Aga Khan III, one of the founders and the first President of the All India Muslim League, had offered the services of "30,000 armed Arabs to Adolf Hitler" during the Second World War but still evaded treason trial.
According to recently released de-classified documents, the Karachi-born spiritual leader of the world's Shia Ismaili Muslims had pledged to raise an army of 30,000 Arab troops to back a Nazi occupation of Egypt, Syria and Palestine almost 60 years back.
But despite evidence, Britain had to abandon a plan to charge Sultan Muhammad Shah alias Aga Khan III with treason fearing the move would anger Muslims across the world, the 'Daily Mail' reported today.
According to the documents, in a 1942 memo submitted to the German Foreign Office by a Nazi agent, Aga Khan III had expressed admiration for the puppet government in France and then offered to help raise 30,000 troops in the Middle East.
"If you give me ten to 15 days warning, I will have for you 30,000 armed Arabs, amongst my most faithful disciples, who will shoot the Gaullistes in the back," the British newspaper quoted Aga Khan III's memo as saying.
As the Eton-educated Muslim leader was a British subject, Britain contemplated charging him with treason and the death penalty. But it was eventually decided disloyalty by the then Aga Khan, who died in 1957, "could not be proved".
The de-classified documents contain evidence that emerged at the end of the World War II when the Allies had captured German archives and interrogated their intelligence agents.