From The Past Pages Of Dawn: 1971: Fifty Years Ago: President asks all to return

Published June 19, 2021
A group of Pakistani citizens who had crossed over to India during the disturbances in East Pakistan are seen approaching the Reception Centre at Meherpur in Kushtia district.
A group of Pakistani citizens who had crossed over to India during the disturbances in East Pakistan are seen approaching the Reception Centre at Meherpur in Kushtia district.

RAWALPINDI: President Yahya Khan has [asked] all Pakistan nationals, irrespective of caste, creed or religion, who had, due to various reasons gone to India, to return to their homes in East Pakistan. In a Press statement today [June 18] he said that the members of the minority community should have no hesitation in returning to their homes in East Pakistan. They would be given full protection and every facility as they were equal citizens of Pakistan and there was no question of any discriminatory treatment, he added. — Agencies

Begum Sulaiman

[Meanwhile, as reported by agencies in Rawalpindi,] Begum Akhtar Sulaiman, daughter of the late H.S. Suharwardy, a former Prime Minister of Pakistan, said ... that the present time was not opportune for the transfer of power to anyone in the country. Talking to newsmen after meeting the President here [Rawalpindi] today [June 18], Begum Sulaiman said that the most important issue at present was as to whom the power should be transferred in East Pakistan. She said the first prerequisite to any change in the Government was complete restoration of law and order in East Pakistan and a state of normalcy.

She was very emphatic that the power should be transferred simultaneously in both wings of the country … . Elaborating, she said that if the elected representatives of the people were to be given power in West Pakistan in that event the elected representatives of the people should also be given power in East Pakistan. But this, she pointed out, very clearly, was not possible at present.

PPP studying Indian moves

[Agencies add from Karachi,] Mr ZA Bhutto, Chairman Pakistan People’s Party, has said that his party was analysing every step and effort of the Indian Government over the issue of displaced persons in East Pakistan. In an interview on his arrival from Lahore on Thursday night [June 17], the PPP chief said “Every move of the Indian Government is under constant vigilance”. He said his party was watching the situation and every development very carefully.

Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2021

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