fifty years ago September 20, 1971 Archives

Secret Pak. directive on visitors

An official directive on how to manipulate foreign visitors to East Bengal has been issued under a “secret” classification to information officials by the Pakistan Government, it was reported to-day [London, September 19]. The Sunday Times said it had received a photocopy of the directive giving detailed guidance on the handling of journalists and other important visitors from abroad. The newspaper quoted the directive as saying that when a visitor wanted to visit a camp for refugees (who had returned from India), officials would make sure of having a crowd by delaying the normal dispersal of the refugees to other areas. Foreigners who wanted to check stories about army attempts to eliminate intellectuals at Dacca University following its intervention in the east in March could be allowed to see people there but only if the visitors were dependable. Security arrangements should be unobtrusive and there should be no overdisplay of military personnel according to the directive. Important visitors should also be encouraged to visit some of the scenes of massacre of non-Bengalis. They should be encouraged to visit the refugee camps of Mymensingh and listen to their tales of woe, the directive was reported as saying.

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