Report of a Press Conference by Mr. Z. A. BHUTTO on March 15, 1971 Pakistan People's Party cannot be ignored in Country's Governance


Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Chairman of the Pakistan People's Party, said hers (Karachi) yesterday that the present deadlock on constitution making could not be resolved "by ignoring the wishes of the people of West Pakistan as represented: by the majority party in West Wing".


He told a Press Conference here that he was not "unhopeful" of resolving. the present "inherent crisis" which had now come to surface.


Mr. Bhutto said that he supported the demand for lifting of Martial Law and transfer of power to the People's elected representatives. `The sooner the` Martial Law is withdrawn the better", he said and added that the mechanism, was bet to be worked out for this purpose. He said he did not think that there could be any difficulty resolving the present crisis.


He told a questioner that the present crisis was not new. It was there for all the times in the past but it emerged on the surface now. He said that the word "secession" was not being used after this crisis or that the new foreign, policy outlooks were not coming to the light after this crisis. They all existed before the current crisis, he said and added that it was now for the "two majority parties" to face this crisis and frame a lasting constitution.

Mr. Bhutto said that his party wanted that while transferring power at the Central level it should be transferred to the "two majority parties" of East and West Pakistan. "Our position is that the majority party in East Pakistan toge­ther with the majority party in West Pakistan could democratically represent the ,country".


Mr. Bhutto said this proposition did not in any way imply "two Pakistans and two Prime Ministers", one for each Wing. He said that he wanted a united Pakistan. He said that the common man very well understood what he meant by this contention and regretted that a section of the Press was "mischievously" ,distorting his standpoint. "it was misconstrued by vested interests whose ultimate aim is to disintegrate Pakistan. They now stand exposed in the eyes of the people."


Mr. Bhutto said that leaders of other political parties were giving a different ,meaning to his contention. The PPP enjoyed an "axiomatic position" in this 'behalf, he said.      '

Asked how he would react if the leader of the majority party in East Pakis­tan, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman gave representation at the Central level to the lea­ders of minority parties in West Pakistan, Mr. Bhutto said that his party "repre­sented the will of the majority of the people of West Pakistan. If this party is -excluded it will imply the will of the majority of people of this Wing has been ignored".


Geographical Distance


Mr. Bhutto reiterated that in the situation faced by Pakistan, having a geographical distance between the two parts, "the rule of majority did not apply". The majority part ' v "must take into account it the Governance of the country, the wishes of the majority party of this Wing," he added.


Mr. Bhutto said that in the event of transfer of power to the majority party -of this Wing, the PPP would "certainly give representation to the North West frontier Province and Baluchistan".


The PPP leader denied accusation against him that in his talks with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Dacca in January last, he discussed with him the sharing ,of power. He said that it was "a total lie" circulated by certain individuals who bad been "most unkind" to him.


He said that if this was the position, he would have agreed to the six-point programme straight away and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman "would have been happy ,to accommodate him in the Government."


Mr. Bhutto said that there was no question of the PPP and its leader wanting power. "The people want us to come into power and fulfil our promises for bettering their lot."


Mr. Bhutto said that power in the Central should be transferred to the majority parties of both the Wings and in the provinces to the majority parties in the provinces.



(The Dawn, KarachiMarch 16, 1971)



Source: Bangaldesh Documents, vol – I, p.239-240