A Compromise is Possible
Public Meeting at Nishtar Park, Karachi,
March 14, 1971

Pakistan is passing through an extremely dangerous and critical crisis. We have been witnessing crisis after crisis ever since the creation of Pakistan. You may think it is traditional for all political leaders and parties to say that the country is faced with a serious crisis. But I assure you, my brothers and sisters, that it is very much true today to say that Pakistan has never faced a more dangerous crisis in her 23 years than she faces today. It is in view of this crisis that we will have to take deci­sions. Pakistan is the largest Islamic State of the world. Millions of Muslims have made sacrifices for its creation.

Hundreds of thousands of Muslims died to bring Pakistan into being. Will such a Pakistan remain one or be divided into pieces? Indeed the present is the most complicated and dangerous of crises. All of us recognise this fact. There is no doubt about it.

But there is also no doubt that if we make sincere efforts in the right direction and with the support of the people, we shall successfully overcome this crisis, and be able to preserve the integrity and solidarity of Pakistan.

My dear friends, my poor brothers and sisters: you will recall that on 4 January 1971 from this Nishtar Park I had started my election campaign. And after I had made my speech our enemies, no not our enemies but your enemies for there is no difference in your enemies and our enemies, had tried to create misunderstandings between us. Because we are with the people, the enemies of the people are our enemies and our enemies therefore are the enemies of the people. They had then tried to create misunderstandings among the people. They bad formed a powerful front against the Pakistan People's Party. That front is still in existence. But you have emerged successful. You have already given your verdict through the elections/The elections have been held under democratic principles. You have made the Pakistan People's Party succeed with a great majority in West Pakistan. You made great sacrifices in doing this. You wished to see us returned in a majority. You worked for this day.

But now you see this front working against the Pakistan People's Party—no, against you. It was set up to conspire against you. For a time it went underground, but now it has emerged again to oppose you, to betray you. The front is not opposing the Pakistan People's Party. In fact it is oppos­ing the poor people of Pakistan.

Take it from me that it is not the person of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto that is being opposed. When the reactionary press accuses me of being responsible for this crisis, the attack is not meant against my person. It is directed, and is a part of the conspiracy against the labourers, peasants and poor people. These elements which consider themselves as powerful forces, are in fact nonentities. They opposed the People's Party during the elections and dubbed the Muslims as infidels. They issued edicts against people like us who are prepared to sacrifice their lives for Islam. They said we were a danger to Islam. Now it is for you to see whether Islam is faced with any danger now that the elections are over. We remain the same Muslims. Our hearts still glow with the light of Islam. Mosques are filled with the believers as before. Muslims still recite the same Kalima. The same prayers are still being offered.

There is no incompatibility between Pakistan and Islam. We will sacri­fice our lives and everything for both. We will fight on all fronts. But who is behind this conspiracy? The people have no hand in it. On the other hand, as I have said, it has been hatched against the people. It is the same hand working behind all the conspiracies—past and present. And it will be the same hand which will stage future conspiracies.

I shall now tell you what this force is. I say this openly that it is the conspiracy of the capitalists. It is the conspiracy of the reactionaries and the imperialists. Once they saw the election results, they knew they had been doomed; they had been defeated. They feared that their mills would now be nationalised, lands would be lost and the poor would have all their rights. They conspired to stop all this at all costs. Therefore, they tried to create another crisis.

I had made certain promises to you during the elections. These were the promises of a Muslim, a true Pakistani. I had told you that when your government came into power, it would bring about economic changes. It would nationalise the big factories. It would distribute agricultural lands among the poor. It was because of this that conspiracies are being hatched on all sides. And it was because of this that after 23 years of the creation of Pakistan a confrontation was created between Urdu and Sindhi in Hyderabad. You know what happened. The Board of Secondary Education passed a resolution. Its 10 members included five Muhajirs and five Sindhis. This was turned into a controversial language issue between Sindhi and Urdu. The vested interests tried to distract the people's attention from the need for a change in the economic system. The poor Sindhi people have been dying of hunger; they have been economically exploited So are the poor Muhajirs being persecuted and oppressed. The interested circles wanted to divert the attention of these poor people from the changing pattern of events, because they feel that if these poor people's attention was directed to the need for change, it would result in a revolution. These circles fear that in that case their interests would be adversely affected. Therefore, they first resorted to the slogan of "Islam in danger." But you have proved this wrong through your verdict. I salute you on this. So, after failing in their conspiracies, these circles tried to create all sort of difficulties for the Pakistan People's Party. They discovered a new move. This time they raised the cry of "Urdu in danger; Sindhi in danger." You know, both these languages have not been in "danger" at all during the last 23 years. Sindhi has not been in danger for the past 5,000 years. They only saw "danger" when the People's Party emerged victorious.

As a matter of fact these were devices to weaken the People's Party, to weaken you. With this conspiracy having failed, the vested interests raised the question of canal waters in the Punjab and Sind. They thought that since the People's Party had a majority in both the provinces, it would find itself in extreme difficulty in pleasing one province at the cost of the other. Did the River Indus not flow before? If its water could be distributed before why can it not be fairly distributed now? Well, it will be equitably distributed!

All these were conspiracies against the people. You were told to ask Bhutto to solve your problems, because you voted for Bhutto. They raised the prices and asked you to seek Bhutto's help.

The Press Trust is in their possession. The whole reactionary press belongs to them. They have been persecuting and doing injustice. They have done injustice not to my person but to the people of Pakistan.

Now all such people who were defeated in the elections and who lost their securities have been posing themselves as leaders. They go to East Pakistan; they come from East Pakistan with big messages in their pockets.

My friends, brothers and sisters, I wonder what type of democracy this is. They have been crying hoarse for democracy. But do they know the alphabet of democracy? Well, democracy means the wishes of the people. You have to carry out the decisions of the people. And what decision have the people taken? The people's decision resulted in the emergence of the Pakistan People's Party as the majority party in West Pakistan. It was a great majority. At the centre we have at least 90 seats. In Sind and the Punjab we are in a big majority. So the people made their decision in our favour. Democracy for which we had been struggling for the last eleven years, has taken the first step towards its rightful place in our country. The people's verdict has been in our favour. You have reposed confidence in the People's Party. So how do these people who have been defeated in the elections, claim to be great leaders? They can neither understand politics nor the people. They cannot understand the situation in Pakistan. They do not even believe in democracy. Why have they then jumped in? Who allowed them to do that? You have already given a clear, democratic verdict. It is not a hundred years' old verdict. It was given in the very recent past. You gave this verdict just a few months ago on 17 December and 17 January.

Despite all this these "leaders" claim to have brought messages. They have been suggesting that this or that be done. Your voice is the voice of the electorate. Your representatives' voice is your voice.

Let me tell you how confusion is being created about us. The reaction­ary press has been trying to establish that we are responsible for this crisis. I will prove it to you today that the Pakistan People's Party is in no way involved and that the responsibility does not lie with it. We have all along been working for the integrity and solidarity of Pakistan. We have been trying to restore the sovereignty of the people of Pakistan. I swear by God I stand for what I have just said.

My dear brothers and friends, What are these defeated politicians doing now? One of them has been saying that the People's Party did not fight the elections on constitutional issues; that the Pakistan People's Party fought the elections on its economic programme and foreign policy. That is why it has no right to represent the people on constitutional questions. I would say that only an intellectually bankrupt person can say these things.

You have elected us as your representatives—that is, to represent you in both internal and external matters. You have not stopped us from repre­senting you on any particular subject. But our opponents argue that we said nothing on the constitution during our election campaign. Perhaps, they do not know that we had written a book on the constitution. It was written by our Party's Secretary-General much before the elections. So, it is not true that we had taken no stand on the constitution. However, we did not want to disturb the atmosphere for nothing. We did not attack the Six Points unlike those who opposed them before but are supporting them now.

We did present our views on the constitution to the people saying that we favored a federal constitution. We have been demanding this in our speeches. You may recall many of my speeches in which I had said that we would frame a people's constitution. I had pledged to make a poor man's constitution. One of the parties opposing us published a booklet against a federal constitution. I have all along been pleading for a constitution of the labourers and the poor in which fundamental rights will be ensured and protected. These fundamental rights would not be tailored for the rich and the capitalists alone. These rights should be extended to provide proper cover for the poor, the labourers, the working class and the peasants. I had promised such a constitution.

You may as well recall the attitude of the capitalists during the year of electioneering. They rallied against us. They opposed us tooth and nail. Why did they oppose me? Why did the big Pirs oppose me? Because I was against exploitation. That is why everybody, the 22 families, the bureaucrats, the reactionary parties, all of them opposed the People's Party. They have been accusing me of collusion. May I ask them, collusion with whom? Was it with the Government? If so, which Government? Tell me, which Govern­ment has Bhutto colluded with?

As you know, ever since its existence the present Government has been trying to destroy the Pakistan People's Party.

My dear brothers and sisters, do you have such a weak memory that you cannot now recall one of my speeches at this very place, Nishtar Park? I bad then addressed myself to Sher Ali Khan saying: "Sher Ali you better give up your conspiracies." Sher Ali was a Minister in this Government. And then you know my speech which I made in Lyari. You know what I had then said against the Government.

My dear brothers, have you forgotten all that so quickly? The same Government banned my book, "Myth of Independence." Have you then, my friends, forgotten that on 13 August 1969, this Government arrested 20 members of my Party? Have you forgotten that this Government arrested my beloved students in Hyderabad the next day? The Government did not even allow me to plead their case as a lawyer in Karachi. Have you, my dear friends, also forgotten, that this very Government arrested Mir Ali Ahmad Talpur ten days before the elections? Have you forgotten that this Government arrested Maulana Kausar Niazi? Have you also forgotten that 22 of my election agents were arrested in Tando Bagar? In Dera Ismail Khan ballot boxes were tampered with to ensure that Bhutto should lose at least from one constituency.

So, who can I collude with? Who is Bhutto colluding with? Some East Pakistanis and those who lost elections here, have been saying that a big conspiracy is being hatched. What conspiracy and with whom? Is it being hatched with the capitalists? Out of question! It is impossible I They have been openly opposing us. They have been asking for our heads. So, can we conspire with those who have been trying to destroy our Party? Then, are we conspiring with Government officials? They too are against us. They tried to persecute me after I left the Ayub Government. We simply cannot collude with the capitalists, government officials and reactionaries. The whole struggle of Bhutto has been against the reactionaries. We cannot conspire with the Government for you know what the Government attitude towards us has been during the elections. Had the Government been with us, bullets would not have been fired at us in Sanghar. I ask where was the Government when Bhutto was attacked in Sadiqabad? What was this Government doing when a high police officer collected 3.6 million rupees from capitalists out of which 2 million rupees were used against the People's Party? Can this Government have any collusion with us?

To my brothers in East Pakistan, I would say: at least do keep the facts in mind; at least tell us which forces have been colluding with us? We represent the people. They are the source of our strength. We cannot go against the people.

It is said that Bhutto's secret meetings with President Yahya last for as long as five hours. Now, let me tell you about these 'secret' meetings. The fact is that the People's Party is a majority party in West Pakistan. It is the voice of West Pakistan. We represent West Pakistan for you have elected us as your representatives. Therefore, the President is forced to meet us in our capacity as the representatives of West Pakistan. After all, he will have to meet the party which has succeeded, not the "leaders" who have lost the elec­tion. Moreover, has not President Yahya been meeting the majority party leader in East Pakistan? On 3 November, Yahya Khan had a very long meeting with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Was it or was it not a secret meeting?

So if I meet the President along with my party colleagues to discuss the crisis—because we are passing through a very dangerous crisis—what offence do we thereby commit?

And now, what can we do if Sheikh Mujibur Rahman refuses to come to West Pakistan? He has said on many occasions that he would come. In Dacca he told me he would even come to Larkana to see me. He told President Yahya he would come. But he has not come here. The President lives in West Pakistan. We too live in West Pakistan. And we want to discuss the crisis in the interest of the people. So where is the conspiracy?

The situation now is that Sheikh Mujib has not come here. The Presi­dent cannot go there every now and then. But the East Pakistan Governor has to see Sheikh Mujib thrice a day. Should we then say that a conspiracy is going on there? The Governor went to Sheikh Sahib's residence and even on three days without being accompanied by his ADC or the Military Secretary,

It is a meeting like that one may call secret. But what crime is it to discuss the national crisis with the President, at his invitation? In fact it is one of our duties to discuss the affairs of the country with the President. Had the Sheikh been here, he would have had many more meetings with the Presi­dent than we have had. But he has been refusing to come here. He has not come. But if the Governor is having meetings with the Sheikh, our opponents are reluctant to call them secret meetings.

As for the five hour talks between the President and myself, the fact of the matter is that our talks began at 10 a.m. and ended at 12.30 p.m. After that the President said that it was lunch time and asked me where I was hav­ing my lunch. I told him, where else except at my hotel. He then invited me to have lunch with him. He, however, sought our leave for half an hour to see an ambassador. The President came back at 1.30 p.m. I had lunch and then came back. So much for our five hour meeting. Well, then, in future I will take sandwiches with me so that I may be able to tell the President that I will not have lunch with him.

The Sheikh has said that 3rd March Was fixed for the Assembly session in consultation with the People's Party. But I assure you we were not consulted in this connection. It is utterly incorrect. I swear that we were not consulted on this. In fact, it was in Peshawar that a PPI correspondent told us that 3rd March had been fixed as the date for the Assembly session. He told this to Sherpao. not me It is incorrect to say that we were consulted on the date. I recite the Kalima and swear that we were not asked to give our opinion on whether the Assembly session should be called on 3rd March.

Later, the Legal Framework Order was amended. It provided that a member could resign his Assembly seat by writing to the Chief Election Commissioner. Who was this amendment directed against? It was against us, because our party had refused to attend the Assembly session. Under the existing rules a member has to tender his resignation to the Speaker. But there is no Speaker at the moment. So the amendment has exclusively been made against us. But Sheikh Mujib has said in his Race Course Ground speech that the Legal Framework Order has been amended to benefit the People's Party. How can he say that? Since we have refused to attend the session, the amendment was made against us. How can, therefore, anyone say that the People's Party had conspired to have the Legal Framework Order amended?

I am telling you these things because I want to maintain direct contact with you. I will always have my contacts with the people. I will tell you as much as I can. As! have already said my party is the party of the people. We do not sit and talk in drawing-rooms trying to reach compromises with Sheikh Mujib or President Yahya or anyone else. We will talk and compromise only with you. I am telling you these things because you are the source of our strength. So please listen to what I say. We have to represent you. And you will see how successfully we do that, Insha Allah. So please listen to me atten­tively. I have to say so many things today. Tell me what newspaper do we possess to have our statements published? What medium do we have at our disposal to explain our views? Since others keep on telling lies, this is an opportunity for you to hear the truth from me.

Our opponents are still saying that the responsibility for the crisis lies with the People's Party. Who are they? They are those people who had oppos­ed us in the elections. They are capitalists, reactionary parties and govern­ment officials. They include those who have lost the elections. They will never forgive us. They can never forgive you, for it is you who have defeated them.

Even today, they have distributed large pamphlets saying large-scale violence is imminent. Such conspiracies are being carried out by those political parties who have failed in the elections.

My dears sisters and brothers, after all differences in politics mean something. They mean adherence to some political morality, political ethics. I have made no mention of my talks with Sheikh Mujib in East Pakistan. Because if one leaks out details of confidential political talks it is a breach of confidence. Reporting to the people on such talks is one thing; giving run­ning commentaries on them is something else.

My dear friends, I had asked for some lime; you may now wish to know why? You may recall I had said that public opinion in West Pakistan was against the Six Points. A number of parties had launched propaganda move­ments against these Points. As a matter of fact it is very difficult to accept some of the things in the Six Points programme. It was because of this that I had requested Sheikh Mujib to give us some time. I told Sheikh Sahib if he had the majority there I had the majority here. I told him in plain words that I would do nothing without consulting public opinion. I would take account of that opinion. I told him, "You have been insisting on a session on February 15. How would I explain it to the people of West Pakistan." I told him I would have to go to West Pakistan to hold talks with my MNAs and MPAs. I would also have rounds of talks with other political parties and then have to go to the masses. This would mean holding public meetings in Peshawar, Lahore, Quetta and Karachi. After all there are four provinces in West Pakis­tan and I have to explain to the people, to my friends, all facts about the Six Points. I would have to tell them what the Six Points meant and what their implications were. I would have to explain the merits and demerits of the Six Points. If Sheikh Mujib insists that opinion has already been given on the Six Points, that the opinion of the people of Bangladesh is in favour of these Points, then I would plead with Sheikh Mujib, my brother, at least to try to understand what other people want I would request him to come to West Pakistan. If he tells us what Bangla Desh wants I would tell him what Pakistan Desh and West Pakistan wants. I requested him to look at this aspect too. I begged for some time, some breathing space, so that I could go to the people, because it was my responsibility. It was not the responsibility of the defeated politicians. It was the responsibility of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Because in West Pakistan, people could have accused me of having signed their death warrant. They would have held me responsible for support­ing the Six Points without taking their opinion. Under the Six Points, Sind, Punjab and the NWFP will have to contribute more than 80 per cent of the federal levy. The people of these areas would naturally have objected to it. They would have argued that since East Pakistan was a majority province they should not pay 80 per cent of the federal levy. The Awami League alleges that West Pakistan owes Rs. 31 billion to East Pakistan but I cannot accept the position that West Pakistan should agree to repay this amount. And there is a total of Rs. 40 billion loan in foreign exchange. The Awami League contends that West Pakistan will have to pay RS. 38 billion. Now if I had compromised with them, you would have held me responsible for burdening you with loans. You would have questioned my integrity. You would have reminded me of my promises to bring about economic changes.

You would have asked about Kashmir. You would have said, "Bhutto has compromised with India." My opponents would have ridiculed my so-called constitutional solution of the crisis.

Already, I have been accused of having rejected the idea of a zonal federation. In Sind, the capitalists have been labeling me as an agent of the Punjabis, whereas in Punjab I am described as opposed to a zonal federation. It is because East Pakistan Students' 11 Points provide for the dissolution of One Unit and the setting up of a zonal federation. So, then, will the people of Sind accept a zonal federation?

To think over all these matters I needed only two weeks because I wanted a clarification on some points. Because if the Assembly decisions are taken by simple majority, and since the East Pakistanis are in a majority, I would have been unable to do anything.

Please remember this crisis had to come. It was inevitable. Some facts warranted it. On the one hand, East Pakistan wanted virtual independence, and on the other West Pakistan did not want to be exploited. But the crisis was destined to come. However, the question is of its timing. Was it to come before the Assembly session? Or was it to come inside or outside the Assembly?

Now if it were to come inside the Assembly, the Assembly itself would have been dissolved, rendering the elections void. The whole episode would have ended. And if this crisis were to come after the-elections, the constitution al obligation would have been yours. It was, therefore, advisable for this crisis to erupt before the Assembly, before the framing of the constitution. It was desirable that what lay behind the scenes should come to the forefront.

So, my brothers and sisters, I only wanted a breathing space of 10 to 15 days in order to go to the people. You know, I immediately came to Lahore from Dacca. I called a meeting on 2nd March and went to Karachi on the 4th for a similar meeting and then to Multan on the 10th where I did the same. Then I went to Peshawar on the 12th, rushing to Utmanzai, then came back to Peshawar. Why all this at all? Had I not wanted a compro­mise, we would not have come so close to the Six Points despite the dangers inherent in them. How much close we came to the Six Points is clear from our acceptance of the 10 out of the 11 points of the students. We rejected only one Point about a zonal federation. I also said in Dacca we accepted two of the Six Points. When I came back here I said at a public meeting we could not accept three of the Six Paints. But after that I even said that some compromise could be reached on the remaining three Points as well.

So, if you look at these developments, only one Point was left to be discussed. And for that I wanted only two weeks. It was not a year I wanted; only two weeks. And for this alone such a big crisis was created. Collusions were made with the forces of darkness. A big upheaval took place. But then had it not been so you would have accused us for doing something against your interests. You would have said we had failed to represent you properly.

Since I have dedicated myself to serve this country and its people, I had, in all earnestness, made it clear that a constitution was not everything. But I did say that we should have a constitution which would guarantee the integrity and solidarity of Pakistan.

But when we saw our brothers in East Pakistan unwilling to talk to us, we found ourselves helpless. However, we made every effort on our part. After all ours is a political party which has to continue its sincere efforts but in the right direction. So what can we do if they are not prepared to talk. They have left no room whatsoever for give and take.

And, tell me who took up constitutional matters at the public level, at public meetings. I did not. It was Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who raised constitutional matters at Paltan Maidan on 3rd January. Oaths were taken there to stand firm by the Six Points in letter and spirit. They vowed they would rather prefer to be buried alive than to support any change in the Six Points. How could then one talk in the Assembly in this atmosphere? It is suggested we should have gone to debate all the issues on the Assembly floor. Well, how can you debate when there is no room left for it. Who should we talk to? What would we do in the Assembly when they had already framed a constitution and ruled out the possibility of a change at all on the plea that it was framed by the majority?

So if at all there was to be a debate, it should have been outside the Assembly. And it was for this reason that I wanted some time.

The East Pakistanis themselves raised constitutional issues at public meetings. If, as they say, they had the majority, they should have used it in the Assembly. But they kept on harping on the one and only tune of Six Points. How then could we hold discussions on any issue?

We wanted some time to sort things out. We wanted some assur­ances. An assurance whether a compromise was possible or not. And if some son of compromise was possible what type of constitution was it going to be? We were then asked not to put conditions, for everything would be settled in the Assembly. They said no conditions were acceptable to them outside the Assembly. Well, if they did not like conditions to be put outside the Assembly, why had they themselves put four conditions outside the Assembly? Why could they not present these conditions within the Assembly?

We were accused of putting conditions although we did not put any. It is a simple principle. If you do not like conditions to be put outside the Assembly why are you doing it yourself? Why can't you put your own condi­tions in the Assembly?

And you know, why are we now willing to go to the Assembly when we had refused to do so before? First, because they are willing to talk to us. Secondly, things would have been different had they held their press confer­ence a few days before 3rd March.

On 28th February I had demanded the postponement of the Assembly session. In case it was not acceptable to them I had suggested the waiving of the time limit of 120 days. So I did not confine my demand only to the postponement of the Assembly session. I had also presented an alternative in that the limit of 120 days should be waived.

My dear friends, we believe there is only one way to end exploitation. And that is the elimination of the capitalist system and the introduction of socialism. That alone is the way to help the poor and to eliminate exploitation from both East and West Pakistan. Exploitation must be ended in all of our provinces. On this question there should be no difference of opinion. Party strengths in the central and provincial assemblies should not stand in the way of achieving this objective. On this there should be no question of majo­rity or minority. If they are in a majority there, we are in a majority here. Pakistan consists of two parts. Both parts have to prosper equally. We want power to be transferred. There is no other way out.

My dear friends and colleagues, As politicians go I have not had a very long political life. But in the past 15 years of my political life. I have all along been fighting for the prestige, integrity and solidarity of Pakistan, especially since I became a Minister at the age of 30. I even stood up against a great power. Russia too is a great power. I fought against her Prime Minister in Tashkent. India is no ordinary country. It was said that we could not fight against her. But I fought against all of them, India, Russia and America. Why? I fought, and am prepared to fight even now against any big power for the sake of one Pakistan, for the honour of the largest Islamic state, for a socialist republic and for a Pakistan of its own people. I would consider it a great honour if I went to Dacca tomorrow and was killed there. I can sacrifice my life for Pakistan.

I have been weeping for my Bengali brothers. I am dying to be able to help them, because they are being killed. I cannot sleep these days. I have always served Bengal. Bengal is a part of this country. The Bengalis are our brothers. No one can say that I ever opposed the rights of the Bengalis during the eight years of my Ministership. I still remember the day when I went to Dacca after leaving the Ayub Government and my Bengali brothers stood up in the Dacca Stadium to give me an ovation. They clapped and raised slogans to welcome me. I have devoted myself to Bengal. I will sacrifice my life for the whole of Pakistan.

I have recently sent a telegram to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. After all I am not an untouchable. I am your representative. I sent this telegram in that capacity. It was not my personal telegram. I would say it took the heartbeat of the whole of West Pakistan with it. It was a reasonable proposal from West Pakistan. I have told Sheikh Mujibur Rahman I am ready to come to Dacca with a true heart and a sincerity of purpose. I have requested him to try to keep the country intact. I have no other objective. I want nothing else. I am prepared to give up politics for the sake of the country's integrity. I requested the Sheikh to meet me. I told him a com­promise was possible. And now I appeal to you, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, please agree to compromise. It is possible.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, I say to you; you have made a mistake. I am prepared to work for Pakistan's integrity. Let us sit together. Let us go to the Assembly and frame a constitution there, so that Martial Law is buried and power transferred to the people. Let us form a Government. I once again appeal to you, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and want to tell you that by ignoring my telegram you have ignored the whole of West Pakistan. But you cannot overlook the whole of West Pakistan. You are a brother to me. I have regard for my Bengali brothers. I had warned the people of West Pakistan not to harm a single Bengali living here. I have ordered my party here to protect each and every Bengali, not because he is a Bengali, but because he is a Pakistani.

To us they are Pakistanis first. We therefore want to protect them all. So, once again I would say to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, with utmost since­rity, "Please don't act upon incorrect advice. Don't listen to wrong counsel. There can be a compromise. A constitution can be framed. Let those who have the support of the majority of people sit together and work out a compromise to their mutual satisfaction for the sake of Pakistan. But if you are to go on talking about a 'BanglaDesh', we too, in view of our majority, can talk about 'Sindh Desh' or 'Punjab Desh.

But in that case it would be asked where has the Pakistan of the Quaid-i-Azam gone? It would be asked why did a country like Pakistan for which 3 million Muslims sacrificed their lives, want to scuttle itself? On our part, we want a government, a strong government, a progressive government for the largest Islamic state in the world.

So my dear friend, Sheikh Mujib, if you are angry, be so only with me and not with the people of West Pakistan, although you have already hurt them by not replying to my telegram. But I still appeal to you to forget every­thing. We are ever prepared for talks. I am prepared to go to Dacca tomorrow. A compromise is possible. Let us get together at once as patriots, in order to work out a programme for the restoration of democracy, for the framing of a constitution and making the country prosperous.

How can I ignore the poor of my country. And how can I forget the support I have been given by the poor. How can I forget the people? I have to serve these people. I have to serve the poor in rags. I have to serve the rickshawalas. I have to serve those dying of hunger. I have to form governments. It is the people's verdict, not mine. They want us to come into power.

Now, why should the people want us to come into power? It is be­cause they want their problems to be solved. And it is the People's Party alone which can serve them better and solve their problems.

The people have been persecuted for the last 23 years. This Party alone will serve them truly, and will make Pakistan stronger.

Pakistan Zindabad.

 

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