ISLAMABAD: President Yahya Khan has welcomed UN Secretary-General U Thant’s offer of good offices for the preservation of peace in the Sub-continent and has requested him to pay “an immediate visit” to India and Pakistan to discuss “ways and means of withdrawal of forces” from their present positions — facing each other at the borders.

In his reply to the UN Secretary General’s offer — contained in a letter dated Oct 20 — the President has emphasised that “in view of the urgency and gravity of the situation”, a public declaration by the Secretary-General of his intention to visit India and Pakistan “to seek a settlement of differences would be most desirable”. Regretting that the Indian Prime Minister had summarily rejected his proposal for withdrawal of forces of both countries from the borders, the President has renewed the suggestion that “withdrawals of manpower along with armours and artillery may take place all along the Indo-Pakistan International frontiers, both in East and West, if not to peace-time stations, then at least to a mutually agreed safe distance on either side of the border... .”

...[T]he President has emphasised: “Armed infiltration and shelling into our borders in East Pakistan should cease.”

Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2021

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