New York Times

May 23 1971

India Seeks Halt In Refugee Flow

Opens Campaigns for World Pressure on Pakistan

By Sydney H. Schanberg

Previous<<< Page 3 of 4 >>>Next


The Indian Government believes-and its ambassadors reportedly have been instructed to convey to foreign Governments that the Pakistani Army is now calculatedly terrorizing certain unwanted elements in the East Pakistan population, such as the minority Hindus, so that they will flee across the border and place grave strains on India's economic and social fabric.

The refugees are about 60 percent Hindu and 40 percent Moslem. From their composition and their accounts of what happened in their villages, it would appear that the army's main targets are students, young people, intellectuals, party workers for the now-banned Awami League and Hindus, who voted strongly for the pro- autonomy Awami League in last December's election and who have always been regarded as pro-India by the West Pakistanis.

Some West Pakistani newspapers have been attempting recently to blame the Hindu vote for setting off the conflict. The papers argue that Hindus should never have been given an equal franchise in an Islamic state. In a statement on the refugees yesterday, Pakistanis President, Agha Mohammed Yahya Khan, said that "bona fide Pakistani citizens are welcome to return to their homes."'

Previous<<< Page 3 of 4 >>>Next

Comments, corrections, contributions to

Back to 1971-05-23 page Homepage