A report on the East Pakistan Awami League Working Committee Meeting
on February 14, 1971


The Working Committee of the East Pakistan Awami League today noted with satisfaction that the National Assembly had been convened by the President to meet on March 3 and considered it has a step forward towards achieving the goal of Constitution-making.


The Working Committee which met here with the Party Chief, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in the chair, discussed at length the economic and political situation and matters relating to the framing of Constitution. The Working Committee did not formally adopt any resolution, but the Party Secretary, Mr. Tajuddin Ahmed, briefed newsmen at the end of its four-hour deliberations.


The Working Committee reiterated its determination to frame the Constitution on the basis of Awami League's six-point programme and the Student Action Committee's 11-point programme. It also discussed the outline of the Constitution that the party would introduce in the National Assembly in the form of a Bill. Mr. Tajuddin pointed out that the constitution would be framed on the basis of the outline-the basic principles as he called it. The peculiar problems of certain regions of West Pakistan had to be examined in the light of discussions with the West Pakistan leaders and incorporated in the constitution, Mr. Tajuddin said.


Mr. Tajuddin said they were worried over the delay in convening the National Assembly. There was good reason for this anxiety. He said President Yahya Khan was committed to call the National Assembly Session. It must be said to the credit of the President that he had so far not backed out of any commitment and fulfilled all. So when there was delay in calling the Session of the National Assembly there must have been some reason for it, Mr. Tajuddin said.


Plane Hijacking


The Working Committee also discussed at length the hijacking of Indian aircraft and its subsequent blowing up and the developments that followed, including the Indian ban on overflights of Pakistani aircraft over her territory. Asked if the Working Committee discussed the hijacking of Indian plane, Mr. Tajuddin replied in the affirmative and said "it is a vital matter which has led us to a state of confrontation with India."


The Party Chief, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is expected to deliver a major policy statement spelling out the stand of Awami League on constitutional issue to-morrow.

About the constitution, he will reiterate the declared party stand that it must be based on six and eleven-point, but possibly with a more firm voice.


Awami League as the majority party in the National Assembly considers itself fully competent to frame the constitution. It welcomes co-operation from all in order that there is a consensus, but is unmistakably clear in its mind that such co-operation should come on the clear and explicit understanding that the six­point programme is the basis of the constitution.


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Sheikh Mujibur Rahman took the Working Committee into confidence on the talks he has so far held with the West Pakistani leaders, including the People's Party Chief, Mr. Z. A. Bhutto, Mr. Tajuddin briefing newsmen said the Working Committee was fully satisfied with the manner in which these talks were conducted by the Awami League leaders.


The Working Committee expressed grave anxiety over the deteriorating economic situation, especially in East Pakistan. It also expressed anxiety over the spiralling of prices and the food problem.


The Working Committee of the All-Pakistan Awami League met this evening under the presidentship of Sheikh MuJibur Rahman. West Pakistani leaders of the Awami League, who are on the Central Working Committee, were present in the meeting.


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(The Dawn, Karachi-February 15, 1971)



Source: Bangladesh Documents, vol-I, p.151-152