For the first time in 14 years, Pakistan's National Assembly met in Islamabad on Monday (14 August) with President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in attendance.
GV Ext. Assembly building (2 shots)
SV Members arrive and enter chamber
SV Int. Members enter and take seats (6 shots)
SV Mrs Bhutto and guests arrive (2 shots)
SV President Bhutto and party arrive and through corridor (4 shots)
Initials OS/116 OS/124
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: For the first time in 14 years, Pakistan's National Assembly met in Islamabad on Monday (14 August) with President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in attendance.
In his opening address, President Bhutto reminded parliamentarians of Pakistan's quarter-century of continual political disasters since the country's birth in 1947, and warned that fundamental changes were necessary if the nation was to survive and succeed.
On the question of Bangladesh, Pakistan's former east wing, President Bhutto said that the delay in recognising the new country was due to the reluctance of the Bangladesh Prime Minister, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, to agree to talks beforehand.
He told the Assembly: "It is not we but the Dacca authorities who refused to come to grips with the inescapable dialogue - the only sensible and civilised way to resolve our problems."
The National Assembly has not met as a federal legislature for Pakistan since 1958, when Field Marshal Ayub Khan took over the running of the country. Among the messages of goodwill to President Bhutto from many countries was a letter from President Nixon wishing the Pakistani people a future of peace, prosperity and happiness.