Department of State

 

TELEGRAM

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE 164

 

 

DACCA 02586 01 OF 02 110449Z

18

ACTION : NEA - 15

INFO : OCT-01 PM-OS NSC-10 SS-20 RSC-01 CIAE-00 DODE-OO INR-08 NSAE-00 P-03 USIA-12 PRS-O1 AID-28 EUR-20 EA-15 RSR-O1 /140W

048005

P 100845Z DEC 70

FM AMCONSUL DACCA

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2433

AMCONSUL CALCUTTA

AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD

AMCONSUL KARACHI

AMCONSUL LAHORE

AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE SECTION 1 OF 2 DACCA 2586

SUB: SHEIKH MUJIBUR RAHMAN

 

l. On December 7, 1970, with the massive victory of the Awami League, East Pakistan became a one party state. Other East Pak Parties have literally been eradicated in the National Assembly the Awami League will by itself command a majority, with twice as many seats as the next largest party, Bhutto's PPP. The stunning Awami League victory is less the victory of a party than the personal triumph of a single man, the undisputed leader of this all-powerful party, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

 

2. The Sheikh himself is the least surprised at the out-come. During a conversation with Congen officers on June 2, the Sheikh foresaw this possibility, observing that those who failed to support him should realize "I am not going to be very generous: in fact, I am going to be quite vindictive." Though not yet legally in power, Sheikh in fact began to exercise power from the moment the news of his smashing victory became known. The administration in East Pakistan to some extent is already a lame duck. It has in a sense acknowledged the change. His house is now guarded by uniformed police replacing plain cloths CID types whose job was to keep the government informed of his activities.

 

3. What are the characteristics, attributes and views of this man who most probably will exercise a dominant influence in Pakistan for months and perhaps year ahead?

 

4. Mujib is a life long, full-time politician. As near we can tell he has never really been gainfully employed since leaving school without a law degree. His visible income is derived from his status as advisor to Great Eastern life insurance company. His administrative experience consists of a two-year stint beginning in 1956 as Provincial Minister of Commerce, Labor and Industry in AL Government of Ataur Rahman Khan with whom he later broke in struggle for control of Awami League. (Mujib eventually won.) Since 1948 Mujib has spent almost ten years in Pakistani jails climaxed by the Agartala conspiracy case which martyrized him in the eyes of the East Pakistani people and guaranteed his rise to power. After a long struggle, Mujib can now savor the sweetness of success and power.

 

5. Mujib the man is hard to characterize. In private meetings he is charming, calm and confident. While not a worldly sophisticate of Bhutto's stripe, he is well traveled and urbane. He knows Europe, particularly the UK, as well as China and the U.S. (Thanks to a far-sighted Congen who sent him to States on a Leader Grant in 1958). On the rostrum he is a fiery orator who can mesmerize hundreds of thousands in pouring rain. As a party leader he is tough and authoritative, often arrogant. Mujib has something of a messianic complex which has been reinforced by the heady experience of mass adultation. He talks of "my people, my land, my forests, my river." It seems clear that he views himself as the personification of Bengali aspirations.

 

6. Mujib has also shown himself to be impulsive and emotional when talking of Bengali grievances. He doesn't appear to be a systematic thinker nor to have a reflective temperament. He is primarily a man of action-a mass leader. A favourite theme of his detractors is his lack of intellectual depth, unprincipled opportunism, and lust for power. That he strongly desires power is beyond question. Opportunism is a common charge against any politician. Mujib the politician appears no more or no less guilty of the charge than most politicos. While he may not be an intellectual, Mujib demonstrates considerable mental agility in private meetings. He also has a sense of humor.

 

7. Mujib has concerned himself little with foreign affairs. Officially he is for "genuine neutrality, withdrawal from CENTO and SEATO, and improved relations with India." Better relations with India will probably in fact be his most pressing concern since he sees at least partial solution to East Pak problems in expanded trade with neighboring India. Mujib, like many Bengalis, is not (except for record) particularly hard on Kashmir. Also like many Bengalis he believes the Farakka issue could be resolved in the context of a general improvement in Pak-Indian relations. In conversation with Congen officers he has shown himself well disposed toward U.S. Mujib has visited China on two occasions; to attend the Peking Peace Conference and in 1957 as member Pak Goodwill Mission. He admits to finding the Chinese experiment impressive but notes that as a political observer the restrictive and oppressive nature of the society was very apparent to him.

 

BLOOD.

 

 

Source: The American Papers- Secret and Confidential India.Pakistan.Bangladesh Documents 1965-1973, The University Press Limited, p.434-435