Daily Telegraph (London)

June 29 1971


EDITORIAL: East Pakistan’s Future

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President Yahya Khan’s constitutional plans after the upheavals in East Pakistan are accompanied by grim reports of the situation in that crucified province. It is now several weeks since he held out the prospect of finding enough representative East Pakistanis to set up a provincial administration and co-operate somehow with West Pakistani politicians to form a civilian national Government. He must have been deplorably out of touch with what was and had been, going on, and now sets more modest and distant goals.

That he rules out fresh elections goes without saying. It is the tragedy of this well-meaning man, and a sobering reflection for the ardent reformers, that the first genuinely free elections, courageously implemented by him resulted in bloodbath that followed. First the general breakdown of law and order. Then the mob murdering West Pakistanis. Then the civil war with Western troops proceeding with brutality, 0ften with savagery, against independence fighters and liberal politicians alike. And fourthly the massacre of East Bengali Hindus by East Bengali Moslems, with the army tolerating, abetting or participating.


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