New York Times

May 24 1971


Editorial: Relief Is Not Enough

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The tidal wave Of refugees from East Pakistan into India, which is reported nearing the three million mark and growing by tens of thousands each day, presents humanitarian and political problems Of staggering proportions to India and to the world.

There is hope that the humanitarian problem can be met, at least in the short run, especially now that Rawalpindi has agreed to accept international relief assistance inside East Pakistan itself. In spite of overwhelming domestic concerns of its own, India has responded generously to the needs of the pathetic Bengalis who have fled the military crackdown in East Pakistan. The United Nations already has an investigating team in the field in response to India's plea for international assistance. The United States has allocated $2.5 million to help the Indian relief effort.

But the political issues created by the suppression of East Pakistan's popular movement for regional autonomy and the exodus into India will be far more difficult to control. Already the influx of refugees is provoking resentment and intensifying the chronic condition Of unrest in India's violence-prone state of West Bengal.


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