Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Wajahat Hussain, June 14, 2005

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Violence in East Punjab (India)

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Partial Transcript: Amber Abbas, July fourteenth, with General Wajahat Hussain in his home in Lahore, Pakistan and we will continue our discussions from yesterday.

Segment Synopsis: Hussain discusses the Punjab Boundary Force, which was created by the Pakistan Army to maintain the boundary between India and Pakistan in the Punjab region of the countries. He also recounts the refugee crisis created by the partition of Pakistan.

Keywords: Auchinleck, Claude John Eyre; Delhi (India); East Punjab; India; Khan, Ayub; Lahore (Pakistan); Muslim refugees; Nagar (Pakistan); Pakistan; Pakistan Army; Punjab Boundary Force; Sikhs; Trains; West Punjab

Subjects: Auchinleck, Claude John Eyre, 1884-1981; Delhi (India); India; India--History--Partition, 1947; India--History.; India. Army.; Khan, Ayub, 1969-; Lahore (Pakistan); Pakistan; Pakistan--History; Pakistan--Military relations--India.; Pakistan. Army.; Refugees; Sikhs

GPS: [Former] East Punjab (India)
Map Coordinates: 30.75, 76.78
00:12:39 - Escalation of tension between India and Pakistan

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Partial Transcript: There had been violence off and on in Lahore since January of that year.

Segment Synopsis: Hussain talks about the Punjab Boundary Force’s reaction to the escalating violence between India and Pakistan in the East Punjab region. He also talks about the reasons why the Punjab Boundary Force was not prepared to adequately address the escalating violence in Punjab (India). He also describes looting that occurred in the region, as well as dealing with a train of kidnapped Hindu women.

Keywords: 18th Cavalry; All-India Muslim League; Calcutta (India); Ethnic cleansing; Genocides; Hindus; Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES); Jinnah, Mahomed Ali; Kolkata (India); Looting; Messervy, Sir Frank; Muslims; Noncommissioned officers; Punjab Boundary Force; Rawalpindi (Pakistan); Reporters Without Borders (RSF); Snipers; Tanks; Violence

Subjects: All-India Muslim League; Genocide.; Hindus; India--History--Partition, 1947; India--History.; Jinnah, Mahomed Ali, 1876-1948.; Kolkata (India); Muslims; Pakistan--History; Rawalpindi (Pakistan); Snipers; Tanks; Violence

GPS: [Former] East Punjab (India)
Map Coordinates: 30.75, 76.78
00:34:41 - Partition of India

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Partial Transcript: In the meantime, uh, the, uh, final announcement about the, uh, partition plan came out on the, uh, radio and that again was created a tremendous reaction.

Segment Synopsis: Hussain discusses the reaction of people in Punjab (India) to the announcement of the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan. He also discusses the plight of refugees to Pakistan, particularly pregnant women who gave birth in refugee camps.

Keywords: Artillery; Jinnah, Mahomed Ali; Lahore (Pakistan); Mountbatten, Louis; Muslims; Nehru, Jawaharlal; Pakistan; Partition; Punjab (India); Refugees; Sexual assaults; Sikhs

Subjects: Artillery; India--History--Partition, 1947; India--History.; Lahore (Pakistan); Mountbatten of Burma, Louis Mountbatten, Earl, 1900-1979.; Muslims; Nehru, Jawaharlal, 1889-1964.; Pakistan; Pakistan--History; Partition; Refugees; Sikhs

GPS: Punjab (India)
Map Coordinates: 30.79, 75.84
00:51:27 - Violence against refugees to Pakistan

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Partial Transcript: And, uh, in the later days, during one of my uh, s-s-stops, talking to Bob, uh, he said t-t-here was a Muslim colonel by the name of Colonel Ayub Khan, a Bataan officer, incidentally Bob was also Bataan and he knew th-the, uh, this officer's family.

Segment Synopsis: Hussain talks about the abduction of Muslim girls during the migration of refugees into newly created Pakistan, and General Ayub Khan’s attempt to rescue them. He then goes on to describe the violence that occurred during the large-scale migration to Pakistan. Hussain also talks about his job sending Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan to India. He then talks about how he survived witnessing such atrocities.

Keywords: Abductions; Cavalry of Abducted Women; Chimni, Sirdar Bakhshish Singh; Hindu girls; Indian Army; Indian National Army (INA); Jinnah, Mahomed Ali; Khan, Ayub; Muslim girls; Pakistan; Partition; Punjab (Pakistan); Refugees; Sikhs; Trains; Violence

Subjects: Hindus; India--History--Partition, 1947; India--History.; India. Army.; Indian National Army; Jinnah, Mahomed Ali, 1876-1948.; Khan, Ayub, 1969-; Muslims; Pakistan; Pakistan--History; Partition; Sikhs; Violence

GPS: Punjab (Pakistan)
Map Coordinates: 31, 72
01:06:42 - Migration to Pakistan

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Partial Transcript: Till. uh, um, when the Muslims, the Kashmir troubles started, when the, uh, so-called tribesman, uh, carried out, uh, incursion into Kashmir, then the regiment was the, was the first regiment to move into Kashmir.

Segment Synopsis: Hussain talks about his decision to join the Pakistan Army. He also talks about losing touch with his family during the chaos caused by the partition of India and tells the story of his family’s migration to Pakistan.

Keywords: 19th Lancers; Aligarh (India); Auchinleck, Claude John Eyre; Brothers; Delhi (India); Families; Fathers; Gracey, Douglas David; Hook, Hilary; Indian Military Academy (IMA); Lahore (Pakistan); Major Wilson; Migration; Mothers; Nagar (India); Pakistan Army; Partition; Punjab Boundary Force; Rawalpindi (Pakistan)

Subjects: Aligarh (India); Auchinleck, Claude John Eyre, 1884-1981; Brothers; Delhi (India); Families; Fathers; Gracey, Douglas David, 1894-1964.; Hook, Hilary; India--History--Partition, 1947; India--History.; Indian Military Academy; Lahore (Pakistan); Mothers; Pakistan--History; Pakistan. Army.; Partition; Rawalpindi (Pakistan)

GPS: Lahore (Pakistan)
Map Coordinates: 31.5546, 74.3572
01:18:19 - Selection for the Punjab Boundary Force

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Partial Transcript: I wanted to back up a little bit.

Segment Synopsis: Hussain talks about why he was selected to serve on the Punjab Boundary Force. He also talks about tension between religious, ethnic, and geographical groups in the Indian Army. Hussain then talks about the situation caused by the disputed territory of Kashmir (India), as well as the Indian Military Academy’s golden jubilee.

Keywords: Aligarh (India); Communications; Electrical mechanical; Families; Gurdaspur (India); Indian Army; Indian Military Academy (IMA); Indian National Congress; Jammu (India); Jinnah, Mahomed Ali; Jodhpur (India); Karim, Afsir; Kashmir (India); Major Singh; Pakistan Army; Punjab Boundary Force; Signals; United Nations; World War II

Subjects: Aligarh (India); Communication; Families; Gurdaspur (India); India--History--Partition, 1947; India--History.; India. Army.; Indian Military Academy; Indian National Congress; Jammu (India); Jinnah, Mahomed Ali, 1876-1948.; Jodhpur (India); Karim, Afsir; Pakistan--History; Pakistan. Army.; Signals and communication technology; United Nations; World War, 1939-1945

GPS: Kashmir (India)
Map Coordinates: 33.45, 76.24