How India tried to aphyxiate Pakistan

By Basharat Hussain Qizilbash

This is a cross post from Rupee News.                  

Many Pakistanis are eager to establish strong friendly relations with India; however, the more cautious ones remind us not to be totally oblivious of its past attitude towards Pakistan. Why is there such a trust deficit? Trust, in plain words, means that the entity you trust will not fail you in any situation that demands fairness, protection or discretion. Could there have been better situations to test our trust in India than, when, we, as a newly born nation were struggling for survival?

We expected India to be fair and prudent in its discretion while dealing with us. It had several big leaders – Gandhi, Nehru, Patel – to name a few, tall enough to lay the foundations of a trustworthy relationship with Pakistan but their words and deeds instead created such a huge trust deficit that hasn’t been bridged, till today.

The list of Indian betrayals is long and it starts from the time when the date of transfer of power was announced by the British. Had the original date of June 1, 1948, been followed then instead of two months, the provinces that became Pakistan would have had 11 months to organise themselves before partition. However, the Congress secretly hobnobbed with the British Viceroy Mountbatten to have the date of partition advanced to August 1947 in order to deny Pakistan the opportunity to establish itself on a sound basis from the very beginning.

Next, the colonial economy was so organised that the Muslim majority in East Bengal was made totally dependent upon the port city of Calcutta (now Kolkata). A plebiscite in Calcutta was expected to result in favour of Pakistan. This was not acceptable to the Congress. So it again entered into a clandestine agreement with Mountbatten to secure this crucial city. This is not just an allegation. Much later, in the daily The Hindu of January 15, 1950, Sardar Patel himself spilled the beans: “We made a condition that we could only agree to partition if we did not lose Calcutta. If Calcutta is gone then India is gone.”

Millions of farmers of Pakistan’s Bengal were dependent on Calcutta for selling and exporting their jute, however, India started a trade war by refusing to buy our jute and blocked its export through Calcutta as well. The crisis compelled Pakistan to search for a trade agreement but what the Indians felt about us could be imagined from the callous remark of the leader of an Indian delegation: “What can you do with your jute except sell it to us? Burn it? Throw it into the Bay of Bengal?” So what kind of relationship could have been established between the two countries on the basis of such Indian arrogance?

Another opportunity to build a trustworthy relationship was wasted by India when it deprived Pakistan of its due share of one-third of the military stores, as per decision of the Joint Defence Council. By being fair and just, India could have allayed Pakistan’s sense of insecurity by transferring its military share, besides winning our gratitude in bonus. But it was not to be so.

To understand the nefarious Indian designs, one has to read John Connell’s Auchinleck: A Critical Biography, in which Field Marshal Sir Claude Auchinleck in his capacity as the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian armed forces, as well as a member of the Joint Defence Council, informed the British government on September 28, 1947: “I have no hesitation whatever in affirming that the present Indian Cabinet are implacably determined to do all in their power to prevent the establishment of the Dominion of Pakistan on a firm basis….The Indian leaders, Cabinet Ministers, civil officials and others have persistently tried to obstruct the work of partition of the armed forces….It is becoming increasingly impossible for myself and my officers to continue with our task. If we are removed, there is no hope at all of any just division of assets in the shape of movable stores belonging to the former Indian army. The attitude of Pakistan, on the other hand, has been reasonable and cooperative throughout.” The fact of the matter is that Auchinleck was forced to resign. Moreover, Sardar Patel ensured that not a single piece of defence machinery reached Pakistan. India even refused to give us the machinery for Bren-gun and fuse-filling factories that was lying packed and uninstalled.

Yet, another classic example of India’s Machiavellian duplicity came to the fore on the issue of water distribution of rivers and canals in Punjab. This issue was dealt by Committee B of the Arbitral Tribunal, which was to expire on March 31, 1948. This committee with equal representation from India and Pakistan unanimously agreed that the pre-partition shares of water would not be changed but the day after the Arbitral Tribunal ceased to exist, India stopped the supply of water in every canal coming into Pakistan threatening agriculture over 1.66 million acres. The precarious Pakistani condition was exploited to the hilt by India when a delegation headed by Ghulam Muhammad comprising Shaukat Hayat and Mumtaz Daultana was not given any choice but was made to sign a statement without changing a word or a comma by Nehru’s government on May 4, as a condition for restoring the flow of water. If it were not a blackmail, pure and simple, then what was it?

The threat potential of this ‘water bomb’ was highlighted by David E. Lilienthal, a former head of the Tennessee Valley Authority, US, who, after visiting the subcontinent commented in the August 1951 issue of the Collier magazine: “With no water for irrigation (Pakistan) would be desert….No army, with bombs and shellfire, could devastate a land as thoroughly as Pakistan could be devastated by the simple expedient of India’s permanently shutting off the sources of water that keep the fields and the people of Pakistan alive.” In a timeless observation, he termed the water dispute “pure dynamite, a Punjab powder keg” and warned that “peace in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent is not in sight with these inflammables around.” This is indeed the context of today’s “water tensions.”

When lifetime opportunities presented themselves to build a genuine trustworthy friendship with Pakistan, it was India that frittered them away by betraying Pakistan’s trust. When we trusted India to be just, it deceived us. When we expected it to be prudent in its discretion, India showed indiscretion, and when we thought that it would allay our sense of insecurity, it tried to make us defenceless. In this backdrop, can Pakistanis afford to ignore George Santayana’s advice: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

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  • Qamar Iqbal  On September 21, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    excellent article.

  • Idrees  On September 21, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    You cannot ask a banya to weigh fair when emotions were so high?

  • Tarun  On September 21, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Dear S Turkman
    I await your presence at this wicked forum, that bad mouths our homeland so. Please sort out this writer so he never attempts to flay us so.
    Amongst us, you are the best informed & I look to you to lead the charge!
    Jai Krishan ji ki!

  • Wajahat  On September 21, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Just one message. Such articles are done for the sole purpose of divide and rule continuum.
    The reality is plain and simple. The world in its current state cannot exist too long. Peace will have
    to come. People of the earth keep getting more intelligent by the hour. The time is not too far away
    when the politicians will be the ones who will be manipulated by the general population.

    Cultivating friendships with neighbors is the only way to survive on the long term. Time goes by,
    generations change and the Needs that had priority 70 years ago have given into new priorities.

    Holding on to the past only retards a nations growth in the current fast moving world.

    I think either Mr. Qazilbash or Mr. Santayana misquoted the proverb. It should be
    “Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it”.

    There is a large difference in the 2 ways of express thought.

    Syed Wajahat Hussain

  • Laila  On September 21, 2010 at 6:19 pm


    Naveed Tajammal
    The above mentioned treaty, binds the Government of India not to hinder the flow of the western rivers, i.e. Indus, Jhelum and Chenab, to Pakistan, and India cannot store any water or construct any storage works, on the above cited rivers, having been given total rights since march 1973,of Ravi, Beas and Sutlej, we get flood surplus of these rivers which is released in case of excessive rains, which helps in recharging our ground waters levels, but that too will cease after the second Ravi-Beas Link is made.

    Today while we slumber, India has started works on, the following projects; Pakal Dul 1000MW, Kiru 600MW,Karwar 520 MW, Baglihar (eventual 900MW),Sawalkot 1200MW (two 600mw units),Salal 390 MW, Sewa-ll 120 MW, and finally the Bursur project on the Marusudar river, which, is a major tributary of Chenab river, here the Foxland intends to build a massive water storage dam, which will control and regulate the flow to maintain levels of Pakal dul, Dul Hasti, Rattle, Baglihar, Sawalkot and Salal Hydro-projects, on the Chenab.

    Jhelum will be blessed by the foxland with Kishanganga 330MW and Uri-ll 240MW.

    The trillion Dollar Question remains that safe guard the interests of our country. As has been seen, after the failure of Foreign Secretary level talks on the Baglihar dam, on the Chenab, between 4-6 January 2005, the GOP contacted the World Bank, to resolve the issue with Foxland, however the feed back of World Bank was well said, as per their letter dated 19 January 2005, to GOP, nutshell being, World Bank is indeed a signatory of the Indus treaty 1960, but, it is Not the ”Guarantor” of the treaty!!!!

    However we did go for a case against the Baglihar dam, But we lost it due to gross professional INCOMPETENCE of our Team, the GOP had hired the services of a white man, a lawyer, by the name of Mr. James Crawford, who forgot to bring the Memorials of the case during the final hearing of the case !!!

    Now Nehru had, in the past, hired the services of an outstanding German international Lawyer and an expert on river waters, a Professor F.J. Berber, and for years till the signing of the Indus Water Treaty, he remained an employee of Foxland, though he did join the Munich University later, but remained a Consultant of GOI (govt. of India).

    The works, of P.J. Berber translated in English i.e, Rivers in international Law’ to date remains an authority, the London Institute of World Affairs, had the book published.

    The other reason why Nehru had the date of ratification of Indus treaty, back dated from September 1960 to 1st April, was because on 1st April 1948, they had shut down our waters, from the UBDC!!!

    Two sets of laws govern the water disputes, first is the Harmon Doctrine, named after, a ”Judson Harmon”, who was the Attorney General of USA in 1895,when arose a dispute between Mexico and USA over the usage of RIO GRANDE waters, Mexico was a lower riparian, the doctrine above cited gives ”ABSOLUTE TERRITORIAL SOVEREIGNTY;” to the upper riparian, as goes the usage of water resources passing through its lands, though the matter was resolved, by a convention held between USA and Mexico, on may 21, 1906,by which Mexico got its share of waters.

    Indus valley river system is an ‘International Drainage Basin’, as the geographical area extends and covers the Administrative boundaries of more then two states, from Afghanistan to Chinese administered Tibet, in the north east, and to Indian occupied Kashmir. Technically India cannot claim sovereignty over Kashmir as it remains a disputed state, and matter in reference before the world courts, having over a million troops holding it.

    The ILA (international Law Association) drafted in 1966, a set of rules, called as ”THE HELSINKI RULES”, the said rules define the perimeters in case of water related disputes, in the cases where the Drainage of a Basin is International, as stated above, eleven main points/clauses govern the rights of a lower riparian, they being briefly, all about the geography of the Basin, extent of Drainage, and area in the territory of each basin state, the Hydrology of the Basin, past history of water flow, population dependent on the waters, economic and social needs of each Basin state, and the degree to which the needs of a Basin state may be satisfied without causing injury to a co-basin state !!

    India as is seen follows the HARMON DOCTRINE, while we twiddle our thumbs!!!!

    Naveed Tajamal is a historian and an expert on Indus Civilisation. He has been researching for the past 25 years and given lectures besides writing for the Newspapers.

  • Haidre  On September 21, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Yes, India has been highly unfair; In fact they were outright ill-intentioned and dishonest with Pakistan. The tragic part is that some of the high British officials including Mountbatten joined hands with them.

    In Kashmir they disregarded the majority Muslim population and said the Raja has opted to join India. Then Nehru promised the plebiscite which never materialized. In Hyderabad they disregarded the Muslim ruler and said the majority Hindu population has opted to join India. Cases of Calcutta and the Tehsil of Gurdaspur in Punjab are obvious examples of dishonesty on the part of both India as well as Britain.

    Only if India had not sown the seeds of hatred and discord, which resulted into wars and mutual wastage of resources on purchase of weaponry from West and Russia etc., these two countries with their most hard working and versatile manpower, would have been economic power houses of the world today and our people would have been living in comfort and luxury. We would have together economically ruled the world like Japan and Germany.

  • Syed Imam  On September 22, 2010 at 1:20 am

    Still expecting something from India.
    Can i call for a change in Pakistan’s motto from Unity,Faith,Discipline to beg ,borrow or steal.

  • Saulat Khan  On September 22, 2010 at 2:27 am

    Are the flying doves aware that India has awarded giving citizenship to Bramdagh Bugti?
    Bharat should also be pressured into canceling the Indian passport of Mr. Bugti. Why did Bharat give citizenship to Mr. Buhti who was born in Pakistan Balochistan and is a known terrorist. This is a gross violation of international law–and is part of Bharat’s terror campaign against Pakistan.
    Hello Doves?

    • Rauf  On September 22, 2010 at 3:49 am

      The “friend of Pakistan” The Americans (not Karzai) will keep him (Bramdagh)
      in a safe house until :

      : his intended utilities are over and become dispensable

      : such time that Americans no more consider him to be a trump card to be
      played as and when necessary to put pressure on Pakistan

      In any event I do not see any chance of Bramdagh getting extradited to Pakistan.

  • S U Turkman  On September 22, 2010 at 3:03 am

    About India asphyxiating Pakistan, I can clearly see, India has just tried to do the same by handing over $ 20 million Charity for helping the Flood Victims, while so called fastest friend of Pakistan, China did the same by her $ 7.4 million.
    About Bramdagh Bugti getting Indian Citizenship, all I have to say is, India is doing, what Pakistan had done for Air India hijacker more than a decade ago. … May I ask Mr. Saulat Khan, if its violation of an International to do that, how come Pakistan has been also doing this for decades for Kashmiris wanted for crimes in India and Afghans wanted by Afghanistan?
    I remember, Pakistan had objected on Political Asylum of Syed Altaf Hussain of MQM also but had failed to produce anything against him that could stand scrutiny of an unbiased British Court for 7 long years. It tells you, how fake were Pak Government’s Criminal Cases against him and how Pakistan loves to become a Joke in International Community.
    Before that another Criminal in the Eyes of Pak Government, Murtaza Bhutto had received Political Asylum in Lebanon and Pakistan had not even filed a protest over it because he had married to a daughter of a very influential family of that country.

    I also thank Mr. Tarun for declaring me ‘the best informed’ in this Forum but am surprised to learn, he thinks, I am a Hindu. May Allah help his Brain …!

    • Tarun  On September 22, 2010 at 3:43 am

      Dear Turkman
      I do not think you are well informed.I said amongst us U are well informed-meaning thereby us Indians.
      I know who you are,though this forum may not be the right place to discuss this matter.
      I appreciate deeply the way you twist facts to reach a pre reached conclusion ie everything is Pakistan’s fault.
      (Sly wink):Ref to Allah was smart move!
      Jai Krishan ji ki.

  • Admiral Iftikhar A. Sirohey  On September 22, 2010 at 6:08 am

    Culturally India has made substantive inroad. It has a lot of admirers here. Particularly those who have not been enlightened about the creation of Pakistan and sacrifice given by the millions to enjoy the freedom of cutting the roots of the country the got in the free. The should go and live there where an actor of fame can not buy a house in the locality of his choice. The Muslims are in worse conditions than the untouchables.

    India will do everything possible to guillotine Pakistan


  • Ayesha Khan  On September 22, 2010 at 7:43 am

    “When we trusted India to be just, it deceived us.” Isn’t it rather naive to trust a long standing “enemy” who told whom to “trust”? One should only trust in Allah and take the necessary steps to work towards a practicable political environment with neighbors. Who is saying forget history? The question is what are the lessons we have learned from history, especially with regard to our relationship with India?

  • Naeem Shaikh  On September 22, 2010 at 7:50 am

    What Aman ki asha – It’s more like Jung ki basha ?

  • Inam Khan  On September 22, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    India tried to stifle infant Pakistan right at its birth.After its failure India is trying its best to obliterate Pakistan by whatever means it can have.And look at this, how Pakistanis are behaving.Militants are busy in North,centre is being destroyed by floods and in Karachi Pathans and Muhajirs are killing each other.It cdn’t be more tragic………………..Inam Khan


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