Published Date: Sep 3, 2019
Pakistan missed many opportunities to address Kashmir issue’
China had suggested during the China-India war in 1962 that Pakistan take over Kashmir as there were no Indian soldiers present there at the time, the editor of Declassified: British Secret Documents, Diplomatic Communications Relating to Pakistan revealed at the launch of his book on Monday.
“We could have taken the whole [of] Kashmir even if we would have sent boy scouts. However, overnight the Chinese letter reached from Pakistan to Washington and US President John F. Kennedy directed Gen Ayub Khan not to do so,” Barrister Nasim Ahmad Bajwa said, while speaking about various opportunities to resolve the Kashmir issue since 1947.
Mr Bajwa was speaking at the launch of his book, organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).
The book provides an alternate version of history through years of conversations and observations made by British diplomats in correspondence back home and to their missions in other countries. It is a worthwhile collection for academics and researchers looking for an overview of past events from the archives of British secret documents.
Mr Bajwa said initially, United Nations representative Sir Owen Dixon visited the region and proposed a formula to divide Kashmir into four parts, which was rejected by the FO.
Book on British secret documents, communications related to Pakistan launched
“Later, in 1960, Sir Dexon gave the Chenab formula, which suggested that Kashmir should be divided along the line of the River Chenab. This would give the vast majority of land to Pakistan, but our FO said we will drown the formula into Chenab River,” he added.
“Decision makers make blunders, but unfortunately common and poor people suffer because of it,” he said.
Mr Bajwa said the book was also a tribute to British ambassador Sir Oliver Foster, who served in Pakistan from 1979 to 1984, and used to worry for Pakistan’s people.
“He told me many things which even I cannot share, because I am not Tipu Sultan and cannot face the brunt. However, I can say that conspiracies were started against Pakistan since 1947 but our decision makers and even journalists are not interested in addressing the issues of Pakistan. Decision makers are not only incompetent but also corrupt,” he said.
Speaking about the lack of interest in research, Mr Bajwa said that when he visited the British government’s archive department for material for the book, a representative told him no one had approached them between 1947 and 2018 for material for research on Pakistan.
He added that his new book on the Indus Basin would be launched at the end of this year.
Former federal secretary Muzaffar Mehmood Qureshi said the book was informative and depicted Pakistan’s political situation.
“It also shows that there was difference of opinion between Begum Nusrat Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto over certain issues. It also reveals that Pakistan is a country which is not sure of its issues,” he said.
Dr Mohammad Riaz Shad, associate professor at the National University of Modern Languages’ Department of International Relations, said he had reviewed the book from an academic perspective and found it different from most.
“It comprises information regarding communications of the UK embassy and the authenticity of the information is more credible.
“The book covers issues ranging from domestic, regional to global nature. It is useful for students as well as academia, and provides reliable sources of information for further research,” he said.
SDPI Director Advocacy and Outreach Moazzam Sharif Bhatti also said the book would be beneficial for history and politics students, and suggested translating the text to Urdu.