Moulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani told a public meeting at Paltan Maidan in Dhaka on this day that East Pakistan/East Bengal would become an independent country soon. He demanded that President Yahya Khan divide the state of Pakistan officially into two independent states.
As the momentum toward independence took gathered pace in the province, the Awami League modified some of the directives issued by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. An announcement to this effect was made by the party general secretary Tajuddin Ahmed. The entire province continued to be run under Mujib's directives.
There was yet no move on the part of the Pakistan military regime to initiate negotiations with the Awami League in light of Bangabandhu's declaration of March 7. However, a series of meetings went on at army headquarters in Rawalpindi, the ostensible purpose of which was to find ways and means of tackling the popular movement in East Pakistan. It was obvious that the regime had been placed in a spot by Mujib's demand that power be transferred to the elected representatives of the people.
Additionally, the fact that Mujib was in reality running the show in East Pakistan was a clear sign of how diluted the authority of the Pakistan government had become in the province. In effect, what alarmed the regime was that while the Bengali leader had not gone for independence for Bangladesh, he had made sure that the government of Pakistan be looked upon for the illegality that it was, especially against the background of its refusal to convene the national assembly or make a move toward a quick transfer of power to the majority party.
With each passing day, Bengali militancy went up by sure degrees. Nothing happened in East Pakistan unless it had the sanction of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.