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Pak ex-minister implies Manekshaw sold war plans

May 08, 2007 03:42 IST

Former Pakistan military dictator Ayub Khan's son on Monday night said that an Indian army officer who later rose to the highest military rank had sold the country's battle plans to Pakistan in 1950s.

In an interview to a television channel, Gohar Ayub Khan, former Pakistan foreign minister, said his father had told him that an Indian brigadier who was the Director of Military Operations in the 1950s had sold battle plans to his country.

Gohar Ayub refused to name the person, but said he was from the first batch of the Indian Military Academy, commissioned in the 4th Battalion of the 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.

When told that his description fitted former Chief of Army Staff Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, who is now lying ill in a military hospital in Coonoor, the former Pakistani minister said, "I would not name him, the individual. You possibly can fill the gap from what you have heard."

When told that he has dropped a bombshell, implicating one of the highly decorated Indian heroes, Gohar Ayub repeated that "I am not naming the gentleman."

The remarks evoked immediate condemnation from two former Generals -- former Army Chief Gen Shankar Roychowdhry and Bangladesh war hero Lt Gen J F R Jacob -- who described the remarks as "scurrilous, malicious and nonsense".

"I totally disbelieve it," Gen Roychowdhry said over telephone from Kolkata.

"In any case, to make allegations after such a long time you need solid proof.  Not anybody's diaries or comments. If they had the battle plans, they should have won the 1965 war. They lost the Haji Pir pass, which was a body blow," the former army chief said.

Gen Jacob said he knew Manekshaw for long since 1950s and there was no way at all, whatsoever, that Sam Manekshaw could have sold secrets to Pakistan.

"He is an honourable man and these allegations by Ayub Khan are scurrilous, malicious and complete nonsense.  Sam Manekshaw is a distinguished, honourable man and was responsible as Army Chief for India's greatest victory over Pakistan in 1971.

"He is upright and is absolutely loyal to the country," Jacob said.

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