|American Response to Bangladesh Liberation War
A M A Muhith
ISBN 984 05 1361 3 1996 514p 240x175mm HB Tk.450.00 US$25.00
On the Silver jubilee of Bangladesh liberation war this is a documentary chronicle of the American response to the great crisis in South Asia. Arranged in four parts it begins with a narrative by the editor and his wife on how the Bengalis in the USA reacted to the war and how the US and other citizens in the USA, the media, the US Congress and the Executive responded to the crisis. In the second part a selection of documents produced in the USA at the time on various facets and issues of the liberation war are reproduced. They cover seven topics, viz., why Bangladesh, Pakistani atrocities, economic situation in war-ravaged Bangladesh, spectre of famine and disease, threat of a subcontinental war, economic prospects of Bangladesh, and the US policy relating to the crisis. Part three is devoted to action in the US Congress on the crisis and it also contains 45 selected statements out of a total of 2 10 made by Senators and Representatives on the floor. These two parts clearly bring out the great impact in USA of the Bangladesh liberation war. They also provide materials for a judgment on the response of all branches of the US society and government to the liberation war. The final part contains contributions in the form of recollections and reflections from selected American and Bengali participants, intimately associated with the Bangladesh liberation war effort in the USA.
Abul Maal Abdul Muhith is an internationally recognized scholar in political economy. He began his career as a civil servant, and held responsible positions in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and with international organisations. He was posted as Economic Counselor in the Pakistan Embassy in Washington DC when the Bangladesh Liberation War began in March 1971. This book is therefore edited with insider knowledge and experience. On transferring allegiance to Bangladesh on 30 June 1971, he started the Bangladesh mission in Washington, which was formally established in August when all Bengali diplomats in the USA switched over to Bangladesh. In the postliberation period he was primarily involved in economic diplomacy. He functioned as the first Alternate Executive Director from his country in the World Bank and the first Executive Director in the Asian Development Bank representing Bangladesh and India. He became Chairman of UN ESCAP in 1983, was Rapporteur in the UN TCDC Conference in 1978 and Chairman of Committees in UNESCAP in 1979 and 1981, UN LDC Conference in 1981 and UNCTAD Board in 1984. After working for five years as Secretary, Economic Relations Division in the Government of Bangladesh, he went on voluntary retirement in 1981. Since then he has worked as Minister of Finance and Planning, a Visiting Fellow in Princeton University, and as a Consultant for various international development organizations and a newspaper columnist. He has published a few books, contributed to many anthologies, and written many articles on development, public administration, finance, governance and socio-economic issues.