ISLAMABAD: President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto yes­terday [Aug 15] stressed that Pakistan’s future relationship with Muslim Bengal “cannot be determined in isolation” and “the issues facing the Sub-continent will have to be faced painfully and in their totality”. Addressing the National Assembly’s Constitution-making session ... he re­­gretted that the dialogue that he had expected to establish with the Dacca authorities in July, had not taken place. He reiterated that he was prepared to discuss “our future relationship and links with the leaders of East Pakistan, discussions free ... from any pre-conditions”.

He further said that Pakistan had not changed its position regarding East Pakistan. “We have un­­ambiguously stated time and again that the resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council, of Dec 7 and 21, 1972, should be enforced”. He said the present developments in the Security Council will remain related to developments in the Sub-continent. — Special representative

[Meanwhile, as reported by news agencies in London,] A spokesman for Bangladesh Prime Minister, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman said ... if there were to be any talks with Pakistan it would have to be on equal terms.

Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2022

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