INTRODUCTION: Mr. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, is fighting back against attempts?
INTRODUCTION: Mr. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, is fighting back against attempts to force him out of office. For the first time in his five years at the head of his country's affairs, he has imposed marital law in the principal cities. This follows more than a month of disorder and protest against alleged ballot-rigging in favour of Mr. Bhutto's party in the general election early in March.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Bhutto, who is 49, and a lawyer by profession, was directly associated with the restoration of democratic government in Pakistan after 13 years of military rule. Early in 1972, soon after he came to power, he gave the people a pledge:
When he signed a border agreement with Marshal Chen Yi of China in 1965, and negotiated a trade pact in Moscow, he was foreign minister in President Ayub Khan's government. But after founding the People's Party and leading the opposition to President Ayub in 1968, he spent three months in detention.
The overwhelming success of the People's Party in West Pakistan in the elections of 1970 produced the deadlock with the eastern province which led to the secession of Bangladesh, and the war with India. It brought Mr. Bhutto to power in the west; but it was a bitter inheritance, as he made clear to the United Nations Security Council:
But he had to make peace. As the new President of Pakistan, Mr. Bhutto went to Simla six months later to meet the Indian Prime Minister, Mrs. Gandhi. Here the leaders of the two countries reached a settlement covering the major differences between them; including a cease-fire in Kashmir. This dispute had soured Indo-Pakistan relations for over 20 years.
It was not until 1974 that he was welcomed in Bangladesh by the then Prime Minister, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. By then, the remaining problems over prisoners of war had been resolved.
At home, Mr. Bhutto kept his promise to introduce a democratic constitution. Under it, a new President, Fazal Elahi Chaudhry, was elected by a joint session of the senate and the national assembly in August 1973. Two days later, the assembly elected Mr. Bhutto as prime minister.
In the recent general election, the strength of the opposition surprised Mr. Bhutto. He had expected to win easily; he did, and was sworn in for a new term. The challenge to him is to prove that his victory was honestly achieved.