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1 22nd February 20:52
manik
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Default The Making Of The Historic Six-Point Movement And Its Impact On Bangladesh's Struggle For Freedom And Independence


(Reprinted from the NEWS FROM BANGLADESH, June 7, 2005)
Tuesday June 07 2005 17:05:04 PM BDT

The Making Of The Historic Six-Point Movement And Its Impact On
Bangladesh's Struggle For Freedom And Independence


Tuesday June 07 2005 17:05:04 PM BDT


By M. Waheeduzzaman Manik from USA


The historic Six-Point Demand or Six-Point Formula has been widely
credited as the 'charter of freedom' in the history of
Bangladesh's struggle for freedom and independence from Pakistan's
colonial domination. The six-point movement in 1966 was the turning
point in Bangladesh's quest for greater autonomy and
self-determination. Despite the most brutal and stringiest measures
that were employed by the anti-Bengali leaders of the then Central
Government of Pakistan and their cohorts and collaborators of the then
East Pakistan Government against the chief proponents, organizers and
supporters of the six-point formula, the six-point movement had
seriously impacted and conditioned the subsequent political development
in Pakistan.


The main purpose of this paper is to assess the relevance of the
six-point demand to the making of a sustainable movement first for
maximum autonomy and later for Bangladesh's ultimate struggle for
independence. Once the main contents of the six-point formula are
summarized, the nature, magnitude, and impact of the six-point movement
will be appraised.


Notwithstanding the deliberate distortions of the history of
Bangladesh's struggle for self-determination over a period of almost
thirty years, it is fair to suggest that the six-point movement is a
milestone in the history of our struggle for freedom and independence.
The six-point movement had direct bearing on the hatching out of the
Agartala conspiracy case against Shekh Mujibur Rahman, the most
volatile and ardent proponent of the six-point formula for accruing
maximum provincial autonomy for the then eastern province of Pakistan.


Thus the six-point movement had impacted the 11-point charter of the
student-mass movement of 1969, the withdrawal of the concocted Agartala
conspiracy case and the unconditional release of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
from imprisonment under tremendous public pressure, the removal of the
infamous provincial Governor Monaem Khan, the sudden collapse of the
Ayub Khan's dictatorial regime and the rise of Yahya Khan's
diabolical regime, the General Election in 1970 on the basis of adult
franchise, the landslide victory of the Awami League in the general
election and the spectacular rise of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the sole
spokesperson of the Bengali speaking people of the then Pakistan, the
nine-month long liberation war in 1971, and finally the emergence of
Bangladesh as an independent nation-state on December 16, 1971.
Doubtless, these tumultuous events were milestones in the history of
Bangladesh's struggle for freedom and independence, and the name of
the common thread that had solidly connected them was Bangabandhu
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.


Sheikh Mujib, the then General Secretary of the East Pakistan Awami
League, had personally submitted the six-point program to the
subject-matter committee of the All-Party Meeting of the opposition
political parties of the then Pakistan in Lahore on February 5, 1966.
Based on Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's "6-Point Formula: Our Right to
Live" [March 23, 1966], the chief demands and themes of the historic
six-point plan can be summarized as follows:

Point # 1. "The Constitution should provide for a Federation of
Pakistan in its true sense on the basis of [1940] Lahore Resolution,
and Parliamentary form of Government with supremacy of legislature
directly elected on the basis of universal adult franchise."

Point # 2. The Federal Government of Pakistan "shall deal with only
two subjects, viz.: defense and Foreign Affairs, and all other
residuary subjects shall vest in the federating states."

Point # 3. "Two separate but freely convertible currencies for two
wings [of Pakistan] should be introduced;" or if this is not
feasible, there should be one currency for the whole country, but
effective constitutional provisions should be introduced to stop the
flight of capital from East to West Pakistan. Furthermore, a separate
Banking Reserve should be established and separate fiscal and monetary
policy to be adopted for East Pakistan.

Point # 4. The power of taxation and revenue collection shall be vested
in the "federating units and the Federal Centre will have no such
power." However, the Federation will be entitled to have a share in
the state taxes to meet its expenditures. "The Consolidated Federal
Fund shall come out of a levy of certain percentage of all state
taxes."

Point # 5. There should be two separate accounts for the foreign
exchange earnings of the two wings with clear assurance that
"earnings of East Pakistan shall be under the control of East
Pakistan Government and that of West Pakistan under the control of West
Pakistan Government." And the "foreign exchange requirements of the
Federal Government [of Pakistan] should be met by the two wings equally
or in a ratio to be fixed. The indigenous products should move free of
duty between the two wings." The Constitution should "empower the
units [provinces] to establish trade and commercial relations with, set
up trade missions in and enter into agreements with foreign
countries."

Point # 6. East Pakistan should have a separate "militia" or
"Para-military" force.


The mainstream leaders of the opposition parties were not even willing
to discuss the merits or demerits of the of the proposed six-point
demands. In fact, no West Pakistani political leaders (not even
Nawabzada Nasarullah Khan, the President of the then All-Pakistan Awami
League) were willing to lend any support to Sheikh Mujib's clarion
call for maximum provincial autonomy based on the proposed six-point
formula. It is also really appalling to recapitulate even after the
lapse of thirty-nine long years that the non-Awami League delegates to
that historic conference from the then East Pakistan did not endorse
the six-point demand. Like their West-Pakistani counterparts, East
Pakistani renegades had also smelled an element of "secession" or
"disintegration" of Pakistan in the six-point program. In fact,
Sheikh Mujib's six-point demand could not be pried out of the
"subject-matter committee" of that so-called All-party conference.


Yet Sheikh Mujib refused to be blackmailed or intimidated by the
instant criticisms that were essentially characterized by blatant
falsehoods, conjectures, distortions, and innuendoes.


In a press conference at Lahore on February 10, 1966, Sheikh Mujib had
clearly articulated that the question of demanding genuine
"provincial autonomy" based on the proposed six-point program
should not be misconstrued or dismissed as
"provincialism." He underscored that the proposed six-point demand
was not designed to harm the common people of West Pakistan. He had
pointed out that the 17-day war between Pakistan and India in September
1965 made it crystal clear to the "East Pakistanis" that the
defense of East Pakistan couldn't be contingent upon the mercy or
courtesy of West Pakistan. He reminded the audience that instead of
relying on West Pakistan for its protection, East Pakistan --- a
distant land located one thousand miles away, should be made
self-sufficient for defending itself from external aggression. He also
made it abundantly clear that his six-point plan for "maximum"
provincial autonomy reflected the long-standing demands of the people
of East Pakistan. Finally, he pointed out the uselessness and
irrelevance of the All-Party Conference.


On his return from Lahore to Dhaka on February 11, 1966, Sheikh Mujib
had provided further clarification on his six-point formula in a press
conference. He explained why he had disassociated himself from the
All-Party conference in Lahore. He had clearly stated that the
delegates from East Pakistan Awami League (EPAL) had rejected not only
the proposals passed by the All-Party Conference but also severed all
ties with the disgruntled leaders of the so-called conference of the
opposition parties. He said that it was not at all possible for him or
his party to "betray the genuine interests" of the aggrieved and
deprived people of East Pakistan. He emphasized that the immediate
adoption and implementation of his six-point formula "will be
conducive to foster durable relationship between two provinces of
Pakistan."


In a press conference on February 14, 1966, Sheikh Mujib reiterated
that the "the question of autonomy appears to be more important for
East Pakistan after the 17-day war between Pakistan and India. The time
is ripe for making East Pakistan self-sufficient in all respects."


Sheikh Mujib had presented not only the bold proposal for "maximum
autonomy" but he also launched a viable mass movement (which he
himself led till he was put in jail on May 9, 1966) for popularizing
and mobilizing mass support for the six-point program. After proposing
his historic six-point program, he had actually invested all of his
energies and resources in disseminating the fundamental message of
"maximum autonomy" for East Pakistan. He started articulating both
the rationale and justification for proposing "maximum provincial
autonomy" based on his six-point plan.


However, before launching a full-fledged mass movement for realizing
his six-points, Sheikh Mujib had initiated some strategic intra-party
measures. For example, the working Committee of the party was
restructured and revamped in the historic Council Session of the East
Pakistan Awami League (EPAL) that met on March 18-20, 1966. While
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Tajuddin Ahmed were unanimously elected the
President and General Secretary respectively of the newly revamped
Awami League, the proposed six-point program was also fully endorsed by
the council session.


Instead of endorsing the six-point formula for "maximum" provincial
autonomy, the veteran Pakistani political stalwarts from most of the
political parties were quick to start a slanderous campaign against
Sheikh Mujib --- the chief architect and proponent of the six-point
charter. In fact, the six-point proposal had received frontal attacks
from the top leaders of the mainstream opposition parties at a time
when they were clamoring for establishing democracy in Pakistan!


In her celebrated book, Pakistan: Failure in National Integration (The
University Press, 1994), Dr. Rounaq Jahan succinctly summarized the
hostile reactions of other political parties to the Six-point formula:
"The Six-Point demand not only split the [Awami] League but made it
difficult for the East Pakistan wing to form an alliance with any other
West Pakistan-based party. The CML [Council Muslim League] decried the
Six Points as a demand for confederation, not federation; the
Jama'at-i-Islami branded it [Six-point formula] a separatist design;
the Nizam-i-Islam rejected it [Six-point formula] as a unilateral,
dictatorial move on Mujib's part; and the NAP (National Awami Party)
dismissed it [Six-point formula] on the grounds that it was parochial
and did not include any measures to free East Pakistan from
imperialists agents" (pp. 139-140).


To the dismay of Pakistan's ruling coterie, the six-point formula had
generated a great deal of enthusiasm among the people of the then East
Pakistan. Indeed, the six-point movement had instantly garnered
spontaneous mass support throughout East Pakistan. The entire nation
was galvanized throughout February-March-April-May-June, 1966. As noted
by Dr. Talukder Maniruzzaman: "To say that this [six-point] programme
evoked tremendous enthusiasm among the people of East Bengal would be
an understatement. Encouraged by overwhelming popular support, Sheikh
Mujib convened a meeting of the AL Council [March 18-20, 1966] at which
his [Six-Point] programme was unanimously approved and he was elected
President of the [Awami League] party. With a phalanx of organizers
from the Student's League, Sheikh Mujib then launched a vigorous
campaign. For about three months (from mid-February to mid-May), the
urban centers of East Bengal seemed to be in the grip of a 'mass
revolution,' prompting the Central Government to arrest Sheikh Mujib
and his chief lieutenants (Tajuddin Ahmed, Khandokar Mustaq Ahmed,
Mansoor Ali, Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury, and others) under the [infamous]
Defense of Pakistan Rules and put down a complete general strike in
Dacca (June 7, 1966) by killing 13 participating strikers" [Talukder
Maniruzzaman, The Bangladesh Revolution and Its Aftermath, UPL, 1988.
P. 25].


Instead of fairly dealing with the legitimate grievances of the
neglected eastern province of Pakistan, the power elite of Pakistan
took a deliberate decision to suppress Bangalees' quest for maximum
provincial autonomy through the use of colonial types of repressive
methods and procedures. In retaliation, the Government had intensified
its policy of repression and persecution against Sheikh Mujib and his
followers. Obviously, Sheikh Mujib had become the main target of
various virulent forms of harassment, intimidation and fraudulent
cases. For example, while Sheikh Mujib was touring various districts in
April 1966, he was repeatedly arrested in almost all important places
on flimsy and fraudulent charges.


Dr. Anisuzzaman, a distinguished literary figure of Bangladesh, has
summarized the nature of the repressive measures which Sheikh Mujib had
to confront and endure for starting and sustaining the historic
six-point movement at a critical juncture of our history: "During
that period [from the middle of February through May 9, 1966], there
was hardly any place where Sheikh Mujib was not arrested [on false
charges] for addressing public meetings to enlist mass support in favor
of six-point program. Today in Jessore, tomorrow in Khulna, day after
tomorrow in Rajshahi, and on the following days in Sylhet, Mymensingh,
and Chittagong. Once he was released on bail in one place, he rushed to
another place. He had no time to waste. The only time wasted was in the
process of posting bail for his release. Arrested again, and being
released on bail once again, and then immediately move to another place
(to address the public meetings)." (Freehand translation is mine).
[Anisuzzaman, "Bangabandhu in the Context of History," in
Mreetoonjoyee Mujib (Immortal Mujib), Dhaka; Bangabandhu Parishad,
1995, pp.11-12].


Sheikh Mujib's demand for "maximum autonomy" based on his
six-point formula seems to have shaken the foundation of the Islamic
Republic of Pakistan. In fact, the six-point plan had exposed the fact
that the real intention of Pakistan's ruling elite was to
"strengthen" the Central Government but not "Pakistan." Sheikh
Mujib repeatedly said in several public meetings that that the people
of Pakistan had always desired to have a "strong Pakistan," not a
"strong Central Government.


However, the ruling coterie of Pakistan was not at all interested in
dealing or negotiating with the Awami League on the issue of provincial
autonomy even though Sheikh Mujib had publicly stated that he was
willing to negotiate his six-point plan with anyone in good faith
provided a meaningful autonomy was ensured for East Pakistan. The
autocratic rulers of Pakistan started using repressive tactics to
suppress the six-point movement. As noted by Dr. Md. Abdul Wadud
Bhuyain, "the Ayub regime's policy towards the six-point demand of
the AL was one of total suppression. It showed once again that the
[Ayub] regime failed to respond to the political demand" [Md. Abdul
Wadud Bhuyain, Emergence of Bangladesh & Role of Awami League, New
Delhi: Vikas Publishing, 1982, p. 104].


Aimed at browbeating the dedicated champions of greater provincial
autonomy, Ayub Khan, the autocratic President of the then Islamic
Republic of Pakistan had started discrediting both the message and the
messenger of the six-point program. Appearing in the final session of
the Pakistan (Convention) Muslim League in Dacca on March 21, being
fully attired in the Army General's khaki uniform with full display
of all of his regalia and medallions, Ayub Khan had condemned Sheikh
Mujib's six-point based plan for maximum autonomy in the harshest
possible terms. Characterizing the six-point formula as a demand for
"greater sovereign Bengal" which would put the "Bengali
Muslims" under the domination of "caste Hindus" of West Bengal,
the self-declared President had compared the "prevailing situation"
in Pakistan [as of March, 1966] with the volatile situation that had
prevailed in the USA before the outbreak of a prolonged Civil War in
early 1860s. He arrogated himself by saying that the nation might have
to face a "civil war" if such volatile situations were forced upon
"him" by the "secessionists" and "disruptionists." He had
even threatened the "autonomists" and "secessionists" with
"dire consequences" if they failed to shun the idea of six-point
based movement for maximum provincial autonomy. Ayub Khan had also the
audacity to underscore that the "language of weapons" would be
ruthlessly employed for exterminating the "secessionist elements from
Pakistan."


Monem (Monaem) Khan, the then infamous Governor of East Pakistan, had
publicly stated that "as long as I remain Governor of this province,
I would see to it that Sheikh Mujib remains in chains." Sheikh Mujib,
however, had remained to be a dauntless defender of his six-point
formula. He was quick to retort to such vile accusations and threats.


In a mammoth public gathering at Paltan Maidan, he thundered: "No
amount of ***** threats can stop the Bangalees from realizing the goals
of six-point demands." Sheikh Mujib, along with top leaders of the
Awami League, kept on addressing numerous public meetings in the nooks
and corners of the then East Pakistan. Without wasting a moment, the
entire Awami League and the East Pakistan Students' League (EPSL),
its student front, were geared toward mobilizing and motivating the
general masses in favor of demanding full-blown self-government and
autonomy based on the six-point formula.


It was on June 7, 1966 when a full-blown hartal was observed in support
of the six-point program throughout the urban centers of the then East
Pakistan in defiance of various oppressive and repressive measures of
the autocratic Government of Pakistan. People from walks of life had
lent their whole-hearted support to this hartal.


Obviously, it was a mass response to governmental repressive measures
since the middle of February 1966 when Awami League leader Sheikh Mujib
had launched the historic six-point movement. Sheikh Mujib, the most
articulate champion of "maximum autonomy" for the then East
Pakistan, was already put in jail on May 9, 1966. Several dozen men
were shot dead during hartal on June 7, 1966. Hundreds of participants
were injured.


Thousands of Awami League leaders and student workers were put behind
bars without any trials. Hulias (warrants of arrest) were issued on
hundreds of Awami League workers and student leaders. The Daily
Ittefaq, the most popular Bangla newspaper of the then eastern province
of Pakistan, was shut down, its press was confiscated, and its editor,
Tofazzal Hossain (Manik Mia), was put in jail. Yet, the repressive
police forces could not halt the march of the six-point anchored
movement for achieving maximum autonomy.


In his seminal assessment of the role of the Awami League in the
political development of Pakistan, Dr. M. Rashiduzzaman succinctly
summarized the significance and impact of the six-point program: "The
impact of the six-point demand of the Awami League was felt far and
wide. The central government [of Pakistan] dubbed it as a demand for
the separation of the Eastern Wing from the rest of the country, and
launched a propaganda campaign, which called for a strong central
government and decried the autonomists. On June 7, 1966, there was a
province-wide hartal (strike) in East Pakistan sponsored by the Awami
League to press the demands embodied in the six-point program. Sheikh
Mujibur Rahman, along with several lieutenants, were again put into the
prison. [Sheikh Mujib was put in jail in early May, 1966]. The
government also blamed 'foreign interests' in the agitation led by
the six-pointers ----- After about a year, several East Pakistani civil
servants and military officers were arrested on the charge that they
had conspired to separate the East Wing by violent means in collusion
with India. Eventually, the so-called 'Agartala Conspiracy case'
was initiated against Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 31 others for alleged
high treason" (M. Rashiduzzaman,"The Awami League in the Political
Development of Pakistan," Asian Survey, Vol. 10, No. 7, July, 1970;
pp. 574-587].


The six-point movement had also far reaching effects on the subsequent
political development in the then Pakistan. The origins of both the
Agartala Conspiracy Case and the 1969 student-mass movement can be
traced back to the six-point movement. At the behest of Ayub Khan, the
Punjabi-Muhajir dominated Central Government of Pakistan had implicated
Sheikh Mujib in the fraudulent Agartala Conspiracy Case.


It is now apparent that such a vile conspiracy was hatched out against
the most articulate champion of greater provincial autonomy to destroy
Bangalees' quest for autonomy and self-determination once and for
all. Given the fact Sheikh Mujib was the chief force behind launching a
credible mass movement for realizing maximum provincial autonomy
through the implementation of the six-point formula, Pakistan's
ruling elite wanted to hang him as a "traitor."


In other words, the Government of Pakistan wanted to eliminate Sheikh
Mujib for the purpose of maintaining a status quo in the form of
colonial rule in East Pakistan. In fact, the success of the six-point
movement had prompted the arrogant and debased Pakistani regime to
falsely implicate him in Agartala Conspiracy Case. However, an
anti-Ayub mass movement in late 1968 and early 1969 led to the
withdrawal of the so-called the Agartala Conspiracy case and
unconditional release of Sheikh Mujib from imprisonment.


About the impact of six-point program on 11-point charter of 1969
student-mass movement, Dr. Rashiduzzaman observed: "For all practical
purposes, the eleven-point student program was an expanded version of
the Awami League's six- point demand for autonomy" (M.
Rashiduzzaman,"The Awami League in the Political Development of
Pakistan," Asian Survey, Vol. 10, No. 7, JULY, 1970; pp. 574-587].


Dr. Rounaq Jahan underscored the following impacts of the six-point
movement: "In the spring of 1966, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman launched his
now famous Six-Point Movement. The Six-Point demand-especially
attractive to the Bengali nationalist bourgeoisie-was to date most
radical demand for East Pakistani autonomy. The Six-Point Movement
evoked widespread enthusiasm in East Pakistan. Mass Meetings and
rallies held throughout the province by the East Pakistan Awami League
helped to rejuvenate the moribund party organization and
Awami-affiliated student party, the East Pakistan Students League
[EPSL]. Predictably, the Six-point Movement broadened the Awami
League's base of support in East Pakistan at the cost of West
Pakistani support" (Rounaq Jahan, Pakistan: Failure in National
Integration , The University Press, 1994, p.139).


Dr. M.B. Nair concludes his authoritative book, Politics in Bangladesh:
A Study of Awami League:1949-58, (New Delhi, Northern Book Center,
1990, p. 257) with the following observations about the far reaching
effects of the six-point movement: "However, in 1964 when political
activities on party basis were permitted, the Awami League [AL] emerged
from its seclusion and reorganized itself, so that in 1966 it [AL] was
able to give a concrete shape to its long-standing demand for regional
autonomy in the form of 'Six-Point Programme' which subsequently
was the harbinger of the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent and
sovereign state in 1971."


The imprisonment of Sheikh Mujib and other top Awami Leaguers in 1966
did not diminish the mass support for the six-point demand. In fact,
Pakistan's ruling elite's policy of suppression of all forms of
political freedoms and dissenting voices had miserably failed to halt
the march of the six-point movement.


In fact, the many forms of governmental repression and the use of
police violence against the organizers and participants of the
six-point movement had prompted and motivated the general population of
the then East Pakistan to render full support for the six-point
formula.. Although Sheikh Mujib was regarded as the top leader of the
Awami League when he had launched the six-point movement in early 1966,
he was not yet regarded as the "undisputed leader" of all Bangalees
of the then East Pakistan. Nor was he called 'Bangabandhu' in 1966.
He was not the only political leader of the then East Pakistan who had
championed the cause of full provincial autonomy for East Pakistan. In
fact, there were other top political leaders even within his party with
impressive credentials and tested commitment to the pursuit of full
autonomy for our people. There were also more senior political leaders
in other parties, including Maulana Bhasani, the founder of the Awami
League, who vocally demanded provincial autonomy for East Pakistan.
Being disgusted with West Pakistan's colonial domination and
exploitation of East Pakistan, Maulana Bhasani had uttered more than
once "goodbye" to West Pakistan --- at least a decade earlier than
the historic six-point movement. In fact, Maulana Bhasani was never
willing to compromise on the issue of full provincial autonomy for the
then East Pakistan.


Yet it was Sheikh Mujib's fearlessness and relentlessness that gave
concrete shape to the autonomy movement in the then East Pakistan. His
six-point movement was designed to realize full provincial autonomy.
There is no doubt that his relentlessness in conceptualizing, starting,
and sustaining a pragmatic Bengali nationalistic movement deliberately
geared toward achieving maximum autonomy clearly distinguished him from
other contemporary autonomists of the then East Pakistan. His
fearlessness also made him the most volatile champion of "full
provincial autonomy" for East Pakistan.


Only a courageous leader of Sheikh Mujib's stature could come up with
the six-point plan for accruing full autonomy for East Pakistan at a
time when Ayub Khan's brute regime was at its pinnacle after
consolidating its grip over the entire power structure of the country.
Dr. Talukder Maniruzzaman has noted the immediate impact of the
governmental repressive measures during the six-point movement on
Sheikh Mujib's popularity in the following words: "As one might
have expected, Sheikh Mujib's arrest in 1966 only served to enhance
his popularity, to the point where he became the veritable symbol of
Bengali nationalism" [Talukder Maniruzzaman, The Bangladesh
Revolution and Its Aftermath, UPL, 1988, p. 23].


There is no doubt that Sheikh Mujib would have remained a top Awami
League leader even in the absence of a bold provincial autonomy plan in
the form of the six-point formula. Had there been no six-point movement
in 1966, there is every doubt if Agartala Conspiracy Case would have
been hatched out against Sheikh Mujib at that particular time. Had
there been no Agartala Conspiracy Case, the student-mass movement of
1969 would not have gained that much intensity on the issue of
unconditional release of Sheikh Mujib from imprisonment.


Thus the six-point movement, Agartala conspiracy case and the 1969
student-mass movement had provided the much-needed ground and context
for the emergence of Sheikh Mujib as Bangabandhu (Friend of Bengal).
Subsequently, the people of the then eastern province of Pakistan had
vested their full trust in their Bangabandhu in the general elections
of 1970 that made this extraordinary man their legitimate sole
spokesperson and undisputed leader. Indeed, it was Sheikh Mujib, the
undisputed leader of his people, who had spearheaded Bangladesh's
struggle for full-blown independence.


Given the fact that the six-point demand had also reflected the
legitimate grievances of the people of the then East Pakistan, the
six-point movement had garnered spontaneous mass support throughout the
province. The timing, first for framing and articulating the six-point
formula, and then launching and sustaining a nationalistic movement for
realizing the goals of six-point formula was crucially important. The
economic and political demands, as stipulated and enumerated in the
historic six-point formula, were the frontal assault on the foundation
of Pakistan's colonial and authoritarian modes of governance.

************************************
Dr. M. Waheeduzzaman (Manik) writes from Clarksville, Tennessee, USA
where he is a Professor and the Chair of the Department of Public
Management at Austin Peay State University. His e-mail address is
mwzaman@aol.com
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2 24th February 02:19
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Posts: 1
Default The Making Of The Historic Six-Point Movement And Its Impact On Bangladesh's Struggle For Freedom And Independence


MQM's Five-Point Program For Provincial Autonomy In Pakistan Of 2005:

The MQM?s 5-point recommendation in 2005:

1) All provinces, including Sindh, should be given complete provincial
autonomy at this juncture when provincial autonomy for Balochistan was
being considered.

2) The centre should keep three subjects ? defence, foreign affairs and
currency ? while ensuring equal representation for all the federating
units in these subjects to minimize any chance of hegemony of one
province.

3) The centre should genuinely devolve all rights and powers to the
federating units in order to enable them to become self-functional.

4) The centre and the federating units should mutually evolve a
share-contribution formula for the federation in order to relieve the
centre of the burden of distributing finances between the provinces and
to empower provinces to utilize their natural wealth and resources to
the benefit of their people.

5) To accomplish these objectives and accommodate the interests and
aspirations of the people of federating units, the parliamentary
committee on Balochistan should evolve ways to cohesively incorporate
appropriate amendments to the 1973 Constitution.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/03/11/top8.htm

DAWN, Karachi, Pakistan
March, 11 2005 Friday 29 Muhharram 1426


MQM seeks changes in constitution: Provincial autonomy

ISLAMABAD, March 10: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement on Thursday proposed
a number of amendments to the constitution to give maximum autonomy to
provinces, leaving only three subjects ? defence, foreign affairs and
currency ? for the centre.

Speaking at a news conference here, the parliamentary party leader of
the MQM in the National Assembly, Dr Farooq Sattar, said the
constitution should be amended without any delay, otherwise a new
constitution would have to be drafted.

Responding to a question about the ongoing row between the Sindh chief
minister and a sacked minister, he said: ?It is an internal matter of
their party which we want to be resolved within the party.?

Haider Abbas Rizvi, Deodas, Israrul Ibad and Prof Khalid Wahab were
present on the occasion.

The MQM, which has strongly opposed the use of force in Balochistan and
one of its MNAs is a member of the parliamentary committee on
Balochistan, presented recommendations for consideration of the
parliamentary committee which was considering a draft constitutional
package.

Dr Sattar said the recommendations were prepared to help the Wasim
Sajjad committee in finalizing its report on March 12 when it was
scheduled to meet again.

He said the issue of provincial autonomy had become a source of
conflict between the centre and the federating units soon after the
creation of Pakistan and it hit the headlines again during the recent
incidents of violence in Balochistan.

It was, therefore, imperative that the issue of provincial autonomy for
Balochistan should not be considered in isolation, rather it should be
made part of a comprehensive constitutional package, he added.

The MQM leader said the issue of provincial autonomy must be settled
for all the provinces simultaneously in conjunction with Balochistan to
ensure a peaceful and stable federation of Pakistan.

The MQM?s recommendations are as follows: 1) All provinces, including
Sindh, should be given complete provincial autonomy at this juncture
when provincial autonomy for Balochistan was being considered. 2) The
centre should keep three subjects ? defence, foreign affairs and
currency ? while ensuring equal representation for all the federating
units in these subjects to minimize any chance of hegemony of one
province. 3) The centre should genuinely devolve all rights and powers
to the federating units in order to enable them to become
self-functional. 4) The centre and the federating units should mutually
evolve a share-contribution formula for the federation in order to
relieve the centre of the burden of distributing finances between the
provinces and to empower provinces to utilize their natural wealth and
resources to the benefit of their people. 5) To accomplish these
objectives and accommodate the interests and aspirations of the people
of federating units, the parliamentary committee on Balochistan should
evolve ways to cohesively incorporate appropriate amendments to the
1973 Constitution.

However, if such an exercise becomes difficult within the framework of
the 1973 Constitution, the committee may recommend the framing of a new
constitution to fully incorporate the changed realities of the
federation of Pakistan.
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