Monday, June 17, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

March 1971 Diary (Part 14)

Update : 21 Mar 2015, 08:19 PM

Talks with Sheikh Mujib commenced next morning at President’s House when Mujib, flanked by his bodyguards, but otherwise alone, drove into the lion’s den. The first talks lasted two and a half hours. They met again the next morning for an hour.

What has come out of the talks awaits revelation, but some optimism derived from the fact that they went on for several days and that a legal expert rather than an artillery expert had been sent for. This did not however suppress much anxious speculation in the province which included the untrue rumour that Mujib had walked out of his first meeting in a great rage.

Indeed, the barometer in Dacca continued to fluctuate, with the nervous middle class moving to the villages in order to get out of the way of a possible shooting war and the militants keeping up the tempo with local drilling and other more meaningful preparations.

In this period the economy continued to remain precariously poised between standstill and revival. A consolidated decree of regulations issued by the Awami League on March 15 carried on the task of selective revival of the administration and full revival of the economy.

The assertion of control over Bangla Desh was carried a step further by extending the no-tax campaign into one of collecting taxes for the “Government of Bangla Desh.”

All central provincial and local taxes were designated for payment into special accounts to be opened by the only two Bbanks with their headquarters in Bangla Desh, and the State Bank of Pakistan and Treasury remained immobilised. Pending export bills were also designated to these two banks for negotiation.

State Bank and all commercial banks continued to function at the direction of the Awami League. This did not prevent the run on banks from continuing but there were some signs of the situation improving as more relaxation on the controls over banks was permitted.

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