fifty years ago October 14, 1971 Archives

From the Archives (October 14, 1971): Yahya Khan’s elusive goal(From an editorial)

The Pakistan President has interspersed his latest address to his people about the election programme in the east wing with invective against India which is accused of massing troops on the border. Since Pakistani forces are observed in strength on all our frontiers, the question as to who moved first is really academic in view of the growing tension in East Pakistan where the Awami League guerrillas are extremely active. What is happening in Gen. Yahya Khan’s political programme is his determination to hold bye-elections to fill a large number of empty seats in the national and provincial assemblies despite the unrest in the region. In the second week of December some 78 National Assembly and 105 Provincial Assembly seats have to be voted for with new candidates, and the whole process is to be completed by December 23. Early in the new year, the President promises to convene the assemblies and give them a new constitution drafted by his experts. The National Assembly may propose amendments, provided they do not contravene the integrity or ideology of Pakistan. Three months will be allowed for making changes in the document, all of which will have to have Gen. Yahya Khan’s approval.

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