Thursday, 20 December 2012

QOTD: Babar & Durand

An alleged meeting in Miran Shah where Pakistan's 1970's new 'forward policy towards FATA and Afghanistan was decided:

...was the stay at Miranshah. It became memorable and historic for some of the most far reaching decisions taken. In a small group of some 8-10 people, which besides the prime Minister, included Mr Aslam Khattak, the Governor N.W.F.P, Khan Abdul Qayum Khan, the Interior Minster, Mr Ejaz Naek, the Chief Secretary, Dr Humayun Khan, Secretary Interior N.W.F.P, myself and a person from Foreign Office, Brig Babar asked Mr Bhutto a direct and blunt question. "Is the area of FATA part of Pakistan or not and do we see the Durand Line as the International Boundary between Pakistan and Afghanistan?"
 This raised many an eyebrows. Mr Bhutto reacted immediately and asked a counter question to Babar as to what doubt does he have. His response was simple and straightforward. He said,” If Durand Line is the international border, then why aren’t we sitting there?” This provoked an immediate commotion. Mr Aslam Khattak very emphatically suggested to Mr Bhutto, not to listen to this advice. The others too offered supportive views. The concerns were shown not to change the existing and current policies. These had the acceptability of the people and any change may bring in adverse reaction. Mr Bhutto quietly listened to all the views and at the end told Babar,” You have my permission.”-taken from Reminiscences of Late Major General Nasirullah Khan Babar

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