Puzzles of Partition

This is with reference to the book review, ‘The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned and Cleansed’ written by Ishtiaq Ahmed (KT, April 20). Some facts are conspicuously ignored by the author especially those that preceded the British announcement of 3rd June 1947.

By Muhammed Raushan, By Email

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Published: Mon 23 Apr 2012, 9:01 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 12:40 PM

In August 1946, the British government sent a mission to India known as the Cabinet Mission to deal with the Indian political problem.

The mission proposed the division of India into three semi-independent zones comprising the then undivided Punjab, Sindh, NWFP, and Baluchistan in Zone “A”; the undivided Bengal and Assam as Zone “B” and the rest of India as Zone “C” under one constitution for a period of 10 years with a provision of right of any zone to cede after a period of 10 years.

Both the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League approved the mission’s scheme. However, on a question of the Congress’s position as to the implementation of the scheme, Pundit Nehru interpreted the scheme to say that the Indian government would be able to annul the scheme once it came to power. This statement of Nehru sabotaged the scheme and consequently the Muslim League withdrew its resolution on approval of the scheme and made Pakistan as its sole objective leading to the partition of India. Had it not been so, the partition would have never taken place, thereby avoiding the holocaust that followed.

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