War could have ended a week earlier: journalist Gavin Young

bangabandhu.com.bd : The war could have been ended a week earlier, but President Yahya Khan convinced General Niazi (Pakistani commander in then Dacca) that China and the United States would intervene. This was demonstrated in an account by Gavin David Young, a reporter of The Observer, London, who spent fourteen days during the Liberation War in Dhaka and was in close contact with A.A.K. Niazi and other Pakistani Generals.
Young, who died on January 18 in 2001, wrote in The Observer that the generals in the East were ready to ask for a ceasefire on December 10 and for a “peaceful transfer of power” to the elected Bengali leaders. They sent sent message to Yahya, but he replied with the story that China and America were about to intervene militarily on Pakistan’s side.
Niazi said Young, “We are off the hook.” That ended the hope of an early ceasefire. Two times Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Lewis revealed this in his article titled “Not to Be Forgotten” published in ‘The New York Times’ on December 20, 1971. Lewis, who was also known as an American public intellectual, died on March 25 in 2013.
The article was quoted as saying, “Thus according to the authorized version, the United States was able to exercise a moderating influence over Yahya Khan by saying nothing publicly when he arrested the elected leader of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his troops murdered thousands of Bengalis and turned millions into refugees”
The article also added, “The position of Sheikh Mujib (Father of the Nation) is another revealing matter. The United States never criticized his arrest, apparently believing that Yahya Khan had no political alternative. But now the former commander-in-chief of Pakistani Air Force, Asghar Khan, a politician who is hardly an Indian stooge, has said that Yahya should never have arrested Sheikh Mujib and could have made a political settlement with him.” As for the Indians, it is a doubtless true that there are hawks among them. But the correspondents who have dealt with the leading Indian generals have found them a sober group, with an understanding and even sympathy for the Pakistanis and no desire to crush their country. Very few armies have fought a war under such difficult emotional circumstances with so much control,” the article said.
… BY Asraful Huq and Mahmudul Hasan Raju …
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