fifty years ago January 4, 1972 Archives

From the Archives (January 4, 1972): Mujib to be released unconditionally

New Delhi, Jan. 3: Pakistan President Bhutto to-day announced his decision to release Bangla Bandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rehman unconditionally “in response to world opinion,” but left vague the actual date of release. Mr. Bhutto made known his decision at a mammoth public meeting in Karachi at which he sought the “people’s approval” for this course in the manner of ancient Roman rulers. “You have relieved me of a great burden,” he remarked after the audience, estimated by Radio Pakistan to number lakhs, roared its approval. Mr. Bhutto said he would have comprehensive talks with Mujib on his return to Rawalpindi and would thereafter release him “unconditionally”. He did not mention when he would reach Rawalpindi and when the talks with Sheikh Mujib would take place. He said he would go to his home town of Larkhana before returning to Rawalpindi. Mr. Bhutto addressed one of the largest crowds at a political rally in Karachi in 20 years. Speaking in Urdu for 90 minutes, Mr. Bhutto said he first planned to go to his hometown of Larkhana, about 500 km north of here, and then see Sheikh Mujib for talks he said he had started in Rawalpindi. “I will then release him unconditionally and without bargaining,” said Mr. Bhutto.

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