ISLAMABAD: The Indian Army and Border Security Forces carried out unprovoked shelling, mortar and machine-gun fire and physical intrusion into East Pakistan from across the West Bengal-Assam border during the last one week, an official statement said.... The incidents took place in Comilla, Jessore, Rangpur, Rajshahi, Khulna, Kushtia and Sylhet districts resulting in deaths of innocent civilians and damage to civilian property. ...

The incidents related to the period between June 10 to 15. On June 10, the border outpost in Janitiapur and its surrounding area in Sylhet district was attacked three times by infiltrators who came from the India territory. They were actively supported by the regular elements of the Indian Army and the Indian Border Security Force. The Indian artillery intermittently fired approximately eight hundred rounds of field and medium artillery and heavy mortars from 6am to 2pm. As a result, a number of innocent civilians living in the area were killed. The same day, the Kasba and Rajapur area in Comilla district were shelled by the India field artillery and heavy mortars without any provocation, resulting in casualties among innocent civilians.

On June 12, the Indians continuously fired mortar shells for six hours in Inayatpur and Nowagaon areas of Sylhet district. On June 13, the Bibir Bazar area in Comilla was subjected to shelling. Two Pakistani border outposts in Khulna district also came under Indian fire the same day. … — Agencies

Indira Gandhi’s statement

[Meanwhile, as reported by agencies in New Delhi,] Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi ... said that a political settlement of the East Pakistan problem can only be of one kind: It has to be an agreement with the Awami League led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. She told the editors of India’s financial journals that “If in achieving a political settlement, the Awami League is willing to give up a little bit of their programme, it is up to them”.

Base returned to Japan

[Agencies add from Washington,] The United States signed a historic treaty with Japan today [June 17], restoring the base of Okinawa to Japanese sovereignty after 27 years of post-war occupation but retaining 88 military base facilities. The treaty ... goes into effect two months after ratification by the Japanese Diet and the US Senate.

The formal agreement includes assurance from President Nixon and Prime Minister Eisaku Sato that the United States, in effect, will not exercise the right to store nuclear weapons on Okinawa when the island is turned back to Japan sometime next year. ...Under-Secretary of State Alexis Johnson, former US Ambassador to Japan, said the understanding “carefully preserves our right to consult with Japan if, in the case of an exceptional situation, we would feel it necessary to do so and this applies specifically to nuclear weapons”.

Published in Dawn, June 18th, 2021

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