Dhaka, Wednesday, April 25, 2018


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Pro-Pakistan admin resigns on December 14

DHAKA, Dec 14, 2016 (BSS) - Pro-Pakistan administration of then East Pakistan resigned on December 14, 1971 as Indian forces came close to Dhaka.

"The entire regional government resigned today (December 14, 1971), dissociating itself from further actions of the central administration of President Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan in the country's west," said a report of Reuters published in The New York Times on December 15 in 1971.

Dr AM Malik, governor of then East Pakistan, wrote the draft of the resignation letter for his cabinet to President Yahya Khan with a shaking ballpoint pen on a scrap of office paper as Indian Mig-21's destroyed his official residence, government house, it also said.

In the New Delhi, officials reported that Indian army troops were advancing rapidly from the north and northwest and had reached within six miles of Dacca. A Pakistani brigade commander close to Dacca garrison was reported to have surrendered, the report mentioned.

Governor Malik, surrounded by the ministers of his East Pakistani administration, showed the draft of his resignation to a United Nations official, Jhon Kelly, and to Gavin Young of The Observer, a London Sunday paper. They had been trapped with him in his bunker during an air raid. Dr Malik's wife and daughter huddled in a nearby room.

All morning Dr Malik and his regional cabinet had been unable to decide to resign or hang on. The Indian air raids finally resolved the issue.

Having completed the draft against a background of crashes of rockets and some bombs, Dr Malik, an elderly man, removed his shoes and socks, carefully washed his feet, put a clean handkerchief on his head, and knelt down to pray in the corner of his bunker.

Completing his prayers, Dr Malik asked Mr Kelly whether he should move his wife and daughter to the comparative safety of the Inter-Continental Hotel, which has been declared a neutral zone and is administered by the Red Cross.

Earlier, 16 senior civil servants, led by the Inspector General of Police, MA Chaudhury, sought refuge in the hotel.

Dr Malik wondered aloud on whether the Indian army would kill his ministers.

The resignation effectively places all responsibility for a last-ditch stand on the East Pakistani military commander Lieutenant Gen. AAK Niazi, who has vowed to fight to the last man.

In the afternoon, Indian MIG jets flew back and forth across the city, strafing with rockets at low level and meeting virtually no resistance.

Earlier in the afternoon, high-flying Indian DC-3's dropped leaflets on the city promising non-Bengalis in the irregular forces their lives and property would be safe if they surrendered.

East Pakistani officials who sought asylum in the Intern- Continental Hotel did so, on the written orders of Dr Malik, who directed them to cease their functions and proceed there.