From: Consul General, Dacca
To: American Ambassador, Islamabad
Subject: Awami League Apprehensions.
Rahman came to see me February 24 at his initiative. In rambling disjointed
conversation he evidenced much of apprehension, confusion and wishful thinking which
increasingly seem to characterize mood of Mujib and his party in face of
growing counter-pressures from
2. Alamgir said
Mujib was placing high hopes on his anticipated forthcoming meeting with
ambassador. Awami League believes US was in considerable part responsible for
encouraging return of democracy to
opined Mujib might be willing make compromise on substance of six points but only
if he could win some offsetting concession, even of gimmick nature, which
he could use to justify departure from six points. In this connection Alamgir tossed up possibility of movement of capital to
4. According Alamgir, Awami League leadership had been convinced as late as yesterday that Yahya was about to announce delay in convening National Assembly for two months. Awami Leaguers are still apprehensive that Yahya, even while going ahead with March 3 date, will move promptly thereafter to postpone further meetings for several months in view of non-attendance by West Pak MNAs and lack of consensus on constitution. Alamgir said such delay would present grave problems for Mujib because of growing pressure for secession within Awami League ranks.
5. Alamgir said Mujib had on February 19 asked him to check
that Pak army was making significant troop dispositions. He hadreported back to Mujib that he found no such evidence. Placement of
anti-aircraft guns around airport and other nearby locations is
viewed by Awami League as primarily psychological move to indicate
to people that air of tension with
6. According Alamgir Mujib had been very circumspect in his February 23 conversation with new Soviet Congen, limiting himself to expression of determination to proceed with six point constitution and bland statement that blockage of constitution process would gravely disappoint Bengalis.
7. Mujib told Alamgir that he was considerably irritated by rumor that he, Mujib, had had recent meeting with General Westmoreland and tracked down source of rumor back to Chinese.
8. Comment: As March 3 moment of truth approaches, Mujib and Awami League leadership appears to be losing some of their elan and confidence. Yahya's recent actions in amending LFO to permit MNAs to resign prior to March 3 and in dissolving cabinet have clearly puzzled and worried Awami Leaguers. Mujib must know by now that he has little chance of ramming through six point constitution. On the other hand if he backs down, his authority in the party will be seriously undermined. While we remain convinced that ultimate goal of Awami League is independence, we do not believe that Mujib sees separation now in his own interest except as I somewhat desperate last effort. He and his party are casting about for alternative sources of action including, if Alamgir is to be believed, even launching of Gandhi-like non-violent movement if
constitutional process is thwarted.