Issue Net Edition | Date : 14 Jan , 2013
The British were smart when they created Pakistan in 1947 with a distinct aim to keep India weak, while having a Pakistan they could control, as well as have access to the region for their troops and bases, which they wanted very much at the time. The purpose of having a Pakistan was further strengthened in the British minds because the Indian government refused to allow British bases and troops to be stationed in India except over a transition period, whereas Pakistan’s Jinnah permitted British troops and bases on a more permanent basis upon the promise of the creation of Pakistan.
Undeniably, Pakistan has been a thorn in India’s side ever since independence. They have not only failed to stop their shennanigans, but after taking a decade to recover from the 1971 humiliation, they were back to seeking revenge.
However, Pakistan’s promisesto Britain and the West have only partially materialized, because Pakistan has blown hot and cold with their membership in the Commonwealth; Pakistan was a loyal member with the USA in CENTO and SEATO; gave immense help to USA in the fight against Russian intervention in Afghanistan; but at the same time has given the USA an exceptionally tough time since 9/11 in using their territory for operations in Afghanistan. The public sentiment in Pakistan is strongly anti-USA, at up to 90% against. In contrast, a survey in India soon after 9/11 revealed that 70% favor USA.
The former part of British intentions – to divide and sow discord in the sub-continent — has come true from Day One. First, the refugee crisis of partition sowed hatred between Hindus and Sikhs – on one side – versus Muslims on the other. This was soon followed by the racial crisis in the predominantly Hindu principality of Poonch district of Kashmir that led to the Hindu Maharaja using his Sikh troops to quell a rebellion spurred by former Muslim soldiers of the British Army of India who were denied employment in the Maharaja’s army after the end of World War II. The inconsiderate suppression of the Muslims in Poonch stirred the sentiments of Afghan tribesmen when the news reached them. The rest is history – Pakistani tribesmen swept into Kashmir valley in waves of surprise, covertly aided and abetted by the Pakistani army under the leadership of Mohammed Ali Jinnah.