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 Soviet Revisionists and Tension on the Subcontinent

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Soviet Revisionists and Tension on the Subcontinent

Source: Peking Review, No. 50, December 10, 1971
Transcribed by www.WENGEWANG.ORG


THE Soviet Government has continuously collaborated with the Indian Government over a long time In interfering in the internal affairs of Pakistan. Soon after the so-called "refugee problem of East Pakistan" came up at the end of last March, the Soviet Government openly supported and sided with the Indian Government in an effort to exert pressure on Pakistan. In a letter to President Yahya Khan last April 3, Nikolai Podgorny, President of the Presidium of the U.S.S.R. Supreme Soviet, openly interfered in Pakistan's internal affairs, asking the Pakistan Government to seek a "peaceful political settlement" of the so-called East Pakistan issue according to the subversive plan of the Indian Government. In his reply, President Yahya Khan said that Pakistan "is determined not to allow any country to interfere in Pakistan's internal affairs."

Military Nature of Soviet-Indian Treaty

     In early August this year, the Soviet Government accelerated the tempo of its military intervention on the Indo-Pakistan Subcontinent. It formally signed with the Indian Government a treaty of "peace, friendship and co-operation" which is in fact a treaty of military alliance. Article 9 of the treaty says that "in case any of the parties is attacked or threatened with attack the high contracting parties will immediately start mutual consultations with a view to eliminating this threat and taking appropriate effective measures to ensure peace and security for their countries." This article has laid bare the military nature of the Soviet-Indian treaty. At a meeting of the Presidium of the U.S.S.R. Supreme Soviet last August 13 to discuss ratification of the Soviet-Indian treaty, Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs A.A. Gromyko openly threatened that the treaty "is becoming particularly important in the light of the present international situation, and, in particular, in the light of the situation developing south of the borders of the Soviet Union." He also clamoured that this treaty will "definitely strengthen India's position in the existing tense situation in the Subcontinent." This interpretation of the Soviet-Indian treaty by the Soviet Government shows more clearly against who the military treaty is directed and at what it is aimed.
     As expected, after the signing of the treaty, the Soviet Government put pressure on Pakistan by stepping up its meddling in the affairs of the Indo-Pakistan Subcontinent in the field of public opinion, and in the diplomatic and military spheres. It instigated and supported the Indian Government more openly in carrying out subversive activities and armed aggression against Pakistan.

Creating Public Opinion for Aggression Against Pakistan

     Anti-Pakistan statements have repeatedly appeared in the Soviet press. Calling black white, the Soviet paper Pravda carried successive commentaries alleging that the "fault*' of the Pakistan Government "has led to a dangerous aggravation in relations between India and Pakistan" and that the Pakistan Government is "inclined to" "fan up a conflict between the two states." The paper tried its utmost to defend the aggressive acts of the Indian Government. Other Soviet papers Izvestia and Krasnaya Zvezda recently carried articles and reports accusing the Pakistan Government of launching an "anti-India campaign," of "relying on a military solution" and "jeopardizing peace on the Asian Subcontinent." Besides, the Soviet Government also egged on certain organizations to hold meetings and issue statements to abet the subversion and aggression committed by the Indian Government against Pakistan.

Diplomatic Pressure on Pakistan

     At the same time, the Soviet Government exerted greater diplomatic pressure on Pakistan. Shortly after the signing of the Soviet-Indian treaty, Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Nikolai Firyubin "visited" India on September 22 and had "bilateral consultations" with Indian officials on the tense Indian-Pakistan situation. The joint statement of the two sides said that "the consultations' were held "under Article 9 of the Indo-Soviet Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Co-operation," and that the two sides "manifested an identity of views on the subjects discussed." Then, Soviet air force chief Pavel Kutakhov "visited" India on October 30 and had talks with the Indian Defence Minister and service chiefs an the "defence needs" "in case of a war" between India and Pakistan. As a result of the talks, according to Indian officials, "India can expect to receive as much military assistance as it requires."
     In addition, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi "visited" the Soviet Union from September 27 to 29 and had talks with Brezhnev and others on "Soviet-Indian relations" and "important current international problems of mutual interest." Speaking at a luncheon in her honour, a Soviet leader once again blamed Pakistan for the tense situation on the Indo-Pakistan Subcontinent and openly asked President Yahya Khan "to take the most effective steps for the liquidation of the hotbed of tension that has emerged."

Increased Arms Shipments to India

     After a series of "mutual consultations" by the two signatories to the Soviet-Indian treaty, the Soviet Government increased the supply of large quantities of weapons and military materials to the Indian Government. Not long ago, Soviet Defence Minister A.A. Grechko pledged to the Indian Ambassador to the Soviet Union that in the spirit of "the Indo-Soviet Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Co-operation," the Soviet Union will provide India with all assistance in order to cope with the present troubles confronting India. UPI reported on November 25 that "a procession of heavily laden arms ships sailed into Bombay harbour in recent weeks," and that Soviet freighters bringing military cargo to Bombay totalled six in the past month and a half. The same dispatch said that the cargo brought by these freighters included surface-to-air (Sam) missiles, tanks, armed personnel carriers, etc. It added, "the sea shipments of military items were in addition to an airlift in the past two months of other supplies into Bombay and New Delhi, particularly spare parts for India's Russian-designed Mig-21 and Su-7 jet fighters and strike aircraft." The West German Sunday paper Welt am Sonntag said on November 27, "The Soviet Union is maintaining an airlift supplying India with war material required in the fight against Pakistan." According to a report in the Pakistan Times on November 28, a Pakistan official spokesman said that "Pakistan has been making appropriate representations to the Soviet Government all the time over continued arms supply to India."
     Most energetically encouraged and supported by Soviet revisionist social-imperialism, the Indian Government has become overweeningly arrogant and has, since November 21, flagrantly sent large numbers of troops to launch incessant massive armed attacks on East and West Pakistan and cross the borders to occupy Pakistan territory.
     The Soviet Government's acts in instigating the Indian Government to commit large-scale aggression in Pakistan have created the present grave situation on the Indo-Pakistan Subcontinent and caused public opinion in various countries to be concerned and uneasy. People are closely watching how far the signatories to the Soviet-Indian treaty are ready to go on the road of military adventure.
  
  
  

 
 
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