After the end of British rule, Cox's Bazar remained part of East Pakistan. Captain Advocate Fazlul Karim, the first Chairman (after independence from the British) of Cox's Bazar municipality established the Tamarisk Forest along the beach to draw tourism to the town and also to protect the beach from tide. He also donated many of his father in law's (Akbar Ahmed Chowdhury, son of Fazlul Karim Kwik of Manikpur) and his own lands for establishing a Public Library and Town Hall. In 1971, the wharf was used as a naval port by the Pakistan Navy's gunboats. This and the nearby airstrip of the Pakistan Air Force were the scene of intense shelling by the Indian Navy during the Bangladesh Liberation War.
In 1984 Cox's Bazar was made a District.