By Patrick French in Liberty or Death(excerpts)
Given that Amritsar could not become part of Pakistan, the adjoining district of Gurdapur (which was only 51 per cent Muslim) should also stay out of Pakistan so as to give Amritsar some geographical protection.
If Gurdaspur did go to Pakistan, the thousand square miles of Amritsar district would be cut off and left as a lone Sikh island, floating in a hostile Muslim sea. On all sides Amritsar would be bounded by Pakistani ground, except on its south-eastern flank, where it would border a Princely State called Kapurthala. This small kingdom was inhabited by a Muslim majority, although its ruler was a Sikh, and it would in practice have cut off Amritsar Sikhs from their co-religionists to the east.
On paper the question of Gurdaspur and Amritsar looked like a minor point, but it was to prove a focus of the start of the massacres of August 1947. On any neutral assessment, it was clear that Gurdaspur and Amritsar would have to be treated as if they were one unit, whether they became part of India or of Pakistan. . .
Six days after the despatch of Wavell’s telegram[on 7 February 1946],a junior clerk at the India Office drew three primitive sketch maps on the basis of the information that the Viceroy had provided. Significantly, Gurdaspur district was marked as being part of the potential Pakistan, although there is no written explanation for this decision, and in all other respects Wavell’s advice was followed to the letter.