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DACCA: No political leader in East Pakistan has been arrested, a Government spokesman said [April 7]. He categorically refuted foreign Press and radio reports alleging that political leaders had been arrested in East Pakistan after imposition of Martial Law. The spokesman said that some foreign press reports were highly misleading and erroneous.

The NAP chief Maulana Bhashani has not been arrested, said a Government spokesman, and he is quite hale and hearty in his home village, 50 miles north of Dacca. The spokesman also said that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Awami League leader, is free and no restrictions whatsoever have been imposed on his movements. Since his release in February, he had not been arrested.

The Government spokesman said that political parties have not been banned in Pakistan. The only curb is on comments concerning Martial Law and public statements which may cause controversies and disturb the peace.

He emphasised that the Martial Law authorities in East Pakistan have been concentrating on streamlining the administration, restoring peace and order and rooting out corruption.

Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2019