January: Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the heir to a feudal landlord in Sindh and a member of the Military Dictator Ayub Khan’s cabinet, quits and launches Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on the line: “Islam is our religion, Democracy is our politics, Socialism is our economy, All power to the people.”
“Blithely ignoring his own public blasts against Sheikh Mujibur last year when he was still the Foreign Minister and a part of the Establishment, Bhutto praised the imprisoned opposition chief as a man who had sacrificed much for Pakistani independence. He did not see Sheikh Mujib’s famous Six Points as implying East Pakistani secession, forgetting that this was exactly what he had charged last year.
On the issue of (East Pakistani) provincial autonomy, he said, it will be decided by the elected representatives of the people.”
“Allegations that a comparatively small number of Bengali civil servants, ex-military officers, military officers, and politicians planned to assassinate President Ayub Khan during his recent visit to East Pakistan and to follow up the assassination with a coup d’etat aimed at establishing an independent state in East Pakistan. GOP security agencies detected plot before conspirators could act and subsequently arrested between 50 and 60 Bengalis.”