Department of State





DATE February 13, 1970


TO            : Department of State





SUB           : Political Assessment: Status Report on Election Campaign - Double, Double

                    Toil and Trouble

REF           : Rawalpindi 10738; A-610, Nov. 7, 1969; A-609 Nov. 14, 1969; A-652, Dec.

                    12 1969; Rawalpindi 1101



Bearing in mind hard issues unresolved by President Yahya's progressive decisions announced November 28, it is not surprising that first raucous weeks of political campaigning which began January 1 give impression of considerable disarray. All Constituent Posts report evidence of concern that October 5 elections might be aborted, but some hopeful signs are perceivable.


In East Wing, Mujib (Awami League) is running strong on Six (autonomy) Points, Bhashani's (NAP (L) party is faction-ridden, and mood of peasantry remains unclear.

Sind is plagued by regional/communal controversies. Daultana's (Council Muslim League) alliance with Sind United Front occupies political center. Karachi labor polarizing and becoming politicized.


In Punjab, CML gathers strength. Martial Law Administration has taken tougher law and order stance, dismissing Governor Nur Khan in process.


On Northwest Frontier, Wali Khan's NAP (R) seems to be weathering virulent attacks by Qaiyum Khan.


"Islam versus Socialism" issue increasingly dominates campaign in most areas. Everyone is for Islam, but most political leaders also favor some "nationalization."


Interrelated deadlocks apparently persist with regard critical question of provincial autonomy. Bengali/Punjabi antagonism surfacing more. Mujib's East Pakistan rivals and others urging Yahya to settle autonomy issue before elections. CML privately urging Yahya to schedule provincial elections following the elections for the Constituent Assembly but prior to the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly.


Considerable chatter, particularly on far left, about alleged U.S. intervention, but foreign policy has not emerged as major campaign issue although Mujib has suggested need to resolve some Indo/Pak problems.


Major unknown is attitude of Punjabi-dominated military toward possibility of near-autonomous Bengal as Mujib assumes stature as prospective Prime Minister..


While there much unease about prospects. we know some politicians (and assume most other politicians) are stri\ in`~ to a\ old quite obvious pitfalls. A Mujib/Daultana/ Wall Khan combination might prove x -]able.


Since our last major assessment three months ago, President Yahya in a November 28 speech (1) decreed general elections for a National (Constituent) Assembly next October 5, on the one inan-one vote basis, with the resultant East Pakistan-dominated Assembly having 120 days to produce a constitution acceptable to the President; (2) promised to evolve by March 31 a provisional legal framework for the elections; (3) decided to dissolve One Unit West Pakistan into (four) separate provinces; and (4) allowed full political activity as of January I. The thorniest issue, that of the division of powers between the center and provinces, was set aside for consideration of the Assembly. Thee raucous early campaigning throughout the country, now in its fifth week, amply confirms Yahya's November conclusion that no "generally accepted" resolution of the provincial autonomy question had been found.


Meanwhile, the registration of' Noters has been completed without apparent graft; corruption or other charges have been made against 303 senior civil servants; the new Industrial Relations Ordinance ~~as issued, but its effect remains to be determined (Karachi A-19, January 27); gut economic issues received sustained high-level consideration, and Yahya has sacked "'est Pakistan Governor Air Marshal Nur Khan (Rawalpindi 927). The pleasant winter air is frequently rent by the cacophonous histrionics of politicians feeling their first oats in a decade.


The four excellent enclosures contributed by Constituent Posts, at Dacca, Karachi, Lahore, and Peshawar, merit the careful attention of those desiring to comprehend the political dynamics of Pakistan's current election-cum-constitutional issues. Especially given the regional motivation of much that is happening in this difficult transition period, each of the four analyses is essential for an appreciation of the yet uncertain picture as a whole.


In barest summary, the Constituent Posts report that:


In East Pakistan, disparate ideologies and physical clashes have corroded early optimism about future prospects, and some Bengalis doubt that elections will take place. Frontrunner Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is running strong on his Awami League's Six Point platform, the leftist NAP (L) is faction-ridden, the Jamaat-i-Islami (Maudoodi) continues to be significant mainly in the context of the vociferous "Islam vs Socialism" controversy, and the center/right secular parties are still in disarray. The political mood of the peasantry is a key unknown. A foodgrain crisis has been averted, and the Bengalis regard the MLA's tentative moves in the economic development sector with a mixture of cautious satisfaction and cynicism.


In Karachi and the Sind, there is serious if not clearly warranted fear that the October elections might be deferred. Regional/communal differences have assumed great importance, as demonstrated in the violent Hyderabad incidents and growing tensions between Baluchis and Pathans in Baluchistan. In the Sind, the alliance of Daultana's Council Muslim League with the Sind United Front (G.M. Syed) has taken over the political center for now. The NAP (R) is concentrating on urban areas. Bhutto's Peoples' Party and the Jamaat-i-Islami are principally fighting the "Islam vs Socialism" battle, with unclear effect. In Karachi, labor is tending to polarize on the right and left, and the unions to become politicized (Karachi A-21, Feb. 2, 1970). The business community evinces some uneasiness about the advocacy of "nationalization" by many politicians, but there is no panic.


In the Punjab too, concern is growing that elections might not be held or, if the Constituent Assembly is elected, that Bengali and Punjabi interests could prove irreconcilable. The CML keeps gathering strength, and Qaiyum Khan's "All Pakistan Muslim League" shows some potential. "Islam vs Socialism" dominates political debate. Student and other recent violence resulted in a tougher "law and order" stance on the MLA's part, and probably triggered Nur Khan's dismissal.


On the Frontier, Wall Khan's Zealous organizational effort seem not to be much impaired by Qaiyum's strident charges of Red Shirt conspiracies with India and Afghanistan. Business is apprehensive about possible nationalization, and divided about the probable economic effects of the break-up of One Unit.


Looking at the confused political scene from Rawalpindi, a few general trends are discernible. One is the increase of doubt about the viability of Yahya's election pledge, given the strength of centrifugal regional forces, the fragmentation of the center, the patent irresponsibility of many political leaders, and the tendency to campaign with brickbats. But, apart from the more radical elements of the NAP (L), all political activists appear to be strongly motivated in favour of elections.


Another countrywide phenomenon is the intensification of "Islam vs Socialism" sloganeering, which was treated in Rawalpindi A-670 of December 30. While all parties and particularly Bhutto's PPP now must constantly stress their faith in the Koran and Sunnah, this does not mean that they are shifting to the right in their stated economic objectives. To the contrary, the public's demand for a more equitable distribution of' incomee is so obviously strong that even "conservative" leaders (e.g., Qaiyum Khan and the CML's Shaukat Hayat) speak out, with varying degrees of specificity, for nationalization. Banks and insurance companies are the leading targets, with heavy industry a close third.


Our third, and most important, general observation is that a number of interrelated deadlocks continue to obtain with regard to the crucial question of provincial autonomy. Mutual antipathy between Punjabis and Bengalis, and between Punjabis and the West Pakistan minorities, appears not only to be surfacing more frequently but also to be hardening. No longer does one hear talk only in Lahore about the "inevitability" of thee separation of the Two Wings. Rare is the Punjabi who will voice willingness to have appreciable amounts of his region's resources transferred to East Bengal, or to the Frontier. Mujib seems to hope for the best of both worlds:

control over the center, and far-reaching provincial autonomy. (It occurs to us that less powerful pro-autonomy advocates such as Wali Khan might have mixed feelings on the strong vs. weak center question. If the center's ability to marshal and dispense funds is seriously impaired, who will finance the development of the Frontier?)


Now some politicians are urging Yahya to settle the autonomy issue before the elections. For Bhashani and other East Pakistan opponents of Mujib, this would neatly deprive the latter of his strongest plank. In the cases of Jamaat-i-Islami chief Maulana Maudoodi and of Asghar Khan, currently a loner, the motivation may be genuine concern lest the non-resolution of the autonomy issue render representative government impossible of achievement.


Lahore reports in its A-7 of February 3 a CML proposal that elections to the provincial assemblies be held a month after October i, rather than after the conclusion of the Constituent Assembly. With both elections over, this reasoning goes, Mujib would be better able to negotiate the autonomy question realistically in the Constituent Assembly. Shaukat Hayat (protect) told us he was going to advance this idea privately to Yahya February 5.




Foreign affairs still play no major role in the campaign. No one advocates any significant shift in Pakistan's relations with the major power. It is fashionable to advocate withdrawal from CENTO and SEATO. Accusations of USG intervention, especially in favor of the separation of East Pakistan, are quite commonplace, but these usually are made by desperate power seekers. The Ambassador, the Moon Rock and various American visitors enjoy generally favourable press. According to press reports, the Chinese Embassy here has been sensitive to "slandering" of Mao and China by the CML and Jamaat-i-Islami.


Predictably, anti-Indian tirades are indulged in by many West Pak politicians, but Mujib talks openly about Indo/Pak accommondation.




Having recorded some of the factors we know or surmise, we must stress that we do not know much about certain possibly very important factors. Chief among these is the attitude, or attitudes of the military. Dacca's and Lahore's useful contributions on this subject (Enclosures I and 3 deserve special attention).

It is a safe assumption that some in the Punjabi-dominated army hierarchy would

be willing to move extra-legally against the implementation of Mujib's Six Points. We have heard reports of Army dissatisfaction over Yahya's "coddoling", until recently, of violators of Martial Law regulations. Assuming that the armed forces takeover last March was motivated primarily by a determination to prevent the transfer of power from the ruling oligarchy to a reformist, provincial autonomy-oriented, civilian-dominated successor government (Rawalpindi 3204, March 31), one wonders when the West Pak "establishment" might next consider that a flashpoint was imminent or had been reached. Now again one can hear wealthy businessmen opine that the country is not ready for democracy. One wonders too if there are cell of non­establishment junior officers who hanker to lead the country rapidly along the road to a socialism of the Bhutto variety, or an egalitariaism of the kind favored by Nur Khan.


As noted above, we lack also a sure feel for the mood of the Bengali peasantry. With regard to West Pakistani rural sentiment, our present estimate is that the traditional (conservative) voting patterns will generally hold, but here too we cannot be certain.




Thus, a feeling of unease is about, as Pakistan gropes toward it first nationwide direct elections. On the positive side, we believe Yahya is doing his sincere best to ensure that reasonably free elections take place on schedule. Whatever his views may have been last March, Yahya now realizes that the East Wing must have considerable autonomy if Pakistan is to be preserved. Even the most fanatical "Punjab-first" Army officer must realize that an aroused East Pakistan could not be controlled by force of West Pak arms, and at least dimly perceive the perils of a breakup of the country.


Moreover, if foreign observers are aware of the problems outlined in this paper, it would be presumptuous to assume that the leading Pakistani politicians, none of whom are unambitious, are unaware of the pitfalls they must avoid in order to achieve participation in a representative government. They want to be elected to the Constituent Assembly. If the Assembly succeeds in devising a constitution acceptable to Yahya, it will furnish the prime and other ministers of the next government.


More than a year ago there began to take shape the kind of a political coalition that might provide post-Martial Law Pakistan with a strong enough binder to hold the country together. Our information is that Daultana, Mujib and Wali Khan still contemplate working together, loosely if not tightly, and that they might not object to Yahya's remaining on as (constitutional) President. It is likely that between now and October 5, in fact until after the subsequent provincial elections, the election campaign will continue to be marked by partisan politicking (including personal attacks and sloganeering) much more than by statesmanship, a originally-based political leaders seek support from a largely emotional, ill-informed and economically deprived electorate.







In interval since our last assessment of current scene in East Pakistan (Dacca 3057, November 3, 1969) we have witnessed several abrupt changes in general situation and consequent shifts in moods prevailing in province. Unfulfilled expectations and

suspicion of MLA intentions re Pakistan's political future plus tragic Bengali versus Urdu-speaking immigrant riots of early November contributed to public ennui, demoralization and forebodings of future turmoil in November 1-November 23 period. Yahya's November 28 speech announcing elections and setting stage for resumption relatively unfettered political activity defused tension-laden atmosphere and led to period of "cautious optimism" and eventual sense of euphoria as enthusiastic preparations for post-January I electioneering got underway. Finally, period of political reawakening from January 1 to present and attendant political and labor clashes has seen veneer of optimism rc future prospects corroded. Lack of fundamental concensus on basic issues painfully highlighted by intolerance of disparate groups and readiness resort to violence settle differences, prompted some local commentators express doubt elections would ever take place due to country's political "immaturity." (Other, more paranoid view is that "anti-election forces" comprising dominant Punjabi elite and East Pak rightists will somehow unite to prevent elections and chanceover to representative civilian rule.) Positive note is fact despite occasional turmil in East Pakistan and, despite its undoubted apprehensions about the present situation and the future course of events, MLA has not reimposed restrictions on political activity, thereby allowing principal parties, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's powerful Awami League and Maulana Bhashani's factionalism-prone NAP (L), demonstrate massive drawing power at public rallies, with even smaller parties such as Jamaat and PDP showing considerable vitality via public meeting and processions.






A. Chronology: November 3 to January I. Period under review commenced with bitter linguistic riots (summarized in Dacca 3104) and was marked among other things by admirable statesmanship displayed by Governor Ahsan as a conciliator between civilians and MLA, dramatic return of AL's Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from London sojourn November 8, and general political malaise vividly exemplified by Mujib's despair (Dacca 3215). Yahya's November 28 speech attenuated political forebodings and met reactions of "subdued satisfaction" (Dacca 3304, 3314, 3355). End of year saw elaborate preparations underway for resumption political activity at Dacca's Paltan Maidan, local equivalent of Hyde Park, booked in advance for rallies or public meetings (Dacca A-96, December 24, 1969), and various groups discussed election strategies, alliances, etc., (typical of renewed political involvement was Hindu-dominated "minorities conference" which met in Dacca in mid-December to discuss whether interest best met by separate electorate, reserved seats, or joint electorate, but adjourned without decision).


B. Post-January 1: Political New year in East Pakistan got under way in predictable manner as various parties began electioneering in earnest and their affiliated student, labor, and (in case of NAP (L)) peasant organizations entered frantic political arena

(Dacca 009, 115, 133). Unfortunately, as too often has been case in past, violence again hunted East Pak politics as separate clashes between ideologically opposed parties bolstered by respective intensely politicized student and labor "storm troops" left several dead and hundreds injured in separate incidents at political rallies and at

industrial sites (Dacca 014, 124, 135). Worst fracas occurred at Jamaat-i-Islami rally January 18 as well armed Islamic militants and more secular but equally violence­prone spectators exchanged blows with various and sundry lethal weapons. In addition to East Pakistan variant of "Islam versus Socialism" controversy which provided backdrop for this incident (see also Dacca 3327 for background), other key issue rising to surface of bubbling political pot was question of whether provincial autonomy should be resolved before or after elections, with apparent underdog parties advocating former alternative and publically-acknowledged front-running Awami League staunchly defending latter option. Despite such black marks on general image of politics due to violent disorders, individual parties, especially Awami League and NAP (L) which drew hundreds of thousands to rallies, but also some smaller parties, undoubtedly were pleased by electioneering participation and signs of vitality displayed therein. Although month ended with previous mood of nascent optimism being somewhat soured by subsequent events and with resurfacing local cynics who glumly expressed doubts elections would be held and civilian rule-provincial autonomy obtained thereby, positive and undeniable fact is that situation did not deteriorate beyond ability MLA maintain order without resort extreme repression of rescinding new regulations permitting political activity in relatively free "guided" form.




1. Awami League: Non-resolution of provincial autonomy question by Yahya left AL with its strongest issue intact to wage coming electioneering campaign (Dacca 044). Phenomenal success of Mujib and followers in stimulating "huge," "massive," and "unprecedented" turnouts at public meetings (and in Mujib's case, a dozen impromptu whistle-stop appearances enroute to Mymensingh) seem indicate party riding crest wave public esteem (Dacca 0, 071 ), thus belying contention of some that Mujib's prestige as autonomist martyr and hence AL influence, have waned since his release from custody in February 1969. Mujib's strategy thus appears as avoiding "entangling alliances" with lesser parties on basis AL as dominant party has nothing to gain by such (Dacca 020). Noteworthy among Mujib's remarks have been (a) announcement of major AL goals, including nationalization of major industries in January 11 speech (Dacca 071); (b) support of idea of renaming Pakistan "Bangla Desh" (Dacca A-98, December 29, 1969) and advocacy other issues dear to Bengali cultural nationalists such as repeal of controversial press and publications ordinance (Dacca 088); (c) statement flood control most important East Pak development issue (Dacca 175); and on disquieting note, (d) allegation (in private to Congen Officer) of assassination plot by small clique Punjabis in Army who fear loss of privileged position should Mujib gain power (Dacca 3436). In sum, based on relative crowd drawing ability and other less tangible indicators, Mujib and party as expected presently appear as dominant political force on East Pak scene.


2. National Awami Party (NAP-P): By contrast with Mujib's Awami League Juggernaut, EPNAP (L) as "umbrella party" for extreme leftists threatens to split as under due to intensifying factional controversies over question of electoral and other doctrinal and leadership questions, despite Maulana Bhashani's valiant efforts maintain facade of unity within party (see Dacca 3260, 3349, 080, and 195). Although preoccupation with internal problems undoubtedly diminished party's overall political effectiveness, NAP (L) - sponsored labor, peasant and student rallies were impressive (Dacca 044, 133, and 146), as was complete hartal January 20 (Dacca 132) which followed previous abortive hartal call (Dacca 3343). Prominent among Bhashani's statements were: (a) call for "peoples" constitution" prior to elections (Dacca 3267); (b) irredentist remarks on Assam (Dacca 3365 and 044); (c) announcement of plans for "Islamic cultural revolution" and appeal for settling autonomy issue prior to elections (Dacca 044); and (d) contradictory declarations re election participation by his party (Dacca 080, 133). Although NAP (L) at moment remains significant force in East Pak politics, largely due status of Bhashani as long time populist leader as well as organizational attributes of ideologically committed leftists and Communist within party, future is clouded by centrifugal tendencies and leftist partiarch's advancing age.


3. Jamaat-i-Islami: Jamaat as vociferous and fanatic party presents major enigma in attempt analyze East Pak parties and potential following. Although demonstrated crowd-drawing power not impressive, many contend that if free elections held Jamaat might draw upon Pakistani equivalent of "silent majority," especially among traditionally conservative and devout peasantry, and thus make strong showing. At

present, however, Jamaat and student affiliate Islami Chhatra Sangha (ICS) remain significant mainly in context Socialism versus Islam controversy, in which Jamaat activities have more than once incited bloodshed.


4. Other parties: NAP (R) remains prominent on local political scene, but like other parties its prospects largely tied to possible election alliances. NAP (R)'s overstures to Awami League were brusquely rebuffed by Mujib (Dacca 020), thereby appearing reduce options to coalition with NAP (L) (or some part thereof) or Ataur Rahman Khan's fledgling National Progressive League (NPL). Although PDP has

been quite active, with leaders barnstorming province and receiving considerable press coverage, its image has suffered due bailout of former Air Marshall Asghar Khan who quite popular in East Wing. Its underlying base of support also remains suspect, but like Jamaat it might benefit from votes of a "silent majority," if such exists. CML and two factions of former PML at present do not appear have much East Wing following although last two have devoted more effort to internal organizational matters than to active politicking. Some form of alliance or electoral coalitions between two or more centrist or right wing parties quite possible as electioneering pace increases, and may thereby enhance popular following. Appeal of Bhutto's PPP in East Pakistan continues to be limited by NAP (L) dominance among far leftist parties. National Progressive League, led by former Awami Leaguer Ataur Rahman Khan, and Krishak Sramik Party (KSP) of labor leader A.S.M. Sulaiman, are basically "one man shows" with relatively small following, and they along with PPP probably with seek forge coalitions or other forms per-election alliances in order maximize their prospects (or to obtain respectable berths for leaders in more viable parties).




1. Politicians: Moods of politicians difficult assess due ideological diversity and fundamental differences in outlook. Removal by MLA of restrictions on public meetings, etc., well received, and guidelines remaining apparently considered tolerable in practice. Non-Awami League politicos appear unanimous in voicing concern over failure Yahya settle all-popular autonomy question, which Mujib has pre-empted. Due vested interest in elections, most politicos have been outspoken in warning "anti-election forces" not to impede elections and in urging maintenance peace during election campaign.


2. Students: Turmoil many expected to occur when students returned to school following Ramzan recesses failed materialize, largely due Yahya November 28 announcements. Students however remain highly politicized as is traditional in East Pakistan. Open electioneering by adult mentors caused break in formerly unified student movement in Dacca as student action committee active in last year's political upsurge broke up into at least three different groups, largely reflecting attitudes of adult parties re electoral alliances, election participation, etc. Although ever-ready take to streets on protest, student animosity towards MLA appears at low ebb, with focus instead on participation in partisan electioneering campaign now underway.


3. Peasants: Mood of peasantry, which in long run may be key to election outcome in East Pakistan largely indecipherable. One question is whether Bhashani as "Islamic socialist" can exploit both rural grievances and appeal of Islam (Dacca 3327) or

whether both mutually exclusive, Another unknown factor is whether Mujib's charisma and support of provincial autonomy will capture minds of peasantry.


4. Labor: Labor's mood also difficult to grasp, although like students, workers being exploited by parties for political ends, and hence highly politicized. Labor­management problems have been overshadowed to some extent by clashes between labor-arms of various political parties (Dacca 014; also Dacca 102 for comprehensive wrap-up of East Pak labor scene.)


5. Businessmen: On whole, business appears apprehensive toward prospect of elections, seeing in such potential instability as well as spectre of nationalization. On

other hand, Congen continues receive reports various industrialists attempting "cover bets" through contributions to one or several parties.


6. Intellectuals: Intellectuals also appear obsessed with prospect of elections. Although attitudes of intellectuals toward MLA considerably better than prior to Yahya's speech, sensitivities remain as typified by recent protest against book bannings and demand for repeal of government press and publications ordinance (Dacca 088). Concentration on domestic politics has noticeably diminished public expressing former concern over Vietnam, Arab-Israel dispute, etc.


7. Military: Mood of Pakistan Army cannot be easily ascertained from Dacca vantage point. Army obviously has policy of insulating its officers from contact with foreigners, at least Americans, and all one will get from this often charming and obviously able group is bland comments about the weather or other equally non­controversial matters. However, bits and pieces of information gleaned over several months bear out the logical inference that much of the Army is less than happy with trend of events and apprehensive about the future.


Going back to last August when Islami students association (Islami Chhatra Sangha) President Abdul Malek was killed in clash with more clerically-minded students, Army was reliably reported as anxious to use force on defiant Dacca University students. Governor Ahsan's statesmanship prevented violent clash at that time but MLA's General Yakub Khan reportedly cursed Ahsan for "a fool" for "coddling" Bengalis. During language riots of last November, Army clearly showed its bias for immigrant Muslims as against Bengalis. A further indicator of the Army's unease may be the intermittent rumors heard in Dacca in recent months that President Yahya will be ousted by Punjabi Army officers opposed to free elections and their implication of greater Bengali autonomy.


Tempering those Army activists who would be tempted to intervene and prevent elections is question of whether Army could continue to maintain its control of East Pakistan situation if present course towards democracy were thwarted. Various conversation with Army Brigadiers in local MLA and with MLA General Yakub Khan, mainly by British Brigadier George Herder in Rawalpindi, reveal doubt on part of Army brass that it would control East Pakistan if political agitation should begin and spread. In a recent conversation Herder (protect) told Consul-in-Charge that Army officers are confident they could control situation in Dacca, Chittagong, Khulna and two or three other main towns, but frankly acknowledge that Army would be helpless if agitational turmoil spread out into the province even if Army had three or four more divisions. Army may thus hesitate to thwart present democratic processes for fear it might fail. Army officers may well be aware that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman during one or more of his pessimistic moods has privately threatened "to restart the movement" (referring to the December-March political agitation) if the Army attempts to thwart democracy.



Little change in economic situation East Wing since previous assessment. New import policy viewed essentially same as previous and Bengali adverse reaction continuation bonus voucher system overshadows positive reaction certain portions policy.


A. Foodgrains: With arrival imported foodgrains alleviate East Wing shortfall and appearance aman crop in markets, price declined seasonally. Aman crop was originally estimated by GOEP Agriculture Department at seven million tons, which 100 thousand tons above last year's officially announced production and 100 thousand below target. However, GOP estimate crop may be one million tons lower. An encouraging measure taken by GOP/GOEP toward long-term solution of foodgrain deficit is approval import 800 tons irri-20. According to current GOEP plans, new seed will be multiplied on special farms this year and available aman crop next year. GOEP also pushing pump distribution program for upcoming boro crop but has not improved rural credit situation.


B. Jute: Jute board price support actions increased December price levels from low September-November levels; however, December average for loose Jute approximately Rs. 8 per mound lower than previous year (probably because approximately 1.2 million sales greater production this year). Jute trade received boost from recent State Bank move make over Rs. I billion available for financing which help offset price depressing effects of continued foreign hand-to-mouth buying by providing inventory support. In absence of new GOP politics or new programs sponsored by Jute trade groups long term prospects remain dismal. Raw Jute production likely to decline as growers switch to rice in face of continued low Jute prices and Jute manufacturing continue to lose ground to synthetics. Some older, respected firms considering disengagement (Ralli already has).


C. Industrial Activity: Private sector has evidenced little or no increased investment or expansion activities and generally still adhering to "wait and see" attitude. Little evidence "massive" capital transfer from East to West Wing, but apprehensive attitude private sector (particularly non-Bengali group) not encouraging. Public sector, especially EPIDC, has been more active over this period, in spite of top level shake­up (Chairman, one director on 303 list). Several EPIDC projects (Squib Pharmaceutical Plant among them) moving ahead and EPFIDC has recently signed agreement with German-Austrian group for pulp and paper mill. East Paks happy about new equity participation fund (EPF) and transfer of head office IDEP to Dacca. Labor-management relations improved slightly during past months as both sides sort out implications of new MLA industrial relations ordinance and in response firmer MLA policies.


D. Economic Outlook: As stated in previous assessment, long term outlook depends on decisions made Islamabad. Bengalis still remain skeptical GOP concern over East Wing's economic situation in spite of additional Rs 15 crores allocated to public

sector. They continue cite collapse 4th Plan discussions over East Pak demands larger slice pie as evidence "government talks good game." Interest GOP in flood control and Yahya decision non-plan resources will be made available for purpose encouraging, but cynicism built up over last ten years is not removed by mere

expressions of good intentions.


Dacca: SButcher/RWilson/ERStumpf/AIKillgore





Since our last general assessment (Karachi 2745), Karachi Consular District has passed through three distinct phases: (a) relatively substantial uncertainty preceding President Yahya's November 28 address, much of which described in last assessment; (b) quiet but not uncritical satisfaction resulting from address; and (c) substantial turmoil and, more recently, considerable apprehension following resumption of political activity January 1. Phase a marked by growing demand for resolution of such issues as One Unit, scheduling of elections and indications of manner in which constitution-framing would be undertaken. Phase b characterized by speculations centered on consequences of President's address and by increased activity on part of parties and individual politicos seeking to forge alliances and alignments. Phase c has so far been marked by growing fears that incidents such as that at Dacca's Paltan Maidan January I I and several days of unrest in Hyderabad starting January 23 suggest that neither politicians nor populace possess breadth of vision and discipline to be able function in democratic context. In sum, hopes arising out of President's November 28 address have been undercut and there is serious, if not wholly warranted fear that October elections could be deferred and authoritarian rule, although not necessarily under Yahya, perpetuated.



With commentators and politicians more or less agreed regarding constitutional issues (they must necessarily differ regarding programs), there are two main issues presently at play in the Karachi Consular District. First are regional-cum-communal differences which have assumed substantial, possibly commanding importance. Second, and of almost equal prominence, is "Islam versus Socialism" controversy. Both have emerged as far more important at this point in time than other, seemingly equally important questions, largely because of their great emotive content.


Regional/ Communal issue most clearly demonstrated in recent Hyderabad incidents pitting Sindhis against Muhajirs and "new settlers" (i.e., Punjabis, many of them retired military personnel or civil servants). Tensions are long-standing but grew substantially during period of anti-One Unit activity. Now faced with revival of Sind, non-Sindhis have gone on offensive in what appears to be attempt either forestall recreation Sind or else insure that distribution of powers under any new constitution

includes retention substantial powers by central government protecting position of minorities.


Similar tensions are merging in Baluchistan with contest between Baluchis and Pathans. Baluchis are demanding creation of a larger Baluchistan which would include both former British Baluchistan and erstwhile princely states of Kalat, Makran, Kharan and Las Bela which before creation One Unit had separate existence in Baluchistan States Union (BSU), while Pathans opposing inclusion one-time BSU. Reason for controversy, which predicated on assumption representation in Assemblies will be based on one-man, one-vote, is simple. In larger state, Baluchis would have majority; if area former BSU given separate status, Pathans would have control in area of former British Baluchistan. It possible posit that if larger Baluchistan appears be in cards, Pathans will ask Quetta and Chaghi, Sibi, Kachhi and Loralai Districts be transferred to Sarhad. In proposal intended to inject greater element of Pluralism into situation prevailing here, CML West Pakistan President Yahya Bakhtiarinas proposed Sind, Baluchistan and Karachi form single province. And mean while, the Sotto Voce controversy over Karachi's status continues, but without real tension.


"Islam versus Socialism" remains central factor but its prevalence, significance and character sufficiently well-known to require no special comment here. Rather it will be touched upon in the following discussion of various groups at work.


President's address and revival of political activity have brought politicians and their parties more fully into limelight. All are extremely active. First, they are busy trying demonstrate their special character and suitability for power. Prior to January I they were engaged in preparing for political activity and, since that time, they have been preaching their particular gospel. Second, and much more importantly, they have been organizing for campaign. Much of this activity has centered around establishing offices and recruiting workers. For some, however, much effort has gone into developing alliances and arrangement which will either bring into fold important local figures who, in "rotten borough" context, can deliver votes. Where this not possible, electoral (i.e., "no-contest") arrangements are being sought.


Most successful in recruiting allies has been CML in Sind which has absorbed much of G.M. Syed's Sindh United Front (SUF), thus filling political centre there. How lasting these new ties may be could be tested in aftermath of Hyderabad incidents. CML still viewed as party based on Punjab and its ranks in Sind (and Karachi) include significant number of Muhajirs.


Absorption of much of SUF into CML has simplified Sindh politics, albeit possibly only for moment. NAP (R), which had hopes of extending itself into rural areas through SUF has been forced to leave front following inclusion many landlords in SUF and their key role in bringing SUF and CML together. NAP (R) now looks to ;o« n and cities, and is placing special emphasis on laborers in Hyderabad and Karachi and also attempting to woo sorne lower midclass. In Baluchistan, however, NAP­(R)'s hopes still seern reasonably bright, although for wholly paradoxical reasons. They have support of several key tribal sirdars (hereditary leaders) who like tribal leaders of former Northwest Frontier Province, have followed Wall Khan. How long­lived NAP (R)'s strength may be is questionable. Recent Pathan-Baluch antipathy may have begun to diminish NAP (R)'s lustre and it is clear that younger supporters, especially those from student ranks, are critical of role of feudal sirdars.


With Awami League existing in name only (and its arrangement with unpredictable and not overbright Pir Pagaro a seeming dead letter) and with PML (Whether regular or rump) still moribund, only two other parties serve comment. They are Z.A. Bhutto's PPP and the Jamaat-i-Islami. Both are important in their own right but gain added prominence from fact that in our District they are prime antagonists in "Islam versus Socialism" controversy. PPP continues to display great, if ill-organized vigor. Observers of Sind-where PPP is expected to have its greatest scope - nevertheless question how fruitful this display of activity will be. Ostensibly a socialist (of some ill-defined stripes), Bhutto has drawn to his camp many whose feudalistic credentials are impeccable (they have joined him not out of conviction but rather as result of local, individual and tribal rivalries). This has caused many student who had been expected to be a key source party's workers to abandon PPP. Similarly, as a Sindhi, Bhutto's ability to move Muhajirs is now much diminished.


Jamaat's position is great imponderable. Its organizational strength and discipline and its ability to finance increasing activities are said to be growing. In cities, it seems to have gained significant support but there little indication it can translate this into backing in rural area where peasantry remains under sway of landlords whose affinities are with those parties who operate on basis of compromise. There continuing reports that it has grown in size but these difficult to confirm. One thing is clear, however: in Sind, recent spate of troubles, which could affect position of CML adversely in towns, may bring new support to Jamaat. It is too early to determine whether or not this is trend.


Turning to some interest groups: religious leaders are very much in forefront of "Islam versus Socialism" controversy. Degree to which they may be assisting Jamaat more than unintentionally is unknown but it difficult to avoid conclusion that chief beneficiary of their "anti-Socialism" polemics will be rightist parties.


Students, while non-voters, continue to be force which must be considered. Their ability to direct event is minimal, although not to be ignored, and their primary importance may lie in their value as a weathervane. Drawn in very large part from middle class, students may provide earliest indication of urban, middle-class attitudes. As last year's events revealed, students demonstrated most graphically concerns of middle-class. At that time, its attitude regarding alternatives went little further than inchoate opposition to Ayub regime which, in its "decade of development," did little to benefit middle-class. At that time it was students of radical bent, moved by ideology, who led. Since then, middle-class has gained greater awareness of political life and there is reason to conclude-if we accept attitudes of their children, students, as being indicative - that this has led them rightward. In recent student union elections Jiziat-ie-Tulba, student front of Jamaat, scored heavily, besting students of radical left.


Labor too, has revealed a significant shift, and what it means for labor peace is seriously disturbing. In last several months, there has been a growing polarization within labor movement, with increasing numbers of unions being drawn away from center to left or, more particularly, right. Increasingly lost in an apolitical middle are many of more responsible economic trade unionists whose desire to keep labor from political involvement is growing, at least as of moment, more difficult. Even in absence of political involvement labor scene would inevitably display considerable instability as unions take advantage of recently-granted "right to strike," as competing unions seek success in elections to make them sole bargaining agents and as some unions and/or federations endeavor to move changes in industrial relations ordinance by agitational means. Add politics, and instability is simply increased. Thus while degree of instability cannot be laid wholly at feet of political forces, we must note fact that parties are attempting to establish labor base, that they are adding significantly to labor unrest by combining economic with political issues and, in process, Jamaat is displaying an unexpected success in influencing political attitudes of workers.


Karachi District businessmen continue to express "wait and see" attitudes toward MLA. Despite Yahya's announced moves towards election and break-up of One Unit, there is little expression of reassurance by businessmen that their interests will be safeguarded. Political calls for "nationalization," the GOP's moving forward with anti-cartel and fair trade regulatory action all make business community uneasyness perhaps most unsettling factor has been continued upsurge labor activities including escalating demands by unions on management. Impact these demands in not repeat not diminished by managements recognition that these in part result of intra-union competition.


Despite foregoing views, business activity continues to be expansionist when clear-cut opportunities available. There is considerable interest in PICK Mutual Fund and Equity Participation Fund. IDBP's and PICIC's exim resources, despite mutterious of unattractiveness, are much in demand and could be utilized many times over. PICK claims that its announcement willingness accept investment sanction applications for textile mills oversubscribed many times. Availability of liquid resources continued be demonstrated by stock market activity which at moment bullish, by 37 times oversubscription in December Pakistan Burmah Shell public offering and 93 times public oversubscription in February of Shams Textile Mills.


Despite preoccupation on part potential private United States investors with political scene, interest in Pakistan continues at high level. Most visitors express view summed up by one United States banker that "question is not repeat not whether Pakistan is good place to invest but, can you ignore market of 140 million people?" There little, if any, overconcern on part Karachi business community with Fourth plan. Most people with whom we speak see Fourth Plan as problem because of break-up One Unit and question present government's ability promulgate plan when new, popularly-elected government, would be called upon to implement plan. Lastly, while politics is primarly topic of conversation, role of business community is question mark. We unaware any direct participation by leading families in political process other than traditional Haroon interest in Karachi, Saigol's in Punjab and Ispahani in East Pakistan.



Concatenation of several, highly emotive issues and roles being played by politicians, labor and students have led to substantial concern over ability of Pakistan to reach polls on October 5, 1970. There has developed significant body of opinion which concludes that Martial Law administration (MLA) has not been sufficiently strict with those who wish to take improper advantage of freedoms granted by MLA. Whether arrests of student leaders here and political figures in Hyderabad on January 31 will alter this view remains be seen. Prior to those events, however, growth of concern and disenchantment with drift of events reinforced those who argue that Pakistan will, for the foreseeable future, require relatively authoritation rule.


It our view, at least until this weekend, that reconciliation of freedom and necessity will simply grow more difficult. "Formal" political activity, predicated so heavily on appeals to essentially actavistic impulses can only contribute to unrest, and its only cure is display of responsibility by political leaders. Regional-loaded with stuff of divisiveness and unrest. Added to this, increasingly successful efforts to politicize labor just at moment which it is testing extent of its new freedom contain seeds of greater restiveness that might otherwise be the case and could precipitate much more intense class cleavages. Adding to gloom are rising prices which could precipitate increased urban middle-class and labor disenchantment and should there be a shortfall in this coming crop, the price situation will simply worsen.


Most of these factors will have their primary impact in urban areas, already scene of restiveness. Insofar as can be determined, peasantry in Sind as yet unpoliticized, reflecting control of landlords and pirs. In Baluchistan, tribes follow their sirdars and will pose no problem as long as sirdars are content with situation. But these two groups may be irrelevant to our concerns. Rather, it is urban populace which can be aroused, and with results far surpassing their limited numbers. Thus, extent to which they are moved by parties and issues must remain the prime focus. Unless politicians, labor leaders and students adopt greater restraint, outlook for restoration of civilian rule grows increasingly uncertain.


Karachi: DMCochran

Contributor: DCohn




SUMMARY. Since preparation of last assessment, development have had both bright and dark side. President Yahya's Nov. 28 speech at least momentarily cleared air and considerably lowered political temperature. One important and immediate effect was to remove MLA as target of political heat that was building up in weeks prior to speech. With calm resumption of political activity on January 1, outlook for democratic solution looked brighter than at any time since pre-MLA days. Developments since then, however, have cast growing shadows of doubt on viability of Yahya's formula for return to constitutional government and on capacity of politicians to assume leadership mantle in constructive spirit that will resolve fundamental political dilemmas and pave way for rational considecation economic and social problems. Unless something unforeseen happens to cause politicians to reconsider their present course, possibility growing that (1) elections will not be held or (2) that if Constituent Assembly should meet, it will not be able complete constitution that Yahya could accept. In our view, outcome of failure to hold elections or complete constitution would be military coup against Yahya, Bengali effort at separation and end for foreseeable future of movement toward democratic rule. Basic to this view is our assessment that Bengali and Punjabi interests may prove

irreconcilable. While some political leaders are themselves prepared for necessary compromises, none appears strong or confident enough to afford luxury of playing statesmen while demagogues take away their support. Continuing labor and student

troubles, while not severe enough to threaten regime, create psychological atmosphere of instability that may sap will of pubic political leaders and MLA to continue search for political solutions.



Principal characteristics of political scene in Punjab are: (A) apparent emergence of Daultana and CML in commanding position, (B) virtual collapse of Pakistan Democratic Party as effective political party in West Wing following tergiversations of Asghar Khan; (C) emergence of fledgling group under Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan (All Pak Muslim League) which may grow into second power in Punjab after CML; (D) continued dominance of Socialism vs Islam issue in political debate and (E) hardening of Punjabi opposition to Bengali demands (see

below). With flurry of political activity following January 1 resumption, we have yet to note emergence of political leader one could conceivably describe as inspiring "popular" enthusiasm or confidence. The Punjabi front-runner, Daultana, is less a party leader than presiding officer of loose confederation of tribal chieftains and landlord, few of whom are personally or ideologically committed to Daultana. In circumstances it is difficult foresee how leadership will adopt and sell to population, political and economic sacrifices necessary to preserve integrity of Pakistan. This leadership faces additional problem of persuading restive labor, student and other dissatisfied groups that it is prepared to or capable of redressing their grievances. Without asserting that it cannot be done by available political leadership, we have yet to see any sign that it is being done.


PUBLIC MOOD. Punjabis have been described to us by one political leader as pragmatic, realistic people, but given to despondency when faced with difficult political problems. It is despondency, more than anything else that characterizes present public mood. If people were mildly optimistic at beginning of year, successive disruptions in Dacca, Hyderabad and at Punjab University have shredded whatever complacency that existed. As was frequently heard prior to President Yahya's No. 28 speech, Punjabis are again saying preservation of Pakistan is hopeless endeavors and       ' that elections cannot be held. They are despondent over breakup of One Unit, over dramatically demonstrated dislike of Bengalis for West Paks, and over MLA's inability to forestall deterioration of law and order.


PUNJABIS VERSUS BENGALIS. Politically sophisticated Punjabis have for at least the past year recognized the need to accommodate some Bengali demands. However, even among these sophisticates there is general lack of awareness how much this accommodation ma,. cost them. or if awareness exists, there is tremendous resistance price to be paid. There is only tiny, group of political leaders who both recognize cost and express willingness to pa,. Included among these are Daultana and Shaukat Hayat of CML. but we would question whether in crunch they could bring their following along. They are of course banking on Mujib retreating from brink of his Six Points, but we suspect they have not carefully analyzed viable alternatives to Six Points (which would almost certainly include substantial transfer of resources from West Pakistan to East Pakistan). Some members of Saigol family who have thought of costs in this way have privately said they would prefer to see country split than to pay for its preservation. Dilemma of East versus West can perhaps be expressed in following way: Six Points clearly unacceptable to  military establishment and probably to Punjabi-dominated central bureaucracy; alternative of letting Mujib and Bengalis run center and effect sizeable transfers from West to East probably unacceptable to Punjabi landlord groups and presumably to big-business interests based here and in Karachi. (In this context, it is interesting to note that Mujib reportedly told N.M. Khan, West Pak who was once East Pak Chief Secretary and is close friend of Mujib, that he could not budge on Six Point even after elections because of his fear that wily Punjabis would somehow trick Bengalis out of just desserts under any arrangement that did not guarantee full autonomy to East Pakistan.)


GOVERNMENT. GOWP has been preoccupied in recent weeks with arrangements for break-up of One Unit and with recurring labor problems. It appeared ill-prepared for and surprised by disturbances in Hyderabad and on various West Pak campuses. Tolerance of labor law violations, political shenanigans in contravention of MLR 60 and of student unrest seemed to be GOWP general approach. Our reading at present moment is that outburst of past ten days have deeply shaken GOWP's and MLA's confidence that it can control events. We inclined to see Nur Khan's abrupt departure from Governorship as direct result MLA determination that it must get tough if order to be preserved through elections, Nur Khan may well have been reluctant play hatchet-man for regime with which he has many basic policy differences.


BUSINESS CLIMATE. Business here continues to be nervous about labor unrest, but now believes that government is essentially on its side. While holding off on major new investments until dust settles, most businessmen report satisfactory current results. On politics, we believe that business on balance would prefer preservation of status quo rather than emergence of elected government which is bound to give

business some trouble no matter who is elected. As the wish is father to the thought, we note f fairly high proportion of buslnessmen who predict elections will never take

place. This may account for what we understand is business reluctance to make major contributions to political parties - even to centrist CML which is emerging as likely winner in West Pakistan. We are told that business is giving to Jamaat-i­Islami, but this appears to be effort to enlist JI support in busting hostile unions.


CONCLUSION: At risk of sounding note of deep gloom, we feel obliged report that we see little from our vantage point to encourage belief Pakistan will survive as an entity through electoral and constitution-making process. There may, however, be other factors at work which we are unable observe or assess which could substantially mitigate our negative prognosis, e.g., country's capacity for muddling through (perhaps a dominant characteristic of its brief history): large element of brinksmanship which may be involved in apparently hardening attitudes in both wings; and possibility of untapped external resources that could provide wherewithal to keep country together. These may seem slender reeds, but perhaps in long-run, present unknowns will prove more decisive than observable negative factors.


Lahore: PConstable




Except for renewed political activity general situation in Frontier has changed little from last assessment. Political leaders are stumping the region trying to win over supporters to their cause, students keep relatively quiet, business community remains somewhat apprehensive about future, while workers and peasants pursue the relentless task of eking out livelihood while listening to promises of the politicians and hoping for better future.


With general elections still months away and political campaigns just started, it is difficult at this stage to assess relative strength of major parties in Frontier. If size of mass meeting held in Peshawar is any criterion, obvious that PPP of Bhutto and NAP-(R) of Wali Khan lead all other parties in popularity . Bhutto's performance at Jinnah Park, however, cannot be taken as true measure of his party strength in the Frontier. His ability to maintain level enthusiasm which he generated at Jinnah Park would much depend on what sort of party organization he can create and how many strong leaders he can attract to his banner. NAP (R), on the other hand, has been more successful in its public relation program and its hard core of dedicated workers stump villages and towns with fanatical zeal.


NAP (R)'s nemesis Qaiyum Khan keeps the pressure on Wall and the Red Shirts plugging away on the theme that these persistent advocates of "Pukhtoonistan" are conspiring with India, Pakistan's enemy, to subvert the integrity of the Pakistan state. Qaiyum is trying frantically to build up strong opposition to Wall by uniting all Muslim league factions but while successful in fusing his Quaid-i-Aslam League with sections of the old Muslim League, he still has to overcome the mistrust and suspicions of many who are critical of his past record as Chief Minister of Frontier. Ayub's old friends here will have no truck with him and neither will Daultana's Council leaguers, i.e., Yusuf Khattak. Behind-the-scene maneuvers intended to form a united front against Wali have not been too successful so far. Political atmosphere being polluted by mud-slinging and name-calling despite appeal by NAP (R) leaders to stick issues. Recent disturbances in Dacca and Hyderabad inspired an interparty public demonstration in Chowk Yadgar Square but even then there was an element of discord as neither NAP (R) nor PPP chose to participate.


Among major issues being debated here by political leaders, nationalization looms as most controversial. Both Qaiyum and Wali have advocated nationalization of heavy industry, banks and insurance companies causing some alarm in business community. Of late Wali upon suggestion of his friends has down played the issue but Qaiyum keeps plugging at it in belief that it is popular with masses.


Business community divided between those who despair of future with break-up of One Unit and those who see in provincial autonomy new opportunities for economic progress. One disturbing element is attitude of number prominent businessmen who fear that if East Pakistan captures control of central government Pak nation will sooner or later slide into "Communist orbit." For this reason, they express hope East Paks will decide to go their way leaving West Paks in control their "own destiny." Some businessmen are also skeptical about elections and tend to interpret passiveness of' MLA vis-a-vis recent disturbances in Dacca and Hyderabad as sign MLA will retrench on President Yahya's commitment on grounds conditions are not yet suitable for elections. Business community in general disturbed by politicians talk of nationalization and this explains to some extent reason why businessmen identified with Ayub's Muslim League are reluctant make common cause with Qaiyum.


In meantime labor leaders continue to warn rank and file not to engage in partisan politics but to concentrate on labor problems. There is still concern for rising consumer prices and trade union leaders are demanding a 20 percent wage increase. There are reports that discontent among peasants is being fanned by "certain politicians" who preach that "the land belongs to those who work it" but there is no evidence of any trouble in the rural areas.


Students at Peshawar University and other institutions of higher learning are admirably quiet. Student grievances continue to plague campus life but there have been no militant demonstrations. Two recent open gatherings held by students were well-disciplined. One was held to protest alleged kidnapping of student by tribesmen, the other to condemn "hooliganism" and Dacca and Hyderabad. Student organizations at Peshawar University are divided along political party lines but so far there has been no attempt by individual parties to get their respective student sympathizers to move from the classroom to the street.


In sum, the general situation in the Frontier region is relatively quiet in comparison with other areas of Pakistan. After first few weeks of mass rallies, parties have shifted their activities to rural areas. Political leaders, however, are jockeying for position with final line-up yet to be determined.


Peshawar: AVelletri





Source: The American Papers – Secret and Confidential India.Pakistan.Bangladesh Documents 1965-1973,  The University Press Limited, p.327 - 346.