10.4 CALL ON THE SECRETARY OF THE STATE BY MR S.K. DEHLVI, HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR PAKISTAN. NOTE ON STUDENT DISTURBANCES

 

 

Public Record Office

 

REF: FCO 37/466

 

Private Secretary

 

Call on The Secretary of State by Mr. S.K. Dehlavi
High Commissioner for
Pakistan

 

Note on Student Disturbances

 

Demonstrations by students, which began in Rawalpindi on Thursday, 7 November, have since spread to Islamabad. Lahore, Hyderabad, Peshawar and Nowshera. They began nominally as a protest against seizure by the customs of goods smuggled by students. In some areas the demonstrations have become violent and police and troops have had to use tear gas and have imposed a dusk to dawn curfew in Rawalpindi. The main road between Rawalpindi and Islamabad has been closed and three students have been reported killed.

 

2. We have had no reports yet about the shots fired yesterday during a meeting in Peshawar at which President Ayub was speaking. The implication in newspaper reports is that the Pakistan Government consider, or at least intend to maintain publicly, that it was not a serious attempt on the life of President Ayub.

 

3. Our High Commission think that hooligans have taken over from the students. There does not appear to be any evidence that the mobs were politically inspired, although Mr. Z.A. Bhutto (previously Foreign Minister, now leader of the opposition People's Party) will undoubbtedly try to extract as much political capital from the disturbances as possible. He has already made the gesture of attending the funeral of one of the dead students.

 

Talking Points

 

Any further news from Pakistan about the student troubles?

 

Not altogether clear what is behind them.

 

Hope yesterday's incident at Peshawar was not in fact an attempt on President Ayub's life.

 

 

(A.A. Duff)
11 November, 1968

 

Source: The British Papers Secret and Confidential India.Pakistan.Bangladesh Documents 1958-1969, Oxford University Press, p. 733