Statement by AIR MARSHAL ASGHAR KHAN on March 15, 1971 at Peshawar


Air Marshal (Retd.) Asghar Khan, Chief of the Tehrik-i-Istiqlal, here today described the People's Party Chairman, Mr. Z. A. Bhutto's suggestion for transfer of power to the "majority parties" in East and West Pakistan as "most un­fortunate".


Addressing members of the Peshawar District Bar Association here, he said that the suggestion was not consistent with the concept of Pakistan.


He said that Mr. Bhutto's statement was self contradictory. On the one hand, Mr. Bhutto had opposed the "grouping" of provinces in West Wing and on the other was suggesting transfer of power to the "majority party in West Pakistan". "Politically there is no West Pakistan. There are four provinces in this Wing of the country", he said.


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Air Marshal Asghar Khan described the political situation in the country as "serious", and urged the "right thinking" people to rise to the occasion, to lead the country on the "right path". He reiterated that power should be handed over to the majority party, "where it rightly belongs".


He said that, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was at present "holding the Country together." because, if East Pakistan goes. West Pakistan will also disintegrate.


He felt that any attempt to "crush" the present situation in East Pakistan, only mean postponement of the crisis. It would not be the "solution" of the problem he said.


Air Marshal (Retd.) Asghar Khan said that the people of East Pakistan ..anted maximum protection of their rights and took the Six Points as a measure of their "salvation" so that they could live as free citizens of Pakistan and lead happy and contented life.


(THE DAWN, Karachi-March 16, 1971)