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No Indian or Pakistani politician/Member of Parliament has ventured an analytical, political biography of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, about whom views necessarily get divided as being either Hagiographical or additional demonology. The book attempts an objective evaluation. Jaswant Singh's experience as a minister responsible for the conduct of India's foreign policy, managing the country's defence (concurrently), had been uniformly challenging (Lahore Peace process; betrayed at Kargil; Kandahar; the Agra Peace Summit; the attack on Jammu and Kashmir Assembly and the Indian Parliament; coercive diplomacy of 2002; the peace overtures reinitiated in April 2003).
He asks where and when did this questionable thesis of 'Muslims as a separate nation' first originate and lead the Indian sub-continent to? And where did it drag Pakistan to? Why then a Bangladesh? Also what now of Pakistan? Where is it headed? This book is special; it stands apart, for it is authored by a practitioner of policy, an innovator of policies in search of definitive answers. Those burning 'whys' of the last sixty-two years, which bedevil us still. Jaswant Singh believes that for the return of lasting peace in South Asia there is no alternative but to first understand what made it 'abandon' us in the first place. Until we do that, a minimum, a must, we will never be able to persuade peace to return.
List of Illustration
Introduction: A Complex Opening
1. India and Islam
2. Jenabhai to Jinnah: The Journey
3. The Turbulent Twenties
4. Sharpening Focus-Narrowing Options
5. A Short Decade-A Long End Game
6. Sunset of the Empire-'Post-dated Cheque on a Collapsing Bank'
7. A War of Succession-Diverging Paths
8. Stymied Negotiations?
9. Mountbatten Viceroyalty: The End of the Raj
10. Pakistan: Birth-Independence: The Quaid-i-Azam's Last Journey
11. In Retrospect