India had just lost the 1962 war against China. The military and political leadership had terribly failed the soldiers. The soldiers had fought till the last bullet despite not having adequate ammunition and clothing. The then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his defence minister Krishna Menon had not only overlooked the needs of the soldiers, but they’d even interfered in the functioning of the forces. This colossal blunder was still burning in the hearts of Indians when Nehru’s government initiated another action of disastrous measure; this one although isn’t known to people.

Two days after Christmas in 1962, an Indian delegation arrived in Rawalpindi for the first round of talks. That very day, Pakistan entered into an agreement with China which involved Pakistan giving away a portion of Kashmir to China. Despite this, the Indian delegation went ahead with talks. As part of the negotiation talks, Nehru’s delegation offered changes in the ceasefire line, which would have added another 1,500 square miles of Kashmir’s territory to that controlled by Pakistan!

Thankfully, the Kashmir-obsessed Pakistanis rejected this as even if this had been initiated, majority of Muslims would still have remained in India and this wasn’t acceptable to Pakistan. US Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, said on the issue: “India is more ready for this than Pakistan; the latter appears most reluctant to ease pressures on Kashmir by discussing or agreeing on other questions prior to a Kashmir settlement.”

The question remains – Why was Nehru so keen to give away more of Kashmir to Pakistan? Despite having suffered a shocking defeat just a few months back at the hands of China, Nehru now wanted to extend the embarrassment to the Western border, and this one was to be a deliberate one.

Looking at Nehru’s history, it is clear that he had an unexplainable love for Pakistan and even China. And this came at the cost of India’s interests. His reaching the UN to implement a ceasefire when the Indian Army was finally beginning to take back land captured by Pakistan in the 1947 war; the Indus Water Treaty that gave India access to just about 18% of the waters that were to be distributed; his gifting the United Nations Security Council seat to China; the Panchsheel Treaty in which he legalized China’s occupation of Tibet and didn’t ask for anything in return; and this giving away of a portion of Kashmir to Pakistan…what can even justify these moronic actions? Maybe the fact that all he wanted was to be revered as a stateman and a messenger of peace around the world.

Source: Magnificent Delusions by Husain Haqqani


Vinayak Jain

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