Punjab’s ‘cleansing’

Published: July 6, 2012
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The writer edits a quarterly Urdu literary journal Aaj from Karachi, runs a bookshop and City Press, a small publishing house 
ajmal.kamal@tribune.com.pk

The writer edits a quarterly Urdu literary journal Aaj from Karachi, runs a bookshop and City Press, a small publishing house [email protected]

I must begin by apologising to readers for the absence of the last two Saturdays, although it was hardly my fault.

Coming back to Ishtiaq Ahmed’s book The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned and Cleansed (OUP, 2012), what sets it apart from the usual one-sided, ‘nationalistic’, vested-interest-driven accounts of the ‘sacrifices made for freedom’, and puts it into the category of sincere attempts at finding out and facing what actually happened in cities, towns, villages and hamlets where normal human beings resided, is that he bases his conclusions on the accounts of the victims and witnesses of those events, and that he does not hesitate to acknowledge facts, even if they fly in the face of the officially sanctioned ‘truth’. In this, he is encouraged by the deeply personal pain, I am sure, that he shares with Saadat Hasan Manto, on that the ‘non-state actors’ — that acted swiftly and brutally to serve the rationally chalked out agenda of influential people above them — were never made to suffer any trial or punishment by the state they created. On the contrary, they were accorded the status of ‘freedom fighters’.

Punjab was the single province which suffered the fate of total ethnic cleansing in the wake of the bloodiest riots that took place at the time of partition. This fact became more, not less, relevant because of the subsequent developments, including the fact that in December 1971, after the 25-year-long aberration of East Bengal being a part of the uncomfortable new state ended, Punjab turned into the majority province with concentrated power at all significant levels. Punjab’s experience, and the worldview born out of it, was generalised as the ‘national ideology’ — notwithstanding that several of its features are alien to the other units of the federation.

Ishtiaq Ahmed agrees with other fact-finders that the beginning of ‘the process’ were the March 1947 massacres that took place in and around Rawalpindi. This was what triggered a chain of destruction and suffering that culminated in the attainment of the ‘national’ goals. Let me give you a sample of the evidence collected and carefully weighed by him. First an excerpt from the report of All-India Congress Committee that he quotes on page 174-5: “These were not riots but deliberately organised military campaigns. Long before the disturbances broke out secret meetings were held in mosques under the leadership of Syed Akbar Khan … ex-MLA, Capt. Lal Khan of Kahuta, Tehsildar and Police Sub-Inspector Kahuta, Maulvi Abdul Rehman and Kala Khan MLA, in which jihad… was proclaimed against the minorities and emissaries were sent out to collect volunteers from the rural areas…. The armed crowds which attacked Kahuta, Thoa Khalsa, and Nara etc. were led by ex-military men on horseback… armed with Tommy guns, pistols, rifles, hand grenades, hatchets, petrol tins and even carried field glasses…. First of all minorities were disarmed with the help of the local police and by giving assurances on oaths on the Holy Quran of peaceful intentions. After this had been done, the helpless and unarmed minorities were attacked. On their resistance having collapsed, lock-breakers and looters came into action with their transport corps of mules, donkeys and camels. Then came the ‘Mujahideens’ with tins of petrol and kerosene oil and set fire to the looted shops and houses. Then there were Maulvis… with barbers to convert who somehow or other escaped slaughter and rape. The barbers shaved the hair and beards and circumcised the victims. Maulvis … performed forcible marriage ceremonies. After this came the looters, including women and men.”

Justice Muhammad Munir who represented the Muslim League on the Punjab Boundary Commission and later served as Chief Justice… had the following to say about the riots in Rawalpindi: “The disturbances broke out in March 1947 in the district of Rawalpindi and the adjoining areas and the Muslims were the aggressors. I spoke to the Quaid-e-Azam about this telling him that it was a bad augur and he should either go himself to Pindi or send some responsible member of the Muslim League to assure the minorities that in Pakistan, if it ever were established, the will have equal rights…. He agreed with me and …replied in a bold and confident manner, ‘Let me get into the saddle and you will not hear any nonsense of the kind.’ However, he ordered Mamdot to go there personally for the purpose….” (P.173)

Ishtiaq Ahmed adds: “It is to be noted that neither Jinnah nor any other leading Muslim Leaguer issued a public statement condemning the atrocities in Rawalpindi. I have checked the main English language newspapers, the Pakistan Times and The Tribune, and found no statement by any Muslim leader on the Rawalpindi riots. In the Jinnah Papers as well, there is nothing on the Rawalpindi riots; nor did any Punjab-level leader of the Muslim League issue a condemnation.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (122)

  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    Jul 7, 2012 - 1:06AM

    After reading this article, I can say for sure that India and Pakistan can never be friends. Should we still be friends? From 1947 to 26/11 we have been seeing the butchers in action. My comment for the last time… I freeze my opinion once for all.. I am just outraged..

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 7, 2012 - 1:21AM

    A very sad and tragic affair, that cost lives of thousands, in fact close to million People and yet, what did we really learn from it?
    60 years down the line What has Pakistan learned from their experiance ? You have daily Ethnic Cleansing going on in the Country, may they be Shias, Ahmedis, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, parsis etc…. So dear author, please enlighten me as to Why?
    The previous was created by perhaps British and other Power fueled Politicians , but Why is this happening in 21st century, 60 years after Partition ?
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  • Ejaaz
    Jul 7, 2012 - 1:30AM

    Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah said

    “Never have we in the whole history of the League done anything except by constitutional methods. But now we are forced into this position. Today we bid good-bye to constitutional methods. Today we have forged a pistol and are in a position to use it. We mean every word of it. We do not believe in equivocation.”

    Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar said:

    “Pakistan can only be achieved through shedding blood of ourselves, and if need be, and if opportunity arose, by shedding blood of others. Muslims are no believers in Ahimsa.”

    Sardar Shaukat Hyat Khan said:

    “The Punjab Muslims do not believe in non-violence and should not, therefore, be given cause for grievance because once the Muslim lion is infuriated it would become difficult to subdue him.”

    Sir Feroze Khan Noon had observed:

    “I tell you this much that if we find that we have to fight Great Britain for placing us under one Central Hindu Raj, then the havoc which Muslims will plays will put to shame what Jenghez and Halaku Khan did.”

    We have cleansed (98%) Pakistan of the hindus, parsis, jews, and christians. Now apparently the Muslim lion is after the Ahmedis, Ismailis, Boharas, Shias, etc. Noon sahib was right on the mark: Jenghez and Halaku are put to shame in what we are doing in this our Land of the Pure.

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  • Mirza
    Jul 7, 2012 - 1:45AM

    It is sad and shameful to even read about these atrocities. In both sides of Punjab there has been ethnic cleansing to the extent that there are no Hindu/Sikh or Muslim homes anymore. I have visited my aunt’s home in Pathankot Punjab and theirs was the only home of a Muslim even later on. Yet when I visited them, my aunt was out of the country and one of her Hindu neighbors came to see us. He was weeping when he was talking about Amma, my aunt. This is self created hatred; we were living together for hundreds of years in harmony. Even in Pathankot the only Muslim man (my first cousin) had a Hindu wife converted to Islam without any fear. In fact I went there in Ramzan and that poor lady was the only one fasting! I don’t want to go into more bitterness and allegations and blame game and end on a line from Sahir:
    Tank aage barhen ya peche hatain kokh dharti ki banjh hoti hai

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  • Mirza
    Jul 7, 2012 - 1:47AM

    @Rajendra Kalkhande:
    You wrote ” I freeze my opinion once for all.. I am just outraged..:”
    Sir, you would let the terrorists and extremists win? Please get up and fight the hate.
    Thanks and regards,
    MirzaRecommend

  • Babloo
    Jul 7, 2012 - 2:07AM

    @Mr Ajmal Kamal, Ishtiaq Ahmed,
    Salute to you. By proclaiming the truth, you have absolved yourself of any guilt by association. The popular narrative is covered in 1/2 truths and lies.

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  • Jul 7, 2012 - 2:14AM

    @Rajendra Kalkhande: Why are you outraged? So this one column opened your eyes.?What was 26/11,the Katle-aam in 1738?Brother ,we have very poor knowledge of history.Partition pales in comparrision to all the killing and other acts of cruelty since year 1000A.D.Historians have estimated over 100 million killed from 1000ad to 1705 when Aurunzeb died,everything else since is extra.It is not for nothing Pakistan considers India as its mortal enemy.Most of my work I do gathering real historical facts are burried by India,but now even Tribune sensors it. Never mind,truth will prevail at the end.

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  • Dasmir
    Jul 7, 2012 - 2:15AM

    God’s mill grind slowly but surely.No one can escape it!
    Ethnic cleansing created a in horticulturist’s term a monoculture.and they will tell you the fate of monocultures!

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  • Sandip
    Jul 7, 2012 - 2:16AM

    Sir, It takes a brave man to speak so boldly either originally or reproducing others’ work in your column.Recommend

  • Ishtiaq Ahmed
    Jul 7, 2012 - 2:21AM

    Gentleman I am humbled by your comments and to Ajmal Kamal Sahib I can only say, thank you for focusing on the core event that later proved to be irreparable. The duty of an author is to seek the truth and have the courage to speak it. I have tried to do that and it is for readers to judge my product. Let us not despair. We have to keep speaking the truth while seeking reconciliation and promoting the brotherhood/sisterhood of mankind. We may never succeed but we will have the satisfaction of having done our best. And all this without believing in the reward of 72 houries or the fear of burning in hellfires.

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  • Sinclair
    Jul 7, 2012 - 2:22AM

    @Rajendra Kalkhande

    As Mirza said, you simply help the extremists if you turn your face away. The reason for partition, the reason for violence between hindus and muslims is what? If Islam has to become a true, vibrant part of India today (which it still is not), Islam will have to submit to the “Idea of India”, as Hinduism does. The time for modernization has come and gone, and the religion still stands where it was. Abolish polygamy, abolish divorce on utterance, tone down on Shariah, do namaste once in a while, and proudly say “Bharat mata ki jai”. Nationality should be bigger than religion, but sadly that is the one thing which Muslims do not agree on. It will be their albatross.

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  • Shahid Jamil
    Jul 7, 2012 - 2:55AM

    First an excerpt from the report of All-India Congress Committee
    that he quotes on page 174-5:

    Obviously, the “All-India Congress Committee” is the MOST authentic, unbiased, and neutral observer on whom one should rely to get a true picture of what happened before, during and after the partition. Can it get any more absurd than this? Such ongoing efforts by the “Neo-Paks” – Pakistani version of the American “Neo-Cons” – to rewrite and impose a carefully contrived and manufactured history will, fortunately for all of us, fail simply because of the hollowness of their arguments and a selective and out of context use of facts and events in order to support their thesis. So much authentic material about, and comprehensive analysis of, the events of the partition of India exists today that such efforts seem laughable. But such efforts will go on.

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  • Shahid Jamil
    Jul 7, 2012 - 3:13AM

    @Ejaaz:
    When and in what context were these statements issued? Also what are the sources for these references?

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  • Naresh
    Jul 7, 2012 - 3:24AM

    @Ejaaz :
    .
    Please advise the source of your Quoted Articles-Statements by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, Sardar Shaukat Hyat Khan and Sir Feroze Khan Noon.
    .
    Many thanks in advance
    .
    Cheers

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  • Rehan
    Jul 7, 2012 - 4:04AM

    I live in California and have quite a few Indian friends with whom I get into a friendly argument now and then regarding Indo-Pak ties, Partition and the sort of stuff only Pakistanis and Indians can discuss together. Even in these friendly arguments, though, I have to often surrender that the atrocities committed by my countrymen (or at least those who are native to the side of the border I was born in) were and are of much greater magnitude than those committed by the Indians. It really is quite shameful and has often made me wonder whether there’s something in Punjabi culture or the Punjabi mindset that drives hatred, because let’s face it, Pakistan is practically Punjab and since I know my Sindhi and Balochi friends to be open-minded and rather happy-go-lucky fellows. Hmm, who knows what is the source of all of this nonsense. Anyways, obviously belated but sincere condolences to those ex-residents of Pindi. May their souls RIP.
    Warm Regards,
    Rehan

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 7, 2012 - 4:31AM

    @Mirza:
    The problem here is simply, something i have never understood ! I am in my 52 year old and not born in the region, and yet it hurts me too ! Why?
    The awareness came from a book called Freedom at Midnight, when i was 14, and i simply could not believe that neighbours can turn on each other to such vengeance!
    The rest is history !
    Till today we have not learned anything out of the mess, and yet always want to live in world of deniability, lies and playing games !
    Pakistan lost half of their Nation due to these causes, and yet want to pretend it never happened !
    Yet even today they play games and talk about Kashmir! Give Kashmir a mandate, first and then await results!
    This is not a domain of either as the Maharaja left the mess at the time of decision making process!
    For this, they have both destroyed their economic growth progression over 30 years , however India recovered to the extent that Pakistan simply can not see it as reality.
    So what’s the next step?

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  • Max
    Jul 7, 2012 - 4:52AM

    @Ishtiaq Ahmed:
    Good to see your note and I am glad that you did it. Also see the note from Mr./Ms. Ejaaz. The person has mentioned quite a few people. This is the first time I heard these. Have you?
    Stay well.

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  • Babloo
    Jul 7, 2012 - 5:20AM

    Reconciliation is built on the bedrock of truth.
    Truth is built on the bedrock of facts.

    There have been two genocides in the Indian subcontinent. One in 1947 and the other in 1970-71.
    But there has been no truth , so no reconciliation. The same is happening to Ahmedis now as we speak.

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  • Babloo
    Jul 7, 2012 - 6:18AM

    @max, Ejaaz, Naresh, what Ejaaz has quoted, each of them can be searched seperately on google and you will find the links.

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  • mr. righty rightist
    Jul 7, 2012 - 6:25AM

    It’s the Mogul culture.

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  • Einsjam
    Jul 7, 2012 - 6:35AM

    Oh…here begins the hipster bashing of Jinnah…when you cannot reach his level if intellect then why bother debating…for the info of the writer…Jinnah was busy trying to help pakistan stay alive…if a ciuple of lives were lost then so be it….stuff happens..God have mercy on thwir souls and thats about it…you might not have noticed it but when countries form people die..so yeah ..stop being hipsters all of you.Free Kashmir from Indian Terrorism !!!

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  • Sindhtalk
    Jul 7, 2012 - 6:37AM

    @Rehan

    Interesting observations about Punjabi culture and I must admit I have similar stereotypes. My hypothesis is that Punjab experienced strong Wahabi like religious movements going back to 19 Century perhaps much further back. Over hundreds of years this created mindset which was obdurate, inflexible and insolent – the stereotypical Punjabi . I am not an expert but I hope a social scientist could educate us about the historical evolution of Sufi vis-a-vis more dogmatic interpretations in different localities.

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  • Babloo
    Jul 7, 2012 - 6:50AM

    Why has the truth behind the riots of 1947, being so successfully suppressed ?
    Because there is no constituency in power, pushing for the facts.

    A. In India, Congress and the main stream media, in honest desire to preserve communal harmony, think its better to bury the truth of 1946-47 politically triggered riots. Both Direct Action day riots and RawalPindi massacre were not accidents, but politically triggered.
    B. In pakistan, the facts are contrary to the mainstream narrative woven. So active desire to suppress the facts.

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  • Max
    Jul 7, 2012 - 7:11AM

    @Babloo: I did not ask you and google search sources have limited academic validity. I know who you are. Just relax.

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  • Ashvinn
    Jul 7, 2012 - 7:14AM

    @Rajendra Kalkhande:
    Darling we did the same things as well during partition what separates us from them is we have reconciled with Pakistan they are still stuck with mogul India, they think India is some sort of Muslim property hence belongs to Pakistan which is a fortress of islam

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  • zalim singh
    Jul 7, 2012 - 7:44AM

    @ Ajmal Kamal

    dear sir

    a good article for which i can salute you. Finally a Pakistani accepting that muslims are responsible for this carnage. I hope all pakistanis accept this soon.

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  • Chulbul Pandey
    Jul 7, 2012 - 7:50AM

    @Author: I must begin by apologising to readers for the absence of the last two Saturdays, although it was hardly my fault.

    Professor Hoodbhoy has been missing for a while too. I have not seen an article from him. Hope all is well!!!!

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  • gt
    Jul 7, 2012 - 8:00AM

    If Muslims believe in God, which most Hindus and Christians and Jews do too, then it is a given that the Deity sees what is within the hearts of all. Instead of creating further hate and turmoil, we should understand that everyone will receive the fruits of his or her actions without fail.

    Any measures that we take should only be of the positive kind, where the human spirit is uplifted. My teacher often used to tell me, “No one has appointed you the Managing Director of the Universe. First correct yourself, and then you will find that the whole world is perfect just as it is.”

    I am a very long way from fulfilling his sage counsel. What about you?

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  • tahmina
    Jul 7, 2012 - 8:22AM

    @Rajendra Kalkhande:
    I would suggest, read his book which states criminality on both sides, it was not just muslims, it was hinuds and sikhs as well.

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  • Winky
    Jul 7, 2012 - 8:40AM

    I heard lots of stories about these atrocities from my grandparents when they told me why we migrated from pakistan at the time of independence. As per our ancestral memory, Entire hindu and sikh populations were butchered with ferocity. The lucky ones managed to escape. Like someone said, the concept of ahimsa is favored by hindus, not muslims. There will never be any peace in muslim societies, unless they start favoring ahimsa as a primary ideolgy.

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  • wonderer
    Jul 7, 2012 - 8:50AM

    I vouch for the accuracy of everything that this article describes. I was present in Sukkho village of Rawalpindi district in March 1947. My village was the only one unaffected because the only attack on us was repulsed strongly. We had to, however, vacate the village and run to India to save our lives between July and September 1947.

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  • unbeliever
    Jul 7, 2012 - 9:29AM

    @ author

    inconvinent truth….

    when it is so hard for me to accept that above lines are coming from a pakistani, i can only imagine what you have gone through while reading this, and then penning it into an article…

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  • Manjit singh
    Jul 7, 2012 - 9:58AM

    One old lady who was married in our village belonged to boha khalsa near pindi which is mentioned in the article. She died 2 years ago. She told about what happened in their village at partition. It almost matched the account as written here. She penned down her memories and I have a photocopy of that.
    Let me admitt that such savages happened on this side as well. But the fact is that , as I think, the hatred was more towards minorities in pothohar as compared to south punjab.

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  • Ayesha
    Jul 7, 2012 - 10:03AM

    Those who are impressed by Mr.Ishtiak’s book should also go through some other books of history which depicts the sufferings of Muslims at the hands of Hindus. Don’t be oblivious to the fact that millions of Muslims were also murdered brutally by Hindus and Sikhs during partition. So, we should not justify those facts to deteriorate Indo-Pak relations.

    [email protected] Do u have any words on Gujarat Pogrom in which scores of Muslims were burnt alive, raped and killed by fundamentalist Hindus?

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  • Khan jr
    Jul 7, 2012 - 10:28AM

    Yup, deny it as much as we can, history clearly states that the holocaust of mass slaughter during Partition was started by us. The subsequent retaliatory mass killings of Punjabi Muslims was simply a very brutal reaction to the original Muslim-created horrors in Rawalpindi.

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  • vivek ruparel
    Jul 7, 2012 - 10:50AM

    @Einsjam:
    Indian terrorism? dude kashmir is in Indian subcontinent, Al-Hind not Middle East or Central Asia? If israel is occupying muslim lands so r muslims doin in Kashmir.And even Pakistan is our land samjhe kya? what is d origin of the word Kashmir and Srinagar? they r Sanskrit words. ur prophet was not even born when the region had us living there. So stop talkin absurd. And what do u mean by few ppl? U fanatics did that even during khilafat movement, Direct Action Day. Killing innocents is what u do best. U were slaves 2 invaders and are even now. Just following footsteps of ur masters. No civilization celebrates its oppressors like U do, even Persians acknowledge Arabs destroying their civilization But U guys r real jokers. Ppl who oppressed butchered ur ancestors r heroes for you.

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  • BlackJack
    Jul 7, 2012 - 11:16AM

    My second attempt – for some reason, the first one was disallowed. Excellent article and I once again salute the quality of the writer, Ishtiaq Ahmed and ET for bringing this information to light. The methods of cleansing the region of minorities is spine-chilling and reminds one of Genghis Khan in savagery and Nazi Germany in the well-planned manner of execution. I spoke to the Quaid-e-Azam about this telling him that it was a bad augur and he should either go himself to Pindi or send some responsible member of the Muslim League to assure the minorities that in Pakistan, if it ever were established, the will have equal rights. The quoted response to this request yet again questions Jinnah’s secular credentials that are often celebrated on the basis of one speech on Aug 11, 1947 and his pre-Muslim League record, despite significant evidence to the contrary during the latter part of his career. Further, compare Jinnah’s unwillingness to assume responsibility in Mar 1947 with that of Gandhiji who stationing himself Noakhali for 4 months in late 1946 to restore harmony and (unsuccessfully) prevent the riots that were just as well-organized and gruesome in the aftermath of Direct Action Day.

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  • LIAQAT ALI
    Jul 7, 2012 - 11:42AM

    Why do I have a feeling that this series of articles is written from self-incrimating , want-to – be-seen-as-liberal, class point of view.Ihis is not a nuetral analysis based on authentic sources. All I see is speculation and quotation from All India Congress party as though it was the most authentic source .Oh, Come on , they were party to this all.Were’nt they. Pakistani liberals are living in Seventies.Friends, world has changed.Now only facts and reason will do.You can get cheap popularity from such articles(I see plenty of evidence in here) but will not contribute to the real,fact-based dialuoge or analysis.I would rather see both sides of the story form good sources.I believe histrory told on both sides of the borders is badly tainted. It wont simply help to rubbish one and adopt the other side as -it -is which, this article basically does.

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  • Hitesh
    Jul 7, 2012 - 11:44AM

    @Ayesha:

    We pretty much know what happened before so called pogrom in Gujarat – some of the bogeys of a train with hindu pilgrims inside were burnt by muslim fanatics. If you think that only muslims can behave like lions and hindus like goats, then you are mistaken.

    Whatevere happened at that time, 60 years ago, if we study why happened and take steps not to let it happen again, we will be in a better state.

    Gujarat has been a state where communal riot s had been happeneing every year at scales large or small before this “pogrom” you mentioned. Gujarat chief minister learnt from that “pogrom” and never again a riot has happened since then.

    Pakistan has observed +12% hindu population in 1947 and +2% now. India has observed equilibrium.

    This clearly shows on which side of the border, pogrom is happeneing.

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  • Wellwisher
    Jul 7, 2012 - 12:27PM

    Yes Never have I seen or read in history, the people of the land who are suppressed justifying the acts of the oppresors. Perhaps stockholm syndrome. I feel sorry for…

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  • observer
    Jul 7, 2012 - 1:19PM

    @Ayesha

    [email protected] Do u have any words on Gujarat Pogrom in which scores of Muslims were burnt alive, raped and killed by fundamentalist Hindus?

    You can have not just a word but ‘Sentences’ by the dozens on this issue. Just Google convictions for Gujarat riots- you will find dozens of Indian sentenced for life. Here is just one example.
    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-04-12/ahmedabad/313303461ode-massacre-life-imprisonment-rare-category

    Now can you show even one instance of a ‘believer’ being convicted for, let us say Gojra or Shantinagar massacres.
    http://reddiarypk.wordpress.com/2009/08/05/gojra/

    Welcome to reality beyond Pakistan Studies.

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  • Jul 7, 2012 - 1:20PM

    I just want to thank the author for starting what I believe is an important process of getting rid of some of the hatred that pakistanis feel for hindus – once you realise that atrocities took place on both sides – you stop hating.

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  • geeko
    Jul 7, 2012 - 1:35PM

    It happened on both sides, my maternal family who was living in Poonch, Kashmir (Indian side) had to leave because the Dogra Army unofficially targeted the Muslims there – you can take a look at the article “Terrible Fate: ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ of Jammu’ Muslims in 1947” by Illyas Chatta, easily available on internet.

    Coming back to Rawalpindi, I think it can also have to do with the caste-structure dynamic too : the Hindus and Sikhs, apart from being less than the Muslims, were also of the Khatri caste (Dr Manmohan Singh, Dev Anand, … all are generally Khatris), which, during the Mughal empire, became a trading caste, abandoning its traditional Kshatrya requirements and was inducted into a proto-middle-class with all its characteristics moral values (educated, peaceful, …)
    So, from a caste-perspective, I don’t think that Hindus-Sikhs of the Potohar would have done the same had they been in majority ; but, in Amritsar, where the Sikhs were generally Jatts, Amritsar with its nearly 50% of Muslim population was wiped out.

    It’s sad how much Punjab gave for the Partition when, ironically, there wasn’t a widespread pro-Partition sentiment amongst the Muslim Punjabis, and they chose the Unionist Party of Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan (pro secular United India) over MA Jinnah’s Muslim League initially – then a long anti Unionist propaganda in the name of Islam came, and converted Punjabi Muslims into pro Partition sentinels.

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  • Zalim Singh
    Jul 7, 2012 - 1:38PM

    @ Ayesha

    **Those who are impressed by Mr.Ishtiak’s book should also go through some other books of history which depicts the sufferings of Muslims at the hands of Hindus. Don’t be oblivious to the fact that millions of Muslims were also murdered brutally by Hindus and Sikhs during partition.**

    Where are you getting your history. Hindus were only killed in Partition riots. They were never aggressors.

    Gujarat is not a pogrom. It is pure communal riots. This happened due to callousness of muslims. They were responsiible for killing of more than 100 hindus by burning a train. Also it was very difficult for Hiondu women to move about freely in gujarat. After this riots, muslims are behaving well.

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  • ranjit
    Jul 7, 2012 - 1:44PM

    @Rajendra,
    Dude, basically Punjabi muslims did all of us a favor….imagine if they had remained a part of India……can you even imagine what we would be experiencing every day?…….on top of that, they would have been major power brokers in Delhi with their political clout…….in that sense, whatever happened at partition was a blessing in the sense that it happened one time and that is it……..there people have already turned their own country into a failed state, just imagine what they would have done to India……..in that sense, 1947 was a major blessing in disguise for hindus………Recommend

  • Ishtiaq Ahmed
    Jul 7, 2012 - 2:10PM

    I must intervene here and set the record straight. In the book I show the that massacre of Sikhs and Hindus in the Rawalpindi region rendered it impossible to keep the Punjab united when the partition of India took place. HOWEVER, I ALSO SHOW THAT MORE MUSLIMS DIED THAN HINDUS AND SIKHS TOGETHER WHEN THE ACTUAL BODY COUNT was estimated in the end of December. Therefore my book does NOT exclude the Muslim suffering. In fact I have quoted Sikh sources who confirm this over and over again.
    I suggest that people who take part in this ongoing discussion read my work. It is by no means an attempt at blame-game. Also, the Congress Report is based on police files and it is not the only report. I have the reports of General Messervy, whom Jinnah made Pakistan’s first commander-in-chief of the Pakistan armed forces saying the same. There are many first person accounts, including those of Muslims from those villages and hamlets who are still alive. It is therefore erroneous to conclude that the Congress report is my main source of information.

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  • Ishtiaq Ahmed
    Jul 7, 2012 - 2:20PM

    This is a follow-up to Max’s enquiry:

    All the slogans which have been listed above by a contributor are found on the standard reports on the Punjab partition. I did not include them just because I wanted to avoid the overkill strategy. Jinnah’s famous/notorious mention of the pistol in hand is found in all standard documents on the partition of India. In other words these statements are there. There are comparable statements of Sikh leaders and Hindu Mahasabhaites as well. Some of them appear in my book.

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  • Hella
    Jul 7, 2012 - 4:19PM

    Extremely good attempt to learn and present the truth. It is true that Muslims massacred Hindus/Sikhs and vice versa. Also true that Hindus & Muslims are periodically killed in riots in India. However there is another truth, more Muslims have been & are being slaughtered in Pakistan then in India.

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  • mohammedafzal
    Jul 7, 2012 - 4:49PM

    @Hitesh:
    sir you are still harping on the same old story now even the gujraat police has confimed that it was an inside job to incite the masacre of muslims whic ensued with it!

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  • not-an-indian
    Jul 7, 2012 - 5:19PM

    People of Pakistan have moved on. You won’t see us trolling Indian newspapers – we are not interested in what goes on in India. We simply want to see Kashmir liberated from the forced Indian embrace. Recommend

  • shaz
    Jul 7, 2012 - 5:30PM

    I am disappointed for ignoring my comments. This whole exercise is one-track story-telling based on a report from a committee of the Indian National Congress and statements without authentic references. Ignoring the facts that cleansing of Punjabi Muslims from the majority districts and tehsils of East Punjab can’t happen without local connivance of police and military.

    Such a carnage is definitely a matter of deep shame for all people of Punjab who got manipulated by extremists on both sides. No region in this subcontinent has suffered more than Punjab and it is still suffering and facing Punjab bashing. from those who benefited most from partition related consequences. People of Punjab did not move from one area of Punjab to other for economic benefits and opportunities, like other migrants did, they were simply kicked out from their homes or killed on both sides. Those extremists who planned such atrocities, they were not friends of either side; they were just beasts, period.

    I know many from my family and close relatives who still cry by remembering their kith and kins who got killed or disgraced. Surely, this kind of insanity went out of control on either sides. In my opinion, history is not what exactly happened; it is mostly what was documented and who did it. So, such pontification of telling truth is subjective stuff, to say the least.

    With due apology from the author, it is simply not an honest and responsible analysis when someone does not tell the whole truth but builds his/ her story on half-truth only and that also apparently to pursue an internal agenda. It is not even service to the people on either side and their ongoing efforts to shed the baggage of the past behind and live peacefully within our boundaries like good neighbors–after all friends can change but the reality of a neighborhood will stay whether we like it or not. Recommend

  • Babloo
    Jul 7, 2012 - 5:37PM

    In the partition riots, both Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, all innocents, were brutally murdered. Thats fact. The point that needs to be made is that , the riots in the East were triggered by the riots on Direct Action day of August 1946. The riots in the west were triggered by the Rawalpindi massacre. Both this communal incidents were triggered for political reasons by a particular party whose interests were served by communal riots. Thats a fact.

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  • Khurram
    Jul 7, 2012 - 6:12PM

    @Ishtiaq Ahmed, Sir I belong to the family that vehemntly opposed the Muslim League’s Agenda and the Partition and in the end paid dearly for it. I have a big collection of books on the Partiton but yours surpasses all of them in presenting the facts with acdemic courage and unmitigated honesty.

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  • Ali Wali
    Jul 7, 2012 - 6:23PM

    My dad was taking his matriculation exam at one of the best schools affiliated with Dehli university, A Khalsa school near Pindi, he still remembers, how faces of majority Sikh students went pale, when Muslims from our nearby villages surrounded our village. The looting and destruction that followed ruined our village forever. By the grace of Almighty, all those who participated in crimes against humanity paid the price in this World. We apologize to our Sikhs brothers that we could not save you from marauding thugs.Recommend

  • Jul 7, 2012 - 6:41PM

    My one more attempt,and hope this will find enough mustered with E.T.I’m sorry,if my comment were judged not enough mild,after all it is your publication,not very often ,in your best judgement,you do publish in full,I’m grateful.Mr Sinclair,Babloo,Ashvinn,Mirza and Blackjack.You are right in more sense than not.We must learn the lessons of history,for our own sake,not because it sometimes puts some religion,society or nations in bad light.It does,but should stop us from rewriting history as it will displease some people,they say some time Truth hurts,it certainly does,but something good comes out of it,proof,the present state in which West finds it selves,and the rest of the world as 3rd world.I think the main reason is we in 3rd world refuse to learn from our mistakes and what is worse, continue to teach our next generation wrong,fact tailored facts,is most disgusting.If we do not learn the right information about partition,Reformation ,Inquisation,,burning of witches, Holocaust and other atrocity of revolution of Russia,French and China and our own partition,how are we going to reform and not make same horrrendous mistakes and miscalculation?We must not assign blame but yet stay honest to truth as far as we can.As Lincoln said ‘Malice towards none” and stay objective with greater interest of the people at large,I deeply appreciate this columnist Ajmal Kamal Saheb and T.E. ,it really took guts and intellectual integrity and honesty,let the chips fall wherever it may,wear the shoe if it fits.Good day.

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  • Ali Wali
    Jul 7, 2012 - 6:44PM

    @Zalim singh: The village in question must be Thoa Khalsa, and let me tell you today’s Potowar is 180 degrees different from hate filled one at the time of partition, today Potowar is a blend of Brelvis and Shia populations, and we will not let what happened on march 1947 repeat itself. I wish the lady you mentioned had the opportunity to visit her birth place, RIP Amma g.Recommend

  • Babloo
    Jul 7, 2012 - 6:45PM

    @Istiaq Ahmed,
    Sir, you cannot compare Mr Jinnah’s statements with that of statements of Hindu Mahasabhaites. One claimed to be the main stream party of Muslims and the other was a fringe sectarian party of Hindus. You should be comparing statements of Nehru and Gandhi, who were secular to the core and deserve all credit for preserving Muslims in India with the statements of Mr Jinnah, which were in stark contrast to the statements from Congress leaders.

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  • Jul 7, 2012 - 7:10PM

    @Max:
    “@Babloo: I did not ask you and google search sources have limited academic validity. I know who you are. Just relax.”
    .
    Google search does give some indications but when it comes to politics or religion it is hardly a source to rely upon.

    (I am writing this in the hope that it does get published. I believe it is not digressing from the topic.)
    .
    Some years back Nusrat Bhutto was described in Wikipedia as daughter of Mr Sabuncu (The soap maker/salesman in Turkish) of Kurdish background. After her death the information has been changed to,”…she hails from a rich Iranian family, The Ispahanis…..”
    .
    Some of the people belonging to the bridge playing circle in Clifton always referred to Sabuncu as a Munshi of Ispahani Tea Company.
    .
    I would quote Wikipedia as a source but with a caveat.

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  • Khurram
    Jul 7, 2012 - 7:20PM

    @not-an-indian:”People of Pakistan have moved on” moved onto where? Under the huge heap of myths, lies and broken promises.

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  • Ali tanoli
    Jul 7, 2012 - 7:28PM

    My family migrated from Anbala area of punjab and my Grand pa used to talked about that now he passed away i think what ever happend it was a shamefull days for history of indian sub continent and i guess why we need to reopen the wounds of those days the truth is partition happend to Punjab and Bangal they got divided and killed thats it.

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  • Ejaaz
    Jul 7, 2012 - 7:38PM

    The sources of the quotes are the many books on partition that litter my father’s bookshelf. Ishtiaq Ahmed sahib has already confirmed that they exist. He is also correct that there are similar statements by Sikhs and Hindu leaders. However my father who is an old man and with failing memory stated the following: It was we the Mussalmans who threatened rivers of blood to get our Pakistan first. Tara Singh was the first Sikh leader who waved his sword in Lahore against Partition but that was after Jinnahs pistol comment in 1946. It was we the Mussalmans who fired the first shot to start the slaughter that ensued. The idiots of that day used to say that Hindus are cowards and a couple of days of real good blood shedding and they will all surrender. As our dictator Ayub said that one Muslim soldier could handle five or ten hindu soldiers. We have been lying from day one. If we want to save what’s left of Jinnahs Pakistan we need to tell the truth to our children.

    The slaughter and the ensuing hatred merely confirms that an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind. Let’s us hope now that Muslims stop slaughtering Muslims in Pakistan before it is too late to stay together as Pakistan.

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  • karma
    Jul 7, 2012 - 8:02PM

    I have always felt ashamed of that India had to use force to retain Kashmir. But, I have also always known there isn’t much choice now.

    But, now I think, perhaps, even in 1947 there wasn’t much of a choice. J&K state has about 30% Hindus and another 3+% Sikhs & Buddhists. India couldn’t have let them be slaughtered in 1947.

    And India can’t let the creation of a Religious Kashmir happen. The results will be no different than 1947.

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  • Babloo
    Jul 7, 2012 - 8:36PM

    @Abid P Ahmed,
    Google can be a extremely useful source as long as you use your common sense and look at the credibility of the source that google provides. Just as Mr Istiaq Ahmed confirmed, the quotes attributed to Mr Jinnah and other leaders, were widely printed in newspapers and magazines of the time, and can be validated from multiple sources. Mr Istiaq Ahmed’s widely researched book itself, in due course of time, will become part of the body of reliable information on the events that marked the horrendous riots in 1946-47, that changed the face of the sub continent and whose political and human repurcussions will be felt for centuries.

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  • not-an-indian
    Jul 7, 2012 - 8:38PM

    @khurrum:
    “…Under the huge heap of myths, lies and broken promises…”

    They are OUR myths, our lies and our promises. WE will deal with them. We will also deal with India about the absolute horror it has perpetrated in Kashmir valley. All in due time.

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  • Cynical
    Jul 7, 2012 - 8:42PM

    @Ajmal Kamal and,
    @Ishtiaq Ahmed

    Just one word sirs’. RESPECT.

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  • Sinclair
    Jul 7, 2012 - 9:08PM

    @Ali Tanoli

    Your suggestion of ignoring and hiding the ugly truth, thats exactly the approach thats followed by Congress in India. And you know what, it does not work. Until there is a widespread assertion of the TRUTH of what happened, nobody trusts anybody else. Outside in the streets, people compromise and get along. In the houses, stories are woven and demons created. There is no bigger brainwashing cell than the home of any person – especially when all this gets fed from childhood. We have to purge ourselves of this venom or else it will consume us. India will not remain home for everybody any more, Muslims will have been debarred. And all of this for what? Just because people did not want to face up to the truth.

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  • Jul 7, 2012 - 9:28PM

    @Babloo:
    .
    “Mr Istiaq Ahmed’s widely researched book itself, in due course of time, will become part of the body of reliable information on the events that marked the horrendous riots in 1946-47, that changed the face of the sub continent and whose political and human repurcussions will be felt for centuries.”
    .
    Widely researched? reliable information . It is a matter of opinion. Very much in vogue these days, talking like this.

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  • Ali tanoli
    Jul 7, 2012 - 9:30PM

    We did with each others what Eropeans christian didit to native americans ……

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  • Khalq e Khuda
    Jul 7, 2012 - 9:56PM

    We were one ethnicity Sir, so it maybe genocide but ethnic cleansing is not technically correct.

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  • Naresh
    Jul 7, 2012 - 10:12PM

    Ajmal Kamal Ji and Ishtiaq Ahmed Ji : I salute you two gentlemen for having the “GUTS” to write truthfully about the acts which led to Partition i.e. Action Day in the East and Rawalpindi in the West.
    .
    This is the first time that I have read in the Pakistani Media about these two incidents in ONE Article especially the one on Action Day on 16th August 1946 by the Muslim League.
    .
    Ishtiaq Ahmed Ji : I still have your following Article and so another “Salute” to you :
    .
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story22-11-2004pg3_8
    .
    Punjab holocaust
    .
    I appreciate that both of you have to live in Pakistan and so I marvel at your “Bravery”.
    .
    Meantime Ishtiaq Ahmed Ji : September 2005 was a LONG TIME AGO. When next?
    .
    Cheers / Naresh

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  • Jul 7, 2012 - 10:16PM

    @tahmina: One is active and the other is reactive,yet reactive murder does not justify the original sin.It is always the case.It is easy to say’Turn the other cheek”,we have to understand we are humans as such we will react like humans.So we are back to where we started.Should we follow Jesus?Should we follow Gandhi?Should we follow Mandela?If you think ,people’s ‘natural instinct is Jesus,I have Brooklyn bridge for sale.The reason I do not believe in “Goody to shoe’ philosophy,it is not because I’m evil,it is because I have read History and past behavior of human,if it is any guide the Malang who got burned alive is not the last victim,either,’ Pindi the last Riot.Stay tuned,more to follow.What’s the solution?,your guess as good as mine.Good day.

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  • Rajeev Nidumolu
    Jul 7, 2012 - 10:17PM

    I am glad that there has been revaluation of the partition and its effects on both sides of the border. Path to reconciliation starts by accepting that there was inhumanity on both sides . There was suffering on both sides. It does not matter who started this first the end result was both sides perpetuated crimes against humanity. As the memories fade and the generation passes away ,hopefully the new generation will decide never to repeat this madness again. Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs were victims and ay the same time perpetuators of this holocaust . To play up just victimhood and demonization of the opposite party without accepting their own individual role in perpetuating inhumanity is no way to reconciliation. Maybe, there should be Indo -Pak Truth commission in lines of Bishop Desmond Tutu’s Truth commission on Apartheid in South Africa.

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  • Ishtiaq Ahmed
    Jul 7, 2012 - 10:23PM

    Often times, one hears – we are one ethnicity. The answer is yes and no. The fact is that all senses of ethnicity are assumed common ancestry and not necessarily a biological fact. Therefore ethnicity is primarily a construction which is used to create a sense of belonging to a group. But ethnicity is also relational. Suppose I say my ethnicity is Punjabi. This is true but to a fanatical Hindu, Muslim or Sikh that is not relevant. He wants to know my religion and so would place me in the in-group or the out-group accordingly. So, I have no choice but to adjust accordingly. Now suppose I am included among Muslims but within that group some would want to know if I am a Shia or a Sunni or something else. Therefore being a Muslim would not do. Now suppose I say I am a Sunni but others may want to know my caste. And so on and so forth. Therefore people who belong to the same ethnicity “Punjabis” are bearers of many identities and therefore can be placed in different groups.

    So, what happened in 1947 was ethnic cleansing because the intention was to empty West Punjab of all non-Muslim Punjabis and East Punjab of all Muslim Punjabis. Technically ethnic cleansing is the correct word because genocide means destruction of a people and ethnic cleansing empting of a territory of a people. Evidence shows that on both sides the intention was to purify a particular territory of an unwanted group. That it required violence and resulted in a million death can be called genocide in terms of numbers but if intentions are to be considered then ethnic cleansing is the correct term. I have contributed a lot to this debate in international publications and in my book Ch. One is on a Theory of Ethnic Cleansing.

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  • Babloo
    Jul 7, 2012 - 10:27PM

    Suppose Mr Nehru was leader of a party called “Hindu League” and had argued that Hindus and Muslims should have 2 states, which a secular muslim leader called Mr. Jinnah, had opposed. To press the demands of the “Hindu Laague” , its supreme leader calls for “direct action” by his Hindu League followers with the following words and does a political campaign accross the nation urging his followers for action on the day of “direct action”

    “Never have we in the whole history of the Hindu League done anything except by constitutional methods. But now we are forced into this position. Today we bid good-bye to constitutional methods. Today we have forged a pistol and are in a position to use it. We mean every word of it. We do not believe in equivocation.”

    Few days later, in the capital city of the largest province ruled by Hindu League , where the Hindu League chief minister has called for “hartaal” and protests, vicious riots broke out on the day of “Direct Action” leaving upto 10,000 people brutally nurdered.

    Who would you say was the mastermind behind the largest riot in history of India upto that day ?

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  • Ali tanoli
    Jul 7, 2012 - 10:30PM

    I have read it many books about partition with many diff accounts of incidents but what i have seen the best is written by stanley wolpert books on south asia specially india and pakistan.

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  • Jul 7, 2012 - 10:32PM

    @Winky: I lived the partition,I have relative who say in urdu’Sukar karo ki jan bacha key ahyeh hay’It is 65 years and lot of water is under the Kasi bridge.What do we do now?,nothing.Just do not be naive and believe fairy tale,it was not the fault of people who had lived in Induz valley for thosands of year that in 1947,the terrible partition happened.Greek always believed bad thing happens to good people and the evil live happy,that is just the way cooky crumbled.

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  • Babloo
    Jul 7, 2012 - 10:33PM

    Those who compare Kashmir with partition , should know, in Indian Kashmir, the ethnic and religious composition has not changed in last 50-60 years. In fact, Kashmiri muslims, now make larger percentage of kashmiris in the Kashmir Valley than they did in 1947, because 90% of Kashmiri Hindus have been driven out of the valley into Jammu or elsewhere in India. The biggest indicator of repression and genocide is born out by any changes in ethnic and religious composition. The victims of any ethnic or religious cleansing in Indian Kashmir have been the Hindu Kashmiris. Facts and census, bear testimony to it.

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  • Jul 7, 2012 - 11:00PM

    @vivek ruparel: Spirit and facts you site are worthy ,and commendable,but I will only add tell your friends and countrymen not to be blue eyed fantasy liberal,just watch your society,your culture and way of life,just do not destroy yourselves in anger,be watchful,and educate, your near and dear,so that they are not lost like your ancesters.then you have done your duty,remember what Krishna told Arjuna.Do your duty without an to axe to grind.

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  • Khurram
    Jul 7, 2012 - 11:05PM

    not-an-indian: Sir it does not matter whose Lies these are. A lie is a lie it eternaly remains a lie no amount of effort can translate it into a truth. We are on the brink now and with nobody’s fault but our own. We are convolutedly flawed people who find comfort by hiding behind the myths of the past rather than facing the truths of present. It troubles me to see what is happening in Kashmir but I also hold ourselves responsible to a greater degree for their (Kashmiri Bretherns)troubles. We need to put our own crumbling house in order first before taking care of other peoples’ concerns. It is sixty five years since we got our truncated country, and we have been continously on the descending curve towards an uncertain and bleak future.
    Nations are not built upon blusters, slogans and myths but on truths and sacrifices. I understand the intention and sincerity behind your feelings but unfortunately these are no more than a Pie in the Sky.

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  • Jul 7, 2012 - 11:45PM

    @ranjit: It is amazing what one thought provoking column can do for so many sane people..Whatever your observation hit the nail flush.I always believe,and will to my dying day,it was good what happened in 1947.You see muslims ruled India for 1000 unintrupted year,they do not seem to get it,Santan Dharm and Sanatani lived here for many thousand years,they only remember last 800 year,I do not blame them for their mind set,in way it is hard for white America to even think by 2040,Latinos will be majority in USA,it is hard to give this mind set.But Americans won’t go out and slaughter Latinos,that for sure.It is good due to inter net and Pc,goggle,we do not have to remain frog in the well,we can read,understand even read Pakistani columnist and come to conclusion not all Pakistani are blood thristing savages,there still a minute chance,sanity will finally prevail.Even if it does not,we are all better prepared not caught like those poor people in 1947,we won’t be deer caught in head light and run over by car,Thank Allaha for it Thanks Columnist and T.E. and all those who write without malice.Thanks again.

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Jul 7, 2012 - 11:50PM

    @not-an-indian: ” … We will also deal with India about the absolute horror it has perpetrated in Kashmir valley. All in due time. … “

    Please do not vitiate the conciliatory atmosphere by issuing threats.

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  • Jul 8, 2012 - 12:14AM

    @Ali Wali: What Could you do?I was working in Ahmedabad in 1968/69 when Hindu/Muslim riot broke,I was driving a Rajdoot(a big Irony) motor cycle,and had a Muslim friend at the back,in Shahpur,the rioters had no clue who was Hindu who was Muslim,they could not get either of us ,as I was a good driver and had my bike do a wonderful swing,and we both escaped.We both are in good old USA and are very good friend.When madness reigns,our mind is the first victim,reasons fails,only beast in us,manifests.It is true story.Do not blame yourselves if any one to blame ,blame these 3 so called greats,Gandhi,Nehru/Jinnah and Lord Mountbaten,for gross ineptitude and incompetence,history will never forgive them when true history is now beginning to be written ..No place to hide,brother,they are all exposed.

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  • Jul 8, 2012 - 12:24AM

    @not-an-indian: I disagree with you,a very few trolling,and most Indians have lot of respect for Pakistan and its 2 out lets the Dawn and Tribune.You guys have no out lets to write in India as all media outlet are not worth writing and wasting time,I never bother to say anything in TOI and H/T.They are the mouth piece of Sonia/Rahull Congress.You will lose something good if we stopped writing in your valued Exprss Tribune.Do not be mad and upset.Good day.There are some bad ones,but life is good with the bad.Remember what the Rassol said

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  • Anil
    Jul 8, 2012 - 1:01AM

    Which religion is into ethnic cleansing?

    The Hindu population in Pakistan during partition was 22%.Now it is less than 1%.

    Muslim population in India was about 5% during partition, now Muslims are 13% of India’s total population.

    Few centuries back, Kashmir was 100% Hindu, but today Hindu Pandits has been almost wiped off the Kashmir valley.Hindus cannot live in their own state of Kashmir.

    Can someone name any secular Muslim majority nation having a sizeable,growing and flourshing minority population?

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  • Khurram
    Jul 8, 2012 - 2:02AM

    @Liaqat Ali:
    I sincerely wish you had read the book before expressing any opinion. Your comments are akin to talking about a town and its people without ever visiting the place and meeting the people. As I had said earlier in one of my comments that Mr. Ishtiaq Ahmed is the first writer since the Partition of India( I never use the word subcontinent because it is the invention of guilty mind and it was India that was divided) who has the unbiased mind and sincere desire to seek the truth and collect the facts from the both sides of the great divide and on top of that an enormous courage to prsesent those unvarnished truths in a book form.

    @Abid P Khan: Sir with due apology your condescending and hollow words show a severe lack of knowledge on the methodogy of Research and Reliability of Source Material.

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  • Jul 8, 2012 - 3:40AM

    I would not go into your fascination with the dressing up, of a thesis with all the required “make-up” as if that in itself, were the substance. We are talking of social sciences, which is not a result from CERN. There are no absolute truths in anecdotal descriptions, hence it cannot be offered as a proof.
    .
    Perhaps it is the best one, according to you that you have run into, but that is your own opinion. Something which Hoodbhoy and another scholar Isa Daudpota have been stressing, raising the standard of research.

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  • Jul 8, 2012 - 11:17AM

    It is tragic to see a good article being ruined by Ajmal Kamal’s insistence on using Ishtiaq Ahmed as a source. Please note that Ishtiaq Ahmed speaks of Pakistan Times and Tribune but conveniently misses out Dawn… the League’s main mouthpiece… Pakistan Times was barely a month old then. In any event… Jinnah’s orders to Mamdot to go quell the Rawalpindi riots are on the record.

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  • Ishtiaq Ahmed
    Jul 8, 2012 - 4:01PM

    The Dawn was based in Delhi, whereas the Tribune and the Pakistan Times were based in Lahore. There is some mention of Jinnah instructing Mamdot to do something but Mamdot quelling the Rawalpindi riots is an absurd suggestion unless one assumes that the Muslim League had on a central basis masterminded those riots. Jinnah should have condemned the riots just as he rightly did when riots took place in Bihar in 1946. At that time the Governor of Punjab was Sir Evan Jenkins. In fact Daultana went to the Rawalpindi area in April and told the culprits that if they can bear it for a while their cases will be repealed. In any case Mamdot never went anywhere around those villages. In fact in my book there is evidence that Mamdot gave money some people to go and buy firearms. That however happened around 10-13 August.

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  • Ishtiaq Ahmed
    Jul 8, 2012 - 4:12PM

    Additionally, what is “on the records” is what Zia has reported about his conversation with Jinnah. It is public only in that sense but there is no newspaper reporting it. So, this too is traceable to what I write and not any Dawn item.

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  • Ishtiaq Ahmed
    Jul 8, 2012 - 4:50PM

    Sorry, my apologies, I mean Justice Munir reported not Zia. I quote a passage from his book in which Munir mentions a private telephone conversation he had with Jinnah. In the same he mentions that Jinnah instructed Mamdot to go Rawalpindi. Also, what does it matter if the Pakistan Times was founded only a month earlier? It was reporting on a daily basis, except for periods when there was censorship imposed by the Punjab administration. In fact the British suppressed a booklet with pictures of the raids in the Rawalpindi area that some Hindus had prepared. I have that booklet with me. THE FACT IS THAT BY NOT ACTING IN TIME TO ASSUAGE SIKH FEARS THE MUSLIM LEAGUE EFFECTIVELY UNDERMINED THE CHANCES OF A SETTLEMENT ON PUNJAB WITH THE SIKHS. THAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE MUSLIM LEAGUE LEADERS FAILING TO ACT IN TIME. THE CONSEQUENCES WERE THAT THOSE WHO WANTED PUNJAB DIVIDED IF INDIA WAS DIVIDED STRENGHTENED.
    Also, the Pakistan Times was founded by Jinnah just to present the Pakistan case strongly as the DAWN was a Delhi-based newspaper and often times did not cover events on the ground in the Punjab.

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  • Prabhjyot Singh Madan
    Jul 8, 2012 - 6:00PM

    @Mirza:
    @Ejaaz:
    The malerkotla district of east Punjab is a Muslim majority district . The Muslims living there was given a promise of protection by the 10th Sikh guru because its nawab was the sole dissenter in the court of nawab of sirhind who bricked his two young sahibzadas alive. No Sikh or Hindu was allowed to attack the residents of Malerkotla within it’s boundary. Check Wikipedia for Malerkotla history. Cheerio

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  • Ishtiaq Ahmed
    Jul 8, 2012 - 6:46PM

    This is a most interesting aspect of the Punjab partition. I have been to Malerkotla and the villages around that tiny state and collected many eye-witness accounts of what transpired in Malerkotla. A Sikh who took part in those murderous attacks on Muslims told me this and I qoute him in my book “Bauji, jerra Mussalman Malerkotla jaan wali sarrak dey dusrey passey Angreezi Illaqay wich si unnu assi chadeya nai tey jerra ess passey aa gaya assi hath nahin laya” (Sir, those Muslims were on the other side of the road belonging to English territory were cut down without exception but those who crossed over into Malerkotla were not touched). Now, indeed an instruction of Guru Gobind Singh saved thousands of lives but Ian Coupland had argued that a relative of the Nawab of Malerkotla had come to Ludhiana and prepared the Muslims to resist in case a large attack took place. So, I think both factors played a role. For the individual killers or small groups Guru Gobind Singh’s instruction played an important role but at the highest level the Sikh leadership must have known that an all-out attack on a princely state would immediately catch attention and at that time killing in secrecy was preferable. So, both things played a role to save Malerkotla and those refugees who succeeded in enterings its territories from a massacre.

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  • Jul 8, 2012 - 7:30PM

    @BlackJack:
    How is sending Mamdot not the same as taking responsibility? Please read the article.

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  • Jul 8, 2012 - 7:42PM

    @Ishtiaq Ahmed:

    I do not disagree that Muslim League failed assuage the fears of Sikhs adequately. However the way you’ve phrased it and the way your Indian pals are interpreting it seems to suggest something very different.

    It is tragic that Pakistani history is in the hands of two emotional extremes… the Safdar Mahmoods with their Islam Islam rhetoric and you with your self flagellation.

    My upcoming book “Jinnah; Myth and Reality” will strive to answer both these emotional extremes.

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  • Ishtiaq Ahmed
    Jul 8, 2012 - 7:44PM

    To quell one needs the authority and power to do that. Mamdot had none at that time and could have gone and used his influence but he did not do so. This is how the Oxford dictionary defines quell: verb
    [with object]
    put an end to (a rebellion or other disorder), typically by the use of force:
    e.g. extra police were called to quell the disturbance

    As I pointed out, Daultana went there in the middle of April – a good five weeks later but only with the message that don’t worry soon you will be free if you stay put.
    ALSO, THE THING IS THAT THE BRITISH ADMINISTRATION WOULD HAVE SEIZED ANY OPPORTUNITY CALLING FOR MUSLIMS TO EXERCISE RESTRAINT. It suppressed the Hindu-authors’ report because it sought to publicize that tragedy and worsen the law and order situation.

    The fact is that only Munir reports and and no one else. Now, it is possible Jinnah told him that he had instructed Mamdot to go there. One, Mamdot did not go and two there was no condemnation by Jinnah of that outrage. It penalty was that the Sikhs became even more determined to demand the partition of the Punjab.

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  • Ishtiaq Ahmed
    Jul 8, 2012 - 7:55PM

    Well, the discussion is becoming personal . As an author when your book appears scholars will analyse it and reach their own conclusions. I would of course look forward to reading it. One learns something from everyone and so let’s have your point of view as well. The interesting thing is that I too am examining Jinnah’s politics and thought process. So, soon we will have two more books but till then I find no pleasure in wasting time proving that I am not beating my chest but bringing forth evidence which helps people make up their minds about issues that are shrouded in deception and mythologies. It is amusing that you place yourself between Safdar Mahmood and me. I would be interested to know where you agree with me. CheersRecommend

  • Babloo
    Jul 8, 2012 - 8:44PM

    @Istiaq Ahmed,
    Sir, I would not put any value to many comments here, including mine, if your research disagrees with it. You have proven your bona-fides by looking at historical papers and documents at your disposal and by interviewing people on both sides of the divide and border.
    Please keep up the honest work and let not praise or criticism effect the quality of your work.
    regards

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  • Babloo
    Jul 8, 2012 - 8:54PM

    @Mr Hamdani, Many books have been written to mask the politics of Jinnah, in the 1946-47 period, from Direct Action day massacres to Rawalpindi Massacres and the cleansing that followed in the 47-50 period after the riots were over in India, including dismissal of the Governor of Sindh who made some efforts to protect the Hindus. Why waste your effort in another such effort to mask history ?

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  • Mahakaalchaka
    Jul 8, 2012 - 8:58PM

    Thank you Ishtiaq Ahmed. You have been a champion of truth and reconciliation and most of the time unbiased.

    May Allah or God bless you many more years of healthy and productive life to come up few more truth revealing books. You indeed have millions of fans all over the world, from all shades of society whether Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Atheists.

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  • Ishtiaq Ahmed
    Jul 8, 2012 - 8:58PM

    Thank Babloojee. People are most welcome to agree or disagree. Neither in the past nor now has slogan-mongering deterred me from doing my duty as a scholar. The book is available both in India and Pakistan and now in the big wide world. Reviews by leading Pakistani scholars and column writers are available and I have collected all of them.
    There was a nasty review in the Pioneer of Calcutta in which I was accused of taking the side of Muslims. In other words, I write to absolve the Muslim League of all blame! It should not be surprising that in Pakistan some would accuse me of a pro-India or Hindu bias. All such comments are words of small men and women. A scholar must be willing to learn all the time and dare to speak the truth.
    Best regards,
    Ishtiaq
    The Pioneer review can be accessed at: http://dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/sundayagenda/books-reviews/57613-punjabs-history-of-woes.html

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  • Babloo
    Jul 8, 2012 - 9:35PM

    @Mr Ishtiaq Ahmed, Thanks for your comments and your honesty and courage to list and link reviewers who differ with you. regards

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  • Ishtiaq Ahmed
    Jul 8, 2012 - 10:01PM

    That is never a problem. Knowledge and truth comes from posing difficult questions but adopting open, easily replicable methodology so that anyone who examines the same sources can make up his/her mind whether the analysis and conclusion and indeed the evidence are plausible. I have been a meritorious professor at Stockholm University and was conferred that title because of my quality research, so as far as my peers are concerned they know my stature and contributions. Indeed over the years so many kind people and colleagues like you have been kind enough to acknowledge my work.
    My argument is a simple one: Jinnah had no love lost for establishing an Islamic state but used the slogan of “Islam in danger” relentlessly and overwhelmingly.By the time he got Pakistan it was deeply steeped in Islamic rhetoric. What happened subsequently I will present in my book.

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  • Babloo
    Jul 8, 2012 - 10:12PM

    If a few words could sum of the outcome of Mr Jinnah’s politics and Muslim League politics, I have not read them any better than what you have summed up.

    “Jinnah had no love lost for establishing an Islamic state but used the slogan of “Islam in danger” relentlessly and overwhelmingly.By the time he got Pakistan it was deeply steeped in Islamic rhetoric. “

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  • Ali tanoli
    Jul 8, 2012 - 11:53PM

    @Ishtiaq Ahmed sahab,
    If sikh leaders were agreed to united Punjab then i think situation was not get that bad in that time but what to say its over thanks to Master Tara Singh and Mr Nehru ji.

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  • Jul 9, 2012 - 12:49AM

    @Babloo: mask? Anything that does not agree with your point of view is masking? My book is fully sourced and will discuss the Direct Action Day as well … Mr. Najam Sethi is publishing my book and as far as I know he is not known for masking anything.

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  • Mahakaalchakra
    Jul 9, 2012 - 12:50AM

    @Ishtiaq Ahmed writes:
    “….HOWEVER, I ALSO SHOW THAT MORE MUSLIMS DIED THAN HINDUS AND SIKHS TOGETHER WHEN THE ACTUAL BODY COUNT was estimated in the end of December.”

    Sir, could you clarify one point? Did you include the mass killing of Hindus in East Bengal during and after partition? Additionally, killing did not stop by December 1947 (assuming this is the cutoff year you have used above) because mass killings of Hindus again started in Pakistan even in 1948 in Sindh, mainly Karachi and also continued in East Pakistan. Will it this change your claim that more Muslims were killed in partition than Hindus and Sikhs. What if you compare the figures of only Hindus with Muslims or Sikhs died during partition? If you add all this and compare Hindus alone, I believe more Hindus were killed during partition compared to Muslims or Sikhs. Please do not take me wrong, I belong to a Hindu-Sikh family ran from East Punjab.Recommend

  • Jul 9, 2012 - 12:50AM

    @Babloo: and yet there isn’t a single instance of where Jinnah used those three words “Islam in danger” together.

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  • Ali tanoli
    Jul 9, 2012 - 1:00AM

    @Rajendhra Kukandhe sahab,
    Sir we know your feelings but think about it we do the same we been told what happend to Muslims during migration and i like your write and hope u will continue do so. best regard,.

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  • Jul 9, 2012 - 1:01AM

    @Ishtiaq Ahmed:

    I could never place myself between you and Mr. Safdar Mahmood.

    You guys are mirror images of each other on the opposite spectrum. Both of you buy wholesale the established nationalist mythologies of Pakistan and India, except Safdar Mahmood glorifies the Pakistan Movement and you denounce it. Tragically for both of us, I do agree with your basic thrust i.e. religion and politics should be separate. Safdar Mahmood is delusional. You belong to publicist masquerading as historians i.e. Collins and Lapierre etc.

    The historians and authors on partition I prefer are of a different pedigree… Ayesha Jalal, H M Seervai, Hamza Alavi, Irfan Habib, Akbar S Ahmed, Patrick French, H V Hodson, Penderel Moon and Alex Von Tunzelmann. They have shredded to pieces the narratives that Safdar Mahmood and your kind self have deployed in your works.

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  • Jul 9, 2012 - 1:08AM

    @Babloo:

    Had Hindus been a minority, that might well have been the case. The difference between Nehru and Jinnah was their position in terms of majority minority politics.

    As for direct action day, do check your facts about what exactly happened. There are enough primary sources that contradict the direct action day narrative commonplace in India. I am certain even Ishtiaq Ahmed sb’s view is not quite what Indians like you would be able to stomach. That much is clear from the Pioneer review.

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  • Jul 9, 2012 - 1:11AM

    The correct link of the Pioneer Review is as under:

    http://dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/sundayagenda/books-reviews/57613-punjabs-history-of-woes.html

    Good to know that there is some objectivity in Ishtiaq Ahmed’s book … especially vis a vis partition of Punjab being the pet project of Congress.

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  • Ishtiaq Ahmed
    Jul 9, 2012 - 2:23AM

    “Islam in danger” is a broad category under which can be subsumed scores of arguments that Jinnah gave to prove that. The exact words are a summation of a train of ideas and thought process. Let me quote just one place and that too his presidential address on 22 March 1940, that is one day before the 23 March Lahore resolution. He says, ‘Muslim India cannot accept any constitution which must necessarily result in a Hindu majority government. Hindus and Muslims brought together under a democratic system forced upon the minorities can only mean Hindu raj. Democracy of the kind with which the Congress High Command is enamoured would mean the complete destruction of what is most precious in Islam’ (The Speeches of Mr Jinnah, Lahore: Shaikh Muhammad Ashraf, 1968, p. 170). This is one example this idea comes up over and over again throught the period 1940-1947.

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  • politically incorrect
    Jul 9, 2012 - 3:47AM

    @Ali Tanoli

    First, ask yourself, who started it? Rest is a matter of detail.
    In saying this, I do not condone the retribution even in it’s minutest form.
    Every thing was at level with human frailties and strength till such time when the great leader roared ‘Direct action’.
    Once done, the beast in human beings (from both sides) came out on the streets with all its fangs and claws.
    Which side killed more than the other is just a matter of statistics.
    For any objective analysis it’s important to identify the ‘instigator’.
    Repeat, ‘who started it?’

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  • Khurram
    Jul 9, 2012 - 3:51AM

    @Ali tanoli: “If sikh leaders were agreed to united Punjab then i think situation was not get that bad in that time but what to say its over thanks to Master Tara Singh and Mr Nehru ji”.

    Ali Tanoli Saheb, you seem to be more interested in leaving comments rather than comprehending the main message in the Op Ed. It clearly explains that any hope to keep the Punjab united after killing of the Sikhs in the villages around Rawalpindi in March 1947 was lost for ever. Later on killing of the innocent Muslims and cleansing that took place in the East Punjab was the direct outcome of those Rawalpindi killings. I hold more than one party responsible for these reprehensible and heinous crimes, they are the British, Jinnah, Nehru, Muslim League, the Sikhs and Congress. The British played a major role behind the scenes and held no sympathies whatsoever with any one except their own future interests in the Middle East and the Soviet Union. Muslim League and the Sikhs mixed up religion with politics and it was a the most deadly concoction and it still is as we all see in our country. Jinnah and Nehru both had egos taller than the Himalayas and were unable to understand what it would all entail to.
    These unfortunate events took place some sixty odd years ago and there is no way to mend the past or compensate the great loss but the peoples across the divide can learn many lessons from those mistakes and crimes of the past to build up a better future rather than remaining hostage to the dark past.

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  • Khurram
    Jul 9, 2012 - 4:12AM

    I would not go into your fascination with the dressing up, of a thesis with all the required “make-up” as if that in itself, were the substance. We are talking of social sciences, which is not a result from CERN. There are no absolute truths in anecdotal descriptions, hence it cannot be offered as a proof.
    .
    Perhaps it is the best one, according to you that you have run into, but that is your own opinion. Something which Hoodbhoy and another scholar Isa Daudpota have been stressing, raising the standard of research, simple and easy.

    @Abid P Khan: Thank you, sir I am thoroughly impressed by your wisdom. I have a question why quote CERN ( in particle physics we have to deal with a lot of Quantum Anger ) and why not Pythagoras much simple and easy.

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  • Babloo
    Jul 9, 2012 - 6:59AM

    @Mr Hamdani,
    Sir, the concept of Islam in danger and the idea of violence and blood shed needed to achive Pakistan is laced in Mr Jinnah’s speeches. The Direct action day was a culmination of that thought process.
    Jinnah in his presidential address to the League, in April 1941, said, in a united India ‘Muslims will be absolutely wiped out of existence.’ He said Pakistan was essential ‘to save Islam from complete annihilation in this country.’
    “Complete annhilation” may be even stronger expression than being in “danger”.
    In March 1944, addressing the students of the Ailgarh Muslim University Jinnah declared: “Pakistan was born when the first Muslim landed in India in 712 A. D.” He asked the students to be prepared to shed their blood, if necessary, for achieving Pakistan.
    You should be now able to judge for yourself.

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  • Indian
    Jul 9, 2012 - 11:55AM

    @not-an-indian:
    Dear not an indian (that’s the identity of Pakistan unfortunately !!!) we are not trolling Express Tribune just because its from Pakistan. Rather (and i m not ashamed to admit it) because it is the best newspaper in the subcontinent. We don’t have this kind of quality newspaper in India. Besides the readers/commentators on this news site are also of quality and are generally balanced in their approach. You like it or not wherever there is a sweet smelling beautiful flower (read tribune) butterflies (read good readers, even if from India or Timbaktoo !!!!) will flock (troll) to it !!!!!

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  • Ali tanoli
    Jul 9, 2012 - 8:27PM

    @Ajmal sahib,
    What ever happend what ever was a reason and what ever we got hardship but thank god we are free country and if one is officer he is muslim if one is civil bearucrate he is muslim if one lived in nice town or in luxery house he is muslim if one is busnesmen or educater or millionare or billionare he is muslim if one is what ever thats a good news final.

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  • Faraz
    Jul 9, 2012 - 10:58PM

    @Anil:
    Please substantiate your claim regarding the communal makeup of india at the time of partition.
    Your assertion sir is, at the very best, a foolish assumption and at worst, a malevolent prevarication.
    As for pundits in Kashmir, they have truly suffered. But, they were 2.5 % of the population of Kashmir in 1988.
    Please do by falsify figures to advance our specious theories.

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  • Deb
    Jul 9, 2012 - 11:31PM

    @Faraz

    Why should pick an arbitrary timeline at 1988? Why not A.D.1388? better still A.D.988?
    For most part of written history, Kashmir was a land of hindu shivaites and buddhists.
    By breaking into someone’s house (and having some of the residents as captive) you don’t become the owner of the house.

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  • Faraz
    Jul 10, 2012 - 5:11PM

    @Deb:
    Specious argument again.
    Most of the Muslims of Kashmir are converts from Hinduism.
    It is churlish and illogical to suggest that the act of conversion somehow negates or diminishes their claim to their land.
    Your argument does great disservice to both these sons of the soil and to the very idea of India.
    I chose 1988 because that is the year when the insurgency was born and that is when the pandora started their painful migration.
    Choosing a year seven hundred years in the past is both foolish and useless.

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    Jul 21, 2012 - 12:40PM

    @Ali Wali: We only start moving forward when we accept our mistakes . I am 1949 born but i have heard what happened on our side of the border for which i tender my apology. I am however proud of my grandmother. Ours always was a predominantly Sikh village with only one Muslim family who at the height of the violence came and took refuge in our house.When the mob came to kill them my grandmother stood at our gate with a lathi in her hand and told the mob ” Over my dead body ” . She was know as a tough lady and managed to drive the mob away. The Muslim family was still living in our village till 1990 when i last went to the village. Quite filmy but then films are inspired by real life.

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