I have heard with great interest the views of the various members who have spoken on this important adjournment motion. As I said the other day in an interview with the Press, the Government has made every endeavor to impress upon the United States its concern about the long-term military assistance proposed to be given to India.
At various stages, and on various occasions, right from the level of the President downwards, we have discussed this problem with our friends and allies. We have made known to them the dire consequences of the policy of giving long-term military assistance to India. If, as the members of the Opposition feel, we have not been able to convince our friends of the folly of pursuing this policy, it is not because of any lapse on our part; we have done our best. These members, I submit, do not fully appreciate our difficulties, for they have no experience of contesting the global policies of a great Power.
Before 1958, there was no occasion for the Government of Pakistan to come into conflict on policy matters with the great powers. On various issues, our policies were in consonance with the interests of the great Powers. But destiny has brought about a situation in which it has fallen on us to differ on grounds of our national interests with the global policies of the great Powers. We have sought in every possible way to make them realize and appreciate the serious and even dangerous consequences of the course which they are at present pursuing in our region.
I think it would be fair to say that a time does come when the debate must end and the dialogues conclude when the nation must re-appraise and readjust its fundamental policies. Perhaps the time has come for Pakistan to reconsider and to review its foreign policy, in the light of its basic national interests, in keeping with the changing circumstances. We have greatly benefited from the wisdom and advice of the members of the Opposition. It is only with a common approach and mutual understanding, that we can pursue meaningful policies with regard to our national interests; as I have said, the Government has gained greatly from this debate, and we hope to have close consultations with the Opposition and its leaders in the future, because these are matters which affect all of us equally.
Since the end of the last War, we have witnessed two important phenomena that have influenced the world. After the termination of the War, we saw the emergence of many independent states in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and we also saw the crystallization of the ideological dispute between the free world and international communism. After the Sino-Soviet clash, that ideological conflict has today in 1964 become a little broader. But we hear—and we hear this from Soviet as well as Chinese leaders—that in the event of an international conflict, in the event of a nuclear war, the Soviet and the Chinese people will stand shoulder to shoulder. Thus we have witnessed two important phenomena in the world. One is the emergence of independent states in Asia and Africa, and in certain parts of Europe; and the other is the conflict between the two great Titans, holding different ideological values. We have also seen that the partition of states, necessary in some cases and unjustified in other has led to tensions.
It is true that, notwithstanding the end of colonialism, some of its legacies have remained. Problems have arisen between new independent pendent sovereign states; there have been boundary disputes and various other differences, such as claims against each other by former colonial territories. These are to be seen in Africa as well as in Asia. But, there is also a resolve on the part of Asian and African states to settle their differences by peaceful means. For instance, in Africa, we have seen that the Addis Ababa Conference has devised a machinery for the settlement of Inter-African differences. Between states that have resulted from partition, differences have been more acute. As far as our sub-continent is concerned, we fought for Pakistan, because we believed that its creation would lead to the permanent salvation and security of the people of our areas as well as the people of India. But there are in India some elements that never reconciled themselves to the division of the sub-continent. To be fair to the Indian Government, and to be fair to the former Prime Minister of India, I think, they had more or less reconciled themselves to the two-nation theory. But, nonetheless, there are powerful and militant organizations in India, which have not yet reconciled themselves to the partition. Not only are these militant organizations in India that are opposed to the two-nation theory, and to the division of the subcontinent, but have been pursuing in their own ways policies to undo it. That is why we hear some people in India talk of a confederation for the settlement of the Kashmir dispute. Of course, the President of Pakistan made it quite clear in his recent speech at Peshawar that such a scheme would never be acceptable to Pakistan. But the fact remains that there are people in India who have not yet reconciled themselves to the creation of Pakistan as a sovereign state.
This is a basic factor in the problem. Powerful elements, believing in Akhand Bharat, are striving to bring about a merger of India and Pakistan. Some of these elements are of a militant nature; others employ peaceful, but nonetheless for us, dangerous methods. We have to contend with these elements. The State of Pakistan was achieved after great sacrifices and as far as its people are concerned here is no question about their will and resolve to maintain its integrity and sovereignty and to resist the machinations of those who want to destroy it.
The decision of the United States of America and other Western Powers to give military assistance to India is bound to encourage those elements in India which want to bring about a merger of the two countries, and to use military force and their power otherwise, to achieve their end. The situation therefore is a very serious one.
We call ourselves a developing country. Nonetheless relatively speaking, we are a poor country and we cannot take upon ourselves the burden of acquiring additional arms and entering into an arms race. We must be true to ourselves, and admit that fact. While we cannot take upon ourselves that burden, the people of India cannot bear it either, because just as it will break our back. it will break theirs. Imagine that out of our budget allocation of three thousand million rupees we are spending over a thousand million on arms and in the case of India with a budget of thirteen thousand million they are spending ten thousand million on arms. This is diversion of national resources into unproductive channels and is not fair to people who suffer misery and who are living in privation. This is not fair to our masses. This is not fair to the 80 per cent of our people who want a better standard of life. It is not a law of God that we should be poor and our people should suffer. The money which we are spending on arms could be better spent to improve the lot of our people. This new situation makes our task all the more complex. We should realize that with our pre-existing limitations, the present situation is going to retard our efforts to give a better life to our children and to our children’s children. This is a vital consideration. But if we were to close our eyes to realities and say that we are not poor, that might satisfy our personal ego or our national ego, but that would be deceiving ourselves.
This arms race is going to lead to further aggravation of the situation and create further tensions not only within the sub-continent but in Asia at large. I say in Asia at large, because Pakistan and India are important nations of Asia; we are a hundred million people and they are four hundred million people. The arms race between India and Pakistan is bound to have its repercussions in the neighbouring countries. The present development is detrimental and injurious not only to the interests of the people of India and Pakistan but also to those of the region as a whole. In addition to our national responsibility, we have responsibility for our region. We cannot and do not live in isolation. Ours is not a world which is comprised only of India and Pakistan. It is an international world. Pakistan and India are among the major nations of Asia. The policies that they pursue are bound to have wide repercussions.
Thus it is that the decision of the United States Administration to give long-term military assistance to India aggravates Indo-Pakistan differences and because these differences exist, the future peace of Asia is directly affected by it. These differences, we feel, can be resolved in a peaceful manner, through negotiation and in a spirit of conciliation. They are not insurmountable. With goodwill on both sides, India and Pakistan can resolve them. I am neither optimistic nor pessimistic. But it is a fact that we were moving in that direction, to some extent at last. True, we had not reached the end of the road far from it. But certain new developments had given us some hope that our endeavors might result in an improvement of the situation. Now, unfortunately, this decision with regard to long-term military aid to India does make our task more difficult. What were those developments? They were the release of Sheikh Abdullah, the situation in Kashmir itself, the realization in India that it must settle its differences with Pakistan through negotiation, and that such a settlement was necessary in the interest of its masses. But just when events were moving in the right direction, came the announcement that the United States had decided to give long-term military assistance to India. I think it was meant as a sort of inducement to the Shastri Government, even before it was actually formed, to support United States policies. When the Sino-Indian conflict arose in 1962, we were told that United States and United Kingdom assistance to India was on an emergency basis and that it was being given because India faced a grave danger from China and it was not possible for the United States and the United Kingdom not to come to the assistance of India. But it was said that the aid was of an emergency nature, of an ad hoc character, and that it was to some extent linked with the settlement of the Kashmir dispute. We felt that the link should have been much more positive, that it should have been much more clear. But the United States and the United Kingdom argued that on this point between them and us there was only a difference of approach and that they would link Kashmir in some way or the other with the military assistance they were giving to India. Thereafter at Nassau, as my friend Mr. Fazal Elahi has pointed out, the United States and the United Kingdom committed 120 million dollars worth of military assistance to India. Again, we were told that this measure was not of a permanent nature, that it was not based on a long-term policy but was merely a follow-up of the original emergency aid. Then again in 1963 there was a joint communiqué issued by Mr. Macmillan, then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and President Kennedy committing further aid to India to the tune of sixty million dollars. In 1964, additional aid worth sixty million dollars was committed. Now we have the announcement that there is going to be long-term military assistance from the United States to India and that it would be of the value of about one hundred million dollars a year. This means a radical change in the situation.
Because of this change, the time has come for us to review our liabilities and our position generally. We had undertaken certain political commitments, but that was done in entirely different circumstances. The new situation is such that it would be on our part a dereliction of national duty if we did not, in the light of it fully examine its political and military consequences. We must do this also in fairness to our allies, for even though they have beer unfair to us we must be fair to them. Our national commitments an so heavy, the consequent responsibilities so great, and the threat to our security and integrity is now so serious that this Government would be failing our people if it did not reappraise its position political and military. This does not mean that there is going to be any radical or basic change in our policy.
We cannot act irresponsibly. We owe a duty to our friends and we owe a duty to our people. But at the same time there is no denying the fact that the country does face a serious threat. We have to reckon with that fact and I am sure that in reckoning with it in a constructive fashion the whole nation will rally round the Government. I should also recall that recently an official of the United States Administration in his testimony before a Congressional Committee said that Pakistan would sooner or later adjust itself to the military assistance that was being given to India on a long-term basis in the same way as India had adjusted itself to the long-term military assistance that was given to Pakistan. Again, in order to be fair to our allies and friends, I think it right to say that in this regard they are suffering from a misconception, for there is a basic difference between the two situations. For one thing, as far as Pakistan was concerned, it was a member of certain alliances and had undertaken certain commitments. It was in lieu of those commitments and the obligations that followed from them that Pakistan became the recipient of military assistance from the United States. As far as India is concerned that is not the position. The Indian Government has undertaken, as far as we know, no commitment and no obligation in regard to the military assistance that it is receiving from the United States. That is one difference between the two situations. The other difference is that India is four times the size of Pakistan. When Pakistan received military assistance from the United States, India almost rent the sky with protests against it. There was of course the fact that under the military assistance programme Pakistan had undertaken certain obligations. Now if India felt so seriously aggrieved about Pakistan, which had little resources of its own and which was one-fourth the size of India, receiving military assistance from the United States, one can well understand the feelings of our Government and people when India, which is four times the size of Pakistan, becomes the recipient of long-term massive military assistance from the United States and without undertaking any obligation whatsoever. These are the two differences in the situation. It must be recognized that these differences are of a fundamental character. Therefore, the question of reconciling ourselves to the situation does not arise.
The effect on the Kashmir dispute of long-term military assistance to India is far reaching. In the beginning, we were told that the ad hoc or emergency military assistance to India was in some way linked with the Kashmir dispute, that the United States and the United Kingdom would use their influence to persuade India to arrive at a settlement of that dispute. Gradually there has been a delinking of the Kashmir question from military aid to India. The official of the United States Government, whose testimony I just quoted, recently said that the global interests of his country in the sub-continent were of greater importance to it than the settlement of the Kashmir dispute. Now here we perceive a basic contradiction. What do global interests mean after all? The global interests of the United States must necessarily comprise the interests of its allies as much as its own. If there are any elements of common understanding, common appreciation and common obligations between the United States and its allies, then the interest of the allies, who have committed themselves to the United States, form part of the global interests of the United States. Surely, therefore, the United States must take into account the interests of its allies. Now, how can the global interests of the United States be in conflict with those of its allies? I cannot imagine that Pakistan’s international interests— I shall not be so presumptuous as to say that we have global interests—can be in conflict with our friends’. If that were possible, there would be no consistency in our respective moral or even political approaches to international problems. The United States cannot say that its global interests are in conflict with the interests of its allies and, if it did, there would be a basic contradiction in its position. My friend, Mr. Mashiur Rahman, had this in mind when he said that for nations to be allies there must be an identity of purpose and a common approach to problems. If the global interests of the United States could clash with those of its allies and if they could clash with the basic national interests of Pakistan, then are we the only nation placed in that position?
It is not for me to say that Turkey and other nations also face similar serious situations. We see that at the other end of the alliance, the Turkish nation feels somewhat aggrieved, somewhat disappointed, at the lack of support from its allies on the question of Cyprus. As far as Pakistan is concerned, because of our alliance with Turkey, because of the imperishable bonds that we have with it, as soon as Turkey was confronted with the grave crisis in Cyprus, we came out uncompromisingly in support of the Turkish cause and rightly so. Alliances mean that there has to be a certain degree of give and take, not only in normal times but more particularly in times of crisis. We would have failed in our duty if we had not responded to the call of the Turkish nation for support in the Cyprus crisis.
Thus if Pakistan feels aggrieved, we are not the only people in such a situation. But where is the line going to be drawn? Either at the cost of our allies, we pursue our international interests or we abandon our allies. We cannot remain much less can a great Power remain, on the horns of a dilemma. To change the metaphor, a great Power cannot ride two horses at the same time. Its own global interests must be consistent with the interests of its allies and friends who share with it common ideals and aspirations, and have undertaken certain obligations towards it. Or else, it must recognize that a new situation has arisen in which those alliances are no longer an asset, but rather a burden and a liability and consequently it must abandon the policy of alliances. But as I said, you cannot have it both ways. You cannot have a system of alliances and a system of betrayal of the interests of your allies. There must be consistency at least in this respect. I know it is said that consistency is a virtue of small minds. But here we are not playing with words. Here we are playing with the lives and the destinies not only of the hundred million people of Pakistan but the far larger population of the entire sub-continent, for this situation can escalate into something highly dangerous to them.
Because of this arms aid decision, we may find that the Kashmir problem has become all the more intractable and its settlement all the more difficult. I do not blame India altogether for it. After all, if India can get military assistance why should it not take it. Let India take it. But having taken it, India will discover the perils of the situation it is entering. However, that is a separate question. Although I do not put the blame so much on the Government or the people of India, I have no doubt that they will realize that in the long run the situation is really not to their benefit. Today we see a militant India pursuing the policy of evicting its Muslim population from some of its eastern parts. But if India’s military might is augmented to such an extent that it becomes still more formidable, it has to be utilized. But even if not utilized in action, by its very presence, certain things can be made to take place. An aggressive country does not have to resort to an armed attack. In fact an armed conflict need not take place at all. It is not necessary that a physical attack should be launched against Pakistan, that guns should be turned against us. The imbalance of power, the disparity of strength between the two countries, would be so great that normally it could demoralize the weaker one. Of course the Pakistani nation is not easily demoralized. Nonetheless, in objective terms, disparity is undesirable, and I use the word disparity advisedly, because we know what can be achieved through it without the use of force. An aggressive superior Power does not have to use force. For instance, if a nuclear Power has any objectives to achieve against a non-nuclear Power, it does not have to use force. A situation may arise when India may seek to achieve its objectives, not by the use of force, but by the demonstration of force. And force has always been deployed by India against Pakistan. By demonstrating its formidable military might, India could pursue policies, which are not reconcilable with peace or with good relationship with Pakistan. If today we face a situation in which there is mass exodus of Muslims from India, we cannot be oblivious of these facts. We have to reckon with that situation, for we have a moral obligation to those people. That situation in its totality further tends to aggravate the problem between us and India.
We have heard our friends opposite say: “Why do you not take the question of the eviction of Indian Muslims to the United Nations?” We would have done so without a second thought if that were the answer to the question. We have studied the United Nations Charter and we know its limitations. The United Nations is not a super state nor a supreme court. It does not issue edicts or writs, which are necessarily complied with. The Charter has its limitations and we know the pitfalls in taking such problems to the United Nations. In the final analysis, these problems have to be faced and overcome by us, the people of Pakistan. And what does that mean? If the two problems of Kashmir and the eviction of Indian Muslims remain unsolved and, at the same time through Western military assistance, India gets mightier day by day, so that there is no question of a balance of power between the two countries, that means a grim and bleak future for us. In that situation we must take a fresh look at our responsibilities.