Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman arrived at the President House, now Sugandha, hoisting a black flag to protest the atrocious massacre being carried out on innocent Bengalis in the name of “negotiations”, reports BSS. But Bhutto remained defiant. He tells a press conference “Pakistan People’s Party cannot be ignored in country’s governance.” Minority parties’ leaders from what was still West Pakistan criticized Bhutto’s speech. Air Marshal Asghar Khan said: Bhutto is self-contradictory. On the one hand, Mr. Bhutto has opposed the “grouping” of provinces in West Wing and on the other (he) is 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. (Bangabandhu) Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is at present “holding the Country together.” Because, if East Pakistan goes, West Pakistan will also disintegrate.
West Pakistan political leaders slate Bhutto-Press report through a press statement. Professor Ghulam Azam, Amir of the Jama’at-i-Islami said that it had been crystal clear from the statement of Mr. Bhutto that he did not want to see Pakistan United. The Jama’at leader alleged that Mr. Bhutto had engaged himself in ” a conspiracy” immediately after the last general elections to divide the nation to fulfill his desire. He made an appeal to the President “not to help Mr. Bhutto in any way to break Pakistan” .
Prof. Azam said that immediate lifting of Martial Law and transfer of power to the elected representatives of the people could only save the nation from crisis. (DAWN, Karachi, March 16,1971) Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s statement: RULE OF MAJORITY DOES NOT APPLY TO PAKISTAN PPP CANNOT BE IGNORED IN COUNTRY’S GOVERNANCE 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 (e) (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 `The sooner the` Martial Law is withdrawn the better”, he said and added that the mechanism, was be(s)t to be worked out for this purpose.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, (Bangabandhu) 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”.
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 (Bangabandhu) Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Dacca (Dhaka) in January last, he discussed with him the sharing ,of power. He said that it was “a total lie” circulated by certain individuals who b(h)ad 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 (Bangabnadhu) 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, Karachi, Pakistan – March 16, 1971)
MINORITY PARTIES LEADERS CRITICISE BHUTTO’S SPEECH
Press Report on March 16, 1971
Nawabzada Sher Ali Khan, when contacted by PPI to comment on Chairman Bhu(t)rto’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 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. ‘
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.
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.
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.
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 members(-)elect 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.
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.
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, Pakistan,March 16, 1971)
BHUTTO’S STAND CONTRADICTORY, SAYS ASGHAR
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. 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(t) 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 (w)..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 (a) happy and contented life.
(THE DAWN, Karachi, Pakistan, March 16, 1971) WALI URGES TRANSFER OF POWER TO SOVEREIGN C.A.
WEST WING NO LONGER ONE POLITICAL ENTITY
Leaders Slate Bhutto-Press report on March 16, 1971
The President of National Awami Party, Khan Abdul Wali Khan, stressed here today that a “political solution” must be found to the present impasse. “Let power be transferred to the Constituent Assembly”, he said talking to newsmen this morning. The NAP President, replying to a question on the demand for transfer of power and lifting of Martial Law immediately, said power should be transferred to the Constituent Assembly which should be declared sovereign. Asked to comment on Mr. Z. A. Bhutto’s latest proposal that power should be transferred to the majority parties in East Pakistan and West Pakistan, Khan Wali Khan replied: “We would like to have clarifications whether the concept of a single State is there in his proposal.” He said it should be clear that West Pakistan ceased to exist politically since July 1, 1970.
In the absence of fuller details of Mr. Bhutto’s speech at Karachi yesterday political observers wondered whether by talking of two Wings as two political entities, Mr. Bhutto was not suggesting something which was ‘diametrically opposite to the solidarity and oneness of the country. They also pointed out that Mr. Bhutto could not speak on behalf of West Pakistan as he had no standing in NWFP and Baluchistan. It is interesting that in expounding his “two-majority-party’ theory Mr. Bhutto conveniently overlooked the fact that West Pakistan no longer Was one political entity and was split into four provinces, these observers said.
Professor Ghulam Azam, Amir of the Jama’at-i-Islami said that it had been crystal clear from the statement of Mr. Bhutto that he did not want to see Pakistan United. The Jama’at leader alleged that Mr. Bhutto had engaged himself in ” a conspiracy” immediately after the last general elections to divide the nation to fulfil his desire. He made an appeal to the President “not to help Mr. Bhutto in any way to break Pakistan”.
Prof. Azam said that immediate lifting of Martial Law and transfer of power to the elected representatives of the people could only save the nation from crisis.
Maulana Siddique Ahmad, Secretary General of Pakistan Central Jamiat-iUlema-i-IslAm and Nizam-i-Islam Party, has demanded that the PPP Chief “be tried for attempting to disintegrate the country by his mischievous activities”.
In a Press statement here tonight the Maulana said that Mr. Bhutto had in his latest statement demanded the distribution of power between the majority party of the respective Wings, but it was his dangerous role that had brought the present impasse for the nation.
He said that Mr. Bhutto has “no right to poke his nose in the present critical situation “.
Maulana Siddique said that the only solution to the present crisis was to transfer power to the majority party leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman after accepting his four-point demands, ” and for that purpose, President Yahya Khan and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman were the two parties involved”. Mr. Bhutto is in no way connected with it, he added.
Mr. Mukhlesuzzaman, an ex-MNA and Secretary General of Gono Oaiya Andolon said that Mr. Bhutto had once again exposed himself by his ” dubious stand on Bangla Desh. The people of Bangla Desh would not accept him any more “, he added. He said that Mr. Bhutto had no right to speak for whole of Western Wing having majority in Sind and Punjab only. (THE DAWN, Karachi-March 16, 1971)