Monday, July 11, 2011

40 Years of China-US Diplomatic Relations

The 9 July bears special significance in the wake of establishment of China-US diplomatic ties in a way as 40 years ago, exactly today Pakistan had played a very significant role for the diplomatic relations between two major global powers. At that time, Dr Henry Alfred Kissinger, national security adviser to the then US President Richard Nixon, had set out on the secret Chinese visit via Islamabad route of Pakistan. Kissinger held talks with the Chinese officials and laid the foundation stone for the establishment of the diplomatic ties between both the countries. Dr Henry Kissinger was particularly famous all over the world for his convincing power to conquer through the dialogue.
Shield of Security
At that time an interesting account had appeared in public regarding his secret visit to China that he returned in the same outfit which he was putting on at the time of departure from Chaklala Airport. He held all his meetings with the Chinese officials while wearing the same outfit. Some details of the secret visit of Dr Henry Kissinger are in the following.
On 8 July 1971, the senior staff of the national airline was gathered at Islamabad in an emergency meeting and later the staff was shifted to Hotel Intercontinental of Rawalpindi under the headship of the captain of the airplane. The staff was strictly directed to not to contact anyone, while the staff was not given any kind of information including the time of departure.
In the wee hours of night at 0300, the entire concerned staff of the airline was whisked away to Chaklala Airport where a plane was present in the hanger of the Pakistan Air Force in the shield of security. Just half an hour before the departure, a Chinese person arrived and the national Air Line flight took this Chinese man alone to Beijing.
During the brief stay at Beijing, a Chinese official boarded the plane along with an interpreter and the Pakistani flight returned back to Pakistan taking them along. The staff was resent to hotel and once more strictly directed to not to talk to anyone about this flight.
On the night of 9 July at around 0200 hrs, once again the staff was asked to reach the airport. Before preparing the airplane for flight, all the required affairs were strictly checked and examined. The entire staff was unaware of the fact that this time why they are bound for Beijing. However, the presence of the US airplane US ONE was surprising because this aircraft is specific for carrying the high US officials and personalities.
After a short while, a Woks Wagon Hettle van stopped in front of the first class lounge. Sultan Muhammad Khan, then foreign secretary of Pakistan, was driving this van. However, because of the darkness at night, the few people present there failed to identify the personality sitting along with him.
However, as soon as the van came in the light, the high officials of the security and the staff present at the airport witnessed a stunning scene. An important US personality Dr Henry Kissinger was flank with the Foreign Secretary Sultan Mahmood. Dr Henry Kissinger warmly shook hands with the staff of airline as he got off the van. When the flight chief introduced himself and his staff, Dr Henry Kissinger too introduced the members due to fly with him. Winston Lord, Gorge Holder, and Richard Mayer were accompanying Dr Henry Kissinger.
When Dr Henry Kissinger along with his companions took the seats in the airplane, the foreign secretary bid him best wishes for the safe journey and said him farewell. Then the foreign secretary got off the plane. As soon as the airplane took off, Dr Henry Kissinger got engaged in the talks with the Chinese official who had especially arrived from Beijing. As the morning dawned, all the passengers were entertained with well-prepared and fresh breakfast.
At 1430 in the afternoon, this flight landed at the Beijing airport where Dr Henry Kissinger and his members of the team were taken for meeting with the Chinese officials in a van with black-tainted panes.
After the meeting with high Chinese officials, the US guests returned Chaklala Airport through the same national airline's flight that was waiting for them. On his return, during the flight, Dr Henry Kissinger called the senior purser of the aircraft and asked him that the people of Nathyagali of Pakistan, a recreational point, should ask him questions about Nathyagali. Dr Henry Kissinger said that even if our media came to smell something about my journey, they would only learn that I (Kissinger) was residing in Nathyagali in Pakistan. The purser gave him short briefing about Nathyagali.
Changed Scenario
On one occasion, expressing his problem, Dr Henry Kissinger said that he wanted to change the attire at the Chaklala Airport but he did not have another outfit with him. Since it was his secret journey therefore his staff had dispatched all his daily life products and clothes to Nathyagali. During his return from Beijing, Dr Henry Kissinger remained busy in writing reports all the time. On the airport, secretary foreign affair was present to welcome him and along with the foreign secretary, some other officials were also present.
When Dr Henry Kissinger and his companions flew for the United States from the airport through the US ONE airplane, the foreign secretary addressed the staff of the airline and said we are the only few people who know that who came in this airplane and where did he go and as long as Dr Henry Kissinger himself or the US Administration does not release any statement in this context, you people shall not talk to anyone about this.

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