Dear Mr. Kasuri,
Please refer to your letter of 4th October 1972, I am pleased to accept you resignation as Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs with immediate effect.
As you make mention of our last meeting, and the previous one, I would like to refresh you memory on the correct position. About one month back, you informed me that an income-tax demand of over Rs.1,20,000 had been made which you were unable to meet unless you returned to your law practice. You, therefore, requested me to relieve you from Ministerial responsibilities after the session of the National Assembly. I told you that the departure of the Law Minister at this juncture would inevitably delay the framing of the constitution.
As a result of the fiasco in the National Assembly when you moved the Constitution Amendment Bill on 25th August, I could well have taken the narrow view and accepted your resignation. I did not, for the reason already stated.
Subsequently, there was the attempt to requisition a meeting of the National Assembly as a Constituent body even though the Assembly was in session.
The matter was disposed of by the Assembly on the 24th September. You then submitted your resignation in writing on 25th September. Again, although I could well have accepted it the restraining factor was the delay that would be occasioned in the framing of the Constitution. Certain reasons for your resignation having been imputed to you in the Press, however, the matter was discussed in some detail at a Cabinet meeting in Rawalpindi the following day on the 27th September after I asked the officials to leave the room.
At this meeting, it was the considered opinion of those present that your leaving office was not desirable at this stage because, as it was again pointed out, the framing of the Constitution was of supreme importance at this critical juncture, and nothing should be done to cause any delay. You suggested that you could possibly continue as Chairman of the Constitution Committee. To this, the consensus at the meeting was that if you wished to dissociate yourself from the Government on points of principle, as attributed to you in the Press, then the honourable and logical course would be not only to leave your Government office, but also your party office and to vacate the seat you won through the party. You do not have to be reminded that we have a party system of Government both at the Centre and in the Provinces. At the meeting, the statement in the Press giving a one-sided story was also strongly deprecated. You said that the statement in the Press was wrongly attributed to you – that it may have been given by your well-wishers and friends. The net result was that the following day you suggested a statement be issued that you have submitted your resignation with was not accepted by me and, accordingly, a press note was issued.
Your latest resignation has not come entirely as a surprise; what is surprising, however, is that in spite of the views’ expressed at the meeting on the 27th September, you should still wish to continue as Chairman of the Constitution Committee.
National Assembly elected you to this position by virtue of your being the Minister for Law and parliamentary Affairs. For that matter even your seat in the Assembly is wholly attributable to the fact that the party gave you a ticket. If the reasons for your leaving the Ministership, which have varied from time to time and occasion to occasion, have suddenly become so grave as to “impel” you to dissociate yourself immediately from the Government, then the honourable course would be not to retain your seat, and similarly the Chairmanship of the Committee which by right should go to the new nominee of the Pakistan people’s Party.
I will not repeat here the well-established practice and tradition of simultaneous release of letters of resignation and acceptance thereof. As you have chosen to issue yours to the Press, I am constrained to have this letter similarly released.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
President of Pakistan