Five years as foreign minister


I am writing to you as a follow-up to our recent meeting in London along with Bob, during which you had asked me to forward to you a book proposal to be circulated amongst prospective publishers. I am penning together some thoughts not just about my five years as Foreign Minister but also on the period leading up to my assuming that office. I plan to write a book tof about 400 to 500 pages featuring approximately 14 chapters, covering Pakistan's relations with its neighbours, the major powers of the world, as well as various regional players. Titled 'I Was There', the 400-500 page book will cover in its 14 chapters Pakistan's relations with its neighbours, the major powers of the world, as well as various regional players.

In recent times, Pakistan has been in the glare of a lot of media publicity - not necessarily for all the right reasons. This media focus actually started in the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, with Pakistan becoming a front line ally of the United States. It is becoming more and more apparent from the statements of many western leaders that what happens on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border areas, and the way Pakistan responds to this challenge will impact significantly the security of not just the US but also of many European nations including the UK.

My book should, hopefully, help a western audience understand the background of this gripping and evolving story. The fact that Pakistan is at the cross-roads of many cultures and civilizations should lend a lot of colour and some insight, thus help in creating a better understanding of the context in which these events are occurring. It is not just the western audience that may gain a better insight, but also a regretfully large number of South Asians that are ignorant of the recent history of the British rule, the Independence movement, the Afghanistan invasion, and the events leading up to the turmoil that we are currently experiencing.

I feel that Pakistan, its history and its leaders, have in some ways been misunderstood. If any proof were needed, the recent book on Jinnah by Jaswant Singh, the former External Affairs Minister of India, which led to his expulsion from his own party, would illustrate this point. In particular, the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, known as the Quaid or the Quaid-e-Azam, (the great leader) a western educated modernizing leader has been transformed by some of our contemporary historians into someone that he never was. The book should help explain how Pakistan came into being and what its real founders, the educationist and reformer Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the great poet philosopher Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal, and the rational and almost clinically logical Barrister, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, never intended this country to be what the 'Mullahs' of our country would like our masses to believe. In this respect the time of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, much hosted and toasted by the West, was a transforming and extremely negative period. Henceforth, certain powerful segments of our society made conscious efforts to obfuscate and, where possible, to obliterate the vision of the founding fathers of Pakistan. In his Presidential address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on 11th August 1947, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah said.

You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste, or creed; that has nothing to do with the business of the State.

My period as foreign minister covers a most eventful period in our diplomatic history, a period that was of significance not just for Pakistan and its neighbours, but for the rest of the world as well. Mine was a period following 9/11, when it had become fashionable to say that the world had changed after that epochal event. And 9/11 did affect Pakistan in many fundamental ways, generally adversely. The book will contain an account of the immense challenges that we faced as a nation.

The book will also cover a firsthand account of my meetings with many world leaders. This includes my interactions with President Bush, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, President Karzai, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, President Mohammad Ahmadinejad, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Foreign Minister Natwar Singh, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, Turkish Foreign Minister (currently President) Abdullah Gul, French Foreign Minister (and later Prime Minister) Dominique de Villepin, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, German Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister and others. It will also feature the details of some important and history-changing events. For example, the book will cover the dramatic moments when Secretary of State Colin Powell with the help of pointers before a big map in the Security Council Chamber tried to explain 'facts' which went on to allege the possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD's) by Iraq. I can still picture in my mind Colin sitting directly opposite to me with the CIA Chief, George Tennet and Ambassador John Negroponte seated behind him - all with very serious faces. I remember feeling sorry later on when Colin Powell apologized for being misled by his own government.

The book begins with my own upbringing. I was brought up in Lahore, the cultural and political capital of Pakistan where my early education took place. The first few chapters of the book will deal with my family and politics. There will be some reference to my family, both maternal and paternal sides, and their vastly different - and rather opposing - attitudes to politics and religion. It so happens that both the paternal and maternal sides of my family played significant roles before and after independence; their differences will in some ways epitomize the conflict that has gone among South Asian Muslims over the last 150 years and thus serve as interesting and informative backdrop to the narrative. For example, my paternal grandfather, Maulana Abdul Qadir Kasuri (one of the top leaders of the Khilafat Movement in India and President of the Indian National Congress Punjab for ten years following the legendary Lala Lajpat Rai) and my two uncles Maulana Mohiuddin Ahmad Kasuri (father of caretaker Prime Minister Moin Qureshi) and Maulana Muhammad Ali Kasuri (who was appointed 'Foreign Minister' of the Government of Free India formed in Afghanistan and recognized by the governments of Germany and Afghanistan in the early twentieth century[1]) were sentenced to death by the British for their anti-British and pro-independence activities. My father, the late Mian Mahmud Ali Kasuri, was Pakistan's Law Minister and one of the country's top lawyers, is generally regarded as the father of both, the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan, and Pakistan's Human Rights movement. On the other hand my maternal great grandfather His Highness, Nawab Sir Ameer ud Din Ahmad Khan was ruler of the princely state of Loharu in northern India. Percival Spear in his famous book 'Twilight of The Mughuls' explains the accession of the state by my maternal family. He was advisor (and Governor Political Agent of Mesopotamia) to the British[2] during WWI [3]. He was considered for the kingship of one the two envisaged kingdoms of Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula[4] (there was no kingdom of Saudi Arabia at that time). At that time the British were looking for a wise and loyal Muslim Indian Prince to head one of the two Kingdoms. According to the family grapevine, he was backed in this by Lawrence of Arabia and His Highness Sir Sultan Mohammed Shah, Agha Khan III.

These major contradictions between my maternal and paternal sides of the family in religion, culture, political and ethnic backgrounds could only lead me to a greater than usual degree of tolerance if I were to preserve my sanity; both sides expressed the choicest epithets and the most derogatory opinions regarding each other. A fair amount of literature is available surrounding their contribution towards the evolution of political history and literature in this part of the world. It goes without saying that wherever there is a reference to my family, it will naturally be supported by authentic sources/references, as will any other material fact used in the book. Reference to my maternal and paternal family is made for a better understanding of my own evolution. My family, naturally, had a lot of influence on my personality; this background was perhaps the reason for what was regarded later on at the Foreign Office as my non-conventional views on India. I also find that some of my relatives led rather interesting lives and this may add to the readability of the book besides giving useful background information of the period.

The book will then go on to describe my political background, my early years in politics, and my close association with four of the six important Pakistani leaders, who have influenced Pakistani politics very substantially, namely, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif (all three later on became Prime Ministers) and President Pervez Musharraf. There will be a reference to Air Marshal Asghar Khan, the President of the Tehreek-e-Istaqlal and the youngest head of Pakistan Air force (who in some ways was trying to live up to the legacy of Mohammad Ali Jinnah). He is one of Pakistan's most honest political leaders. His lack of success reflects the tragedy of Pakistani Politics. Of course, the book will be incomplete without a reference to Field Marshal Ayub Khan, the first military ruler of Pakistan and General Zia-ul-Haq. It will, naturally, cover President Pervez Musharraf's tenure in detail during whose period I served as Foreign Minister for five years. The book will mention the background to my resignation from Parliament during the Prime Ministership of Mr. Nawaz Sharif when he wanted to affectively become an all powerful Ameer-Ul-Momineen (Commander of the Faithful) under the pretext of the Shariah Act which would have applied to the whole of Pakistan in 1998 and might have been the first step to the official Talibinization of Pakistan. It was to some extent, due to my opposition and of others, as well as the fact that, mercifully, he did not enjoy a two thirds majority in the Senate (having had the bill passed in the National Assembly) that the wishes of the then Prime Minister could then not materialize; my opposition at that time made headlines culminating in a dramatic resignation; details will be given in the book.

The book will refer also to some of my differences with President Musharraf on some political issues despite my positive approach towards him. Naturally, I supported him on many issues, particularly on the promotion of rights of women and minorities, the strengthening of the local government and the flowering of the media. On foreign policy, of course, we worked together. It was after his 3rd of November extra-constitutional imposition of a national Emergency that I resigned with a copy being sent to the Chief of Staff to the President to make my differences clear. Details, which are of contemporary relevance, will obviously feature in the book.

The chapter on Pakistan-India relations is not only about my 5 years in office but also explains the reasons for the hostility between the two countries. This should make it easier for current readers, particularly the non-South Asian audience of the book, to have a better understanding of the complexities/intricacies of the relationship between the two countries. Islam and Hinduism have had a very complex interaction in South Asia over the better part of the millennium. This relationship has been one of an often uneasy coexistence. There will be four or five pages linking the past to the present times; this should give the reader an overview of the nature of this relationship which continues to impact the lives of Hindus and Muslims and by extension of Indians and Pakistanis. The eventual withdrawal of the British from India and the creation of two independent states - India and Pakistan - in 1947 was unfortunately marked with widespread killings. An attempt will be made to understand why so much carnage took place at the time of Partition. Naturally, the role of the main actors Mountbatten, Jinnah, Gandhi and Nehru, which continues to affect the relationship between the two countries today, will also be featured.

A quick historical account of India and Pakistan since 1947 with the milestones of war and peace will also be given. The book will discuss the role of the Establishments in the two countries; both the countries have created their own narratives of histories and promoted certain myths which have played a crucial role in keeping the people of the two countries apart. I strongly believe that it serves Pakistan's national interest to normalize relations with India; animosity between the two countries has cost Pakistan and India dearly - economically as well as politically. Therefore, a lot of time and effort during my period as Foreign Minister went into promoting better relations with India. There will be an assessment of the most sustained dialogue that the two countries have ever conducted as well as certain path-breaking developments regarding the frame work agreement on Kashmir which brought us close to a possible breakthrough (not just on Kashmir but also on Siachen and Sir Creek).

One of the most important chapters in the book will deal with the efforts we made to resolve our disputes with India with whom we have fought 3 major and 2 minor wars. It will also give some insight into the 'out of the box' solution on Kashmir on which Pakistan and India had worked through a diplomatic back channel for over three years. The Kashmir problem continued to bedevil our relations despite the passage of more than six decades of independence of the two countries and remains the core issue between the two nuclear arch rivals. When the British partitioned their imperial holdings in South Asia between India and Pakistan, the question of the future of the Muslim majority Kashmir was crucial. India agreed to hold plebiscite but then reneged.

The objective of our foreign policy was to build bridges of peace with our neighbours. In that spirit, we worked to reduce our tensions with India. Our efforts at peace making after I assumed office in November 2002 are especially significant when contrasted with the extremely tense situation following the 1999 Kargil war and the 2001-2002 Indian mobilization of troops on the border following a terrorist attack on the Indian parliament. Our Government's policy of composite dialogue, back channel diplomacy on Kashmir and people to people contact was largely successful.

The book will be a firsthand account of those epoch making times. Only four or five people can speak on the events under discussion with some authority. President Musharraf, Prime Minister Vajpayee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh could of course do so, were they so inclined. As far as the Foreign Ministers of the two countries are concerned, I had the opportunity of dealing with three of my Indian counterparts, viz. Yashwant Sinha, Natwar Singh as well as Pranab Mukherjee. Quite honestly, I can say with a fair degree of confidence that apart from the two principals, President Musharraf and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (Prime Minister Vajpayee having started the process but also having left the scene before these major developments) who can speak with greater authority, as far as the foreign ministers of the two countries are concerned, I had an edge over my three Indian counterparts because they served relatively short terms, whereas I covered the entire period of five years under discussion during which unprecedented progress was made on the contentious issues of Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek. This was done on the back channel and were it not for a most unfortunate and fortuitous turn of events following the removal of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary, the Indian Prime Minister was planning to come to Islamabad to sign the agreement on Sir Creek which would have given a further impetus to the agreement on Kashmir which was near completion with relatively few remaining differences. It is my firm conviction that the detailed work that we had done through non papers will not be wasted and two governments will not have to reinvent the wheel. As far as President Musharraf is concerned he has already fired his first shot by writing his book 'In the Line of Fire - a Memoir'. He has covered a different territory from what I plan to. I do not think that any of my counterparts from India is planning to write on this subject. Therefore, I could say with some humility, that mine would be the first insider account of events that are of interest beyond South Asia. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has recently made a statement along similar lines saying that we were near a solution on Kashmir until Pakistan was distracted by the events following the judicial crisis in Pakistan (although the Indians deliberately kept quiet initially - and in my opinion, the Prime Minister only spoke during the last days of his tenure, not sure that he would become Prime Minister the next time and wanted history to be his witness).

The book will also refer to all important 6th January 2004 Joint Statement between Pakistan and India, and the atmosphere during the meetings. I can very vividly recollect standing between President Musharraf and Prime Minister Vajpayee just prior to the agreement which dramatically reduced the tensions between the two countries. I could feel a sense of satisfaction, particularly because I had been pilloried by a section of the Urdu media as well as by some of the Foreign Office mandarins who thought that their Foreign Minister was far too soft on the 'wily' neighbour next door. I could see egg on their faces. I do, however, have the satisfaction of knowing that much groundwork has been done between Pakistan and India during my tenure as Foreign Minister, that now it is only a matter of time, given the political will, that the Kashmir issue will be resolved largely along the lines agreed at that time.

The book will also give the background of the intense debate going on within Pakistan at that time on how to deal with India. Luckily, I was able to persuade President Musharraf and other key actors of the Establishment that normal and friendly relations with India best served Pakistan's national interest. President Musharraf spoke in public of some of the ingredients of the 'out of the box' solution on Kashmir, namely, self-governance, demilitarization and a joint mechanism as an oversight of the proposed arrangement. Secretary of State Colin Powell and later on Secretary Rice as well as the British Foreign Secretary at that time, Jack Straw, proved helpful by remaining engaged with both the parties in the background. If we had concluded the agreement, there would been a paradigm shift in relations between the two countries, resulting in a 'cleansing peace'. This would have transformed the destiny of this region - it might still do so if the new leadership in Pakistan picks up the pieces from where we left off.

The chapter on Afghanistan will also briefly trace its history in order to contextualize the present issues. An effort will be made to understand the interaction of Afghanistan with Pakistan (then British India), Czarist Russia, Central Asia and the Muslim world from the beginning of its modern history. In order to understand the situation in Afghanistan and the Tribal Areas we naturally have to go back in to relatively recent history. The book will explain why Pakistan is always seen as an indispensable factor in Afghanistan. Pashtun tribes straddle the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. There are about 15 million Pashtuns in Afghanistan which is nearly half of Afghanistan's population and 25 million Pashtuns in Pakistan out of a total population of 175 million. Therefore, there are more Pashtuns in Pakistan than in Afghanistan just as there are more Tajiks in Afghanistan than in Tajikistan. As a result, the upside of our relationship is that we maintain a large footprint in Afghanistan. The downside is that we come under increased international pressure as the security situation worsens in Afghanistan. The presence of nearly 3 million refugees after thirty years of conflict has a bearing on the cross border infiltration problem.

The modern state of Afghanistan emerged after the three Anglo Afghan wars of the 19th century. The First War (1839-1842) was started when Britain, in order to counter the expanding Czarist influence in Afghanistan, sent an army to replace Dost Muhammad with a pro-British king, Shah Shuja al-Mulk. Resistance to Shuja's rule culminated in an uprising which led to the destruction of the British Indian forces and their eventual withdrawal from Afghanistan The real purpose of the British was to check Russian influence in the region and to keep Afghanistan as a 'buffer state'. Thus started the famous 'Great Game' in the region which continues in a different form to this day. The second Anglo Afghan war (1878-80) began when an uninvited Russian diplomatic mission to Afghanistan was asked to leave but could not be kept out. As a result the British also demanded the presence of British mission which was refused , encouraging them to march towards Afghanistan. Fearing an invasion, Afghanistan signed the treaty of Gandamak (1879), giving Britain the right to maintain a Resident in Kabul and control the external affairs of Afghanistan in lieu of an annual subsidy and protection in case of foreign aggression. Having achieved this objective, the British later withdrew.

It is in this context/these were the circumstances into which/It is in this historical milieu that the activities of one of my uncles Maulana Muhammad Ali Kasuri will be relevant. He was at that time declared by the British Governor of Punjab, Sir Michael Francis O'Dwyer[5], as one the two biggest threats to the British Empire emerging from that area; the other being a Sardar Mangal Singh, a Sikh revolutionary.[6] My uncle seems to be quite an interesting and colourful character. People of his background normally went into what was then called the ICS or the Indian Civil Service - the highest echelon of bureaucracy in the Subcontinent.

After a triple first at Cambridge, he decided instead to join the court of Amir Habibullah, the then ruler of Afghanistan. He was treated and looked after as a son by Sardar Muhammad Yousaf Khan, grandfather of King Zahir Shah[7]. At court, he tried to convince the Amir to join the Germans against the British. He wanted Afghanistan to attack British India so that India could be liberated with German help (it was however a different matter that the British had the better of him and conspired to have him expelled from the court through the efforts of Mulla Shorebazar, who was very close to the British Intelligence and is incidentally the grandfather of former President Mujaddadi of Afghanistan). There is also an account of the rivalry between the pro British and the pro German groups at the court of Amir Habibullah in the famous book on Afghanistan by Louis Dupree which I read when I was in Zia ul Haq's jail for opposing his dictatorship. In fact an 'interim government of free India' with my uncle Muhammed Ali Kasuri as Foreign Minister was recognised by both Germany and Afghanistan[8]. This account and that in my uncle's book (Mushahidat-e-Kabul-o-Yaghistan, or 'Observations/Reflections during the Travels of Kabul and Yaghistan') will provide an interesting backdrop for the current readers on Afghanistan and the Tribal Areas. The situation then seemed eerily similar to the situation prevailing currently. In fact the term Yaghistan (referring to the tribal areas on both sides of Pakistan-Afghanistan border) is part of the title of my uncle's book literally means the 'land of the rebels'. It seems the more the things the change, the more they remain the same - plus a change, plus c'est la mme chose.

Although my uncle's efforts failed to convince Amir Habibullah to attack British India, in 1919 Afghanistan did attack India when Amanullah Khan was enthroned; the attack was repulsed. My uncle was, however, awarded a medal by King Amanullah Khan 'in recognition of his contributions to the stability of Afghanistan'. This was the Third Anglo Afghan war of 1919, which is considered by war historians as a tactical gain for Britain and a strategic victory for Afghanistan. It was a victory for British because they repulsed the attack; for Afghanistan too, it was a victory as it took back the control of its foreign affairs which it had ceded to the British in the second Anglo Afghan war. The Durand Line Agreement of 1893 was reaffirmed, and the Afghans agreed to stop fomenting trouble across the border any more.

The Durand line, the official Boundary between modern-day Afghanistan and Pakistan, the successor state of British India, was negotiated between Sir Mortimer Durand, Foreign Secretary of the Government of British India, and Amir Abdur Rahman Khan, the Amir of Afghanistan. Up till the seventies, the Afghans used to make a lot of song and dance of the Durand line; though they are currently quiet, most Pakistanis feel that they are not yet reconciled to it. For Pakistan, on the other hand, it is a settled issue. To make matters worse, Afghanistan was the only country in the world to oppose Pakistan's admission to the UN. All this does, however, help explain the complex nature of relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan and will find an appropriate place in the book.

The book will highlight the efforts made during our tenure to improve relations with Afghanistan given the challenges of this relationship. No country has a greater stake than Pakistan in the peace, stability and prosperity of Afghanistan. Pakistan supported every initiative that could help the Afghans to achieve national reconciliation and rebuild their country after 9/11.

Pakistan and Afghanistan relations had many problems during my tenure. My experience tells me that Pakistan needs to adhere to a policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, and Afghanistan needs to act responsibly since ours is one of its most important bilateral relationships. While our interest in the role of the Pashtuns in Afghanistan is understandable because of the sentiments of our own Pashtun population, it is my considered view that neither the interest of the Pashtuns nor that of Afghanistan is served by our focus on this aspect of the problem. During my period we tried to reach out to all ethnic groups which form the Afghan government. Pakistan, being a developing country itself, needs conditions of peace and prosperity for its own economic, social and political development. We are cooperating fully to counter our common challenges. The idea of a Joint Peace Jirga between Afghanistan and Pakistan which held its meetings in Kabul and Islamabad was first mooted during our period. The idea behind the Jirga was that since the same tribes inhabited both sides of the border, it would make sense to hold joint Jirgas for both sides, thereby making the border less porous. This, if implemented properly, would play an important role in preventing extremists from crossing the border to attack NATO forces, thereby aiding to the pacification of the area.

We contributed to the reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan while also providing shelter to the largest number of refugees anywhere in the world history (at their maximum about 4 million plus - approximately 3 million continue to live in Pakistan). Afghanistan has continued to suffer ever since the Soviet invasion of that country almost 30 years ago. In fact the crisis of militancy affecting Pakistan today can be directly traced to that war, which was fought with the support of Pakistani and American Intelligence Services to help the Mujahidin in forcing the Soviets out of Afghanistan. At that time the Mujahidin were the darlings of the West and were referred to with great affection as 'Mujhs'. In fact, according to Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor to President Carter, Afghanistan was a 'bear trap' prepared for the USSR by the US. While the Americans may have been trying to settle scores with the former Soviet Union over Vietnam, a section of the Pakistani decision makers and the elite in those days believed that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan had to be interpreted in view of the historic Tsarist thrust towards the warm waters of the Arabian Sea; a few even feared that Pakistan could well be the next target. Pakistan took an active role in helping to recruit and train thousands of Mujahidin fighters from Pakistan and all parts of the Muslim world. This ultimately led to the rise of the Taliban who allowed Al Qaeda to find a new home in Afghanistan.

The book will also cover my interactions with Afghan leaders, including President Karzai of Afghanistan. I remember talking to President Karzai, one on one, when in earnest he tried to ask me, to my great horror, as to why Pakistanis look down upon the Afghans. Of course, I debunked such an outrageous notion as the historical facts were quite to the contrary.

After the invasion of Afghanistan by the US quite a large number of Al Qaeda and Taliban elements sought refuge in FATA, the Federally Administered Tribal Area between the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, that have been referred to previously as 'Yaghistan'. The region is included in the territories of Pakistan according to its Constitution and is represented in the National Assembly and Senate, the two houses of Parliament in Pakistan. The region was, as described above, mentally tuned to resisting any foreign invasion and coming to the help of their brethren across the Durand Line. A lot is being written all over the world on the region; in fact some western commentators now allege that the real threat to the West lies in FATA rather than in Afghanistan because they believe that the top leadership of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban is located in FATA, parts of the Frontier province and Balochistan (along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan). My book will deal with this issue in a historical context and suggest what needs to be done for peace to return to this part of the world. Interestingly FATA has seen many militant uprisings in the relatively recent history, such as the rebellion by the Faqir of Ippi, a staunchly anti-British tribal figure who gave a tough time to the 'Farengis' (the foreigners) during 1936.

Besides the Federal Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, the Swat and Malakand regions have witnessed also militant insurgency. In the late 19th century, Malakand region also saw a Pathan uprising. It is the very area from where the young and adventurous Winston Churchill reported for the princely sum of 5 pounds per article for the Allahabad Pioneer and Daily Telegraph during the Pathan uprising between 1896 and 1897. His first book 'Story of the Malakand Field Force' is about his experiences here which brought him instant fame and appreciation. The Piquet (picket) of Chakdara, NWFP where he stayed has been named the 'Churchill Piquet' after him. It is a fortification on top of a hill, from where one can still view a vast panorama overlooking the River Swat and the fields below. Churchill worked as a war correspondent as well as a soldier. In fact, when the young Queen Elizabeth II visited Pakistan in 1960, she was taken to the place from where she reportedly telephoned Sir Winston[9]. According to another version, she sent a telegram from this post to Sir Winston saying 'greetings from Malakand'[10].

The book will explore the reasons for our current turmoil; how the US views the Afghan problem, how Pakistan views it and the Afghan perspective on this issue. Russia, China and Central Asian states are vitally interested in this region. All of this will be covered in the book.

Obviously, any book on Pakistan's foreign policy during my tenure would be seriously remiss if it did not cover the complicated relationship between Pakistan and USA. The book will look into the reasons as to why Pakistan, from being the 'most allied ally', became the 'most sanctioned ally' of the United States and then once again a 'major non-NATO ally'. Can they be described as the 'odd couple' of modern international relationships? According to a Pakistani commentator, the US and Pakistan are like Martha and George from Edward Albie's 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf'; 'They can't even make love without insulting and abusing each other'.[11] The book will throw some light on precisely what it is that makes them come together again and again despite great reservations entertained by both sides on issues of fundamental importance. The relationship between the two countries started on a high note with the triumphant visit of Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1950. President Truman later acknowledged that 'Liaquat Ali Khan and his wife made an excellent impression on him'[12].

Almost the first call I received from a foreign counterpart was from the then Secretary of State Colin Powel who started his call by saying 'welcome to the club of foreign ministers'. I did not understand the significance of the phrase 'Club of Foreign Ministers' until sometime later when I realized how often they meet each other; this is so because Foreign Ministers of countries with a strong bilateral relationship meet each other at the bilateral level as well as at the multilateral fora. I was then not aware of the great frequency of such meetings.

When I assumed office as Foreign Minster there was general disenchantment with what was regarded by many Pakistanis as the self-serving nature of our relations with the US; many felt that the United States only used Pakistan when it suited its own interests. The truth, however, is always more nuanced. Americans entertained misgivings of a different nature regarding Pakistan's policy and objectives because they suspected that due to the primacy of Kashmir cause in Pakistan, the government of Pakistan had an ambivalent attitude towards the 'Jihadis'. It was in this background that our government tried to bring about a degree of sustainability to our relationship. That is why one of the guiding principles during our time was to build a stable, broad based, long-term, durable relationship with the United States. This broadening and deepening of our connection with the US had to go beyond counter-terrorism and had to be based on an institutional framework; we established this through a Strategic Partnership Agreement with the United States in March 2006 to promote cooperation in different fields including economic development, science and technology, education, energy, agriculture and a regular strategic dialogue. The book will, thus, provide Western audiences, in particular the US audience, a genuine insight into the Pakistani perspective on US relations with Pakistan.

I remember the dramatic moments just prior to the landing of President Bush at Islamabad Airport, when all lights were switched off, a huge container placed between the disappointed media contingent and the President presumably to prevent any harm from coming to him. There were many decoys to cover his landing. I also remember with sense of anger when I heard his response to a question by the Pakistani media as to whether Pakistan would get the same treatment on the civil nuclear deal that India had; he said rather bluntly that the two countries had 'different histories and different needs'. The only history I remembered on that occasion was India's misuse of 'atoms for peace' programme which had then had the cynicism to declare its first nuclear test 'Smiling Buddha'.

President Pervez Musharraf's decision to side with the United States in the fight against terrorism after 9/11 also obliged him to adjust Pakistan's policy towards various militant groups that had come into being after the Afghan jihad. There is no doubt that our Government actively pursued Al Qaeda terrorists, killing or capturing some of the most senior Al Qaeda leaders - more than any other country in the world. Pakistanis found it irksome when they were constantly reminded to 'do more' because we maintained more troops on our border than the combined strength of NATO and Afghan troops, suffered greater causalities than they did and had established and maintained ten times as many check posts than the Afghans had. Our Government also tried to rein in jihadi groups who had been focused at certain times in the past on Kashmir. The challenge facing the Government then and even now is that some of these jihadi groups enjoy a degree of popular support for their charitable work in health care and education; to make matters worse the Indian Government had also been messing around in Baluchistan. These facts and their consequences will be covered comprehensively in the book.

While the relationship with the US was very close, as FM, I was also very conscious of the criticism that influential sections of Pakistani public opinion levelled against our policy as seeming too subservient to US demands. It was obvious that with such perceptions, our relationship could not be sustained over the long haul. We were, therefore, very conscious of this criticism; where our fundamental interests were concerned we adopted an independent posture despite the strains that imposed on our relations with US. For example, we firmly opposed US efforts to obtain UN Security Council backing for its attack on Iraq. We felt Pakistani public opinion would be outraged by such an eventuality. Similarly, we were conscious of the extremely negative consequences for Pakistan if Iran were to be attacked by threatened by the Bush Administration. We also wanted the Iran-Pakistan Gas pipeline despite US opposition because we were gravely short of energy. We took a keen interest in the activities of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as an observer with the hope of becoming a member of the Organization. All of these issues required delicate handling at the Foreign Office.

The book will cover several initiatives taken by our Government in the area of non-proliferation, to bridge the gap of perception following the AQ Khan affair, both by dismantling his network in the country and making him apologize to the nation for his activities. We paid a heavy price for this in political terms because AQ Khan, 'the father of the bomb', was regarded as a national hero. Our opponents often used to often fling in our faces that where India had its father of bomb the President, we had humiliated ours and put him under house arrest. The international community did not recognize our dilemma. This was one of the most difficult decisions that any Pakistani Government could have taken at that time. After we took action, the international community was appreciative of this move. The book will try and go into this issue in detail and establish the fact how sound and secure Pakistan's credentials are now in the area of non-proliferation. Pakistan also cooperated in the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution 1540 on counter-proliferation. The resolution, fully supported by Pakistan, required states to apply the provisions of WMD Treaties to non-State actors and to authorize coercive action by military forces in preventing trafficking in WMD related goods and technology. Pakistan wished to be treated as a partner rather than a target of global non-proliferation regime. We expect the world to help Pakistan in acquiring nuclear technology for our growing energy requirements following the rapid growth of our economy in the last few years as well as the phenomena of global warming. In this respect, the book will highlight what is seen here as a highly discriminatory move by the United States and the West to provide this technology to India while denying it to Pakistan. Pakistan is already generating nuclear energy, albeit at a more expensive rate. China is currently cooperating with Pakistan in the peaceful usage this energy.

I remember President Pervez Musharraf and myself perspiring visibly in Kuala Lumpur, not because humidity in that city, but because of what President Khatami said to President Musharraf. It was during a meeting on the sidelines of the Islamic Conference in February 2003 where President Khatami asked everyone in the room to leave except for the two Foreign Ministers. He informed us rather sheepishly that the IAEA Inspectors had discovered during their inspection almost weapons-grade enrichment of contaminated parts at their facility. The President of Iran tried to suggest that it could have only come from Pakistan (in what was later known as the AQ Khan affair). President Pervez Musharraf barely controlling his rage, said 'how I know that the Iranians have not done it themselves?'

Pakistan has been close to Britain and the EU both for historic and economic reasons. In modern times however the relationship became closer following 9/11 and the presence of NATO troops in Afghanistan. NATO depends on Pakistan for supplying its troops in Afghanistan through Pakistani territory. Pakistan's relations with European Union were consolidated during the period being covered by the book, when, despite concerns of the European Union about some issues relating to democracy and non-proliferation, the relationship was strengthened to what was described as the Third Generation Agreement. EU remains Pakistan's largest trading partner and a source of foreign investment and development cooperation. This was the start of the new partnership with the EU. The Joint Commission established four special groups in trade, development cooperation, governance and migration and science and technology. In view of the solid base of achievements realized during our time, the present Government was able to achieve the objective of the first summit level formal meeting between the EU and Pakistan in Brussels in June 2009.

Traditionally, Pakistan has also enjoyed friendly relations with European Countries including Germany, France and Britain. Pakistan's relations with Britain have had an added dimension since we are a member of the Commonwealth although we have been moving in and out of it and in again. The book will highlight how during our time, I tried to strengthen our relations with the Commonwealth. Apart from connections of history, I always felt that the UK, in view of its special relationship with US could be a very useful interlocutor for Pakistan viz a viz our relations with US as well. In fact I developed very close personal relations with Jack Straw, the then British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

European countries such as Portugal and France have also influenced life in the Subcontinent. The Portuguese were, in fact, the first Europeans? to come to this part of the world. In those days Europe looked at India through Portuguese eyes. Most Anglo-Indian words have Portuguese roots. The Portuguese also influenced architecture in the Subcontinent. French influence, too, can be seen in the architectural style of Pondicherry.

Still, it was the British that had the most lasting influence in the region; they used architecture as a symbol of power. The styles they followed were varied; Gothic, imperial, Christian, English Renaissance and Victorian. Great Britain had an abiding influence on the life of the people. The systems of governance and representative government and, moreover, Indian nationalism have all been an outcome of these influences. The British were also responsible for the introduction of railways and link canal system which are prominent examples of that abiding influence. Obviously Britain's connection with Pakistan, or for that matter, the whole of the Subcontinent, is rooted in relatively recent history when the British replaced the grand Mughuls. The term 'Raj' evokes a lot of sentiment in South Asia as obviously it does in Britain. The English language effectively replaced Persian as the official language and this was bound to have the lasting consequences that is still enjoys.

The founding fathers of Pakistan and India studied in Britain and so, were greatly influenced by ideas of democracy, nationalism and in some cases, Fabian Socialism. The British bond is kept alive by a million British citizens and residents of Pakistani origin. I found that Britain plays a particularly helpful role in the European Union whenever issues concerning Pakistan came into consideration. I was always conscious of the fact that the world's only super power, the United States, had a special relationship with the UK and consulted it regularly on issues concerning South Asia.

My meetings with important European leaders will also find a place in the book; I remember very vividly my various meetings with European and western leaders, and the book should cover our relationship with United Kingdom, the EU and major Muslim countries. I will also talk of the resistance at the Pakistani Foreign Office to my desire to rejoin the Commonwealth against the advice of some professionals who thought I was unduly enthusiastic about joining the club of 'former slaves'. My informal meeting in London with the then Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Mr. Don Mckinnon, was kept secret. Luckily our High Commissioner in London at that time was also complicit in this adventure. The only upshot of this exercise was that that I had to pay out from my own pocket rather than bill the Foreign Office for the high tea at the Savoy because this meeting was not supposed to have taken place. Not all that appears in the book will be dramatic but an effort will be made to narrate the events in a relatively engaging form along with anecdotes and appropriate context/historical background to enable the western readers also to better appreciate the narrative.

Russia has always loomed large on the Pakistani political horizon. They say that the world changed after 9/11; for Pakistan, the world had changed after the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Furthermore, all our alliances with the west, the Baghdad Pact, Cento etc., were aimed at encircling the former Soviet Union. Following the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan in 1979 Pakistan became the closest ally of the United States; the ISI acquired a veto power of sorts on covert activities inside Afghanistan even though the Jihad there was financed largely by the US and Saudi Arabia. While the United States may have been tempted to settle scores over Vietnam, the Pakistani ruling elite was preconditioned to stopping Russian advances, since they regarded it as a continuation of Czarist Russia's desire to reach the warm waters of the Arabian Sea. It is, of course, not just by accident that General Zia ul Haq found western support very helpful in perpetuation of his power. Russia is, however, Pakistan's near neighbour and we made concerted efforts to normalize our relations with Russia whose Prime Minister visited us during my tenure for the first time after 40 years.

As far as our extremely close relationship with China is concerned, I will refer to a conversation between Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of China and myself in which he said to me that I will become the first non Chinese leader ever to be taken to a top secret Chinese space facility. Anyway, most Pakistanis have grown up hearing a Hadith or saying of The Holy Prophet 'seek knowledge even if you have to go to China'. The efforts of the earlier leaders to forge the closest of relationship with our giant neighbour China found resonance among the people of Pakistan; our relationship with China did cause concern among certain sections of the international community in the initial years. Pakistan, therefore, had two close friends since the early sixties who did not get along with each other. We had to learn how to be friends with both - an undoubtedly difficult undertaking. Ironically, the US later found our close relationship with China very useful in sounding out the Chinese through Pakistan as part of their early efforts to normalize their relationship with China. It was from Pakistan that Henry Kissinger took off secretly for Beijing wearing a black hat, a trench coat and dark glasses. The book will go into the close nature of relationship between the Pakistan and the People's Republic of China; its origins, milestones, the growth of economic political and military cooperation and its implications for the region and the world. The close relations with China are a corner-stone of Pakistan's foreign policy going back to the 1960s. Because of our special relations with China, Pakistan was able to play a key role in the initiation of detente between the US and China, leading to the visit of President Nixon to China in 1972.

During our tenure, we further strengthened our relationship with China by underpinning it economically. With this objective in mind, we signed a five year trade and economic cooperation agreement, a Free Trade Agreement, and formed special economic zones. As a result, trade with China increased by 400%; the target for trade for 2012 was fixed at US$15 billion. The target of US$ 15.0 billion was fixed for 2012. Pakistan's strategic relationship with China, too, has continuing public support. Our projects include the co-production of the most advanced aircrafts, guided missile frigates and the most sophisticated tanks. The growing importance of China's role in the world and the constancy of the Pakistan-China relationship, suggests the wisdom of the approach taken by the Pakistani Government in 1960s, which was later promoted by various Governments over the years. This narrative will form an important part of the book.

The connection between Iran and Pakistan is of long standing, going back to pre-Islamic times. Both regions have had strong influences on each other in the form of language, literature, art and architecture. Persian, for example, was the court language of the Subcontinent for hundreds of years, and not just under the great Mughuls. The book will thus try and capture some of the romance as well as ups and downs of our relationship. Iran is one of Pakistan's most important neighbours, having been the first country to extend recognition to Pakistan. It was, thus, no coincidence that the first Head of State to pay a state visit to Pakistan in March 1950 was the young and dashing Shah of Iran, Muhammad Raza Shah Pehlvi. The city of Lahore, where I was born, was decorated as it has never been since; huge crowds of enthusiastic Pakistanis congregated to welcome the Shah. The Shah turned out to be a true friend of Pakistan and during our wars with India he was known to have extended help. Most Pakistanis were, therefore, at a loss to understand the implications for Pakistan of his overthrow following the Islamic revolution. Pakistan's historical and cultural affinity with Iran should enable me in presenting to the world the Iranian perspective on the contentious issues that continue to make headlines today. I will also explain our position on the Iranian nuclear programme as well as the efforts that Pakistan made to bring about a degree of understanding between the West and Iran on this issue. I was independently asked by both, the Iranians and EU representatives, in view of our close ties, to try and bridge the differences on this issue. Pakistan's decision to go for the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, despite significant pressure from the US, can be explained in light of this background.

Since the days of the Ottoman Empire, the Friday Khutba (sermon) in the Subcontinent was read in the name of the Ottoman Caliph. The Caliph or khalifa boasted many titles, such as Sovereign of the House of Osman, Sultan of Sultans, Khan of Khans, and from 1517 onwards, Commander of the Faithful and Successor of the Prophet of the Lord of the Universe.[13] In this capacity he could be regarded as the religious and in some ways temporal head of the Muslims. The Muslims of the Subcontinent protested vehemently against British efforts in the First World War to abolish the office of the Caliphate and to dismember the Ottoman Empire under the 1920 Treaty of Svres; a move viewed as an organized attempt to eliminate all centres of Muslim power. The sentiment among the Muslims was so strong that even Gandhi decided to join in the movement in the form of his parallel non-cooperation movement which ironically, greatly displeased Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. Turkey and Afghanistan were one of the few independent Muslim countries remaining, and the Subcontinental Muslims had great fraternal feelings for both these countries. This would explain how one uncle of mine landed in Afghanistan and why my grandfather wanted my father to join the Turkish Army. This book will shed light on the sentiments of the Muslims of the Subcontinent of that period towards both European colonialism and the Caliphate.

It may seem surprising to some Europeans how Turkey's Islamic identity is reasserting itself; here, I see the continuing struggle for the soul of Turkey, a struggle that bears some similarity to that in Pakistan. Kamal Ataturk's profound secularism was a great inspiration for Pakistan's Muhammed Ali Jinnah.

It is important to notice that Turkey, being a former colonial master, was not popular in many Arab Muslim countries. Pakistan, however, shared no such prejudice towards Turkey, having, instead, strong fraternal ties to it. For example, Turkey soon became an important interlocutor between the West and Pakistan when it joined the Western Alliance as an important member of NATO. In addition, it was also a strong influence on Pakistan's membership to regional alliances such as the Baghdad Pact and CENTO. Along with Iran, both countries formed the Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD), now the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) which now includes Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics. As of Pakistan's closest and most dependable friends; it was therefore no surprise when Turkey offered its good offices for the first ever public contact between Pakistan and Israel at the Foreign Ministers' level.

A book on Pakistan's foreign policy must underscore the links that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries have with Pakistan. The Saudi monarch, in particular, evokes love and reverence as the custodian of two of Islam's holiest sites; the Khana-e-Kaaba in Makkah and the Masjid-e-Nabvi (the mosque and burial place of the Prophet). Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries host more than two million overseas Pakistanis; the book will look into the nature of our relationship with these countries.

The rise of Talibanization and Salafi Islam in Pakistan are connected, both, to the wealth of the Gulf States and to the influx of petrodollars funding madrassas in parts of Pakistan. The sole nuclear power of the Muslim world, Pakistan constituted a major attraction to Saudi Arabia; the latter felt that Pakistan, by virtue of its strong religious affinity to Islam, would always come to Saudi Arabia's defence. This would explain the defence arrangements between Pakistan and the Gulf States. It was therefore no surprise that when Pakistan detonated its nuclear bomb in 1999, it was Saudi Arabia that came to Pakistan's rescue with free oil (referred to as oil subsidies in diplomatic circles) following international sanctions.

Since the world has become a global village - or so they say - the book will touch upon our relationship at the United Nations as well our activities at the multinational fora including South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC). During this period, Pakistan became a member of the Asian Regional Forum (ARF); an important grouping of ASEAN countries with a large number of key players in the international scene. It also signed a Treaty of Amity and Cooperation with the ASEAN countries. Pakistan played a leading role in reenergizing SAARC at its Summit in Islamabad in January 2004. Pakistan also hosted the Fourth ACD meeting in Islamabad in April 2005, and participated in the May 2007 Asia-Europe Ministerial meeting of ASEM for the first time after its admission as a member in Helsinki in 2006.

The book will briefly refer to Pakistan's active role at the United Nations believing that in this age of globalization and new challenges, including those of climate change, energy security, terrorism, proliferation of WMD, a genuinely multilateral approach can ensure peace, security and harmony. In this connection, Pakistan has supported all endeavours aimed at promoting Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation among Civilizations. During this period, Pakistan was a member of the Security Council in 2003-04. Pakistan continued to play a leading role in the OIC (Organization of Islamic Countries).

Pakistan's diplomacy, during 2002-2007, was very active. We engaged with the international community in a proactive manner - perhaps as never before. It has been a great privilege for me to be a part of this process. We believe this policy of proactive engagement has served us well.

The book will tell this narrative with anecdotes, with real-time information about some of the important diplomatic encounters with my counter-parts and the world leaders and explain the circumstances under which we were able to achieve our objectives of being a bridge for peace and development in the region. The book will have many stories to tell and will also contain sketches of some of the important world leaders that I had the chance to meet during this period. We hope that it will also have educational value besides being interesting and containing some fascinating details of interest to the general public and students of International Relations and those interested in the peace and security in South Asia and the world.

Sincerely yours,

Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri



07/10/2009 11:05:02

Page 27 of 27

[1] Sarwat Ali, Forgotten Hero, The News on Sunday, August 29, 2009, Book review of Naqeeb e Inqalaab-Maulana Barkat Ullah Bhoplai by Shafqat Rizvi.

[2] Sher Ali Pataudi, The Elite Minority-The Princess Of India, S.M. Mahmud & Co., 1989.p178. Major General Nawabzada Sher Ali Khan Pataudi was perhaps the youngest Brigadier in the British Indian Army, was my mother's first cousin and fancied himself with some sort of a Napoleon or so the joke went in our family and even in the Foreign Office since he represented Pakistan as Ambassador.

[3] Abdullah Malik,dastaan-e-Khanwada ,Mian Mahmud ali Kasuri-Baray Saghir ki derh sau sal tarikh.1995,jang Publishers,Lahore

[4] Sher Ali Pataudi, The Elite Minority-The Princess Of India, S.M. Mahmud & Co., 1989.p?

[5] (When he assumed charge in May 1913, he was cautioned by the Viceroy that "the Punjab was the Province about which the Government were then the most concerned; that there was much inflammable material lying about; which require very careful handling if an explosion is to be avoided" Biography 1931-40, edited by L. G. Wickham Legg, Oxford Univ Press, London, p 655

Michael may have tried his best to heed the advice of the Viceroy. But by nature, Michael O'Dwyer was alleged to have been a tempestuous individual and acted like a dictator. "It was the result of his tyrannical and cruel actions that during his tenure of 7 years as governor, 42 Punjabi revolutionary freedom fighters were sentenced to death, 114 were transported for life, 93 were imprisoned for various terms..." Saga of Freedom Movement, Udham Singh, 2002, p 67-68 Dr Sikander Singh; See: India As I know it, London, 1920, pp 202-207, Michael O'Dwyer)

[6] Maulana Mohammad Ali Kasuri, Mushahidat -E- Kabul O Yaqistan, 1986, Idara Maaruf Islami Mansura Lahore.p136-137

[7] Maulana Mohammad Ali Kasuri, Mushahidat -E- Kabul O Yaqistan, 1986, Idara Maaruf Islami, Mansura Lahore.p18

[8] ?naqeeb e inqalab. Forgotten hero, Sarwat Ali.



[11] Ejaz Haider No prizes for guessing what Pakistan will do. Daily Times, 2nd Oct 2009

[12] Qutubuddin Aziz, Quaid-i-Millat's visit to the United States-The foundation of friendship and economic co-operation.

(Mr. Qutubuddin Aziz is a journalist and writer of international repute, a former diplomat, a lecturer, broadcaster and social worker. He served at the Pakistan Embassy in London as Minister (Public Relations) from January 1978 to March 1979 and as Minister (Information) from December 1980 to February 1986. He was Chairman of the semi-Government National Press Trust in Pakistan from May 1986 to August 1987 when he resigned from that post owing to policy difference with the Government of the day. He was Pakistan Correspondent of the US International Daily, the Christian Science Monitor from 1965 to 1977 and it published more than 500 articles by him. He also wrote for many other American and British publications.)

[13] Sultans: Webster's Quotations, Facts and Phrases, ICON Group International, Inc., 2008 .p

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