Bangladesh 50 (2021)

Detail of a file describing Mujibur Rahman's attitude towards Pakistan and describing the partition as 'a parting of brothers'.

Page from file describing visit of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Catalogue ref: FCO 37/1019

Bangladesh is marking its 50th anniversary in 2021. The Outreach team at The National Archives is looking at developing resources with education colleagues that will help improve understanding and access to our rich collection of records relating to the recognition of Bangladesh as an independent country. The blog post below is a first step in that direction.

Blog posts

A printed card labelled 'SECRET' describing a discussion stating that the shipment of jute from Bangladesh to the UK has been resumed, and that there 'were strong arguments for the early recognition of Bangla Desh'.

Page from file pertaining to the international recognition of Bangladesh. Catalogue ref: FCO 37/1019 (145947)

A parting as of brothers: Bangladesh at 50

Before returning home to take up his new role, Mujibur Rehman, the first leader of Bangladesh, visited Britain after being detained in Pakistan. It is recorded in one of our files from January 1972 that he said to the British Prime Minister, Edward Heath, that there was no question of a formal link between Bangladesh and West Pakistan. But the file also said that he did not show rancour and asked for good relations between the two, and then went on to say that ‘the partition should be in his words “a parting as of brothers”.’

Read the blog post