I read the article by Daniel Pipes with great interest and felt some silent realities has been given voice. Though, I beg to differ with some of his analysis.
Let me tackle the first part first, the blame game of the by religious, communists, officials and educators. These are solid rock facts, no sane person will deny it. I am looking at it as a Pashtun democratic nationalist and have my own point of view. I am not an intellectual, but a political worker of Late Bacha Khan who struggled for 70 + years, preaching non-violence, to hate hatred, and national identity, in the form of humanity. To him, nationalism out of this frame was fascism. In my 55 years of work in the field and outside the country to read, there was not a single day in my life that I have regretted.
I cannot abandon my national tradition without thanking Dr Richard L. Benkin for raising his voice for small oppressed nations like Pashtun, Baloch and Sindhi in Pakistan. To give voice to a silence is a great humanitarian job and he deserves a great credit. I would request him to expand his field and he will always find us on his back.
As I said; I look at the problem from my angle and don’t claim that I will be spot on correct in my analysis, but have the right to put it to the world fraternity:
1. I have no shred of doubt that Pakistan was created by Muslims of India. It is true that Muslims were a bit scared of Hindu majority, but they didn’t have that strength and courage, nor they were organized force beside the point that the Muslim League was not representing all Muslims.
2. The Muslim politicians and Industrialist were of no match to Congress leaders (Hindu or Muslims) like Gandhi, Nehru, Maulana Azad, Sheikh Abdullah and Abdul Ghaffar Khan. Congress was the most organized force with roots in the masses and intellectual depth. They were seasoned politicians and had gone through a process of struggle and knew that India can be held together in a diversity of ethnicity and religiosity. Contrary to them, Muslim League, which was drawing room party of Muslims heavyweights. They derived their philosophy from Aligarh,” Get the western education and be loyal to British to get important jobs.” None of their leaders had ever been in a police lock up for a single day.
3. On one hand Congress, Hindu leaders thought that such a big religious minority will be a source of a permanent nuisance, it will be better to slash it to a manageable size. On the other hand, the British knew that a free, democratic India will not toe their line. It will be unwise to leave a sub- continent without a foothold. They could see the foothold in Pakistan. Pakistani state was proclaimed by the British with the tacit support of Nehru and Patel of congress. Pakistan was followed by Israel, Taimoor, and recently South Sudan. To put it in Dr. Tariq words Pakistan was a premature baby fitted with adult spine delivered prematurely by British surgeon and Indian midwife followed by heavy bleeding. That adult spine has the total control till today.
4. We do appreciate the support of the Americans to put pressure on Churchill to agree to end the colonial occupation. Churchill was in his own way a fascist.
The rulers of Pakistan followed the same line of hatred. Since inter-religious hatred was no more there, the new formula of hatred on Intra-religious and ethnicity based was implied. The institutions were not allowed to establish as none of them believed in a collective leadership. If we look back-back at Muslim history the concept of accountable collective leadership and peaceful transition of power is almost not visible.
The same is true about Pakistan from Jinnah to Mian Nawaz Sharif. The founding father, Mr Jinnah is the constitutional head of the state as G.G. Used to sit in the constituent assembly and decide like Prime Minister with complete disregard for the constitution. His first targets were Baloch, the invasion of Qalat state, Pashtun, like a dismissal of the then N.W.F.P. (KP) government, firing at Barbara killings hundred still the ammunition finished and banning of the nationalist movement K.K. Led by Abdul Ghaffar Khan.
The third target was a Bengali to impose Urdu as official and firing at the protesting students, killing 23 students that became a symbol of Bengali Nationalism, led to BD creation. Proving that religion can’t be the basis of nationhood.
I believe there is the set of mind ruling all this dark zone where on one hand the public is made fools by this, blame game, and create hatred for Jews and Hindus. The facts are distorted, the history is rewritten. On the other hand, the rulers are always subservient of US and Riyadh.
In Pakistan, everything is controlled take from the controlled civilian rule of the government to cricket. Even dreams, the expression of ideas was controlled, resulting in stopping the mental growth the public. The so-called press belongs to big barons belong to Punjab and Karachi. It is allowed to print or broadcast governmental truth, but the real truth. The maturity of the press comes in free, democratic societies where there is political freedom, we had the spell of civilian rule, but the nucleus of power was always the “ adult spinal cord. In fact, we haven’t seen liberty and freedom, but just the complexion of the master has changed. All the four pillars of government arise from Punjab.
Coming to US role I beg to differ. U.S. Being the second biggest democracy has never invested in public, but have always invested in the armies of the autocratic regimes. According to the Western journalist, Pakistan army is the most allied ally of US imperialism. Sometimes even described by the dollar washed sons of the US. Even after partition US, foreign policy was more tilted towards Pakistan. Pakistani rulers were happy with the arrangement as they were milking their geopolitical situation. For emergency bailout, Riyadh was there to help.
The US never invested in masses or helped democratic struggles, Bosnia is one exception. It is more disastrous to remove a dictator from established countries without grooming and helping democratic force to replace it otherwise you are inviting anarchy. Al Qaeda, Taliban, ISIS all radical forces are reactionary forces to US wrong policies in close collaboration with local military dictators or Bonaparte’s. It was probably a lack of knowledge about the psyche of nations in the world. US has never been a colonial power because the US is a comparatively young country and it was a colony itself. The US became a recognizable power to be reckoned after two world wars, particularly the second world war. It was the era of imperialism of the US and USSR till the fall of the Berlin wall and the world became unipolar. Let us be honest to humanity that the world was more peaceful when it was bipolar. Since it has become unipolar the whole world is in turmoil. A very serious circle of intellectuals in Europe and North America are thinking over the counter devil. Thanks to Mr. Regan, Mrs. Thatcher, Bush and Blair the whole world is reaping the harvest sown by them with the tacit support of General Zia, Musharaf, the whole world is on fire. In the bipolar world could Americans ever think that USSR will hit Trade Centre and Pentagon. But the radicalized world with US pre-emptive attack policy the world order is threatened. We are scared that after a year, Americans are going to the polls again and we hope and pray that they don’t pull out another Bush from the bushes.
The US is now well aware of the Pakistan government structure and style of governance. Mr. Richard Benkin is the first US scholar who has come to the rescue of the small nation.
We are not oblivious to the “LITTLE” change after Bill Clinton and Obama, and we do appreciate the generous help of US when calamity hits any part of the world, but it again disturbs us that if you know that we have no control over our own revenue what makes you think that your aid will reach.
Nature follows its own rule. The leadership of the world is given to the competent people irrespective of creed, color and religious affiliation. If twelve Jews are controlling the US and through the US the whole world they must be extraordinary people they deserve it. If we the liberals and nationalist forces had a say in Pakistan foreign affairs certainly my advice would have been to recognize Israel if you want to help Palestinians. If we can’t be friends with Israel and India why we should be an enemy. In animosity, we cannot play any role. If Pakistan thinks that the division of India was incomplete I would add to it that it was flawed as well. If Burma, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal were declared free, independent states why Pashtun (Afghan) was denied this right.
If the primary school students know about Hindus and Jews and hate them it is because our educational syllabus and press are full of hatred.
I think we all should join hands to bring peace to this world based on mutual respect and IN THE LAND OF IGNORANCE.
By Prof.(Dr) Khurshid Alam
The writer is a columnist with THE PASHTUN TIMES. He can be reached at
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