• Short Summary

    Appearing for the first time in public as the Ministers of "Bangla Desh", the leaders of the new self-styled Bengali Republic declared its formal independence on Saturday at the village of Baidyanathala, one mile (1.6 kms) inside East Pakistan.

  • Description

    Appearing for the first time in public as the Ministers of "Bangla Desh", the leaders of the new self-styled Bengali Republic declared its formal independence on Saturday at the village of Baidyanathala, one mile (1.6 kms) inside East Pakistan.

    The independence declaration was read out by the Vice President and acting President of "Bangla Desh", Mr. Syed Nasrul Islam, to members of the Indian and Foreign Press and about 5,000 East Bengalis gathered in a 132-acre (53 hectare) mango grove. Prime Minister Tajuddin Ahmed also made an appeal at the ceremony for world recognition and assistance in the Bangla Desh struggle for nationhood.

    But in the first full day of the new Republic's existence, Prime Minister Ahmed himself admitted that the superior fire-power of the Pakistan Government's forces were pushing his Liberation army back from most of East Pakistan's major towns.

    Reports indicate however that the conquests are often of ghost towns, with whole populations fleeing form Government forces. And the Pakistan government will soon be affected in maintaining its forces in East Pakistan by loss of foreign exchange earnings from the East, and by the monsoon season. The monsoon dumps up to 200 inches (500 cm) of rain on parts of East Pakistan in only four months.

    This was part of acting President Syed Nasrul Islam's statement at the independence ceremony:
    SYNOPSIS: The small village of Baidyanatha, one mile (1.6 kms) inside the East Pakistan border with Indian, was on Saturday the setting for the leaders of the rebel self-styled "Republic of Bangla Desh" to declare their state's formal independence. Here the leaders appeared for the first time as office-bearers representing the new republic, at a ceremony in a mango grove before an audience of foreign press and some 5,000 East Bengalis.

    The two leading figures were apparently acting President Syed Nasrul Islam, on the left, and Prime Minister Tajuddin Ahmed.

    Since the meeting attended by these and other Ministers, there have been reports of Pakistan Government troops gaining control of most of Pakistan's major towns, especially in the Western area of East Pakistan. Indian reports say the Pakistan Government has gained control of Dinajpur, Thakurgaon and Rajshahi, in the western region. Against frightening odds, acting President Islam rallied his followers at the independence ceremony, and strongly affirmed the existence of Bangla Desh:
    Although the tide seems to be running against them, the leaders and supporters of the rebel movement take some heart from the certainty that it will be increasingly difficult in the next few weeks for the Government of Pakistan to continue the civil war The monsoon rains will make their troop movements difficult and the cost will be hard to bear now that foreign exchange earnings from exports are not flowing to West Pakistan from the East.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA4W1LRFMQRHDDJM9KQFBIF4FVQ
    Media URN:
    VLVA4W1LRFMQRHDDJM9KQFBIF4FVQ
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    18/04/1971
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:16:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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