Department of State
ACTION NEA I S
INFO OCT 01, EUR 17, CIAE 00, DODE 00, JPM 00, H 02, INR 07, L 03, NSAE 00.
NSC 10, P04, RSC01, SP 02, SS 20, USIA 12, AID 28, 10 13, RSR 01, /140 W
R 090615Z JUN69
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1141
At dinner party in
2. Fox reiterated his recent predictions Martial Law Administration (MLA) will be obliged to permit free elections by March 1970. (Comment) Fox reasons that force of January-March East Pak explosion was too great to be put back in bottle for long. MLA will not want to hold elections but will do so or face widespread disorders which thinly spread army could not control. Awami League President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman will emerge as overwhelming victor. Resulting GOEP (probably under Mujib) will have large degree of provincial autonomy. Divisive Bengali factionalism will put east Pakistan in state of anarchy within eight months, following which Martial Law will again be imposed.
in Fox's view, Bengalis will not tolerate ML for third time and general
uprising will occur which Pak Army contingents in province will be unable
4. Fox, whose ebullient temperament normally rejects pessimism, said he has been forced by every recent conversation with East Pakistanis to become increasingly gloomy prophet. He related conversation with supercharged Nizam-e-Islam leader Farid Ahmed (until recently confident MLA could impose itself on East Pakistan for indefinite period, in which Ahmed cited three reasons he had lost faith in MLA, e.g.: (A) MLA is resorting to province-wide harassment of persons who took active role in December/March disturbances; (B) corruption under MLA has quickly resumed pattern characteristic of last days of Ayub regime, and (c) general ineptness of MLA, which is doing little (and that badly) to meet basic needs of province. (Comment: QB Sheikh Mujibur Rahman made similar charges to Congen officer in recent conversations, alleging harassment of Awami League activities throughout province: many sources confirm resumption of old pattern of excessive corruption: and "ineptness of MLA" is general topic of conversation in all Dacca circles.)
6. Comment: while Congen is not as gloomy as Fox and believes his timetable may be unduly pessimistic, he is informed, intelligent and deeply concerned observer whose views are worthy of attention.
Source: The American Papers - Secret and Confidential
Limited, p. 274 - 275