Why Was Liaquat All Khan Shot?
Public Speech at Quetta,
June 14, 1970

I have come to Quetta after a long interval. My tours of different areas to explain the party manifesto have taken a lot of my time. All the political parties started their activities on the first of January. Our political struggle, however, has been going on for the last four years. When I left the Government of Ayub Khan he warned me not to join politics otherwise he would destroy me. He said that he would not spare me till death. I told him that I couldn't take any decision in this respect and that if the people of Pakistan needed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto then I would certainly take part in poli­tics. I also told him that I believed that life and death and honour and dis­grace were in the hands of God.

I formed a political party after consulting the people. It is no ordinary thing to form a political party in a backward country where there are already so many parties in the field. When our party came into being there was dictatorship in the country. In spite of this the first meeting of the Pakistan People's Party was held in Lahore. Many hurdles were put in our way. Every attempt was made to make our first meeting unsuccessful. An attempt was also made to set on fire the house in which we were holding our meeting. Notwithstanding these difficulties the party came into being. Now this party has been working for three years. Our meetings were banned in the beginning. It was only because of your co-operation that the party took root. Attempts were made to sabotage our meetings through the police and other minions of the government. Goondas armed with swords were sent to our meeting in Multan to disturb it, but we were not cowed by this. When we could not hold a meeting in Multan we would go to Karachi or Hyderabad and if we failed to hold our meetings there we went to Dacca or to Lahore. In short, we never lost contact with the people. We were never in hiding in our houses like other politicians.

My dear friends, please remember that we haven't come to you now because elections are being held and we want your votes. We are not asking you to cast your votes for us. We know that the history of this country will not be made only by votes. Its destiny depends on what happens after that. You have witnessed the movement we launched against Ayub Khan and how we led this movement to success. This was not our success but the success of the brave people of Pakistan. Ayub Khan was a very strong dictator. He used the machinery of the Government, the police, the army, the Basic Democrats and he controlled the press as well. He was a new Hitler. One of my political friends has accused me of trying to become a Hitler. I say he should have some fear of God. How can I become a Hitler? We have defeated the Hitler of Pakistan with the help of the people.

My dear friends, the way you defeated the Hitler of Pakistan is un­paralleled in history. A dictator is generally removed by the army but in Pakistan the dictator was toppled by a people's movement. It was a struggle of the common man. There is no such example in history. This movement clearly proved that the majority of the people of Pakistan is with the Pakistan People's Party, This party has the support of the students, be­cause it is a modern party. It is working in accordance with the needs of the hour. The people of Pakistan need this party. We are proud of the fact that the students are with us. Some people say that only the students are with us while the people are with them. 3 say that if the students and the youth are with us it is a matter of great pride. It was our party which demanded that the limit on the voting age should be fixed at eighteen because this party wanted to secure the right of vole for the students. We believe that the students are capable of taking correct decisions. If a peasant can be given the right of vote then the students who are educated and well-inform­ed must be given this right.

The other parties have said that we are making this demand only be­cause the majority of the students is with us. We are not interested in voles alone. We know that the country can be built only by hard work, struggle and sacrifice. It is a very arduous process. The problems cannot be solved in an easy manner. The history of a nation includes periods of suffering and tribulations. For the last 23 years the logic behind our politics has been to find a short cut. There are no short cuts in this task. Pakistan's masses have always been doing hard work, The peasants who work in the fields" know it well that a crop is ready only after a good deal of hard work and labour. It has to be a long Struggle.

We believe in having a constitution and also in holding elections but we want to emphasise that mere elections cannot solve your problems. The basic problems are poverty and hunger. Elections have been held in the past, but these problems have not been solved. Elections will help you to elect your representatives for the Assembly to frame a constitution. A constitution cannot solve your problems because if you are hungry it will not feed you and if you are unemployed it will not provide you employment.

The present struggle is against those who want to perpetuate the capi­talistic system. We want to establish the system of Islamic equality. The capitalists and their stooges want that the system of exploitation which has been in vogue for centuries should continue. They cannot come and tell you that they want to suck your blood. They cannot come and tell you that they want your poverty and misery to last forever. Instead, they come and tell you that Islam is in danger. Islam can never be in danger. We are all Muslims and we know that Islam cannot be in danger. The capi­talists and the feudalists are in danger. Islam is our religion and will last even after the Day of Judgement. God Almighty has taken upon Himself the protection of this religion. How then can Islam be in danger? Our Holy Prophet was the last of the prophets. Only the capitalists believe that Islam can be in danger. You must take into consideration who the people are who come and tell you that Islam is in danger. They are the same people who opposed the Pakistan movement and dubbed the Quaid-i-Azam as the leader of infidels. They opposed Pakistan till the last day. During the Pakistan movement they were with our enemies. Now these very people say that Islam is in danger.

When the struggle for Pakistan was in progress and when efforts were being made to carve out a home for the Muslims they said they did not want a Muslim state. At that time they didn't feel any danger from the Hindus. You can see today how the Muslims are being massacred in India. If Pakistan had not come into being the Muslims would have met the same fate even in the areas which now form a part of Pakistan. When the Hindus and the British were opposing the Pakistan movement, these people opposed Quaid-i-Azam and Islamic Pakistan. Why do they now say that they alone can run Pakistan and ensure its Islamic character. In fact they want Pakistan to remain a weak country. Their conspiracy against the establishment of Pakistan having failed, their efforts are now directed towards weakening it, to bring about its destruction.

After Pakistan's establishment they began to pontificate about what sort of state it should be and issued edicts against all who did not accept their sole and permanent right to interpret Islam. They did not call Hindus infidels but Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who recites the Kalima has been called an infidel. If they are-addicted to issuing fatwas why don't they direct them against those who are killing Muslims in India and Kashmir. Even in England the Pakistanis are being beaten up. But our mullahs want to shed Muslim blood in Pakistan. They are openly saying that they will turn Pakistan into Indonesia. What happened in Indonesia? A million Muslims were killed there and that is what they want to do here in Pakistan. We shall not allow them to do so. The people of Pakistan know that the Pakistan People's Party will serve the country and defend Islam. We shall serve the Muslims by working for their progress and prosperity. We shall uphold the prestige of Islam. That is how we want to serve Islam. I served the cause of Islam when I was Foreign Minister.

The Indian Prime Minister has said that she doesn't want Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to come to power in Pakistan. Why doesn't she? It is because she knows that I have served Pakistan and I will not accept India's dominance. She knows that I shall serve your cause and put Pakistan on the path of progress. It is my solemn promise to the brave and valiant people of Pakistan that if the Pakistan People's Party comes to power we shall never allow the massacre of Muslims in India. The Indians know that Pakistan is weak and they are taking advantage of it.

Our opponents cannot serve Islam. Islam can be served only if the people are served. What is the plight of the common man? It is deterio­rating every day. How can. Islam be served under these circumstances? You cannot even educate your children. In other countries education upto university level is free, while your children have to work day and night. Leaving aside the developed countries you can take the example of Egypt. Under King Faruk the peasants and the poor people in Egypt were suffering just as they are suffering in Pakistan. In the same Egypt, with the same resources, free education is being given to the people upto university level. In Pakistan you cannot educate your children even upto Matric. How can Islam be served if this situation continues? The country cannot progress when so much ignorance prevails. The lives of the new generation cannot be wasted. They must get the rights which have been given to people in other countries. Prices are increasing every day. This situation cannot be tolerated any more. Government servants are not being paid enough to make both ends meet. The same is the condition of the peasants and the workers. I promise that when the Pakistan People's Party comes to power, education will be free upto Matric. We shall revise land revenue rates in favour of the small land holder. The salaries of the poor Government servants will be increased. We shall work for the eradication of poverty.

I have been the Foreign Minister of Pakistan for several years. I had promised to give the country an independent foreign policy. I fulfilled that promise. Our previous foreign policy was dictated by a big power. Our relations with Russia, China, the Middle Eastern countries and Afghanistan were strained. We had good relations only with America. The whole world laughed at us. Pandit Nehru made fun of the foreign policy of Pakistan, the largest Islamic state of the world. We could not take any decision independently. It was after a good deal of struggle that I gave an independent foreign policy to the country) This boosted our prestige abroad. It was a people's foreign policy against the interest of the imperialists and the capitalists. I also promised to struggle against dictatorship and you have seen that we defeated the dictator with your support. We were with you throughout the struggle.

My third promise was that we shall fight against India resolutely. When the time came we faced the Indian aggression bravely. I fulfilled all the three promises. I won't make false promises. I may die but I shall never betray you. Now my fourth promise is that we shall eradicate poverty, hunger and misery from Pakistan. We shall end exploitation in the country. We shall bring prosperity to Pakistan. We shall give the country a people's constitution. We are Muslims and we are very proud of it. We shall lay down our lives for the cause of Islam not only in Pakistan but wherever it is needed. Our very first principle is that Islam is our religion. We believe that there should be democracy in the country. So far as the economy of the country is concerned we want to introduce Islamic equality or socialism as against the capitalistic system. There is no third system. If you want that exploitation should continue and your blood should be sucked, then you may support capitalism. We have no personal enmity with the capitalists. It is a question of principles. If you want that your children should get education, that you should be provided with food, cloth­ing and shelter and employment, and that your salaries be increased then you have no choice but to support Islamic equality or Islamic Socialism.

I am not the first one to make such a demand. Quaid-i-Azam Mahomed Ali Jinnah had promised in his speech at Chittagong that Islamic Socialism would be introduced in Pakistan. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is not the first one to make that demand. The Quaid-i-Azam who was one of the greatest of all Muslims and who founded Pakistan, the largest Islamic state, was the one who supported Islamic socialism. On the other hand, the people who opposed the Pakistan movement are now opposing Islamic socialism. The Quaid-i-Millat, Liaqual Ali Khan, who was the first Prime Minister of Pakistan and a lieutenant of the Quaid-i-Azam also promised to introduce Islamic Socialism in the country. Anyone can look up their speeches. I am only following in their footsteps. I want to eradicate poverty and hunger. I want that there should be progress in Pakistan.

It is surprising that our critics do not want Pakistan to progress. Investigations into the murder of Quaid-i-Miilat have turned up nothing. I believe that he was assassinated because he wanted to introduce Islamic Socialism. His murder was the result of a great conspiracy. That is the reason also why Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was fired upon in Sanghar. I am not afraid. I believe that life and death are in the hands of God. I shall side with the people and shed the last drop of my blood for their cause. I shall be with you through every phase of the struggle. Islamic Socialism is nothing new for us. The principles of socialism and equality are in keeping with our religion. Islam was the first religion to give the message of equality 10 the world. Because we support the principles of social justice we are fired upon.

Our opponents say that Islam is a complete code of life. If that is the case then why do they demand the restoration of the 1956 Constitution? They are always repeating this demand? The Holy Quran is our consti­tution. Why do they demand the parliamentary system? This system has not been mentioned anywhere in the Quran. They do not find the demand for parliamentary system against Islam. It is only when the question of the salvation of the poor arises that they say that Islam is a complete code of life and there is no scope for socialism in Islam. They reject socialism because the term as such does not exist in the Quran. But then the Quran does not specifically mention parliamentary democracy either. The People's Party accepts both; the capitalists accept only what suits them.

In the end, I demand that the young students who have been arrested in Baluchistan should be released. Not only in Baluchistan, but students should be set free wherever they are in jails. The elections are meaningless for us if they stay in jails. Labour leaders and the peasant leaders should also be released immediately because there are only three months left for the elections

I also wish to assure the minorities in Baluchistan that we shall protect their rights. It is a principle of our religion that we should protect every body. I believe that the Sindhis, Pathans, Punjabis and the refugees who came from India must unite and struggle hard to build Pakistan according to the dreams of the Quaid-i-Azam.

 

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