Forty Years Ago: October 2, 1977

General elections in Pakistan, scheduled for October 18, have been indefinitely postponed, Radio Pakistan announced.

By: Editorials | Published: October 2, 2017 2:42 am
Forty Years Ago: October 2, 1977

Pak polls postponed
General elections in Pakistan, scheduled for October 18, have been indefinitely postponed, Radio Pakistan announced. Speaking in a broadcast to the nation, the Chief Martial Law Administrator General Zia-ul-Haq, said he has taken the step to save the country from catastrophe. Zia did not choose to set a date this time for the postponed election but said it has been postponed further notice.

Subramaniam deposes

C. Subramaniam, former finance minister, deposed before the Shah Commission that K.R. Puri was appointed Governor of the RBI at the insistence of the then prime minister, Indira Gandhi. Subramaniam said he had not included Puri’s name in the list of senior officers recommended by him to fill the top post. Puri’s name had been earlier mentioned by Mrs Gandhi. But he felt Puri, chairman of the LIC, was not suitable as his experience had been in insurance, unconnected with banking and finance.

Pranab’s demand

Pranab Mukherjee, revenue and banking minister in Indira Gandhi’s ministry, agreed to give the Shah Commission the information he had acquired as minister only after he was assured it would not be a breach of the oath of office and secrecy he had taken as minister. Justice J.C. Shah was ready for the point raised by Mukherjee and had obtained it from the law ministry. The opinion had it that the oath of secrecy had “no legal sanction apart from the Official Secrets Act” and the oath does not operate when information was disclosed in pursuance of one’s duties or under compulsion of law.

Morarji on Janata

Prime Minister Morarji Desai said the Janata Party would not break as some people wished. “We are not going to oblige anyone in this regard,” he said. Those who talked about the disintegration of the Janata, he said, were themselves totally broken people.

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