General Pervez Musharraf does not endorse Gohar Ayub’s claims based on his father Field Marshal Ayub Khan’s diaries that an Indian officer sold his country’s battle plans to Pakistan for the 1965 war. Ayub has hinted that the officer was considered a military icon in India.
The Pak President distanced his administration from Gohar’s statements in an informal chat with well-known Indian television journalist Karan Thapar on January 6 this year in Islamabad. Musharraf said he had no knowledge of the former Foreign Affairs Minister’s book project or what he is thinking or planning to do.
The General told Thapar that Pakistan would disassociate from any statement or claim made by Gohar Ayub. A day earlier Thapar had spoken to Gohar, who used innuendoes to hint at the identity of the Indian army officer.
“I told General Musharraf that if Gohar Ayub goes ahead and names the officer he claims is responsible for this alleged leak, it would trigger a public uproar in India that could affect Indo-Pak relations,” Thapar recalled in reaction to the interview in which Gohar came close to identifying the officer.
The Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major Gen Shaukat Sultan and Pakistan’s Information Secretary Shahid Rafi were present when Thapar had this conversation with Musharraf during the recording of a formal interview for a private channel.
Originally slated for December 2005, the publication of Ayub Khan’s diaries has been delayed by one year.
To Thapar, Gohar had said the launch was rescheduled for June-July, 2006 as it had run into problems with the original publisher. But even that stands altered now to the year-end.