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Indo-Pak friendship: some historical facts
By Ejaz Arshad Qasimi

The process of the division of the country in the background of world game-plan was, without doubt, an unnatural one, which blocked all avenues of nurturing a common nationality under a well-thought-out plan of the British government. Ninety percent of the people who supported the division of the country were those who now belong to India; and ninety percent of those who are now called 'Pakistanis' had voted against the division of the country. This ratio is in accordance with the official statistics which can be verified and which Rajinder Puri has rightly admitted in his article inn 2 June 1999 issue of the Hindustan Times, New Delhi.

Before the partition of the country, the British government under its dirty colonial policy fanned communal riots so that exchange of population could take place on the basis of religion. In order to deliberately keep the process of the partition of the country perpetually in motion, it raised the Kashmir dispute and drew Pakistan's map in such a way that it could easily be broken up. When the first war between India and Pakistan over Kashmir broke out, the then commanders-in-chief of both countries were British generals. What, after all, was the motive of that war and who had provoked the two countries to fight each other? How did independence, achieved after sacrificing thousands of lives, compel the two countries to indulge in mutual warfare? Historical facts of half a century are sufficient to open our eyes. We did apparently achieve freedom on 15 August 1947 but our minds and hearts were still being ruled by foreigners. There has been no change in the thinking trends of the rulers of the two countries nor there are any indications of this in the near future. Foreign sponsorship goes on changing but in exchange of our services to them our rulers do not get mental and ideological freedom. Why?

Pakistan's former president Ayub Khan had offered joint defence to India in 1959. At that time our former Prime Minister, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, while making fun of this offer, had asked: what is this joint defence and against whom is it? But soon thereafter when India had to face war with China in 1962 and we faced the ignominy of defeat, Nehru's eyes opened. But by that time Pakistan had extended its hand of friendship to China. This event took place during the sixth decade of the last century when the whole world was divided into two blocs and America's friendship with the Chinese and Pakistani armies had been established. In this international game India and Pakistan were simply tools in the hands of giant powers much against their respective national interests and had completely failed in their foreign policies.

On one occasion, the American President Nixon had described Pakistan's integrity as the milestone of American foreign policy. What was its objective and in which background had he made this declaration? US wanted cooperation between American and Chinese forces through Pakistan's good offices in order to check Soviet expansionism. Soviet Russia always discounted the important of friendly relationship with Pakistan. As a result Pakistan weakened Russiaís power with the help of US and China. This solved USís problem and served its objective. Since India had rejected Pakistanís 1959 offer of joint defence, she virtually became helpless and ineffective on the Asian scene. The result was that by defeating its neighbouring rival, China established its hegemony in Asia. In this international game, what else was received by Pakistan except a damaging war and India a humiliating defeat by China?

After the break-up of the Soviet Union and decline of Communism, US developed as a superpower in the world. If at all there was any power to challenge its hegemony in Asia, it was only China. Hence, bringing about a drastic change in its foreign policy, it accused China of espionage, which spoiled the relations between the two countries. America now started developing an urge for better relations between India and Pakistan so that they could provide a bigger market compared to China, and so that a balance of power could be established in Asia as a result of cooperation between these two neighbouring countries in matters of defence. US is keen to create a balancing power in Asia as a result of better relations between India and Pakistan. This is because the US does not want any country or power in any region which could challenge its hegemony.

But US foreign policy is still not clear in this respect. Some people want development of better relations between India and Pakistan without affecting their good relations with China while some strongly oppose spoiling of good relations between US and China at the cost of better relations between India and Pakistan. These people want to safeguard their 70 billion dollars annual trade with China. But no one there cherishes the idea of better relations between Pakistan and China.

There is a general belief that this change among Americans has taken place after the nuclear explosion by Pakistan because China is mainly responsible for the development of Pakistanís nuclear technology and expertise, as a result of which Pakistan has emerged as a hero in the Islamic World and its nuclear bomb is being considered as the Islamic bomb of future. This belief is strengthened because only after the attainment of nuclear capability by Pakistan, Lahore bus journey was undertaken at USí pressure and Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan were compelled to extend hands of friendship towards each other. Though some hard-liners in Pakistan had tried, and almost succeeded, to prevent the Nawaz-Vajpayee meeting from becoming fruitful through fomenting the Kargil crisis.

Once again India is offering to Pakistan to discuss all Indo-Pak issues, including Kashmir. This decision of Vajpayee government is not the result of its own home-made foreign policy and thinking but the result of USí pressure which is a clear indication of our intellectual bankruptcy and failure of our foreign policy.
(Translated from Urdu) q

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