The Government have levelled 2I charges against me. Their accusations are childish. They are so absurd that they appear to be an insult to the people and their common sense. I need hardly contradict any of the charges because they are so apparently baseless that no sensible person can believe them. If I was so bad as they want to paint me, they would never have spared me. My hands are clean and I have served this country honestly and diligently. I have not taken any undue advantage of my position in the Government. I challenge this Government to declare the assets held by its members prior to their coming into power and also the assets held by them now. I am also prepared to do the same. Let the people draw their own conclusions.
I am prepared to divulge everything to the people, because I am fighting for the cause of the common man. I am struggling for democracy and justice. It does not behove the rulers to level false charges against me when they are living in a glass house. So far as I am concerned, they are at liberty to carry out their false propaganda. They may print anything in their occupied press. Their Ministers are at liberty to issue any statements against me. They will never be able to fool the people and truth will dawn ultimately. We are going to aquaint the people with the truth.
What are the achievements of this Government? What services have they rendered to the people? When I declared that the nation will fight for one thousand years they said bow can we fight for one thousand years? The conflict between Hindus and Muslims dates back one thousand years into history. Why can't it be carried into the future? Any student of history will confirm that. If the nation can fight for one thousand years for its survival, it can do so in the future as well. They are trying to frighten the nation.
They want to give up the historical struggle. All the time they are repeating that we cannot fight with India because it is a very big country and is five times our size. They also tell us that India has a very large army and innumerable war factories, which are manufacturing aeroplanes and tanks. This is not the right way of leading a nation. They are trying to demoralise the nation. We believe that truth and justice will ultimately emerge victorious. If that was not the case bow could the valiant people of Vietnam have fought against a power like America? How could a country like Cuba face the might of America? Victory does not depend on the number of tanks possessed by a nation, otherwise there would have been no Struggle in the world. Nations would have presented lists of the number of tanks possessed by them and accepted defeat and conceded victory accordingly.
We do not expect this Government to launch a struggle for the sake of the nation. This Government cannot make any sacrifices. It cannot bear any difficulties because this is government by personal rule. The sole purpose of this Government is to please one man. That is exactly what happens in a dictatorship. Wherever there is a one-man rule, all efforts are directed towards pleasing that one man, and the national interest is ignored. There is never any need to serve the poor people. That is why poverty is increasing in our country and the lot of the labourers is deteriorating. The peasants are on the verge of starvation. In spite of this the Government wants us to believe that there has been progress in the country. Of course, there has been progress but it has been that of one man and that of the 22 families. This is not national progress, but who bothers about the nation? If it bad been a democratic system, then we could say that progress depends upon the improvement of the lot of the common man.
Dictatorships do not aim at that. The only aim in a dictatorship is the pleasure of one man and a few of his friends. Nobody is allowed to object to this state of affairs. One man and his friends and his sycophants are very happy because they are minting money. They have established mills and amassed a lot of wealth. They have deposited valuable foreign exchange in foreign countries. The Government is being run by them and for them. The people are only expected to give their blood and the greater the flow of this blood the greater the prosperity of the rulers.
Gentlemen! I have admitted that progress has been made but I insist that this is the progress of a few families and of a dictator. We have to struggle for national progress. The rulers are not going to concede our rights of their own accord. The Government which aims at the exploitation of the people can never grant them any rights. There has to be a struggle to achieve our rights and it is our duty to carry on the struggle. I am accused of spreading disruption in the country. It is said that I am inviting bloodshed and revolution. Why are they afraid of the word revolution? This Government claims to be a revolutionary government. Why do they object then to the use of the word revolution by others? Do they mean that revolution for their sake is good while for the sake of the people it is not good? If the revolution is in your personal interest you appreciate it but if it is in the interest of the people you abhor it. We do not want any bloodshed in this country. We have to live here and our children have to be brought up here. We want this country to progress and whatever struggle we launch will be on democratic lines. If the rulers think that they can frighten the people by telling them that we are revolutionaries and they want to put us in jails on this pretext, let them do so. We are not afraid of their jails.
The struggle against the present Government can take two or three forms. It can be a political contest. We are ready for that and we are not afraid. We are prepared to fight on the basis of principles. We believe that we should go to the people and present our programme to them. The rulers say that we have no programme to offer. This is their wishful thinking. We have a programme which is a revolutionary programme in the interests of the people. We will go to the people with great pleasure. The rulers, however, are not allowing us to do so. They do not allow us to present our programme to the people. Section 144 has become the constitution of the country. It has been adopted by the rulers as their religion. On the one hand, they prevent us from meeting the people and, on the other, they have taken all the newspapers under their control. They have all the facilities and powers of the Government at their disposal while we are deprived of them. In spite of this, we are prepared to meet them in the political field. We challenge the rulers to bring their programme to the people and to inform the people of their achievement. We shall also present our programme and plans to the nation. We will be happy to meet them in the field on a political plane.
They are instituting false cases against us. We are prepared to face that too, and tell them: you can institute as many false cases as you want but you shall not succeed. When the time comes we will expose you thoroughly. The choice lies with you. If you want to go to court, we are prepared for that. If we cannot go to court today, a time will come when we will be able to. You should never have the misconception that you will be able to run away from the country. We will not allow the 22 families to go out of the country. You have suppressed the people for ten years, used your big stick. You have bombed the people in Baluchistan and hanged them in other places. You have filled your jails. You have levelled many false charges against the innocent and perpetrated atrocities. Do you think you are going to rule forever? Even the empires of Alexander and the Pharaohs perished. Your rule is also going to be over very soon.
Why is the Government so afraid of Tashkent? When I mention the word Tashkent they start shivering and charge me with divulging official secrets. And what is this talk about a welfare state? Is this a welfare state? No welfare state exists here. The very term is a big joke. It is only a disguise for the capitalist system, which aims at the welfare of a few families. To dupe the people they just change the name of their system. It is, therefore, absurd to talk about a welfare state.
Of course, they talk about an Islamic State. We shall welcome it. The majority in this country will welcome it. But the Government cannot claim that this is an Islamic State. You may bring in Islamic Socialism. The poor people will accept it because the majority of them believe in Islamic Socialism. But how can you establish that system in which lies your end and destruction? You will have to part with your mills, your wealth and other assets. Hence there is no question of your establishing socialism in the country.
The only other system left is the capitalist system, but you are afraid of using this term. If this is a capitalist state why don't you call it a capitalist state? The truth is that this Government is being run by the capitalists. They should not be afraid of calling it the Government of the capitalists. They are constantly serving the capitalists and have done them many favours. The capitalists are the main support of this Government and without them it simply cannot run. This Government depends on the capitalists, on the 22 families, on Government officers and on Basic Democrats. It does not depend on the people. All these classes have nothing to do with the masses. The capitalists are the enemies of the people. They can never be friends of the common man. So far as officers are concerned—I don't want to criticise them but the fact remains that they are arrogant and haughty. They regard themselves the masters of the country. When the poor people go to them with their problems they are even refused a meeting. If a meeting is granted the decision of the case depends on the mood of the Sahib.' The bureaucrats are behaving like that because the Government depends upon them. The majority of the people is being suppressed; but this unnatural system cannot last forever.
Everyone can see the plight of the country which is the result of ten years of this despotic rule. They call it stability, but this is no stability. Stability comes with the consent of the people when the poor have enough to eat, clothes to wear and jobs to earn their living. When their children can go to schools. When they can get admission to hospitals if they fall sick. That is real stability and real progress. This stability brought about by the present Government is the stability of the cemetery.
The situation in the country is very explosive, more so in East Pakistan. Law and order in that wing is deteriorating everyday. Hatred for West Pakistan is growing. I have met several East Pakistani politicians, students and people from other walks of life who have told me that they are fed up with West Pakistan. I have tried to explain to them that the people in both wings are equally suppressed. If Islamabad is located in West Pakistan it does not mean that West Pakistan is free from dictatorship. In fact, the hold of the dictator is stronger in West Pakistan. He is ruling through Governor Monem Khan in East Pakistan, but directly controls the people in West Pakistan.
People in East Pakistan want to achieve their rights. They have waited very long. They are restive now and do not want to continue in the present state of affairs. As patriots we have made every effort to save the situation. We want that there should be some sort of compromise. It is said that I once challenged Mujib to a debate on Six Points. Why? Because I never accepted Six Points. Even in my speeches in East Pakistan, I declared that Six Points were against the national interest. I have pointed out that two of these points can never be accepted by us because they are bound to bring about the destruction of the country. What I had said was that the problem could not be solved by putting leaders in jail. It could be solved by a public debate. We should go to the people and explain to them the weaknesses of the Six Points. That is the only way to counter the programme convincingly. It was with this in view that I had challenged Sheikh Mujib to a debate. Mujib-ur-Rahman did not accept this challenge because he knew that if a debate was held in East Pakistan, the people would learn that at least two of these points were very dangerous and would refuse to accept them. On the other hand, the Government has different views. They believe that they have the power of the state and the secret police. They think that they can solve every problem by sending the maximum number of people to jail. Well, political issues cannot be decided like that. In politics what you need is patience, justice and equality. The Government lacks all these qualities. They don't understand these methods and cannot run the country with common sense.
Let us consider West Pakistan now. Just look at Baluchistan. Its people are being crushed. I find it difficult to tell you the whole story. They are citizens of the country. They have struggled for Pakistan. They certainly deserve better treatment. So far as the situation in this area is concerned, you are better acquainted with it. I have learned that sugar is not available here. I am afraid that if the present situation continues not only sugar will disappear but people will be deprived of the shirts. Such are the conditions!
Gentlemen! Please mark my words: I am telling you that the days of this Government are numbered. They have lost their balance because their rule is coming to an end. There is no consistency in their statements. In a speech on 1st September the issue of the national language was reopened by the President. This was a settled issue. Urdu and Bengali have been accepted as our national languages. The situation in East Pakistan is very delicate. The rulers should not add fuel to the fire. Lust for power blinds a man. I pray to God that we should be saved from the vices that result from this hunger. The rulers should treat the nation as their children. They should have the same affection for them. They should treat the nation as their own family and plan for its overall progress.
In the end, I shall request you to please study the manifesto of the Pakistan People's Party. We have drafted this manifesto after a good deal of thought. It is the need of the hour that a revolutionary party comes into the field. Times have changed. The methods which were useful in 1940 and 1950 have lost their efficacy. A speech in the assembly or in the open was the total scope of politics. This is a very delicate and difficult period and a revolutionary party is needed to meet the challenge. The Government has tried to put many hurdles in our way during the last ten or eleven months. The Government is afraid of this party and has given us the maximum trouble. Our party is determined to serve the cause of the people and our success lies in your cooperation. We have embarked on a long and arduous journey. But we are on the right path. We are confident that we will achieve our goal.