is very unlike the Britain we left behind. In fact, it is much more like war-time
admittedly, had appeared to be a country in a state of preparedness, with armed
soldiers swarming near the frontier and jet planes warmed up on the airstrips;
but Pakistan gives the impression of a country under siege.
inside the frontier is the Khyber Pass. It is all in Pakistan - and it is a formidable
are one's expectations of this famous landmark? Very vague in most people, I imagine;
having put aside childhood phantasies of rocky defiles and betopeed soldiers being
spied upon by lurking tribesmen, it is difficult t visualise an alternative picture.
it is the way of adults to over-compensate for the exuberant imagination of their
childhood, most people would say, resignedly; "It's probably more like a
moor than a gorge." Well, perhaps it is; yet it still succeeds in being impressive.
is quite wide, of course - after all, armies used to march through it - and the
walls are not precipitous.
the road has to be quite tenacious to hang on to the sides and it performs all
the convolutions one would expect as it doubles around military pill-boxes cut
out of the rock face or plunges into short tunnels, rattling over the pits dug
for land mines.
in the valley there is the occasional incongruous sight of a flourishing farm
with its terraced and irrigated lands. Incongruous, because the whole area is
given over to military preparations.
is impossible to proceed through it without using the road, since from wall to
wall the valley is illed with succeeding waves of concrete anti-tank teeth and
rolls of barbd wire.
one of the beaches of Britain during the war, but in its concentration is even
emphasis on military power in such countries as Greece (to a smaller extent),
Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan has been the most saddening feature of this journey.
the Khyber photography is strictly forbidden, there is the constant feeling of
being watched - and this time not by wild tribesmen, but by the citizens of the
British Commonwealth; and Shagai Fort, a few miles into the pass, must surely
house tens of thousands of troops.
we were glad to leve this gloomy prospect behind. But we couldn't escape from
the feeling of tension. Pakistan is a poor country and an isolated one. She has
borders with Afghanistan, Russia and China, through the disputed territory of
Jammu, and India, all of whom she considers hostile; only Iran in the West is
not so regarded.
newspapers are full of accounts of the intrusions of Afghan tribesmen and the
activities of the Indians in their half of Kashmir. Also of the necessity to promote
friendly relations with the new African States.
feels that any offer of friendship would be welcomed; yet one that has been received
- of help with armaments from America - has bred greater suspicion in Pakistan's
is the largest Muslim State in the world and this is emphasised for its solidifying
effect and perhaps this breeds a certain intractability in its politics.
are not a 'neutralist State,'" declared President Ayub Khan. "There
can be no doubt as to where we stand on the question of Communism."
Marshal (then general) Ayub Khan took over the Government in 1958 in order to
fight corruption and inefficiency; Pakistan had shown she was not ready for full
democracy, he declared; he would restore democracy, but "of a type that the
people can understand and work."
has introduced a system called the "Basic Democracies."
this manner it is hoped gradually to bring the country3to a realisation of the
responsibilities of full democracy.
an 11-member commission has been appointed to "frame constitutional proposals
for the establishment of democracy, the consolidation of national unity, and a
firm and stable Government."
across the border Indians, from the moral superiority of their own positions with
an elected Government, hint darkly about the dangers of military dictatorship.
is a strong nationalistic feeling prompted both by international "incidents"
and by internal propaganda.
it seems that they are trying to convince themselves. Probably this is realised,
for Ayub Khan said recently; "We must work more and talk less."
verbal emphasis on hard work is echoed at the Bata shoe factory. The boundary
wall - at least 100 yards long - is painted white and covered with a string of
red slogans: "Every day contains 86,400 seconds"; "More speech,
more quarrels"; "An ambitious wife, a hard-working husband," and
other philosophical gems straight out of a Western sales director's exhortation
to his staff.
stay in Pakistan was not a long one, so most of our views on the country are based
on quick impressions. Crossing the Indus river, for example. We did this not by
day, as the photographers had hoped, but more romantically by night - in fact,
under the largest, most yellow, moon I can remember.
bridge of great strategic importance, is entered through a guardroom; armed soldiers
examine your credentials. The bridge is closed to commercial vehicles at dusk;
a great iron reinforced door opens to allow access and closes behind the cars.
flow the waters of the Indus, essential for irrigation intwo countries. But you
cannot lock up a river and to everyone's relief an agreement was reached last
September in thelatest of many attempts to solve this bitter proble.
of the cities of Pakistan have a strong English feeling - as of a prosperous country
town. Peshawar was one, exceedingly neat and tidy with plenty of shade from tall
trees. A great contributor to the "At home" feeling was a 1934 Baby
Austin happily bowling down the road (just like any English university town!)
found Lahore in a state of great jubilation having just welcomed home the victorious
Pakistani Olympic hockey team - its success having been made all the sweeter since
it was over India , who had held the title for something like 32 years.
we delivered a letter of greeting from the Lord Mayor of Bristdol Ald. A. Hugh
Jenkins, to Mr Massood, the chairman of the Municipal Committee.
the new regime Mr Massood is an appointed administrator, an ex-Army officer who
had been though Dunkirk and served in Africa with the British forces. He had many
memories of England and was very interested to hear of life and conditions there
also made the very English the very English pilgrimage to see Kim's gun and visited
the Civil Military Gazette which Kipling had once edited.