Khushwant Singh wrote in the preface to the hardbound edition published in 1990 (Under the Shadow of Bayonets and Bars: An Indian Spy in Pakistan), of this true account of Mohanlal Bhaskar’s mission to find out about Pakistan’s nuclear plans:
‘He was betrayed by one of his colleagues, presumbly a double agent, and had to face the music on his own. The interrogation, which was done by the army and police, included torture of the worst kind imaginable. Many of his comrades went insane or ended their own lives. Large portions of his stories describe the methods used in gory and spine-chilling detail but there were also lighter moments with dacoits, prostitutes, pimps and dope smugglers in the same jails....
He witnessed history unfolding from Mianwali jail: ‘... when Sheikh Mujibur Rehman was brought there, and had his grave dug and then refilled when Bhutto released him to return in truimph to Bangladesh. From his cell he watched Indian bombers and fighters knock out Pakistan’s airforce from the skies...
The original account was serialised and published in Marathi and other Indian Languages.
About the Author
Born in 1942 at Abohar (Punjab), Mohanlal Bhaskar started his career as a labourer and then as a newspaper boy. He did his M.A. B.Ed., joined the teaching profession and became Vice-Principal of Teachers Training Institute, Government of Sikkim. For a brief period he was editor of Dharka (1961), sub-editor of Gandiv Hindi Daily (1962) and editor of The Presto in 1965-66.
Besides the autobiographical account of his undercover work in Pakistan, ’Main Pakistan Mein Bharat ka Jasoos tha’ reissued in English under the title, An Indian Spy In Pakistan, he has written more than two hundred articles which were published in Dharam Yug, Dinman, The Sunday and other renowned news and feature magazines.
He has won positions in state and National Science Fairs and has been broadcasting articles and ghazals from Jallandhar Radio Station since 1962.
He now lives in Ferozepur and runs a school.
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