Pakistan: The Long View

By Ralph Braibanti; W. Howard Wriggins et al. | Go to book overview

12
The Management of Pakistan's Foreign Policy

S. M. Burke

"I shall never forget," recalls Vincent Sheean, "that when I first visited the new establishment [ Karachi, 1947 ] there was only one typewriter in the whole Foreign Office."1 This impossible situation of having to conduct relations with all the world with just one writing machine well illustrates the crushing difficulties the infant state of Pakistan faced at the time of her birth on August 15, 1947. In fact, that there would be a state called Pakistan was not definitely known till His Majesty's Government announced on June 3, 1947, that British India would be partitioned into two sovereign states. The Muslim League leaders decided to make Karachi the provisional capital of their new country and hastily established a Construction Circle within the Sind Public Works Department to perform the stupendous task of finding accommodations for the coming flood of central government officials and departments. The authorities, at the same time, had to cope with millions of refugees from India, rich and poor, who were clamoring for assistance in their freshly adopted motherland. But even the members of the Construction Circle had nowhere to stay, and they finally found shelter within the precincts of the Indian Military Hospital!

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, as it was then called,2 was alloted two residential villas

____________________
1
Vincent Sheean, Nehru: The Years of Power ( London: Gollancz, 1960), p. 93.
2
Now simply known as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Pakistan left the Com' monwealth when Britain recognized Bangladesh in January 1972.

-340-

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