My dear companions, friends, ladies and gentlemen:
First of all, I thank you for this honour. I dont want to reiterate the importance of this day. I would only say that my party and I welcome the announcement made today by my friend and old associate, with whom I have not only friendly but political relations for a long time.
My brothers and sisters, you would like to hear my views on the present situation in Kashmir. Here, it would be proper to clarify that I am talking about Azad Kashmir and not Occupied Kashmir at this moment.
The first thing is that the confidence of the people of Kashmir in the peoples Government, its stand, philosophy and politics is increasing with the passage of time. In the beginning, the Muslim Conference was the ruling party in Azad Kashmir. Earlier, elections were held in Azad Kashmir. These were not held during our regime, but before that. You will recall that the elections that were held in Pakistan in December 1970 are regarded as free and fair and one will have to admit to a great extent that they were free. But still, so far as our party is concerned, it did not enjoy as much freedom as was enjoyed by other parties. But I cannot express my views on the elections held here because at that time I was neither in the Government nor was I acquainted with the conditions of this area. However, it is said that a certain party in this region too was given support in one form or the other, if not openly. I dont say this because I am not aware of it. But people say this. However, we maintained our link and relations with that Government. I tell you sincerely and truthfully that we made maximum endeavors to cooperate with that Government, because it was not our policy or intention to create difficulties for, or put obstacles in the way of, that Government. Such a policy was not beneficial for the politics of Pakistan and for the crucial times that we were passing through. So we made our utmost efforts to cooperate with that Government. On every occasion when there was something unusual or a crisis on a limited scale, we held discussions and strived to find out a solution through understanding with that Government. You know it well what claims the rulers of that Government used to make when they came back after visiting the capital. They claimed that they made the Federal Government bow before them. You know and the people, the politicians, the inhabitants and the citizens of this place know well it was said that they had compelled the Federal Government by force to accede to this demand and to that demand. However, it was not our policy to topple that Government or to make it a failure. Had they functioned properly, had they served Pakistan in the right manner, had they stuck to the promises they had made to the people of Kashmir; it was never the intention of the Peoples Party to capture power in Azad Kashmir. It was never our policy to capture Azad Kashmir Government by hook or by crook. I know what was being said against the Pakistan Peoples Party, what hurdles were being placed in its way, what troubles were being created for it and how a campaign was launched against our party in schools, colleges and among the students, so much so that when our Central Ministers came here, it was said why they came and delivered speeches here. When they themselves made speeches against the Federal Government there was nothing wrong in it, but when the Federal Ministers came to say something in defence, they demanded that the Ministers should be stopped from coming over here and delivering speeches.
Here our party was in the opposition. One has to remain in opposition sometimes in a democratic polity. Though in the opposition, our party was gaining popularity in this area, because ours was a peoples programme. We did not form our party here. The party had itself emerged. The people themselves had formed the party. They had formed the party after having seen its programme. They had love and devotion for the party. The party contested the elections. We were happy over the number of seats that we had secured. As I said, we extended maximum cooperation to this Government, just as we cooperated with the NAP Government in Baluchistan and with the NAP and JUI coalition Government in the NWFP. But when they deviated from the path of national interest, when they tried to secede from Pakistan in administration, when they prevented Pakistan from exercising the powers and discharging the responsibilities that were legally conferred on it, when they said that the Chief Secretary who was appointed as such was not acceptable to them, and that no I. G. of Police was acceptable to them and when they tried to set up a parallel Government, it was impossible for us to allow a parallel Government to be formed. Besides, later on, an All-Pakistan Kashmir Conference was held at Rawalpindi. They went back on the agreements arrived at in that Conference also. After this Government, the Peoples Party Government was formed because it was Number Two party. Then elections were held and we secured a majority. We formed the Government with a majority. Our dear friend, the honorable President of Azad Kashmir is sitting here. We never offered him to become President on the condition that he should join our party. You can enquire from him. He joined the party of his own accord, for the sake of Pakistan, for the sake of the country, for the sake of his area and to render better service to the people of Azad Kashmir.
Most happily I welcome my dear old friend and companion, K. H. Khurshid. Liberation League has no separate entity from today, and it has merged with the Peoples Party, just as the Muslim Conference, which had Sardar Ibrahim as its President, has merged with the Peoples Party. This is Mr. Khurshids decision, as he has just said in his speech that this decision was taken by him and his party after giving it careful thought. And it should be so, because it is not an ordinary decision. Delicate decisions are taken after considerable thought. I assure him too, just as I had assured Sardar Ibrahim, that he would see, and time and experience would tell him, that we would not forsake him, but side with him at every step. It is the need of the hour that they should work with us. As Mr. Khurshid has said in his speech, we had hitherto been knocking the door of UN only but there can be other solutions as well and Insha Allah there will be a solution. But our first and foremost need is unity and we should unite. So this decision of yours carries particular importance and I welcome it.
Now I come to the Kashmir issue. This is necessary in view of the occasion and time also. How is it possible to refrain from expressing views on the issue of Kashmir in such a meeting on the soil of Kashmir? I cannot help expressing my views on the nature of our present relations with India and our stand on the right of self-determination of of Kashmir. So I want to say something on these two issues.
My dear associates and friends, our misunderstanding, our enmity and our relations with India have always borne the mark of Kashmir on them. Whatever turn our relations with India took since we achieved independence, you will certainly find that Kashmir dominated them in one form or the other. The position is that Kashmir has remained the basic issue from the beginning till this day and there is no change in it. So long as the question of the right of self-determination is not decided, Kashmir will remain a live issue. Our Government—and when I say this, I mean the Peoples Government—cannot, in any case, forsake this issue because if we do that, there will be no need and no place for us in politics. We occupy a place in politics only because it is a revolutionary issue, a peoples issue. Those who are afraid of Kashmir issue, those who evade it, those who want to shelve it, do not remain peoples politicians; their politics is not the politics of the people; they have no link with the people; they believe in palace politics and are desirous of coming to power through intrigues. But those who want to leave an indelible mark of their names and services on history cannot, in any way, abandon such issues, come what may.
Now, I want to tell you that those people and those politicians who are indulging in tall talk, tried to submerge this issue under the heap of other issues and to create numerous issues on trifling matters with India. Sometimes they said that we should not even hold talks and conferences. Sometimes they said that we should neither have trade or cultural talks nor should any book go from this side to that side or come from that side to this side. Even centuries-old enemies do not do like that. After all we have seen the case of France and Germany which were avowed enemies of each other. They fought two wars. But after the war, they exchanged commodities. It is not politics to multiply issues which are not basic. On the contrary, our politics is to remove the hurdle of non-basic issues and tell the entire world and the Islamic world that this is our dispute and this is the cause of our enmity. If you swamp the real issue under the heap of minor issues, there will be confusion. People will fail to understand the cause of our enmity. People understand basic things. People distinguish between day, night and noon. So I say that those who say why the Government solved other minor issues without solving the Kashmir issue, are hypocrites and do not want to seek a solution to the problem. They are, in fact, trying to clear their way for coming to power.
I want to give you an example. When there was a civil war between East and West Pakistan and when India launched an attack on East Pakistan, now called Bangladesh, the people forgot Kashmir issue and the entire attention was focused on Bangladesh. Who was talking about Kashmir at that time? The talk at that time was whether Pakistan would survive or not. You know that after that war it was also said how 90,000 prisoners of war would be repatriated, how 5,000 sq. miles of our territory would be taken back from India, and what kind of decision will be taken at Simla. The Simla Accord was signed. Those who are raising their fingers now were trembling at that time. Had that gentleman gone to Simla at that time, his condition would have been worth seeing.
Now, I come back to the real issue. I shall not again go deep into the history of the issue because in my speech at Hotel Inter-Continental, Rawalpindi, on the occasion of the merger of the Muslim Conference with the Peoples Party, I had described the history in details. I shall only refer to particular points on the occasion.
At the time when the Boundary Commission gave Gurdaspur, a Muslim majority area, to India, the Peoples Party had not come into existence nor was there Peoples Party Government. The people, who are now-a-days in one opposition party or the other, might have been in politics somewhere. But we were not in politics nor were we responsible for the wrong decisions given by the Boundary Commission. We cannot take the responsibility of the wrong decisions given by the Boundary Commission. Now look at the politics of Mountbatten. I do not say that he played his personal politics. He played the politics of the British Government. What they wanted to do in the sub-continent, why they opposed Pakistan, what situation of Asia they had in mind at that time, what notions they had about the sub-continent, and the tragedy of the migration of millions of Muslims from India to Pakistan and their mass killings—I shall not mention these events because they happened long before we came.
Now, take partition. The division of population was natural. Millions of Muslims came here from every part of the sub-continent. This is after all a country of Muslims. The Muslims tried to come here and help in establishing their independent country. The Civil Service and the Government servants were divided. Funds were also divided and everything was divided. But only one thing was not divided, namely the Supreme Commander, Auchinleck who was common. Now you can yourself see that everything was divided but I want to ask why the Commanders were not divided. The reason for asking this question is that war is fought with armed forces. I would like to remind our friends that when the Quaid-i-Azam decided that there should be war in Kashmir, Auchinleck said, "Since I am the Commander-in-Chief of both India and Pakistan, I do not accept this decision." The point is: how could a joint Commander-in-Chief of India and Pakistan implement this decision?
After that, the Quaid-i-Azam left us and we rushed to the UN. We were under the delusion that the UN could solve every issue under the sun, and that it would give us Kashmir. We were under the false impression that the UN is more powerful than an independent and sovereign country. We wasted our time under this false impression and put all our eggs straightaway into the basket of UN. Then the UN passed a resolution in favour of plebiscite on the right of self-determination. It was thought that the issue was solved and the plebiscite would be held. It was thought that since it was a UN decision, nobody could prevent plebiscite from being held. It was thought that Kashmir had come to Pakistan and there was no need for further struggle. Then you saw what happened. There was no veto at that time. Still the decision was not implemented. India put forward many excuses. It passed two years and raised the question whether Pakistan should keep 15,000 troops or India would keep 25 to 30 thousand troops. Thereupon, conferences were held at Geneva, New York, and Delhi. India cunningly passed time and kept us in delusion saying that it was holding negotiations on plebiscite. Then India strengthened its relations with Russia while we, unwisely, continued to worsen our relations with it because we wanted to impress upon America that we are its true friend and shall sacrifice everything for it, Then our Prime Minister Mohammad Ali Bogra went to Delhi, and Nehru asked him to change the Administrator first. That change was not needed and if at all it was needed, the appointment of another Plebiscite Administrator was essential. But Sir Girja Shankar Bajpai kept Pakistans Representative busy in Geneva on the one hand, while on the other, Mohammad Ali Bogra got the Plebiscite Administrator removed. Thirdly, we worsened our relations with Russia. India, on the other hand, strengthened it relations with Russia. It secured veto from Russia and asked us to forget about Plebiscite Administrator. It also told us that it does not accept the negotiations being held between Sir Girja Shankar Bajpai and Zafrullah at Geneva.
Days rolled by and then Ayub Khan came to power. He was a military dictator, Martial Law Administrator and Commander-in-Chief of the Army too. We thought that now correct policy would perhaps be pursued. But Ayub Khan, first of all, announced that there should be joint defence with India. What remains after joint defence? There was again the same situation that had arisen due to the appointment of Auchinleck as the joint Supreme Commander. As a matter of fact, joint defence was the plan of the Britishers. The Britishers had hoped that after a year or two, these countries would reunite. So they made efforts to set up and maintain joint command, because army is the most important thing. The division of pen and paper is an ordinary matter. Now you have seen the outcome of this. Mr. Auchinleck did not carry out the orders of the Quaid-i-Azam. Ten years after when Ayub Khan came to power and even after having a bitter experience of ten years, he proposed joint defence. Joint defence against whom? If you want to have joint defence, what remains after that? Then there is no need for the division of other things. Why should, then, one member of the family live here and the other on the other side? So he was asked against whom should there be joint defence, he said that it would be against the northern Powers. Which northern Powers? They can only be Russia and China. What strength did you have? You could not even take Kashmir joint defence with India meant nothing except that you wanted to merge with that country and do away with your separate existence. I want to ask that if you wanted to have joint defence for the sake of Pakistan, how it was in the interest of this country. How can you talk about the interest of Pakistan by thus antagonizing, for nothing, both Russia and China? There may be differences and the systems may be different. Look at the relations between Russia and America and between America and China, and you will find that Great Powers can come to some understanding and rapprochement among one another at one time or the other. In such circumstances one can ask why you took the dangerous and wrong decision of having joint defence. At that time nobody had the temerity to say that there can be no joint defence without solving the Kashmir tangle. So this was the contribution of Ayub Khan. Our valiant Field Marshal had surrendered arms. Do Field Marshals surrender or take up arms? Ayub Khan pursued this sort of policy and nothing was said.
Thereafter his Foreign Minister Manzur Qadir (this is also on record) asked the leaders of Azad Kashmir to say what was acceptable to them, if not plebiscite. Why was this question raised by Ayub Khan? This question was to be asked from Nehru who would have said that he did not want plebiscite that he wanted to resile from it and that plebiscite was no more acceptable to him. Then we should have rejected it and told him (Nehru) that there can be no other decision because he had agreed to it (plebiscite). But inversely this question was put to us. This meant that we had admitted defeat.
What happened after that? Fortuitously there was a war between India and China in the year 1962. You know that India had moved all its troops out of occupied Kashmir. Our Commanders were saying that the way to Srinagar is clear. Why then no decision was taken? Nations are after all in search of opportunities that cause no damage but go in favour. If that was the opportune time why no advantage was taken of it. Who prevented them from doing so? What was the obstacle? After the 1962 War between India and China, I was given the portfolio of Foreign Ministry. I tried to repair the damage that was caused. I completely shelved the issue of joint defence. Then I emphasised on plebiscite. Later, there was the 1965 war. After the end of that war you know what happened at Tashkent. I dont want to go into details but I want to tell you two facts about post-Tashkent period. If you look back at the pages of newspapers during those days you will see that a psychological warfare was started. It was said that India had augmented its armed forces to such and such extent, that India was receiving so much aid from Russia, that so many tanks had arrived in India, that India had started tank and aeroplane-manufacturing factories and that India’s military might was fast increasing. The purpose behind all this was to create awe and inferiority complex among the people, so that they may lose confidence in their strength. The then Commander-in-Chief Yahya Khan said in his interview to Suleri of Pakistan Times that if India reduced its armed forces he was also prepared to do it.
MNAs were called and they were instructed to go to their constituencies and tell the people there that it was not possible to acquire Kashmir and so they should adopt a realistic policy. I know how many MNAs were called, and there were such MNAs too who talked such things in their respective constituencies. Those MNAs are now in the opposition ranks. Today there are more MNAs and MPAs than in those days. If even one MNA or MPA tells me that I asked him to talk such things in his constituency, I am prepared to resign.
Then Yahya Khan took over. During Yahya regime we saw what we did not even imagine, which we could never think of. We had to witness the tragedy in which our dear homeland was divided into two parts, a portion of our territory went under enemy occupation, and 90,000 soldiers became prisoners of war. The condition of West Pakistan at that time is known to you better. Leave aside the circumstances in which I took the reins of the country. In those circumstances I entered into the Simla Accord. Five years have now elapsed since the Simla Accord was signed. What is the defect in Simla Accord? Is there no mention of Kashmir in Simla Accord? It has been stated in Simla Accord that Pakistan firmly adhered to its stand and that there would be negotiations on the Kashmir issue also. What more points and what secret clauses are there in Simla Accord? Why were such things not brought to light during these five years? Had our enemies concealed these things? If I enter into an agreement, and that too on Kashmir, with those who have been my opponents, would they keep it a secret?
Now I want to tell you that our opponents say that this man had declared a thousand-year war with India and now what has happened to that thousand-year war. I say that a thousand-year war is not fought in a day, nor in an age. A thousand-year war is a philosophy which means that we shall not, in any circumstances, compromise, come what may; if we have to retreat at any time, we shall retreat, if we have to wait for sometime, we shall wait, and that we shall move according to the demands of time, and will look for opportune moments. This is called a thousand-year war. Take the instance of the Great Leader of China, Chairman Mao Tsetung, who, under the demands of time, cooperated with Kuomintang twice. Who could be a more formidable foe of Chairman Mao than Chiang Kaishek? Due to this cooperation, Chairman Mao was, at one time, removed from the Central Committee because the Committee opposed this cooperation. Later on, the Central Committee admitted that Chairman Maos decision was correct, and that the Committee was in the wrong. So Chairman Mao cooperated with the Kuomintang because it was the need of the hour, the demand of time and was in the interest of China. It was not his personal interest, nor that of his party. It was in the interest of China and the Chinese people. I can, in no case, and out of tune, put the destiny of my nation at stake. Then there are people who say that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had said that there should be a policy of confrontation, and now he is talking in a different tone, and saying that there should be cooperation and trade. In what situation and at what time had I reiterated and advanced the policy of confrontation? I am not abandoning the policy of confrontation. You know that when we achieved independence, there was joint defence. Later, the military might of India far exceeded that of ours. Then in the year 1954 we entered into a military pact and signed two defence agreements with America. The situation gradually changed and the military power of Pakistan continued to increase. Aid was gradually coming, with the result that in 1960-62 and 1963 our military might was greater than that of India. During the 1965 war our military strength was at its highest. While I was Foreign Minister, I had said that there was a shift in American policy due to Sino-Indian conflict. After the year 1962, General Choudhury told our Ambassador: "we shall not fight with you at this time and shall wait for ten years. I know that you want to fight now but India will not fight with you at this time because you have military preponderance over India." If I suggested a policy of confrontation at that time, what was wrong in it? I said it was the time when we could do something. I said that if we have to hold fast to justice and our stand, and want to see Kashmir a part of Pakistan, it is the right moment because later on the time will slip, because the American and the Russian policies had joined hands against China and because India’s strength will continue to increase. That opportunity also came and passed away. A nation does not get such opportunities every day. We could, at that time, threaten India because our military might was heavier than theirs. Our military strength had increased much during the 1965 war. The strength of our Armoured Division had greatly increased. They believed that they could easily dominate the Indian army because our Armoured Division was of this nature. The waves of time do not always flow in favorable direction. History bears testimony to it. You might have seen that Greece was a power. Where has the Greek power gone? Where has the Roman power gone? Where has the British power gone? India also saw during the war in Bangladesh that the time was on its side. It had the opportunity and so it took a decision. The outcome of that decision, it thinks, went in its favour. When the time was with us, when the ground was clear, when the atmosphere was favorable, I said that we should have confrontation. That was the ripe time, because if we did not do that, it would be difficult later on to do it easily. The time would pass away and there would be a new order. We would then think about our new course of action in the new order. We saw that the time was running out fast and India was speedily making preparations. I don’t overawe my people with the atom bomb that India possesses. I don’t follow the policy adopted by Ayub Khan. I don’t tell the people to publicize in newspapers that India has augmented army divisions and opened factories. I never said that since India has an atom bomb, people should not talk like that. I don’t want to frighten my people. But what after all do the Opposition people want me to do? Do they want me to invite the destruction of Pakistan, when we have just passed through a traumatic experience with great pain and difficulty? Do they want me also to indulge in such irresponsible talk? What heavens have fallen if there is a resumption of trade with India? When there was no mutual trade, what damage was caused to India? All countries of the world carry on trade. There is trade between China and America. Trade benefits not one country but both. Did India lag behind when it had no trade with us during the last ten or eleven years? I would like to tell you that Mrs. Indira Gandhi told our Ambassador during a meeting that if we wanted to discontinue trade with her country we could do it because she did not want to thrust anything on us. What policy with India have we followed that has caused damage to Pakistan? What policy do these people want? Do they want us to follow the policy that is being pursued in the Middle East these days? This policy can be followed in the sub-continent as well. Isn’t Middle East a part of the world? Don’t human beings live in Lebanon? If there can be a conspiracy and destruction in Lebanon, cant there be a second and a third conspiracy? If one conspiracy can succeed in Pakistan, can’t there be attempts at another? Those who succeed in one conspiracy strive for another also. Do these people want that here too destruction should be invited for nothing? Why is there so much noise and hustle and bustle when I am not willing to resile from my stand, when I am not abandoning the right of self-determination, when I am not prepared to enter into any illegitimate agreement with India and when I am not going to bow down before India? Are these people the well-wishers or the enemies of Pakistan or the forthcoming elections have snatched the power of thinking and comprehension from them?
Another point is that they say transit facilities should not be provided. I ask what facilities have been provided. The simple fact is that the Indian Ambassador was coming to Islamabad. He made a request that since Indian Embassy was being opened, he may be allowed to carry ten or twelve trucks full of furniture and other articles. What was the harm if this permission was accorded, just as they allowed our Ambassador to take his articles on trucks from Lahore to Delhi? There was trade earlier and it can he carried on even now. What was the crime if this facility was given? I say I could defend it and place it before you. But I have not provided transit facilities. This is being given everywhere in the world. A bridge has been built for Eastern Europe at Bosphorus. They thought that the cost of construction of this bridge would be recovered after fifteen years but it was recovered in only three years. It is a pity they praise and shower encomiums on those who caused damage to the country and took it to the brink of destruction, but level baseless allegations against those who saved the country, served it, revived the Kashmir issue, and conducted a party of the masses.
Now, I would say a few words about the hijacking of the Indian airliner. Had we committed the same folly with this airliner as we did with Ganga plane, it would have caused damage to Pakistan, because the hijacking of Ganga plane was a conspiracy. I remember that I had come back from Dacca on that day. The people gheraoed me at the airport. The crowd, which was chanting slogans, took me to the place where two young boys—one named Hashim and the other whose name I have forgotten —were sitting. There I saw Mr. Khurshid also sitting on one side. I asked the boys what the matter was. The two young boys replied that they had taken the final decision and that I should remember the decision. I said it is alright and I will remember the decision. Those two boys later proved to he Indian C.I.D. agents. They were made heroes and taken out in a procession. At that time I told the Foreign Office also that they should do a hit of thinking, and that though I am not in the Government, I have a bit of doubt and suspicion and that it is a conspiracy. Then people saw that the two boys blew up the Indian airliner, and India refused permission for over-flights to East Pakistan. So I cannot play with the destiny of Pakistan. I cannot at all gamble with the people which others do. May God give me enough strength to refrain from ever compromising on my principles, and, Insha Allah, I shall never do it. I shall not play with the fate of the nation. I have not only surveyed international conspiracies but seen them with my own eyes. There can be such conspiracies in this world which we cannot comprehend. There is great complexity and complication in the world of today. There is a network all around. We will have to see who is our friend and who is our foe, what is the demand of time and what should be our policy. How can I go against the popular sentiments? I firmly believe in sentiments. Man is nothing without sentiments. But there should not be a hundred per cent sentiment in man, otherwise there would be no difference between man and animal. Arguments are also needed. Mind is also to be used. Wisdom and patience are also required. I thought it essential and an obligation on my part to express my views on what should be our present and future policy with India. So I have done my duty.