Daily Telegraph (London)

June 29 1971

EDITORIAL: East Pakistan’s Future

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Official assurances, before the Press was allowed back into East Pakistan, that conditions were well on the way back to normal were rudely shattered last week by the first cable from Dacca. The situation in Chittagong is now shown to be rather worse. No wonder the Parliamentary delegation could not honestly encourage the six million refugees to return.

President Yahya, dropping the Constituent Assembly, has set up a committee to draft a constitution for a return to + 'civilian rule in four months or so—but longer if the internal and external situation is not propitious. There seems little hope that either will be. He praises the Army for its suppression of the threatened secession, and while promising maximum provincial autonomy, makes it clear that central control will be much stronger than if the compromise rejected by Sheikh Mujib, the Eastern leader, who won the election and is now in prison. Evidently East Pakistan is to be treated as a kind of colony. How much self-rule it gets will depend on how it accepts its lot.

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