U.S. National Archives

September 15 1971


Subj: Refugee and East Pakistan Relief

Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in India

Foreign Relations of the United States
Volume X1
South Asia Crisis, 1971

By William Rogers

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Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, REF PAK. Secret; Exdis. Drafted on September 14 by Quainton; cleared by C. Herbert Rees, Director of the Office of South Asian Affairs (AID/NESA); and approved by Irwin. Repeated to Islamabad, London, Moscow, USUN, Calcutta, and Dacca.

Washington, September 15, 1971, 2005Z.

169506. Subj: Refugee and East Pakistan Relief.

1. Summary: Under Secretary Irwin called in Indian Ambassador Jha September 13 for general review of current relief situation in India and East Pakistan. Under Secretary stressed importance of India and US working together toward common goal of averting famine in East Pakistan. He expressed hope that GOI would publicly indicate its support for neutral UN relief effort and would use its influence with Bangla Desh leadership to persuade it to support UN relief on Bangla Desh Radio and to avoid guerrilla activities aimed at relief personnel. Under Secretary pointed to dangers of increased guerrilla activity, Indian support therefore and increase of tension flowing from precautionary actions taken by both India and Pakistan. Jha said ultimate solution of refugee problem rested on an East Bengali government which the refugees would trust. Under Secretary also raised with Jha desirability of some kind of verification system to determine number of refugees and their needs. Jha indicated GOI did not wish to see starvation in East Pakistan, and suggested that USG and other countries approach Bangla Desh representatives on subject of relief. Jha reacted negatively to verification proposal which appeared to impugn veracity of GOI. End summary.


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