TRANSFER OF POWER TO AWAMI LEAGUE AND PPP IN THE TWO WINGS
BHUTTO'S DEMAND IN CASE OF PRE-CONSTITUTION CHANGES

 

Speech by Mr. Z. A. BHUTTO on March 14, 1971, at Nishtar Park, Karachi

 

Mr. Zulfikar All Bhutto, Chairman of the Pakistan People's Party said in Karachi yesterday that if power was to be transferred to the people before any constitutional settlement, as demanded by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, it should be transferred to the majority party in East Pakistan "and the majority party here".

 

Addressing a public meeting in Nishtar Park here, the P.P.P. leader said that there were two Wings of the country. The People's Party was in majority in this Wing and the Awami League in East Pakistan.

 

If power was to be transferred to the majority parties of the two Wings, it should be given to the Awami League in East Pakistan and to People's Party in West Wing.

 

Mr. Bhutto strongly advocated for "one Pakistan". He said that how demo­cratic principles were applicable to a country' divided into two parts. In the situation of Pakistan with the background of Six-Point demand, the majority parties of both the Wings of the country have to arrive at a general settlement, Mr. Bhutto said.

 

He added that the rule of majority for the whole country would become applicable only if the Six-Point demand was dropped. Since that is not being done, the rationale and logic of this Six-Point demand necessitates agreement of the majority parties of both the Wings, he added.

 

Mr. Bhutto, in his 85-minute speech, dealt in detail with the events following last general elections. He also spoke on the stand of his party on the consti­tution making.

Mr. Bhutto said the People's Party insisted that there should be an end to exploitation in both Wings of the country. This, he said, could be done only if the capitalistic pattern of society was done away with and socialism was intro­duced.

 

He said that the Awami League had shown itself against discussing outside the Assembly and its leader insisted on resolving all issues within the Assembly. In this context, Mr. Bhutto wondered why the Awami League had now come forward with four "conditions" outside the Assembly.

 

Utmost Efforts

 

He said that his party had made "utmost efforts" to arrive at some under­standing and settlement with the majority party outside the Assembly on the constitutional issue. "If the Awami League is not willing to this, we are helpless", he added.

Mr. Bhutto said his party was willing to sit with the majority party in the Assembly to frame Pakistan's -comprehensive " constitution which would ensure solidarity of the country and prosperity of its people. He said he was still optimistic that there could be some settlement with Awami League on the consti­tutional issue.

 

He urged Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to ignore "advice and counsels" of those who had been rejected by the people in the last general election and even had their security deposits forfeited.

 

Mr. Bhutto said that the capitalists, reactionary elements and agents of imperialism were out to create misunderstanding between the two majority parties. He said he was never hesitant or reluctant to meet Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to discuss the constitutional matters and was still prepared to go to Dacca to meet Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

 

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Assurances

 

He said that the People's Party wanted only "assurances" from the majority party that its view point would also be heard in the Assembly. It had not laid down any preconditions for attending the Assembly. The Awami League leadership had said that there should be no preconditions outside the Assembly. He said he (Mr. Bhutto) wondered why the Awami League had now laid down four preconditions for attending the National Assembly.

 

Mr. Bhutto said that all he had asked for was to get more time before his party went to the Assembly. This he said, was necessary to seek the consent of the people on the Six-Point programme. The People's Party, Mr. Bhutto said, had a mandate from the people only on its foreign policy and the socialist pattern of econony.

 

Mr. Bhutto said that in the event of acceptance of Six-Point programme Punjab and Sind would have to meet about 80 percent revenues of the country. Besides, the Awami League maintained that the West Wing owed Rs. 3,100 crore.

to East Wing and about Rs. 3,871 crore out of 4,000 crore rupees of foreign aid should go to East Pakistan.

He said that if his party had conceded the six-point programme against the wishes of the people of West Pakistan, the electorate in this Wing would have been justified in impeaching the P.P.P. for this action.

 

Confrontation

 

Mr. Bhutto said, the People's Party would have to forego its confrontation with India policy on the Kashmir issue if the provinces were vested with powers to have trade relations with foreign countries under the Six-Point programme.

 

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Mr. Bhutto said that with Awami League on the one side wanting more or less independence and the People's Party on the other side wanting an end to the exploitation, an extreme crisis was inevitable. This crisis, Mr. Bhutto said, had erupted now because the difference had come to surface. He said that this crisis had to be faced at some stage whether outside the Assembly or inside the house after that. He said that it was better that we should face this crisis right now. It would assume a more serious nature if the crisis was deferred.

 

Trade and aid

 

Mr. Bhutto said that his party had not adopted an uncomprising attitude on the six-point programme. His party was trying its best to narrow down the differences on each and every point of the programme. The only debatable point was foreign trade and foreign aid.

 

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Mr. Bhutto dismissed outright the Awami League's allegation that the date of National Assembly's Session was set by President General Yahya Khan after consulting him. He swore by `Kalima' and his children, that President Yahya Khan did not consult him about the comening of the National Assembly Session.

 

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(THE DAWN, Karachi-March 15, 1971)

 

 

Source: Bangladesh Documents, vol – I, p.234 – 236