Monday, 23 May, 2022

March 10, 1971

The situation was changing fast

With each passing day, the situation in then East Pakistan was changing fast as people from all walks of life were strictly following the instructions of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

On March 10 in 1971, the non-cooperation movement fell on the 9th consecutive day. Offices of all the government and semi-government organisations and institutions remained closed.   

Mass people got involved in sporadic clashes with the Pakistan Army in different areas. Crowds were seen agitating in many places, ignoring the red eyes of the Pakistan military.

Agitation by the people made it difficult for the Pakistan army to move freely. The Pak military officers and soldiers almost became confined to the barracks due to the people’s wrath.

The red and green Bangladeshi flag with the golden map of the yet-to-be independent country was hoisted on the roof of almost every household in different parts of the country.

Bangladeshi flag was also seen flying in most of the government offices, including Rajarbagh Police Lines, different police stations and the High Court and residences of the justices in Dhaka.

Patriotic Bangla songs were played by Dhaka Betar while a series of programmes supporting the cause of the Bangalees were telecast from the Dhaka centre of Pakistan Television.

Awami League chief Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in a statement on the day thanked the people for continuing the movement, saying that determination of the Bangalees will take them to their desired goal.

Bangabandhu in the statement also termed West Pakistan’s attitude towards the people of East Pakistan a strategy to keep the country under a military rule for an indefinite period.

In Karachi, National Awami Party (NAP) president Wali Khan at a press briefing said he would visit East Pakistan and meet Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on March 13.

On this day, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman Zulfiker Ali Bhutto sent a letter to Bangabandhu saying that the future of the country seemed uncertain.

In Karachi, Air Marshal Asghar Khan in a statement said East Pakistan was going towards a volatile situation and if West Pakistani leaders want to prevent the separation of the country, they must act fast.

He said, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman became the de facto government in East Pakistan.

The logic of his statement was reflected in East Pakistan as the flag of Pakistan was flying only on the cantonment premises on the day.