President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto said, that the question of the recognition of Bangladesh by Pakistan will follow the release of Pakistani prisoners of war.
In an interview with the American weekly. Time, Mr. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto said that besides the return of Pakistani prisoners of war, there must not be any war crimes trial and persecution of the so-called collaboration. The principles for a settlement of financial problem between the two sides must also be worked out.
The President expressed the behalf that the present stalemate would be broken after next month’s election in Bangladesh and the framing of a new Constitution in Pakistan. He said; “Let us begin with a clean slate,”
He said; “I don’t harbour anti-Indian feelings. I speak more in sorrow. You see , they (the Indians) think they succeeded in East Pakistan, They have not realized that they put their fingers in the furnace of Bengal. And their fingers are going go burn badly.”
“Pakistan wants India’s friendship, but not her leadership. We want equality. India should not have pretensions of becoming a world power. There are more people in India sleeping in the streets than any place else in the world. A dominant power is dominant inherently.” The President said.
“On relations with Bangladesh, the President said.; “We are determined to recognize them provided there is a machinery whereby we get our prisoners of war. Once bitten, twice shy.” He said.
“But first there must be machinery for the return of our prisoners of war. There must be on war crimes trials, no persecution of accused collaborations and the principle for settlement of our financial problems must be worked out. Let’s really begin with a clears slate,” the President urged.
Referring to the United States role in the subcontinent, the President advised the Americans; “Much will depend on the US attitude in dealing with the Chinese and the Russians.”
“If you put a visionary Wilsonian content into your policy without seeking immediate benefit, then I see a much bigger role for the United States. If you see the problems of the subcontinent from a narrow point of view, then, of course; the Russians will take full advantage. The Chinese will not be able to do anything effective for some time to come.”
Asked about a US “tilt” toward Pakistan, as reported in secret Whit House papers published by the columnist Jack Anderson, Mr. Bhutto asked: “What tilt?”
He said US Secretary of State William Roger’s public statement that the US would not interfere if there was a war in the sub-continent gave India the necessary assurance.