Times (London)

June 29 1971

India warns President Yahya that it will resist his new plan to transfer power in Pakistan

By Peter Hazelhurst

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Delhi, June 28. The crisis in South Asia deepened tonight when the Indian Government and the provisional Government of Bangladesh rejected President Yahya Khan's new ‘formula for the transfer of power' soon after the Pakistan leader made a marathon broadcast to the nation. In short the President announced that a group of experts are to draw up a constitution for Pakistan, the Constituent Assembly will be converted into a national assembly, elected members from the banned Awami League party who were not involved in the acts of "secession" will be allowed to take their seats, and by-elections will be held for vacant seats.

Within minutes of the announcement, Mr. Swaran Singh, the Indian Foreign Minister, told Parliament that the Government of India would reject any makeshift plan for the transfer of power which did not take the elected leader of East Pakistan, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, into account. Mr. Singh said the political events in Pakistan were of vital interest to India's well being because the Government was certain that the six million refugees who have crossed the border recently would only return to their homes if they felt secure and safe. "Those conditions can only be created if the elected representatives of the people, led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, are in power," Mr. Singh added.

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