May 11, 1971
SWISS HELP TO REPATRIATE STAFF ACCEPTED
India and Pakistan agreed to accept Swiss help to repatriate their respective mission staff from Dhaka and Calcutta. This was the first time the two governments accepted a mediation offer by a third country for resolving the deadlock.
The latest development indicated that Pakistan had given a rebuff to the Soviet Union which, on May 5, had kept ready two Soviet planes at Tashkent to transport Indian and Pakistani personnel from Dhaka and Calcutta respectively.
The main purpose of the use of the good offices of the Swiss was to help resolve the dispute between Pakistan and Bangladesh missions in Calcutta headed respectively by Mahdi Masud and Hossain Ali. The problems arose over the insistence by Masud that he must interview individually every one of about 70 members of the Pakistan deputy high commission in Calcutta who gave up their loyalty to Pakistan in favour of Bangladesh, in order to find out how many of them wanted to be repatriated to Pakistan.
It was Pakistan who first approached Switzerland for this after the country had decided to deliver a riposte to the Soviet Union indirectly.
WEEKLY JAI BANGLA STARTS OFF
The first issue of Weekly Jai Bangla, the publicity organ of the Bangladesh government in exile at Mujibnagar, was published today. The Bangla weekly aimed at highlighting the progress of the war, success and achievements of the freedom fighters, creating world opinion in favour of the liberation of Bangladesh, and thereby enlisting international support in favour of the cause.
The Jai Bangla was sponsored by the Department of Publication, Information, Radio and Cinema of the Bangladesh government in exile. Abdul Mannan MNA in charge of the department was vested with the responsibility of overall management and publication of the paper.
BANGLADESH ENVOY ON WORLD MISSION
An envoy of the Bangladesh government today left Calcutta on a tour of Europe, the Soviet Union and the US to represent the cause of the newborn republic. The envoy, who would first attend the International Peace Conference at Budapest, would visit London and Moscow before going to New York to meet delegations of different countries at the United Nations. The envoy carried a special message from Bangladesh Prime Minister Tajuddin Ahmad and acting president Syed Nazrul Isalm to heads of different states. He also carried photographs and films on military atrocities in Bangladesh. The tour was expected to last about a month.
RELIEF AIRLIFT PROPOSED
Senator Edward M Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, called today for an immediate international "mercy mission and airlift" to Bangladesh. He warned that within a month the condition of about 72 million Bangladeshis would become "acute."
Edward Kennedy was the lead‐off witness at a two‐day hearing on Pakistan before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs.
UN RELIEF TEAM VISITS REFUGEE CAMPS
The three-member team of UN refugee relief organisation visited Agartala today to assess the needs of the refugees from Bangladesh who had taken shelter in Tripura. The mission would visit Sabroom tomorrow where about 150,000 refugees are concentrated from the Chittagong area. About 500,000 refugees so far arrived in Tripura.
Shamsuddoza Sajen is a journalist and researcher. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org