President Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto said that the validity of the all party constitutional accord was final and could not be altered by the opposition leaders on second thought.
Addressing a meeting of the party. Workers he said that the National Assembly, when it meets as the Constitution-making body, was the proper forum for making any amendment in the draft Constitution.
He said that if the Opposition was able to muster enough support in the House, the Government would happily accept the necessary amendments.
The President pointed out that the Government was determined to give speedily a progressive Constitution to the people.
He emphasized that Pakistan had come to stay as a united and indivisible entity, and nobody would be allowed to harm this unity. He said there was no truth in the claim that two provinces belonged to one party and the rest to the other party, as the opposition parties did not have an absolute majority there.
The President said that the People’s Party had accommodated the Opposition’s viewpoint to the maximum limit.
They were for a parliamentary system and the People’s Party accepted that principle, he said, adding they wanted the procedure of removing the Prime Minister by two-thirds majority and we agreed to that provision.
“On every occasion, the majority had accommodated the Opposition’s viewpoint, but there was always a limit to such a give and take principle.” We had always given, we cannot give any thing more,” he asserted.
Today the Opposition leaders were saying that they were ready to sit and talk on the
Constitutional differences. But what was the guarantee if tomorrow the might again sign another accord and then back out of it the next day.
The nation, the President said could not afford to remain without a Constitution any linger. During the last 25 years the nation had seen enough upheavals because of being without a basic political structure for this country.
The People’s Party, he said, did not want abnormal conditions to continue in he country any more.
The Majority party was committed to the nation to give it a Constitution, and it would fulfil its responsibilities.
He said that the People’s Party was a majority party and it was giving a federal system. It was not for a confederal system as Sheikh Mujib wanted. The People’s Party was not thinking in terms of half Pakistan.
He said: The Opposition leaders say that the Constitutional accord is not a Quranic law. Sheikh Mujib also used to say that his Six Points were not Quranic law, but the nation knew that his uncompromising attitude continued till the end. Today the Opposition parties were following in the footsteps of Sheikh Mujib, he added.
He said that the People’s Party had saved the rest of the country from disaster and would continue its struggle to make it stronger and prosperous.
The President said that despite the Opposition’s provocative attitude, the ruling party would not allow any one to create chaos and disruption in the country.
Because the enemies of the country wanted to weaken Pakistan and destroy it.
To meet this challenge, it was of utmost importance that the nation should have its own democratic Constitution like all other civilized nations, he emphasized.
The President said that the seeds of the break-up of Pakistan were sown firstly at a time when the status of the four provinces was dissolved and One Unit of West Pakistan was created, and secondly when the formula of parity was accepted by the then Government, giving equal status to two wings although the Bengalis were in majority.
As such for the first time instead of federation of five provinces, two entities were made against the wishes of the people.
Those leader who shed tears for Bengalis should reply by Dacca was not the capita of Pakistan when it was the capital of majority province, he asked.
The Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation was divided but its head office was not taken to Dacca and why Railways was divided when it had always remained a Central subject.
He said that the administrative division took place when only Bengali officers were appointed in East Pakistan. Then the concentration of wealth in West Pakistan brought the economic break-up of the country.
In 1958 political parties were dissolved, and no link remained between the two parts of the country as the political power was concentrated in the hands of West Pakistan. That was the political division of Pakistan, he said.
All these factors were responsible for the break-up yet the Opposition parties said, that Pakistan was divided because the People’s Party did not go in the Assembly.
He said that the Opposition could not do anything axcept leveling accusations a against the Pakistan People’s Party.
He said that the Pakistan People’s Party opposed Awami League because they were giving a Constitution which was neither unitary nor federal. It was, in fact, a confederal Constitution with a label of federal form on it.
The Six-point formula was also aimed atcreating a confederal system, by having special relationship between two separate states, he said. ”We told Sheikh Mujib that we are ready to sit nin the Opposition if you give a federal form of Constitution.”
The President warned India that she could not exploit the issue of POWs to gain any political benefit. “if they retained our POWs, it could not help in setting the issue of Kashmir, and reiterated his demand for relase of Pakistani POWs under the Geneva Conventions.
He recalled that the Simla Accord had nothing which interlinked the recognition of Bangladesh with the release of POWs. He also warned that Pakistan would not repay the foreign debts of Bangladesh after June next.
“Our Country is poor. We have to do something for bettering the lot of the people. We need not pay the debts of Bangladesh. ” he added.
About law and order situation in the country, he said it would be maintained at all cost. But he regretted that “when we take measures to keep the peace undisturbed, the Opposition describes it as suppression on the part of the Government. Some time, force has to be used to maintain law and order”, he said.
He said that people who criticize the Government of Sind and the Punjab should also review the situation in Balochistan and NWFP when NAP ruled.
The president said “the first and last sin” we had done was that we did our best to save Pakistan. But people knew who committed injustices in East Pakistan at the instance of Yahya Khan.