on January 14, 1971


Prior to his departure for Karachi on Thursday, President Yahya Khan told newsmen at the Dacca airport that he had useful discussion with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Awami leaders during his stay in Dacca for the last three days.


The President observed "What Sheikh Shahib said about the discussion is absolutely correct."


The President said that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was going to be the future Prime Minister of the country.


A correspondent at this stage pointed out, "You are the President of the country now, we want to hear something from you about your talks with the Awami League Chief".


In reply the President said, "When he (Sheikh Mujib) comes and takes over I won't be there. It is going to be his Government soon."


A correspondent asked the President, "Sheikh Mujib had said that he was satisfied with discussions with you. Are you also satisfied?" The President said, "Yes".


Asked whether any date for convening of the National Assembly Session had been fixed, the President replied in the negative and said that many factors were involved in it. "I have discussed those with Sheikh Shahib. As soon as I decide (the date) I will let you know".


In reply to another question whether he was going to meet Mr. Bhutto this time, the President said, "I meet each and everybody. I have already met him (Bhutto) once. I am very tired. I am going for shooting of birds in Sind which is Bhutto's area. If he is there I will meet him also."


Asked when he was expected in Dacca again, the President said, "As soon as I can". He said he would have to come to Dacca for the National Assembly Session.


Replying to a question on economic situation, the President said that the economic condition was bad for so many reasons.


Addressing the newsmen the President said, "All I am going to ask you to propagate is that the economic condition of the country will not improve unless we all work hard."


He said "I inherited a bad economy and I am going to pass it over to Sheikh Shahib".


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The President today reaffirmed his confidence that the National Assembly will fulfil its task of constitution making.


He told reporters on arrival at Karachi airport from Dacca that he had "very good discussions" with the Awami League Chief, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.


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The President described his talks with Sheikh Mujib as very satisfactory and said that the Awami League Chief had also expressed his satisfaction over the talks.


He said that discussions are continuing and "Inshallah, we will move towards our ultimate aim." He added that he could not say anything beyond this at this stage.


(THE PAKISTAN OBSERVER-January 15, 1971)



Source: Bangladesh Documents, vol-I, p.144-145