Brave peasants and students:
Let me congratulate all party workers of the Sind zone on the success of this convention. I think you remember my press conference on 18th September last year in Hyderabad in which I announced that I would struggle to create a national political party. I consulted all well-wishers and friends in this respect. I knew how difficult it was to set up a party in times of dictatorship. But, today, we have accomplished this arduous task with the hard work of party workers and the enthusiastic support of the people.
Gentlemen, today I would like to throw some light on the circumstances that led to my resignation from the Government. But I shall confine myself only to narrating such circumstances which, I think, are important and of national interest,
I do want to say clearly that there was no personal interest, or greed for permits or licences behind my separation from the Government and my differences with President Ayub Khan. Rather, these differences related to fundamental political and economic problems facing the whole nation.
How these difference began is a long story. But during the September war of 1965 these differences erupted like a volcano. With the passage of time these differences with the Government began widening on all important matters such as Kashmir, the Tashkent Declaration, the problem of war and peace and on the Indian threat. For a long time I exercised patience. But the post-September war period brought me to the point of no return. I found it degrading to endure the Government's policy. It was in obvious conflict with the wider interests of the nation. Even in those difficult days I had been pledging a thousand-year war in order to protect the integrity and freedom of the motherland, and of the people of Kashmir. But the short war unnerved the Government despite the bravery and perseverance of the brave people of Pakistan and our armed forces.
The Government showed a shameless lack of faith. It fell at the feet of the great powers. I had no alternative but to come back to my dear countrymen. I obeyed the voice of my conscience.
My brothers, I wanted to resist Pakistan's enemies, but my opponents dubbed my patriotic feelings as emotionalism. I was described as an "emotional young man." After coming back from Tashkent, wherever I went the people received me with affection. They asked me scores of questions on seeing tears in my eyes. But I could not tell them what befell my dear motherland. My silence was exploited as cowardice. As a matter of fact I am neither a coward nor emotional. I had kept quiet only because the enemy forces were looking for a suitable opportunity. I knew that a single sentence from my mouth could spark off a civil war in the country. I remained silent to avoid a civil war which would only benefit Pakistan's enemies.
But now that years have passed I cannot remain silent. We are in changed times. Time has put off those dangers which had been looming large over the country. Enough has been written on the subject, particularly in other countries on the story of that time. There is a limit to remaining silent; unless we fulfil this duty history would not exist.
I am obliged to put before the people all events whose disclosure is important for the people of Pakistan and the nation as a whole; so now the people will be able to judge for themselves and see the truth. It is the need of the hour.
Brothers, I am proud of having been trained politically by the ever-conscious patriotic people of Pakistan. They are my real teachers. This is why the politics of the people and humility are in my character.
Doubtless I have been making strong but logical speeches against the Government. Although I have been severely criticising the Government's policies, I have never abandoned truth and justice. I have always kept in mind all the demands of political ethics. Never before have I named President Ayub Khan in my speeches in the manner I am going to do today. My political creed abhors attacks on personal grounds. But I cannot be blamed if my constructive criticism makes someone feel angry.
There is no denying the fact that a line cannot be drawn between a dictator and a dictatorial system of Government. Both have the same descent.
And I say to President Ayub Khan: Remember that I served this country for eight years. I don't mind if you still want to do injustice to me. But at least you should do justice 10 the people of this country. You should not misrepresent facts to them. But if you have no regard for the people, then you and your Ministers are at liberty to continue levelling baseless allegations against me. I leave my affairs to the people. They will decide.
Friends and fellow workers:
Once during an air journey. I came across India's High Commissioner who wished to exchange views with me on the problems between India and Pakistan. On his insistence I agreed. Now this meeting was exploited to no end. Statements were issued alleging that I met the Indian envoy secretly. Why should have I met him secretly? The people know I met him in daylight at 1.00 p.m. Everyone knows that the secret police hovers round me all the lime and everywhere. Please remember I am not one of those who meet the enemies of Pakistan under the darkness of night and conspire for forging a confederation of India and Pakistan. I am a person whose ideas could not be changed or bought by the imperialists. I am the same man who encountered Swaran Singh in the Security Council. I know how to talk to the people from the other side. I am not from amongst those persons who have been entrusted with the job of writing off the freedom of the Kashmiris.
Brothers, you may like to know all about those "secret talks." The Indian ambassador asked me whether an exchange of political leaders' visits between the two countries could help in settling matters in dispute and improving mutual relations between the two countries. I told him frankly that the people of Pakistan were not willing to talk with India on any problem so long as India continues her expansionist, aggressive policies towards her neighbours: so long as she refuses to recognise the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir.
My brothers, now tell me if you see in these remarks any harm to my motherland. Let my opponents listen: my ideas and philosophy are not so weak as to change by meeting a single individual. I am not like those persons who change their ideas after one meeting with Johnson or Wilson.
Brothers, as you know, an attempt was made through newspapers that I, who had been a Minister since 1958, and a Foreign Minister for sometime, was an Indian national. They tried to cast doubts about my nationality. Unlike others I do not have properties or bank balances abroad. Nor have I betrayed my nation. Why should I wish for another country's nationality? Well, if you don't know then let it be known that Bhutto was born in Sind. Like my ancestors I was born here. I would also like to be buried here. I love the sacred soil of my motherland.
You will recall that a conference was recently held in Yugoslavia, and that was aimed at reforming the UN to enable the world body to play an effective role in ensuring world peace, and in resolving mutual disputes between nations. I was invited to attend this conference, and this angered my opponents. They alleged that I was visiting Europe at American expense. It is true that like other delegates from various countries I was a guest of the organisers of this conference. It is not my fault if the organisers did what was required by international convention. If the Government of Pakistan though: that it was against its policies for me to attend the conference, then it should have refused me the permission to attend the conference. After the conference I visited one or two European countries for about six weeks. But I bore the expenses of my remaining tour. Who does not know that this conference was attended not only by Pakistan but also by the delegates of the Soviet Union, the UAR, Iraq, Denmark and others? The conference was not held for any imperialistic conspiracy. What went on in this conference or whatever proposals I made in my speeches are on record. Did I not say there that by ignoring the 700 million people of the People's Republic of China and without its presence in the UN, the world body could never take revolutionary steps for world peace and progress of the human race? Did I not call for freeing the UN of all imperialistic influences and of big power collusions? Did I say anything against Pakistan's interest? A word cannot be found in any of my speeches against the interests of the people of Asia, Africa and Latin America? Do people touring at CIA's expense make such speeches? If the answer is no, and it certainly is no, then how can they level charges against me? I pity my opponents' wisdom.
On the one hand they complain that a young Foreign Minister of Pakistan had annoyed America, and on the other it is propagated that I have been touring Europe at the State Department's expense. I would like to know what is common in these two stands. Is it not that the two contradict each other?
I would tell my opponents not to try to spit at the moon, for they will only be spattering their faces. The people of Pakistan know that imperialism spends money only on its friends and agents, and not on an anti-imperialist person like me. I had gone to Europe at my own expense. I am not greedy for wealth. Not to speak of misappropriation, I never unduly drew a single penny from the national treasury for my own person. In the land reforms, my family surrendered its 40,000 acres of fertile land for the people. And I hereby reaffirm that I will sacrifice everything in my possession for the sake of the people.
Today, the Government accuses me of having taken an undue advantage of my official position. If it thinks that this is right. I challenge all individuals who have been associated with the Government to declare their assets before they entered Government and as these assets now stand. I will do the same.
Come on, Mr. President let us both take the initiative and account for our past and present assets. Let us tell the nation what you had before you became President and about all that I had before becoming Minister Let the people know what you gained and what I lost while in office the people know this story. I am prepared to present before them a statement of my assets. Are you willing to do that? It is better to look at yourself before criticising others. I am not a greedy man, otherwise during the tenure of my office as Minister for Industries, Fuel, Oil and Foreign Affairs, I could have amassed wealth like you have done. But I did not do it. So, Mr. President, I would have amassed almost as much money as you have done.
I will now tell you about the last conversation I had with President Ayub Khan. It was my farewell meeting. It was evening time. It was in a special room of the President's House, whose walls are painted green and in which important meetings take place. Once a Minister told me jokingly:
"Mr. Bhutto, now that you and I have been in this room, there should be no need for any fear." As to what type of political talks were held there, will become known by listening to my conversation with the President. The President initiated the conversation like this:
"Look, a wide difference has developed in our policies. I tried my best to dissuade you from pursuing a policy against my wishes. But you have been acting against my wishes." He then referred to an Urdu magazine lying on his table which contained my statement on the right of self-determination for the people of Kashmir.
He said, "You are forcing me to remove you from Ministership."
I told him, "I have already requested you on more than one occasion to relieve me. It is true that wide differences exist between our ideas and policies. That is why I want to leave the Government."
On this, the President changed the conversation and said: "You have served the nation and the country very well. I don't want to deprive you of power. I had told you that in Larkana also."
My dear brothers, I told him I could not sacrifice my ideas and philosophy for a few days of power. I loved my ideas. I told him it would be better if he relieved me and gave me leave to return to the people. For some time he remained silent. And then he said, "If you are sent out like this, there will be disruption and disturbances in the country. You had better go on leave for sometime. The test we will see later on."
Since I was already getting sick of the Government. I immediately accepted his decision. But the President was not satisfied. He thundered.
"Remember, never dare to come into politics again." I could not accept this threat. I told him. "No power on earth can separate me from my people. If ever the nation needed me and called for my help. I would certainly respond to it. Whether or not I should participate in politics is not for you or me to decide. The people alone will decide this. The fate of a politician depends on the wishes of the people. If the people decide that I should lake part in politics, then you cannot stop me from acting on their wishes."
My dear brothers, as soon as he sensed my firmness the President tried to allure me into accepting ambassadorial and other lucrative assignments. He said, "Mr. Bhutto, we are ready to give you whatever you want."
I reminded him of his conversation in Larkana, and said, "I want to tell you clearly I am not interested in jobs. Since I am a principled man, I am not prepared to remain in Government by deviating from my ideas and trampling upon my principles. My ideas have endeared me to the people. I can never sacrifice these ideas at any cost."
My friends, as you know, power is ephemeral. Nobody has wielded power forever. Despots like Alexander, the Pharaohs, Chengiz Khan and Hitler met their end. Everything is mortal, except those who serve the people and administer justice. History has never eulogised a tyrant nor has it overlooked the sacrifices of the oppressed. Ministers come and go, but the people only remember those who serve them. Fazlul Haq was 80 when he died. He remained Minister only for two years. The people gave him the title of Sher-i-Bengal not because of the period of his Ministership but because of his services. The Quaid-i-Azam ruled Pakistan for just over a year but the people will never forget this great benefactor. You will remember that the Congress told him repeatedly that if he withdrew the demand for Pakistan, he could become the President or Prime Minister of United India. But the Quaid-e-Azam rejected the Presidentship of United India for the principle of Pakistan. At the instance of the Indian Congress. Mountbatten told the Quaid that if he forgot about the division of the subcontinent, he would be made the Governor-General of India. The Quaid said in reply that he did not want to become Governor-General of India, he only wanted Pakistan.
This is the one fundamental difference between a principled person and those who cling on to their chairs by trampling upon principles.
So when I finally refused to accept any of his suggestions, the President said. "Mr. Bhutto you have become rather arrogant, otherwise you would not have adopted such an attitude. However, I still have regard for you. You have been brought up in comfort. You are still unaware of the difficulties and miseries of life. Remember, I am the President of this country. And you know how I treat my opponents. I warn you that if you participate in politics on your return from leave, I will ruin you. Don't forget you belong to Sind whose big "Pirs" can be set right by a Tehsildar or a Sub-inspector of police."
I told him. "It is good of you to have such high praise for Sind and its people but I do not believe in race, colour or regionalism. I also do not subscribe to the obsolete British philosophy of ascertaining a nation's strength on the basis of race, colour or region. To me all human beings are equal whether they are Africans. Chinese, Japanese, the small Vietnamese or the tall Americans. This is my philosophy of life. Don't threaten me on the basis of being a Sindhi or non-Sindhi. Perhaps, you do not know yet the nature of the desert people. What right do you have to describe the Sindhis as cowards? If you want to ruin me and follow me to my grave, then you should know that is where we shall all end up."
The President said, "Well, you can now proceed on leave. About the rest we shall see afterwards."
My dear brothers:
I have been constrained today to say all this after three years, so that you may be able to judge things for yourself. As you know the Government has been indulging in vicious propaganda against me. It is for you to distinguish who is in the right. President Ayub Khan and his advisers have decided to involve me in all sorts of criminal cases in order to have me disqualified from fighting the coming Presidential elections, to remove a big obstacle in the way of President Ayub Khan.
Friends and elders, I am a human being. I can make mistakes. But I am not guilty of any impropriety which these people are attributing to me.
I never took undue advantage of my office as Minister. However. I have committed one sin; and that is that I have been associated with this Government for eight years, although I served the country to the best of my capacity. When the Government failed to lay hands on any proof against me, it charged me with hiring official tractors for half their rental charges. How ridiculous are these allegations? You know I have not only been Foreign Minister, but also Minister for Fuel, Power and Natural Resources. I have been Commerce Minister and Industries Minister. If like other Ministers I wished to have my own factories, and bank balances abroad, I could have done all that so easily. To hire tractors at half the fixed rate would be like picking up pennies after passing up pounds. Had. I been greedy for wealth, it would not have been difficult for me to amass it.
Once a representative of a Big Power took me by my arm and said: "Mr. Bhutto, you will get anything you wish provided you make some adjustments."
In indignation I jerked my arm away and said: "Never try to do this again. If you have purchased a few mean individuals, you should not think that everyone in Pakistan is a Mir Jafar. I am not like these who have acted against national interests and slacked away funds in banks abroad.
When I narrated this incident to the President, who was then in Swat, he paid tributes to me. But I would like to ask him now whether this is the reward for those tributes?
I have tried hard to end black-marketing, corruption and nepotism in the country, but this wretched class has never stopped from doing evil. One of the main reasons for this sad state of affairs is that Government itself is corrupt. It is an agonising story.
The Pakistan People's Party is a principled, ideological party, with a specific objective. That is why we want to oppose the Government on the basis of principles and ideas. But the Government has resorted to personal vindictiveness. When we speak of principles, the Government orders the registration of "the tractors case" against me. When we mention socialism, the Government orders that we should be detained under D.P.R. When we demand justice for the people of Baluchistan, instructions are given to arrest Akbar Bugti. When we say Islam is our religion, the Government claims it alone has the monopoly over it. When we say the people want democracy, it is said the Basic Democracies are good enough for them. And when we demand food and clothing for the people, they give us bullets and beatings.
In short, tell us Khan sahib which of us has trampled on democracy, you or me? In your reign there is everywhere a wave of oppression, poverty and illiteracy. The people are being oppressed under Section 144 and the Defence of Pakistan Rules. Today, one can hear the agonising voices of the hungry peasants, the naked labourers, poor students and the overawed masses from Khyber to Karachi and from Karachi to Chittagong. There is no one to redress their grievances. If this situation continues unabated, the people will rise in rebellion, and there will be bloodshed and civil war in the country. I am not prophesying. It is logic. I might be accused of spreading rebellion. Well. I will do that, if needed. I fear no one?
On my part. I believe in solving the people's problems through peaceful, democratic means. But what should I do if the Government is incapable of understanding the language of democracy. I do reaffirm I will be the first to come forward if it is required. We are not frightened by revolution. We do not fear bloodshed.
Ayub Khan Sahib, I am not a coward I cannot be browbeaten by Section 144 or the Defence of Pakistan Rules. I am not scared of your guns either. Come on, take up your guns: I have the power of the people with me. It is more powerful than an atom bomb. I have burnt my boats for democracy and socialism. Since I have burnt my boats, I will not let you sit in peace. The Government will have to pay a heavy price for pleasing the 22 families at the cost of 110 million people. You must not take the nation's silence as a sign of cowardice. We are not a cowardly nation. Only its so-called leaders are cowards. It bravely encountered an enemy four or fives times bigger when the big, so-called leaders, were sitting terrified and tongue-tied in their homes. This nation faced the imperialists and their Indian stooges. It is still prepared to fight any oppression and cruelty.
Every democratic and progressive country is run under its constitution and laws. Everywhere the administration is under an obligation to take every step in accordance with that constitution and the law. It is a pity that everything is done here to the contrary. Here the constitution does not guide the administration. Rather, the administration guides the constitution.
As justice is hard to get in a country where there is no rule of law, you remain at the mercy of bureaucrats. Today I would like to say something about this class, the class whom we call 'kamores'—the bureaucracy. It is a powerful and a prosperous class, a class holding the reins of government in its cruel and blood stained-hands. The Constitution has given full protection to the administration. That is why the rulers come and go, the governments are made and dislodged, but the administration continues to remain. This is done to keep it immune from political influences.
But it is a shame that our administration should become a tool of the rulers. We do agree that it is obliged to carry out Government's orders. But it should not view all orders in a political colour. The Government servants should refrain from carrying out illegal orders. It is their duty to distinguish right from wrong. Every order should be considered on merit and in the light of the constitution. If Government officials find these orders unconstitutional or illegal they should without fear refuse to implement them. The constitution protects the bureaucracy. It need not fear anyone.
Administration is always thought to be at the service of the people. It is their protector. But it has a different role in Pakistan. Here one of its main jobs is to give grand receptions to the rulers, and to arrange public meetings for them despite Section 144. It is also supposed to arrange at minimum rates gatherings of people to raise the slogans of Zindabad for the rulers and of Murdabad for the opposition. It remains busy praising Ministers and rulers day and night. It is entrusted with disturbing the public meetings of opposition parties, and planning lathi charges on them. It is also required to protect the goonda elements and to arrest the law-abiding persons under the Goonda Act. It is obliged to manage bogus votes for the ruling party. It is expected to stifle the voice and slogans of democracy and socialism.
I warn the officials immediately to mend their unconstitutional conduct. After all who they are afraid of? If anyone tells them that they are employees of an individual's government, he tells a lie. I say to them: you are not slaves of a dictator or an individual. You are the servants only of the people. You are not paid by a dictator from his own pocket. If at all you have to fear anyone you should fear your people. If you have to be faithful, be so to the people. It is they who pay you. You must be courageous and self-respecting. You should follow the footsteps of those amongst you who throw their resignations at the face of the Government instead of doing illegal and unconstitutional acts.
I say to the bureaucracy of this country: You better mend your ways, otherwise I have preserved in my memory the conduct of everyone, right from Section Officers to Secretaries. Remember, you have one day to appear before the court of the people, where you will be answerable for your conduct.
How can I ignore the oppressive policies of the administration? How can I forget the cruelty against the students of Hyderabad? These tyrants cannot hide their sins. The Indus cannot wash them. The silent pillars of the Kotri Barrage are witnesses to the way they ranged themselves at the Barrage and how they attacked the students with batons and bullets. They perpetrated tortures on the arrested students in order to force them to issue statements against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The detained students resisted all pressure. They declared that they would prefer to die rather than bear false evidence against an innocent person.
My dear students, if the Government is willing to release you provided you name me as the instigator, then you must do so. To the Government I would say: Slaves of the tyrant, enemies of the country and murderers of the people, what right have you to set up any memorial for the Independence Movement fighters, or build monuments for the shaheeds of the September war? We will build these memorials—to the freedom movement stalwarts—the students of Sind and Hyderabad.
We shall set up a grand monument in Karachi in memory of the sacrifices of the students and the people, who kept alive the flame of freedom by giving their blood, who opposed imperialism, who stood for ending of Martial Law for the restoration of democracy and for the cause of the oppressed people of Asia. Africa and Latin America. We shall erect memorials in Lahore and Multan in honour of those students who faced bullets in their protest demonstrations against the Tashkent Declaration. We will set up monuments in memory of the people of Baluchistan who came forward to protect freedom. We will do the same for the self-respecting Pathans of those Frontier areas where life was made hell for the people. We will construct a monument for democracy in East Pakistan in appreciation of the efforts and struggle of the students, labourers and peasants.
And let those responsible for the killing of refugees in Karachi remember that the people of Lalukhet and Nazimabad have not yet forgotten the victory parade in which the tyrants lost their balance and resorted to murder and burning of houses. I say to these tyrants: You made those refugees the target of your violence and brutality. But you still claim friendship with these muhajireen. Have you forgotten the dictator's remarks about them during the last elections? "If we had not provided shelter to the muhajireen in Karachi, they would have had to be drowned in the Arabian Sea." But now his son and his men armed with pistols, have come out to solve their problems. Did you solve these problems after the last elections to come out again with the same promises?
I say: Let them come; let them all come with their wealth, their licences, permits and the police; let them use the radio, television and newspapers. We have nothing. We are empty-handed. They have the power. But remember, we have seen and fully sized up the "paper tiger of power." Come now, into the open. We don't believe in taking the enemy unawares. I have warned you that your encounter in the coming elections is going to be with no less a force than the people. They are unlike the old political parties. They are not the army of Mohammad Shah Rangeela either. You are going to face a revolutionary party which is armed with a popular, revolutionary programme.
The Government has soiled hands. They are stained with corruption, black-marketing, exploitation and oppression. Our hands are clean. We have never sucked the blood of the people. Our hands have been strengthened by the friendship and affection of the people. Our hands are the hands of the people. These hands will overthrow the big dictators from power.
I am very happy today to see our party organised on revolutionary lines within a short time of one year. Its organisational branches are being opened in every corner of Pakistan. Our party has the support and cooperation of the people. But there are still difficulties ahead which we have to overcome with courage and perseverance. We will overcome them. Our destination is still far away. Therefore, move forward, march forward.
The poor of the country, labourers, peasants and students are calling on you for help. Go and help them. I order you to make the service of the people your foremost duty. I am proud of the fact that there is no dearth in our party of such workers who are more valuable than pearls and jewels. I am sure a day will come when they will shine in the sky of politics like the sun and the moon, although they are unknown in politics. You may remember, I told you in Lahore a year ago that the People's Party did not have a big name. It would create big names from within its rank and file. Greatness comes only from service. You must always indulge in self-analysis, self-criticism. It should be made a continuing process, for self-examination alone will improve, organise and strengthen the party. Although the Government keeps on harping about my isolation, it claims I have no friends, the poor people are in fact with me. God is with me.
I request you to make the best use of each moment. It is time we work harder and harder day and night. We should not let our enthusiasm cool down after a few days. I confess we are prone to become too happy too soon, but then this happiness also vanishes in the same way. If, however, a balance is maintained, the struggle continues. The days of frustration are over. You should do the party work with full zeal. Your party has a comprehensive programme. Understand it first, and then take it to all corners of the country, explaining it from village to village, from door to door. Prepare the nation for a popular struggle. Yours is a popular programme. Take it to the common man. It aims at eliminating the exploitation and monopoly of the twenty-two families. It echoes the voice of all patriots. Ignore the wealth and power of the 22 families. Leave them aside and concentrate on organising the patriotic elements. Then set up a broader, national democratic front on this basis. You must in this venture take with you all sections of the population, from a labourer to the peasant; from peasant to patriotic landlords. Only such programmes and manifestos bring about popular changes and political and economic resolution. Only those changes last for which struggles have been waged on the basis of programmes and ideologies. Now you tell me what better manifesto could there be than the one I have given you?
Our manifesto—"Islam is our religion, democracy is our polity and socialism is our economy"—ensures a victory; your victory, to reach the common man as quickly as possible. Give the message of struggle by holding public meetings. The people are prepared to follow you. I wish to join in your revolutionary struggle everywhere, all the time. But you know my responsibilities. I have to work in the whole of Pakistan. I have to supervise the party's organisational work. And then, as you know, I have other responsibilities as well. Therefore, carry on your work without feeling my absence.
I know the people came to this convention in large numbers. They wanted to hear my views. But the space seems to be insufficient. I will, however, hold another public meeting in Hyderabad very soon so that I may be able to talk to the broad masses of the people. I have to address similar gatherings in Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Multan and East Pakistan. I have promised the people of Lahore a public meeting. But that meeting will be arranged at a more suitable time, for it will be vitally important for the nation as a whole. I will then make a major speech on the war and Tashkent Declaration. I have chosen Lahore for this purpose because the enemy began its aggression by attacking that city. And the same city first gave its blood in protest against the Tashkent Declaration.
I want to tell the tyrants:
We have patiently put up with your oppression and exploitation for very many years. After all there is an end to everything. We just cannot bear it any longer. Your excesses have blinded you to the need of having any regard for national honour. After all I have been a Foreign Minister of this country, a Minister who frustrated the conspiracy of the enemy and countered it on each and every front. I am the same Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who carried the fight to the Security Council for the freedom of the Kashmiris and against the Indian aggression on Pakistan.
And now you are determined to present a national leader as a criminal in the country's court of law. Just think how happy Pakistan's enemies will be at this action. I am the same Bhutto whose name makes the imperialists and the Indian expansionists sweat. Remember I am the same Bhutto whom you sent to China at a very critical hour. And when I came back successful, you embraced me with joy. You said: "Mr. Bhutto, nobody else could have done this job so well. The nation will be grateful to you for ever."
I ask you Mr. President: "Is this the reward for my services? Who persuaded Soekarno, that great son of Indonesia, to send submarines and ships to help Pakistan? I challenge you now to acquire even a single screw, what to speak of submarines and ships from that country. You have not only betrayed us but also Pakistan's sincere friends. You claim that you have the ability to discriminate between friend and foe. This is untrue. You are still in league with the enemies of the country. That is why you have alienated friends at home and abroad. You are today harassing a man like me whom you had embraced yesterday. I am not scared of your Tehsildars. I am not afraid of you. I only fear God."
My dear brothers:
Critical times lie ahead. Symptoms of a severe political clash are in sight. You know I have been trying to forge some sort of agreement among the opposition parties on the basis of a political and economic programme. We are always prepared to cooperate in principle, on the basis of a minimum programme. We invite the opposition for cooperation on matters such as the restoration of democracy and socialism, adult franchise and independent foreign policy. But we, the torchbearers of socialism, believe that the introduction of real democracy and political freedom is impossible without economic justice. So we demand the inclusion of economic and financial problems in the programme of the combined opposition. On this basis we are always ready for cooperation. These problems include abolition of feudalism, protection of the rights of peasants, and labourers; their right to strike; nationalisation of all key and basic industries, nationalisation of transport; and nationalisation of education.
My dear friends, it is said that I am a wealthy man and a feudal lord. It is said that I have no right to struggle for socialism without distributing my wealth among the people. I would like to tell such people that socialism cannot be brought about by a single individual distributing his wealth among the people. Socialism can be introduced only when all means of production—are brought under state control. But even so I hereby announce that if my wealth can be of any good to the nation I will not hesitate to give it away. But I cannot be so foolish as to hand my wealth over to capitalists and feudalists under the capitalistic system, so as to enable the rulers to make more money and spend more on their luxuries. Well, if the Government is courageous enough to introduce socialism, it is welcome to do so. I will be the first man to place my wealth under national control.
But beware you cannot fool the people by such useless arguments. I believe in socialism; that is why I have left my class and joined the labourers, peasants and poor students. I love them. And what can I get from them except affection and respect? No power on earth can stop socialism—the symbol of justice, equality and the supremacy of man—from being introduced in Pakistan. It is the demand of time and history. And you can see me raising this revolutionary banner among the masses. I am a socialist, and an honest socialist, who will continue to fight for the poor till the last moment of his life. Some ridicule me for being a socialist. I don't care.
I do agree that socialism cannot be brought about unless its leadership is assumed by peasants, labourers and the oppressed classes. But I must tell my critics that history is replete with instances where wealthy individuals have abandoned the interests of their class, joined the ranks of the oppressed and risen in rebellion against the community to which they belonged. I am such a person.
Such people came forward in the French Revolution to help the oppressed classes against their masters. They were also behind the overthrow of the Czarists in the October Revolution in Russia. In fact, they were the first to establish the rule of labourers and the oppressed.
There were similar revolutionaries in China who set up an unparalleled socialist revolutionary system by defeating the tyranny of imperialism and capitalism.
I am like those Ahl-i-Quraish who rejected worldly riches and lined up behind the Prophet of Islam in order to spread the message of liberty, equality and peace. I only want to bring about a revolution In Pakistan. To achieve this objective I have been trying to forge a popular, democratic front. I know that dictatorship cannot be ended by elections alone. Basically it can be ended only through a popular struggle or a war or both. A vote has significance only in a democracy. It is useless in a dictatorship. But that does not mean that the coming elections should not be fought or that dictatorship should not be challenged. The Quaid's sister rose against dictatorship; she had the support of the people, but dictatorship remained. However, the struggle contributed to the awakening and consciousness of the masses. This progress could not have taken place had the Madar-i-Millat not contested the elections.
True, the Government will let terror loose during the elections, but we will participate in them, if only to organise and unite the people against dictatorship. Socialism provides for weakening a dictatorship through popular movements. We will fight the elections, for we believe it will further weaken dictatorship. We have to overpower this dictatorship step by step. As you know, as soon as this Government stopped the war, it suffered a blow. The Tashkent Declaration was yet another blow. The decline of Kalabagh crippled it. My separation dismembered it further, and this half-dead body now awaits to be kicked out by an organised movement of the masses.
My dear brothers:
I want to see a principled, united front formed by all opposition parties on the basis of socialism and democracy. If some people feel sick of socialism, let us then form a front on the basis of democracy and a minimum economic programme. Our party is always ready for such a united front. I will be happy to see a suitable candidate contesting from East Pakistan, for we have obligations towards the people of that wing. But if such a candidate is not forthcoming from East Pakistan, let someone, acceptable to the people, come forward from West Pakistan; I will be prepared to work for such a person as an ordinary worker. But if no popular figure comes from either East or West Pakistan, I will recite the Kalima and step forward. I vow to the people of Hyderabad that I will confront this dictatorship come what may. Victory will certainly be ours.