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Pressure on India won’t work: Indira

December 2, 1971


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Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi declared today that it did not worry India at all as to who called her aggressor when she had not committed any aggression.

Making an obvious reference to the latest newspaper comments in London that Britain might describe India as an aggressor, Indira said, "Times have passed when any nation sitting three or four thousand miles away could give orders to Indians on the basis of their colour superiority to do as they wished. India has changed, and she is no more a country of natives."

"If any country thinks that by calling us aggressor it can pressurise us to forget our national interest, then that country is living in its own paradise and it is welcome to enjoy that," she added.

Referring to Pakistan's effort to get UN observers in East Pakistan, Indira said she did not know what useful purpose these observers could serve in the present situation. She added that the idea of posting observers to East Pakistan was to check the activities of the Mukti Bahini. But they were forgetting that all the checks and controls in Vietnam failed to stop the guerilla activities. "I do not know how observers can function when it is made plain by the Bangladesh government that it cannot guarantee their safety," Indira commented.

She further said, "There is a charge that India is allowing the Mukti Bahini to operate from her soil. How can we check it? Our border with East Pakistan is so long that even if India deployed her entire army, it would not be able to stop them." 


Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was in excellent health, reported UNI quoting Pakistan president Yahya Khan.

US Senator William B Saxbe told newsmen before leaving for Karachi en route to Bombay that he met president Yahya today and asked that he be allowed to see if Mujib was still alive, but the request was turned down. 


Pakistan People's Party leader Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto today sharply attacked the seven-party united front as a gap apparently widened between the two groups which president Yahya had sought to combine.

"They have formed a bogus coalition," said Bhutto in reference to the United Coalition Party (UCP) headed by the Pakistan Democratic Party chairman Nurul Amin who was widely regarded as the major candidate for prime ministership in a civilian regime promised by the military.


A United Nations spokesperson said today that secretary-general Thant wished "to have action by a major organ" of the UN before sending international observers to the borders of East Pakistan.

The statement was the first public explanation why the secretary-general had opted to take no direct action on Pakistan's request for observers, which was delivered on November 29, 1971.

Thant relayed the request to the president of the UN Security Council, whose members had been privately considering draft resolutions concerning the Indian‐Pakistani conflict.

However, Western diplomats said that the Council seemed unlikely to act unless the situation deteriorates further.

Shamsuddoza Sajen is a journalist and researcher. He can be contacted at