The Indian Express, April 10, 1980, forty years ago.
The 1961 census returns coupled with the 1962 electoral rolls and the land records of that time can be an acceptable criterion for identifying the “foreigners” in Assam. This is the reporter’s inference after talking to the leaders of the All Assam Students Union which has so far stuck to 1851 as the base year, and has demanded the deportation of all those who have entered the state after that. The state governor, L P Singh, has already indicated to the students that the government might be willing to accept 1967 as the cut-off year. This would mean the deportation of nearly 1.8 million people against 1.2 million, if the original date on 1971 was adhered to.
The Vietnamese prime minister, Pham Van Dong, indicated in New Delhi that there are differences in the respective positions of India and Vietnam on the Afghanistan question. Instead, he approvingly mentioned the initiative Cuba has launched to resolve the Afghanistan issue. Addressing a crowded news conference, Dong said Afghanistan had figured at his talks with the Indian prime minister. He said that both countries agreed in principle that the question had to be resolved on a correct basis but added that there are differences in the points of view of the government although such differences “are understandable and natural”.
Iran on Iraq
Iran’s foreign minster, Sadegh Ghotbzadeh, claiming Iraq was an American stooge, announced that “we have decided to overthrow the Baathist regime in Baghdad,” according to Teheran radio. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, spiritual leader and power behind Iran’s revolution, declared in another London-monitored broadcast that Muslims of Iran and Iraq would remove the “evil Baathist leaders” of Iraq’s ruling Arab Socialist Paity and “consign them to the dustbin of history.” But neither broadcast made clear Iran’s exact intentions in the growing conflict between the two oil-rich neighbours.