ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: The Final Option

Vol VI, No 49 DECEMBER 4, 1971

The Final Option

Ever since the night of March 25–26, when the Pakistan army launched its repression campaign in East Bengal, the military rulers of that country seem to have followed a course which has progressively narrowed their options and pushed them towards an all-out confrontation with India. Given a choice of political compromise or military action, Yahya Khan has at every turn chosen to rely on the fire power of his army. Although it is still not clear what happened during the series of talks between Yahya Khan, his military subordinates, Bhutto and Mujibur Rahman, it can be said with some degree of certainty that Mujib till he was arrested, had wanted East Bengalis to rule themselves within the framework of Pakistan. From what can be surmised, the negotiations during the third week of March between Yahya Khan and Mujib might even have led to a reconciliation between the two wings of Pakistan, had Yahya and Bhutto (who had thrown in his lot with the army then, but now appears to be less than enthusiastic about his position vis-a-vis the army) placated Mujib and the Awami League by agreeing in principle to the League’s six points, which could later have been watered down in practice, through political bargaining.

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Updated On : 5th Dec, 2021
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