fifty years ago July 29, 1971 Archives

From the Archives (July 29, 1971): India will resist ‘twist’ to Bangla Desh problem

The External Affairs Minister, Mr. Swaran Singh, to-day warned that any attempt by any party or country “to twist the Bangla Desh problem into an Indo-Pakistani issue will be strongly resisted by India.” “We will not fall into this trap,” he said, while replying to questions in the Rajya Sabha to-day [New Delhi, July 28]. India had made its position very clear to the U.N. Secretary-General, U Thant, as well as to the Ambassadors representing the member countries of the Security Council and several other important members. “I feel that our position is understood by these countries,” he said. Mr. Swaran Singh told the House that the U.N. Secretary-General had not suggested the convening of a meeting of the Secretary Council formally or informally to consider the Bangla Desh situation. He also denied that the Secretary-General had tried to equate India and Pakistan on the issue. “Any such equation is opposed to facts and we have rejected it totally,” he added. What was needed now, he said, was that attention should be diverted and concentrated in creating conditions in Bangla Desh which should stop the refugees from coming to India and enable those who were in India to go back in safety and security. He said the Government of India had also made its position very clear that any suggestion to post additional U.N. observers in India and Pakistan was “an entirely wrong approach to the problem.”

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