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Historical Background of Pakistan and its People/Rarely part of India/IVC

Discussion in 'Pakistan History' started by Pan-Islamic-Pakistan, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. Pan-Islamic-Pakistan

    Pan-Islamic-Pakistan SENIOR MEMBER

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    This series, 'Historical Background of Pakistan and its People', is written by Ahmed Abdulla and edited by K. Hasan.

    PART-1

    SOME REDEEMING ASPECTS

    Muslim world is a vast and immense mass of land sprawling from West Africa facing the Atlantic to southern Philippines far in the Pacific. Its northern limits touch the Volga in Russia while southern frontiers run up to Mozambique in South-East Africa on the Indian Ocean. In China, in addition to Sinkiang, Muslims are in substantial numbers in the provinces bordering Burma and in the districts around Peking. Total population of Muslims in the world is estimated at one billion.

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    In this book it is proposed to deal with only a small segment of this vast and varied world -- with the land and people of the region called Pakistan. The purpose is not to discuss each and every aspect of their history nor to give a comprehensive account of their activities. It is intended to bring out only certain salient aspects which have either escaped the notice of historians or failed to receive sufficient emphasis from them. This book will substantiate the historical truth that the creation of an independent State of Pakistan in the sub-continent in the middle of the 20th century was not an oddity or a strange phenomena, nor have the people inhabiting this new political entity asserted their separate status from India for the first time.

    Pakistan in different forms and in different backgrounds has appeared many a time in these very regions and endured longer than other independent states of this sub-continent, making enormous contribution to civilization. The history of its people is full of colour, thrill and excitement; of gallant deeds and sublime performance. It has, perhaps, witnessed more invasions than any other part of the world, absorbed more racial strains than any other region and more ideas have taken birth in the bosom of this land than elsewhere.

    It was in these lands that the Indus Valley Civilization, one of the most brilliant in the annals of human history, flourished with its main centres at Moenjo Daro in Sind, Harappa in the Punjab, Kej in the Baluch territory and Judeiro Daro in the Pathan region. It was here that Buddhist culture blossomed and reached its zenith under the Kushans in the form of Gandhara civilization at the twin cities of Peshawar and Taxila. It was on this very soil that the Graeco-Bactrian civilization had its best flowering and left the indelible marks of finest Greek art in the potwar plateau around Rawalpindi. The entire Baluchistan is strewn with the remains of the earliest products of man's activities. "Western Pakistan is a region which has been conspicuously important in the development of civilization." (Pakistan and Western Asia, By Prof. Norman Brown. Pakistan Miscellany).

    "In our present state of knowledge, we may regard the period of the Indus Valley culture as the first epoch in the history of civilization in the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent. The second epoch is again one in which the north-west figures basically. This is the period when the Aryan entered through the passes of the north-west at a time assumed to be about 1500- 1200 B.C. and possessed the culture of the Rig Veda, which is the first and most important book of the early Indo-Aryans and was probably compiled by 1000 B.C." (Ibid)

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    "Of the two river systems that of the Indus, now mainly in Pakistan, had the earliest civilization and gave its name to India. The fertile plains of the Punjab watered by the five great tributaries of the Indus had a high culture over two thousand years before Christ, which spread down the lower course of the Indus as far as the sea." (The Wonder that was India, By A.L. Bhasham.)

    In valour and patriotism the people of these lands have been second to none. It was the people of the Indus Valley that held back the Aryans for decades; it was in the Punjab that the advance of ferocious Mongols was halted for more than a century. But for this defence the tender sapling of Muslim state planted at Delhi in the early 13th century A.D. would have been trampled upon and smothered out. Among more recent events the stiff resistance that Napier encountered from the Sindis and Baluchis is still fresh in our minds. The revolt of the 'hurs' of Sind against British rule in the 20th century is another glorious mark in this series. Pathans' defiance of the British rule and their perpetual struggle in the cause of freedom is a story of only the other day. Kashmiris have suffered silently but never ceased their fight for freedom. The lands of Pakistan are indeed drenched with the blood of many a hero and saturated with the wisdom of many a sage. And what is more exhilarating, it was from these lands that Islam commenced its journey in the sub-continent.

    -----

    PART-2

    PAKISTAN RARELY PART OF INDIA

    But, as the following discussion will prove, during the Hindu period it was the people of the Indus Valley in the West and the Padma-Meghna Delta in the East that mostly emerged triumphant. Both the wings remained independent of Gangetic Valley and in fact Pakistan-based governments ruled over northern India more often and for much longer periods than India has ruled over Pakistan territories. What is more important, Pakistan as an independent country always looked westward and had more connections ------ cultural, commercial as well as political ---- with the Sumerian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Central Asian civilizations than with the Gangetic Valley. It was only from the Muslim period onward that these two wings became subservient to northern Indian governments. Even this period is not devoid of revolts and successful assertion of independence by the two wings. In the pre-Muslim period, India’s great expansion covering large portions of the sub-continent took place only during the reigns of the Mauryas (3rd century BC), the Guptas (4th century AD), Raja Harsha (7th century AD), the Gurjara empire of Raja Bhoj (8th century AD) and the Pratiharas (9th century AD). It is important to note that except for the Maurya period lasting barely a hundred years, under none of the other dynasties did the Hindu governments ever rule over Pakistan. They always remained east of river Sutlej. I shall quote a few passages from history to substantiate my statement.

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    "At the close of Samudragupta’s triumphal career (4th century AD) his empire --- the greatest in India since the days of Asoka --- extended on the north to the base of the mountains, but did not include Kashmir…. Samudragupta did not attempt to carry his arms across the Sutlej or to dispute the authority of the Kushan Kings who continued to rule in and beyond the Indus basin." (Oxford History of India, By VA Smith).

    "Harsha’s subjugation of upper India, excluding the punjab, but including Bihar and at least the greater part of Bengal, was completed in 612 AD." (Ibid)

    "The Gurjara empire of Bhoja may be defined as, on the north, the foot of the mountains; on the northwest, the Sutlej; on the west the Hakra or the ‘lost-river’ forming the boundary of Sind." (Ibid).

    "The rule of the Pratiharas had never extended across the Sutlej, and the history of the Punjab between the 7th and 10th centuries AD is extremely obscure. At some time, not recorded, a powerful kingdom had been formed, which extended from the mountains beyond the Indus, eastwards as far as the Hakra of lost-river, so that it comprised a large part of the Punjab, as well as probably northern Sind." (Ibid)

    "Politically during the time when Hellenism in the south Asian sub-continent was decaying and the centuries afterward, the north-west remained separate from northern and central India. The Gupta empire, which at its height in the middle of the 4th century AD, and the empire of Harsha in the middle of the 7th century AD barely reached into the Punjab and included none of Sind." (Pakistan and Western Asia, by Norman Brown)

    The above quotations amply prove that none of the periods of its greatest expansion did India succeed in occupying Pakistan. The only exception is the Maurya period in the 3rd century BC when Asoka’s empire is said to have extended up to the Hindu Kush, north of Kabul. Even in this isolated case of the Mauryas, historians are aware that Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Maurya dynasty who hailed from Pakistan (Punjab), did not get Pakistan by conquest but by diplomacy from the Greek rulers who had succeeded Alexander.

    As pointed out by more than one writer, the five thousand year history of Pakistan reveals that its independence had been a rule while its subservience to or attachment with India an exception. "Throughout most of the recorded history the north-west (i.e. Pakistan) has normally been either independent or incorporated in an empire whose centre lay further in the west. The occasions when it has been governed from a centre further east (India) have been the exception rather than the rule; and the creation of Pakistan which has been described as a geographer’s nightmare is historically a reversion to normal as Pakistan is concerned." (A Study of History, by AJ Toynbee)

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    During its five thousand-year known history, Pakistan has been subservient to Central Indian governments only during the Maurya, the Turko-Afghan and British periods who were Buddhist, Muslim and Christian respectively. While the Mauryan (300-200 BC) and British (1848-1947) periods lasted barely a hundred years each, the turko-Afghan period was the longest covering a span of 500 years.

    Here we come across an important ideological point. All the three religions i.e. Buddhism, Islam and Christianity which succeeded in uniting the sub-continent under the Maurya, Turko-Afghan and British rulers stood for universal brotherhood and were spread all over the world. In the context of ideology, the implications are obvious i.e., only people believing in universal brotherhood could unite and hold this sub-continent together. Otherwise Pakistan’s independence could never be challenged nor its people subdued by India’s Hindu Governments.

    It is of these celebrated lands and of their intrepid people that we shall narrate the story here. In this article we shall give a brief historical background and the contribution made by each of the groups that inhabit it: We shall begin with a general account of the entire country first and then take up the history of each group.

    -----

    PART-3

    PAKISTAN - CRADLE OF CIVILIZATIONS:
    COMMON HISTORY

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    When the pall of darkness recedes from the firmament of the past unfolding the first pre-historic vision of Pakistan, we descry the imposing spectacle of a splendid Civilization spread over a thousand-mile length from the glistening snow-capped mountains of Kashmir to the glittering sand dunes facing the Arabian Sea. This was Indus Valley Civilization, one of whose distinguishing characteristics was its independent existence, completely detached from what is today known as India. This independent entity had its own government, its own culture, its own religion, its own history, its own art and architecture, rules and regulations. From this centre radiated great ideas and ideologies, techniques and trades, which enriched every aspect of human life. Taking this period as the starting point of our known past till our own times the land of Pakistan has invariably led an independent existence.

    Another unique aspect of Indus Valley Civilization was that it embraced within its fold almost the entire country now known as Pakistan, with two important centres of culture and administration-one at Harappa on the bank of Ravi in Sahiwal District of the Punjab and another at Moenjo Daro on River Indus in the Larkana District of Sind. According to more recent discoveries other important centres and sizeable towns of Indus Valley Civilization were situated at Chanhu Daro in Nawabshah District, Judeiro-daro near Quetta and Shahi Tump in the Valley of the Kej (Mekran). Modern archaeological research has brought to light a large number of smaller centres spread over Baluchistan, Frontier and Kashmir. And at it's peak this Pakistani civilization stretched from parts of northwest India to southern Afghanistan. It's colonies have been found as far away as Turkmenistan in the north, Bahrain and southeast Iran in the west, near Bombay (India) in the south, and in western U.P.(India) in the east.

    Thus, the very first pre-historic picture of Pakistan emerging before our eyes presents the twin aspects of (a) separate independent country, and (b) a common culture with a common government. I shall dilate a bit here on the uniformity in various fields of life that prevailed in Pakistan during the Indus Valley Civilization.

    From time immemorial the world has known two different countries and cultures in the sub-continent; one based on the Indus and its five tributaries known as Sindhu and the other on the Ganges Valley known as Bharatvarta. "Herodotus did not reckon among the 'Indoi' any of the people then in occupation of the Indus basin.... In thus excluding from the limits of India proper the Punjab as well as Gadara, Herodotus was in agreement with the Sanskrit scriptures; and there is a piece of evidence which suggests that, without knowing it, he may have been following Vedic authority through a chain of intermediate informants." (A Study of History, Vol. III, By A.J. Toynbee). The Sindhu country with its Indus Valley Civilization - also known as Harappa culture - had its sway from Rupar on upper Sutlej to the lower reaches of the Indus on the Arabian Sea, a distance of about a thousand miles - almost the same territory now covered by Pakistan.

    "About 2000 B.C. it would have been possible to travel from Sutkagen-dot near the shores of the Arabian Sea over 300 miles west of Karachi (in Baluchistan) to the village of Rupar near the foot of the Simla hills - a distance of 1000 miles and to see on all sides men living in various degrees the same mode of life, making the same kind of pots and tools and ornaments and possibly administered by the same government.

    "It will be observed that this great stretch of country coincides very nearly with the present Pakistan, and for a significant reason: Pakistan, like the Indus Civilization, belongs essentially to the vast fertile valley of the Indus and its tributaries, sheltered by hills, sea and desert from its less favoured neighbours save where in the Punjab, the northern plains continuously fringe the foot-hills of the Himalayas. The Indus Civilization can thus be claimed in a real sense as a pre-historic prototype of Pakistan.

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    "Within this immense territory, archaeologists have found no fewer than thirty-seven town or village sites (tells) representing this civilization, and many more un-doubtedly await discovery." (Pakistan before the Aryans, By Sir Mortimer Wheeler).

    The pattern of civilization in this country was so uniform that even the bricks were usually of the same size and shape from one end to the other. A very large number of weights all belonging to a uniform system have been found in the two capital cities as well as at Chanhu-daro and other smaller cities in Sind, at Mehi in Baluchistan and at Sutkagen-Dot in Makran. "The regular planning of the streets, the layout of cities and the common weights and measures suggest a single state covering the entire area." (The Wonder that was India, By A.L. Bhasham)

    "At a certain period, diversity is replaced by uniformity over an area incomparably vaster than anything we have yet seen in pre-historic south Asia. A complete agreement in details of material culture is found over an area stretching from the Makran coast to Kathiawar and northwards to the Himalyan foothills, a huge irregular triangle with the sizes measuring 950 by 700 by 550 miles. From end to end of this territory, from some forty settlement-sites come pottery vessels of identical mass-produced types; houses are built of baked bricks of standard dimensions, stamp-seals are engraved with similar scenes, a uniform script which is yet unread prevails and a standard system of weights is recognizable. While some sites are villages, others are towns and 350 miles apart stand two cities (Harappa and Moenjo Daro) twin capitals of an empire. Under the jejune archaeological nomenclature of Harappa culture there lies concealed one of the greatest nameless kingdoms of Asia".(Pre-historic India, By Stuart Piggot)

    "The overriding fact remains that they (Harappa in the Punjab and Moenjo Daro in Sind) are situated upon the same river system and are culturally identical. That identity extends throughout the immense territory of the Indus civilization from Kashmir to Karachi.... The Indus Civilization exemplifies the vastest political experiment before the advent of the Roman Empire....... Whatever the political implications, the cultural unity of the civilization is itself a sufficiently imposing phenomenon......" (Early India and Pakistan to Ashoka, By Sir Mortimer Wheeler)

    One of the most interesting crops grown by the people of the Harappa culture was cotton, of which a fortunate single find at Moenjo Daro has given conclusive evidence. Extensive trade in cotton and cotton cloth is a strong possibility particularly with Mesopotamia where cotton was known as Sindhu and this word later passed into Greek as 'sindon'.

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    "As to the peculiar products of India it is interesting that Herodotus told the Greek world, perhaps for the first time, of the trees that bore wool, surpassing in beauty and in quality the wool of sheep; and the Indians wear clothing from these trees." (The Cambridge history of India, Vol. I, By E.J. Rapson)

    The climate of major portion of Pakistan during the long period of this civilization was different from what it is today. The whole of Indus region was well-forested providing fuel to burn bricks; and Baluchistan, now almost a waterless desert, was rich in rivers. This region supported a sizeable agricultural population which lived in a large number of villages.

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    The archaeological evidence of continuous occupation of the city sites over centuries shows that continuity of government was somehow assured throughout the long period that its civilization lasted from say 3,000 B.C. to 1,500 B.C.- for over fifteen hundred years. There are strong indications of this culture being deeply religious where tradition was transmitted unimpaired for centuries. The remarkable conservatism and scrupulous preservation of even the details of every-day life for long periods proves that the civilization was theocratic based on religion and ideology. It would not be far wrong to call it an ideological state. That was Pakistan 5,000 years ago.

    More on Pakistan's historical periods [coming soon]

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    More coming soon, in sha Allah.

    Thoughts, ideas, opinions, explanations welcome.

    No trolling please.

    Let's promote and further our understanding of Pakistani culture and identity.
     
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  2. Pan-Islamic-Pakistan

    Pan-Islamic-Pakistan SENIOR MEMBER

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  3. OsmanAli98

    OsmanAli98 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Great posts I hope to see more threads like this in the near future the fact the IVC and Gandhara history is not taught fully is a shame and result of govt incompetance
     
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  4. Pan-Islamic-Pakistan

    Pan-Islamic-Pakistan SENIOR MEMBER

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  5. Jackdaws

    Jackdaws ELITE MEMBER

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    This may be accurate. But from what I remember reading the Mauryans were Jains and embraced a now dead faith called Ajivika - Buddhism was only under Asoka.
     
  6. Yaseen1

    Yaseen1 SENIOR MEMBER

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    The whole of subcontinent is a diverse region including Pakistan and india if you look at india like Pakistan there are also people belonging to different races and culture in india the only main reason of creation of Pakistan is Islamic ideology and it is the true justification and need for our existence.There are certain mistakes done by our mughal leaders in india which lead to british invasion and had worstly affected whole region and poverty faced by this region is mainly due to british occupation in india .If mughals kept education system upto date and focused on technology,research and defense today this subcontinent would be leading power like u.s
     
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  7. Retired Troll

    Retired Troll ELITE MEMBER

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    You dumb dodos who the hell cares.

    You are living in 2019. Live Better now you neandethals
     
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  8. Pan-Islamic-Pakistan

    Pan-Islamic-Pakistan SENIOR MEMBER

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    Yes, I agree wholeheartedly, but for Turks, Arabs, Iranians, etc. also there is more than Islam which unites them.

    Our ethnic identity also is based on the Indus river and the heritage of the IVC, etc.

    Also, empires rise and fall, it is the cyclic nature of empires. The Mughal empire had become a shell of its former self, the Europeans just helped it fall.
     
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  9. Proudpakistaniguy

    Proudpakistaniguy SENIOR MEMBER

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    We are being told by our neighbours that Pakistanis have no heritage and are a fabricated people with only a 60 year old history with no prior existence or identity. The people of present day Punjab are the same people as that of ancient Harappa and the people of Sindh are the same people as that of Mohenjodaro. The people of Harappa were slightly different than the people of Mohenjodaro and both of them were in turn different from West Asia. The peoples of Pakistan have lived together under the same state and empires on and off for over a thousand years. The peoples of India never lived under one united rule, the closest form came during the Maurya Empire, Delhi Sultanate under Muhammed Tughluq and Mughal periods and they only ever lasted a few centuries at most
     
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  10. Pakhtoon yum

    Pakhtoon yum SENIOR MEMBER

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    This is about pakistan, stop dragging what is irrelevant into it
     
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  11. Yaseen1

    Yaseen1 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Pakistan is only 70yrs old thread relates to earlier history so inorder to provide context to it whole of this region is discussed Pakistan demarcation of borders was made by british such borders never existed earlier in history and there is also huge mistake in partition and many place which must be included in Pakistan are not included in it so correct your thinking first
     
  12. Pan-Islamic-Pakistan

    Pan-Islamic-Pakistan SENIOR MEMBER

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    That is qudrat of Allah swt. Besides Kashmir, Pakistan is pretty complete.

    We are a nation and civilization and our historic choices and circumstances show a different mindset from our neighbors on all sides.
     
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  13. Yaseen1

    Yaseen1 SENIOR MEMBER

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    No doubt everything is with of ALLAH ALMIGHTY but human error is also there before partition most of our grandparents used to live in india and if you hear stories of your grandparents if they are alive you can notice this during british rule most of jobs and economy is in indian region and our ancestors used to live and work there mostly the region which is now Pakistan was less developed and jobs are less here people living in Pakistan mostly come from india and a huge number of Muslims are living in india now who are more than our population and they have also similar race as ours mostly but not included in Pakistan british have badly afffected our strategic depth and due to this we always face threat from enemies and also our control on river is ended and given to india
     
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  14. Pakhtoon yum

    Pakhtoon yum SENIOR MEMBER

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    My thought process is fine, the bor that you see know didnt just appear 70 years ago these always existed, in the sense of culture religion and race.

    Pakistan is not complete until the rogue province of Afghania is under the federal umbrella.
     
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  15. Pan-Islamic-Pakistan

    Pan-Islamic-Pakistan SENIOR MEMBER

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    I agree also, but maybe it will take some time for that.