TEHERAN: President Yahya Khan today [Nov 4] categorically declared that he was determined to hand over power to the elected representatives of the people who, he said, would decide what sort of autonomy was to be given to East Pakistan. President Yahya Khan was addressing a crowded press conference here at the Mehrabad airport this afternoon prior to his departure for Karachi.

Yahya Khan, who was replying to a local correspondent, said that the people in Pakistan urged for early election and democracy and the Government “shall set the process of democracy very soon”. But, he added, that it depended on circumstances. Replying to a correspondent as to the giving of autonomy to East Pakistan, the President said that the Government had given some autonomy to East Pakistan and was “considering the situation”... Answering a question about fixing the date of elections he said it depended on circumstances.

A correspondent asked how change of Gover­nment had its effect on Pakistan. The President replied: “Plainly speaking, it was not me who brought about the change. I am a humble man. It is the circumstances which took a new shape.

He said that it was a stark fact that trends had developed to such an extent that change was urgently required and “this change was me”. ...

Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2019