NEW DELHI, India -- The late Lord Louis Mountbatten said he would not have partitioned the subcontinent into India and Pakistan if he had known Pakistan's 'psychopathic' independence leader was about to die of tuberculosis, a book released Wednesday said.
More than 1 million Hindus and Moslems were slaughtered as a result of the partitioning when nationalistic religious riots erupted on both sides of the British-drawn border in August 1947.
In the book, 'Mountbatten and the Partition of India,' Mountbatten also expressed the belief that Pakistan would cease to exist without American aid.
In an interview with authors Larry Collins and Dominue La Pierre before his death in 1981, Mountbatten was asked if he knew the Pakistani independence leader, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, was dying of tuberculosis in 1947.
'Not only was I not aware, but nobody was aware,' Mountbatten replied. 'Nobody had a clue. I'm glad I didn't because I just don't know what I would have done if I'd known that.'
The book further recounts the interview. 'I am asking myself this question now,' Mountbatten was quoted as saying. 'Would I have said, let's hold India together and not divide it? Would I have put back the clock, and held the position? Most probably.'
Largely due to Jinnah's demand for a separate Moslem nation, the subcontinent was partitioned into Pakistan and India when the British granted it independence in August 1947.
Mountbatten described Jinnah as a 'bastard' during the interview.
In Mountbatten's previously unpublished 'personal reports' penned on April 17, 1947, he wrote:
'I regard Jinnah as a psychopathic case. In fact until I had met him I would not have thought it possible that a man with such a complete lack of administrative knowledge, of sense of responsibility, could achieve or hold down so powerful a position,' according to the book.
During the interview with the authors, Mountbatten said of modern Pakistan, 'If it weren't for the Americans giving (Pakistan) enormous aid, they couldn't continue to exist. They're finished the day America withdraws her aid. I don't see how they can survive.
'Even with an army, an air force, they'll be completely at the mercy of India. All this I tried to explain to Jinnah.'