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|Posted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:27 am Post subject: Interesting recall: P.M. Zilfikar Ali Bhutto in 1972
|Monday, Jan. 10, 1972
Bhutto: The Voice of Pakistan
Pakistan's new President, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, last week gave an interview to TIME Correspondent Dan Coggin. Sipping champagne (cooled with ice cubes) to toast the New Year, Bhutto made the following significant points:
ON SHEIK MUJIBUR RAHMAN. I plan to release him unconditionally in a couple of days, with hope and faith that the fire of Pakistan still burns in his heart. He will be free to go. I am not extracting any promise from him. I'm not talking to him under duress, but between elected leaders of the two parts of Pakistan. From one end of the spectrum to the other, an extremely loose arrangement could be worked out, but at least the name of Pakistan must remain. It's our legacy of 1,000 years, and we can't spurn it.
ON PEACE WITH INDIA. We do not want eternal enmity with India. We have never wanted it. We want a modus vivendi built on justice and equity. Vindication of national honor does not mean chauvinism but acceptance of the 1947 arrangement agreed upon by India and Pakistan and acknowledged by the world. All we seek is for that rationale of live and let live to come to fruition in the interests of the people of both countries.
ON INDIRA GANDHI. I'm prepared to visit not only Peking and Moscow but Washington as well. If she invites me to New Delhi beforehand, I'm prepared to go there first. I'm not calling her "that woman" [as Bhutto's predecessor Yahya Khan did]. She is the Prime Minister of a neighboring great state. My family has had three generations of contacts with her family. I have had dealings with Mrs. Gandhi, and I hope our children won't be enemies. We don't want to be now.
ON RESTORATION OF DEMOCRACY. I will be the last to see the curse of the generals' dictatorship further ruin my country. Before the day is done, if I'm still here, I will ensure that the night of terror will never return to this country. I can only set the pace and direction; better men than I may complete the job. You will see that I'm not an enemy of private enterprise. Foreign investment will be encouraged and welcomed and never touched. In the present process, though, all of us have to be cut down to size—the "22 families," the feudal lords, the generals, the fat and flabby ones. [As for the end of martial law] I want the picture between East and West Pakistan to emerge before I take any steps in this direction—probably before the spring is out.
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