New York Times

May 23 1971

India Seeks Halt In Refugee Flow

Opens Campaigns for World Pressure on Pakistan

By Sydney H. Schanberg

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NEW DELHI.-India has mounted a broad diplomatic and publicity campaign to try to mobilize world pressure on Pakistan to halt the refugee flow from the East Pakistan.

More than three million Bengalis have poured into India, and the Indians charge that the refugees have fled as a result of the two-month-old drive against the Bengali independence movement in the east.

The message that is being spread with unusual vigor in the local press here and by Indian diplomats abroad is that unless the world community persuades Pakistan to stop her "deliberate campaign of terror" and "deliberate expulsion" of Bengalis, India will be "forced to act to protect our national interests."

Indian officials do not elaborate on what "forced to act" means, and foreign diplomats here doubt that New Delhi has made any definite plans for its next step if world response proves disappointing.

But the refugee and border situation is becoming more serious, and while it is clear that neither India nor Pakistan wants another war, observers here do not rule out the possibility. Should a military clash erupt, India is hoping that both Indian public opinion and world opinion will have been prepared for it and will understand India's case.

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