Bangladesh: November 7, 1975 events, through WikiLeaks

* Troops loyal to ousted chief of army staff Maj Gen Ziaur Rahman moved against his successor Maj Gen Khalid Mosharraf around 1am. There was considerable gunfire, punctuated by mortar blasts, at the Dhaka cantonment as the night passed. Shortly before 4am Radio Bangladesh announced that Zia had been named chief martial law administrator, thus taking over control of Bangladesh.

* It now seems quite certain that Khalid Mosharraf is dead.

* Acting foreign secretary Nazrul Islam called in US embassy official said he was instructed to request US government’s support which will be meaningful in check-mating any Indian move against government. This needed to be given the highest priority as everyone was worried and time was urgent.

* He was also instructed to request that the US convey the feelings of the government regarding the situation to the governments of China and Pakistan, and in particular, to request the Government of Pakistan to “mobilise support from the Muslin countries also.”

* Nazrul said the demonstrations of people from all walks of life and by all elements of the armed forces in support of both Gen Zia and Khondaker Moshtaque were spontaneous enthusiasm that began to be heard after Zia’s taking over power as the chief martial law administrator.

* The processions chanted slogans against India.

* Acting foreign secretary Nazrul said after the 1971 war public mood was explicitly anti-Pakistani and secular. But “now it’s pro-Pakistan, pro-Islamic, pro-US and pro-west.”

* The Bangladesh government is now trying to “mobilise the military, political and administrative elements into a unity that will restore peace and calm to the domestic scene.”

* Mahbubul Alam Chashi, principal secretary of president, said things were settling down and that they had a very strong expectation that there would be continuity in government with the present president, chief justice AM Sayem remaining in office.

**************before this*************

* Three army officials, who led the coup against Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15, left the country on November 3-4 for Thailand upon order of president Moshtaque following a counter-coup by disgruntled colonels.

The three are Lt Col Sayed Farook Rahman, Lt Col KA Rashid and Lt Col Shariful Huque Dalim.

The went to Bangkok with 12 other officers, two non-commissioned officers including the president’s personal bodyguard, seven women and five children. They were given 15-day visas.

Col Farook said they had informed the US and Pakistan embassies of their presence and intended applying to them for asylum.

The counter-coup started around 2pm on November 3 and was led by Brig Khalid Mosharraf, the chief of army general staff. Bangladesh Radio said November 5 that he was promoted to major general and appointed army chief of staff. He replaced Maj Gen Zia, arrested on November 3 along with Air Vice-Marshal GM Tawab.

Col Farook said Moshtaque refused to allow them and other loyal officer to counter attack, and told them to leave the county.


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