Members of a British Parliamentary fact-finding team spoke on Monday (June 28) of a climate of fear they had found in East Pakistan and urged restoration of confidence to allow refugees to return home.
SV Bottomley talks to Army officer
SV Injured woman brought to be seen by Bottomley
SCU Bottomley talks to officials (2 shots)
TRAVELLING SHOT Jeeps along roadway
SCU Bottomley talks with officers (3 shots)
GV Pakistan troops (3 shots)
AERIAL VIEWS Damaged bridge
TRANSCRIPT: "When I flew to the Sylhet area of East Pakistan, which has a long and vexed border with India, I was told by the Pakistan Army that several thousand shells had landed in Pakistan territory in the past few weeks. At a place called Jafflang, six miles from the frontier, it was claimed that more than 90 shells had fallen that morning, and an injured woman was brought by boat for the British Parliamentary delegation to see. The delegation did not actually see any mortar or 25-pounder shells falling but they were given painstaking details by the Pakistan Army commanders. It isn't only artillery fire that Pakistan is complaining about. They say that Indian troops have had to be driven out of the border areas and that gangs of infiltrators still come across. The Pakistan Army is in the Sylhet area, in force. But repairing the damage is going to take a long time. Many bridges were damaged right at the start of the trouble. But sabotage is still going on and the Army told me that so far they'd found 150 landmines buried in roads. So far as the shelling across the frontier is concerned, the Pakistan Army admit that it isn't all one-sided. They are shooting back as well. But, they maintain they're only shooting back at artillery positions."
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Background: Members of a British Parliamentary fact-finding team spoke on Monday (June 28) of a climate of fear they had found in East Pakistan and urged restoration of confidence to allow refugees to return home.
The team whose four members toured East Pakistan for four days, gave their impressions before leaving for Calcutta for the second stage of their study tour of the aftermath of last March's East Pakistan crisis.
The team is led by Mr. Arthur Bottomley, a former Commonwealth Secretary. He said the mission had seen "terrible things--many empty villages and road and rail bridges destroyed which, if rebuilt, could be damaged again."
Mr. Bottomley said that unless the situation improved food would be scarce. The delegation, he said, saw fields and factories crying out for labour. Mr. Bottomley said something must be done to remove the fear which holds back the return of the refugees.
This British Broadcasting Corporation film report carries a voice-over narration by B.B.C. reporter Jim Biddulph, which may be used.
SYNOPSIS: Members of a four-man British Parliamentary fact-finding team have concluded their four-day tour of East Pakistan. The team, led by former Commonwealth Secretary, Mr. Arthur Bottomley, on Monday visited the Sylhet area--scene of alleged recent artillery barrages by both the Indian and Pakistan armies. The Pakistan army claims that several thousand shells have landed in Pakistan territory in the past few weeks.
Members of the British team also spoke of a climate of fear they had found in East Pakistan and urged a restoration of confidence in the area to encourage the refugees to return to their homes. The team's visit to the Sylhet area was one of the last stages in their tour.
The Pakistan Army is in the Sylhet area--which has a long and vexed border with India--in force.
Many bridges were damaged right at the start of the trouble, but sabotage is still going on and the army has so far found 150 landmines in roads.