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DACCA Diary from Intercontinental Hotel, Dec 9, 1971

  • Published at 12:43 am December 9th, 2019
Dacca_Diary
Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

In honour of the month of victory, the Dhaka Tribune is republishing the Pulitzer Prize winning daily dispatches of then Wall Street Journal (WSJ) correspondent Peter R Kann

Thursday,

“Only 10 shopping days to Christmas,” says an American businessman at breakfast. Kind of crisis conviviality continues. 

Another American goes off to the consulate to pick up his income-tax forms. 

“I may be an optimist,” he says, “but it’s something to do.” But there are a few frayed nerves. A gray toy poodle named Baby, stranded along with “parents,” has been under tranquilizers since the war began.

Definite sense that Pak army is crumbling. Gen Niazi rumor still being circulated. Reports have Indian units 20 miles from Dacca. Indian radio says all major East Pakistani towns except Dacca and port of Chittagong have fallen. 

Pakistan radio denies it. Pak army elements said to be leaving their cantonment and dispersing to scattered positions around the city. 

They evidently took over a tuberculosis hospital, evicting patients onto street. We drive around the city and see few soldiers, but we see a West Pakistani policeman beating a Bengali with a stick. Consistent to the end.