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Partition of India, 1947: did the Anglo-Saxons seek to create Pakistan?

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Over years of research I have frequently encountered the claim that the British divided India in order to create Pakistan as a “Muslim” counterweight to India and/or the USSR.

  • The British plan called for the transfer of power to provincial or special-interest groups rather than the central Indian government, resulting in the partition(s).
  • At the time of partition, most of the Muslims who resided on the Indian side of the imposed boundary chose to remain in India, rather than migrate to Pakistan.
  • The Pashtuns and Baluchis of the North-West Frontier largely opposed the creation of Pakistan, hence decades-long insurgencies vs. the Punjabi centralism.
  • When the U.S. supplanted Britain as an imperial power, it continued the British-era support for Pakistan, as was the case during the 1971 Bengali war, vs. India.

Is there any truth to the many sources that proffer this claim? The British and Americans certainly seem to have favoured Pakistan vs. India rather consistently over decades.

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The divide and conquer strategies of the anglozionists has been used for centuries and the Muslims fell for it every time, In this case,  Hindus did as well.

The point was to create constant enemies  who continually have been trained and and will rely on British armaments. From airforce to artillery to tanks.

When the British empires sun started setting , they invested in the US Arms manufacturers,  and with communism and Islam as the new demons to attack,  again weapons and additional dual use materials were sold.

It is the same all over the Indian subcontinent , middle east,  ex Soviet republics, etc 

For example in Sri Lanka they pitted the tamils and sinhalese in a bitter struggle,  and sold weapons to both. In fact the Israelis trained both sides in Israel,  and this was documented in the Mossad book by way of deception by Ostrovsky.

In the Gulfz they Create Iran as the enemy,, so stupid gulf Arabs will continually buy expensive junk,  but they're never given the best weapons,  since those are reserved for the Israeli government. 

and it goes on and on and on

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They did play a big and enabling role in the partition. 

But I don't think it is entirely their doing. 

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1 hour ago, Northwest said:

The Pashtuns and Baluchis of the North-West Frontier largely opposed the creation of Pakistan, hence decades-long insurgencies vs. the Punjabi centralism.

This is untrue because at the time of partition a referendum was conducted in all provinces and states to answer the question whether they wanted to remain independent or join India or Pakistan. Baloch and Pushtun people joined Pakistan along with other states.

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Posted (edited)

I do think this was the British top brass' endgame in the subcontinent. I mean, a united India (the type that was formed under the Cabinet Mission Plan) would have served British interests well, but birthing Pakistan was probably an even better plan. This is further affirmed by the fact that Jinnah's acute territorial demands were deliberately rejected in order to keep West Pakistan tied to the Western bloc for its sustenance. Ishtiaq Ahmed in Jinnah has argued for this in great length. 

But I think you oversimplified it with the "India and/or USSR" part. I do agree with the argument put forth - but India, prior to 1971, was not closely aligned with the USSR. In fact, the US under Kennedy and L.B. Johnson's administrations were more friendly towards India, if anything. The nature of socialism in India, under Nehru and Indira Gandhi, was geared towards industry and while communism existed and occasionally triumphed in West Bengal and Karnataka, it was never going to win any national election since communist power was greatly severed by the Indian constitution. The USSR was disappointed with India when Nehru chose to remain non-aligned. The United States is not known to have supported Pakistan in the War of 1965 either, it stood neutral. It was only under Nixon's admin - keeping in mind Nixon's own ties with Yahya Khan as well as his ambitions to approach China via Pakistan - when the relationship between the US and Pakistan turned from merely cordial to being more staunch. Nonetheless, I do tend to believe that there was always much more to this chapter of history than just Hindu-Muslim tensions. Pakistan did end up serving Western interests, sooner or later.

Edited by khizarr
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2 hours ago, Northwest said:

the British divided India in order to create Pakistan

You can look at this policy in terms of the wider context of British policy.

  1. Singapore (mainly Chinese), vs. Malaysia mainly Muslim
  2. Northern Ireland mainly Protestant vs. Eire mainly Catholic
  3. Israel vs. Palestine
  4. North vs. South Cyprus

In each instance there was some conflict whose resolution relied on some form of partition, with someone in Whitehall taking a pencil and marking out the new frontiers.

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18 hours ago, Borntowitnesstruth said:

This is untrue because at the time of partition a referendum was conducted in all provinces and states to answer the question whether they wanted to remain independent or join India or Pakistan. Baloch and Pushtun people joined Pakistan along with other states.

@Borntowitnesstruth

The referendum, to my knowledge, excluded the majority of Baluchis and Pashtuns, given its weighting toward the largest landowners, who were mainly Punjabis. So the referendum was unrepresentative of the masses’ views in what became Pakistan. Also, the British were well known for their opposition to the feudal, tribalistic Baluchis and Pashtuns, who were viewed as potential conduits for the spread of Russian/Soviet influence vis-à-vis Afghanistan (Pashtun separatism, for instance). In fact, the Durand Line, a necessary but not sufficient condition for the eventual formation of Pakistan, was created by the British in the nineteenth century as a means to divide the Pashtuns along the North-West Frontier. The Durand Line roughly marks the subsequent Afghan–Pakistani border and remains in force today.

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1 minute ago, Northwest said:

@Borntowitnesstruth

The referendum, to my knowledge, excluded the majority of Baluchis and Pashtuns, given its weighting toward the largest landowners, who were mainly Punjabis. So the referendum was unrepresentative of the masses’ views in what became Pakistan. Also, the British were well known for their opposition to the feudal, tribalistic Baluchis and Pashtuns, who were viewed as potential conduits for the spread of Russian/Soviet influence vis-à-vis Afghanistan (Pashtun separatism, for instance). In fact, the Durand Line, a necessary but not sufficient condition for the eventual formation of Pakistan, was created by the British in the nineteenth century as a means to divide the Pashtuns along the North-West Frontier. The Durand Line roughly marks the subsequent Afghan–Pakistani border and remains in force today.

I disagree with your views because there is plenty evidence which tells that all states underwent a referendum to decide their future status. The communist elements in the NWFP wanted to be with India but the public opinion went against their such intention. Also in Baluchistan, some of the Baloch tribal chiefs wanted to remain independent but public voted to join Pakistan. Although this referendum wasn't respected as it should have been because some of the territories were made part of India despite the fact they voted to join Pakistan such as Murshidabad and Kashmir. As for Durand line, yes that was established by the British for the security of territory they were governing but it was mainly established to prevent any threats from Afghans and not Soviets. Soviet problem appeared in 20th Century while Durand line was established in 1893. Also I would like to tell you that the pashtuns living in region of NWFP had no interest in being part of Afghanistan during the days of independence and even now. The Pashtuns of Afghanistan are more rigid and tribal as compared to Pashtuns of NWFP. 

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18 minutes ago, Borntowitnesstruth said:

I disagree with your views because there is plenty evidence which tells that all states underwent a referendum to decide their future status. The communist elements in the NWFP wanted to be with India but the public opinion went against their such intention.

@Borntowitnesstruth

In July 1947 the British engineered a referendum in the NWFP that only permitted voters to choose between joining Pakistan and India. Movements such as the Pashtun Khudai Khidmatgar preferred neither of these and wanted a third option—e.g., to form an independent Pashtun entity—but the British rejected this and refused to place it on the ballot(s). During the 1947 NWFP referendum only ~15% of the population was eligible to participate, and of this percentage only half at most voted at all, mainly in the Hazara District, which had been “bought” by Jinnah’s All-India Muslim League.

18 minutes ago, Borntowitnesstruth said:

As for Durand line, yes that was established by the British for the security of territory they were governing but it was mainly established to prevent any threats from Afghans and not Soviets. Soviet problem appeared in 20th Century while Durand line was established in 1893.

I said “Russians/Soviets.” Prior to the formation of the USSR the British were concerned about Russian Imperial influence in Afghanistan during the “Great Game.”

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2 hours ago, Northwest said:

In July 1947 the British engineered a referendum in the NWFP that only permitted voters to choose between joining Pakistan and India. Movements such as the Pashtun Khudai Khidmatgar preferred neither of these and wanted a third option—e.g., to form an independent Pashtun entity—but the British rejected this and refused to place it on the ballot(s). During the 1947 NWFP referendum only ~15% of the population was eligible to participate, and of this percentage only half at most voted at all, mainly in the Hazara District, which had been “bought” by Jinnah’s All-India Muslim League.

If what you said would have been truth, why were Sri Lanka and Mayanmar were given independence. About Khudai Khidmat Gar Movement, Bacha khan who founded the movement was a pro-Indian and till independence wanted to remain with India but the movement did not represent whole of NWFP but small numbers as is condition of its succeeding party ANP. But, major population of the NWFP voted for those who were either Muslim league or its allies. 

 

2 hours ago, Northwest said:

I said “Russians/Soviets.” Prior to the formation of the USSR the British were concerned about Russian Imperial influence in Afghanistan during the “Great Game.”

There was danger of Soviets but not until the Russian monarchy fell. During the time of establishment of Durand line, the British feared Afghanistan's interference.

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On 10/6/2022 at 5:37 PM, Borntowitnesstruth said:

If what you said would have been truth, why were Sri Lanka and Mayanmar were given independence. About Khudai Khidmat Gar Movement, Bacha khan who founded the movement was a pro-Indian and till independence wanted to remain with India but the movement did not represent whole of NWFP but small numbers as is condition of its succeeding party ANP. But, major population of the NWFP voted for those who were either Muslim league or its allies.

@Borntowitnesstruth

Based on surveys (p. 234), the population of the NWFP at the time of the referendum was between ~3.5–4.5 million. According to the following:

Quote

According to the official results there were 572,798 registered voters. Out of them 50.99% exercised their vote.

Source, pp. 78–9

So of the approximately four million inhabitants, ~600,000 (~15%) participated in the NWFP referendum. Of these, only half actually voted.

Note that these statistics were derived from Pakistani sources. So the data show that the NWFP referendum did not represent the masses.

Furthermore, the Muslim populace in the NWFP largely did not share the Punjabis’ anti-India motivations, so did not support Muslim League:

Quote

Unlike in the Punjab and some other Muslim majority provinces, the ‘ulama in the NWFP generally were anti-British, always preaching jihad against the foreigners and remained in the forefront of political movements. Yet, there was communal harmony in the province. The Muslims, who were 93 percent of the population, had no threat perceptions from the minority community, most of whom were traders and businessmen. This was one of the reasons that the fear of ‘Hindu domination’, which was endemic in other provinces, found no acceptance in the NWFP. The British initially failed to exploit the religious sentiments of the local population and during the early decades of twentieth century communal politics simply had no place in the province.

Source, p. xv

On 10/6/2022 at 5:37 PM, Borntowitnesstruth said:

There was danger of Soviets but not until the Russian monarchy fell. During the time of establishment of Durand line, the British feared Afghanistan's interference.

Not entirely correct. The British feared Russian influence via Afghanistan long before the Soviets. The Great Game was then well known:

Quote

The Great Game was a political and diplomatic confrontation that existed for most of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century between the British Empire and the Russian Empire over Afghanistan and neighbouring territories in Central and South Asia, and having direct consequences in Persia, British India, and Tibet.

Britain feared that Russia planned to invade India and that this was the goal of Russia's expansion in Central Asia, while Russia feared the expansion of British interests in Central Asia. As a result, there was a deep atmosphere of distrust and talk of war between two of the major European empires.[1][2][3] Britain made it a high priority to protect all the approaches to India, while Russia continued its conquest of Central Asia.[4]

If Russia were to gain control of the Emirate of Afghanistan, it might then be used as a staging post for a Russian invasion of India.[1][22]

Source

The British Empire feared Russian influence over those Afghan tribes, especially the Pashtuns, and sought to control the Emirate’s policy.

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16 hours ago, Northwest said:

So of the approximately four million inhabitants, ~600,000 (~15%) participated in the NWFP referendum. Of these, only half actually voted.

Note that these statistics were derived from Pakistani sources. So the data show that the NWFP referendum did not represent the masses.

Furthermore, the Muslim populace in the NWFP largely did not share the Punjabis’ anti-India motivations, so did not support Muslim League:

Well, it can be argued that those who did not participated due to any reason, agreed to join Pakistan because they did not participated in any other movement which define their acceptance of Pakistan as their homeland otherwise why they chose to be silent.

 

16 hours ago, Northwest said:

Not entirely correct. The British feared Russian influence via Afghanistan long before the Soviets. The Great Game was then well known:

It is true that British and Russian rivalry was old but Russia did not have forces in Afghanistan before 1980s. In NWFP, they feared the Afghan interference. Hence, Durand line was to control Afghan element.

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On 10/17/2022 at 11:18 AM, Borntowitnesstruth said:

Well, it can be argued that those who did not participated due to any reason, agreed to join Pakistan because they did not participated in any other movement which define their acceptance of Pakistan as their homeland otherwise why they chose to be silent.

@Borntowitnesstruth

But they didn’t express support for the formation of Pakistan either. The referenda were designed by the British to exclude a large swath of the population. Also, the major political figures on both sides—pro-Pakistan and pro-India—were fundamentally Anglophile in outlook, whereas the masses of all backgrounds viewed the British-trained intelligentsia-cum-“nationalists” as alien. Even average Sindhis probably felt little affinity with someone like Jinnah or the modernist religious opposition. One could argue that the masses preferred to remain part of India but under different, more representative, intelligible rulers (Nehru and Co. were deemed Anglophile foreigners, like Jinnah) or wished to join Afghanistan, an independent Pashtun homeland, or an independent Kashmir.

Historically, the Indus Valley was part of the Indian civilisation, while the NWF and Baluchistan were tied to Afghanistan and/or Iran. So it would have been more natural for Sindh and Punjab to remain within India, while the NWF and Baluchistan could go to Afghanistan and/or Iran. Gilgit-Baltistan could have either gone to Kashmir or India. Much of the present-day religious and ethnic conflict can be directly traced to the British machinations that created Pakistan, an artificial entity that interrupted the continuity with historical civilisations and empires in the region. Hindu–Muslim relations were generally more relaxed prior to partition, nationalist and anti-Islam revisionism notwithstanding. The British also created many of the revivalist “Islamic” movements in the subcontinent.

It was the British who used their Deobandi and Hindutva Frankenstein’s monsters to foster communal strife and false narratives that split Hindu and Muslim apart. Whether intentionally or not, the relatively secular Jinnah also played into British designs by fostering the division of a polyglot civilisation into warring nationalist entities. Thanks to this the British managed to create a sectarian “Muslim” entity that has consistently devoured its own children, sided with the West vs. Islam under the banner of “Islam,” and posed a terrorist threat to India and the world at large, while also serving as a bogeyman for British-sponsored Hindutva fascists who promote fake narratives/numbers about “eighty million Hindus killed by historical Muslim invasions” and whatnot. What a tragedy.

On 10/17/2022 at 11:18 AM, Borntowitnesstruth said:

It is true that British and Russian rivalry was old but Russia did not have forces in Afghanistan before 1980s. In NWFP, they feared the Afghan interference. Hence, Durand line was to control Afghan element.

They feared that those Afghan elements, while traditionally anti-British, would come under Russian influence, be it direct or indirect, and forge a Russian-Afghan alliance vs. British India. So there was also an element of the “Great Game” at work that influenced the British decision to create the Durand Line.

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18 hours ago, Northwest said:

But they didn’t express support for the formation of Pakistan either. The referenda were designed by the British to exclude a large swath of the population. Also, the major political figures on both sides—pro-Pakistan and pro-India—were fundamentally Anglophile in outlook, whereas the masses of all backgrounds viewed the British-trained intelligentsia-cum-“nationalists” as alien. Even average Sindhis probably felt little affinity with someone like Jinnah or the modernist religious opposition. One could argue that the masses preferred to remain part of India but under different, more representative, intelligible rulers (Nehru and Co. were deemed Anglophile foreigners, like Jinnah) or wished to join Afghanistan, an independent Pashtun homeland, or an independent Kashmir.

Well, if the population of NWFP had other choice, they would have stood for that. But because the population of NWFP was more civilized as compared to Afghanis, they agreed to stand as Pakistanis.

As regards nationalism, it already existed from the time when Indian lost war of independence in 1857. And, the differences among Hindus and Muslims were not new as they been witnessing that since rise of Marhattas until the fall of Mughal Empire. Hindus were brainwashed for ages to think that they were being ruled by Muslims while they forget that those Muslim rulers were able to rule upon them because of the support of Hindu nobles and elite. So, in reality, both Hindus and Muslims were ruling their masses respectively. But when congress was established, it's main goal was to put only Hindus in power by sidelining other ethnicities. This was at first observed by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan that Hindus want to be Masters of Subcontinent. But his such views were not recognized until the Muslims learnt it from the experience of Congress. Meanwhile, the Muslims and leaders of other ethincites demand a constitution which could provide protection to it's masses but Congress was not agreeing to it. It was because of this that all those regions where Muslims were in majority decided to follow Muslim league. About your view that Sindhis had little affinity with Jinnah, I would like to tell you that I belong to Sindh region, and Sindhis did not love anyone more than Jinnah. And it was Sindh which was first province to pass resolution in it's favor.

18 hours ago, Northwest said:

Historically, the Indus Valley was part of the Indian civilisation, while the NWF and Baluchistan were tied to Afghanistan and/or Iran. So it would have been more natural for Sindh and Punjab to remain within India, while the NWF and Baluchistan could go to Afghanistan and/or Iran. Gilgit-Baltistan could have either gone to Kashmir or India. Much of the present-day religious and ethnic conflict can be directly traced to the British machinations that created Pakistan, an artificial entity that interrupted the continuity with historical civilisations and empires in the region. Hindu–Muslim relations were generally more relaxed prior to partition, nationalist and anti-Islam revisionism notwithstanding. The British also created many of the revivalist “Islamic” movements in the subcontinent.

Well, I think you ignored the religious and cultural difference between India and Indus Civilization and between NWFP and Afghanistan and between Balochistan and Iran. Indus valley civilization which comprises mostly of Sindh, Punjab, NWFP and Balochistan were religiously and culturally in harmony as compared to their similarities with regions you mentioned. The population of these regions were not comfortable with India, Afghanistan or Iran but with themselves because they had been living together with same religion and cultural values for centuries. 

 

19 hours ago, Northwest said:

It was the British who used their Deobandi and Hindutva Frankenstein’s monsters to foster communal strife and false narratives that split Hindu and Muslim apart. Whether intentionally or not, the relatively secular Jinnah also played into British designs by fostering the division of a polyglot civilisation into warring nationalist entities. Thanks to this the British managed to create a sectarian “Muslim” entity that has consistently devoured its own children, sided with the West vs. Islam under the banner of “Islam,” and posed a terrorist threat to India and the world at large, while also serving as a bogeyman for British-sponsored Hindutva fascists who promote fake narratives/numbers about “eighty million Hindus killed by historical Muslim invasions” and whatnot. What a tragedy

No no no, you are mistaken. The Hindu nationalism was born during the rise of Marhattas. After the war of independence in 1857, the British revived it to keep the divide among Hindus and Muslims but Congress leaders thought that it's good for their cause. Jinnah did not believe in disunity among Hindus and Muslims first and made efforts to bring together both nations but when he found out that Hindu leaders were not interested to allow other ethnicities have their rights, he parted way and joined Muslim league. Jinnah stood for rights of ethnicities which were never accepted by Congress so you can't blame him. He had no other option to counter Hindu domination.

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