Yahya-Podgorny meeting in Iran
October 16, 1971
YAHYA CUTS SHORT IRAN VISIT
Pakistan President Yahya Khan returned today from Tehran after cutting short his stay for the Iranian anniversary celebration.
It was reported that the Pakistan president had a talk with Soviet Premier Nikolai Podgorny in Iran. Radio Pakistan said Podgorny expressed concern over the situation in the subcontinent. It also claimed that the Soviet premier "expressed the Soviet Union's keen interest in the unity and integrity of Pakistan". The Pakistani president, according to Pakistan Radio, told Podgorny that he was prepared to withdraw from the "defensive positions" at the border if India withdrew forces and stopped aiding the Bangladesh guerillas.
'DESPERATE' SITUATION IN EAST PAKISTAN
The Washington Post reported that there had been some progress on humanitarian relief in East Pakistan but none on the political and military sides. Quoting UN sources, the paper said the situation remained "desperate".
It further reported that 47 speakers in the annual UN general debate called for political reconciliation but none moved to put the problem on the agenda of the General Assembly or the Security Council. UN officials, according to the Washington Post, suggested two causes: "One was collective fatigue from involvement in Chinese representation and the Middle East conflict and other was fear of involvement in a great power conflict."
The newspaper commented that private consultations showed Soviet backing for India and American leanings towards Pakistan, and the Security Council, therefore, refused even to endorse the UN Secretary General U Thant's expression of concern regarding the situation in East Pakistan.
'INDIA FULLY PREPARED'
The Union Defence Minister of India Jagjivan Ram said India was fully prepared to deal firmly with any possible military adventure by Pakistan on the border. He gave this assurance at the meeting of Congress Central Parliamentary Board where the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her senior colleagues attended. The meeting reviewed the developing border situation in view of massive troop movements and war-like posture by Pakistan against India.
ON THE WAR FRONT
In the Rangpur-Dinajpur-Rajshahi sector, Mukti Bahini today raided Pakistani troops at Bhurungamari. In this action three enemy soldiers were killed and 18 wounded. Another group of Mukti Bahini launched a mortar attack on Pakistani soldiers near Bhowalganj and inflicted 17 casualties on the enemy. On the same day, Mukti Bahini exchanged fire with Pakistani soldiers near Karia and killed 10 enemy troops. Mukti Bahini also blew up the railway line between Hili and Panchbibi. In another operation, Mukti Bahini ambushed a mixed Pakistani patrol near Muradpur. Five Pakistani soldiers including a captain were killed in this action.
In the Dhaka-Cumilla-Chattogram sector, Mukti Bahini today launched a mortar attack on the occupation troops in Saldhar area. In this action eight enemy soldiers were killed and two bunkers of the enemy were destroyed.
In the Kushtia-Jashore-Khulna sector, Mukti Bahini today killed 3 enemy soldiers and 7 Razakars in an exchange of fire with the occupation troops in Shejalu area.
Shamsuddoza Sajen is a journalist and researcher. He can be contacted at email@example.com