ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Letter to India: In Manto's Spirit


On the lines of Sadat Hasan Manto's facetious letters to Uncle Sam written at the height of the cold war when Pakistan was being wooed by the US as an ally to fight communism, this letter was written in 2002 to the then Prime Minister Vajpayee by historian Ayesha Jalal. Written as a spirited assessment of the standoff between India and Pakistan, the letter is peppered with rare insights that have always been Manto's hallmark.

‘Uncle Sam’

At the height of the cold war when America was about to sign a deal by which in return for military assistance Pakistan would commit itself to combating communism in south-east Asia and the middle east, the great Urdu shortstory writer, Saadat Hasan Manto, who lived in Lahore, wrote a series of facetious letters to ‘Uncle Sam’. In one of these letters written on February 21, 1954, Manto wrote:

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