fifty years ago January 22, 1970 Archives

From the Archives (January 22, 1970): Pakistan’s knotty problems

The Chief Election Commissioner in Pakistan announced last week that 56 million voters had been registered out of the country’s 125 million people. Of these, 31 million voters lived in the east wing and 25 million in the west. This is by itself an indication of the problem that the one man one vote doctrine will create after the election is held next October. The Constitutional problem is complicated by the fact that by this summer West Pakistan will be split into four provinces or units while East Pakistan will remain a solid bloc. All these years, the Central Government has been firmly based on the west though alternate sessions of the legislature were held in Dacca. The civil service, the army and big industry were predominantly from the western part of the country and as Sheikh Mujibur Rehman has again pointed out, during the war with India in 1965, the easterners were practically left to their own devices. Yet it was from the east that the storm which overthrew Gen. Ayub Khan originated and even to-day violent demonstrations, mainly by students, continue to erupt in Dacca.

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