Prelude To Indus Water Treaty Part 2


Naveed Tajammul 

naveed-picOne does not find much answers as to why, the new leaders of Pakistan, which had a history etched in Time, as an entity by itself, failed to take cognizance of the fact, that without settling the water issues, they had no right to rest, as the country was than totally dependent on Water, for its revenues as the industry or Trade was hardly in name, Even though in the second week of August 1947 the Muslim League was fully aware that, something was afoot, in the way Radcliffe Commission was deliberating on the division of the boundaries, It was on this account that, Mr. Jinnah and Mr. Liaqat Ali Khan had asked ,Chaudhri Muhammad Ali to call on Lord. Ismay [chief of staff with the Viceroy], and convey him, that, ”If the boundary turned out to be what these reports circulating foreshadowed, this would have most serious impact,  on the future relations between Pakistan and Britain,”.

However when Ch. M. Ali  reached the office of Lord Ismay on 11 Aug 1947,he was made, to wait outside for an hour in the ante-room while, Lord Ismay was busy with Cyril Radcliffe in a meeting in his office. On hearing of the message of Mr. Jinnah, Lord Ismay said that, neither he nor the, Viceroy [Lord Mountbatten] knew what the boundary commission’s recommendations were going to be, as they both, had never discussed the matter with Radcliffe. Ch. M. Ali asked Lord Ismay to look closely at the Map on his office wall, which clearly had lines drawn showing the three eastern Tahsils of Gurdaspur awarded to India, and after seeing the Map it was unnecessary for him to explain further, because the proposed boundary had already been shown on the Map and it was in conformity with what he had come to protest about, Lord Ismay now pleaded ”innocence’ about the lines on the map.[Extracts-‘Birth of Tragedy-Kashmir 1947′[oxford] 1994-p-34 by Alastair Lamb and ”The Emergence of Pakistan[Lahore Research Society of Pakistan] 1988-Ch. Muhammad Ali-p-218-219].

If we go further backward in Time, before 11 Aug 1947, we find that on 08 Aug, there emerged from Sir Cyril Radcliffe’s establishment a provisional boundary map on which the ”southern salient” had been modified in what seemed to be in favour of Pakistan by substituting for a small portion of Lahore District..the adjacent Ferozepur and Zira Tahsils of the Ferozepur District, thus Pakistan was extended to the eastern-side of the Sutlej-thereby given Ferozepur water works. and Gurdaspur was on the Indian side.

In the Final award issued by the, Punjab Boundary Commission [Justice. M. Munir and Justice. Din Mohammad, represented as members of Punjab Boundary Commission, from the Muslim League side, and from the Military side, Colonel. M. Ayub Khan [later president of Pakistan] represented Pakistan, and Brigadier Dhigambir Singh represented India, both were under General. Reece], So we see, that on, 17 Aug 1947, Gurdaspur went to India, as well as Ajnala Muslim dominated tahsil of Amritsar, along with two-third of Kasur Tahsil, and the Ferozepur salient, though on Pakistan side was eliminated. And, sadly, no one in the higher leadership objected.

Shaukat Hyat in his book[p-182.Nation that lost its soul] states that ,I, on behalf of the Punjab immediately objected to the award, my plea was rejected, by Mr. Liaqat Ali Khan, who told us that his orders were to accept whatever was awarded, He seem to have become so fond of his post of Prime minister, that, he was Not prepared, even to take a stand for areas most essential to Pakistan which had been separated from it, by pressure put on Radcliffe by Mountbatten, and even though Raja Hasan Akhtar PCS had been appointed D.C of Gurdaspur on behalf of Pakistan, and had raised the Pakistan Flag in Gurdaspur on 14 Aug.1947.

As evidence unfolds the final award of the, Punjab Boundary commission, seems to have been manipulated by Lord. Mountbatten to the detriment of Pakistan he was totally miffed on Not been made the Joint-Governor-General of both new states, as he had requested to be made on his arrival in British India, Secondly, our leaders failed to perceive that, an appointment of such a man as Sir Cyril Radcliffe, always aimed to achieve the results desired by those who made the appointment, in this case, it was Lord Mountbatten and his mentors sitting in the Whitehall- London.

Nehru was a wise man-he knew this aspect better and unfortunately our leaders failed to understand the under-currents and so offered No objection to the concentration of such power to award solely in the matter, as had been vested in Sir Cyril Radcliffe by Lord Mountbatten, Nehru had foresight and was sure that Lord Mountbatten would ensure that all things in favour of ‘His’ India.

To further study the cause of our subsequent plight, and understand the internal dynamics at play in those times before our Independence, Sikandar Hyat in his book, ‘The Nation that lost its Soul’ Jang publishers 1995.p-169 onward],states, ”When it became known that,  Lord Mountbatten, desired to be made the common Governor-General of Pakistan and India for Six months, to win a personal laurel and also as a gesture and respect for the British Crown, it alarmed, Liaqat Ali Khan, as he was planning to become the First Prime Minister of Pakistan-so he planned a Telegraphic Blitz against Mountbatten…..’.The Scheme was thrashed out in my presence it was planned to despatch telegrams to Mr. Jinnah, maligning Mountbatten, saying, that Mountbatten could Not be relied upon, as he had close relations with Nehru and his Family.

Shaukat Hayat states, that, I, Vehemently disagreed knowing Mountbatten’s Vanity. I told them, that, if Muslim league turns him down he would jump at becoming Governor-General solely of India, and create many problems and handicaps for Pakistan, I asked therefore for an interview with Quaid e Azam, which was however granted after a few days, at our meeting Quaid e Azam turned round to me and said, ‘Shaukat’ look at the thousands of telegrams i have received on the subject, you, Nawab Ismail, Nawab of Bhopal and Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar are the only exceptions”. Shaukat hayat say’s i stressed that it was a engineered ploy, and, it would be catastrophic for Pakistan, by the damage Mountbatten could inflict by remaining the sole Governor-General of India. And that beside the dividing lines, the division of defence supplies and other assets had to be done.

And it happened exactly as had been predicted Pakistan Army got over-sized old boots and other useless stores, leaving aside how Lord Mountbatten planned and executed the Srinagar airlift of troops by marshalling all BOAC [British Overseas Airways Corporation] passenger planes to transport troops to Kashmir in October 1947, in January 1948, India under Lord Mounbatten also declined to pay the agreed share of Rs.550 million in cash balance to Pakistan and stopped all supply of useless military stores as well. More pertinent being from 1st April 1948,India shut off the waters in UBDC.

All this happened because of the ghastly decision, prompted by a over ambitious Liaqat Ali Khan, in not having a common Governor-General, the Quaid, unfortunately ignored the fact that his Writ would have always prevailed in Pakistan as had Gandhi’s in India, even without his holding the office of Governor-General.

Lastly if seen, now in hindsight, One wonders at the wisdom of Liaqat Khan’s Folly. As even after 14 Aug.1947 vital posts were held by Britishers; General Douglas Gracey remained Commander in Chief of Pakistan Army till Feb.1951, Sir Francis Maudie was Governor Punjab till 02 Aug 1949,Sir Ambrose Dundas Flux ,was Governor of NWFP [KPK] and Mr. Cecil Arthur Grant Savidge remained chief commissioner Baluchistan till 18 Jan 1949.

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  • Naveed Tajammal  On September 20, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Thank you once again for the post.Yasmeen.

  • Syed Faisal imam  On September 21, 2013 at 5:21 am

    Pakistan was created out of nothing. The one they created and left behind, what did we do with that?

  • Shaheen  On September 21, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Good sharing….most of Pakistan’s history is dark… us small in sights….but not the complete picture.

  • Fasal imam  On September 21, 2013 at 8:11 am

    Shaheen Bibi, do not sound so negative. There were a few sellouts. Yet they built this country from zero. From nothing into something. And most of them were honest. This became the second largest islamic country of the world. it was the country which was part of the cento and seato,it was totally economically viable and an envy of the developing countries.and then greed overtook.The mistake was not to give true power sharing to the Bengali leadership who were far more mature and adept than the bureaucrats who are ingrained with subordination(baboos).

    Sent from my iPad

  • Shaheen  On September 21, 2013 at 8:12 am

    No ! You got me wrong…….our History has 2 many gaps, silence…eg. Bhutto’s time with his opposition etc

    • Naveed Tajammal  On September 21, 2013 at 9:04 am

      I agree that,our history has to be re-written once again gaps are there,as pointed out,this article is a endeavour to highlight very briefly those related to our water-issues.At the time of our independence 31 million acres of our Farm land was being irrigated by the Indus-Basin rivers,Radcliffe Award ensured that we ended up the lower riparian,not only sutlej,but Beas and the Ravi were appropriated by indians beside the Tunnel they made on Chinab and siphoned 10,000 cusecs at Maru,Sadly, our Sarkar then did not really pay much heed to the issue.

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