PESHAWAR: Recognition of Bangladesh is the only alternative for Pakistan to resume its ties with its Eastern Wing, President Bhutto declared … at a tribal jirga in Landikotal. He said if people wanted to lose East Pakistan forever, they can take a decision to the contrary. … Stressing the need for correct decisions at the right moment, the President … asked people to give their verdict. He said by our previous mistakes India had always gained… .

The President said a cool-hearted decision was required on the issue and he was sure the people would decide what was in the interest of the country. The President said foolhardiness could not be called bravery. “People who made a show of boldness sitting in cosy rooms slipped off to the safety of Swat mountains when the war is on,” he remarked. — Staff correspondent

[Meanwhile, as reported by the staff correspondent in Peshawar,] President Z.A. Bhutto … told two tribal jirgas at Landikotal and Shabqadar on the fifth day of his mass contact tour that Pakistan wanted peace with all her neighbours, but this peace should not be at the cost of our honour or interests. … “We are not in a hurry to get back our territories or POWs and we will not make wrong decisions in haste,” he declared.

Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2022

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