Baltimore Sun

June 30 1971


Helping Pakistan

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President Yahya's new plan will have these major effects:

1. Abandonment of any effort to have the National Assembly draft the constitution that was to be its first major task and assignment of that Job to a committee of ex-perts instead. This will effectively wipe out the results of last December's elections. The Awami League had won an absolute majority in the Assembly on a platform demanding broad constitutional autonomy that would have enabled East Bengal to wrest control of its economy from the 22 industrialist families that share control of West Pakistan with the army.

2. Advance warning that the constitutional experts must provide a strong central govern-ment. This will assure that East Bengal's economy and government will remain under control of West Pakistan, 1,000 miles away.

3. Indefinite extension of the ban that was imposed on the Awami League--Pakistan's majority political party-- on March 26, the night the army shot and burned its way into control of Dacca. But individual Awami Leaguers who did not partake of what the army cans "anti-state activities" may still take any Offices to which they were elected-- in effect, a call for any collaborationists among the Bengalis to step forward. So far, the army claims to have won over some two dozen of the more than 300 Awami Leaguers elected to the national and provincial assemblies.


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