New York Times

June 30 1971


East Pakistani Economy Badly Hurt as Most Transport Is Crippled

By Sydney H. Schanberg

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DACCA, PAKISTAN, June 26. - Food scarcities are becoming serious in parts of East Pakistan, cash is short in rural areas, jute factories are badly crippled and key road and rail communications continue to be disrupted by guerrillas.

Nonetheless, most foreign economic experts here are convinced that the government is willing, at least for the immediate future, to pay the severe economic price of supporting its army's occupation of the eastern region, which has been badly damaged during the effort to suppress the Bengali autonomy movement.

Informed foreign sources report that their field trips have turned tip food shortages in some areas that could become grave unless the disrupted transportation system improved markedly.

One problem area is the northwest, normally a rice- surplus region that supplies neighboring districts. The Foreign economists say the northwest is desolate, with few farmers visible. Most have apparently fled to India to escape the Pakistani Army, which has been trying to suppress the Bengalis since March 25.


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