M A I N   N E W S

Sam sold war plans: Gauhar
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 7
Gauhar Ayub Khan, son of the former President of Pakistan, General Ayub Khan, tonight virtually identified Field Marshal S.H.F.J. Manekshaw as the alleged mole in the directorate of military operations, who sold the country’s battle plans in the 1950s. Gauhar alleged he sold the plans when he was a Brigadier for a sum of Rs 20,000 about a pre-emptive attack on East Pakistan.

Refusing to name Field Marshal Manekshaw though he drew pointed attention to four specific characteristics, he told Karan Thapar on CNBC-TV 18 late tonight that he would not name the person but said he was from the first batch of the Indian Military Academy, commissioned in the 4th Battalion of 12 Frontier Force, wounded in the Burma campaign in 1942 for which he was awarded the Military Cross and rose to the highest possible rank in the Indian Army.

Even though Thapar gave ample opportunities to Gauhar Ayub Khan to retract what he had said as he had dropped a bombshell which could seriously impinge on the Indo-Pak peace process, the latter refused to budge on the specious plea that he had not named anyone. "I have not named anbody. In this game you don't name anybody. You (Karan) can fit the hat on whosoever you want."

When Thapar asked him if it was correct to suggest after reading his father's diaries that the army headquarters was leaking like a sieve, Gauhar Ayub Khan acknowledged that even though the attack on East Pakistan had taken place in 1971, Pakistan had intelligence of the impending attack nearly three and a half years earlier. He alleged it was possible that Field Marshal Manekshaw could have passed on information more than once.

Gauhar Ayub Khan felt his father's account of the military intelligence gathered by Pakistan was fairly accurate.

Former union external affairs minister K. Natwar Singh, who was also on the programme, stressed that selling battle plans to Pakistan for Rs 20,000 is something "I, personally, would not accept it at all. I don't think anybody in India will believe the serious allegation against the highly respected Field Marshal Manekshaw. I can't conceive Indians doing so."

At the same time, Natwar Singh believed that this issue of Ayub Khan's diaries would be debated passionately in the country.

Asked if he regretted having said what he said, Gauhar Ayub Khan remarked "I have said it all before." He mentioned four special characteristics that Thapar insisted fitted only one person in the world and that is Field Marshal S.H.F.J. Manekshaw.



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