Bangladesh Genocide Archives – Pakistani Newspaper Reports: Dawn (March 1-March 26, 1971)

On March 1, 1971 Pakistani military dictator Yahya Khan postponed the National Assembly session that was to be held after the December 1970 elections. In doing so he had crossed the Rubicon. In the first 25 days of March 1971, while Yahya Khan negotiated with the Awami League (which won an absolute majority in the elections) and its leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Yahya’s military steadily moved arms and soldiers into East Pakistan. On March 25, 1971 Yahya Khan abruptly left East Pakistan and returned to West Pakistan. A few hours later the Pakistan army launched its campaign of genocide against the Bengali population of East Pakistan.

The following are newspaper reports from Dawn, the West Pakistani newspaper published from Karachi. The reports cover the period from March 1, 1971 to March 26, 1971. They chronicle the last days of united Pakistan, from a West Pakistani perspective.

[Note: This page will be updated as I am able to scan and upload the remaining articles. I will remove this note once the uploads are complete.]

March 1971

HEADLINE: National Assembly session postponed

3/2/1971 Mujib deplores postponement
3/2/1971 Dacca protest rallies
3/3/1971 Mujib’s call to observe hartal peacefully
3/3/1971 Dacca placed under 10-hour curfew
3/4/1971 Complete hartal paralyses life in East wing
3/4/1971 Withdraw forces and transfer power, demands Mujib
3/4/1971 Mujib’s press statement: full text
3/5/1971 Mujib congratulates people for stirring response to his call
3/5/1971 Transfer power to AL now
3/5/1971 Chittagong clash takes many lives on Wednesday
3/5/1971 ‘Postponement undemocratic’: NAP
3/5/1971 RTC: Hazarvi backs Mujib’s decision; Bhutto criticized
3/5/1971 Daultana calls for firm NA date in March
3/5/1971 Bhutto’s ‘mad game of power politics’
3/5/1971 Bhutto says East wing reaction unwarranted
3/5/1971 EDITORIAL: On the brink
3/6/1971 East wing protest continues
3/7/1971 Meetings, rallies on final day of hartal
3/7/1971 Casualties in Dacca
3/8/1971 Withdrawal of ML troops: transfer of power: enquiry
3/8/1971 Minority group obstructing transfer of power
3/8/1971 Many leaders support Mujib’s four demands
3/11/1971 AL non-cooperation movement continues
3/11/1971 Lahore meeting endorses Sheikh Mujib’s demands
3/13/1971 Leaders deplore Bhutto’s stand
3/14/1971 Early transfer of power urged
3/14/1971 NA minority groups back AL’s four-point demand
3/15/1971 Bhutto blamed for crisis
3/15/1971 Mujib says he is ready to meet Yahya
3/15/1971 President urged to visit E. wing
3/15/1971 Shock expressed over Bhutto’s demand
3/15/1971 Transfer of power to AL and PPP in the two wings
3/16/1971 Non-cooperation movement to go on, says Mujib
3/17/1971 Latest political situation in country discussed
3/18/1971 Mujib always champions cause of democracy
3/18/1971 Mujib ready to shed last drop of blood


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14 Responses to Bangladesh Genocide Archives – Pakistani Newspaper Reports: Dawn (March 1-March 26, 1971)

  1. nazmul says:

    Tremendous job bhai.

  2. SZ says:

    Excellent work. What more can I say?

  3. TRN says:

    🙂 Very timely effort. Please go ahead. We need to archive documents all over the world relating to our liberation war. The war criminals started denying their heinous crimes, so ‘time has come when truth must be told…’ – our upcoming generation should have sufficient information to discover their glorious past. Thanks again for your initiative.

  4. Mash says:

    Thanks all. Its important to make these documents available to a wider audience. I will get some more articles uploaded tonight once I have scanned them.

  5. Humayun says:

    Thanks a lot. Even for a moment I did go back to those days. The night of 1st and 2nd of March, there are hundreds of wounded people are coming in D.M.C E/R. At that time we did not realize how important of those days in our history.
    Any how we like to see Bangla newspaper archives,
    Again thank you so much.

  6. mariachi mama says:

    Dear friend, I sent some money via OXFAM for bengalis. I pray that all of your loved ones are well and that someday in the not too far future we can quit the natonalism/religionism crap..I’m not holding my breath.

  7. Mash says:

    Hi Mariachi mama, thanks for sending the donation. The survivors are still in dire need and need all the assistance we can muster.

    As for the other matter, the Islamists are out in full force in Bangladesh today. They are busily declaring their own version of history and the above post is my small contribution to keeping the historical record intact.

  8. Mohammad Assad says:

    Really great work! :)>-:)>- I am a Pakistani and i believe in order for Pakistanis to prevent the same things occuring under Ayub/Yahyas second coming of Musharraf we Pakistanis need to learn the lessons from the Bangla war

    Once again thank you loads!:):)

  9. Mash says:

    Assad, I hope to have articles from Dawn from after March 26th up shortly. They are in stark contrast to the above reports due to the military censorship. If I were in West Pakistan at the time and I were reading those news reports after March 26th(with foreign newspapers banned) I would have thought all was well in East Pakistan, except that the Awami League was massacring good citizens by the thousands.

    The Ayub’s/Yahya’s could only survive by suppressing reality and creating their own. Let’s hope Musharraf’s reality becomes his own private reality and no longer that of the people of Pakistan. You guys have a tough fight ahead of you because the military seems so irreversibly entrenched in Pakistan.

  10. Mohammad Assad says:

    Your insight is spot on. Mushy acknowledges that Pakistan is at the same juncture it was in 1971, yet sadly he is committing the same mistakes the dictators ruling Pakistan at that time were doing :o:o.
    The positive factor this time is that, thanks to technology, mushy and his likes cant create false realities in the minds of the population and hence God willing we wont allow another 71 too occur :)>-:)>-
    I think you are helping Pakistanis more by this than the Bangladeshis. Thats why, once more, thank you loads for your effort.:):)

  11. Mohammad Assad says:

    *Thus i think you are helping Pakistanis more by this than the Bangladeshis.

  12. Windy Birely says:

    Wow, what an wonderful post! I saw your blog today, this is a really good post you made, hope to see more from you!

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