DACCA: Maulana Bhashani today [Jan 21] pledged that his party “will break the shackles of the Indian pact of slavery, will not accept Russian domination and nor will we be impressed by the United States dollar”. Maulana Bhashani, who is chairman of the pro-Peking National Awami Party, accused Indian Premier Mrs Indira Gandhi of inciting fratricidal dissent in Bangladesh aimed at destroying the new State. He said she pursued a policy of “divide and rule” with regard to Bangladesh.

Maulana Bhashani, 90-year-old leader of a six-party Action Committee formed in adva­n­­­ce of the elections … also declared that he did not favour the principle of non-violence during the election campaign. — News agencies

[Meanwhile, as reported by news agencies from Dacca,] Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Mujibur Rahman … condemned those “who have made it a fashion to criticise India”. India supported Bangladesh during the liberation struggle and “we should be grateful for their aid”, the Premier told a crowd of 70,000 former “freedom-fighters”. At the same time, he criticised China for her allia­n­­ce with Pakistan. He said he regretted Pek­i­ng’s opposition to the independence of Bang­ladesh and added, “we are no enemy of yours.”

Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2023

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