Yahya will commit suicide: Nixon
July 28, 1971
American President Richard Nixon, his security adviser Henry Kissinger and the US Ambassador to Pakistan Joseph Farland held a discussion today on issues surrounding Bangladesh War.
Ambassador Farland presented a grim picture and said, "If we push [Pakistan President] Yahya [Khan] to the point where he reacts, the reaction will be such that the entire subcontinent will be [in turmoil]."
Nixon commented on this point, "He [Yahya] will commit suicide."
Kissinger added, "They [Indians] think that by, well, if they can undermine East Pakistan then in West Pakistan so many forces would be, will unloosen, will be turned loose that the whole Pakistan issue will disappear. The Indians and West Pakistanis they hate each other."
As to the future course of action, Nixon advised, "Let's not aggravate the problem; let's try to help on the problem -- East Pakistan. And the main thing … let's not stir it up. It's stirred up too much. Inevitably it will be a bloodbath down there."
Ambassador Farland shared that since March 25, 1971 the US had sent over 2,200 rounds of .22 ammunition for survival rifles. He added that 40 to 50 percent of what is in the pipeline was for spare parts for trucks and for communication equipment without which the "starving refugees could not be fed".
He further informed, "Yahya told me that they had pinpointed 29 camps within India where guerrillas were being trained. Now I hate to tell you this, Mr President, but the guerrilla threat is growing by leaps and bounds. They're averaging 18 Pakistanis a day now; they are averaging two bridges a day. Killing that many. And this is [unclear]. And once the refugees get there, they are being prohibited, are prevented from coming back by Indira's own statement. Political accommodation in her book means Bangladesh. This is bad."
The three top officials of the American administration were very unhappy over the activities of American officials posted in India and Dhaka. Nixon reproached, "They're basically pro-Indian. … And they want to believe what the American press is writing. And the Indian press, of course, the American press is the same as the Indian press, follows everything they say."
Ambassador Farland expressed his disgust of Archer Blood, consul general in Dhaka, and Eric Griffel, associate director in charge of AID operations in Dhaka, for blowing the whistle on the Pakistani atrocity. Archer Blood was already called back to Washington. Farland requested Nixon to get rid of Griffel. Nixon added, "Sick bastards."
INDIAN MUSLIMS MISLED
Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra today reported that leaflets in Urdu carrying vicious lies against the people of Bangladesh were being distributed by Pakistani agents in Kolkata. "These leaflets are not only being quoted in a section of Indian Urdu press but some irresponsible editors feel roused enough to publish lurid accounts of imaginary massacres of Urdu-speaking refugees by Bangalee nationalists during the month of March," added the clandestine radio operated by the Bangladesh government-in-exile.
As a result, the radio station said, there were unmistakable indications that a section of Indian Muslims was finding it difficult to sympathise with the suffering millions of Bangladesh.
KENNEDY PLANS TO VISIT BANGLADESHI REFUGEES
American Senator Edward M Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, would visit India and Pakistan soon, shared the senator's office today. Kennedy, who was chairman of the senate judiciary subcommittee on refugees, had received a visa for India. He applied for a visa to Pakistan. Senate sources said Kennedy would seek to inspect the relief programme for 7.1 million Bangladeshi refugees who had fled to India.
Shamsuddoza Sajen is a journalist and researcher. He can be contacted at email@example.com