Soon after the election of Bogra as Prime Minister in Pakistan he met Nehru in London. A second meeting followed in Delhi in the backdrop of unrest in Kashmir following Sheikh Abdullah’s arrest. The two sides agreed to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir. Scholar Noorani says the agreement Nehru reached with Bogra was only an act to quench the Kashmiri unrest although Raghavan disagrees.
They also agreed informally to not retain the UN-appointed plebiscite administrator Nimitz because India felt a pro-Pakistan bias on America’s part. An outcry in Pakistan’s press against agreeing to India’s demand was ignored by both Bogra and Nehru who kept the negotiations on track.
The USA in February 1954 announced that it wanted to provide military aid to Pakistan. The US signed a military pact with Pakistan in May by which Pakistan would receive military equipment and training. The US president tried to alleviate India’s concerns by offering similar weaponry to India. This was an unsuccessful attempt. Nehru’s misgivings about the US-Pakistan pact made him hostile to a plebiscite. Consequently, when the pact was concluded in May 1954, Nehru withdrew the plebiscite offer and declared that the status quo was the only remaining option.
Nehru’s withdrawal from the plebiscite option came as a major blow to all concerned. Scholars have suggested that India was never seriously intent on holding a plebiscite, and the withdrawal came to signify a vindication of their belief.
Indian writer Nirad C. Chaudhuri has observed that Pakistan’s acceptance of Western support ensured its survival. He believed that India intended to invade Pakistan twice or thrice during the period 1947–1954. For scholar Wayne Wilcox, Pakistan was able to find external support to counter “Hindu superiority”, returning to the group security position of the early 20th century.
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