Times (London)

August 01 1971


EDITORIAL: Cholera - what price world sympathy ?

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On the longer term prospect of enabling the refugees to return home - which means in practice withdrawal of the West Pakistan army from East Pakistan and a large measure of autonomy for the eastern province - there is a strong argument for withholding foreign economic assistance from Pakistan until the military rulers in the western wing see reason. This is the only substantial lever available against President Yahya Khan and his misguided advisers. It is one which, at the moment when the Pakistan economy is reeling under the impact of civil war, could really be made to bite.

Foreign aid to Pakistan is for the most part channeled through a consortium, so that the maximum effect would obviously be achieved if all the governments represented on the consortium were to act together. This is what the Indian Government is now apparently suggesting, privately, and its attitude is fully understandable. Naturally they have no wish permanently to absorb 4 or 5 million East Pakistan Bengalis, with all the possible political, social and economic repercussions.


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