East Pakistani leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, addressing a rally of about 300,000 people in Dacca on Sunday (March 7), called for an end to material law and a return to popular rule...
SV & CU Female members of the Awami League march and chant (3 shots)
CU & LV Flags at meeting of Awami League members (2 shots)
SV PAN FROM Seated members to man addressing them.
GV PAN Massed crowds assembled on Dacca race course on following day.
TV Stewards keeping crowd in order
SV Sheikh Mujib waves to crowd from platform.
SV & CU Crowd chants (2 shots)
SCU PAN Sheikh Mujib speaks to crowd
CU Sheikh Mujib speaking
SV Crowd applauding
Initials BB/2122 BB/2320
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: East Pakistani leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, addressing a rally of about 300,000 people in Dacca on Sunday (March 7), called for an end to material law and a return to popular rule...and so eased the Pakistan crisis by not breaking with the country's western wing. By issuing the demands, Sheikh Mujib allowed breathing space in the crisis, for it had been feared that he would declare independence for the East, precipitating a civil war. The East Pakistani leader issued four demands...an end to martial law, a withdrawal of troops to their barracks, an inquiry into last week's killings and a return to popular rule. If these are met, he will be willing to attend the National Assembly meeting. President Yayha Khan seizing the opportunity offered by Sheikh Mujib's statement will fly to Dacca for urgent talks.
SYNOPSIS: Members and supporters of East Pakistan's majority Awami League massed in Dacca last weekend to support their leader Sheikh Mujib Rahman in his stand against West Pakistan. The match came at a time when the two Pakistan's were on the brink of civil war. Members of the league later held a meeting to discuss latest developments in the country.
On Sunday 300,000 people massed in Dacca to hear an address by their leader Sheikh Mujib. Violence in the five days preceding the rally and the threat of more resulted in large number of troops being put on standby...but in the background. The fact that the country is under martial law is resented by many East Pakistanis and it was thought that the presence of troops might spark trouble.
Stewards had a hard job keeping the crowd back as Sheikh Mujib rose to address the rally.
In his address, Sheikh Mujib gave four demands before he would attend the National Assembly Building. They were...an end to martial law, a withdrawal of troops to their barracks, and inquiry into the violence during which 172 people were killed, and a return to popular rule. He made no declaration of independence for the East...something which had been widely predicted. The Pakistani leader, President Yayha Khan taking advantage of the breathing space given by the East Pakistani leader has announced he will fly to Dacca for talks. Meanwhile, foreigners have been advised to leave the province.