Far Eastern Economic Review

July 31 1971

India-Pakistan: Worst of All Worlds

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New Delhi: The evidence of serious deterioration in Indo-Pakistan relations mounts daily. However justified Indian Foreign Minister Swaran Singh's accusations that Pakistan is using - and escalating - tension in order to obscure the basic crisis in East Pakistan, there is no doubt that it is assuming the most serious proportions.

Another violation of airspace, another serious clash between Indian border security forces and West Pakistani troops on the East Pakistan border, and there could be war, if the pointers mean anything. This week UN Secretary General U Thant met ambassadors from both countries and mooted the idea of a security council meeting on the problem. Pakistan charged gross interference, India replied Islamabad had nothing but the Pakistanis' own "mismanagement and. . . oppression" to blame and referred tellingly to the 40,000-a day continuing influx of refugees.

Opinion in India is increasingly behind extreme measures. Defence Minister Jagjivan Ram was hard put to it last week to explain why Pakistani fighters which had allegedly violated Indian airspace in Kashmir were not shot down. He listed 43 previous violations and announced that in future India would open fire.

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