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After independence from the British rule, India remained a constant threat to security of Pakistan as the congress leadership started about reversing the partition very soon. India illegally captured numerous areas of Pakistan by hook or by crook and one of those disputed areas was the state of Kashmir. The first war over Kashmir was fought in 1947-1948. The second war took place over the same question in 1965 which was a manifestation of the inherent hostility between the neighbors. The war started on 6th September with India taking on Pakistan by crossing the international border in the darkness of night. Within seventeen days, thousands of people were erased from the earth from both sides. The United States and the Soviet Union forced the United Nation to play its part for the peaceful settlement and compelling them for an amicable resolution of all the issues between the two countries because the war affecting the global peace. The efforts of the United Nations brought peace because both countries agreed for the ceasefire. Besides this, Soviet Premier Aleksey Kosygin also played a significant role in bringing the countries to the negotiation table as he invited the two parties in Tashkent.
The Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and the Pakistan’s President Ayub khan met on 4th January 1966 in Tashkent. Both the leaders signed a pact which is called the Tashkent Declaration of 1966.
The important clauses of the declaration are
- The President of Pakistan and the Prime Minister of India agreed to cultivate good friendly and neighborly relations according to the Charter of the United Nation. Under the UN Charter, they will use their energies to resolve their problems in a peaceful way.
- The President of Pakistan and the Prime Minister of India agreed to withdraw from the war.
- They agreed not to interfere in each other’s internal affairs.
- Both leaders agreed to discourage all those actions which could be harmful for the other country and encourage those which could promote the friendly relationship between the two countries.
- They agree that Higher Commissioners of Pakistan and India should come back to their posts and make efforts for future developments of both countries.
- They agree to make efforts for increasing bilateral trade and strengthening economic ties between the two countries. They also agreed to enhance communication and cultural information with each other.
- Both leaders agreed to make some law of repatriation for the prisoners of war.
- They agreed that in future they will discuss the problems of refugees also. They also agreed for an agreement to return the property taken by the either side because of the conflict.
The President of Pakistan and Prime Minister of India both showed respect and paid homage to the efforts of Soviet Union. They admired the efforts of chairman of the council of Ministers of the USSR for organizing such a pleasant and friendly meeting. Both leaders thought that this declaration would prove very fruitful for the future of the region.
This declaration was made at Ministerial level but the real fact was that all talks became useless and no result was achieved because there was a huge difference in public and government opinion on the Kashmir issue. The public perception and euphoria set in the minds of Pakistani people was that Pakistan was going to won the war. But the Tashkent declaration was a negation of the same. This declaration shocked them very much and the people started saying that Pakistan had won the war in the battlefield but lost the war on the table. Tashkent declaration greatly damaged the Ayub Khan’s personality and it became one of the main reasons of his downfall.
In India the people also criticized this agreement because the President of Pakistan and the Prime Minister of India did not sign any pact on Guerrilla warfare in Kashmir. After the day of this declaration the Prime Minister Lal Bahadur died because of sudden heart attack. After him no one accepted this declaration and it was ignored by the next Government.