We think it is necessary to quote below excerpts from a dispatch by the Associated Press of Pakistan. Sent from Bandung., Indonesia, the report said: Field Marshal Ayub Khan said that every nation had the right to organise its defence and security…. He asked Indonesian people to bear in mind that it was an Asian country which had been oppressing Pakistan and which continued to oppress her. He went on to explain that Pakistan’s relations with India were improving on Pakistan’s initiative…. The President said that after freedom the Muslims found that their fears (of Hindus) were justified . . . . This speech, significantly omitted from Reuter’s despatches to India, was delivered before a crowd of two lakhs of Indonesians who are heavily Muslim. It is obvious that the President of Pakistan, finding himself in a neutral nation which had turned its back on defence pacts and cold war involvements, was going out of his way to justify Pakistan’s own involvements. But the manner in which he did it and the sentiments he expressed are unfortunate in the extreme and quite unbecoming the head of a modern state. It is not even three weeks since the Indo-Pakistan consultative committee met at Rawalpindi and issued a joint communiqué on how to avoid unnecessary bitterness between the two countries. And now the President of Pakistan himself makes a pathetic exhibition of what can only be described as an inferiority complex. President Ayub is not too famous for wise words in his public speeches, but one would have thought that at least when he was visiting a foreign country, he would stick to conventions and avoid cheap propaganda. We can only hope that Indonesia’s reaction to the ‘We Muslim’ overture will help to sober the Pakistani President down. For, immediately after President Ayub Khan’s speech, Indonesia’s president Sukarno took the rostrum. To quote APP again: “Dr. Sukarno while taking note of President Ayub’s explanation of Muslim demand for Pakistan referred to Indonesia’s multi-religious composition- Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and Hindus-and said his country had its own philosophy for the solution of this problem.” We hope Field Marshal Ayub Khan will not miss the hint.
15th December 1960.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)