Washington or Islamabad on the basis of these brief and infrequent visits to the East. It has been obvious to us for the years in East Pakistan and to most others stationed there that this, misguided use of aid was contributing to the forces leading to the present conflict and that we would be in part responsible for the eruption that was bound, Sooner or later to take place.
It is understandable that America may wish to return to the apparent stability that was superficially evident before March. Recognizing that our past mistakes and ignorance have contributed to the present troubles, we should realize that a restoration of those policies-even in the name of peace and humanity-will only prolong the basic conflict. No matter how much America may, desire to restore the deceptively simple aid pattern that preceded the present conflict, it will no longer be possible. Considerable knowledge and imagination will be required to develop a more productive policy. We would like the Bengalis themselves and those Americans who know the region best to be heard before decisions of the government become final. So often in the past decisions have been made for political and “economic” reasons in ignorance of the social and cultural factors. But these factors are vital components of an effective aid policy for Pakistan.
Now there is no way to revive the rickshawala who died on his gaily painted ricksha, who could sing some of the most beautiful songs to be found anywhere. We cannot revive the students who gave us their sweetest thoughts, their longings to see the outside world some day, their eagerness to acquaint us with their own country. It is too late to save the professors chosen for execution who contributed their wit and individualism to the university communities in Pakistan and abroad.
Peace and universal love have been a tradition in Bengali culture from high to low, from great poets and philosophers to illiterate boatmen. The tremendous loses which East Bengal has suffered, is suffering, and will suffer for a long time are a loss to the world at large of a highly cultivated people. There are few areas that can boast the level of culture we are now in danger of losing even before it has been properly recorded.
We hope that the tragedies that the Bengalis have had trust upon them in the last months, sacrifices which have brought the condition of Bengal before the notice of the world, will not be brushed aside for temporarily expedient solutions. The concern that was exhibited by America generally and by people like yourself and the President after the tragic storm of November is once again required to mitigate the effects of the current complex situation. We feel sure that the U. S. will not regret a through and more realistic look at the problems of East Pakistan.
Until now the administration and its agencies have been extremely difficult for our group to reach directly. I make this personal appeal to you and your husband in your capacities as prime representatives of this country abroad. We were grateful to you for your cyclone relief and I take advantage of this previous expression of sympathy to make this further appeal to change our policies. Without wisdom our generosity will be misued again.
The enclosed book, a guide book of Dacca, was compiled in 1963 by U.S.A.I.D. wives (p. 185). It has since undergone two more editions. It may give you an idea of East