Systematic campaign against Hindus
July 4, 1971
HINDUS ARE TARGETS OF ARMY TERROR IN FARIDPUR
The Pakistan army painted big yellow "H" on the Hindu shops in Faridpur town to identify the properties of the minority population which it made its special targets, reported the New York Times correspondent Sydney H Schanberg.
Members of the Muslim majority - who, though not exempt from the army's terror, felt safer than the Hindus - painted on their homes and shops such signs as "All Moslem House". The small community of Christians, mostly Baptists, put crosses on their doors and stitched crosses in red thread on their clothes, he added.
Schanberg informed that an undetermined number of Faridpur's 10,000 Hindus was killed and others had fled across the border to India.
"Some Hindus are returning to Faridpur but it is not out of faith about a change in heart by the army but rather out of despair. They do not want to live as displaced persons in India and they feel that nowhere in East Pakistan is really safe for them, so they would rather be unsafe in their own town," commented the New York Times correspondent.
He further reported that the campaign against the Hindus was systematic. Soldiers fanned through virtually every village asking where the Hindus lived. Hindu property had been confiscated and either sold or given to "loyal" citizens. The army had given weapons to large numbers of the Biharis, and it is they who often continued the killing of Hindus in areas where the army eased off. Hindu bank accounts were frozen. Almost no Hindu students or teachers returned to the schools.
PAK-UK RELATIONS SHARPLY DETERIORATED
Pakistan's relations with Britain sharply deteriorated during the last two weeks of June, 1971, and there was speculation in the Pakistani press that a break in diplomatic relations could occur.
Pakistan charged Britain with having sided with the Indians, providing them with diplomatic, moral and economic support in its dispute with Pakistan over the war.
The Pakistan government instructed its high commissioner in London to resign the vice presidency of the Royal Commonwealth Society of London. The gesture was in protest against the airing of anti-Pakistan propaganda by the society, Pakistan said.
Pakistan's anger at Britain was partly the result of London's view that continued aid to Pakistan should be contingent on a satisfactory political solution in East Pakistan.
INDIA DENIES CHARGES
The Indian defense ministry said today it had no knowledge of any attacks by Indian Air Force planes on East Pakistani territory. The spokesman termed Pakistan's charges of attacks as "totally unfounded".
Earlier, Pakistan protested to India that the Indian Air Force attacked a village in East Pakistan.
According to the Pakistani complaint, four Indian fighters and one armed helicopter penetrated six miles into East Pakistan on July 3 shortly after noon and strafed the town of Amarkhana in Dinajpur district. The Pakistanis said the town was shelled later in the day by Indian mortar batteries. The government statement did not mention casualties or damage.
POLITICAL SETTLEMENT ONLY WAY OUT
The former commonwealth secretary Bottomley, who returned to London after visiting India and Pakistan as the leader of a three-member British Parliamentary delegation, said today that General Tikka Khan understood nothing about the economic and social problems in East Bengal. He said there could be no return to normality until there was a political settlement with East Bengal.
Shamsuddoza Sajen is a journalist and researcher. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org