Quaids Perception of Pakistans relations with India


Quaid-i-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah was a peace loving person and wanted Pakistan to be a peace loving state with a neutral and independent foreign policy. He wanted Pakistan to enter the arena of world politics with the pious hope of peace within and peace without. He intended to keep friendly and cordial relations with the neighboring countries. He stated that Pakistan had no aggressive designs against its neighbors.

About Indo-Pakistan relations the Quaid was of the view that the two nations should forget their past tensions and start a new era of peace and friendship. He wanted the two countries to be of use to each other. He perceived that the two countries would in the future need a number of things from each other and could help each other morally, materially and politically; and could thus raise the prestige and status of both dominions. The Quaid expressed a desire and expectations for real friendship between the two nations. At the time of his departure from Delhi for Karachi on August 7 1947, Quaid-i-Azam in a statement expressed his thanks to the people and leaders of India who expressed good wishes for the newly established dominion of Pakistan. At the same occasion he requested the people of Delhi to bury the past and to start afresh as two independent sovereign states of Hindustan and Pakistan. He also wished Hindustan prosperity and peace. In his reply to Lord Mountbatten speech during the transfer of power ceremonies, he sent a message of cheer and goodwill for India and also affirmed his faith in good neighborly relations with her.

Quaid was interested in building a better future for the people of India and Pakistan. He wanted the people of the two countries to develop cordial relations based on the concept of mutual respect and co-existence. He considered it beneficial for both Pakistan and India if the two countries would cooperate with each other for the purpose of playing their part in international affairs. He went to the extent of saying that Pakistan and India should enter in defense collaboration both on land and sea against any aggression. But he made it clear that it will only be possible if the two countries can resolve their own differences. Quaid-i-Azam had, in fact, pleaded for a common defense policy between India and Pakistan as early as in April 1947.

Quaid-i-Azam assured that the government of Pakistan would take care of the life and properties of the minorities living in Pakistan and would give them a fair deal. He advised the Muslims of India to be loyal to the state where they live. But in response to all these efforts on the part of the Muslims he hoped that the Indian Government would not act on the advice of those who were bent upon the eviction or extermination of Muslims of India by brutal and inhuman methods. He was almost certain that minorities in both the countries would enjoy every right in their respective countries and would be made to feel that their life, property and honor were absolutely safe and secure.

Quaid believed that economic cooperation between the two countries would be beneficial for both of them. As late as the last week of April 1948, Quaid-i-Azam talked about good trade relations between India and Pakistan. However he thought that it was only possible if the two countries entered into normal international relations. Subject to this condition he could envisage that India and Pakistan could reciprocate in providing bonding facilities to each other at their respective ports Calcutta and Karachi. Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah believed that once Pakistan achieved its goal of peace within and peace without, the two nations would be able to live in peace and harmony. However, he wanted India to shed the superiority complex and treat Pakistan on equal footing and also to fully appreciate the realities. But unfortunately he did not find the leaders of the Indian National Congress to be on his wave-length.

A large number of them considered the creation of a Muslim State in South Asia as a hurdle in achieving their dream of Akhand Bharat. The intentions of the Congress leadership became quite clear when they accepted the June 3, plan with serious mental reservations. Hindus started propagating that Pakistan will not sustain for long and will breakdown sooner or later and at last will become a part of mother India. Gandhi, commenting on the plan declared Hindus and Muslims were interdependent on one another and predicted that Muslim League leadership will ask to come back to Hindustan and Nehru will take them back. Even the acceptance of partition by them was not a change of heart on their part but only a change of tactics. Of and on, it was suggested that sooner or later sanity would return to the lesser of the two parallel streams and that they would converge to a point to make the roaring river of one united India. Quaid, in the face of his sincerity and optimism, failed to realize the real hatred on the part of India. He thought that by such idle talks, the Congress leaders were trying to hide their defeat at the hands of Muslim league. But when the Indian practically tried to damage the independence of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam immediately changed his stance. He criticized the Indian policies and said that the threats against the sovereignty of Pakistan from the Congress leadership would not restore goodwill and friendly relations between the two states. He also made it clear that Pakistan would never surrender and would never accept any constitutional reunion between the two dominions with one common center. He was also sure that Pakistan was established to stay and would stay. Quaid-i-Azam declared the Radcliffe Award as unjust and termed its provisions as political and not judicial. He also criticized India for the suffering and sorrow of 5 million Muslims in East Punjab and its neighborhood. When Lord Ismay told the Quaid that Delhi itself was on the verge of chaos, and that Muslims were systematically hunted down and butchered, Quaid-i-Azam was shocked as he asked, How could any civilized government permit such a state of affairs?

The Quaid did not say much on the Kashmir issue, which could be interpreted as his lack of interest or concern in the affairs of Kashmir. However, the legal minded person in the Quaid himself clarified this aspect by stating that he could not say anything on the Kashmir issues because the issue was already with the United Nations and anything he said about the circumstances might aggravate the situation. But when Maharaja, through a deal, announced the accession of the State to India on the 27th of October 1947, Quaid-i-Azam the very next day ordered the acting Commander in Chief of the Pakistan Army, Lt. Gen. Sir D. Gracy to invade Kashmir. The Commander in Chief referred the matter to Field Marshal Auchinleck. Auchinleck asked Quaid-i-Azam to take his orders back otherwise all the British officers from both the armies would resign, which Pakistan could not afford at that time.

Distribution of financial assets, working of the Reserve Bank of India, distribution of military stores, canal water dispute and adjustment of trade relations were a few other irritants which created bad blood between the two countries. The Quaid reacted wisely on all these issue and did not give India a free hand. This clearly shows that Quaid-i-Azam wanted good and friendly relations with India but not at the cost of national pride.

Quaid-i-Azam believed in honesty, justice and fair play in every sphere of life. He practiced these principles and expected the others to follow suit. No wonder that in spite of India repeated attempts to harm Pakistan, the Quaid remained optimistic. In his letter to M.A.H. Isphahani in June 1948, Quaid-i-Azam hoped that Pakistan would be able to solve all its problems because her cause was righteous and she was facing them with honesty fighting for justice and fair play.

The long series of grave and disturbing developments preceding and immediately following the emergence of Pakistan were certain to cast their ominous shadow on the future relations between the two countries. Had India formally accepted Pakistan as a living reality from the core of its heart the tensions between the Muslims and the Hindus of South Asia would have been buried in 1947. It is what was desired by the Quaid, who was keenly interested in strengthening human relations between the people of both countries. Had the Quaid dream of co-cooperative Pak-India relations been materialized, the region would never have been the scene of so many conflicts.