Source 6b

This is a letter from the Embassy of Pakistan sent after Britain officially recognised Bangladesh as a country.


Letter from Embassy of Pakistan to Foreign & Commonwealth Office, 15 February 1972. Catalogue ref: FCO 37/1025


The Embassy of Pakistan presents its compliments to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and has the honour to state that the Government of Pakistan has noted with profound regret the decision by the British Government to accord recognition to ‘Bangla Desh’.



The Government of Pakistan earnestly hopes that the British Government which has recognised ‘Bangla Desh’ and has expressed its sincere desire to maintain friendly relations with Pakistan should use its good offices and impress upon India the need for the unconditional implementation of UN resolutions in respect of the withdrawal of troops. India should also be called upon to fully comply with the Geneva Convention relating to Prisoners of War and other civilians in Indian hands who should be repatriated to Pakistan without delay. Further, the British Government may consider urging the authorities in Dacca to ensure the safety and security of non-Bengalis and to stop the persecution of Bengalis who subscribed to the concept of a united Pakistan.


The Embassy of Pakistan avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office the assurances of its highest consideration.


The Foreign & Commonwealth Office,


Downing Street,


London, SW1


« Return to The Independence of Bangladesh in 1971
  • What does this extract reveal about relations between
    • Pakistan and Britain?
    • Britain and India?
    • India and Bangladesh?
  • What does this document reveal about the attitude of the Pakistan (West Pakistan) government to the independence of Bangladesh?
  • Can you explain the meaning of the last line of the document?
  • Pakistan left the Commonwealth [an association mostly of former British colonies] in 1972, not re-entering it until 1989. Based on this letter, why do you think it did this?
  • What are the UN (United Nations) and the Geneva Convention? Can you find out more about them?