When the Indian sub-continent gained independence from Britain in 1947, it was partitioned according to religion. West Bengal became part of India while East Bengal elected to join Pakistan as East Pakistan. The province, however, was separated from West Pakistan physically and ethnically. Differences became unmanageable when East Pakistan’s Awami League, campaigning for greater autonomy, won the majority of seats in the federal parliament in Dec. 1970. There was civil war from March to Dec. 1971. With the help of Indian troops, the Pakistani forces were defeated and the East broke away as an independent state to become the Republic of Bangladesh. The constitution of 1972 provided parliamentary democracy but in Jan. 1975 the president banned political parties. There followed a succession of coups until 1991 when democratic parliamentary elections were held. Continuing unrest reflected the increasing strength of Islamic fundamentalism.
KeywordsCommercial Bank Goat Milk High Commissioner Parliamentary Democracy Bangladesh Bureau
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