Foreign Relations, Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972
Released by the Office of the Historian

 

Department of State    TELEGRAM

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120691
O R 311255Z DEC 72
FM AMEMBASSY DACCA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC NIACT IMMEDIATE 8365
USIAWASHDC NIACT IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI
AMCONSUL CALCUTTA

DACCA 5584

 

SUBJECT:  PROTEST TO BD FONMIN OVER MYMENSINGH INCIDENTS

 

1. I ASKED AT 1400 HOURS FOR APPOINTMENT WITH FONMIN TO DISCUSS "URGENT MATTER". APPOINTMENT WAS GRANTED FOR 1730. DESPITE THREE AND A HALF HOUR LEAD TIME, FONMIN APPARENTLY HAD NOT LEARNED ABOUT MYMENSINGH INCIDENTS UNTIL I RELATED THEM.  

 

2. SAMAD EXPRESSED ASTONISHMENT. TOLD ME HE HAD RELATED TO PRIMTN MUJIB MY EARLIER EXPRESSION OF WORRY OVER POTENTIAL FOR TROUBLE IN MYMENSINGH. ACCORDING TO SAMAD, PRIMIN HAD ASSURED HIM ALL NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS HAD BEEN LAID ON SO THAT FONMIN COULD MAKE FRIDAY TRIP HIS OWN CONSTITUENCY OF SYLHET. OTHER REMARKS BY SAMAD CLEARLY LAID BLAME ON MUJIB.

 

3. WHEN I INTIMATED TO SAMAD THAT A PERSONAL MESSAGE OF REGRET FROM MUJIB TO SECRETARY OF STATE MIGHT HELP ME TO CONVINCE WASHINGTON THAT PROBLEM WAS RECEIVING SERIOUS ATTENTION HEAD OF GOVERNMENT, SAMAD OFFERED TO MAKE SUGGESTION TO MUJIB TONIGHT.

 

4. I WENT ON IMPRESS ON SAMAD THAT PERSONAL MESSAGE WOULD BE ONLY A BEGINNING. WHAT WAS LACKING AMONG OTHER THINGS WAS ANY SIGN THAT BDG ATTEMPTING TO APPREHEND CULPRITS. NO ARRESTS HAVE BEEN MADE NOR HAVE ANY POLICY INQUIRIES BEEN MADE AT ANY USIS CENTERS. I ACKNOWLEDGED THAT IT WAS PERSONALLY REASSURING TO SEE REINFORCED POLICE GUARDS AT CHANCERY AND USIS DACCA BUT THAT WE ARE CONCERNED FOR SAFETY OF ALL USG EMPLOYEES AND THOSE WORKING FOR UNROD.

 

5. SAMAD SOLEMNLY ASSURED ME OF HIS PERSONAL CONCERN BUT ONCE AGAIN HE FAILED TO USE THE WORD "REGRET", WHICH IS A WORD THAT HAS NOT BEEN UTTERED TO ME BY ANY BDG OFFTCIAL.

 

6. SAMAD EVENTUALLY TURNED CONVERSATION TO SUBJECT OF FORTHCOMING FIRST FY 1973 US AID GRANT. HINTED THAT HE HAD BEEN DRAWN TO JUDGMENT THAT IT MIGHT BE BETTER TO WAIT UNTIL AFTER MARCH 7 ELECTIONS TO SIGN GRANT. I ASKED HIM TO LET ME KNOW WHEN HE HAD COME TO DEFINITIVE DECISION.

 

7. FOR THE TIME BEING I AM INSTRUCTING USCOR COORDINATOR THAT ANY CONTACTS BETWEEN USCOR OFFICERS AND BDG OFFICIALS AT DIRECTOR GENERAL LEVEL OR HIGHER MUST BE CLEARED IN ADVANCE WITH ME. WE CLEARLY MUST DEMONSTRATE TO BDG THAT FAINEANT PERFORMANCE OF BDG TO DATE HAS BROUGHT SERIOUS DISQUIET INTO RELATIONSHIP WITH ALL AGENCIES USG.

8. DEPARTMENT MIGHT WANT WICHOZO TO CONSIDER HAVING ME POSE SUGGESTION TO BDG THAT AMBASSADOR DESIGNATE HOSSEIN ALI REMAIN IN DACCA FOR A WHILE TO ASSIST FONMIN IN COORDINATING EFFORTS BDG TO PROTECT US PROPERTY AND CITIZENS IN BANGLADESH.
GDS
NEWBERRY