President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto said that those elements, who were opposed to the creation of Pakistan, were planning hold a convention in Rawalpindi, but the people of Pakistan and their Government were determined to frustrate their evil designs against the national interests.
Addressing a huge gathering at Samungal airport, the President said that such elements as the United Muslim League, Maulana Maudood’s Jamaat-I-Islami and former Republicans had ganged up to conspire against the integrity of Pakistan.
The President told a cheering crowd that although the NAP Government in Baluchistan was indulging in various illegal acts, he did not interfere in the affairs of the Province because he felt that the people of the newly created Province should enjoy the same amount of autonomy as was enjoyed by those of other provinces.
These elements were threatening that if their Government was dismissed, a major crisis would engulf the country. But, he said, there was no crisis whatsoever.
The President said that the NAP was claiming that they were ruling half of Pakistan and said he failed to understand the logic behind this argument as the NAP never commanded a clear majority in the Province.
The President said that going by all cannons of the federal from of government throughout the world, the Governor of a province was the agent of the Centre and the President.
“I granted them this concession and appointed the Governor of the party”, he added.
As regards democracy, the President said that a permanent Constitution was the only guarantee for democracy, but the NAP did not want that it should be framed.
The President said he had been compelled to change the NAP/JUI Government as it had failed to fulfil its obligations to the Province and in people.
He said a Baluch Governor had been replaced by another Baluch of this area. Indeed, Mr.Akbar Khan Bugti was neither a foreigner nor an outsider, he remarked.
He said not a bullet had been fired, no one had been arrested and no restrictions were imposed on the freedom of speech or Press.
President Bhutto paid tributes to the people of Baluchistan for preserving the territorial integrity and solidarity of Pakistan and for striving and getting full-fledged provincial status for Baluchistan. He said the demand for this status was justified as it was the only Province to Pakistan which did not enjoy the provincial status.
The President sold his audience amidst loud cheers that he was fully aware of the conditions obtaining in Baluchistan and was very much interested that it should develop and make progress and that its people should run their own affairs.
The President referred to the speech he had made at the airport during his last visit to Quetta. He had then sought the permission of the former Governor, Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo to deliver the speech.
The President pointed out that the Governor was his nominee and his agent in the Province. He had done it to create confidence and remove suspicions.
The President regretted that his gesture of trust was not reciprocated and both the former Governor and the Chief Minister started talking against him in public.
Referring to the number of seats the NAP has in the National and Province Assemblies of Baluchistan and the NWFP, the President said that this party could not be restrained because they did not depend on their inherent strength, but had their eyes across the borders.
He declared amidst loud applause that the people would never allow them to succeed in their designs.
Immediately on assuming office, he said, he lifted the ban from the NAP and sought its co-operation in running the country on democratic lines. He even provided liberal financial assistance to accelerate the development work in the two deficit provinces. But, he lamented, his generous co-operation provoked only rebuffs.
Elaborating his point, the President said that when Pakistan achieved independence, while all other provinces had democratically elected governments, Baluchistan was ruled by agent to the Governor-General. The People of Baluchistan started struggle to secure democratic rights which other provinces enjoyed. All the agents to the Governor-General appointed after independence were non-Baluchis.
The President said that by Bauchi he meant all those who reside in the province, whether they were Baluch, Pathans or settlers.
Immediately after assuming office, he said that he appointed Mr. G.B. Raisani, who belonged to Baluchistan, as Governor of the Province, but strong objection was taken to his appointment, and those now out of power insisted that they should have a right to nominate the Governor. He said that he told then that it was an unfair demand contrary to practices followed by the Federal Government in other parts of the world. The Governor is invariably a nominee of the Central Government.
But, any how, he said, he accepted even that demand and agreed to appoint their nominees as Governors in Baluchistan and NWFP. Now, he said, they had their own Governor and their own government. What more democracy they needed, he asked.
He said that power went to their head, and he started receiving complaints of serious discriminations against Pathans. Brohis and even some sections of Baluch population. He did not like to interfere and advised all those who came to him with complaints to go and seek conciliation with the Provincial Government. They did approach the former Government to seek reconciliation, but he added, all such approaches were spurned arrogantly and the former provincial Chief Minister instead of reciprocating by extending co-operation to the Centre began to make speeches against him (President).
He said that the problems were created by their ultimate objective which was not provincial autonomy but something beyond it. The autonomy they had achieved was for the them only the temporary goal.
The President said that during the struggle for provincial autonomy all the Baluch leaders had joined hands. Nawab Bugti was also one of them. But when he found that those saddled in power had an objective beyond provincial autonomy. He parted company with them. He said he was now their new Governor and they should extend full co-operation to him to form a representative government in the Province. The president was confident of having such a government in the province soon.
He said National Awami Party had always been opposed to the creation of Pakistan. So were the Jamat-i-Islami and the JamiatulUlema-e-Islam. They had all joined hands to call a convention in Rawalpindi. They were also being supported by the so-called United. Muslim league, But this United Muslim league, he said, consisted mostly of former members of the Republication Party organized by General Iskandar Mirza.
Most of these Republicans were Unionists who were also opposed to the creation of Pakistan.
The real Muslim League is that of Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan who is a member of the Central Cabinet. The other Muslim League is that of Mian Mumtaz Mohammad Khan Daultana who is Pakistan’s Ambassador in London and as such with the present regime.
He said that another group calling itself Tehrik-e-Istiqlal was also joining the convention called by the Opposition. But its leader did not know even the ABC of polities. The independent member from DeraGiazi Khan, who is also attending the Convention was also opposed to the Pakistan movement. Therefore, this convention, he added, consisted mainly of all such elements who are opposed to Pakistan and their main objective was to delay and obstruct the task of Constitution-making, People Know them and, therefore, they would never succeed in their design, he asserted.
He said that Pakistan had come to stay and those who were threatening to create conditions similar to those obtainable in East Pakistan in 1971 were mistaken. Such conditions would never be allowed to be created and attempts at subversion or creating internal dissention would be put down by the people.
He said the constitutional accord had been signed by all the Opposition leaders. But now they had gone back on their commitments made in black and white. The former Governor of Baluchistan, who was himself a signatory, had said that it was not a Constitution but a “camel.” He said he could understand if a British had made that remark. It was strange it had come from a Baluch because the people of Baluchistan and Sind know how to tame a camel. The President once again warned that all attempts to block the way of Constitution-making would be foiled.
He said,”during the election of lady members to the Assembly from Baluchistan and Frontier, the Centre did not interfere at all. The difference in voting in Baluchistan was of only one vote i.e. 11 to 10.”