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Introduction Pakistan was founded on 14 August, 1947 along with India when the two nations achieved independence from the British Colonial Empire. The partition of the sub continent had occurred along ethnic-religious lines with Pakistan created in those adjoining territories that had majority Muslim populations. Thus the country of Pakistan with seventy million people had above 90% Muslim population. On the other hand, India had a majority Hindu population but Muslims were also a sizeable second minority group comprising 15% of the Indian population. The regions comprising Pakistan included the provinces of Sind, Punjab, Balochistan and Northwest Frontier Province on the western side of India and the province of East Bengal in the east of India. The two wings of eastern and western Pakistan were separated by a thousand miles of Indian territories. India inherited most of the infrastructure from the colonial establishment and Pakistan received some share out of assets. However, the regions comprising the land of Pakistan were less developed as compared to India and the administrative infrastructure was also limited. Both countries gained some military assets left over after the end of the World War Two. The main challenges that Pakistan faced at the time of its independence were related to its security fears, lack of infrastructure in the country and limited financial resources. The creation of two separate states and the division of the countries over ethnoreligious lines had create a large migration across the two countries accompanied by ethnic cleansing, rioting and looting. The partition of the sub continent had been a contentious debacle and India and Pakistan had disputed division of assets as well as territories of the two countries. The state of Kashmir was a major cause of dispute as both India and Pakistan made claims for the state. The dispute led to a limited war in 1948 that resulted in one third of the Kashmir state occupied by Pakistan and the other two thirds overtaken by India. The initial years 1947-1952 After the creation of the two countries, Pakistan followed a more pro western policy whereas the Indian government defined its foreign policy with a more leftist to non aligned stance. Pakistan was looking for strong friends in order to persuade its bigger and much stronger neighbor India to give in to its claims over the territory of Kashmir. Pakistan also needed financial support for its infrastructure development and modernization of its armed forces. Right from the beginning the founder father of Pakistan sent its
its containment efforts in South East Asia and the Middle East. it was not clear how Pakistan’s role in both these organizations would actually materialize in the case of an actual conflict. On the other hand. Pakistan joined with Turkey as member of the Middle East Defense Organization (MEDO) in 1954. On the other hand. Pakistan contented that the Soviet Union wanted to get access to the Arabian Sea and to increase its influence in the Middle East. Pakistan joined South East Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO) with a view to adding security to the East Asian flank of anti communist alignment. The United States in the initial years of Pakistan was less interested in getting involved in the emerging conflicts of South Asia. the Indian National Congress. This allowed Pakistan to formally seek aid as a regional ally of the US. In January 1955. The Kashmir issue remained unresolved and became the main bone of contention between India and Pakistan resulting in three subsequent wars. However. The Republican government was more receptive of the Pakistani position and its claims of anti communist stand and an available allied state. The evolving relations & Ayub Era 1952-1969 Prospects for Pakistan’s relations with US improved after Republican Eisenhower came to power in 1952 in the White House. and India’s leaders were closer in ideology to socialism and the Soviet Union. Pakistan could provide a foot hold for the US in the region against any Soviet expansionist efforts in South Asia. Pakistan pushed its case as an ally that could provide support for Middle East security and in return it asked for military and economic support for its flail economy.representative to the US government for financial and military assistance. As a US ally in the region. . Pakistan based its case on the post World War scenario of confrontation between the Soviet Union and the West. Pakistan was a nation beyond Afghanistan that could avert such Soviet designs. the United States was more occupied in the post war reconstruction in Western Europe and Japan. the US did not see the usefulness of a strong relationship with Pakistan and US interests in Pakistan were limited. The Pakistanis wanted to strengthen their relations with the US so as to get an advantage in their confrontation with India over Kashmir. Pakistan as a Muslim state had no affiliations with the communists and was a natural regional ally for the United States. for the Pakistanis. The Kashmir dispute dragged on despite UN Security Council resolutions that were agreed upon by both Pakistan and India in 1949 for a ceasefire and proposal for a plebiscite. becoming part of these alliances allowed the country to create stronger links with the US administration and seek increasing aid. the ruling party in India. However. From the US perspective. Unstable domestic politics had led to political and economic distress while the bureaucratic and military officers were getting stronger in the country.
Creation of Bangladesh 1969 – 1972 Army Chief General Yahya took over power from President Ayub Khan in March 1969. The issue troubling the US was Pakistan’s closer relations with China. … Joining the Baghdad Pact and SEATO gave Pakistan a strengthened claim on US resources and. A key development from Pakistan’s perspective was the amount of development and military aid that started in 1954 and increased to $500 million by 1957 as a result of Pakistan’s joining the regional defense organizations and allying with the USA. The Indians and Chinese had fought a war in 1962 in which China had given India a bloody nose. Pakistan became a member of the Baghdad Pact organization which later became known as CENTO. Pakistan’s Army Chief staged a military coup in 1958 and later became the President of Pakistan. "In the end.In September 1955. as the war spread. neither the Baghdad Pact not SEATO amounted to much militarily. However. “Friends Not Masters”. the relations between the two countries became even stronger. As Pakistan’s president Ayub Khan put it in his biography. Turkey. Pakistan had become America’s “most allied ally in Asia”" (Reference 1). Iran and Iraq were its earlier members with the US as the backer of the security arrangement. Pakistan could not sustain a long term conflict and asked for a truce and both forces moved back to their previous borders. Field Marshal Ayub Khan had developed strong relations with the Americans and his era from 1958 to 1969 turned out to a strong era of USPakistan relations. This arrangement and the closer relationship of the Pakistani government with the US administration allowed it to acquire increasing military hardware and arms for its defense services. in turn. The . The role of this organization was similar to the earlier MEDO as a northerntier defense arrangement against communist influence in the Middle East. Political representation had been insufficient and regional succession movements were strengthening in the country especially in the eastern Pakistan province of Bengal. In 1959. Pakistan’s growing friendship with communist China irked the US who was facing a proxy war against the communists in Vietnam. the US acquired an even larger stake in Pakistan’s well being. Aub’s government allowed the US to set up an intelligence facility in Badaber. NWFFP province and operate U2 surveillance flights over the Soviet Union from its Peshawar Airport. Pakistan and India fought a war in 1965 that was an ill fated affair started by a limited guerilla war in Kashmir that Ayub started in order to pressurize India to come to the negotiating table over Kashmir. However. During the second Eisenhower term. Elections were held in the country in 1970 with the East Pakistani party Awami League taking a majority in the elections. As a result Pakistan moved to improve and strengthen its relations with China in order to position itself as a stronger foe for India. The country had been in a pseudo military rule since 1958.
After a fortnight of fighting. On the other hand.military government did not hand over power to the winning party and in a political deadlock. The Chinese relationship was vital for the US as it was trying to fix the mess in its Vietnam policy. unleashed a crackdown against the East Pakistan population. President Nixon used the Pakistani links with China to start a secret diplomacy with China which culminated with Henry Kessinger’s secret visit to China in July 1971 while he was visiting Pakistan . "The opening to China was an essential element in Nixon’s strategy of creating a new global balance of power. the US administration neglected the internal domestic issues of Pakistan and allowed the dictator to have its way in East Pakistan. This led to a limited civil war in 1971 and India siding with the dissidents launched a war in December 1971. With these concerns. The US Policy in this debacle was aligned with the military establishment of Pakistan due to its earlier links and defense relationships . His aim was to bring China into the family of nations – reversing two decades of US efforts to isolate Beijing – and to use an improved US-Chinese relationship as a lever with Moscow to press for US-Soviet d . the Pakistani forces in East Pakistan accepted default and the state of Bangladesh was established.
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