Question: Mr. President, there have been three wars between India and Pakistan. Now you begin peace talks. Do you think that means peace for the subcontinent in the future or is there the danger of other wars between Pakistan and India?
President: I can’t look into the future for all time to come but I hope that we can come to a kind of settlement which will bring permanent peace, durable peace, and if we can settle our disputes properly to the satisfaction of both parties, in conformity with international principles, I believe that we can have peace for all time and until the world undergoes some kind of a metamorphosis which we cannot anticipate. But I do not see why we cannot arrive at a durable settlement.
Question: In spite of all the problems, there is the Bangladesh problem, there is the Kashmir problems, there is the problem of population, all sorts of problems. How could you imagine a durable peace which would not be lasting for only two years or a few years?
President: Yes, well, to put the same thing in a different way, peace which is not imposed, peace which is not in violation of established principles if they want to take their military victory to a logical conclusion by subjugating Pakistan politically as well. In that case there would not be much hope for peace, for a durable peace. And you know there are many problems; far too many problems; but then sometimes when there are far too many problems a breakthrough becomes simpler rather than when there might be just one problem. So the main thing is the intention to live in peace and to come to the conclusion that war is not really an answer for the settlement of our outstanding differences.
Question: Victorious states tend to be, let us say, attempt to try to change their victory into political gains in their sense so there are problems, I think very difficult problems to be solved first like the prisoners of war. What would you propose, what should India do with the prisoners of war or what would you do if India goes ahead and let’s say, there are some war criminals trials in Bangladesh or something like that?
President: Actually victorious states have in the histories of Europe especially tried to take their gains to the ultimate conclusion but what has that brought about when in 1914, at the end of the 1914 war, that attitude was taken. It did not really contribute to durable peace and we saw again the Second World War yet unleashed on Europe and the rest of the world. That is a most striking example of when you impose a humiliating or an insulting peace at the conclusion of the war. And I can give so many other examples. Secondly, as far the subcontinent is concerned, there have been so many ups and downs.
Today we exist as India and Pakistan but it has been a question of the confrontation between the two major communities, whom our leader, the Quaid-i-Azam, later on described as the two major nationalities in the subcontinent—the Hindus and the Muslims. There have been so many ups and downs between these two major communities—sometimes the Muslims have won, sometimes the Hindus have won. There has been Muslim India for seven to eight hundred years—there has been Hindu India. So, are we going to go around in this vicious circle all the time or should we not have an honourable co-existence between our countries? So, I believe that judging from the lessons of our own history and from the lessons that international history has shown, I believe that there should be a new change, a new mood for a lasting peace.
And you have mentioned the question of war trials, of our prisoners of war. I would like to state here quite candidly that apart from the legal rights or wrongs the international law on this subject is not quite clear and in any case you cannot apply the analogy of Nuremberg to this or to these so-called trials, which are being proposed by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. But legally you can argue one way or the other. But the problem finally is not legal; it is political in the sense as to what sort of climate these trials, so-called trials, will generate. It won’t generate a good climate and it is not going to assist in the settlement of our disputes.
As it is, even without this gimmick, and it is a gimmick, we have enough problems. You mentioned them yourselves; Bangladesh, India, equilibrium between India and Pakistan, Kashmir, population, prisoners of war; so many adjustments to be made of trade, commerce and hostile propaganda against one another, restoration of diplomatic relations. All these things are enough as it is. And now on top of that, as if there was nothing on the plate, comes this fantastic demand to try, people who were defending their own country.
Question: But, Mr. Bhutto, wouldn’t you say that some of these people who defended Pakistan are really, did go a step too far? Will they go scot-free?
President: Well, the point is this that much has been made of this. I don’t condone it. I don’t apologize for it. I’ve also said that those prepared to get their names, we are not going to boast about our standards in the military field, especially before the Germans, but we have had high standards and so if we want to retain or restore our high standards, that does not mean that we have aggressive intent in our mind and vindication of national honour does come by so many method—by economic progress, by making Pakistan really a country which can show to the world that its people are hard working; that the per capita income here is the highest in the subcontinent; that our people are progressive; that when you come to the subcontinent; that our people part of it you’ll find that the best facilities are available here; our roads are good, our schools are good. So we can make our country into a modern, model, progressive country. There also we can vindicate our honour and show to the world that well we are a people who have efficient manpower, good man-power, able people. And it was in that context also I said that we wanted to restore to Pakistan its standards in the military field because certainly we don’t want to go down in the world with a bad reputation and a reputation that we lost one part of our country and that we were not able to defend another part of our country and that we were not able to defend another part of our country. This was a fluke which happened, more on account of the circumstances. We don’t want to go to war with anyone but we also want to retain those standards which our peoples traditions and history amply justify.
Question: Well, Mr. President, good armament in such a large scale, in such a massive scale, would harm, I think, the social and economic progress of the country, so can have a very fine fighting machine with all the arms you need again and, at the same time, have progress in social and economic matters in the country.
President: Yes, I agree but the point is that now our position is reduced economically and physically than it was in the past and nevertheless the Indian Government recently has increased its military budget. I can’t understand that because we are now in a small size and our resources are more limited, our foreign exchange has also been cut as a result of our losses of jute and other things. But nevertheless a substantial increase was made in the defence budget of India this year when they presented their budget to parliament. So that leaves us with no choice. Why should India increase her budget in spite of the changed circumstances? So that answer your question.. Secondary, if India reduces her budget then, and if there is, if there is no possibility of war and our disputes are resolved, we will reduce our budget also I hope because we are interested more in economic development and in social welfare and a reduced army can also be an efficient army. We can make it more mobile, we can make it more efficient. We can concentrate on it in such a way that it remains a good army, remains an efficient army, not geared for war, not poised for conflict.
Question: But, Mr. President, as long as there are two outstanding problems, the older problem of Kashmir, the latest problem, recognition of Bangladesh, that long Pakistan will always be looked upon as wanting revenge.
President: Well, we are trying to settle these problems. That’s why I’m keen to meet the Indian Prime Minister. We’re not delaying a meeting. We have said from the beginning that we are anxious for an early meeting and we are anxious for an early meeting, not to see Delhi in its summer months but to settle our problems.
Question: Under what conditions would you recognize Bangladesh as the president of Pakistan?
President: This is a hypothetical question today and second it must come at the right time after I’ve had discussion with Mr. Mujibur Rahman. And it is connected with other problems as well. It’s not a problem in isolation.
Question: Do you intend to meet Mr. Mujibur Rahman?
President: Yes, I’ve already said it, that I’d like to meet him and I’d like to meet him also as son as possible because I can’t take these decisions in isolation. They will have to be taken into the totally of the picture.
Question: But, Mr. President, you talked to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman before you escorted him to the airport. You must have had detailed discussion. Is nothing of that coming true?
President: Well, in the first place, at that time he was in Pakistan here with us and he can always take the position that he was in custody, he was not a free man, so I don’t want to mention that conversation those two conversations we had, very long ones, on the 27th of December and one the 7th of January. But I want to meet him now in a different situation. He is now styled as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and will not be on our territory so whatever he says and whatever he’s going to do will be in a different context.
Question: India has been arming herself and has increased its military budget. May be India feels a sort fo super power in South Asia since the last war. Do you recognize his Indian position or the Indian wish for that position in this phase?
President: the wish is there. The wish has been there for a very long time. The wish has been there when India became free which can be judged from Pandit Nehru’s Statements, from statements of Mr. Pannikar, who was an Indian political theorist and an ambassador and a distinguished Indian leader and there are their books right from the old times. So the wish a has always been there. But you know on this matter of super powers and great powers, I have a point of view and that is that a super power does not emerge or a great power does not emerge from the size, its size. If that were the case, well, there are many big countries. Brazil is a big country. And Canada is a big country. It could have become a super power. Smaller countries like Japan, they’re not super powers but they have been great powers and you see the question is in history those countries that have had the attributes of greatness in them, even if they’ve been defeated or they have had setbacks, they’ve re-emerged in some form or the other to assert themselves.
Now I’m not trying to preach a theory which you, your country preached. I don’t believe in that theory. I don’t think that there are certain nations, certain people born to be great and others not born to be great. That snot the theory. I don’t subscribe to that theory. But there are certain advantages certain countries have, certain nations have, of historical accidents, other things. They take advantage of those and then they are technologically or otherwise advanced. A combination of factors makes a great people, not size alone, not technology alone. A number of factors put together. And that is why China was destroyed they were called opium eaters and things like that but they’ve been great in history and they came back. So also Russia. So also France. So also Germany. So also Untied States. Now India has been great in that sense also. But India has been great, really great, for a period of time, not fleeting, on two occasions. One was at the time of the Asoka Empire and the other was at the time of the Moghuls.
Question: And this is , was, Muslim India
President: That was Muslim India and that was Buddhist India. So I wish India all the luck in the world to become great but I don’t see those attributes which you have in mind of a super power. If India tries to be a super power, and she’s welcome to make that effort, but I think it will be a futile effort.
Question: But you will not consign yourself and Pakistan to be a minor power, to be a second class country.
President: I don’t think so. I don’t think so. I don’t think that’s possible. If you give us, my people, a decade, you will see that we will reassert ourselves and we will make our fullest contribution to world peace and to international relations and to the peace in the subcontinent and I am talking in constructive, positive terms and if anyone thinks that they’re going to relegate Pakistan into a status of a small country, and I don’t want to be disrespectful, then I don’t think that historically that is correct because Pakistan has a sense of destiny. Its people feel that sense of destiny. They have achieved great results in the past. They’re a proud people. They resisted conquerors, the British. They have a past. They have a good past and I can’t help it if they have this past and they’re proud of it. They’re confident people and I will not set myself out to take away those qualities of my people and I will not set myself out to take away those qualities of my people and, as such, they’ll again make their constructive contributions.
Question: What would be a settlement for Kashmir? It’s been a problem for 25 years now. Now again there is talk of internationalizing the cease-fire line. Status quo ante without any progress. What could be the possibility?
President: I have made my position quite clear on this matter. We have not given Kashmir the right of self-determination and nor can we take it away from them. It is their right, it is their inherent right, but if they want to get their rights they have to assert themselves to get those rights.
Question: Would you have that?
President: Well, the world, the whole world would sympathise with them and why should there be international law and why should there be international conduct; why should there be right of self-determination; why should there be United Nations; why should there be Security Council; why should people only support the right of self-determination of the people of Algeria or people of Guatemala or people of Nicaragua?
Question: Or the people of Bangladesh?
President: Bangladesh was a part of Pakistan. It exercised its right of self-determination exercised. They were on the forefront of the struggle for Pakistan. So the question is Bangladesh is outright secession through a military conquest.
Question: Mr. President, could you visualise a solution for Kashmir in the style of Bangladesh? What happened in Bengal last year, that the same thing could happen in Kashmir if the peace talks fail in Delhi?
President: I am not in a position to answer that because for one thing that might spoil our negotiations with India; secondly, it’s really a hypothetical question.
Question: well, we will insist a little. You know that the main part of your army is stationed along the Kashmir border. Now, do you feel that the Indians will try something or would you like to try something?
President: No, no, we’re not going to try something. You can print that and you can take it from me that we’re not going to do something silly like that and under no circumstances we would take any adventurist steps of that nature. We have had enough of adventurism. We’ve suffered too much for adventurism. No, that’s out of the question. We have our army poised there for two reasons. One, because Indians are concentrating their forces there and they have taken a lot of actions, activistic position they have taken on the cease-fire line over there and so since the Indians are so active we are trying to take precautions against that. Secondly, you see, Kashmir is a disputed territory and India, if it attacks Pakistan’s frontiers again after having got such a bad name for its intervention in Pakistan and having taken half the country away, that will not go down too well in the eyes of the world or anyone else.
Question: Who will help Pakistan?
President: The people of Pakistan will help themselves for a change and on that, of course, we will have a completely new thinking in our country and we are going to see to it that everyone defends Pakistan.
Question: That is why youngsters and old people between the age of 18 and 35 I believe are all drafted and in the Army in Kashmir.
President: That’s what Azad Kashmir President said the other day, I saw it in the papers where he said that this is happening. I don’t think it is on such a large scale but it will have to be done on a massive scale. I haven’t yet even begun to move in that direction fully but I have to make Pakistan impregnable, its defences impregnable, every part of my country should become a fortress.
Question: That’s why you started the peoples Guard?
President: Well that was a beginning but everyone will be a guard, everyone will guard our sovereign integrity.
Question: Mr. President, you started some reforms on the social and the economic sector. Let’s say the land reforms. I think you started a lot but is it working? Is it beginning to work?
President: Well, you see, the implementation has barely started. Take land reforms. The forms are being filled by the land-owners and by the 15th of May they’ll have to submit that thing. Naturally, it will take some time for the implementation to show its results.
Question: Isn’t there some deadline for beginning of these actually?
President: Yes, we have set down very rigid deadlines and given no margin of complacency. I mean it is a full-time operation. In four months I think it’s very difficult to have the reforms that we have had and thank God when we were not in office our party had done quite a lot of homework and search and prepared some papers on these subjects. If we hadn’t done that, I don’t think we would have been in a position to do so much in three months.
Question: But, Mr. President, the so-called vested interests in Pakistan have also done their homework so they claim they have split up the lands, they have taken the money outside. The industrialists. What can you do about that?
President: Well, you see, the point is this, that there have been some land transfers. As a result of it, I’ve reduced the other day further ceiling by almost 25 percent, even more, and I have stipulated in the land reform very drastic punishment for those who give wrong forms and give wrong information, No, I do admit some have tried to circumvent the reforms but you see we have said that transfer must be genuine, made only to one’s sons, daughters, wives. We have not made it collateral t cousins, aunts and all. And I don’t think people in Pakistan have so many concubines and so many children that hundreds and thousands are being redistributed. So that also is exaggerated. So when we have restricted it to just the children, the children of the person or the wives, or the husband doing it for the wife or the wife doing if for the husband.
Question: But will land gained from these land reforms actually to into the hands of the small peasants or the labourers? Will they be given enough chance to hang on to this land, to make it fertile?
President: Yes, certainly. And some very good land is going to come to them and they’re getting it free. They won’t have to pay a penny. They won’t pay a penny and 12 ½ acres in the Punjab, in certain good areas, to get that free, they could not have had it in their best dreams. And secondly, those tenants who are going to remain tenants, will no longer have to pay any tax liabilities. That’s all been transferred to the land-owner. So even they will benefit vastly.
Question: I have one question. Let’s say in Europe, President Bhutto is the son of a former landlord, landlord himself, millionaire, socialist himself. Did you give away some of yor land?
President: Yes, of course. In 1958 and now also.
Question: Now also, with the new land reforms?
President: I’ll give you the details. I’ll give you the details by the 15th because I haven’t been to my estate but now, of course. Even before this change I would have had to give something. One of my sons was having to give quite a bit. But my other children, I think, were not giving as much. That’s how I came to know. I said, no, we must get more cut. We must be axed more. So I reduced the ceiling further.
Question: in your first days as the president you aimed at the big capitalists of Pakistan, industrialists. You even arrested come of them and you say they should bring some of the money back they took outside the country in the last five or ten years. Did this bring any results up till now?
President: Yes, but I’m not fully satisfied. And now we have been working on our scheme and by the 30th of April they havrtaken to give us money which we think will be quite fair, I forget at the moment the figure because I don’t know the latest position.
Question: Is it crores or….?
President: Yes, I think so.
Question: In dollars?
President: Yes. You see on the one hand the business community talks about restoration of confidence and on the other hand it is dragging its feet. The sooner it finishes with these matters the better it is for them, the better it is for everyone. And if they settle down, we are quite prepared to give them assurances, a kind of a charter. Now this is what we’ve done and we want to stop for the time being and concentrate on consolidating these reforms.
Question: Mr. Bhutto, your party is called People’s party. Its programme is some socialist programme, do you have any expels or is that an all Pakistani socialism? If it is, could you just declare in a few words, would you describe it?
President: Yes, of course, but then you have got in Europe also Christian Democrats, Democratic Socialists. Our Party’s socialism is that we are a Muslim people, we have our faith, we have our values, we have our traditions and we stand by those and as far as socialism is concerned, we accept only that part of Marxism which is, which concerns economics. We don’t have to accept the totality of Marx, the whole theory of Marx from beginning to end: it’s dialectics, its classless society, stateless society. With fifty years of Marxist state, one can’t become a stateless society. Now for that matter classless society. Nor do we accept that world is entirely material, there is no God, there are no spiritual values. Why should we accept all that? We accepted the limited part confined to its scientific, economic doctrine. They’ve become a little obsolete by time. So we don’t have to be rigid. We’re not rigid. We say it’s a very deep and penetrating study on economics. And whatever remains valid in our light and whatever remains beneficial to our country we must, with the passage of time, try to accept, use it as yardstick.
Question: How did the millionaire and landlord become a socialist?
President: Well, who do you ask me that question? Why is it that only Asians who have a background, one background, cannot accept principles? You see in Europe you don’t ask this question.
Question: Well, sometimes we ask.
President: Here you make it your main theme. But in Europe and in England you accept the fact that principles to a person are more important. And in Asia, I suppose, you doubt that politicians in Asia can stand by principles.
Question: No, but I think it is not as often in Asia or in the under-developed countries as it is, may be, in industrialized countries.
President: But at the time when Europe was not all that industrialized even so there were people who stood by socialism of that day, of those time because after 1848 the question really began on these modern times. But then there were people who felt, there were individuals who felt for the people, who revolted against the status quo, who felt that cruelty and exploitation was too repugnant to bear, even if they had to suffer themselves in the process.
French revolution produced many people from the aristocracy who also revolted against the system. So, I don’t think that it is something which is exceptional or something which is surprising. And, after all, if you serve the country, if you serve the people, if you serve the community, what better wealth is there than making people happy? What better wealth is there than to get their blessings and to know that they feel that you nave bettered their lot. Now it depends on one’s approach. One’s outlook and one’s philosophy of life. So, I’ve always thought that more important. Money has never been an important factor to me because partly, I think, I came from a background where I didn’t have to beg, I didn’t have to starve. But even other wise there are rich people who worship money and I don’t think, I don’t feel there is that much value on it. I place my values on other things which are more important in my book and in my conscience.
Question: Is one of these power?
President: No, power too I was telling you the other night that power by itself in politics is axiomatic. People are in politics to attain power and nobody’s in politics to preach. Politics means to get into power. That’s not important. That is the objective of politics. What is important is what, I said at dinner the other night, what you do with that power, if you abuse that power, if you use it to tyrannise, if you use it to destroy people, then, of course, that’s terrible to desire power for that purpose. But if you desire power to put your people right, to create a new climate, a new era, to see that children go to schools, that people can get basic amenities of life, to make your country, to make it blossom, to make it bloom, to make a contribution to good. That’s what power for a purpose is. And that’s the difference.
Question: Mr. President, you abolished Martial Law yet you govern under emergency law. Why does there have to be an emergency? Is it because of India or is it to avoid the remainder of Pakistan from splitting up?
President: Pakistan is not going to split up in a hurry and even the other Pakistan would not have split up without foreign intervention. So sometimes when I see amusing, exaggerated stories in some sections of the Western press, and, incidentally, I haven’t seen any in the German, as if it’s a peach melba, the Frontier is the peach and is going to fall, and the melba is going to come this side. I don’t think that’s going to happen in a hurry, I can assure you. It is the wishful thinking of some people who have conjured up the fact that this country must not last. So if a little thing happens, they exaggerate and magnify it. Overnight they create great leaders and overnight create forces. Pathans have always carried a gun on their shoulders. Suddenly their eyes have opened to the fact that the Pathans are carrying a gun on their shoulders.
Question: Then did they see Pathans before?
President: Oh, they have, they have. You see its like one American journalist, a friend of mine, Selig Harrison, who long ago wrote a book called “The Dangerous Dacade”, on India. And his prognosis was that India was going to split up.
Question: Well, he’s such a fie journalist otherwise…
President: And so you see that it’s a thing there of the people now, after the fall of East Pakistan, after the fall of Daccca, many people said well this country should never have come into being. Pakistan is not going to fall in such a hurry. That’s out of the question. But as far as the emergency is concerned, first of all, which country of the world has not been under an emergency which is at war, which has remained at war, when there has been no cesession of hostilities, not a peace treaty, where the country, half of it gone and the other half threatened. There are people inside our territory, the enemy is inside our territory, activities on the cease fire line. That there should be emergency powers, emergency powers have been exercised by all countries when they want. Even in India the have an emergency. She has not lifted it. Mrs. Gandhi has not lifted her emergency. And she can have more reason to lift the emergency because they’re the victorious country. If Pakistan had been the victorious country, perhaps I might have lifted the emergency. But having been victorious they don’t lift the emergency. It’s a constitutional exercise of constitutional power by the National Assembly itself and every constitution in the world contains emergency provisions. And when is it more valid to implement those emergency provisions than in a situation like this?
Question: May be Western Countries, or Western people, Western pressmen, then you over estimate the freedom of pres. Mr. President, why did you censure or lets say why did you censure some of your newspapers and even got some of the editors in jail?
President: the first person we arrested, put behind bars, we not a journalist. He was a civil servant, a bureaucrat who sat in a journalists editors chair for two or three days to claim that he was ajournalist. We have got some very good grounds for his detention, number one. Number two, these other little people, these papers because they are not really important, if it were some important paper one can understand that with their wide circulation they’re playing havoc. But you know what they did was they said nothing but indulged ni filthy abuses. Absolutely the distiest possible abuses. And if you can read Urdu, I coud have them translated. N country, no society, no decent people would tolerate that kind of thing and let it pass as journalism. Now we did not take action although there was Martial law. We called for those people. We told them that loo,k, this is not right. This is not done. This is not decency. You don’t write like that against a people, against a country, against a government, against the head of state, against governors, who have been directly elected by the people, just abuse them left, right and centre and then we have a code of conduct for journalists. Now come before the body, comprising journalists, and explain whether this is not a flagrant violation of the code of conduct. Some of them refused to come. One of them came and made even more abuses. So you see the point is, there is a law. There is a law of defamation, a law of decency, there is law like that in all countries. And so it was for these reasons that we were compelled to….
Question: Have they been tried for defamation? You cant take Governors and President for defamation cases. Would you take your President if some small paper, some provincial paper, abused father, mother, sister, brother, children, will you take it for defamation?
Well, let’s go to-I fell, more important matters – the foreign policy of Pakistan. I think in your speech at the Assembly you mentioned China the Arab countries and United States are friends of Pakistan. And you took office and you went to China, you went to Russia. You have been to America and the other Arab countries. How are the external relations of Pakistan now-a-days?
President: I think external relations are getting better. I think a better understanding of Pakistan’s point of view is being felt and we have again reactivated our foreign policy. Our foreign policy had fallen into the doldrums. It was not projected properly by the former regime partly because they did not understand foreign policy and did not understand internal policy. I really think they did not understand it. But I think we’re getting back into the stride and I have made certain visits to other countries, to Muslim countries, to Muslim Countries, soviet Union and China and I intend to complete my visits to the other remaining Muslim Countries, But, of course, if Mrs. Gandhi does not release our prisoners of war and keeps them as hostages in spite of the fact that I might release her prisoners of war unilaterally.
Question: Did she respond to your offer?
President: Not yet. Not yet. But if she doesn’t do that then I intend to go on a very long international mission. I’ll go everywhere. I’ll go and mobilize myself international opinion on this matter and it will have to be done with a very effective team. I’ll take people with me. Some of them I’ll send somewhere else. Because the world now must also do right by Pakistan. We have partly suffered because of the hostile international climate that was created by India on the refugees, which now the whole world knows that there were not ten million refugees. So, if we ware going and I have our nationals as hostages, then we’ll have to mobilize very strongly international opinion.
Question: You have been in Russia. Russia was INdias friend during the was How did you get along with the Russian leaders?
President: Well, I think we have got a better understanding of each other’s position and I believe that some of our misunderstandings have been removed and I think that in the future our relations will be better.
Question: I think at the dinner you said some very interesting things. That your relations with Russia are fine but your relations with China are the most important for Pakistan. So you think China is the most important friend and patron of Pakistan? It was, has been and will be.
President: Yes, but the point is that China has stood by us in every crisis. They have been good friends of Pakistan and we want to be friends we cant do that on any condition. We can do that independent of conditions it doesn’t mean that in order to have good relations with the Sovier Union we must have bad relations with China. This is the condition that I did not accept when I was foreign Minister.
Question: Well, even Mr. Nixon goes to Peking and to Moscow.
President: But even as Foreign Minister I did not accept that position. When the Americans at that time were so allergic to China and I said that its not possible for us not to have good relations with China in order to have good relations with the United States. That we could have good relations with the United States as well as with China. At that time president Kennedy and, of course, after wards President Johnson simply could not accept that position. Now the American Government accepts that position. President Nixon has also gone to China. So the soviet Union also must accept that it is possible for us to have good relations with the Soviet Union without having detrimental relations with China.
Question: May be two last questions. The first one. Let’s be frank. I think Pakistan is sort of broke in economics or foreign exchange you know. Who’s helping you just now over this very difficult period? Could you tell us who’s helping you?
President: No, we have been giving, we have been making what we can out of what we have got. We haven’t got very much but nor have we done very many fantastic or great things and I don’t know why the problem should arise because the point is that we want to honour our debts, we want to have good confidence of our relations with other countries. And if Indonesia could get a moratorium and certain other terms for the foreign debt, then of course, we are prepared to also continue to abide by our obligations. But if the whole world keeps telling us that we are dead broke and we have a very big debt to pay, then we won’t be able to pay that debt.
Question: May be a last question. You are going, I think you are going soon to Delhi to speak with Mrs. Gandhi. Do you know, have you had any talks with her before?
President: Yes, I know her quite well. We have had meetings before. Of course, I had more meetings with her father, the late Pandit Jawanhar Lal Nehru, who was Prime Minister. I had a long discussion with himover the Kashmir dispute because I was leading Pakistan delegation on the Kashmir dispute. Then I had a discussion with him on other matters. I’ve met her also. I’ve had meetings with her in the Commonwealth Conferences, but detailed negotiations I’ve not had with her like I had with her father.
Question: How would you judge her if you want to say anything?
President: You can’t say. It’s very difficult to say unless you meet. Let us see if she has got peace in her heart, then, of course, I’ll be able to see it. As I said the other night, politicians have got a sixth sense in which you can feel and if that feeling is there, if I can feel that she has peace in her heart, I think we can make progress.
Der Spiegel: Mr. President, thank you.