790D.13/5–2954: Telegram

The Chargé in Pakistan (Emmerson) to the Department of State1


975. Dhahran for DLG. Prime Minister asked me to see him this morning. He said in view close relationships our two countries he was telling me in greatest confidence that decision had been taken impose Governor’s rule East Pakistan. Governor would be Iskander Mirza who was summoned from London and who will leave for Dacca tomorrow. Mechanics of matter being worked out today. Announcement probably will be made tomorrow. Prime Minister stated first act of Governor would be to arrest known Communists. Although Fazlul Huq had asked for three months GOP, in view known Communists occupying positions his government, could not tolerate dangers increased Communist activity during succeeding three months. Danger was acutely realized when matter arose discussing anti-Communist measures or distributing documents to Cabinet and chief ministers through likelihood conference information reaching Moscow or Peking via Fazlul Huq.

Prime Minister stated intensified activity would proceed two fronts, psychological and economic. GOP plan establish two new radio stations [Page 1847] East Bengal, step up informational program to high degree. On economic front Governor would see that people received cheap necessities of life, mainly food, cloth, kerosene, mustard oil and salt. GOP realizes essentiality winning over people and hope within one year parliamentary government could be restored.

Martial law would not be imposed at beginning and later only if absolutely necessary. General Mirza was good choice due previous connections Bengal which meant he was not regarded as “foreigner” by Bengalis. Prime Minister admitted loss to Central Government was serious.

General Mirza has confirmed departure tomorrow, states doctors London were angry his departure in middle treatment and warned against possible consequences. Stated, however, that phone call from Prime Minister had so emphasized critical nature situation General Mirza will “break his back” if necessary in East Bengal.

  1. This telegram was repeated to Dhahran.