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mujib in US

mujib in US

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Published by omipial265

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Published by: omipial265 on Aug 15, 2010
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09/28/2010

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DEPARTMENT OF STATEMemorandum of Conversation
DATE: September 30, 1974TIME: 10:30 a.m.
SUBJECT: Secretary Kissinger Calls on Bangladesh Prime Minister,Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Bangladesh:Prime Minister Sheikh Mujibur RahmanForeign Minister Kamal HossainAmbassador Hossain AliU.S.:The SecretaryAlfred L. Atherton, Jr., Assistant Secretary, NEAMr. Robert Oakley, NSCMr. Peter D. Constable, NEA/PAB (Notetaker)DISTRIBUTION: S; S/S; WH (General Scowcroft)The Secretary called on the Bangladesh Prime Minister, Sheikh MujiburRahman at the latter's suite in the Waldorf Towers. Photographers tookpictures while the Secretary and Prime Minister greeted each other.THE SECRETARY: I am very pleased to meet you and to welcome you tothe United States. I am very much looking forward to my visit next month toDacca.THE PRIME MINISTER: I am also looking forward to your visit. Pleaseaccept my regrets for the unfortunate illness of Mrs. Ford.THE SECRETARY: It is a great pleasure to see you here. In 1970 whenYahya Khan was here for the UN, he explained to me why the elections inPakistan would be well manipulated. He said there were 20 parties in EastPakistan. There would be no majority party and Yahya would thereforehave an excellent opportunity to maneuver to control the situation. Then ofcourse you achieved your spectacular majority, with 167 out of 169 seats inEast Pakistan. Ever since then I have never believed political predictions,
 
unless of course you make them.PRIME MINISTER: I gave my prediction before the election at a pressconference in Dacca. I was asked if I would get 90% of the votes. I said Iwould get 97%. Of course I have contested so many elections that I knewbetter than Yahya. I understood his ideas and plans to maneuver --THE SECRETARY: There would have been no elections if he had knownhow it would turn out. The last time I saw Yahya was on the way toChina--the trip which he arranged for me. He gave a dinner for me and saidat the table, "People call me a dictator." He asked everyone: "Am I adictator?" Everyone said "No." Then he asked me, and I said: "I do notknow, but for a dictator, you run a lousy election."PRIME MINISTER: Would you like something to drink?THE SECRETARY: I would like some tea.PRIME MINISTER: I am glad. I produce tea also. [Tea and coffee wereserved.]THE SECRETARY: As you know we are committed to the well-being ofBangladesh. Within our capacity we will do all we can to help you. Withoutmeddling in Bangladesh's internal affairs, I want you to know that webelieve you are the best guarantee for stability in your country, and wewant to do what we can to help you.PRIME MINISTER: Thank you. That is very kind of you. After I got out of jail, we faced such big problems. Then you gave us massive help and weavoided famine.THE SECRETARY: We will do what we can. We have committed 150,000tons of foodgrains to Bangladesh in the first quarter of this fiscal year. Weare trying to get approval for another 100,000 tons in this quarter, by thetime you meet the President. I know that doesn't meet your total needs, butwe have had a disappointing corn crop and that has put a strain on ourwheat supplies.PRIME MINISTER: Our problem is to try to recover and to be self-sufficientin food. We have made some progress. Our deficit of 3 million tons of rice
 
is down to 2 million tons. We had no government when I got out of jail. Wehad nothing.THE SECRETARY: Everything came from West Pakistan.PRIME MINISTER: At the end of the struggle we had nothing. No money,no resources.THE SECRETARY: When did you return? In January 1972?PRIME MINISTER: Yes. When I returned everyone was armed and we hadproblems with that. Now we have a government. I have followed a policy of"forgive and forget" after coming out of jail.
THE SECRETARY: We very much appreciated the trilateralagreements you have worked out with India and Pakistan. You havebeen very statesmanlike.PRIME MINISTER: This caused me some unpopularity because of themassacres that took place among intellectuals. I could give younames that you would recognize.
THE SECRETARY: The Bengalees are a rebellious lot. There were anumber of Bengalees at Harvard when your Foreign Minister was a studentof mine there.FOREIGN MINISTER: Yes there were a number of Bengalees includingMr. Murshed.THE SECRETARY: Is he all right?FOREIGN MINISTER: Yes.
PRIME MINISTER: The Pakistani General, Farman Ali Khan, wrote onhis scratch pad, and we found it, "The green land of East Pakistanmust be painted red." I told Bhutto about this when he came to Dacca.I showed it to him. I said to him, "Do something from your side."There are 67,000 non-Bengalee families living in Bangladesh whohave opted for Pakistan. They don't want them back. We don't wantthem. They are in camps. We can't feed them. We have no assets. I've

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