PEKING: Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto tonight [May 12] sharply reacted to a walk-out by the Indian Charge d’Affaires from the banquet honouring the Pakistani leader and described it as “intemperate, rather irresponsible attitude. …” The Indian diplomat … walked out as Chinese Vice-Premier, Teng Hsiao-ping in his welcome speech declared China’s support to Pakistan in her struggle to defend her national integrity and State sovereignty and voiced firm support to Kashmiri people’s right of self-determination. …

Mr Bhutto deplored that the Indian diplomat had left the hall “irresponsibly and stupidly” and said his action had puzzled … him. The Prime Minister stated that Pakistan would continue to strive for a just and lasting peace in the Sub-continent, despite the attitude displayed by the Indian diplomat. Mr Bhutto, who discarded his written text … said that peace could not be one-sided and friendship could not be unilateral. … The Prime Minister told over 500 guests at the banquet that he informed Chairman Mao Tsetung … that Pakistan would like to close the chapter of the past and embark on a new chapter of warm and friendly relations with the countries of the Sub-continent.

Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2024

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