Chapter 28: Either Politicians Remain or Humanity Remains
If Pakistan has invaded one part of Kashmir, Chaudhuris idea was that we invade Pakistan from four or five fronts. They will be confused, they will run amok; they will not be able to decide where they have to send their armies. Their attack will become a failure because they have to defend all the borders of their country.
But politicians. The prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, informed him, “Wait till six o’clock in the morning.”
General Chaudhuri told me that he was thrown out of the army - not publicly: publicly he retired honorably, but he was kicked out. He was told, “Either you resign or we will throw you out.”
The reason was that he attacked Pakistan at five o’clock in the morning, one hour before the order. That was the right time; by six o’clock it would be sunrise, people would be awake. Five o’clock was the perfectly right time - everybody was asleep - to drive them crazy. And he did what he was saying - he made the whole of Pakistan tremble. He was just fifteen miles from Pakistan’s biggest city, Lahore.
The whole night Jawaharlal and his cabinet were discussing this way and that way, to do it or not to do it. And even by six o’clock in the morning they had not come to any conclusion; they just heard on the radio that “General Chaudhuri is entering Lahore.”
That was too much for the politicians. They stopped him just fifteen miles away from Lahore. And I can see that was sheer stupidity. If the man had taken Lahore, the problem of Kashmir and India would have been solved forever. It is not ever going to be solved, the problem of the territory of Kashmir which Pakistan has occupied - and it was because General Chaudhuri was told to come back, “because India is a non-violent country and you did not wait for the order.”
He said to them, “I do understand military strategy; you don’t. Even by six o’clock - where was your order? Pakistan has already occupied a certain territory, the most beautiful part of Kashmir - and you were just discussing the whole night. This is not a question to be discussed, this has to be decided in the warfield. If you had allowed me to take over Lahore then we would have been in a position to bargain. Now we are not in a position to bargain. You pulled me back, I had to come back.”
The UN decided for a cease-fire line. So now for forty years, UN armies have been there patrolling; on the other side Pakistans armies are patrolling, on this side Indian armies are patrolling. For forty years - just nonsense! And in the UN they go on discussing and nothing comes out of it.
And the territory that has been occupied by Pakistan you cannot take back because of the cease-fire. They have really decided in their parliament that the territory occupied by them is combined with Pakistan. Now they show it on their maps. It is no longer occupied territory, it is Pakistan’s territory.