The People's Struggle Builds Up
Speech at a Public Meeting, Korangi,
Karachi, June 7, 1970

This is my third speech in Karachi since political activity started in January. My party is very keen to contact the people. We tried to contact you even when there was no question of elections. When we were struggling against Ayub Khan and when the question of adult franchise had not even arisen, we were with you. Although the country was dominated by "Ayub Shahi" and there was a system of Basic Democracy, we struggled against his dictatorship with your help. I only want to point out that we are not the kind who only come to you during the elections.

I have already outlined my party's aims and objectives. We are not contacting you because there are going to be general elections in the country in October. The Pakistan People's Party is not interested in elections only. This party came into being when the elections were nowhere in sight. It came into being to launch a struggle, a great move­ment against dictatorship. I want to remind you that Ayub Khan had boasted that he would destroy this party. When we decided to hold our first meeting in Lahore, we were not allowed to hold it in an auditorium or any other public place. Later, the meeting was held in the house of a friend. Attempts were made to set that house on fire. The PIA flights from East Pakistan were cancelled to prevent our delegates from that pro­vince from attending our convention. Petty bureaucrats in the Punjab and Sind were directed to dissuade our delegates from attending the meeting, but the party did come into being. It gave you a manifesto at that time. Now everybody is giving you a manifesto and making lofty promises. Why were they hiding in their houses at that critical time? Now when the dictatorship has been toppled all these knight-errants are holding public meetings and promising you a piece of the sky. You must take into account their past. You must consider the achievements of all the parties. The Pakistan People's Party came into being at a very critical period, but because the people of Pakistan were with this party it gained in strength every day. You have supported us and given us the prestige that we enjoy today. There are no big people in this party, no capitalists and feudalists. The big people are afraid of us. It is because this party believes in demo­cracy and the welfare of the poor. When we held our convention at Hyderabad, I made it clear in my speech that we have to burn our boats and at the risk of our lives plunge into the fight against dictatorship. I pointed out that the struggle against Ayub Khan was going to be a tough and arduous one because Ayub Khan had the support of the police, the army and the government servants. He had full control of the country's affairs. He could have people beaten up or bribed. He could throw people into jails. It was no easy job to fight against such a dictator. I told my friends that they should be prepared for all sacrifices. It was after this that my friends launched a massive struggle which can never be forgotten. But this struggle succeeded only because the people supported it. It was all due to your, efforts and the sacrifices of the students who in laying down their lives became martyrs. The youth came out in this movement. So also did the workers and the peasants. And the dictator was defeated.

My dear friends, this movement is unparalleled in history because dic­tators are mostly removed by the army and not by the people. This has been happening in the Middle East and in Latin America but here in Pakistan the great people defeated a dictator.

The Pakistan People's Party performed its duty. We cannot forget that struggle. Many of the politicians are now claiming that they opposed Ayub Khan for eleven years. This is incorrect. They were co-operating with Ayub Khan and some of them were prepared to accept ambassador-ships under him. I don't want to name a standard-bearer of democracy who claims time and again that he has always upheld the cause of democracy. This gentleman agreed to become an ambassador in America. Later Ayub Khan told him that his services were not required. Then he started opposing Ayub Khan but only in name. These people made speeches and later went and apologised to district officials. Ayub's dictatorship could not have been defeated by them. It needed a people's movement which you launched.

You should always remember that your voice is our voice, your de­mands are our demands and your struggle is our struggle. The Pakistan People's Party is a party of the masses. I promise that this party will never betray you. It will side with you on every issue. The people of Pakistan have suffered enough during the last 23 years. They have been betrayed time and again. The people struggled for freedom because they wanted to enjoy the benefits which liberty brings. The countries which became independent have developed. Unfortunately, in Pakistan the people have seen nothing but suffering. What are the economic conditions of the people? We believe in having a constitution because it is the fundamental law of land, but we also want to make it clear that a constitution alone cannot solve your problems. If you are dying of hunger the constitution cannot be eaten. Similarly, it cannot serve as a school or a mill. We have no diffe­rence of opinion with others so far as having a constitution is concerned. We believe in democracy and have struggled for it. But democracy alone cannot solve your problems.

The real struggle concerning the people is in the economic field. It is between capitalism and socialism. After 23 years you have to decide whether you want capitalism or Islamic equality. If you want that the country should progress and that poverty and exploitation should be eradicated you have to take the right decision. We have launched this struggle in the interest of the people. That is why the capitalists are oppos­ing us. The people of Pakistan have to decide whether they support a people's rule or an anti-people system. What is the plight of the poor people in Korangi? Nobody can say that you have got a house here. The houses have been built at a cost of 800 rupees but you have had to pay sixteen hundred rupees for them, because interest was charged on the price. How can we call this an Islamic system? When these houses were built, I was the Industries' Minister. I had advised that nothing should be charged from the people for these houses because they had been built out of their taxes. But later their price was fixed at Rs.1600.

The people's government is sure to come into power whatever the opposition and propaganda of the stooges of imperialism. I assure you that your rule is bound to be established in Pakistan. Atrocities have been com­mitted against mill workers. These capitalists are spending money against us. It is because the Pakistan People's Party is the only party which supports the workers. When the journalists went on strike only this party supported them. The journalists were told that they should misreport our speeches. Even now our news is being blacked out. We have organised huge meetings and processions in all the important cities of Pakistan but these activities have not been covered in the newspapers. When the Shaukat-i-Islam day was celebrated by the rightist parties newspapers were full of its reports for three days.

My dear friends, we are Muslims and we are proud of Islam. We are prepared to lay down our lives for the sake of Islam. We don't need any certificate from anyone in this respect.

When we presented our manifesto there was no question 01 any elections. We told the people of Pakistan in plain words what our economic and political programme was. We want to eradicate poverty, hunger and misery from Pakistan. We haven't changed our manifesto. There is a party which gave different manifestos in 1941, 1950, 1960 and 1970. In 1940 and 1950 they said that there could be no limit on private property. The Quaid-i-Azam was called the "Quaid-i-Kufr." They said that if Pakistan came into being it would be a great tragedy. When the Quaid was strug­gling for Pakistan, they were with Gandhi, Nehru and Patel. They said that the movement of Pakistan was against Islam and that there were no fundamental differences with the Hindus and the British. You can see the plight of the Muslims in India. They are being mercilessly massacred. Quaid-i-Azam demanded a separate homeland for the Muslims to give them protection. These gentlemen opposed Pakistan at that time. Why do they say now that Islam is in danger? If they want to serve Islam they should serve the Muslims. If the Muslims are dying of hunger, if they are deprived of clothing and shelter, if they are being killed in India and Kashmir and the Middle East, Islam is not being served. This situation has arisen because we are weak and we have been weakened because of exploi­tation and the sucking of our blood under the capitalist system.

True service to Islam lies in serving the Muslims. In many countries children are getting free education. I am not talking of Russia, China, France or England. You can see what is happening in Egypt. During King Faruk's regime there was no free education. After the revolution, when Faruk was ousted, the revolutionary government began to provide free education upto college and university level with the same resources. But in Pakistan poor children of tender age are working in the fields. This cannot be their destiny. They are captives of a system.

We don't have any personal differences with the capitalists. We are against their system. The British have left but we have retained their corrupt system. There has been no change in this system so far. It is only that those ruling over the country today are Pakistanis.

The majority of the people cannot buy cloth even for shrouds, and if shrouds are available the maulvis charge fifty rupees for burying the dead. We want to end this situation. There are no differences on the question of constitution and democracy. The differences are about capitalism and socialism. When we talk of socialism they say that it is against Islam. We have challenged them time and again to prove it. We do not want to import a system from China, Russia or America. We want to establish a new system based on our own principles of 'Musawat', which is called socialism in English just as 'jamhooriyat' is called democracy.

These self-appointed custodians of Islam have never been able to prove that socialism is against Islam. They say that Islam is a complete code of life, implying that socialism as such should find mention in it. But they demand the 1956 Constitution which also is not mentioned in the Holy Quran. We don't need the 56 Constitution. If they regard Islam as a complete code of life why do they want to form a new constituent assembly? The Holy Quran is our constitution and we don't need the parliamentary system. This parliamentary system in any case has not been mentioned anywhere in the Quran. This is a system given to us by the British. When they talk of it they forget that Islam is a complete code of life, and there is no scope for any parliamentary system in it. It is only when we talk of equality, when we talk of the problems of the worker, the eradication of poverty and exploi­tation, that these people say that it is against Islam. No! It is not against Islam. This certainly is not against Islam otherwise Zulfikar Ali Bhutto would not have raised his voice in its favour.

My dear friends, I am not the first one to talk about Islamic Socialism. The Quaid-i-Azam who was the founder of this country promised to introduce Islamic Socialism. You can consult his books. Nobody can deny that Quaid-i-Azam said it. Later Quaid-i-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan also advocated this in his speeches. I believe that he was assassinated only because he believed in Islamic Socialism. The capitalists and their stooges were responsible for his murder which was not properly investigated. Why was it so? The Quaid-i-Millat had said that Pakistan had not come into being for a few capitalists or feudal lords. He declared that Islamic socialism will be introduced in Pakistan. It is surprising that in spite of the fact that the Quaid-i-Azam and the Quaid-i-Millat both promised to introduce Islamic socialism, the system of exploi­tation goes on in Pakistan. Now you can see that there is all round awakening in the country. People have come to realise the difference between truth and falsehood. This country is going to have a people's government, whatever the difficulties. If we have to eradicate poverty and hunger, if we have to end the exploitation of the masses, if we want that Pakistan's prestige should be raised, if we want the killing of the Muslims in India to be stopped and if we want to secure the right of self-determination for the people of Kashmir, a people's government will have to be established in Pakistan. That is the reason why India does not want Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to come into power. They know that I can lay down my life for the cause of Pakistan. They cannot forget that I made their Foreign Minister run away from the Security Council. We are so weak now that we cannot demand our rights from the Indians. We are being discouraged but if we have to take revenge from India and if we have to solve the Kashmir problem, we should never forget that after China and India, Pakistan has the largest army in Asia. It is a brave army because the people of Pakistan are brave. It is a surprise that Muslims are being killed in India. We are the largest Muslim country. I have been in the government for eight years and I gave the country a new foreign policy. I can tell you that we can stop the massacre of Muslims in India. We can also help the people of Kashmir.

When I say that we need Chinese support our opponents say that there is communism in China. I want to make it clear that we shall have our own system but we need Chinese friendship. When we entered into an agreement with America, did we accept their system as well? They have no objection to our agreements with America or India. It is only our relations with China that they object to.

Our opponents say that they are supporters of Islam, and they will turn Pakistan into Indonesia. They forget what happened in Indonesia. Nearly a million Muslims were killed and Soekarno who was removed was an enemy of the imperialists. He supported Pakistan during the 1965 war. He also supported the right of self-determination of the Kashmiris. They want to repeat the same thing in Pakistan. They want to destroy Pakistan. They should never forget that Pakistan cannot become Indonesia. We shall bring about an economic revolution in Pakistan and end the domination of capitalism and imperialism.

My dear friends, we are not interested in elections alone. We want the progress of the people of Pakistan. Why are assassination attempts directed against us? It is because we come to you and tell the truth. We want that the exploitation of the poor Muslims should end. You should remember that if you want to bring prosperity to your country you will have to launch a struggle and offer sacrifices. The capitalists cannot tolerate that we should come and tell you the truth. I assure you that our party will never betray you. This is your own party and whatever the obstacles, it is going to stand by you. President Yahya has been repeating in his speeches that the Government is neutral. He may say so but his Information Minister is not neutral. He has repeatedly made speeches in which he has clearly shown that he represents a particular party. We are not afraid of it. We are going to confront him.

We want a constitution. We want democracy. We are not against the parliamentary system but unless basic economic changes are introduced no problems can be solved. You can see that the big capitalists and their stooges are joining hands against us. We believe in only one front and that is the people's front. We shall face the capitalists and the imperialists from that front. Insha Allah we shall emerge victorious.

 

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