The assassination of Bangladesh's founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975 had sparked fear in India and the US about the rise of Islamist militancy in the country, declassified American documents from the Nixon presidency have revealed.
“The religious extremism rattling the nation now was a prospect India and the US had feared soon after the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” the Daily Star newspaper said quoting the documents.
The worries were reflected in a conversation between Henry Kissinger, the powerful US Secretary of State in President Richard Nixon's administration and Indian External Affairs Minister YB Chavan.
In conversation with US officials, Kissinger said: “I always knew India would rue the day that they made Bangladesh independent. I predicted that in ’71.”
The document also discussed any prior indication about the plot to kill Sheikh Mujib. An assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern and South Asian affairs is quoted saying: “He (Mujib) brushed it off, scoffed at it, and said nobody would do a thing like that to him." Kissinger remarked, "He (Mujib) was one of the world's prize fools."