Most & Well protected secret of 20th Century

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Syed Tahir Rashdi
“If I had only known all this at the time, the course of history would have been different. I would have delayed the granting of independence for several months. There would have been no Pakistan.”That was the statement of the Viceroy of India Lord Mountbatten on 11 September 1960. But did you ever wandered about which secret did he talked about? Even Nehru was shocked after getting know that secret. “It was the most & well protected secret of 20th Century.” If this secret would not had been protected strongly, Pakistan could not had emerged as an independent Country. To know this we need to go back to 1946.The Cabinet Mission Plan in 1946 envisaged the Grouping scheme till 1958. The Muslim League agreed but the Congress rejected fearing that there might be a trap laid by Jinnah. The 3 June 1947 partition plan envisioned carrying out the process of partition of India in next one year, but Mountbatten overturned it and reduced the period to only two months with mala fide intentions. MA Jinnah’s health deteriorated in 1948 and worsened in August. He was shifted to Ziarat and then flown to Karachi on 11 Sept 1948 and he passed away on his way to the hospital in a rickety ambulance which broke down enroute. Observation of Mountbatten was right since after the Quaid, no other leader had the tenacity and will to face the Hindu-British intrigues as well as of the Muslims. No Muslim leader matched his uprightness, integrity, incorruptibility and credibility.Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre, in their book Freedom at Midnight, argue that the Partition of India could have been avoided if “the most closely guarded secret in India” had become known – Jinnah was suffering from tuberculosis which was slowly but surely killing him. Here’s an excerpt from the book: “If Jinnah had been just an unfortunate victim of tuberculosis, he would have been confined in a sanatorium for the rest of his life. Jinnah, however, was not a normal patient. When he was released from hospital, Patel brought him to his office. Sadly, he revealed to his friend and patient the fatal illness which was stalking him. He was, he told Jinnah, reaching the end of his physical resources. Unless he severely reduced his work load, rested much more frequently, gave up cigarettes and alcohol, and eased the pressures on his system he did not have more than one or two years to live.The knowledge of one’s own slow demise would have broken the will of most people, but Jinnah remained a man unmoved.Nothing except the grave was going to turn him from the task to which he’d appointed himself of leading India’s Muslims at this critical juncture in their history.-(Writer is a freelance writer based in Shahdadpur, Sindh, Pakistan. He is pursuing BS Pakistan Study at University of Sindh and he can be reached at syedtahir926 @ gmail. com.)