fifty years ago May 11, 1971 Archives

From the Archives (May 11, 1971): Thant urged to secure Mujib’s release

Mr. Abdus Salam Azad, Special Envoy of the Government of Bangla Desh, to-day [Somewhere in Bangla Desh, May 10] appealed to the U.N. Secretary-General, U Thant, and world powers to secure the release of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman so that his life could be saved. “We are afraid our leader is being tortured by the West Pakistani Army,” he said. He hoped that the U.N. Security Council would allow a representative of Bangla Desh to present their case before the world body. “We, in the name of humanity, expect that the people of the world will extend their full support to the freedom struggle of the suffering masses of Bangla Desh,” he said. Mr. Azad described the propaganda by the West Pakistani military regime that India was interfering in the internal affairs of Pakistan as a “tissue of lies.” He told PTI in an interview that it was the West Pakistan Air Force, Army and Navy which were strafing, bombing and shelling the population in Bangla Desh. They were on the rampage in various parts of Bangla Desh. He said the people of Bangla Desh were forced to take shelter in India as it was the only country bordering Bangla Desh. “We are really grateful to the people and the Government of India for their not driving our people back into the clutches of the West Pakistani butchers and plunderers and for accepting the evacuees with all sympathy and cordiality,” he added.

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