New York Times

August 01 1971

Editorial: Himalayan Confrontation?

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Pakistan's role as the jumping off point for Dr. Henry Kissinger's recent secret flight to Peking may help explain though not to excuse — the Administration's shocking support for the Yahya Khan Government during the first few months of the vicious military crackdown in East Pakistan. But now that the door to China has been opened, it is impossible to excuse or explain Washington's continuing supply of arms to Islamabad and Its persisting ambiguity in the face of a deepening tragedy that threatens to erupt before the year is out into major international conflict.

Reports from Pakistan indicate that President Yahya and his military supporters are still determined to pursue their policy of military repression in the East, having failed to rally any significant number of Bengali politicians to their side. President Yahya has threatened to try in a secret military court and possibly to execute Sheikh Mujibar Rahman, the imprisoned Bengali leader who remains the best hope for a political settlement of the civil conflict.

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