KARACHI: The President, Gen. Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan, today [March 26] banned all political activities and imposed complete press censorship, throughout Pakistan. In a broadcast to the nation, the President said: “As for the Awami League, it is completely banned as a political party.” The President said that Martial Law Regulations will very shortly be issued in pursuance of these decisions. ... The President said: “Let me assure you that my main aim remains the same, namely, transfer of power to the elected representatives of the people”. ... “As soon as the situation permits I will take fresh steps towards the achievement of this objective[.]”

…The President said that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s action of non-cooperation movement “is an act of treason”. “He and his party have defied the lawful authority for over three weeks. They have insulted Pakistan’s flag and defiled the photograph of the Father of the Nation. They have tried to run a parallel government. They have created turmoil terror and insecurity.” He said a number of murders had been committed in the name of the movement. … “The Armed Forces, located in East Pakistan, have been subjected to taunts and insults of all kinds.”

He said it was the duty of the Pakistan Armed Forces to ensure the integrity, solidarity and security of Pakistan. “I have ordered them to do their duty and fully restore the authority of the Government,” the President added. — Agencies

[Meanwhile, as reported by agencies in Karachi] “By the grace of Almighty God Pakistan has at last been saved,” Mr Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party, told a cheering crowd at the Karachi Airport on his return from Dacca here last evening.

[Meanwhile, as reported by Radio Pakistan,] The Martial Law Administrator, Zone B, has promulgated a number of Martial Law Orders with immediate effect... . The Martial Law Administrator Zone B, in his orders says that a grave situation has arisen in East Pakistan in which open defiance of the present administration … as a consequence of unbridled political activities ... has assumed alarming proportions which are beyond the normal control of civil administration, the police and East Pakistan Rifles. …

BAN ON PRESS/ MLR 76 & 77 PROMULGATED: The Chief Martial Law Administrator today promulgated the Martial Law Regulations — 76 and 77. ...

1, No person shall organise or convene any meeting, not being a religious congregation in a public place, or organise or take out a demonstration or a procession, not being a religious, funeral or marriage procession. 2. No person shall attend or otherwise take part in any meeting, demonstration or a procession organised or convened or taken out in contravention of paragraph 1 of this Regulation.

Published in Dawn, March 27th, 2021

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