‘When Mountbatten arrived in Lahore when fighting broke out in Kashmir, he addressed an important dinner meeting which was attended by the Pakistani Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan, the Governor of the Punjab, and four Ministers from the Punjab, where he delivered a message from Patel. In his message, Patel suggested that India and Pakistan should abide by the principles that had been agreed upon between the Congress and the Muslim League with regard to the political future of the princely states, according to which the states would accede to India or Pakistan depending on the religion of the majority of their inhabitants as well as their contiguity to either of the two countries. Accordingly, Patel suggested that Pakistan should take Kashmir and renounce its claims to Hyderabad Deccan, which had a Hindu majority and which had no land or sea border with Pakistan. After delivering this message, Mountbatten retired to the Government House to rest.’Sardar Shaukat Hayat Khan further relates:‘I was in-charge of Pakistan’s operations in Kashmir. I went to see Liaqat Ali Khan, and pointed out that Indian forces had entered Kashmir and that Pakistan could not succeed in driving them out using the tribal raiders to ensure that Kashmir became part of Pakistan. I even said that it seemed unlikely that the Pakistani Army could succeed in doing so. Hence, I insisted, we must not reject Patel’s offer. But Liaqat Ali Khan turned to me and said, “Sardar Sahib! Have I gone mad that I should leave the state of Hyderabad Deccan, which is even larger than the Punjab, in exchange for the mountains and peaks of Kashmir?” I was stunned at Liaqat Ali Khan’s reaction, shocked that our Prime Minister was so ignorant of geography, and at his preferring Hyderabad Deccan over Kashmir. This was nothing but living in a fool’s paradise. To acquire Hyderabad was clearly impossible, and we were rejecting an opportunity that would have given us Kashmir. Yet, Liaqat was totally unaware of the importance of Kashmir for Pakistan. That is why I resigned in protest as in-charge of Kashmir operations.’

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