For the first time since many of Pakistan's Bengalis were interned last April, foreign journalists were allowed to tour part of one of their camps on Sunday (8 July).
GV, CU Entrance to camp Warsak
SV, GV Bengalis ???alking in grounds
GV, SV Bengalis playing cards under tree
GV PAN from camp TO journalists interviewing Bengali families (3 shots)
GV Bengalis looking form trees
SV Bengalis in front of building
SV, GV Press walking through tennis courts
Initials SGM/1628 SGM/1638
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Background: For the first time since many of Pakistan's Bengalis were interned last April, foreign journalists were allowed to tour part of one of their camps on Sunday (8 July).
Among those on the tour was Visnews journalist Bill Woodman who sent back this film.
There are three camps, set up to house the Bengalis, many of whom are former civil servants in the Pakistan government.
Government spokesmen say the major reason for their detention is that too many were escaping from the country to Bangladesh via Afghanistan. Many of them ??? ???ved of their duties and had their pay halved if they opted to move to Bangladesh after it ??? away in civil war.
At Warsak, which is also a Pakistan Air Force camp, there are 16 married Bengali former civil servants and six single -- 84 people in all. The families are allowed to move out of the camp and anywhere within the country, except for the head of the family in each case, who is confined to the camp.
There are also 73 former personnel of the Pakistan Air Force. According to spokesmen, the other two camps have 193 former civil servants. (At the time of the Indo-Pakistan war, there were about 15,000 Bengalis on the government payrolls in west pakistan. Of these, about 2,000 were senior government officers. Of those 1,090 cannot now be located.)
The visiting journalists were taken on a limited conducted tour and were allowed to speak only to certain Bengalis, who said that being restricted was not pleasant, but they had adjusted to it. Others, who were approached secretly, said camp conditions were "inhuman".
There were fears that the Pakistan government is holding the Bengalis as insurance against the war crimes trial of Pakistan prisoners of war in Bangladesh.