In a television interview shown in Britain on Monday (20 April) West Pakistan leader Mr.?
SV & CU Mr. Bhutto faces reporter and interviewed.
TRANSCRIPT: BHUTTO: "What happened was that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was giving the impression that he would not hold discussions with me. Well, he met me at the President's house and we met there. At that time he was extremely formal but when he was leaving and I went out to leave him he grabbed me by the hand and asked me to meet him and talk to him and...we first sat in the room of the military secretary and afterwards we went out on the patio and for forty minutes he pleaded with me and told me that I should send one of my trusted friends to him in the evening and that he was prepared to meet secretly and that he wanted a final compromise and only I could be a party to that compromise and he literally pleaded with me that I should agree to the concept of two committees of the national assembly and that I could look after West Pakistan, do what ever I wanted in West Pakistan, and that he would be the Prime Minister of East Pakistan and afterwards we could meet to see how we could live together. That's the proposal which Sheikh Mujibur Rahman made, and which I rejected and which President Yayha in his broadcast on the 26th confirmed."
INTERVIEWER: "But why did you reject it? It seems to be the perfect interim solution. It would have stopped the slaughter that's been going on."
BHUTTO: "The slaughter is regrettable. We don't like the slaughter. We want to see that it comes to an end as soon as possible. But the point is that interim arrangements of this nature generally become final arrangements because already there was a polarisation. And the national links had been critically weakened and broken."
INTERVIEWER: "But don't you think that would have bene better than what has happened?"
BHUTTO: "It would have led to two Pakistans. It would have meant the end of a nation of two hundred and twenty million people. It would have meant the end of a country for which the Muslims of the sub-continent sacrificed and suffered; for which more than three million lives were lost; for which so many people were uprooted from their homes; A Pakistan for which not only many millions of lives were lost but a Pakistan for which the Muslims of the sub-continent have fought for centuries. And formally fought for since 1940. It would have been the end of all that, the end of the whole struggle of the Muslim for a separate homeland. And I could not be a party to it."
INTERVIEWER: "I think, Mr. Bhutto, that even you must accept that the election proved that the people of East Pakistan were very united. If they are as united as a lot of people think, don't you think perhaps that it's a short-sighted policy to think that you can crush them, that spirit, by force?"
BHUTTO: "But there is no intention to crush them. There is no intention to break their spirit. The object of the elections was to bring about democratic, constitutional change in the country. The object of the whole exercise was to untie the people and as far as we're concerned we would like to see the spirit of the people prevail."
N.B. SOUND STARTS IMMEDIATELY, THERE IS NO INTRODUCTION.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In a television interview shown in Britain on Monday (20 April) West Pakistan leader Mr. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto claimed that the East Pakistan political leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had pleaded with him to rule their respective regions independently.
Mr. Bhutto told a BBC interviewer that he had rejected the proposal made at na abortive meeting last month in Dacca, aimed at solving the political crisis between the two regions.