Admiral Ahsan Mission

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Ahsan's Formula (or the Admiral Ahsan Mission) was a peace initiative mission dispatched by the Pakistani government to East Pakistan in early 1971.[1]: 102–103  The mission was led by Vice-Admiral Syed Mohammad Ahsan, then-governor of East Pakistan and commander of the army in the Eastern Theatre, to work out a peace initiative to end the political crises in east Pakistan.[1]: 109–110 

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.[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, 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.[1]: 102 

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.[1]: 102  Civil servants from Pakistan stationed in East would repatriated to Pakistan and the national assets would equally be divided between East and West Pakistan.[1]: 102  The proposal was met with strong support from the international community and India fell in line though reluctant.[1]: 102 

The formula was supported by the political leaders of West Pakistan, with the exception of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and by the international community, including, reluctantly, India.: 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.[3]

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 (1991). Prepare Or Perish: A Study of National Security. Lancer Publishers. p. 156. ISBN 9788172120016.
  3. ^ Ahmed, Moudud (1979). Bangladesh: constitutional quest for autonomy, 1950-1971. University Press. pp. 206–207. ISBN 3515029087.