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October 21, 2011

Asghar Khan claims Pakistan attacked India four times since 1947


October 21, 2011

Air Marshal (r) Asghar Khan here on Thursday revealed it was Pakistan that attacked India four times since 1947, whereas the neighbouring country did not do so even a single time.
“In the last over 60 years, India has never attacked Pakistan, as it can’t afford it. Indians know well, if Pakistan is destroyed, they will be the next target,” the veteran who was called a night flyer said at Imran Khan’s book launching ceremony here.
Imran Khan’s book is titled ‘Pakistan: A Personal History by Imran Khan.’
The nonagenarian said, “It was made our problem that one day India would invade us. But we did so four times and the first attack was on Kashmir, where Maharaja was not prepared to accede to India for he wanted to join Pakistan and waited for this for 21 days,” he recalled.
A galaxy of veteran military men, including generals (r) Talat Masood, Hameed Gul, diplomats such as Ashraf Jehangir Qazi and foreign diplomats was also a part of the select gathering.
“I shall decide on this after getting free,” remarked Qazi smilingly, when this correspondent asked him was he going to join PTI.
“That all is rubbish,” was Asghar Khan’s terse reply to a question by ‘The News’ after the function was over and he was having tea in a corner. He was asked that in school and college syllabi, students are always taught that it was India that mounted attacks on Pakistan and Pakistan only defended itself. In a reminiscent mood, Asghar Khan said in 1965, again, Pakistan quietly sent tanks to Jammu and when at function, he asked General Ayub Khan about it and warned that by doing so, Pakistan was asking for trouble, he expressed his complete ignorance about this development. But three days after he had met the general, India made incursions into Punjab. He also claimed East Pakistan tragedy happened because of inflexible attitude of some top influential politicians and the armed forces.
He believed had the majority been allowed to form

government, Dhaka fall could have had been averted. “Indian forces came to East Pakistan when people were being slaughtered there. Moreover, again at Kargil, Indian never mounted an assault,” he maintained.
The retired marshal, who was chief guest at the function, regretted that Pakistan spent just one per cent on education. He identified illiteracy as Pakistan’s top problem, as it had the largest number of illiterate youth and this was because of abysmally low spending on education.
Again, Asghar Khan said the majority in Pakistan voted for the corrupt politicians, as they also wanted their job done by ‘hook or by crook.’ He recalled how bad he felt when he was told many years ago that in Punjab 20,000 people with criminal record were inducted in police, whereas a large number of dacoits were recruited in Sindh Police.
Asghar also said when the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif consulted him on going for nuclear explosions, he had strongly opposed it, as this according to him (Asghar) was needless because India was opposed to attacking Pakistan.
Asghar Khan wished Imran’s book was published in Pakistan, as presently it was too expensive for a common Pakistani to afford. He wished Imran a success, but cautioned him he would be facing illiterate people. “Unfortunately, those who speak truth are called stupid and senseless and those who mislead and lie are appreciated,” he said. He was given standing ovation, when he left the podium after concluding his speech.
In his speech, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan said it was a huge conspiracy that after the 9/11 events the criminals were not punished and instead, a totally uncalled for war on terrorism was launched that exacerbated the situation further.
The PTI chief regretted under the garb of attacking Islamic radicalism and fascism, the anti-terrorism hit the Muslim world and today, 80 per cent Muslims billed the US war on terrorism, as a war on Islam, as so many acts of human right abused also surfaced.
He wished the root causes were addressed instead for even Osama bin Laden had spelt out the causes of his movement were purely political in nature, which included US undue support to Israel and its backing of Saudi Arabian monarchs. Imran also referred to US drone attacks on Pakistan as a classic example of what it was doing under the cover of anti-terrorism war and wondered how it could kill suspects, their wives and even kids this brutal way. He said the youth was his hope and said it was time to shun corrupt faces and regretted that corrupt elements had again made their way to the power corridors and one of them was now sitting in the President House.
“Because of deep-rooted corruption and poor governance and no direction of the rulers, the youth is more confused than ever... where they are heading and identity is their real issue,” he said.
PML-Q central leader and former senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, in his remarks, wished Imran Khan good luck in politics and said the book he authored envisaged a new future for Pakistan and it was refreshing too.
He noted through his book, Imran had given a message of optimism to the youth of Pakistan through his brutal honesty in cricket and now in politics.
Mushahid described Imran a pace-setter, who had created waves on political scene and there was a talk of tsunami of change in the country. He also called for transparency in finances, return of ill-gotten money stashed in foreign banks and declaration of assets by the politicians.

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