PESHAWAR: Prime Minister Z.A. Bhutto today [April 30] paid glorious tributes to the people of Pakistan on the successful completion of the POWs’ return without Pakistan having [to] compromise any of its principles. He told a mammoth airport crowd here that the nation deserved congratulations. …

He made it clear that Pakistan had not resorted to any give and take ... and “we still stand by our principles including the dispute of Kashmir”. The Premier recalled that detractors had been crying themselves hoarse when his Government came into power that India would not give up Pakistani territories or release the POWs unless she was given concessions. … “We paid no price but took a stand on the basis of principles, and succeeded in getting back our occupied territories and our men.”

The Premier said Pakistan recognised Bangladesh … but it did not do it under Indian pressure. … “We wanted to recognise our brothers and were advised to do so by brotherly Muslim States. …” [News agencies from Lahore add,] the last Pakistani to return through the Wagah checkpost was Lt-Gen Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, the last General Officer Commanding of the Eastern Command.

Published in Dawn, May 1st, 2024

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