New York Times

August 01 1971


East Pakistan: Shades Of the Vietnam War

By Malcolm W. Browne

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DACCA, Pakistan — The Government's army is largely confined to the towns and roads. The guerrilla rebels in the countryside get help from across the border. A clandestine radio transmitter reports “liberation army” successes and predicts eventual victory.

A visitor to East Pakistan can drive through much of the region without observing anything abnormal. Yet many foreign diplomatic observers have been tempted to, com pare the Bengali situation with the opening phase of the Vietnam war, and some of the parallels—such as those listed above—are unmistakable.

Neighboring India from the outset has provided a haven, training and material support for the Bengali rebels, as North Vietnam did for the Vietcong. Even the lush, rice growing terrain of the Ganges River delta, making up most of East Pakistan, is similar to that of the Mekong River delta in Vietnam. Rebel posters blossom briefly in Dacca And other towns, warning civilians to leave before the Liberation Army (Mukti Bahini) opens a bloody new offensive.


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