Sheikh Mujib’s Perception Of India

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Sheikh Mujibur Rahman talks with journalists upon his arrival in London from Pakistan on 8 January 1972.  TIME magazine correspondent Dan Coggin, who claimed he had interviewed Mujib in Dhaka, told State Department officials in mid-January 1972 that the Bengali leader wanted to “establish some sort of link between Bangladesh and Pakistan”  in an attempt to forestall any possible move by India to annex Bangladesh. Mujib was suspicious about India’s ultimate intention.

When Sheikh Mujibur Rahman met the British Prime Minister in London on 9 January in 1972 upon his arrival in Britain from prison in Pakistan, the Bengali independence leader informed Edward Heath that Z. A. Bhutto, Pakistan’s president, had appealed to him to keep a loose federation between Bangladesh and West Pakistan.

Mujib wanted no formal link with Islamabad; he had told Bhutto the “time for this had passed.” He emphasized to Heath that “any political link with West Pakistan was impossible and would result in another guerrilla war in Bangladesh.”

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