Political Situation in Pakistan

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By Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto
Reproduced in pdf form by Sani Panhwar

Copyright © www.bhutto.org

Since the birth of Pakistan every government has appealed for national unity. Pakistan has run into crisis after crises, each graver than the preceding and unity has eluded us despite all the fervent appeals made. There must be serious reasons why crises should exist in abundance and not unity. These reasons need to be examined. Our country has been threatened by two sorts of crises-a general one affecting the world, but particularly Asia; and the other casting its gloom over the sub-continent. There is an obvious connection between them. Of whatever sorts the crisis may be and whether simple or manifold, the situation has, to be understood properly. The world in which we live is moving towards a culmination, which might be a universal catastrophe. It will not be just another Dien Bien Phu. This is the difference between Dien Bien Phu and the present crisis, between 1954 and 1968. We arc on the edge of a precipice. Below lies the valley of death. Must we let ourselves fall into it consciously by marching ahead to disaster or should we not draw back? There is no alternative but to pull hack. This does not entail a loss of prestige. It only saves this beautiful world from senseless destruction. Pakistan is caught in a whirlwind. As we look back on the twenty years of our existence, we find a dangerous tendency for international and subcontinental problems to get fused together. To maintain the view that crisis is the order of the day, a natural phenomenon of this restless age, is pointless. The prevailing demoniacal trend requires to be reversed. Ours is not the only country caught in the vicious circle of crises. Many countries have been able to settle similar problems and move on with added strength to other matters. The strength to move forward comes from the resolution of basic internal issues. Unlike many other countries. Pakistan has unfortunately not yet been able to resolve many of its basic internal problems-issues affecting the people, their destiny, the lives of their children and the future shape of their society. The problems, which affect the people and are near to them, have never really been referred to them for settlement. Mohamed Ali Jinnah pledged that Pakistan would have a government and a constitution chosen by the people. That promise has yet to be redeemed. There will be no end to our troubles until the people of the country determine their future freely. The present deadlock can no longer be broken by more manipulations. The next step has to be taken unburdened by past errors. Out of the welter of confusion crystallization is taking shape. A growing body of people, with the younger generation at their head, believes that the old ways are no longer sufficient to surmount the problems of Pakistan. Each epoch has its own political significance; its own seismic pattern. This epoch, Political Situation in Pakistan Copyright © www.bhutto.org 2

exciting and full of challenge, requires a fresh approach for building society anew on the finest aspirations of the entire population of Pakistan. We are not prepared to return to the past. Nor are the people willing to tolerate the present conditions much longer. For this reason, the Pakistan People's Party declares: "All power to the people!” It is imperative to resolve internal differences by consensus and consent. The long debate on the form of government and the constitution must be brought to an end. The wisdom of the people cannot be questioned in this age of enlightenment. Pakistan has seen many experiments in government and constitution. Their collective wisdom, enriched by the experience of twenty years, makes the people pre-eminently fit for deciding their own fate. Quite clearly, Basic Democracy, which is another name for fascism, will not do. Independent institutions are needed...
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