YAHYA AFFIRMS DESIRE FOR EARLY TRANSFER OF POWER
NATION CONGRATULATED ON PEACEFUL POLLS

President Yahya Khan's remarks at Dacca on January 14, 1971.

 

President Yahya Khan today reiterated his earnest desire to transfer power to the elected representatives of the people as soon as the constitution-making is complete.

 

Answering questions on his arrival here from Rawalpindi today, the President said he had not yet decided about the date on which the National Assembly would sit. "I will let you know when I decide on the date", he said.

 

President Yahya told a correspondent that the Legal Framework Order was a scheme of things for the transfer of power to the elected representatives, the process of transfer of power was based on it. The correspondent wanted to know whether the President was still firm on the Legal Framework Order and whether it stands. "If I have to change my mind not to transfer power then the Legal Frame­work Order will go," the President said jokingly.

 

The President said he could not say how long the Members of the Assembly would take to frame the constitution. It was upto them. It could be framed even in 10 days.

 

When a correspondent asked the President whether transfer of power could be expected to be complete by the end of 1971, sharp came the reply: "End of this }ear, why such a long time?" Further asked if power would be transferred immediately after the completion of 120 days-the time stipulated in the Legal Framework Order the President said "Inshallah, absolutely".

 

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The President refused to answer hypothetical questions. "Let it come first", was his reply when a newsman asked him if the Awami League as the majority party passed a constitution which was unacceptable to West Pakistan would he authenticate it. President Yahya Khan told the correspondent that he had already expressed his ideas. He could not answer questions which were hypothetical. In any case, it was far too early for him to answer such questions, he said.

 

Optimism

 

President Yahya expressed his firm optimism over the nation going through equally successfully in the second phase-the constitution making-leading to the transfer of power to the people.

 

"As far as my job is concerned, it is finished," he added while talking to the newsmen.

 

He congratulated the nation on peaceful elections in the country. "You have set an example in the world. You have shown great maturity", he added.

 

(THE DAWN, Karachi-January 12, 1971)

 

 

Source: Bangladesh Documents, vol-I, p.143-144