Secret telegram

15 October 1971

From: Amconsul Calcutta

To: Secretary State Washington DC


Subject: Contact with Bangladesh Reps


1. Qaiyum's messenger visited Political Officer briefly evening Oc­tober 14 to pass word from Qaiyum that : (A) he regretted abortive appointment 5 and (B) he wished to see Poloff October 18 or 19, upon his return from Agartala. Poloff agreed to new appointment.


2. Messenger said Qaiyum and other BD Cabinet ministers (including Mushtaq) went to Tripura about October 8 to look into tense situation which had resulted from clash in East Pakistan near Agartala between Mukti Bahini and left-extremist force. He said Maulana Bhashani (whom messenger believes is still in Calcutta - see Calcutta 2614) has been trying to remove Major Musharaff from command of MB in Agartala sector, and when he failed, had sent in his own MB to do away with Musharaff. As far as messenger knew, Musharaff was not injured in fight and continues to command sector.


3. Messenger said Qaiyum had been asked by all BD Cabinet mem­bers (except Mushtaq) and Nazrul Islam, to become chief of new war council being formed. Qaiyum, according messenger, had turned proposal down and suggested instead that aging MLA Zahiruddin from Dacca be given position. (Comment: Poloff believes name is one given by messenger, but notes Zahiruddin is on list of cleared MNA's. We do not rpt not know his whereabouts. End comment.)


4. Messenger told Poloff that East Pak extremist Mohammed Toaha had gone to Peking in August via India and London. He said Toaha had crossed into India using a Hindu name, and had obtained Indian travel document through influence of CPM MP. He said Indian authorities had only learned of incident in past week, when they were shown photograph of Toaha and compared it to one on application. (See Calcutta 2564 for different version of whereabouts of Toaha.)





Source: Bangladesh Liberation War and the Nixon White House 1971, p.263 – 264