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Liaquat’s Visit to U.S.A

Foreign Policy of the Nascent State:

In August 1947, Pakistan emerged as an independent state on the map of the world. Liaquat Ali Khan became the first Prime Minister of Pakistan after independence. He had to decide the kind of foreign policy that Pakistan was going to adopt. At that time the whole world was divided into two blocs or in the other words there were only two super powers in the world. One super power was America and the other was Soviet Union. Now there were two options for Pakistan, one was that it becomes an alley of America or it Joins Soviet bloc and the other was that it remains neutral. Pakistan as a newly born state could not remain neutral for many reasons so it had to join one bloc as Liaquat Ali Khan declared ‘Pakistan can not afford to wait. She must take her friends where she finds them.’


American Invitation to India and not to Pakistan:

In 1949, Truman invited Nehru to pay a state visit to the United States while Liaquat Ali Khan did not receive any invitation from America. The relations between Soviet Union and Pakistan were also cold at that time, but it is surprised to note that suddenly Pakistan received an invitation from Moscow to pay a state visit to Moscow. This invitation was perhaps generated from Moscow due to the special efforts of Ghanzanfar Ali. This invitation was a major political coup especially as the Moscow had yet to invite India. Due to this invitation greatly increased American interest in Pakistan and this was what Liaquat Ali Khan wanted. He readily accepted the invitation and decided to pay a state visit to America. By then the Soviet visit had gone off the rails and what was the exact reason behind it, it’s still a mystery.


Liaquat’s Visit to America:

On the afternoon of May 3, 1950 Liaquat Ali Khan reached America. When he reached there, Truman welcomed him warmly. In America, he tried to explain what were the needs of Pakistan as well as of the third world countries in economic, technological and scientific fields and how America could help them in order to overcome the grievances of the people of Pakistan and of the third world countries. The U.S press covered Liaquat’s trip in a friendly manner but relations were soon deteriorated when America asked Pakistan to send its forces in the Korean War. In reply to this Liaquat said that Pakistan will help America in Korean War if America would agree in solving the Kashmir and Pashtun issue. America rejected the request of Liaquat and Liaquat rejected the Americans demand. By June and July 1951, Pakistan’s relations with U.S. were further deteriorated, with Nehru visiting the United States, pressuring Pakistan to call back her troops from Kashmir.


Further Deterioration of Pak-Us Relations:

Another test of Liaquat Ali Khan came when America demanded that it had to use her influence over Iran for the US efforts to secure the transfer of Iranian oil fields. Liaquat rejected her demand. On his response U.S threatened him that it will not help Pakistan in Kashmir issue then he replied that U.S can evacuate Pakistani air bases. His demand was a bombshell for Washington. Declassified documents reveal that after Liaquat demand to evacuate Pakistan air bases, America now thought him as an obstacle in her way because they were dreaming to invade Russia through Pakistan. So after it they made a plan to assassinate him. In order to kill him they secured the help of Kabul by dealing with them that they would help them in creating one Pashtoonistan state by 1952. So Pashtoon leaders choose Akbar in order to kill Liaquat Ali Khan who assassinateed him in 1951 while addressing a public meeting in Rawalpindi. Evidences prove that behind Liaquat’s assassination, America was involved. The type of bullet that was used to kill him was not an ordinary bullet, it was the bullet that was “use by high-ranking American officers”, and was “not usually available in the market.”



It is the opinion of many scholars that he sold Pakistan to America. This is not true. He did not accept any demand of America that go against Pakistan. The examples can be given in this regard is the Korean War, Iran oil issue etc. We can say that it were the subsequent governments of Pakistan that are responsible to make Pakistan as a sort of colony of America not Liaquat Ali Khan.

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