Abstracts From Pakistaniaat Vol 2, No 3 (2010)

The first special issue of Pakistaniaat, edited by Dr. Cara Cilano, has now been pblished. Provided below are the abstracts of four wonderful articles inclduded in this issue.

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Abstracts

The Break-Up of Pakistan

Philip Oldenburg
Essay traces what the author identifies as the four phases of the 1971 conflict:  the initiation of military hostilities in March 1971; Kissinger’s visit to Peking; the war with India at the end of that year; and the transfer of power to Mujib.

The Birth of Bangladesh/Nefarious Plots and Cold War Sideshows

Roger Vogler
This Paper examines, from the perspective of an American architect living and working in India at the time, many of the events and circumstances that led to the destruction in 1971 of Pakistan as it had originally ben constituted 24 years before.  Among these were the enormous geographic challenges faced from Pakistan’s inception, its deep-seated ethnic incompatibilities, its huge economic imbalances and rampant political egos, and a devastating typhoon.  The paper also explores the tragic human consequences of an American foreign policy that could only see these events and circumstances through a prism of Cold War hatred and suspicion.

Superpower Relations, Backchannels, and the Subcontinent

Luke A. Nichter, Richard A. Moss
In his 1978 memoirs, President Nixon claimed, “By using diplomatic signals and behind-the-scenes pressures we had been able to save West Pakistan from the imminent threat of Indian aggression and domination. We had also once again avoided a major confrontation with the Soviet Union.”[1] Kissinger’s far more detailed chapter on “the tilt,” in the first volume of his memoirs, White House Years, complements and largely corroborates Nixon’s. Kissinger argued that Nixon did not want to “squeeze Yahya” and tried to put forward a neutral posture to the bloodshed in East Pakistan so as not to encourage secessionist elements within an ally, Pakistan, which was divided into two wings over 1,000 miles apart astride India.[2] Above all, before his secret trip to China in July 1971, Kissinger wanted to preserve the special channel to the P.R.C., and he saw three obstacles to handling the situation in South Asia: “the policy of India, our own public debate, and the indiscipline of our bureaucracy.” Kissinger stressed that the U.S. attempted to restrain India by making clear American opposition to Indo-Pakistani conflict and attempting to force the Soviet Union to control their ally, India. Nevertheless, the two South Asian countries marched towards conflict following a string of natural disasters in East Pakistan—later the independent nation of Bangladesh, an election loss for Pakistan President Yahya Khan to Mujib Rahman, and Yahya’s subsequent crackdown in East Pakistan against Bangladeshi independence.

Pakistani-Chinese Relations: An Historical Analysis of the Role of China in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971

Mavra Farooq

The purpose of this essay is to bring into focus the cordial relations that existed between Pakistan and China during the Bhutto Era from 1969 to 1977, and to highlight the role of China during the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971.

Both countries had different ideologies and backgrounds. Relations between the two countries developed on the basis of national interest rather than ideology. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto writes:

States deal with states, as such, and not with their social systems or ideologies. If such an argument was carried to its logical conclusion, Pakistan should have friendly relations only with Muslim states and should isolates itself from the rest of the world. It is a historical fact that Islam, as a political force, has suffered more at the hands of Christian states than of others… It is unlikely that China is going to be responsible for the fall of Granada or Pakistan or for wrestling of Jerusalem from the Muslim States. Our reactions are based on the Bandung principles and on the adherence to the concept of non-interference. Nowhere is it mentioned in the scriptures of Islam that fostering friendship with non-Islamic states involves a compromise of identity.1.

This research article undertakes a historical, analytical and documented study of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s foreign relations and politics with China with the goal of explaining how and why Pakistan had friendly and cordial relations with China. The main question is if both countries have different ideologies why are they so close to each other? In international relations, there is neither a permanent friend nor enemy; interests are preferred.

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