Times (London)

August 01 1971

EDITORIAL: Cholera - what price world sympathy ?

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“An appalling error has led to an appalling tragedy.” That was how The Sunday Times, six weeks ago, described the Pakistan Government’s decision to quell with bullets the democratically expressed wish of the East Pakistan Bengalis for a wide measure of autonomy. True then, the words are even more gruesomely true today. The horror mounts steadily, as disease grips the Pakistani refugees in India and the onset of the monsoon draws nearer. In the shadow of a tragedy of these dimensions, the pace of international efforts at aid and relief seem, and are, maddeningly slow. Nor does the conscience of the world appear to unduly disturbed by this human disaster. U Thant’s appeal for contributions towards $ 175 million, the amount calculated by India as necessary to sustain for six months the refugees from East Pakistan, has so far met with a mediocre response. Britain’s pledge of £1 million, made with commendable promptness, is the very minimum due from the ex¬-ruler of the subcontinent.

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