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History Taught In Pakistan
Reasons for Partition

By the end of the 19th century several nationalistic movements had started in India. Indian nationalism had grown largely since British policies of education and the advances made by the British in India in the fields of transportation and communication. However, their complete insensitivity to and distance from the peoples of India and their customs created such disillusionment with them in their subjects that the end of British rule became necessary and inevitable.

However, while the Indian National Congress was calling for Britain to Quit India, the Muslim League, in 1943, passed a resolution for them to Divide and Quit. There were several reasons for the birth of a separate Muslim homeland in the subcontinent, and all three parties-the British, the Congress and the Muslim League-were responsible.

The British had followed a divide-and-rule policy in India. Even in the census they categorised people according to religion and viewed and treated them as separate from each other. They had based their knowledge of the peoples of India on the basic religious texts and the intrinsic differences they found in them instead of on the way they coexisted in the present. The British were also still fearful of the potential threat from the Muslims, who were the former rulers of the subcontinent, ruling India for over 300 years under the Mughal Empire. In order to win them over to their side, the British helped establish the M.A.O. College at Aligarh and supported the All-India Muslim Conference, both of which were institutions from which leaders of the Muslim League and the ideology of Pakistan emerged. As soon as the League was formed, they were placed on a separate electorate. Thus the idea of the separateness of Muslims in India was built into the electoral process of India.

There was also an ideological divide between the Muslims and the Hindus of India. While there were strong feelings of nationalism in India, by the late 19th century there were also communal conflicts and movements in the country that were based on religious communities rather than class or regional ones. Some people felt that the very nature of Islam called for a communal Muslim society. Added to this were the memories of power over the Indian subcontinent that the Muslims held on to, especially those in the old centers of Mughal rule. These memories might have made it exceptionally diffficult for Muslims to accept the imposition of colonial power and culture. They refused to learn English and to associate with the British. This was a severe drawback for them as they found that the Hindus were now in better positions in government than they were and thus felt that the British favored Hindus. The social reformer and educator, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, who founded M.A.O. College, taught the Muslims that education and cooperation with the British was vital for their survival in the society. Tied to all the movements of Muslim revival was the opposition to assimilation and submergence in Hindu society. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was also the first to conceive of a separate Muslim homeland.

Hindu revivalists also deepened the chasm betweent he two nations. They resented the Muslims for their former rule over India. Hindu revivalists rallied for a ban on the slaughter of cows, a cheap source of meat for the Muslims. They also wanted to change the official script form the Persian to the Hindu Devanagri script, effectively making Hindi rather than Urdu the main candidate for the national language.

Congress made several mistakes in their policies which further convinced the League that it was impossible to live in a undivided India after freedom from colonial rule because their interests would be completely suppressed. One such policy was the institution of the "Bande Matram," a national anthem which expressed anti-Muslim sentiments, in the schools of India where Muslim children were forced to sing it.

The Muslim League gained power also due to the Congress. The Congress banned any support for the British during the Second World War. However the Muslim League pledged its full support, which found favour form them from the British, who also needed the help of the largely Muslim army. The Civil Disobedience Movement and the consequent withdrawal of the Congress party from politics also helped the league gain power, as they formed strong ministries in the provinces that had large Muslim populations. At the same time, the League actively campaigned to gain more support from the Muslims in India, especially under the guidance of dynamic leaders like Jinnah.

There had been some hope of an undivided India, with a government consisting of three tiers along basically the same lines as the borders of India and Pakistan at the time of Partition. However, Congress' rejection of the interim government set up under this Cabinet Mission Plan in 1942 convinced the leaders of the Muslim League that compromise was impossible and partition was the only course to take.

Impact and Aftermath of Partition

"Leave India to God. If that is too much, then leave her to anarchy." --Gandhi, May 1942

The partition of India left both India and Pakistan devastated. The process of partition had claimed many lives in the riots. Many others were raped and looted. Women, especially, were used as instruments of power by the Hindus and the Muslims; "ghost trains" full of severed breasts of women would arrive in each of the newly-born countries from across the borders.

15 million refugees poured across the borders to regions completely foreign to them, for though they were Hindu or Muslim, their identity had been embedded in the regions where there ancestors were from. Not only was the country divided, but so were the provinces of Punjab and Bengal, divisions which caused catastrophic riots and claimed the lives of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs alike.

Many years after the partition, the two nations are still trying to heal the wounds left behind by this incision to once-whole body of India. Many are still in search of an identity and a history left behind beyond an impenetrable boundary. The two countries started of with ruined economies and lands and without an established, experienced system of government. They lost many of their most dynamic leaders, such as Gandhi, Jinnah and Allama Iqbal, soon after the partition. Pakistan had to face the separation of Bangladesh in 1971. India and Pakistan have been to war twice since the partition and they are still deadlocked over the issue of possession of Kashmir. The same issues of boundaries and divisions, Hindu and Muslim majorities and differences, still persist in Kashmir.



What do we mean by Pakistan?
by the late Muhammad Asad

I quote myself: in the Februrary 1947 number of Arafat (p. 166): "The Pakistan movement… can become the starting-point of a new Islamic development if the Muslims realize - and continue realizing it when Pakistan is achieved - that the real, historic justification of this movement does not consist in our dressing or talking or salaaming differently from the other inhabitants of the country, or in the grievances which we may have against other communities, or even in the desire to provide more economic opportunities and more elbowroom for people who - by sheer force of habit - call themselves 'Muslims': But that such a justification is to be found only in the Muslims' desire to establish a truly Islamic polity: in other words, to translate the tenets of Islam into terms of practical life.'

This, in short, is my conception of Pakistan: and I do not think that I am far wrong in assuming that it is the conception of many other Muslims as well. Of many: but not all; and not even of most of them. For, by far the larger part of our intelligentsia do not seem to consider Pakistan in this light. To them, it means no more and no less than a way to freeing the Muslims of India from Hindu domination, and the establishment of a political structured in which the Muslim community would find its 'place in the sun' in the economic sense.

Islam comes into the picture only in so far as it happens to be the religion of the people concerned - just as Catholicism came into the picture in the Irish struggle for independence because it happened to be the religion of most Irishmen. To put it bluntly, many o four brother and sisters do not seem to care for the spiritual, Islamic objectives of Pakistan, and permit themselves to be carried away by sentiments not far removed from nationalism.; and this is especially true of many Muslims educated on western lines. They are unable to think otherwise than in western patterns of though, and so they do not believe in their hearts that the world's social and political problems are capable of being subordinated to purely religious considerations. Hence, their approach to Islam is governed by convention rather than ideology, and amounts, at best, to a faintly 'cultural' interest in their community's historical traditions.

Now this is a very poor view of Pakistan: a view, moreover, which does not do justice to the Islamic enthusiasm at present so markedly - if chaotically - displayed by the overwhelming masses of our common people. While many of our so-called intelligentsia are interested in Islam only in so far as it fits into their struggle for political self-determination, the common people most obviously desire self-determination for the sake of Islam as such.

As far as the Muslim masses are concerned, the Pakistan movement is rooted in their instinctive feeling that they are an ideological community and have as such every right to an autonomous political existence. In other words, they feel and know that their communal existence is not - as with other communities - based on racial affinities or on the consciousness of cultural traditions held in common, but only - exclusively - on the fact of their common adherence to the ideology of Islam: and that, therefore, they must justify their communal existence by erecting a socio-political structure in which that ideology -the Shariah -would become the visible expression of their nationhood.

This, and not a solution of the all-India problem of Muslim minorities, is the real, historic purpose of the Pakistan movement. Insofar as there will always remain non-Muslim minorities in Pakistan as well as Muslim minorities in the rest of India, Pakistan cannot be said to solve the minorities problem in its entirety.

But this is precisely a point which we - and our opponents - would do well to understand: the problem of minorities, however important in all considerations of India's political future, is, in itself, not fundamentally responsible for the Pakistan movement, but is rather an incidental accompaniment to the movement's intrinsic objective - the establishment of an Islamic polity in which our ideology could come to practical fruition. Only thus can we understand why the Muslims in, say, Bombay or Madras - who of course cannot expect that their provinces would become part of Pakistan, are as much interested in its realization as are the Muslims of the Punjab or of Bengal.


Pakis have reversed the famous hindi song.

<b>Aao Bacho Sair Karain tum ko Pakistan ki</b> (video)

<!--QuoteBegin-dhu+Apr 16 2009, 05:22 AM-->QUOTE(dhu @ Apr 16 2009, 05:22 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Pakis have reversed the famous hindi song.

<b>Aao Bacho Sair Karain tum ko Pakistan ki</b> (video)

There is burning of Indian flag
^^ The pakis I've talked to seem to think they produced this movie first and we ripped them off. They were unwilling to see reason even when I showed them the production dates.

History needs to be re-written, says expert
But, whose history?

History needs to be re-written and we need to re-write history based on people’s perspective; particularly our literature on partition needs to be vigilant in terms of ideology, doctrine and prejudice <!--emo&:lol:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='laugh.gif' /><!--endemo--> .

It was stated by senior research associate at Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Ahmad Salim, and Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director of SDPI at the launching ceremony of SDPI’s recently completed re-writing history project, conceptually and financially supported by Heinrich Boll Foundation Pakistan-Afghanistan.

The research project focuses primarily on the personal experiences, feelings, and understandings of aged people in Pakistan, Bangladesh and India about the events of 1947 and 1971. Ahmad Salim observed that the history is not an isolated or alienated subject rather it has a strong relevance with our present and future. He lamented that our history, including the historiography of 1947 Partition reflects one-sided accounts, divergent ideologies, biased and inaccuracies. Atleast, he is admitting the puukistani version is one-sided.

He said that the history of partition in Pakistan and in India was based on official record, oral accounts, autobiographies and one-sided violence-specific stories. “Our history of partition is riddled with prejudice, inconsistencies and huge knowledge gaps, in which the element of humanism is ignored; this missing link must be considered and people’s oral accounts should be recorded” he underlined.

In addition to full of violent episodes and stories, which dominate our literature in both Pakistan and India; there are many humanitarian stories as well. “Let our generation know the real truth rather than a single, officially ordained and sanitised truth. We need to correct false information and perspectives, which are based on mistakes and wrongdoings of the ruling elite,” he said. <!--emo&:lol:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='laugh.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Dr Abid Suleri said that it was very unfortunate that soon after the partition of 1947 and that of 1971 the historical context, facts, and realities got fictionalised. He said that three histories of partition exist in our part of the world, the one that is told and taught in Pakistan, the other that is told and taught in India and/or Bangladesh, and the third that is the real version. He said that this partially happened to serve the vested interests of certain classes who are using the manoeuvred history to gain the maximum benefits.


Title: Pakistan and the Middle East
Authors: Ahmad, M
Keywords: Pakistan-History
Middle East-History
Issue Date: 6-Nov-2008
Description: v, 213
URI: http://library.du.ac.in/dspace/handle/1/4100
Appears in Collections: Books

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Title and preliminary pages.pdf 179.01 kB Adobe PDF View/Open
Ch.1The cockpit.pdf 1.35 MB Adobe PDF View/Open
Ch.2 Middle east since 1939.pdf 2.81 MB Adobe PDF View/Open
Ch.3 Pakistan.pdf 1.15 MB Adobe PDF View/Open
Ch.4 Middle eastern union.pdf 718.66 kB Adobe PDF View/Open

This guy thinks that India and Pakistan are like France and Germany.

Pakistan: Now or Never?
Perspectives on Pakistan</b>
« Previous Post
July 20th, 2009
Escaping history in India and Pakistan
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Posted by: Myra MacDonald
Tags: Pakistan: Now or Never, France, Germany, India, Pakistan, United States

When France and Germany put years of enmity behind them after World War Two, they made a leap of faith in agreeing to entwine their economies so that war became impossible. With their economies now soldered by the euro, it can be easy to forget how deep their mutual distrust once ran - from the Napoleonic wars to the fall of Paris to Prussia in 1871, to the trenches of World War One and the Nazi occupation of France in World War Two.

As India and Pakistan begin yet another attempt to make peace, they face a similar challenge. Can they put aside years of distrust to build on a tentative thaw in relations?

Many analysts argue that a sketchy roadmap to peace is already available, based on negotiations between advisers to former president Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in which Pakistani action against militants was matched by Indian moves towards a peace deal on Kashmir. But reviving that roadmap - or for that matter finding another way forward - would require both countries to put aside their past and accept that history is not the only guide to the future.

Indian newspaper, the Business Standard, summarised what many Indian commentators say about past attempts at peace-making - that Indian peace offers have never been matched by a sincere effort by Pakistan to curb Islamist militants. ”Pakistan has a history of trying first to get what it wants on the battlefield and, when that fails, to get it at the negotiating table,” it says in an editorial. “Indian leaders meanwhile fall into the traps of magnanimity (make a gesture to a smaller neighbour) or gullibility (concede this or that and it will deliver peace).”

Pakistan has its own version of history, seen from the perspective of a smaller country that believed it was cheated of Kashmir at partition in 1947, and then torn in two with Indian help when Bangladesh, then East Pakistan, won independence in the 1971 war. Both sides accuse the other of breaching the Simla accord which followed that war - the last major peace treaty between the two - Pakistan by sponsoring militants to fight in Kashmir, and India by starting the Siachen conflict in the mountains beyond Kashmir in 1984.

Many other arguments about the past, too numerous to mention, come up every time anybody discusses India and Pakistan until the weight of history becomes an immoveable obstacle to peace.

So how did France and Germany put their history behind them? And are their parallels with India and Pakistan?

Their reconciliation was in part due to a real change in Germany after World War Two, when it renounced a tradition of militarism dating back to its roots in Prussia. But New Delhi has yet to be convinced that Pakistan has really changed in its attitude to Islamist militants it once nurtured, fearing that while it attacks the Pakistani Taliban in its tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, it will leave alone other groups used against India like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, based in its Punjab province.

In a column in the Daily Times, Pakistani analyst Hasan-Askari Rizvi has an interesting take on this question, suggesting the next few months could be decisive.

“It seems that these (Punjab-based militant) groups are no longer favoured by Pakistan’s security and intelligence authorities. These have been put on hold because the army is busy in the tribal areas and does not want to open a new front in mainland Pakistan. Further, it does not want to seen as taking action against these groups under Indian pressure,” he writes. “The Punjab security and intelligence apparatus is now targeting activists of these organisations and monitoring the madrassas that have a reputation for militancy and maintain links with the Taliban. This effort is aimed at destroying their networks, isolating them and discouraging recruitment.

“The next two months will show if Pakistan’s civilian and military authorities will exert more pressure on Punjab-based militant groups and ensure that they do not force a foreign policy situation on Pakistan in its interaction with India. If the role of these groups is neutralised, it will be possible to argue that Pakistan’s counter-terrorism policy has made a historical shift.”

Franco-German reconciliation was also encouraged by the United States, which wanted both to work together against a common enemy in the Soviet Union. The United States, keen to see an improvement in relations between India and Pakistan to help stabilise the region as far as Afghanistan, is now quietly trying to persuade them that they both face a common enemy in terrorism.

As for the benefits of greater economic cooperation between India and Pakistan, these are rarely questioned by either country, from increased bilateral trade, to pipelines bringing oil and gas to India from Iran and Central Asia, and to the opening up of transit trade from India via Pakistan into Afghanistan. So the parallels are there - in the possibility of real change (and the jury is still out on that one), in the backing of the United States, and in the potential economic gains.

Where the parallel falls down is perhaps in vision and leadership. While Franco-German reconciliation was inspired by men who had lived through the horrors of World War Two and saw European integration as the best way to stop history from repeating itself, there is no clear vision of where India and Pakistan might end up. And while France and Germany benefitted from leaders who were powerful enough to push change through, only in India does Prime Minister Singh enjoy a relatively strong position having just won a renewed mandate in a general election, while in Pakistan the civilian government shares power with the Pakistan Army on foreign and security policy.

A much-quoted aphorism is that those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. But only very rarely do two countries like France and Germany escape their history. Can India and Pakistan do the same?

(Photos: French President Francois Mitterrand and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl in Verdun (1984), Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (undated); Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi with Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (1983).)

(Please keep comments short and on topic. Those which are overly long, or do not address the post directly, will be deleted.)



As Muslims we are always loath to discuss our history except as hagiography. Mr Singh’s book just might stimulate some objective and perhaps even an informative discussion within Pakistan about things like the Cabinet Mission Plan and Mr Jinnah’s point of view about a united India. History is not about changing the past but rather learning more about ourselves and why we are where we are.

For most Pakistanis, it all starts with Muhammad bin Qasim and the conquest of Sindh in the early eighth century, skips through and around the Muslim domination of India and then jumps to the nineteenth century and the foundation of MAO College at Aligarh by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. It then jumps another sixty-five years to the Lahore Resolution of 1940. In the middle, the Ali Brothers and the Khilafat Movement get a passing reference. The rest revolves around Jinnah as the founder of Pakistan with Allama Iqbal lurking somewhere in the middle as the ideologue of Pakistan. It ends effectively with the death of Liaquat Ali Khan, the first prime minister of Pakistan.

Much of Pakistani history as taught in schools is essentially a bundle of platitudes about the ‘Two-Nation Theory’ and excessive exaltation of the likes of Jinnah, Iqbal and a few other luminaries. Yes, there are notable exceptions like Ayesha Jalal, Hasan-Askari Rizvi, the recently deceased KK Aziz and perhaps a few others that have written objectively about the history of Pakistan.

As somebody who interacts frequently with young people that are intelligent and supposedly well educated, I am always struck by their complete lack of any substantial knowledge about the history of Pakistan.
Ideology and education
By Dr Shahid Siddiqui
Monday, 31 Aug, 2009 | 08:56 AM PST |

In the recent past, there has been a growing realisation regarding a definite need for the analysis and understanding of the phenomenon as well as the dynamics of education from a sociological perspective.

It is through this perspective that we can hope to get a fuller view of education which is essentially a social phenomenon. It is also important to understand that educational practices do not take place in isolation but are influenced, shaped and, in some cases, determined by certain ideologies. Thus, to bring a qualitative change in educational practices, it is essential to recognise the relationship between ideology and education and the vital role ideology plays in the conceptualisation and execution of education.

Before we analyse the role of ideology in the construction of social practices it is pertinent to unravel this term. ‘Ideology’ is an elusive term which has been used in different periods with different connotations. In the past, the term had negative connotations, but in contemporary times it is considered akin to ‘philosophy’.

‘Ideology’, in simple words, can be defined as a set of beliefs, usually entertained at group levels. Ideology at group levels can be contrasted with individual opinions in a society. A useful description is given by Eysenck who refers to three levels — specific opinion level, habitual opinion level and attitude level.

Ideology constructs the stereotypes that are legitimised and supported by certain social institutions. Thus, ideology that has the backing of powerful social institutions becomes dominant in a society and has the potential to capture the minds of marginalised groups. It is this subtle hegemony of ideas which was first focused and elaborated on by Italian scholar, Gramsci in Prison Notebooks.

Among other social institutions engaged in the process of socialisation, educational institutions play an important part in the construction and perpetuation of certain ideologies which generally serve the interests of the dominant groups of society.

If we look at the history of education in Pakistan we see how education has been used to propagate certain ideologies favoured by powerful rulers. In Ayub Khan’s era, the whole emphasis was on ‘economic development’ whereas social development was undermined. During Zia’s regime, educational institutions were used to ‘Islamise’ society, whereas Pervez Musharraf’s emphasis was on an imported brand of ‘moderate enlightenment’.

No ruler ever asked the masses for their choice or preference. They could make a decision on the part of others as they enjoyed power. The fact that every powerful ruler tried to use education to legitimise and promote a certain ideology suggests the significance of education and its two-way relationship with ideology.

Having deciphered the term ‘ideology’, let us briefly visit its relationship with education with special reference to Pakistan. We can do this by looking at ideologies linked with certain educational notions and practices. Knowledge in most mainstream educational institutions is viewed as static, predetermined and rigid.

This ideology of knowledge encourages a certain pedagogy the sole objective of which is to transmit or pass on pre-existing knowledge from one generation to another. This ideology of pedagogical practices does not encourage any innovation, creativity or reflection. The students are considered passive recipients and ‘mind-filling jobs’ are left to teachers.

The ideology of learning, encouraged by this kind of pedagogy, is that of cramming and recalling, which is rightly dubbed by Freire as the banking concept of knowledge. The ultimate aim of this learning is to cram pre-existing and fixed items of knowledge and reproduce them in examination papers. This ideology of learning is devoid of any critical thinking. Thus students find no motivation to reflect and reinterpret a phenomenon.

This process of dominant teaching and passive learning gets encouragement and reassurance by the ideology of the existing assessment system. Our prevailing assessment system is geared towards the piecemeal assessment of disjointed items where students are not required to understand and apply acquired knowledge. This prompts us to look at the ideology of a broader aim of the present educational system that is biased in favour of powerful groups. The kind of education, prevalent in most educational institutions, not only supports existing power structures but also widens the gap between the haves and the have-nots.

Recently there have been calls for qualitative improvement in education. The required improvement cannot come from cosmetic changes. The problem is far deeper. We need to challenge ideologies associated with notions of education, pedagogy, learning, assessment and the aim.

Education has to move from transmission to transformation for which we have to revisit our definitions of knowledge. This would lead to more vibrant and interactive classroom dynamics where students are engaged in co-construction of knowledge. For this we need to challenge the ideology of an existing assessment system which is memory-based and is unable to tap thinking skills of a higher order.

We need to strive for an assessment system which requires students to think critically and apply knowledge in diverse contexts. For all these changes in learning, pedagogy and assessment, it is important that we revisit our ideology about the very aim of education. We need to challenge the transmission mode of education that supports existing power structures and move to the transformation mode where the main objective is to reduce socio-economic gaps in society and empower the underprivileged by maximising their life chances.

The writer is a director at Lahore School of Economics and author of Rethinking Education in Pakistan.


Pakistanis posit their Islam in the Indian context. At its core - the Pakistani consider Islam a tool to modernize "Hinduism". Per the Pakistani conception - "Hinduism" as it stands today has deviated considerably from the original principles they feel were laid out in Sanatan Dharma.

Unlike Indians who view "dharmic" philosophy as one out of *many* streams of thought embedded into the "Hindu" world view - the Pakistanis see Sanatan Dharma as a kind of original/pure "Hinduism". This is a very very peculiar interpretation of the greater body of Hindu thought and indeed it lacks the sophistication of the approach laid out in various commentaries but ultimately the Pakistanis cling to this view as dearly as some Hindus cling to the last of the Upanisads.

The Pakistanis see Islam as a vehicle to reform and remove the "perversions" introduced by a departure from Dharmic norms. In particular the Pakistanis want to correct the following

1) the ossification of society due to caste and ethnicity based prejudice and

2) the subjugation of the masses through the use of religious practices.

This is why prominent Pakistanis proudly cling to their Indian cultural affiliation while describing their conversion as a process of "coming into the Light" ... of seeing the "noor e la illah".

The Pakistanis think of themselves as latter day Pandavas whose only claim to legitimacy lay in an appeal to "Dharmic" principles.

The Pakistani proponents of Islam see themselves as the rightful heirs to the spiritual leadership of India and view any dissidence or diversion from their conception of things as a challenge to their unquestionable claim of leadership.

A threat to attack Mecca and Madina (apart from threatening icons close to the hearts of millions of innocent Indian Muslims)- will have little or no effect in deterring Pakistan. At most it will be seen as a strengthening the Pakistani claim of fighting a implacable foe that threatens the entire fabric of Islam.

The Pakistanis see themselves as the leading lights of Islam. In their view - if by virtue of their actions - Mecca and Madina are "purified" - then that is a *good* thing. They want to be the unchallenged leaders of the Muslim world.


<b>Zaid Hamid</b>:BrassTacks-Independence Day Special Part1

Can you imagine any person in India can give such type of speech, replacing Muslims with Hindus? Indian Government will arrest them whether it is BJP or Congress.
Taking ideology out of education

AH Nayyar
Including the 'virtues' of jihad in school syllabi is surely an opening for the infusion of militant ideologies and the desensitising of our youth to the extreme brutalities being committed against human beings by the misguided jihadis

If there is one thing the new National Education Policy shows, it is that the PPP-led coalition government, like governments before it, is hopelessly pandering to the mullahs.

Apparently the policy was ready to be launched for some time – and without a chapter on Islamic education. However, the mullahs managed to put a foot in the door. The issue was taken up by a particular lobby which protested that unlike the previous education policy (NEP 1998-2010), the new draft was missing the ‘crucial’ chapter on Islamic education.

Sadly, the government succumbed to this pressure, and added the chapter. Thus, we now have a new policy that has no chapter on science education, or on the teaching of mathematics or languages, but a full chapter on Islamic education.

The most astonishing part of the added chapter is that it comes with a curriculum of Islamiat defined in the policy. No other subject gets this special treatment. The chapter, hence the policy, makes Islamiat a compulsory subject from class I up to class XII, and if one reads carefully, this condition could extend even to universities.

Most importantly, the new policy violates Pakistan’s constitutional provisions, exactly as the previous policy and curricula had done. While making the teaching of Islamiat compulsory from class I, it also says that classes I and II would have an integrated curriculum. An integrated curriculum by definition has all the subjects put together in one book, which means that Islamic Studies will also be a part of this one book scheme of studies. This implies that non-Muslim students in class I and II would be required to learn Islamic studies with the rest of children. This would violate Article 22(1) of the Constitution that says: “ No person attending any educational institution shall be required to receive religious instructions, or take part in any religious ceremony, or attend religious worship, if such instruction, ceremony or worship relates to a religion other than his own .”

Introducing Islamic Studies through integrated curriculum was one of the ways in which Islamiat was imposed on minority students in the previous education policy and curriculum.

The Islamiat curriculum spelled out in the new policy also includes teaching students the virtues of jihad. It seems the ruling parties and the educational bureaucracy have not learnt anything from our previous experiences. They forget that similar provisions in the previous policy allowed curriculum designers to lay an undue emphasis on Islamic learning; that textbooks therefore included chapters on jihad that looked as if they were copied verbatim from the promotional literature of militant jihadi groups. For those who may not remember, let me refer them to the 2003 SDPI report on textbooks and curricula:http://www.sdpi.org/archive/nayyar_report.htm. Some readers may also recall the passionate debates held in our esteemed parliament in 2004 on whether Sura Anfal had more on jihad or Sura Tauba.

Including the ‘virtues’ of jihad in school syllabi is surely an opening for the infusion of militant ideologies and the desensitising of our youth to the extreme brutalities being committed against human beings by the misguided jihadis.

The new education policy also plans to employ well-qualified teachers to teach Islamiat and Arabic in schools. Given the Islamiat curriculum in the policy, it is easy to guess who these qualified teachers will be: graduates of madrassas, of course.It also says that in-service and pre-service training programmes in Islamiat and Arabic will be organised at teacher training institutions. This therefore is clearly a backdoor channel to extend the influence of mullahs, including their obscurantism, sectarianism and militancy, to public schools. If each school employs only one teacher for both Islamiat and Arabic, it will open up employment for nearly 250,000 madrassa trained mullahs in mainstream schools.

The policy additionally says: “Islamic teachings shall be made a part of teacher training curricula and the curricula of other training institutions. Arabic teachers preferably having the qualification as Qaris shall be appointed in such institutions.”

There are no institutions other than madrassas that produce certified Qaris. Hence this provision ensures the employment of madrassa graduates in teacher training institutions also. They are not likely to be just Qaris, but will come with the ideology that has ruined Pakistan, and against which the Pakistani armed forces are currently fighting at such a huge human cost.

But the more alarming part of the above provision is the phrase “…and the curricula of other training institutions”. The policy does not specify which ‘other institutions’ it has in mind. In the absence of any identification, this part could extend to all institutions, including universities. It could extend to, say, the MSc physics and chemistry curricula of universities, or to the curricula of engineering and medical colleges. We are left to wonder if this is not an underhanded way of creating such possibilities in the future.

Regarding madrassa education, the new policy seems oblivious to the failure of the Musharraf government in introducing school subjects in the madrassa curriculum. There is no reason why this scheme would work now if it did not work in the past. The policy makers seem unaware of an excellent proposal from the esteemed religious scholar Javed Ghamidi. Allama Ghamidi argues that madrassa education should be regarded as much a professional education as law, engineering, medicine, etc, and should be allowed after 10-12 years of mainstream schooling. If this concept is enforced, there would be no need for the futile mainstreaming our governments attempt again and again, or to pandering to mullahs.

Dr AH Nayyar used to teach physics at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, and is currently a research fellow at SDPI

Unholy alliances: religion and Pakistani nationalism

Mehreen Zahra-Malik
The idea of nation needs to be determinedly unhinged from the idea of religion such that what it means to be a political subject,
a Pakistani, a citizen, must not be conflated with what it means
to be part of a particular religious community

Pakistan’s National Education Policy 2009 is out. Predictably, it has an entire chapter on Islamic education. Equally predictably, the liberal intelligentsia is raising Cain.

When work on the policy began in 2005 during former General-President Pervez Musharraf’s tenure, it was decided to insert suitable references to religion in the preamble and be done with it. The Pakistan People’s Party government, which has put out the finished policy, however decided, most say under pressure, to add the fourth chapter on Islam and compulsory Islamic education.

Why has religion found its way into Pakistan’s several education policies and curriculum development efforts over the years?

The Right says because Pakistan was begot as an Islamic state. Nonsense, say the liberals and point to Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s speech to the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947: “You may belong to any religion or caste or creed,” he said, “that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”

The debate is unending and in recent years, because of internal threat from extremist Islamist elements, has acquired a new urgency. This urgency has also given the liberal enclave the space to argue that we need to take the ‘Islamic’ out of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. But the question is: can that be done in a deeply conservative society? Can we wipe the slate clean?

Separating mosque from state when people don’t agree to such a distinction would be an exercise in administrative-bureaucratic control but would not resolve the fundamental dilemma: that the state itself, over four decades, has helped create a mindset and, ironically, for reasons of nationalism. The debate therefore cannot eschew the question of how we have tried to evolve this nationalism. Critics identify the religion factor repeatedly as a fundamental, standalone problem while ignoring, for the most part, the relationship the state has tried to develop between religion and nation; how it has consistently used religion as an instrument of national cohesion. If there was ever a case of the obvious becoming the obscure, this is it.

Why religion and nationalism are such easy bedfellows may be explained through what they have in common: a focus on an imagined community; reliance on the importance of symbols to provide shared meaning to members; concern with territory (though this aspect has to be qualified when we are dealing with Islam); a belief system to assist members in navigating a complex world; and so on.

That be as it may, how did nationalism become the albatross around our neck?

When Europe moved from an agrarian to an industrialised society in the 17th to 18th-centuries, to a large extent, a shared culture, a shared language and shared education, became a statewide necessity. The need for a literate population and explicit, reasonable and precise communication fuelled the development of an education system. That system was grounded in the idea of the separation of church and state, another development that in fact preceded the idea of the nation-state itself. To that extent, Europe became secular even before it developed nation-states.

In Pakistan, as in several other parts of the world, the trajectory is different. Like most post-colonial states, Pakistan is still more a state-nation than a nation-state. Hence the state’s emphasis, instead of increased levels of literacy and technical competence, is on religion as the primary marker of nationalism. Religious nationalism is the baseline and the standard medium of communication we have developed; the common conceptual currency required of members of society if they are to enjoy full and effective moral citizenship. And the national education system is one of the tools through which the state has tried to establish this standardised medium.

But if it is accepted that religion has been used for cementing national identity, then we have to examine whether the state has used religion for nation-building, a secular project, by keeping religion subservient to the nation-state or allowed religion, wittingly or unwittingly, to penetrate the political, social and economic spaces and thereby dominate the state.

In Pakistan’s case, it is the latter. The problem is, religion once unleashed in the public sphere, by its very all-encompassing nature, refuses to submit to any higher authority including, in this case, the state. And where Islam is concerned, which has not undergone the kind of deconstruction that Christianity has, the faithful do not accept the modern boundaries of a nation-state. Shared belief in this case exceeds territoriality.

The state says it is now embarked on a policy of making religion a private affair; but then there is this chapter in the National Education Policy that envisages Islamic education as the “duty of state and society”.

The bottom line is that years of using Islam instrumentally has taken roots in various sections of state and society and changing attitudes is a daunting task. Indeed, the problem today is that religious nationalism has moved from the margins of society to centre stage. And the state, which was decisive in ensuring this movement, is now the victim of its own ill-thought policy.

Education policy and curriculum development are among the many mechanisms through which knowledge is socially distributed and culturally validated. The crucial role that religion has played, through public education, and continues to, in forming the consciousness of the political subject in Pakistan and in the construction of the nation state itself, is a big piece of the problem. The specific experience of education at the public school can offer clues into the ways in which the state is responsible for creating fixed, unalterable identities and drawing clear, exclusivist boundaries to define selfhood, citizenship, nationhood, and community.

The state’s ‘instrumental pious nationalism’ is costing us heavily. It is not news that this equation of religious and national identity has alienated Christians and other minorities in the country and led to violent outbreaks on various occasions. The contradictory, exclusionary nature of religious nationalism works precisely thus: in promoting a sense of community and belonging, it simultaneously breeds intolerance and hatred by creating internal moralities that give preference to those inside the religious national community. Religious nationalism also appears to be an obstacle to democracy. Indeed, when the political is viewed as a struggle between divine truth and sin, there may be little room for compromise.

It is time, then, for a radical reimagining of the nation-state in Pakistan: the idea of nation needs to be decisively unhinged from the idea of religion such that what it means to be a political subject, a Pakistani, a citizen, must not be conflated with what it means to be part of a particular religious community. Religious nationalism is dangerous particularly because it designates the phenomena of collective piety; tries to lay down the law on how to be together in a particular grouping in a way that is acceptable, and sanctified; and prescribes beliefs, symbols, and rituals that sacralise the national community and confer a transcendental purpose to the political process.

The sanctifying tendency in religious nationalism is what makes it dangerous and intractable: this contradictory tendency to place the nation above all else while also merging, and hence subordinating, it to a certain religious subjectivity.

The writer is News Editor of The Friday Times and pursuing a doctoral degree in the United States. She can be reached at mehreen.tft@gmail.com


Pakistan Historian
November 11, 2009
Pakistan existed 8000 years ago as Melluha
Filed under: History of Pakistan, Indus Valley Civilization — Moin Ansari @ 11:16 pm
Tags: Pakistan existed 8000 years ago as Melluha
As an ardent fan of the Professor Dr Ahmed Hasan Dani’s concept of Pakistani history and a protagonist of the Indus people philosophy of Ahtizaz Ahsan, it is always a joy to hear about another book about the ‘Melluhas’ of the Pakistani Civilization.

The Melhulans were the Indus people who lived on the River Indus. They were the early ancestors of the present day Pakistanis. the DNA results from the remains of the people in the graves show a 98% congruence with the Baluch, Punjabis, Pakhtuns and Sindhis of the current era. This is why Professor Dani, Ahtizaz Ahsan and this author want to refer to the “Indus Valley Civilization” as the Pakistani Civilization. The temple education from across the border notwithstanding. the facts remain that the people of the Indus is spectacularly different than the people of the Ganges. It is the stupidity of the leaders of the Ganges to refer to themselves as Indusians or “Indians”. The could call themselves Ganians or the rural people or whatever. They were certainly not the urban people of the Pakistani Civilization.



The temple education in Bharat teaches them that their land extends from Kabul to Raj Kalhani (mythical island East of Hindu Bali in Indonesia). Thus this temple education prohibits them from accepting any of the countries in their borders–Tibet, Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal, Lanka, Mayanmar, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Pakistani Mehergarh civilizition preceded Pakistani Indus Valley Civilization

This is the third and final stage of Iqbal’s’ thinking patterns. Influenced by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan writings, Iqbal changed his thinking. During this phase of his life, Iqbal worked for the All India Muslim League, whose sole purpose was the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of the Subcontinent
Of his different phases Iqbal himself wrote:

” I have myself been of he view hat religious differences should disappear from this country, and even now act on the principle, in my private life. But now I think that the preservation of their national identities is desirable for both the Hindus and the Muslims. The vision of a common nationhood for India is a beautiful idea, and has a poetic appeal, but looking to the present conditions and the unconscious trends of the two communities, appears incapable of fulfillment”.

By the year 1941 He was indeed a firm believer in Pakistan and the Two Nation Theory

” Cant you see that a Muslim, when he was converted more than a thousand years ago, bulk of them, then according to your hindureligion and philosophy, he becomes an outcast and he becomes aMalecha (an untouchable) and the Hindus ceased to have anythingto do with him socially , religiously , culturaly or in any otherway? He, therefore belongs to a different order not merely religiousbut social and he has lived in that distinctly separate and antagonostic social order, religiously, socially and culturally…can you posibally compare this with that nonsensical talk thatmere change of faith is no ground for a demand for Pakistan? Cantyou see the fundamantle difference ? “ 2 march 1941. Pres. address toPunjab Muslim Students Fed.

As can be seen from the above that the entire Muslim nation of India did not actually believe in “Pakistan” untill after the failure of the Cabinet Mission Plan. It was after the failure of the CMP that Quaid-e-Azam and the Muslim League had accepted that the MOVEMENT TOWARDS Pakistan or an independent Muslim state began. Earlier writings from Iqbal DO NOT DETRACT anything from Iqbal becasue as early as 1930 he WAS propogating a SEPERATE identity of the Muslims of India.Iqbal’s vs Goethe’s: Deja Vu in Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan

4 Ancient Superpowers: China (Yangtze valley), Egypt (Nile Valley), Iraq (Tigris Valley), Pakistan (Indus Valley)
THE FOUR SUPERPOWERS OF PROTO-HISTORY: China, Egypt, Iraq and Pakistan. The Nile, the Tigris-Euphrates delta, the Yangtze Delta, and the Indus, are the wombs of all civilizations on our earth. These river valley spawned and nurtured humanity. Imagine a world with four superpowers at peace with each other. Imagine a planet where each civilization was immersed in humongous construction projects, urban edification and trade. . How did these proto-world powers interact with each other? Imagine a civilization without any implements of war. Let us look into pre-history and peek into the “seeds” of time. Let us look at the valleys of the world that engendered the Superpowers of the ancient world..

The IVC was on the banks of the Indus which is present day Pakistan
PAKISTAN 5000 YEARS AGO:-The Indus Valley Civilization of South Asia was one of the inceptive civilizations on the planet. It was contemporaneous with the Chinese, Egyptian, and Sumerian civilizations. These were the times when the Egyptians were building huge monuments to their God-kings,the pyramids and the Sphinx. These were the centuries when the Chinese were building palaces for the Shun dynasty. These were exciting eons in the Holy lands too.

These were the centuries when Moses was battling the pharaohs, Abraham was building the Kaaba, David was ruling the kingdom, and Solomon was building the Temple of Yahweh. It was during these centuries that the Indus Valley Civilization flourished and reached its zenith in South Asia.



I don’t mean to dampen Pakistan’s highly built up superiority complex laced with self pity at the whole world’s always being out to get us, but has anyone ever thought of questioning why we always situate Pakistan at the centre of our world view? It is true that Pakistan is in the news a lot these days, and that the location of our borders in terms of resources and trade routes present significant geopolitical interests. But isn’t it a bit much to consider the current conflict in terms of issues that lie beyond the immediately obvious uses of Pakistan’s soil, and therefore hurl the current conflict in to the realm of myth and conspiracy?

Islamic mythology has obviously played a huge role in the formation of our national identity. It is telling that the history books we’re taught in school start from Mohenjodaro and Harappa, jump to the life of the Prophet in pagan Arabia, and then an interlude of early Islamic history until the likes of Muhammad bin Qasim finally brings Islam to the subcontinent. After that, the Muslim personalities involved in South Asian politics are closely followed up until the creation of Pakistan as a homeland for the Muslims.

Given this strange mix of religious indoctrination and nationalist propaganda, it isn’t a shock that our national identity is hopelessly intertwined with religion. The great ups and downs of our history are also then viewed though the mirror image of early Islamic Arabian history, starting with the Partition of 1947 where the oppressed Muslims in the land of infidels partake in a hijrah-like migration to greener pastures. This is also responsible for similar coinages as mohajir’s for people who migrated from the other side of the border, and of course the Muttahida Quami Movement as well. Looking across the border with the same deeply rooted scepticism through which we historically view pagan Mecca also comes with the national identity combo-meal.


Ali Sethi is the author of “The Wish Maker,” a novel.

FOR many Pakistanis, the deaths of more than 80 members of the Ahmadi religious sect in mosque attacks two weeks ago raised questions of the nation’s future. For me, it recalled a command from my schoolboy past: “Write a Note on the Two-Nation Theory.”

It was a way of scoring easy points on the history exam, and of using new emotions and impressive-sounding words. I began my answer like this:

The Two-Nation Theory is the Theory that holds that the Hindus and Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent are Two Distinct and Separate Nations. It is a Theory that is supported by Numerous Facts and Figures. During the War of Independence of 1857 the Muslim rulers of India were defeated by the British. Suddenly the Hindus, who had always held a grudge against the Muslims for conquering them, began to collaborate with the new British rulers. They joined British schools, worked in British offices and began to make large amounts of money, while the Muslims, who were Discriminated Against, became poorer and poorer. It was now Undisputable that the Hindus and the Muslims were Two Distinct and Separate Nations, and it was becoming necessary for the Muslims to demand a Distinct and Separate Homeland for themselves in the Indian Subcontinent.

To that point, my “note” had only built up the atmosphere of mistrust and hostility between Hindus and Muslims. It had yet to give examples of the Distinctness and Separateness of the two communities (such as that Hindus worshipped the cow but Muslims ate it), of Hindu betrayals and conspiracies (they wanted Hindi, not Urdu, to be the national language). And it had still to name and praise the saddened Muslim clerics, reformers and poets who had first noted these “undisputable” differences.

I got points for every mini-note that I stretched into a full page, which was valid if it gave one important date and one important name, each highlighted for the benefit of the teacher. This was because the teacher couldn’t really read English, and could award points only to answers that carefully showcased their Facts and Figures.

After the exam I would go home. Here the Two-Nation Theory fell apart. I was part-Shiite (my mother’s family), part-Sunni (my father’s family) and part-nothing (neither of my parents was sectarian). There were other things: the dark-skinned man who swabbed the floors of the house was a Christian; the jovial, foul-mouthed, red-haired old woman who visited my grandmother every few months was rumored to be an Ahmadi. (It was a small group, I had been told, that considered itself Muslim but had been outlawed by the government.)

But even more than these visible religious variations, I was more aware of things like caste and money: my mother’s family was upper caste, claiming a magical blood bond with the Prophet Muhammad, and owned large tracts of land in the countryside. My father’s relatives, however, were undisguised converts from Hinduism who had fled their villages long ago and now lived in the city, where they were always running out of money, working in government offices and selling homemade furniture and gambling (and losing) on the stock market. ( how ironic, a converted indic lording over magical bloodline, anything that comes to Aryavarta becomes indigenised )

The Two-Nation Theory allowed only for the simple categories of Hindu and Muslim, one for India and the other for Pakistan; it had no room for inner complications like Shiite and Sunni and Christian and Ahmadi. (I had yet to learn that more than a million Hindus still lived in Pakistan.) It also required the abolition of magical blood claims and landholdings and stock markets, so that our personalities and situations could be determined purely by our religious beliefs.

But I knew that things weren’t really like that. And this was something I knew from the beginning, and lived with quite comfortably: the history in my textbook was Distinct and Separate from the histories of real people.

Some years later, in a secluded college library in Massachusetts, I read a very different account of the Two-Nation Theory. Here I learned that it was devised in the 1930s by a group of desperate Muslim politicians who wanted to extract some constitutional concessions from the British before they left India.

The Muslims of India, these politicians were saying in their political way, were a “distinct group” with their own “history and culture.”[size="5"] But really, the book told me, all they wanted was special protection for the poor Muslim minorities in soon-to-be-independent, mostly Hindu India.

But the politicians’ gamble failed; they were taken up on their bluff and were given a separate country, abruptly and violently cut-up, two far-apart chunks of Muslim-majority areas (but what about the poor Muslim minorities that were still stuck in Hindu-majority areas!) that its founders (but it was a mistake!) now had to justify with the subtleties of their theory.

It was like a punishment.[/size]

One by one, the founders died — the most important, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, just a year after Pakistan’s birth. Their theory could have died with them. What was the use now of the idea of Muslim specialness — the distinctiveness and separateness of Indian Muslims — in an independent, Muslim-majority country?

But the idea was kept alive and made useful: first by a set of unelected bureaucrats, then by generals, then by landowners, and then by generals again. And, always, to blackmail the people (still indistinct and unspecial). An Islamic dance was danced: sovereignty rested with “Allah alone”; the country would be called an Islamic republic; alcohol and gambling were banned; the Ahmadi sect was outlawed (to please the fringe mullahs) for violating, with their beliefs and practices, Muhammad’s position in “the principle of the finality of [Muhammad’s] prophethood.”

It peaked with the government takeover in 1977 by Gen. Muhammad Zia ul-Haq, who announced that his great wish in life was to “Islamize” the people of Pakistan. The Two-Nation Theory, confined so far to political slogans and clauses in the Constitution, now went everywhere: it was injected into textbook passages (the ones I would reproduce, with new words and emotions, in my exam) and radio shows and programs on the one state-run TV channel. And it branched out, becoming anti-Communist (to attract American money), anti-Shiite (to attract Arab money, given for cutting Iran’s influence in the continent), anti-woman (to please the mullahs) and still more anti-Ahmadi (to enhance the pleasure and power of the mullahs).

The Two-Nation Theory was dynamic, useful, lucrative.

And it still is lucrative. Its best rewards are nowadays found in the high ratings (and correspondingly high advertising revenue) of Pakistan’s newly independent TV channels. Dozens of them are competing to sell the fastest-burning conspiracy theories (India and Israel and America are behind the latest suicide bombings) and the most punishing religious advice (don’t wear nail polish, don’t celebrate birthdays, kill blasphemers wherever you find them), that a semi-urban, semi-Islamized population, raised on years of government textbooks and radio shows and TV sermons (themselves confirmed and elucidated by the sermons of mullahs in neighborhood mosques) finds hard to shut out.

So the coordinated gun and bomb attacks during services at two Ahmadi mosques here on May 28 surprised no one. Some were saddened. But most took it as a matter of course. On the TV channels news of the assaults was reported and displayed (all those eyeballs, all those ads) but not explained. And in Lahore’s Main Market, near rickshaw stands and fruit stalls — the rickshaw drivers and fruit sellers standing in the heat outside the window display of an electronics shop, watching the muted carnage on an imported flat-screen TV — the incident was mulled over and attributed in the end to the larger madness that was overtaking the country.

IT was, they agreed, in some ways like the burning last year of a Christian village outside Lahore, and in other ways like the sporadic killings of Shiites in the years before that. But they also likened it to the televised killings of armed clerics in Islamabad’s Red Mosque — carried out three years ago by the military itself — and the unadmitted, unexplained attacks by American drones still falling on the people in the western mountains.

In the drawing rooms of Lahore, among the children of bureaucrats, landlords and military men (amazingly practical and un-Islamic in their drawing rooms), it was said that the Ahmadi attacks, though tragic, were not a sign of doom. After all, the Punjabi Taliban, who had claimed responsibility, were just another network — easily disrupted (when the time came) by a combination of on-the-ground raids and abductions, long and unexplained detentions, and perhaps strikes on mountainside training centers by the Predator drones that we don’t admit to knowing anything about.

That was their idea of the war on terrorism: the physical removal of a nuisance, something rare and extreme and isolatable.

A few days later, I read in the newspaper that the police had made an arrest in the Ahmadi attacks. The suspect’s name was Abdullah and he was 17 years old. When asked for his motives, he said that he had learned that Ahmadis were drawing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, “so their bloodshed was a great service to Islam.”

It was a simple enough statement. But I wondered about his ideas. Had he taken them from the Constitution? Or was he inspired by the court order days earlier banning Facebook for holding a contest of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad?

Did he hear it in a mosque, or see it on a TV screen in the window display of an electronics shop? Did he read about blasphemy and its punishments in a textbook? Or was he one of those boys (Twenty million? Thirty million?) who don’t go to school and can’t read textbooks?

Was he taught about the Ahmadis in the mountains of Waziristan, where the police say he trained for his mission? Did he witness an American drone attack there? Did he think it was carried out by Ahmadis? Was it confirmed for him by a popular talk show host that the Ahmadis were America’s agents in Pakistan? And, in Waziristan, was he trained by the good Taliban, the ones the Pakistani military is trying to protect, or the bad Taliban, the ones it is trying to kill?

Or was he told about the Ahmadis after he had come all the way to the vast, grassy compound on the outskirts of Lahore where doctors and professors and businessmen — and even, it is said, some bureaucrats and landowners and military men — converge now and then to hang out with the masses and talk about the ways and woes of Islam?

Several theories now, with several competing culprits. It’s hard to pick just one.
VIEW: Pakistan and Shia and Ahmediyya stands —Ishtiaq Ahmed

Sir Zafarullah enjoyed Jinnah’s personal trust. Such factors hugely helped to persuade the head of the Ahmediyya community, Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, subsequently to change his decision on Pakistan

Mr Ammar Ali Qureshi’s rejoinder ‘The idea of Pakistan’ (Daily Times, June 14, 2010), to my article ‘The demand for Pakistan and Islam’ (Daily Times, June 8, 2010), provides a useful basis for further discussion of the origins and implications of establishing a Muslim-majority state in the Indian subcontinent.

When I quoted Raja Sahib Mahmudabad, it was with reference to his personal convictions. Raja Sahib was a prominent leader of the Muslim League and one of its main patrons. Maulana Hasrat Mohani was another prominent Muslim who wanted Pakistan to be an Islamic state. More names can be given. The exchange of views between Syed Ali Zaheer and Jinnah were of a personal nature, but Zaheer was a prominent Shia politician of Lucknow and, therefore, represented an important voice in the Shia community.

On the other hand, when I refer to the rejection on December 25, 1945 of the Pakistan idea by the All Parties Shia Conference, then it is an organisation that took that decision and one can legitimately attribute to it a collective point of view. However, I pointed out that such a ruling was not accepted by most Shias who decided to support the demand for Pakistan. There is nothing contradictory in what I said; these are facts.

Now, when we come to the position of the Ahmediyya community, I had done my homework before I wrote my previous article. At the time of the Lahore Resolution, Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan was a member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council. Viceroy Linlithgow instructed Sir Zafarullah to prepare a memorandum advising the Muslim League to demand a separate state (Wali Khan, Facts are Facts, 2004, page 40).

At that time, World War II was raging in full fury and Britain was facing defeat on all fronts. The British wanted to put pressure on the Indian National Congress, which was not cooperating with them. In September 1939, the Congress ministries had resigned to protest over India being committed to World War II without Indian leaders being consulted. Moreover, the Congress had started demanding transfer of power and the British wanted to prevent such menace from gaining momentum. Nothing would have done it better than the Indian Muslims demanding a separate state and thus calling into question the Congress’ claim to represent Indian opinion. Sir Zafarullah was by no means acting as a free agent when he prepared a memorandum on Pakistan. He simply carried out a task given to him by the viceroy.

The fact is that at the time of the adoption of the March 23, 1940 Lahore Resolution, the Ahmediyya community was under instruction from their khalifa not to join the Muslim League. Sir Henry Craik, governor of Punjab, makes this crystal clear in his secret fortnightly report dated March 25, 1940 that he sent to Linlithgow. He wrote: “I had an interesting talk this morning with Pir Akbar Ali, a Unionist member of our assembly, who belongs to the Ahmediyya community...Pir Akbar Ali gave me two items of information, which may interest you. The Ahmedis, he said, have always considered the Khaksar Movement a dangerous one and not a single Ahmedi has joined it. The second item was that the Ahmedis as a body have not been allowed by the religious head of their movement to join the Muslim League. Akbar Ali himself has been allowed to join as a member of the Unionist Party for a term of six months only. The question whether his followers should be allowed to join the League is, I understand, shortly to be considered by the head of the community” (Lionel Carter, Punjab Governors’ Fortnightly Reports vol. 1, Punjab Politics 1940-1943: Strains of War, 2005, page 101).

Sir Zafarullah was associated with the Muslim League since the 1930s, but at that time the Muslim League was merely a platform for expressing demands about Muslim representation and quotas in government services. When Iqbal made his famous ‘demand for Pakistan’ speech in Allahabad, the house was empty. The quorum of 75 persons needed to pass a resolution could only be filled after several hours of effort to bring Muslims from all over Allahabad to the meeting hall. It was the first move by the Muslims to challenge the Congress, which had adopted the Swaraj (self-rule) Resolution in January that year. In the 1937 elections, the Muslim League won only two seats in Punjab, which became one when Raja Ghazanfar Ali Khan crossed the floor and joined the Punjab Unionist Party. The first party office in Punjab was opened in Lahore in 1938.

Doctrinal disputes between the Ahmedis and other Muslims were a harsh fact and, therefore, hesitation on the part of the head of the Ahmediyya community to give the green signal to his followers to hitch their future to Pakistan makes perfect sense. Rather, not to look for assurances and guarantees for his followers would be a case of criminal negligence and gross irresponsibility. Moreover, as a community closely aligned with the British, it was equally necessary not to antagonise them.

Jinnah’s stature rose sharply only after the Lahore Resolution was adopted. This is also recorded in the March 25 secret fortnightly report of Governor Craik. Sir Zafarullah enjoyed Jinnah’s personal trust. Such factors hugely helped to persuade the head of the Ahmediyya community, Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, subsequently to change his decision on Pakistan. Why all this silly myth-building about the Ahmedis championing the idea of Pakistan in the 1930s remains a mystery to me.

It is equally silly of people like Wali Khan to promote another myth that after the Lahore Resolution the British had definitively made up their mind to partition India. After the war, the British were very keen to keep India united because they wanted to use India as a base and their most valued institution — the British Indian Army — for the geopolitical interests they believed they would still have in South Asia and the Middle East. Between 1945 and August 1947, the pendulum would swing dramatically between the polar extremes of a united and a partitioned India. Also, the British, Congress, Muslim League and even the Sikhs would prevaricate a number of times before the pendulum stopped on partition. To talk of a Pakistan project in 1906 or 1930 or 1940 is therefore innacurate.

Ishtiaq Ahmed is a Visiting Research Professor at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) and the South Asian Studies Programme at the National University of Singapore and Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Stockholm University. He is currently working on a book, Is Pakistan a Garrison State? He can be reached at isasia@nus.edu.sg
The counting game

Quote:Jinnah’s ambiguous references to Islam, Islamic ideals and Islamic unity are used to demolish his vision of the state which he clearly expressed on — as per last count — at least three dozen occasions.

To which we should add some other number:



Quote:In my book I showed that there are literally hundreds of references to Islamic terminology and principles in Mr. Jinnah’s speeches. Additionally, whilst he stressed the absolute equality of non-Muslim citizens in Pakistan, he never once used the word ‘secular’ to describe the country.



Quote:Prof Abdul Waheed Siddiqui has counted 90 speeches made by Jinnah between 1940 and 1947 in which he spoke of an Islamic State.

Hoodbhoy has it right:


Quote:Decades after the horrific bloodbath of Partition, the idea of Pakistan remains hotly debated. It did not help that Jinnah died in 1948, just a year after Pakistan was born, with his plans still ambiguously stated. He authored no books and wrote no policy paper. He did make many speeches, of which several were driven by political expediency and are frankly contradictory. These are freely cherry-picked today, with some finding in them a liberal and secular voice; others, an embodiment of Islamic values. The confusion is irresolvable.

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