New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assertion in Lok Sabha on February 7, that if Sardar Patel’s line of thinking were allowed, there would be no issue on Kashmir as it would have got fully integrated with India, is “contrary to the facts of history” said professor and former Union minister Saifuddin Soz on February 9.
In a statement, Soz, who is from Jammu and Kashmir, says his forthcoming book Kashmir: The Complete Story has details of this, “Patel consistently offered Kashmir to Pakistan, but Liaquat Ali Khan remained stubbornly obsessed with an imaginary idea of getting Hyderabad-Deccan which was neither connected by rail nor road with Pakistan.”
In the statement, Soz said in their books, Chaudhre Mohammad Ali, former Pakistan prime minister, and former minister and senior Muslim leader Sirdar Shaukat Hayat Khan lamented Liaquat Ali Khan’s attitude.
History is based on facts and it can hardly help politicians who present their own perceptions as facts of history, Soz said.
“I propose Prime Minister Modi to start a serious study on the history of India’s Freedom Struggle for his better understanding on Nehru and his relationship with Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi,” he said.
On Wednesday, Modi tore into the Congress while replying to the Motion of Thanks on President’s Address, blaming the party for “dividing India.”
“Out of 15 Congress committees, 12 chose Vallabhbhai Patel, three chose not to take any sides, and still, Vallabhbhai Patel was not allowed to lead the country. What sort of democracy was that? If Sardar Patel had become the prime minister, today a part of our beloved Kashmir would not have been under Pakistani occupation,” he said.
However, many experts pointed out that the Prime Minister was wrong on facts. Historian S Irfan Habib quoted Patel as saying in 1949: “It is good that we have agreed to partition in spite of all its evils; I have never repented my agreeing to partition.”
It is good that we have agreed to partition in spite of all its evils; I have never repented my agreeing to partition. Sardar Patel in 1949
— S lrfan Habib (@irfhabib) June 3, 2017
In an article in the magazine, Frontline, well-known political commentator A.G. Noorani also mentions that on November 27, 1972, the then President of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, told a tribal jirga at Landikotal about Sardar Patel’s offer to swap Kashmir for Junagadh and Hyderabad.
“A quarter century later, on November 27, 1972, the President of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, told a tribal jirga at Landikotal that India’s first Home Minister and Minister for the States, Sardar Patel, had, at one stage, offered Kashmir to Pakistan in exchange for Junagadh and Hyderabad. But, he added, Pakistan “unfortunately” did not accept this offer with the result that it not only lost all the three native states but East Pakistan as well.”
Noorani goes on to add that “This is fully corroborated by the memoirs of Chaudhary Mohammed Ali, The Emergence of Pakistan (page 299). Patel asked Liaquat Ali Khan: “Why do you compare Junagadh with Kashmir? Talk of Hyderabad and Kashmir and we could reach an agreement.” Patel repeated this offer publicly at a meeting in Junagadh on November 11, 1947. “Our reply was that one could agree to (sic.) Kashmir if they agreed to Hyderabad.”