Academic journal article Journal of Political Studies

Pakistan's Search for Security through Reliable Balance of Power and Nuclear Weapons

Academic journal article Journal of Political Studies

Pakistan's Search for Security through Reliable Balance of Power and Nuclear Weapons

Article excerpt

The Perspective

At the time of independence in 1947 the founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had political differences with the British Viceroy to India Lord Mountbatten. Their primary source was the latter's insistence on becoming the "joint Governor General of India and Pakistan" (Hamid, 1986, p.199 and p.201) which the former denied. Lord Mountbatten threatened the founder of Pakistan with establishing a Pakistan which would not be able to survive for long (Hamid, 1986, p. 235). The implementation of that threat brought forth its multiple dimensions. For example, one of the aspects was the boundary commission's award at the time of partition. It divided Punjab on the basis of Muslim and Sikh majority into West and East Punjab. Later was given to India along with the three tehsils of Muslim majority District Gurdaspur i.e. Pathankot, Gurdaspur and Batala. Out of these only Pathankot had a non-Muslim majority. The fourth tehsil Shakargarh which also had a Muslim majority was given to Pakistan. District Gurdaspur was also contiguous to Pakistan. Indian control over Gurdaspur and Batala provided critical land access to Indian Army (Hamid, 1986, p.203) during its campaign for the occupation of Jammu Kashmir and Laddakh in April 1948. The short-term objective of Indian occupation was to control immediate watershed or headwork of all Pakistani rivers emanating from Kashmir which was partially achieved.

While the long-term objective has been progressive occupation of undemarcated stretches of the Line of Control (L°C) and ultimately link-up with Afghanistan and Indian occupation of Siachen in 1984 was move in that direction. If successfully created, that land corridor will in the first place, enable India to bypass Pakistan in its dealings with Afghanistan, Central Asian states, Russia and beyond. Secondly, it will also severe Pakistan-China land link which will be a strategic blow to Pakistan. It was a goal of the All India National Congress leadership at the time of partition for which Viceroy Lord Mountbatten also made sincere efforts (Hamid, 1986, p. 187). In July 1947 Gandhi also visited NWFP and Kashmir to encourage the leadership and the local people to join India. The decision to hold referendum in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) at the time of Partition was also a step in the same direction. For a favorable outcome, India pinned its hopes in the abilities of its longstanding ally, Badshah Khan as Gandhi called him, i.e. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan. However, Muslims of NWFP had overwhelmingly supported joining Pakistan. Had the NWFP decided in favor of India the Indian occupation of Kashmir in 1948 would have accomplished the wicked plan? A plan B was also in place had the above conspiracy failed. Accordingly, "Indian Congress flirted with Afghanistan. The Afghans have been told that the Durand Line is not a logical boundary." (Hamid, 1986, p. 209) This was intended to create long term problems for Pakistan in the form of instability in the areas bordering Afghanistan, laying claims to areas of Pakistan resulting in putsch from the Afghan side to create a land corridor and link up with India. Such an effort could continue even after partition.

Similarly, in Bengal the Boundary Commission Award provided India with a narrow land access to India towards states in the North-East of East Pakistan i.e. Assam, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura etc. The result was twofold i.e. it enabled India to perpetuate its control over those states and also completed the geographical encirclement of East Pakistan which served as a critical advantage for Indian proxy war and military aggression against Pakistan during the secession of East Pakistan in 1971. At the time of independence it was very important for the British Government to define specific rules and principles for the princely states to choose whether to join India or Pakistan or for the claims of the two countries regarding princely states. In the absence of any such rules and principles India arbitrarily used force to annex princely states. …

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