India derides UN proposal for ceasefire
December 8, 1971
INDIA DISPUTES US, UN
A senior Indian spokesman today disputed statements by a White House spokesman that Indian military intervention in East Pakistan had foiled American efforts to persuade the Bangalee "insurgents" and the Pakistan authorities to reach a political settlement.
The Washington statements are "contrary to facts and without understanding of the situation," the official said. "To say that the Government of India hindered any peace efforts is totally wrong," he added. He said the proposals the United States had made for a political settlement were neither new nor realistic.
Indian delegates also derided today the General Assembly's call for a cease-fire in the war with Pakistan and indicated India would not obey it. Samar Sen, the chief Indian delegate, said, "The Assembly, as usual, is extremely noble in adhering to principles, but not very realistic."
The Pakistani delegation expressed strong reservations about the terms proposed by the General Assembly. A Pakistani delegate said, "It's up to India to stop; they are aggressors."
In a speech to the Assembly, Agha Shahi of Pakistan, referring to the resolution's call for "efforts to bring about conditions necessary for the voluntary return of the East Pakistan refugees to their homes," said his government refused to negotiate with Bangalee rebels.
Although the resolution received overwhelming support from the members of the General Assembly, it was not binding on the combatants.
BANGLADESH URGES FOR RECOGNITION
Humayun Rashid Choudhury, Bangladesh mission chief in New Delhi, in a letter addressed to all heads of diplomatic missions, urged them to accept the realities and accord recognition to the new People's Republic of Bangladesh. He personally met the envoys of Hungary and Poland today to urge their government's recognition to the new republic.
In a memorandum presented today to US President Nixon, his Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger informed, "the consensus among veteran military observers and reporters is that the end of the Pak Army's effective resistance may come sooner than expected".
"The CIA estimates that the Indians and guerrillas now probably control about half of the province and are progressively isolating the Pak Army as they gain control of strategic points. Our consul general in Dacca comments that the 'noose is obviously getting tighter'," he added.
Referring to CIA's review of China's military position, Henry Kissinger commented that the Chinese were not militarily prepared for major and sustained involvement in the Indo-Pak war.
ON THE WAR FRONT
Comilla and Brahmanbaria was captured by Mitro Bahini today. A number of other places—including Magura, Elliotganj, Natundaha, Dangapra—had also fallen in other parts of Bangladesh.
Fighting in the western frontier also intensified, although India had not yet launched a major counter-offensive. The Pakistanis mounted two substantial drives into Kashmir. There was fighting to the south on the Punjab plain. The Indians had, however, penetrated at least 15 miles into West Pakistan in the direction of Karachi. Both sides continued to make air strikes on the western front, but neither yet gained the upper hand.
An Indian spokesman claimed that Indian fighter‐bombers had knocked out nine Pakistani tanks today and that Pakistani losses had been "severe." He termed Indian casualties "moderate."
All merchant ships docked in Bangladesh ports had been warned not to move out in view of operations by the Indian Navy off the Bangladesh ports.
Shamsuddoza Sajen is a journalist and researcher. He can be contacted at email@example.com