বাংলাদেশের স্বাধীনতা যুদ্ধ দলিলপত্রঃ ত্রয়োদশ খণ্ড
other words, we attempted to promote a political settlement, and if I can sum up the difference that may have existed between us and the Government of India, it was this:
We told the Government of India on many occasions—the Secretary of State saw the Indian Ambassador 18 times; I saw him seven times since the end of August on behalf of the President. We all said that political autonomy for East Bengal was the inevitable outcome of a political evolution, and that we favoured it. The difference may have been that the Government of India wanted things so rapidly that it was no longer talking about political evolution, but about political collapse.
Without attempting to speculate on the motives of the Indian Government, the fact of the matter, as they presented themselves to us was as follows; We told the Indian Prime Minister when she was here of the Pakistan offer to withdraw their troops unilaterally from the border. There was no response.
We told the Indian Prime Minister when she was here that we would try to arrange negotiations between the Pakistanis and members of the Awami League, specifically approved by Mujibur, who is in prison. We told the Indian Ambassador shortly before his return to India that we were prepared even to discuss with them a political timetable, a precise timetable for the establishment of political autonomy in East Bengal. That conversation was held on November 19". On November 22", military action started in East Bengal.
We told the Pakistan Foreign Secretary when he was here that it was desirable on November 15th; that we thought it was time for Pakistan to develop a maximum program. He said he could not give us an answer until the week of November 22nd when he would return to his country. He also pointed out to us that there would be a return to civilian rule at the end of December, at which time it might be easier to bring about such matters as the release of Mujibur, whose imprisonment had occurred under military rule.
This information was transmitted, and military action, nevertheless, started during the week of November 22". So when we say that there was no need for military action, we do not say that India did not suffer. We do not say that we are unsympathetic to India's problems or that we do not value India.
This country, which in many respects has had a love affair with India, can only, with enormous pain, accept the fact that military action was taken in our view without adequate cause, and if we express this opinion in the United Nations, we do not do so because: we want to support one particular point of view on the subcontinent, or because we want to forego our friendship with what will always be one of the great countries in the world; but because we believe that if, as some of the phrases go, the right of military attack is determined by arithmetic, if political wisdom consists of saying the attacker has 500 million, and the defender has 100 million, and, therefore, the United States must always be on the side of the numerically stronger, then we are creating a situation where, in the foreseeable future, we will have international anarchy, and where the period of peace, which is the greatest desire for the President to establish, will be jeopardized; not at first for Americans, necessarily, but for peoples all over the world.