Disengagement of troops on border
India and Pakistan to-day [January 22, New Delhi] formulated an agreed plan for disengagement of troops along the India-Pakistan border. This was announced at the end of a two-hour meeting between General J.N. Chaudhuri, Chief of Staff, Indian Army, and General Mohammed Musa, Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army. A brief joint Statement issued at the end of the meeting of the Army Chiefs said that the agreement on disengagement of troops “also took into account reduction of tension in both the western and eastern sectors.” It was also announced that there will be a second round of talks between Gen. Musa and Gen. Chaudhuri. They are likely to meet in Pakistan about the second week of February. General Musa, accompanied by General Chaudhuri; also called on the Defence Minister, Mr. Y.B. Chavan, and the President, Dr. Radhakrishnan. Under the Tashkent Declaration the Prime Minister of India and the President of Pakistan have agreed that all armed personnel of the two countries shall be withdrawn not later than February 25, 1966, to the positions they held prior to August 5, 1965 and both sides shall observe the cease-fire terms.
Opportunity to regain India’s trust
The predominant note at last night’s [January 21] Shastri Memorial meeting at the Albert Hall — London’s largest public hall — was that the occasion, sad as it was, should be regarded a symbolic of a “new feeling of trust and friendship between the Indian and British peoples.” Loud Mountbatten, who used this phrase, was echoing what other speakers said, but he was the only one to recognise openly that Indo-British relations were not as good as they might be. “For the first time” he said, I found a change in the attitude to this country. People were feeling disappointed and sad that we had drifted apart” (Lord Mountbatten visited Delhi to attend Mr. Shastri’s funeral). With a new Prime Minister who know this country well he added, “There is a renewed opportunity to re-establish the feelings of trust and sympathy and confidence which have been such a feature of Indo-British relations in the recent past.” Mr. Harold Wilson, who was the first to address the meeting after the Chairman, said that Mr. Shastri had not spared himself in the service of his country, and his name would live “as a challenge and an inspiration”.
30 million in dire distress
Thirty million people in India are facing “dire distress” at present in getting food. This estimate has been made by the Union Food Ministry on the basis of information received from different States. This situation is reported to be prevailing in parts of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Mysore. A tem of U.S. officials is arriving in Delhi on January 23 to assess the extent “dire distress” for an outright grant of foodgrains to people in the affected areas. It is learnt that the U.S. Administration has asked the Government of India to take the assistance of the U.S. Peace Corps for distribution of American food gifts.