The “Failed State” Syndrome

Daily Times Editorial

An American journal has compiled a list of 177 states with a descending order of viability in the modern world; and Pakistan is in the top ten “failed states”. There is only a marginal improvement in status as the last time the list appeared Pakistan was 9th on it. The other “top-notchers” are: Somalia, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Central African Republic and Guinea. The journal ranks states on the basis of the following factors: demographic pressure, refugees/internally displaced persons (IDPs), group grievance, uneven development, economic decline, de-legitimisation of the state, public service, human rights, factionalised elites and external intervention.

To sprinkle salt on the Pakistani wounds, India is 87th on the list with its neighbours all doing badly: Sri Lanka is placed 12th, Bangladesh 19th and Nepal 25th. The rubrics under which states are given their marks tend to exclude any subjective feeling about the state. Therefore, the disorder in Nepal has come out looking less dangerous in 25th place. Sri Lanka must have improved its standing after the defeat of the LTTE uprising; and one imagines that the recent development of a national consensus against the forces of chaos in Pakistan must have pushed it down a notch from the more seriously endangered place it occupied last year.

There was a time when we all rejected the category of “failed state” when it began to be applied to Pakistan in the late 1990s, especially after the testing of the nuclear device which we thought should have given us the status of a non-failing state together with India. Today the new list puts off but also gives pause. We ourselves have been assessing our chances conservatively, saying things close to despair, until the country decided to take on the Taliban instead of kowtowing to them in an unprecedented collapse of collective will. Our economy is in a bad shape, which it wasn’t in the first five years of the 2000s; and they don’t give positive marks for being in the oxygen tent of the IMF.

Out of the ten “failed states” at the top, half are Muslim states. One wonders why Yemen is not the 6th country because the state is rapidly breaking down there with Al Qaeda support growing and a sectarian war gathering momentum by the day. It should be noted that in all the five states the presence of Al Qaeda is common: in Iraq, Al Qaeda is involved in the Sunni-Shia conflict that kills a large number of people every month. In Somalia and Sudan, Al Qaeda has a large footprint. Pakistani troops serving the UN in Somalia in 1993 were ambushed and killed by Al Qaeda terrorists then supporting the local warlord Farah Eidid. (A Somali militia today contains Pakistani fighters serving Al Qaeda.) It was located in Sudan before Osama bin Laden decided to return to Afghanistan in 1996.

Looking from Pakistan, Al Qaeda seems to be ensconced inside Afghanistan, most probably in the province of Khost. Looking from Afghanistan, it seems hiding somewhere in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) although its operatives have been arrested from all the major cities of Pakistan in the past. In the middle of these two observation points, it is safe to say that Al Qaeda is on the Pak-Afghan border even though the border is just a line and Al Qaeda can’t stay perched on the line. What is meant is that it could be anywhere in Pakistan and/or Afghanistan. It is a kind of virus that makes “internal sovereignty” and territorial control vanish from the state. Joined at the hip with the Taliban, it extends the “ungoverned space” far into the non-tribal areas.

We attract lethal categories too: we have the world’s largest refugee population; and there is “group conflict” in many parts, led by Karachi, where we don’t know who is killing whom. The state lacks legitimacy because of the “incomplete” enforcement of sharia, especially riba, and the marufaat side of the sharia like not punishing people for not saying their namaz and not keeping beards, etc. Other factors of viability like population control and education — both achieved by Iran despite clerical domination — are also absent here. But if there is a hope quotient, Pakistan is more upbeat about survival than it was six months ago. That should count as something.

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127 Comments

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127 responses to “The “Failed State” Syndrome

  1. Introspection, eh? So when half of the top ten failed states are Muslim, the operative word we should look to examine is Muslim. Try a bit of reductionism to understand the unstated implication: For Muslim states say Islamic states; for Islamic say Islam. Ah, but which Islam, for there are many. There is the Suderi Islam, the one that owns half the mosques and imams, khateebs and muezzins of the world; that is also the Islam of Abdul Wahhab; now go to the one bequeathed by Deoband; and farther east another by Bareilli; and in the ToraBora mountains the Islam of the Suicide Bomber-in-chief and Mahdi-in-waiting; don’t forget the Atna-ashari Islam the one that some Sunni zealots call Fitna-aashri; and the one left behind by Khomeini; in his homeland they even have a Bazari Islam now in conflict with his legatees; heere at home we have the Islam of the Ahl-i-Hadees and one of the Ahl-i–Quraan; the Islam of the 13 Imamwalas; the Aga Khanis who do nicely without the holy adjective and the splinter group that owns the Bohri bazar. I could go on and I haven’t even mentioned the outlawed Islam of Rabwa and the Lahori school. I could go on if only someone somewhere produces the guts to speak the truth. And truthfully speaking the basic problem is not of a failed state but of a failed religion.

  2. Uper the gur gur the annexe

    Raza Rumi(editor),you seemed to sound very moderate in your news international column the other day.It is therefore rather strange that you deleted my rather innocuous comment.Besides,you had the temerity to delete my another post that did not contain anything argumentative.The comment policy at the header of this blog clearly does not mention that the editor /moderator cannot bear anything written against his great nation.THE REAL PAKTEAHOUSE AS I KNOW WAS A PLACE WHERE ARTISTES AND COMMENTATORS FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE WERE WELCOMED AND THEIR OPINIONS TOLERATED.It is therefore pathetuc that with such draconian comment policy,you are doing a great disservice to the proud name of the original Pak Tea House. The name Chinky Tea House will suityou better.Good Bye . Your blog has just lost its place in my rss feeds section.

  3. A

    You are funny Raza. You deleted my comments (2) and now this funny post on my behalf (sock puppy ) marked from ‘Uper the ..’ . But thanks anyway. That’s what i also wanted to say.

  4. A

    and i can sleep in peace today knowing you are churning in your chair to come with an argument to my second comment (now deleted)

  5. pakistan is very much a failed state since its creation.

    1-its politicians delayed constitution making right from 1947 because the bengali majority would have removed the minority UP/punjabi pashtun domination.
    2-hindus were pressurised into separate electorates in east bengal spearheaded by punjabi politicians because once separate electorates were enforced it would be easier to coerce the hindus.interestingly and ironically the east bengal hindus a brilliant lot wanted joint electorates.this was done by politicians and not the army although the army generals were also major culprits.
    3-jinnah by demand retained schedule 9 0r schedule 6 in 1935 act on transfer of power which allowed the governor general to dissolve the assembly.nehru made sure that this was removed.the article thanks to jinnahs faux pas was used by GM to dissolve the assembly in 1954.
    4-the bengalis were coerced into accepting parity spearheaded by punjabi politicians.
    5-one unit was imposed in 1955-56 thus destroying all provincial autonomy and the spirit of 1940 resolution.
    6-pashtuns were manipulated as cheap cannonfodder from 1947 till 2001 in kashmir,afghanistan etc.when they were stabbed in the back in 2001 to get US aid and now that they are in rebellion it is being stated that they are agents of india,agents of jews and agengts of USA.

    only the army,the intelligence and a few hundred families are keeping the country together.

    armed insurrections are now finally challenging the army and balkanisation will start spread over a period of 5 to 15 years.

    this is not pessismism but a simple analyis of consequences.

  6. yasserlatifhamdani

    Agha sb,

    While I take your word as gospel in all military matters, as a student of constitutional history I cann0t agree with your comments here 2 and 3.

    2 is historically inaccurate. Pakistan has implemented joint electorates in Pakistan. The Punjabi politicians (the feudal class i.e. Noons, Gurmanis etc) had joined the Republican Party, a creature of the establishment. The establishment infact was targetting the Muslim League in the West and a section of the Muslim League, sitting in the opposition, had raised the issue of separate electorates again (arguing inaccurately ofcourse that separate electorates were sin qua non for Pakistan’s ideology). At no point were separate electorates imposed on any minority… till the period 1978-2001 … when a distorted version of the concept was imposed in the name of Islam. In this whole thing the Republican Party, dominated by Punjabis and Pushtuns , supported the Joint electorate.

    3. is also historically inaccurate. First of all, it was section 93 of the Government of India Act 1935 that gave the GG the power to dismiss state assemblies (not constituent or central mind you)… which Jinnah got abrogated (Read Page 62 – A History of Pakistan Christrophe Jaffrelot, Gillian Beaumont). The criticism that is levelled against Jinnah has never been that he retained this section. Jinnah was much more opposed to section 93 than even Nehru.
    The criticism levelled against Jinnah is that he advised the provincial governor in NWFP under section 51(5) to dismiss the “ministry” not the assembly and appoint a premier (CM) in its place which would have till the budget session of 1948 to show its majority .

    I also believe that while Jinnah had section 93 removed, Nehru might have retained it. So it might actually be exactly the opposite of what you are saying sir.

    Also Section 9 of IOIA 1947 (the Powers of Governor General) was very much part of the Indian version as well. Nehru did not have it removed either. Nor did it envisage that GG would have the power to dismiss the constituent assembly. Infact Nehru removed his fair share of state governments. Ghulam Muhammad’s dismissal of the Constituent Assembly had nothing to do with section 9 or any schedule per se. It certainly was not under any section 93.

    The reason I think Nehru may have retained section 93 is because section 93 continues to be the part of the Indian constitution in another form. Indian central government can dismiss the state assembly and impose governor rule… Pakistan’s constitutions of 1956 and 1962 did not have these provisions as far as I know. It was the constitution of 1973 that has the provision of dismissal of provincial assemblies and this was borrowed from the Indian Constitution of 1950.

    Pakistan’s constitutional theory has been based on residuary powers lying with the provinces and with the absence of Section 93 there was no question of it coming indigenously. Therefore it is quite reasonable to assume that ZAB re-introduced the dreaded section 93 in Pakistan i.e. Article 234 of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973.

    As for the rest – I don’t think there is going to be balkanization and I don’t share your pessimism even in form of analysis.

  7. yasserlatifhamdani

    The issue of Ghulam Muhammad exercising something that did not exist… the correct legal position is of the Sindh High Court and that of Justice Cornelius (dissenting) in Maulvi Tamizuddin case.

    Beyond dismissal of state assemblies under section 93 (which Jinnah had removed from the Pakistani variant) GG did not have the power to remove any elected assembly… let alone the CA.

  8. yasserlatifhamdani

    Also I was correct in assumin that Nehru retained Section 93 of the GOIA 1935

    “Article 356 is almost a word-for-word reproduction of Section 93 of …
    the founding fathers of our Constitution chose to follow Section 93”

    (President’s Rule in Indian States: (a Study of Punjab)‎ – Page 15 by Subhash Chander Arora

  9. bonobashi

    @YLH

    I think there is time to turn the ship of state around, just barely enough time. But it means taking a cold hard look at things as they are, and determining to do everything that needs to be done, cold-bloodedly and without being swayed by emotion or by false pride.

    I have a challenge for you, and the Pakistani readers of PTH:

    1. We all of us, Pakistanis, others, believe in Pakistan; we believe that the country will continue and not break into pieces and disappear; we believe that the people of this country will work out their own salvation, and with the goodwill of its natural neighbours, Iran, Afghanistan and India, and on the seaward side, the UAE, Kuwait, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and the other countries: Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Yemen, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, and Egypt and even Israel, it will grow and prosper;
    2. It is clear that as it is today, there are grave difficulties and dangers ahead; some changes are needed, some urgently, some after due deliberation;
    3. A place must be found for the Army, Air Force and Navy in the state, as they have already come to the centre of national affairs, and asking 700,000 armed men to march off into the sunset will make the job of moving ahead rather difficult – about 700,000 times more difficult; for purely defensive purposes, the possibility of putting more investment into the Air Force and Navy and drawing down the Army correspondingly might be taken up for consideration;
    4. Religious hatred and sectarian differences needs to be taken out of the body politic; people should not die because of their faith;
    5. Foreign funding for the purpose of propagating religious factionalism or religious instruction outside the control of the state ought to be regulated and brought strictly under government control;
    6. The education system should be overhauled, detoxified and reinstalled, to ensure that every child is covered until a suitable age, perhaps 16; likewise the health care system, to cover all Pakistani citizens between life and death;
    7. The Pakhtun issue should be taken up with the Pakhtuns, with Afghanistan and the other states of Pakistan, and a settlement arrived at, along with a settlement of the borders with Afghanistan.

    This is enough; everything else can be solved if these are addressed and achieved.

    The challenge is: would the readers – Pakistani readers only, please – write to you with their ideas, in point form, of what the New Pakistan should look like?
    My request is that you should put in your own choices last, in order not to crush debate by offering options which are so obvious that nobody is interested in further discussions.

    Once all the responses are in, within a certain date, you or a panel selected by you, only of Pakistani citizens, should summarise the results, indicating the weight of any particular idea in terms of number of references to it, and present it to the forum as a blueprint for Pakistan.

    It is not enough to hope for the best, in a pious frame of mind; nor is it enough to make mincemeat of possible worst-case scenarios. A positive alternative is needed, which takes present difficulties as they are and works around them, or even through them, seeking solutions which eliminate these difficulties.

    We have been privileged to sit through brilliant debates on the founding philosophy of Pakistan, on the concepts, on the composition of the citizens who sought Pakistan, and of the consequences of the first eleven years. Some of us have even been privileged to be allowed to join these debates. But is there enough intellectual energy not just to pick at the scabs of the past but to create a vibrant, muscular country for the future?

    Do you think that there are enough committed citizens, who think about these things and care enough to put their thinking into what they wish to see? We can see that you care; how many others are there? Enough to make a difference?

  10. Karaya

    YLH,

    Also I was correct in assumin that Nehru retained Section 93 of the GOIA 1935

    Without a doubt, the greatest sin the man has committed post-1947. Nehru (and most of the Congress leadership, for that matter) was largely a democrat when democracy helped him or did not threaten him.

    The criticism levelled against Jinnah is that he advised the provincial governor in NWFP under section 51(5) to dismiss the “ministry” not the assembly and appoint a premier (CM) in its place which would have till the budget session of 1948 to show its majority .

    I have little knowledge of the actual contents of section 51 (5) but would just dismissing the NWFP ministry without placing any curbs on the NWFP assembly be of any use? If the assembly were still functioning wouldn’t this new ministry (installed by Jinnah) have to depend on the NWFP assembly for its survival? How could Jinnah dictate any time frame (budget session of 1948) to NWFP’s assembly ? What stopped the assembly from expressing that they had lost confidence in this ministry before this? India’s Art 356, for example, allows the Union Government to dismiss a state Govt. and place the assembly under suspended animation. While Article 356 is applicable in a state, the state government (run by the Governor) does not have to answer to or contend with a state assembly.

    Also, I believe, these are the words you refer to from A History of Pakistan and Its Origins: “Certainly he did abrogate Art. 93 of the GOI Act (1935) which gave the viceroy the right to dismiss a regional govt. but he achieved the same result by invoking Art 51(5), under the terms of which provincial governors were under the authority of the gov-gen , who equally had the right to dismiss govts of their constituency ” (italics mine)

    A.H. Amin,

    armed insurrections are now finally challenging the army and balkanisation will start spread over a period of 5 to 15 years.

    I highly doubt that this would happen, especially in the time spans you mention. Pak’s FP ranking is, to put it mildly, exaggerated. I wonder how India could be 77 places below Pak when armed Maoists, who are committed to seeing the State being toppled, literally control tens of districts in India’s eastern states.

  11. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Karaya,

    My response was to Mr. A H Amin’s statement which I felt was inverted historically.

    The reference to Budget Session was because I believe that was the only time the assembly had to be convened under the existing rules of business. This was mentioned in a meeting of the Viceroy and the future governor general, prime minister and the Cabinet of Pakistan in early August. They had gotten together to consider how to deal with Dr Khan Sahib’s ministry. I have discussed it here : https://pakteahouse.wordpress.com/2008/07/11/nwfp-history-the-dismissal-of-the-khan-ministry-and-its-aftermath-part-3/

    The quote from Jinnah papers IV Appendix IV.1 page 435 is :

    “Mr. Jinnah said he did not consider it desirable to dissolve the legislative assembly. It was not necessary that this assembly should be called together untill the Budget session in March”

    You are correct that the new ministry had to be responsible to the assembly and Abdul Qayyum Khan apparently felt confident that once asked by the Governor to form a ministry, he would be able to sway enough people in the assembly to form the government given the legendary South Asian penchant for floor-crossing… which is what happened. A less than ideal solution but I would imagine a bit better than section 93 …

    So the effect might have been same for Christophe Jaffrelot … but it certainly negates the view provided above by A H Amin sahab… for that purpose the two are quite different.

  12. mr hamdani

    while you might be a great fan of jinnah the fact remains that jinnah by desire retained the sections 9 and 10 allowing the GG to dismiss the assembly.

    this point has been covered in great detail in allan mc graths book destruction of democracy in pakistan.

    i will quote more exact references in due course.

    as far as separate electorates are concerned the west pakistani politicians both muslim league and republican voted for a resolution against it in west pakistan assembly .those who opposed this black resolution were GM Sayyed and some ten hindu MLAs.

    according to the muslim league of that time anyone against separate electorates was a traitor to islam.

    the idea was to lump the hindus in one group as minorities so that the intelligence agencies, west pakistani controlled could coerce the bengali hindus more easily.

  13. while india has successfully battled counter insurgency pakistan is far ahead.the creation of bangladesh in 1971 proves this.

    presently the use of aircrafts and gunship helicopters in NWFP is something which india has never done in kashmir.

    and we should not forget that aircrafts and gunships were indiscriminately used in balochistan in 1973-76.

    essentially the USA needs the cheap pakistani army.good mercenaries of british since 1857 and now of the americans.its a strange country where the army is used against its own population in three out of four provinces.pathetic.

    ponder for a moment that if this insurgency in FATA is foreign sponsored and supported so was the afghan war of 1978-2001.so if islamabad can plan destruction of kabul at leisure but if marriot or nawankot police is attacked yiu start squealing.

  14. yasserlatifhamdani

    Major sb,

    Could you quote Section 9 and Section 10 where you feel it empowers the Governor General to “dissolve” the assembly and how the version adopted by India was different ? I’ve read Allan McGrath’s book and clearly the version I read was quite different from yours.

    The point I made about joint electorates is something you’ve not comprehended unfortunately. 1956 Constitution and the electorate envisaged under it was joint. West Pakistan Assembly’s vote that you refer to was in respect to adoption of the separate electorates for west Pakistan.. so there was no imposition of separate electorates on East Pakistan as you alleged earlier.

    By 1957, most of the Muslim League had dissipated… the biggest proponent of joint electorates was Suhrawardy … another one was Feroze Khan Noon. Both were famous ex-Muslim Leaguers. So you are right that those who still remained in the League did take that line because Muslim League was all but dead and they needed a slogan to remain relevant…

  15. yasserlatifhamdani

    On the political alignment along the issue of joint and separate electorates, you should read the Urdu essays of the leftist historian Sibte-Hassan.

  16. bonobashi

    @pavocavalry

    In extension of your observations, it does seem that the Pakistan Army has had a blind spot with regard to irregular forces. Considering that it had a record of successfully using irregular forces as force multipliers, a technique it obviously picked up from the British use of local people to police the frontiers, this was a natural development, or perhaps the phrase I am groping for is that this was a natural handicap.

    In 48, the use of irregulars was supervised by an Army officer of high rank, Major General Akbar Khan. In 65, it was not strictly speaking irregulars, but SSG personnel dressed as irregulars, and seeking to achieve the same effects. In 71, the technique failed, and I am not quite sure why. Perhaps the Razakars and Al Badr and Al Shams gangs were not able to cow down the native Bengali population. Perhaps there was too much stick and little or no carrot in the mix offered to the Bengalis after 25th March.

    The perfection and full use of this method of course came during the Afghan wars against the Soviet occupation. First, with their supported groups of mujahedin, later, after the Soviet departure, with the Taliban, the Pakistan Army showed that it could take and polish this method to a fine degree of refinement and practicality. Simultaneously, the uprising of frustrated people in Kashmir gave another opportunity for the use of irregular forces as an extension of state power, once it became apparent that the JKLF and other ‘native’ Kashmiri forces were not as effective as imported irregulars from the alphabet soup that was put up expressly for the purposes of fighting this war.

    The point is that the Pakistan Army never had to deal with irregulars as opponents, always as allies or as extensions of their regular forces. There was never any incentive to develop any defences against such troops. Such a possibility doesn’t seem to have existed in the Army’s doctrines. This was a force multiplier because it allowed the regular Army to concentrate on building an efficient mobile army capable of fighting very hard in the plains of the Punjab or the deserts of Rajasthan, or, considering its SSG formations and their special training, in the high mountains. The situation was very convenient, so long as the irregulars were under the control of the PA; to use the famous words of the general responding to General Musharraf in the taped conversation during the Kargil incident, the Pakistan Army considered that ‘the scruff of their necks is in our hands’.

    On the other hand, for rather sad reasons, the Indian Army became expert in counter-insurgency, because of the three major insurgencies in three major geographies that India faced in its history, in the North-East, where there are 34 identified insurgent or dissident movements active in some sense or the other; in the central states of Jhaarkhand, Chhatisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, with parts of Orissa, Maharashtra and Bihar, and now West Bengal, under Maoist pressure; and of course in the Vale of Kashmir, from roughly 1984 onwards.

    As you have pointed out, it was an early and very strictly enforced rule of engagement that counter-insurgency operations were to use only small arms and even machine guns were banned until recently, from the Maoist belt; they were in use in the North-East and in Kashmir. It was considered a harsh and repressive measure when the Eastern Frontier Rifles, the EFR, the predecessors of the EPR, who stayed on in India as an independent para-military force, first used rifles instead of police-issue muskets! The use of artillery and air strikes is frankly amazing; we see pictures of tanks in operation and are frankly puzzled. What does the Army think it’s doing?

    The conclusion is that because irregular forces were always the allies, never the enemy for the Pakistan Army, it never had to develop skills in counter-insurgency. Strong statements from the Army Chief stating that the forces are sufficiently trained in counter-insurgency and no outside help is required ring quite hollow in the light of what we have been watching on our TV screens and reading in our newspapers.

    In the light of this, it does seem time for the Army doctrinaires to re-examine what they have been doing, and create the kind of para-military forces that have proved successful. The clues are entirely in their hands; the extensive use of Guides and Scouts – there is one for each agency in the FATA, I understand – is well understood and well documented. Such forces just needs strengthening with elements from other provinces to rid themselves of local pulls and pressures, which is what is holding them back now. But only thorough re-thinking and swift action to re-format the forces will serve today; the situation is already far advanced, and while there is no end to be served by panicking, there is just enough time for deliberate and cool action.

  17. the problem in FATA is that initially the pakistani military junta used the pashtuns to destroy afghanistan from 1978 to 2001.encouraged factions to fight each other.set up the taliban in 1994,the taliban being a sponsored group.and finally betrayed the taliban in 2001 under US arm twisting and some tofees as US aid.all this seveely reduced pakistani states credibility in FATA and in Afghanistan.Later musharraf launched the army in waziristan in 2002 without sufficient grounds.

    afghanistan destroyed in 1978-2001 and FATA in 2002-2009 , bombed by americans and pakistanis,and you expect the tribals not to attack lahore while kabul was reduced to rubbles.

    this is a strange logic.and pakistans military and political rulers encouraged war in afghanistan from 1978 till 2001 and now when pakistan is facing the same situation they call it Indian interference is absolute b___t.

  18. the situation is that my copy of allan mac graths book is with CJ Sajjad Ali Shah.However the issue of jinnah retaining GG powers to dissolve the constituent assembly is discussed in detail by allan mc grath.

  19. hayyer48

    The discussion has veered from ‘failed state’ to political manipulation.

    Bonobashi: “3. A place must be found for the Army, Air Force and Navy in the state, as they have already come to the centre of national affairs, and asking 700,000 armed men to march off into the sunset will make the job of moving ahead rather difficult – about 700,000 times more difficult; for purely defensive purposes, the possibility of putting more investment into the Air Force and Navy and drawing down the Army correspondingly might be taken up for consideration;” Are you serious?

    Failed state is a category, just as state is a category. The attributes or factors forming that category are self defined and therefore meaningless. If the state as defined fails to meet certain standards, it does not fall apart and should be in no danger of doing so. Somalia hasn’t broken up yet despite its failings and I would like to see the journal that made the list trying to make North Korea fail. The western world which feels threatened is bound to arrive at some compromise with it just as it is making do with Afghanistan. Nothing much to worry about categorization, there are more important things to worry about.

    Nehru was sensible. He tried along with Patel to run India as an empire in the British style. It is the only way. The history of modern India is the history of central empowerment and constitutional emasculation.
    YLH mentions Jinnah’s problem with Dr. Khan Sahib. He had him dismissed nevertheless. I find it hard to understand the need for this central power. How can an elected government be allowed to lose office except by being voted out no matter how invidious its policies. Dismissal by the Governor under Art. 356 as in India or by gubernatorial discretion as in the NWFP amount to the same thing in practice. It is imposing the central will. In India if Parliament is not empowered to act for the states in certain matters it should not be allowed to legislate for them in budgetary matters and in government formation as it does sometimes when elected governments are dismissed.

    If Pakistan does not meet certain western categories, so what?. Half the world doesn’t and gets along nevertheless. It is for the people of the so called fail(ed)ing states to move ahead without being stampeded into a defile.

  20. Karaya

    Hayyer 48,

    If “Nehru was sensible” and to “run India as an empire in the British style” was the “only way” then why do you find Jinnah’s need for central power “hard to understand”?

  21. bonobashi

    @hayyer48

    The discussion has fragmented into several different sub-sections, so each post really deserves separate treatment.

    I would like to start by defending my proposals. You were concerned with my proposal:

    ““3. A place must be found for the Army, Air Force and Navy in the state, as they have already come to the centre of national affairs, and asking 700,000 armed men to march off into the sunset will make the job of moving ahead rather difficult – about 700,000 times more difficult; for purely defensive purposes, the possibility of putting more investment into the Air Force and Navy and drawing down the Army correspondingly might be taken up for consideration;” Are you serious?”

    Good heavens, why not? could you tell me what in this seemed facetious to you?

  22. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Major sb,

    This is not fair. You keep repeating this without answering the question. What part of section 9 or 10 or any other section of the Independence of India Act or the Government of India Act empowered the GG to dissolve the Constituent Assembly and how was it adopted differently in India ?

    You keep referring to “Destruction of pakistan’s democracy” a book I read a long time back but clearly my reading was very different from yours. It is my understanding that what McGrath wrote was a critique of a manner of Jinnah’s usage of 51(5) itself which according to him was unprecedented and expanded GG’s powers unconstitutionally… a bad precedent that was followed by Ghulam Muhammad when expanding a completely different set of powers(I have my reasons to disagree with even this analysis but this is substantially different from what you are claiming).

    To the best of my knowledge however Allen McGrath does not speak of GG’s powers to dismiss the Constituent Assembly. The correct legal position- as I said above- was the one given Sindh High Court and then the dissenting view of Justice Cornelius. There was absolutely nothing in Pakistani variant of the GOIA 1935 that empowered GG to dismiss the CA any more than what was contained in Indian variant… Infact the Indian variant had retained Section 93.

    So isn’t it better to find out what it is in the GOIA or the IOIA that “empowered” the GG to dissolve the CA instead of dropping big names like Allen McGrath and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah? The only power I know of is to dissolve provincial legislatures in section 93 which Jinnah gave up and Nehru didn’t.

    Hayyer,

    The rationale- political, constitutional and conventional- behind the dismissal of Khan sb’s ministry is discussed in the link I gave. This discussion will go into so many tangents but you are welcome to read my article “NWFP History Part III: Dismissal of Khan Ministry and the aftermath” to see my view. It is also a fact that logically the said ministry should have been dissolved before 14th August but thats where Lord M decided to create problems for Jinnah. Section 93 and Section 51(5) were not similar because the latter only dismissed the Chief Minister and not the assembly… and in my opinion Jinnah was forced to use 51(5) (see link) … his abrogation of Section 93 shows clear intent of moving away from the colonial model of centralization.

  23. yasserlatifhamdani

    Also… 24th April 1957 … National Assembly of Pakistan passed the representation act in which Joint electorates were to apply all over Pakistan.

  24. Gorki

    If Pakistan does not meet certain western categories, so what?. Half the world doesn’t and gets along nevertheless. It is for the people of the so called fail(ed)ing states to move ahead without being stampeded into a defile.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Now I am confused.

    In another post you very eloquently mentioned that terms ‘modern’ and ‘post modern’ should strictly apply to the west since you felt that only it had modernized or progressed (while the rest stood still) which you mentioned was a result of better organizational skills.

    Now you imply that half the world is doing fine (and moving ahead?) out side the western model.
    Which is it?

  25. V.S.

    @pavocavalry,presently the use of aircrafts and gunship helicopters in NWFP is something which india has never done in kashmir.—————————————————————————–

    But Major Amin,India did launch an aerial operation against the naga rebels in the early 1950’s and i hope you are not forgetting the extremely harsh measures that the GOI used aginst khalistani terrorists in the early 1990’s– where many fake encounters were carried out ,and justice denied to many victims families but i guess it has all paid out in the long run. otherwise If pakistan had contributed a bit more in the unrest ,i am sure khalistan would have been a reality today.

    ————-

    Asides:
    pavocavalry, this is a young(freshman) medical student from dilli,since you were gettin’ many accolades here at pth i googled your name and read quite a few of your articles .I really liked the interviews you have published especially your interview with group captain cecil chaudhary which was published on chowk.com . I am looking forward to reading your accounts of the history of the war of 1971. on your blogs…….I hope we will be seeing more of you here at PAKTEAHOUSE.

    @ylh,while i was reading cecil chaudary’s interview at chowk ,the right hand column showed”interacts by ylh,stuka,ayesha sarwari etcetra ” .I was truly shocked;You were blogging as early as in 2001!And even then,you had the ( keen )habit of quoting from text books(along with their page numbers!).And you were as staunch defender of Pakistan then as you are now. Actually i really appreciate the firmness with which you are holding on to your ideals.(my ideology unlike yours is thodi thodi fungible, which isn’t good)- but then, What i wonder is ;inspite of you having literally grown up at chowk.com, you were still calling it gutter hole /rat hole. Not justified.
    Salaam.

  26. bonobashi

    @ylh

    You’ve heard of a loose cannon? Well, we now have a loose howitzer. Anyway, it’s all your fault (and D_a_n: can’t leave him free of responsibility; just one airstrike would have done the trick). I wash my hands of Com. Sethi. At least he isn’t abusive or anything, and is writing politely, even with sense, and is using his proper initials. Let’s look at that as progress and overlook the gush.

    Now please excuse me while I go and jump off the 29th floor.

  27. hayyer48

    Karaya:
    Nehru was sensible because the only India that ever existed was the imperial British one. The only way to run it (in the absence of an idea of India) was with an army, an all India civil and police service and the IB.
    What the constitution promised even with its quasi federal character was too much for Nehru’s nerves. After the first flush of happiness wore off those ‘fissiparous tendencies’ were bound to assert themselves. The imperial model held it all together while an idea of the kind of India acceptable to all Indians formed and established. Such an acceptance has now established I think, and so the need for the centre to let go rather than further aggrandize, as it keeps doing.

    Jinnah’s dismissal of the NWFP ministry I always felt was driven by pique. I shall go through YLH’s piece and educate myself of the reasons. Perhaps the Khan brothers were working out a Pakhtunkhwa model. The need for central power to dismiss governments under Section 93 under the old GOI Act and under Art 356 of the Indian constitution makes sense only in the imperial context. The satraps behave or they are removed. But Jinnah was not in favour of Section 93. As YLH says, he wanted to move away from the colonial model.

    The institution of the governor in India is a symbol of the dynamic tension and distrust of federal institutions and state power. The implication is that states cannot be trusted to exercise their authority wisely and the centre can be trusted to intervene in the interest of law, order, unity and general well being. I dispute this assumption. India stays together because it wants to stay together not because it is held together. If parts wanted to slip off it would be impossible to hold them. Nagaland and Kashmir are difficult enough. Imagine Tamil Nadu taking up arms! Jinnah was in favour of a weak centre for India but a strong centre for Pakistan. One can only speculate how he would have worked it out had he lived.

    Bonobashi:
    The military seeks a permanent role in Pakistan’s affairs. It is the army specifically that plays the role of guardian and laid down its ideology. Civilian leaders in Pakistan are trying to move Pakistan away from that discourse I presume. If the relationship with India improves substantially the role of the military would wind down.

    If I understood you correctly your suggestion is to tone down the Army and reinforce the budgets of the Airforce and Navy so as to keeps expenditure on the military balanced yet lower the army’s potential for interference while keeping the military mind satisfied. The military consumes a far larger portion of the Pakistan budget than its proper share. Unless the Pakistani economy achieves heroic rates of growth it cannot carry the burden of current levels of expenditure indefinitely. And except for military families there must be a large constituency in Pakistan wanting to see a smaller controllable army. The 700000 that you mention ( I presume the figure is authentic) should reduce if there is permanent peace with India. In its absence I don’t see how these numbers can be reduced or manpower and resources diverted to the Airforce and Navy. Now with the war in the west it is even less likely that the Army can allow a smaller call on the national budget.

    Gorki:
    Neither fine nor moving ahead. It is for the so called states to move ahead. I did not say that they are moving ahead.
    Categories are a whole branch of thought. We perceive our world by forming categories, ‘a priori cognition of objects’ as the philosophers would put it. These categories have meanings and they have attributes. Now ‘failed state’ is a category judged by certain objective or subjective impressions formed in the writer’s mind. Non westerns can accept these categories as they are and try and live up to them. Or, as in the Frontier where the category is meaningless, being a sense impression of the journalist if it is an impression at all, people carry on as they have always carried on without knowing that they are failures.

    Modernism and post modernism are western categories. For us objects of study, accepting or adjusting to the orientalist continuum, it is not necessary to respond to western categories unless we have decided to participate in western civilization and political culture, modified to whatever extent by our own perspective. For Pakistan, partly in and partly out, the problem is of a different sort. Army dictatorships are also a western mode. An army dictatorship that sets an Islamic course is an innovation. A Islamic democracy with an ideology set by its army is an even more complex development. Whether all this constitutes a further development of western categories is hard to say, but it certainly enables a proliferation of western scholarship.

  28. Gorki

    Non westerns can accept these categories as they are and try and live up to them. Or, as in the Frontier where the category is meaningless, being a sense impression of the journalist if it is an impression at all, people carry on as they have always carried on without knowing that they are failures.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Hayyer:

    Certainly the people have a right to continue as they may have since times immemorial yet this always remains a risky strategy at the best.

    The from the days of the ancient roman empire onwards more advanced societies sooner or later develop an urge to expand into ‘underdeveloped areas’ out of either security concerns or economic potentials which becomes irresistible over time.

    Thus it is possible that you may be left alone for a while but sooner or later someone like a Commodore Perry (who ‘opened’ Japan) may sail up to your doorstep insisting that you open up and get ‘civilized’.

    The idea of a noble savage may sound romantic from a western viewpoint but ideas like the manifest destiny are bound to get in the way and it does not sound so romantic when one is sitting on the other side of the table.

    Ask the American Indian.

    In fact there is a lesson here; either you join them if you can’t beat them (or till you can beat them; as Japan did to a western Russian navy at Tusima 48 years later) or you will perish like the Red man. Being the competitive species that we homo sapiens are, there is no middle way.

    Thus a failed state is a label that ought to be taken seriously; whether a western construct or not its target certainly runs the risk of becoming a victim to this self fulfilling prophecy.

    On another note:

    Whether all this constitutes a further development of western categories is hard to say, but it certainly enables a proliferation of western scholarship.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    The above comment brings a smile to my lips; you like Bonobashi have an enviable way with words such that your writing is rich with wit yet loaded with meaning. I enjoy it immensly. ;-).

    Regards.

  29. ylh

    Jinnah’s views as an Indian Nationalist were that India should have a strong center. However he could see (and this negates what Major sb was saying on the other board) the strong parochialism of Muslim majority provinces could only be tamed if residuary powers were to lie with the provinces.

    Roundtable conferences prove this line abundantly.

  30. bonobashi

    @Gorki

    We have competition? We are amazed! We will have the matter looked into.

    @hayyer48

    On my reasons for saying what I did about the military, and on your response: not quiet.

    First, the facts:
    Approximately 700,000 personnel are on active duty in the military which is the world’s 7th largest armed force as of 2009.
    Also:
    Army 650,000 528,000
    Navy 34,000 0
    Air Force 65,000 0
    Total about 749,000, which is acceptable, considering that I dragged these figures out of Wikipedia, always an uncertain source of information.

    Second, my reasoning, after your words quoted in full (almost):
    If I understood you correctly your suggestion is to tone down the Army and reinforce the budgets of the Airforce and Navy so as to keeps expenditure on the military balanced yet lower the army’s potential for interference while keeping the military mind satisfied. The military consumes a far larger portion of the Pakistan budget than its proper share. Unless the Pakistani economy achieves heroic rates of growth it cannot carry the burden of current levels of expenditure indefinitely. And except for military families there must be a large constituency in Pakistan wanting to see a smaller controllable army. The 700000* that you mention ( I presume the figure is authentic) should reduce if there is permanent peace with India. In its absence I don’t see how these numbers can be reduced or manpower and resources diverted to the Airforce and Navy. Now with the war in the west it is even less likely that the Army can allow a smaller call on the national budget.

    * Please see above.

    My suggestion was not intended for immediate implementation. That will be impossible. However, the ultimate idea is that if Pakistan primarily wishes to mount a strong defense against India, it needs a strong Air Force and a strong Navy more than a strong Army. A strong Army, strong to the extent that it is today, can be useful only for aggressive action. It is not really needed for defence.

    I can go into this in depth, but it may not be interesting for the reader.

  31. hayyer48

    Gorki and Bonobashi:
    Perry did only good to Japan. It led to the restoration of the Meiji emperor and Japan’s modernization.
    Thanks for the compliment. Bonobashi’s royal self has no cause for alarms; this humble scribe may dare to look up at his eminence but never hope to emulate such style.

  32. the pakistani army will not be reduced because it does not suit the generals.most belong to the rain irrigated areas from whereas dire recruitment is done.

    as far as war in west is concerned the pakistani army will not win this war . at least militarily.the solution is only political.basically the army is fighting a war as directed by its master,the americans.note that the pakistani states remote controls are in the USA.

    note that the same troops,i mean the same ethnic composition were fighting against tribals in 1849-1947 under british officers.there is a political connection here.the punjabi and settled area pashtun muslims were saved by the brits from sikhs.if you study the political history of punjab you see muslims all along britisk to0adies while the most revolutionary movements like the ghadr movement,non cooperation movement were launched and led by sikhs and hindus from punjab.

    the sikhs suffered the most and their majority in fighting arms was reduced from majority in world war one to minority in 1930s.the tribal pashtuns also suffered the same way as mahsud and afridi recruitment was reduced severely after WW One.economically the punjabi muslims benefitted the most from WW One and Two , from creation of pakistan,from afghan war and from war on terror at least between 2001 to 2007.the cost of property sky rocketed in lahore during this time.

    as far as india pakistan war is concerned,it is being fought by proxies but in next ten years the issue will be decided it appears.concentration will be on int warfare and low intensity warfare however.

  33. hayyer48

    Major sb’s analysis about the reduction in Sikh and Pathan recruitment after WW1 is correct.
    In Indian Punjab the result of lower recruitment is higher emigration, and for those failing to go away, greater drug addiction.

  34. yasserlatifhamdani

    I am not going to comment on the composition of the Ghadr movement except saying that yes a large majority of Muslim feudals were coopted by the British Empire… and a last majority of Muslim peasants couldn’t care less.

    You are however quite on the dot about same composition fighting under the British. If you go a bit back you see the same composition fighting under Ranjit Singh against the same enemy. Then we did win. As we shall now.

    The solution I am afraid is not political here. It is a total war now for a complete victory. I think this is going to be the end of the 200 years of insurgency in the NWFP.

  35. bonobashi

    @hayyer48

    Excuse me, not royal. Bengali grammatical usage permits ‘gaurave bahubachan’. Very appropriate, you will no doubt say in due course, for application to Bengal. In view of Gorki’s aggrandisement, however, that seemed appropriate at the time. Unfortunately, a little sober reflection let the hot air out.

  36. Karaya

    Hayyer 48,

    Nehru was sensible because the only India that ever existed was the imperial British one.

    And at one time the only USA that existed was the imperial British one. But I get your point although it still doesn’t absolve Nehru of his sins in my eyes.

    Jinnah’s dismissal of the NWFP ministry I always felt was driven by pique.

    Maybe it was and I’ll go through YLH’s piece myself but Jinnah did commit quite a few grave errors during Pak’s early years. Maybe if the man had a bit more time….

    Jinnah was in favour of a weak centre for India but a strong centre for Pakistan. One can only speculate how he would have worked it out had he lived.

    Actually, for most of his life Jinnah was quite a centralist. I’m talking as far as the GoI act 1935 where he roundly criticised the federal provisions of the act. And, maybe, Lahore 1940 notwithstanding, he remained one even after that.

    This is itself is not odd as the AIML (for most of its history) was largely a party of the Hindustani Muslims (a quick glance at the domicile of working committee members would suffice) who, with his small numbers in UP, Bihar etc wanted a strong centre where Muslim provinces would have a large say. A strong UP/Bihar Govt did not benefit them, per se. Haq had in fact criticised Jinnah for precisely this point—berating politicians from the Muslims-minority provinces for imperiling the Bong and Panju Muslims; I believe he also called Jinnah a “dictator” (he might not have said so in as many words). And in a move that was ironic in so many ways when compared to the present, the Congress also criticised compulsory grouping in the CMP by stating that it would create a situation where Sindh and NWFP were to be dominated by the Punjab. As to why Jinnah became an (apparent?) opponent of centralisation, the reasons are many and I suspect not all are known by myself – maybe YLH/Majumdar et al can shed some more light on the matter. But the fact that Jinnah turned (relatively) centralist after Pak was formed in not without precedent and is, therefore, not all that surprising.

  37. the fact of the matter is that jinnah ,liaquat,all major punjabi politicians despised as well as feared the bengalis.

    feared because pakistan if it had to be a democracy had to be ruled by bengalis.something not acceptable to pakistans founders.

    jinnah was happy not to have east bengal at all and H V Hodson recalls that jinnah did state ” whats the use of bengal without calcutta”.

    jinnah was happy with an independent bengal as hodson recalls but bengal was thrust upon jinnah by mountbatten and congress.

    an independent bengal would have removed the only political threat to the UP Muslims,Punjabi

  38. muslim and to jinnah.but this did not happen.

    the real reason why constitution makiing was delayed in pakistan was because an electionj held on actual population would have removed the punjabi-UP-Gujrati political domination.

    only in 1956 were the bengalis under threat of martial law and dissolution forced to accept parity.

    this was a sore issue and when parity was removed in 1970 pakistan was balkanised.at that time also parity was removed only because the army chief was a non punjabi and a non pashtun qizilbash.

  39. naturally jinnah wanted a weak centre if he was not the prime minister as would have happened in united independent india.but when he was the boss after 1947 he wanted a strong centre.he was a human being and was not perfect.no one is.neither was nehru.

  40. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Major sb,

    Please read Karaya’s response. Jinnah remained committed to a strong centre in India most of his career but Jinnah felt that leaders from Muslim majority provinces could only be roped in if residuary powers were at the provinces. It is not necessarily a negation of the strong center… US has a strong centre with residuary powers at the state level. So your theory I am afraid is not valid.

    Now you’ve come up with this new claim that Jinnah “despised” Bengalis and you’ve gone on to misquote him. What Jinnah said about Calcutta was that “Bengal without Calcutta is like a man without his heart” – a reference to the central importance Calcutta had to Bengali economy. I think you should read Jinnah-Isphahani Correspondence to read more about how much Jinnah actually felt Bengal was a central motif in his all India strategy. May be you would be kind enough to tell us what Jinnah said famously when he recruited Bengalis into the Pakistan Army…

    There is no point making statements if you are going to go in circles or jump from point to point. I await your response to my question regarding Sections 9 and 10 … which you’ve not responded to.

  41. yasserlatifhamdani

    Karaya,

    That is primarily how I see it as well. The question we should ask is whether Jinnah was ever an opponent of a strong center. US has a strong center with residuary powers with the states… does that make it a watered down center. His role in the roundtable conferences shows quite clearly that he was for a strong center through out with residuary powers with the provinces. (BTW Pakistan’s current centralized constitution puts residuary powers with the provinces btw… but the exhaustive concurrent list defeats that purpose.)

    “I believe he also called Jinnah a “dictator” (he might not have said so in as many words). And in a move that was ironic in so many ways when compared to the present, the Congress also criticised compulsory grouping in the CMP by stating that it would create a situation where Sindh and NWFP were to be dominated by the Punjab”

    Haq did call Jinnah a dictator and filed a suit against Jinnah in Calcutta which was handled by Orr Dignam & Co. The suit was later dismissed for non-prosecution. His reasons were primarily because he felt that Jinnah was trying to marshall Bengal and Punjab for All-India objectives.

    The other point shows clearly that from 1940-1947, the League did not oppose the issue of a strong center but rather the concept of one center.

  42. yasserlatifhamdani

    “You know Pakistan had to start from scratch. East Bengal is one of its most powerful components and you have got now an opportunity which you have not had for, may I say, two centuries of more. Bengal, generally, in which of course East Bengal was included where happens to be the largest Muslim population, was considered as negligible in quality and quantity for military purposes. The Martial spirit of Bengal is historically known and specially (sic) the part the Muslims played in the history of Bengal. That Martial spirit, like many other great qualities was oppressed, suppressed and the martial spirit was dead- with a sort of damper put on – and in Bengal we got to a point when, as I said, Bengal did not count for military purposes. Now, in free Pakistan which is going to be a great nation, one of the largest in the world, you have under sovereign, independent, free Pakistan, every opportunity to revive your Martial spirit and show the world what Bengal can do.”

    Excerpt from Jinnah’s speech to Army Parade at Kumitolla Airport 20th March, 1948. Page 141 JINNAH Speeches and Statements, Oxford University Press – The Millennium Series 2000.

  43. mr ylh

    in ur hero worship of jinnah u must not forget that jinnah liked yes men around him.he was more comfortable with ethnically non bengali urdu speakers like nazimuddin and isphahani who were docile unlike fazl ul haq and suharwardy.

    jinnah at lucknow had sacrificed muslim majority in punjab and bengal which was condemned as a faux pas by khaliquzzaman.later his pronouncements on urdu as sole language of pakistan were severely resented by bengalis and this faux pas was only undone in 1956 constitution when bengali was also declared as a national language.

    his non agreement to mountabattens flat formula for hindu and muslim majority states joining india and pakistan respectively has also been discussed by hodson.

    since you are a lawyer you see everything as a law case whereas in history biases, likes,dislikes,prejudices exist always.

    if jinnah did agree to two east bengali battalions it was no favour to a race which was some 56 % majority.in any case all bengali units had been raised by britishers much earlier in WW one also.

    as far as section 9 and 10 are concerned i will revert to you when i can get the facts together for which there is no immediate pressure.you can live with your jinnah worship in the mean time.

    i still maintain that the bengalis were regarded as a threat , a political one by all non bengali politicians because of their majority.that is what led to delay in constitution making in pakistan.what a shame that jinnahs hand picked yes men could not do in 9 years what great nehru did in two years.and then what was produced in 1956 was a constitution drafted with coercion,threat of disssolution,threat of governor rule by the power hungry west pakistani lot.

    the bengal revolutionary history was far superior to characters like mian shaafi having tea parties with brit governors while punjab was under martial law and the likes of iqbal accepting knighthood at height of non cooperation movement.

  44. what a great document the indian constitution.i do remember MJ Akbar quoting its beauty in one of his books that till late 50s it was legal in the indian constitution to secede for state.

  45. i salute tagore for renouncing knighthood after the 1919-21 disturbances as a protest.and we have a man who talked so much about ego accepting knighthood when indians were being kicked and made to crawl in their own streets in punjab .

    praise must be given where it is due.we cannot go like docile animals just because a man is born a muslim or a hindu.

  46. Bloody Civilian

    no one has yet mentioned:

    1. there had been a referundum in nwfp which under any democratic principle would be considered a vote of no-confidence from the electorate, directly, on the most crucial issue, more important than even the budget, against the dr khan sb ministry.

    2. both afghanistan and india were a real and perceived threat to the sister/nascent state of pak, and neither had made any secret of their views. KK were making trouble with assistance from both belligrent neighbouring countries.

    3. both nos. 1 & 2 were the context rather than mere parochialism as per the ‘democratic right to secede’ which congress conceded and re-affirmed even in its 1942 resolution (i.e even before the CMP, and then according to mr amin’s ref to m j akbar). that is, the context in which a mere 13 months (not “early years”) of jinnah as GG are being debated here.

    4. the debate is an analysis based on facts supported by arguments. pointing out that someone was only human is a universal fact, taken for granted, and proof that there must be flaws and errors. but, by itself, it’s no argument for or against credit or blame for any specific fact(s) (words/deeds/ommissions).

    bengal and punjab muslims came from very different historical experiences of relative power than the one afforded them under the british dyarchy and electoral system. the contrasting experience and relative history was very different again for the hindustani muslims. no analysis of partition can be complete without resolving the convergence in ’46 these regional differences that those who claimed a monopoly on ‘secular nationalism’ labelled ‘communalism’. and this is before the class differentiations can be analysed.

    Tagore’s oft-repeated thoughts on nationalism:

    “The last sun of the century sets amidst the bloodred clouds of the west and the whirlwind of
    hatred.
    The naked passion of self-love of Nations, in its
    drunken delirium of greed, is dancing to the clash of steel and the howling verses of vengeance…
    Keep watch, India…
    Let your crown be of humility, your freedom the freedom of the soul.
    Build God’s throne daily upon the ample bareness
    of your poverty
    And know that what is huge is not great and pride
    is not ever lasting.”

  47. Bloody Civilian

    “oft-repeated” = oft-quoted. though the theme itself was close to tagore’s heart; the author of the national anthems of two nation states. one “huge”, one not so “huge”.

  48. Bloody Civilian

    also, kindly read “no one has yet mentioned:” as part, first part, of no. 1 above.

  49. YLH

    Dear Mr. Amin,

    So far I have only seen prejudice on your part and nothing of historical finding. I asked you to produce Section 9 and 10 … especially the parts you felt were adopted differently in India… you haven’t been able to. Then you misquoted the Calcutta statement to prove this new line.

    Accusing me of worship etc is not going to change the fact that you are just going in circles. Now you’ve gotten to praising Tagore which is good because I like Tagore too but god knows what relevance it has here (Jinnah never accepted any titles from the Empire to begin with) … could you atleast attempt to argue in a logical manner instead of shooting off in tangents and at times just off to some place which cannot even be described as tangential.

    As for Nazimuddin etc… how ironic that you make that judgement that he was a yes man. Meanwhile we have Azad, in his book India Wins Freedom, accusing Jinnah of sidelining Nazimuddin in the interim government because Nazimuddin was independent minded. As for Isphahani, he was probably the finest Muslim Leaguer and a thoroughly selfless man. The contribution M A H Isphahani and his family to the welfare of Pakistan and Bengal far overshadows the contributions of the likes of Fazal Haqs. Fazal ul Haq was a shameless careerist, a dishonest man and someone who was considered most unreliable… by even his supporters. That you can even put Fazalul Haq in the same sentence as Isphahani shows how little you’ve read on the issue.

    And since you’ve gone on to discuss “hero-worship”, may I suggest that it is my considered view that all your “analyses” are based out of your ethnic and national loyalties to Afghanistan and the Northern Alliance. Pity… you were once a commissioned officer in the Pakistan Army. So let me say that you are wrong … not just on how you look at history (and dropping Sajjad Ali Shah’s name I am afraid is not going to impress me) as well as your fondest hopes of Pakistan’s demise.

    I apologize for being harsh but I have no patience for those who invest little in research and yet boorishly present their point of view as the gospel truth.

    -YLH

  50. YLH

    PS: Indian constitution is a great piece of document largely because it was presided over by Dr. B R Ambedkar… a wise choice indeed given his historic anti-Congress role.

    Ofcourse Major sb would never get the significance of that.

  51. hayyer48

    Karaya: Jinnah’s strategy in the run up to independence became clear only after reading Ayesha Jalal. We wanted a strong centre for India and on this was on the same wave length as the Congress. Till he got caught up in the Pakistan business that is.
    After that he thought he was using Punjab, and to some extent Bengal, in the interests of Muslims in general and ofcourse the minority Muslims in particular. I think he actually got used instead. This may seem a harsh view but there is no doubt that at the end of the day it was Punjabi Muslim nationalists that won out, and eventually ofcourse Bengali Muslims too. What Jinnah managed to achieve at tremendous cost to the Punjab was the ethnic cleansing of both wings and the abandonment of his dreams.

  52. ylh

    BC,

    That is an illuminating post which I bet Mr. Amin will most likely ignore.

    Hayyer,

    More precisely ethnic cleansing of East Punjab.

    I don’t know who won out …but it is quite clear that the impulse came from Punjab and Bengal.

  53. yasserlatifhamdani

    “Great Nehru”

    The greatness of Nehru lies in the fact that he was one of those rare breed of politicians who understood the value of written word and therefore were prolific writers themselves. The breadth of his vision is indeed admirable and this is what makes him great

    However… we cannot attach as proof of greatness that which Nehru could not logically lay claim to… he retained Section 93 which gave the central government the power to dismiss regional assemblies- something he did not shy away from using… he established de-facto one party rule and ruled India like a King… having wax eloquent about detenus in Kashmir, he imprisoned Shaikh Abdullah… his whole drama of that article warning others about Nehru becoming Caesar might just be a case of some sort of conscience… but his subsequent leakage that he wrote it himself showed us that Nehru was suffering from hubris.

    In 2007 I was falling asleep listening to Aitzaz Ahsan and Qayyum go at each other in the CJP case in the Supreme Court… and suddenly I was awoken by Aitzaz Ahsan’s “Musharraf is trying to be Nehru” …. I think those who can read history a bit deeper than Major sb will no doubt realize why that was an apt statement.

  54. mr YLH

    i am neither major sahib.

    you are out to prove here that you are the only one who knows history.u show off your knowledge by quoting , as if this is a court room.this is a historical discussion and jinnah although your hero was no angel.neither was nehru.

    if i think nehru was great it is so because he ensured that a constitution was ready for india within an year and half.he had no bengali majority to fear like all non bengali muslim leaguer.

    jinnah as nhas been agreed by many including francis robinson,KK Aziz,even the punjabi Sir Shafi and khaliquzzaman was the architect of reducing muslim majority at lucknow in 1916 without the right.the lucknow meeting had very few punjabis and bengalis and here your hero agreed to parity for muslims in punjab reducing their majority and minority to muslims in bengal surrendering their majority.

    as a result , all muslim govts of bengal remained very weak and unstable ,while the punjabi muslims were forced to form the unionist party with hindus and sikhs.as a result both the muslim majority provinces remained dependent on hindu and sikh good will all along from 1936 till 1947.

    since you are a lawyer you will find some lacunae in it.

    i am not a fan of aitezaz ahsan so i am not really impressed if aitezaz compares a pygmy like musharraf to nehru.

    history is not a law case at the mercy of one wind bag elevated to the rank of a judge.it is more sublime and intangible.

    i have a right to have my own historical conclusions and you , the brilliant know all lawyer that you are have your own.

    Good Luck to you

  55. mr ylh,

    once challenged and questioned you lose your balance.

    u r accusing me of supporting northern alliance and afghanistan but i have not accused you of being a punjabi chauvinist, which it appears , you are.

    yes i was a commissioned officer in the army which had many generals who were actually batmen of british officers pre-partition.

    my loyalty is to historical truth whether it means praising a hindu , or critically analysing indo pak military history.

    you are a good lawyer , which may mean many things but your style of argument lacks polish and finnesse.

    your hero jinnah who you regard as great as your prophet was a dictator.

    bolitho quotes gracey in remembering that he was very aggressive with british officers and finally gracey had to be assertive and tell jinnah not to do so.

    i am aware that you have read many books but your analysis is still half digested and lacks maturity.it will take some years before you are more rational and balanced.

  56. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Mr. Amin,

    You can draw whatever conclusions you must but frankly I have the right to question your claim that they are “factual” or “historical”. Now you’ve completely gone on another sommersault … Jinnah’s role in the Lucknow Pact actually rubbishes your claim that Muslim separatism arose out of UP when it arose out Muslim majority provinces. Anyway… let us take some of your pronouncements:

    if i think nehru was great it is so because he ensured that a constitution was ready for india within an year and half.he had no bengali majority to fear like all non bengali muslim leaguer.

    Hardly the reason why he was great. He was great because he was a foreign policy giant and not because constitution got made while he was playing PM PM with Patel. The Indian constitution was the achievement of B R Ambedkar who presided over its making and managed to bring everyone together … not Mr. Nehru. BTW… Ambedkar was not a Congressman but rather was criticized as being a British toady by those who didn’t understand his politics.

    All of this ofcourse has nothing to do with the argument we were having about Section 9 and Section 10 which were according to you adopted differently in the two successor states (they were not) and contained the formula (in Pakistan’s case according to you) for GG’s powers to dismiss the constituent assembly. All I have asked is that you re-produce those parts that were adopted differently by Pakistan and India… to prove your contentions. Instead of doing that you’ve gone in circles and on tangents and currently we are found in Bengal.

    Ofcourse you don’t like Aitzaz. Increasingly it seems that you don’t like anyone who talks sense. You’ve lost all balance. I suggest you drink down a fountain before you come back here for more discussion.

    “Punjabi chauvinist, which it appears you are”

    Far from it. Like all your other statements so far this is also a ridiculously illogical claim. Anyone who bursts your bubble is automatically a Punjabi chauvinist. Yes we are well aware that you once had a commission in the Pakistan Army … apparently you couldnt make it far in that army of the batmen of the former British officers.

    “your hero jinnah who you regard as great as your prophet was a dictator…bolitho quotes gracey in remembering that he was very aggressive with british officers and finally gracey had to be assertive and tell jinnah not to do so.”

    How would Jinnah asserting civilian Pakistani authority over British military officers be dictatorial. So much for your other theories. This is another prick. I am not even going to ask you to give us the page number from Bolitho because you’ve just undone your own propaganda by putting this up.

    “i am aware that you have read many books but your analysis is still half digested and lacks maturity.”

    The difference then between us that you haven’t even read “many books” as I have.

    “it will take some years before you are more rational and balanced.”

    Atleast there is hope for me.

  57. its pointless discussing anything with punjabi chauvinists who despise sajjad ali shah becuse he is a sindhi . i am not bound to quote exact references about section 9 or 10 but will do that also on this very punjabi and ahmadi heavy forum.

  58. yasserlatifhamdani

    “anything with punjabi chauvinists who despise sajjad ali shah becuse he is a sindhi”

    Who despises Sajjad Ali Shah ? And who is the Punjabi chauvinist.

    “this very punjabi and ahmadi heavy forum.”

    Ha ha. I rest my case.

    Bonobashi sb here is your brilliant Major sb and his brilliant arguments. There you have it. I think you see my point now 🙂

  59. karun

    this forum should be named YLH and his indian toadies

  60. Majumdar

    The Martial spirit of Bengal is historically known and specially (sic) the part the Muslims played in the history of Bengal.

    Ha, ha, ha, ha…….Jinnah sahib had a great sense of humour. The only martial spirit that Bong Muslims have ever displayed is against their own Dalit and Chakma population. Some 50,000 Pak soldiers and a few Biharis administered a royal chitrol to the “martial” Bengali Muslims. And it needed the sardarjis to put an end to that. Maybe something is to be said about the martial races theory.

    Regards

  61. hayyer48

    Ethnic cleansing was on both sides of the Punjab partition line YLH.

  62. Majumdar

    Hayyer mian,

    I think YLH was referring only to the impact of the partition on Muslims that is why he left the ethnic cleansing in West Punjab.

    Regards

  63. bonobashi

    @A. H. Amin
    @YLH

    At the end of the day, what stands out for any of us, your good selves included, I am convinced, is that the deeds and events which occurred before partition and independence of the two successor states of the British, and the deeds and events which occurred after have a significant and considerable disconnect. What was earlier almost a family matter, albeit an increasingly fissiparous family, a family embittered by bonds of kinship and relationship, became an increasingly distant relationship.

    The point that I am trying to make, as softly and as much without giving offence as I can, is that the same change came over the leaders. In India, the general impression that is imparted of Jinnah is uniformly sour and deprecatory; this is the Jinnah that tore the country apart, that took away our Muslim population on the specious grounds that they needed to be separate, that forever poisoned the relations between the remaining Muslims and all others in the country, so that neither could ever trust the other, created complications with Kashmir which was ours and never should have come into dispute, except for the mischievous meddling of Jinnah, created an Army dedicated to destroying India by fair means or foul, began the tradition of truckling with foreign powers, in the Arabian Gulf or in the first world, and generally made our existence an embittered one, attended by strife and carnage.

    It was only some of us who suspected that not all was well with our historical evaluations, or those offered to us in the guise of history were not after all sound. When we took part in the fascinating series of discussions on Jinnah, it was an eye-opener. Jinnah was truly a tragic figure.

    It turns out that years before anyone else called out in alarm, he foresaw the terrible cancer that religion would turn out to be and opposed it, he opposed the abrogation of the rule of law in the pursuit of our national freedom, he argued passionately for just laws under the 1935 regulatory mechanisms, he tried to convince a wide spectrum of opinion of the need to create sufficient safeguards for each other, and all this while his personal life became increasingly arid and void of comfort.

    Again, the point is that some of the things that he sought before independence were abandoned afterwards, for whatever reasons. That is not to dismiss the gravity of the reasons which caused changes in his personal and his official positions; it merely acknowledges that there were several, varied reasons which caused changes.

    His greatness does not diminish if we acknowledge that he was human, and that he made mistakes, or even by granting that he may have made mistakes. That is true for all great men, save that some of us are convinced that it may not apply to those mortals brushed by the wings of divinity. Let that be as a matter of private belief, and let us not quibble about that. It is sufficient to acknowledge that Jinnah was an outstanding statesman, and deserves acknowledgement as one.

    Much of our myth-building is not for the sake of the departed, and not for the sake of seeking the true place in history of the departed, it is on occasion an effort to seek our own place by reference to the compass that is set to point to the lodestone of these great men. It is natural and appropriate for those whose interests he created very largely on his own to pay him respect and hold him father of their nation. This cannot take away from us and from our sight, without diminishing him whom we seek to elevate, the others who were present and visible. It was not one single great leader who built the country; it was a number of them, and we cannot lose perspective and dwarf them when they struggled so hard, each in their own way. This is not a case of a toastmaster’s accounting for all contributors to the proceedings with painstaking precision, so I will claim the indulgence of readers to mention a few, a very few names in passing, without attempting to project this as either comprehensive or even representative.

    We know little of what transpired in the Punjab; we are assured that it was a realm of the landlord, the heirs of the last kingdom there, the Lahore Durbar of Ranjit Singh. We are assured that they were not particularly inclined to look to the grand vision of a homeland for the Muslim, where all religions would freely co-exist, and which would be an integral part of a larger state, including yet another homeland, and thereby achieve a mental shield over the vulnerable minorities.

    We know that perhaps one reason that this vision did not extend to other minorities before independence was the different level of progress achieved by each group, or each minority; so the championing of the cause of the minority Sikhs, minority Christians, minority Dalits, and the minority Dravidians, and the minority tribes people was not possible under one common umbrella, simply because their own native leadership had not evolved to the same degree and therefore they were vulnerable to the same kind of majoritarian bullying that the Muslims, individually and as a community began to detach themselves from; and that in order to guard against this majoritarian impulse, the Muslim doctrinaires, specifically Jinnah, never laid any claims to representing minorities other than that which had given him claims over themselves.

    I know a little bit more myself about Bengal, but it is sufficient to say that Fazlul Haq, and Suhrawardy, and after them Maulana Bhashani and Mujib, and the Bose brothers, and Chittaranjan Das, and the terrorists of Anushilan and Jugantar, and Master Da, were all passionately committed to the cause of independence, not merely to the cause of Bengal.

    It is by no means certain that these leaders always saw eye to eye with their supreme leader. Do they need to have done so? Do they even need to have liked each other? It isn’t clear why that should have been necessary. Both in the American and in the following French Revolutions, we have seen blunt and honest patriots clash with each other on points of principle, to the extent that sometimes disputes went to the verge of violence. Does it matter if the Punjabi oligarchs disliked Jinnah, or if the darlings of the rural population in Bengal were not willing to see things Jinnah’s way completely?

    In this forum there has been on occasion passionate argument about the nature of governance that the founders sought, about the degree of agreement on this that was achieved, about the consequences of not being uniformly aligned, and so on.

    It doesn’t matter.

    Wherever we look anywhere any time, there have been differences; so what?

    It is time to consider our leaders carefully and try to take into account human frailties. I believe that we can each share some of the credit in bringing out the facets of Jinnah’s uncommonly reclusive personality, and that we can equally share the credit for accepting that there are several incidents where heroes were less than heroic.

    I will ask your indulgence to return to this again to examine the interplay of these listed personalities. I will also ask that the differences between what individuals proposed before partition, and what they did after.

    Peace.

  64. Majumdar

    I had a strong deja vu when I went thru this thread- we have already seen this on chowk esp UP.

    It is made out that MAJ (pbuh) with his acts of omission and commission was responsible for GM’s dismissal of Nazimuddin govt and thereby indirectly leading to Army rule in 1958. This is ridiculous. As far I know, the GoI ct, 1935 remained the constt of both India and Pak till they adopted their respective constt (1950 and 1956???). The great man died in Sep 1948, GG dismissed KN in 1955, the constt was adopted in 1956).

    What prevented Pakistan from adopting a constt for 8 long years after he did? What prevented Pak from introducing measures which wud clip the GG’s power of dismissing the govt? Jinnah sahib’s bhoot???

    Amin sahib,

    bengal was thrust upon jinnah by mountbatten and congress.

    This is false and it is interesting that both you and your principal antagonist on this thread shud be spreading this disinformation. What INC objected to was not an independent Bengal which wud have its Hindoo majority districts esp Calcutta. Neither Nehru nor Patel nor Mountbottom care a rats a*** about where Muslim majority East Bengal went- whether it remained independent or merged with (West) Pak or with Burma.

    The real reason why East Bengal chose to go with Pak was that the East Bong Muslim leadership feared that India may forcibly reunite East Bong with the help of Hindoo trojan horses. As far as West Pak was concerned, the state had limited financial resources to upkeep its own outsized army and thought that East Pak wud contribute revenue that wud help subsidise its defence expenditure.

    Regards

  65. Gorki

    @YLH, AH Amin, Majumdar, Karaya, Bonobashi, BC and all other commentators:

    Sigh!!
    As Majumdar pointed out, we have seen this and have been here before.
    Bonobashi as always, made excellent points.

    Time and again, once the discussion heads towards the issue of the events surrounding the partition and the founding of Pakistan, it takes a life of its own that no human can stop till it has run its full course and all the major debaters have had their say.
    Only then; thoroughly tired and bruised, do we all return to our personal dens to lick our wounds and get ready to fight another day.
    It is safe to say that the positions of the major participants are now fixed and well known to all.
    As often happen in heated debates, one finds participants talk past each other replying to questions pertaining to one context with counter arguments from another context.

    After going through a few such bouts I can even time the precise point at which complete frustration sets in by the opening salvos of personal attacks.

    Here is my take on it:

    1. While MAJ and his politics remain central to the discussion at hand, we all can agree that he had a long political career during which he evolved as a person and his politics and positions too evolved.

    2. This evolution was influenced both by the events and the various (larger than life) personalities around him.

    3. MAJ was human, with human instincts, and like all humans had personal likes and dislikes. Thus when we discuss him in a historical context we can not deny the influence of life changing events, both personal and public events on him and his thinking.

    4. Therefore to keep the discussion objective and relevant, may I propose that we all discuss MAJ’s public life and ideology not as one immutable truth but in the various phases of his life and career
    e. g. 1896- 1920 (MAJ of the home rule and the Lucknow pact)
    1920-1930 (MAJ the critic of the Anti Khilafat movement, the man who refused knighthood and the proponent of the 14 points)
    1936-1946 (Of the leader of ML spurned by INC in 1937; the MAJ of Lahore resolution and direct action day)
    of 1946-1947 (CMP and other negotiations) and 1947-1948 (The man with a vision for a nation).

    5. Incidentally it is this last man (1947-1948) we should focus most (As Advani did rightly so at the Minar e Pakistan when he was criticized so mercilessly in India) since it is most relevant to where we go from here (every thing before is mostly academic now)

    Regards.

  66. yasserlatifhamdani

    As I see it, Jinnah is not the issue here…the issue is purely a constitutional one.

    Mr. Amin was of the view that Jinnah insisted on something in section 9 or 10 of either the GOIA 1935 or IOIA 1935 that somehow empowered the GG to dismiss the CA. Frankly, I am not aware of any such power. His second claim was that Nehru got the same mysterious clause deleted… which again is beyond me.

    When I pointed these facts out and wondered if Amin sb is confusing Section 93 with Section 9 … the fate of which was the exact opposite – i.e. Jinnah removing it and Nehru retaining it…Amin sb declared both Allen McGrath and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah told him this… when I pointed out the obvious difference between what McGrath said and what he was saying, he went into a tangent about Bengalis, UP Muslims, Marhattas, Tagore and what not.

    A tangential discussion also emerged from the debate on section 93 and the issue of centre dismissing provinces… and whether Jinnah wanted a strong center or a weak center or something in the middle… given the apparently contradictory nature of his insistence on abrogating section 93 and yet using 51(5) to dismiss NWFP assembly (the reasons for which BC has given a good analysis)… fascinating as this discussion is, it was irrelevant to the original issue raised by Mr. Amin and he is yet to return to it.

    This is how I see it. The rest of Mr. Amin’s comments about this forum being a Punjabi chauvinist Ahmadi forum are just simply indicative of the mindset at play.

  67. yasserlatifhamdani

    BC…

    Would you be kind enough to contact me via email … there are bunch of articles you’ve suggested and I’d like to publish some of them now.

  68. bonobashi

    @YLH

    Get ‘im, Tiger! He’s been goofing off for too long!

  69. Bloody Civilian

    Jinnah’s strategy in the run up to independence became clear only after reading Ayesha Jalal

    regardless of the indian/congress and the authoritarian state of pakistan’s version, jalal’s was the version i grew up hearing from my elders. there used to be an odd article here or there, i remember a short series by some guy in Dawn, which gave essntially the same ‘version’ as jalal. isphahani’s book, for example, is consistent with jalal’s view: the first and foremost target and adversary was the mullah (which jinnah took the intiative away from quite successfully); the second was the parochialism of the muslim majority provinces, and the third was congress’s arrogance, huge blind spot and intrasingence. jalal, without taking anything away from her brilliance as a scholar, was the first one to base her 1985 work on the Transfer of Power volumes which were published two years earlier and, being neither pakistani nor indian, were more widely accepted as being non-partisan. and we know of the not only the treatment that jinnah’s papers received from the GoP as opposed to, say, nehru and gandhi etc., but also how, unlike these two and ambedkar etc., jinnah did not write. but it seems it is important to repeat: ‘pakistan’ was a bargaining chip, but not a bluff.. not even remotely.

    bonobashi, in his typically exquisite post has summarised the indian version and its effect, but the ‘pakistani version’ also had an effect. mainly, there are those who bought the pakistani state’s pre-zia line of a ‘communal’ jinnah, but not necessarily the post-zia ruthless attack on jinnah’s secularism too. unlike the hindutvadis in india belittling/rejecting nehru and even gandhi (to varying degrees), pak regimes have never found themselves able to jettison jinnah, so they had to pervert history instead. there are those who bought that too. and then there were those who were repulsed by ayub’s dictatorship and zia’s madness, and ended up rejecting jinnah too, instead of merely rejecting the regimes’ false image of jinnah.

    once again, of course all these guys were human. otherwise, this discussion would be singularly boring. so, in order to forward the debate, to mention what i don’t think has been mentioned is that fazle haq had put together a ministry independently of the AIML, if not in open defiance, giving a few ministries to the 11 mahasabhite MLAs – his coalition partners. this should have irked not just jinnah and the AIML, but any secular nationalist. later, fazle haq returned to the fold and to taking a leading role alongside jinnah in the AIML.

  70. Bloody Civilian

    “as opposed to, say, nehru and gandhi” = as opposed to, say, nehru’s and gandhi’s

    “of merely rejecting the regimes’ false image of jinnah”…. which they swallowed hook, line and sinker.

  71. ylh

    At the end of the day ofcourse whatever our differences, Indians and Pakistanis must realize that Jinnah, Nehru and Gandhi all and the founding ideals of India and Pakistan, however much apparently antagonistic, are on the same side in the great battle of civilization against terrorism, poverty, illiteracy, backwardness and religious intolerance. We should join forces instead of withering away in inane battles.

  72. hayyer48

    Amin.

  73. Majumdar

    Civvie,

    fazle haq had put together a ministry independently of the AIML

    If my knowledge of Bengal history of that period is correct, Fazli babu was the leader of a pro-peasants KPP which had support from not only Muslims but also some Dalits as well. After the 1937 elections where KPP and AIML were tied in terms of number of seats, Fazli babu’s first choice as an ally was INC but the bhadralok dominated INC spurned the alliance. It was then KPP turned to AIML. But his relationship both with MAJ (pbuh) and AIML was none too smooth.

    INC apologists who blame Muslims and Jinnah (pbuh) solely for the partition will never admit that had INC formed an alliance with KPP, (united) Bengal may well have remained within India. (Not that I regret it)

    Regards

  74. Bloody Civilian

    majumdar

    i should have quickly refreshed my memory before writing the post. i did not have the reference in front of me, but the KPP did include the mahasabhites in the coalition, and they did get some cabinet portfolios. that, i think, should have caused unease to any secular indian.

    otoh, haq exercising independence was his and the KPP’s political right. while the AIML had its own political goals, more concerned with the centre, and being the sole spokesman there. it needed the provincial pols to understand that they could exercise their full independence without comprimising AIML’s claim to spokesmanship at the centre. it was not easy.

    as for the three priorities i listed in my post above, using ref to isphahani’s book as an example, the INC only became an issue, after the mullahs (first and foremost) and parochialism, as it kept (unpleasantly) surprising jinnah, who had much hope from the INC and had indeed been part of it (so had fazle haq). INC’s dictatorial insistence that India = INC meant that the opportunity that YLH talks of in his latest post, was missed (with tragic consequences).

  75. Majumdar

    Civvie,

    that, i think, should have caused unease to any secular indian.

    Any particular reasons why the inclusion of “Hindu” Mahasabha have caused any unease to any “secular Indian” but not the inclusion of “Muslim” League.

    Regards

  76. Bloody Civilian

    majumdar

    i should have said ‘secular nationalists’… since

    1. mahasabhite plans for partition predated the lahore resolution by at least 17 years.

    2. unlike the mahasabha, AIML were not hitler admirers

    to use your terminolgy: they were the “unthinking” hindu nationalists. that should have caused concern to secualr nationalists, when such “unthinking” communalism causes even you concern.

    i hope to read up on this AKFH turning against KN and HSS affair, bringing in the mahasabhites, to refresh my memory.

  77. Majumdar

    Civvie,

    According to some people Nazimuddin and Suhrawardy represented the interest of the Muslim elite of Bengal (these two gentleman, Ispahani and Iskander Mirza spoke no Bong if I understand correct), while Fazli babu represented the Bong peasantry. Thus, the discord.

    Regards

  78. bonobashi

    @Majumdar

    Khwaja Nazimuddin was from the Nawab Bari of Dhaka, and could be considered part of the elite of Bengal, in a sense, although their sense of being patrician outsiders trapped among a heaving mass of sweaty black bodies was quite evident to all. Religion has little to do with it. Suhrawardy was a member of the 300 Club; even when he was Prime Minister of Pakistan, he used to stop over at Calcutta for lunch at Firpo’s. Ispahani was essentially an outsider; Iskander Mirza came from tainted blood, from a family of traitors.

    Why the whole pack of you keeps misrepresenting the Sher-e-Bangal’s name escapes me. He was Fazl’ul Haq, if you don’t mind. Easily the most loved man in the state by far in those days. By Hindus and Muslims alike, by peasants and middle-class salariat alike. The upper classes wouldn’t have liked him; I can’t imagine Burdwan liking him much.

  79. kami kaze

    First ever appointment at UNO in Oct 1947 was Mir Laiq Ali and simultaneously Mirza Abul Hasan Ispahani was appointed Ambassador to Washington by Govt. of Pakistan, his wife Qamar Ispahani was imported from Iran (1). It was the darkest period in the relations between Pak-US, whereas USA refused any economical help. When PM Liaqat Ali Khan visited USA, it gave no results at all. There Ispahani remained busy in personal relations and making assets and to run his businesses, he founded sectarian footings; even Mir Laiq Ali established one sectarian organization with the co-operation of Syed Qasim Rizvi.
    Second phase started when Amjad Ali was appointed as ambassador to US in 1953, son of notorious “Maratab Ali” of Lahore, “canteen contractor” and shoe bearer of British Raj, and he continued policies of Ispahani, based on sectarian footings
    Ispahani (known as M H Ispahani), list of crimes of Ispahani’s of loot and plunder is very long, a small firm of MM Ispahani limited of Calcutta how took control of entire East and West Pakistan, during Korean war those earned billions being operated sitting at Washington, took over PIA and earned billions in procurement of aero planes and made appointments to their cronies.

    isphahani was commercial minded like jinnah as the US archives prove ( also quoted by tariq ali in his latest book) that jinnah was trying to sell his his house to US ambassador in karachi while he was supposed to be a dying man.the incident is also quoted by venktaramani in his book US Pakistan relations published about 30 years before tariq alis book.

  80. Bloody Civilian

    HSS spoke bengali; the first in 6(?) generations of his family living in bengal/calcutta to have bothered to do so.

  81. bonobashi

    @kami kaze

    Makes awful reading. I feel terrible at reading this record of utterly selfish self-enrichment while a nation was struggling to its feet. Had the man no conscience?

    @Bloody Civilian, Majumdar

    It might be useful to point out that the old man Fazl’ul Haq was slowing down year after year. He was quite capable of holding his own at the outset, but became quite conscious of his waning powers and started looking for partners. He tried the Hindu Mahasabha first, and when that did not work out, he went out fast. Finally, he went to the AIML and joined up. Perhaps his body English will tell you what he thought about these alliances with the city slickers who manned the Mahasabha and the AIML.

    BC, history has just slapped my face hard. On the 1st of August, we become tenants of the grandson of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. Now I will never hear the end of it from Majumdar Dada.

  82. Majumdar

    Iskander Mirza was a descendant of Mir Jaffar, if I am not mistaken.

    Ispahani sounds Persian to me.

    Religion has little to do with it.

    Oops I shud have said elite Muslims of Bengal, not Muslim elite.

    Kamikaze mian,

    Ispahani was also accused of being repsonsible for the Bengal famine of 1943 although I am not sure how much of that is truth, how much calumny.

    Regards

  83. Majumdar

    On the 1st of August, we become tenants of the grandson of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.

    Hmmm……

    Regards

  84. Bloody Civilian

    politics is politics. but the ‘point of principle’ upon which jinnah expelled AKFH from the league was the latter joining the Viceroy’s Defence Council. whether the timing for this was politically convenient for the AIML or not, the league also withdrew from the coalition. whether the ‘shyama-haq’ ministry indirectly contributed to AIML’s ’46 landslide, i do not know. why did the ex-congressman, nationalist, shyamaprasad mukerjee have no problem with joining up with a haq signed up to the Viceroy’s Defence Council, i do not know, again.

    bonobashi, not only did he re-join the AIML, he became the CM once more, albeit of partitioned bengal, despite being the minority party leader within the United Front (with HSS and KN). i would like to learn more about this history happening around haq.

    (it would indeed be very interesting to go through a who’s who list of pre-partition presidency college and aligarh univ (starting 60 years later) graduates.)

  85. bonobashi

    @Bloody Civilian

    Yes, he became Premier one more time. As I mentioned, his power was bleeding away with every month. There was a tussle for power going on between the League and every regional party, whether such regional party claimed to be representative of the Muslim community or not. I am not terribly sure, but have been informed that the true heir to Fazl’ul Haq Shaheb was Maulana Bhashani.

  86. Karaya

    Hayyer 48,

    We wanted a strong centre for India and on this was on the same wave length as the Congress. Till he got caught up in the Pakistan business that is.

    IMO, even after Lahore-1940 he was a proponent of a strong centre. But, unlike the Congress, he wanted more than one centre.

    After that he thought he was using Punjab, and to some extent Bengal, in the interests of Muslims in general and ofcourse the minority Muslims in particular. I think he actually got used instead. This may seem a harsh view but there is no doubt that at the end of the day it was Punjabi Muslim nationalists that won out, and eventually ofcourse Bengali Muslims too. What Jinnah managed to achieve at tremendous cost to the Punjab was the ethnic cleansing of both wings and the abandonment of his dreams.

    There is, of course, little doubt in the fact that Jinnah did not get what he wanted. Maybe the Punjabi Muslim benefitting from Partition is a fair point too (although he did have to pay a heavy initial price) but what makes you think the Bengali Muslim “won out”?

    ————————————————–

    Bloody Civilian,

    ‘pakistan’ was a bargaining chip, but not a bluff.. not even remotely.

    Could you please elaborate on this? Because if “Pakistan” was a “bargaining chip” it would mean that it was only a means to elicit concessions and not an end in itself. Did Jinnah ever clearly define what he meant by “Pakistan” for his constituents? Was it made clear that it was only a “bargaining chip” and not his final aim? If not, then is it not a bluff?

  87. Bloody Civilian

    karaya

    there was option 1 and option 2. plan A required the other side to play ball i.e. a mutual compromise, and option 1 would have been achieved. plan B was about going it alone, in the face of total intransigence from the other side, and arriving at option 2. to accept INC dictatorship lock, stock and barrel was not an option, since complete betrayal of the mandate given in 1946 was not an option, even if the INC insisted on completely ignoring and rejecting the mandate of 90% of 90 million Indians.

  88. Majumdar

    Karaya,

    …..but what makes you think the Bengali Muslim “won out”?……

    Well, you have a point. And had the Bengali/Assamese Hindoos been led by a Master Tara Singh type character in 1947, they wud have been even worse off.

    Regards

  89. yasserlatifhamdani

    Bonobashi,

    Could you summarize for me what exactly it is that Kami Kaze is accusing M A H Isphahani of? Because it is a lot of hot air and you are encouraging nonsense… how sad… let us take the entire post and de-construct it.

    “Mirza Abul Hasan Ispahani was appointed Ambassador to Washington by Govt. of Pakistan, his wife Qamar Ispahani was imported from Iran (1). ”

    As in mail order bride?

    “It was the darkest period in the relations between Pak-US, whereas USA refused any economical help.”

    This makes no sense and is historically incorrect.

    “When PM Liaqat Ali Khan visited USA, it gave no results at all.”

    Except that every historian says that US-Pak relations were cemented then… Liaqat Ali Khan was – correct me if I am wrong- received on the airport by the President of United States of America and was given a welcome at the White House that is unthinkable for our current lot. This statement does not make sense.

    “There Ispahani remained busy in personal relations and making assets and to run his businesses”

    Please do feel free to quote references

    “he founded sectarian footings; even Mir Laiq Ali established one sectarian organization with the co-operation of Syed Qasim Rizvi.”

    Name them.

    “Second phase started when Amjad Ali was appointed as ambassador to US in 1953, son of notorious “Maratab Ali” of Lahore, “canteen contractor” and shoe bearer of British Raj, and he continued policies of Ispahani, based on sectarian footings
    Ispahani (known as M H Ispahani), list of crimes of Ispahani’s of loot and plunder is very long”

    More nonsense.

    “a small firm of MM Ispahani limited of Calcutta how took control of entire East and West Pakistan, during Korean war those earned billions being operated sitting at Washington”

    Again nonsense. Isphahanis were independently wealthy in Bengal way before M A H Isphahani got involved in the Muslim League.

    “took over PIA and earned billions in procurement of aero planes and made appointments to their cronies.”

    Now this is classic inverting history on its head. Isphahani founded Orient Airways … on Jinnah’s explicit instructions in 1944. Orient Airways became PIA in the 1950s. How then did Isphahanis “take over” the PIA and why was it that Orient Air and then PIA were highly rated in the 1950s and 1960s… and declined only after they were nationalized?

    “isphahani was commercial minded like jinnah”

    And that is a bad thing?

    “as the US archives prove ( also quoted by tariq ali in his latest book) that jinnah was trying to sell his his house to US ambassador in karachi while he was supposed to be a dying man.the incident is also quoted by venktaramani in his book US Pakistan relations published about 30 years before tariq alis book.”

    I read the incident several times. I know Tariq Ali is an idiot par excellence. I had no idea Venkatramani or whoever was from the same tribe. Yes Fatima Jinnah did, with Jinnah’s approval, offer Jinnah’s Bungalow to the American Embassy which was looking for a building in Karachi at the time. The American Embassy refused. That was the end of that. What exactly was wrong with that is something I am still trying to figure out.

    Meanwhile Tariq Ali’s grandfather was the famous Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan… the scourge of all progressives in Punjab … and a toady of the British Empire.

    As for Kami mian… his main objection seems to be that Isphahani, Maratab Ali and Jinnah were all Shias.

  90. yasserlatifhamdani

    btw… if Majumdar is keeping score… Kami Kaze mian is none other than Sa’ad Abbasi.

  91. kami kaze

    venkatramani is an eminent historian so this over smart ahmadi hamdani needs better education.

    we all know that lawyers are trained to lie.but this hamdani is a goebbels in distortion and twisting historical truth.

    note you over smart little lawyer.check the FRUS archives in USA , the US Ambassador to Pakistan in his written report wrote that Jinnah invited him to a lunch at his yatch and wanted the US Ambassador to buy his house for US embassy.The Ambassador politely regretted and said that land had already been bought.This is in FRUS and you over clever man can check it.

    Tariq Ali is miles above a little intellectual pygmy like you.Sikandar Hyat was a great Punjabi politician.Had he not concluded the Jinnah Sikandar Pact your hero Jinnah would have been in a bombay qabristan unknown and your ahmadi hero zafrullah who was a big toady would have been a third class lawyer in qadiyan

  92. kami kaze

    who knows whose aulad is anyone , including little hamdani . after all there is no stamp paper

  93. kami kaze

    small man , his fanatically held beliefs shattered he starts calling those who guide him abiut history as najaiz aulad . what a waste of money .his parents sent him to the states to learn this cheap haram gate multan talk.what a pity.

  94. kami kaze

    hamdani you dont know history.the governor general had a yacht and this report is contained in the FRUS in USA.i am not your clerk so its not my job to quote and i am under no binding to quote it.ur shallow knowledge needs to be checked.

  95. kami kaze

    very third rate language.speaks volumes for pakistani lawyers.very cheap my little lawyer.pygmy in height as well as intellect and calibre.

  96. yasserlatifhamdani

    Abbasi mian,

    You can go on in circles. There is nothing wrong with a dying man- whose honesty and integrity was beyond doubt- trying to secure his sister’s future by offering his house for sale to a foreign embassy… especially since he did not force anyone to do anything. You would have had a case if he had forced the US Embassy to buy his house instead of the building they got. Fatima Jinnah did make the offer with Jinnah’s approval. Was it illegal? Was it not Jinnah’s own property? Is buying and selling property illegal? Especially since the sale did not take place… which proves the exact opposite of what is being asserted here.

    Tariq Ali mian opines that this somehow is indicative of Jinnah being more concerned with personal things. How ironic that a man literally dies of over-working himself for Pakistan without getting any pay in return … and third rate “marxist” authors who happen to grandchildren of British toadies like Sir Sikandar Hayat have the nerve to say what they say- one should ALWAYS distrust “Marxists” with big houses and huge cars who hobnob with London’s elite at parties while speaking of “socialism”… similarly one should question you Islam-pasand types who abuse Shias, Qadiyanis and then quote Tariq Ali. The “launch” business with “turbaned waiters” and “cucumbers” is Tariq Ali embellishment… some sort of homo-erotic fantasy that Tariq Ali seems to have vis a vis turbaned waiters, launches and cucumbers.

    “Tariq Ali is miles above you”

    I do not consider him half the man I am.

    Now… let us return to your lies about Isphahani which I exposed. You are a shameless bugger. Just admit that you have it in for anyone who is not the Sunni fanatic variety that you are.. (and for this you will even embrace an atheist – not that I have a problem with Atheists but you do- Tariq Ali for example… so long as he suits your objectives but not where he disagrees with you)…

    As for Sir Zafrulla… he was a great lawyer even before his prominence in the Muslim League. So your nonsense is just that nonsense.

  97. hayyer48

    Karaya:
    Why do I think that Bengali Muslims eventually won out? Because both Punjabi and Bengali Muslims did not want to be under the control of a Hindu dominated centre, and because both achieved that aim.
    The partition of Bengal in 1905 had Muslim support, the Hindus opposed it. Both Hindus and Muslims were prepared to set up an independent Bengal. Khizar Hayat Tiwanas last ditch efforts parallel that in one sense. He too was trying for a Punjabi unity.
    As early as 1933, (or was it 1934) Fazle Hussain needed Jinnah only for the centre. His All India Muslim Conference, following which was founded the J&K Muslim Conference, had no time for the All India Muslim League. They were prepared to use Jinnah and his League; eventually they did.
    Jinnah’s two centres were a fall back from his initial one strong centre. He got stuck in that position unfortunately because the INC, then as now, was intractable.

  98. hayyer48

    Too much is made of Jinnah’s house renting/selling. I was surprised myself on reading about it in Tariq Ali’s . Perhaps Jinnah thought he was being discreet with a direct approach rather than through deniable intermediaries, as befitted a Head of State. But there is nothing wrong with wanting to let out or sell one’s house. Jinnah could not have imagined that this would become an indiscretion to haunt memories of him
    Tariq Ali is an aspirant. His aspirations may not have been met but he deserves to be judged on his own merits not on those of his forbears. All landed families were toadies of the British, or nearly all. Jinnah and the League made use of them starting with Shaukat Hayat Khan, Sir Sikandar’s son. YLH’s views on this class are closer to Nehru’s than
    Jinnah’s.

  99. Karaya

    Bloody Civilian,

    plan B was about going it alone, in the face of total intransigence from the other side, and arriving at option 2.

    If “Plan B” was to accepting something like the 3rd June Plan and the Radcliffe Award then it would have been better off for the AIML’s constituents if the AIML had left things unplanned.

    ————————————————

    Majumdar,

    And had the Bengali/Assamese Hindoos been led by a Master Tara Singh type character in 1947, they wud have been even worse off.

    Yup, thankfully for the Bong Muslims, all the Bong Hindus had were ineffectual leaders such as Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.

    ————————————————

    Hayyer 48,

    Why do I think that Bengali Muslims eventually won out? Because both Punjabi and Bengali Muslims did not want to be under the control of a Hindu dominated centre, and because both achieved that aim.

    Do the tens of thousands of Bangladeshis who immigrate illegally to India (a country under the control of a Hindu dominated centre) every year know this?

  100. Bloody Civilian

    karaya

    the AIML, unlike the raj, had no executive power, and, unlike the INC, no clout to unfairly influence cripps, mountabatten, and (through mountabatten) radcliff . just the moral authority of its mandate. (INC’s clout of course does not excuse the three gentlemen named for failing to maintain fairness and propriety.)

    the radcliffe award was announced after partition.

    as for june 3, yes, jinnah could have refused to accept it. what would have that meant for india?

  101. Karaya

    Bloody Civilian,

    …INC, no clout to unfairly influence cripps, mountabatten, and (through mountabatten) radcliff

    I agree what eventually happened was unfair/undemocratic etc. But why would you want to say that it was a sort of plan B for the AIML? To say that the AIML planned for what happened is, to me, extremely ironic. I, myself, find it much more logical to believe that Pakistan was a bluff, a bargaining chip (I still don’t get the difference between the two, to be honest) used only to extract further concessions. Actually achieving Pakistan (especially from the POV of a minority province/all India party such as the AIML) would be a worst case scenario.

    as for june 3, yes, jinnah could have refused to accept it.

    To the best of my knowledge, Jinnah could not have afforded to refuse the June 3rd plan. There were no more cards left to play.

  102. Bloody Civilian

    Actually achieving Pakistan (especially from the POV of a minority province/all India party such as the AIML) would be a worst case scenario.

    not the 23 march 1940 pakistan. but the june 3 pakistan… yes, if it was conceded with the kind of bitterness and hostility that it was. with the negative contribution of the three men named. the bloodletting. but not if it had been accepted more amicably. if a good neighbourly, friendly relationship.. shared defence etc. even a confederation could have ensued.

    There were no more cards left to play.

    depending on how you look at it, there was at least one more card left to play: refuse to accept the june 3 plan. except jinnah had always considered the use of that kind of card, refusing to play… and knew and had seen, since 1920, the damage that kind of tactics/attitudes do.

  103. Karaya

    Bloody Civilian,

    not the 23 march 1940 pakistan.

    Why do you feel the 23 March Pakistan would have been good for the minority provinces or an all-India Muslim Party? IMO, taken at face value, it was not—it was more an enunciation of a sort of Unionist provincial thesis. And anyways, what was the 23 March Pakistan? Was it ever acutely defined? Did the Muslims of India, when voting in 1945/46 know what this “Pakistan” exactly was?

    depending on how you look at it, there was at least one more card left to play: refuse to accept the june 3 plan.

    And then what? Direct Action? Pshaw!

    When I mean when I said there were no cards to play, I meant there were no cards to play which would lead to the betterment of the AIML’s constituents. I did not mean suicide.

  104. Bloody Civilian

    it was the bitterness,the hostility that caused the problem. i have listed some of the triggers for exasperating the breakdown of peace. but the hostile, belligerent stance was at the leadership level. done amicably, even the partition as per june 3 plan need not have become a disadvantage for the hindustani muslims. 23 march ’40 envisaged no division of punjab and bengal. no pop exchange.

    and why would jinnah refusing june 3 lead to suicide? for whom? why would a political stalemate lead to that? my original question was: what it would have meant for india. not indian muslims. were they not part of india?

  105. yasserlatifhamdani

    hayyer,

    That just shows how little you know of Jinnah’s and Nehru’s views on this particular issue.

    Sardar Shaukat Hayat was not given the time of day by Jinnah himself… though he was totally committed to Jinnah. However Sir Fazli Hussain’s son I believe was a senior official in Nehru’s government post partition.

    I suggest you read a bit more about Jinnah … the words “toadies” and “jee huzuris” for the Landed types are directly from Jinnah’s vocabulary.

    No disagreement ofcourse on the house issue. Tariq Ali is a joke. Nothing else.

  106. yasserlatifhamdani

    PS: You’ll do well to read up on the Communist Party of India’s role in Punjab’s politics in the closing days of the Raj…

    You’ll realize that when the last hurrah came… Nehru was hiding behind toadies like Khizer Hayat Tiwana.

  107. bonobashi

    Myself when young did eagerly frequent
    Doctor and Saint, and heard great argument
    About it and about: but evermore
    Came out by the same door as in I went.

    Fitzgerald pretending to be a Sufi more or less sums up where I find myself about months of sincere effort at understanding where we stand. My quest started with trying to find out why an entire country was interested only in killing and murdering us wherever we were , at war and in peace, in our schools, temples and places of work, at night and in day, armed or unarmed. So now I know what I know.

    This is so because we are guilty collectively of failure to acknowledge the sensitivity and vulnerability of the minority, one of the minorities, which, being far advanced of the others, conscious of its rights, and mobilised by the earnest effort of a series of dedicated leaders, sought and obtained its independence of our brutal, tyrannical rule of the future.

    ‘We’ in this case refers to northern Hindus not Dalit nor tribal, and not to Sikhs, Dravidians, Buddhists, Jains, and Christians. They may be classified under the head of collateral damage; if they had emulated our significant others, and had pressed for states of their own, they would not now be under trial by fire. Also to enough Muslims who had not been told the plot and found themselves gaping foolishly at a different flag and a different country than the one that they had been promised. ‘Why did they not depart, if they were so keen?’ I don’t know the answer to that one, Victoria. If I knew, I’d tell them, and the others who came in through the back door while we weren’t looking. There’s a gang outside my window as I write this well past midnight, speaking in their broad dialect; they have problems with the meat locally, it seems.

    Not only did we fail to acknowledge the sensitivities mentioned, we compounded our felony, every unborn mother’s son and daughter of us, by appointing or electing the most evil and vicous set of leaders it has been the misfortune of the world to see. These were vicious, self-centred people, engrossed in religious feeling, who surrounded themselves with others similarly engrossed with religious feeling. There were Muslims among them, truth to tell. It makes shameful reading, but it was true.

    I am sorry, I wish I could stop here, but it gets worse. Two spiteful wrong-doings down, and still no lesson learnt. We go on and on.

    Our leaders – we weren’t born then, and disavowed them throughout our adult lives later, but it is a question of collective guilt by association – had the singular bad manners to linger on, unwanted except by us, long after any sensible decent leader died of wasting disease or assassination. One of ‘ours’ died by assassination, but he was so steeped in sin that it hardly counts. As a result of this duplicity and deviousness, we left our parted citizens with no choice but to call in the men in uniform. It was not your fault; a succession of failures of the civilian leadership, the truly inept and incompetent lot that we flung to you, retaining all the good ones for ourselves, forced you to that extreme.

    By now, we had been leading out our lives, such as they were, under a constitution, formed by a leader of one of those factions that were too uneducated and boorish to have stirred itself and stepped out, like one and only one set of the minorities did. This well-educated leader of an otherwise ill-educated mass influenced his colleagues to produce a document which seems to have worked. I hasten to add that this was the handiwork of a minority leader, and can hardly be ascribed to us as extenuating circumstances.

    But so had you. In spite of a couple of diversions, some minor incidents of threat and turbulence, a constitution was ready in 1956. The antidote to the poison, so say wizards and sorcerers, must be prepared with the poison itself. What we had not done, counsel that we had not taken, had been done elsewhere; in 1958, your first military leader strode the boards, and struck the first war-like pose.

    Preparations for all good things takes time; it took them seven years. Then the self-appointed supreme authority over matters military in the field, otherwise the gentleman sent back from the front where he served for ‘tactical timidity’ – what does that cover, I wonder? – fought a brilliant little skirmish in the marshes of Gujarat, and gave his nod to a plan to rectify certain anomalies; he was not very sure, but a younger leader convinced him to go along. This younger leader was not part of the truly inept and incompetent lot that we flung to you at the time of parting. He was different; you found him for yourselves.

    So based on this plan of yours, we launched a series of treacherous and unforeseen attacks on some brave patriots, and the momentum of these, or Chanakyan cunning on our part, brought us to within dangerous distance of your trophy capital. Naturally, such condign treachery deserved response, and a brilliant attack to cut off the only supply line to the war zone followed. However, as happens in this vale of tears, the wrong side won.

    The brave and the bold among your military men replaced the soldier in charge of your troops, perhaps due to our typical devious methods of corrupting anybody and everybody who comes in contact with us – who can tell? These habits seem to have lain deep in dormancy within us, and the son of one of these paladins, the one sent back for tactical timidity, recounted the tale later of how a Field Marshal on our side, who shall remain unnamed, had sold your country the operations plans which were his special care while he was a brigadier and the director military operations. The son, who is a puissant and powerful man due to his sterling business acumen, both while his father was head of state and afterwards, thus proved without any doubt that we were slaves to habit; what we were habituated to see as our plans remained our plans over years, with no changes except being re-typed so as to put a fresh date to it.

    Talks followed, our leader died (but not until signing an agreement for peace), and we sank into our slothful, porcine oblivion for a few years. Then the disaster.

    We are informed that one military gentleman having lost the mandate of heaven or the keys to the safe or something like that which gives the nuclear security experts among the Americans screaming nightmares, he had to hand over to another. Meanwhile, we continued our slothful, etc. etc. etc. ways, election after dreary, boring election, with not the slightest brains or sensitivity to understand how life really was, without protection. So just to show us how stupid we were, you had elections. To everybody’s vast astonishment (I’m leaving out dull and insensitive clods like ourselves, bereft as we were and are of any sense of adventure or of imaginative faculties), the majority won. Naturally nobody was prepared for this.

    Very briefly, we then entered into a conspiracy to divide your country, and with the help of your military dictator and your greatest political asset, we were successful. There were some minor incidents on the way, but nothing that should give us pause.

    It was clear that justice and honour were the only recourses left, given that injustice and dishonour were the hallmarks of the enemy. And that brings us to the beginning of this fascinating learning experience. If I remember correctly, it was General Dyer who was asked about his behaviour during an incident during our (not your) independence struggle and your partition struggle; he was asked what honour there was in putting a .303 bullet into a six-month old baby. I forget his answer; couldn’t have been important.

    So here we are, after sixty one years. In our peculiar obstinacy and stupidity, we did everything wrong. From our original unspeakable leadership, we got a constitution, stable institutions and an Army that is guided, even misguided by the political establishment solely. We went through a series of elections, and appointed governments – ourselves, without help – which did things, like govern, as if they had no cricket teams to select. We even tried to strengthen our ways of working, with the right to ask what was done and said in the innermost circles of the administration. But all in vain. It’s not about what we did, it’s about original sin. We were born in original sin and we will die, it is to be hoped at the point of a sword, in original sin. Not an unfair punishment for the crimes committed, you will say, look at us instead, you will scornfully tell us.

    Perhaps in time, once we have washed ourselves free of our crimes, we may do that. Just now, in our abashed state of realisation (there I go, using big, big words again), it is better, I think, that we do not.

  108. hayyer48

    YLH:
    Jinnah’s party was the party of the landed aristocracy originally and its leading lights came from that group assisted by what you call the salariat. Whether he called them toadies or not is irrelevant in the context of his close association with them. It was Nehru who held them at arm’s length.
    The less said about the communists over government forming 1946-47 in Punjab, and seeking guidance on Pakistan, the better from the Indian point of view.
    Karaya:
    The Bangladeshi crossing over are the desperate ones. They are the descendants of the supporters of Fazlul Haq and his Krishak Samaj, not the descendants of the elitists who were afraid of Hindu rule.
    Bonobashi:
    We are coming out not different doors but no wiser. Learnt a lot but blame remains spread out.

  109. hayyer48

    Second last line; from differnet doors. Sorry.

  110. ylh

    Hayyer,

    I am afraid you have no appreciation for the nuances of Punjabi politics unfortunately.

    This “close association” is a fabric of your imagination. It is as historically inaccurate as your attempt to sweep the communist role in Punjab under the carpet by making a statement like “the less said the better”. Communist support of the ML in the 1940s (and it was not 46-47 as you put it which shows me that you don’t have a clue) was based on the fact that ML alone possessed the ability to bring down the Jatt feudal -British bureaucracy nexus that was had Punjab in its clutches. You should read Sajjad Zaheer’s or G Adhikari’s writings on the issue. Sajjad Zaheer described the League as the foremost liberationist force. Read his “a case for Congress-league unity”.

    When ML was the party of the landed aristocracy, Jinnah’s party was Congress. Jinnah’s own faction of the Muslim League -ie Jinnah League- in the 1920s was mainly composed of the Salariat… and when Jinnah revived the League it became largely a party of the Muslim salariat. It is true that Jinnah-Sikandar pact gave the Unionist types room to breathe for six years but in Punjab’s politics it was always ML (and not Congress) that threatened the British toady Unionist Party. Congress actually made a government with them in 1946.

    When the floodgates opened, all and sundry decided to jump on the bandwagon but what you’ve written is completely historically inaccurate.

    Had you bothered to investigate the matter closely you would realize this by yourself.

    In any event suffice to say your occam’s razor that my “class” view is closer to Nehru’s is just not true- not by a long shot. I am not a hypocrite.

  111. Majumdar

    Hayyer mian,

    They are the descendants of the supporters of Fazlul Haq and his Krishak Samaj, not the descendants of the elitists who were afraid of Hindu rule.

    Btw, the supporters of Fazlu and his Krishak Samaj were as afraid of Hindoo rule and as passionate about Pakistan as the “elitists”

    Regards

  112. ylh

    It is unfortunate that issue is seen through such a narrow prism of preconceived notions of history.

    The conflict between the Salariat and the feudals was an important dimension of the intra-muslim struggle …and their apparent unity in face of the Hindu-majority seems to have masked it.

    The feudals of Punjab resented Jinnah and the League and saw it as the only threat to their cross communal feudal ministry.

    I think it was in the 50s or the 60s that Clement Atlee recorded his impressions of Jinnah, as expected completely negative Clement Atlee was an imperialist crook after all and one without the class of Winston Churchill…Atlee said that the first time he met Jinnah in 1927 Jinnah was far from a good Muslim and was extremely westernized and a “Congress hanger-on” who thought “much of his ambition”. Then he accused Jinnah of wrecking the only good government in all of India ie Punjab which had “very big men” like Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan. “Jinnah set his mind to it wrecked it”.

    It is therefore fallacious to assume what Hayyer does.

    Similarly his simplistic understanding of Peasant Nationalism which contributed to Pakistan’s formation in Bengal is pathetically lacking.

  113. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    The conflict between the Salariat and the feudals was an important dimension of the intra-muslim struggle …and their apparent unity in face of the Hindu-majority seems to have masked it.

    I think this is a fair point.

    In Punjab, the feudals were by and large pro-Unionist and anti-ML but joined hands with AIML only becuase they saw a threat to themselves from the centralising tendency of the INC. Without an alliance of the feudals and salariat under one roof, AIML would have never won Punjab in 1946 (and by corollary “won” Pakistan). Once of course, Pakistan was obtained, the Punjoo feudals got hold of the AIML (and later basically got rid of it) and got rid of the salariat from Punjabi politics. In that sense the Punjoo feudals were more or less like the Islamists- late adherents to Muslim nationalism but the biggest beneficiary once the Muslim nation was created.

    In Bengal, the picture was rather more complex. The ML was largely controlled by the feudals (some of whom as has been pointed out elsewhere were barely Bongs culturally) while the “peasant nationalists” largely regionlist parties like the KPP and their relationship with the AIML was always volatile. To the best of my knowledge Muslim Bengali salariat was very weak and divided between various outfits.

    In the minority provinces, AIML was virtually an umbrella outfit for all classes barring the fundoos (who were aligned with INC and affiliates) and some feudals in UP had formed regional agrarian outfits as well.

    YLH can correct me if I am wrong.

    Regards

  114. hayyer48

    The communists in Punjab were seeking guidance from Moscow through the 40s and tried to form a ML Congress government in Punjab in 46-47. It did not happen because of events in Delhi. How does that make their political position authentic? If the landed aristocracy and the British were in league it was because the Punjab had much to be grateful to the British for. And let us not forget that it was the same Unionist British alliance that was responible for giving Jinnah a virtual veto over British negotiations with the INC.
    The communists are good because they support Jinnah. Churchill the old imperialist, is good for the same reason because he was advising Jinnah right through. Atlee however is an imperialist crook because he does not like Jinnah. The Unionists are bad for the same reason. Even as a partisan of Jinnah (whom most of us on this site admire) aren’t your judgements rather binary.
    I may read the books you recommend about the role of the communists in Punjab, but to desribe the Muslim League as a liberationist force is typical of the contortions Communists will undergo to find theory to support their shifting stances.
    As I said before it was the Unionists who tried to put up a joint communal front in Punjab and it was the AIML which communalized it. Their feudal nature has no adverse impact on the larger cause of communal amity in the Punjab.
    All arguments seem to be weighed and found wanting if they fall on the wrong side of Jinnah.

  115. yasserlatifhamdani

    Majumdar,

    You’ve got it right … give or take ..as far as I know.

    My dear Hayyer…

    The reason why Jinnah was able to secure a veto (contrary to what many latter day Indian nationalists want desperately to believe) was because Jinnah the upstart khoja Ismaili lawyer -born of the mercentile class from Gujurat Kathiawar – inflicted a thumping defeat in the 1946 elections upon the feudals in the Unionist Party (Fazli and Sikandar’s remnants …Khizer Hayat Tiwana types) and their Congress backers including Jawaharlal Nehru (first in the long list of aristocratic South Asian “socialists” and the son of “Sir” Motilal Nehru Order of the British Empire) … it doesn’t matter if I am a Jinnah-partisan or not … these are the facts whether you wish to admit them or not. Then you make some odd comments about 46-47 again when history says otherwise:

    Here are some of those excerpts:

    We were the first to see and admit a change in its character when the League accepted complete independence as its aim and began to rally the Muslim masses behind its banner. We held a series of discussions within our party and came to the conclusion in 1941-1942 that it had become an anti-imperialist organization expressing the freedom urge of the Muslim people that its demand for Pakistan was a demand for self determination and that for the freedom of India, an immediate joint front between the Congress and the League must be forged as the first step to break imperialist deadlock. A belief continues to be held that League is a communal organization and what Mr. Jinnah is Pro-British.

    But what is the reality? Mr. Jinnah is to the freedom loving League masses what Gandhiji is to the Congress masses. They revere their Qaid-e-Azam as much as the Congress do the Mahatma. They regard the League as their patriotic organization as we regardthe Congress. This is so because Mr. Jinnah has done to the League what Gandhi did to the Congress in 1919-1920 i.e., made it a mass organization. Congress and the Communists, PC Joshi, People’s Publishing House Bombay, p 5.

    G. Adhikhari explained the soundness of the Two Nation Theory in the following words:

    In 1938, were yet wrapped in the theory like the rest of the nationalists, that India was one nation and that the Muslims were just a religious cultural minority and that the Congress-League United Front could be forged by conceding ‘protection of cultural and religious rights and demands’. We stood on the same basis as the Congress leadership, and were guilty of the charge of denying the peoples of the Muslim nationalities their just right to autonomy in free India. Since 1940, the party began to see that the so called communal problem in India was really a problem of growing nationalities and that it could be solved on the basis of the recognition of the right of self determination, to the point of political secession of the Muslim nationalities as in fact of all nationalities which have India as their common mother land. In those days many comrades were shocked by the formulation that India was not one nation and its development was in the direction of a multinational unity… the demand for Pakistan if we look at its progressive essence is in reality the demand for self determination and separation of the areas of Muslim nationalities of the Punjab, Pathan, Sindh, Baluchistan and the Eastern Provinces G.Adhikari, Pakistan and National Unity, People’s Publishing house, August 1942, pp. 29-30

    and then:

    Behind this conflict of names was hidden a bigger reality. So long as the League acquiesced in whatever the Unionists chose to do in its name, the Unionists, that is to say, the Governor and his fellow bureaucrats had no objection to Unionists being also called Muslim Leaguers; but when it was a question of submitting to the democratic discipline of a rapidly growing people’s party and of carrying out its policy and acting according to its instructions, it could not possibly be tolerated by the bureaucracy. It is precisely this conflict long brewing- which finally came to ahead in March, April, 1944… the task of every patriot is to welcome and help this democratic growth which at long last is now taking place among the Muslims of Punjab. The last strong hold of imperialist bureaucracy in India is invaded by the League. Let us all help the people of Punjab capture it. Zaheer, Sajjad, Light on League Unionist Conflict, People’s Publishing House, Bombay, July, 1944, pp 26-33

    Now read Atlee’s view in this context. The irony is that I called Churchill an imperialist above as well… though he was not a crook. Ofcourse I’ve always known that you love to twist words around.

    The issue here was your statement that my views on class were closer to Nehru which is not true. My antipathy for the feudals comes from the fact that my late father was a hardworking businessman who worked from age 14 to his dying day … and I am myself am part of what is generally referred to as that salariat or the middle class- professionally and economically. My perspective on class is from this angle.

    I am not inspired by marxist fantasies carefully nurtured through selective readings at Harrow and Cambridge as Nehru was… I think this goes far beyond being a Jinnah partisan my friend. I am the kind who has to work for a living and work harder after a vacation… this puts me decidedly in Jinnah’s camp… in Disraeli’s camp … Aristocratic Nehru did not work for a living a day in his life. He was guaranteed a political future because of his father… I have no such luxury. His views on class are therefore superficial, fashionable and without substance. Get it? I admire Jinnah because the upstart got so strong that these feudal types lived in perpetual fear of him. The upstart got so strong that he cut them all out of major cabinet posts. Now that is something to aspire to… as an individual and as a Pakistani.

    I therefore request that you kindly withdraw the statement that you made which is absolutely and completely untrue.

  116. zurmati

    now who does jinnah bring in cabinet.dubious characters like ghulam mohammad .what a farce.in any case the feudal toadies who joined jinnah were his main benefactors.i am amused at hamdanis narrow intellect.

  117. ylh

    Yawn. Another one who thinks he “knows” history but is too proud to go and read before making comments here it seems.

    Most of the Unionist Party leaders only entered the League after the 1946 elections and not before it. That they left the League for Republicans just proves my point even further. You are probably confusing the status of the Unionists under the Sikandar-Jinnah pact of 1938. They were under the umbrella banner of All India Muslim League. Read my previous post again where 1944 marked the end to the Sikandar-Jinnah pact. The 1946 elections were won not by the Landlords and this much is quite clear from anyone who has read history.

    Ghulam Muhammad was from financial background and was not from the feudal elite. Similarly Jogindranath Mandal was a scheduled caste Hindu. Fazalurrahman was not a feudal either. II Chundrigar came from the bourgeoisie of bombay like Jinnah himself… Zafrula was a lawyer and not of landed gentry…Nishtar was a simple man… The only I think was landed was probably Raja Ghazanfar Ali the food minister.

    Ghulam Muhammad’s subsequent actions are akin to Alexandar Hamilton becoming the president of the US instead of Thomas Jefferson. Like Hamilton- the secretary of treasury in the first US administration, Ghulam Muhammad was a finance minister of proven ability and was overly ambitious. While Alexandar Hamilton was stopped in his tracks by Jefferson and then Aaron Burr, after Washington’s death, there was no one to do that in Pakistan.

    And yes- the toadies did take advantage of the situation post-Partition but that does not my point. People like Zurmati should educate themselves first before opening their mouth.

  118. Majumdar

    Yasser mian/Hayyer,

    Interestingly no CPI/CPM member of today will recall that the undivided CPI had called AIML an anti-imperialist liberationist force or that it had supported AIML on partitition.

    Poor Sajjad Zaheer. He went to establish people’s rule in Pakistan but within 5 years or so was forced to run back with his tail tucked between his legs. His daughter is actor Raj Babbar’s wife.

    Regards

  119. Hayyer48

    Majumdar: YLH is not aware of the dubious reputation of the Communist Parties in India. He judges them not on their ideological worth but on the shifting sands of their loyalty to his favourite person no matter how tendentious and self serving it may have been. The Communists shifted their stance to accord with the Soviet Unions needs after the Molotov Ribbentrop pact and that is probably all there was to it.
    YLH: I was referring to the veto granted to Jinnah by Linlithgow in 1940. In 1946-47 it was all but over, and the British withdrew the veto power granted to him.
    We are talking at cross purposes most of the time. I am considered to be excessively harsh on the subject of Nehru by your Indian correspondents. If your views accord with Nehru’s on the toadies it does you no discredit though it does to Nehru-because he had no problem befriending the British upper classes. I am myself an admirer of Jinnah as a self made constitutionalist and have said so on this site.
    May I suggest to you, and I have done so before, that you moderate your responses to the comments received. As such a widely read person (even if you wear your learning on your sleeve sometimes) and as an administrator on this excellent site you can help build up traffic to it; something which is sorely needed in these troubled times.

  120. yasserlatifhamdani

    Yes. Nehru called himself the last Englishman to rule India. However I think you can see why I feel my critique is driven from actual class warfare and not aristocrat’s marxist pretensions.

    The “dubious” role of Communists in independent India is none of my concern… my attempt was to show the nature of the conflict in Punjab and I think the Communists were on the dot with their analysis. I am not a communist-sympathizer so I don’t think I am defending them on any grounds.

  121. zurmati

    yasser latof , small man that he is , intellectually as well as physically , does not know history.he has studied few books and tries to fool people.his knowledge is shallow and his mind that of a poor shrunken ahmadi/he does not know that zafrullah was a toady unionist.he has not read election history and does not know that 99 % of leaguers of 1946 elections were toadies elected on unionist ticket in 1936.his myopic and intellectually petty mind makes raja ghazanfar ali the only man who supported jinnah in addition to malik barkat ali in 1936 as a unionist.small and petty man.

  122. yasserlatifhamdani

    zarmuti=Saad Abbasi=Kami Kaze FYI.

    1. Sir Zafrulla was never part of the Unionist Party per se. He was at one point close to the Punjabi politicians but that doesn’t make him a Unionist per se. He was a Leaguer and was the president of the Muslim League in 1931.

    2. While it is not true that 99.9 percent of the League’s winners Punjab had been elected on Unionist tickets in 1936-37- poor Sa’ad Abbasi is out of his depth again (there was no doubt a significant number who had gone for a League ticket instead of the Unionist one)… but let’s say even if 100% of the winners in 1946 had contested elections on a Unionist ticket in 1936… it proves exactly the opposite of Sa’ad wants to prove.

    Consider: The large number of local rural candidates switching parties would show the popularity of Muslim League’s slogan of Pakistan- whatever that meant …against the Unionist Party’s ideology which stood on Jatt consciousness and feudal alliance between Hindu, Sikh and Muslim landed classes. If one goes by the logic of party tickets in 1936 and party tickets in 1947, all of Unionist Party was part of the Muslim League after the 1938 Sikandar-Jinnah pact… but my point – which Sa’ad Abbasi is unable to appreciate- is that the Muslim League-Unionist Struggle itself was about who would be ascendant… the Salariat or the feudals. And in 1946-1947, League and its Salariat leadership came out on top and unionists had to either shut up or put up. A few years later that was reversed.

    How long are we going to go in these circles btw?

    -YLH

  123. Karaya

    Majumdar,

    Btw, the supporters of Fazlu and his Krishak Samaj were as afraid of Hindoo rule and as passionate about Pakistan as the “elitists”

    Why do you say that? Could you please elaborate? And which Pakistan (Ironically, Suhrawardy had opined that “Pakistan” was based on the common bonds of a shared Bengali heritage where the difference between the “two nations” was of little consequence)?

    Bonobashida, your views on Haq’s stance vis-a-vis Pakistan?

  124. bonobashi

    @Karaya

    Thank you for your query.

    I do not believe I can contribute anything further of value on matters relating to the interrelationship between India and Pakistan, or on the prior history in the last century leading to the formation of these two nations and Bangladesh subsequently, and wish to confine myself to other areas of historical and political interest.

  125. bonobashi

    @Karaya

    I was given a lot of hope and faith for the future by these lines:

    “At the end of the day of course whatever our differences, Indians and Pakistanis must realize that Jinnah, Nehru and Gandhi all and the founding ideals of India and Pakistan, however much apparently antagonistic, are on the same side in the great battle of civilization against terrorism, poverty, illiteracy, backwardness and religious intolerance. We should join forces instead of withering away in inane battles.”

    How true!

    I am conscious, indeed, have been made conscious brutally by Mother Nature of my failing physical and mental faculties. It is no longer possible to follow the intricacies and byways of today’s scintillating passages of arms.

    Instead, I should like to conserve my failing strength for “the great battle of civilization against terrorism, poverty, illiteracy, backwardness and religious intolerance”. When the preparations begin for that, I want to be in that number. Not now, not in the other sort of battles that are going on.

  126. Karaya

    Bonobashida,

    Not a problem in the least.

    I hope to learn from you even when it comes to “other areas of historical and political interest” 🙂

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