Exploiters Rejected by Voters
Press Conference at Karachi,
March 15, 1971

At Nishtar Park yesterday, the whole substance and tenor of my speech was a plea and a demand for maintaining of the unity of Pakistan. In the course of it I brought out the efforts made by me to reach an under­standing with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman so that a united Pakistan could be maintained.

The Pakistan People's Party's position has remained consistent. It is not we who have demanded a constitution based on two economies and virtually two countries. We have said that in framing a constitution for Pakistan the West Wing must be heard and protection for its legitimate inte­rests incorporated in the constitution. The East Wing has rightly complain­ed of dictation by the West Wing in the past. This wrong must be undone but this cannot be done by reversing roles. In the conditions of Pakistan, divided as we are geographically into two parts, a constitution that is to endure can only be one that brings about a just partnership between the two wings.

The Pakistan People's Party has from its very inception fought for the transfer of power to the people. We say that power should be handed over to the representatives of the people in both the wings. We say that at the Centre power should be transferred to the majority parties of both the wings, and in the provinces to the majority parties in the provinces. Only such an arrangement will ensure the unity of Pakistan. We want a united Pakistan and that is why we want the united power of the majority parties of the two wings at the Centre. Those who are against such a transfer are against the unity of Pakistan.

In my speech yesterday I recounted what measures I had taken to make a compromise acceptable to the people of West Pakistan and to bring about an understanding between the two parts of the country. No one could have done more or gone further in this direction. My party has through­out made every effort to bring to public attention in the West Wing the capitalistic exploitation of the East Wing. I can only repeat my request to the leaders of the Awami League that they should not slander the fair name of the West Pakistani people—the sins of a handful of capitalist exploiters cannot be attributed to the people of West Pakistan. The same vested interests which in the past exploited the East Wing continue in their evil efforts to bring disunity between the people of the two Wings. They have been rejected by the people of the West Wing in the elections. Their views only appear in their own newspapers and are not heeded by the people here, Let not the people of the East Wing now pay heed to the voices from the past. Let us, instead, join hands to eliminate exploitation and establish a new order for a united Pakistan.

 

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