Department of State

 

TELEGRAM

CONFIDENTIAL 568

 

 

2 FEB 1971

ISLAMA 00964 01 OF 02 021024Z

10

ACTION NEA - I S

INFO   : OCT - 01 CIAE - 00 DODE - 00 PM - OS H- 02 INR - 08 L- 04 NSAE - 00

              NSC - 10 P- 03 RSC - 01 PRS - 01 SS - 20 USIA - 12 AID - 28 RSR-O1/111 W       

              130807

R 021020Z FEB 71

FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6749

INFO AMCONSUL DACCA

AMCONSUL KARACHI

AMCONSUL LAHORE

CONFIDENTIAL SECTION 1 TO 2 ISLAMABAD 0964

SUBJ   : PRES. YAHYA'S VIEWS ON MUJIBUR, BHUTTO, AND PAKISTANI POLITICS

 

1. Much of the time during my conversation with Pres. Yahya (Reftel) was consumed in his musings on the character, political and family background, social and political philosophy, etc. of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The most salient observations which he made follow under separate headings.

 

2. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman - His formal education was adequate but not extensive. His life had been preoccupied with political agitation prior to 1947 and subsequently.

 

He utilized his extended prison term for the purpose of building a nucleus of his now successful Awami League. The development of his Six Point Program was the outgrowth of a provincial attitude built upon Bengali nationalism. Mujib's preoccupations are totally Bengali preoccupations, trade being one, he most certainly would favor close economic ties with India. (Yahya digressed while discussing this aspect of Mujib's philosophy and made a categorical statement to the effect that he felt there was nothing wrong in the re-establishment of trade and trade routes with India, at least to the extent in being prior to 1965.) Mujib has rekindled the fires of Bengali nationalism to the point where they may be difficult to control. Though definitely in command of the forthcoming Assembly, nonetheless Mujib is fearful of Bhutto because he realizes that Bhutto is educationally far better equipped, more knowledgeable and adroit in public affairs and is "faster on his feet" in any area outside East Pakistan.

 

3. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto - He was born to a very wealthy and conservative family. He has an educational background which is considered outstanding. He received training

both in the UK and in the US. Ayub Khan recognized Bhutto's talents and took him into the power center while Bhutto was in his early 30's. When Bhutto fell from Ayub's favor he went directly to Yahya for advise. Yahya counselled him to move slowly as his future was still ahead of him. Bhutto left Pakistan for some months and returned apparently with the desire to topple all that stood in his way. It was at this time that he began his socialistic rantings. Bhutto is not a socialist but an extremely bright opportunist who has sensed the direction of the political tide now running and has adapted his entire posture to it. He is fearful of Mujib neither because of Mujib's abilities nor his philosophy but because Bhutto recognizes the strength of Mujib's present political position and the need to reckon with it. It is more for pragmatic reasons than philsophically that Bhutto has aligned himself with China. Bhutto's PPP is showing signs of strain; Bhutto promised all things to all men, including outlandish promises to his own lieutenants, and there is going to be trouble in attempting to fulfil his public and private commitments.

 

4. Yahya said that in meetings with both Bhutto and Mujib he had stressed the absolute need of a working coalition at this time in order to write an effective and viable constitution that would embrace all of Pakistan, not just one wing or the other. This theme Yahya reiterated again and again and emphasized that he would not validate a constitution which was so parochial that it would in effect be the death knell of Pakistan as it now exists. After the constitution is written and promulgated, Yahya indicated that he hoped for a coalition of the Awami League and the PPP in order that they might move together for the common good of Pakistan. He said he felt this was preferable to the idea of Bhutto going into the Opposition.

 

5. President Yahya said that he had also pointed out to both Bhutto and Mujibur the provincial nature of their source of political power. He noted that Mujibur had no political support in the West wing and that Bhutto had received no support in the East wing. In an effort to build in Pakistan the concept of a two-party system, Pres. Yahya had counseled both leaders to work in harmony until the next election, and meanwhile they should both attempt to build a base that would be nationwide. He said that Bhutto thoroughly understood this but that Mujibur was more reticent in

accepting the idea.

 

FARLAND

 

 

 

Department of State

 

TELEGRAM

CONFIDENTIAL 636

 

ISLAMA 00964 02 OF 02 021132Z 21

ACTION : NEA-15

INFO   : OCT-01 CIAE-00 DODE-00 PM-05 H-02 INR-08 L-04 NSAE-00 NSC-10 P-03 RSC-O1

PRS-01 SS-20 USIA-12 AID-28 RSR-01/1 I 1 W     000304

R021020Z FEB 71

FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD

TO       SECSTATE WASHDC 6750

INFO AMCONSUL DACCA

AMCONSUL KARACHI

AMCONSUL LAHORE

CONFIDENTIAL SECTION 2 OF 2 ISLAMABAD 0964

REF: ISLAMABAD 930

SUBJ: PRES. YAHYA'S VIEWS ON MUJIBUR, BHUTTO, AND PAKISTANI, POLITICS

 

6. Pres. Yahya, in summing up his observations, noted that the Awami League had done its homework well and had formulated concrete ideas on constitutional provisions and had established a well-knit organization in East Pakistan. The PPP, on the other hand, had spent most of its effort politicking and had done little in the way of developing definite propositions. As a result, Bhutto and party are not nearly as prepared as the Awami League in coming forth with constructive proposals. Hence the PPP would like to forestall the opening of the assembly whereas Mujibur, Yahya concluded, is striving to convene the assembly on Feb 15 and there is some possibility that this may come to pass.

 

7. Before going on to another subject, I queried Pres. Yahya concerning the possible outcome of the present discussions between Mujibur and Bhutto going on in Dacca. Pres. Yahya said he believed progress was being made and indicated his firm belief that a constitution which he could validate would be written by the National Assembly. He based his belief on the fact that both Mujibur and Bhutto realized that the Martial Law Authority would not give up power until such a constitution was forthcoming and that both realistically realized this was a condition precedent to a transfer of power. Yahya said that even though Mujibur would be adamant in his sponsorship of a constitution embodying his Six-Points, he felt that from a practical standpoint there was some "give." Likewise, Bhutto's position made it necessary that he, to some degree, accommodate, hence, he felt that Bhutto would not be an obstructionist.

 

FARLAND

 

 

Source: The American Papers- Secret and Confidential India.Pakistan.Bangladesh Documents 1965-1973, The University Press Limited, p.481-483