Subj: Seeds of Pakistan
Pakistan's Jihadi Politics rooted in India Partition
S. Dutta - Ventura County Star
As Pakistan marks the 62nd anniversary of its founding this month, it remains mired in existential conflicts.
Outsiders are often perplexed at how the Pakistan government can engage in state-sponsored terrorism and harboring of jihadi militants while claiming partnership with America in the fight against terrorism.
For those familiar with colonial history of British India, Pakistan’s emergence as a dangerous and destabilizing force was Pakistan’s destiny.
The seeds were sown in 1940 by those who exploited Islam to gain political power and eventually secured Pakistan from the British Empire in 1947.
Formation of Pakistan was neither assured nor certain. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the champion of Pakistan, could hardly be called a Muslim in any sense. Famous for his expensively tailored Savile Row suits, educated at Lincoln Inn, he was a highly successful and extremely wealthy lawyer. He ate pork, drank alcohol and could barely speak Urdu, the language of pride for Indian Muslims.
Similarly, Muslim League’s creators were an amalgamation of royalists and feudal landlords who were loyal to the British Empire and never commanded ordinary Muslims’ attention and support. Under their stewardship, Pakistan was a mere fantasy. In fact, 10 years before Partition of India and the departure of the British, Muslim League and Jinnah were on the verge of political extinction.
In 1937, the Muslim League had failed miserably in pre-colonial Indian provincial elections. The results demonstrated that the party claiming to represent Muslims did not speak for Muslims — it received 4.8 percent of the Muslim vote even with separate electorates for Muslims and Hindus instituted by British colonialists.
The Nationalist Congress party, dominated by Hindus but still largely secular in nature, swept the elections. Jinnah, the supreme leader of Muslim League, who had started as a rising star in Congress in 1905 with impeccable secular credentials, became marginalized.
For political survival, Jinnah began blatant use of religion to gain support of Muslim masses with highly incendiary slogans, frightening the masses that Hindus were going to destroy the Muslims after the British left India.
Jinnah propounded his deceitful theory of Hindus and Muslims being “two separate nations” that could not live together and asked for creation of Pakistan, a land for Muslims, by division of India.
Rift in divided Indian society
His party’s incendiary slogan of “Islam in danger” created a tremendous rift in divided Indian society; cities and towns burned with communal violence.
The violence was instigated by Muslim League with tacit support of its national leaders through their paramilitary League National Guard goons and resulted in massive Hindu retaliation.
Thousands were butchered and tens of thousands made homeless. Once unleashed, the bloody monster of religious hatred was on its unimpeded march.
Jinnah’s chauvinistic propaganda and contrived ethnic conflict so effectively mobilized the Muslim population that, in a short period of seven years, the Muslim League went from winning less than 5 percent to more than 75 percent of the Muslim vote in provincial elections of 1945.
It took only two more years for the country to be divided on the basis of religious hatred and massive violence.
Jinnah’s pathological politics resulted in a horrendous bloodbath. The Partition resulted in one of the most brutal and bloody forced migrations in history, in which Sikhs and Hindus were chased from newly created Pakistan and Muslims from India.
The ensuing violence resulted in the massacre of some 2 million Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs and expulsion of approximately 17 million people from their homes.
The Machiavellian policies of Pakistan are the legacy of the holocaust accompanying the Partition.
We are still reaping the bitter fruit of poisonous seeds Jinnah and the Muslim League planted in 1940s.
At the dawn of the 21st century, the world stands on the brink due to two nuclear powers perpetually in conflict.
There have been four major wars between India and Pakistan and the two nations have come perilously close to nuclear war after Pakistani-sponsored terrorists attacked the Indian parliament in 2001.
Nascent Pakistan was insecure and fearful of its larger neighbor India and immediately adopted three basic constructs as her reason for existence: India as the enemy, Partition as unfinished business, and search for allies.This misdirected focus resulted in authoritarian, centralized rule, lack of rapprochement with India and a perpetual state of militarization and war.
The never-ending search for allies against India resulted in Pakistani dictators and autocratic leaders making Machiavellian deals that further radicalized religious fanatics and later resulted in unholy alliances with al-Qaida and the Taliban.
Since Pakistan felt it had been shortchanged in Partition (deprived of Kashmir, a state with a Muslim majority), and it was militarily weak, it engaged in a war of attrition in Kashmir by supporting jihadi terrorists through Pakistan military. The shacklehold of Pakistan military on domestic and foreign policy ensured that peace would remain elusive between India and Pakistan.
Additionally, Pakistan sought to destabilize and control Afghanistan utilizing militant Islamists, accepted money from the fundamentalist Saudi Arabia regime for militant religious schools, developed nuclear weapons to counter Indian military superiority and sold her services to the larger military powers with the eventual goal of countering and destabilizing India.
While Pakistan is being riven by the Taliban and Islamic militants, the ruling elite still consider India as her primary enemy!
Fundamentalists in the Pakistani military created the Taliban, supported and harbored al-Qaida, and possibly made nuclear weapon technology deals with North Korea.
Pakistani political vision has been frozen in 1947 and remains stunted due to Pakistan’s fixation over Kashmir.
As a result, 62 years after her independence, Pakistan stands as a state perpetually at war with herself and with her own citizens.
Machiavellian policies that used Islamic militants in Afghanistan and Kashmir have begun their blowback as terrorists blow people up in Lahore and Islamabad, jihadis train killers to launch attacks in Mumbai and elsewhere, and the Taliban expands its control and continues its march within Pakistan.
Besides fighting the Taliban in Swat, the Pakistan military battles nationalists and separatists in Balochistan and the Northwestern Province. Pakistan continues to struggle to imagine itself as a nation, to find a coherent self.
As Pakistan celebrated her independence Aug. 14, it is instructional to focus on U.S. soldiers fighting the Pakistani-trained and sheltered Taliban in Afghanistan.
While our military bombs militants in western Pakistan and we line the pockets of the Pakistani establishment in return, the weak government of President Asif Ali Zardari vacillates between serving its U.S. financers and homegrown jihadi ideologues obsessed with Kashmir and control of Afghanistan.
Nothing good can come of this.
Pakistan may be hopelessly corrupt, lawless, drug-ridden and inherently unstable, but it is here to stay. Despite being brainwashed by their rulers, Pakistani people have time and again rejected Islamic fundamentalists and remain remarkably open and tolerant.
It is time for their leaders to step out of their insecure cocoons and focus on development of Pakistan. If the rulers of Pakistan will not detach themselves from their poisonous origin, we can expect continual wars by proxies, jihadi politics and perpetual suffering in south Asia for years to come.
— S. Dutta, Ph.D., lives in Agoura.
2. My Take:
Quote: Formation of Pakistan was neither assured nor certain. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the champion of Pakistan, could hardly be called a Muslim in any sense. Famous for his expensively tailored Savile Row suits, educated at Lincoln Inn, he was a highly successful and extremely wealthy lawyer. He ate pork, drank alcohol and could barely speak Urdu, the language of pride for Indian Muslims.
COMMENT: Yes, Jinnah was a Jack-Moslem by standards of Mullahs & Maulvies. But he was no dummy. He was a smart cat and Dr.Sir Mohammad Iqbal knew that. Dr.Iqbal solicited Jinnah to return to India ( from London ), as without him, Pakistan has no chance of coming into being. Jinnah returned to India. Rest is history..
The seeds ( of Pakistan ) were sown in 1940 by those who exploited Islam to gain political power and eventually secured Pakistan from the British Empire in 1947.
COMMENT: According to Jinnah: Pakistan was born on the day, when the first Hindu was converted to Islam.
Surinder Paul Attri