Admiral Ahsan Mission

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Ahsan's Formula (or an Admiral Ahsan Mission) was a fact-finding expedition and peace initiative mission dispatched by the Pakistani government to East Pakistan in early 1971.:103-102[1] The mission was led by Vice-Admiral Syed Mohammad Ahsan, then-Governor of East Pakistan and commander of the East-Pakistani military, with the support from his chief of staff Lieutenant-General Yaqub Ali Khan to investigate the prelude causes of the civil war progress and to workout a peace initiative to end the political crises in the East Pakistan to avoid international humiliation of Pakistan.:109–110[1]

The mission came in the wake of increasingly strained and difficult foreign relations between Pakistan and East Pakistan since the civil unrest had gripped East Pakistan as Awami League's demonstrations and demands for the provincial autonomy against Pakistan's central administration after the general elections held in 1970.:156[2] Following the violent raids in Dhaka University by the East-Pakistani police supported by the military stationed in East, and ultimatum issued by India to intervene in the conflict, the Pakistan had authorized Admiral Ahsan to carry out the investigations into a possible Indian intervention through a cable communication to work out a possible peace solution to end violence in East.:102[1][3]

The recommendations based on the studies were roughly based on six-point movement proposed by the Awami League in 1969 and called for:

The Mission also called for Pakistan becoming a co-federation with Yahya Khan as President with Mujib being the Prime Minister of East while Bhutto being Prime Minister of Pakistan.:102[1] Civil servants from Pakistan stationed in East would repatriated to Pakistan and the national assets would equally be divided between East and West Pakistan.:102[1] The proposal was met with strong support from the international community and India fell in line though reluctant.:102[1]

The mission was met with support from the President Yahya Khan, opposition leaders Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the international community while India fell in line despite criticising Pakistan.:102[1] However, the Mission was not supported by the military elements in the Yahya administration who debated acrimoniously over the scope of the mission's recommendations among the advisors in Yahya administration.:206–207[4] Eventually, the mission studies and recommendations at the National Security Council cabinet meeting were vetoed and no further study missions were directed to the East Pakistan.:122–137[5]

By the fall of 1971, the mission's recommendations were bypassed with Admiral Ahsan submitting his resignation and posted back to Pakistan, followed by the resignation of Lieutenant-General Yaqub Ali Khan.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Ehtisham, S. Akhtar (1998). A Medical Doctor Examines Life on Three Continents: A Pakistani View. Algora Publishing. ISBN 9780875866345. Retrieved 9 December 2016. 
  2. ^ Rao, K. V. Krishna. Prepare Or Perish: A Study of National Security. Lancer Publishers. ISBN 9788172120016. 
  3. ^ Rizvi, Hasan Askari. Internal Strife and External Intervention: India's Role in the Civil War in East Pakistan (Bangladesh). Progressive Publishers. 
  4. ^ Ahmed, Moudud (1979). Bangladesh: constitutional quest for autonomy, 1950-1971. University Press. ISBN 3515029087. 
  5. ^ Bush, Muhammad Yusuf; Jalal, Hamid (1977). Pakistan: Past & Present; a comprehensive study. London: Stacey International. p. 288. ISBN 0950330493. 


  • Salik, PA, Brigadier Siddiq (1997) [First published in 1977]. "§The Man of Honor and Integrity: Admiral Syed Mohammad Ahsan, Unified Commander of Pakistan Armed Forces in East Pakistan". Witness To Surrender. Oxford University Press. pp. 60–90. ISBN 978-0-19-577761-1.