On 12 December, the relentless march of the allied forces toward Dhaka continued, with all other towns on the way being liberated one after the other and the flag of Bangladesh raised everywhere. In the liberated areas, the Mujibnagar government lost little time in putting a rudimentary civil administration in place and initiating measures aimed at preventing any slide to chaos in the aftermath of freedom. The recognition accorded to Bangladesh by Bhutan and India had spurred the government on in its finalisation of plans to take charge of the country once Dhaka fell to the joint Indo-Bangladesh command.
Away in Rawalpindi, growing signs of chaos were becoming visible. It was clear that communications between the Yahya Khan junta and the puppet Malek administration in Dhaka were breaking down as a result of the allied advance, with no one sure as to who was in charge. Governor Malek summoned General AAK Niazi to his office and asked for an appraisal of the situation. Niazi broke down, which prompted the Governor to reassure him that the forces under his command had done their best under difficult circumstances. At that point of time, senior Pakistani military officers in Dhaka were in need of assurances from the Indians that all West Pakistani personnel, civilian as well as military, would be repatriated safely to West Pakistan. The military's position was weakening by the hour, with reports of Pakistan's soldiers falling back in different areas of Bangladesh with the advance of the allied forces. Even so, the army was not willing to surrender but wanted a ceasefire. More importantly, it wanted guarantees from the Indian army that in the event of a ceasefire, it would not face any reprisals from the Bengalis. The preceding nine months of the genocide by the army were obviously not about to be forgotten or ignored by the Mukti Bahini and the overall Bengali population.
Meanwhile, Soviet First Deputy Foreign Minister Vasily Kuznetsov was dispatched to Delhi by a worried Alexei Kosygin. Meeting Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's advisor PN Haksar on 12 December, Kuznetsov wanted to know from Haksar about the objectives of the Indian government on the western front. Fears rapidly grew in Rawalpindi, Moscow, Peking and Washington that having smashed the Pakistan army in the east and liberated Bangladesh, the Indian army would continue its march into West Pakistan with the objective of putting an end to what remained of Pakistan. Meanwhile, the Indians had clearly reached the conclusion that before the USS Enterprise could enter the picture in terms of active participation in Pakistan's favour, Delhi would need to achieve faster progress in the east. About the western front, Haksar reassured Kuznetsov that India had no intention of breaking up West Pakistan. On the same day, General Manekshaw sent a number of messages to General Rao Farman Ali, calling for a total surrender of Pakistan's forces in Dhaka. Any more resistance by the Pakistani forces, he warned Farman Ali, would in his words be 'senseless'.
The allied push to Dhaka continued. On the diplomatic front, General Yahya Khan, who had overseen the inauguration of a toothless civilian government led by the Bengali politician Nurul Amin as Prime Minister, with Z.A. Bhutto as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in Rawalpindi, prepared to dispatch Bhutto to New York to speak for Pakistan at the UN Security Council.