Washington Barta Offers a Glimpse of First Prime Minister Tajuddin Ahmad

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A Daughter’s Tribute to  Tajuddin Ahmad 

Washington Barta-Voice of America airs the show on NTV

 

April 18,  2008

Iqbal  Bahar Choudhury,Chief of Bangla Service-Voice of America ,interviews Sharmin Ahmad for popular T.V show Washington Barta,which is broadcast through its television affiliate NTV. She speaks about her father Tajuddin Ahmad,whose excellence in leadership helped in the birthing of  Bangladesh.

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http://www.voanews.com/bangla/washingtonbarta.cfm

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Recalling Tajuddin Ahmad: Daughter Sharmin’s interview with Voice of America

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Sharmin Ahmad recalls the Determination of Her Father, the First Prime Minister of Bangladesh
By Iqbal Bahar Choudhury

Washington
19-April-2008

Interview with Sharmin Ahmad – Download (MP3) audio clip
Interview with Sharmin Ahmad – Listen to (MP3) audio clip

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Sharmin Ahmad

Sharmin Ahmad , the daughter of Tajuddin Ahmad , the first Prime Minister of the exiled government of Bangladesh , in this exclusive interview with VOA Bangla Service, recalls the genesis of the government.

It was Tajuddin’s intelligence and sagacity which brought Bangladesh into being. Tajuddin Ahmed’s dedication for his motherland, his superb planning and his unbending vows to free his country from the clutches of the neo-colonial power brought a dream into reality.

Sharmin also talks about her father’s meeting with the then Prime Minister of India Mrs Indira Gandhi who took positive initiatives to help Bangladesh gain freedom . Sharmin has been living in the USA since early eighties. She is a social worker, a woman activist and person who is involved in multi-faith activities

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U.S. Congressional Record Entries

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U.S. Congressional Record Entries
April 1, 1971. Senator Harris refers to New York Times. “Systematic tracking down and killing of East Pakistani intellectual Leaders so that the people of that region will forever remain without a voice… These outrages reportedly are being committed in the name of ‘God and a united Pakistan.” (pdf 112k)

April 1, 1971. Senator Edward Kennedy [chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Refugees] comments on situation in East Pakistan. “It’s a story of indiscriminate killing, the execution of dissident political leaders and students and thousands of civilians suffering and dying every hour of the day….The situation in East Pakistan should be particularly distressing to Americans, for it is our military hardware–our guns and tanks and aircraft–which is contributing much to the suffering”. (pdf 56 k)

April 14, 1971. Senator Muskie joined three other senators in sending a letter to the Secretary of State, requesting a “clarification of the extent of American involvement, direct and indirect, in the civil strife and bloodshed in Pakistan.” (48 k)

May 5,1971. Congressman Jerome R. Waldie urged the Government of the United States “to halt at once all military aid to Pakistan.” (pdf 69 k)

May 6, 1971.Senator Walter F. Mondale  cries out against Pakistan Government’s inaction in undertaking relief efforts to save millions of starving people in East Pakistan and his Government’s “unconscionable negligence” in helping the suffering people. (pdf 126 k)

May 14, 1971. Senator Gordon Allott urged all senators to read Mr. James F. Ragin’s letter narrating his firsthand experience about the inhuman atrocities carried out against the unarmed civilians of East Pakistan. Mr. Ragin, who was evacuated from East Pakistan [Bangladesh], urged in his letter “to seek and support a condemnation by Congress and the President of the United States of the inhumane treatment being accorded to the citizens of East Pakistan.” He further stated in the letter “The silence of our government is being regarded as tacit approval of the action taken by the West Pakistan military. No political or strategic consideration should outweigh the importance of a humanitarian stand reiterating the American belief in the value of individual lives and in a democratic process of government.” (239 k)

May 19, 1971. Congressman Waldie read a petition in the House of Representatives which was signed by seventeen professors from the University of California at Berkeley. The professors wrote “against the massacres which have been carried out against the people of East Bengal by the Pakistan army since March 25, 1971.” (pdf 64 k)

June 15, 1971. Senator Griffin expressed his concern “about the very grave plight of the East Pakistani refugees….Their suffering and serious outbreak of cholera among them called for immediate and emergency action.” (84 k)

June 16, 1971. Senator Church offered a remedial amendment to the U.S Foreign Assistance bill. He brought to the Senate’s attention the analysis by Crosby S. Noyes, noted editor and columnist for the Washington Evening Star, in support of his proposed amendment. Mr. Noyes wrote, “It’s a question of whether the United States, as one of the major suppliers of aid to Pakistan, is going to join in the effort of repression and contribute to the threat. It is the height of self deception to pretend that any part of this aid is going to help the wretched millions in the eastern province. What it is doing is sustaining the government in Islamabad in a campaign of repression that is unparalleled in modern history and creating the conditions for a major catastrophe.” (pdf 124 k)

June 17, 1971. Congressman Cornelius E. Gallagher urged the U.S. Government to suspend all military, economic and food assistance to the Government of Pakistan, for its flagrant misuse of American Aid. He noted, “ …the Government of Pakistan has created a situation of unparalleled tragedy in East Pakistan by its military actions undertaken on March 25,1971, and, according to all eye witness reports, continuing to this day. The flood of refugees forced to flee to India–now some 5.7 million–is irrefutable proof of these actions, as I saw when I inspected the refugee camps in early June.” (317 k)

August 3, 1971. Congressman Derwinski predicted peoples’ victory in East Pakistan [Bangladesh] against the brutal Pakistan military regime. He spoke with conviction, “This war of resistance in East Pakistan is bound to spread. A whole people has risen in revolt against an unpopular regime. The Pakistan army can not win this war….” (431 k)

September 8, 1971. Senator Kennedy addressed the National Press Club on August 26, 1971 and outlined his findings and recommendations from his important visit to the refugee camps in India. His address was printed in the Congressional Record the following month. Kennedy described his “experiences during a week long visit to the refugee camps of India–to a scene which only can be described as the most appalling tide of human misery in modern times.” He praised the Indian Government for its “Herculean efforts to assist and accommodate the refugees” while sharply criticized his Government for assisting the Pakistan Military in its inhumane repression of the people of East Pakistan who “negotiated for democracy and autonomy.” He described the general perception of people about his Government in the following words: “Unfortunately the face of America today in South Asia is not much different from its image over the past years in Southeast Asia. It is the image of an America that supports military repression and
fuels military violence.” (204 k)
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