Pakistan Affairs, Special Issue

June 30 1971


Full Text of President Yahya Khan's Address to the Nation on June 28, 1971

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VOTE WAS FOR PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY AND NOT INDEPENDENCE

The people of East Pakistan had voted for provincial autonomy and not for the disintegration of the country. Instead of setting controversial political and constitutional issues with mutual understanding and in a spirit of give and take for the sake of national solidarity some of the leading elements of the defunct Awami League chose a path of defiance disruption and secession. All my efforts to help the political parties to arrive at a consensus over an acceptable and lasting constitutional framework were frustrated by certain leaders of the defunct Awami League. On the one hand they brought negotiations to an impasse by their persistent intransigence and obduracy and on the other intensified their nefarious activities of open defiance of the Government. The very existence of the country for the creation of which thousands of our brethren laid down their lives and millions suffered untold miseries was at stake. It was in these circumstances that I ordered the armed forces to restore the authority of the Government. No Government worth its name could allow the country to be destroyed by open and armed rebellion against the state.


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