Saturday, 16 October, 2021
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Historic March

Yahya finalises plans for army crackdown

Today is the 18h day of March, the month of the beginning of the Liberation War.

On 18 March there was no meeting between Bangabandhu and Yahya Khan and not were there any discussions between the aides of the two sides. On this day, Yahya sat with his generals and reportedly finalised the plans for ultimate military crackdown on Bangalees.

The month of March in 1971 was a critical and decisive period for the people of Bangladesh. Every day and night were coming with new developments bringing more uncertainties and agonies. In fact, it was very difficult to be optimistic although talks were being held in Dhaka between President Yahya Khan and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with an avowed objective of resolving the grave political crisis gripping the nation.

At the talks on 17 March Bangabandhu renewed his demands for transfer of power to elected representatives of the people and taking back the army to the barracks. Yahya Khan did not agree on the plea that withdrawal of army and transfer of power at this stage would create a constitutional vacuum.

In the evening of 17 March a meeting was held between the aides of Bangabandhu and Yahya Khan. Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed and Dr Kamal Hossain represented Bangabandhu while Yahya was represented by Justice AR Cornelius, General Peerzada and colonel Hasan.  This meeting tended to give an impression that Bangabandhu-Yahya talks were progressing well.