In the Pakistani general election, 1970 under the military government of President Yahya Khan, the largest political party Awami League led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman won a clear majority. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto conspired with Yahya Khan and changed their position, refusing to hand over power Sheikh Mujib. Negotiations began but Sheikh Mujib was not trusted by the ruling Punjabi leadership let alone the Pakistan establishment, in spite of Mujib’s efforts. When it became clear that promises given earlier were not going to followed through, the whole nation of Bangla-speaking Muslims and Hindus of East Pakistan began a spirited struggle for independence. On 7 March 1971 Sheikh Mujib gave his famous speech at the Ramna Race course where he called for a non-cooperation movement.
Pakistan Urdu- and Punjabi-speaking personnel rounded up Bangla-speaking armed forces officers, NCOs, and enlisted personnel. Forced disappearances went rampant. On the evening of 25 March in an interview with David Frost, Sheikh Mujib still called out openly for negotiation and a united Pakistan. That night the Pakistan Army spilled out to the streets killing and started Operation Searchlight. It was official, they were not ready for a peaceful transfer of political power to the Awami League led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.