Respected Sardar Sahib, Ladies and Gentlemen:
I heartily welcome the momentous step taken by your party. But at the same time, let me explain one point. It would seem to be a contradiction that while hailing your decision, I criticise other political parties; holding on the one hand the view that political parties should maintain their separate identity, and at the same time approving your decision of today, on the other. There is, however, a fundamental difference between your decision and the politics of our other friends. You know very well that this decision has involved no bargaining, there was no give and take, no pursuit of expediency. That could have been done when Elections were being held in Azad Kashmir. Preconditions made and points conceded could have been understood then. But no such thing was done at the time. No conditions were made that Elections should be fought for some positions or to elect persons from one party or another or that our parties should cooperate for the sake of the elections against others. Nothing of this sort was done. You fought elections on the basis of your own strength and efforts; we did the same on ours. You were successful in your efforts, we too in ours up to a point. It was later that you decided that for the solution of the Kashmir question, for advancing the cause of the struggle and to strengthen Pakistan Government’s hands, you thought it necessary to dissolve your Party and merge it with the Pakistan People’s Party, and believed that the decision was in the best interest of the nation and the country.
MERGER NOT AN ELECTION STUNT
So, this decision was not made to win elections, or to make some interim or timely compromises. As I have said, there is a great difference between your decision and the attitude of other friends. There is a world of difference. I have acceded to your wishes of a merger with the Pakistan People’s Party. You can do it with great pleasure as it would give strength to our stand on Kashmir. We will be able to increase our efforts. But if you had suggested to me as some sort of interim arrangement, by which separate identities of our respective parties could be maintained and some kind of joint front could be forged, then I would have respectfully said that this suggestion and this view could not be accepted. When a country is faced with war, such a front may be needed. History shows that such arrangements are made when circumstances demand. But, not for forging fronts for elections. We have not done it in the past, nor do we intend to do it now or in the future.
After welcoming your decision I deem it necessary to clarify further. As I have said before, there should be no contradiction between act and precept, it may not be said that we accept one thing when it serves our interests, and criticise and reject it when it is harmful to us. In politics, principles are most important. We also follow certain principles, especially on basic issues. All politicians are my friends and comrades. Some of these political friends and comrades may oppose us and be at cross-purposes with us some times. But, so far as you are concerned you are now more than our friends — more like our real brothers. You have joined our ranks. Our destinies are common now, your success is our success and your loss is our loss. There are no differences between us now nor would we allow any differences to crop up now. You shall have a permanent place in our Party. We do not welcome you in a narrow minded way, but our welcome extends to all; you and your political workers shall always be welcome.
Now, after this t wish to say something concerning the Kashmir problem. A lot has been said in the past on this. You can well appreciate why some of our friends are trying to exploit this question at this time and why so suddenly they have remembered Kashmir in their statements. The day before I went to Afghanistan, I saw a statement which I thought had come from Indi. But no, it had neither come from India nor was it released by Delhi or published in Amritsar. That statement was issued from Lahore and concerned our foreign policy, on relations between Pakistan and Iran and between Pakistan and India. The statement also mentioned the Kashmir dispute. They could not wait even for a single day, a day’s delay could not have made much difference. They could even have waited for a few days or weeks, but, they did not. They knew that I was proceeding on a delicate mission. It was not an ordinary mission but one which was very important. They, however, cared not in the least about it. For, they usually ignore national interests and their own selfish motives are more important to them, likewise the conspiracies which are the mainstay of their politics. For them, other things are subsidiary. Their self, their person and their profits stand paramount. Concern and anxiety for the nation come later. Had their sympathies for the nation come first and selfish interest later, they could have at least refrained from issuing such a statement on the day I was leaving. No, they did not. Just a day before I left they let go their statement on foreign policy. A lot was said in it about Kashmir too. Later, they have begun a controversy over Kashmir.
This question of Kashmir, Insha’allah, shall not remain in cold storage. But if, God forbid, it is not solved now or in a few years, you will see they will raise the question once again five years later. For five years they shall not talk about it, but then raise it once more after five years. as elections again come closer. Kashmir they have made a issue for electioneering. For us Kashmir is the question of our life and our destiny; for them a matter of elections.
I really feel sorry on this happy occasion to drag in this background of this affair. Yet, what better occasion can there be for it than this. As I said just now they have brought in the Kashmir question on the eve of the election time, and they are trying to kick it up. What is it that they are saying? That we have buried the Kashmir question, that we have given a veto to India on this matter and that we have shelved it. They also said there were secret agreements at Simla after which the Kashmir question could never be settled ! Besides, they also assert that we intend to reduce Azad Kashmir to the level of a Province of Pakistan. These are the charges leveled by our friends.
KASHMIR ISSUE BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE
My dear Friends and Comrades:
At the time of the secession of East Pakistan in December 1971, no one dared even to talk about Kashmir. They were afraid of mentioning Kashmir dispute. We were not in power at that time. You know perfectly well how much of our area in the northern regions was in the hands of India during the wars of 1965 and 1971. You know the importance of Kargil. Twice we lost Kargil and India still occupies Kargil. They even allowed aggressive forces to come to Haji Pir Pass. Besides, how much of the northern areas passed into the hands of India during the 1971 war? Indian Forces had then crossed the Cease-Fire Line. At that time no one talked about Kashmir. It was not even mentioned. That time they talked about Pakistan, what would be the future of the country, how much more would the country be further fragmented. What international conspiracies were being hatched? Where was Pakistan threatened from? The whole world knows that the 1971 war which brought about the secession of East Pakistan was due to an international conspiracy, a conspiracy had not ended just then. It was only the first round, the first phase. The aggression was not for East Pakistan alone but involved the whole of Pakistan. Thus it was only the first phase that East Pakistan should be separated. Next phase was the dismemberment of West Pakistan that was precisely why the cry of four nationalities was raised and all sorts of disruptions were rigged up.
I met a number of deputations in Murree. May be I met one from Kashmir as well. In fact I met deputations belonging to all shades of opinion. I sought their advice, asked them what should be done. They replied: “What can we say? We cannot say anything. What has been left in our hands after all. It will be a sort of dictation from India and she will be dominant”. I said: “No! this shall not be. There will be no Indian dominance”. Where were those people at that time, they who are giving statements on Kashmir today? Why did they not express their opinion on Kashmir at that time? Where were they hiding at that time? Why could not they be seen anywhere when Pakistan was passing through such hard times? Why did they not issue statements at that time they would do this, that or the other on the Kashmir question, or we should enter into such and such an agreement concerning Kashmir at Simla? At that time they advised: accept whatever is possible to reach an agreement, accept whichever way it is possible, save what can be saved. This was their opinion.
NO SECRET PACT WITH INDIA
After that they gave a confidence vote inside the National Assembly, and hailed the Simla Agreement outside the Assembly. They also said lately that they never mentioned about a secret agreement on Kashmir at Simla. The Opposition leaders themselves say that they never said a word about any secret agreement, and that they had welcomed the Simla Accord and given the confidence vote. But again the same people are coming out with statements that we had had secret understanding on the Kashmir issue. Kashmir was nowhere bypassed at Simla. Let them point out where Kashmir was bypassed.
Now after four and a half years how can they assert that it was bypassed? No one had talked then about the Kashmir issue. People used to tell me: “Please don’t touch this question. If you will touch it India will get another chance to commit aggression against Pakistan”. The Kashmir question which had not even been mentioned anywhere; we revived it in the Simla Agreement. You can see now that we solved other questions step by step and now the Kashmir question has been brought to the top, all over again. We have declared that the only question now left between India and Pakistan unsolved is that of Kashmir. The Kashmir question was dormant; no one had even remembered it. But we said that this was also a problem and had to be solved. When the last agreement was signed in Islamabad, the same day, I made a speech in Gilgit and in that speech I said that now only the Kashmir question remained and it too had to be solved and until an agreement was reached on it, our relations with India could not be friendly. This was not the talk of burying the Kashmir dispute it was one of reviving it. It was not the language of finishing it off, but of putting new life into it. This then is the correct position.
Who has handed over a veto to India? If we had given veto power to India then India could have said that the question had been settled. Why did India mention the Kashmir question in the Simla Agreement? If India had been given veto power she would have said that the Kashmir question was finished; she would have said that it had been settled on the Cease-Fire Line. This would have been the Indian stand if the Kashmir question had been settled in the Simla Agreement. But since no veto power was given to India, the mention of the Kashmir dispute has been made in the Simla Agreement. There was no mention of it in the Tashkent Agreement; but it is very much there in the Simla Accord. So, neither have we given any veto power to India nor has the Kashmir dispute been in any way bypassed, or buried. On the other hand the matter has been revived by this Government.
Not only within Pakistan, but wherever else I have toured, I have asserted that this problem can only be solved on the basis of self-determination, and that no other solution can be acceptable to us in this matter. This right is based on principles and it was on this very basis that settlement had been arrived at. We have stood firm on that settlement, and we shall never budge from that stand. If India has deviated from that settlement, then it will be India who shall have to return to the right course. So far as we are concerned, we can not and shall in no way abandon this dispute or its solution which had been agreed upon on the basis of self-determination.
There is another fact to be considered here. Every person has his own political motivation, such as you also have. People are recognised from their political individualism and their political record. I have not come here to beat my own drum ; but eversince I have joined the Government, eversince I have taken upon myself the political responsibility in Pakistan, eversince the day I have been a Minister, you can see for yourself what has been my stand, my objective, and what efforts have I made with respect to the Kashmir dispute. You can yourselves draw your own conclusions if I am the kind of person who can do any bargaining on the Kashmir question.
OPPOSITION TO JOINT DEFENCE PLAN
You may recall that after the promulgation of the Martial Law Regime Ayub Khan came out with a most peculiar suggestion in March 1959. It was the proposal for “Joint Defence” with India. He had made this proposal in a press conference. At that time I was in Mardan. When I read it in the Pakistan Times that Ayub Khan had made a suggestion that Pakistan and India should have a joint defence, I rushed from Mardan to Lahore. When 1 got down from the train at the Lahore Railway Station, my friends the pressmen questioned me on the President’s proposal about joint defence between Pakistan and India “on the grounds that Pakistan had danger from the north and not from the south”. (That is, from Russia and China. There could not he any question of danger from Iran and hence he proposed there should be joint defence.) At that time I was quite a new Minister, had only been in office for four or five months; I was enjoying my Ministership, I was quite young then. I wondered what to do about it? What answer should I give? Then I told the pressmen that we could not have any joint defence with India. We could not even think of such a thing until the Kashmir question was settled. I knew that I might have to submit my resignation. I knew that he (Ayub Khan) would accuse me of having criticized such an important declaration of his. So I went to Faletti’s Hotel where I used to stay in Room No. 55, and wrote out my resignation. In the meantime, I received a telephone call that the President wanted to meet me at Government House at four in the afternoon. I thought the talk would be on the same subject. Anyway, when I met him, I found that he was in great anger. He said why had I given such a statement and had I actually seen his statement. I said: “Sir, I have made this attempt for the sake of the country, for the Government, for you and for history, and to save you and your position. If you give such a statement, neither can you run the government nor can Pakistan make any progress; rather it would mean the end of Pakistan. If you want to have a joint defence with India, then what was the necessity of separation in the first instance? If defence had to be the same, then what need was there of Pakistan. Foreign Policy is based on defence, and if defence arrangements are weak, how could our foreign policy be strong? If foreign policy and defence policy are one, then what is left? Our comrades, our brethren, who have migrated from India and given so many sacrifices, can they not say why should they remain separated from their families, some here and some there? If the foreign policy and defence are going to be one then what is left? What would be separate and distinct between us? Is it only Customs which has to be kept separate or only the industry”. Then he said to me: “I certainly appreciate your points”. He praised me and said that he had not been advised by any other person on these lines. He accepted my statement and asked me to go arid address a Press Conference. I said it was not necessary to hold a Press Conference and suggested that he could explain things away later on. And this way he gradually retreated from his suggestion. So this was the first talk I had on Kashmir.
After this I addressed the Security Council on 3rd February, 1964, where I said:
“Pakistan has never admitted and will never recognize India’s false claim to the territory of Jammu and Kashmir in disregard of the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir”.
In October, 1963, I addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations where I said:
“Let the chain of incarceration break, free the Kashmiris and have the friendship of Pakistan”.
On November 17, 1965, I told the National Assembly of Pakistan:
“…. But if India thinks that by a policy of intimidation and by a policy of aggression, she can thrust her might and power on Pakistan, then she cannot forget the spirit and power of resistance of the people of Pakistan”.
Then, again, on June 20, 1964, I stated before the National Assembly of Pakistan:
“They, the people of Kashmir, must be given their inalienable right which was promised to them by the Government of India, by the leaders of India, that they must settle their own future and on that right there can be no compromise — no political jugglery and no political settlement”.
On November 20, 1965, I stated again before the National Assembly:
“If we are to surrender the people of Jammu and Kashmir, we will be surrendering Pakistan. Governments may come and go, but we cannot abandon the people of Jammu and Kashmir”.
And, again, I said:
“India is sadly mistaken. The spirit — the indomitable spirit — and the will of the people of Pakistan — can never be broken. The hundred million Pakistanis will never compromise on the inalienable right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to self-determination”.
After this, on May 13, 1976, I said:
“Mrs. Indira Gandhi has asked why Pakistan did not extend the hand of friendship? Pakistan too wanted normalization; but for friendly relations there must be two basic requirements — Kashmir and the stoppage of propaganda against each other’s defence efforts”.
Further, you may review all the joint communiqués ever since I had been a Foreign Minister and have travelled abroad — I went to Indonesia and to other countries — the joint communiqués can be seen. Wherever I went I tried the same thing. At places I was successful, at other places not so, but I have always tried that Kashmir may be mentioned, and self-determination may be mentioned, and our stand may be supported. I have tried the same thing to form part of each joint communiqué. You can see them: how many can I recount here? On June 12, 1966, in Indonesia, in Somalia in 1966, and in China when I visited it in February 1972, then in Romania and again when I went to China and to the Democratic Republic of Korea recently. You can see both the joint communiqués and mark what I made them agree to. The communiqués which were released in China and Korea are not the communiqués of Pakistan only: they are joint communiqués, and in them we have made them say things as we ourselves say, that is, their support to our standpoint.
Now, please tell me, if we had bargained on the Kashmir question, if we had put it in cold-storage or forgotten or buried it, may be we could have said here that we have not buried it and that it is a live issue and it has some life in it. We can say all these things here but if we go to another country and she may be a big country and if she knows that this matter has already been solved then how can that country in its communiqué state that it supported us on the issue and was with us? That country would say why we were trying to involve it in our internal politics, that was our internal problem and why should we consider that country so ill-informed and did it not know that we had made a secret agreement with India and that the Kashmir problem had been consigned to cold storage and left it so that time could solve it automatically? Such a country would have given us only one reply because it does not have relations with us only. It has relations with India too, and this a delicate moment when she is sending an Ambassador to India after a lapse of 14 years, and wants to improve her relations with that country. This is her right, and why not? She cannot keep at loggerheads with the whole world. She too has her enemies and she also has to run her foreign policy. We cannot tell any country, big or small, how to run its foreign policy, in the same way as no one can tell us how to run our foreign policy. Now China has decided to exchange Ambassadors with India and embassies are going to start functioning. So when after this decision I go to China and ask China to support us and to mention it clearly in the joint communiqué, then in such a situation at least we could be told that since we have forgotten the matter and come to an agreement on our own then why should we spoil their relations by obtaining their support ? But the fact is that they know perfectly well that we have revived this issue again and we cannot forget it nor separate it from ourselves. For it is a question of our life, of our history, of our future, of our destiny. That is the reason why she said that in spite of the fact that she wants to improve relations with India she fully supported our stand. For this reason whether it may be Peking of Pyongyong, Gilgit or Dasu, I have always said that we stand firmly on the right of self-determination and shall continue to make efforts in that direction. We are not prepared to make any other kind of agreement but that !
So, Sir, this is our record, this is our background, this is our political character. This is our struggle. Besides this, you may remember my call for a general strike. This strike was no ordinary thing. I gave the call and the strike took place, and you know how successful it was even on the other side of the cease-fire line. You know very well how successfully they had the strike there. If the people of Kashmir had reposed no trust in us and had thought we were only playing and making stunts then why would have they observed the hartal? One can understand a hartal here as it was ordered by the Government and the people could have observed it out of fear of the administration. But the government of Occupied Kashmir was deadly against the strike. Then why did the people there go on strike, why did they respond to my call, why did they suffer baton-charges and teargas shells? If every thing was finished, why should they have offered sacrifices?
Take into account the hartal, our background, our record, our sacrifices, our struggle and then you will know what has been our stand and what has been our continuous struggle. As against this those who are talking about Kashmir today what have they done about Kashmir? What has been their policy? I have related to you the story of the proposal of Joint Defence with India by Ayub Khan soon after his promulgation of the Martial Law Regime in 1958. He had also gone to talk with Nehru. Nehru was not prepared to have any talks, but an announcement was made from Nathiagali that Ayub Khan would go to hold talks with Nehru “even without considering dates or protocol”. So he went to talk with Nehru on joint defence at the Palam Airport from where he went to Dacca. Nehru said: “You had stated there is danger from the North; I do not think there is any danger from the North. You are wrong. But then if we do have to hold talks why not we talk about the way we divide our (India Office) Library in Britain? The suggestion you are making is rather delicate and you would not understand it. May be you feel some danger, but not we. Anyway since you have come from such a long distance, let us sit down and think how to divide the India Office Library in London”.
So. Sir, this was the position of our Field Marshal. H.Pk., H.J.
It may be recalled that the dispute started during time of the Muslim League government. I do not want to name Quaid-i-Azam in this matter; but if I say that the Quaid-i-Azam had stated that he had some bad coins with him then Qayyum Khan gets angry unnecessarily. When I talk of the Muslim League I do not talk about the Qayyum League. But when 1 mention that name I actually speak of the Muslim League which was run by those bad coins. So when they were in power what did they do? Let me tell this to you in short.
The Security Council had decided to appoint a Plebiscite Administrator. What was their attitude to that? Admiral (Chester) Nimitz was nominated as the Plebiscite Administrator. You all know that. Then Mr. Mohammad Ali Bogra went to Delhi and said he was going to meet his “elder brother”. Who was this “elder brother?” Jawaharlal Nehru! The “elder brother” said he did not agree to the appointment of Admiral Nimitz and he (Bogra) should get some other Plebiscite Administrator appointed. He should have told Nehru that it was not his decision as an individual or that of Pakistan, that it was the decision of the Security Council, and that Admiral Nimitz was appointed in pursuance of a resolution of the Security Council. How could he be changed? He should have insisted that the decision should have to be accepted. But Nehru made him agree to the appointment of “some other” Plebiscite Administrator than Admiral Nimitz. At that time the key to the referendum was in the hands of the Plebiscite Administrator. But he (Mohammad Ali Bogra) rejected it at the instance of his “elder brother!” Nehru said: “We shall meet again and then we will discuss the name of who should be brought in place of Admiral Nimitz.” That place was vacated and then Nehru was not prepared to have it filled. In this way the Plebiscite Administrator was got rid of cunningly by Nehru and the place was never filled again. So this was the great service of these Muslim Leaguers. So this was the service of these Muslim Leaguers (and they are not Qayyum Muslim Leaguers!)
Another situation was that of the Security Council meeting held in February 1948. That was a very important meeting where a final decision was to be taken. You know well that everything was to be finalized there! Fixation of the date for plebiscite and the time table etc. The Indian representative saw that the matter was going out of their hands and the plebiscite was certain. So they asked for a month’s postponement. The Pakistan delegation accepted it. They should have at least asked why the postponement was called for, what was to be done within that month. They should have insisted on having that meeting and then get any number of postponements. But they immediately accepted the month’s postponement. In this one month, the (British Labour Party) Attlee government was influenced through Mountbatten and Nehru made efforts, Krishna Menon was sent to London and eventually a change came about in the policy of the British Government. At that time, in 1948, Britain had a lot of influence (as America came to have subsequently) in the Security Council and on the international level. Nehru and Krishna Menon talked to Attlee and got a change effected in the policy of Britain and its stand. At that time, Mr. Ernest Bevin was the Foreign Secretary of Britain. He was a very fine gentleman, a good and honest person. He told our Foreign Minister that our position had gone under. By accepting the postponement for a month, he said, we had handed over time to our enemies and during this month, they had influenced Attlee through Mountbatten, Nehru and Krishna Menon and that day Attlee had sent a wire to the British Permanent Representative to U.N. not to accept the original Resolution and to bring a new Resolution. This fact was revealed by Zafrullah Khan himself.
His statement was something like this:
“The best that the then Foreign Minister would do was to bemoan the effect of the disastrous telegram of the British Government to its Permanent Representative and to say that it had ‘upset the whole business’ .”
At that time whose government was there? Could we have accepted such a postponement? Could we have been caught in such a cunning move, to change a Plebiscite Administrator? If I was in power, I would have told Nehru that we could not change the Plebiscite Administrator: “Why should we? Why did you agree to it in the Security Council. Why did you not object at that time and how do you object now on the Plebiscite Administrator? And if you do insist on the change, then, come on; write it down who should be the Plebiscite Administrator in his place. You sign it and then we will think about it and then give our reply to the Security Council whether we agree or not.” But then there was no Plebiscite Administrator who could have supervised the plebiscite. Then how could the plebiscite be held? The position of the Plebiscite Administrator is similar to that of an Election Commissioner.
The Chief Election Commissioner supervises your elections. If you ask for the removal of the Chief Election Commissioner, how can the elections be held? Of course, it can be understood if you say let us remove this Chief Election Commissioner and in his place appoint another. But if you remove the Chief Election Commissioner and not appoint another in his place, then how can the elections be held? Remove the Plebiscite Administrator and do not replace him with another, then the plebiscite and the right of self-determination becomes meaningless. At that time, why did they compromise on the issue, and later on, why did they allow a month’s postponement? When the total resolution was about to be adopted the Indian Representative gets up and says that he wanted to make a speech that he wanted a month’s postponement, and Pakistan Representative says, agreed. My dear Sir, first the resolution should have passed then time should have been given. But they took the time and utilized it for applying influence. The reason was that the decision was going to be in favour of Pakistan and time was taken to use the influence and change the whole situation. So this is the story of influence on (Clement) Attlee, his telegram and the statement of Zafrullah Khan. This is not my statement; this is the statement of their Foreign Minister, one who was Foreign Minister for ten years, the Foreign Minister who was applauded for his five-hour speech. What use was the five-hour speech when the Kashmir question was shelved ! And then he himself says:
“The whole business is finished”.
So this is the record of Muslim League.
Then in 1951, it was announced with a lot of drum-beating that we would attend the Commonwealth Conference only if the Kashmir question was discussed there. But in the Conference there was no discussion on Kashmir; on the other hand it was said that the talks would be held outside the meeting. But the point is, talks are important when they take place in the Conference; outside all sorts of talks take place. As against this in 1964, we obtained support on the Kashmir question in the Commonwealth Conference’s Joint Communiqué.
Then came the Frank Graham Mission. What should I tell you about it? The Mission was accepted only to postpone matters — just to gain time. After Graham came Owen Dixon. This is the same person who had talked of a “partial plebiscite”, and partial plebiscite meant division. Then why was the Owen Dixon Mission accepted?
BETRAYAL AT TASHKENT
Later on the Tashkent Agreement was signed. What happened at Tashkent you all know. You know very well who raised a voice of protest at Tashkent and who did not. It was only I who raised an objection; I was the Foreign Minister at the time. I said I did not agree to it, and when Ayub Khan returned from Tashkent he called meetings of the so-called intellectuals at Rawalpindi, Lahore and Peshawar. I did not attend them. In those meetings he said he was fed up with this question of Kashmir! In the same way he called the MNA’s and told them to forget Kashmir — the same MNA’s who are giving out statements now (I do not want to name them). He called them and asked them to go to their constituencies and organise public opinion there. A very respectable Muslim Leaguer it was who told Ayub Khan that the latter had voiced his own point of view, that is, to forget the Kashmir problem! At the time I was not present at the Conference, but later on I was told that sonic Muslim Leaguers had given such statements that he (Ayub Khan) was right when he said how could the problem be settled! So this has been their background.
The most important point is why the cease-fire was at all accepted in 1949? You know very well that the conditions in India were not very good at the time. I am not talking of 1965, but of the earlier times. Why was the cease-fire at all accepted? At the time we were advancing and the people of Kashmir were with us. And why was it said about the tribesmen who had gone from our land that they would be brought back forthwith. It was the Muslim League Government which had agreed to the cease-fire and the assertion that tribesmen would be withdrawn leads to the inevitable conclusion that it was accepted that the tribesmen were sent by us. If at first it had been stated that Pakistan had not sent any tribesmen then that stand should have been adhered to, and it could have been stated that the tribesmen could not be withdrawn as we did not know where they were. What effect all this had on the Kashmir issue you all know about it. Later on when the question arose as to how many armed forces India had and how many did we have — the difference was of 18,000 or 21,000, when the people were with us. These people did not have a political mind. They were incapable of thinking in political manner. They were influenced by the bureaucracy of the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and that Ministry had insisted that if India had 21,000 then Pakistan should also have 21,000, otherwise there shall be no control. But the people were with you and if the people are with you then some risk could be taken, as therein lies the way to destiny and a nation’s future. When Girjashankar Bajpai returned to Delhi he laughingly said that he had said that he had wasted one full year in Geneva talking eighteen to nineteen with these Pakistanis while during this one year our forces went on building up. At that time it was a Muslim League Government, and nobody else’s. The People’s Party did not even exist at that time.
Besides, when Nehru said that if we went to SEATO or CENTO we should forget the Kashmir issue. At that time why was not the Security Council asked to pass a resolution? I do not say that we should not have joined these organizations; but Nehru had warned at the time that if we become members of the SEATO or CENTO it would bring the cold war to our borders. Why was it not asserted that we were prepared to join these organizations but before that we should have got the matter settled in the Security Council. Britain had certainly deviated from its commitments but since the Americans and others were desirous of our staying in SEATO and CENTO, the Americans could have been asked that we were ready with pleasure but since Nehru had made a statement we have to protest against it and have also to defend our country. And they should have called upon to defend us. So they should have been asked to go to the Security Council to have a Resolution passed on our behalf and then we could have entered the pacts.
SUPER POWER VETO AGAINST PAKISTAN
Now they ask us why we do not go to the Security Council? It were they who did not go to the Security Council when there was still time, when there was no Russian veto. And then why did the Russian veto come? It was because their policy was directed against Russia. Why was Russian veto not there before? All this took place during the Muslim League regimes. Some times they said they were going to Russia: some times they said they did not wish to go there. Some times they said they would accept the invitation; some times they refused to do so and so on and so forth. All these things plus CENTO and SEATO were responsible for the veto of Russia. When there was no veto they did not go to Security Council and when there is a veto there they say go to the Security Council. Do you mean to say that I should spoil my relations with Russia as well as China? China may say that Pakistan has become a perpetual trouble for them, all the time asking for veto. In other words, they want I should make two big countries (powers) angry for no reason at all. If there was any gain for us in going to the Security Council then we would have preferred it and brought the Kashmir question nearer to solution and I would have said we do not care for the Russian veto. But when we can see clearly that by going there is bound to be a veto — that of Russian against Pakistan and of China in favour, then this would mean that we would further spoil their mutual relations while Kashmir question would remain where it is, without a solution. When there was no veto why did they not go to the Security Council? When there was no veto why were they unsuccessful in this matter, why did they not get their point of view agreed to before entering CENTO and SEATO? When there was no veto why did they allow the Plebiscite Administrator to be removed, why they allowed one month’s postponement? And when there was no veto, why Ghulam Mohammad and Bogra and other Ministers went to Delhi to worship Nehru and call him “elder brother?” I had also talks with Swaran Singh. I talked with him for six months. But there was no change in our stand and I told him: “Sardar Sahib, right of self-determination or nothing”. I never deviated from the principle of the right of self-determination and no loss was sustained till today while they went and in six hours and in only one tour sustained a great loss. And now they turn round and say that the Kashmir question is being bypassed.
It was they who themselves spoiled the Kashmir question. They played a political game with Kashmir, made it a football, turned it into an election stunt, and now when we are on the way to revive the issue and provide strength to Kashmir, they accuse us that we have deviated from the problem. Let me tell you what their conspiracy is. They do not have the guts, the courage to take a firm stand on the Kashmir question. So they want that the Kashmir question should be shelved. That is why they have been harping that it is we who have finished it. Later on they would say that the Kashmir question is over and done with and did not they say that the issue had been done with? They it was who harmed the issue, mistakes they committed, they it was who treated the matter with rashness and now they have turned the whole question into a department of the Pakistan Government.
When they gave the base of Badaber to the Americans, the latter had promised that they would snatch Kashmir out of Indian hands and give it to Pakistan. Why did they not do it? The Base was also given and Kashmir too remained where it was. Nobody snatched anything from anybody. They got the Plebiscite Administrator removed, got conferences postponed, Britain’s stand was allowed to be changed, they went to SEATO and CENTO, they did not take advantage of the Security Council when there was no veto, and now they are crying that the Kashmir question is being bypassed.
MERGER A STEP TOWARDS LIBERATION
Your party has joined ours. Other friends shall also come and join us and when there would be a united strength in Kashmir, it would become our base, and that is the path that would take us to the liberation of our areas. They cannot be liberated through resolutions. Tell me where the Palestine question stands today? Where hangs the problem of Lebanon? These are very intricate matters. They are not simple affairs. They are delicate affairs. Super powers are involved in it. And now see what these powers have done. What they have done to beautiful Lebanon? A pretty city like Beirut has been destroyed. It has been completely annihilated. I do not want to play with my country or with the destiny of this nation. I am not an adventurer who may be misled by their talk and to destroy my country, have bloodshed here and give a chance to the enemies. The enemy is always on the watch. But I can never give him chance. I do not want such politics in my country.
These are important matters. That is why I have taken a lot of your time to explain their background. I have told you the important points. Now you decide yourself, let the people of Pakistan decide who has supported the people of Kashmir and the cause of Kashmir and who has harmed Kashmir and the cause of Kashmir !