insurgency increased in intensity and widened its geographic reach Concentrated in rural areas, with only token activity in cities (except for the repeated systemic disruption of the Chittagong power supply), Mukti Bahini (MB) has intensified the disruption of roads, bridges and railway lines in most parts of in some districts including Dhaka, Comilla, Noakhali, Faridpur, Bakarganj, MB appears to be able to move almost at will and seems even have set up a parallel administration at certain times. The available evidence suggests that the insurgents are better armed than in the past (automatic weapons, mortars, heavier explosives) and increasingly adept at undertaking sophisticated operations (mining of ships, effective sabotage of bridges, etc.). In the central and southern districts mentioned, MB displayed aggressiveness and skill in ambush operations against razakars (volunteer home guards) and the army, sometimes inflicting significant losses. Zones other than those mentioned above, MB activities [are] largely confined [to] destruction of bridges, culverts, railroads, apparently avoiding any contact with government forces. “

ON THE FRONT OF WAR

Mukti Bahini today engaged about 40 Pakistani troops in the Khetkibari area of ​​Rangpur district and killed them 11. One of the freedom fighters was killed during this action.

On the same day, Mukti Bahini attacked the position of Pakistani troops in Mukundapur of Comilla district and exchanged gunfire with them. In this action, an enemy soldier was killed. In another ambush near Chauddagram in Comilla, Mukti Bahini guerrillas killed four Pakistani soldiers.

Mukti Bahini today clashed with occupation troops in Nazirpur of Netrakona, killing two enemy soldiers and four razakars.

Mukti Bahini today attacked a Pakistani position in the Sylhet district, killing four enemy soldiers.

Shamsuddoza Sajen is a journalist and researcher. He can be contacted at [email protected]


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