With three days to go to Pakistan's first General Election, President Yahya Khan answered questions in Dacca on Friday (4 December) about his own political future.
MV President Yahya Khan with officials
SCU President with pressmen.
REPORTER: "Mr. President, we have heard that there have been some changes at the top level of your Government. Is this true, Sir?"
PRESIDENT YAHYA KHAN: "I'm here, nobody's moving me yet. I'll let you know when I go."
REPORTER: "Can you tell me, are you in effective control of the country?"
PRESIDENT: "Don't I look as if I'm in effective control?"
REPORTER: "You do at this moment, yes. And you intend staying that way until the election?"
REPORTER: "Are you sharing power now with any officers?"
PRESIDENT: "What do you mean by sharing power?"
REPORTER: "Are you in complete control yourself sir, or do you share power with other officers?"
PRESIDENT: "I share power with all my government machinery."
REPORTER: "There are rumours circulating which you may or may not have heard of, that some two or three weeks ago effective control was taken out of your hands, and that you are now just a figurehead. Now is this true or untrue?"
REPORTER: "And not true?"
PRESIDENT: "Fantastic I said."
Initials CM/AH/BB/0055 CM/AH/BB/0103
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Background: With three days to go to Pakistan's first General Election, President Yahya Khan answered questions in Dacca on Friday (4 December) about his own political future.
He discounted rumours said to be circulating in Pakistan that he was no longer in full personal control of the country.
More than 56 million people are eligible to vote in the elections on Monday (7 December), which could herald the end of martial law imposed in March 1969.
President Yahya has put the country's armed forces on the alert as polling day approaches, and banned civilians from carrying fire-arms.
On television he reminded the people that the election was the first step in his plan to restore civilian rule.
He spoke about his personal situation to reporters at Dacca Airport after a visit to the disaster area of East Pakistan.