Washington Post

June 29 1971


Pakistani Civilian Rule In 4 Months Yahya Says

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Yahya ruled out, in effect, the formation of any East Pakistan-based political party to replace the now-banned Awami League saying that under guidelines he had given the constitutional committee the new constitution would not permit the existence of any political party which is confined to a specific region and which is not national in scope.

He stressed that the results of the provincial and national elections held last December and January would stand, although there would be by-elections to fill the seats of some Awami League leaders who were disqualified for engaging in "antistate activities."

The president said that the new constitution, the third in Pakistan's 24 years of independence, would be promulgated on the day the National Assembly is called into session, and that the assembly - -which had originally been supposed to write the constitution - would be able to amend it according to procedures to be spelled out in the constitution itself.

Yahya, who has ruled Pakistan by martial law since the fall of the 10-year regime of Ayub Khan in 1969, said that the new constitution would give the provinces "maximum autonomy including legislative, administrative and financial, but the federal government shall also have adequate powers including legislative, administrative and financial to discharge its responsibilities in relation to external and internal affairs...."


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