Echoes of the past

Published: October 4, 2012

NEW DELHI: This is with reference to Tariq Fatemi’s article “Echoes of the past” (October 4). The writer talks about the initial period of Pakistan-Soviet Union relations and how they panned out. He is speaking about a period when Joseph Stalin ruled the Soviet Union. He was deeply suspicious of  ‘weak, bourgeois states’ that were still tied in some way or the other to their erstwhile colonial masters. He did not meet India’s ambassador to the Soviet Union, Mrs Vijayalakshmi Pandit, for example, during her tenure in Moscow, even though she was the sister of India’s prime minister. The perspective on India changed only after the Soviet Union saw the role India played in the Korean war.

As for Pakistan, its quick embrace of the United States would have put in abeyance any meaningful Soviet gestures.

David Smith

Published in The Express Tribune, October 5th, 2012.


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  • Oct 8, 2012 - 11:04PM

    The letter from David Smith, Titled, ‘Echoes of the past’, ( Oct. 5, 2012) belies the commonly held view that it was Soviet Union which sent an invitation to the first Prime Minister of Pakistan. Mr Liaqat Ali Khan to visit Soviet Union. But then US was quick in sending its request to visit US and the Pak. PM was equally quick to accept it and thus ignored the initial good-will soviet gesture. Mr. Liaqat Ali Khan had taken a 7-member delegation to the States, which also included the first Foreign minister, Sir Zafrullah Khan. This first visit of the first PM of Pakistan with his first Foreign Minister, made such a deeply direct impact on Pakistan’s foreign policy that it could not get out of its control, even after 65 years of its independence since 1947. All this may be true or may not be the true at all, but here particularly on this very topic, I am reminded of an article in the Herald written by Mr Abdul Basit Haqqani (r)of foreign office, in which he made it clear that there is none in the record of foreign office which may suggest or endorse the commonly held view that Soviet Union had sent any such formal invitation to Mr. Liaqat Ali Khan, allegedly ignored under American influence, an act, which caused long-drawn out ill-feelings between the two neighborly countries. M.S. Khalid, Lahore.


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