It is a great pleasure for me that the Frontier Province Convention of the Party has been successful from every point of view. Earlier, the Pakistan People's Party has had two conventions, one in Lahore for the Punjab and Baluchistan on 22 August, and the other in Hyderabad for Sind on 2I September. Both these conventions were successful. You have seen for yourself how successful this one has been.
Those who have been with me have been finding life very difficult. They have been working sincerely, tirelessly and facing heavy odds. The PPP was not set up in happy circumstances. It came into being in the face of an extremely difficult situation. I am grateful to all party workers and friends who have faced these great difficulties.
My dear friends, I have many weaknesses in me. I am a human being and can make mistakes. I am a Muslim and in this capacity confess my faults. But I do not have the weakness to exploit and betray my friends. Such weaknesses are inherent in dictators, but leaders of the masses cannot have them.
Despots exploit everything because they are usurpers. Their interests revolve around themselves. A despot exploits politics and all his financial powers to build up and protect his own person. In the process, even his closest friends leave him. They conspire and eventually rebel against him.
But since we believe in democracy, we value everybody's effort. How then, can we ignore your efforts and hard work? We will stand by all those who have been with us. They are our friends, the source of our strength. We will live and die together. We will share our joys and sorrows. You have, indeed, taken up a great responsibility on your shoulders. It is a critical responsibility. You have done a great job. I have myself seen Party branches being set up in each and every district in ten days' time. We have devoted workers. They have worked well.
In less than a year, Pakistan People's Party branches have been expanded and strengthened throughout Pakistan. In Sind, my colleagues and friends have done an extremely good job. Similarly, in the Punjab, my friends and comrades have worked very hard. In almost every district, branches of the Pakistan People's Party have been set up. Enrolment of members is on the increase.
In East Pakistan too, an office has been set up in Dacca. Necessary work is being done there. The People's Party branches are being set up and expanded in Karachi and Baluchistan. This could never have been achieved in eleven months if this party had no principles or ideas. The party has a manifesto; it has its own ideas and principles, hence its success.
When I announced the setting up of a party, the Government took it as a big joke. It thought a new party could not be formed. Even the opposition parties questioned the need for a new party. How could we have plunged into these difficulties had there been no need for a new political party? There was need for a new party to bring in a new system. A new atmosphere was needed. A new way of doing things was required. So we announced the setting up of the Pakistan People's Party.
In the Lahore Convention, on 30 November and 1 December, 1967, this party came into being. Soon after the formation of the party, the ruling junta said it would remain a student's party with its strength confined only to the Punjab; that it will have no influence at all in Sind, NWFP or East Pakistan. It will not be able to pull its weight in other areas of Pakistan. They were wrong.
A member of the ruling junta once told me that I would not be able to rule this country with the support of the students alone. He warned me I would not be able to face Ayub Khan's Government. I told him because I had the support of students, I would face anyone. I told him if the Government opposed the students, it would not be able to rule for very long.
In the beginning, it was said that the party would not last long because it had the support of the students and a following in the Punjab alone. It was contended that the people of Pakistan were sentimental; they still remembered the events of the war with India, but it was a transient period. They would forget everything in a few months' time. It was, therefore, concluded that the Government was in no danger whatsoever from me and my party. But you have seen that the party has become popular not only in the Punjab but also in the whole of Pakistan. We can genuinely claim that the success of the party in 1I months' time has no parallel in the history of the subcontinent.
The Quaid-i-Azam died a year after the creation of Pakistan. His Muslim League remained intact for a few years, but it was ho more than a name. And political parties should be more than a name.
Political parties make their presence felt for their ideology and philosophy. If, for instance, you choose to give up your principles and ideas and name some other party as Pakistan Peoples Party, that party will never make any headway nor will it progress. That was why the Muslim League began to become weaker and weaker a few years after the death of the Quaid-i-Azam. And it finally disintegrated when a few branches joined together to make a Republican Party. On the other hand, the Congress party is still working in India and it is still very much alive. Nevertheless, had Mr. Nehru also died a year or two after Independence, the Congress too would have died out like the Muslim League.
If at all the Congress has managed to survive it is because Nehru was holding its leadership for fourteen years and he was also India's Prime Minister. Had God Almightly blessed our Quaid-i-Azam with as much life, the Muslim League would perhaps have been a strong and living party and there would have been no need for other parties. It is a pity we were not destined to see that day. The Quaid-i-Azam died and the Muslim League went to seed. It gradually gave up its principles. It split up into pieces. The Government pirated even its nomenclature and built its own mercenary edifice on it.
There are other analogies too. In India, there are parties like Rashtrya Sewak Sangh and Jan Sangh. Here, too, we have their counterparts. But the trouble is I have pledged not to criticise the opposition parties, nor will I name them. So while I am not supposed to say anything against these parties, because like them we too are in the opposition, I have noticed them severely criticising the People's Party in their speeches and newspapers.
On my part, however, I can claim that you will not have so far noted in my speeches any criticism of the opposition parties. Our party workers have got to explain their ideas and programme to the people. Naturally, they have to mention other parties and make political comments on their aims and objects. So, if on the one hand there is a need for restraint in criticism against the opposition parties, on the other, our party workers have to justify the need for setting up a new political party.
We do not wish to criticise the older opposition parties. I reaffirm that we will cooperate with them. We will have to show patience even if they issue statements against us or launch propaganda campaigns. We have to establish priorities. We have to see who are the most dangerous among our adversaries. The people's danger is dictatorship; we have to face and fight this first. The opposition must, therefore, unite on a common platform to fight against dictatorship. I would say nothing against them. But I do want to say this, in good faith, that just as there are rightist militant parties like Rashtrya Sewak Sangh and Jan Sangh in India, we have here in Pakistan parties like the Jamaat-i-Islami and the Nizam-i-Islam Party. Then there is the Communist Party. This party has had its own traditions in India, because there was democracy and because of Nehru's attitude. He believed that in a democracy all parties were free to project their ideas before the masses. Therefore, the Communist Party was allowed to organise itself and function in India. It has become a strong political party. Here, in Pakistan the Communist Party does exist, but it is not strong.
So far as socialist parties are concerned, they have not been able to progress in India. It is said that Jaya Prakash Narain's party is a socialist party, but he has not been able to form a socialist party. Sometimes he says his party does not take part in politics. He is often heard saying his is a party that only conducts social and cultural activities. Sometimes we see him in Kashmir and at other times in Nagaland.
Why socialist parties have not succeeded in India is because Hinduism is against socialism, just as it is against Islam. Hinduism can never tolerate socialism, because the Hindu religion provides for various classes. While socialism has not made any headway in India, it can make tremendous progress in Pakistan because there is little difference between Islam and socialism.
I want to say this clearly that in the socioeconomic sector there is no difference between Islam and socialism. Had these two systems been in conflict with each other, I would have given up socialism. To say that Islam and socialism are antagonistic to each other is mere propaganda by those who want to exploit the people and suck their blood.
But I want to tell you, my brothers, it makes no difference. Our opponents may use their wealth they may use the capitalists or anyone they want to, but victory will be ours. The people will triumph soon. Socialism is bound to succeed, even if my days are numbered or for some reason I am forced 10 give up politics. It is because systems do not owe their success to personalities. It depends on principles. Things would have been much easier had politics been personalised. Dictators would not then have had to worry at all. They would have always managed to shoot their way through. It is in a way possible. It has, in fact, happened. It has been happening in other countries. It has perhaps, happened here. Those who wield power can do anything, because the police, the military, the officials and even the goondas, are at their disposal. Those in authority can have anybody killed. Since personalities do not count in systems, no purpose would be served by killing anyone. If you remove one person from the scene, another will take his place. A system has to transcend personalities.
I say nothing new when I demand the rights of the workers and peasants, or call for the elimination of the capitalists who have grabbed the nation's wealth. On my pan I will keep saying that. I will say it as long as I remain in politics. Even if I do not remain in politics, these ideas will remain.
The fundamental reason for our success is that there is no clash between our religion and the socialist economic system. Islam is our religion. Pakistan itself was created for the promotion of Islamic ideas and principles. And Islam alone can cope with the needs and aspirations of the people of this country. Our principles will serve the cause of Islam not only in Pakistan but elsewhere in the world. When the People's Party comes into power it would do things which the present rulers cannot even think of.
It hurts our feelings to hear Moshe Dayan say that Israel has succeeded. Had he faced Pakistan and the people of Pakistan, he would have been taught a befitting lesson. Although the Arabs could not stand against them, the Pakistanis would certainly have fought against them, provided there was a good government in Pakistan. Had there been a popular Government in Pakistan, the Arabs would not have met this defeat.
I still remember the agonising statement issued by the Pakistan Government at that time to say that "We should not be sentimental" or that "We will help to the extent we can," which in effect meant we cannot help. What was the need to say all that? Those who want to help do not say such things. If we meant giving only false hopes and did not intend to help at all, we should have said so openly. Actually, this was a mistake on our part. I have repeatedly told you that the People's Party will be in the forefront to offer sacrifices for the cause of Islam anywhere in the world. The People's Party has a manifesto, a programme revolving around the principles: "Islam is our religion," "Democracy is our policy" and "Socialism is our economy."
When I came back from my European tour, following my resignation from the Government, I was thinking how best I could serve my country and the poor people. I said the country and the people should be served in the best possible manner. I did not make political speeches for quite some time after that. However, I did express my views on the problem of Kashmir. I said I would like to say something on Kashmir and other problems, but I made no speeches. I remained quiet for some time, so much so that even some friends from among the opposition began to wonder why Zulfikar Ali Bhutto did not speak on Pakistan's internal problems while he made speeches on foreign policy and Vietnam.
Some people even complained that I abstained from making speeches on internal problems for fear of someone. As a matter of fact, we were in the process of setting up a new political party. This is no ordinary job. We had to think long and deep. There were heavy odds. So many people came forward and offered, in good faith, to help but then some of them had to yield under Government pressure and for various other compulsions. A few just ran away and were not seen again.
Pakistan is a big country, stretching from Karachi to Khyber and Chittagong. So are its problems, various kinds of problems. They differ from place to place, from area to area. Then you need money, for no party can be run without money. You have to move about, and that needs a lot of money.
I had been thinking how best the country and the people could be served. I decided not to launch a political movement until we could stand on our feet and until our ideas became clear and unambiguous. No struggle or movement can or should be launched without giving deep thought to all relevant aspects. But even during those days the Government did not spare me.
You will remember that Khwaja Shahabuddin made a speech in Dacca on the Tashkent Declaration. It was a pack of lies from beginning to end. My first reaction was how could an old man like Khwaja Shahabuddin tell a lie? Actually, these people wanted to create misunderstandings among the masses. They forced me to react. I had to answer their misrepresentations. I laid bare the facts and challenged them to hold a debate wherever they liked, Lahore, Karachi or Dacca—anywhere. They showed wisdom and suggested that the debate should be held in Larkana.
It was perhaps thought at that time that there was some big landlord there of whom I would feel frightened and would not be able to hold a debate in my own town.
I wasted no time and reached Larkana the next day. I made a speech there and told them to come to Larkana by all means. I told Khwaja Shahabuddin since he was an old man he should not come to Larkana only to participate in the debate; I told him he would be welcome as my guest at my house, but he avoided it all. In fact, he forgot everything about the debate. The propaganda not only continued, but was stepped up. When we held our first Convention in Lahore, a propaganda campaign was launched and all newspapers were full of words against us. Challenges were issued and it was said that this party could not succeed.
However, the Government eventually realised it had been defeated. It was first defeated when I accepted its challenge. It suffered its second defeat when all efforts to sabotage the People's Party failed. It tried to kill the party before it could be formed. Huge amounts of money were spent. Government officers were used for this purpose. People were sent to us to dissuade us from forming a party, but I salute my friends because they frustrated all such tactics.
I had entrusted a friend from Peshawar with an important assignment. I had asked him to become Convener of the Lahore Convention. You know how much difficulty he had to face. We were unable even to find a suitable place for the Convention. Ultimately we had to hold it at Dr. Mubashir Hassan's residence. The Government sent its men there, C.I.D, men and others. My friends warned me to beware of such people. I knew them well. I knew why they had come to us and with what objectives. But a party based on principles and ideas has nothing to fear from such people. The coming in and going out of these people makes no difference at all.
After all, what do we want to hide? What plans or conspiracies did we make? What underground movement do we plan? We have placed before the nation our manifesto in printed form. Apart from having written it in black and white, we have been explaining our economic and political programme in our speeches and statements. We have been emphasising the need for democracy because without democracy a popular government cannot be established. Economic progress of the people is impossible without socialism.
We have no secret that we want to hide. Our complaint is that the Government-controlled news media black us out; they treat our public statements as if they were stale secrets. They force us to go from door to door and explain our ideas to the people. We want to reach every student, worker, peasant, every oppressed citizen and tell him our ideas. Our party has nothing to hide that it should feel frightened by the special police. We are in no danger from them. These people are welcome to sit with us and listen to our deliberations. We are not betraying the nation. Only traitors fear the police. It is the exploiters, the oppressors and those who work against national interest who are scared of plainclothesmen.
The Press is another problem. Propaganda and misrepresentation have been going on against us day and night. Take the Dera Ismail Khan incident. It is a pity that an incorrect report was filed by the APP. It was all wrong from beginning to end. It said we threw bricks. Why should we throw bricks and at whom? We had gone there on a mass contact movement, not to throw bricks. We will not throw bricks at the people. How can it be possible? How can we throw bricks at those who come to attend our meetings? They respected us and faced many difficulties for us. Only a fool would throw bricks at them.
It was also alleged that since we provoked the police, it was forced to use tear gas and fire on us. Why should we provoke the police? What reason was there to do that? Nowhere have we done that, so why in Dera Ismail Khan of all places?
In fact, there was no arrangement for loudspeakers. I was about to end my speech when teargassing and firing began, without any reason whatsoever. Later, I had to address a meeting of the students. We sat together and had tea. It was reported in the press that some awkward questions were asked at that meeting. One of these alleged questions was how I believed in socialism while being a landlord myself. I am doubtless a landlord, but a principled one. I have principles. But what can I do if my opponents have no principles? It does not make any difference whether you are a landlord or not.
Well, how many revolutions have you seen so far? You may like to know that no struggle for a revolution, any revolution, can be launched by a particular class, all by itself. You have the example of the French Revolution. Revolution came first in France. It was not a revolution by the poor, the workers or peasants alone. Several aristocrats and landlords were equally behind it. They supported that revolution in principle. Russia is another example. You may have noticed the same analogy there as well.
The best example is that of the Islamic revolution. When the Prophet of Islam began his mission of raising the banner of Islam high, his followers in the Quraish tribes parted from their own people, gave up everything and supported the Prophet. If you are dedicated to the promotion of principles and ideas, to the struggle for the uplift of the masses, then your origins do not matter. Our opponents will, however, refuse to appreciate this. They just cannot understand it. Actually they have no principles at all. They only look at personalities. They are only after their own interests.
Is it not an irony that we should be accused of running after power, while they themselves have been clinging to power and will not leave it at any cost? I would say to them: keep this power with you. We have no greed for it. You may be able to keep it for a few years. Had we been running after power, we would have preferred personal interests to national ones. We could have remained in power had we sacrificed our principles, we would have been in there right now had we planned to set up mills and factories.
I have often said, and would once again urge the Government to declare the assets of the President and ministers as they stand today and before they assumed office. Let us all declare our assets before and after Ayub's ten years of rule. I am willing to declare mine right now. Let them come forward and tell the people how much has been added to and taken from national wealth. Why don't they do that? It has been done in other countries. There is nothing new in it, no "official secrets" are involved.
The Government has made it obligatory for the banks not to disclose the statements of accounts of their account holders, not even to the Government itself, without the prior permission of a court. Previously, the police was authorised to check the accounts of anyone required in connection with legal investigations. But now the power vests in the courts of law alone. There was no need for such a law. There must have been some motive behind it.
Everyone knows what the bank deposits of 80 per cent of our population are. How much can they have in banks while they have nothing in their stomachs and in their homes? The banks are only for the 22 families for whom the Government wants to provide secrecy. Why so? It is to cover up illegal money earned through exploitation. It is because they cannot explain its source. Well, if they are able to explain its source, why are such laws being made? If they have property, legally acquired, they have nothing to fear. They can genuinely claim that they earned it. But why do they keep it secret? They give the example of Switzerland, but only to the extent of hidden wealth. Switzerland should also be quoted as an example of democracy; but when they are told about this they start arguing that it is impossible to practise democracy in Pakistan. Why is it that the bank laws of Switzerland should be followed here while its democracy should be ignored, saying it cannot be followed here?
My dear brothers and friends, the Government suffered its first defeat when Khwaja Shahabuddin ran away from the political debate I had challenged him to. It met its second defeat when our party was formed, a party which is becoming stronger day by day. The third defeat came when it sent goondas to disrupt our public meeting in Multan. The goondas were armed with swords, pistols and hockey sticks. They came and sat near the stage. As the proceedings began, they began swinging hockey sticks and firing pistol shots. They started advancing to the stage but the brave people saw to it that all of these goondas were sent packing. The Government met its fourth defeat in Dera Ismail Khan. It is now getting ready to face the fifth.
The agents of the Government will be defeated wherever they try to face use. It is because we are in the right. We are fighting for a just cause. We are on the right path practising the right principles. We are serving the people. We shall win, because we are fighting for the people's self-determination. They will lose because they have no principles. They are liars. It is the government of a few people. The people have no participation in it at all. The whole system is based on exploitation, violence and oppression. It is, therefore, logical that they will lose on all fronts and in all encounters while we will win. It is good they are trying for the fifth and sixth rounds. Victory will be ours, of the people!
The days of this government are numbered. When I say that, I am dubbed as a very dangerous man. Now, you tell me, what is dangerous about it 7 After all, there is always an end to everything. Why can't then this government end? Everything is mortal, including a government, indeed, all governments; but they accuse us of inciting rebellion. They say there will be bloodshed. Why should there be bloodshed? It is they who want bloodshed. What they did in Dera Ismail Khan proves it. Did we fire pistol shots? Did we use tear gas or hurl bayonets? These are their actions; yet I am accused of doing dangerous things.
However, there is only this difference: if they use a baton, we shall not run. They may beat us as much as they like. How long can they do it? They cannot beat up the whole nation, nor can they put us all in prisons. They cannot stifle all of us. We will come out. We will not retreat. We are determined never to retreat. We will move forward. They resorted to violence and goondaism in Multan. We faced them there, because the people were with us. They used tear gas in Dera Ismail Khan. We stood our ground. It is easy for them to do all this because they have the police at their disposal and for their protection. Their active politics is making speeches before members of the Basic Democracies under the protective shadow of the police.
This government will never be able to face us. It will run away. It will never face its challengers in the political field. It thinks it will be able to keep up its violence, its police and threats for all times to come. But we, too, know how to fight back in our own fashion.
Let the Government keep all its valued possessions with it: wealth, force, police and government officials. We want nothing. We have nothing. We are empty-handed, but our hands are clean. We can fight the rulers. We will ultimately defeat them. There is simply no escape from it. We reaffirm that ours will be a lawful struggle, but if they continue with their unlawful cast we will not be overawed.
So where is the rebellion? Where is the bloodshed? It is they who do all the nasty things, but we shall stand up to them. Is that rebellion? It is the Government which is spreading rebellion and bringing about a revolution. It brought about the previous revolution! It has been harping on the advantages of a revolution, saying the country would otherwise have been destroyed. Did Ayub Khan really bring about a revolution? How is it that a revolution is good for him but not for the people? They justify revolution whenever they have to exploit and loot the country, but when the people demand their rights, they get unnerved.
We don't want bloodshed in the country. Why should we want it? It is they who resort to bloodshed. It is they who commit violence, but we are accused. We have a public meeting in Peshawar on the 5th. I hope you will come in large numbers and make it successful. I am greatful to you for having taken so much trouble to make the Convention a success.