Department of State
PAGE 01 ISLAMA 02214 121541Z
INFO :OCT-01 SS-20 CCO-00 SSO-00 NSCE-00 NSC-10 INR-07 CIAE-00 NSAE-00 PM-03 DODE-00 RSR-O1 RSC-O1
R 1213102 MAR 71
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 7333
SUB : CHANCES FOR POLITICAL SOLUTION
l . In general we
agree with analysis in Dacca Reftel. We still in
breathing spell after events of last weekend although crisis continues.
Military has not yet tipped hand re response
to Mujib's demand for end to Martial Law and for
early transfer of power as condition for Awami League
attendance at National Assembly. MLA answer will probably not be known at least until Yahya
2. At same time, Mujib's
ability to step in as de facto ruler of Bangla Desh has strengthened his bargaining position vis-a-vis
3. Bhutto is on good behavior in face of undertone of
criticism in West that he is to blame for
provoking present crisis by his earlier refusal to attend NA session. We read his March 10 telegram to Mujib
offering to come to
4. Regarding possible solutions, confederation idea (Para 4 Dacca Reftel) could be appealing to Bhutto, who expressed interest in it to AP correspondent about a month ago. However, we believe army would be inclined resist proposal under which Center would have little more than fig leaf of power. Army would probably read confederation as merely way station on road to formal separation. Moreover, if public opinion in West Pakistan interpreted confederation proposal as subterfuge to permit eventual split, Bhutto might find it politically inexpedient (whatever his private sentiments) to accept.
5. Possible variation, which even closer to de facto independence, would be
in which East and West had own armed forces and foreign offices, but were bound
together by joint defense and other agreements. Disadvantage of such arrangement, which
would probably be acceptable to Mujib, would be that
6. Other solution, which mentioned in
7. All above is speculation pending further developments, particularly reestablishment of personal contact among the three principals.
Source: The American Press: Secret and Confidential India-Pakistan-Bangladesh Documents 1965-1973, University Press Limited, p.520-521.