a department spokesman, speaking to reporters, denied that the United States has “a large on-going military assistance program with Pakistan” and declared, “There is no-repeat-no equipment in the pipeline and none has been delivered” under a one-shot October, 1970, arms deal. Referring to a “modest” sales program dating from 1967 for “non-lethal military equipment, spare parts for equipment already in Pakistan hands and some ammunition,” he said: “Insofar as shipments under these agreements are concerned, we have this matter under review.”
April 14: An un-attributed report appeared in The Washington Post saying that arms shipments were continuing but with minimum publicity. The next day, however, a department spokesman concluded a review of the subject this way: In short, no arms have been provided to the Government of Pakistan since the beginning of this crisis, and the question of deliveries will be kept under review in light of developments.”
April 20: The department told Senator Kennedy: “. .......none of there items [on the 1967 'non-lethal' list, including ammunition] has been provided to the Pakistan Government or its agents since the outbreak of fighting in East Pakistan March 25-26, and nothing is presently scheduled for such delivery.”
May 6: Senator Fulbright was told: “In short, no arms have been provided since the beginning of the crisis and the question of deliveries is under review.”
May 8: The Sonderbans, a Pakistani ship carrying arms to Pakistan, sailed from New York, without public announcement or public knowledge.
June 17: The State Department told reporters, as reported in this newspaper the next day, that “no deliveries of military equipment has been made to Pakistan since March 25, when the fighting began.”
June 22: The department, responding to a story in the New York Times, acknowledged that two shiploads of arms were going to Pakistan and explained that they had been licensed before March 25. The same day the second ship, the Padma. sailed.
Six days later: The administration said it would allow further shipments of military material if licensed before March 25. The first reason cited was to apply “leverage” to induce the Pakistan Government (1) to bring about a political accommodation in East Pakistan (it has yet to do so) and (2) to take back the six million refugees who had fled to India (the flight continues, according to report, at a 40,000-a-day rate). The second reason cited by the administration-which had earlier downgraded use of American arms in the carnage by a saying Soviet, Chinese and British arms also were use-was to discourage Pakistan from shifting to other arms suppliers.
June 29: It was revealed that four or five more arms ships were scheduled. The Kaptai sailed July 2.
This is, we submit, an astonishing and shameful record, with two meanings. The first is that, for the shabbiest of political reasons, the United States is supplying military equipment to a brutal regime that has killed an estimated 200,000 its citizens and