• John Paxton
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


Bangladesh comprises the eastern territories of the partitioned province of Bengal and the former Assam district of Sylhet, with the exception of certain thanas of the Karimganj sub-division. The state was formerly the Eastern Province of Pakistan. In Nov. 1970 the southern Ganges delta was devastated by a cyclonic tidal wave. The number of dead was estimated as at least 220,000 and the number of dwellings destroyed and damaged as 350,000. Crops and stock were also destroyed. In Dec. 1970 Shaikh Mujibur Rahman’s Awami League Party gained 149 seats out of 243 at the Pakistan general election and immediately made known their wish for greater independence for the then Eastern Province. Martial law was imposed following disturbances in Dacca, and civil war developed in March 1971. India, having protested to Pakistan about the suppression of the East’s rebellion and the influx of refugees into India, entered a state of war with Pakistan on 3 Dec. 1971 and defeated Pakistani forces in the East on 16 Dec. 1971. A provisional Bangladesh government took office the same day under Tajuddin Ahmed.

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1972

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  • John Paxton

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