Remembering East Pakistan —II

Published: August 8, 2011
The writer is a historian at Keble College, University of Oxford.

The writer is a historian at Keble College, University of Oxford.

In March this year, the prime minister and foreign minister of Bangladesh visited Oxford. I noticed that I was the only Pakistani among a gathering of mainly Bangladeshis and Britons. Conscious of the past, I gathered courage and went up to Sheikh Hasina and introduced myself. After an initial cold look, she quickly warmed up to me when I mentioned that I greatly respected her father and what he stood for in a united Pakistan. Then began reminisces — clearly still hurtful — of East Pakistan and 1970-1. The atrocities of 1971 were still fresh in their minds and it was clear that episode was a critical phase in the formation of their national identity. What was patent to me by the end of the conversation was that we in Pakistan have almost forgotten and refuse to learn from that experience.

I recently read an article by Professor Yasmin Saikia (the Hardt-Nickachos Chair in Peace Studies at the Center for the Study of Religion at Arizona State University) in which she analysed the interviews of Pakistani soldiers who had been in East Pakistan in 1971. Repeatedly what came out in the interviews was that they had been force-fed the propaganda that everyone in East Pakistan was a Hindu traitor and therefore deserved harsh treatment. This demonisation of fellow countrymen (most Mukhti Bahini were East Pakistanis) is perhaps the reason why we still refuse to engage with the real issues the debacle raised. After all, if they were all evil Hindu Indians, then what can we learn from them? The truth, as usual in Pakistan, is not what we have been officially told.

Let me point out two interrelated issues. First, the 1971 incidents should have shaken us as normal human beings. Most of the soldiers Professor Saikia interviewed said that in some way they felt that insaniyat (humanity) had been abandoned. They were traumatised by the scale and depth of the atrocities carried out by Pakistani soldiers, since they were asked to behave towards the Bengalis as if they were lower than even animals. This dehumanising of the ‘other’ still continues unabated in our public discourse. Our penchant of embarking on a military operation against our own people (twice in Balochistan since 1971, for instance) and even our random killing of political foes (for example in Karachi) shows how we still continue to treat a lot of people as sub-human — not worthy to live if they don’t agree with our perspective on something. Insaniyat is something we clearly lost in 1971, and still need to (re)gain.

Secondly, most big disasters usually begin with a sobering/reflective phase in a country. However, we seem to have skipped that period. Not only did we not publicly take stock of the situation (the Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report was only declassified in 2000 and that too via an Indian news organisation), we almost immediately acted as if nothing wrong had happened. In one of the most shocking of moves, the Pakistani government appointed General Tikka Khan as the chief of army in 1972 — barely a year after he was called the ‘Butcher of Bengal’ by Time and other commentators for his role in the mass killings of East Pakistanis. Here again we acted without any insaniyat. Rather than court-martialling and removing General Tikka, we honoured him further.

One of the premises of the two-nation theory was that the Muslims and Hindus of India had different heroes. Mahmud Ghaznavi was a champion for the Muslims but a brutal murderer for the Hindus; Shivaji was a valiant fighter for the Marhatta Hindu cause but a treacherous insurgent for Aurangzeb, and so on. However, 1971 created that rift between even Muslims. Every pupil in Pakistan reads about the heroic virtue of Rashid Minhas who, while a trainee pilot, brought down the plane flown by his trainer when he realised that he was defecting to Bangladesh. We gave Rashid Minhas the Nishan-e-Haider, our highest award, and Matiur Rahman, the trainer, our traitor, was given the Bir Sreshtho — Bangladesh’s highest award.

What distinguishes us is perhaps not just our religion, but our insaniyat. If we can treat others with respect, we can live with almost anyone.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (50)

  • Abhi
    Aug 8, 2011 - 10:08PM

    “If we can treat others with respect, we can live with almost anyone.”

    Well said. “almost” in this sentence is also very well placed.


  • AnIndian
    Aug 8, 2011 - 10:19PM

    It takes greater courage to stand up for the truth, than it takes to stand up against the enemy


  • well-wisher
    Aug 8, 2011 - 10:28PM

    I hope someone in Pakistan believe in you. What I see today, probably partition was best thing happened to India from my point of view. I hope Bangladeshies will agree with me.

    By the way, be there where you are today if you want your saftey……


  • Aug 8, 2011 - 10:31PM

    The two nation theory,I have read a lot,on this,from such stalwert as most articulate spokeman Mr Jinnah and poet Iqbal,both on their own right great great man of integrity.No reason to doubt their bonafied,having said that,the theory came apart when Bengaladesh parted company.Its further undoing might result in balkinasation of Sind and Baluchistan.I for one,who always found merit in two nation,theory,have began to have my doubt,lately.Do not mistake me,I want both Pakistan and Bengaladesh well.India for good or ill has done well going their seperate way,yet you can not but wonder,was the theory flawed.?All,though,Mr Gandhi,MR NEHru and Azad were opposed,yet Rajagopalchari(after some intial doubt,Sardar Patel),came around to Mr Jinnah’s view.Then,what’s the problem?The theory,religion is the most important glue,now does not seem to hold water.It’s my take,now,when leaders see transitory gains,they push important disagreement like language,culture,economy and defence,under the carpet and ‘power’grabing is the only immideate concern,that account why Mr Jinnah left majority of muslims as hostage in India after partition,and why Congress did not insist on orderly exchange of populatio,it would have delayed partition and hence Brtish staying longer,as such Mr nehru and others who smelled and power within their grasp could not help waiting painful few month or a year,so they agreed for hapazard division of India and Pakistan,even the borders were settled within a 60 days by a guy who had never visited India before,such haste!!As far as I’m concerned the last chapter on ‘two nation’theory is yet be writen.comment welcome.!


  • Aug 8, 2011 - 10:44PM

    Very moving piece. But I dont think people have an appetite for too much introspection – because you will have to make a conscious effort to change. In India, for instance, we still harbour the notion that we give in far too much to the minorities – so quickly we have forgotten our bloody past. India survives because it is secular – very few people appreciate the values our founders (most notably Nehru) gave us.


  • Aug 8, 2011 - 10:58PM

    Awesome piece, Yaqoob. I’m your fan from today onwards.


  • Aug 8, 2011 - 11:52PM

    I second your article. Truly reflective of facts, for which, nobody talks in Pakistan because we feel what we have done is right.
    I want you to amend the line, “Insaniyat is something we clearly lost in 1971, and still need to (re)gain” We have not learned until now. Ramadan – the holy month of fasting, namaz, etc. – continues to be observed as bloodsucking month.

    Those so called lower than animals are far advanced than us. Kaash we can learn from them even. Look at their industries, currency, and leadership. If not good then it must be better than Pakistan!

    Pakistan Paaindaabad!


  • LooseSalwar
    Aug 8, 2011 - 11:55PM

    Any country following a supremacist doctrine necessarily wants to annihilate what it perceives to be inferior.


  • Aug 9, 2011 - 1:36AM

    Not letting us reflect on our mistakes on a national level has led us to the moral demise we are in now.


  • Cynical
    Aug 9, 2011 - 2:06AM

    If religion can’t act as a glue between waring members within a single family, how on earth it can unite a whole nation.
    Though it can be a great catalyst if one wants to incite a mob.
    It almost always works.


  • Rao Shukat
    Aug 9, 2011 - 2:31AM

    No body can condone any atrocities committed in any conflict. The author should also read the book of sharmila Bose who has personally interviewed victims and aggressors. Considering Bengalis as ” Hindus” or enemies might have been one mind set among some of these soldiers but if you read Ms. Bose, you will clearly appreciate that ” Mukti Bahni” was indeed involved in many henious crimes and a lot of times PAK army soldiers reacted to what they believed was attack on west pakistanis by bangali armed insurgency. Again, in a bloody civil war, no body is 100% right. I wish, Mr. author if you could have asked Ms. hasina to investigate the atrocities of all sides including Mukti Bahni as well as Indian army and not just Pakistani soldiers or their associates


  • Truthbetold
    Aug 9, 2011 - 5:02AM

    A very poignant, deep, soul searching and truthful article. Just one comment on the author’s last sentence “What distinguishes us is perhaps not just our religion, but our insaniyat.”

    The problem is that religion has been allowed to take an even more preeminent and overarching role in Pakistan and most Muslim countries over humanity/insaniyat. That is what happens when one adheres to dogmatic ideologies. The ideology itself starts to consume all logic, reason and humanism. Especially so, when the ideology is claimed to have come down from the gods.

    Unless and until humans accept that all religions are nothing more than the creation of man, religious dogmatism will continue to prevail over humanism/humanity.


  • Truthbetold
    Aug 9, 2011 - 5:08AM


    I am afraid you haven’t done an honest and proper research on the events leading to the partition in 1947. Many points you make are erroneous.


  • Truthbetold
    Aug 9, 2011 - 5:20AM

    @Rao Shukat:

    Sharmila Bos that you quote is a very dubious “pseduo intellectual”. What she write flies in the face of vast and accurate record, compiled by many global human rigths organizations soon after 1971, of genocide and rape committed by the Pakistani army. It is not too difficult for an “interested party” (read ISI) to pay off any single individual to write anything they want. It is amazing that this lady claims she is able to find the “real truth” after 30 years! It fails the smell test!


  • N
    Aug 9, 2011 - 5:26AM

    No apology required.

    We are best
    We are supreme
    We are right
    We always do good things.
    p>Even if we do ‘bad’ things, then they are justified because start with rule 1 through 4.
    If someone really insists on an apology, then cloud the issue by accusing them of doing wrong too. That way we can postpone any ‘isaaniyat’ and feel good. Remember: we are best……….Recommend

  • Godly
    Aug 9, 2011 - 5:26AM

    @Rao Shukat
    Congragulations! You appear to be much more intelligent than the author.
    The article is only one sided and is not giving a fully rounded picture of the tragedy for both West and East Pakistan. This was a result of a Grand conspiracy and Espionage by
    not only the Indian Army but it was supported by the Hindu Bengali population. Also massive number of Hindus also invaded East Pakistan to help the Indian Army and over ran the Pakistani Army which was not prepared for this sudden attack by India. The Hindus after killing the Pakistani army personnel in huge numbers, stole and dressed up in their uniforms and went on a crime spree on the muslim Bengalis creating a false impression to demonise the Pakistani Army. THERE IS MORE TO THIS THAN MEETS THE EYE. . . . .


  • Vicram Singh
    Aug 9, 2011 - 6:40AM

    @Godly: ” …. The Hindus after killing the Pakistani army personnel in huge numbers, stole and dressed up in their uniforms and went on a crime spree on the muslim Bengalis creating a false impression to demonise the Pakistani Army.

    If Hindus are capable of this, there would not be a single non-Hindu left between Afghanistan and Burma – and the flag of India would be a blood-red swastika on a saffron background.Recommend

  • Sajida
    Aug 9, 2011 - 7:09AM

    It was a civil war. Things get brutal in a civil war. There was first an insurgency started by Bengali officers, then things escalated as they tend to in civil wars.
    The political arrangement with West Pakistan never made sense from the beginning. Imagine two parts of a country divided by another?! And that too the size of East and West Pakistan! The Bengalis should have asked for their own country in the beginning. perhaps they couldn’t because at the time they saw little potential for it. You must remember the fact the East Pakistan was part if the Bengal Presidency and thus amongst the worst off parts of India during the British colonial period. And the Muslim part was further discriminated against as Muslims were blamed for the1857 Mutiny.


  • Rao Shukat
    Aug 9, 2011 - 7:17AM

    Could you please elaborate what makes Sharmila Bose a dubious intellectual? Just because she has dared to speak for both sides and not just the official inidian or bengladeshi narrative?


  • naeem khan
    Aug 9, 2011 - 7:22AM

    Great article, more power to you while speaking the truth.Thank you Sir


  • Suresh
    Aug 9, 2011 - 9:17AM

    For those who claim the Bangladesh genocide occurred in a civil war like situation, my question is why the inquiry committee report setup precisely to investigate this civil war is still not officially published? Why those Pakistanis still stranded in Dhaka are not repatriated? Please also note that this Sharmila Bose is another Gulam Nabi Fai, the ISI agent for Kashmir issue in US.


  • malik
    Aug 9, 2011 - 9:24AM

    “most big disasters usually begin with a sobering/reflective phase in a country. However, we seem to have skipped that period.”

    I have never read such a tremendous and mind-altering insight in the recent times. Mr Bangash, I am overwhelmed to read your article and I am also sad that your words are falling on deaf ears.

    One thing I have noticed in these blogs: if anyone writes anything that is displeasing to the Pak ears, immediately everyone will gang up and start ad hominem attacks peppered with conspiracy theories and denial-ism. Educated people of Pakistan have lost the ability to distinguish between what is just and unjust.


  • Truthbetold
    Aug 9, 2011 - 9:33AM

    @Rao Shukat:

    “Could you please elaborate what makes Sharmila Bose a dubious intellectual? Just because she has dared to speak for both sides and not just the official inidian or bengladeshi narrative?”

    Mr. Shukat, many eminent scholars have rebutted and discredited Sharmila Bose’s so-called research. I am sure you are a sincere person and expressed an honest view. If you want to know the truth, just do some research on your own. There are plenty of information available on the web itself on Sharmila Bose’s work. Also, please do read the “Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report”.

    The following link will get you started:



  • Mirza
    Aug 9, 2011 - 10:16AM

    Dear YB, I am simply proud of you! You give me hope for Pakistan. I wrote a long comment in your previous op ed I, but it did not get published. Perhaps it is too emotional for me to write diplomatically. We have done the most terrible crimes against humanity and still have not learned any lesson or took responsibility, let alone punish any single person. The army very conveniently surrendered and gave the blame to PPP.
    Now every party is looking and getting a piece after their limited election victory. PPP wanted to have a share in the govt just like the ANP, MQM, JUI and PML want today. No party contests elections to lose and not form the govt. It was the total martial law and several generals were in the cabinet with Yehya and they were playing games and never intended to give power to “Bengalis” as if they were our subjects.
    Thanks again, I have to stop because it would not be published. Let us hope and pray that we have learned something from this debacle and humiliation.


  • Syed Ali
    Aug 9, 2011 - 10:37AM

    If you go by what incident proved what in 1971. Here is list of things besides two nation theory.
    1- Brtish had been hesitanat to recruit Bengalis in British India army as they were considered to be” short tempered” and prone to mutiny at all times. Pakistan gave Bengalis a chance after almost 120 years to make new bengali units and see what they did in 1971…armed mutiny against federation. Did not it prove the British observation?
    2- !971 also proved that armed insurgency aided by an other country could result in victory far better than conventional war. The 1971 layed ground to the indian helped insurgency in Tamil Nado, Pakistan assistaed insurgency in Kashmir and US assisted insurgency in Afghanistan.
    3- !971 also proved to be the soul changing for PAk army, as it decided to get nukes decisively. Had there been no 1971, Pakistan would not have been a nuclear power.


  • Subhash, India
    Aug 9, 2011 - 10:40AM

    @Rao Shukat: Rao Sahib more than 3 million Bengalis were butchered by the soldiers of the Land of Pure ( that is 30,00,000 people) and lakhs of women raped in a short span in 1970/71. And now you are trying to justify this horrendous crime using absurd comparisons.Agar aap history se koi sabak nahin sikhna chahten hain to yeh aapki marzi hai. Allah nigehban!


  • Cefspan
    Aug 9, 2011 - 11:00AM

    Bangansh sb , what you have said is true . I have myself researched alot on the topic of fall of dhaka .
    The point is , public on both sides was intoxicated and venomed against each other. In West Pakistan , it was verbally done , and in east Pakistan it was done by the actions .

    Fall of dhaka was not an accident , a series of mistakes , wrong decisions and hunger for power led to this incident .

    In 1969-70 tornados and floods wrecked coastlines of bangladesh. It was the constitutional duty of Pak army to help and aid . But , general shahab zada yaqub khan , refused to send any rescue troops there . It was headlines in news paper that :

    “Pak Army too busy , British soldiers will burry the east pakistani dead muslims”

    if not seperation , then what more we deserve?

    We forced the bengalis to seperate , and by we , I mean The power hungry lunatic ZQ Bhutto , the womenizer , corrupt and drunk Yahya , General Rani trio and corrupt pak army officers like niazi who prefered grabbing bengla ladies aroung their waists when evet they visited a military camp……………………………………………….


  • Cefspan
    Aug 9, 2011 - 11:07AM

    @ Mirza , SIr you say that Army surrendered and blamed PPP.

    Tell me , whose legitimate right it was to form government? Mujib or Bhutto? I think Mujeeb , with 56 % of votes .

    Yahya promised mujib that he will be the next PM on his flight back to West Pakistan, and a 14 day stay at larkana , accompained by general rani changed yahya’s mind . . . . . .

    Read , please , We have learned nothing from history by M asghar Khan , and Pakistan – a dream gone sour by Reodad Khan .


  • waqqas iftikhar
    Aug 9, 2011 - 11:20AM

    btw….we didn’t ‘lose’ east pakistan….east pakistan (now bangladesh), kicked us out….the minority never separates the majority…its the majority that leaves the minority

    @sajida….the civil war started after mujib wasn’t handed over the reins of the country which would only have been fair seeing as he was far and away the most successful in a general election thought to be the most equitable in this country’s history.


  • PS
    Aug 9, 2011 - 11:48AM

    Big Indian propaganda machine is at work in this blog. Authors knowlege is very limited and skewed for no fault of his own as he may have been very young to appreciate. Indian Army had tremendously out numbered the Pakistani Army, which in no time was eliminated. Indian Army was also backed up by a big population of Bengali Hindus from not only East Pakistan but from Indian Bengal. So, the question of the outnumbered dying Pakistani army even having the time to go around doing crimes is preposterous. It was the Indian Army and their Hindu Bengali backers that were in royal control and all over the place, running around in huge numbers raping, killing and butchering the East Pakistanis. These are Some more facts to ponder.


  • RS
    Aug 9, 2011 - 11:51AM

    Here is something for you Ms. Sharmila Bose’ fans:


  • MAD
    Aug 9, 2011 - 12:10PM

    Matiur Rahman could have resigned. I supposed he just wanted to steal the plane.


  • Rao Shukat
    Aug 9, 2011 - 12:51PM

    @Subhash, India:
    The figures you give can neither be confirmed nor be denied. Unless there is a genuine impartial look in to the vents of 1971, we will have to encounter bigotry, self proclaimed figures, hatred and exaggeration on all sides. Economist in its latest publication has written about how Ms. Hasinia is trying to distort history of 1971. I guess, economist is neither an off shoot of ISI nor it is influenced by PAK army.
    The real issue is that no matter who does the atrocity should be brought to justice. In doing so, atrocities from all sides should be brought to lime light. Pakistani society is lucky in the sense that we are at least getting out of the state of denial about 1971. I do not see any such thing on Indian side when it comes to Kashmir or on Bangladeshi side about 1971. I hope one day, secular non violent people in those societies will also be able to take a deeper look in to their own cabnet and not be afraid of finding hidden realities


  • Rao Shukat
    Aug 9, 2011 - 1:09PM

    I do not think Hammudu rehman commision report negates the Sharmila Bose’s work or vice versa. They are actually complimentary to each other. I do not know if you have really read her book or not. if not, please take some time to read it. A discounted edition might be available in India. Sadly, your argument does not discredit Ms. Bose’s work.
    PN: Thanks for sending the link for the commision report. No offence intended, but just to let you know, I read it when probably you were not even born. I was civil servant at the time of Mr. Bhutto and was privy to the information about how the report was being drafted and editied.


  • Truthbetold
    Aug 9, 2011 - 1:29PM

    @Rao Shukat:
    I posted some information supporting what I said about Sarmila Bose. The editors have for some reason chosen not to post it; perhaps they did not like the links that gave a lot of information on the subject. I can’t understand why! Anyways, Sarmila has been discredited as an objective writer on her BD articles by many intellectuals. Her “facts” have been thoroughly proven to be wrong and her “research/facts” debunked. Just google and you will find out. For one, she was strongly lobblying Washighton for Pakistan’s F-16s. That right there should tell you something.


  • Aug 9, 2011 - 1:55PM

    thanks for correcting distorted version of history about the dismemberment of East Pakistan.This article is up to the mark in Pakistan prevailing situationThis is a meaningful message to our ruling elite that change their outlook. otherwise another debaclet is eminent.
    present address attock permant address dir(lower) kpk teh lalqilla maidan bandi


  • Sharjeel Jawaid
    Aug 9, 2011 - 3:45PM

    The situation in East Pakistan post 1965 war was far more complex than the concept of a Punjabi Army dominating the Bengali majority.

    It would have been far better if General Yahya had respected the results of 1970 elections and accomodated the majority Awami League. The Awami Leage was the majority party to whom the military brass [directed by Bhutto] was unwilling to transfer power. Nevertheless there were a nubmer of other serious palyer in East Pakitan as well aprt from Awami League.

    The knee jerk action in postponing the National Assembly session scheduled on March 3, 1971 activated a number of forces [some unseen] in East Pakistan. Starting March 01, 1971, a systematic genocide of pro Pakistan population, including indeginous Bengalis, was carried out in former East Pakistan.

    Regretfully not much is said on this unfortunate event and such victims and their familes remain forgotten in New Pakistan.Recommend

  • Tanoli
    Aug 9, 2011 - 8:09PM

    Z A Bhutto saved us from fish market and leave us alone kha sonna mahaf.


  • Ashutosh
    Aug 9, 2011 - 10:41PM

    @Rao Shukat:
    With citizens like you, Pakistan do not need enemy !
    As they say, “people who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”.
    So Bangladesh may be repeated and we may have Balochdesh, Sindhudesh etc…


  • Tanoli
    Aug 9, 2011 - 11:01PM

    @ Ashutush
    Well well my birth is after 1973 and what i know and think it supposed to happend in 1947
    and hussain shaheed suhervedi told quaid azam and he endorse it too whole bangal with
    jamshed pur capital then u know what happend if u are history student what ever hapend
    in 71 it was a tragedy it could be give it to them peace fully after all bangali dont wanna
    live it with us since the begening.


  • G. Din
    Aug 10, 2011 - 12:02AM

    In all this, both Bangla Desh and India are humming along, thank you very much. Only Pakistan, which started it all by saying Muslims could never live with a dominant Hindu majority, was the one which abandoned the major part of Muslim population in India and shut its doors to them soon after formation of Pakistan. Was it be4cause they were the most impoverished part of their society?
    First, they proved that Pakistani Muslims could not live with Bangla Deshi Muslims. Now, they are busy proving Punjabi Muslims won’t let Bulochi or Sindh Muslims live in peace with them. At the same time, they won’t let Afghan Muslims live in peace either, stoking the pot, pouring oil on troubled waters there. Punjabi Muslims will perhaps never rest until they self-destruct. All their neighours, both Muslim and non-Muslim shall have to wait until the fat lady comes on the stage and sings!


  • Aug 10, 2011 - 12:24AM

    Thank you for the very “insightful” comments by our Indian brothers. Now may we request you to go and attend more important things at your home including but not limited to secessionist movements in almost every state?

    It is just amazing how our Indian brothers have nothing else to do and can’t keep their hands off any single topic which is asking Pakistanis for an retrospective.

    What should be really worrying for India is the fact that no one is holding the mirror to them in their press.


  • Aug 10, 2011 - 1:50AM

    I’m one person who does not rejoice or feel sad at the happennings in the world.I wish all people in the world to live following good ethical moral values.You do not have to be namaji or a pundit to be moral person.Some time religion is help some time it is hindrance,but nations which are doing well are where state, and business of religion,do not mix.There must be something to this principle,otherwise,why all progressive nation are prosperous,even one Islamic nation which is secular,Turkey which is exception to the rule(Thanks to Kamak Pasha) is prosperous.It boggles my mind why some nations in middle-east,do not see the writing on the wall.I had high hopes from Pakistan,and still do,it will finally see the light,after all it is cut from the same cloth of sub-continent,there is this guy”my name is Khan”,who write almost daily, , urges Pakistani to finally realize,there is lot more common, Pakistani have with Indians than Arabs,they do not even like Pakistani,this strenge love for Arabs and Arab culture,I’m never able to fathom,and figure out.It is no sweat of my nose,as I have long ago stoped being an Indian,as I have sworn alligence to “RED,WHITE AND BLUE’.But I still care for the people of the sub-continent.I never bad mouth long suffering people,but I do not close my eyes to corruption,bad unaccountable GOVT,and never fall victim, and find excuse by blaming others,and I like Pakistani writers lot better than either Indians or Americans,but some people are beyond the pale,you just learn to ignore them,if you can convince even 1% people to rethink,you have done your conscience “RIGHT’


  • Aug 10, 2011 - 2:20AM

    I had earlier writen that,for long time I was a supporter of Mr Jinnah,it was based on his very convincing argument(i’m a child of partition),and having later in life education in HYD(daccan),where I had scores of Muslims friends and I fully participated in all their activity(nikha,marriage,namaj,Idd,and even learned Kalma,as I went to several burial in “kabaristan’and I happen to be born in Orthodox South Indian Brahmin,(later in life,I was convinced by Christopher Hitchins,and author of ‘God delusion’)to have rethinking on the role of religion on ordinary people.My life in USA,very long one,almost 50 years,has profound change and influence,I’m still changing,universe in constant state of change,itself. We must always change for better,as I said before,Mr Jinnah impressed me by his logical argument that we are two different culture,although we have superfecial things in common,on essential culture,we are two nations.When I lived in India I thought it was better that we went our seperate way.It seemed good in the beginning,but the happening in Bengladesh,by extensive reading away from India,made me rethink.The glue of Islam was not enough to hold Bengladesh.The way so many different culture are a melting pot in USA,living peacefully,also made me see the flaw in ‘Two nation Theory’.What was wrong in the theory was,we were putting apples and oranges,togather,and assuming that the govt,effective one, can not find safe guard for minorty.Yes, you can not play majority/minority vote bank politics,but in third world country like India,it can not be done,easy said than done.Indians in USA,are by and large vote democrat,but I have never been subjected in USa to vote for DEMs,by pandering to me,I won’t tolerate it neither the free press and other fair minded institution.I wish I could explain it in more detail.The “two nation Theory,it meant well,but it has not achived its real goal.The events seem to indicate,the final chapter is not writen ,yet.


  • khan
    Aug 10, 2011 - 2:27AM

    An army officer recently told me that the only thing that united Pakistan was ‘Religion and the Army’. I had to laugh.

    In 1971 we lost half our Islamic brothers in a mayhem of bloodshed and misery. And today we witness Sunnis killing Shias and vice versa, Deobandis and Slaafis killing Behrelvis, etc. Not to forget the slaughter of thousands of our citizens by our own religious militants. So much for the unity provided by a common religion.

    And it was Yahya and the arrogance of the generals that lost us East Pakistan. Not to forget that the two decades of treating the Eastern province as a colony to profit from was where the whole problem originated).

    The only way for Pakistan to survive is through tolerance and an understanding that we have diverse cultures which should be respected – the mantle of ‘Patriotism’ cannot be reflected by a single culture.And, of course, unity can only be created and never imposed through a barrel of a gun.


  • Aslam
    Aug 10, 2011 - 2:38AM

    We are headed straight to the drainage. Can you even yourself believe what you wrote? In this day and age? When we know better and we know that we lost East Pakistan because of our own doings. If we are going to keep teaching our kids false history, keeep bringing up generations of haters and radicals, we might as well committ collective suicide.

    I am ashamed!!!!


  • Jafar K
    Aug 10, 2011 - 6:59AM

    @G. Din:
    I roundly blame two factors for this situation:
    1. The Punjabi brand of chauvinism is the ugliest in all of South Asia.
    It is odious and the kind that is so ethnocentric and misanthropic,
    that it has a Nazi / Fascist kind of superiority complex.
    2. The rabid hatred for India in a small but influential segment of leaders,
    who have been born from the ‘Mohajir’ populace.
    This is a discredit to the rest of us Mohajirs.
    This kneejerk response of automatic hatred to all things and beings Indian,
    is at the foundation of all of Pakistan’s predicaments.


  • Aftab Haseeb
    Aug 10, 2011 - 2:54PM

    The Indian commentators on the article are consistent and united in their stance and the Pakistanis seem to be fractious and divided. The author, a Pakistani, writing one sided articles has been appreciated by more Pakistanis. It is clear who is more democratic and who is introspecting.


    Aug 10, 2011 - 5:42PM

    @ jafer k, G Din,\
    I Think u guys trying to blame only punjab for all these meses it totally wrong punjab untill
    1940 were unionist and they never endorsed pakistan sikh and muslims all were living very
    peacfull in united punjab in whole india it was a best example of unity when they made it
    two countries mr jinnah was against the partition of punjab and bengal he want it in whole
    not in peaces and also dont try to use so hard words it not a MBA essay and also it was
    a choo choo bangalis who start it this tehreek of sepration and then they dont wanna live
    with us after partition bearocracy of pakistan are all muhajirs of U.P came in to power and
    some punjabis it is now natural punjabis are 70 % of population good margin of army they
    deseved this because more punjabis got killed during partition time than any others


    Aug 10, 2011 - 6:05PM

    PUNJAB land of love land sohny mahiwal land of heer ranjha only the invaders of north made them wariors. Allah hoo allh hoo allah allah allah.


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