Islamabad: The controversial remarks made at a book launching event by Air Marshal (retired) Asghar Khan- that Pakistan had attacked India four times since 1947- brought him strong criticism by participants of the ceremony.
“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 News quoted Asghar, as saying at Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s book launching ceremony.
“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,” the nonagenarian claimed.
In a reminiscent mood, Asghar said that in 1965, again, Pakistan quietly sent tanks to Jammu and when at a function, he asked former Pakistan president General Ayub Khan about it and warned that by doing so, Pakistan was asking for trouble, he expressed his complete ignorance about this development.
He also claimed that the East Pakistan tragedy happened because of the inflexible attitude of some top influential politicians and the armed forces.
Had the majority been allowed to form government, the Dhaka fall could have had been averted, Asghar believed.
“Indian forces came to East Pakistan when people were being slaughtered there. Moreover, again at Kargil, Indian never mounted an assault,” he maintained.
Pakistan Observer sought opinion from a number of eminent people present at the ceremony, including Lieutenant General (retired) Hameed Gul and former ambassador, Senator (R) Akram Zaki, on Asghar’s remarks.
They unanimously criticised Asghar Khan for mixing facts with fictitious historic events.
“How can one expect categorical stand from a person of 92 years’ old, who had a dubious track record,” General Gul was quoted as saying.
He said that issuing irresponsible statements about Pakistan-India relationship had become a fashion, which should be avoided so that the youth might not be misled.
“If Field Marshal Ayub Khan had granted three years extension of service to Asghar Khan, his career might be totally different,” said Akram Zaki, adding that he should also have said who went to China, asking for time frame from India.
He said that Asghar Khan’s remarks were against realities and had nothing to do with actual history.