Commotion within the army

There was serious repercussion in the army because of Brig. Safullah’s appointment as the Chief of Army Staff superseding Brig. Ziaur Rahman. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman came to know about this and asked me to see him. Because of closeness he used to call me often to gather information particularly about the army and the defense forces.

I went and saw him at Road No 32 Dhanmandi. He wanted to know what was the reaction in the army after Brig. Shafiullah has been appointed as the Chief of Army Staff. I replied clearly that this decision of his has created an adverse repercussion within the army. I further said that it was a big mistake not to appoint Brig. Zaiur Rahman as the Acief of army staff as he had a legitimate claim for the post. This decision has not only created a commotion within the army but this has also enhanced mi understandings between the army and the government. Everyone was blaming him for such an injustice done to Brig. Ziaur Rahman. As a result his image in the army is being effected at all levels. This anomaly needs to be redressed immediately. After hearing me Sheikh Mujibur Rahman said that he took this decision on the advice of Gen. Osmani. And it would be embarrassing for him to change the decision right away. His answer was from his political perspective. He also said that after sometime he might consider making Brig. Ziaur Rahman the Chief of staff replacing Brig. Shafiulla. This was not very much convincing. However, believing what he said I suggested that as long as Brig. Shifiullah remains the Chief, Brig. Ziaur Rahman should not be appointed as an ordinary Brigade Commander or a PSO under Brig. Shafiullah, instead a post of Deputy Chief of Staff could be created to accommodate Brig. Ziaur Rahman. This would help to reduce the commotion to a great extent. Sheikh Saheb promised that he would think about this matter. He also asked me to inform Ziaur Rahman about his intentions and propagate the same within the army discretely. Some time later a post of Deputy Chief of Staff was created on the order of the Prime Minister and Brig. Ziaur Rahman was appointed as DCOS. It is to be mentioned here that both the COAS and DCOAS held the same rank of Major General. This did reduce the commotion as was anticipated and we all were waiting for the Prime Minister to fulfill his promise to make our beloved Maj. Gen. Ziaur Rahman as the Chief of Army Staff.