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LONDON: In a despatch from Rawalpindi, correspondent Peter Hazlehurst of ‘Times’ said today [March 31] that Pakistan’s Armed Forces have “undoubtedly saved the country from complete disintegration in the past week”. The ‘Times’ despatch stated: “after five days of Martial Law, admiration is growing in West Pakistan for the country’s trim and well-disciplined Army which has undoubtedly saved the country from complete disintegration in the past week.”

“The administration has been taken over so quietly and unobtrusively that it is difficult to imagine the country is now under Army rule. General Yahya Khan, Chief Martial Law Administrator, has kept himself aloof in the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi since Tuesday and with the exception of his brief broadcast to the nation on Wednesday, he has deliberately remained out of the limelight. ... He has shunned Press publicity and much to the Pakistanis’ surprise drove through the streets of Rawalpindi without escorts or outriders.”

[Meanwhile, as reported by our correspondent in Karachi,] After the longest-ever vacations during an academic session, students in Karachi returned to their classes yesterday [March 31]....

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2019