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University of Utah Western Political Science Association

Leadership, Parties and Politics in Bangladesh Author(s): Zillur R. Khan Reviewed work(s):

Source: The Western Political Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 1 (Mar., 1976), pp. 102-125 Published by: University of Utah on behalf of the Western Political Science Association

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LEADERSHIP, PARTIES AND POLITICS IN BANGLADESH

ZILLUR R.

KHAN

University

of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

and University of Dacca,

Bangladesh

B EFOREthe war of liberation,

and military

to incorporate

political

The

question

a rapidly growing discontent among the Ben-

galis against the "internal colonialism"' of the West Pakistani political, eco-

parties the justifica-

nomic

in their party

elites gave most Bengali

demands

of whether

for some

political

tion

manifestos.

western-type federal structure, or to aim at a confederated status, or to demand complete independence for East Pakistan, created the original political divisions between Bengalis. These divisions had certain ramifications in the Bengali policy-

making process both before and after the independence of Bangladesh. The majority of those people who were politically conscious expected the central govern- ment to concede greater autonomy to East Pakistan as a way of resolving peace- fully the disparities between the two parts of the country. On the other hand, conservative Muslims and right-wing politicians, who made up a small but vocal

minority,

Pakistan.

through

not only aimed at ending West Pakistani ex-

ploitation,

aggressive

An

cated complete

sort of autonomy

more

local

to demand

autonomy

under

a

wished

East Pakistan to continue

as

a

part

of the Islamic

Republic

of

Another group, comprised mainly of leftist radicals and Maoists, advo-

independence,

which they expected could only be achieved

warfare.

They

exploitation

perpetrated

the

strongest

Bengali

by the Bengalis

themselves.

party-

the

Awami

League-

But the League's

charismatic

leader, Sheikh

program

he had drawn up and which,

he

a prolonged guerrilla

but

also the

minority

complete

within

also wanted

Mujibur Rahman, wanted greater political autonomy, not complete independence,

for East Pakistan through asserted, was designed to and Dacca.

independence.

a Six-Point

establish a more equitable relationship between Islamabad

Politically

conscious

to

Bengalis, who originally wanted

the

Awami

League's

autonomy

but not inde- the

as

pendence,

started

support

Six-Point

program2

2

This term, used in New Left writings (Herbert Marcuse, Angela Davis, Tarik All, among

others), connotes a process of domination and exploitation of one ethnic group by

another within the same country For a detailed analysisof the exploitation of Bengalis

by Pakistanis, see Rounaq Jahan,

Columbia University Press, 1972), Chap. 2-3; Zillur R. Khan and A. T. R. Rahman,

Green Book

Pakistan: Industrializationand

Chap. 6; Edward S. Mason, Robert

Dorfman and Stephen A. Marglin, "Conflict in Pakistan: Background and Prospects"

Trade Policies

House Ltd., 1973), Chap. 1 and 3; Stephen R. Lewis,

Autonomy and Constitution-Making: The Case of Bangladesh (Dacca:

Pakistan:Failure in National Integration (New York:

(Oxford University Press, 1970),

190-96;

29-31.

U.S. House of

(Cambridge: Harvard University, unpublished, 1971), pp. 1-15; W. H. Morris-Jones,

"PakistanPost-Mortemand the Roots

of Bangladesh," Political Quarterly, 18 (April-

Committee on

June,

Subcommittee on

Cong., 1st Sess., May 11, 25, 1971 (Washington,

1972),

Representatives,

Foreign Affairs,

92nd

Asian and Pacific Affairs, Hearings: Crisis in East Pakistan,

in

D.C.: Government Printing Office,

February, 1966:

with supremacy of Legis-

be

1971), pp. 27,

Summary of Six-Point

Programpresentedby Mujib

Point 1. The Constitutionshould provide for a Federation

directly elected on the

Point 2. Federal government

Point 3.

Two

separate

or

(B)

Point

lature

Defense and For- in the federating

wings may

currency for the whole country may be maintained.

In this case, effective constitutional provisions are to be made to stop flight

of capital

introduced,

(A)

states

eign Affairs and all other residuary subjects shall vest

basisof universaladult franchise.

convertible currencies for two

shall deal with only two subjects, viz.,

but

One

freely

fromEast to West Pakistan.

the power

of taxation and revenue collection shall vest in the federating

The consolidated

units and that the FederalCentrewill have no such power

Leadership, Partiesand Politics in Bangladesh

103

general election of 1970 aproached. The inaction of the Pakistani military junta during the 1970 calamity (when East Pakistan was struck by a devastating cyclone which left 500,000 to 1,000,000 dead and 3,000,000 to 6,000,000 homeless),3

changed many Bengali minds in favor of the Awami League's brand of autonomy. The result was the landslide victory of Sheikh Mujib and his party which gave him an absolute majority in the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan.4

dis-

couraged

means to resolve their differences on the question of autonomy for East Pakistan.

This

in

leader of the largest party

The

fear of being leaders

many

politically

of

the

dominated

Pakistani

by the new Bengali from

parties

using

points -

leadership

West

constitutional

was probably the main reason why Z. A. Bhutto,

West

Pakistan,

demanded

concessions

on

two

taxation and foreign

trade - of the League's Six-Point program prior to meeting with the Bengali rep- resentatives in the first scheduled session of the Constituent Assembly. When he

failed

its power of trade, Bhutto

In a show of force,

Bhutto threatened the elected members of his party - the Pakistan People's party,

which had won the majority of seats in West Pakistan -

if they dared to attend the first session of the Assembly without him.

leaders put pressure on the Yahya

junta to postpone the inauguration of the Constituent Assembly until Mujib agreed to make concessions on his Six-Point program. The immediate effect was a political deadlock during the last part of February and throughout most of March 1971.

The so-called "Yahya-Mujib parleys" which took place between March 16-23,

raised high hopes among Bengalis about a genuine possibility of a peaceful reso-

lution

were shattered

all to crush the Bengali movement for autonomy.5

when, on March 25, the Pakistani military junta tried once and for

to get Mujib

and

to agree to the central

absolute

in

the

control

of

government's

continuing

direct taxation,

over foreign

aid and foreign

refused to participate

As well

as Bhutto,

deliberation

the Assembly.

with "dire consequences"

other

West

Pakistani

of political

conflicts

between

the

two

parts of

Pakistan.

But

their hopes

U.S.

to

FederalFundshallcomeout of a levy of certain percentage of all state taxes

foreign

exchange

earnings

of East Pakistan

West Pakistan

ments

in, and enter into

government

government

trade

agreements

to establish

setting up of a militia

sources indicated

of

East Pakistan

shall

a relief

effort

and

Point

Point

be under the control

and that of West Pakistan under the control of

The Constitution

with

shall empower

with,

set

govern-

up trade missions

the unit

and commercial

foreign

or

relations

countries.

a paramilitary for East Pakistan.

that

spent

Pakistani

only

$4.7

authorities

million

of

a

were

shockingly

lax

in co-

relief

special

41-47,

congressional

Judiciary,

See U.S.

Senate, Committee on the

with

92nd

Refugees

Cong.,

and

1971),

Subcom-

Re-

1971,

Escapees,

Pt.

Hearings:

1,

50-51,

June

28,

53-69.

1st Sess.,

pp.

6.

Government

ordinating

appropriation of $7.5 million.

mittee

lief Problems

(Washington,

Investigate

in

Problems Connected

East Pakistan and India,

D.C.:

Government

Printing Office,

4 Yahya

dissolved the Pakistani Parliament in 1969 when he took over

issued a proclamation-

designed

hands.

for

to

provide

Under

guideline this order, a

a

a

Constitutional

days;

moreover,

Because

the

Legal

Framework

political

for the transfer of national election was

However,

was

two

Assembly.

the

Assembly

the new constitution

of these

process:

was responsible

Many

escape

from Ayub

Order

of

power

to

Khan.

The

which

same year he

was

civilian

tives

constitution-making

1969 -

from

imposed

by

into India

of

M. Ayoob

1972),

Account

to

choose representa-

the

military

on

Novem-

military

and

pp. 165-

(Chicago:

(New

scheduled

were

to frame a constitution

limitations

obliged

within

before its imple- the 1970 election

120

had to be

approved by Yahya

description

1971, see

mentation.

for the Constitutional

restrictions, a number of parties boycotted

million Bengalis

many

detailed

others

Assembly. for a mass exodus of ten

' The

terror

ber,

in order to

pression

Subrahmanyam,

81;

Bangladesh

Delhi:

Heijden,

Society

ca:

Bangladesh

VII

1971.

Zillur

Bengali scholars were killed and

the

military

suppression.

March

For a

and

between

War

in East

(New

1971);

1972),

had to flee the country

sup-

K.

in East Pakistan

R.

December,

The Liberation

Khan,

Situation

Pamphlet,

Ltd.,

Delhi:

S. Chand and Co.,

An Eye-Witness

Pakistan:

K.

Foundation

Longman,

Choudhury,

22-67.

Genocide in

of

Bangladesh

Hendrick

Van

Der

Lais (Dac-

of External Affairs,

Chap.

VI

&

Orient

Statement

Economist,

Pakistan

Rights,

(New

of

Division

1972).

Delhi:

pp. of the World Government of Government

Bank, in Thousand

My

India,

Printing

Ministry

Press, 1971),

for Human

Documents

testimony

(includes

foreign observers).

104 WesternPolitical Quarterly

The

military

suppression only hardened Bengali resistance against West

brought unity and consensus among

a strong minority

of

rightist political parties,

to the concept of one

group that the junta received political and adminis-

The non-Bengali Muslim settlers,

group

which

the other

Both these groups were

responsibleby the Bengalis for Paki-

supported the junta were outlawed and their

Pakistani domination. Military coercion also

those Bengalis who had previously differed on the issue of independence. Most

of them had

by complete independence. But

conservative Muslims, members of

personnel from the civil and military services, still adhered

Pakistan. It was from this

trative support when the civil war broke out.

gave unqualified

viewed as collaborators and later were held

stani atrocities. The defeat of Pakistaniforces in East Pakistanand the

consequent

surge of public hatred for these groups. Moreover,

Bengali political parties

imprisoned. Political radicalismand violence threatened the newly established government

of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

later, opposition parties put

overwhelming victory

being, but the country's chronic food problems, coupled

of food grains and extremely high prices for oil, made

of reconstructioneven more difficult. Another

nomical increasein food

of staple food like rice and lentils) and an impending famine (which, according to

a recent estimate, could claim two to three million

national

to the revival of not

given rise to newer divisions within groups and parties that

with the League's demand for autonomy. The state of national emergency, de-

on December 28, 1974, underscoredthe magnitude of the domestic

clared

crisisin

better. Political tension

in the subcontinent was somewhat relaxed

clemency to those Pakistani

India on charges of war crimes. Pakistan's recognition of Bangladesh and the

Mujib-Bhutto meeting

Never-

theless, a vocal section of the Bengali

conservativesand anti-Indian radicals, continued to hold India responsible for all

will never allow

Bangladesh to be self-sufficient. Therefore, India cannot logically allow Bangla-

desh successfully to carry out such

with seven multi-national corporations (including three American companies) to

that India has willfully under- in order to rejuvenate its own

previouslysagging

mined Bangladesh's

explore offshore oil. This

the ills besetting

the new state. This group believes that India

now lost all patience with the Yahya regime and began to favor

Bengalis, comprised chiefly of and a number of

commonly known as the Biharis, made up

support to the policy of Islamabad during this time.

creation of Bangladesh saw a

leaders

which had

The Bihariswere interned.

Open challenge to Mujib by student groups and,

Mujib's charisma and ideology to the test. Only his

at the polls saved his charismatic

devastating

prices (about 400 percent

time

leadership for the with worldwide

the Prime Minister's task

an astro-

shortages

flood in

1974,

to 500 percent increasein prices

lives without massive inter-

aid)

created a tragic and dangerous

only the original

situation. All these have contributed

Bengalis, but have also

originally went along

divisionsbetween the

by Mujib

Bangladesh. In the international

area, the situation is only slightly

military

and civil

by Mujib's decision to grant a general

service officials who were held in

Pakistan, in

Peking and,

comprising pro-Pakistani

contracted agreement

at the Islamic Summit Conference at Lahore,

It also satisfied

people, mainly

February 1974, paved the way for future negotiation.

in the absence of a Chinese veto, Bangladesh was admitted into the UN.

ventures as the recently

group has already alleged

international market for jute

international jute

divisions between

trade. the Bengalis on the issues of secession and in-

The original

dependence had serious ramificationsin the Bengali army. First of all, it brought

about a rigid caste-like differentiation between those who fought in the liberation

the former, there

developed

ton).

along ideological lines (pro-Moscow v. pro-Washing-

war and those who, for one reason or another, did not. Among

a further division

In

order to keep the military in check, a strongpara-military force was raised

Leadership, Partiesand Politics in Bangladesh

105

by

Mujib tried to use the regular

smuggling.

ordered the

number

had

tried to

within the

detailed

foregoing analysis of the problems

depends. For heuristic purposes,

three

individual (to restore law and order, to contain the Maoist group, to guarantee

rights to ethnic minorities, to

suddenly

A

greater polarization within the regular

armed forces.

army to enforce laws

the

government. This, in turn, led to

The divisivenesswas aggravated when

against corruption, bribery,black-marketing

and

large number of officers who favored him were

alienated when he

large

by it.

army's anticorruption operation stopped. Evidently,

the

a

League

but

been

adversely

affected

in the process

undermined his

of influential members in

Mujib

save his party's image,

own support

regulararmy. Within the

stages.

framework, this article will attempt to make a

of

leadership

on which the future of

the theme of the article has

political

commitments

Bangladesh largely

been developed

in

Mujib

made as an

and to

The first deals with the

oblige

Pakistan to

recognize Bangladesh,

ends with an

pro-

what constraintsand options he

ceed with the

had in keeping

Mujib

his party leaders

stage in Bangladesh, analyzing the ways charisma can be sustained or lost.

trials of alleged war criminals) and

them. The second stage examines the nature of

and

how, through

a

prepared to

meet it.

This

stage

political opposition

combination of charisma and a new ideology,

the

leadership

faced

analysis of

1973 election. The third

evaluates the dilemmas of charismatic

I

After nine months of solitary confinement in a Pakistani prison, Mujib, who

freed on

had been named head of the

January 8, 1972,6 by the new president

powers put pressure

President'sown inner circle in the Pakistan

need for

subcontinent.7

provisional government by the rebels, was

of

Bhutto . Not

Mujib without any preconditions,

Pakistan,

only

had the

free

Peoples party impressedupon

quickly to

great

but the

on Bhutto to

him the

the

such a

course so that stability might return more

Two

days later, Mujib

of the

new

rejoicing. His first task

following day,

Sayeed Choudhury, son of a former Bengali political

offered him

arrived in Dacca amidst wild

to the

was to establish a permanent government

he summoned Justice Abu

leader, to a cabinet meeting and,

the

of government

generally

well that

ment. Choudhury

Mujib acquiesced.

dent,

a political vacuum was averted.

for the new state.

utter surprise of

The

the latter,

presidency

out

is

believed that this was a mere ruse on his part, and that he realized full

republic. Mujib

only

declared that he wanted to

stay Awami League party.

It

and to continue

as head of the

the Bengali

govern-

knew this and insisted that Mujib agree to be prime minister.

presi-

form a ministry.8 In this way

masses would never consent to his absence from the

On

January 12, Justice Choudhury

was sworn in as the

and his first act was to call upon the Sheikh to

Choudhury's

elevation was

not without significance. Unlike his father, he

politics and, therefore,

figurehead without

role of a constitutional

post-liberation

to find a man who would not be controversial.

accomplishments as the official spokesman for

had never actively participated in provincial or national

Mujib could rely on him to play the

posing any threat to his position as prime minister. Moreover, in the

power struggle Mujib was at pains

With his

judicial background

and

' New York Times, January 9, 1972.

7Sheikh

Mujib's

release became a cause taken

countries.

See the Times

different

up

(London),

by

many

August

Christian Science

Monitor, Washington Post, Daily

newspapers.

1971; and many other

statesmen and 5 and 12, 1971;

political

groups in

Times,

New York

Telegraph (London), August 12,

Author's interview

with

President

Choudhury

in Dacca

on August

11, 1972.

106 WesternPolitical Quarterly

the Bengali cause in the international area, Finally, Mujib knew that because Choudhury

he would not

dency of a parliamentarydemocracy seemed to be a placid enough post.9

Choudhury

had

seemed the right man.

a history of high blood pressure, physically exacting; the presi-

to surrendertheir arms to

appeal by promising fifty rupees

very well and a great quantity necessary, Mujib approached

the surrender of arms. A

accept any position

which would be

to take steps to restore law and order.

His first move in this respect was to ask the guerrillas

local authorities. He tried to add incentive to his

for

of arms and ammunition was given up.

guerrilla

example

northwest of Dacca, to attend a ceremony for the surrenderof arms by the guer-

rillas who had been involved in the liberation

persuade a Maoist

render its arms and to

stani military during the

to sur-

control of an area it had seized from the Paki-

conflict. Mujib made a number of gestures aimed at

bringing

to

iron out the differences between the Awami League's goals and those of the

rebel group. It appeared for a time that Alauddin might be receptive to the prime

minister'soverturesfor

for the

Mujib government.

was ordered into the area and about 50 or 60 membersof the

Mujib and his followers. The army

Leaguers visited Atrai and were summarily executed on suspicion

As

premier, Mujib immediately began

every weapon

leaders

surrendered. This scheme worked

personally

in order to

Wherever

arrange

good

Tangail district, located sixty miles

was his visit to the chief town of the

struggle of the region.10

his efforts to

However, Mujib was not so fortunate in

group, led by two Bengali communists -

one of the

Two views

relinquish

party's two leaders,

peace,

A. Motin and M. Alauddin -

Alauddin, to a conference table with him

but such hopes were swept away when some Awami

of

spying

were killed.

The incident infuriated

party about the courseof action Mujib should have taken. One

particular group,

Mujib

could have used the

prevailed

because

justifies his action

tolerating it would have encouraged warlordism by other groups, including the

Marxists-Leninists. The opposing view maintains that

Motin-Alauddin group as a lever to put pressure

to support his moderate socialist program.

without fundamental socioeconomic re-

forms, would not help the political stability of Bangladesh. Many left-leaning

Bengalis also believed

hold was actually influenced

by the Indian government, which suspected a strategic

that Mujib's decision to destroy the Motin-Alauddin strong-

pression of one Marxist-Leninist group,

on the vested economic interests

in crushing the resistance of this

Moreover, it was held that mere sup-

link between the West Bengali Naxalites and the East Bengali Marxist-Leninists

-Motin

and Alauddin.

Another difficulty which Sheikh Mujib faced in his effort to restore normalcy

of the Biharis. After being freed

by

the

Pakistanis, Mujib had made an unequivocal commitment that the minorities in-

side the country would be protected

Bangladesh,

term "Bihari" is applied generally to all Indian immigrants living in

Bangladesh whose original

Punjab, and Gujrat.

homes were in the provinces of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, the

in Bangladesh centered on the question

The

at any cost. However, upon his return to

used in a pejorative way. How-

this commitment was not honored in relation to the Biharis.1

In this sense, the term is not

9 In 1972, President Choudhury mentioned this aspect of his post to the author, but at the

same time expressedimpatience

making process. ance of the Awami

his actual role in the decision-

In 1973, he seemed not only tense but disappointed with the perform-

League government. He even mentioned resigning. In November,

and disappointment with

1973, Mujib accepted

his resignation and appointed him as a roving ambassadorfor

Bangladesh.

10 In Mujib's view, the surrenderof arms by 60,000 guerrillas to Mujib at Dacca stadium in

disarming the Bengali guerrillas. Source:

February,1972, markeda very crucial stage of

author'sinterviewwith Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on July 17,

1973,

in Dacca.

n Times (London), January 10, 1972. Mujib reiteratedhis earlier stand of March 7, 1971,

that the non-Bengaliminority must be

protected and given equal rights as citizens.

Leadership, Parties and Politics in Bangladesh

107

ever, the term is also used to refer to those Muslim refugees who fled to Bangladesh from Bihar, where they had lived as a minority, at the time of the partitioning of India in 1947. Although arriving as refugees they soon occupied important posi- tions in business, trade and industry in Bangladesh. This transformation took place mainly for two reasons: they spoke Urdu, the first official language of Pakistan and the one spoken chiefly by the ruling class in West Pakistan, where all power lay and, therefore, they were more readily accepted as Muslim brothers by the West Pakistani power elite. The Biharis soon received all kinds of benefits from the West Pakistani rulers, in the form of jobs in business and industry, low-interest

loans from banks for investments, support for trading and industrial enterprises, opportunities for training and, later on, technical and managerial positions in busi- ness and industrial enterprises, most of which were owned and controlled by West Pakistanis. In short, the Biharis were soon identified by the bulk of the Bengali population as permanent agents of the West Pakistani vested interests who could never be dislodged from Bangladesh as long as the Pakistani domination continued. This use of the term Bihari did have a pejorative sense. Bengali nationalism was geared primarily to getting rid of West Pakistani exploitation, and the Biharis provided the Bengalis with a constant reminder of that exploitation. When the Bengalis rose in arms in March 1971, the Biharis became a logical target. This led to rioting and murders between the two groups.

Apart from attempting

The net result was

military took it upon themselves

that from a limited communal riot the Bihari-Bengali conflict grew into a massively organized killing of the Bengalis by the whole Pakistani army, in collaboration with

to suppress the Bengali nationalist movement,

to avenge

the Bihari killings.

the Pakistani

the Biharis of Bangladesh. It is quite understandable,

compelled to protect themselves against the victorious Bengalis immediately after liberation. In trying to protect themselves, they again became involved in an armed conflict with the post-liberation Bengalis, which led to a further deteriora-

tion of their position. Indeed, the Biharis were caught in a vicious cycle from which they seemed to be unable to extricate themselves. Mujib showed restraint when he was confronted with the Bihari resistance in Mohammadpur and Mirpur, two sections of the capital city of Dacca. There the Biharis were all armed with automatic weapons; moreover, some Pakistani soldiers

who had not surrendered were hiding among them. It is suspected that the Pakistani soldiers persuaded the Biharis to resist the efforts of the Bangladesh

government

government

to enforce its policy of disarming all those who had arms. When the

of police and soldiers into the area, Pakistani

soldiers and Bihari militants murdered them.l2 The Bengali army and the guer- rillas, who had not yet surrendered their arms, were very bitter about the incident.

To them it was shocking that even after they had gained their freedom, Bengalis

were

Indian

killed by Biharis. What they resented most of all was that the

to make the Biharis and the Pakistani soldiers

surrender their arms and thus allow the Bengalis freedom to move in their capital

city. Mujib was left with no alternative other than to order the withdrawal of

the Indian army from the two Pakistani-Bihari occupied areas, and to deploy the

therefore, that pockets of Bihari population were

sent a small contingent

still being

regular

army was unable

regular Bangladesh

Biharis surrender their arms as early as possible.

that Bangladesh forces were obliged to use mortars and even to lay siege, so that

army in those areas with specific orders to make the Pakistani-

Resistance

was so strong at first

2 Independent

observers declared

that

at least

100 were killed and several hundred more

1972. The author verified this report from

were injured.

Bangladesh army officers directly involved in that operation.

New York Times, January 31,

108 Western Political

Quarterly

food could not be brought in from the outside; together, the bombardment and the siege forced the Pakistanis and Biharis to surrender.'3

Not only did the Bengalis regard

them as collaborators, but even after independence,

be the supporters of the Pakistanis in open confrontation with the Bangladesh

army. The result was that for six months the Biharis could not move about the

city freely for fear of reprisals. Since the majority of the Biharis cannot speak

fluent, accent-free Bengali, the fear of being detected through

many of them from moving about the city. Indeed, some Biharis showed a sig-

nificant

had proved themselves to

The

condition

of the Biharis was pathetic.

they

language

prevented

Bangladesh as their home,l4

looking instead toward West Pakistan or even India, though neither New Delhi nor Islamabad seems interested in having them. Later, as a result of a repatriation

agreement

to accept

sensitive de-

for war

cision.

crimes. The matter of war crimes was complicated

was that of territorial jurisdiction.

territorial

ladesh

jurisdiction of Bangladesh. In any war crime trials, India would have been direct-

to

made by New Delhi

that should such trial take

place, it would be obliged to bring to trial a number of Bengali military men and

be

civilian administrators

lack of interest in accepting

between

80,000

India

an independent

and Pakistan, signed in August

300,000

1973, Islamabad

agreed

One

Bang-

Biharis out of an estimated

area in which the

proposed

Mujib

trial of

living in Bangladesh.15

POWs

by a variety of problems.

There

This

into

was another

pertains

Indian

to

had to make a highly

certain

Pakistani

Pakistani soldiers had been taken out of

therefore

Islamabad

against

were

not

under

the direct

that it would

threatened

whom

treasonable

territory and

ly involved,

despite statements

Moreover,

in

have nothing

charges

could

do with the question.

Pakistan

leveled.

government

by blocking the entry of Bangladesh

on August 25, 1975.16 Though over 100 countries, including all the major powers

except China, accorded recognition to Dacca, Bhutto's clever pro-Islamic diplo-

macy, in the beginning at least, prevented most Arab countries from extending recognition. At one point, Bhutto even took Pakistan out of the British Common-

wealth because of the recognition

with the help of a Chinese veto

trials for war crimes

Moreover,

Bhutto

very shrewdly put added

on

the question

of

POWs

into the UN,

pressure on the Bangladesh

and

to compromise

accorded

to Bangladesh

by all the other Com-

monwealth countries.

ladesh and India

stani soldiers for war crimes.

Such pressure discouraged

the policy-makers

in both Bang-

the decision to try Paki-

from a full commitment

to implement