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East Pakistan National Awami Party (Requisitionist Group) in a meeting held at Central Shaheed Minar on Sunday demanded the forming of a Constitution in accordance with the verdict of the people in the general elections.

The Constitution must also ensure the rights of self-determination for the federating units, the party suggested. Acceptance of this principle, EPNAP felt, will end the present misunderstanding between region and region and will ensure a congenial atmosphere.

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The quantum of regional autonomy should be clearly spelled out in the Constitution with Central Government managing defence, foreign affairs (political) and currency, EPNAP suggested. All other subjects should rest in the federating units which should have all other powers.

The meeting was held to protest against the "conspiracy of the vested interests" against the transfer of power to the elected representatives.

The meeting which started about 90 minutes behind schedule was addressed by Prof. Muzaffar Ahmed, Syed Altaf Hussain, Mr. Jiten Ghosh, Mr. Saifuddin Ahmed Manik, Mrs. Matia Chowdhury and EPSU president Nurul Islam.

EPNAP suggested a uni-cameral legislature but with enough provision to safeguard the interest of the minority units of the federation.

Sovereign Legislature

The meeting also suggested that all sovereign powers should rest with the legislature elected by the people on the basis of the adult franchise. The Head of the State should work on the advice of the council of ministers. The 17-point formula put forward by EPNAP also includes a call for a fully independent, sovereign, welfare state.

The meeting pointed out that a constitution on the basis of the formula suggested by EPNAP would not conform to the Legal Framework Order and, therefore, suggested amendment in the LFO.

These suggestions were contained in a leaflet issued at the meeting. It was signed by Prof. Muzaffar Ahmed and Syed Altaf Hussain on behalf of the party.

Mr. Muzaffar Ahmed, in his presidential speech, called upon the people to resist unitedly the conspiracy against the verdict of the people in the last elections and continue their struggle for the establishment of democracy in the country.

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Free from Exploitation

He said his party aimed at establishing a social system free from exploitation and realization of autonomy for all the provinces in the country.

Referring to the results of the last elections Mr. Muzaffar Ahmed said that the people had voted for the Six and Eleven Points and not for the Boat (election symbol of the Awami League) or any undividual.

As a result of the suffering during the last 23 years, the people voted the candidates of a single party and made them majority with the hope that equality and justice would be ensured, he said. Now it was the responsibility of the Awami League to fulfil their promises.

Mr. Muzaffar Ahmed warned that the people would never be bluffed because this was the year 1971 and not 1954.

Bitterly criticising the PPP chief Mr. Z. A. Bhutto, for his decision not to attend the National Assembly session in Dhaka on March 3, Mr. Muzaffar Ahmed said Mr. Bhutto's speeches were full of inconsistency.

Mr. Muzaffar also criticised Moulana Bhashani, Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan, Mian Momtaz Daultana.

He said the people voted in favour of the Six and Eleven Points programmes and if the present government believed in democracy, they should allow a constitution in accordance with the verdict of the people and the president should indicate such a constitution.

The NAP leader said the future constitution should be on the basis of equality of all nationalities and having the provision of right of self-determination with the power to secede.

He also demanded the power should be transferred to the majority party in the National Assembly.

Later a procession was taken out from the meeting place upto Bahadur Shah Park in the old city. The processionists raised different slogans.

Source: MORNING NEWS, Monday, March 1, 1971