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India lashes out at Gohar's claims

May 08, 2007 07:37 AM IST India India

New Delhi: Gohar Ayub Khan, son of former Pakistani President Ayub Khan, has claimed the impossible - that India's highest decorated soldier, the man credited for the victory in the 1971 war, Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw, is actually a Pakistani spy. Gohar Khan had made this claim in an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN's Karan Thapar and though he did not name Manekshaw, there was no doubt who he was talking about. The audacious claim has rankled India's defence fraternity to say the least. Sasy Lt Gen (Retd) JFR Jacob, Former Army Commander 37 b, "Sam Manekshaw is an honourable soldier loyal to the country. I can't understand why Gohar Ayub has made these malicious remarks. He should withdraw them immediately." Gohar Khan's claim comes right in the wake of the release of his father, Ayub Khan's memoirs, last week. In the book Ayub Khan gives an impression that the Indian Army and Defence Miinistry were riddled with Pakistani spies in the 1950s and 60s - something which many former officers refuse to believe. Says former chief of Army staff, General Shankar Roy Choudhary, ""This is not a revelation, but an accusation and that too a baseless one. Unless this is proved, it should be dismissed by highest order of contempt."

"Sam Manekshaw is a great son of our country. He doesn't need a certificate from Pakistan, it's former leaders or their children"
— BJP Leader, Venkaiah Naidu

The controversy has resurfaced two years after Ayub Khan's son Gohar claimed that his father had given him the name of an Indian Director of Military Operations from the 1950s who sold the country's war plans to the Pakistanis for Rs 20,000.