Department of State

 

TELEGRAM

 

CONFIDENTIAL 113

 

9 June 1969

 

DACCA 01910 091 140Z

41

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

...048002

R 090615Z JUN69

FM AMCONSUL DACCA

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1141

AMEMBASSY RAWALPINDI

INFO: AMCONSUL CALCUTTA

AMCONSUL KARACHI

AMCONSUL LAHORE

AMCONSUL PESHAWAR

CONFIDENTIAL DACCA 1910

 

SUBJ: EAST PAKISTAN: UK DEPUTY HIGH COMMISSIONER TAKES GLOOMY

VIEW OF EAST PAKISTAN'S FUTURE

 

1. At dinner party in Dacca June 6, UK Deputy High Commissioner Roy Fox (protect) was even more pessimistic than usual on East Pakistan's economic and political prospects. Fox, who goes on home leave within few weeks, said he has requested special appointment with Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary Michael Stewart to explain bleakness of East Pak outlook. In effect, Fox predicted MLA would be forced hold elections with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman winning), East Wing would break away from rest of Pakistan, and Chicom-style Communism would be ultimate winner.

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.

EM 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 suppress. Port of Chittagong would be Pakistan's Dunkirk, with difference there is no possibility army or Pakistan could stage comeback. East Pakistan will be unable stand on its own feet as independent country and will fall under domination of pro-Pekiihg Communists.

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.)

5. UK Deputy High Commissioner commented at length on East Pakistan's economic prospects, which he considered as near to hopeless as one could imagine. He cited various economic and demographic statistics to demonstrate per capita GNP was declining. Looking around for possible sources of capital and know-how (including West Pakistan) which might be put into East Pakistan to reverse deteriorating situation, Fox was unable find source which had both capability and willingness to help.

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.

GP-3. Squares

 

 

 

Source: The American Papers - Secret and Confidential India. Pakistan. Bangladesh Documents 1965- 1973, The University Press

    Limited, p. 274 - 275