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AN ADDRESS OF WEL-COME

To the Hon'ble Janab Liaquat Ali Khan,

Prime Minister of Pakistan .

Sir,

It is with a heart, throbbing with joy and emotion that, we, the students of the University of Dacca, welcome you in our midst as the first Prime Minister of our new, free and sovereign State of Pakistan. Even in the midst of these joyful surroundings our thoughts naturally go back to the day when only a few months back we had the honour and privilege of welcoming the beloved Quaid-e-Azam in our midst. Though he is no more with us his message and his work are our most precious heritage which shall continue to guide and inspire us in future. The most fitting homage that we can pay to his memory is to build up our State in accordance with the Islami ideals of equality, brother-hood and justice.

Sir, with the dawn of independence a great responsibility has devolved on us. We can assure you that, we, who have contributed our mite to the national cause, are quite alive to the fact that the future wellbeing and stability of the state rest on us. Hence the task of building up those, who will build up the state should be given the almost importance. We must revolutionize our outlook and reconstruct our thought to shape ourselves in the new order of life. The present system of education, which was introduced by the Britishers to suit their requirements should be thoroughly reorganized in the light of the altered circumstances. The lamentable failure of our Provincial Government to give any lead in the matter till now and the present pitiable plight of primary, secondary and university education in our province have compelled us to draw attention to the matter. The exodus of Non-Muslim teachers who formed the bulk of the teaching staff in pre-partition period in the secondary and the University stages, coupled with the dirth of efficient substitutes, has been a serious blow. The technical branches of education, viz., the Engineering, the Medical and the Agricultural which should be given the utmost care are also badly suffering for want of efficient teachers and technical equipment. Steps should be taken to secure efficient teachers and technical equipment, if necessary, from abroad, and more students from East Pakistan should be sent overseas for higher education and training. Female education is another subject which is also not receiving its due attention. More facilities and encouragement should be given to our sisters who are now coming forward in increasing number to avail themselves of every opportunity of education and serving the country. We also urge on you sir, to introduce compulsory free military training in all the colle'ges and the universities with facilities for our sisters too. The problem of accommodation is getting more and more acute since the partition. Both students and teachers are greatly suffering on this account and the authorities are also experiencing great difficulties in accommodating the growing number of students in different educational institutions. We therefore appeal to you to "use your good offices to remedy the present deplorable state of affairs affecting the growth and future Wellbeing of the nation.

'Sir, the magnificent efforts that you are making to strengthen the defense of Pakistan has evoked the admiration of all. We however beg to impress upon you with all the emphasis at our command that to encourage our youth to join the armed forces we need Army, Naval and Air Academies in this province. The only cause for this ather slow response from our youth is not lack of enthusiasm or determination on their part but the absence of these facilities in this Province. We pledge our whole-hearted support and can assure you that given proper facilities you shall have from amongst us the best in every branch of the armed forces.

Sir, the food problem is causing us a great concern. The price of essential commodities and cloth has gone beyond the purchasing power of the average citizen and perhaps the cost of living here in East Pakistan is the highest in the world except in China. Steps should be taken to increase our food production to make ourselves self-sufficient. This can only be made possible by abolishing the Permanent Settlement without compensation and thoroughly re-organizing our land tenure system and by the introduction of co-operative farming on a scientific basis.

Let us tell you Sir, that we greatly appreciate your determination to ruthlessly deal with corruption and blackmarketting. Here in East Pakistan the anti-corruption department was doing splendid work. But unfortunately the department has been amalgamated with another department and the work has alarmingly slowed down thought the corruption here is still as rampant as ever. We hope you will kindly see that the work and efficiency of the department is not allowed to be hampered by interested individuals however big they may be.

Sir, there can not be any economic progress in the country unless it is industrialized. We hope, Sir, that, in any industrial planning of the country, East Pakistan would legitimately get a major share.

Sir, though the two parts of our state happen to be separated by nearly two thousand miles we are one with our brethren of West Pakistan in their joys and sorrows, happiness and tribulations. Provincialism is a word unknown to us and quite foreign to our sentiment. We take this opportunity of conveying through you our best wishes and most sincere greetings to our brethren in West Pakistan and the youth in particular.

Sir, the policy of the Britishers to impart education through the medium of a foreign language accounts for the poor percentage of literacy amongst our people. The best way to impart education is through the medium of the mother tongue, and we are glad that our Provincial Government has already accepted this principle. The Introduction of Bengali as the medium of instruction and as the official language has opened before us a great opportunity of educating our people and developing ourselves according to our own genius. We are happy to note that our Central Government, under your wise guidance, has given Bengali an honoured place. This is a step in the right direction which shall go a long way to further strengthen our cultural ties, with our brethren in West Pakistan. Interchange of thoughts and ideas and mutual understanding are essential if we have to develop a homogeneous and healthy national outlook. We have accepted Urdu as our Lingua Franca but we also feel very strongly that Bengali, by virtue of its being the official language of the premier province and also the language of the 62% of the population of the state, should be given its rightful place as one of the state languages together with Urdu. Otherwise we in East Pakistan shall always be under a permanent handicap and disadvantage. Thus alone we shall have full scope of development and forge closer affinity with our brethern of the other part and march forward hand in hand.

Sir, you are aware of the pitiable plight of the people of East Bengal, and Muslims in particular, who were victims of the worst kind of political oppression and economic exploitation. We are confident, Sir, that our legitimate claim in our Armed Forces and the Central Services on the basis of population-percentage shall be given effect to immediately.

Sir, we appreciate the tremendous odds that you had to surmount and we are also alive to the difficulties that face us to-day. We would however take this opportunity of requesting you most earnestly to see that the framing of our, constitution is not delayed any further. The last general elections were in fact a plebiscite on the issue of Pakistan and now that we need more able men and fresh blood to come in and shoulder responsibility, we beg to impress upon you the necessity of having an early general election on a wider basis.

Sir, we have been watching with increasing grief and concern the repressions to which our student friends, most of whom are tried Muslim League workers with admirable record of service and sacrifice, are being subjected. Many of us are being harassed and even put under detention without trial in our attempt to fight out corruption and injustice and bring them to the notice of the Government. The bogey of communism is raised to justify these injustices but we assure you most sincerely that, all other "isms" excepting Islamic message of peace, equality and social justice are quite foreign to our outlook.

We hope, sir, and we are confident that the points we have raised shall receive your earnest attention and sympathetic consideration. Sir, we are afraid that we have taxed you long enough but we could not help expressing our feelings. So, we have been frank to you even at the risk of being misunderstood only out of our sincere and intense love for the future wellbeing of the State. We are happy that the reins of administration of our State are in the able hands of one who enjoys the full confidence and love of all the Pakistan. We have watched with admiration and regard your services and sacrifice to the cause of the nation. We pray to the Almighty for your, sound health and long life to enable you to lead us through the critical times ahead. We thank you most cordially for the honour you have done to us in consenting to come and address us. PAKISTAN ZINDABAD.

DACCA We beg to subscribe ourselves,

The 27th November, 1948 The students of the University of

Dacca

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