Christian Science Monitor

June 30 1971


A Step Toward Conciliation

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At this stage the extent of the physical and political damage done by the Pakistan Army's repressive measures in the unhappy province of East Bengal is still immeasurable.

And President Yahya Khan's long overdue effort at conciliation, announced in his speech to the nation June 28, will not be sufficient in itself to heal the wounds.

Much more will be needed in practical ways that the bewildered people of East Bengal can understand. The physical damage must be repaired, relief allowed to get through to where it is needed. And above all a sense of security must be achieved so that at least a substantial number of the six million refugees who fled across the bor-der to India Will feel encouraged to return to their homes.

In his speech President Yahya ruled out the possibility of new elections to replace the National Assembly elected with such high hopes last year. He announced that the task of drafting a new constitution would be removed from the assembly and given to a special commission. The assembly, he said, would meet for the first time when the constitution is complete in about four months' time.


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