Many people thought the deal had been distorted in favor of Pakistan. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was then a senior leader of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, went to Shimla to hold a rally to pressure Indira not to comply with Pakistan`s demands. “He was not allowed to hold a rally, so he held a press conference,” Lohumi said. The Jana Sangh also protested when Indira returned to Delhi. For Lohumi, the fascinating part of the summit was the three hours before the agreement was signed. “On July 2 at 8 p.m.m., Bhutto held a press conference and said the talks had failed. After that, the media delegations withdrew. Around 11 p.m.m, as I was about to leave, a fellow journalist told me to wait because something was going to happen. Then everyone was called to Barnes Court. Lohumi recalled that no one at Barnes Court was prepared for the corner. “When Indira arrived, there wasn`t even a tablecloth. A curtain was hastily torn off and placed on the table.

The Doordarshan journalist had returned home. He was my superior, so I gave his address to the officers,” Lohumi said. When the journalist finally returned, P.N. Haksar, who was the prime minister`s chief secretary, told him he had made Indira wait an hour. Even a pen to sign the agreement had to be borrowed from a journalist. While Shimla had enjoyed a prominent place in India`s political history, especially before independence, he then faded as a target for political discussions. In addition, many of the most important agreements that have been reached here were not really good for India. The completion of the Radcliffe Line, which demarcated the border with Pakistan, the 1914 agreement establishing the Indo-Tibetan borders, the meeting between Viceroy Lord Wavell and Indian leaders in 1945 to approve self-government and separate representation of Muslims, and the Indo-Pakistani agreement of 1972 did not really advance Indian interests. “All these meetings did not serve their purpose or went against India,” Lohumi said. “Shimla has a poor record in such matters.” The Congress had won the general elections in Himachal Pradesh in 1972. “If the elections had been held after the deal, the situation could have been different because India didn`t get a good deal,” Lohumi said. What the Simla Accord could not achieve for India could very well have been achieved thanks to the 1973 Delhi Accord signed by India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Around midnight, the two leaders told their respective top advisers that an agreement had been reached, and while arrangements were underway for the signing ceremony, Gandhi told Haksar and P.N. Dhar (not to be confused with D.P. Dhar and Gandhi`s secretary from 1970 to 1977) that Bhutto had solemnly assured him that he would “gradually” make the LoC a permanent border. but he just couldn`t put it in writing. The text of the agreement simply stated that both parties would comply with the LoC “without prejudice to the recognized position of either party”. The two countries also pledged to “settle all their differences by peaceful means and through bilateral negotiations or other mutually agreed peaceful means.” This prevented mediation or the intervention of third parties. But where was the guarantee that Bhutto, even more slippery than an eel, would keep his word? Didn`t the American film mogul Sam Goldwyn say, “An oral agreement is not worth the paper on which it is written”? At the beginning of the war, India suggested that, unlike what happened after the 1965 Indo-Pakistani war, when the leaders of the two countries met in Tashkent in January 1966 under the mediation of the Soviet Union to conclude a post-war agreement, the two countries would now meet bilaterally to look to the future. Bhutto did not refuse such a meeting. Instead, he expressed his willingness to meet with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in India to develop an “entirely new relationship with India.” This may explain why P.N.

Dhar held back when Gandhi only informed Haksar and him of what had happened. This visibly annoyed her. Haksar motioned for him to leave the room. Anyway, the agreement was signed in the early hours of the morning, but was still dated July 2. The actual negotiations began on 28 June 1972 and lasted five days, with India sticking to the Dhar approach, in which India`s return of prisoners of war and the occupied territories became part of a comprehensive agreement on a permanent agreement on the formal definition of the border in Kashmir. At the opening session on June 28, Dhar made it clear that the conclusion of a peace agreement was an “essential” precondition for the repatriation of prisoners of war. On June 29, he was looking for a clear framework. Any “agreed formulation must correspond to the existing situation” and be “applicable”. Dhar stressed that “the world is rapidly moving towards bilateralism.” However, Ahmed offered minimal commitments and sought to maintain the old UN-centered conflict resolution framework. Haksar also stressed that India and Pakistan should “solve their own problems” without “involving distant countries in our differences.” On June 30, Dhar suffered a mild heart attack, with Haksar taking the lead for the rest of the summit.

India`s pressure for negotiations, however, has remained constant. The international and regional context after 1971 had made the achievement of some kind of agreement an important political goal for Gandhi and his national security team. After participating in a successful war that liberated Bangladesh, policymakers sought to further strengthen India`s status by also demonstrating a credible peace attempt. Of course, the increase in India`s image had to be offset by concrete results. The most desirable outcome would have been a final solution in Kashmir on the de facto managed position of both sides. Evidence suggests that policymakers have sought to address some of the deep roots of the Indo-Pakistani conflict in Kashmir, which has been seen as a direct manifestation of Pakistan`s national identity rather than a normal intergovernmental territorial stalemate. P.N. Haksar, Gandhi`s top foreign policy adviser, later wrote that India`s approach was based on “the recognition that Pakistan continues to have an unresolved crisis of its national identity.” In 1971, Pakistan had opened up the possibility of an alternative future. During the negotiations, India stubbornly insisted on enshrining the principle of bilateralism in order to regulate future relations.

It was successful, but with the final agreement, which included the reservation “or other mutually agreed peaceful means”. This has allowed Pakistan to always push for third-party mediation in Indo-Pakistani relations, but as India firmly rejects any mediation, neither Pakistan nor any other country has ever sought such a role. Despite the fact that the United States intervenes in South Asia in times of high tensions. The Simla agreement looks more like a communiqué than a peace agreement with a country that has waged war on India. Nothing in the agreement pinpointed Pakistan for future good behavior. It also contained ridiculous expectations, such as the clause requiring both governments to “take all measures in their power to prevent hostile propaganda against each other.” Hoping to save a deal, Bhutto turned directly to Gandhi. During this climax, Gandhi highlighted the main benefit of India`s proposal in Kashmir – neither side was forced to physically abandon territory or exchange populations. With “apparent sentiment and sincerity,” Bhutto admitted that if India`s proposal was the only one possible, a formal and legally binding commitment would significantly weaken its domestic political position and strengthen the military establishment. He could only give an oral assurance that the de facto border in Kashmir, in Bhutto`s words, would gradually take on the “characteristics of an international border.” In contrast, India`s concession was concrete and direct.

India abandoned its “comprehensive agreement by agreeing to withdraw its troops from the international border before reaching an agreement on Kashmir.” .