Press Report on March 16, 1971


Nawabzada Sher Ali Khan, when contacted by PPI to comment on Chairman Bhurto's Karachi speech, said he had not read it in detail so he could not make a comprehensive comment.


Nevertheless, he said he was not ready to accept that any sensible and patriotic Muslim could present a proposal envisaging the break-up of Pakistan into two countries as was evidently implied by this move to transfer power to the majority parties in the two Wings.


He said if the proposal had been correctly reported, he could say that its consequences would be far more catastrophic for the Muslims of the Sub-Continent than the tragedies that befell them at the battles of Plassey and Seringapatum. Such a proposal could only fulfil the hopes of those who were opposed to the establishment and continued existence of Pakistan. "It would please our enemies who forced a war on us in 1965", he said.

"I hope and pray he has been incorrectly reported," Nawabzada Sher Ali Khan said. He was confident that the Muslims of East as well as West Pakistan would never allow to succeed a conspiracy to tear the country to pieces.


Mian Tufail

Mian Tufail Mohammad, Acting "Amir" of the Jama'at-i-Islami said in Lahore on Sunday that the setting up of two separate governments in the two Wings of the country would be a negation of the Legal Framework Order.


Commenting on the proposal of Mr. Z. A. Bhutto, chairman of the Pakistan People's Party that power in West Pakistan must be transferred to the People's Party, if it was to be transferred to the Awami League in East Pakistan, Mian Tufail Mohammad said that a division of this sort contradicted the Legal Frame­work Order which was promulgated only to safe guard the integrity of the country.


He said Mr. Z. A. Bhutto, by making this suggestion had clearly stated his purpose of becoming the sole ruler in West Pakistan. He said it was strange that Mr. Bhutto had now started talking about West Pakistan as a single unit. He said that the conditions prevalent in East Pakistan today were a result of the attitude adopted by Mr. Bhutto.        '


Hamid Sarfraz

Malik Hamid Sarfraz, General Secretary, Punjab Awami League said in Lahore on Sunday that it was shocking to learn that Mr. Z. A. Bhutto, in the course of his speech at the Karachi public meeting, had demanded that power in East and West Pakistan should be transferred to the respective majority parties-the Awami League and the People's Party.


He said: "I am dumfounded to hear that Mr. Bhutto, the erstwhile sole protagonist of the solidarity of Pakistan in his craze for power has thus virtually demanded secession of the two Wings of the country".


"I hope now the people of Pakistan shall be better equipped to comprehend the conspiracy of secession and its real author, Mr. Bhutto," he said. "I certainly believe that his move shall be forthwith rejected by the patriotic people of Pakistan" he added.


Ali Asghar Shah

In Rawalpindi, Syed Ali Asghar Shah a former MNA, and President, Muslim League (Convention), Rawalpindi, said last night that the demand made by Mr. Z. A. Bhutto that power should be transferred to his party in West Pakistan and to the Awami League in East Pakistan, clearly proved that the PPP Chairman was only interested in capturing power. He said today the basic issue was how to save Pakistan. All other matters were of secondary importance. But it seems, he added, that Mr. Bhutto "could not live without being in power". He sugges­ted that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Mr. Bhutto should settle their differences through negotiations.


Mian Nizamuddin Hyder

In Karachi, Mian Nizamuddin Hyder MNA-elect and the leader of the Bahawalpur United Front has strongly condemned Sunday's statement by Mr. Z. A. Bhutto, and said the PPP Chief was now advocating "a two nation theory" for Pakistan.


Mian Hyder said the existing national crisis had taken a "serious" turn "because of the irresponsible statements of the PPP Chairman".


In a statement issued on Monday, the Bahawalpur leader pointed out that Mr. Bhutto had been endeavouring from the very beginning to share power. He observed that the latest demand of the PPP amounted to the division of the country and no Pakistani would tolerate such irresponsible statements from any quarter whatever.


In fact he pointed out the demand of Mr. Bhutto for "division of power between the two Wings amounts to the division of the country." The PPP Chief wanted "two constitutions, two governments and two countries", he remarked.


Mahmood Manto

Khawaja Mahmood Ahmad Manto, President, Council Muslim League, Rawal­pindi, has bitterly criticised Mr. Bhutto's suggestion for the transfer of power to two majority parties in the country and accused the PPP Chairman of spreading chaos and confusion in the country.

In a Press statement issued in Rawalpindi yesterday, he said Mr. Bhutto wanted to grab the power even at the cost of national integrity.

Mr. Manto pointed out that the elections to the National Assembly were held for the whole country, and the Awami League had emerged as the single largest party in the whole country. Therefore, the Awami League majority could not be reduced only for East Pakistan, he added.

He said that with the suggestion made by Mr. Bhutto on Sunday in Karachi, the People's Party stood fully exposed. The people should now fully realise the dangerous designs of the PPP which was out to disintegrate the country. He said that the people had voted for the PPP not for the dismemberment of Pakis­tan. "The patriotic people will not allow the People's Party to endanger the solidarity of the country," he said.


Mohammad Mahmood

Mr. Mohammad Mahmood, former General Secretary of the All-Pakistan Awami League, commenting on the speech of Mr. Z. A. Bhutto, said that it was for the people of the Punjab to decide whether they want one Pakistan or two Pakistans as had been advocated by the Chairman of the People's Party. The people of the Punjab had given him support and it was for them to withdraw that support if they wanted one Pakistan.

In a statement, he said Mr. Bhutto stood fully exposed and so Mr. Abdul Qaiyum Khan, both were a great obstacle in the way of transfer of power to the people. both of them wanted commitments about their share in the Govern­ment before they lent support for the Constitution-making.


Mahmudul Haque Usmani

Mr. Mahmudul Haque Usmani, Secretary-General, National Awami Party Wali group) on Monday evening said it was most `imperative' that `a care-taker' government should be formed at the centre.


Addressing the party workers, he said it should be the discretion of the majority party leader to select any member of the National Assembly for inclusion in the care-taker ministry for running the administration and immediate solution of various problems confronting the nation.


Kazi Faiz Mohammad

Kazi Faiz Mohammad, senior Vice-President of the Pakistan Awami League said in Karachi on Monday that the speech delivered by PPP Chief, Mr. Z. A. Bhutto in Karachi yesterday was replete with contradictions based on a combi­nation of `truths and untruths'.

Prof. Ghafoor Ahmad, MNA-elect and leader of the Jama'at-i-Islami Parlia­mentary Party on Monday evening said that Pakistan People's Party Chief Mr. Z. A. Bhutto wanted to divide the country into two parts to capture power in the Western Wing.


East Wing

Mr. Bhutto's suggestion of transferring power to both the majority parties simultaneously, evoked a sharp reaction in East Pakistan and political circles in East Pakistan said such a suggestion proved that Mr. Bhutto believed in two Pakistans.


These circles maintained that in a democracy majority party alone had the right to form the government.


There could not be two majority parties at a time in a house, they said and commented that the demand for lifting of the Martial Law and transfer of power to the majority party was perfectly democratic and also the best solution to the present crisis.

Khwaja Mohammad Safdar, General Secretary of the Punjab Zonal Council Muslim League, on Monday criticised the proposal made by Mr. Z. A. Bhutto, Chairman of Pakistan People's Party that the power be transferred to the two major parties in two Wings of the country.


He charged Mr. Bhutto for creating the prevalent political crisis and bringing the country on the brink of disaster.


Political Parties Leaders

A joint meeting of Karachi leaders of various political parties and members­elect of the National and Provincial Assemblies on Monday asked President Yahya Khan to take immediate steps to transfer power to the elected represen­tatives of the people.


A resolution passed at the meeting described as "mischievous" the proposal made by the Pakistan People's Party Chairman, Mr. Z. A. Bhutto at his public meeting in Karachi on Sunday.


Syed Khalil Ahmad Tirmizi, Organising Secretary, Pakistan Awami League and Shaikh Manzurul Haq, President, City Awami League `warned the nation' in Karachi on Monday of the 'plans of Mr. Z. A Bhutto' which, they claimed, aimed at splitting the country into two.





Nawabzada Nasrullah, President of the Pakistan Democratic Party, West Wing said in Lahore on Monday, that Mr. Bhutto's proposal for the transfer of power to the respective majority parties of the East and West Wing was absolutely contrary to democratic norms.

In a Press statement he said it was quite natural for the patriotic circles to get disturbed at Mr. Bhutto's recent suggestion.


Shamsud Doha

Mr. A. R. Shamsud Doha, General Secretary, Rawalpindi Division Awami League has said Awami League will resist all attempts endangering the integrity of the country.

Commenting on the statement of Mr. Z. A. Bhutto, Chairman, PPP at Karachi in which he has said that power should be transferred to the majority party in East Pakistan and to the majority party in West Pakistan. Mr. A. R. Shamsud Doha said that Pakistan Awami League stands for the integrity and solidarity of the country at all costs.


Fateh Mohammad

Maulana Fateh Mohammad Ameer Jama'at-i-Islami Rawalpindi division has said that Mr. Z. A Bhutto, Chairman of Peoples Party is a bundle of contradic­tions. He was commenting on Mr. Bhutto's yesterday speech delivered in Karachi.


(THE PAKISTAN TIMES, Lahore-March 16, 1971)



Source: Bangladesh Documents, vol – I, p.241-244