Fighting Internal Imperialism
Speech at Charsadda,
April 29, 1970

I am very grateful to you that you have taken the trouble of coming to this meeting in such hot weather. I have been touring this area since the 18th of this month. I have been very warmly received everywhere. I can never forget the kindness of the people.

The elections are drawing near but 1 haven't come to you to ask for voles. 1 believe that votes alone do not solve problems. Elections have been held in the past but no fundamental change has been effected. We came to you when elections were nowhere in sight. We established this party against big odds. Ayub Khan had declared that if Zulfikar Ali Bhutto participated in politics he would destroy him. Important people shunned this party. No capitalists or landlords were on our side, but the poor people of Pakistan, the workers, the peasants and the students were with us. We can never betray you because our present success has been achieved only because of your support. If you had not sided with us, Ayub Khan, who was the Hitler of his time, would never have resigned. You launched a movement against dictator­ship. You faced the dictator resolutely. It was an arduous struggle. No one can forget that the dictator had the support of the army, the police, the government servants, the Basic Democrats, and the capitalists. Above all, he had force and he used it. He sent people to jail. The press and the radio were in his control. In spite of this the people faced him resolutely. I have full faith in you. That is why I have come to you. It was your victory and you emerged triumphant. We came to you when there was no question of secur­ing votes. We sided with you and went to jails along with you. We faced the batons of the police. It was not a question of elections or votes. It was a period of trial and tribulation. But where were the people who are now raising such a hue and cry? They had hidden themselves behind closed doors. Now they have come out and are boasting about their achievements. They are making all sons of false promises to secure votes. They are the same people who misled the masses prior to Ayub Khan; They painted a very rosy picture of the future, but during the ten or eleven years of their parliamentary rule they could achieve nothing. They only occupied high chairs and enjoyed the privileges of power. Government is a temporary thing. The paraliamentary system failed because those elected did not remain in direct touch with the people.

On the other hand, we are determined always to side with the people through thick and thin on all the fronts. The People's Party wants to establish the people's rule. It wants to form a people's front. This party is not afraid of struggle. This party is determined to root out poverty, hunger and depriva­tion. We want to change the invidious system of exploitation. We shall bring about an economic revolution and change the face of Pakistan. We shall save this country from oppression and exploitation. We shall bring an end to poverty, tyranny, violence and exploitation.

My dear friends, there is a lot of political awakening in the area. I compliment you on this, but please remember that our movement has spread right upto Karachi. This is not the Pakistan of forties or fifties. There has been a revolution of ideas. If the old politicians think that the same old conditions prevail, they are mistaken. The days of closed-door politics are over. If they think that they can win the elections with the help of the landlords and ignoring the tenants, they are again mistaken. Elections will not be held on this basis now. There is a lot of awakening in the country.

When we talk of an economic change and the economic progress of the country they accuse us of talking against our religion. How can we say anything against our religion? We are proud that we are Muslims. Pakistan came into being for Islam. It is a Muslim majority country. If the Muslims had not been in a majority, Pakistan would not have come into being. Who says that Islam is in danger? Islam can never be in danger because it is an eternal religion. There is no question of Islam being in danger in Pakistan. If that was the case, the people would have felt the danger. Any danger can be felt if it exists. If a person is attacked he can feel the danger. If somebody is drowning he is conscious that he may lose his life. Similarly, if there was danger to Islam you would have sensed it. Is anyone asking you to give up your religion or not to have belief in the Holy Quran or to give up offering prayers? I don't see any such people in Pakistan, although I keep moving from place to place in the country.

There was a danger to the Muslims in the subcontinent when the British and the Hindus were opposing the Pakistan movement. The danger was obvious. When the Muslims were being massacred in the Punjab, the danger was tangible. We saw our enemies and recognised them. We achieved Pakistan through a united struggle, under the leadership of the Quaid-i-Azam. Where were the people who are now declaring that Islam is in danger? When Islam was in actual danger these people could not be seen in the ranks with the Quaid-i-Azam. They were, on the other hand, with Gandhi, Nehru and Patel. When the enemies were trying to endanger the very existence of Muslims these gentlemen were talking of united India and opposing Pakistan. They issued an edict of 'Quaid-i-Kufr' against the Quaid-i-Azam. When there was a war going on in Kashmir they issued 'fatwas' against it. Why didn't they then say that Islam was in danger? Why do they say now that Islam is in danger? It is only the capitalists and the feudalists who are in danger.

It is the capitalist system which is in danger. This system is a legacy of the British who exploited us. Now our own people are exploiting us. The capitalist system is the system of a few. The British established external imperialism. Now we are groaning under internal imperialism. A few capital­ists hold the entire wealth of the country in their hands. They have everything, the banks, the insurance companies, the textile mills, the sugar mills, the paper mills and the cement factories. This is the system which is being supported by our opponents. They are the stooges of this system. They cannot come and tell you that they have sucked your blood and have committed atrocities on you. Instead, they come to you and tell you that Islam is in danger.

We say that there is equality in Islam. There is more equality than demo­cracy in Islam. You can see the life of the Holy Prophet as also the lives of the Khulafa-e-Rashedeen. You will find that they acted upon the principles of equality. When Egypt, Syria and Iran were conquered what was done to the lands there? No estates were carved out as the British did in India. Hazrat Umar declared these lands to be the property of the people. Similarly, the treasure won during the war was equally divided between the commanders and the ordinary soldiers. This was the equality of Islam. One of the ulema says that there is no equality in Islam. He is mispresenting Islam. Islam was the religion which gave the message of equality to the world. We respect the ulema but the ulema who indulge in politics and do not understand it have to be told that they are wrong. He says that there is justice in Islam and not equality. We accept this for a moment, but then may we know what justice, demands? If you want to do justice you have to establish equality. Without equality there can be no justice. You live in this country and you have seen the plight of the poor people. Is this justice? There are millions of rupees with some people while others are starving.

There has been no justice during the last 23 years of Pakistan's existence because the wealth of the country is concentrated in the hands of a few. I have seen that our poor farmers and their women are reaping the harvest in this hot weather. It is only in this country that little children, eight or nine years old, clad in rags and bare-footed, work in the fields. In other countries children of this age are provided free education. This is a shameful state of affairs. This is not the Pakistan of the Quaid-i-Azam. He had visualised a Pakistan where there was to be no poverty or hunger. That was the Pakistan for which the Muslims made sacrifices and laid down their lives. But what sort of Pakistan did we get? We have seen that there is no parallel in the world to the poverty and hunger which prevails in Pakistan. We want to build a new Pakistan which will be a great country, where there will be no poverty and hunger and where prosperity will prevail. Our people are working very hard. They work day and night in the mills and in the fields. It is not ordained by God that they should live such a miserable life. We want to change this system and that is going to be our struggle. This is your struggle and our success will be your success/If any harm comes to us your cause will suffer. These people are afraid of my speeches. That is why they do not allow me to speak to you. What would have happened if I had spoken in Sanghar? They know that I talk about the problems of the poor. I speak the truth. I go to them and call upon them to rise and end the exploitation.

Many assassination attempts have been made on my life, but I am not going to quit the political field. I cannot betray the people of Pakistan. If the people want I shall retire from politics right now. I don't bother about anyone else. If you, the people of Pakistan, ask me to retire from politics I swear by my faith that I shall comply with your wish immediately. On the other hand, if these imperialists and capitalists think that they can frighten me by bullets, 1 shall never retire from politics and fight till the end.

We want a constitution, but a constitution cannot satisfy your hunger if you are starving. It cannot serve as your house for as a school for your children. It is a basic law and we need it but in addition the economic question is also very important. Our party stands for three principles. Our first principle is that Islam is our religion. We are prepared to offer any sacrifice for the cause of Islam not only in Pakistan but anywhere in the world. When the Masjid-e-Aqsa was set on fire by Israelis, the workers of the PPP were prepar­ed to give their blood. We are not trying to appease you. We have never made false promises to you. Whatever promises we have made we have fulfilled.

My very first promise was to give you an independent foreign policy. With the blessing of God and your support I formulated an independent foreign policy. The world laughed at the previous foreign policy of Pakistan. We were only carrying out the wishes of a super power. Our policy moved in accordance with their directions. Our enemies made fun of our foreign policy. They did not consider Pakistan a free country. It was not the Pakistan for which the Quaid had struggled. Its sovereignty was not located in Karachi or Islamabad but in Washington. The people said that if Pakistan's opinion was needed it should be sought from Washington rather than Karachi because it was Washington's instructions which Pakistan followed. What were our relations with the neighbouring country of Afghanistan? There were severe differences. We had no relations with China or Russia. In 1960 I concluded an agreement with Russia as the Minister for Natural Resources. A new chapter was opened in our relations with Afghanistan, China, Egypt and other countries. We also established relations with countries of Latin America and Africa. During the 1965 war, Shastri said that India had been isolated and the world was with Pakistan. This was my foreign policy and I formulated it. Even my successors were proud of it and it is appreciated even today.

My second promise was that we shall fight against India bravely. During the 1965 war this promise was fulfilled. We fought against India reso­lutely. Even today the Government of India doesn't want me to come into power in Pakistan. It is because they know that I shall execute a people's foreign policy with prestige and dignity. My third promise was that we shall fight against dictatorship. We fought against the dictatorship and defeated it with your support. Thus I carried cut all the three promises I had made. Our fourth promise is that we shall eradicate poverty and hunger from Pakistan. We shall end the system of exploitation and establish Islamic equality whatever the sacrifices and whatever the struggle. This is going to be a long and arduous journey but we are going to achieve our objective.

These are our promises with you but many people tell you that I am a dangerous person and that I am against Islam. I have proved to you that I am not against Islam and that my programme is not against Islam. They accuse us that we want to make some additions to Islam by introducing socialism. They say that Islam is a complete code of life and there is no scope for social­ism in Islam. I say that we believe and accept that Islam is a complete code of life. My question is why do they keep repeating the demand for the 1956 Constitution? There is no specific mention in Islam of a constitution because the Quran is our constitution. Why do they demand the parliamentary system? We are for it but it is not mentioned in the Quran.

Why do these self-appointed standard-bearers of Islam demand the parliamentary system? Why do they oppose Islamic Socialism? If parlia­mentary democracy can be Islamic, equality is certainly Islamic. Why do they oppose something which is in the interest of the poor people? Why are they so worried? It is because there is awakening in the country. Now you can decide who your friends and enemies are. Who talks of your interest and who is against it? My dear friends and brothers, socialism is an English word. Its Urdu translation is 'musawat' or 'barabari'. Just as 'jamhooriyat' is called democracy in English and 'dastoor' is called constitu­tion, musawaat is called socialism. These people don't want socialism because it means their end. They are against the people's rule. When somebody falls sick he has to be given the right type of treatment. Socialism is the remedy for poverty and hunger. All other things may come and go but it will not make any difference. I repeat that we believe in constitutional democracy but we also believe that democracy and a constitution alone will not solve all problems. If you want justice and progress, if you want a bright future for your children, a fundamental economic change has to be brought about. Your children should not lead the lives you have lived, and we are determined that we shall change their lot. We shall see to it that justice is done to them.

We don't believe in Round Table Conferences. Pakistan has been entangled in round table conferences from the very outset. Ghulam Mohammad held meetings with leaders, then Ayub Khan held a Round Table Conference. Why do they hold round table conferences in closed rooms? Why don't they go to the people? They should allow the people to take the decisions. That is the democratic way. No constitution will be success­ful unless the people decide. No political system will work unless it has the backing of the people. No economic system will be successful unless it is supported by the people. You got two constitutions in the past and both of them failed. It was because they were not according to the wishes of the people. The third constitution will not be successful if the will of the people is not carried out. We should learn a lesson from the past. The most important lesson is that if you want a decision to be final, ask the people. Don't run away from the people. They are afraid of the people because they have exploited them and oppressed them for 23 years. They come to you only to ask for votes. When the elections are over they win confine themselves to the four walls of their houses. We shall be with the people day and night. We shall have constant contacts with the people.

General Yahya made an important announcement on 28th of November. He has decided about One Unit and declared that a third constitution will be framed. This constitution again will not be successful unless you take the will of the people into consideration. The final decision rests with the people. The Pakistan People's Party is a party of the masses. The people have formed it. Our only demand is that there should be a people's constitution and a people's government which should carry out the people's wishes, bring prosperity to the people, defend the country, raise the salaries of the low paid government servants and not put the labour leaders and students in jails. We are going to co-operate with you and fight for your cause. This is our final decision.

 

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