fifty years ago December 20, 1971 Archives

From the Archives (December 20, 1971): Yahya to quit: Power transfer to-day

New Delhi, Dec. 19: The military junta in Islamabad to-day bowed to public opinion when it was announced that President Yahya Khan would resign to-morrow after transferring power to the representatives of the people. The cryptic announcement, made by an official spokesperson in Rawalpindi, said Gen. Yahya Khan “has decided to resign his office as soon as he hands over the government to the representatives of the people tomorrow.” Radio Pakistan broke into an Urdu bulletin with the word from Rawalpindi, which came after Air Marshall Asghar Khan, former Air Force Chief, made a public demand that Gen. Yahya Khan and other junta members be tried in public. The Pakistan People’s Party Chairman, Mr. Bhutto, who now appeared certain to head the new regime, was on his way home after a meeting with President Nixon to Washington when the Rawalpindi announcement came. Earlier, during a halt in London where he met the British Foreign Secretary, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, Mr. Bhutto had said the situation in Pakistan was “very grim and very bad” and Gen. Yahya Khan “must be feeling cornered.”


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