I am grateful to the people of this province and, through you Mr. Chairman of the Reception Committee, to the people of Dhaka, for thgreat welcome that they have accorded to me. I need hardly say that it gives me the greatest pleasure to visit East Bengal. East Bengal is the most important component of Pakistan, inhabited as it is by the largest single bloc of Muslims in the world. I have been anxious to pay this province an early visit, but unfortunately, other matters of greater importance had so far prevented me from doing so.
About some of these important matters, you doubtless know. You know, for instance, of the cataclysm that shook the Punjab immediately after partition, and of the millions of Muslims who in consequence were uprooted from their homes in East Punjab, Delhi and neighboring districts and had to be protected, sheltered and fed pending rehabilitation in Western Pakistan. Never throughout history was a new State called upon to face such tremendous problems. Never throughout history has a new State handled them with such competence and courage. Our enemies had hoped to kill Pakistan at its inception. Pakistan has, on the contrary, arisen triumphant and stronger than ever. It has come to stay, and play its great role for which it is destined.
In your address of welcome you have stressed the importance of developing the great agricultural and industrial resources of this province, of providing facilities for the training of the young men and women of this province for entering the Armed Forces of Pakistan, of the development of the port of Chittagong and of communications between this province and other parts of Pakistan, of development of educational facilities and finally you have stressed the importance of ensuring that the citizens of Eastern Pakistan get their due and legitimate share in all spheres of government activity. Let me at once assure you that my government attaches the greatest importance to these matters and is anxiously and constantly engaged in ensuring that Eastern Pakistan attains it full stature with the maximum of speed. Of the martial powers of the people of this province, history provides ample evidence and as you are aware, Government has already taken energetic steps to provide facilities for the training of the youth of this province both in the regular Armed Forces and as volunteers in the Pakistan National Guards. You may rest assured that the fullest provision shall be made for enabling the youth of this province to play its part in the defense of this State.