At the United Nations on Wednesday (22 December), Indian Foreign Minister Sardar Swaran Singh outlined the conditions for Indian troop withdrawals from East Pakistan.
CU Singh listening to question
CU (same shot) Singh replies (SOUND ON FILM)
SINGH: In fact I may mention that yesterday's intervention in the Security Council was not exhaustive in relation to the factors that might necessitate the stay of Indian troops in Bangladesh. I mentioned some of these considerations. One was the creation of conditions where refugees can return. Another important consideration is that West Pakistani troops in Bangladesh at the present moment face a danger of reprisals. And for their protection and for their repatriation also, the presence of Indian troops is necessary. It's also necessary to ensure that the types of reprisals that are not unnatural in a situation where the entire people have suffered for over nine months with all manner of atrocity. It is to tide over these difficulties that the continued presence for some time of Indian troops in Bangladesh appears to be necessary.
REPORTER: Can you make a guess as to how long this will take?
SINGH: A great deal depends on the international community....and I say that the more rapidly is the recognition of reality in Bangladesh by the international community, the easier will it be for us to pull out our trooper from Bangladesh. But if there is any response to the continued assertion by West Pakistan that they have the right to send troops in Bangladesh - that will be a negative factor - and this will obviously delay the Indian troops leaving Bangladesh. And the sooner the international community recognises the reality that Bangladesh has come to stay, the sooner will Bangladesh move towards that stability and thus enable India to pull out their troops.
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Background: At the United Nations on Wednesday (22 December), Indian Foreign Minister Sardar Swaran Singh outlined the conditions for Indian troop withdrawals from East Pakistan. The sooner the world recognised the self-styled Bangladesh government, the sooner Indian forces would leave, he added.
Mr. Sigh also praised the Security Council for refusing to press for immediate troop withdrawal in a resolution approved on Tuesday night. This, he said, recognised the reality of the situation. The civilian Bangladesh government needed time to establish itself and create conditions in which the refugees could return. Also, he said, without Indian presence, West Pakistan troops faced the danger of reprisals.