Speech on Vietnam Conflict, on May 23, 1972
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Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto the President of Pakistan said in Karachi that Pakistan Government sympathises with the aspirations of the people of Vietnam and have taken this stand on principles.

The Government and the people of Pakistan have stood by principles and followed the course of events on the basis of international peace and on the basis of removal of tensions. We have never waivered in doing our duty.
Addressing bankers, industrialists and businessmen at the State Bank and departing from the written text, he said, that we live in. asia and are a neighbour of Vietnam. There have been some demonstrations in the country and the people have asked why the Government is silent on Vietnam.

“The Government is not silent on Vietnam. My party before coming in to power had expressed its stand on Vietnam. I have written many articles on the conflict in Vietnam. In my book “Myth of Independence” I have given people of Pakistan. Even after coming into office, we have taken a number of steps and every one known that a month or two ago I sent a Central Minister to Hanoi to hold discussions with the Vietnamese leaders. This was not done by previous regimes or Governments. Not only that, but recently in Rawalpindi I was asked by a Press correspondent whether there was a possibility of exchange of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Vietnam. My reply was why not. The nation known that I have taken a position on principles on the question of Vietnam. We are neighbours. I have recently addressed a letter to President Nixon on the question.”

The President said that unruly demonstrations wold not strengthen the cause of the people of Vietnam. The principal adversaries in Vietnam the two super powers instead of fighting each other were holding negotiations and President Nixon was on a visit to Moscow. These powers were certainly much more directly concerned that Pakistan. The President reminded the people that when Pakistan was being torn asunder there were hardly any demonstrations or protests abroad. He appealed to the -people to take a rational view of the situation and not a indulge in unruly demonstrations.

“Certain circumstances have compelled us to follow a low key foreign. Policy for some time to come because we have to grapple with issues of the subcontinent. We have to make every endeavour for peace in the subcontinent, which has been denied to our people for centuries.

This is not a simple task and calls for undivided attention. When our people demonstrate in this fashion it does not serve the country, which has already suffered much. Half of the country has been dismembered. I am not against demonstrations, but the demonstrations must be in orderly manner. We have certain duties to discharge to our own citizens and those who live in Pakistan.”



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