Click on the link here for Audio Player – Pakistan: A Warning To The West – Interview with Gen. Ayub Khan, President of Pakistan – ABC Radio – November 23, 1961 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
Even as early as 1958, Pakistan was a hotbed of upheaval and change. Going from a British colony to independence to a series of coups, both bloody and bloodless. In 1958, the presiding government of Pakistan was overthrown in a coup led by Major-General Ayub Khan, who succeeded in ruling the country from 1958 until his forced resignation in 1969. In that time, Pakistan went from a largely poverty stricken former colony to becoming one of the most rapidly growing economies in Asia. While granting the U.S. an airbase in Peshawar, from which the infamous U-2 flights took place over the Soviet Union, Khan also strengthened ties with Red China as the result of the West’s growing military support of India, a long-running enemy of Pakistan. The tense situation boiled over when war broke out between Pakistan and India in 1965, lasting for five weeks and ending with a UN mandated ceasefire.
But in 1961, the world was just getting to know who Ayub Khan was, and in this interview for ABC Radio on November 23, 1961, Khan discusses Pakistan’s tenuous relationship with NATO, its contentious relationship with India and its burgeoning future place in the world.
Interesting, when put in perspective – and maybe illustrative of just how complex, not only Pakistan is, but how complex the entire region is.
We tend to forget about complicated nations from time to time – often at our peril.
Ayub Khan died in 1974, leaving behind a mixed legacy – which probably is more in line with the succession of mixed legacies in that pivotal nation than anything else.
And like all of history – those who don’t learn the lessons are doomed to repeat the mistakes.
Here is that interview.