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political economist Dr S. Akbar Zaidi making a point during his lecture ‘Questioning Pakistan’s history’ organised by the Faculty of Social Sciences, Karachi University, on Friday.—White Star
political economist Dr S. Akbar Zaidi making a point during his lecture ‘Questioning Pakistan’s history’ organised by the Faculty of Social Sciences, Karachi University, on Friday.—White Star

KARACHI: With Pakistan just two days away from observing Defence Day and marking the 50th anniversary of the 1965 war, historian and political economist Dr S. Akbar Zaidi dispelled ‘the victory myth’, saying that there can be no a bigger lie, as Pakistan lost terribly.

People are unaware of this fact because the history that is taught in Pakistan is from an ideological viewpoint, said Dr Zaidi during his thought-provoking lecture titled ‘Questioning Pakistan’s history’. “Students are not taught the history of the people of Pakistan rather it is focused on the making of Pakistan,” he said.

The event was organised by the Faculty of Social Sciences, Karachi University.

Dr Zaidi who also teaches history at the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, began his lecture by raising a couple of questions: what is Pakistan’s history and is there a need to question Pakistan’s history. And when was Pakistan formed? Aug 14, 1947 or Aug 15, 1947? For him the fact we are still talking about historical events 68 years later that are apparently settled is interesting. “These events and questions have not been settled. They are constantly being reinterpreted, this is because history does not die, it keeps reliving by questioning facts and truths.”

Coming to the question when was Pakistan created, he said one obvious answer is it did so on Aug 14, 1947 but he read out an excerpt from a Pakistan Studies textbook in which it was claimed it came into being in 712AD when the Arabs came to Sindh and Multan. “This is utter rubbish!” he exclaimed, rejecting the textbook account. He said the first interaction with Muslims and Arabs occurred in Kerala in South India for trading purposes.

Some historians claim the genesis of Pakistan lie in the Delhi Sultanate or the Mughal Empire. He, however, reminded everyone that the India as we know today did not exist during the Mughal era. It was during the 19th century the concept of nation-state was formed. There are others who state Sir Syed Ahmed Khan laid the foundation for Pakistan. Dr Zaidi felt this statement was partially true, because Sir Syed always maintained that Muslims should get their rights but he had also said: “Hindus and Muslims are the two eyes of the beautiful bride that is Hindustan. Weakness of any of them will spoil the beauty of the bride.”

The 1940 Pakistan Resolution called for the recognition of Muslims within Hindustan and not for a separate entity, Dr Zaidi added.

Social history

He then led the debate towards the questions: “Is the history of Pakistan, a history of the people of Pakistan or is it the making of Pakistan?”As far as he knew everyone is taught a history that includes the Mughals, freedom movement, the Quaid-i-Azam leading the All India Muslim League etc but was completely unaware about the history of the Baloch and the Pakhtun. “I cannot understand Pakistan’s history without knowing the history of the Baloch, Pakhtun, Punjab, Shah Abdul Latif and his relationship with the land.”

He said he was ashamed as a Karachiite that he had been unaware of Sindh’s history. It was important to know about indigenous histories because the “issues we are confronted with, we would have a better understanding in dealing with them”. He gave the example of East Pakistan to illustrate this point. “East Pakistan has been erased from memory. The Bengalis of East Pakistan have been reduced to they were traitors, India interfered and East Pakistan decided to separate. But what about Pakistan Army’s role in its separation?”

According to Dr Zaidi, history in Pakistan has been badly treated due to several reasons. Students are forced to study history or Pakistan Studies as a compulsory subject and hence the focus is just to pass the exam and get over with it. It is focused on rulers and generals and not on the social history. He highlighted another important reason for history getting a step-motherly treatment, citing that it is a subject that is taken when a student is unable to get admission in other departments in universities.

A robust question and answer session followed the talk during which students and teachers wanted to know why they were being taught distorted version of history, why the contribution of religious minorities to cities such as Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar was not mentioned in their textbooks, why does one have to wear separate identities and how can identification crisis be resolved to make Pakistan into one nation.

Dr Zaidi responded to these queries, explaining that Parsis and Hindus contributed hugely in the educational development of Karachi and in a similar manner the Sikhs in Punjab. “History in Pakistan is taught from an ideological viewpoint. Pakistan needs to be seen as a geographical entity.”

Referring to the distorted history, he said: “With the celebration of the victory in the 1965 war round the corner, there can be no bigger lie that Pakistan won the war. We lost terribly in the 1965 war.”

He appealed to the attendees to read Shuja Nawaz’s book Crossed Swords that exposed the reality of the war.

As for wearing separate identities, he replied there was no need to do so. “I can be a Sindhi, Hindu and Pakistani simultaneously.” He added that the diversity of nations should be acknowledged, since nationalities could not be imposed on people.

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2015

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Comments (137) Closed

Bemused Sep 05, 2015 07:33am

Wah! Wah! Admirable

provocateur Sep 05, 2015 09:22am

Prepare to be trolled !

Citizen Sep 05, 2015 09:50am

What a brave man!

think_then_speak Sep 05, 2015 09:52am

The younger generation (at least part of it) is awakening to the fact that there is something terribly wrong with the history we are taught. Education in Pakistan is evolving into a project of enslaving minds to the political elite's interest, and that is why we are shown lies.

Chitrali Sep 05, 2015 09:52am

A bitter truth!

mohsin Sep 05, 2015 10:05am

Good & practical points indeed

ali Sep 05, 2015 10:09am

What a beautiful rational observation as to history, people, geography, war, and of course an ideological identity that can play a vital role in building and correcting a diverse nation state in place of a vague theological statehood.

Buddha Sep 05, 2015 10:16am

Hats off to the gentleman ; it takes courage to speak the truth. With information getting digitized , the younger generation will develop deeper understanding then their predecessors.

Usman Sep 05, 2015 10:18am

Disagree with the author 1965 account. Ask any military expert what Pakistan achieved in 1965 war was a complete Air dominance which was very critical but we couldn't change it in to decisive win is due to depleting military resources reason being Pakistan forces were not expecting a full blown war in 1965 so weren't prepared to that extent that's why than we had to be pragmatic at Tashkent, call off the war. This rant that India would have run us over is a lie, if India would have been in such situation she would have never went to Tashkent for talks...

Sudhir Neyalasinger Sep 05, 2015 10:18am

It's not just Pakistan that lost. India too lost lives, equipment among other things. Had only the people behind the war more sensible we'd have lived better

RP Sep 05, 2015 10:19am

I am an Indian but read Dawn and Express Tribune regularly and would admit that the reason I do so is not only because of my interest in politics and culture of South Asia but also because of honest and refreshing articles like this which is becoming less common in leading Indian publications. I will remain optimistic about Pakistan's future in general as long as domestic voices such as these have a forum available to encourage hard introspection.

usman777 Sep 05, 2015 10:20am

I dont think anybody thinks we won. It can't be called a catastrophic loss. It was really more of a draw or stalemate.

The reason it is celebrated because a numerically inferior country held its own against a much larger country.

Finally as the aggressor in unforgiving terrain , attacking was from a miliatyr point of view almost insane but we held our own.

and if 1965 was a loss than surely 1948 was a great vicoryr where a small contry took 83,-000 sq km awya from India.

Sheroz Anjum Sep 05, 2015 10:35am

I've since had this view, but no one would believe?

Rashid Ishaq Sep 05, 2015 10:39am

@Sudhir Neyalasinger I second you on this. Actually, there was no winner and there are no winners in the wars. Historian did not mention this

Abi Sep 05, 2015 10:42am

I commend the newspaper in publishing this quality of work. Truth will prevail

Vap Sep 05, 2015 10:43am

What is definition of Winning or losing? While the people on both sides of the border claim the victory the truth is that war resulted in a stalemate according to the neutral historians. Pakistan wanted to liberate Kashmir which it could not, India on the other hand wanted to invade Pakistan but was stopped timely. I know there is so much wrong with the official narrative on anything yet the sweeping statements like these "That we terribly lost do not stand the factual ground" But from the comments i can safely say Indians here have found a new hero in Pakistan..

Syed Dilawar M.Shah Sep 05, 2015 10:46am

We really admire your truth fullness and courage.

Tamza Sep 05, 2015 10:52am

@Sudhir Neyalasinger agree with one modification - direct your observation towards nextgen Indian leadership and people to 'make peace with Pakistan'. It is a mutual respondibility and benefit.

"@thinkthenspeak I hope the next generation in Pakistan makes peace with India and there will be development and progress in the subcontinent"

Shahryar Sep 05, 2015 10:53am

I think he is partially right. But we did not loose in 1965 war. Yes we did not win it as taught in our text books. But we are able to defend our land until UN intervened. I don't call it loosing terribly. Most of the other points he said are right. Textbooks are crap.

tasleem ulhaq Sep 05, 2015 10:55am

pakistan did not lost any territory in 1965 war, it was an indian attack but they did not capture anything, casualties were on both sides

Mann Singh Sep 05, 2015 10:56am

To my dear Indian brothers and Sisters, Let us not puff our chest and stroll around like peacocks. Many a mistakes have been made by us in India. Let us introspect, challenge our respective representatives and become a more accountable nation. We owe this to our next generation. Love, Mann

Suresh Sep 05, 2015 10:59am

For me this sentence sums it up, so beautiful, will always read this whenever some one says something else. Thank you Sir, Dr Zaidi. “Hindus and Muslims are the two eyes of the beautiful bride that is Hindustan. Weakness of any of them will spoil the beauty of the bride.”

Shahzy Sep 05, 2015 11:02am

We became one nation in the 1965 war and thats enough for me as a victory , especially for a country which has been intrinsically divided.

Pune-India Sep 05, 2015 11:02am

If Pakistani Govt put such reality in their school text books then their Next Generation would more sensible and intellectual.

@expat Sep 05, 2015 11:03am

A very interesting and brave viewpoint. I tend to agree with most of it. In my humble opinion,ideological view point cannot totally be discarded. Ideological viewpoint gives reason to the creation of Pakistan. But then, ideology alone cannot sustain or guarantee the existance of Pakistan, as we saw in 1971. Rather ideology has been used by the usurpers to silence desent , deny individual identities , political voice to the constituent units and ethnicities of Pakistan. A corrected geographical history and study of different ethnic groups and recognition of their individuality and contribution will eventually help create a true Pakistani nation state. Correct the history if you want to progress and put the failures behind.

Ahsab Sep 05, 2015 11:03am

With due respect, i dont agree with the writer as we could bring those news paper of 1965 all around the world declearing Pakistan as winner, more importantly indian people as of today accepting that they lost in 1965.

@expat Sep 05, 2015 11:05am

I want to request the author to embark upon an ambitious project of writing a history book that can eventually be taught in Pakistan.

Rev. Eldrick Lal Sep 05, 2015 11:06am

This intellectual person is a man of refreshing candor.

S.Khan Sep 05, 2015 11:06am

It is true we are not taught our history as it should be. As far as 1965's war is concerned, it was an aggression against Pakistan and Pakistan defended itself successfully. I still remember, I was a child of eight or nine years old living in Sialkot Cantt, very close to the border, in the beginning there were some problems but when Gen Tikka Khan took over the command, everything came under control, I hope Sialkot people still remember him for his military skill and command how our army successfully pushed back the Indian army on Sialkot front. We still remember the day 7th Sept. when we left Sialkot and when the war was in full swing leaving behind our father who was in army and came to Sialkot Railway Station to say goodbye to us. After war we happened to go to Shakergarh in the way I saw with my own eyes the graveyard of Indian Tanks in Chavinda and around that place. Really Pakistan army successfully defended our borders, and this was our victory.


ashar Sep 05, 2015 11:07am


sargok Sep 05, 2015 11:10am

loss was there but not terrible as described

Monodeep Chakraborty Sep 05, 2015 11:16am

What an enlightening piece. One should read this not once, but quite a few times objectively. Moreover this article should not be used to score points or one–upmanship (as we Indians and Pakistanis usually do). This article is an excellent lesson to us, to view things around us with an unbiased and objective attitude.

Monodeep Chakraborty, Kharagpur, India.

Gulfam Nawaz Sep 05, 2015 11:18am

@@expat This guy needs security after the article!!!

rich Sep 05, 2015 11:24am

@Shahryar I think he is partially right. But we did not loose in 1965 war. Yes we did not win it as taught in our text books. But we are able to defend our land until UN intervened. I don't call it loosing terribly. Most of the other points he said are right. Textbooks are crap

yeah right hee

duff Sep 05, 2015 11:24am

@muslim kerala What was his name ? Bajrangi bhaijaan ?

vcbhutani Sep 05, 2015 11:30am

This is a new and refreshing way of looking at things. It serves no purpose now to consider who won and who lost in 1965. That war was unnecessary and did not bring about results that would make life different or more palatable for the people of the two countries. The same can be said of other wars. What is worse is that the same will be said of the next war, even if that war is fought with nuclear weapons from both sides. The sufferers will be the people of both the countries. At the end of the next war, leaders of the two sides, uncertain who won and who lost, will still sit down and sign some kind of an agreement, which too will settle nothing. And so the show will go on. V. C. Bhutani, Delhi, 5 Sep 2015, 1200 IST

jahanzaib Sep 05, 2015 11:31am

being a muslim our history much older than the history of pakistan or pakistani. important question is that which history is ours or which to follow?

kuka Sep 05, 2015 11:32am

Its useless to debate on when pakistan came into being 14 or 15 august because just one day does not matter at all. Regarding 1965 war, no one can fully claim who won the war as it is very difficult alone to estimate the losses of a war. I wonder if we cannot appreciate our brave soldiers who tied bombs on their bodies for the pride of nation, then we should also not defame them. This is general problem with our people!

Rahul Sep 05, 2015 11:32am

Thanks for Truth, optimistic articles for both nation peoples.

taher Sep 05, 2015 11:33am

Sir, salute you.

Lal topi Sep 05, 2015 11:35am

@Rashid Ishaq its started with some purpose which was not achived ... its equivalent to lost ....only surrender is not lost

indian Sep 05, 2015 11:36am

wow wat a great senesible voice i m sure he brings lot of credibilities to al pakistanis

raj Sep 05, 2015 11:37am

I am an Indian but read Dawn and Express Tribune regularly and would admit that the reason I do so is not only because of my interest in politics and culture of South Asia but also because of honest and refreshing articles like this which is becoming less common in leading Indian publications.

U E HAYYAT Sep 05, 2015 11:39am

If Pakistan lost the war, it means India won the war. But it's not correct either. What it was, was a stalemate.

indian Sep 05, 2015 11:40am

@Ahsab lost wat indian people can u tell .fact is there were no winner actually

Raghu Sep 05, 2015 11:41am

When are people are made to believe lies, it's the biggest crime

natey Sep 05, 2015 11:42am

back then they only used artillery tanks n troops fire...not good modern war changed already..u need good air force like america did to serbia n iraq by bombing tanks n position....good air force is enough to deal with tanks...pak need to improve airforce buy buying american aircraft..they are best like f16 f22.....war is only good for ppl behind computer but when u see reality children dying like in syria n refugess then u regret....its only good in films..worldwar 3 can n will start frm india pak..or north korea...bcoz isis not a country..they will be defeated by america hitler was

Raghu Sep 05, 2015 11:44am

@Ahsab My best wishes for your complete ignorance...

N.S Sep 05, 2015 11:44am

...building on the same premise...the 1962 Indo-China war was also won by India.

Ashok Saigal Sep 05, 2015 11:45am

Love the idea of promoting a Geographical identity concept for Pakistan, rather than a religious one as expressed by Prof Zaidi. Same for Kashmir, and India. You are where you live. Hindus living in Pakistan are Pakistanis, and Muslims living in India are Indians. Similarly, Kashmiris living in Pakistan part of Kashmir are Pakistani Kashmiris, while those living in Indian part of Kashmir are Indian Kashmiris! Period. Acceptance of this would greatly reduce animosity and basis of military tensions.

Faisal Bajwa Sep 05, 2015 11:45am

Even if one has won every battle but fails to achieve its political objective, the war is lost. The best example is the USA's military adventures, rarely loose a battle but frequently looses wars despite all its might. Was Operation Gibralter a success? Or the Indian military campaign was a success? No. Both the countries won a few battles and that's it.

S.Khan Sep 05, 2015 11:45am

@Burjor Rustomji You are very much right, Christian Institutions role in Pakistan's development can not be denied, these have played very important role, we don't have words to appreciate their sincere efforts to hand over good values to the society. Not only these institutions but our whole education system collapsed when these institutions were nationalized. Our present state of affairs is a very true reflection of our wrong policies.

Naved Sep 05, 2015 11:49am

You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.

Ashok Saigal Sep 05, 2015 11:50am

@Ahsab : Even if Pakistan won, so what? Did it bring peace and prosperity? If not what was the point of it? Debates on who won a war are pointless -- both sides ALWAYS lose in war! Only one side may lose less than the other.

Sirpak Sep 05, 2015 11:50am

The more I study the history of the Sub-Continent, the clearer it becomes that our history books are merely fiction. Both Pakistan and India do their young students injustice by forcing them to study fictitious and ideological history. The first step is acceptance that our history books are flawed, only then can a rational and candid conversation take place about documenting the real history. We owe it to ourselves, and to the generations that will follow!

sheeda bystander Sep 05, 2015 11:52am

If sheeda thinks its a victory, victory it is. its a pride thing, and sheeda needs to celebrate please don't snatch it from him.

From San Diego Sep 05, 2015 11:55am

There were normal relations between 1947 and 1965 --18 years. After this war, there was complete breakdown of the relationship. Ask your elders as how were the formalities of visiting any of the countries. They could easily meat their relatives. There were open borders. Now there is complete trust deficit.

Analyst Sep 05, 2015 11:55am

Not sure what ii is with Pakistani's but they get it wrong for most of the time. The 1965 war was actually a stalemate between Pakistan and India - neither side "lost" or otherwise "won".

N.Sid Sep 05, 2015 11:55am

In other words India won the war. Just like America won the Vietnam war, the Afghanistan war, the cold war against on and so forth. The thing is that larger nations cannot accept an even drubbing...leave alone defeat against a smaller nation, it's goes against their ego and self esteem. This is the reason larger states tries to portray any war as a win...even if they lost against a smaller nation. Same relevance here.

Kanwaljeet singh Sep 05, 2015 12:02pm

good...this is really admirable. Now that you have come out of denial, get your heads down and work towards prosperity

Vicky Sep 05, 2015 12:03pm

Truth has been spoken

Ajay Sep 05, 2015 12:13pm

As a student in india, i was taught that all religions had an impact on our present and india belongs to all. History shows the greatness of past and does not discriminate or glorify a particular religion or person because he is of a particular religion.

@expat Sep 05, 2015 12:14pm

Most independent authors and military historians agree that the 1965 war was mostly a stalemate with victories and defeats on both sides. It was a defeat for Pakistan as after initiating the war ,Pakistan failed to occupy Kashmir. Similarly , Indians were thoroughly beaten after launching a massive surprise attack on Lahore. It could be called a tactical win for india in the sense that it eventually succeeded in defending Kashmir.It was also a tactical win for Pakistan in the sense that indian generals who didn't want to continue the war led their political leadership to sign Tashkent agreement. So the status quo was maintained.

HIST Sep 05, 2015 12:15pm

@Sirpak Not india sir

Expat Sep 05, 2015 12:16pm

@Ahsab present some solid evidence, clippings from foreign newspapers will suffice.

Aman Sep 05, 2015 12:17pm

It appears as if sane voices are finally rising in Pakistan

N.S Sep 05, 2015 12:17pm

This is not history...this is his story. International press during that time gave an impartial view, check that.

nitin Sep 05, 2015 12:19pm

@Ahsab it was a. Stalemate.pak captured territory and India captured more.almost right up to Lahore.then UN ceasefire Tashkent declaration ensured status quo

aamadmi Sep 05, 2015 12:24pm

This is a political statement it may be true or false.

arzu Sep 05, 2015 12:34pm

Nice Article ....DAWN...after a long time....Good Going...Keep it Up

omo Sep 05, 2015 12:35pm

I do not think that we lost terribly. War was a stalemate and stalemate does not mean we lost. If pakistan failed in its 'noble' cause of liberating Kashmir, than indian tall claims of celebrations in Gymkhana Lahore also ended in smoke. Pakistan Air force fare well agianst indian counterparts with only 20 losses as compared to indian 50+. But the need for "Historical revisionism" cannot be denied.

BK Sep 05, 2015 12:35pm

It is interesting to see, somebody dared to highlight the truth.

Conservative Sep 05, 2015 12:38pm

@Nasir totally agree with you. Dr Zaidi perhaps was referring to Karachi institutions only.

BK Sep 05, 2015 12:38pm

@Rashid Ishaq There is only winner in war, but no runners up. Please correct it.

suss Sep 05, 2015 12:42pm

Wah!What an article!

Jyotib Sep 05, 2015 12:43pm

@muslim kerala - True Pakistan has a good potential but Pakistani cities are very badly planned and highly unsafe. I have been 3 times to Karachi and Lahore and felt the same every time. It is as if time has stalled in Pakistan.

ABCD Sep 05, 2015 12:46pm

Ayub Khan lost and ZAB won. That is the truth.

CVP Sep 05, 2015 12:50pm

What is the point if searching for truth after everything one had is lost?

Sabeeh Ahmad Sep 05, 2015 12:50pm

Can any body tell me in 1965 war why Gen Akthar malik was discharged of his duty while he was only arms length of capturing Srinagar? He was replaced by Gen Yahya and that replacement took two days to happen and changed the history altogether. Had gen Malik not been stopped from advancing to srinagar it would have been entirely a different scenario today.

El Cid Sep 05, 2015 12:51pm

Amusing rewrite of history, NFP style.

Sajid Sep 05, 2015 12:51pm

@Sudhir Neyalasinger Provided the next generation in India also does the same. I am deeply disappointed by the Indian Press and TV Media where articles like these are very rare.

shank Sep 05, 2015 12:52pm

finally, brave man, kudos, world needs people like this.

Bilal Lahori Sep 05, 2015 12:53pm

@Sudhir Neyalasinger It is only possibe after the political solution of Jammu & Kashmir.

stranger Sep 05, 2015 12:54pm

@Shahryar I am with you 100%.

Ahtisham Gill Sep 05, 2015 12:58pm

I might be accused of being idealistic but What's really wrong even if history is manipulated and I respect the opinion but strongly reject it. Haidariam qalandaram mastam bandaa-e-Murtaza Ali hastam peshvaa-e-tamaam virdaaram ke sage kuu-e-sher-e-yazdaanamWhy can't we focus on being one strong nation rather than planting such provoking ideas in minds of people that history is not correct? If Pakistan would have badly lost in the 65 war then how come we still have the remaining part of the country with us? How we were able to defend Lahore, Sialkot and other working boundaries?

pashtoon Sep 05, 2015 12:59pm

great truth of the decade

Pakistan Sep 05, 2015 01:01pm

@thinkthenspeak hahaha good joke I am also from young generation and the history that is taught by our teacher is 100% correct. Do you think that old guy os from young generation. Ask me I am a pakistani.

Komal S Sep 05, 2015 01:04pm

@Sirpak There is a problem when you club both India and pakistan in the same bucket for distorting history. Our textbooks gives equal importance to Moghuls as it does to Ashoka empire or any other kingdom. Please read the NCERT textbooks available online Classt VI, VII or VIII and you will not find a single offending text against any religion or degrade any ruler or Kingdom.

saqib Sep 05, 2015 01:04pm

Pakistani are people of the Indus. Our history began at the dawn of time. Look at the map of Indus Valley Civilisation thats 5000 year old, it matches as Pakistan is today. History belongs to the people living on that land, hence we are a proud ancient race. Please teach our kids.

N.S Sep 05, 2015 01:06pm

@Jyotib Six Indian cities are the dirtiest cities in the world out of ten. New Delhi is regarded as the dirtiest and most polluted capital city in the world with the particulate material count the highest in the air. Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad and some other cities have proper solid waste disposal system and you won't see any litter on roads and highways. I doubt you ever visited those cities. Google search Lahore waste disposal system.

Abp Sep 05, 2015 01:08pm

Nailed it. Couldn't agree more. Stay safe, professor.

Ricky Sep 05, 2015 01:12pm

I was thinking about the youth of Pakistan. It might be shock for them to know that all the years they were taught lies.

Burjor Rustomji Sep 05, 2015 01:12pm

Dear Dr. Zaidi, what does your research say about the other 3 Wars, in 1948, 1971, 1997 in Kargil. Let us know the truth.

MJK Sep 05, 2015 01:14pm

@Nasir - Very true, contribution of Christian Educational institution can't be ignored. I graduated from Gordon College Rawalpindi , about 50 years ago. It was a true institution of learning, teaching staff a mix of Pakistanis and Americans.

Eragon Sep 05, 2015 01:17pm

Thank you dawn for these facts...Acceptance of history, either good or bad will lead to a new revolution for the up-liftment of Pakistan...Hope such a change will do a lot in improving Indo-Pak relationship soon...

Simla Sep 05, 2015 01:23pm

@tasleem ulhaq This Newspaper published several articles in the past few days by Cyril Almeida, Mahir Ali to show Pakistan initiated 1965 war. If India started the war, then what was Operation Gibralter.

Afatqiamat Sep 05, 2015 01:26pm

".......He said he was ashamed as a Karachiite that he had been unaware of Sindh’s history. It was important to know about indigenous histories because the “issues we are confronted with, we would have a better understanding in dealing with them......”.

...About time to realize this ...

AKB Sep 05, 2015 01:30pm

Ask the historians and they will tell you that history is nothing but bunch of lies. Every historian has molded the facts in way to suit his requirement.

Truth Seeker Sep 05, 2015 01:31pm

@Ahsab With due respect I too dont agree with your views. Give link of any international newspaper that published "Pakistan as Winner". And when did India agree to that, in fact we are celebrating 1965 war victory this month.

Menin Rodrigues Sep 05, 2015 01:37pm

....the Christians contribution to education is forgotten!

Third Party Sep 05, 2015 01:38pm

Does it matter who won the war ? Both are looser as there were huge lose of resources on both side !!

DNYANESH Sep 05, 2015 01:38pm

true viewes

Nouman Ahmad Sep 05, 2015 01:39pm

I am studying Pakistan history from S.Akbar Zaidi in this semester and believe me when I say that he is one of the best teachers in IBA.

Menin Rodrigues Sep 05, 2015 01:39pm

@Burjor Rustomji - indeed, the gentleman who composed every vestige of music of the national anthem of Pakistan (for each of the brass and reed instruments of the Navy Band) was Mr. Tolentine Fonseca, of Goan origin, who lived in Saddar, Karachi

Rashid Sultan Sep 05, 2015 01:49pm

The post 1960 born generation is informed that India started the wars. There is no mention of the first war in 1947/48. Also that we won all the wars starting 1965. Shuja Nawaz's books makes it clear that all the wars since 1947/48 through to now were started by us and in each one we lost heavily. For readers who want to know the truth read Chrisine Fair who is a professor at Washington and has spent years in Pakistan and bases her books on intensive research. Or read Tareq Fateh.

Agha Asad Raza Sep 05, 2015 01:50pm

I wish there were more people like him. Good work! The history should be as near the truth as possible. I thank God that I studied history at a time when the truth was in the forefront, but I worry about the today's generations.

Rashid Sultan Sep 05, 2015 01:53pm

@tasleem ulhaq This is where you have been reading (or have told) propoganda material NOT history.

EuroStar77 Sep 05, 2015 01:53pm

65 was a defensive war and we managed to keep Indians out from Lahore and Sialkot. We did not win terrotories but we did not lost either. For me it is a win.

Nilesh Sep 05, 2015 02:02pm

@tasleem ulhaq that's because we gave it back

HEMANSHU SHEKHAR SHETH Sep 05, 2015 02:09pm

I am an Indian but read Dawn and Express Tribune regularly and would admit that the reason I do so is not only because of my interest in politics and culture of South Asia but also because of honest and refreshing articles like this which is becoming less common in leading Indian publications.

gha Sep 05, 2015 02:15pm

@Rashid Sultan ... Have you read the newspapers of that time. Go and search some of it, You will find the truth. Pak army successfully defended the biggest tanks attack after WWII. That is the win of Pak Army.

SRIDHAR RAGHUNATHA RAO Sep 05, 2015 02:25pm

Wholehearted compliments to Dr Akbar Zaidi for educating us with plain truth.

!ab Sep 05, 2015 02:28pm


Syed Irfan Ali Sep 05, 2015 02:29pm

Such a brave speech by Dr. Sb. and hats off to for giving it the place it deserved.

navlururao Sep 05, 2015 02:34pm

My message to Zaidi : Do you really believe any Pakistani sitting infront UNDERSTANDS what you said . Those who perpetrate soiling of minds know well - once religiously indoctrinated - there's no coming back , it stays that's why educational curricullam is deliberately contaminated to spoil YOUNG MINDS . Once done , damage is done , there's no coming back .

KM Sep 05, 2015 02:35pm

@Ahsab Where did you read India people accepted that they last 1965 wars. The Pakistani tanks & fighter planes captured by Indian army are displayed all over India.

Rahman Sep 05, 2015 02:44pm

Dr S. Akbar Zaidi dispelled ‘the victory myth’, saying that there can be no a bigger lie, as Pakistan lost terribly. this is simply your bigger lie and without authentic knowledge opinion but you are not one to have a decision, either.

IMRAN ALI Sep 05, 2015 02:51pm

The first Muslim house of prayer -- Cheramun Jami Masjid, the first Muslim house of prayer (masjid) in Kodungallur, in Kerala, South India, that dates as far back as 628 A.D., is a tangible proof. The land on which the Cheramun Jami Masjid stands, was donated to the Muslims by King Cheramun Perumal of Kerala.

dawar khan Sep 05, 2015 02:52pm

The respected Dr. Zaidi has provided some insight into history which should be a springboard for further research. But there are many gray areas where it seems Dr Sahib has deliberately avoided to make any comment. I being a son of a soldier who fought in 1971, know from anecdotal accounts that blaming only Army for the debacle is only half truth. For many "scholars", it is very easy to put blame squarely on army, leaving aside conspirators like Bhutto, who was the architect and primary beneficiary of the secession of East Pakistan. The time has come that we avoid this superficial handling of history at leas in the academic circles and give a more courageous and impartial account of events.

Abdul Rehman Sep 05, 2015 02:53pm

Hats off to this gentleman for his bravery..

Marya Sep 05, 2015 02:56pm

We need sane persons like Mr Zaidi, or for that reason Dr Mubarak Ali or Dr Mehdi Hassan to teach us the real history.

Allauddin Sep 05, 2015 02:58pm

Thumbs up.....There is no denying the fact the history in Pakistan is taught from an ideological point of view. However the most glaring fact is that a very little number of people have been able to speak up against this ideological fanaticism..and Zaidi is one of them. As a nation, we have to settle the future course of action and we have two doors open for us. The one is that of falsehood to cherish marshal ideals and sponsored wars and turning Pakistan into a security state all the time purchasing boots and ammunition for seven lack population at the expense of national progress and prosperity or to know and then acknowledge the bare facts and bear them with manliness and set an intellectual, civilized and nation like course of action avoiding conflicts with the neighboring countries and start working for the twenty crore population. It is up to the public consciousness to decide not the institutions.

jayshing madanshing shisodiya Sep 05, 2015 03:00pm

raat gayi bat gayi ....leave the past doesn't matter who win and who loss what matter is lives lost from both side and that is real loss

kafeel Khan Sep 05, 2015 03:00pm

Courage to point out other side of picture...

Zafar Dahir Sep 05, 2015 03:02pm

Dr Zaidi is a respectable academic, who has always been expressing his thoughts on history and geography, so there appears nothing new for Pakistanis. Regarding invasion n aggression by India in 1965, the Pakistani nation defended its soil and sovereignty through unbelievable display of gallantry and supreme sacrifices of its armed forces with unconditional and devoted support of Pakistani nation. We Pakistani nation has every right to celebrate the occasion to show our respect and acknowledge the martyrdom of our heroes and display our standing as a brave n dedicated nation.

ski Sep 05, 2015 03:05pm

Referring to the distorted history, he said: “With the celebration of the victory in the 1965 war round the corner, there can be no bigger lie that Pakistan won the war. We lost terribly in the 1965 war.” Pakistan should accept the truth, spreading lies on social networking sites will not change the truth...

MOHSIN ULLAH Sep 05, 2015 03:06pm

Glad to know that we have such ind of teachers, soon all the nation will get into the reality, Facts are bitter but facts are facts.

Azfar Bilal Sep 05, 2015 03:08pm

With all due respect to the learned scholar, he seems to have generalized the outcome of war in a sentence "we lost terribly". This statement needs to be corroborated by facts. Shuja Nawaz in his book "Crossed Swords" never said this. Wars are waged with an objective . Ours were to inflict defeat on Indian Army to bring them to the negotiating table vis-a-vis Kashmir. That we didnt manage to do that can be construed as a failure not a Terrible Loss. Sweeping statement like these bring out the images of 1967 War between Arabs and Israel, where Arab Armies were routed. Nothing like that happened in 65. As a person who has carried out some research on the subject, i can humbly request the learned scholar to substantiate his claim. I may, in my humble capacity again, suggest some authors / books like Indian Military History (Published by the Indian Army), Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh's In the Line of Duty, Farooq Bajwa's From Chawinda to Tashkent

Truth Prevails Sep 05, 2015 03:08pm

A very good article by Dr Zaidi.

Dr Bashir Ahmad Rana Sep 05, 2015 03:22pm

I personally fail to understand as to why we want to live in fool's paradise, why we continuously want to be satisfied by false myths. Why do we have no courage to face the truth. Imagine we people consider 'lie' as one of most severe sin, but on the other hand we like and love that somebody should constantly telling us sweet lies which we like to hear.

Burjor Rustomji Sep 05, 2015 10:36pm

Why cannot the History of our nation be interpreted by people like Dr Zaidi, Pakistan has no shortage of good material, who have the ability to present history in a manner which is more relevant, more honest than what is being "forced" upon students in the name of Pakistan Studies. There are many institutions which can sponsor these fine intellectuals to do research to explain our human history rather than our ideological history. The state owe's this to its future generation.

Azhar Jamil Sep 07, 2016 09:23am

Respected Prof. Zaidi why you not get an initiative to write a revised text book of Pakistan studies. If you think so as mentioned in your worthy statements on different ocassions, it would be a blessing for third as well as future generation to compile a correct, concrete but un-biased history of Pakistan and especially history of Pakistan movement. Please also differentiate the history of Pakistan movement before and after 1940. All India Muslim League stance was different before 1937 elections but after the fourty's Pakistan resolution it was a different idea, often mis-interpreted by historians. And situation is the same regarding two nation theory.

Muhammad Tauhid Iqbal Sep 07, 2016 04:03pm

@usman777 sir actually we won in the sense our purpose was to defend, not to conquer

Syed Usman Sep 07, 2016 05:58pm

Adnan Faraz Sep 08, 2016 12:40am

Awesome. "We learn from history that we do not learn from history".

Shadow Sep 08, 2016 08:48am

Yes, we lost terribly. We should acknowledge Indian superiority in everything!

Seeking of truth Sep 08, 2016 02:22pm

very nice article and sir you are very brave because you told the true history without any terror.I salute you Dr.S Akber Zaidi