Kayhan International (Iran)

August 01 1971

The decline and fall of Sheikh Mujib

By Amir Taheri

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On his desk we found Sir Ivor Jennings’ “Constitutional Problems of Pakistan” dedicated to Mujib by his teacher, one Zuberi. Inside the cover we read: ‘Politics leads to power but knowledge is power, too.” And Mujib has added a few sentences saying this was the book he read every time he was thrown into prison. This time, however, he did not have time to take the book with him.

In other rooms there are books and records scattered everywhere as well as withered flowers, coloured-bulbs, black flags and party slogans. The whole house has the aspect of a place where a big party has been wrecked by the intervention of vengeful gate-crashers.

The Sheikh must have been quite a desperate man during the last 48 hours of his freedom. With a thumping electoral victory behind him and with no opponents in sight in East Pakistan he had obviously found himself the Messiah of 75 million desperately poor East Pakistanis.

Throughout the complex game of manoeuvres and counter-manoeuvres that followed the election — the first in Pakistan’s history — the Sheikh had conducted himself with masterful composure and always contriving to appear to the wronged side.

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