LAHORE: President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto thinks that “the last word has not been spoken yet” on the subject of links between East and West Pakistan. Stating this at a Press briefing [Jan 12], Mr Khalid Hasan, the President’s Press Secretary, said that Mr Bhutto and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had agreed to have further detailed discussions at an appropriate time. That agreement was still there.

But the President also held the view that there could be no meaningful talks between him and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman till the Indian troops had vacated East Pakistan. The President was conscious of the urgency and importance of the problem, but he was a political being and would not like to make any premature statements, he added. The Press Secretary said the Government was using all levers and counter-levers it could operate to resolve the East Wing issue. …

[Meanwhile, as reported by agencies in Dacca] Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was today proclaimed Prime Minister of Bangla Desh. … Moving rapidly to get the Bagla Desh administration functioning, Sheikh Mujib today [Jan 12] — before relinquishing Presidency — sworn in the first Chief Justice of the Bangla Desh High Court Justice A.S.M Sayem, a former Judge of the East Pakistan High Court. …

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2022

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