Pakistan's possible return to the British Commonwealth has been discussed by the country's military ruler, General Zia-UL Haq and British Prime Minister James Callaghan.
EXTERIOR GV: Government secretariat building.
MVs: Callaghan steps out of car is greeted by General Zia and enters building. (2 shots)
MV INTERIOR: Callaghan talking to Zia (2 shots)
EXTERIOR GV: Tarbela dam (2 shots)
MV PAN: Mr and Mrs Callaghan PAN official party to tarbela authority chairman (2 shots)
MV: General Zia in crowd.
MV: Callaghan listening to lecture on dam. (3 shots)
GV: Mrs and Mr Callaghan and General Zia listening to lecture.
MVs: Mr and Mrs Callaghan walking to edge and viewing dam. (2 shots)
Mr. Callaghan predicted after his visit that Pakistan could be well on the way to achieving democracy this year. He said General Zia actively wished to return Pakistan to a democratic system. After his bloodless coup last July, General Zia had given his regime a life of 90 days but has postponed indefinitely the elections promised in October. He has refused to set a new date until Mr. Bhutto stands trial for alleged misdeeds. General Zia placed Mr. Bhutto's wife under house arrest during Mr. Callaghan's visit, and for the British Prime Minister's attendance at a one-day cricket international between England and Pakistan. An appearance by Mrs. Bhutto at a test match in Lahore last month resulted in violent clashes between rival political groups.
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Background: Pakistan's possible return to the British Commonwealth has been discussed by the country's military ruler, General Zia-UL Haq and British Prime Minister James Callaghan. Pakistan quit the Commonwealth in 1972 over the secession of Bangladesh, while former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was in power.
SYNOPSIS: The two leaders met at the Government Secretariat building in Rawalpindi last Thursday (12 January) during Mr. Callaghan's two-day visit to Pakistan as part of a 10-day tour of the Indian subcontinent. After their talks General Zia who deposed Mr. Bhutto last year said Pakistan might take a second look at the question of Commonwealth membership. It appeared that the majority of Pakistanis, the Press and Commonwealth member countries appeared willing to have Pakistan rejoin, he said.
Later General Zia accompanied Mr. and Mrs. Callaghan to the world's biggest earth dam, the Tarbela. Britain lent GBP10 million sterling for the project and a grant of two and a half million pounds for its repairs. The total cost of the giant scheme is around 150 million U.S. dollars.
The visitors were told that leading world experts had pronounced the dam and its foundations to be in perfect condition and very safe. Guides also quoted an American expert's opinion that the Tarbela Dam was a world leader in size, imagination and performance. Mr. Callaghan said Britain was very ready to give assistance towards repairs and also confirmed an upswing in British aid to Pakistan from 15 million pounds last year to 20 million this year.