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Pakistan: Still Struggling its Soul


Nov 17, 2009
By Atta Rasool Malik

After war of independence in 1857, the 'Ulema' (religious scholars) believed in waging war against the British. They resolved to boycott the British and their educational institutions and not to accept any grant from them. The course followed by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was in opposite direction. He believed in having good relations with the Englishmen, benefiting from their institutions and culture, making a compromise with them. Unfortunately both of the two movements, though opposed to each other, ended in disastrous consequences for the Muslims. Ulema’s opposition to the English language and their lack of interest in modern civilization, kept the Indians Muslim out of modern sciences along with their benefits and advantages. On the opposite was Sir Syed’s movement. It did not do as much good for Islam and Muslims of India as claimed. In my view, the movement initiated by Sir Allama Muhammad Iqbal was a protest against both these movements.

The English did spare few intellectuals like Syed Ahmad Khan whereas the Muslims in general remained exposed to all sorts of victimization till India won independence. Therefore, this policy of pleasing the Englishmen on the part of Syed Ahmad Khan proved to be harmful for the Muslims’ identity and brought disgrace and humiliation to them. In spite having an Islamic value-system the Muslim peoples had become unmindful of it, and eagerly surrendered themselves to an alien system with full faith. It was at this juncture that Iqbal raised the banner of his revolt. His revolutionary movement was a cultural and political. The first thing that was necessary for Iqbal to do was to make the Indian society aware of its Islamic identity and Islamic ego. With a view to attain this end, Iqbal evolved his philosophy of the self (khudi). Iqbal decided to make it the central theme of his poetry. It may be argued that ego is the same thing that was the most needed in the Indian society at that time and still desired in the entire Muslim world.

Once All India Congress, (there in after congress) established in 1885, Muslim leadership in united India quickly grasped that it was anti-Muslim and pro Hindu. Muslims while struggling primarily through platform of Muslim league (established in 1906) won separate electorate for Muslims from British through Minto-Morley reforms 1909 and got acknowledged from congress as just demand through Lucknow Pact in 1916. This was great political achievement. However, in Nehru report (1928) submitted to British for political reforms in India greatly shocked Muslims. In the report, congress had suggested that separate electorate for Muslims be abolished. Despite Quaid-e-Azam best efforts, Congress did not agree even to minor changes. However, Quaid-e-Azam convinced British, that Muslims political representation can only be ensured through separate electorate. Congress rule of 1937[subsequent to election of 1935] brought further distrust. Congress had started resisting fair Muslim representation at different forums. Days of British in India were numbered due to ever increasing demand of freedom by all communities of India and other great changes at world political scene. Muslims were now debating how best to safeguard Muslims political interests after departure of British? In few provinces Muslims were in majority, in others they were unevenly spread over entire India. Different formulas for sharing political power between Hindus and Muslims were being discussed. Great poet Allama Iqbal suggested an independent Muslim enclave in the north west of India, comprising Punjab (not divided as of today), Sind, Baluchistan and NWFP. This economically viable and contiguous Pakistan was to rediscover spirit of Islam. It was to remain closely connected to Muslims world. It had to be source of inspirations for entire “Ummah” and ultimately free the humanity from ills of communism and capitalism by introducing Islamic political philosophy.

MA Jinnah vision of Pakistan was different. It comprised all Muslims majority provinces and Muslim princely states. It was Indians in focus unlike Iqbal who was appealing Muslims of Afghanistan, Iran and some times all nations of the East. Quaid-e-Azam though advocated discovery of Islamic spirit like Iqbal, yet primarily cared for Muslims of India. Pakistan with Eastern wing comprising Bengal (undivided) and Assam, Western wing, Punjab (undivided), Sind, Baluchistan and Kashmir and in the centre was Muslims princely state of Hyderabad, Junagarh and Manavedar. There was also a peace corridor to connect all these segments. Pakistan was to co-exist with Hindus in complete harmony.

Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Moulana Abdul Kalam Azad were assuring fair and proper political representation to Muslims in united India. Muslim league didn’t trust Congress in view of her previous experiences. Later, Gandhi agreed to Jinnah’s demand of Pakistan. However, Jinnah had yet to prove that he was sole representative of Muslim of India in coming election of 1945-46, different factions of Muslim league[ National Muslim league of Sir Shafi] and few other Muslim political leaders[Abul Kalam Azad and Ghafar khan] had questioned the leadership of Jinnah. Later, Mohammed Ali Jinnah in a speech at Aligarh Muslim University, urged all Muslims of India, to help their brethren in the Muslim majority areas, achieve independence from the Hindus, even if they themselves would not be so fortunate. Muslims of majority and minority provinces responded wholeheartedly to Jinnah’s call and Muslim league gained landslide victory. Quad-e-Azam MA Jinnah was sole representative of Muslims and now his demand for Pakistan was to be honored as promised by Congress and British.

This was considered grand success of Jinnah and Muslim league and defeat for congress. Later, Pt Nehru and congress earned plum in their caps for handing over truncated and moth-eaten Pakistan. Pakistan was created but it was neither the dream of Iqbal nor the vision of Jinnah, in fact it was “craftsmanship” of Nehru. Muslim majority provinces or “rebellious provinces” as were often labeled by the Hindu press were to make Pakistan. However, even the members of the British Boundary Commission were astonished over attitude of Congress’s President Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru in the partition issues. Nehru in connivance with Mountbatten ensured that Bengal and Punjab were not annexed to Pakistan as per their existing administrative boundaries as earlier agreed, but were to be divided from “locality to locality” and street to street on the basis of the Muslim and the Hindu population. This move provided a new justification to communal genocide and resulted bloodbath in Punjab and Bengal. History bears witness to the fact that Jinnah had no option, except to agree to such “truncated and moth-eaten” Pakistan, as the Jinnah himself called it later on. Princely states of Hyderabad, Junahgarh and Manavader that opted to join Pakistan were forcefully annexed by India on the pretext of majority of the Hindu population, but all established rules and agreed principles of division were violated on the question of Jammu &Kashmir.

The newly established state, Pakistan did not inherit administrative infrastructure unlike that of Bharat (India). Military and other financial assets were not handed over to Pakistan.

Congress Attitude of twisting and repudiating the terms agreed with Jinnah embarrassed even Gandhi, who went on hunger strike until his death. This protest accrued RS 700 million for Pakistan against all military and cash reserves of the United India. Pakistan faced numerous challenges including a huge flux of refugees' plundered, killed and their women kidnapped. We can imagine this kidnapping from the fact that in rehabilitation program, Bharat (India) returned around 22,000 kidnapped women to Pakistan.

Liaqat-Nehru Pact (a forgotten agreement)

In December 1949, fire of communal violence and hate had once again erupted between Hindus and Muslims mainly in India. Muslims were being harassed to flee their areas so that their properties could be confiscated, a common practice during days of partition. This was terrible situation. Then Pakistan leadership which coincidently belonged to the minority provinces of United India was greatly perturbed over such alarming situation.

Free Muslims of Pakistan had also vividly remembered the advise of Quaid-e-Azam regarding Muslims which were left behind in Hindustan. Quaid-e- Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah while addressing 30th session of All-India Muslim league, held at Dehli, Apr 24, 1943 had said;

Do not forget the minority provinces. It is they who spread the light when there was darkness in the majority provinces. It is they who were the spearheads that the congress wanted to crush with overwhelmingly majority in the Muslim minority provinces. It is they who suffered for you in majority provinces, for your sake, for your benefit, for your advantage. But never mind it is all in the role of minority to suffer. We of the minority have suffered and ready to face consequences if we can liberate 75 millions of our brethren in the north-western and north-eastern zones.

Pakistan demanded India to put immediate end to such violence. Initially, this was not appreciated by India and considered as interference in internal affairs of India but PM Liaqut Ali khan spent six days in perusing Indian leadership to sign a treaty to work out permanent mechanism to resolve this menace.

On April 8, 1950, the two leaders signed an historic agreement which was later given the name; Liaqut-Nehru Pact. This pact provided a bill of rights for the minorities of India and Pakistan. According to the agreement,

The government of India and Pakistan solemnly agreed that each shall ensure, to the minorities throughout its territories, complete equality of citizenship, irrespective of religion; a full sense of security in respect of life, culture, property and personal honor. It also guaranteed the fundamental human rights to the minorities, such as freedom of movement, speech, occupation and worship. The pact also provided for the minorities to Participate in the public life of the country, to hold political or other office and to serve in their countries civil and armed forces.

Later, this pact was seen as Pakistan’s advocacy rights for Indians Muslims and was bitterly criticized in lok sabha (Indians parliament). However, now only “Hinduized Muslims” are acceptable in India. Communal riots which always result in bigger losses for Muslims have terribly affected Muslim masses. The 2002 carnage in Gujarat, where 2,000 Muslims were killed and their property looted, is the most glaring example of such fascist tactics.


Indians, (Brahman Hindus) are continuously building military muscle, sabotaging peace in FATA and Baluchistan and simultaneously working for elimination of Muslim identity in India. To them it is national movement of revival of Hindu culture. For Indians, two nations theory is great trouble because it argues that another nation based on religion, apart from Indian also exists which is worthy of separate homeland in South Asia. They believe this philosophy even today can fragment India. Therefore, decisive military defeat to Pakistan and its further balkanization is essential for proving this theory wrong which is so essential for survival of India.

Quaid-e-Azam MA Jinnah, ironically, is highly criticized in India both by Hindus and Indians Muslims alike. To Hindus, he partitioned India, for Muslims he weakened them by dividing the Muslims population. The fact is that Quaid-e-Azam, through out his political career, focused on welfare and protection of rights of Indians Muslims. He as a last resort, after being thoroughly disillusioned by congress worked for independent Pakistan. It is by now very clear that Pakistan is not the cause but product of Hindus-Muslims rift and rivalry. Creation of Pakistan brought lot of benefits to the Muslims of present day Pakistan yet it is also true that Pakistani leadership fell short as expected. It also did not bring any moral or material support to Indians Muslims as visualized and promised by founding father of Pakistan. Prolonged India-Pakistan rivalry has added further miseries to Indians Muslims. Except Quaid-e-Azam and Liaqat Ali khan leadership of Pakistan falter in many fields and disappointed the masses of present day Pakistan including forgetting Liaqat - Nehru pact.

Present day Pakistan is neither on the path suggested by great poet Iqbal nor heading in the direction envisioned by Quaid-e-Azam. In the search of Hyderabad, Junagarh and Kasmir, it has lost its eastern wing. Pakistan is still searching its soul. Dreams of common Pakistanis are totally different to the dreams and ambitions of its ruling elites. However, the struggle goes on.

Author hails from semi tribal areas of Pakistan. Is student of M Phil International Relations at National Defence University Islamabad.

MTT - Pakistan - MA Jinnah vision of Pakistan comprised all Muslims majority provinces and Muslim princely states

MTT - Pakistan - Originally Pakistan was supposed to comprise of undivided Bengal & Punjab, Assam, Sind Balochistan, Kashmir, Hyderabad, Junagarh and Manavedar. There was also a peace corridor to connect all these segments.

MTT - Pakistan - The newly established state, Pakistan did not inherit administrative infrastructure unlike that of Bharat.

MTT - Pakistan - During rehabilitation program Bharat returned around 22000 kidnapped women to Pakistan.

MTT - Pakistan - Dreams of common Pakistanis are totally different to the dreams and ambitions of its ruling elites. The struggle goes on.

Pakistan: Still Struggling its Soul

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