July 11, 1972
BANGBANDHU'S FIRST SIX MONTHS IN OFFICE
During the six months in office, a very brief period considering the grisly antecedents, the present government under the leadership of Bangabandhu Shiekh Mujibur Rahman has attained remarkable success in all fields. On the international plane, the government has secured recognition of over 77 countries including four permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely, Britain, France, the Soviet Union and the United States.
During the six months, Bangladesh has secured membership of a number of international
bodies such as IMF, World Bank, UNCTAD, WHO and ILO.
At home, the government has introduced massive programme of nationalisation that includes banks and insurance companies, jute, sugar and textile industries, abandoned property, concerns having capital of more than Tk 15 lakh and major part of foreign trade.
The most spectacular achievement is that the government has been able to maintain a stable law and order situation following an unprecedented crisis caused by a devastating war.
The government has also successfully brought back around 1 crore refugees from India and rehabilitated them within the shortest possible time. Other government measures
which deserve special mention are fixation of the minimum wages at Tk150 per month and the maximum ceiling at Tk 2000 per month.
The government has also exempted land revenue for holdings upto 25 bighas. As a part of decentralisation of the administrative authority the subdivisions have been upgraded to districts.
DIPLOMATIC VICTORY IN MIDDLE EAST
Bangladesh has scored a major diplomatic victory by making a breakthrough in the Middle East hitherto considered a safe zone for Pakistan.
What hastened Iraq, the first country from the Middle East, to accord recognition to Bangladesh is not known yet but it is now clear that the Middle East countries are getting to realise that they no longer can ignore Bangladesh – the second largest Muslim country in the world.
Foreign policy experts observe that the Iraqi recognition will set in motion phased out recognition by other Middle East countries.
SOURCES: July 12, 1972 issues of Bangladesh Observer, Dianik Bangla and Dainik Ittefaq.