15 October 1971
From: Amconsul Calcutta
To: Secretary State Washington DC
Subject: Contact with Bangladesh Reps
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.
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.)
Liberation War and the Nixon White House 1971, p.263 – 264