New York Times

August 01 1971

East Pakistan: Shades Of the Vietnam War

By Malcolm W. Browne

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But if a guerrilla war in East Pakistan is under way, it has a long way to go be fore reaching the level of effectiveness seen in East Asia during the past few decades. Behind the volume of propaganda on all sides, not very much seems to be happening.

Some kind of war is unfolding in East Pakistan. At least a few people are getting killed and many others are suffering. But in this passion wrenched land it is as difficult to verify a fact as it is to find a dry place to stand in the current monsoon rains.

Along East Pakistan's eastern border, Pakistani and Indian artillery thunder away at each other, and both sides have augmented their forces in the region during the past week. Military men and ordinary people expect a surge in violence during the next few weeks, possibly timed to coincide with Pakistan's National Day of Aug. 15.

The 60‐mile road between Dacca and the important frontier garrison of Comilla is open. There is little to show that the Government is having any difficulty maintaining this strategic link. One mine was planted on the road recently, and the rebels dynamited a key bridge on the road, but traffic was detoured over a rickety wooden bridge a few hundred yards away.

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