Pakistan’s cold war has its roots in World War II
KARACHI: “After going through Hasan Sadiq’s book The End of the Great Game it occurred to me that perhaps a better title would be The End of One Great Game and the Beginning of Another,” said former ambassador to the UN Zafar Hilaly.
Mr Hilaly said this while moderating the book launch of Hasan M. Sadiq’s book at the Karachi Gymkhana on Tuesday evening.
He said that “this is precisely what the author is in fact saying. Indeed, what else are we to make of his proposition that having moved to protect and preserve Pakistan [quoting Henry Kissinger] the United States has now launched a seemingly devilish scheme to undo Pakistan”. Former ambassador Hilaly added that Mr Sadiq also spoke about how the Pakistan-India rivalry was not exclusive to the two countries but now included — China, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, the US and Russia.
Mr Sadiq, who is a graduate of Columbia University, a computer programmer by profession and an excellent squash player, said it took him nearly 10 years to write the book.
According to Mr Sadiq, in his book he tried to demonstrate that the Cold War and its legacy was still affecting Pakistan. He added that the current situation could only be understood through that lens.
Like the Cold War, he said, Pakistan’s ‘cold war’ has its roots in World War II. He went on to explain what was happening in 1944 when Great Britain and the United States were on the verge of winning. “These two powers were debating on how they would divide the resources of the Middle East,” he said, adding that declassified documents showed that President Franklin D. Roosevelt told a British ambassador to inform Prime Minister Winston Churchill that the Middle East would be divided as follows: Iran will go to Britain, Iraq will be shared by both super powers and Saudi Arabia will go to the US. Mr Sadiq expanded on this point and said that the US wanted to maintain control of the Middle East — something, he added, they still want to do today.
He also briefly mentioned 9/11, Pak-China relationship and how the United States’ main motive to get inside Iraq was to control the Middle East — not weapons of mass destruction.
He said that in his book he had tried to explain how Pakistan got to where it is right now.
Other speakers included Iqbal Akhund, former Pakistan ambassador to the UN. He was also a security adviser to Benazir Bhutto in her first term.
Mr Akhund was joined by Dr Masuma Hasan, president of the Aurat Foundation, a former cabinet secretary and a former ambassador.
Mr Akhund said that Mr Sadiq’s book and talk had been packed with facts and analysis which were interesting yet debatable. He discussed why Pakistan’s nuclear strength and programme were a matter of concern to the United States.
Dr Hasan congratulated Mr Sadiq on the book, “writing a book is a great achievement”.
She added that she had been through list of resources used and claimed that Mr Sadiq had used secondary sources in his research and some declassified documents.
She discussed nuclear policies, relationship with Russia, the British empire and the Middle East.