Lahore: US premier spy agency CIA’s former official Bruce Riedel has said that former Pakistan president Ayub Khan had demanded Kashmir from US, in return for not attacking India during the China-India war in 1962, the Nation reported on Friday.
He made this claim in his new book entitled “JFK’s Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA and the Sino-Indian war.”
Riedel worked for CIA for 30 years and he also remained with four US presidents. He held that Pakistan was in the best position to attack India in 1962 and Indian army would have been reduced to splinters in the two sided attack of Pakistan and China.
According to Riedel the then US president John F Kennedy played a decisive role in preventing an attack from Pakistan side. Kennedy and the then UK premier Herold Macmillan pressurised Pakistan saying, if it attacks Indian then it will also be declared an invader like China.
Pakistan was of the view war between China and India is war of borders and it should not be seen in the perspective of cold war and communism. But US was seeing it in the prism of attack by a communist power on a democratic country.
He observed that the main reason behind not attacking India by Pakistan in 1962 was that Pakistan would have been left isolated by enraging US and UK.
According to the then US ambassador in India Ayub Khan was fully opposed to US advice. But when he was told that president Kennedy would make this request by writing him a letter then he became ready to lend his ears to it.
But he laid this pre condition that US should promise to adopt a stern attitude against India on Kashmir issue in return for it Riedel said “ if we look into it then Ayub Khan was saying US and Pakistan should jointly force India to hand over Kashmir to Pakistan on the fashion China was occupying India’s territory”. This is worth consideration that Sino-India war was taking place at such juncture of time when the then US president Kennedy was engaged in dealing with Cuba missile crisis against Russia and as compared to it, Washington was placing less focus on Sino-India conflict.
According to book Ayub Khan made no promise with Kennedy and he also expressed his displeasure over it that US supplied arms to India against China without informing Pakistan.
Ayub Khan was of the view that US breached pact with Pakistan wherein it was laid down that despite Chinese attack, US would not extend any military aid to India without the approval of Pakistan. Ayub Khan started 1965 war against India on his own but the arms supplied by US to India for using them against China led to failure in war.
He said that US and UK had assured Pakistan that they would find solution to Kashmir issue through dialogue with India after war. When Ayub Khan asked for it after war then US ambassador replied to Washington that Nehru was absolutely split after India’s defeat at the hands of China and he was not enjoying such credibility in local politics that he could take any vital decision on Kashmir issue.