Issues at Stake
Speech at Taxila,
May 24, 1970

Taxila is famous and historic. The museum here is known through­out the world. You have many relics of the past in the museum. They can be seen any time, but the political relics in our country come out of their museums after every four or five years. They come to you only at the time of elections. We are not like them. You will recall that when there was no question of elections, it was at that time that we came to you. We launched a struggle against the Ayub dictatorship when the question of votes did not arise. We were with you during that period. We were with you during the struggle against Ayub Khan. He had threatened that he would not allow the formation of this party, but this party came into being. He was power-drunk and dead set against the formation of this party. It was against great odds that this party was formed. It was no ordinary achievement. Ayub Khan tried his best to thwart our efforts. When we called a meeting at Lahore the house in which the meeting was to be held was set on fire. We were not allowed to hold our meetings at other places. Air passage was refused to our delegates from East Pakistan. These were the difficulties in the face of which this party came into being.

Even after the formation of the party every effort was made to curb its activities. Section 144 became the order of the day. When we held a public meeting in Qasim Bagh in Multan, goondas armed with swords and pistols were sent to disrupt the meeting. We were also interrupted by the goondas on our way to Qadirpur. They tried to prevent us from proceeding any further Our motor car was stoned. In spite of all these difficulties we did not shut ourselves up in our homes. We launched a public campaign at the risk of our lives. At that time, the elections were nowhere in sight.

Now the elections are drawing near and public meetings are being held every day. A variety of political leaders have appeared on the scene. They are making lofty promises but you have tried them in the past. They ruled the country for 10 years before Ayub Khan came into power. Later, during the Ayub regime they hid themselves in their homes. Ayub Khan was not afraid of them. They only opposed him in name. Instead of launching a struggle against him they made occasional speeches, but speeches alone cannot topple a dictatorship. Our party served the country at the time when it was most essential. You will recall that we did not have the support of the big people. Even now we are not being supported by them. The capitalists were all with Ayub Khan. Ayub Khan also had the support of the army, the police, the government servants, the Basic Democrats, the assemblies, and the moneyed people. He was in power. The press, radio and television were under his control. In spite of all this the people's movement emerged vic­torious. We were with this movement and underwent many trials and tribulations. In 'pindi' a student of the Polytechnic was killed in the police firing on 7th November, 1968. You and the workers launched a movement. We were with you in this movement. If you went to jail we also went to jails and suffered with you. We cannot give up the support of the people under any circumstances. This party shall never betray the people. This is a party of the masses. Its popularity and prestige flows from the people. There have been many betrayals of the people of Pakistan. The common man has gained nothing during 23 years. He has only been allowed to make sacrifices. You can see the most deplorable condition in which the workers and the peasants live. The lower grade government servants are paid very meagre salaries. We have only heard about but not seen freedom in this country. Our politics have been wrong and immoral. They have been the politics of palace intrigues. These politicians scorned the people. They never had any faith in the common man. All their schemes failed because they did not represent the will of the people.

Pakistan tried two constitutions during the last 23 years and both failed. India gained her independence along with us but her constitution, whatever its form, is running successfully. Administration is being run and elections are being held under this constitution. The situation in the subcontinent was the same at the time of partition. We got our country and the Indians got theirs. Why is it that in 23 years two constitutions failed in Pakis­tan? They failed because they were not framed by the true rep­resentatives of the people. Governor-General Ghulam Mohammad did not have the right to dissolve the Constituent Assembly and to form another. The second Constituent Assembly was not representative of the people. It was this Assembly which formulated the 56 Constitution and that is why it failed. So far as the 62 Constitution is concerned Ayub Khan had himself said that he was personally giving this constitution. This one-man consti­tution also failed. Now the people have to frame a constitution and they have to take the basic decisions. This is the stand of the People's Party on the question of constitution-making. Unless the new constitution is a people's constitution it also will fail. It will meet the same fate as the previous two constitutions. It is our promise to you that we shall try our best to ensure that the constitution to be framed should be your constitution.

We need a constitution because it is the basic law of the land. We shall try to give the country a workable constitution and we are not against it, but please remember that it also has to be given substance. The consti­tution alone cannot solve the questions of poverty and unemployment. It cannot be a substitute for two square meals a day, for employment and shelter. The major problem of the country is the economic system. When we talk of economic change and the eradication of poverty and hunger, our opponents criticise us. You can compare the situation with other countries which have made progress. I do not understand why Pakistan cannot progress. There is no divine law that there should only be exploitation in Pakistan.

When we say that exploitation should end in Pakistan, when we say that the present capitalist system should be changed because it is anti-people and that the people have been looted under it, it is said that we are against the ideology of Pakistan. We want that Islam should be followed but what is the best way to do that? It does not redound to the glory of Islam if Muslims are dying of hunger and are deprived of the basic necessities of life. Islam cannot be served if the condition of the poor masses deteriorates every day. Service to Islam lies in bringing prosperity to the people of Pakistan.

You can see that Pakistan is becoming weaker every day. In India the Muslims are being mercilessly killed. There was a time when we faced the Indian aggression bravely and effectively. This was done because we were following a correct policy, and Pakistan was being served in the right manner. I can assure you that if there bad been a people's government in Pakistan, India would not have dared touch a single Muslim. The Indian leaders say that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto should not come to power in Pakistan. May I ask you why they want that? It is because they know that we shall make Pakistan really strong by eradicating poverty, misery and hunger. This can be done in this country as it has been done in others. In many countries education upto the university level is free. Apart from America, China and Russia, even in Egypt, education in the colleges and the universities is free. Under King Faruk poverty prevailed and the children were deprived of education. Now in the same country education is being provided free. This has happened because the right system has been introduced. Nobody can recover from a disease if the right type of treatment is not given to him. If you want that your country should progress you should know that this cannot be done without Islamic equality. When we talk of Islamic equality which is called 'Islamic Socialism' in English, it is said that this is against the ideology of Pakistan. I declare that it is not against the ideology of Pakistan: The principles of equality were given to the world by Islam. There is great stress on equality in Islam.

The life of our Holy Prophet and the lives of the Khulafa-e-Rashedeen show us equality in practice. That is also the lesson of the Holy Quran. Now our ulema say that there is no equality in Islam but there is justice in Islam. I say even if there is justice what are its requirements? Justice demands that there should be equality. It is no justice if a nation has very poor masses and a few very rich capitalists. Justice demands that the capitalists should have less wealth and what they give up should be used to raise the standard of life of the poor.

Quaid-i-Azam Mahomed Ali Jinnah had also prescribed Islamic Socialism for Pakistan. You can read this in his published speeches. He was not the kind of person who could say anything against the interest of Pakistan. He was the founder of Pakistan and served the Muslims. He was for Islamic Socialism. I am advocating what he said.

After the Quaid, the Quaid-i-Millat who was the first Prime Minister of Pakistan also promised that Islamic socialism would be introduced in Pakistan. He said in his speeches that Pakistan bad not come into being for a few families. Pakistan had not been established so that Muslim capitalists should replace Hindu capitalists. The British left but did not take away their system with them. Pakistanis have taken the place of British officers. There has been no change in the system or in the mentality. The same economic system prevails unchanged. This system suited British colonial ends because they were imperialists and wanted to exploit the re­sources of this country. We did not struggle against the British for a change of regime. Our struggle was directed against their system. There has been a great fraud played on the people of Pakistan. It is a great tragedy that during the last 23 years nothing was done to change the system. I am sure that if Quaid-i-Azam had lived he would have introduced Islamic equality. Liaquat Ali Khan who also spoke about introducing Islamic Socialism was shot in Rawalpindi. Now we are talking of Islamic equality and attempts were made to kill us in Sanghar. It is because we are the supporters of the poor. They may fire any number of bullets. We are prepared to lay down our lives. We are ready to offer all sacrifices but we shall never give up our struggle. We are determined to bring about equality in the country and to eradicate poverty and misery.

My brave people of Pakistan, I have not made any false promises to you. My first promise was to give the country an independent foreign policy. You have seen that in spite of many difficulties, I fulfilled that pro­mise. Previously, our foreign policy was controlled by a big power. We did everything according to its dictates. We had lost the support and sympathy of the whole world. I entered into an agreement with the Russians for the exploration of oil in Pakistan. I had to fight against Ayub's Finance Minister and the United States but I was successful. I went to China and settled the boundary question with that big power. This opened a new chapter in our relations with China. I also improved relations with Afgha­nistan and with the Arab countries. A change was also effected in our relations with Indonesia. Before this we were all alone in the world. Now every government which comes to power claims very proudly that our foreign policy is very successful. The basis of this policy were laid when I was Foreign Minister. That is how I fulfilled my promise in respect of foreign policy.

My second promise was that we shall fight against India* resolutely. We fulfilled that promise. I demonstrated it in the Security Council. We were conducting a successful policy and secured plenty of aid from China, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey. Who was the Foreign Minister at that time? I was. People say that the international situation was such that we gained support, but why was it that Soekarno did not support us on Kashmir pre­viously. The same Soekarno later supported us and Shastri had to say that India had been isolated.

There is a retired General who has started interference in politics. He says that I am also responsible for the Tashkent Declaration because I was present in Tashkent. I want to inform him that he should try to understand politics, if he has entered this field. The whole world knows, the Russian and the Indian governments know that I alone opposed the Tashkent Declaration. Ayub Khan was a dictator. I kept on repeating that I shall not be a party to it because the agreement was against our national interest. When we returned, I left 'Pindi and went straight to Larkana. I returned only because Ayub Khan appealed to me to stay on in the Government till the Indian armies had withdrawn from our frontiers. If I had left the Government at that critical juncture it would have been against the national interest.

The General says that 1 should have resigned. My dear friends, I did resign but my resignation was not accepted. May I ask him why he did not resign? After all he was the commander of the Lahore front. If the Tashkent agreement was wrong why did he not resign? Instead, the General got a cushy job in a semi-government body after his retirement. If he had any feelings for the country why did he accept that job? Ayub Khan had also asked me to take anything that I wanted? I told him that I did not want his money or his ambassadorship or mills. I only wanted to be with the people. If our brave young officers had not laid down their lives nobody can say what would have been the situation. The country was saved only because of the fortitude and bravery of the young officers and their men. This General was the commander of the Lahore front but at the time of the attack he was at his home. He wanted to be the Commander-in-Chief but was by-passed. He is a frustrated person.

My dear friends, my third promise was that we shall defeat the dictator­ship in the country. It was no easy thing to do but we fulfilled our promise and toppled the dictator with your support. Now my fourth promise is that we shall establish a people's government and eradicate poverty and hunger in the country. We shall bring about a revolution, and the rule of the workers and peasants shall be established in Pakistan. You will be happy and pros­perous. It will be a true Pakistani system, an Islamic system. We are not trying to import a system from China, Russia or America. It will be our own system. Our opponents say that Islam is a complete code of life. We believe in it because we are Muslims. We are proud of our religion and shall lay down our lives for its sake. But why do our opponents demand the revival of the '56 Constitution? The Holy Quran is our constitution. If they believe that Islam is a complete code of life which instead of outlining broad principles defines minute details also why are they talking of a constitution enshrining the parliamentary system? This system is not specified in the Holy Quran., It is a British system. Why do they forget while saying that our religion is a complete code of life, that it also has something to say about the economic system. When we talk of the poor people and of equality they say that Islam is in danger. I say if there can be Islamic democracy there certainly can be Islamic social justice.

They support democracy because they think that with their money they will be able to control it or contain it if parties with vague programmes with Islamic labels come to power. But they are afraid of a party emerging with a public commitment to social justice. That is why they are worried about us. They are afraid of my speeches because I speak the truth and present the true picture before you. I say that we shall not tolerate this system of exploita­tion. They have already subjected you to a lot of oppression. Islam is not in danger but they certainly are in danger. I have given to the people my manifesto which is not a mere election manifesto. It is a manifesto for the service of the common man. These people cannot come to you and tell you that they have sucked your blood. Instead, they come to you and" tell you that Islam is in danger. After all this is a Muslim country and if there had been any danger to Islam the people would have perceived it.

Where were these people when the Quaid was fighting against the Congress and the British? You should not forget that at that time these people were not with the Quaid-i-Azam. They were with Nehru, Gandhi and Patel. They opposed the Pakistan movement and issued fatwas against the Kashmir war. I believe that Islam can never be in danger because it is an eternal religion and God Almighty is Himself its protector. Our Prophet was the last of 1,24,000 prophets because this religion has been finally revealed, and there can be no danger to it. If there was any possibility of any danger, more prophets would have followed. We are true Muslims and we are serving the Muslims.

You can see that there is a crisis in Kashmir again. They are fighting against the Indian government. They shall continue to do so till they achieve their right of self-determination. I have great respect for Sheikh Abdullah but times have changed. This is 1970 and not 1930 or 1940. You can see what is happening in Vietnam? I want to advise Sheikh Abdullah that he should launch a struggle against the Indian Government as we did here against Ayub's dictatorship. He should come out and burn his boats because mere speeches are not going to help him. Speeches may also be needed but what is needed most is sacrifice. A leadership is needed which may liberate them from India. Sheikh Abdullah will have to fight just as we fought against Ayub Khan. I have a very high opinion of Maulana Farooq. He is young but has already undergone many hardships for the cause of his people. He is the future hope of Kashmir.

 

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