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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Spud Murphy BS: John Walker. What to do? (159* d) RE: BS: John Walker. What to do? 12 Dec 01

When I worked in Afghanistan in 1947-48 the partitioning of India was going on and resulted in the War in Kashmir(Which isn't over yet) There was an employee of MKA at that time working at Girishk (100 miles west of Kandahar) who jumped his contract and joined the Pakistan Army as a Colonel. At that time I was working on a survey crew quartered in the town of Torkham, in the Khyber Pass.

This man was an American citizen who had joined the Canadian army in 1939 and was decorated for valour at Dieppe while with a Canadian Commando Bn. After Dieppe he was mustered out of the Canadian Army and enlisted in the U.S. Army Airborne, (101st Bn., I suppose, because he was decorated again at Bastogne)

Eventually, this man became persona non grata to both the Indians and the Pakistanis and several attempts were made on his life. His troubles in that regard stemmed from the fact that at that time the issues of partition were not fully resolved, as I guess they still aren't, butIndia and Pakistan still shared the same Grandfather back in Jolly Olde England and the touchy diplomatic situation that was created by partition and the Kashmir situation wasn't being helped by having an American soldier of fortune at large in the war zone.

I met him in Karachi where we were both staying at the Bristol Hotel; I, my contract completed, waiting out my steamship transportation back to America, and he awaiting the disposition of the matter of his citizenship. The ruling as I understood it at the time was direct and simple: Bear arms for another country and your citizenship in the U.S. is forfeit. Perod. He had reached the point where nobody, including Canada and Great Britain, wanted him and the U.S. was refusing to allow him entry. But, what about his service time in the Canadian Army? Or subsequently, in the U.S. Army?

Unfortunately, my ship hove in to port about then and I left Pakistan before the thing was resolved, so I can't report to you what the outcome was, although a fellow worker of MKA thatI ran into later thought the U.S. took him back out of compassion for the Brits and to avoid international embarrassment. When I left on the steamship he gave me a letter to be mailed from New Orleans when I got there, addressed to his family in Ohio.

I don't think there really are any rules. I think these things are all negotiable, Depending on the politics involved, who your friends are, and in those days, the colour of your skin.


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