The Change in Foreign Policy
Public Speech, Liaquat Gardens,
Rawalpindi, January 17, 1970

I am glad to have this opportunity of meeting you again. You will recall that I was also here in this city when the Round Table Conference was being held. I had then announced at a public meeting right here that would in no case participate in that conference, for it was a deep conspiracy against the people. And the only objective of its participants was to extend their support to dictatorship. Time has proved my decision to be correct, because the politics of the People's Party is the politics of the people. It is not politics behind closed doors. We believe in seeking guidance from the people. We value their sentiments.

Today, we hear other friends of ours from the opposition saying they would also give up backdoor politics and instead try to know the people's views in the open. Ironically, these very people had hailed the Round Table Conference as if it were in the interest of the people. They pleaded for the conference and participated in it.

As it is, no single individual has routed the monster of dictatorship. It was forced to surrender as a result of the struggle by the people at large: peasants, labourers and students. The victory was of the people, not of &e politicians. These people sat behind closed doors when dictatorship was supreme. -Now they have come out again claiming credit for the struggle for the restoration of democracy, but only the people have emerged victorious. Dictatorship cannot be thrown out by drawing-room politics.

Today, we are passing through a new age, different from the past. While I would like to congratulate the people on their achievement, I must tell them that the past has become a part of history. We must now move ahead and face new challenges. We have to look forward to the future. It is after ten months that politicians and political parties have been given the opportunity to go to the people. President Yahya, in his broadcast speech on 28th November, announced that for the general elections political parties will be freely allowed to conduct their mass-contact programme. As for the People's Party, the people alone are its asset. We have no financial resources, nor do we have newspapers. We are glad to have 'his opportunity of meeting the people directly.

As you know, we are being criticised in a rather base manner, l must repeat and remind you here that the People's Party has three basic principles. Islam is our religion .We are Muslims and we are proud of that. You know I have not only served Pakistan but I have also served Islam in the Middle East. Allah will decide on Judgement Day how best I have served the cause of Islam. I only want to warn you not to be misguided by false propaganda. Pakistan is a country of Muslims. It is difficult to imagine any opposition to Islam in Pakistan, although capitalism, feudalism and exploitation are certainly in danger. That is why Islam is being exploited shamelessly* but only to misguide the people. It would be a most unfortunate day in the history of Pakistan when a person would have to obtain from a certain political party a certificate that he is a Muslim.

My dear friends, I would say it was nothing else but Islamic sentiment that made me announce in the Security Council that we would fight for a thousand years for the liberation of Kashmir.

We are first Muslims and then Pakistanis. Unlike "Islam Pasands" we not only like Islam, we love Islam. These "friends" of ours threaten to make Pakistan another Indonesia. You know what happened there? A million Muslims were killed. We will never jet that happen in Pakistan. Perhaps, they feel proud of issuing such a threat. Perhaps they have forgotten the day when during the 1965 war, the Indonesian President, Soekarno had helped Pakistan despite the fact that at that time Indonesia was herself in a state of war with Malaysia. She supplied arms to Pakistan. As soon as we sent a message for help, Dr. Soekarno responded to our call like a brother. He offered everything he had.

Dear friends, our foremost principle is: Islam is our religion. We are prepared to offer any sacrifice for the glory of Islam.

Our second principle is democracy. The people of Pakistan have struggled and have shed their blood for democracy. The fact of the matter is that in a democracy the people rule. We insist on democracy, for it is provided in Islam. We have agreed to the parliamentary system because it is a democratic system, although Islam does not envisage the parliamentary system. It was given by the British who ruled us for two hundred years. So, how did the parliamentary system become Islamic? Our opponents do not oppose this system although they have inherited it from the British. Rather they have vowed to struggle for it. Well, we too accept this system. We do believe in making the best of modem scientific and social developments. There is no conflict between Islam and democracy. In democracy there is freedom of expression, the courts of justice are independent, and there is government by the people. But they feel offended when we speak of the poor, the peasants and the labourers. The fact of the matter is that in Islam, socio-economic equality or Musawat has been given the highest priority. The Prophet (peace be upon him) emphasised the importance of Musawat. We shall, therefore, bring about Musawat. No power on earth can stop us.

We have no hidden personal motives in our struggle for Musawat. We are working for the good of the people at large. This being our goal has only earned us the animosity of the capitalists and the imperialist countries. We have confidence because the people of Pakistan are behind us. We are in the right, so we will succeed in eliminating poverty from the country.

I have travelled all over the world. If countries like Iran and Egypt can introduce free education and medical care, why should a great Islamic country like Pakistan not be able to do that? Why can't the people educate their children? Why can't the sick get admission to hospitals? Why do their children go to bed hungry? Why can't their dead even have shrouds? Is it because the 22 families are in possession of the country's wealth?

Pakistan was not made for these 22 families to amass wealth. The people have been fed on false promises for the last 22 years. After all there is an end to patience. It is now running out. We want a change in the economic system in order to improve the lot of the people. A constitution or parliamentary system will make no difference unless the whole economic fabric is changed. Talking about democracy sounds good only in politics. But, for the progress of Pakistan and the prosperity of its people, it is imperative to end the exploitation by the 22 families. That is why we call for the setting up of a system, within the framework of Islamic principles, which would benefit the masses. A country with an economically backward people can never progress. Our opponents don't object to capitalism and feudalism, but they are averse to socialism. Is it because socialism provides some good for the millions of poor and oppressed people of Pakistan? Capitalism, as you know, has already devoured almost all banks, insurance campanies and factories. This does not bother our friends; when the poor talk of bread, clothing and shelter they reject it as un-Islamic.

My friends, had Islamic Socialism been against Islam, I would have never talked about it. The Quaid-i-A2am would not have talked about it. The Government of Pakistan itself has published a collection of the Quaid-i-Azam's speeches in which, on page 103, is included a speech he made in Chittagong on 26 March 1948. The Founder of Pakistan bad said then, "When you say that Islamic Socialism will be introduced in Pakistan, you only represent my sentiments and the sentiments of millions of people."

Only recently, an elder-politician of ours, who has announced his retirement from politics, but still participates in it by issuing rather longish statements, has said that by using the words Islamic Socialism, the Quaid-i-Azam meant something different. Let's examine this argument. Was Quaid-i-Azam not conversant with English? As a matter of fact, these people only criticise the wisdom and foresight of the Quaid. Who else can be more authentic about the Quaid than his old colleague, Mr. Ispahani? In his TV interview on 30 December, which was recorded but not telecast, Mr. Ispahani made it clear that the Quaid-i-Azam wanted to introduce Islamic Socialism in Pakistan. Mr. Ispahani was asked to drop this pan of his statement.

Even Quaid-i-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan spoke about Islamic Socialism. When in 1946 he presented his budget before the united India Parliament, the whole Hindu press described it as a socialist budget, and advised the Congress Party to accept the demand for Pakistan. Islamic Socialism is Musawat and we shall introduce it in Pakistan. I assure you we will lay down our lives for the glory of our religion and for the betterment of the lot of our people. I am prepared to sacrifice everything, even the lives of my children.

Was Quaid-i-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan not killed because he wanted Islamic Socialism? His death is still shrouded in mystery. What a shame that the help of Scotland Yard was sought to solve the mystery of his assassination! The mystery is still unsolved.

It is our duty to carry forth the principles and objectives of the Quaid-i-Azam and Quaid-i-Millat. I am not afraid of being killed for my determination to follow them or to act on their principles. In fact, the Quaid-i-Millat fell victim to a bullet here at this very place. If Islamic Socialism was his crime, I too would be willing to face bullets for it. Come on, fire bullets at me. I am prepared to die for the sake of the people.

The time is coming for you to take decisions. We will abide by whatever you decide, for we know the people always take the right decisions. This will be the first time that they will have the opportunity of taking decisions. We are sure, while casting your votes, you will remember who can serve your cause. We are also sure, you will not be duped or allured by temptations.

My dear friends, while in Karachi I made some comments on the war between India and Pakistan. I have been quiet for three-and-a-half years. It was said that I had nothing to say. Actually conspiracies have been hatched against me both within and outside the country. Attempts have been made to finish me. I have kept quiet, knowing that a time will come when the people will find out for themselves. What I endured during these past three-and-a-half years is a long story. Thank God, I faced up to- this oppression and torture. Unlike some others I did not flee the country. Now that the Ayub days are over, I appeal for your co-operation and help.

I would like to say something about our foreign policy. Let me start with 1962, the year of the Indo-China war. Both India and China were close friends until then. India had been supporting China in world polity, while relations between Pakistan and China were strained because Pakistan was a member of SEATO and CENTO. It was subservient to a great power, on whose help it wholly depended.

Our foreign policy was a chained one. The country was being run under a dictatorship. A single ruler was the be-all and end-all of everything. The press was not free; so Ayub was pursuing a rather arbitrary policy. Not only China but Russia too was against Pakistan. We had indifferent relations with the Muslim world. I don't know where the opposition leaders were at that time. When I became Foreign Minister, I vowed that relations with our Muslim neighbour, Afghanistan, would be improved. For a big Islamic country like Pakistan, it was imperative to have cordial relations with neighbouring Muslim countries.

You may remember that when the Indo-China war broke out in 1962, Ayub Khan was busy sight-seeing in Hunza. In fact, a picture of his was published in the newspapers showing him riding a mule. The Himalayas were rocked; the Chinese shadow was lengthening to envelop Assam, the American Ambassador was on his toes in search of our President, but during the most cricial days Ayub Khan was in Hunza. That was the time when we could have done something to liberate Kashmir. That was an important occasion. India had pulled out all her troops from occupied Kashmir. Kashmir had no troops at all. It lay bare. Any action by Pakistan would have ended the Kashmir issue forever and that action would have been in conformity with justice. World opinion would then have given its blessings to such an action.

But do you know what our great mule-rider said at that time? He said, "We don't want to take undue advantage of the situation," as if we were planning a dacoity. What justification was there to be afraid of world opinion? The U.N. would have had no right to say anything because it had itself failed to settle the Kashmir problem. It has also not been able to have its resolutions on Palestine implemented.

My friends, the U.N. is nothing but a big fraud, a fraud against the weaker nations. Nations take their own decisions. No objective can be achieved easily. Surmounting difficulties is a way of life with daring nations. They overcome all obstacles in their way. However, all this is possible only when leadership is not cowardly. We lost a golden opportunity. Even Indian newspapers expressed their surprise. It is a fact. I am not disclosing any secrets. All this has been published in Indian newspapers.

My friends, I had sensed a definite change in American policy at the time of the 1962 war. We failed to fashion our foreign policy in accordance with the dictates of times. The late Mohammad Ali Bogra tried a little, but death did not allow him time. Later, I tried to effect a change in the foreign policy in the interests of the country. I knew that America will put pressure on Pakistan in order to win India's friendship and that this will encourage India to commit aggression against Pakistan because it has never reconciled itself to the existence of Pakistan. So the U.S. policy changed. I had very little time and the circumstances were not in my favour. Our great dictator, Ayub Khan, had shut his eyes. He was simply not prepared to see a change in the situation. He was insistent upon maintaining friendship with the United States. I had great difficulty in persuading him to see reality and reason.

As you know, Pakistan had universal support during the 1965 war. The Indian Prime Minister himself had to confess that India was isolated in the world. Egypt, which did not allow our Prime Minster Hussain Shaheed Suharwardy to land at the Cairo airport, and the whole Arab world, which used to support India, came out openly in support of Pakistan. China, where once pro-India slogans were raised, issued an ultimatum to India during the September war. Russia, which had never accepted Kashmir as a disputed problem, stressed the importance of resolving this problem. Latin America, the Middle East and the whole of Asia were with Pakistan. Only Malaysia and Yugoslavia were with India. And the Kashmir issue which was no longer being mentioned in joint communiques, once again came to light. Indonesia gave all help and Pakistan will never forget the help given by Iran.

This change in our foreign policy was brought about after I became Foreign Minister. But just a year after my separation from Government, Ayub Khan strained our relations even with Iran. When both the U.S. and Britain were presenting a trade boycott resolution against Pakistan at the United Nations, President de Gaulle of France announced that his country would veto the resolution. It is a historical fact. But it is a pity that Pakistan extended her hand of friendship first to those countries which had supported India against us. No need was felt at all even to thank France; the French Foreign Minister complained about it later. On the other hand, President Ayub only phoned the British Premier Wilson and President Johnson of U.S. In Pakistani newspapers, however, it was reported differently that both Johnson and Wilson had telephoned Ayub Khan.

Although I was his Foreign Minister, Ayub Khan was not willing to send me to the Security Council. So, when I reached New York, American newspapers, while expressing their surprise, wrote that Ayub Khan had assured the American Ambassador that he would not send me to the Security Council.

I have been a victim of misleading propaganda for nearly three years. But I have been quiet till now. If you find that I have failed to serve the people, I am accountable to you. I shall honour your verdict. I shall face all difficulties. I am determined to continue serving my country. It is sometimes alleged that I am an Indian national; at others it is contended that I have usurped the rights of tenants. Well, I am here before the court of the people. I invite my accusers to prove their case here. Was I sent to jail as a reward for my service to the people? Absolutely inhuman treatment was meted out to me in jail. After all, I am a human being. I must now acquaint the people with facts. I have had enough of torture.

Dear friends, it was said that since I was needed more at home, there was no need for me to be sent to the Security Council. My young friend, Syed Muhammad Zafar, was sent to the Security Council. But he phoned back saying that I should be sent there. He said circumstances were critical; he himself was a novice and that Bhutto knew those circumstances better. In spite of the fact that the war was on, and only two days ago the Indians had reported that the Gujerat Chief Minister was killed when his plane was shot down, an announcement was made on the radio that I had left for Karachi on my way to New York. Even the pilot of the plane expressed his anxiety at this announcement, apprehending that Indian planes migh follow us in an attempt to kill their enemy number one. So we had to change the normal flight plan of our plane. We took zig-zag routes and prepared to leave for New York immediately. In New York I was told that I was not supposed to make a speech, for a decision was being awaited from Rawalpindi. I was supposed to read it over to the Council. This related to the cease-fire.

My dear friends, as you know I told the Security Council what was done to Pakistan. I told them about the plight of the Kashmiris. This speech, I was told, was liked very much. But I did other important things also for the nation. In the coming 10 months I will throw more light on these vital national affairs. I will talk about Kashmir and about national integrity. In Karachi I hinted about the Rann of Kutch and promised to say more about this in Rawalpindi. Today, when I reached the Chaklala airport three persons met me. I was told not to say anything about the Tashkent Declaration in Rawalpindi, because it came under the purview of the Official Secrets Act. But I will not be scared by threats. I must apprise the people of facts.

The people are my round table conference. Already I have abandoned power in the interest of national sovereignty. I just do not care for power. I am fully conversant with the Official Secrets Act. After all, I have been the country's Foreign Minister and I have various law degrees. I know what is right or wrong. There is a plot to silence me, and even to prevent me from saying things which do not harm the national interest. The Ayub era is over. I can tell the nation what harm Ayub Khan has done to the country, provided I am allowed to do so.

I plan to call a meeting of my party soon. If the meeting allows me to talk about these matters, I shall do so. However, if my party does not allow me, I will quit politics. What good is there in politics if I cannot talk to the people? The people alone are the source of my strength. No one can stop me from going to them.

 

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