While the movement for independence gained momentum in Bangladesh, the rulers in Pakistan appeared indifferent
On March 9, 1971, left leaning political parties joined the call for independence with a rally at Paltan Maidan in Dhaka.
At the rally, Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani urged Pakistan military ruler Gen Yahya Khan to accept Bangladesh’s independence and expressed his solidarity with the civil disobedience movement launched by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Meanwhile, the leading political party Awami League made some changes to the movement by asking banks to continue offering essential services to the general population. Government offices and other service providers continued to observe the strike.
While the movement for independence gained momentum in Bangladesh, the rulers in Pakistan appeared indifferent. They made no attempt to negotiate with Bangabandhu and his party.
Instead, the Pakistan leadership held a series of meetings at the army headquarters in Rawalpindi to begin plotting military action in Bangladesh. Heavily armed soldiers were sent to Bangladesh from Karachi.