By Salmaan Taseer

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He learnt an important lesson in power-broking, and got a special insight into the tenuous principles and shifting loyalties of Pakistan’s political elite. Any vestige of respect he may have retained for the niceties of bourgeois democracy rapidly dissolved. This much was clear later when he chose to devote so much of his political energy towards cultivating the masses. Once mass support is obtained, he found, the fickle loyalty of politicians follows. Bhutto’s task at this time was to explain the 1962 Constitution to different political forums.

For his opponents it was a useful corrective to any lingering illusion they had of his naivety. Although his victory went unnoticed in the rest of the country, it carried a special significance in his own area. He was now acknowledged for the first time as a potent force in Sindhi politics in his own right. A political base, particularly in one’s family constituency, is a vital ingredient for any politician with serious national aspirations. And the elections provided this for Bhutto. When Sardar Pir Buksh Bhutto’s tenure expired in 1965, Bhutto persuaded his cousin Mumtaz Bhutto to contest from Larkana.

There were no more banal anti-Chinese statements either direct or implied. Pakistan firmly supported the Chinese positions in international forums, and friendship with China continued to grow throughout his tenure as Foreign Minister. org 51 making it the first international carrier to operate through Canton and Shanghai. Rich commercial rewards also continued to flow. China became the biggest buyer of Pakistan’s cotton and in 1964 it offered a sixteen-million-dollar interestfree loan to Pakistan.

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