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Friday, April 20, 2018

FROM THE PAGES OF HISTORY

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Following the launch of genocide by the Pakistan army on 25 March 1971, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared the independence of Bangladesh in the early hours of 26 March 1971 moments before his arrest by the junta. Tajuddin Ahmad, General Secretary of the Awami League, and Barrister Amir-ul Islam left Dhaka and crossed over to India, where they took steps for the formation of a government for Bangladesh. As other leading figures of the Awami League joined them over the subsequent days, they formulated the Proclamation of Independence on 10 April 1971, which was effectively a formal announcement of a government for the people of Bangladesh. The Proclamation was read out at the swearing-in of the Bangladesh government at Baidyanathtala, Meherpur, Chuadanga, on 17 April 1971.We reproduce the Proclamation in the interest of our readers. ---      EDITOR-IN-CHARGE

PROCLAMATION OF INDEPENDENCE
Mujibnagar, Bangladesh
Dated 10th day of April 1971

Whereas free elections were held in Bangladesh from 7 December 1970 to 17 January 1971, to elect representatives for the purpose of framing a Constitution,
AND
Whereas at these elections the people of Bangladesh elected 167 out of 169 representatives belonging to the Awami League,
AND
Whereas General Yahya Khan summoned the elected representatives of the people to meet on 3 March 1971, for the purpose of framing a Constitution,
AND
Whereas the Assembly so summoned was arbitrarily and illegally postponed for indefinite period,
AND
Whereas instead of fulfilling their promise and while still conferring with the representatives of the people of Bangladesh, Pakistan authorities declared an unjust and treacherous war,
AND
Whereas in the facts and circumstances of such treacherous conduct Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the undisputed leader of the 75 million people of Bangladesh, in due fulfillment of the legitimate right of self-determination of the people of Bangladesh, duly made a declaration of independence at Dacca on 26 March 1971, and urged the people of Bangladesh to defend the honour and integrity of Bangladesh,
AND
Whereas in the conduct of a ruthless and savage war the Pakistani authorities committed and are still continuously committing numerous acts of genocide and unprecedented tortures, amongst others on the civilian and unarmed people of Bangladesh,
AND
Whereas the Pakistan Government by levying an unjust war and committing genocide and by other repressive measures made it impossible for the elected representatives of the people of Bangladesh to meet and frame a Constitution, and give to themselves a Government,
AND
Whereas the people of Bangladesh by their heroism, bravery and revolutionary fervour have established effective control over the territories of Bangladesh,We the elected representatives of the people of Bangladesh, as honour bound by the mandate given to us by the people of Bangladesh whose will is supreme duly constituted ourselves into a Constituent Assembly, andhaving held mutual consultations, andin order to ensure for the people of Bangladesh equality, human dignity and social justice,declare and constitute Bangladesh to be sovereign Peoples' Republic and thereby confirm the declaration of independence already made by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, anddo hereby affirm and resolve that till such time as a Constitution is framed, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman shall be the President of the Republic and that Syed Nazrul Islam shall be the Vice President of the Republic, andthat the President shall be the Supreme Commander of all the Armed Forces of the Republic,
shall exercise all the Executive and Legislative powers of the Republic including the power to grant pardon,
shall have the power to appoint a Prime Minister and such other Ministers as he considers necessary,
shall have the power to levy taxes and expend monies,
shall have the power to summon and adjourn the Constituent Assembly, and
do all other things that may be necessary to give to the people of Bangladesh an orderly and just Government,
We the elected representatives of the people of Bangladesh do further resolve that in the event of there being no President or the President being unable to enter upon his office or being unable to exercise his powers and duties, due to any reason whatsoever, the Vice-President shall have and exercise all the powers, duties and responsibilities herein conferred on the President,
We further resolve that we undertake to observe and give effect to all duties and obligations that devolve upon us as a member of the family of nations and under the Charter of United Nations,
We further resolve that this proclamation of independence shall be deemed to have come into effect from 26th day of March 1971.
We further resolve that in order to give effect to this instrument we appoint Prof. Yusuf Ali our duly Constituted Potentiary and to give to the President and the Vice-President oaths of office.


PROF. YUSUF ALI
Duly Constituted Potentiary
By and under the authority
of the Constituent Assembly of Bangladesh

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