April 5, 1971
RESISTANCE DESIGNATES CAPITAL
New York Times reported today that Chuadanga had been designated the provisional capital of independent Bangladesh. The designation was made by Dr Ashabul Haq Joarder, who was regarded as the leader of the resistance forces in this area of the country. He called himself their chief adviser, added the report.
Dr Haq Joardar, reported New York Times, said fighting would continue until the new nation is consolidated.
The report further stated, "Unlike the case in other towns in the area, which were in the hands of disorganized groups of Sheik Mujib's supporters, there appears to be some order in this town of about 35,000 people. Many have left, but the town has yet to see any fighting. However, Pakistani Air Force planes are reported to have dropped bombs and strafed the area Saturday [April 4, 1971]. Several stores were open today in the market of this town."
YAHYA'S REPLY TO SOVIET
In a message made public today, President Yahya Khan asked the Soviet Union to use its influence to prevent what he described as Indian interference with Pakistani affairs. He asserted that India had deployed nearly six army divisions not far from the borders of East Pakistan.
The message was in reply to one from President Nikolai V Podgorny appealing for a halt to "the bloodshed, the repression of the populace of East Pakistan".
RESISTANCE FIGHT IN SYLHET
In Shayestaganj, now an upazila of Habiganj, the liberation fighters seized the local food warehouse and carried away food to support the starving freedom fighters who had taken shelter in the area after the resistance war in Sherpur, Sylhet. Earlier on the same day the freedom fighters attacked the Sylhet airport and Sylhet jail. They put up a brave fight to liberate the occupied Sylhet town but did not succeed.
'BENGALI SEPARATISTS' OR 'BENGALI NATIONALISTS'
On April 5, 1971, the American Consulate in Dhaka received a joint telegram from the State Department and United States Information Agency (USIA) which asked for maintaining consistency in referring to the Bengali opponents of Pakistan Martial Law Authority. They proposed to use "Bengali separatists", unless the context should require a more specific term. But the consul general and the staff in USIS, Dhaka took an uncompromising stand and replied: We object to use of term "Bengali separatists" as being inaccurate and pejorative. The struggle in East Pakistan is between West Pakistan Armed Forces and non-Bengali civilians on one side and Bengalis on the other side…. We would prefer use of term "Bengalis". Our second choice would be "Bengali nationalists". [ Archer K. Blood, The Cruel Birth of Bangladesh, UPL, 2006, pg. 278]
Shamsuddoza Sajen is a journalist and researcher. He can be contacted at email@example.com