Who are we? For most of our history we have been caught between competing ideas about Pakistan. Is it a land for Muslims? What does an Islamic identity mean for the indigenous cultures of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit–Baltistan and the people who migrated to India?

Greatness is created through synthesis, and when old ideas are challenged by new paradigms. The decade of the 1940s saw the North East states of British India challenged by secular Muslim nationalism. What does that mean to us? We are still in the process of understanding it. But in doing so, we have relied on too many easy answers. Our national identity is based on repudiation; we choose to identify ourselves in the negative: we are not India. Our inability to step forward is because we have failed to create any synthesis from the social and political currents available to us. Let us then challenge our paralysis and press forward with our inquiry — let us seek to imagine who we are, and who we could be.

Our history does not start with 1947, nor with Muhammed bin Qasim’s (in)famous and glorified conquest of Sindh. Those events are important but form an incomplete story of our past. Our heritage goes back to the Indus Valley Civilization, one of the first people to build the great cities of Moenjadaro and Harappa, a complex language and mathematical system, and centers of commerce in Asia. The source of this great civilization was the Indus River whose mighty banks nourished and fed its people. Today it is not nuclear weapons that protect our country but the Indus, whose artery and tributaries provide the life flow of our country. By remembering that we are the heirs of the Indus Valley Civilization, we can shift our focus from the anti to the river itself. We can concentrate on protecting our environment and saving the river that is literally the lifeblood of the country, and the source of our food and electricity. We are a natural nation bound by the Indus, if the Indus dries out the country will collapse.

This doesn’t mean that we completely ignore the advent of the Mughals, the conquest of the British, the height of Hindu-Muslim unity during the war of independence and its subsequent breakdown, despite the best efforts of members of the leadership class. And of course, the bloodshed in the years leading to Partition – events which concluded that religion was going to play a role, however so undefined, in the consciousness of the masses of Pakistan.

While religion comes from the same source, it is up to different countries and peoples on how to interpret it to enrich their lives. That is why the Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia is different from the one practiced in most of Pakistan. The role of religion (in all of its cultural, spiritual, non-denominational and ritual manifestations) will remain in society. What is important is for thinkers to channel it into a force that is creative and not destructive, inclusive and pluralistic, not one that imposes its will on the unwilling. One that is large enough to include free thinkers and conservative clerics. One that encourages selfishness and a spirit of citizenship. One that convinces individuals that they have greater aims than their everyday jobs, but does not encourage utopian personalities or apocalyptic thinking.

What is the relationship between the pre-Islamic, pre-Christian Indus Valley Civilization to today’s Islamic Republic of Pakistan? These two strands of the secular and religious deliberately create a powerful contradiction. Contradictions are good because they deny any single understanding of morality and create a vibrant society through debate and compromise.

Embracing our Indus past will enable us to reject Arab cultural imperialism in the name of religion, and will help us discard the Two-Nation Theory. We will be focused not on fighting wars with India, but in making the greatest cities in the world. Cities like those of the past, which valued trade and commerce and became the hub of Indo-Persian-Chinese commerce. Let our market places be flooded by people from all over the world and be a blend of cultures. We will be a country that celebrates diversity; ethnic diversity of the many languages and cultures around the ecosystem of the great river, and religious diversity, for it will be a country for (all types of) Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs who can respect this ecosystem. It will be a country that empowers its minorities. And once religion is prevented from being abused we can truly reconcile it with modernity and our legacy of British constitutionalism.

Once our conscious awakens to this idea, we will be a renewed nation. On the crumbling edifices of Moenjadaro and Harappa we will once more build great cities, and build a great country.

Asad Badruddin is from Karachi and holds a Bachelors in Quantitative Economics and International Relations from Tufts University, Boston. He blogs at octagonaltangents.blogspot.com and tweets @sasadb.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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Comments (192)

A.Waheed Abro
June 22, 2012 1:20 pm
Excellent thoughts brother i like what u mean and there is a strong need of these things, thanks for doing something for harmony culture of this beautiful land Sindh.
Surinder Kumar
June 22, 2012 1:43 pm
My brother can change his religion but by doing so our father , forefathers , our grand forefathers will remain same . In my language people say " Majhab badlne se purkhe nahi badalte " Surinder Kumar
Rajeev Deshpande
June 22, 2012 7:05 pm
The mirror fell down and broke into two (three?) pieces. Yes, it was by mistake. But it cannot be reversed now. So what? Each piece of the broken mirror can still be a mirror in its own right. Two nation theory was a mistake, but let us not perpetuate it in our minds!
June 22, 2012 10:59 am
very meaningful thoughts - but are there any takers for this in Pakistan?
June 22, 2012 10:19 am
Very thoughtful article. Let's live and build like human. LET'S BE HUMAN.
Mr. Zaman
June 22, 2012 4:27 pm
A good piece of writing BUT rational? Not so sure! You have eluded to embracing all cultures but " to reject Arab cultural imperialism" doesn't sound embracing to me. My good fellow this is the BIGGEST issue with current Pakistan - destroying the old relations/ties in the name of embracing new!!! Let's look back at the current history, rejected British, rejected Soviet, rejected India, NOW rejecting US, and the list goes on & on....I did not mentioned the internal rejection (country's leaders etc. that is another subject!) What is the true cost of this rejection? Every time we have rejected the old ties, we have gotten isolated till the point that now we are cornered in our own LITTLE square. Can you really breathe in that little square? - there are 300 million people who can't seems to breath with the ideology “reject others”... How about embracing in true sense - you don't have to reject any culture but rather strength it by creating synergies. More importantly recognizing the underline issue (diagnosis), so it could be cured with appropriate remedy. The crux of the issue is economy - the cure for all! mother of all ill! Once Pakistan is aware of this underline issue it will be on it’s way to becoming a great nation. Here is what we need to do: 1). Create awareness that it is economy not the other country or people is the source of the problem. For example, it's not America or India who is source of their problem 2). Self responsibility - Every signal one of them are responsible for improving the current situation - no matter what level, age, gender or religion 3). Must work with everyone around as a true partner with the goal of creating something rather than destroying (relationships or other wise)
Sanober Khan
June 22, 2012 10:07 am
Why to search water in old roots. The new roots are strong enough.
June 22, 2012 12:01 pm
Day Dreaming , yes., but let us keep in mind that such day dreaming starts a postive energy chain which can achieve wonders. Well begun is half done.
June 22, 2012 8:02 am
excellent one...thanks
June 22, 2012 5:08 pm
dawn is a website where I always read the comments before reading the article. is that weird
June 24, 2012 5:32 pm
Unfortunately that we still do not know what the origins of the Indus Valley civilization were
June 22, 2012 5:11 pm
I am all for dispassionate analysis of history and our roots and dismantling of the myths created along the course of our short history... I do, however, find you biased in your argument against the so called 'arab cultural imperialism' because if certain segment of the society wants to be conservative and follow the so called 'saudi islam' it should not bother anyone as long as they don't impose it on others and i guess that was the whole point your article to create a society which is tolerant of both " the free thinker and the conservative cleric". I say this because the other side could then also argue against the 'Western cultural imperialism' in the same manner.
June 22, 2012 8:00 am
Day Dreaming..!!
June 22, 2012 6:35 pm
A Good article calling people to value their own history in its entirety . I don't know how people in Pakistan view IVC and the other parts of ancient history . But just because they were pagan or somewhat like present hindus in their cultural practices , they should not be discredited . The fact remains that the IVC people occupied a way better position in their world than the present state of Pakistan or India do .
June 22, 2012 6:38 pm
Totally agree with you. I dont know which Arab Cultural Imperialism the author is talking about. Every place has some how its own version of Islam and a little bit different way of practicing it although common beliefs are the same. I do agree with his ideas of saving our ecosystem and our own resources in order to get out of this messy situation.
June 22, 2012 6:38 pm
Seeing a nice article from the young like you, hoping one day with harmony will fall on subcontinent.. Thanks a lot for nice article, Asad.. God bless you..
indian housewife
June 24, 2012 3:32 pm
You have to understand that none in India now regrets partition. In fact this generation cannot believe we were one nation ever. And about sindhi identity and pride, you have to come to south India to see how many thousands of sindhis (hindus) have made India their home. They have integrated with Indian nation - those of them who did not succumb to pressure to convert. That is why, even if Sindh is no more a part of India, the word 'sind' still finds a mention in Indian national anthem.
June 22, 2012 5:18 pm
An excellent article. I am led to believe that history as taught in Pakistan starts from 712 AD when Bin Qasim came to Sind, But our ancestors were living here much before that, and we jointly can boast of a very advanced civilisation. We had well laid out cities with drainage system, cobbled streets, even libraries. We may have chosen to follow our respective religions, but the same blood flows in our veins. Let us learn to love more, trust more and respect each other more, like equals. That will be beginning of a true golden era for the sub-continent.
June 22, 2012 5:25 pm
Look at our past to build our future. I can't disagree with anything Asad has written.We need more people like him.
Capt Mansur
June 22, 2012 5:36 pm
I agree with Malvika. Good article.
June 22, 2012 5:34 pm
Mr. Asad Badruddin, if I had the power, I would have offered you the Indian citizenship. Your opinion has very very few takers in the so-called "clean land".
Johnny James
June 22, 2012 5:28 pm
Will this dream ever come true ?.. I believe not.............
June 22, 2012 5:55 pm
I believe the author was pointing to Arab cultural imperialism. In my experience Pakistanis and Indians are culturally more alike, than dissimilar.
Rameez (India)
June 22, 2012 8:55 pm
Very good article...But Pakistan going in the opposite direction.
M. K. Jha
June 22, 2012 8:54 pm
Enlightened views coming from Boston! Well thought out article Mr. Asad, congratulations! I am sure Pakistan will be able to tide over the crises. I wish there are more liberal, democratic and secular people out there to save the land of the Indus.
June 24, 2012 11:25 am
A well studied and interpreted article. Only a educated mind can discern these facts about pakistan. But alas the damage is already done - the arab imperilism has already taken root and refuses to let go......
June 24, 2012 11:26 am
Its truly a fantastic piece of work, except for the title. because when the cultures of mohanjodaro and harappa were prevalent there was a little or no islam in the sub continent. muslims grew exponentially when the arab invaders arrived which led to many conversions. So what i think the author is doing is to try to associate todays muslims of pakistan to the then prevalent cultures. Rather than emphasis on islam here if he want to really associate people of pakistan to these cultures he should be happy to say that the ancestors of most of the people of pakistan are non-muslims.
June 22, 2012 7:14 pm
Thought provoking article which deserves serious attention from those who occupy space in the corridors of power!
Arif Butt
June 23, 2012 6:15 pm
This can happen only & only in a Secular Pakistan.Once the state of Pakistan will declare that "Religion has nothing to do with the affairs of state, the state of Pakistan shall not be governed or legislated by any Religious theories and from now on state and religion are separated,Only Civillian laws shall be applicable in Pakistan and Secularism is the foundation of state hood in Pakistan" only then this dream of yours can be fulfilled.Otherwise this is a country where lunatic molvies dont even allow to pass a "Women Protection bill" in Parliament Citing the reason that it is against islam.
June 24, 2012 3:17 pm
I just want to see how many Pakistanis actually disagree with this. Ignoring this will not make it go away. life will endup in a contradication which is worse than death!
Arshad Ali
June 22, 2012 1:08 pm
So you want to say that Shah Lateef Bhitai, Laal Shahbaz Qalandar, Baba Fareed (RA) and all these great sufis brought Arab Cultural Imperialism?
June 22, 2012 1:04 pm
nice and rational article...your article truly convinces me and this should be the way to go for the pakistanis. pakistan, the land of the great sindh river, has a separate identity of its own i.e. 'the sons of indus' and this is what separates them from the other people of the world. This is what they should be proud of. This is what describes them not their religion. P.S. - In the second paragraph the article reads "The decade of the 1940s saw the North East states of British India challenged by secular Muslim nationalism". I think it should be 'North West' instead of 'North East'
Pankaj Patel (USA)
June 24, 2012 6:34 pm
You are wrong Mirza Saheb, word Hind came from word Sindh and It do not mean as a land on the other side of the Indus system.Indus civilization was spread far and away. If you want to see proof go to Mondhera in Gujarat and see the ruins of Indus civilization there.
Pramod Srivastava
June 22, 2012 4:03 pm
Possibly the most incisive article (among tens of excellent articles) I have read in Dawn in 20 years or so. It traces the issues to their root. The problem between Pakistan and India is NOT that Pakistan is an Islamic country - Indian has excellent relations with most Islamic countries including Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Turkey, Indonesia etc - but that a large proportion of Pakistani leaders and people seem to pretend that Pakistanis and Indians are NOT people from the same pool. Let us acknowledge our profound common-ness, so abundantly evident in our looks, clothes, food, music, way of life etc, and let us claim our mantle as inheritors of one of the world's greatest and oldest civilizations by building great institutions. This will not dilute our differences - after all, India thrives BECAUSE OF its internal differences of race, languages, cultures etc, as does the United States - it is simply that the acknowledgement of our common-ness will make our differences beautiful and resplendent in sharp relief. Hats off to Badruddin saheb!
Baba Sidni
June 25, 2012 12:11 am
The second one is closer to the reality! (:-
Respect for all
June 23, 2012 6:08 pm
"A Nation That Forgets Its Past Has No Future" - Very well said by a British statesman but applies to all
June 26, 2012 5:11 pm
reclaiming roots is cool,but why insist on muslim majority.?
June 22, 2012 10:27 am
Great thinking Asad, we should all follow this line.
June 22, 2012 10:29 am
Beautiful!!! Let us all dare to dream and then and only then can we make this dream a reality. It won't be easy and we may not succeed, but we would be better for having tried.
June 22, 2012 10:14 am
Gust of fresh air!!!!!!!good one mate
Ajaya K Dutt
June 22, 2012 3:12 pm
of course there are. A national newspaper has even put it up front.
Saradindu Basu
June 22, 2012 3:11 pm
The learned author has rightly tried to potray a new line of thinking which we very much require not only in Pakistan but also in our entire sub-continent.
Ajaya K Dutt
June 22, 2012 3:07 pm
Thx for endorsing a good thought.
Ajaya K Dutt
June 22, 2012 3:08 pm
Very well said.
June 22, 2012 10:15 am
Aryan invasion theory was planted by western powers to justify their presence in the subcontinent. New evidence indicates aryans were the indigenious people of this region. In fact Indus valley civilisation did not vanish but it is very much part of Indian civilisation. Unless Pakistanis realise and accept that their past is the great Indian civilisation and not falsely glorified Arab imperialism they wont accept India and Indians as friends and ally.Egypt has accepted Islam but they have preserved their 5000 years old civilisation.It is possible in Pakistan too.It is the identity crisis that is misleading this nation into doing things which is proving to be their downfall.
Harjit Singh
June 22, 2012 10:24 am
If roots are not nurtured tree with all its fruit will crumble. Madhu and Deepak, if you do not dream, you do not achieve!
Sapan kapoor
June 22, 2012 6:46 pm
Islam came into existence in 600 AD and in India in 700 AD, just 1400 years ago while Hinduism is often called the "oldest living religion" or the "oldest living major religion" in the world, a 4000 to 5000 year old religion practiced by the Indian Aryans who came from North-West when they and Iranian Aryans drifted in different directions. Few Arabs and Afghans and Turks came to India after the dawn of Islam and started spreading and preaching their religion. Thus it proves that majority of the Muslims' ancestors in the Indian sub-continent were Hindu converts. Not all Muslims in the India, Pakistan and Bangladesh can trace their roots in Arab countries and their warriors. They were very few who had come here and the rest were Hindu converts. That's a reality and it's evident in the ruins of Harappa and Mohanjo Daro in Pakistan. Our ancestors were Aryans and that's our truth. In India we have accepted Pakistan and thus the two-nation theory and are ready to make peace with a democratic, secular and tolerant Pakistan, for we can not afford to forget and undermine our shared past. We, the Indians and Pakistanis, are brothers who were separated at birth in 1947. For majority of Pakistanis history begins in 700 AD. No it doesn't.
Secular Sindhi
June 22, 2012 8:05 am
Being proud of culture is what we have been advocating in Sindh since the last 60 years but Sindhis are called traitors for saying that. We live in harmony with muslims and nonmuslims alike but we are called traitors. Since you are also from Sindh (even if you are a new Sindhi) you have secularity in your blood but sadly our country does not
June 22, 2012 11:09 am
Surprising to see all positive comments from Indian sounding names and negative comments from Pakistani sounding names,,, truly reflects the thought author has depicted in his article and support it has in respective country. I also think that the reason of current situation in both countries from what that land mass supported historically and till recent past. I am sure both are enjoying and are proud about what they are....
Mohammad Ali Khan
June 22, 2012 3:05 pm
Very rational.To embrace your ideas we have to let go of existing notions.Unfortunatley it extremely hard to do that.Letting go of the inherited stagnant traditions was the message of all the reformers.Unless we will listen to reason,reform is not possible.
June 22, 2012 11:14 am
Nice thought but will NEVER resonate with an Islamic Pakistan.
Narayan Bareth
June 23, 2012 11:18 am
I appreciate the piece What you plead,is voice of humanity.It is voice of Indus valley ...it is above from boundaries and religion. Every thing is depend how we interpret it and same is applicable with religion.Both countries need to join hands to eradicate poverty and focus on development. We should listen Indus river s echos ....thanks
June 22, 2012 4:30 pm
The sad thing is Pakistan is really India as we are the decendents of the people who lived on the Indus. Indians are Bharatis. Even Panini the famous grammatist of the ancient world saw our country separate from what is India today. I think Muslim or not Muslim we still have different cultures India and Pakistan. We should focus on our similarities though and make this region prosperous for future generations. India's success is our success and Pakistan's success is India's.
June 22, 2012 4:30 pm
Right said Malvika ! Islam is wrongly tightly intertwined with Arab culture. Arab culture predates Islam by thousands of years. Just because the Prophet (P.B.U.H) happened to be born into a specific culture doesn't mean that all the others are inferior or should be wiped out.
June 22, 2012 4:30 pm
It is good to read that someone is trying to link roots of Pakistan with the oldest civilization in the region; i.e. Indus. I'd like to point out that we Sindhis never (ever) like to be called ourselves Indians. So for us Sindhis the Two-nation theory has a different meaning; i.e. Sindh and Hind, which was there even before Muhammad bin Qasim. It is not based on religion but language and culture. Our dress (Sindhi Cap, Ajrak), music, traditions has always been different. Secondly when our ancestors accepted Islam then it was done socially and culturally. By culturally I mean Sindhis changed the culture to be compatible with Islam and also produces finest Islamic scholars who joined faculty in Makkah and Medina even before the British came to India. So this 'two-nation' theory has always been our motto (Sindh and Hind are different nations). So if we want to attach Roots of Pakistan with Indus Civilization then Two-nation theory becomes stronger and not weeker :S
June 22, 2012 4:39 pm
I totally agree. West is trying to copy Romans and Greeks so they don't have to follow the prophets (peace be onto them), same 'idea' is being injected in our society that forget religion and let's go back to the beliefs of the people of caves. (and yet they call it a 'modern' approach! ). Culture changes and so does Indus civilization has. I don't understand why the author missed how this civilization updated it self to be compatible with Islam and produced legendary Islamic scholars in history. That itself defines our cultural attachment with Islam than with the area we live in. Pakistan is in the mess because we don't want to follow Islam and keep on electing rulers from the decedents of those who were forcefully made Wadera, Chaudhry, Maliks and Sradars by them. All those Sardars etc who were against British were called terrorists during British era and were killed. A mess which is made during 300 years can not be fixed in 60 years people!
June 22, 2012 4:45 pm
A very refreshing article...Asad,you have hit the nail!!Once we muslims understand and appreciate our true roots,there will be nothing stopping us from attaining greatness with our hindu brothers by our side..we are the descendents of the same ancestory...its time we shed our arabic coat and come to terms of our true identity.. An Indian Friend..
June 22, 2012 4:47 pm
As long as people like Mr Baduriddin has courage and clear thinking Inspire the people of the sub-continent the futurei is going to be nothing but joy and hope!
Pankaj Patel (USA)
June 22, 2012 5:03 pm
Very good article,but when an irreparable damage is done to a civilization it is impossible to reverse it.when I visited Egypt I found them very proud of the achievement of the ancient Egyptians but they have nothing to compare with ancient Egyptians so when some scholars argue that the pyramids were constructed by aliens they scoff at the idea.To a lesser extent I witness this in Greece too but they still have same language to prove that they are the same Greek.In Mexico the pyramids were constructed by the Estacs and they all agree that they have for some reason moved out nobody questions where and why.After 1947 when Hindus were driven out of Sindh and Punjab the damage is total and I am afraid it can only be corrected after many centuries of cultural synthesis. I am still hopeful because like the young author of this article many in Pakistan have forward looking indipendant thinking wich might make this cultural synthesis possible.I wish him well.
June 24, 2012 6:41 am
during partition both sides kills either neighbor for land and valuables Partition was biggest blunder of modern history
Ammar (Riyadh
June 22, 2012 5:07 pm
We are in such a deep mess that any alternate theory towards our history seem so good towards the eye. Indus valleys aren't exactly part of our heritage.Heritage is what defines us. We, unfortunately, as Urdu speaking population from UP, have no historical identity. Had we remained Hindus, we could have claimed that empires of Asoka are part of our heritage because he did a lot of things which make up modern day Hinduism. I don't know about Sindhi culture to comment on them so i am not sure. Egypt hasn't really accepted its ancient history. Only the copts do. Muslims just think of it as a tourist selling point. 80% of Egyptian Muslims claim themselves to be Arabs and most of them prioritize issues that have a Arab element in them.
June 22, 2012 4:20 pm
Pakistan is a paradox. Even the author can not escape it. He seems to imply that Islamic Pakistan came right after the Indus valley civilization. What about our Hindu roots? We are more like HINDU INDIAN than MUSLIM ARABS! Is that ironic? Religion is about faith not race. One can change religion but not ones race.
June 22, 2012 4:19 pm
Thoughts in the article are not new to many as the comments show peoples appreciation. The central problem is to change perspectives of the radicalised. For now the only language they seem to speak and understand is violence. Articles like this are going to have a positive effect, but will be too slow to make an impact for many. This is the question that stumps us all.
June 24, 2012 9:47 am
alright BOB
June 22, 2012 12:07 pm
and the proof is in front of your eyes... pakistan in all sort of mess.. wake up girl.
June 22, 2012 7:53 am
At last Dawn
Narinder Dogra
June 22, 2012 12:14 pm
it is high time that the realization has dawned who in reality Pakistanis are. Congratulations for taking the risk of swimming against the currents.
June 23, 2012 2:18 pm
Great article sir
Sourabh Jain
June 23, 2012 2:17 pm
Wonderful article. I daily read dawn and trust me it is the best online news material I have come across. The articles here inspire hope. Interestingly I have seem many Pakistanis using the phrase "we are muslims". There is no harm in being proud of ones religion, but reading it so often I feel, is this the only identity Pakistanis are left with. You have such a glorious past. My father has been working on Indus Valley script script since past 25 years and he tells me that is the oldest human civilization (5000 years) and it is amazing to see how well the cities were designed that time. Another thing that annoys me is the use of "nuclear armed nations" when referring to India and Pakistan.. Again is this the only identity we have.. Have you ever heard an american saying "nuclear armed USA".. When we try to identify nations based on religion and defence capability it only reflects our shallow thinking.. Lets stop doing that and identify ourselves with our glorious past and bright future.
m furqan
June 23, 2012 1:27 pm
Great Idea and excellent article. Now question is: Ghunti Kon Bandhega? I say there is great hope if our children's syllabus is modified to promote these ideas and laws are made to discourage the adverse environment for blooming of these flowers.
June 23, 2012 1:00 pm
There are no takers of this idea in Pakistan.
June 23, 2012 11:07 am
A very enlightened view taken by the author. Our view should be to see an integrated view of the past and not a differentiated view which pits one thing against other. We are a product of history, there should be no denying of it. Hence we should closely with ths who share our past, and not any align idea which came to us from thousands of kilometers away. We should be more local in our dealings, and he next priority should be our neighbours, and not people who try to implant their ideas which have no geographic relevance to us than we should have for our neighbours.
June 23, 2012 10:29 am
There are number of misperceptions about the history taught us. Arabs invaded Sind to protect their trade route to Asia , and some say to get involved in Silk route trade. There were no significant conversions during the Omayad rule. Conversions came during the Fatimid rule. There are also misperceptions about culture. Culture is more pervasive than religion. What you eat, what you wear can be different among Muslims. We don't eat camel meat and don't wear Arab dresses. Indus Valley is largely Indo-Scythian . It has stayed like that over centuries, despite invasions from diverse tribes even when they settled here. Germans are different from the English though they share a common religion.
June 23, 2012 12:13 pm
It was the Divide And Rule method that got us in this mess. We lost many brave Hindu's and Muslim freedom fighters during the campaign to rid of the English. It was total chaos leading to the partition and after because we were all looking for redemption mercilessly. Gandhi, Jinnah, Nehru, Patel, Naidu, and the rest of the leadership got swept away by our religious mobsters. It was like nature taking its own course after some catastrophy. It's hard to put this in words by the present generation and never ever will, regardless of any kind of a redemption. My present solution to all the indifference between India and Pakistan can be solved if we both open up the borders unconditionally and let Kashmir stay as it is, each managing their own side. Also let its people practice their faith without any hinderance. This change of governance could bring us all back up to our old glory of the Indus Vally Civilization. I am sure most of you dont agree with my opinion. Arz hai....Woh waqth gaya woh daur gaya jab do qaumon kaa naara thaa, voh loge gaye iss dharti se jinka maqsad batwaara thaa. What can I say ?
June 23, 2012 10:38 am
it seems indians are more bothered about pakistani identity than pakistanis themselves!
June 23, 2012 12:02 pm
we are the nation which belong to mighty river indus civilization.it is well said if river dries the country will collapse and it will collapse our civilization too.
June 23, 2012 11:57 am
Great thought. Such thought will only make Pakistan successful and modern nation.
June 23, 2012 11:20 am
Elucidated very well, and in very simple terms. What the author has touched upon is not just history, but the lessons of history. For all those Indians jumping into this fray, please also acknowledge and understand that the damaging effects of cultural imperialism that the author has referred to in this article, is a very valid rationale that is applicable to the cultural imperialism sought to be imposed by the states surrounding New Delhi, upon states that are far flung from the Capital - i.e. those far flung states that were not part of the Indus Valley Civilization, and had moorings of their own. This is the curse of the subcontinent - our evolved and refined heritage of empathizing with, and being ever willing to accept alien cultures extends to the extent of differentiating ourselves from our own moorings so as to emulate those who set out to vanquish us. 'Stockholm syndrome' is a misnomer - the more apt description for that phenomenon is 'Indian Subcontinental culture'.
June 23, 2012 11:46 am
June 24, 2012 2:28 pm
"Once our conscious awakens to this idea, we will be a renewed nation. On the crumbling edifices of Moenjadaro and Harappa we will once more build great cities, and build a great country." Superb Sentiments and very rightly said !! The focus needs to shift from religion to awareness of history and what really made this nation of today.
June 23, 2012 11:31 am
Actually there are many, it s not a new idea though stated very well.
June 23, 2012 11:30 am
Interseting idea though the author has the same problem that he is blaming the other party
Vasant Rao
June 25, 2012 9:22 am
In Indonesia, the richest people are the Chinese. Next richest people are Sindhis who have migrated from Pakistan. They are very educated, and enterprising people. They know how to make money.
A Dalet Free in UK
June 24, 2012 10:02 pm
Hindus believe in linage and decent which is final. A brahmin will always stay the master and the dalet his untouchable slave forever, as will his children. Jinnah was for the freedom of Dalets as is Christianity and Islam. In Islam only character matters not linage. In Christianity all are saved by the blood of Lord Jesus Christ. As the Dalets and lower classes convert Hinduism will collaspe on itself when Brahmens have no one to clean after them...thus the extreme action against conversion in India. I ran away to UK and converted. I am so happy I did. Am free now after generations after generations of being untouchable.
June 24, 2012 8:51 pm
India?!!! There was no india until the British Created it. That was their one genuine lasting legacy. Even today it is more artificial than Pakistan. As for the Indus Valley Civilisation, the overwhelming bulk of it is in Pakistan - the Indus Valley. Indian can share the pride if they wish, but dont get carried away. It is like the English taking pride in Greek history - understandable up to a point...
June 25, 2012 4:47 pm
Nice argument, and I agree to some part of it. There is a separate debate on the word 'Sind' in Indian Anthum. This poem was written before partition. But my point is that can you find a single poem by a Sindhi poet (before partition) who made a claim that Sindh is part of same country as Punjab, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Bangal or even Rajisthan, Gujrat etc? I am afraid you won't. Because no one (in our history) associated Sindh with other states in the region. When Shah Bhitai talks about Delhi and Dakhan then he is treating these cities same as Rome and Qandahar in the same poem! And when he says Sindh then he does not mention any city.
June 25, 2012 4:41 pm
You made my point valid right there. For NonPakistani Hindu Sindhis, Bhutto and all those tribes and communities who became Muslim around a thousand year ago are not even Sindhis! But those whose children and new generation can't read/write and some times speak Sindhi are Sindhis! Well I don't mind the second group because it is their right, but why the second group is not accepting the right of first group? Only because they are Muslims. So the second group does not think that the first group belongs to same 'nation' even if they speak the same language and live in same land. That 's called 2-nation theory dear. And you are still following it but not admitting it.
June 28, 2012 10:48 pm
Noble thoughts! But will anyone in proudly Islamic Pakistan pay heed? I am not sure.
Suresh Sharma
June 30, 2012 1:11 pm
A great article! particularly the comments about Sindh river. I never thought from that perspective. Its not a new idea but still it made me realize why river Ganga (Ganges) is considered so sacred in Indian society. The religious touch given towards devotion for river Ganga is just symbolic and mythical but the real message is that the river Ganga has been a life line of millions of agricultural Indian society since the immemorial times. Same is true about river Sindh that got India her name.
suresh sharma
June 30, 2012 1:18 pm
Very intelligent observation Nakul! I am glad that author let it appear here and not censor it. Well it will be a nice gesture on the part of author to reply to this one otherwise I would think that author is no different from the rest. Mogul periods have been vivid and not really a great example of achievements.
June 24, 2012 6:32 am
nice join PTI change is a process it will take time
June 22, 2012 11:39 am
If the new roots are so strong then why is the country and the society crumbling???
Balaji Panchapakesan
June 22, 2012 2:43 pm
Pakistani's are the same as Indians. They are all converted muslims and most of them migrated from India. Your forefathers were Hindus not Arabians. Your blood is the same as a Hindu blood. The Vedas were written in the banks of Indus river. Buddhism and Hinduism flourished once in the whole of Afghanistan. Pakistan is crumbling because of this false ideology. All they need to look into the mirror and see whether they look like Indians or Arabians.
June 22, 2012 1:04 pm
Vajpeyeeji had suggested that 1857 was joint Hindu Muslim effort and let both countries celebrate 150th anniversary jointly. There was no response from Pakistan.
June 22, 2012 3:01 pm
I have never been able to understand the reason for 2 countries. I have been challenged since my childhood till now and have not found any reason for pakistan as independent country to be carved out of India. But well I am just a small guy doing job and paying my mortgage. Don't know what those people on high chairs think. Wonder if we can bribe indian and pakistani politicians (@ million dollar a piece) we might be able to double our GDP in next 5 years. That will be a great business deals. Should we ask Ambani's and Tata's to jump in with the bribe money?
Munsif Sindhi
June 22, 2012 3:01 pm
Great article. hats off to you. Fundametalism and Arab cultural domination in the name of religion have blinded eyes of people. It is time to wake up. In Sindh, we dont consider M. Qasim as our hero but Raja Dahir, if M.Qasim is considered to be hero then why not colonial leaders of British raj? For us Raja Dahir is HERO of Sindh.
June 22, 2012 10:37 am
Everything starts with a dream (thought). a good dream must be appreciated and encouraged. It plants a seed of love that when fully grown will benefit entire universe, not only this earth.
Sohail Ansari
June 22, 2012 2:58 pm
Excellent piece!!! Thanks for having the courage and passion to put this forward. We Sindhis when speak of our thousands of years history, our heritage, and its religious diversity; we are marginalized and ridiculed in Pakistan... Thruth of the matter is, today's Pakistan fail's to represents the people of this region in all aspects of their lives. May your voice can now spare a discussion on new social contract!!!
shrirang, Mumbai
June 22, 2012 10:33 am
aarrre mere bhai kya sahi article likha hai, Keep it up.
June 24, 2012 9:17 am
i think much of this article is regurgitation from the book written by Mr Aitzaz ahsan, The Indus Saga. i will suggest the readers to read that book for a better understanding.
June 22, 2012 12:16 pm
Wonderful words, md1. Truly beautiful words from you.
June 22, 2012 12:14 pm
very strong... eh?
June 22, 2012 12:55 pm
but it is wrong to call it arab cultural imperialism in the name of religion.you are mistaken , my dear. our faith ISLAM is a complete set of rules to guide us to success in herein and hereafter. that is a misguiding article. these mohanjadaro andharapa of indus valley are a past. now complete revolution in favour of TRUE ISLAM, SACRIFICE, MORALITY, DEVELOPMENT, EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IS NEEDED.forget harapa and mohanjadaro.we are humans and not animals. modern humans are more becoming animals without morals.
Yoginder Tickoo
June 22, 2012 12:50 pm
Pakistan will be a real beauty one day.The country is now in a tough time.Before a baby is born,the mother suffers all the nine months till the baby is born.At the crucial time of labour,the pain is worst.The baby is born and the new life brings new hopes. Keep hopes ALIVE,Pakistan. U r in a changing phase. Raat kitnee bhi gamgeen hogi,subeh itni hi rangeen hogi. Darkest nights are followed by beatiful mornings. ALWAYS;ALWAYS: Without fail. Nature has its own solutions.
suneel Kumar
June 22, 2012 12:45 pm
nice we sindhi are already practice these thought by heart but narrow minded people in our society who never think and very bitter in their way and violence in thought but being sindhi and sufi i really respect and appreciate thought of this gentle man . its good and great sign that still people have dare to challenge rigid though! it is beginning of new era
Agha Ata
June 22, 2012 12:44 pm
Asad, please write something about the changed history. History of Pakistan, that Zia ul Huque changed in his, so called Islamization of Pakistan.
From the west
June 22, 2012 12:44 pm
Excellent and thought provoking! History as taught in schools should be replaced by objective, unbiased and rational interpretation of events, and we have a long pre Islamic history,
June 22, 2012 12:42 pm
In historic times people were not organised so religion came to organise and unite them... But today it has been exploited by leaders to divide people. Rational thinking has gone, i hope people will organise themselves again before being too late...
June 22, 2012 12:38 pm
All Pakistanis will find it thought provoking.... Alas, an insanely high percentage of population thinks and believes they are MUSLIMS FIRST, and PAKISTANIS LATER.
June 22, 2012 12:39 pm
Asad Badruddin is a liberal thinker and rightly wishes for the economic and social uplift of his country and the region at large. However, he lives in an atmosphere which stifles such thoughts. Any such thinker first and foremost should be conscious of the fact that the very constitution of Pakistan is undemocratic. Can "Islamic" (and for that matter any other religion) ever be "Democratic"?
Suhail Ahmad
June 22, 2012 3:50 pm
This is an awesome article. Indus Valley Civilization rivaled the two other great contemporary civilizations of those times - Egyptian and Mesopotamian. If you read the characteristics of the inhabitants of that great civilization and travel all over Pakistan of today, you will discover that there are overwhelming similarities in terms of language, culture, how we practice our religion, farm, etc. Pakistan is the heir to this great civilization. We should own our archaeological heritage. Owning this heritage does not demean our religion.
June 24, 2012 4:44 pm
.u say all religions show vaiatons in the way people practice them and surele that includes Islam too, then what is the True religion? Is it the one practiced in Saudi Arabia or in Iran or in one of it's many other variations? Religion is only one facet of the humanity,s existential reality and therefore should not be decisively divisive factor, but unfortunately it is used as such by many individuals and institutions for their ulteroior purposes. Asad,s idea for Pakistan to embrace it's historical and civilisational heritage in it's entirety to cultivate a pluralistic non-discriminatory and democratic society is therefore a commendable effort Ok
June 22, 2012 3:46 pm
This article should lead to heart searching amongst pakistani people themselves and they onlyshould decide how relevant is their past civilization to them.
paul c
June 22, 2012 3:29 pm
must appreciate a mind with unlimited thinking
June 22, 2012 1:46 pm
I think today's Pakistan has to go a long way to accept ideas expressed in the article.
June 22, 2012 1:30 pm
Very true. A good start, however small, is never too late, or never too meaningless.
June 22, 2012 2:11 pm
The current Pakistan is a reflection of its people. bad or good, Muslim or not. The history of the land of Pakistan is interesting, but it cannot sway the reality of current Pakistan. If 98% of the Pakistani identify themselves as Muslims, that is the end of the history. Therefore let us accept the reality and move forward with what's good for the people. If Pakistan was to keep its original and historical ideal diversity, Mr. Jinah and his followers should have been stopped from separating it from India. It did not happen. So the current Pakistan exists. It's a reality. The rest is history and nothing more.
June 22, 2012 2:02 pm
Pakistan guarded the eastern border well while through the western border all the chaos entered.
June 22, 2012 2:01 pm
The people of Indus Valley are predominantly Scythian with a some mixture of tribes who migrated after 600 AD. We must teach our younger generation the history of races who intermingled in this region and encourage understanding of our roots which go much beyond conversion to Islam. Italian are Catholic but they do read history of their pagan days. How can we deny that our food is influenced by Greeks..go to a Greek restaurant and you will understand it. May be our dress too. trousers WERE IN ANY CASE WORN BY THE Scythians.Dr Danni insisted that it is Turkish dress.
Nabeel Aejaz
June 22, 2012 1:58 pm
What is "Arab cultural imperialism"?
June 22, 2012 8:35 am
Good article Mr. Badruddin...rational and positive..definately food for thought...
y venkataram
June 22, 2012 8:35 am
Vijay Raaja
June 22, 2012 8:41 am
Excellent and quite an insightful article which puts into context the history the present and the future of Pakistan while acknowledging the ground realities prevalent at the same time. If the country needs to move forward as a progressive nation then it needs more intellectuals like Asad. Keep writing.
June 22, 2012 8:42 am
very good article, but it falls short of acknowledging Hindu identity which is the crux of Indus valley civilization. But definitely a step in right direction
Onkar sharma
June 22, 2012 8:54 am
Are there any takers in political and feudal circles of Pakistan?
June 22, 2012 9:03 am
The people of Pakistan should do introspection if the partition of the Undivided India was a folly which brought untold miseries to both India and Pakistan. The people of Pakistan are helpless as the political system now prevalent in Pakistan is taking it nowhere.It is unfortunate that Pakistan,today is counted amongst ten failed states. The Majority of Pakistan people are intelligent and hard working.They want peace,jobs,good education and health facilities but instead what they see every day is killing of innocents and medieval diktats of Taliban and similar criminals. Good luck to Pakistan and congratulations to the writer of the article
Vinod KapoorVeenuek
June 22, 2012 2:10 pm
Great changes stem from great dreams. The article expresses true identity of people who are indigenous people of Indus valley whether they live in Pakistan or currently in india., irrespective of their present religion. If implemented this will bring great changes and unity to the people of region of afganistan Pakistan and India. We share the same roots. The problem in Pakistan that true history of religion is not taught in schools. The people in pakistan did not pop up in 1947 but are inheritors of the over 10,000 years of great culture, older with grandeur surpassing Egyptian and Greek cultures, in science math and social sciences. True they were not perfect but then who is. It is this the history which is pride and culture and glue to unify the people of the subcontinent including afganistan, which external cultural influences including Arabic and western have denied it. Most learned leaders of the subcontinent including Moulana Azad have advocated.
June 22, 2012 9:13 am
Delightfully amazing to hear two things - one, accept the theory of repudiation DOES unfortunately define the identity for a lot of Pakistanis, and two willingness to embrace an open, secular, maybe even pagan (in terms of religious methods followed) Indus Valley Civilization and the role of the Indus as a benchmark to build a new Pakistan, nay a new Pakistani thought on identity. Very well written, hope this is the thought process of progress and amity that moves more Pakistanis, as against regression and enmity that exists as the status quo.
Sanjeev Mishra
June 22, 2012 9:13 am
Amazing article indeed. It is the time for Pakistani to look for its roots and start respecting its Hindu past.
June 22, 2012 9:18 am
Keep dreaming
June 22, 2012 9:26 am
I was following the argument till i reached this "Embracing our Indus past will enable us to reject Arab cultural imperialism in the name of religion, and will help us discard the Two-Nation Theory". Then u lost all credibility. If there is no two nation theorey then Pak shouldn't exist. Apart from Mohammad Bin Qasim conquest of sindh the conquest came from central asia and afghanistan or iran. So ur argument abt arab imperialism doesn't hold.
Saad Bashir
June 22, 2012 9:28 am
Allama Iqbal said in his famous response to Hussain Ahmed Madani's infamous comment the "Nations are formed by their countries" (qaumain autaan say banti hain) "As the formative principle of the collective form of humanity Islam has no flexibility at all." He then went on the elaborate the Quranic basis of nationhood i.e. the shared fact of being a Muslim. Every thing is secondary. This is not the place for a detailed discussion of the Quranic concept of nationhood, but the fact is that as Muslims OUR history in the subcontinent starts with 712AD. What went on before is of historical interest and a legitimate subject of study and research and for studying how its norms continued to affect our forebears for centuries despite conversion to Islam. But it does not mean that our identity is formed by the Indus Valley Civilization or the geography.
Stephen Pramod
June 22, 2012 9:41 am
Absolutely fabulous... Diagnosis of the sorry state of today's affairs of Pakistan in one single sentence..'reject Arab cultural imperialism in the name of religion'... great analysis...It is time for intellectuals, liberals like Asad to take over the leadership of Pakistan
June 22, 2012 9:48 am
Begging for alms is one thing...begging for a historical identity when none exists...desperate.
A K Dutta
June 22, 2012 9:50 am
Writing is fine, thought provoking. But what is happening in Pakistan? And what the Pakistani society done to 30% Hindus who wanted not to be migrated and to live peacefully in Pakistan with their religion since the partition. What happened to them? Now there are only 3% of Hindus. Pakistan can never be not be a pluralistic society. The Islamic mindset and the hate culture of Pakistani society will be an end in itself.
Saad (DXB)
June 22, 2012 2:48 pm
Where do you get your figures from mate? Zee and Sony News? Perhaps they too took the figures from 14th August 1947, without realizing how many of them actually left Pakistan in the few months after Independence. Please come to Dubai and visit the Meena Bazar Area which is full of Indian Sindhi traders.. They all will tell you that immediately after Independence, their fathers and grandfathers moved from Pakistan to India to get the Indian passport and immediately moved to the Middle East after that.. I guess living in the Muslim culture for centuries made it impossible for them to live in the so called Secular State of India
June 22, 2012 9:54 am
Mr Asad has tried to find golden pin from a massive accumulation of garbage that has been thrown over our culture since many centuries. We cried for that we were replied that they Sindhi separatists, Indian agents, infidels, want to destroy the very foundations of Islamic Democratic Pakistan. It is clear that we are victim of religion, continuously been destroyed, demolish our great historic culture. Our satisfaction lies in single sentence that ( Alhamdullilah WE ARE MUSLIMS!!!???). So its essential that we should dig-out our roots which are glorious and time tested, historic and rich cultural heritage, with diversity of social, economic, cultural ideology with peaceful co-existence.
Shankha Pal
June 22, 2012 2:45 pm
The author danced around the concept that "All Pakistanis are Hindus originally". A little boldness would be required here.
June 22, 2012 11:36 pm
The roots are strong but the branches are thrashing about!
Sam Baidya
June 22, 2012 11:45 pm
Unless Pakistan gives up Islamic Constitution and statehood,and accepts and embraces secular concepts,in every sphere of life in all ethos and institutions,it cannot be a democratic country,neither the Indus Valley Civilization has any connection as Islam was imposed on the population by the conquerors.Rememeber Talibans destroyed Bamiyan Buddhas which were much older than Islam religion! Modern civilazations can last only if various groups mingle, learn from each other,live side by side,tolerate each others religion and belief systems for the progress. Pakistan now is a secluded nation and cannot participate in the learning process of all great nations'contributionsin civilization,learning, science and culture.
June 23, 2012 12:19 am
Very good analysis. Religion is actually one part of a Much Larger Culture. A Culture is like an Umbrella, and religion is one part of that much larger Umbrella. Thats why you see so many highly developed countries, like US, UK, etc. where you can be of any Religion, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu Sikh, and yet still live a much happier fulfilling life obeying their laws, benefitting from their " cultural " practices of fair laws despite your religious, national identity. Compared that to least developed countries where religion is used by some very shrewed politician, and other so called leaders, to misguide and control people, mainly in Pakistan, and also in India and other under developed countries.
June 23, 2012 12:29 am
Part 1 The views are that of Jehovah's witness's: wishful thinking that somehow if thier way is followed it can bring harmony and everything will be happy and jolly. Reality is that since Adam and Eve and their tewo sons, this world has seen good and bad and continues to do so. And that wishful thinking is nothing new either, there were always people who thought it was possible but reality was otherwise. There is too many people of power and wealth who will never let that happen, for them power and wealth and mantaining them comes above all, and they all both. All religions show variations in the way people practice them in different parts of the world. When a religion leaves its originality it becomes history even though its variants live on. Following true Islam is not imposing Arab culture as the writer suggests, it is simply keeping it alive and not letting it to become history like others.
June 23, 2012 12:30 am
Part 2 I am also from the land surrounding Indus now living in the USA, but I don't believe that it is somhow another planet. The whole world is one earth, whole humanity is one humanity and that's how we need to see it surprisingly Islam taught us this fourteen hundred years ago. Dividing people based on rivers or mountains or continents, or race, or color, only serves the purpose of those who cannot rule over a united humanity. So they seek the way to divide people on various lines, we who lived on the sub-continent know this well, so we must be aware of anyone who tries to tell us that somehow we have a different identity. Islam teaches us against such divisions. Just my thoughts!
June 23, 2012 12:43 am
high caste hindus encouraged their migration to india where situation was better and opportunities were far more.so they migrated.
Mirwais Khan
June 24, 2012 12:32 pm
I don't understand why identification with the distant past should be preferred over the near past? This is still very doubtful whether people living in this region today are the actual heirs of the of Indus Valley. Why people manipulate history to suit their political ends by changing goal posts within the last 65 years due to structural failures of the state? If some state has lost the underlying logic for its existance it can be compensated by provinding justice to the people and groups living here but history must not by manipulated to compel them to live together since once there was an Indus Valley Civilzation here two millennia ago.
June 23, 2012 3:13 am
Ii is time Pakistanis feel proud of their proud heritage of INDUS CIVILIZATION. It is almost comical to see Pakistanis claiming to be Arabs and Arabs look down on them. It was like Anglo Indians claiming to be British and British despised them. Yours is an ancient civilization and one of the greatest that ever existed. raj
June 23, 2012 3:53 am
AAmen .....
June 23, 2012 3:54 am
June 23, 2012 4:12 am
Your last two paragraphs would resonate with most of the Indians as India has been trying to do the same with the outset but not succeeded fully yet. Excellent!
June 23, 2012 4:21 am
Nice article. The present day subcontinent would have been better if majority of the Pakistanis had the same mentality as Mr. Badruddin in 1947.
June 23, 2012 4:29 am
If you renounce your past you renounce your future.
Umesh Bhagwat
June 23, 2012 4:35 am
The road to reconciliation and peace is a long and hard one,but if the will is there we will succeed. There are enough right thinking people in both the countries who will make the dream a reality.Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come." Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamare dil me hai,dekhana hai zor kitna bazue Qatil me hai"!
June 23, 2012 5:24 am
It is a fact that older a human being gets, he is attracted to his roots. This article is on similar lines. In a nation' s life 64 years is rather short. It will take time to get back to one's roots. True, there were invaders of all races came from the north west. Some of them got absorbed into Indian society some plundered and went back. Let us aborb who intermingled with us and ignore who went off.
June 23, 2012 5:38 am
Dawn presents very good articles..liberals, neutral, rational.Despite that Pak people do no seem to endorse that. Nobody can deny that peaceful coexistence is the way forward.
June 23, 2012 6:07 am
more dreaming !!!
Naseema Perveen
June 24, 2012 1:22 pm
a very good write up and a very good way of expression...thanks Dawn for bringing such bloggers forward... thumbs up!!!
ravindra sharma
June 23, 2012 6:09 am
very good article but one important thing has been left by the writer the first university in the world is also in pakistan that is known as taxshila or present day texla. when the pakistani people will visit the ruins of oldest university of the world then they will feel more proud and they will trace their ancesters more correctly.
Aziz Larik
June 23, 2012 7:29 am
Good article!...U are right on the path of being a good pre-Islamic or in any kind of religion yes we are connected with the strong leash of Indus Civilization. In today's world in most of the countries the theory of Islam is converted into the advantages yielded by the people who want the Religion preach according to their thoughts but that should not be dominant,because we should thrash out this problem and individually or collectively try to know the real cause of religion or its imposition and its orders.
dina mitra
June 23, 2012 8:05 am
it is utterly surpriing that all the comments come from india.it appears to me that there are no taker from pakistan.this itself reflects mind set of present civil societies of pakistan
June 23, 2012 8:44 am
This should have been a pre-partition article. Pakistan has gone too far down the religious fundamentalism route to turn back!
June 23, 2012 9:24 am
EXCELLENCE !!! "What does an Islamic identity mean for the indigenous cultures of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit–Baltistan and the people who migrated to India?" "Greatness is created through synthesis, and when old ideas are challenged by new paradigms." "Our history does not start with 1947, nor with Muhammed bin Qasim’s (in)famous and glorified conquest of Sindh. Those events are important but form an incomplete story of our past. Our heritage goes back to the Indus Valley Civilization, one of the first people to build the great cities of Moenjadaro and Harappa, a complex language and mathematical system, and centers of commerce in Asia" A person need not be or behave like an ARAB to be a Muslim.....
Punjabi Jatt
June 23, 2012 9:48 am
A very sobering article. Pakistanis must accept our great non-Muslim past for Pakistanis as a people and a nation to move on to a secure future. We are firstly inhabitants of the Indus valley and heirs to its rich heritage and magnificent history and cultures. Let us never forget that and preserve that. Once we become aware of the great cultures and achievements of our fore fathers whether they were Muslim or not we are then free to work towards greatness ourselves and work for our descendants whether they remain Muslim or not.
June 23, 2012 9:52 am
good article but a bit late, the non Muslims in PAK are reduced from a good % to a fraction. the damage is done and is irrevocable.
June 23, 2012 6:38 pm
The Arab cultural imperialism as you put it, has more to do with migrant workers returning from Saudi with new ideas and the means to implement some of them, than this myth of Arab imperialism which might have had credibility back in 750AD. People returning from Saudi with oodles of cash try to find their roots again and this hodge podge id with Arab culture is the strange result
June 23, 2012 6:47 pm
True words and good advice. The country is suffering from imported religion and culture, imported languages and imported money and guns. Who will listen to these words of wisdom?
June 23, 2012 7:39 pm
An idea/vision can only survive as long as it is not crushed by a stronger version/alternative. Although on paper what you say sounds visionary, it is a hollow ideology devoid of consideration of reality. With the explosive population growth that these regions have faced combined with the highly tainted, colonial strain of religious fundamentalism that exists in both countries, any peaceful coexistance in the region will be impossible unless one side becomes more stable and overwhelmingly more powerful than the other. From a logical perspective, and not a religious one, the only chance Muslims have is an advanced Islamic Union of countries based on the European Union is the only way to provide stability to not only Muslims, but the whole world. But that would upset the Great Game hence will never happen.
ashfaq hussain
June 23, 2012 8:39 pm
That's right Pakistan should follow the egyptians. Good comment Mr. Malvika. And yes, excellent article.
Aslam Khan
June 23, 2012 8:44 pm
Krishnan, I left Pakistan about 20 years ago but still have family roots there and I can tell you unfortunately very few takes of this concept of relaizing the real past and identitiy. For some reason, I think religious, majority of the people in Pakistan have obsession with Arabs and Middle East even when Arabs look down upon us.They would rather identify themselves as having Arab roots and willingly ignore that they share the DNA from South Asia not Middle East, unfortunate but that's the reality.
June 23, 2012 9:55 pm
I wonder if the writers thoughts were influenced by the book written by V S Naipaul? It is a must read book 'Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions Among the Converted Peoples' for all especially for the Muslims of SE Asia.
June 24, 2012 12:52 am
Very good article, but surprised to see this written by a pakistani blogger. I don't think majority of the muslims from the sub continent will agree what the author says. Most of the muslims think they are descendants of arabs or central asian muslims and have no roots to Indus civilization. For them to associate themselves with Indus civilization is tantamount to blasphemy. Leaders like Jinnah,Iqbal,Bhutto all had hindu lineage but felt uncomfortable acknowledging their hindu roots.
June 24, 2012 1:01 am
There will be gridlock, followed by decay, followed by mutual animosity and strife, and finally collapse. And we must not be territorially bound to the Indus Valley either, as our demographic situation demands EXPANSION. All species expand their geographies as the resources that sustained them on their previous localities no longer suffice. This is also true of human societies and countries at large. If that were not the case China would not be China today but be split into a thousand petty states warring amongst each other for survival. If this were not the case Russia would still consist of the Principality of Muscovy. Were this not the case America would never have expanded beyond the original thirteen colonies.
June 24, 2012 1:02 am
In fact, were this not true Europe would never have traversed the Atlantic in the first place and colonized the world. I found this to be a very weak and unreflective article.
June 24, 2012 2:19 am
South Asia is made up of many regions, cultures, languages, nations and civilizations. Since rivers can sustain clusters of large populations, early man formed the first civilizations around rivers. Examples include: Huang He (Yangtze River), Mesapotamia (Euphrates/Tigris) , Egypt (River Nile) and Pakistani’s very own Indus Valley Civilization (Indus River). Modern Pakistanis take immense pride in the fact they are descendants of the civilization that formed around the River Indus. The Indus river flows entirely through modern-day Pakistan, Kashmir and Tibet. The Indus Valley Civilization was located primarily (95%) in modern day Pakistan. The Indus binds together the 6 regions of Pakistan: Baluchistan, Sindh, Punjab, Kashmir, Khyber-P, Gilgit-Baltistan. On the other hand, the Gangetic civilization of India is formed around the Ganges river which flows away from the Indus and terminates in the Bengal delta. It is entirely in Peninsular India and Bengal. Ancient geographers recognised the boundary of Hind to be EAST OF THE INDUS RIVER SYSTEM. The Indus River System has nothing to do with Hind; it only defines Hind as a land on the other side of the Indus System. In Latin, Hind would be defined as a trans-Indus land.
Dr. Matthews
June 24, 2012 3:22 am
What a thought provoking and an honest article. It is time we should get rid of foreign religion and cultures and restore the Indus Civilization with its true spirit and mean. We are sons and daughters of Indus Civilization and this is the only genuine identity we need to restore unconditionally. We do not want our children should suffer and inherit this culture of oppression and religion of suppression. This the time we should get rid of this dysfunctional Two Nations Theory once for all. Indus Civilization is reflection of co-existence, tolerance and mutual respect. Bombing and killing to innocent people have never been part of our civilization. It is imported concept and we should and we must get rid of it. No any other matter has harmed this nation but the religion. So, it is a right time to declare this country Absolutely Secular constitutionally and give back a genuine identity to the people of this Land..
June 24, 2012 6:44 pm
janai janma bhomishtya swargatapi gariyasi the person who forgets his or her mother land is no human
Pankaj Patel (USA)
June 24, 2012 6:42 pm
Modern humans are more becoming animals because of religion and not without it.Those ancient civilizations were batter with their primitive religion where every one had his own religion and it's interpretation and nobody interfered with his belief.
June 24, 2012 3:50 pm
It's basically spreading Arab culture among the converted. The Arabs get to keep their own racial and cultural identity while the converted has to loose theirs and follow the Arabs cultural mores.
June 24, 2012 5:28 am
Since 1947, both India and Pakistan together have bought arms and ammunition and other military hardware worth 100 Billion Dollars and may be more if not less. Had the politicians of these two nations invested this money on Education, housing, water, food, health and other poverty eradicating schemes, people from both sides of the Border would have been on par with the West in terms of standard of living. Its high time ordinary people from both sides put pressure on their respective govts to start investing in above mentioned schemes and desist in investing arms, ammunition.
T. Ramakrishnan
June 24, 2012 7:14 am
Great article. But politics is the art of the possible -- not ivory tower idealism. Taking the bull by its horns is heroism at its best, but it might also prove dangerously naive. Pakistani elite would be better off concentrating on federalism, democracy, universal scientific-technical education and rapid industrialization. Rising standards of living and a middle class society is the best corrective for zealotry and obscurantism.
Prasanth Nambiar
June 24, 2012 7:34 am
Very interesting comments, a brute majority of people supports the point of view of the author. The point to be noted here is this article contains radical comments (from a Pakistani point of view) like ".......and will help us discard the Two-Nation Theory" Pakistan was created from undivided India on the basis of two nation theory. So this article in a way rejects the 2 nation theory hence one would assume propounds some kind of cultural union with India (cultural not physical). I am seeing 100s of people 'liking' this argument, so it could mean 2 things a) After the horrors of recent years, middle class Pakistanis come to the conclusion that they have more in common with Indians than Arabs??? Or b) It simply means majority of the Dawn online edition are Indians!! I don't know which one is true!
Haji Akshay William
June 24, 2012 7:40 am
Pakistan is a nation of great people of the east-Indian, Arab, Persian, Afghan race etc. But the truth is that we are Pakistan. There are ups and downs in every society and civilization. Let's not forget things happening in India until the 80's but they're better now. Have faith world, Pakistan will rise. It doesn't matter what civilization we came from, what was the two-nation theory or what our religion is...hard work pays off. Things are rough for us right now but we will rise, we will rise soon.
June 25, 2012 7:04 am
The author says, "This doesn’t mean that we completely ignore the advent of the Mughals, the conquest of the British, the height of Hindu-Muslim unity during the war of independence". He jumps from the Indus valley civilization to the Mughal invasion completely skipping the Vedic period. If intellectuals like you refrain from acknowledging your Vedic(Hindu) roots, then what can one expect from the average Pakistani? If such is the case, forget about ever becoming a progressive state.
June 25, 2012 7:08 am
The author speaks about being proud of the Indus Valley civilization, but conveniently forgets the great Vedic civilization that flourished in the same place and whose heir the author is.
June 25, 2012 7:09 am
Nayeem, I am proud of you.
Vasant Rao
June 25, 2012 8:54 am
This paradox creates problems among the Muslims more than anyone else. They cannot deny their religion, but they cannot deny their culture which is ingrained in their blood. This brings them closer to Hindus whom they have been taught to hate. They get confused. They do not know which way to go.
Vasant Rao
June 25, 2012 9:00 am
Nayeem, you have to see the Pakistani children going to mosques everyday in London at about 5 in the afternoon. Their parents dress them in arabic way, and take them to the mosques for religious education. These children, when they are adults, gets so confused that they suffer with an identity crisis till the end of their lives.
June 26, 2012 8:54 am
Harappa and Mohanjo Daro civilization was of Dravadians and not Aryans. Aryans came to India and destryed the two great civilizations and draged the Dravars to the south India. Aryans were woriers and nomades (khana badosh) while the people of Harappa and Moenjo Daro had no war weapons and were mostly fishermen and agriculturist. The Aryans after destroying these civilizations moved on and setteled in the Ganges valley of nothern India (Bihar and UP) 'RAM' was also an Aryan and a good worrier and king. Remember Magadh dynesty of Chandra Gupta Murya. Muslims like Aryans came later to this land and and setlled here and ruled the land as the Aryans did.
June 26, 2012 8:41 am
correction please. The first university of the world is at Nalinda, Bihar. It was made by Budhists.
June 27, 2012 1:01 pm
We are the pioneer( Indus civilization), we were,we would be.
June 28, 2012 4:08 am
So what happened in the 4000 years between Indus Valley civilization and Paksitan? Will you celebrate that too, or is it inconvenient?
June 28, 2012 7:35 am
Simply marvellous ,we here in India discuss on these lines.only Dawn could publish such an article .congratulations Assad Badruddin.keep it up.
August 11, 2012 10:47 pm
an article which is meaningless and dont make any sense. what make you great is what you today as human being rather the dwelling in past. The author is just ignorant and have no idea what he is talking about.
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