I am thankful to you for inviting me to meet you this morning. For a long time I have been wanting to visit Nawabshah and to meet friends and renew acquaintances. This visit has been delayed because I have been touring quite extensively. I had decided to devote a month to Sind in order to spread the views and the message of my new party to meet friends, to establish contacts.
With this purpose I left Karachi for Hyderabad some days ago. But unfortunately before I could reach Hyderabad I got the news that Section 144 had been clamped on the district.
You, Mr. President, called that an unusual coincidence. It is more than a coincidence. It betrays nervousness and weakness in the Government which has much to conceal, much to hide. Because of this it has banned public meetings. Instead of appreciating the exposure of truth which acts as a deterrent against many forms of abuse, the Government encourages abuse and tyranny by preventing the truth from reaching; the people. This it does because it knows that many evils have spread all over. It has been said that corruption exists everywhere. Certainly some wise observations have been made by ministers and those higher to them, that corruption has become a part of modern times, that corruption exists and has existed everywhere and that it is not a new phenomenon for the people of Pakistan to cope with. It is being said that these things arc inevitable in a developing society and that the people themselves are responsible for the spread of corruption. But I say that if the Government is corrupt, then People will be corrupted and if it does not encourage corruption, Corruption will come to an end.
Such decadent arguments are being given to explain away this evil of corruption. Gentlemen, first of all, in all humility, I do not agree that corruption is the order of the day everywhere in the world. Secondly, it is a fact that perhaps marginal corruption, technically speaking, exists every-where; but the kind of corruption that exists in Pakistan has become an institution. You cannot take one step out of your house without encountering it. As a matter of fact, corruption is on a honeymoon in Pakistan. It has eaten into the vitals of our society. It is not possible for a poor country to tolerate this unchecked corruption. It is wrong to say that in a developing society, corruption is inevitable. On the contrary, in a developing society, every effort must be made to minimise, if not wipe out, corruption.
And, gentlemen, there are better ways and more efficient ways of tackling corruption than to give the advice that you should not give bribes, otherwise you yourself are responsible for this evil. There are much better ways, much more efficient ways to handle corruption. I do not have to tell intelligent people what those ways are. But, apart from the ways, the intention must be there to put an end to corruption. And the intention can only be there if you yourself believe that corruption is an evil and you yourself refuse to be corrupted. If your hands are clean and if you think only of the common good and of the progress of society, and if that is your only consideration, then with those ideas and intentions, modern society provides the means, efficient and effective means, to deal with this problem. It is shameless and scandalous to look at this problem the way the Government does.
In any case, what have the poor people of Pakistan got to give as bribes? What does the poor farmer or labourer possess that he may corrupt officials? The man is living from hand to mouth, a bare existence. He has no capacity to provide for himself and his family and his children. It is a miserable life, from morning to night, spent in hunger and misery and yet you say if the people do not corrupt, there will be no corruption. It is like squeezing blood out of a stone. Only those who know the conditions of the people of the rural classes, of the urban society, will know that it is not so easy for the poor people of Pakistan to encourage the institution of corruption.
Then there is smuggling. There are ways and means to end smuggling as well. Those ways and means are known to you and they are known to the Government. But then it is said that we have a very long border and therefore it is very difficult to prevent smuggling. We might have a long border but there are countries with much longer borders. Whether the border is long or short, smuggling will continue, if the attitude remains what it is. It is not, therefore, a question of the length of our border but how far the impartial arm of the law can reach out for the delinquent.
Added to corruption and smuggling, are the mal administration and lawlessness in the country. Crime and violence are increasing to such an extent that the honour of no one is really safe from arbitrary arrest and from imprisonment under the cover of Defence of Pakistan Rules which have been used excessively. Arrests are ordered for purposes other than for the security of the state or the integrity of the nation which, in fact, have been jeopardised by this Government itself. The Defence of Pakistan Rules exist although the war was over two years ago and they exist in spite of the Tashkent Declaration which is supposed to have put an end to the conflict between India and Pakistan. In the name of the Defence of Pakistan Rules, many people are arbitrarily arrested and called disruptionists and secessionists. A tendency has grown to say that the majority province of this country is showing signs of secession. I would refuse to believe that the majority of this country would want to secede from itself. What the people of East Pakistan want is "friends, not masters." If you exploit and dominate them as you exploit and dominate the whole nation, how do you expect unity to emerge out of exploitation and domination? In the history of mankind, has unity sprung from exploitation and domination? Unity has emerged from equality and a sense of justice which are denied to the people of this country. It is for this reason that, on the one hand, the Government says that the crisis is mounting and, on the other, that unity is weakening. Why should the crisis mount and unity weaken? They should be consolidating the unity of this fine nation, this great nation, which, united together, had succeeded in achieving Pakistan against the opposition of the Congress and British imperialism. This is the same nation which united magnificently then and it is capable of uniting again if you remove domination and exploitation and give it equality and justice.
If you deny the people their rights, their fundamental and inalienable rights, if you do not make them partners in power, if you exclude them from all functions, which inherently they must have a right to, if you suspect them, if you maltreat them, in that event, you are bound to get alien agents among the people. Look wherever you go, in whatever direction your eyes turn, you find frustration, anger and suffocation. You take the student community. The student community is upset, annoyed and up in arms. Why the student community is annoyed and up in arms is because you distrust the younger generation. Instead of giving academic freedom to the universities, you have chained the youth of Pakistan with the oppressive and - obnoxious University Ordinances and other restrictions. You have even the audacity to take away degrees from them. This means that the Government has committed a dacoity on the minds of the youth of Pakistan. And then you say that the student community is being misled by others. The student community will not be misguided and misled by others.
In any case, we do not have the instruments to misguide and mislead them, because public platforms are denied to us. The press is denied to us. It is the Government which is the repository of all the media of propaganda. The newspapers, the radio, the television night and day blare forth nasty propaganda, and yet the student community is agitating against the Government. They are agitating because they understand, they know about their rights. They know what their future is. The youth of Pakistan stands estranged.
Take the legal profession. The legal profession is not happy because the laws have been tampered with. The law should be so clear that every person should be able to understand it. That is the principle of the law, but the law is so confused that I would like to say, with due respect, that even the legal profession is confused. This has been deliberately done in order to re-create the past which no longer exists, because the Government has a colonial mentality. That is why they are thrilled by the bygone days of the Jirga system. They want to reimpose those conditions on a modern and a progressive society. This is just not possible and the result is that there is con-fusion in the law. So the legal community is dissatisfied.
Take the labouring classes. See how the labouring classes are being exploited under the system of plunder and loot which prevails in Pakistan today. It is the kind of capitalism which perhaps existed a century ago in the United States of America. This form of capitalism exists nowhere in the world today. It is absolute highway robbery. In the United States, the President after election, disinvests his assets and shares. In Pakistan, when a person becomes President, he acquires assets and shares.
This is a land of capitalism, monopolist, cut-throat, cold-blooded, ruthless, capitalism. Bank vaults in foreign countries are being stuffed with the profits of Pakistani industrialists.
How can the labouring classes in Pakistan be happy? Their conditions are getting worse everyday. The wages are not increasing, but the prices of commodities are increasing. The right of strike is not there. All facilities are denied to them. The capitalist class thrives so the labouring classes are dissatisfied; as are farmers and peasants. State-lands have been given to rich people.
Stale lands should be given to the peasantry and to the tenants, to the cultivators to the tillers of the soil instead of to a new rich class of industrialists and other rich people. This is against elementary laws of justice. That is why our party was among the first to pass a resolution against this system of creating a new class of land-owners instead of giving rights 10 tenants and peasants.
In other words take any profession, any class of people, and you will see frustration. You go to Karachi and you find that people are unhappy. Refugee settlers have been abused roundly and squarely. The people of this region have been attacked. The people of the Punjab have been attacked. The people of Baluchistan have been repressed. The people of Bengal are being suppressed and are being called secessionists. Then, where are the people who support this regime? Where are the people who give strength to this regime? Absolutely nowhere in the country, gentlemen! That is why today the Government is completely isolated. It is isolated and it is weak, and it relies on a handful of corrupt bureaucrats who have exceeded their functions and are indulging in politics. These are bad traditions. These are wrong traditions. I do not condemn the whole bureaucracy. There are young, intelligent, capable, honest bureaucrats who are doing their work. But at the same time, there are some bureaucrats who have exceeded the limits and have become a party in the crimes of this regime and who have trespassed beyond their responsibilities and are now indulging in politics. They will rue this and one day be answerable to the people of Pakistan.
This regime stands completely exposed and isolated. There is nothing to fear, gentlemen, because this regime's stability is artificial. This state of affairs cannot last. It is straining the unity of Pakistan. It is more than straining the unity of Pakistan; it is straining the patience of a whole I
million people of this country. Therefore, you should, in the interest of this country, in the interest of your people, for the welfare of the people of Pakistan, for the progress of this land, undertake the responsibilities of citizenship and participate in the common struggle to put an end to pressure and tyranny. It is wrong to say that it is not possible to combat a tyrannical government. On the contrary, it is much more difficult to combat a government which is popularly supported than a government which is isolated, which relies on brute force. This Government moves like a maniac, throwing people into jails. How long can you fill the jails? Ideas cannot be imprisoned. Principles cannot be imprisoned. The entire population cannot be imprisoned. A whole situation and a political party cannot be imprisoned. That is why we believe it is essential that everyone of us should work together in the service of Pakistan, because this is our own country. Only we can make or break it. It has been marred enough, and it is about time there was a turning point. I tell you, gentlemen, that the turning point has come. The writing on the wall is quite clear. These internal basic contradictions cannot last. They have to be stopped and the deterioration reversed. All of us must work together to bring about a change for the better and for the good of Pakistan. The internal conditions, I have briefly touched upon. Now I will like to say a few words on the external contradictions of this regime. I say this because internal and external factors are inseparable, especially in the world of today. As far as the external policy is concerned, 11 is a reflection of internal contradictions.
The internal contradictions are massive and complete no matter from
what angle you look at them and however generous an interpretation you place on them. From the beginning that is from the time they said that there should be no political party in the country, the political parties were crushed. Then the Government began saying that there should be a unitary form of government and ended with a system neither unitary nor federal. In the beginning it said we must concentrate on industry and not on agriculture. And now the proposition has been reversed to say that we should give primary and complete attention to agriculture and become self-sufficient in it. Everywhere there are contradictions. First we were told in this place itself to grow sugarcane. Sind was to become the Cuba of Pakistan. Everywhere sugarcane should be grown. When it was found that sugarcane competes with wheat, then we were told not to grow sugar-cane. This is an example of basic and elementary contradictions.
External policy is also a reflection of these contradictions. I would like to point out a few of them. On one hand, in the beginning, we were told there should be joint defence with India. That was said to be essential and inevitable. We ended up with a war against India. Then we were told that America was the only country which was Pakistan's natural friend and ally; that if America required the assistance of any country in Asia, it would only be in Pakistan that American forces would be welcomed. This assurance was given to the Congress of the United Stales in June 1961, I think. Then, all of a sudden, we discovered our geography and we came to realise, after about 15 years of existence, that there were two countries, one was the Soviet Union and the other the People's Republic of China and it was essential for us to have good relations with these two northern neighbours.
Then we were told that bilateral policies were very productive and beneficial, but we remain today the most multilaterally committed nation in the world. We were also told that we will do nothing for one great power which should be against the interests of other great powers, and yet we remained members of CENTO and SEATO, and gave facilities to the United States of America, which China and the Soviet Union regarded as unfriendly.
We were told that we would not compromise the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir. From the right of self-determination we moved to an "honourable and just settlement," from "honourable and just" to "fair and equitable'', from "fair and equitable" to "meaningful," from "meaningful" to "keeping disputes aside'' and from there, finally, to "arbitration." How can you arbitrate the right of self-determination? These are some of the contradictions in the field of foreign affairs.
Recently, there has been an Award on the Rann of Kutch. I have not had the lime to study it, but the decision is quite clear in Sind. I do not require a detailed study of it, since I was an active participant in the whole process. It is an interesting lesson in many ways, most interesting and illuminating. I think the most important lesson of the Kutch dispute and the reference of the dispute to arbitration is that if you do not fear consequences, then the consequences are always satisfactory. But if you fear consequences, then the consequences are more disastrous than your fears. And for once, FI think that Pakistan took the attitude that thus far and no further, and that a line had to be drawn and that India could not keep encroaching into our territory. You cannot keep encroaching on the rights of others on the basis of your power and your superior strength, and on the assumption that the other's fear of consequences will permit you to enjoy the fruits of your aggression. And because Pakistan for once, in the case of the Rann of Kutch, did not fear the consequences, the consequences were satisfactory and led to arbitration. If we had not resisted the Indian encroachment, another Chhad Bet would have been brought upon us at Kanjar Kot.
In 1956 India selfishly and illegally occupied Pakistan territory of Chhad Bet. At that time it was felt it would not be right to respond to this act of aggression because India was a powerful country and that we should appeal to reason and appeal to the good sense of the world community, go back to the United Nations and do things to expose India's act of aggression. Good reason does not apply in these matters, unfortunately, and especially in the context of the subcontinent's disputes. India thought it had successfully usurped Chhad Bet, so they began aggressive action against Kanjar Kot. But in Kanjar Kot, Pakistan did not take the same passive, apologetic attitude. We confronted India. This is where the policy of confrontation paid its dividends. They say the policy of confrontation has not paid dividends. Well, the Rann of Kutch is an instance where the policy of confrontation has paid dividends and the Pakistan army confronted the Indian forces and we brought about an encirclement of the Indian forces which forced India to accept arbitration.
So if I were to be asked to offer comments on the Award, on the fact that there had been an arbitration, I will say that the fear of consequences is worse than the consequences; and that it is necessary to confront the adversary to protect your rights, irrespective of the odds that are against you, because a just cause must always succeed. Now that the Award has been rendered, in my opinion, at least half the area of the Rann, that is up to Kareem Shahi, if not beyond, should have gone to Pakistan, but then, we submitted the dispute to an international tribunal and in that spirit, the ward should be accepted. However, you can see from the attitude of the Indian Government as to what its methods are and what is the language that it understands. Even before the Award was announced, there were certain details which were leaked out to the press. Naturally, I am sure, that the Government of Pakistan was as much aware of what the Award was likely to be as was the Government of India, because the Government of India had one representative and the Government of Pakistan had one representative. So they must have been keeping the two governments informed. But I think, about a week or ten days before the Award was given, there was a news-item in the press that the Indian Government was not going to accept the Award.
Now this was done deliberately to put the onus on Pakistan and the Government of Pakistan immediately reacted to it by saying that it was the duty of both parties to accept the Award, without even knowing what the Award was, without making any comment on the Award. It did not examine whether the Award should be accepted on merit but immediately fell into the trap and said, "No, it is the duly of both the Governments to accept it." That meant if 90 percent of the area went to India, we would accept it and be satisfied. At that time I said in a speech at Mirpurkhas that the Government had fallen into an obvious trap. Because intelligence people accompanied me everywhere my remarks at Mirpurkhas must have been duly conveyed to the Foreign Office, and so the Foreign Office next day said that Pakistan was not happy with the Award but, nevertheless, since it had been given, it would be taken in that spirit.
However, what can we expect, because the Government today, apart from one or two exceptions, which I also doubt, is in the hands of novices who do not understand even the ABC of politics, who commit one blunder after another, one mistake after another? And in this way the Government can be said to be in action but without moving forward, living from day to day and having ex-post-facto policies. It has no capacity for anticipation. Politics is a very fine art and in politics it is essential to have the ability to anticipate events. This Government, however, does not have it. In politics, it is essential to retain the initiative. This Government has surrendered each and every initiative. In the beginning for ten years or so, the initiative was with India: a neutral line, world prestige, respect and everything else.
Slowly, due to events for a brief period, the initiative came into the hands of Pakistan: but one by one, the levers have been thrown away and today the Pakistan Government's position has weakened so much that the Soviet Union can lake the risk of restoring military assistance to India. They can lake that risk because the Pakistan Government has been isolated, internally and externally, it can exert no pressure and has no power of negotiation. It is alienated and exposed. Others have taken its measure and tailored their policies towards Pakistan accordingly. The Government1 still cannot anticipate events and does not know how to regain the initiative this country once had.
Thirdly, it has no sense of timing. Another great attribute which is essential in politics is that all actions must be well-timed. They must be according to the rhythm of the movement, according to the rhythm of events, according to the music of revolution. This they do not have. They have neither a sense of timing, nor initiative, nor giving the people a sense of participation. I refuse to believe that a nation of a hundred and twenty million people, with such a great past, with such fine traditions, is incapable of making a contribution to the cause of world peace.
And for this reason, we have come into the field. We are in the field. We have accepted the challenge. We have prepared our plan. We have given the country a basis and a framework of principles on which we can proceed. We have not in any way indulged in sophistry or ambiguity. We have given our ideas in a written manifesto and pledged what we believe in. Islam is our religion. It is our faith. We are Muslims. We are all proud
that democracy is our polity. Socialism is our economy. All power belongs to the people. These four principles have been elucidated. And on the basis of these principles, we have come into the arena.
This was a decision which was taken after a great deal of thought and consideration. I weighed all the consequences. It is not a decision taken just in anger, because when I left the Government, many of my friends at that time advised me that I should do something, form a political party, and I told them that it was not the right time, that I wanted the barometer to fall to its lowest point. By that time I would know what to do and how to do it. I would start a movement on a permanent basis, rather than on a passing fancy. That is why, I even went out of Pakistan for some time to examine the question in an objective manner. And I came back and I consulted many friends. I must say that it has been a source of great strength and satisfaction to me that I have with me dedicated persons. There are many such friends everywhere in the country who believe that this country is capable of great achievements and who also believe that the majority wants everyone to have equal rights, without use of pressure and without domination. I believe that we will have the support of all such people throughout the country and in both wings.
In particular, we believe that the youth will be the vanguard of this movement because I think there is a growing body of sentiment in the country which would like to try a new approach to our problems, by the youth who may have respect for the old, but are tired of the old ways. We have had enough drawing-room discussions, enough passing of resolutions and of statements. A whole era has passed, but the mentality has not fully changed. We have moved from one decade to another. The backwardness of the old decade persists in the new decade, so there is an urge and a hidden feeling which has got to be articulated. We must start with a clean slate and articulate our values in a new style and a new approach and I believe that this is good for Pakistan, because there is bound to be a tomorrow. We cannot live in the present mess. And when this tomorrow comes we should be a model, self-respecting nation. That day can only come if there is this new revolutionary approach to problems, acts of magnanimity, a sense of trust, because there have been many betrayals.