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The Pakistan Ideology: History of a grand concoction

Updated Aug 29, 2013 07:59pm


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Most school text books that are called ‘Pakistan Studies’ usually begin with the words, ‘Pakistan is an ideological state.’

Pakistan Studies was introduced in the national curriculum as a compulsory subject in 1972 by the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Over the decades, these books, that are regularly taught at all Pakistani schools and colleges, have gradually evolved into becoming one-dimensional manuals of how to become, believe and behave like a ‘true Pakistani.’

Though the content in these books pretends to be of historical nature, it is anything but.

It’s a monologue broken into various chapters about how the state of Pakistan sees, understands and explains the country’s history, society and culture - and the students are expected to believe it wholesale.

Many detractors have even gone on to call it an indoctrination tool.

It was introduced as a compulsory subject (almost in a panic) by the Bhutto regime soon after the country lost a war with India in 1971 and consequently its eastern wing (East Pakistan).


Pakistan had come into being in 1947 on the back of what its founders called the ‘Two Nation Theory.’

The Theory was culled from the 19th Century writings of modernist Muslim reformists in India who, after the collapse of the Muslim Empire in South Asia, began to explain the region’s Muslims as a separate political, cultural, and, of course, religious entity (especially compared to the Hindu majority of India).

This scholarly nuance, inspired by the ideas of the nation-state introduced by the British Colonialists, gradually evolved into becoming a pursuit to prepare a well-educated and resourceful Muslim middle-class in the region.

Eventually, with the help from sections of the Muslim landed elite in India, the emerging Muslim middle-classes turned the idea into a movement for a separate Muslim homeland comprised of those areas where the Muslims were in a majority in India.

This is what we, today, understand to be the ‘Pakistan Movement.’

However, when the country’s founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah - a western-educated lawyer and head of the All India Muslim League (AIML) - navigated the Movement towards finally reaching its main goal of carving out a separate Muslim homeland in South Asia, he was soon faced with an awkward fact: There were more Muslims in India than there were in the newly created Muslim-majority country of Pakistan.

Jinnah was conscious of this fact when he delivered his first major address to the country’s Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947.

Though during the Movement some factions of his party had tweaked the Two Nation Theory to also mean that the Muslims of India desired an Islamic State, Jinnah was quick to see the contradiction in this claim, simply because more Muslims had either been left behind in India or refused to migrate to Pakistan.

Islam during the Movement was largely used as an ethnic card to furnish and flex the separate nationhood claims of the Muslims. It was never used as a theological roadmap to construct an Islamic State in South Asia.

In his August 11 speech, Jinnah clearly declared that in Pakistan the state will have nothing to do with matters of the faith and Pakistan was supposed to become a democratic Muslim-majority nation state.

He went on to add: ‘ … you will find that in course of time (in Pakistan) Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims; not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.’


Rare footage of a snippet from Jinnah’s August 11, 1947 speech.

Some extraordinary circumstances (World War II, the receding of British Colonialism and rising tensions between the Muslim, Hindu and Sikh communities in India) had combined to hand Jinnah a Muslim-majority country that had fewer Muslims compared to those who stayed behind in India.

Within this Muslim community were various sects and sub-sects with their own understanding and interpretations of the faith.

Then, the country also had multiple ethnicities, cultures and languages - some of them being more ancient than Islam itself!

Keeping all this in mind, Jinnah’s speech made good sense and exhibited a remarkable understanding of the complexities that his new country had inherited.

But it seems many of his close colleagues were still in the Movement mode.

A number of League members thought that with his August 11 speech, Jinnah was being a bit too hasty in discarding the Islamic factor from the new equation and opting to explain the new country as a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural Muslim-majority state.

So soon after Jinnah’s speech, an attempt was made by these leaders to censor the draft of the speech that was to be published in the newspapers.

It was only when the then editor of Dawn newspaper, Altaf Hussain, threatened to take the issue directly to Jinnah that the League leaders relented and the full text of the speech was published.

Jinnah died in 1948 leaving behind a huge leadership vacuum in a country that had apparently appeared on the map a lot sooner than it was anticipated to.

The leadership of the founding party, the Muslim League, was mostly made up of Punjab’s landed gentry and Mohajir (Urdu-speaking) bourgeoisie elite.

The bureaucracy was also dominated by these two communities, whereas the army had an overwhelming Punjabi majority.

Either the multi-cultural connotations of Jinnah’s speech were not entirely understood by his immediate colleagues or simply side-lined by them.

There is very good reason to believe that these connotations somewhat threatened the League’s leadership because the Bengalis of East Pakistan were the majority ethnic group in the new country and the democratic recognition of multi-culturalism and ethnic diversity of Pakistan would automatically have translated into the Bengalis becoming the main ruling group.

After Jinnah had promptly watered down the Islamic aspects of the Pakistan Movement, the League’s leadership that followed his unfortunate death in 1948, decided to reintroduce these aspects to negate the multi-cultural and multi-ethic tenor of Jinnah’s speech.

But things, in this respect, get even more complicated when one is reminded of how it was actually Jinnah who triggered the first serious expression of ethnic turmoil in Pakistan.

In March 1948, Jinnah delivered two speeches in Dhaka (the largest city of the Bengali-dominated East Pakistan).

The speeches were delivered in English and were made at the height of a raging debate within the ruling Muslim League on the question of the country’s national language.

Bengali leadership in the League had purposed the Bengali language on the basis that Bengalis were the largest ethnic group in Pakistan.

However, the party’s Mohajir members led by one of Jinnah’s closest colleagues, Liaquat Ali Khan (who was also Pakistan’s first Prime Minister), disagreed by claiming that Pakistan was made on the demands of a hundred million Muslims (of the sub-continent) and that the language of these Muslims was Urdu.

Of course, it was conveniently forgotten that the majority of these millions of Urdu-speaking Muslims had been left behind in India and that at the time of Pakistan’s inception, Urdu was spoken by less than 10 per cent of the country’s population.

Faced with this dilemma and aggressively pushed by the arguments of Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan to declare Urdu as the national language, Jinnah arrived in Dhaka and in his two speeches there insisted that, indeed, Urdu was to become the country’s national lingua franca.

Jinnah (left) and Liaquat Ali Khan (right) share some matters during a smoke break in Karachi (1947).
Jinnah (left) and Liaquat Ali Khan (right) share some matters during a smoke break in Karachi (1947).

As the Bengalis went on strike and held widespread demonstrations protesting the contradiction in the government’s decision, Jinnah ordered that the Bengali writing system (close to Vedic and classic Sanskrit) be replaced with Arabic script and even with the Roman script.

It was as if the government was suggesting that Bengali could not be adopted as the national language because its writing system looked too much like that of Hindi.

Jinnah’s desperate attempt to replace the Bengali writing system was vehemently challenged by Bengali intellectuals and politicians and he had to beat a hasty retreat on the issue.

But Urdu did become the national language.

The Bengalis’ resentment found immediate sympathisers within other non-Punjabi and non-Mohajir ethnic communities.

Sindhi, Pushtun (and eventually Baloch) intelligentsia were alarmed by the way the state and government had treated the Bengalis’ demands, and foresaw the same happening to their own languages and ethnic cultures.

But instead of anticipating future fissures in the country on ethnic lines, the League (after Jinnah’s death), became even more myopic and wallowed in its self-serving naivety about using Islam as a slogan that was supposed to dissolve ethnic nationalism among the Muslim majority of the country.

The slogan might have worked to haphazardly pull together the Muslim minority of various ethnicities and cultural leanings of India during the Pakistan Movement; but there was no guarantee that it would be able to do the same in a country where this minority had become an overwhelming majority.

Ideally a system and constitution advocating direct democracy should have been worked out to facilitate and streamline the political and cultural participation of all ethnicities in the nation-building process.

But this wasn’t done. Political and cultural expressions of ethnicity were immediately treated as being threats to the unity of the nation and the answer to this threat, ironically, came from elements, most of who were once staunchly against the creation of Pakistan.

Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, though steeped in the progressive Modernist Muslim tradition of Sir Syed’s ‘Aligarh School of Thought,’ was, however, willing to continue to use Islam selectively to maintain the cherished unity of the Muslim majority of Pakistan.

Being a Mohajir, he wasn’t the ‘son of the soil.’ Meaning, unlike most Sindhis, Pushtuns, Punjabi, Baloch and Bengalis, he was born outside of what eventually became Pakistan and didn’t have a large constituency based on language and ethnicity in the country.

So it is understandable why the notion of Islam being a unifying factor was important to him.

But the question was what kind of Islam?


Liaquat Ali Khan speaking at the Constituent Assembly (1947). His government faced an aborted military coup attempt by left-wing sections in the military and the Communist Party of Pakistan in 1951. He was eventually assassinated by a lone gunman the same year.

This question hadn’t really mattered during the Pakistan Movement in which the Muslims of South Asia were agitating as a minority. But then when a large part of this minority became a majority in Pakistan, the historical, political and theological divisions and crevices between this majority’s many sects and sub-sects began to seem starker than before.

To men like Liaquat Ali Khan, Pakistan was to be explained as the organic culmination and natural result of what poet/philosopher Muhammad Iqbal had been contemplating and advocating before his death in the 1930s.

That is, Islam in Pakistan was to make all ethnicities and sectarian differences secondary compared to the precepts of Pakistani nationhood.

But what exactly was this nationhood about?

A good part of the answer first came from a man who during the Pakistan Movement had denounced Jinnah as an ‘infidel.’

Islamic scholar and chief of the fundamentalist Jamat-e-Islami (JI), Abul Ala Maududi, was not an Islamic cleric.

He was a well-read and prolific journalist and thinker.

Though his commentaries on Islam were highly conservative, this was a radical conservatism of sorts. Because not only did he take to task the Muslim nationalism of the likes of Jinnah (claiming that nationalism had no place in Islam); he even managed to offend many scholars of the Deobandi and Barelvi Sunni sub-sects, accusing them of being wedged in ancient clerical traditions (Deobandi) and distorting the true message of Islam through unsavoury innovations (Barelvi).

Thus, it can be claimed that Maududi emerged as a renegade branch from the same tree that was planted by Modernist Muslims like Sir Syed and then carefully nurtured by Iqbal.

The difference was that to him the Muslims’ renewal as a political and cultural force depended not on Muslim nationalism but on an evolutionary process in which Muslim societies were to be ‘Islamized’ from below so that they could be prepared for Islamic laws (Shariah) to be imposed from above (the state).

Islamic scholar and Political Islamist, Abul Aala Maududi.
Islamic scholar and Political Islamist, Abul Aala Maududi.

Another problem Maududi had with Pakistan was that he considered the new country to be in a state of jahiliyat – Arab word meaning ‘ignorance’ which describes the time in Mecca before the arrival of Islam.

So it was ironic when Liaquat and his aids, agreed to adopt a portion of Maududi’s thesis on Political Islam while passing the 1949 Objectives Resolution.

When the Resolution was passed in May 1949 in the Constituent Assembly, it was supposed to be an outline of what the final constitution of the country should look and sound like and also what Pakistani nationhood should be about.

Just a year and a half after Jinnah had described Pakistan as a democratic Muslim-majority state where religion and state would largely be separate, the Resolution now declared Pakistan to be ‘an Islamic entity’ in which no law or policy would be allowed to contradict the teachings of the Qu’ran and the Sunnah.

There was uproar among the country’s Hindu and Christian communities (called ‘minorities’). Their leaders accused the government of ignoring Jinnah’s original vision and of submitting to the dictates of his enemies (Maududi, etc.)

Liaquat tried to pacify the detractors by pointing out that the Resolution had envisioned a progressive and democratic Islamic country and that the minorities need not worry.

Maududi’s party, the Jamat-i-Islami (JI), decided to end its boycott of doing politics in Pakistan after the Resolution, despite the fact that the Resolution did not translate into meaning that the government would begin to legislate Shariah laws immediately (or was even willing to).

The government might have thought that it had successfully defined the finer points of Pakistani nationalism through the Resolution, but the truth was, things in this context got even more complex.

In 1953 vicious riots erupted in Lahore against the controversial Ahmadiyya community when JI and another fundamentalist party, the Majlis-e-Ahrar, demanded that the community be declared non-Muslim.

In 1956, shaken by the riots, constantly challenged by Sindhi, Baloch, Bengali and Pushtun nationalists, and finally realising that the 1949 Objectives Resolution had done precious little to clear the foggy notion of Pakistani nationalism, the Constituent Assembly got down to finally author the country’s first full constitution.

In the constitution, the ethnicities and leftists were appeased with the promise of holding direct elections based on adult franchise, while the fundamentalists were given the space to officially and constitutionally define Pakistan as an ‘Islamic Republic’.

Whereas most activists and politicians on the left weren’t entirely happy with the contents of the Constitution, Maududi readily exhibited his satisfaction by declaring it to be, sufficiently Islamic.

Members of the Muslim League and the Republican Party sitting outside the Constituent Assembly in Karachi just before passing the 1956 Constitution.
Members of the Muslim League and the Republican Party sitting outside the Constituent Assembly in Karachi just before passing the 1956 Constitution.

In 1957 most of the detractors came together in the left-wing and secular National Awami Party (NAP) and were confident that the party was in a good position to win the most seats in the promised direct elections (that were to be held in 1958).

But in late 1958, President Iskandar Mirza, who wasn’t happy with the Constitution nor with parties like NAP, conspired with the military chief, Ayub Khan, and dismissed the assembly and imposed the country’s first Martial Law.

Mirza had described the 1956 Constitution as ‘a prostitution of Islam for political ends.’

President Iskandar Mirza (third from left) with heads of Pakistan armed forces (1958). Mirza suspended the 1956 Constitution calling it ‘a prostitution of Islam for political gains.’
President Iskandar Mirza (third from left) with heads of Pakistan armed forces (1958). Mirza suspended the 1956 Constitution calling it ‘a prostitution of Islam for political gains.’

Just 20 days after the imposition of Martial Law, Mirza was in turn dismissed by Ayub and forced to leave the country. Ayub, as Chief Martial Law Administrator, became the sole centre of power in the country.

He wasted no time in exhibiting his disgust at what had transpired in the county’s politics after Jinnah’s death, and got down to completely scrap whatever had emerged as Pakistani nationhood in the preceding decade and took it upon himself to once and for all give a definitive shape to Pakistani nationalism.

The great debate

Today, one often comes across ageing liberals and former leftists who fondly remember the decade-long Ayub Khan dictatorship (1958-69) as being perhaps the most liberal and secular era in the country’s history.

The irony is that most of them had opposed and actually agitated against the regime as student activists and young journalists.

They often speak about how the people of Pakistan rejoiced when Ayub took power because they were sick of the power games between the politicians and the bureaucrats.

However, there are also those who accuse Ayub of setting the precedence for military intervention in politics in Pakistan, and giving the institution a taste of direct political power that led to three more military dictatorships in the next four decades.

Ayub was a practicing Muslim but almost entirely secular in his political and social outlook and (in one of his first speeches) promised to ‘liberate the spirit of religion from superstition and move forward under the forces of modern sciences and knowledge.’

But understanding that a nation-state requires powerful myths to base its justification upon, Ayub became the first Pakistani head of state to overtly use the state to devise a more holistic national ideology.

Ayub Khan addressing the nation.
Ayub Khan addressing the nation.

He formed the Advisory Council on Islamic Ideology (ACII) and the Islamic Research Institute and populated both with liberal Islamic scholars.

Imagining himself to be a latter day Ataturk and a Muslim de Gaulle, Ayub claimed to express Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan which, to him, was about a modern Muslim-majority state with a strong economy (based on heavy industry) and a sturdy military that would not only protect the country’s borders but its ideology as well.

The religious parties, incensed by Ayub’s secular policies and the fact that he was getting most of these sectioned by the ACII, finally moved in to directly challenge him.

Political parties had been banned by Ayub in 1959 but he lifted the ban in 1962.

The parties on the left like the National Awami Party (NAP) opposed him for his overt capitalist manoeuvres, his regime’s close relationship with the United States, and his refusal to entertain the demands of the Sindhi, Baloch, Bengali and Pushtun nationalists for decentralisation, democracy and provincial autonomy.


American TV report on Ayub’s first visit to the United States in 1961.

Religious parties, especially the fundamentalist Jamat-i-Islami (JI), largely focused their opposition on Ayub’s secular policies. And rather uncannily, by attempting to mould a national ideology, Ayub gave the JI the idea to take the concept and turn it on its head.

The term ‘Pakistan Ideology’ (Nazriah-e-Pakistan’) was nowhere in the founders’ speeches during the creation of Pakistan in 1947.

When Ayub’s 1962 Constitution highlighted his regime’s understanding of Pakistani nationalism to mean a Muslim (as opposed to an Islamic) state where a modern and reformist spirit of Islam, culture and science would guide the country’s politics and society, the JI opposed it.

The backdrop of a stage shows portraits of Ayub and Jinnah. Ayub claimed that he was evolving Pakistan’s nationhood according to the modern and progressive dictates of Jinnah.
The backdrop of a stage shows portraits of Ayub and Jinnah. Ayub claimed that he was evolving Pakistan’s nationhood according to the modern and progressive dictates of Jinnah.

It was at this point that the nation for the first time heard the term Nazriah-e-Pakistan.

It was first used by JI’s Professor Khurshid Ahmed who suggested that the Pakistan Ideology should be squarely based on policies constructed on the teachings of the Qu’ran and Sunnah and should strive to turn Pakistan into an Islamic State because it was on the basis of Islam that the country had separated from the rest of India.

Of course, very little was mentioned in this context by the Professor about the fact that the JI had been one of the many Islamic parties that had actually opposed the creation of Pakistan, calling it a nationalist abomination.

An economist and one of the leading members of Jamat Islami, Prof. Khurshid Ahmed, is said to have first coined the term ‘Nazriah-e-Pakistan’ in 1962.
An economist and one of the leading members of Jamat Islami, Prof. Khurshid Ahmed, is said to have first coined the term ‘Nazriah-e-Pakistan’ in 1962.

The debate as to exactly what kind of a vision drove Jinnah to demand a separate Muslim country in South Asia, and what should constitute Pakistani culture and nationhood reached a peak in the late 1960s, when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto formed the socialist Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and when Sindhi, Baloch, Pushtun and Bengali nationalists had accelerated their agitation for provincial autonomy.

To the JI, the story of Pakistan began not during the Pakistan Movement, but with the invasion of Sindh by Arab commander, Muhammad bin Qasim, in the 9th Century who defeated the region’s Hindu ruler, Raja Dahir.

Sindhi scholar and nationalist leader, GM Syed, rubbished the notion and went to the extent of declaring that to the Sindhis, Muhammad bin Qasim was a usurper and Raja Dahir the hero!
Sindhi scholar and nationalist leader, GM Syed, rubbished the notion and went to the extent of declaring that to the Sindhis, Muhammad bin Qasim was a usurper and Raja Dahir the hero!

Sindhi scholar and nationalist, GM Syed, rejected Ayub’s modernist interpretation of Pakistan’s Muslim nationhood, as well as JI’s Islamic version. He suggested that both were not compatible with the cultural and historical moorings of Pakistan’s non-Punjabi ethnicities.

After witnessing the ascendency of leftist parties and student groups in West Pakistan, and the growing agitation by Bengali nationalists in East Pakistan, the JI declared that socialism and secularism were anti-Islam ideologies akin to atheism.

This claim drew the newly-formed PPP into the debate.

Prominent intellectuals in the PPP and those sympathetic to its cause, especially Hanif Ramay, Safdar Mir and poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, retaliated by first emphasising the JI’s pre-1947 anti-Jinnah rhetoric, and then suggesting that Pakistani nationhood and culture were multi-ethnic and multi-cultural and best served by democracy and socialism.

JI’s founder and Islamic scholar, Abul Ala Maududi, wrote that the leftist, liberal and secular Pakistani political organisations and cultural outfits were the ‘Trojan Horses’ through which they had infiltrated the Pakistani society, government to erode Pakistan’s Islamic character.

In 1969, progressive poet and thinker Faiz Ahmed Faiz, wrote an extensive paper that defined Pakistani nationhood to mean a multi-cultural/multi-ethnic entity with roots in progressive Islam and with the potential to become a culturally rich, progressive and politically modern state.
In 1969, progressive poet and thinker Faiz Ahmed Faiz, wrote an extensive paper that defined Pakistani nationhood to mean a multi-cultural/multi-ethnic entity with roots in progressive Islam and with the potential to become a culturally rich, progressive and politically modern state.

Interestingly, as the movement by leftist political parties and student groups against the Ayub dictatorship gained momentum in the late 1960s, Ayub’s Information Ministry had already begun to mend fences with the JI.

By the time Ayub resigned in 1969 and handed over power to General Yahya Khan, the JI rebounded to become an ally of the military regime.

General Yahya was a notorious drinker and womaniser but smart enough to use Maududi’s status as a prolific Islamic scholar to blunt the leftists’ push against the military regime.

Informed by his intelligence agencies that an election at best would produce a hung verdict, Yahya agreed to his opponents’ demand to hold the country’s first direct election based on adult franchise.

As Ayub’s idea of Pakistani nationhood dwindled, JI made its own concept of Nazriah-e-Pakistan one of the main planks of its election manifesto.

Expecting to bag an impressive number of seats in the Parliament, JI (along with most other religious parties), was soundly beaten by the PPP and NAP (in West Pakistan), and by the Bengali nationalist party, the Awami League (in East Pakistan).

Yet again the project of moulding an ideology of Pakistan acceptable to all Pakistanis had come to a dead-end. In fact, it seemed that it was now destined to end up in the dustbin of history.

The compromise

It might as well have, had Pakistan not gone to war with India and then badly lose that war.

Shiekh Mujeebur Rheman’s Awami League had won the highest number of seats in the 1970 election (albeit all in East Pakistan).

In theory, his party should have been invited by Yahya to form Pakistan’s first popularly elected government.

The military, dominated by the Punjabis in West Pakistan, and Bhutto’s PPP, pointed at Mujeeb’s ‘anti-Pakistan rhetoric’ and suggested that he would use the Parliament to separate East Pakistan from the rest of the country on the basis of Bengali nationalism.

A delay in the handing over of power to the Awami League saw the eruption of a full-scale civil war in East Pakistan.


A 1971 snippet from American TV network ABC’s show on the violence in East Pakistan.

Thousands of Bengalis lost their lives in the conflict as the Pakistan Army employed brutal tactics to stem the Bengalis’ march towards independence.

The military also recruited members of the JI in East Pakistan to form death squads against Bengali intellectuals, journalists and students.

Acts of brutality were also committed by the militant wings of the Bengali nationalists against military personnel, non-Bengali residents of East Pakistan and those Bengalis who were accused of collaborating with the Pakistan Army.

Thousands of Bengalis crossed over into Indian Bengal as refugees. Though India was by now backing the nationalists, it was in December 1971 that it entered the fray, decimating the Pakistani armed forces.

The defeat saw East Pakistan become the independent Bengali state of Bangladesh. In early 1972, a group of officers forced Yahya Khan to resign and hand over power to Z A. Bhutto.

Bhutto’s party the PPP that had swept the 1970 election in former West Pakistan’s two largest provinces, the Punjab and Sindh, on a socialist manifesto, formed the government at the centre and in the mentioned provinces.

Another left-wing party, the National Awami Party (NAP) that had won the largest number of seats in the former NWFP and Balochistan was able to form coalition governments in these provinces.

The first phase of the Bhutto regime (1972-74) was dominated by the radical left-wing of the PPP.

However, since Pakistan found itself reeling from an expensive war, a demoralised army, and fears that India and the Soviet Union may go on to fan separatist movements in NWFP, Balochistan and even in Bhutto’s own home province of Sindh, his government sanctioned a project to mould an ideological narrative that would help the state redeem the floundering belief in a united Pakistan.

It is believed that the new nationalist narrative was first and foremost devised to uplift a defeated army. But by late 1972 it began to make its way into school text books.

In a nutshell, the narrative went something like this: West Pakistan was always the real Pakistan because it’s a cohesive and seamless region that runs from north to south along the mighty Indus River. This region’s population had predominately been Muslim (ever since the 12th Century), and though it may have a number of ethnicities, they all had similar views on Islam.

This was to suggest that the Bengali-dominated East Pakistan that lay thousands of miles away from West Pakistan had always been an unnatural part of what had appeared on the map as Pakistan in 1947.

The study of Pakistan Studies, a subject that exclusively dealt with the history and culture of the country (based on the above narrative) was introduced and then made compulsory for school and college students.

In the early 1970s the new narrative was still very much a work-in-progress and largely retained content from history books that were in circulation before 1971.

Thus, in 1973, the PPP government organised a large conference in Islamabad in which some of the country’s leading intellectuals, historians and scholars were invited.

They were requested to debate and thrash out a nationalist narrative that could then be turned into a state ideology and imposed through legislative means and proliferated trough school textbooks.

One of the most influential scholars to appear from the exercise was the veteran conservative historian, I H. Qureshi.

Qureshi was not much of a Bhutto supporter. Yet, the Bhutto regime decided to use Qureshi’s writings on the Pakistan Movement to make up for the bulk of the content that made its way into the Pakistan Studies books.

Books such as this one by conservative historian, I H. Qureshi, were brought back into circulation in the 1970s by the Bhutto regime. According to Qureshi, the ‘Pakistan way of life’ and the ‘Islamic way of life’ were synonymous.
Books such as this one by conservative historian, I H. Qureshi, were brought back into circulation in the 1970s by the Bhutto regime. According to Qureshi, the ‘Pakistan way of life’ and the ‘Islamic way of life’ were synonymous.

Though the Bhutto regime was populist, socialist and largely secular, in 1973 it managed to get a consensus from all the parties to unveil a new constitution that rebranded Pakistan as an Islamic Republic and proclaimed that all laws in the country would be made in the light of the teachings of the Qu’ran and the Sunnah.

JI and other religious parties had explained the break-up of Pakistan in 1971 as a consequence of its rulers’ refusal to turn the country into an Islamic state and thus, giving secularists and ethnic nationalists enough reason and space to dictate terms and harm the unity of the country.

The second phase of the Bhutto regime (1974-77) saw the slowing down of its socialist projects and the declining influence of PPP’s socialist and Marxist ideologues in the policy-making process.

The regime’s capitulation in the event of the agitation and the demands of the religious parties to declare the Ahamadiyya community as a non-Muslim minority was at least one symptom of Bhutto’s rightward shift.

By the time of the 1977 election, the PPP manifesto all but eliminated the word socialism from its manifesto. Its regime, elected on a relatively radical socialist and largely secular program in 1970, had (within a matter of five years), become a somewhat odd mixture of nationalist populism, and an equally populist expression of Political Islam.


Bhutto asking the people to recognise Bangladesh during a 1973 rally in Lahore. The crowd asks him not to. Bhutto gets frustrated and says that Bangladesh can then go to hell! Nevertheless, his government finally recognised Bangladesh in 1974.

Bhutto it seems had sensed the Islamic revival taking place across the Muslim world after the 1973 Arab-Israel War.

Though the war had ended in a stalemate of sorts, oil-rich Arab monarchies enjoyed a sudden rise in profits from after they slowed down oil production and greatly jacked-up oil prices.

The profits gave the oil-producing Arab countries power to influence Muslim regimes that did not have the fortune of owning vast oil fields.

Saudi Arabia hardly played a role in the matters of Pakistan before 1973. But after 1973 Bhutto’s Pakistan (just like Sadat’s Egypt) began to court the oil-rich Saudi monarchy, hoping to fatten their countries’ struggling economies with hearty hand-outs from their wealthy Muslim brethren (‘Petro- Dollars’).

But the money came with a condition. The Saudi monarchy was a passionate proponent of a rather puritanical strand of Islam (‘Wahabism’). It had alarmingly seen the rise of socialist regimes in Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Algeria, Sudan, Somalia and Pakistan in the 1950s, ‘60s and early ‘70s.

After 1973 when it began to pump money into Muslim countries, with the money, also came the allusions and nudges to undermine leftist ideologies and kick-start an intellectual and political exercise to ‘Islamize’ governments and societies according to the Saudis’ interpretation of faith.

Arab monarchies had struggled to stay afloat against the onslaught and rise of secular Arab nationalism (‘Arab Socialism’) in the 1950s and 1960s. And in spite of the fact that most of these monarchies were allies of Western powers, they were also conscious of Western political ideas such as democracy trickling into the mind-set of their citizens, especially the younger lot.

From 1973 onwards, Petro Dollars began to be disbursed and distributed among Western and Muslim academics, intellectuals, governments and (Muslim) religious leaders, along with, of course, on the construction of beautiful mosques.

What began to appear from this exercise was a Political Islam that was anti-left, anti-Zionist, anti-secular but pro-West, pro-business, pro-monarchy and with a healthy bank balance.

After trying to appease the Islamic lobby by introducing certain Islamic clauses in the 1973 Constitution, and then agreeing to constitutionally declare the Ahamadiyya community as a non-Muslim religious minority, the Bhutto regime moved in to appease its new-found Saudi friends and donors.

Since by now the Pakistan Ideology had begun to place Pakistan’s historical roots in lands from where Arab horsemen had begun to invade India from the 8th Century onwards, it was decided that the Arabic language too should be adopted and taught in schools.

Since till about 1975, the Pakistan society and government had remained largely secular, Bhutto might have felt secure in believing that he was successfully keeping his left and liberal constituencies satisfied along with the conservative religious sections of the society and Pakistan’s new Arab donors.

So it must have come as a rude shock to him when in December 1976, a 9-party alliance of religious and anti-Bhutto parties united under the umbrella of the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA).

The alliance geared up to face Bhutto’s PPP in the 1977 election. And it was only when the PNA used the words ‘Nizam-e-Mustafa’ (The Prophet’s System) as its main slogan, it became apparent that the Bhutto regime’s experiments in the still elusive territory of the Pakistan Ideology had actually ended up providing his opponents the space and idea to use Islam as an electoral tool.

Another factor that Bhutto might have undermined was that Saudi Arabia was not only cultivating relations with the Bhutto regime, it was also on very good terms with religious parties such as the JI.

Instead of countering PNA’s religious overtones by falling back on its original appeal of being a populist ‘pro-poor’ party, the PPP went on the defensive because according to Bhutto’s analysis, now it was the Islamic revival factor that needed to be eyed and then grabbed.


In 1976 PTV began running a series called ‘Tabeer.’ It depicted the 1857 Indian Mutiny as a Muslim Jihad against the British and their Hindu allies and the beginning of the Pakistan Movement.

The word Islam outnumbered the word socialism in the party’s new manifesto and for the first time religion became the central point of debate and discussion during an election in Pakistan.

Claims and counterclaims of the PPP and the PNA on who was a better Muslim became so intense that an editorial in Pakistan’s largest English daily, Dawn, pleaded to both the camps to keep Islam out of politics.

The PPP trounced the PNA in the National Assembly election. The PNA cried foul and accused the Bhutto regime of rigging the polls. The truth was that the regime had rigged only a handful of seats (in the Punjab) and would have won the election anyway.

But Bhutto wanted to change the country’s parliamentary system into a Presidential one and for that he desired a big majority in the National Assembly.

PNA refused to contest the Provincial Assembly elections and instead, began a protest movement that soon became violent.

Demanding Bhutto’s resignation and fresh elections, PNA supporters, mostly made up of right-wing, urban middle-class youth and supported by the industrial and trader classes that were greatly stung by the Bhutto regime’s socialist manoeuvres, poured out onto the streets.

Demanding Shariah, PNA activists attacked bars, nightclubs and cinemas during their 1977 protest movement against Bhutto.
Demanding Shariah, PNA activists attacked bars, nightclubs and cinemas during their 1977 protest movement against Bhutto.

Surprised by the tenacity of the protesters, Bhutto began emergency talks with the PNA leadership.

The ironic aspect of the movement was that when the PNA and the protesters began to use Islamic symbolism and slogans, these were culled from what the Bhutto regime had inducted into school textbooks and governmental lingo.

But since both PNA and PPP were going on and on about Islam without ever bothering to explain exactly how they were planning to turn a religion based on moral and social codes into a functioning political and economic system, this eyewash was addressed by another eyewash.

In July 1977, Bhutto’s own General toppled his regime in a military coup and promptly arrested him.

General Ziaul Haq was handpicked by Bhutto, in spite of him having a history of being highly conservative and an admirer of JI’s chief and Islamic scholar, Abul Ala Maududi.

When he imposed the country’s third Martial Law, Zia took PNA’s Nizam-e-Mustafa rhetoric and turned it into a draconian, and then a legislative ideological project, giving the whole concept of the Pakistan Ideology its starkest and weightiest Islamic aspect thus far.

Bhutto was hanged in April 1979 through a sham trial.

The grand concoction

General Zia’s interpretation of Islam was derived heavily from the Deobandi Sunni Muslim view.

The model undertaken by Zia for his Islamization project was based on Maulana Maududi’s theory of the state, and the Jamaat-e-Islami became the only political party that could freely function during the time.


Ziaul Haq declaring Martial Law on PTV (July 1977).

Zia had shrewdly noted how even some of the most secular Pakistanis had largely remained silent when Bhutto declared the Ahmadiyya community non-Muslim.

Islam was the perfect kind of excuse for a tyrant to flex his muscles, especially in a country where the middle-classes and upstarts who had travelled to oil-rich Arab countries had confused the power of the Petro-Dollar with the power of the strict strand of Islam that they came into contact with there.

Maududi’s Pakistan Ideology that had been battered by the voters in 1970 and then mutated into meaning something closer to Bhutto’s equally convoluted ‘Islamic Socialism,’ fell into the hands of Zia who gave it his own twist.

But he not only made it a part of school textbooks; he also began to actually express it through the draconian laws that he described as being ‘Islamic.’

Law after law based on a particular and orthodox understanding of Islam was rolled out, so much so that by the time of his death in 1988, the 1973 Constitution, that had originally been a product of progressive and democratic intent, became the enshrinement of laws that till even today give both a religious, as well as a constitutional cover to what are indeed acts of religious violence and bigotry.


1982 PTV footage of Zia announcing his dictatorship’s new set of so-called Islamic Laws.

But while all this was being weaved into a more aggressively propagated ideology by the state, the Zia regime was soon confronted in this respect by a number of close colleagues of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and secular historians.

They suggested that the so-called Pakistan Ideology was always a concoction of the religious right and the military-establishment to sustain and justify their undemocratic hold over a multi-ethnic and multi-sectarian polity.

After toppling the Z. A. Bhutto government in July 1977, Zia almost immediately got down to the business of transforming the ideological complexion of Pakistan, peddling it as a state that was supposedly conceived as a theocratic entity.

However, Zia and his ideological partners, mainly the Jamat-i-Islami (JI), soon hit a brick wall in this respect when they couldn’t endorse their revisionist narrative with any of the sayings and speeches of Jinnah.

Zia thus banned the mention (in the media and school textbooks) of Jinnah’s famous speech that he made to the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947, and in which he clearly described Pakistan as a progressive, non-theocratic Muslim-majority state.

His Information Ministry then ‘advised’ PTV and Radio Pakistan to only use those sayings of Jinnah that had the word Islam in them.

The practice only stopped with Zia’s assassination in August 1988 and Jinnah was finally spared the false beard Zia kept pining on the founder’s otherwise shaven chin.


Benazir Bhutto on Zia’s Islam and legacy.

Nevertheless, no civilian government has dared to alter or expunge the ‘Islamic laws’ planted in the Constitution by the Zia regime.

The fear of being declared ‘anti-Islam’ and ‘anti-Pakistan Ideology’ overrides the will to throw out these laws that have wreaked havoc on various sections of the society, especially the women and the minority communities.

These laws have also ended up actually institutionalising moral hypocrisy and even religiously-motivated violence.

Thus, in the last two decades, whole generations of educated, middle-class, young Pakistanis have grown up believing that Shariah was Jinnah’s main aim, and that the so-called Pakistan Ideology emerged from the sacrifices rendered by their elders during the Pakistan Movement.

A Pakistan Studies textbook.
A Pakistan Studies textbook.

Liberals, leftists and ethnic nationalists have continued to oppose these views and moves. They describe them as being tools of the ‘Punjabi ruling elite’ and their religious allies, as a way to keep certain ethnicities (and now sects) on a tight leash.

But the truth is, with the help of the private Urdu media and the growing economic, judicial and political influence of the urban middle-classes, the ‘Pakistan Ideology’ as it has stood ever since Zia’s time is what that defines most young Pakistanis today.

Even if, ironically, it is more likely to make them say they are Muslims first and Pakistanis later.

References and Resources:

Afnan Khan, The Threat of Pakistan’s Revisionist Text (The Guardian, 18 May, 2009).

Stephen Alter, Amritsar to Lahore: a journey across the India-Pakistan border (Penn Sylvania Press, 2002). p.22

Maneesha Tikar, Across the Wagah (Bibliophile South Asia, 2004). p.210

Neelam Hussain, Samiya Mumtaz, Samina Choonara, Politics of Language (Simorgh Publication, 2005). p.162

T Rahman, Government Policies & The Politics of Teaching Urdu in Pakistan (Annual Urdu Studies, 2002).

Amy Bik May Tsui, James W. Tollefson, Language Policy, Culture and Identity in Asian Contexts (Routledge, 2007). pp.244, 245

Thomas Oberlies, Pali: A Grammar of the Language of theTheravāda Tipiṭaka, (Walter de Gruyter, 2001).

Ayesha Jalal, Self and sovereignty: Individual & Community in South Asia Islam Since 1870 (Routledge, 2002). pp.174, 175, 176

Manas Chatterji, B. M. Jain, Conflict & Peace in Asia, (Emerald Group Publishing, 2008). p.251

Irfan Ahmad, The Transformation of Jamat-e-Islami (Princeton University Press, 2009). p.6

The 1956 Constitution declared Pakistan to be an ‘Islamic Republic’ and consequently, the country began to be called the ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan.’

Abul Ala Maududu, The Islamic Law & Constitution (Islamic Books, 1986).

Selig S. Harrison, Paul H. Kreisberg, Dennis Kux, India & Pakistan: The First Fifty Years (Cambridge University Press, 1999). p.47

GS Bhargava, Pakistan in Crises (Vikas Publications, 1971). p.75

John L. Esposito, Islam & Politics (Syracuse University Press 1998). pp.120-121

Husain Haqani, Pakistan: Between the Mosque & Military (Carneige, 2010). p.43

Martin E. Marty, R. Scot, Fundamentalisms Observed (University of Chicago Press, 1998). p.473

Ishtiaq Ahmed, State, Nation & Ethnicity in Contemporary South Asia (Continuum International Publication, 1998). p.284

Martin E. Marty, R. Scot, Fundamentalisms Observed (University of Chicago Press, 1998). p.474

Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Culture and Identity (Oxford University Press, 2005).

Saadia Toor, The State of Pakistan (Pluto Press, 2005). pp: 112-115

KK Aziz, The Murder of History (Renaissance Publishing House, 1998). p.111

A Zubair, The Silent and the Lost (Pacific Breeze Publishers, 2010). p.321

Strategic Digest Vol: 3 (Institute of Defence Studies & Analyses, 1973). p.16

Aitzaz Ahsan, The Indus Saga (Roli, 2005).

Dr. Mubarek Ali, Interviews & Comments (Fiction House, 2004). p.66

Zaid Haider, The Ideological Struggle For Pakistan, (Hoover Institution Press, 2010). p.16

Walid Phares, The War of Ideas (Macmillan, 2007).

Rubina Saigol, Radicalization of State & Society in Pakistan (Heinrich Boll Stiftung). p.10

Mubashir Hassan, The Miraj of Power: An Inquiry into the Bhutto Years - 1971-77 (Oxford University Press, 2000). pp.299-300

Vali Reza Nasr, Islamic Leviathan (Oxford University Press, 2001) p.80

Khaled Ahmed, Pakistan Behind The Ideological Mask (Vanguard, 2001).

The Political Economy of Pakistan: 1947-85 (Taylor & Frances, 1988) p.180

Akbar Ahmed, Jinnah, Pakistan & Islamic Entity (Routledge, 2012).

Ravi Kalia, Pakistan: From Rehtoric of Democracy to Rise of Militancy (Routledge 2012). p.5


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Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and He is also the author of two books on the social history of Pakistan, End of the Past and The Pakistan Anti-Hero.

He tweets @NadeemfParacha

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (171) Closed

Ahmed Aug 29, 2013 07:06pm

if there was no relegious bases of Pakistan, then why didnt the Bengalis in India and in East Pakistan unite and made a state on Bengali nationalism and secularism,

  • If Bangladesh is secular and so is India then why are Bengalis divided.???
Muniz Aug 29, 2013 07:13pm

@Ahmed: Bengalis are first Bengalis then Muslims.

farid Aug 29, 2013 07:29pm

@Ahmed: They are not even 1 % divided as compared to the land of pure AKA Pakistan.

ivehadit Aug 29, 2013 07:45pm

I'll give a minority viewpoint.

Pakistan was primarily about minority rights...rights Muslim's felt they would be denied in a unified India. Which is why Jinnah offered to stay in India if parliament gave Muslims sufficient protections.

This is a lesson lost in the message that says Pakistan was created for Muslims. It's a message we need to teach our kids, so they in turn respect minority rights.

True Aug 29, 2013 07:51pm

PAKISTANIs will always be a confused nation....

Rehman Nasir Aug 29, 2013 07:58pm

Brilliant and articulate. NFP has always been and still is an intense and well-informed iconoclast. Kudos.

Rida Noor Aug 29, 2013 08:03pm

this debate has polarized the society in Pakistan, I wish there could be an understanding between the liberal extremes and the religious bigots.

Atta Aug 29, 2013 08:09pm

@Ahmed: There is a difference between country for Muslims and a 'Theocratic State'. In undivided India Muslims were minority and they feared that majority will not give them due rights and hence that needed a separate place. if East and West Bangalis are mature enough, they can unite...... It is important to understand that STATE is not a religious entity, it is a political entity. When Prophet Muhammad (PBOH) created state of medina the first rule was that 'Muslims and Jews are one Ummat/millat' ---- Under Islamic jurisprudence state is always secular as it is a relationship b/w human beings

Adnan Sohail Aug 29, 2013 08:24pm

@Rida Noor: Sorry, Rida but it is in-betweens like you who are the main problem. You guys have remained on the fence and allowed the bigots to distort our history. But when a liberal attempts to get rid of the cobwebs from our history books, you 'moderates' always throw up your arms and begin talking about polarization. Unfortunately, it is people like you who are used by the bigots to act as their apologists.

Adnan Sohail Aug 29, 2013 08:27pm

I'm sure the right-wingers haven't read a word of this feature and went into convulsions the moment they saw the cartoon of someone making a beard on Jinnah's face.

Try to face alternative narratives about your history. Otherwise we as a nation will continue to stagnate.

Nisar Chowdhari Aug 29, 2013 08:47pm

People like Paracha have really done a good job in confusing the young generation of Pakistan first by making sure that the media does not say any logical thing about Pakistan, it is only the muslims of India who understand the value of Pakistan, because they are living there and really know the mentality of the people there .The people who migrated to pakistan had at least enough faith that they left their houses and belongings in the hope that they will be a part of the experiment which was started by the prophet and the four Khalifas after whom reactionary forces took over and stopped the thinking process for muslims and the religious establishment took hold of our matters, and made sure that Muslim get stuck to their past and do not look forward, but Allah is the Creator of all things and He has a Plan fo all of us, coming in the world is not an accident but a real test for all of us for whatever we do here

H L Aug 29, 2013 09:15pm

Nice work of walking us back in to history. Lots of material to think and ponder and correct our ways as a nation.

kamljit Singh Aug 29, 2013 09:15pm

@Ahmed: Why Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia ,Malaysia etc etc ---are not one country ?

GLEN Aug 29, 2013 09:23pm

Iff religion stayed a private business, could Pakistan (or a united India) have played a more important role in the World, and provided a third alternative to handling the perpetual middle east problems? Instead, we have Pakistan dragged into the tribal morass of middle east in the disguise of religion. Easier said than done, I suppose, what with all the money from oil; Oil has been a curse to the brown man.

M.Hanif Awan Aug 29, 2013 09:26pm

It is a petty that V R living in the period of distorted history,n R mostly being ruled by the people who were deadly against the IDEA(NOT IDEOLOGY) OF PAKISTAN),,,which was invented in the period of GEN YAHYA Khan by Gen Sher Ali + jama-at e Islami.They were supported by JUI n like minded politicians cum right wingers. If V have to save our beloved country,we have to follow the QUID'S speech of 11 SEP ,1948.

Umer Aug 29, 2013 09:27pm

@Ahmed: So by your logic, why don't all the secular states of the world merge into one state? A little use of your the thing inside your head would be helpful.

Pankaj Patel Aug 29, 2013 09:35pm

@Ahmed: Why pick on Bengalis,there are so many Arab countries with same religion and language but they have political and historical background to be separate.Bangladesh is a separate country because of history and they want to be that way it has nothing to do with religion.Pakistanis are hyper religious and try to explain every thing in religious context,even Saudis don't do that.

AbbasToronto Aug 29, 2013 09:38pm

Nishan Yehi Hai Zamane Mein Zinda Qoumon Ka
Ke Subh-O-Sham Badalti Hain In Ki Taqdeerain

The Two-Nation theory is alive and well in every society since antiquity.

On the one hand there are the liberals

RK Singh Aug 29, 2013 09:48pm

grt article. kudos.

AHA Aug 29, 2013 09:54pm

Pakistan of Jinnah ceased to exist from 1949, when the Objectives Resolution was passed.

Karachi Wala Aug 29, 2013 10:06pm

A very well and thoroughly researched article on the history of Pakistan. Read it from beginning till the end and watch all the videos and pictures, it tells the reader where and how Pakistan began and more importantly where it is heading.... I understand it was difficult for NFP but he finally found the courage to separate himself from the romance of Bhutto-ism, for which he needs to be commended.

AHA Aug 29, 2013 10:15pm

NFP writes: "The fear of being declared

gangadin Aug 29, 2013 10:21pm

Who will read this rant from a paid puppet. What ideology? I was taught the same thing but then I started exploring and found some other things. There was no creation of Pakistan. It was division of India under the british doctrine of divide and rule. Have the british left?

Sonal Aug 29, 2013 10:23pm

Fabulous piece, Mr. Paracha! Great history lesson too. I would love to get my hands on a Pakistan Studies textbook one day.

Your article is perfectly timed. I was just asking someone yesterday - why did so many Muslims not buy into Jinnah's Pakistan philosophy, and decide to stay back in India instead?

I think the choice was clear for Hindus (including most of my family) and Sikhs that India was to be their new homeland. But I'd love to know what the Muslims who consciously decided not to move to an Islamic state were thinking. Any insights will be hugely appreciated. Thanks!

Ali K Aug 29, 2013 10:30pm

@Umer: Have they not? I give you a clue, EU+USA. One of the main requirements of Trukey to join EU was secularism. Charity should begin from home: meaning use your head before asking others. You may not want to agree, but one of major reasons India of so many ethnicities is united because of the hindu religion.

ayesha Aug 29, 2013 10:35pm

Very well written.

ayesha Aug 29, 2013 10:36pm

Very well written.

abdul Aug 29, 2013 10:53pm

@AbbasToronto: Pakistan's civil war is its strength...!!! Have you gone nuts?!!

Dearborn Iffy Aug 29, 2013 10:59pm

"...Islam is for Free Enterprise, Free Trade, and Global in view, while Hinduism is agrarian in soul a la Gandhi and desi first."

Uncle which Islam are you talking about.

Uncle, here is what I think of the "firsts"

.Free Enterprise

Mr Singh Aug 29, 2013 11:39pm

@AbbasToronto: why you are using Toronto as your surname. ?

Vijay@toronto Aug 29, 2013 11:48pm

@AbbasToronto: Shoppers Drug Mart just called. Your meds are waiting to be picked up!

Javed Aug 29, 2013 11:47pm

@AbbasToronto: Easy for people living in the West, enjoying capitalistic society, enjoying free trade and living on free Govt. money to make lewd comments.

Did you ever work for a living in your life? If not, that sums up the mentality of Pakistani elite in a short sentence.

IndianInUS Aug 29, 2013 11:51pm

@Ali K: EU is not a country, EU + USA is not a country. They may have a lot in common but they are not a single country, just like SAARC does not mean that India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc are not a single country. Joining a league or an association is not equivalent to unifying under a single nation.

Vijay@toronto Aug 29, 2013 11:50pm

@Nisar Chowdhari: Can you please share with us, the great unwashed, what the plan of the 'CREATOR' is for you? Just curious!

Tariq Aug 30, 2013 12:04am

An unbiased reading of history reveals that Jinnah did not really want Pakistan. The Pakistan demand was merely a bargaining position. His ultimate aim was for a United India with a Federal system designed to give Muslims the ability to govern certain provinces in which they were a majority. To this end Jinnah accepted the Cabinet Mission plan in 1946. It was Nehru and Patel who scuttled this excellent plan for reasons which have never been properly explored by British, Indian, or Pakistani historians.

Jinnah lived a mere 13 months after the partition, and since his passing, various groups of Pakistanis have been busy parsing his speeches and distorting his legacy to suit their own particular agendas. The legacy of this great and far sighted man has been reduced by his people to a lump of clay. Every single Pakistani wants to twist and shape it to suit his or her own ideology.

Ravi Dallas TX Aug 30, 2013 12:05am

Quick advice to readers: click on "Print" button so all the text will be in one page and it is going to be great "novel" reading if you are interested in the topic.

This is a brilliant piece from NFP. It is a complex subject with so many major events took place in such a short period and presenting it in such a quick, easy to read and smooth flow is commendable.

I learnt so much in the 30 minutes of this reading than from my earlier attempts of reading on WIkipedia (great resource but one will be easily lost in ocean of information).

This should be a must a read for Indians as well ,who often summarize Pakistan simply as enemy that breeds terrorists without understanding the complexities that made Pakistan what it is today.

I am sure, reading this will change many Indian and Pakistan minds and question their current beliefs.

Ahmed Aug 30, 2013 12:15am

@Umer: Bengalis separated for Bengali Nationalism but Bengalis in Indian Bengal didnt go with them! why? r they not bengali? and

  • if 200 million Muslims are living in India then why did millions left their homes and came to Karachi and Lahore from India, was it useless effort?? was it blunder??
AJD Aug 30, 2013 12:19am

@Ali K: I disagree with you. India is not a united country because of Hinduism alone. It is united mainly because of the shared history and many similarities in cultures of various sub-nationalities of various Indian States, etc. In India we have three States which are Christian majority (Mizoram, Nagaland & Meghalaya) and one more State, Goa, where Christians form almost half of the population, besides the Sikh majority State of Punjab. Moreover, there are large areas of various States where Buddhists are in majority. Gujarat is one State where most Jains are concentrated. Apart from Kashmir valley, there are several districts in India where Shias and Sunnis are in majority.

Yet, in any national emergency like wars, from the Christian Nagas, to the Buddhists Ladakhis, all Indians of all religions have been in the forefront in the defence of the Motherland and have offered supreme sacrifices and have become martyrs. The minorities of India have proved time and again that in matters of patriotism, they are hand in hand with the Hindus. We minorities in India do not face any discrimination because of our religions. Please remember, a sensitive intelligence agency of India, the Intelligence Bureau is today headed by a Muslim and till recently the much decorated Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain, UYSM, PVSM, AVSM, SM (BAR), VSM (BAR) was the Commander of the 15 Corps in Indian Kashmir. Today we have a Sikh PM, a Muslim VP, a Sikh Army Chief, a Muslim Foreign Minister and a Christian Defence Minister. Besides Indian Muslims still proudly tell to their children the story of Company Quarter Master Havildar, Abdul Hamid from the 4th Battalion of The Grenadiers, who posthumously won the highest gallantry award PVC in the 1965 war with Pakistan.

Aaron Aug 30, 2013 12:31am

@Ahmed: Because their leaders cannot become prime ministers and wholesale looters of the new country. Their activities will be watched by a central government and limit their exploitation of the land for their benefits. It is not about religion but about sharing power.

Shoaib Aug 30, 2013 12:37am

@Ahmed: Can you answer why Pashtuns of pakistan and Pashtuns from Afganistan are devided?

AbbasToronto Aug 30, 2013 01:18am

2013 India's "Two-Nation" theory - Sen vs. Bhagwati.

Imran Aug 30, 2013 01:21am

@Sonal: To understand that, you must go back and try to think like the people of the time. I don't think anyone could have ever imagined back then that Pakistan and India would be perpetual enemies like they are now. So there was no point in migrating and losing all one's property and belongings. Even M A Jinnah maintained a house in Bombay and always thought about retiring to live there one day.

Sonal Aug 30, 2013 01:50am

The Ayub Khan US visit video is so cool!! What a time that was, huh? Very special indeed for Pakistan. And so uncharacteristic of the US to so strongly support a military dictatorship - all so that it had an ally against the USSR supported socialist India? How the times have changed!!!

Muhammad Ahmed Aug 30, 2013 01:51am

It is indeed a well written piece and provides a quite an objective view of Pakistan Movement. I think the ideology question clearly depends upon who is asked this question. Many people actually moved to Pakistan and India after facing tremendous amount of violence. There were significant events of ethnic tensions in many areas prior to 1947. It seems like from a liberal's perspective it is quite easy to not realize the blood shed that occurred during partition and the reasons behind it. I certainly agree that history of Pakistan does not start from Muhammad Bin Qasim and it should be understood in context of more recent events that contributed to partition. It is however, unfair to overlook the fact that how many muslims were actually becoming part of government services as percentage of total population after 1857. It almost seems like muslims who were united under the banner of muslim league probably were motivated by their personal experiences. I think it also seems like the general instruction style of muslim population is completely being overlooked by the author. Even with regular school system, madrassa system was quite active. Some one like Faiz who had slowly become agnostic also indicated that one of his major regrets was that he was unable to complete the hifz of Quran (Search for last mushaira of faiz on youtube). It almost seems like author is greatly influenced by his personal surroundings and he also considers that his progressive views are shared by everyone. The fact is that a specific election result in author's college cannot be considered the general political viewpoint of the nation. People generally tend to unite towards an ideology that gives them ability to consider themselves equal and also attempts to ensure that their is social justice. This hope has greatly influenced people to turn towards more fundamental form of islam. That hope may be futile but it has resulted in mixed results in society where corruption is blatantly practiced with the hope of seeking forgiveness through religious rituals. Our hypocrisy as a nation is pretty much evident but it seems quite unfair to blame it squarely on Islam or Islamic parties like JI. It almost seems like we have failed ourselves simply as human beings and need to learn humanity before we turn our focus towards any type of system or ideology.

Samina Aug 30, 2013 01:54am

Excellent. Hope this is included in the Social Studies Textbooks soon.

Parvez Aug 30, 2013 01:58am

Simplify it : Pakistan was born and very soon high-jacked by the 1 %.............Ideology, culture, religion, democracy, ethics, morals, laws, slogans and what nots were from day one and still are devised to keep the 99 % under the thumb of the 1 % .........and for some 66 years this model has proved successful. Those who believe it can remain successful are mistaken.

qashqarari e daq Aug 30, 2013 02:19am

i respect the objectivity of the writer. i would like to suggest the policy setters of pakistan and the texbook writers to stop further murdering the history and to use some minute bit of the thing inside their skull and show the new generation avenues of independent and objective research,rather indoctrinating in them a prejudiced and apartheid perception.

AbbasToronto Aug 30, 2013 02:25am

" ... Since the 1960s, our economic, political, and social institutions all began to unwind

TKhan Aug 30, 2013 02:36am

Dear NFP, Well researched! A very informative read and great reminder of history for us baby boomer's generation. However, you still let ZAB getaway from any responsibility or blame for the separation of East Pakistan. I was there listening to Bhutto's threats to Awami League, Mujibur Rehman and East Pakistanis in general. A bit of honesty and truth won't hurt your integrity and the facts mentioned throughout the blog. May you live long! Amen!

Nizamuddin Ahmad Aug 30, 2013 02:41am

I will like to make two corrections. 1: Islam has been the main theme of the partition. Pakistan Resolution declared by Dr. Iqbal was a draft by Sir Zafar ullah and not by Liaqat Ali Khan. According to Viceroy memo and a letter to the king, he writes " since Zafarulah can not take the ownership of the draft being a Qadiani he has decided to assign another Muslim ". Please see de-classified His Majesty memos. (Her Majesty stationary department publications ) Mr. Jinnah respected and treated Zafarullah as his son, sadly agreed. 2: Liaqat Ali Khan was a Punjabi, Born in Punjab/Karnal, spoke Urdu like most of the E. Punjabis. In principal Mr. Jinnah was a secular being a Ismaili himself, son Hindu father and mother

Ahmed Aug 30, 2013 02:43am

The hope of Jinnah that "

Ahmed Aug 30, 2013 02:57am

@gangadin: Pakistan was the result of Jinnah's transformation from being the "ambassador of hindu-muslim unity" into the worst nightmare of the Congress Party. This transformation was the result of spetty mindedness of the "hindu nationalists" who equated India with hinduism, and by the mistake Gandhi made in backing molvis during the Khilafat Movement rather than Jinnah. Time proved Jinnah right and the ignorant and anti-west molvis wrong, when it became clear hat the "khalifa" was being removed not due to British pressure but by the Turks themselves under Ataturk, and for good reason. These facts of course dont stop Indians like "gungadin" from blaming the British for the creation of Pakistan and Pakistanis from blaming the British for not giving more land to the Pakistanis. Both sides forget the ample opportunity both Congress and Muslim League leaders were provided by the departing British in terms of the Round Table Conferences to iron out exactly these kind of boundary details.

Sonia K Aug 30, 2013 03:11am

@AbbasToronto: exactly my point- Pakistanis KNOW their problems while the INDIANS love to carpet theirs- their country is bigger than ours- you guys really need some insights!!!

Ticker Aug 30, 2013 03:24am

Some called it an artificial creation while others grieved on the vivisection of an ancient land. Yet, no one realized on that fateful night of 14th of August in 1947, that an ancient land has resurrected itself from the ashes of a lost civilization. That night the people of Meluhha came to life again as Pakistan. It was celebrated as an emergence of a new nation on the world map, least realizing that with minor differences in boundaries, the map which housed the people of Meluhha for over 9000 years, simply reclaimed its heritage as Pakistan. Meluhha were the people of Indus Valley Civilization.

The sub-continent has geographically been divided into two major regions since thousands of years; the Indus Valley with its tributaries and the Ganges Valley with its tributaries, separated by the watershed created by Gurdaspur-Kathiawar Salient. The maps of these two regions roughly align with the maps of present day Pakistan and India.

Historically also these two regions have remained separate entities for most part of known history. The only period when these two regions even remained as one political unit in over 9000 years of known history, were during the era of Mauryan, Muslim and British rule. The major historic difference between the two regions was that while the people of Indus Valley created one of the oldest unified civilizations of the world and those of Ganges Valley remained separated and segregated. The Two Nations Theory which became one of the founding principles of creation of Pakistan and partition of British India in 1947, in historical hindsight, helped create status quo ante where history merely repeated itself.

The people of Indus Valley Civilization were Monotheists, later after fading out of this civilization they were Vedic Hindus, Buddhists and are now Muslims. Whatever the problems that Pakistan face now have nothing to do with its historical evolution, which has been recorded from 9000 years till to-date.

Surprisingly though, it is the Indians who claim Indus Valley Civilization as Indian civilization, which is completely wrong as it is Pakistan holds the cradle of this civilization and is the true heir of this great civilization. And we should be proud of it.

Prof. Jon Glen Aug 30, 2013 04:08am

A great peace of well researched article.

It is a known fact that Mr. Jinnah didn't really want Pakistan but only wanted an area that can be ruled by his Muslim League party under a US style federated constitution in a one country. Congress, rightfully, wasn't willing to create a week central government in a new country that would have meant disaster given the ethnic and linguistics divisions in India.

Real losers of Pakistan are native Sindhi people. They lost their culture, their language and thousands of years of History. At least, Bengalis can say they have preserved their language. But can one say the same about Sindhis?

sahil Aug 30, 2013 04:14am

@GLEN: best comment over here! Highly recommended!

Wilma Canla Aug 30, 2013 04:15am

@Dearborn Iffy: Fantastic! The best post I have read in along time!

young and confused Aug 30, 2013 05:35am

"We didnot demand Pakistan just to get a piece of land but we wanted a laboratory where we could practice Islamic principles" Jinnah said so . Confused

Moin Khan Aug 30, 2013 06:19am

@AbbasToronto: With Balochistan seceding from Punjab, we will have a much leaner state. No doubt about that. And I wish KPK should have been on the other side of Durand line. It would have then become problem of Afganistan and not ours.

A Pakistani Aug 30, 2013 06:43am

An excellent article by NFP. Our country has unfortunately been hijacked by the likes of JI and JUI for a long time. Their overt and covert support first for the radicalization of Pakistan (during Zia's tenure) and of the TTP (while the MMA was in power in the NWFP) has cost us dearly. It has allowed the terrorist organization TTP and its extremism to spread like a cancer in Pakistan killing more Pakistanis than the numbers lost in all of our wars with India! And it was Gen Zia and the army who set the stage for this in the 80s and 90s.

Our national head-in-sand approach both by the majority of the population and by our leaders past and present against the menace of extremism is what is causing our troubles to become worse. Unless we reject extremism as a nation and stop condoning it like Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif do, we will continue to sink further into the cesspit of radicalism.

We would well to remember that radicalism and extremism of any sort has always resulted in a very nasty end for any country. Just look at Nazi Germany and more recently Yugoslavia.

Tamil selvan Aug 30, 2013 06:49am

@Ali K: It is not religion but the culture of the land which has its roots from Hinduism. This s the reason with one of the largest Muslim population it does not have one terrorist leader except for fringe outfits. Compare it with Pakistan Muslims who are wiping out the culture of their forefathers

Nasiroski Aug 30, 2013 06:54am

@AbbasToronto: Why you always start with arguments that are no more than jiberish and end up with something against India Nehru Gandhi... I don't know why it is so difficult for you to accept the fact that we have problems with no solutions in sight and let me repeat no solutions in sight and that is because among the masses of Pakistan there is no acknowledgment of the problems and this is thanks to people like you, Hameed Gul, Zaid Hamid etc... who are hell bent over not letting the masses wake up and see their ugly situation. Stop giving people sleeping pills. I don't understand why you who does not even consider that country for a place to live has animosity with the people there. Btw I went to see the Panda's in Toronto Zoo that Chinese govt sent to Canada as their official gesture of Friendship, I have never saw a Panda in Pakistan and we are friends since 1960?? hmmm

Laeeq,NY Aug 30, 2013 06:57am

WOW! What an article. What a pain staking reserch. Bravo! This should be the part of Pakistan,s text books so students should redirect and correct their education and learnign about the speeches of Jinnah and History of Pakistan. Damage is already done and seeds of hate and bigotry alredy been grown in to strong trees. How we go back in to the Jinnah's Pakistan seems to be impossible. Let us see which way this country ends up.

Nasiroski Aug 30, 2013 06:57am

Pakistan is an idelogical State Yes Opportunism, is, an ideology.

Abbas Local Aug 30, 2013 07:55am

@AbbasToronto: So is that why you choose to stay out of Pakistani Toronto Boy!! hahaha

Ahmer Aug 30, 2013 08:18am

Kawwa chale hans ki chal, apni bhi kho bethe.

Allah created Pakistan for a purpose. Let us not become munafiqeen and deviate from it because of current difficulties that we will overcome only if we are steadfast in our faith.

dada Aug 30, 2013 09:44am

Very informative piece. Thanks to NFP! He forgot though 1956 Ayub meeting with Dulles in Washington D.C. where he said, "Every Pakistani soldier is also your soldier."

Present condition of Pakistan or whatever is left after Bangali dominated Pakistan's demise in 1971 can be best described in famous Ajeet's dialog, "Mona Darling, Mikel Ko Bolo Is XXXX ko Liquid Oxygen me dalo. Liquid ise Jeene Nahi Dega Aur Oxygen usako Marane Nahi Dega."

Seems Islam and thekedari of Islam is proving to be Liquid and Angloes are proving to be Oxygen.

Utkarsh Aug 30, 2013 10:06am

@AbbasToronto: Oh noes! Two renowned Indian economists debating over what economic model is better for India? This seems to be relevant to all the things this article on distortion of history in Pakistan is about...NOT.

Darth Vader Aug 30, 2013 10:14am

@Nisar Chowdhari: Sorry dude. Muslims in India are not exactly breaking down doors to get into Pakistan. Just do a thought experiment, and think how many Muslims would move to Pakistan if the doors were thrown open.

Cheers Darth Vader

Sarwar Sehrayee Aug 30, 2013 10:55am

@AHA: Yes,it is true. I would further say that it was not the ideology of Jinnah which ceased itself, it was rather hijacked in the way you told.

pankaj Aug 30, 2013 11:16am

@Nizamuddin Ahmad: Buddy you need to improve your knowledge, karnal though a part of punjab at that time had a completely different culture, people in that part did not speak or understand punjabi. Now karnal ia a part of Haryana

Dev Aug 30, 2013 11:16am

This is an honest reckoning of history, and is well known outside of Pakistan. While it is fairly clear that the author would have preferred a more secular polity, none of the historical facts he states can be faulted for accuracy.

Just as Turkey demonstrates how Islam can flourish in a European milieu, Pakistan had the opportunity to demonstrate how Islam could flourish in a South Asian cultural setting. Instead, post 1971 Pakistan set to demonstrate that true Islam needs an Arabic cultural setting. If we copy the culture of others, we do a disservice to both ourselves and the copied. We seem less rooted, empty and devoid of our own culture. The culture being copied, could perceive this as an attempt to mock them.

Dev Aug 30, 2013 11:20am

@young and confused: Why confused? Turkey demonstrates how Islam can survive in a European milieu. Pakistan could have demonstrated the same in a South Asian setting. Just as with Turkey, it would probably need more than one try.

Sohan Tickoo Aug 30, 2013 11:21am

I am agreat fan of NFP ,his clarity & his objectivity.I believe that religion is only a small part of ones culture.It can enhance the beauty of cullture but to think that one can live happily by clinging to ones religion is like expecting to stay healthy by loading rations with one type of food only.

Sohan Tickoo Aug 30, 2013 11:21am

I am agreat fan of NFP ,his clarity & his objectivity.I believe that religion is only a small part of ones culture.It can enhance the beauty of cullture but to think that one can live happily by clinging to ones religion is like expecting to stay healthy by loading rations with one type of food only.

Sam Aug 30, 2013 11:24am

@AJD: Excellent post mate.. this should settle any doubts anybody has on the minority state of affairs and feelings we posses for our motherland. @dearborn Iffy : right on buddy.. can't agree more with your rebuts on the post from toronto man.. well crafted... @AbbasToronto - i think you are the exclusive example of whats wrong with the current pakistani mentality sir.. yours is a warped mind with twisted theories to compliment your own beliefs.

Ahmer Aug 30, 2013 11:46am

If we were to dilute Islam and the two nation theory because of current temporary difficulties, we will end up becoming a poor copy of Hindustan and all the sacrifices made since March 23, 1940 will go waste. This is the time to renew our faith in Islam and banish all doubts that such articles create.

mushtaque zahid Aug 30, 2013 11:53am

Anyone writing sincerely about the origin of Pakistan cannot, should not, ignore a few facts: All Muslim leaders, including Jinnah, were behind Gandhi and Nehru in their struggle to make the British leave and create an independent India. It was only when the Congress announced its Socialist manifesto that promised to outlaw feudal properties that the Muslim zamindars of Sindh and Punjab plus the nawabs of UP created the Pakistan movement. The result is more than evident today, 7 decades later. A democratic India with a thriving economy, side by side with the mess that Pakistan is today.

Arsalan Aug 30, 2013 12:02pm

@Nasiroski: regarding Panda factor: business is business and a cup of tea is a cup of tea :p.

Sonal Aug 30, 2013 12:09pm

@Imran: Thanks for that! Makes sense, though a lot also migrated abandoning their property, etc.?

My apologies, I meant to ask why Muslims moved from what is now Pakistan to India...I just reread my comment and realized I didn't ask what I intended to!

This is a silly example but I read that Shahrukh Khan's father moved from NWFP to India during the Partition, and it got me thinking about destiny and what SRK might have been if he was born in Pakistan.

gul Aug 30, 2013 12:27pm

@Tamil selvan: correct and update ur knowledge, all the terrorism at present is being done by not the taliban but the americans, indians, israelies and russia. Their agencies are busy in doing everything to unstable and depict islam as not religion of peace.......thats what we seeing here in our country and our agencies are fighting them, but this is underworld struggle, and in the front it seems to be muslims doing suicide attacks, whereas in reality this is by Black Water, CIA, KGB, RAW and MOSAD........we have experienced it......The world is turning to islam not because of our acts, but because of its Peace. u have to learn and follow islam not the muslims, every muslim is accountable for himself only.....

Cosmic Lion Aug 30, 2013 12:34pm

"Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it." - Winston Churchill

malik Aug 30, 2013 12:47pm

After listening to Islamization speech of Gen. Zia I am dumbfounded. So where is that castle of Islam he is talking about? I wish he was alive to see what his Islam has given us.

Moiz Rehman Aug 30, 2013 12:49pm

Dear NFP, your thoughts and writing indicates a separatist is it any true or i am reading your stuff incorrectly. Regards Moiz Rehman

Sohrab khan Aug 30, 2013 12:49pm

I readed whole story, bt already known about that . Actually there was designed fault in this country . As the most scholars and few leadears also opposed for this country like abul kalam azad who said ur going to create that country which will create trouble for all over the world and also create trouble for this region . Yes as we are now watching what's happening in pakistan . Becaz this is an un realistic state .

HDR Aug 30, 2013 12:51pm

@AbbasToronto: Hey Toronto dude, your theory died in 1971 when one group of faithful massacre around 2 million of their fellow faithful in Bengal. Stop talking nonsense.

Khan Wali Aug 30, 2013 12:59pm

@pankaj: Just as entire south India has totally different culture and even not aware of a single word of 'HINDI'.

USA = oppression Aug 30, 2013 01:02pm

i thought NFP was 60 years old uncle , but his pic shows the amount of wisdom , he earned in such a young age.

PS :Publishing this article in Urdu daily = riot holiday's in pakistan.

Whisper Aug 30, 2013 01:23pm

This is a very coherent presentation of how the thought process evolved about the ideas behind Pakistan as a Muslim majority state. To a large extent, it seems to represent the way it actually happened. However, the article leaves the reader with an unstated proposition. That is the impression that (1) Islam was actually not the force behind the making of Pakistan; (2) Islam can not be the basis for a functioning state; (3) inclusion of Islamic thought into state leads to religiously supported violence, and violation of human values; (4) Pakistanis will do well by stopping the effort to model themselves and their country after Islamic values. This impression is unfortunate. But the impression could be envisioned from the fact that many of the authors cited at the end of the article seem to hold these contrarian views. The author of this article has therefore fallen along this line perhaps without an explicit intent. We know Jinnah was not a practicing Muslim, but we also know that millions who worked to make Pakistan were people who held Islam dearly and worked towards it. Pakistani politics have included religious violence, but religious values remain a valid goal to continue to aspire towards, so that Pakistan is not just any state, but a state that uniquely represents the spiritual values of its people. It is a difficult task, a task that no nation has accomplished in modern times, a task that is genuinely an intellectual and practical challenge for any community. Yes it is difficult but it is very much worth achieving. For what is a community if it does not live in a way that reflects its values. Meeting the material challenges of socio-economic-political type is a challenge, it must be met. However meeting this material challenge does not produce either satisfaction or peace. Only a value-driven society, though it poses a challenge of utmost dimension, can produce satisfaction, happiness, and peace. I hope that the people of Pakistan keep following their hearts and come up with solutions that no one in modern times has envisioned or achieved.

Nauman Aug 30, 2013 01:26pm

@Nasiroski: There was once a panda at Punjab University long time back. He went astray (in the head) and can now be seen as a hobo plying the streets of Toronto and Deraborn MI.

insomniac Aug 30, 2013 02:03pm

@gul: Correct... all the things going wrong in pakistan are due to Zionists, Indians and American propaganda and spy activities... way to go mate.. there's my educated and enlightened brother from neighborhood.... why don't you publish an entire blog on your conspiracy theories in any of the leading urdu newspapers in pakistan, A much more wider audience will be enlightened with your thoughts and thinking process and bet you will get a wholesome appreciation for your patriotism too..

Prabhjyot Singh Madab Aug 30, 2013 02:18pm

@Nizamuddin Ahmad: In east Punjab, Punjabi is spoken and gurmukhi script is used as written Punjabi in schools. We know Hindi and Urdu too but Punjabi is the state language here along with English. Rab rakha

Feroz Aug 30, 2013 02:30pm

@Ali K: India a country of so many ethnicities, languages and religions is united not because of Hindu religion as you claim but because most of its citizens share the same human values. The strength of India is its strong, secular and inclusive Constitution, unfortunately the Constitution Pakistan has is designed as an instrument of hate which can be interpreted in whichever way one fancies. With the current Constitution Pakistan simply cannot survive as a nation State --- when the backbone is weak, the posture will naturally have a hunch.

amit Aug 30, 2013 02:39pm

I wish India and Pakistan would not have divided. The time was not good at that time as there was no security and law and order. If we would have should patience country would not been divided. It would be better place to live. I seriously do not understand how region has become better place by creating a country based on religion whom muslims in the world does not see as their idol and do not follow them. Muslims in Indians are better doing and we have very old history of staying together. Hope our leaders should have waited for that time to be pass away and country have not divided.

prashant Aug 30, 2013 02:47pm

@Nisar Chowdhari: if u have some friends or relatives in indian muslim.. thn please do ask thm... whether they want to come to pakistan???they will say straight no at ur face....

amit Aug 30, 2013 03:04pm

@Tariq: That was the mistake you don't bargain at the cost of country. He should have asked for different state like in India a new state is born every few years. He should have explore other options rather than dividing the nation.

Sonal Aug 30, 2013 03:07pm

I used to think North Americans are so ignorant when I first moved there in 1997 and got asked how I speak English so well, where I learnt it, and whether I was allowed to wear Western clothes in India, etc.

Funnily enough, I had a similar image of Pakistan. In my mind, Pakistan was always a very conservative nation, given that it

Sonal Aug 30, 2013 03:24pm


Why would you wish that? I think most Pakistanis are happy being Pakistani - this is not about them being unhappy with the Partition. This is about the unfortunate chain of events after the Partition.

Abhishek Aug 30, 2013 03:28pm

What a wonderful article. Read like a thriller. Hope the standard of indian journalism tries to match up to Dawn's. And the standard of indian hindu right-wingers never matches up to the islamic right-wingers of Pakistan.

Nasiroski Aug 30, 2013 03:49pm

Kudos NFP brilliant article, I normally don't praise and you don't care but still let me say, and you have successfully kept yourself neutral.

AT Aug 30, 2013 03:52pm

Very sad to see comments that a very well researched and brave post is not at all understood by its readers. NFP, your post show true spirit of where mind is applied for descriminating between one searches and embraces for truth and only truth.

SUNIL Aug 30, 2013 04:06pm

The question is does anybody want to learn from history? Obviously the high and mighty of Pakistan certainly do not want its people to know the truth. For if they do, the unstoppable democratic process will strive for rational thinking, and lead to change which could be very inconvenient to them. So the only altrenative is to feed the masses a distorted concocted version of history full of lies and canards. The other stratagy is to use religion as the opium to numb the sensibilities of the masses. This will certainly ensure the rule of the vested interests for a long time to come. A

saif Aug 30, 2013 04:13pm

@gul: reading your post one word comes to mind:. Ostrich.

Farrukh Ali Aug 30, 2013 04:16pm

What is missing is that the All India Muslim League had accepted the Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946. That kept the union. No need for Pakistan as a separate state at that point !

Then Jawaharlal Nehru, at a press conference on July 10, 1946 said that Congress though accepting the Cabinet Mission Plan would be free to make changes to it.

That press conference set in motion the partition of the subcontinent; and events took over from people.

Muslim League had accepted the union. People forget this fact and Mr Jinnah never sold his house in Bombay.

Once Pakistan was formed he inherited provinces where the Muslim League had never won an election - Ghafar Khan was the Frontier Gandhi and against the creation of Pakistan. Tiwana had Unionist Punjab and was against the creation of Pakistan. Sind with GM Seyed was against the creation of Pakistan. These are real facts and people choose to ignore them.

Mountbatten had written that if he had known that Mr Jinnah had TB he would have waited him out and avoided the partition altogether. That too is a fact.

When I hear about Baloachi's wanting "independence" I am tempted to say why not turn the clock back to 1946 and bring the Hindus and Sikhs back to today's Pakistan and let the Balauchi's, Sindhi's and Punajabi's fight for Pakistan from scratch without the Muslim League. They got a free Pakistan on a silver platter thanks to the Muslim League and the Quaid-e- Azam. Pakistan Zindabad.

zak Aug 30, 2013 04:20pm

The creation of Pakistan was inevitable. The various kingdoms the south Asia subcontinent was unified under one empire by the Mughals and later by the British. Once these empires collapsed the subcontinent reverted back to its original form. Just see the number of freedom movements in India still fighting to be free, and this says it all.

If a car hits a side barrier every now and than, no one says' the car should not have been made but ' but 'change the driver. Pakistan has lacked good drivers for a while and once a good one comes it will surpass all others in the region.

In fact, several more countries should have gained independence from the British empire in 1947 and there would have been peace and prosperity in the region like in Europe. Leaving India in this unnatural form has left a legacy of conflict and oppression. Ask the kashmiri's 65 years on, are they happy and free in Indian occupied kashmir and ask the kashmiris in Azad kashmir the same question. Ask both also which country would they prefer to join-India or Pakistan and both will opt for one country-pakistan. That in itself will explain the raisone de etre of pakistan.

one other fact to correct: In India there are 130m muslims excluding the 20m in indian occupied kashmir. In pakistan there are 180m muslims excluding Azad kashmir. Bnagladesh there are 160m muslims. So India does not have a larger muslim population then Pakistan or Bangladesh.

Cosmic Lion Aug 30, 2013 04:42pm

@Whisper "Pakistan is not just any state, but a state that uniquely represents the spiritual values of its people. It is a difficult task, a task that no nation has accomplished in modern times, a task that is genuinely an intellectual and practical challenge for any community. Yes it is difficult but it is very much worth achieving"

Pakistan had a great start by wiping out the minorities. Good luck achieving your spiritual goals.

Kanishk Aug 30, 2013 04:57pm

Quite enlightening and am very thank to NFP for making it immensely read and enjoyable article. I have always been interested in understanding Pakistan psyche and this article goes a long way in explaining that. Thanks again. Would love to read more articles from you, specially the ones which which focusses on the complexities on Pakistan's relationship with India and how can Pakistan's outlook can be changed for a better future ahead.

Tinu Aug 30, 2013 05:09pm


From historical perspective, yours is the best comment that I have read since some time.

We as Pakistanis need to understand that there is a history of Pakistan before Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims. We have a history of over 9000 years and we the people of Pakistan were there before all these religions evolved and this is what we should cherish and endeavour to preserve.

When we were called Meluhha, there was no India and it were WE the people who chose to call this land Pakistan. Unlike India, a geographical entity that was identified by the Greeks as a land east of river Indus.

It is this historical perspective that should be taken into account when we discuss the ideology of Pakistan.

Akhter Husain Aug 30, 2013 05:08pm

@mushtaque zahid: 600,million people do not have to live below poverty line in a "thriving economy.

AHA Aug 30, 2013 05:10pm

@Dev: I am not so sure. Turkey is increasing turning to Islamist ideologies. Seems only the desire to join the EU is holding Turkey from becoming an Islamic state. Let us see what happens in 10 years (yes, I did watch 3 Idiots recently)

Farrukh M Khan Aug 30, 2013 05:21pm

Brilliant, NFP. You should expand this into a book. Lets counter their BS books with our own!

Best, Farrukh

Sandeepan Aug 30, 2013 05:28pm

@zak: The identity politics is the crop of 20th century whether we like it or not. The point is what responses do we give them. Pakistan has used force time and again and not embraced multiculturalism as a reality. It tried to force a manufactured version of identity which did not go well with the inhabitants.

In an opposite vein, India tried to convince of multiculturalism which did not go well with (manipuri, mizos, ahomiyas and kashmiris and many many more). These people responded with terrorism and that has evoked very heavy handed response from Indian govt. Apart from manipuri and kashmiris all other identity rebellions are doused, with a mix of force, reconciliation and development. The govt will find some solutions to the the Manipuri issue. On kashmir, the terrorist are of worst kind, there are locals, mercinaries, cross-border career terrorists and a whole list of religious propagandists. Ever wonder why Hindus, Buddhists, Bakarwal Muslims and Shias are not part of Kashmir terrorism? I think you will have you answer if you consider this point.

Akhter Husain Aug 30, 2013 05:31pm

NFP has given his readers a very good narrative of evolution of the so called "Ideology Of Pakistan"Deviations from the objectives of founding fathers is not a new phenomenon.Hundreds of examples can be cited from history.Creations/ inventions are the result of thoughts,theories ideologies and the existing laws,but in case of our learned Ulemas it is other way round.

AHA Aug 30, 2013 05:33pm

@Farrukh Ali: If it was Gandhi and not Nehru who was dictating Congress's policies, India would have been a single country.

Murthy Aug 30, 2013 05:49pm

The truth is that people like Jinnah felt that they would have political power only if they had a separate country and not in the united India, where the majority are Hindus. This truth, as is the practice always in politics, is clothed in so many "ideologies".

sumit mazumdar Aug 30, 2013 05:51pm

@Muniz : The truth is - this is not true. Some Bangladeshis are first Bengalis than Muslims, others are the other way around, and still others are confused. The struggle for the soul of Bangladesh is still going on between liberals, conservatives and opportunists.

anwar jalal Aug 30, 2013 05:55pm

I think Pakistan was created for the protection of Muslims rights in India as last option

Sheikh Usman Shakeel Aug 30, 2013 05:58pm

On the second page i realized the writing style seems familiar... i scrolled back up and of course it was NFP ... I recognize ur writing any where now...

sumit mazumdar Aug 30, 2013 06:01pm

@Sonal: Noone leaves home and property until hoodlums come and force them to, and the law of the land is either unable or unwilling to protect the victims. On both sides people were forced out by hoodlums, sometimes brainwashed, often politically connected.

Insaan Aug 30, 2013 06:10pm

My dear friends what ever may be the ideology for Pakistan but ideology for "Humanistan" is only "live and let live" which very few people really understand. By forming Pakistan based on religion what has a common man achieved except hunger, poverty, ignorance and perpetual violence. I don't say they don't prevail in India, they do prevail here also. It is the Hindus of India who developed nuclear weapons to kill the other Hindus their blood brothers who have converted into islam. Pakistan has done the same thing for Indian Hindus, their brothers few centuries ago.

Let us shed these ideologies of hate and teach our children to love other human beings irrespective of colour creed or religion. We need to tell the that we all belong to this beautiful earth and Pakistan is also a part of this earth like India. Let's save this earth and its creatures rather than destroying them in the name of ideology. By doing this,you will see how happy our children will grow to enjoy the life to its fullest extent.

Ohsama Aug 30, 2013 06:10pm

@zak: you or your parents left pakistan to west for money and wealth and changed your muslim name in to a western one. Now its very easy to write commends about ulema!! why not come and live with us in Pakistan and feel how this beautiful country operates. Not any better than hindu India!! In fact much worse. where is the fruit of partition then. It only benefits the ruling class to divide a country in to pieces and become rich and powerful. "United we stand Divided we fall"

Shahzad Kazi Aug 30, 2013 06:44pm

Many people do not realise that it was Liaquat Ali Khan who sowed the first seeds of discord in Pakistan. As he did not have a constituency, he encouraged the migration of Muslims from India to Pakistan and aggression against the Hindus in Pakistan in order to force them to leave. By pushing Urdu as the national language on a nation where the majority did not speak the language, he was responsible for creating the ethnic divide that is plaguing us today. The disenfranchising of the Bengalis and the creation of Bangladesh was also a result of the policies followed by Liaquat. The passing of the Objectives Resolution and the raising of the Islamist slogans can be attributed to him as well.

Liaquat Ali Khan along with Zia would be on the top of the list of people who have harmed Pakistan the most.

Shahzad Kazi Aug 30, 2013 06:46pm

Many people do not realise that it was Liaquat Ali Khan who sowed the first seeds of discord in Pakistan. As he did not have a constituency, he encouraged the migration of Muslims from India to Pakistan and aggression against the Hindus in Pakistan in order to force them to leave. By pushing Urdu as the national language on a nation where the majority did not speak the language, he was responsible for creating the ethnic divide that is plaguing us today. The disenfranchising of the Bengalis and the creation of Bangladesh was also a result of the policies followed by Liaquat. The passing of the Objectives Resolution and the raising of the Islamist slogans can be attributed to him as well.

Liaquat Ali Khan along with Zia would be on the top of the list of people who have harmed Pakistan the most.

vera Aug 30, 2013 06:58pm

@Ahmed: Nobody would give up the independence, especially after tasting it once...

vikram Aug 30, 2013 06:59pm

@Khan Wali: Just as many Indians do not know Pakistan, most pakistanis have no clue about india. In the two states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh which makes up about 2/3 of the population, hindi is understood ranging from can "make do" to fluent.

AbbasToronto Aug 30, 2013 07:04pm

@Utkarsh, @Nasiroski, @Vijay@toronto, @Mr Singh, @Dearborn Iffy, @HDR

Many thanks for your input in response to my post that only give a glimpse of what Jinnah types in 1940 were faced with. Rather than address the issues at hand his distractors attacked his personality, his western ways, his lack of Islamic appearances.

Why our Indian neighbours spend so much time venting their venom on our newspapers. Trying doing it on the Hindu or Hindustan Times discussion boards.

Well, all our problems are political that will be solved one day, with the good guys winning.

But India

Amjad Wyne Aug 30, 2013 07:40pm

NFP writes..., "Over the decades, these books, that are regularly taught at all Pakistani schools and colleges, have gradually evolved into becoming one-dimensional manuals of how to become, believe and behave like a

Tariq Aug 30, 2013 08:06pm

Great lesson in Pakistan's history! It would appear since the demise of Jinnah and bar Ayub's tenure all the other head's of state to date have all chipped away at destroying the fabric of the country. Each regime wanted to installed their own add-hock ideology without real research into the matter. So today we reap the fruits of the harvest in our beloved Pakistan! Religion and politics is like mixing oil and water, they both create a frothy mess!

afatqiamat Aug 30, 2013 08:14pm

@Shehzad Qazi sahib..

yes....and Liaqat sahib has many credits .... 1- from sowing the seeds of discord... 2- Objective Resolution ...the mother of all anomalies 3- filing the beaurcracy the the ICS cadre ...that had no idea of the peoples of the Land...and they enforced their version of the constructed national narrative on them . 4 ...the most forgotten .... Quota System....he enforced it in Sep 48 configured it in Nov 49 ...and it remained enforced till Dec 72 carte blanc advantage to the then 3% Mohajirs or immigrants that came here...

Bhutto in 1973 ....merely re adjusted it to the new ground realities of the post 72 Pakistan ...

source. :

Sohail Pirzada Aug 30, 2013 08:17pm

Thanx NFP great article as always...... and Andre Maurois suggested, "we owe to the Middle Ages the two worst inventions of humanity - romantic love and gunpowder"; Muslim world of the Middle East and North Africa (aka MENA) became the world

dada Aug 30, 2013 08:21pm

NFP is missing the camel in the tent. Pakistan was demand of salariat and jamindar/jagirdar/nawabs of UP-Bihar. It was a ploy so that socialistic leanings of Congress can be curtailed.

Jinah talks about the false coins he got. But he should have checked his own ancestory or that of Iqbal. Conversion to alien ideology was for economic gain mostly by snatching native's hard earned resources. Khushwant Singh had written in Indian Statesman about Iqbal's grand father one Pandit Sapru and how he got converted.

Jas Aug 30, 2013 08:29pm

I cannot imagine how on earth Jinnah could discard the islamic factor in his speech of August 11. Its the same factor which he and League exploited to make Pakistan. Its the same factor which made over a million people dead on the name of religion !

How can Jinnah just change over night and say that Religion won't be an important factor - when the party he leaded had nothing else in its charter other than Religion.

You can't change all your actions just by a speech.

Muslim League was the first to exploit religion for the sake of personal gains - Zia followed - and now Taliban perhaps would end this game forever !

MJ Aug 30, 2013 08:47pm

@Ravi Dallas TX: Thanks.

AHA Aug 30, 2013 09:36pm

@TKhan: You are probably right about all the comments you have made about ZAB, but the ideology of Bangladesh had become a reality much before ZAB ever come into the picture.

We had been abusing the rights of East Pakistanis immediately after 1947. They did not have a meaningful representation in administration and army. West Pakistanis controlled resources situated in East Pakistan.

It is naive and even outrageous to believe that the evens of 1970-71 singularly led to creation of Bangladesh.

mohammad shafique Aug 30, 2013 10:38pm

If there is such a thing as an idealogy of pakistan it can be nothing else than the lahore resolution of 1940 to which we have erected a big minar in lahore but dare not implement or even discuss it. Unfortunately the first person to betray this idealogy was no less than jinnah himself who was a signatory to it.

pathanoo Aug 30, 2013 10:44pm

@zak: Zak Mian, Unfortunately the wheels have come off the Pakistani car. As far asking Kashmiris; the Balochs wanted to be part of India. The Late, Great, Frontier Gandhi had so said and the people supported him. That is why Pakistan jailed him and never let him out. How about giving the Balochs and the Pashtuns the same right of self determination that you so hypocritically scream of when it comes to Kashmir?

pathanoo Aug 30, 2013 10:51pm

@gul: PLEASE, FOLKS. Forgive dear Gul. He was just let out of the rubber suit.

pathanoo Aug 30, 2013 11:11pm

@abdul: Regarding; Abbas have you gone nuts............Why would you doubt it? What more proof do you need?

pathanoo Aug 30, 2013 11:25pm

NFP, Your clarity of thoughts, unbiased and hart hitting truthful article is beyond praise. I wish I had your email address so I could mail you the interview Late Maulan Abul Kalam Azad, the first education minister of free India, gave in 1946, before partition, in which he presciently forecast the disintegration of Pakistan and the reasons for it. THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON HE SITED FOR PAKISTAN'S DISINTEGRATION WAS IT'S CREATION BASED ON RELIGION. It is simply unbelievable. It should be A MUST READ FOR ALL PAKISTANIS.

Imran Haider Aug 30, 2013 11:42pm

@NFP and everyone else: I am a Muslim first, and a Pakistani later. Deal with it.

Ahmed Aug 31, 2013 12:40am

@Amjad Wyne: In other words, you are using the "everyone does it" excuse. This is a bogus excuse. Nowhere except in Pakistan are religious and political personalities worshipped like demi-gods.

Sameer Aug 31, 2013 02:13am

@Sonal: Listen to the 9 PM News on Geo. You can get it from They cover this pakistan in their coverage.

mark Aug 31, 2013 02:23am

@AHA: Thank you

GLEN Aug 31, 2013 03:40am

The Arab world has been cursed by oil; progressive regimes are falling, and primitive regimes have ended up surviving. Unfortunate, that Pakistan with all its intellectual capital could not end up playing an important role in these world affairs, despite slanting its history and origins towards the Middle East. Time to look inwards and improve the home and the neighborhood.

ZA Aug 31, 2013 04:33am

A great article on manufacture of an identity for such a fractured country. Well researched, balanced and without casting undue judgements on either side. It is an ideology and a country which is kept alive by an army with its core from the Sunni conservative Salt Ranges of Punjab. The so called Muhajir is more interested in their own Urdu speaking identity and the Pashtun, Baloch and Sindhis in the midst of their own nationalist revival. Whenever Punjabis get wary of carrying the burden of Pakistani nationalism, the country will face a new crisis. Notwithstanding other internal threats, Pakistan will only survive so long as Punjabi nationalism does not emerge and completely disown of Pakistan.

Ravi Aug 31, 2013 04:59am


It is 'overnight' and NOT 'over night'

DrTK Aug 31, 2013 05:10am

Somewhere in our past lurks the grandeur of the Mughul kings and the several centuries of Mughul rule. The Mughul mantle fell upon Pakistan after its creation at partition. Pakistan was a Mughul enclave, mildly Islamic in name only. Not the austere Arab Wahabism that we have now and that is tearing us apart. The people were ready to embrace greatness again, and would have made any sacrifice, but our leaders turned out to be men of straw. I remember the '65 war! Boy, what heady days and how united we felt. Unfortunately you cannot run a country on the basis of religion simply because of the inherent divisions in peoples' beliefs. If we are to have a future then we should adopt TRUTH and COMMON SENSE, and impeccable JUSTICE FOR ALL!

Vakil Aug 31, 2013 05:26am

Just think about this dear readers, had there been no Jinnah, and especially no ZAB or Maududi or Gen Zia/Yahya etc etc then there would have been NO NFP at his vintage best either! So we at least owe it to these "great" Pakistani politicians for our present day entertainment!

@Abbas Toronto: You have mentioned something about Pakistan being a "laboratory" of sorts -- that naturally implies that Pakistanis particularly like yourself are like "white mice" caught up in weird experiments (?!?) -- therefore it looks to me that the so-called "1 Billion dollar skin-whitening industry" of India you also mentioned there, has had (oddly enough!) the greatest impact on chaps like you! All in all "Entertainment WITHIN Entertainment" -- an encore, no less!!

farrukh ali Aug 31, 2013 07:08am

One more comment: "son of the soil"...son of which soil?

The folks who call themselves son-of-the-soil got the soil thanks to the Muslim League. Without the Muslim League they would be son-of-the British-India-soil. Or India itself as there would be no Pakistan without the Muslim League.

The Muslims who migrated to Pakistan are as much sons of the soil of Pakistan as they helped create the Pakistan soil. The Brits didn't just walk away from the subcontinent.

I would also like to address the term "martial races".

The 1857 Meerut Mutiny was put down by the British using the Sikhs, Pathans and "Panjabi Mussalmaans" who supported the British and helped them recapture of Delhi.

After the mutiny, recruitment switched to what the British called the "martial races," particularly Marathas, Bunts, Nairs, Rajputs, Yadavs, Kumaonis, Gurkhas, Garhwalis, Mohyals, Dogras, Jats, Sainis, Sikhs, Gakhars, Awans and other Punjabi Mussulmans, Pashtuns, and Balochs.

Yes there is some caste or zat leanings here.
So it could simply be a case of definition by the Hindu caste system.

However the reality is, these "martial races" never won any war that I know of. The British used them in WWI and WWII but the Brits would have lost both wars had it not been for America entering both wars late in the game.

Porus put up a brave fight against Alexander and got his kingdom back in a great mark of statesmanship by "Sikander". No one else comes to mind as all the battles crossed NWFP and Panjab and were held on the plains of Panipat.

kv Aug 31, 2013 07:21am

@Dearborn Iffy: loved your choice of words .Briliant.

Aamir Aug 31, 2013 08:45am

@Jas: As I have written in my comment to the article, at time of partition, the modern day INDIA did not exist at all. The Brits ruled over many states including a few princely states. At partition , then gave all these states to Gandhi (against their will of course) to form one unified INDIA. Most of those states are still fighting for their freedom. Kashmire being one great example

SATISH SHARMA Aug 31, 2013 08:47am

NFP, I disagree with your point of view totally - particularly on the ideology, position and the relevance Mr. Jinnah in this matter -- you too are indulging in your dream/fact creation.

Mr. Jinnah adopte the two nation theory and advocated it for year and then tried to redact it in one speech on Aug 11 with a rather thin or the thinnest veil of secularism. That's why it's not accepted by the majority - in Pakistan or outside. A good lawyer always knows what his position is based on; in Mr. Jinnah's case; he didn't -- or he really didn't like the verdict he got and wanted to change the argument -- either way the 2 nation theory was not of an ideology but a convenience to achieve a goal.

Bhutto like his counterparts, Indira Gandhi and Sheikh Mujib were all shameless self promoters -- NONE had an ideology -- they were charlatans in low terms, politicians in esteem - all three did more harm to their people than good.

s.khan Aug 31, 2013 09:03am

A good snapshot of Pakistan's history and how the slippery road to its current troubles began. In 21st.century with rapid advancement of science and composition of multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies, separation of religion from the business of state offer the best hope for prosperous and progressive entities. Advancement of Europe after the reformation and renaissance point to limiting the religion to private faith. Jinnah spoke to the assembly from this historical experience. USA too was founded on the basis of religion when puritans left England for the freedom of practicing their brand of Christianity. When the constitution was framed the founding fathers, being mindful of religious conflicts in Europe, decided to separate the church from the state. Freedom of conscious and prohibiting the state from encouraging a specific religion are an important part of American constitution. Jinnah, being a lawyer, was aware of American experience. He stood on solid ground. Those who say that Jinnah used Islam to demand Pakistan should understand that he used it as a sociological determinant of identity defined by unique culture and language. He didn't mean Taliban's or Wahabi or Deobandi version of Islam.It is a gross distortion of Islam. Sharia has become a slogan. They owe it to all Pakistanis to describe in specific terms how the society will be better off by adopting it, how economic problems will be solved, how the problem of corruption go away, how government will deliver services more efficiently. Because JI, TTP can't provide a rational basis, they resort to violence. They have turned Islam into fascism.

Mahmood Ali Aug 31, 2013 09:37am

Mr.Paracha's work in concoctional history of Pakistan is appreciable. From the reading, one gets the underlying idea that the very creation of this country was wrong. The greater India would have been the solution of all problems being faced by Pakistani citizens. There would have been a reign of peace and prosperity for all muslims, whose population would have become around 380 million, out of a present total of about 700 million. On the face of it, it appears to be a fine idea. However, Mr.Paracha , perhaps was not born at that time, nor he has had the opportunity of living with the majority of hindus. Sir, kindly do not mislead the young minds of muslims living in this country. Our misfortunes are mainly due to the fact that we as a nation, have chosen to fight with ALLAH (SWT), just like the jews. We are negating each and everything taught to us by HIS last appostle. You would naturally, ask which sect, as already pointed out by you. But SIR, Islam is not about sects, it is about the "self" . One must try and amend his own ways and the community would be amended automatically. Everyone is trying to raise finger on others.Unfortunately, you views are being propogated by many in present times. Nay, but the promise of ALLAH is true. This "Islam", will become universal before the end of this world. We pakistani minions may carry on doing all sorts of bigamy, lies, fraud, hegemony, usurption and what not, but the "Islam" would evetually, prevail, even at the cost of all of our people's death and destruction and a new generation taking over.

Ali K Aug 31, 2013 10:37am

@Tamil selvan: Yeah, do consider the Muslims living as third-grade citizens (it is a fact now). Now please do not throw the names of your Muslims in the film industry and politics. Those in the film industry have almost all married into hindus to look like them. That is the only way for them to prosper. Thank God we got Pakistan.

Ali K Aug 31, 2013 10:42am

@HDR: Well do not every word you are told. The studies and reports are out there showing that many and many of those massacres were handed by none other than Indians and Indian-sponsored Mukti Bhahnis..... In fact the same studies say that there is no real evidence to show that our Pak Army had any hand in those massacres. Of course there could be few isolated incidents.

Khurram Awan Aug 31, 2013 10:53am

I was recently reading George Orwell's classic novel 1984. In it, history is revised perpetually. Proles were fed with hatred for the rest of the world. People were indoctrinated with a strange tendency to live the worst possible quality of life with a sort of national pride. Reading each each page of the book rang a bell. I knew the fictional country I was reading about was just like my own.

kafir Aug 31, 2013 11:16am

@AbbasToronto: Keep testing dude... :-D

Arooge Aug 31, 2013 11:28am

Well balanced and a very neutral view of the history of Pakistan!

krishnan Aug 31, 2013 11:40am

It is interesting to see the parallels on how Sufism was displaced by the Wahabis/Barelvis even at the time of the Last Moghul -Zafar,as brilliantly portrayed by Dalrymple in his book.It is not surprising to read that the Punjabi Muslim merchants, who felt left out by Zafar and his urdu elite,backed the fundamentalists on non religious grounds.Deja vu ?

Khan Wali Aug 31, 2013 12:29pm

@vikram: But we know India more then you, because we remained your 'BOSS' for about 1000 years.

Shahryar Shirazi Aug 31, 2013 01:08pm

@Sonal: Why do you choose to pose and post as an Indian, when in reality you are Pakistani ? Shahryar

sal Aug 31, 2013 02:02pm

When speaking with my relatives in Pakistan they seem to know not the truth of their country. They treat the military as a devote relegious sect which can do no wrong. Though this does seem common-place amongst other Muslim countries - Why may explain why non-muslims believe Islam to be a military cult. And as well they go on and on about how Pakistan "will be great". I have heard this for 40 years! And yet the pattern appears to be "Pakistan was great" as it slips into chaos. Shame. I shed a tear for my relatives and Pakistan.

ala Aug 31, 2013 02:59pm

Great article.i hope every pakistani read this. Indain political parties should also read this. Please keep religion and politics separate

This is valid email address

ala Aug 31, 2013 02:58pm

Great article.i hope every pakistani read this. Indain political parties should also read this. Please keep religion and politics separate

This is valid email address

Abdus Salam Khan Aug 31, 2013 03:23pm

NFP Let us get our facts straight: the reason Pakistan came into being was to ensure a fair deal to the Muslims of India after the British departure.They apprehended a a back lash from the Hindu majority , who had been subjected to Muslim rule for a thousand years. This fear was further confirmed when Hindus came into power in eight provinces of India in 1935 and immediately set about imposing their Hindu ideology and language upon the Muslims. The 1946 elections showed that even the Indian Muslims who had no intention of leaving India, voted for the Muslim League because they wanted at least some part of the Muslims to have a homeland of their own where they could live with self respect and dignity. We owe those Indian Muslims who remained behind in India a great debt.for having voted for the League in larger interests of the community. As for Mr. Jinnah, what he said or did at any time has no bearing on the issue. We owe him a debt for having led us very ably and got us our right of self-determination, Now it is up to us to use this right wisely. In U.S.A, when they got their independence, they did not start a debate over what kind of U.S.A George Washington wanted. They convened a congress and set about earnestly to find a viable system of government that would suit this multiculturalism and multi- ethnic country.

Saifur Rahman Aug 31, 2013 03:56pm

A concocted history is a collection of lies. Since independence, ruling class of Pakistan had been totally detached from general masses. Feeding false information is a mean of keeping people in the dark and unaware of real state of affairs. For corrupt tyrants, it makes the job of ruling with manipulation easy. Under such situation it rests upon the patriotic members of the civil society and intellectual class to tell the truth and create mass awareness . NFP has performed that responsibility very well

aaa Aug 31, 2013 04:29pm

Whenever i see such articles i wonder am i the only one who has asked grandparents a million qs about what they experienced during partition. I actually recorded as well my grandfathers certain accounts. My father was from lower middle class. I still remember my qs. 1)where were you on 14th august 1947? 2)what did you feel that day?what did you feel before partition? I never eve once remember him giving me anything other than extremely passionate answers about his love for pakistan's making. Same was with my grandmother she almost never left house but even she was in a rally in her teenage for pakistan. The most touching thing was that he wanted everyone to vote for PPP in elections later in life but himself on the day of voting always without telling anyone voted for muslim league. Reason behind it was that he had promised quid e azam once in a rally that he would vote for his party in 1946 elections. He would vote for pakistan. So he could never vote for anyoneelse.

Khurram Aug 31, 2013 04:34pm

Having read the article and in particular the comments, i am really delighted and satisfied that the Pakistanis have become really mature and understand the hidden agendas of all themes being propagated every then and now. I wont comment long but would simply ask a straight question from these mislead intellectuals that given the assumption that the creation of Pakistan was not beneficial to the existence and prosperity of Muslims, has someone ever bothered to take a survey amongst Muslim Community in India and ask what they comment. My dear the answer would be loud and clear that respect freedom and be thankful for being endowed with an identity. Regards

ajaz Aug 31, 2013 04:37pm

A very truthful article written with honest intent.

brilliant and very informative. I wish there were more people willing to speak the truth without bias.

thank you

afatqiamat Aug 31, 2013 07:14pm

@Jas: My two cents...

Kaldeep Nayar in his book "beyond the lines " ....on the authoritiy of Mian Iftakhar uddin wirtes...

" One day when Jinnah was in Lahore, Iftikhar-ud-din, Pakistan