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...They were demanding autonomy. Dhaka was in the grip of martial law. The East Pakistani Bengalis wanted to run their own lives. The late 1960s, when Pakistan included Bangladesh, were a time of great turbulence in South Asia. Many of us experienced this; few could ever return to calmer times preceding it. Dhaka was in the violent grip of martial law. They were demanding autonomy from the dominant non-Bengali military government of Pakistan. There were mass protests everyday on the city’s streets. Peaceful Bengali protesters were shot by the army, which also imposed harsh curfews, keeping citizens on the edge. Dhaka, being the capital of East Pakistan, bore the brunt of this military oppression. As a young doctor and aspiring traveller, I had come to Dhaka airport in a hiatus of deceptive calmness, for the curfew was off for now. I was to fly to Karachi from where Pan American Airways would take me to New York via Beirut, Frankfurt and London. . ...Indian Express on Dec. 20, 2016, 12:04 a.m.