Simla Pact
(With Pressmen at Bangalore, February 1973)
Q : What is your reaction to the Simla Pact?
A : It is all patchwork and nothing decisive. Now probably it has ceased to be operative. Nothing has been done. Recognition of Bangladesh as a separate entity by Pakistan has not yet come. The problem of POWs is still hanging in the air.
Q : Suppose we send back the POWs.
A : If they are released, the Bengali in Pakistan will meet his doom. The pity is, our Government has not taken the firm stand that unless the last Bengali returns from Pakistan, there shall be no talk of the return of POWs.
Q : Some time back you had declared that there will be another attack from Pakistan. What is the basis?
A : The basis is the reports of the hectic preparation going on there and also the way in which Mr. Bhutto is addressing his own countrymen. I think that will not lead to anything except another war with us.
Q : But Pakistan itself is disintegrating.
A : Its only integrating force is another war with us.
Q : Is there a state of war between India and Pakistan?
A : Not at least according to our Prime Minister. But they are at war with us. Yes, that is possible. When Pakistan attacked Kashmir previously, even they had not declared war. In fact, even before Pakistan was born, i.e., the Partition, they were at war with us. Their very existence depends upon it. Otherwise, there is no logic for Pakistan's existence.
Q : Some time back you said, 'Pakistan cannot be mended, it should be ended.' Do you hold that view even now?
A : I hold. I did not say it in any emotional moment. I hold that the country should be one once again. Partition is illogical. It should be wiped out. The problem of the Muslims also will be solved. Partition has not solved the problem but it has only accentuated it.
Q : In the meantime, Mr. Piloo Mody has suggested an open border between Pakistan and India.
A : That is all right, but then, so long as that (annulment of Partition) does not happen, if the border is made open, what will happen? Those who are bent upon a war with us will only create in this country conditions favorable for themselves. So, this does not seem to be a very practicable or a very wise suggestion. Even now their agent-provocateurs are coming into our country creating trouble here and there. They have already, it is said, a very wide espionage network also.
Q : If they don't want merger, what is the use of our saying so? Will there not be a larger number of traitors if we become one?
A : Even today, as the conditions stand, a large number of people bank upon the neighboring hostile country, for carrying on their own anti-national activities. By merger, that neighboring supporting State will be no more. The continued existence of Pakistan, on the other hand, gives to the ordinary Muslim here a sort of confidence that if he continues in his agitative and anti-national activities, he will be able to carve out another State for himself. That feeling must go. On the contrary, every Muslim must feel that Partition has been a grievous mistake. We have to educate him accordingly.