Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, Pakistan's first Prime Minister, was assassinated on October 16, 1951 while addressing a public meeting in the garrison city of Rawalpindi. His assassin, later identified as Saad Akbar Babrak was shot dead on the spot. Saad Akbar Babrak was an Afghan national and a professional assassin. For more than 63 years controversy continued about the motives and perpetrators after the assassination of Liaquat Ali Khan. Conspiracy theories abounded with little to substantiate. However, the controversy is now coming to end as declassified documents of the US State Department disclosed that Americans murdered the first elected prime minister of Pakistan through the Afghan government.
The US documents, released several years ago but highlighted recently by the Pakistani media and social media. In July 2006, a Saudi newspaper, Arab News, had reported that declassified papers shed light on us role in Liaquat's murder.
Now almost 9 years later,on April 17, a leading
English newspaper of Pakistan, the Nation and also the Express News and Pakistan Today reported: The United States wanted to get contracts of oil resources in Iran.
Pakistan and Iran enjoyed cordial ties and Afghanistan used to be the enemy
of Pakistan during 1950-51. The neighboring Afghanistan was the only
country that didn't accept Pakistan at that time.
The US demanded Pakistan use its influence in Tehran and persuade it to transfer control of its oil fields to the US. Liaquat Ali Khan declined to accede to the request, saying that he would not use his friendship for dishonest purposes. On which, then US President Harry Truman had threatened Liaquat Ali Khan. Not only that, Liaquat Ali Khan also asked US to vacate air bases in Pakistan within next 24 hours, dropping a bombshell on Americans.
Americans didn't find a suitable person in Pakistan and then turned to Afghanistan for this purpose, according to the documents. Washington contacted the US Embassy in Kabul, offering Zahir Shah to search a murderer. Afghan government had found a man Syed Akbar to take the job and also made arrangements for him to be killed on the spot. All three stayed at a local hotel in Rawalpindi. Akbar fired and Liaquat Ali Khan fell, saying Allah help Pakistan.
Two persons killed the murderer of Liaquat Ali Khan at the spot while crowd also massacred the two persons in order to leave no sign of the conspiracy. The bullets used to kill the Pakistani prime minister were not easily available in the market.
Muazzam Ali Khan, the grandson of Liaquat Ali Khan, was quoted as saying that they are aware about the report and it is true. He also told Pakistan Today that they also have supporting documents in this regard.
Tellingly, till writing this story, the latest stories about the assassination of Pakistan's first Prime Minister were not denied by Washington.
Coup against Mossadegh
Not surprisingly, August 1953 the CIA staged a coup against the Iranian nationalist Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh to safeguard the west's oil interests in the country. In April 1951 Iranians democratically elected the head of the National Front party, Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, as prime minister. Mossadegh moved quickly to nationalize the assets in Iran of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (the forerunner of today's BP) a step that brought his government into confrontation with Britain and the US. Britain's MI6 military intelligence then teamed up with the CIA and carried out a coup that ousted Mossadegh in August 1953 and returned Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to power.
In August 2013, 60 years after the coup, the CIA admitted staging a coup against Mossadegh though at least two US Presidents, Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama, have publicly acknowledged the US role in the Iranian coup.
"The military coup that overthrew Mossadegh and his National Front cabinet was carried out under CIA direction as an act of US foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government," reads a previously excised section of an internal CIA history titled The Battle for Iran.
The declassified documents, under the US Freedom of Information Act, related to CIA's TPAJAX operation that sought regime change in Iran through the bribery of Iranian politicians, security and army high-ranking officials, and massive anti-Mossadegh propaganda that helped to instigate public revolt in 1953.
Mossadegh was replaced with Iranian general Fazlollah Zahedi, who was handpicked by The CIA and M16. Mossaddegh was later sentenced to death, but the Shah never dared to carry out the sentence. Mossadegh died in his residence near Tehran in 1967.
The Shah's pro-Western dictatorship continued for 27 years and ended with the Islamic Revolution of 1979, which paved the way for today's Iran, where anti-American sentiments remain strong. The 1953 coup still casts a long shadow over Iranian-US relations.