When JFK hosted Pakistan’s president at Mount Vernon

Sixty many years ago, on July 11, 1961, an remarkable state pay a visit to happened at Mount Vernon, the residence of America’s initial president, George Washington. It was a summit meeting that still reverberates today. It was Initially Girl Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy who conceived of the summit at Mount […]

Sixty many years ago, on July 11, 1961, an remarkable state pay a visit to happened at Mount Vernon, the residence of America’s initial president, George Washington. It was a summit meeting that still reverberates today.

It was Initially Girl Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy who conceived of the summit at Mount Vernon involving her partner John F. Kennedy and Pakistani President Mohammad Ayub Khan. She was impressed by the Kennedys’ go to to the Habsburgs’ Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna before in the calendar year. She quietly approached the professionals of the Mount Vernon estate, who eagerly agreed to host the Pakistanis. She also arranged for the jewelry retail store Tiffany’s to deliver the flowers and decorations for the meal.

Pakistan was an vital associate for the United States in 1961, joined by treaty to the containment of the Soviet Union and China. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) flew U2 surveillance flights from Pakistani bases to watch China’s rising nuclear arsenal. The CIA also secretly supported Tibetan rebels fighting for independence from an airbase in what was then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

Ayub Khan had just suspended Pakistani cooperation with the Tibet covert procedure because Kennedy had promised India a huge economic assist bundle and signaled that a closer partnership with New Delhi was coming. The Pakistani dictator was from a nearer American romantic relationship with India. Shutting down the Tibet operation was a silent powering the scenes way of expressing unease with Kennedy’s tilting in direction of India.

At the ask for of Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles, JFK took Ayub Khan for a private one-on-just one stroll in the mansion back garden and asked the Pakistani leader to reopen the airbase for key resupply flights to the rebels in Tibet. Ayub Khan agreed but asked for a motivation that no American army gear would at any time be provided to India without having prior session with Pakistan. Kennedy agreed.

The evening meal was a excellent results. The most effective and brightest of the new administration have been there. The major class was poulet chasseur made in the White House and then reheated in a moveable army kitchen area in the grounds of the mansion.

The future spring Mrs. Kennedy traveled to India and Pakistan. It was the initial vacation abroad on your own by a 1st lady in the television age. She dazzled viewers just about everywhere, which include back home.

In October 1962, at the height of the Cuban missile disaster, China invaded India. As I have prepared in my ebook “JFK’s Neglected Crisis: Tibet, the CIA, and the Sino-Indian War,” Kennedy managed two big and perilous crises on opposite sides of the world. The Indians appealed for American weapons, Kennedy dismissed his promise to Ayub Khan, and a large source of arms flowed into India. Furthermore, Kennedy manufactured it obvious that the United States would not tolerate Pakistani tries to take benefit of India’s predicament in disputed Kashmir. The president was aided in handling the perilous crisis by his personalized rapport with Ayub Khan created at Mount Vernon.

At the peak of crisis, Indian Key Minister Jawaharlal Nehru questioned Kennedy for American fighters, bombers, and their crews to join the fight from the Chinese. It was a momentous request. The United States would join in a war with China. In advance of Kennedy had to reply, the Chinese declared a unilateral cease-fire.

The 1962 disaster established in educate the dynamics that would guide many years afterwards to the geopolitics of right now with the United States aligned with India and Pakistan aligned with China. It aided spark the nuclear arms race in Asia. The disaster resonates all through Asia these days.

Right now Pakistan is the fifth most populous state in the planet, with a person of the most energetic nuclear weapons packages. It is China’s closest and most significant ally. Relations with India continue being tense. Most immediately, Pakistan is supporting the Taliban offensive intended to topple the Afghan government in Kabul following the American withdrawal, though it publicly says it needs a political answer, not a Taliban armed service victory. The Pakistani military presents the Taliban protected haven, arms, teaching, and logistical help which are very important to their skill to work.

President Joe Biden has nonetheless to talk to Key Minister Imran Khan once considering that having business office. Imran Khan has not long ago spoken publicly about Islamabad’s close ties to Beijing, praising it as a purpose model and defending its oppression of its Uyghur Muslims. Secretary of Protection Lloyd Austin has spoken with Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff members Normal Qamar Javed Bajwa additional than at the time but has yet to satisfy with him in person. For the Afghan withdrawal, it is possibly much too late to improve Pakistan’s plan to back the Taliban. The puzzle is why the administration is not partaking extra actively with this important country.

Lan Kilian

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