Each and every day was full of tension and uncertainty then. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s birth day on 17 March passed off in 1971 as usual without any celebration.He joined scheduled talks with President Yahya Khan that day. It was their second day of talks on the country’s political situation.
The Bangabandhu-Yahya talks were shown by the establishment as a big event aimed at resolving the political crisis that threatened the stability of Pakistan. But very few people in Bangladesh were much hopeful about the success of the talks as reports were being leaked everyday that huge arms and troops were being brought to Dhaka to suppress the Bangalees.
At the talks on 17 March Bangabandhu renewed his demands for transfer of power to elected representatives of the people and taking back the army to the barracks. Yahya Khan did not agree on the plea that withdrawal of army and transfer of power at this stage would create a constitutional vacuum.
In the evening of 17 March a meeting was held between the aides of Bangabandhu and Yahya Khan. Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed and Dr Kamal Hossain represented Bangabandhu while Yahya was represented by Justice AR Cornelius, General Peerzada and colonel Hasan. This meeting tended to give an impression that Bangabandhu-Yahya talks were progressing well.
(Amir Hossain was the acting editor of daily sun. H wrote this article before his demise.)