• Short Summary

    On December the seventh the people of West and East Pakistan will go to the polls in the first general election since the nation gained its independence in 1947. (The election has been delayed in areas effected by the cyclone disaster of last month).

  • Description

    On December the seventh the people of West and East Pakistan will go to the polls in the first general election since the nation gained its independence in 1947. (The election has been delayed in areas effected by the cyclone disaster of last month).

    In East Pakistan the election campaign is being used to air long standing grievances that until now West Pakistan has dominated successive governments and taken a larger and unfair share of the common resources of the two wings of the nation. Under the system adopted for the election, East Pakistan, with a population of 70-million, is expected to gain a majority representation int he new national assembly.

    The great hope in East Pakistan is that if the territory gains it predicted assembly majority at the election it will lead to a constitution giving East Pakistan greater autonomy. Some hard line East Pakistanis are already talking of total independence.

    Several parties are contesting for seats, but the Awami League, led by Sheikh Mujib-ur Rahman is the most dominant. Sheikh Rahman has spoken of the alleged economic exploitation of the region by West Pakistan, saying the west wing has treated the east as a colony and reduced its trade to that of a local market. The Sheikh's supporters are predicting the Awami League may win as much as 97 per cent of the East Pakistan national assembly places.

    The Awami League has advocated better relations with neighbouring India. East Pakistan for some years had strong trade ties with India, but these ended, according to East Pakistanis, because of constant quarrelling between West Pakistan and India. As a result, East Pakistan now has to buy coal, previously imported from India, from countries as far away as Australia and the People's Republic of China. It costs three times as much as Indian coal.

    Trade with India in fish used to earn East Pakistan GBP1-million sterling a year, but now only local trade is carried on at the Dacca fish market. The biggest complaint, however, has been over jute exports to India that were worth GBP 50-million sterling. The trade declined after 1949, and ended entirely in 1965 with the Indo-Pakistan conflict on Kashmir.

    The military administration of Pakistan has announced that troops are to be mobilised on Monday, election day, to ensure the elections are peacefully conducted.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA9UB49RETGPWTDDYDGAF8VSEES
    Media URN:
    VLVA9UB49RETGPWTDDYDGAF8VSEES
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    02/12/1970
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:03:01:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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