ISLAMABAD: The President and Chief Martial Law Administrator, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, today [April 14] made a dramatic announcement that he would lift Martial Law on April 21, instead of Aug 14, if the interim Constitution was adopted on the stipulated date of April 17. The announcement which came towards the end of his over 100-minute address dealing at length with the factors responsible for the 1971 debacle, and his government’s policies … was received with prolonged cheers by the entire House. Recalling his earlier pledges to the nation that Martial Law would stay not one day longer than was necessary, he said that although he had the commitment of 101 members to support his Government over the question of continuation of Martial Law till Aug 14, he would lift Martial Law on April 21 “in deference to their confidence reposed in me, if the interim Constitution is adopted on April 17”.

The President also announced that in the Provinces, Governments will be formed by the majority parties and at the Centre representatives of parties other than the PPP will be included. … He appealed to the members to learn from the failures of the past Assemblies and regimes and through their … joint endeavours prove worthy of the trust reposed in them.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2022

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