Maj. Nur got the last ultimatum

Maj. Hafeez and Capt. Iqbal were adamant to get rid of Gen. Zia as the Chief of Staff.

A few days have passed. Our reinstatement order has been gazetted but our posting orders were not out yet. The President did not yet sign Brig. Khaled and 33 other officer’s files. It became apparent that the decision was being delayed due to some dubious manipulation of the vested interested quarters. I tried my best to find out where was the bottleneck. But could not. The crisis kept on brewing.

One after noon in late October Maj. Nur came to see me.

"What is the matter Nur you look worried?" I asked.

"Some thing to worry about Sir. I am with Maj. Hafeez and Capt. Iqbal for last two days. They are adamant that Maj. Gen. Zia has to be removed from the post. The last time they had requested us to agree to their proposal". Maj. Nur said.

It was very clear. Days are numbered. Some how Brig. Khaled could win over Maj. Hafeez and Cap. Iqbal. They have decided to support Brig. Khaled to get rid of Maj. Gen. Zia. Maj. Hafeez and Capt. Iqbal had tremendous influence over 1 Bengal Regt. Brig. Khaled finally had neutralized 1 Bengal Regt through Maj. Hafeez and Capt. Iqbal. 4 Bengal is considered to be his. The stage was set. Brig. Khaled was ready to move. And that is what was going to happen as I could see. Maj Nur’s indication also pointed towards that. With lot of anxiety I told Maj. Nur,

"They can do whatever they feel like. We may not be able to stop them but certainly I shall not go along with their thoughts and ideas. You may convey this."

"I totally agree with you Sir, we can’t be a party to any thing which will do no good to the nation. You better apprise Maj. Gen. Zia about the gravity of the situation and warn him against the impending eventuality." Nur said.

The same evening I rushed to Maj. Gen. Zia. We both sat down on his lush green lawn.

"Sir how is your cantonment?" I asked opening our conversation.

"Khaled and Shaffat’s audacities are beyond limits now. I am getting all kind of reports on their nefarious activities. The situation is most disturbing". Said Maj. Gen. Zia.

"I gather Brig. Khaled is trying to lay his hands on the 1 Bengal. You got to be careful about this. If he can take care of 1 Bengal then he may venture anything". I tried to convey the message.

"Oh! Don’t worry. Advance party of 1 Fd. Regt. has already reached. Within a few days the main body will arrive from Comilla. Don’t bother about 1 Bengal. That is my battalion. Moreover Maj. Hafeez and Capt. Iqbal are there. How can then Khaled lay his hands on 1 Bengal?" With his usual self-confidence Maj. Gen. Zia replied. I just could not say anything more. Neither I could tell him what Maj. Hafeez nor Capt. Iqbal was thinking. I just said, "Even then it is always better to be alert as the situation is very hot. You got to be very careful Sir, by the way why our posting orders are not coming out as yet? Why MS Branch is sitting on it? To handle the explosive situation we must get us posted immediately. You must ensure this." He listened to me quietly but his mind was somewhere else. I could read from his face that he was alarmed and worried. As I knew him intimately and for long his expressions were familiar to me. This was my last meeting with Maj. Gen. Zia before the fateful night of 2/3rd Nov. 1975.

Sena Parishad made all out efforts for political support to fight any impending catastrophe.

Sena Parishad decided to discuss the conspiracy issue with the patriotic leaders of different political parties who could be taking confidence.

The problem was discussed with Toha bhai of Sammyya Badi Dal, Mahboob of Sarbahara Party, Maj. Jalil of JSB and Col. Taher of Gano Bahini. They all assured to fight united against any counter revolutionary move sponsored by the Indo-Soviet axis.

After knowing all the details Col. Taher also agreed that at that crucial time any move against Maj. Gen. Zia must be considered counter revolutionary, as there was no alternative to Maj. Gen. Zia for reorganizing the army. Moreover at any national crisis his personality and image would be of utmost importance for the unity of the army and even the nation. Therefore he had to be protected at any cost to achieve the objectives of the 15th August revolution. He further said if Brig. Khaled finally made a move then for the greater interest of the nation he and his Gono Bahani will be ready to join hands with the Sana Parishad and others to fight back. If necessary to foil such conspiracy another armed revolution might have to be organized. That day we were discussing as comrades in arms. We were talking with full trust and confidence. He was not only talking as the leader of any political party but as a tested friend. We could feel in him the spirit of a true nationalist and a patriot. Like a true freedom fighter with all seriousness and genuine concern. The selfless dedication, which inspired us one day to attempt our escape togather from Pakistan to join the liberation war, once again prevailed on us to take a solemn oath that we would fight, united as one to protect the national interest against any nefarious design. There might have been differences in our ideologies and way to go about but that was not above the national interest. For the cause of the country and the nation we were one. We decided to take necessary steps to prepare Sena Parishad and Gano Bahini to face any eventuality shoulder to shoulder. We also decided to maintain uninterrupted contact to exchange information and to discuss development of events secretly.