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April 2, 1979, Forty Years Ago: New Republic

The Indian Express' front page on April 02, 1979

By: Express News Service | Updated: April 2, 2019 12:59:43 am
The Indian Express’ front page on April 02, 1979

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeni announced that Iranians had voted “unanimously” for the transformation of the nation into an Islamic republic, state media reported. He decreed that April 1 henceforth will be known as “republic day” in honour of the result of the nation’s referendum. “I am declaring today the day of the Islamic Republic of Iran and I would also like to declare that such a referendum is unprecedented in history,” said the 78-year-old Shiite Muslim leader.

Arab Exits

As an exodus of Arab ambassadors began from the Egyptian capital, the government of Egypt, president Anwar Sadat declared,would not be deterred from peace. Also planning to leave before Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin arrives on his first state visit on April 2 were the top diplomats from Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE and Jordan. “The departure of ambassadors does not mean we are severing relations because the Kuwaiti flag will still be flying and the Baghdad declarations give us one month to leave,” Kuwait Ambassador Soliman Maged Shahin said in an interview. He said the Arabs split “more than ever before” over the treaty between Egypt and Israel but hoped that matters would straighten out soon.

SGPC Elections

Asserting its unassailable sway over the Sikh masses, the Akali Dal has won a massive mandate in the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) elections by annexing an overwhelming 132 of 140 seats.

Final Appeal

Followers of condemned former Pakistan PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto defied their leader last night to send 11th hour appeals to President Zia-ul-Haq to save Bhutto from the gallows. Bhutto’s elder sister, Munuwar Islam, has also made a clemency appeal to Zia, Radio Pakistan reported.

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