Their Watches Stopped In 1950
Public Speech at Dera Ismail Khan,
April 23, 1970

You will recall that when I came to your city during Ayub Khan's regime, ours was a new party. We didn't have much support. We didn't have the support of any capitalist, jagirdar or zamindar. It was a new party with little resources. The party had come into being against big odds. Ayub Khan was determined to annihilate this party. He was the dictator of this country and had all the power at his command. He had government servants, capitalists, jagirdars, the police, and the army on his side. He also had the Basic Democracies' system. We had given you our word that we would fight against this dictator. This was in accordance with the will of the people. We stood by our word and defeated the dictator.

Ours is a party of the masses. We shall always stand by our people at every turn and in every phase of the struggle. We shall sacrifice anything for the cause of the people. Many atrocities were committed during the dictatorial reign of Ayub Khan. Police was used against us. We were attacked. We were even fired upon. You will recall that our popular party was founded at a convention at Hyderabad on 21st September 1967 but the revolution started from D. I. Khan. This was a people's movement. We were with the people during this movement. We did not seclude ourselves in the drawing rooms issuing instructions to the people. We declared that there had been no pro­gress in Pakistan that no prosperity had come to Pakistan. Our opponents did not want us to launch a people's campaign. Theirs was a politics of intrigue behind closed doors. They never tried to contact the people or to assess their opinion. They were afraid of the people. They wanted to keep the people ignorant and downtrodden.

You will recall that Ghulam Muhammad had illegally dissolved the first Constituent Assembly. He did not have the power to dissolve a sovereign assembly, but he illegally did it. These people did not come forward then. They did not try to awaken public opinion. Instead, they allowed the formation of a new constituent assembly, which started its session in Murree. This was not a democratic way of doing things. This constituent assembly had not been formed by the people. The Constitution framed by it failed because of this reason. This assembly was also a kind of round table conference Ayub style.

Later, when the movement was launched against Ayub Khan, he repeated the same performance. Instead of going to the people, he convened a Round Table Conference. Ghulam Muhammad had called his round table conference a constituent assembly. Basically, there was no difference between the two. The constituent assembly of Ghulam Muhammad did not seek the opinion of the people. Similarly, Ayub Khan also ignored your opinion. People rose against him, laid down their lives and made sacrifices, with the result that Ayub Khan was toppled. Whom did Ayub Khan con­sult? He did not consult the labourers, the farmers, the students or the people. He talked to the politicians only, the same politicians who had declared during the movement that they would never talk to Ayub Khan. They had said this during their speeches while I was in jail, but when Ayub Khan invited them; they rushed to attend the Round Table Conference.

I did not attend the Round Table Conference because it was a con­spiracy against the people. Ayub Khan did not intend to give up power. He did not call the conference with that object in view. He only wanted to sabotage the movement because the labourers had come out of their mills, the students had come out of their schools and colleges and the cultivators had left their ploughs and fields. The whole nation unitedly had come out against him and declared that the struggle against the Government would continue till the end. He was afraid of nothing else except this movement. He had the support of government servants, the police, the army and the Basic Democrats. It was only to sabotage the popular movement that the Round Table Conference was convened. When these people were intriguing against the common man in locked rooms, I was holding my round table conference with the people outside.

The People's Party has become very popular during a short time. The other parties, which are thirty, forty or fifty years old, have been left far behind. Why has this new party attained so much popularity? You can see that the Muslim League of the Quaid-i-Azam, which brought Pakistan into being, has been, divided into three factions. These parties are out-of-date. Their methods cannot work in modern times. Their methods are against the concept of popular democracy. There is a wave of awakening sweeping through the world. These people are oblivious of modem trends. Their watches stopped in 1950, but they are still in politics. They say that they want to serve the people. They have been in power for a very long time but they did not serve the people. They never came to the people to assess their opinion. They never wanted to have any contact with the people because they hated them. Ayub Khan also hated the people. He had come into power without the consent of the people and that is why a movement was launched against him. We had full faith in the people and we were with them. We called upon them to co-operate with us in the movement against the dictatorship. The other politicians did not believe in this method. They used to come and make speeches occasionally, but they would not have been able to remove him. He had been in power for a decade and was thinking of nominating his son as his successor. He did not feel any danger from these politicians. They used to come sometimes and hold small meetings and make speeches but in the evening they used to go to the district officials and apologise for what they had said. That was not the way to fight against a dictatorship.

Because we were with the people and we believed in the politics of the masses, the people co-operated with us. We burnt our boats and came into the open. That is why we were successful. Ousting the dictator was not the only promise which, I fulfilled. Prior to that I had fulfilled many other pro­mises. One of them was to give you an independent foreign policy. What was the foreign policy prior to my becoming Foreign Minister? The whole world laughed at it. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru used to make fun of the foreign policy of the largest Islamic state of Quaid-i-Azam's Pakistan of 100 million people. Our foreign policy did not carry any weight. It only represented the wishes of a great power. Our government carried out the orders of America despite the fact that they were against the interest of Pakistan. America used to dictate our decisions in the Security Council. That is why the people of the world laughed at our policy. Pandit Nehru used to compare his foreign policy with that of Pakistan with contempt.

When I assumed charge of the Foreign Ministry, I promised that we would undo the foreign policy of the capitalists and the imperialists. I wanted to introduce a people's foreign policy. Then you saw that our foreign policy was changed fundamentally. We continued to have good relations with America and resumed our broken relations with Afghanistan. Treaties were signed with China about the border adjustment, which was in our interest. We extended a hand of friendship to Russia with whom we did not have any relations at all. We developed very good relations with the U.A.R. and other Arab countries as also with the countries of Latin America and Asia. The result was that during the 1965 war, the Indian Prime Minister had to say, "We have been left alone because the world is with Pakistan."

 

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