• 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

    GV PAN Baidyanatha village

    SV Acting President and Chief of Staff arriving and on to rostrum PAN to guard of honour saluting

    SV Acting President left, acting Prime Minister right

    CU People applaud

    CU Acting President stops to microphone

    CU Prime Minister

    SCU Foreign Minister K.M. Ahmed stands and waves to crowd followed by Mansoor Ahmed Ali, A.H. Manir Uzman PAN to Prime Minister

    LV Crowd

    CU Acting President Syed Nasrul Islam speaking

    SV Audience

    SV & CU Army Chief of Staff Osman introducing acting President to officers and officials

    BV acting President saluting guard of honour

    TRANSCRIPT: (SEQ. 9): ACTING PRESIDENT: "The Government of Bangla Desh is (indistinct two words) physically and purposefully with the consent of the people, and with the help of the officers and executives who are in charge of running the Government. So I request my foreign journalist friends to convey this fact, and truth to their respective countries, so that there may be a realisation that the Government of Bengal is not on paper, not in dreams, it is a reality. ??? It is such a reality that the world I hope can not ignore it."

    Initials OS/143 CM/OS/214

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: 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.

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