KARACHI: Mr. Z.A. Bhutto ... announced in Karachi ... that the PPP had decided to contest the by-elections in East Pakistan. But, he added, not all the seats would be contested. Addressing a crowded Press conference ... the PPP chief said that a plan had already been chalked out in this connection. Mr. Bhutto also said that during his recent meetings with the President in Karachi, he had gathered the impression that the people will have democracy in the beginning of next year, in the sense that by then the National Assembly would be called.

He said the discussions with the President on Sept 13 and 18 included the questions of the by-elections time-table, lifting of the ban on political activity and other matters connected with restoration of democracy. At the end, he was left with the impression that the “entire exercise” would be completed before the end of this year and democracy would be restored by the beginning of next year. He said he did not use the expression “transfer of power” advisedly because it has been interpreted variously. He ... cautioned that restoration of democracy by January next “was the last chance” and any more time lost was Pakistan lost. — News agencies

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2021

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