• Short Summary

    A CHILD STANDS IN THE SHELL-SHATTERED RUINS OF HER VILLAGE. A SCHOOLROOM, STAINED WITH BLOOD,?

  • Description

    A CHILD STANDS IN THE SHELL-SHATTERED RUINS OF HER VILLAGE. A SCHOOLROOM, STAINED WITH BLOOD, MARKS A SCENE OF MASSACRE. REFUGEES COWER IN A MONSOON FLOODED CAMP. YET DESPITE THE RAVAGES OF WAR AND THE OCCUPYING TROOPS, NORMAL LIFE PICKS UP IN TOWNS AND COMMERCIAL CENTRES.

    THESE ARE THE IMAGES OF EAST PAKISTAN IN THE LAST WEEK OF JUNE--NEARLY THREE MONTHS AFTER THE REGION'S ATTEMPTED BREAKAWAY AND THE OUTBREAK OF CIVIL WAR.

    TWO WEEKS AGO, VISNEWS STAFFERS BILL MACCONVILLE AND JOHN STREETER MADE REPORTING HISTORY WHEN THEY WERE THE FIRST WESTERN CAMERA TEAM ALLOWED INTO DACCA SINCE THE BREAKAWAY ATTEMPT. THIS COMPILATION OF THEIR COVERAGE ATTEMPTS TO BRING SOME CLARITY TO A CONFUSED AND OFTEN CONTRADICTORY SITUATION.

    INEVITABLY, MUCH MUST REMAIN UNSHOWN. BUT THERE'S AMPLE EVIDENCE OF FIERCE AND PROLONGED FIGHTING. IT'S TO BE FOUND IN THE DAMAGE TO CITIES AND VILLAGES, AND IN THE REFUGEES CROWDING PAKISTANI CAMPS (QUITE APART FROM THE SIX-MILLION WHO HAVE CROSSED TO INDIA). HOWEVER, GRAPHIC EVIDENCE OF ALLEGED ATROCITIES IS LESS EASILY ACQUIRED.

    AT CHITTACONG, MASS GRAVES MARK THE SPOT WHERE NON-BENGALI MUSLIM REFUGEES ARE SAID TO HAVE BEEN MASSACRED BY LOCAL PEOPLE. WITNESSES TELL OF PAKISTANI TROOPS TRYING TO INTERVENE.

    AT THE VILLAGE OF TANGAIL, NORTH OF DACCA, A STUDENT SPOKE COVERTLY OF "MISCREANTS"--BUT ADDED THAT THE SITUATION HAS SINCE IMPROVED:
    PRESIDENT YAHYA KHAN OF PAKISTAN HAS SIMILAR HOPES. HE EXPRESSED THEM IN A BROADCAST TO HIS DIVIDED NATION ON JUNE 28, OUTLINING PLANS FOR AT RETURN TO CIVILIAN RULE IN FOUR MONTHS:
    IT NOW REMAINS TO BE SEEN WHETHER A NEW UNITY AND STABILITY CAN CROW OUT OF PAKISTAN'S 1971 TRAGEDY. CRUCIAL QUESTIONS STILL REMAIN TO BE ANSWERED. WHAT IS TO HAPPEN TO THE SIX-MILLION REFUGEES IN INDIA? AND WHAT OF THE TENSION ALONG EAST PAKISTAN'S BORDER WITH INDIA? THIS COVERAGE CONCLUDES WITH EXCLUSIVE FILM OF PAKISTANI PATROLS AND DEFENCES ALONG THE BORDER. THAT'S THE MOST DANGEROUS FLASHPOINT IN HIGHLY VOLATILE SITUATION.

    SYNOPSIS: EAST PAKISTAN ... THE STORM OF CIVIL WAR RECEDES. IN ITS PLACE, A NEW SOURCE OF WORLD TENSION AS PAKISTANI AND INDIAN TROOPS MEASURE UP TO EACH OTHER ALONG THE BORDER
    THESE ARE THE IMAGES OF EAST PAKISTAN DURING THE LAST WEEK OF JUNE, FILMED BY THE FIRST WESTERN CAMERA TEAM ALLOWED FREE ACCESS TO THE REGION SINCE THE ATTEMPTED BREAKAWAY.

    IT'S STILL DIFFICULT TO ACQUIRE EVIDENCE OF ALLEGED ATROCITIES. HERE, IN THE MAIN PORT OF CHITTAGONG, SURVIVORS TELL OF A MASSACRE BY BANGLADESH SUPPORTERS AFTER THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE ON MARCH 25TH. THE VICTIMS WERE NON-BENGALI-MUSLIMS.

    MASS GRAVES MARK THE SITE OF THE MASSACRE CLOSE TO CHITTAGONG REFUGEE CAMP. EYE-WITNESSES CLAIMED THAT. THE BENGALIS SLAUGHTERED OVER TEN-THOUSAND REFUGEES--AND THAT TROOPS OF THE PAKISTAN ARMY TRIED TO PREVENT THE BLOODSHED.

    THE REFUGEE SITUATION INSIDE EAST PAKISTAN HAS RECEIVED RELATIVELY LITTLE PUBLICITY COMPARED WITH THE SIX-MILLION DISPLACED PERSONS WHO FLED TO INDIA. CHITTAGONG'S REFUGEE CAMP IS POPULATED MAINLY BY WOMEN AND CHILDREN. MANY WIVES SAY THEIR HUSBANDS WERE KILLED IN THE MASSACRE. THE VICTIMS WERE MAINLY BIHARIS--PEOPLE WHO ORIGINALLY FLED FROM INDIA TO PAKISTAN AT THE TIME OF PARTITION. SIMILAR MASSACRES, WITH THOUSANDS OF DEAD, ARE SAID TO HAVE OCCURRED IN THREE OTHER TOWNS--BARISAL, KHULNA AND MYMENSINGH. SOME BIHARIS CLAIM OVER HALF A MILLION OF THEIR PEOPLE HAVE DIED. MORE CONSERVATIVE ESTIMATES PUT THE NUMBER OF DEAD AT ABOUT TWENTY-THOUSAND. SIMILAR CONFUSION SURROUNDS THE TOTAL KILLED BY PAKISTAN TROOPS. HERE, THE MOST CONSERVATIVE ESTIMATES PUT THE NUMBER OF BENGAL DEAD AT ABOUT 50-THOUSAND.

    BUT WHILE THE MONSOON RAIN BRING'S MISERY EQUALLY TO THE REFUGEES WHO STAYED IN PAKISTAN AND THOSE WHO FLED TO INDIA, LIFE IS RETURNING TO NORMAL FOR THOSE PEOPLE NOT UPROOTED FROM THEIR HOMES.

    AT THE VILLAGE OF TANGAIL, NORTH OF DACCA, PAKISTAN FLAGS FLY IN PLACE OF THE COLOURS OF THE BANGLADESH MOVEMENT. LOCAL PEOPLE SAY THE VILLAGE HAD ITS SHARE OF VIOLENCE. BUT THIS IS ONE PLACE WHERE THE ARMY'S PACIFICATION PROGRAMME SEEMS TO HAVE ACCOMPLISHED ITS ENDS WITHOUT UNDUE BLOODSHED. LOCAL SHOPS AND BUSINESSES ARE BACK TO NORMAL. SCHOOLS ARE STILL CLOSED AND FEW PEOPLE LEAVE THEIR HOMES AFTER DARK. BUT, ALTHOUGH THEY FACE A BLEAK ECONOMIC FUTURE, THESE PEOPLE FACE IT PHILOSOPHICALLY--NOW THAT THE FIGHTING IS OVER.

    ONE OF THE VILLAGERS OF TANGAIL, STUDENT, SPOKE ABOUT THE IMPROVEMENT IN THE SITUATION SINCE THE OUTBREAK OF CIVIL DISORDER:
    THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BENGALI AND THE OCCUPYING TROOPS OFTEN DEPENDS ON INDIVIDUAL COMMANDING OFFICERS. THOSE MAKING EFFORTS TO IMPROVE CONDITIONS HAVE DONE VALUABLE WORK TO LEND CREDIBILITY TO PRESIDENT YAHYA KHAN'S PROMISE OF A RETURN TO CIVILIAN RULE IN FOUR MONTHS. SO HAS CONSTRUCTION OF THE DACCA ASSEMBLY BUILDING:
    WILL THE RISING GENERATION OF PAKISTANIS BE ABLE TO FORGIVE AND FORGET THE "TRAGIC EVENTS" OF WHICH THE PRESIDENT SPEAKS? OR WILL THE ETHNIC AND IDEOLOGICAL DIFFERENCES THAT CAUSED THE TRAGEDY OF CIVIL WAR ESCALATE ON A WIDER FRONT? FOR THE MAJOR SOURCE OF TENSION IS NOW FOUND HERE, ALONG THE BORDER WITH INDIA. SIX-MILLION REFUGEES HAVE ALREADY FLED ACROSS THE FRONTIER--A FIGURE DWARFING THE SIXTY-THOUSAND PAKISTAN ARMY TROOPS WHO HAVE THE DUAL JOB OF GUARDING THE BORDER AND ACTING AS AN ARMY OF OCCUPATION. THIS IS THE NEW FLASHPOINT IN THE CONTINUING PAKISTAN CRISIS.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAE6UIFKJDNSPCW8WVIEI65DTUN
    Media URN:
    VLVAE6UIFKJDNSPCW8WVIEI65DTUN
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    08/07/1971
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:05:34:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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