New York Times

June 30 1971


Editorial: Why Aid Pakistan

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The decision to continue economic aid puts the United States in defiance of the World Bank and the eleven- nation Aid to Pakistan Consortium, which has decided informally to refrain from making new aid commitments to Islamabad at this time. The Nixon Administration repeatedly in the past has indicated its policy would be to channel more and more United States aid through such international means in order to avoid the kind of unilateral decision it is now making in respect to Pakistan.

Administration officials say they opposed the consortium decision because it amounts to using aid as a political instrument. But at the same time they argue the United States must continue aid in order to gain leverage to persuade President Yahya Khan to seek a political solution in the East. They can't have it both ways.

Perpetuation of American aid to Pakistan is not, in fact, likely to help persuade the military regime there to move toward restoration of genuine democratic government any more than continuing American support for the Athens junta has helped restore democratic rights to the Greek people. It will, however, put the United States in the untenable position of underwriting policies of repression, which have led to the ruthless and continuing slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Bengalis in East Pakistan. These policies have already driven more than six million East Pakistanis into exile in India where their presence creates grave political, social and economic tensions and a rising threat of domestic and even international conflict.


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