March 15, 1971

Yahya arrived in Dhaka amid agitation

Staff Correspondent

15 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Yahya arrived in Dhaka amid agitation

Peaceful agitations continued across the East Pakistan and all government, semi-government and private offices and businesses remained closed on March 15. The non-cooperation movement entered its third week.

Protesting the killing of two students by army men, Justice Abu Sayeed Chowdhury resigned from the post of vice-chancellor of Dhaka University on the day.

Like other days of the month, March 15 was full of meetings and rallies. Black flags were seen hoisted on every vehicle of Dhaka.

President Yahya Khan was scheduled to reach Dhaka two days earlier, but he didn’t come. Therefore, tension was growing and people were discussing whether the President would come to East Pakistan or not.

However, ending all speculations and procrastinations, President Yahya Khan finally arrived in Dhaka from Karachi in the afternoon on the day to meet Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for ‘negotiations’ amidst tight security.

He was accompanied by the Principal Staff Officer Lieutenant General SGM Pirzada, Lieutenant General Gul Hassan, Major General Khodadad Khan, Major General Golam Umar, Justice AR Cornelius, economist MM Ahmad, and Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Mahboob Ullah Rashid.

East Pakistan’s Governor Lieutenant General Tikka Khan received him at the airport.

But no local journalists and Bangalees were allowed there during President’s arrival.

On the other hand, in Karachi, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, placed a set of demands in a press conference and said Awami League and PPP should form the new government.

On March 15 night, Awami League released a statement mentioning about the all out support of people in Bangabandhu’s call for the peaceful non-cooperation movement.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman said he had taken over the administration of whole East Pakistan except Dhaka, Cumilla, and Jashore.

Bangabandhu had made a declaration giving 35 directives including continuation of the non-cooperation movement and a fresh action programme.