Washington Post

October 17 1971


Pakistani Plight "Desperate"

By Anthony Astrachan

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According to diplomats here and foreigners in Dacca, prerequisites for the return of refugees are a representative government in Dacca, an end to police and military terror in East Pakistan, and more effective efforts by the Pakistan government to repair the damage of the crisis.

The same sources say these prerequisites have not been met despite promises of amnesty and the revival of political life by President Yahya Khan.

In these circumstances, the return of refugees is too small to be called a trickle, according to sources here.

Observers here recently repeated fears that general war would break out between the two countries. At the same time. they point out that India has so far refused to do either of the things most likely to precipitate a war, perhaps because of restraint from the Soviet Union: It has refused to give de jure recognition to the Bangla Desh "government" in Calcutta, on Indian soil, and it has refused to give the guerrillas the logistic support and air cover that would enable them to seize a piece of East Pakistan territory.


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