Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Afghan partition plan|
|01/07/02 at 13:29:34|
|Bismillah and salam,|
Thu 3 Jan 2002
Released papers reveal plan for Afghan partition
BRITISH diplomats in the 1950s secretly discussed dividing up
between the neighbouring powers of Russia and Pakistan, according to
official files made public for the first time yesterday.
Amid concerns that the country might slide into chaos and anarchy, one
senior Foreign Office official suggested that its "ultimate
would be "no great tragedy".
However, papers released to the Public Record Office show the British
ambassador in Kabul, John Gardener, cautioned against military
intervention, warning that an invading army could be tied down for
fighting a guerrilla war.
With Cold War tensions mounting, British diplomats in the early 1950s
were becoming increasingly concerned that a weakened Afghanistan
could no longer provide an effective "buffer" between an expansionist
Soviet Union and the Indian sub-continent. Foreign Office officials
floating the idea that the best solution was to divide the country
Russia and Pakistan along the line of the Hindu Kush.
In June 1951, one senior diplomat, RH Scott, wrote to Gardener pointing
out that the French were already suggesting that the "obvious solution"
to the problems of the region was to "engineer" a partition.
"If there is to be an upheaval sometime, as looks not unlikely, the
ultimate disappearance of Afghanistan (as we now know it) might be no
tragedy. In modern conditions Afghan viability may in the long run be
doubtful," he wrote.
While he acknowledged there were, in theory, advantages to partition,
he warned that such a strategy was "fraught with danger" for both
Pakistan and for the Western powers.
"The Afghan army could offer no effective resistance to modern forces
bent on occupation. The subsequent resistance of some of the
inhabitants would, however, cause headaches to the occupying forces,"
"These people, jealous of their independence, stubborn and brave
fighters of the guerrilla type on their own terrain, would make the
an occupying force a misery."
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