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Thursday, June 4, 2020

1962, When Pakistan lost a Golden Chance to Capture Kashmir

Image courtesy @The Quint

Shortly after the formation of Pakistan, the Quaid-e-Azam unfortunately died and Pakistan lacked a political figure. Even after Gandhi ji was assassinated by extremists in India, there was a tall political figure in India who had influence all over the world. His name was Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Unfortunately democracy did not flourish in Pakistan and after the establishment of Pakistan successive governments kept changing and finally Ayub Khan's military dictatorship surrounded Pakistan.
This is the event of 1959. At that time Ayub Khan was the ruler of Pakistan. Ayub Khan was much admired for Nehru's international personality, understanding and propaganda of humanity. He thought that if he would extend a warm hand to Pandit Johar Lal Nehru, then Nehru would be willing to solve all the problems automatically. He was well aware that India had never sincerely accepted the existence of Pakistan but still he wanted to resolve the Kashmir issue peacefully with India and he had pinned his hopes on Pandit Nehru.
In July 1959, Ayub Khan, on his way to Dhaka in goodwill, stopped in Delhi where he was to meet Nehru. Nehru greeted him at the airport. When he reached the lounge, he saw a procession chanting slogans of Hindi-Chinese brotherhood. Pandit Nehru waved his hand and expressed his happiness and told Ayub Khan” That is how fraternal relations are between India and China”. On the Kashmir issue, Pandit Nehru avoided talking and insisted only on easing border tensions.
Now Ayub Khan had lost the image of Pandit Nehru's preaching personality, enlightenment and philanthropy and he knew that he was not serious about solving problems about Pakistan. He was now not much hopeful from Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to resolve issues with Pakistan. In this regard, he asked US President John F. Kennedy to use his influence on Nehru for a peaceful solution to Kashmir, but President Kennedy replied that Pandit Nehru talks scholarly on every subject in the world but when the Kashmir issue is mentioned, He focuses his attention on the flowers on his hinges and become still like a jogi.
At the same time, Pakistan settled its border issues with China amicably, to which India made a lot of noise. China's relations with India began to deteriorate when India began challenging China to gain control of the region and became embroiled in border issues with China. In October 1962, Nehru began threatening China that his army would soon expel Chinese troops from NEFA and Ladakh, but Nehru lost all confidence and international image from the Chinese invasion in the same border war. The Indian army suffered heavy losses in this border war and the Chinese army occupied a large Indian territory.
 Qudratullah Shehab, who was Ayub Khan's personal secretary, writes in his book “Shehab Namah” that he was asleep in his house on 20 October 1962 in the days of the war when his servant woke him up and told him that a Chinese man wanted to meet him outside. It was half past two in the night. He was a Chinese diplomat. He told them that India's attack on China's border areas had forced China to retaliate and that Chinese troops had entered Indian Territory in several places and that a few hours were very important for Pakistan. If you want to take advantage, you have to tell President Ayub immediately and only you can have access to president Ayub at this time. Shahab immediately went to the Presidency where he soon reached Ayub Khan.
He told Ayub Khan about the Chinese attack and the Indian retreat, but Ayub Khan replied, "Did you come to tell me at night?" Qudratullah Shehab said, "Sir, if we move towards occupied Kashmir now, we can achieve success in Kashmir. But Ayub Khan rebuked him and said that you civilians consider military movement as a joke.”? Go and sleep. Qudratullah Shehab thinks that this was the biggest mistake of his presidency and life. If Ayub khan had shown courage at that time , he could have changed the history. On the other hand, the Chinese troops hammered India and returned to their territory, and Nehru cried at the Chinese invasion to get a lot of aid from the West and the United States. According to Qudratullah Shehab, it was the United States that put pressure on Pakistan not to invade Kashmir in the Indo-China war and Ayub Khan, under pressure, let go of the long-awaited opportunity to get Kashmir. On the other hand India took complete advantage in 1971 and Pakistan was torn apart by the invasion of East Pakistan by India when Pakistan was embroiled in an internal civil war.

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