Question: The U.N. Security Council has discussed Kashmir 109 times in the past 15 years. Is this one hundred and tenth discussion likely to bring the problem any nearer to solution?
Answer: Well, we have discussed it a hundred and nine times and we are going to discuss it for the one hundred and tenth time and we are prepared to discuss it for a thousand times and we will continue to make every effort to see that the problem of Kashmir is settled in an honourable manner according to the rules and norms of justice and equity. And there is no better forum than the Security Council for this purpose. After all, the Security Council exists for a specific purpose, such as, the preservation of peace in the world, and as such it is important that we go to the doors of United Nations to seek solutions of delicate and difficult disputes in a peaceful manner and we are not going to lose hope or faith in the United Nations because there have been a hundred and nine discussions.
Question: Will you be putting forward any new proposal?
Answer: We are considering certain proposals. We have certain ideas and we will be consulting members of the Security Council on these proposals and ideas.
Question: Will these proposals and ideas include the one previously discussed at the United Nations about a plebiscite?
Answer: Well, the plebiscite is the solution to the problem which both India and Pakistan agreed to, and according to us the basic factor involved is the right of self-determination for the people of Kashmir. Therefore, plebiscite is bound to be the central factor in these discussions.
Question: You have seen the Prime Minister Sir Alec and Mr. Sandys this morning. Do you find their attitude sympathetic towards Pakistan’s views?
Answer: We had a general and, I would say, a profitable exchange of views. I would not like to say anything more than that at this stage because the situation is delicate, tense and difficult and it would not be proper for me to elaborate on the discussion we had this morning.
Question: Do you think the possible departure of Mr. Nehru from power in India through ill health in the foreseeable future is likely to bring a change in the Indian policy over the Kashmir question?
Answer: These fundamental disputes are impersonal. They do not revolve round a personality although, of course, it would not be correct to say personalities do not influence events and the trend of events but nonetheless issues like these transcend individuals.
Question: Is the problem one that if it is not solved it will have repercussions outside India and Pakistan?
Answer: Most obviously. Such as the future of more than 500 million people, one sixth of humanity, and in the modern world, the whole world has shrunk and everyone is a next-door neighbours to everyone else but physically speaking, after all, the geo-political importance of these two countries and the bearing and influence they have in the region are all vital considerations.
Question: In effect, Kashmir is a drain on your strength.
Answer: It’s a drain on our strength. It’s a drain on the strength of India. It’s a drain on the strength of the very fibre of peace in that region.
Question: If the present crisis in Kashmir, the crisis that’s just blown up with riots, if it continues, is it possible that Pakistan and India might ask for help in the form of policing by Britain?
Answer: We have an open mind on this problem. We would like to see an equitable and just solution in an expeditious fashion and from that point of view we are willing to examine any constructive proposals for its solution. It may be remembered that in the past, I think it was in 1949, a proposal of this nature was made and Pakistan at that time had accepted it whereas India rejected it on grounds which, we do not think, were justifiable. However, if such a proposal is made, I am sure we will examine it sympathetically.