Washington Star/Evening Star

May 09 1971

India's Concern Grows Over Bengal Problem

By Kuldip Nayar

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NEW DELHI.-When the Indian parliament unanimously adopted a resolution recording its "sympathy and support" to the people of East Pakistan in their struggle to secede from Pakistan, New Delhi thought it had done enough. But now-six weeks later-it realizes that the mere expression of sympathy is not enough from the secessionists' viewpoint. The Bangla Desh government which Bengalis of East Pakistan have established needs arms to sustain their struggle.

As the Pakistan army spreads to the country side after establishing firm control over the urban areas, the demand for weapons is by the secessionists is becoming desperate. New Delhi's problem is that direct help may involve it beyond the point of no return. War between India and Pakistan would then become inevitable, with the possibility of the world powers, particularly Russia and China, being sucked in.

The soundings made by Indian envoys abroad make it evident that all countries advise New Delhi to avoid all activity that might lead to a conflagration in the subcontinent. In the absence of positive response from the world powers, India does not want to complicate matters. But it is worried that the pro-India Awami League could lose its control to radicals.

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