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dated February 8, 1946: The Aga Khan on the Indian deadlock

Date: 08-02-1996 :: Pg: 24 :: Col: a
Cl: This Day That Age

	In an earnest effort to resolve the Indian deadlock,  His 
Highness  the Aga Khan, hoped to meet Mahatma Gandhi on  February 
20  at Poona. Indicating this possibility in an interview to  the 
Associated Press of India, the Aga Khan said, ``My one hope is in 
trying to get Mahatma Gandhi to break down the unfortunate cordon 
that divides the two groups in India, the Congress and the Muslim 
League. I think he is the only man big enough. If the two  groups 
will  once  sit  down  to  talk  together,  then  there  will  be 
possibility of a compromise.''

	The Aga Khan said he was not in favour of any third party 
interference in India and added, ``If it were known that no third 
party would interfere, the other two parties would come to  terms 
more  quickly.''  He urged the British Government  to  keep  this 

	The  Aga  Khan  said reasons of  prestige  had  prevented 
either party  the Congress or the Muslim League  talking with the 
other.  They had rubbed each other so much on the wrong side,  he 
said,  and added, ``There have, however, been some  straws  which 
showed  that  a  hopeful wind also blows.'' He  referred  to  the 
Bhulabhai Desai  Liaqat Ali Khan pact of 1945 as an instance.

	Asked  what he considered would be a solution  for  world 
troubles,  His Highness said, ``Up to a point,  frank  acceptance 
politically  and  economically of the  principle  of  nationality 
everywhere   by  which  I mean that people who are  of  the  same 
language,  customs and religion should be united and  allowed  to 
govern  themselves according to their own ideas. In the  case  of 
India, which is a small world in itself, I could say that what is 
needed is a confederation of linguistic areas, including a  union 
of  the Moslems in their own federated State. The federation  and 
confederation  should go as far afield as possible. It should  be 
bounded  by  China in the east and the Arab League in  the  west, 
Russia  in  the north and Africa and Australia in  the  south.  I 
envisage a Pakistan State as part of an Indian and South  Asiatic 
Confederation  to  include Burma and Siam in the  east,  probably 
Afghanistan and possibly Iran in the west and, certainly,  Ceylon 
in the south  a great Asiatic Confederation.''


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