NWFP History: The dismissal of the Khan Ministry and its aftermath (Part 3)

by Yasser Latif Hamdani

In parts 1 and 2 of this present series, I presented the primary source record of the events leading up to the unfortunate impasse between the newly formed Pakistan government and the Afghanistan-backed Frontier Congress led by the Khan brothers. This third piece will determine whether or not there was an alternative left to the dismissal of the ministry as was widely expected and which was to be carried out by Lord Mountbatten with the prior approval of the Congress Party in Delhi before August 15, 1947. This piece will also determine how and why it came to be that the Pakistan government had to take this step?

Before the referendum actually took place, Dr. Khan Sahib had famously said that he would resign from his post if Pakistan got 30% of the electorate. As shown by the last piece, Pakistan ended up polling more than 50% of the total electorate showing that the Pushtuns were overwhelmingly in favor of Pakistan. It was in the aftermath of the resounding defeat for the Congress that Dr. Khan Sahib declared that he didn’t have to resign because he commanded a legislative majority (a situation analogous in many ways to General Musharraf’s notorious re-election to the office of the president in 2007 by a legislature that was no longer representative).

As for claims about “impropriety” of “referendum”, Dr. Khan Sahib himself agreed that the referendum was as proper or improper as the election that had gotten Dr. Khan sahib into power and this was promptly reported to the Viceroy by Rob Lockhart, Congress’ governor of choice (Congress had campaigned for the removal of Sir Olaf Caroe and appointment of Rob Lockhart in his place). Lockhart went on to advise Dr. Khan Sahib that the right and proper thing to do was to resign immediately. The governor also expressed concern that the continuation of a ministry so utterly hostile to the new state would be untenable and that the Viceroy should consider dismissing the NWFP government under section 93 which would be the best course available. Jinnah was repulsed by the idea of dismissing the legislative assembly whole-scale and he and Liaqat Ali Khan suggested instead that if given a chance Muslim League could form a coalition government with non-Muslim representatives which would give the Muslim League legislative majority and thereby bypass the section 93 dismissal. Since there was no constitutional requirement for an assembly session before the budget session in 1948, the Muslim League would have ample opportunity to re-align politically and gain a legislative majority. Rob Lockhart was of the view that if a change was to be made in fitness of things, it had to be made quickly because he recalled the Dr. Khan Sahib had warned of a mass movement which he “would try and keep non-violent”(Minutes of the Viceroy’s twenty third Miscellaneous Meeting Mountbatten Papers- also found in “Transfer of Power Papers, No 278, Volume XII, 405-409” and “Jinnah Papers Volume IV Appendix IV.1”).

Here it is pertinent to quote Kanji Dwarkadas, a staunch Indian nationalist in his own right, who writing D G Pole on 26th July, 1947 said: “… an American journalist, a very reasonable and sound man, who has returned to Delhi from the Frontier has told me that …the Frontier referendum was run on fair lines and not as Dr. Khan Sahib and Abdul Ghaffar Khan have explained it. He found Dr. Khan Sahib to be muddled headed and both Khan brothers are now rather sore with the Congress for having let them down. The Muslim Leaguers don’t want Afghanistan to interfere.” (US National Archives 845.00/8-747, also quoted as appendix to Jinnah Papers Volume IV Annex IV.1).

On August 1st, 1947, Mountbatten and Rob Lockhart had a meeting with the newly appointed Pakistani cabinet minus Jinnah. These included Liaqat Ali Khan, Ghazanfar Ali Khan, Jogindranath Mandal, Ch. Mohammad Ali, Abdul Rab Nishtar and Osman Ali in which Mountbatten stated that the only course of action left was to ask Dr. Khan Sahib and his ministry to resign, failing which he would dismiss the NWFP ministry and invite the leader of the opposition to form a new ministry. The second option was to use section 93 and bring NWFP under federal rule on or before 14th of August, 1947. (“No. 301 Transfer of Power Papers, Volume XII, Pages 441-445” also quoted as “Jinnah Papers Volume IV Appendix IV.3”) Having made this solemn pledge, Mountbatten went back on his word and refused to dismiss the NWFP ministry as he ought to have done and which was part of his responsibility.

If there was any doubt about what Dr. Khan Sahib was up to, it must have been cleared up by his indiscriminate issuing of arms licenses to his party men- as many as 6000. Bacha Khan’s son Khan Abdul Ghani Khan (later awarded Sitara-e-Imtiaz by Zia government for poetry) was busy arming Pushtuns to the teeth. Almost a month before partition, Rob Lockhart had warned of unscrupulous activity by the Khan Sahib government in this regard. “There is no doubt that most improper things have been happening. Certain people have been issuing instructions for licenses to be issued on a party basis. Even Dr. Khan Sahib himself is said to be guilty on these scores. A prime offender in arms trade is Abdul Ghani, the son of Abdul Ghaffar Khan. I have given orders that if proof can be produced he is to be proceeded against… there are reports that the Nawab of Tank, MLA, Muslim League is guilty of similar practices. If he too could be proceeded against, it would be good”. (Rob Lockhart to Mountbatten, 6 July, 1947, IOR, L/P&J/S/224 from India Office- also quoted as Annex II to Jinnah Papers Volume III Appendix IV.28) Ghani Khan was the leader of “Zalmai Pakhtoon” an organization that was involved in systematic violence against Muslim League and which was planning on creating wide-spread disturbances in the event of the dismissal of Khan Ministry.

The police intelligence report of 5th August, 1947 reads as under : “MILITANT CONGRESS PREPARATIONS AGAINST THE MUSLIM LEAGUE: It is rumored in some circles that Congress and Red Shirt supporters might start civil disobedience after the 15th of August if the Congress Ministry is made to vacate the office. It is reported that the Faqir of Ipi will declare Jehad against the British and the Hindus after the Id and that the Zalmai Pakhtoon Party would fight the Muslim League for the attainment of Pathanistan. Two Muslim League supporters of Prang were shot dead by certain Red Shirts on 20 July.” (No. 220, National Documentation center, Islamabad, 1996, 263-264 “The Referendum in NWFP”)

Faqir of Ipi was a firm ally of Bacha Khan and his party. On 8th July, 1947, Shah Pasand Khan had informed Jinnah that he had heard that “Abdul Ghani son of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan , the Frontier Gandhi, who came to see Faqir of Ipi in connection with the resolution passed by the Congress in support of Pathanistan. Government authorities supported this move” (Jinnah Papers, Volume III, No. 68). The main crux of the Faqir’s propaganda was that Muslim League was a bastion of British imperialism and Qadiyanism. It is ironic that those who claimed to be secular and liberal were now supporting Faqir of Ipi’s “Jehad” against the British, Hindus and the Muslim League. Faqir of Ipi’s role in the closing days of the Raj deserves an article by itself and would help understand the current state of Islamic insurgency in the tribal areas.

Returning to the issue at hand, given this situation the dismissal of Khan Ministry was logical and the proper thing to do. Dr. Khan sahib should have resigned as he had himself claimed he would be. And after he refused to, it should have been Mountbatten who should have dismissed the ministry as he had been advised and as he had himself agreed to do so. He ultimately went back on his word and the governor of NWFP was left with no option but to dismiss the Dr. Khan sahib ministry under the Government of India Act 1935 after the creation of Pakistan.

Addendum to Part 3: I was frankly baffled by Shehryar Ali’s emotional outburst in his form of his article. When stripped of his irrelevant references to Howard Zinn and Edward Said (neither of whom had anything to say about the referendum), Mr. Ali’s article was a mere regurgitation of the Pushtun Nationalist dogma and the muddled thinking that it produces. The point about the electorate not being based on adult franchise is also ironic because the same electorate elected Dr. Khan Sahib and the Congress in the first place. Furthermore Dr. Khan Sahib had famously boasted that if 30 percent of the electorate voted for Pakistan, he would quit. It turned out that more than 50% voted for Pakistan and Dr. Khan Sahib went back on his word.

For all his distortions, Sheheryar Ali has got one thing right: History is not a farce. So why does he insist on making it so? In this he is a true follower of Wali Khan who said “facts are sacred” but never quite got the meaning of that apt phrase.

NEXT: Faqir of Ipi’s uprising and the frontier Congress



Filed under History, North-West Frontier Province, Peshawar

40 responses to “NWFP History: The dismissal of the Khan Ministry and its aftermath (Part 3)

  1. sherryx

    Slandering in name of history once again. My views are regurgitation of Pahtoon nationalists, i agree, as i was giving the view point of Pashtoon nationalists as i wrote in my article. My friend doesnt have the decency of writing in his article that he is giving the position of Pakistan Moslem League [Moslem nationalists] and their colonial friends.

    Mine is an out bust of emotionality, but what height of objectivity compels my friend only to utilize one party’s version in historical analysis of a bi or tri partisan conflict
    On what grounds, Khan brothers view [first what is their view?? article never tells us]
    why this view is wrong, the article never tells us
    What evidence, what historical evidence contradict Khan brother view?
    their enemy’s testimony against them?
    words against words, mine against urs Jinnah’s against Bacha Khans
    that is not history
    talking of FIR’s in Pakistan there exist FIR of theft of Cow against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, does that become a primary source?
    Does General Musharaf’s diaries be a primary evidence against Iftikhar Ch?
    The irrelevant passages, my learned friend pointed out to this exact thing that certain sources are biased.

    A better comparison is referendum of General Musharaf, Khan sb was Not representing Crown in India nor was he wearing uniform nor was it written in constitution of 35 that a state government becomes non representative after a sham referendum.
    Those who dismiss elected governments are logical comparisons with General Musharaf. if one is un biased
    yes history is not a farce
    best of luck
    Shaheryar Ali

  2. YLH

    Ps: “you are an imperialist stooge” is not a good rebuttal to everything.

  3. YLH

    More unsubstantiated claims:

    Congress and British were not polar opposites- British backed the Congress and unionist coalition in Punjab against the Muslim League and the communist party of India which were allied for example.

    So to say that the British point of view is some how Muslim League’s is the height of ignorance. The British played parties and many times the Congress and your “progressive” khans were willing tools. The whole Pathanistan idea was actually based on a suggestion made by Sir Olaf Caroe.

    If you think the above is merely one party’s view then I challenge you for not being honest enough to admit that it is not.

    Rob Lockhart was appointed at Congress’ insistence.

    Mountbatten’s antipathy to Jinnah and Muslim League is now an established fact of history.

    And most importantly it is Dr. Khan Sahib himself talking – care to read what he said?

    As for dismissing “elected governments” I challenge you to read some Indian history and see how many times the great democrat Nehru and his daughter dismissed an elected government and imposed governor rule (which mind you was NOT done in NWFP) ..even yesterday the democratically elected federal government of India imposed governor rule in Kashmir … in comparison only the ministry was dismissed in NWFP not the legislature.
    The analogy between Dr. Khan sahib abd Musharraf was their insistence on “legislative majority” when conditions suggested that the legislature had ceased to be representative.

    So your points are with all due respect … are partisan.

  4. YLH

    Btw what FIR are you talking about?

    Intelligence reports declassified 30 years later? Ghani Khan and Dr. Khan sahib were appropriating licences for party members. It is a fact.

    Infact Dr. Khan Sahib later promised he would stop doing that. So what would he stop if he hadn’t done it.

  5. aisha-sarwari


    Was Kanji biased because he was a friend of Jinnah’s deceased wife in the 1920s?

    I suppose that would make Sarojini Naidu, the foremost woman leader of Gandhi-led Congress, biased because Naidu had a crush on Jinnah?

    I read your article and I found wali khan’s excuses to be poor to say the least.

    Why doesn’t ANP reinvent itself like Democrat Party after it was defeated in the civil war instead of continuously defending the indefensible?

  6. YLH

    Wali khan’s theory does not stand the facts and any honest historian will reject it. I challenge my pushtun nationalist spokesman friend to kindly come up with something concrete to overturn the view that Khan brothers were using every opportunity to forward their pathanistan agenda with the backing of Afghanistan and a faction of the Indian National Congress?

    Even the saner congress leaders were sick of khan brothers.

    So don’t make it about “progressive” and “non progressive” … Which is merely make up.

  7. Hunainsaani

    Mr YLF…..
    Your series on pakhtunkhaa politics…whether I agree or disagree to You….but I have a respect for your claim to be neutral….but could you please….bring the facts about those who have joined hands with Muslim league…in the last stages of seperation…Unionist party,Sir Sikandar Hayat…..
    .G Allana sb,Asfahani sb….bring their personal agendas behind their acts…..O yaara kab tak gaalian do gey un ko jinho ney sath nai diya…taqseem k waqt….A further disintegration is on our doorsteps…and U…..please stop playing with peoples minds…ANP cant be blamed of all the wrongs of our history….

  8. YLH

    Gaalian to ANP wallay dey rahain hain. Check out some of the rhetoric emanating out of Bacha Khan markaz.

    I am not sure what your point is…but Sir Sikandar Hayat died in 1943 and the Jinnah-Sikandar pact was defunct in 1944. Sikandar Hayat was never big on his support for the League.

    His party the Unionists formed a coalition govt with the Congress under the leadership of khizer hayat tiwana. Muslim league in the closing stages was supported by the Communist Party of India- why don’t you ask me about Daniyal Latifi, Iftikharuddin, or Sajjad Zaheer who supported the Pakistan movement and the Muslim League.

    I find this new line of argument rather ironic – are you uncomfortable discussing the stances taken by the Khan brothers?

  9. YLH

    Ps: M A Isphahani was a member for a long time of the League. Maybe you can enlighten me about Allana because I just know of his book.

    Maybe you wanted to talk about Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan, who was a Congressman and a comrade of Bacha Khan till 1946.

    Just goes to show that there was a personal angle to that rivalry.

  10. Hossp

    Echolalia never replaces debate.

    I just don’t see any reason to polemise the issue. Wali Khan In his book, rightly asked for the need of the referendum but he did not ask this question before the three parties agreed to the referendum.

    However, there is lots of weight in ML decision to demand referendum in NWFP.

    The Muslim League needed legitimacy from the people of NWFP in the presence of the KK and Congress’s majority in the province since both KK and the Congress were not in favor of the partition.

    From Wali Khan’s book, “they considered themselves bound by the congress decisions (Bacha Khan himself used to represent Khudai Khidmatgars in the Congress working Committee), and since the congress had accepted that NWFP had to be part of Pakistan, then why hold a referendum?”

    Appears very attractive and reasonable but not practical.

    Per Wali Khan, KK felt bound by the Congress’s decision however, KK did not make that decision. Let me explain. As we know, KK was in Congress as an allied party so there was plenty of room for KK to later on, not be comfortable and NOT bound by the Congress’s decision. The KK itself needed to pass a resolution after the Congress’s decision, to join Pakistan. Which I think it never did. As I wrote above Wali Khan or the KK took this position after the referendum not BEFORE it. KK made three decisions 1) It agreed to the referendum, 2) it asked for expanding the referendum to include pasthunistan, and then, 3) it boycotted the referendum.

    Boycotting parties don’t win elections and referendums. Many did not vote because of the KK boycott but still was just enough to provide legitimacy to the Muslim League.

    So if the KK wanted to join Pakistan after the congress’s decision, it never made it categorically clear and due to the lack of clarity, Muslim League was not wrong on insisting on referendum. The referendum gave them the legitimacy that helped them later in dealing with Afghanistan.

    The referendum was a major issue just before the partition and the Muslim League thought the stakes were high and they entered the referendum with all preparation to win.

    One thing we need to understand that Ghaffar Khan was a principled politician and we should never question his commitment to the people of NWFP but politics is politics consent decisions like that have to have legal and administrative actions behind them.

    Sheheryar wrote in his article.
    “This all was to block progressive forces in the area, to make NWFP a“Petri dish”for imperialist agenda to block Socialism. The Saur Revolution was snuffed out using NWFP, the Islamists madness was spread, the Frankenstein that is now playing havoc from New York, from Islamabad to Bara.”

    I completely disagree with this statement, conclusion, or assertion. The KK was never a progressive party. Ghaffar Khan never even supported Congress to come in the area and talk of secularism or socialism. He was a Pakhtoon nationalist and strongly believed in Pakhtoon values, culture, and customs. His political philosophy was conservative and not progressive. The NAP did join a progressive alliance in Pakistan but in that alliance, Wali Khan and his KK were the most conservative elements. They needed the alliance because they worried about politically isolation. The alliance also helped him stay as the leader of the opposition.

    Please understand that Wali Khan never supported the Saur revolution.

    Apologize for a long post…. Will write later on Yassar’s assertions.

    “Mr. Wali Khan, the son of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, the well known former leader of the Khodaye Khedmatgaran (Servants of God), made a statement denouncing Afghanistan’s Pushtunistan campaign as “nonsense” which, if not halted, will elicit a “strong blow” from the Pushtuns of Pakistan” Dawn Feb. 18, 1963

  11. YLH


    Extraordinary. I am always humbled by your insight.

    That is a very balanced view. My intention was not polemise it… unfortunately after reading statements like “Muslim League and their imperial masters” leaves one no choice but to state the facts clearly.

    Any person has the right to espouse whatever imagined identity they please and work towards its attainment. This is a right I would like to see protected.

    However, my point was that the Congress, KK and their British masters (now this in response to Sheheryar Ali’s comment) Muslim League no choice but to dismiss the Khan ministry.

    Secularism and leftist ideology are as you rightly pointed out an afterthought for the ANP. It had little to do with the events at partition really.

    One would like to see ANP immerse itself as a Secular Pakistani party albeit Pushtun Nationalist but firmly within the federation of Pakistan. Unfortunately the double game of yesteryear continues … If you hear Afrasiyab Khattak speak on the issue of tribal areas and Afghan allegations, you might mistake him to be the official spokesman of the Mayor of Kabul Karzai.

    The same ANP applied a lot of pressure on the News to keep this present series out of print… This is their “liberal” democracy and commitment to the federation.

    The people of NWFP have voted for a secular government firmly within the federation of Pakistan. If ANP has 48 seats , PPP, PMLQ and PML-n -representing the mainstream federal sentiment have 50+ together. So the frontier has clearly said No to the Mullahs and yes to the Pakistani federation.

    ANP has to respect the wishes of the people it claims to lead.

  12. Pingback: Militants overran observation post in attack that killed 9 US troops - Page 3 - World Affairs Board

  13. YLH

    Part 4 is coming up soon… it deals with Faqir of Ipi and his uprising.

    Part 5 will be about Bacha Khan and his legacy.

  14. Zak

    1) Aslam Khattak ..one of Chaudhry Rehmat Ali’s Pakistan group and a personal witness to the dismissal disagreed strongly with Jinnahs dismissal of the Ministry, he believed it was the beginning of corruption and electoral manipulation in Pak politics (Khattak, M A Pathan Odyssey p 58-59)

    2) The Pakhtun zalme was a breakaway group of the KK and not supported by BK.

    3 ) The threats of force by Muslim Leaguers against KK or possible voting by Hindus and Sikhs is well documented (see Talbot, I Provincial politics and the Pakistan Movement p23-26)

    4) The KK disassociated with the Congress after the referendum and pledged allegiance to Pakistan in September 1947.

    5)Ghaffar Khan had pledged his allegiance to Pakistan in his first speech to Pakistans Constituent Assembly..as per one of his speeches “We have proclaimed that if the Government of Pakistan would work for our people and our country the Khudai Khidmatgars would be with them. I repeat that I am not for the destruction of Pakistan. In destruction lies no good.”

  15. Zak

    Hossp: I would disagree with the comment about the KK not being progressive, (perhaps our definition of progressive could be debated) but as you well know the KK and NAP were tarred by their opponents for being secular and anti religion. a critical look at the Congress NWFP Ministry in Pakhtun Ethnic Nationalism From Separation to Integration and in Ian Talbots book shows that the KK was primarily opposed by Landlords and Khans “Moreover, when Ghaffar Khan’s elder brother, Dr Khan Saheb, formed the provincial government, he stripped the big khans of their power and privileges by depriving them of their positions as honorary magistrates and subordinate judges that the British had conferred on them. ” When that failed the anti Islam card was played against them…

    Aisha: The ANP is by far one of the most democratically run parties in Pakistan (I stress by far as it is by no means perfect) ..it and it’s predeccessors have been run by Punjabis, Baloch, Pashtuns and Bengalis.

  16. YLH

    1. Khattak had his own issues with Qayyum. He has the right to his own opinion. My view is different and I have given it above.

    2. Not to my knowledge. In 1947 atleast Zalme pakhtoon was under direct control of Bacha Khan and his family.

    3. This is irrelevant because threats were levelled from all directions (read part 4). However the referendum was held under a Congress ministry with a governor of Congress’ choosing.

    4 5 and 6 are simply indicative of Bacha Khan’s double game.

    Your insistence on calling KK progressive is misplaced. First of all KK is not equal to NAP and I have discussed this elsewhere. Secondly the whole secularism angle is exaggeration …the problem with KK was Pushtun nationalism.

    I would be very surprised if Talbot made such an error as to say that Khans opposed KK because facts clearly state that it was the “khars” or city dwellers who joined up with the League under the leadership of Qayyum. The Khans stood by the Khan brothers. If Talbott made such an error, he is clearly not worthy of respect as a historian. I would like to see it myself though.

    I recently faced first hand the “democratic” nature of ANP and let me just say I cannot agree with your comment that it is the most democratically run party- what next? The jamaat-e-islami?

  17. zak

    A few points:

    1)Aslam Khattaks disagreement with the dismissal was not over Qayyum Khan it was over the precedent that it established.

    Talbot is not the only writer to say that the PML was backed by the major Khans ..the list of PML candidates in the 1946 elections with some notable exceptions was a who’s who of major landlords ..‘Nawab Sir Muhammed Akbar Khan, the Khan of Hoti, Nawab Mohabat Ali Khan, the Khan of Kohat, Nawab Qutbuddin Khan, the descendant of the pre-British rulers of Tank, and a major jagirdar, Mir Alam Khan, one of the largest landlords of the Peshawar valley, and Muhammed Zaman Khan, the Khan of Kalabat.’ note: Peshawars inhabitants are called khaarian not khars.

    3) Ghaffar Khans differences with his son are well documented, Ghani Khan advocated a more radical attack on the British..breakaway factions are common in all movements ..Mandelas ANC was not above acts of violence even if he did not advocate it himself.

    4) I am afraid that reflects your point of view, which is essentially a damned if you do and a damned if you don’t argument against him..

    5) So you believe Pakhtun nationalism is an inherently bad thing?

    6) Actually yes internally the JI is also considered an inherently democratic party the way it runs things.. far superior than the other mainstream parties in that sense. Well established writers across the political spectrum in Pakistan agree with that comment.

  18. YLH

    1. Khattak’s issue was always with Qayyum and he presented the theory that Jinnah and BK were about to agree but Qayyum sabotaged it. The fact of the matter is that Khattak has the right to his own opinion but I have shown above why constitutionally, legally and morally khan sb’s dismissal was fair and justified. He should have left the government as he had promised to. Now that is a bad precedent that just doesn’t go away- latching onto power.

    2. Whether or not these Khans supported the League it is well known that a majority of the Khans supported the Congress and it was actually the city dwellers, the barber, the non-pushtun population that supported the League (and continues to support PML and PPP). You are very clevery side stepping the issue by saying this and this khan supported the League. In the end all intelligent people supported the League but till 1946 all these feudals and tribals were in Bacha Khan’s pocket. I’d personally see what Talbott wrote to make my decision on the matter.

    3. Zalme Pakhtoon in 1947 was not a breakaway faction. Let us be clear about this. Ghani Khan was operating as Bacha Khan’s man. Please produce these well documented differences for my knowledge. I find it ironic that every time something is pointed out you conveniently declare it as “breakaway” faction. Why was everyone always breaking away from Bacha Khan. And please don’t compare Bacha to Mandela. The latter actually did something for his people.

    4. Yes. I think every reasonable person will call Bacha Khan’s behavior a double game but that is indeed my point of view.

    5. No. Pushtun Nationalism is not inherently bad. It is just that Pushtuns had poor leadership in form of Bacha Khan which turned it negative.

    6. Jamaat-e-islami is a religio-fascist party and merely choosing shura does not make a cadre based party democratic given that Jamaat-e-islami is not a party open for membership to everyone. This is not a democratic party just like ANP is not. Jamaat e islami is an ideological religio-political party and ANP well it is a mirror of JI except it believes in a god called Bacha Khan.

  19. Zak

    1: To what do you base that on with reference to Khattak? Breaking a promise is political and moral mistake horse trading and manipulation is a criminal one..so I don’t see the equivalence.

    2: That contradicts the facts that I posted earlier, the overwhelming number of candidates in the PML were Khans and landlords ..you may disagree with talbot but his works are considered essential reading on electoral politics in the region.

    3: It’s documented in interviews with Ghani Khan as well as writers like Bannerjee.

    4: I disagree in my opinion it’s a reflection of bias.

    6: It’s an imperfect system but it is far more consensus driven than the mainstream parties. I agree cult leader worship is bad whether it’s Maudoodi, Bhutto, Ghaffar Khan or Jinnah…however whenever comparing internal democracy i still attribute JI + ANP as relatively more democratic internally than other mainstream parties

  20. YLH

    1. Khattak is no authority. His opinion is his biased as it was against Qayyum and his treatment of Khattak. My arguments are above and you haven’t responded to them. What promise are you talking about? Did you bother to read the article? The promise was made by Khan sb and then by Mountbatten and yes their manipulation was quite criminal indeed. That’s what the khan bros were really if you think about it.

    2. You quoted no facts just a few names. As for Talbot I will make my decision on him after I read the reference myself. Can you please give me references. As for the Khans – a great majority of them supported Bach* Khan and yes many switched over to the League at the very end because League’s victory was certain. But this should obscure the fact that Bacha Khan’s base was feudal and tribal.

    3. What is documented? That Bacha Khan distanced himself from Zalme pakhtoon in 1947 ? I don’t think so.

    4. And in my opinion your entire post is your inability to accept the facts. For example your precious KK and BK are severing links with their Indian masters allegedly in september and december… but the ministry was dismissed in August. So your point is neither here nor there.

    5. Heroes deserve to be kept up as examples. My objection is that someone like Bacha Khan is too poor an example for any self respecting people. I am all for multiple narratives and people from all sides. Look the Americans celebrate Jefferson Davis, Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson … but these were incredible heroes who cannot be faulted for leadership. Bacha Khan, whatever his qualities, could not provide that leadership.

  21. YLH

    PS; tell me about democracy in ANP and Jamaat-e-islami when
    1. ANP elects a party chair who is not a son or grandson or daughter in law or a daughter or a grand daughter of Bacha Khan or a chief minister who is not bk’s brother or grandson.

    2. When jamaat e islami elects a liberal or a shia Muslim or someone other than the core mullah brigade as the “ameer”.

  22. zak

    1: As I said do you have any proof to your claims that Khattak was biased?

    I reiterate a broken political promise is not equivalent in any legal book with criminal manipulation of the electoral process or human rights abuses. ( I do not claim Jinnah as a cause of the criminal manipulation but I believe his dismissal of various provincial ministries was intrinsically undemocratic)

    2: I have cited Talbots exact reference. by contrast you haven’t cited any reference to prove the KK was feudal or tribal in nature.

    3: As I said Ghani Khans own interview and Bannerjees work

    4: My statement was a reply to your comment about how if they accepted Pakistan (which you did not believe they did )they were duplicitous and if they didn’t they were by implicaation traitors. I did not dispute the sequence of events of the dismissal.

    5: I dispute hero worship in general. Human beings are flawed creatures, I do not believe Jinnahs dismissal of the ministry makes him any less a leader but i do believe it set precedent.

    Ps: Sure Ajmal Khattak, Sherbaz Mazari, Maulana Bhashani, Mahmud Kasuri Consider yourself told 😉

  23. YLH

    Zak are you kidding me? Those responses don’t make sense.

    1. Khattak’s issues with Qayyum are well known. But in any event why the hell should we accept his view? I haven’t given you someone’s opinion above- I have given you events which show that the Khan ministry’s dismissal was not patently undemocratic but was completely democratic, legal, moral and constitutional. Infact Bacha Khan’s masters Nehru and the Congress dismissed many more provincial ministries than Jinnah but somehow they are not called undemocratic. Incidentally which other “provincial” ministry was dismissed ? Are you talking about Khuhro being replaced as sindh premier in 1948 but that was an intra-Muslim League affair and not a dismissal of a ministry- now there you have it …you are operating on a false impression instead of thinking for yourself.

    2. The entire structure of KK was feudal and tribal. It is a fact that you cannot deny. Secondly you’ve not quoted any “exact” reference …and the reference you’ve alluded to is like saying that since many of the Punjabi feudals jumped on the bandwagon of the League towards the end, Unionists were not feudal. Do you see the illogical nature of this statement?

    3. Does the interview say that Zalme Pakhtoon was not created and operated with direct permission and command of Bacha Khan? If so please quote it… but you know it doesn’t say that. We can all google Bannerjee and Ghani Khan.

    4. I don’t subscribe to the theory of traitors etc. Everyone has the right to struggle for their political aspirations. What I have a problem with is dishonesty about the facts. Wali Khan did not believe in the facts …nor did anyone of his family members. ANP has to be honest about the fact there isn’t anything “progressive” about it except lipservice to certain principles they don’t even understand properly.

    5. No it did not. India and other “democratic” countries have dismissed provincial governments for much smaller things routinely …I find it strange that one dismissal- perfectly legal, constitutional and democratic- can set an undemocratic principle.

    6. Let me REPEAT: NAP was NOT equal to either KK or ANP. NAP was hijacked later and mader into a parochial pushtun party but it cannot be equated to KK or ANP.

  24. Zak

    1: Please cite references to confirm Khattaks bias against Qayyum. It is a major stretch to say the dismissal was democratic or moral. It was as legal and constitutional as BB & NS’s gov dismissal in the 1990’s or the CJ’s dismissal in 2007. The subsequent human rights abuses and electoral manipulation were neither moral, nor democratic nor political..they were simply brutal. The dismissal was an authoritarian move and the beginning of establishment interference which culminated in Nazimuddins ouster.

    2: You have made the claim that the KK was Feudal i cited Talbot and can give you the page number as well, but since you made the initial claim ..I leave it to you to cite facts.

    3: I can’t tell you what the interview doesn’t say, you asked for a citation on Ghaffar Khans disassociation with the Zalme and I gave it, I similarly am able to give you one on Dr. Khan Sahib and his brothers falling out.

    4: Again it’s a question of relativism in a Pakistani context, what do you give as an example of progressive secular politics in modern day Pakistan.

    5: Setting precedents and conventions is very much part of political history. The precedent where the ruling party shows it is unable to give political space to any opposition is something which has dogged all subsequent “democratic” periods in Pakistans history.

    YLH I’ll restrict my reply to pakteahouse this time, to say you have obviously done your research and your pieces do bring out interesting bits of information. However this is more of a polemic against the politics of the “national party” and the Khan family (lumped together as one whole) in particular than actual critique.

    Ironically your work has more in common with Wali Khan’s book then I suspect you’d like.

  25. YLH

    Do you actually read the posts or do you simply respond on your whim?

    1. I am not sure why I am being asked to prove Khattak’s bias? It is well known that Khattak was Qayyum’s most outspoken rival and opponent in the Muslim League. This would matter if we were merely going by what anyone said. It is not a stretch to suggest that it was democratic. You are clearly out of your depth with the comparisons you draw because they are in no way comparable. As far as the legality goes, I have written an entire article outlining the provisions of the GOIA 1935 which establish the center’s authority to dismiss ministries. Now in so far as democracy goes – Khan sb was right when he said a 30 percent vote in favor of Pakistan would prove that his government had lost the support of the people. Pakistan polled more than 50 percent. In civilized countries (not that I am accusing khan bros of civilization) ministries resign when defeated on a central issue of their political agenda (the applicable analogy to khan’s insistence on continuing on is mush’s “re-election” through assemblies without a mandate). Finally when the government of a newly formed state is faced with a situation where one of its most volatile provinces is under the govt of a hostile party in no mood to accept the will of the people or bear allegiance to the new state (by your admission they did so much later) and when this govt should have been dismissed before the state came into existence- it is perfectly moral to dismiss it. Infact by dismissing the ministry and not the legislature, Jinnah made sure section 93 or governor’s rule was not imposed. If that is undemocratic, then what Nehru and the Congress party did in several states several times was much more undemocratic but some how that didn’t become a precedent did it? Why not? Because it is an illogical argument started by civil servants to consolidate their own hold over the country. The civil servants were scared of strong political governor generals like Jinnah and managed to get their own man Ghulam muhammad in. Contrary to your claim nazimuddin’s dismissal is the exact opposite of your proposition. If you read this carefuly you will see the entire argument falls flat on its face and only your latent pushtun nationalism makes you hold on to it.

    2.I am sorry but I have already explained that what you claim to have cited from talbott is akin to an argument which goes like this : feudals joined the Muslim League towards the end -hence unionists were not feudal”. I don’t think I need to quote anything to prove the absurdity of your argument.

    3. Was settled on my facebook note.

    4. No one is secular in Pakistan. However my point is that calling one’s self secular and progressive doesn’t make one that. ANP is a party based on pushtun parochialism, cult of the khans and tribalism. That makes it at par with if not below jamaat e islami in terms of real time development of bourgeoisie national democracy. It certainly is narrowest political party in Pakistan.

    5. I have answered this point in some detail in 1. I repeat though … India’s ruling Congress did much worse several times- how come the “precedent” was not set there? There was no precedent. Trust me this is a pathetic argument which makes no sense whatsoever and is a clever soundbyte by pakistani establishment and india-based hawks – adversity makes strange bedfellows.

    As for Wali Khan’s book- every action has an equal and opposite reaction. I have read his book.

    Please don’t make it chowk by insisting repetitively on points that have been answered.

  26. zak

    1:a)Khattak wasn’t part of the PML for much of his career, he would frequently contest as an azad candidate. So your assumptions of a Qayyum-Khattak intra PML rivalry are based on inaccurate information unless you are confusing brothers Yusuf Khattak with Aslam Khattak.

    b)You have defined the legality of dismissal in as much as the same legality was used by GM against Nazimuddin. I did not dispute the legality of it..your argument that vote buying and human rights abuses are somehow justified by the fact that Governor rule wasn’t imposed is odd to say the least and the “civilised” comment was in poor taste.

    c)With reference to the Congress dismissals in India again it’s a question of context, the Congress was a well established party in the areas it took over, the PML by contrast wasn’t except in Sind and Bengal so by resorting to executive authority and emergency detentions rather than fresh elections, the PML created precedent for the establishment to devlop and eventually derail the development of democracy.
    d)You have skipped mention of the Ghaffar-Jinnah correspondence (documented in The Frontier Gandhi in perspective) where Ghaffar offered to support the PML ministry for the stability of the province ..the issue of contention was joining with Qayyum Khan

    2: Ayesha Jalal in “Self and Sovereignty: Individual and Community in South Asian Islam Since 1850” p 409 and Olaf Caroe (begrudgingly) in his book the “Pathans” also state that the KK was opposed by all the major Khans. You are welcome to look at the list of Congress/ KK candidates in the 1936-1946 election period to see which ones were major landlords. (I’ll post it up for you if you want) you will find your assumption that the KK was landlord dominated has very little credibility.

    4: The modern day “national party” is parochial I agree with that, however I am happy to read you’ve accepted my argument on internal party elections. On a side note both its senators are non Pashto speakers, the party’s secretary general is a Punjabi. the “cult of Khans and tribalism” is just reverting to the argument about it’s origins which I have disproved. It’s a matter of common sense that nationalism by it’s very definition is a progression away from tribalism.

    5: Refer to one..

    I agree on going against chowk repetitions, I’ve substantiated almost all my claims (the KK’s origins, ANP being more democratic than most and my belief that the dimissial was precedent, similar to ZAB’s use of the ISI’s political cell) and I leave it to you to find any evidence that says otherwise or to end the debate.

  27. YLH


    You’ve not substantiated anything. And your comments are frankly are not making sense to me. I am surprised that you are going to such lengths to deny the facts.

    1. The khattak I am talking about is the khattak who was rahmat ali’s colleague. In any event khattak’s view is not important to me.

    All impartial observers agreed that there was no impropriety in the referendum and even Dr.khan sb admitted the same to Rob Lockhart privately. So what vote buying are you talking about?

    You’ve clearly not bothered to read my comments in detail because if you had you would know that my argument covered the democratic and moral angle. Pray tell which issue of central importance was Nazimuddin ministry defeated on like khan ministry? None! And was nazimuddin’s govt openly hostile to the new state like khan sb’s ?

    Your defence of Congress’ dismissals of ministries shows that to your mind in certain situations the dismissals are justified. In my view when you have a ministry hostile to the state and openly encouraging Afghanistan to take over the province, it ought to be dismissed especially if it has lost on a question of central importance (and Dr khan sb had himself admitted that if Pakistan gets more than 30 percent vote his ministry would have lost confidence).

    2. Once again you are confusing issues. Putting up Congress candidates etc as evidence in this matter is like Khizer Hayat Tiwana pointing to Congress members of his coalition government in 1946 to prove that unionists were not feudal. No one is denying that all intelligent people had at the end joined the League but that doesn’t take away from KK’s tribal feudal character which is a fact whether you like it or not.

    4. I have not accepted any of your arguments. There are intra-party elections in chaudhry unionist party (pml-q) as well. So what? ANP’s president is bacha khan’s grandson. Chief minister of NWFP is Bacha Khan’s grandson. It is parochial and it is racist. Bilours are simply token hindko speakers in the party. KK was parochial (could you name some prominent kk members of say hindko or hazara etc?) I will go so far as to say it is their right to be parochial. But progressive and national they are not. And please don’t confuse NAP and ANP. They might have overlapping subsets but they were not the same.

    The way I see it : there are three forms of nationalisms:

    1. Ethno-nationalism ie pushtun nationalism.

    2. Group nationalism: a consciousness on the basis of shared group identity unconnected with ethnonationalism ie Muslim nationalism, Jewish nationalism, hindu nationalism.

    3. Territorial nationalism: based on territory.

    All three have their place in politics within limits. Ethnonationalism can be important in state v. Center. Group nationalism can help uplift minorities. Territorial nationalism can cement a federation together.

    However all three can be dangerous too… Ethnonationalism when it concerns itself with such superfluities as the name of the province or blocking dams irrationally and illogically… Group nationalism when the group is in a majority …it becomes fascism… and territorial nationalism when it is used to crush legitimate aspirations of ethnonationalists and group nationalists.

    Ethnonationalism is closest to tribalism. But the problem with Pushtun nationalism is not even a nationalism because of the lack of a bourgeoisie and an industrial class (the saifullahs perhaps can provide some real pushtun nationalist leadership but they seem too self absorbed at the moment) … the ANP represents a curious mix of a bunch of tribals trying to throw big words that they don’t understand or agree with in reality. The ANP tries to project itself as “secular” and “socialist” when it is neither. It is simply Pushtun. Kinda reminds me of Adam Khan’s “socialist yuppies”.
    Btw… I don’t have Azad’s book on me anymore but if you do could you confirm Juma Khan Sufi’s assertion that Azad accused the Khan bros of “pocketing” Congress funds.


  28. YLH

    PS: it is upto you to end the debate if you wish because you haven’t been able to make a convincing case for the “precedent” issue which is the central feature of the debate.

    And you can’t because it is a concocted argument which makes no sense.

    Also what Jinnah-ghaffar khan correspondence are you talking about ? If somehow Bacha Khan had agreed on this point with Jinnah what stopped him and KK to pledge allegiance to Pakistan till September and/or December.

    The dimissal was in August… were they still hoping for Ipi and Afghanistan wresting NWFP from Pakistan?

  29. Zak

    YLH: It’s hard to argue facts when you are not countering mine with any, your arguments have been simply dismissive of any facts which disagree with your viewpoint.

    1: I never claimed I supported some dismissals and opposed others, I don’t agree with executive dismissal in general. Your counter argument was “Why is it ok for the Indian Congress to dismiss Ministry’s and Jinnahs dismissal not” I argued it created a precedent in Pakistan (and it’s unique set of circumstances where the party of govt was intrinsically weak) for Ministry dismissal. Nazimuddins govt could also be accused of many failures, it’s inability to promulgate a constitution, collapse of state authority in Punjab etc etc.. With reference to vote buying, indiscriminate arrests and human rights abuses I was referring to post dismissal and not the referendum

    2) Again I disproved your “claim” of tribal-feudal character has not been supported by any evidence. The PML was feudal + tribal in NWFP to a large extent as per Talbot, Caroe, Jalal. Again with the exception of charismatic leaders like Nishtar, Qayyum.

    4) You first asked me to name any leader who wasn’t from the Khan family and I did..I said the party has a long history of internal elections..now you’ve changed tact and said elections don’t mean anything..so your criteria for internal democracy seems to shift in accordance with your dislike of the Khan family/KK/ANP.

    Your dislike for the ANP’s use of secular or socialism seems again peculiar to your dislike of the Khan family/KK/ANP , because in a modern context the old left doesn’t exist anyway. Your reference “a bunch of tribals” betrays your own lack of understanding of the Pashtun tribal structure. As is in the two main “Pakhtun nationalist” parties in NWFP PPP & ANP ..none of them are distinguished by the dominance of one or the other tribal chief or tribe.

    Finally with reference to the exchange of letters between Jinnah and Ghaffar I refer you to the BK critique by M. S. Korejo The Frontier Gandhi: His Place in History. As per that book and Afzals book on Pakistan history, Jinnah wanted the KK to merge with the League, while Ghaffar Khan offered unconditional support to the PML provincial government and allegiance to Pakistan but did not want to join hands with Qayyum Khan (he had no issues with Nishtar, who was unfortunately deprived of his seat by Qayyum in the ’46 elections).

  30. YLH


    Let’s not resort to dishonesty or chowk like argumentation.

    If you feel I have not responded to your points then I can only pity you. It is you who is going in a circle.

    My main argument is not Congress’ dismissal but that

    a. That the Khan ministry was conspiring against Pakistan and this I have supported with primary source documents which show
    I. Khan brothers in bed with Afghanistan and Fakir of Ipi.

    II. Arms distribution by Dr.Khan sb to his supporters to create insurgency.

    III. Dr. Khan sb and others’ refusal to take the oath of allegiance to the new state.

    b. The fact that Dr.khan sb’s ministry had been defeated on a Central Issue ie Pakistan. He himself admitted that he would resign if eveb 30 percent vote was cast for Pakistan. 50 percent was cast for Pakistan. It meant that the central plank of the
    govt had been defeated. Any respectable govt. would have resigned.
    The dismissal by the center thus was perhaps more justified, democratic and moral than Congress’ dismissals. Legally there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.

    As for Nazimuddin’s dismissal- I suggest you read your history carefuly in the matter. Because this is comparing apples and oranges. Nazimuddin ministry was not in cahoots with any foreign country and posed no threat to Pakistan. And even more importantly – it was actually cutting against the central policy of the League of appointing political governor generals from the party – Ghulam Muhammad was not a Leaguer per se- that created the unfortunate situation.

    In my considered legal opinion, nazimuddin’s dismissal was NOT legal because sufficient conditions did not exist – as they had with in NWFP – for such a drastic action.

    Jinnah did not want Pakistan govt. to have to do this. He first expected Khan sb to reasonable enough to resign and then Mountbatten to dismiss the ministry as he promised by the 14th of August.
    After this he gave Khan ministry 8 more days to either resign or give him indication that they would cooperate.

    It was only then that he ordered the governor to dismiss. And a word about Sir George Cunningham. Sir George Cunningham was chosen by Jinnah specifically because Cunningham had a good working relationship with Dr.khan sb and Bacha Khan (cunningham was the governor before lockhart and caroe) …so it is quite clear that Jinnah went out of his way to accomodate the Khan bros but they were utterly unreasonable which cost them.

  31. YLH

    2. I have already answered this many times. Proving the khans and others joined the League in the mid and late 1940s is no argument really. The fact that Qayyum and Nishtar led the party shows that the League was neither tribal nor feudal. KK on the other hand was entirely tribal and parochial. Dropping names like Jalal, Caroe, talbot is not going to change this fact. Perhaps you can quote where these people say that KK (not Congress) was multiethnic in character ? Your argument is akin to saying that since most of the landlords joined the League towards the end in Punjab, somehow Unionist Party was not feudal. Now that is a sham and you know it. Let’s not be repetitive here.

    4. When you pointed out other leaders I pointed out that NAP is NOT the same as ANP. I reject your effort to claim Maulana Bhashani or Achakzai (the achakzais are quite appreciative of this present series btw I am told) or iftikharuddin on behalf of ANP. What next … Jalib was ANP too? What a joke. NAP was a different party. ANP is not NAP.

    As for internal elections, I haven’t changed my argument which was that internal elections happen in jamaat e islami as well and also in the chaudhry unionist league as I pointed out in my last post. Somehow ANP does not seem to elect anyone but Bacha khan’s family as the head.

    On Jinnah-ghaffar khan correspondence- I am quite familiar with it. Ghaffar Khan also had tea with Jinnah where according ghaffar khan Jinnah hugged him and said today Pakistan is complete (raj mohan gandhi’s biography of Bacha Khan). It was at this meeting that Bacha Khan was asked to merge the KK in the League which Bacha Khan said was not possible because the League in NWFP consisted of crooks. Jinnah asked if he thought there were any good men there and Bacha Khan said none. Then Jinnah donated 200 spinning wheels to KK for its work in NWFP.

    What is not known to me is what happened when Jinnah met with bacha khan in Peshawar later.

    However all this happened in December and January …the dismissal had already happened in August 1947.

    As for Bacha Khan’s belated allegiance- like they say in Pushto (and I quote Wali khan):

    What an intelligent man comes to in the first place, a stupid man comes to it after a lot of pain and hardship.

    (If you find this distasteful, you should take issue with Wali khan’s book from which I have quoted it)

    But in so far as khan bros’ activities is concerned, to slightly modify ghani khan’s famous offensive statement:

    The problem with pathans is that there is always a Bacha Khan in every family who would rather burn down the house than let his brother have it.

    (Again if you have a problem with this statement consult Ghani Khan’s book on Pathans).

  32. YLH

    PS. PPP is not Pakhtun nationalist. It is a federal party. A vote for PPP is a vote for Pakistani nationalism and federalism. The 50 odd seats that PPP + PML-n + PPP sb + PML Q got shows that even today the Pushtuns are reaffirming the referedum of 1947.

    Your comment describing PPP NWFP as Pushtoon nationalist is simply indicative of your inability to defend ANP on its ground and drag PPP in it.

    My use of the word tribal is in the broad sense. ANP’s politics is as biradari based as the Chaudhries of Gujrat really.

  33. YLH

    And also Korejo’s book was the first book on Bacha Khan I read.

  34. zak

    2: Again changing the goal posts..there were no major Khans or feudals in the KK, the point about the KK being multi ethnic is another issue altogether. Nishtar and Qayyum are to use your choice of words (token leaders).

    4: So why did Mian Iftikharuddin unanimously support Ghaffar as the Azad partys head? Unless you are accusing him of particpating in a PML-Q style election?

    In the space of the ANP’s 20 + years in it’s had 4 presidents 2 of whom are not from the Khans family. I’d be interested to hear why you think the ANP is racist. Wali Khan was definitely not ..again I refer you to Hamid Khans book.

    As far as belated allegiances are concerned, much the same can be said about Jinnahs change from the Congress to League and belated interest in Pakistan or better yet Qayyum or even ZABs conversion to the democratic cause after being previously loyal to another cause. Peoples views change with time, your own evolution from Imran Khan supporter to PPPliya to kalacoat activist is proof of that..while those comparisons may offend your sensibilities they are just facts of life.

    With reference to Achakzai, I’ve never said the Khan family was perfect or incapable of mistakes..

    The PPP in NWFP is very provincial in it’s outlook ,it’s a supporter of the renaming..preferring pakhtunistan actually..and a passionate opponent of Kalabagh dam. All very parochial by your definition. While the PPP sind is even more hardline on provincial issues. If you’d like references again as always I can provide them..

  35. YLH

    Dear Zak,

    I see that you have ignored altogether the main issue under discussion and are sticking to incidentals which you’ve tried to counter with irrelevant points.

    So here are my responses:

    2. No one is changing goal posts. The Frontier Muslim League (unlike you I am not going to nit pick about PML etc like you did with khaarian whatever that was supposed to prove) represented the hindko, hazara, seraiki speakers and kashmiris- most of whom were not feudal or tribal. Like I pointed out that if notable khans joined the League in those days it does not take away from the multi-ethnic non-feudal element in the League. Your argument is – I’ll say it for the 10th time- akin to saying that the Unionists were not feudal because feudals in the closing stages joined the League. Needless to say it is a bankrupt argument. And token leaders don’t become Chief Ministers real leaders do. Similarly Nishtar’s importance in the Pakistan movement is enough to take the wind out of your argument.

    4. Mian Iftikharrudin was an old acquaintance of Bacha Khan from the former’s Congress days. He was trying to form a left-oriented pakistani opposition and he might have assumed that Bacha Khan was suitable. Iftikharrudin was no God. Pertinent to our discussion did Iftikharuddin quit his cabinet post when the khan ministry was dismissed ? Oh no he didn’t… I wonder why? And how does one person unanimously support someone else? I fail to see the relevance of your argument honestly.

    As for racist, I did not use the word racist in the sense that Gandhi was racist in South Africa but that ANP is very race conscious. But that is – unfortunately- a common Pushtun problem which even Islam has failed to counter despite the tall claims of its adherents.

    I am afraid I don’t get your Jinnah or Bhutto comment. No one is saying people can’t change their mind. My point was that Bacha Khan could have taken the oath of allegiance in July and spared everyone a lot of heartache…not to mention that he could have played the role of a bridge builder between Jinnah and the Congress.

    I’d rather leave my own life out of this. Suffice to say that my family has been in the PPP since the 1970s, I still think Imran Khan is the most honest politician in the country and I am a kala kotia by profession which makes it necessary for me to put forward the legitimate interests of the legal fraternity.

    Finally PPP’s support for Pukhtoonkhwa and anti-kalabagh efforts in NWFP are consisten with main PPP’s stance that federation is strong when the provinces are strong and that provincial demands must be met.

    However it is ANP which has made these parochial issues a provincial demand. So there is a difference. Refer to my three concepts of nationalism post above.

  36. YLH

    PS: Anwar Saifullah is not necessarily PPP and vice versa.

  37. zak

    Dear YLH,

    The side tracking is simply because of the assumptions you have made from what is as I said a well researched piece.

    2: Again sweeping assumptions, you’ve assumed that because someone is from hazara or a seraiki speaker in NWFP they are automatically non tribal/feudal? The Unionist argument makes no sense, because as for the 10th time it is mentioned by the writers previously mentioned, the frontier Muslim league was dominated by feudals from day one. The KK/provincial Congress was anti feudal in it’s legislative and administrative reforms.

    4: It seems we have moved on from the ANP/KK/Khan brothers are racist to all Pashtuns being “race conscious”. I suppose thats an improvement since that lumps in people like Nishtar in it as well!

    With reference to your comment about changing ones mind, you have now placed in arbitrary date on which a person becomes a “stupid person or a smart one” to paraphrase Wali khans statement. Why july 1947 why not jan ’47? Why did ZAB go against Ayub in 66 why not in 64 when Fatima Jinnah was contesting? Why didn’t Jinnah join the League earlier?

    ANP’s argument for provincial rights is actually far more federal oriented than other “parochial parties” . In fact if the agenda put forward by ghaffar from 1948 onwards, provincial rights..negotiation with India instead of war, had been allowed to be implemented, Pakistan might have avoided 1971 and the countless other insurgencies that have happened in between. The PPP’s stance (along with other mainstream parties) now pro-provincial rights shows that the agenda that was advanced by the Khan family and it’s various associated political parties was in fact well ahead of it’s time.

  38. YLH

    2. I don’t agree with that assessment and I have explained why. Now we are being repetitive.

    4. I haven’t heard or read anything about Nishtar which makes him race conscious.

    July 1947 is not arbitrary. When did the referendum happen?

    As for your other questions :

    Bhutto was a crass opportunist.

    Jinnah joined League the day it committed itself to self rule for India.

    Again you’ve missed the essential basic issue: it is indeed very progressive of a federal party to champion provincial rights and give breathing room to all parties- including parochial ones. However that doesn’t make parochial concerns “ahead of time”. Let us be clear about this- parochial pushtun identity is primeval.


  39. YLH

    PS: This by no means does not mean that one is unmindful of the unsavoury characters that were associated with the Frontier Muslim League … especially those who had formed a ministry in 1945 …. but these people were being used by the Governor who had expressly told them to keep Jinnah and Pakistan away from the Frontier.

    Frontier Muslim League was in shambles but that is not the discussion here.

  40. Pingback: Referendum and the Pakhtunistan demand - Pakistan Defence Forum