Diplomatic breakthrough in absence of Indira?
Dr. Syed Anwar Husain, Historian and Political Analyst ; A diplomatic breakthrough, occurred from 16 December 1971 to 8 January 1972, in absence of Indira Gandhi. Ninety-three thousand Pakistani prisoners of war were released after the Shimla Treaty on August 2 of 1972. So if diplomacy was conducted in Gandhi’s absence, Shashank Bandhapaddya’s statement could be accepted.
The writings of diplomat Shashank Bandhapadya, as published in ‘The War’ newspaper, were filled with factual inaccuracies. However, it is undoubtedly true that Indira Gandhi was seriously concerned over the release of Bangabandhu.
From Shashank’s write-ups, it could be inferred that he took political shelter secretly. But one question remains: how did he know that Bhutto will become Pakistan’s dictator after his return and would possess the authority to release Bangabandhu?
Because after returning to Pakistan, Bhutto became president due to the sheer abruptness of the situation. At the same time, Yahya Khan, while transferring power, requested Bhutto to finalize Bangabandhu’s execution by declaring a date, but the latter declined. But according to the information presented in Shashank’s writing, Indira Gandhi’s diplomatic efforts were lethargic in their pace and Bangabandhu’s release took place much earlier.
Based on an interview by Ashiq Rahman, translated by Abrar Hussain