Pakistaniat : The Crisis of Identity

Bradistan Calling


What can I give to Pakistan as a present on its 62nd Birthday, What else than an article on its chequered history and identity. Bertrand Russell famously said,” There are three great civilisations in East i.e. India, China and Islam”. Pakistan is blessed to be located at the crossroads of all these great civilisations. In my humble opinion this is the biggest strength of Pakistani identity.


Celebrating the T20 victory in Bradfor,I left my intellectual hat at home and donned the green flag to go on the street and celebrate with the Bradistan boyz and girlz, not that I consider myself a “flag waving nationalist”. My loyalties might be a bit shaky but I would never dream of waving a tricolour of Republic of India. It is a different story when it comes to patriotic movies like “Baghat Singh” or “Mother India”, my eyes fill with tears of pride.

I don’t follow Pakistan cricket team fanatically; I am well past my youth days of 1992 world cup victory. I still remember how the Pakistanis, all over the world, spontaneously came out on the streets singing dancing, waving their flags, congratulating and hugging strangers. It was similar story this time as well and all major motorways in and out of Bradford were blocked, there were long queues in front of sweet shops and police had to restrain some hot-headed youth who insist on sitting on the roofs of their cars while waving the flags, girls with Pakistanis T-shirts with loud anthems on their car stereos.   These scenes were repeated across Bradford, Birmingham, Manchester and London.   Obviously the rightwing mullah brigade (made in Saudi Arabian clone factory) does not like Pakistanis singing and dancing on the street in sinful jubilation.

In itself winning a minor or major sports tournament cannot, by any stretch of imagination, be termed a national achievement. Do we really go over the top in our celebrations? probably yes, but the Pakistanis from the Jackson Heights in New York city to the Afro-Baluch slums of Lyari in Karachi and from Chinese border in the north to the deserts of Punjab and Sindh felt a real sense of excitement after continuous bad news of terrorist attacks, lack of electricity, breakdown of governance and the economic and social crises in Pakistan.

Foreign governments and research analysts continuously rank Pakistan in the category of at risk of becoming a failed state. These analyses are probably too far fetched if not completely inaccurate. Pakistan is facing a Population explosion of 180 million people, but Pakistan is also bursting with energy and talent. Pakistani scientists, doctors and professors are among the best in the world. It would probably be irresponsible to rank Pakistan with countries like Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan or Zimbabwe.

Pakistan is fighting a war for its survival against the Islamic terrorists. Pakistan was envisaged as a country for Muslims by liberal Muslim elite of India, not an Islamic theocracy. Pakistan, at its birth, had the vitality and diversity of a multiethnic multilingual and multi cultural country. Unfortunately rightwing pan-Islamic ideologues like Maududi, To- fail Mohammed and their protégé Islamist dictator Zia conspired to sell the soul of Pakistan to the devilish terrorist from Middle East.

Despite its religious and cultural pluralism, Pakistan suffers an identity crisis. The founder of Pakistan Mr. Jinnah articulated his vision for the constitutional rights of all citizens irrespective of their religion, race or background, in a speech to legislative assembly on the eve of independence. But the Islamists want to turn Pakistan into a colonial outpost of puritanical Saudi Arabia. Even Baluch separatists are more democratic and secular than the so called champions of “two nation Hindu-Muslim ideology” of Pakistan.

 Recently Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan has tried to link the Pakistani identity to Indus Valley Civilisation, which prospered the areas of current Pakistan 5000 years ago. But can a vision from past heal the fault lines in the current Pakistani identity, possible but highly unlikely.

Pakistan is a reality which the sceptics of partition of India cannot simply wish away. Pakistani identity is a fluid and dynamic paradigm and religion alone cannot provide the basis of a modern nation state. The Islamist tried to wipe out the colourful mosaic of songs and culture through imposition of their mono-chrome Islamic culture on TV, newspapers, magazines, painters and performing arts.

World famous Pakistani historian and anthropologist late Ahmed H. Dani described, Pakistan’s landscape and culture as many countries rolled into one; Northern Areas are Central Asian Switzerland , Frontier is Afghani, Punjab and upper Sindh are North Indian and Baluchistan and lower Sindh are Middle Eastern. Up until 2004, Pakistan used to have half a million European and American tourists every year.

The Himalayan valleys in Northern Areas, The Kite Runner festival of “Basant” in the ancient and  walled inner city of Lahore(capital of North Indian culture), cultural and religious tourism for Sikh and Hindu pilgrims are still as good as any in the world. Pakistan has to showcase the Indus Valley and Ghandhara Buddhist civilizations, Basant festival, performing arts festival, truck art, chicken-Tikka Masaala Mughal cuisine, Buddhist, Hindu and Sikh pilgrimage places to new markets.Festivals at Shiv Mandir in Katas Raj and Kali Mandir in Hinglaj Balouchistan can bring Non-resident Indians(sikhs especially) NRIs from Europe and America. Its high time Indians are allowed free access to Pakistani destinations.

In today’s Pakistan, despite the terrorism the media is free but there are certain “red lines”, which no one dares to cross. Pakistan national broadcasters TV and radio try to revive the art and culture through works of great writers and thinkers like Faiz, Faraz, Parveen shaker,S H Manto, Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi,Ibn Insha and painters like Guljee ,Sadqeen and A R  Chughtai. Recently International bestsellers of Pakistani writers have made waves in media.  Arguably, the art and the literature are limited to the elite. Unfortunately, the local languages and culture is in decline due to global satellite TV entertainment.

Sufi Islam (with its colourful religious ceremonies) has inspired singers like Nusrat Fateh Ali, Junoon and Shafqat Amanat Ali to project a soft image of Pakistan to world wide audiences. Sufi saints’ folklore and romantic folktales of Heer-Ranja(Punjab), Sassi-Pannu(Baluch), Saiful –Maluk(Kashmir/Hazara) and Umer-Marvi (Sindh) inspire and bond  Pakistani masses  together.

English socialite, Jewish Heiress Jemima Khan, recalled listening to the Sufi Rahat Nusrat Fateh singing classic poet Ghalib at heritage Haveli (mansion) of the grandson of poet philosopher Dr. Iqbal , a stone-throw away from “Royal street” (the infamous dancing girls’ street) and “Food  street” Lahore, in the company of thespian legends, among them Indian Muslim Naseer-uddin shah(who co-incidentally played the role of  Ghalib in biographical movie) . The write-up captures the contradictions and beauty of Pakistani identity.

Pakistan’s biggest export to its eastern neighbour, India is culture in form of Poetry, Pop music, Sufi Qawali and its TV dramas. Indians consider Pakistanis as a custodian of Mughal  Muslim tradition of undivided India, Urdu Bhasha is the lingua franca of Bollywood movies.

Cricket is the passion, entertainment and pastime of the working, lower middle class Pakistanis. For the masses the pride and joy of winning a world championship was immeasurable. The cricketers become overnight heroes of the Pakistani nation. Pakistani cricketers (as a team), barring the two “Jehovah’s Muslims” Yousaf(a Christian  apostate) and Inzimam(ex-clubbing fanatic  turned Islamist), are the new poster boys for modernity, liberal lifestyle and international success, the fast bowler “Rawalpindi express” Shoaib Akhter is more (in)famous for his night-clubbing and binge drinking than for his cricketing talents. Even the neighbouring Afghanistan has caught the cricket fever, despite the game being banned by the puritanical Taliban in mid 90s.

 We should not let chauvinistic nationalism blind us from the shame of military blunders and human rights violations but Pakistani society still has the vitality to rise again from ashes after every major crisis and disaster. In Struggle for democracy in 1980s, floods of 1992, earthquake in 2005, judicial movement in 2007 and refugee crisis in Swat valley and fight against Islamic terrorism, Pakistanis unite and open their arms for their less fortunate brothers and sisters. 99% of the Pakistanis are not the isolationist fanatics, that world media and the Islamists portray them to be. Pakistanis have a new found confidence that they can compete with the best in the world despite all difficulties.

Three of the current cricketing heroes namely Yunus Khan, Shahid Afridi and Umer Gul are ethnic Pushtun and come from North West Frontier, an area battling the Islamist terrorist. Cricketing success has shown the youth of Pakistan a new way. Back on the streets of Bradistan even the English, Indian Gujarati and Bosnian Muslims joined in the chants of “Boom Boom Afridi”, and I said the future is bright the future is green.



Filed under Activism, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, ancient civilisations, Architecture, baluchistan, Citizens, cricket, culture, dynasties, Environment, Europe, FATA, Heritage, History, human rights, Identity, India, Iran, Islam, Jinnah, Jinnah's Pakistan, Karachi, Kashmir, Languages, Left, Literature, Media, minorities, Music, North-West Frontier Province, Northern Areas, Pakistan, Partition, Peshawar, Politics, Punjabi, quetta, Religion, Rights, Sindh, south asia, Sufism, Taliban, Terrorism, Travel, Urdu, USA, youth

34 responses to “Pakistaniat : The Crisis of Identity

  1. yasserlatifhamdani

    This is what I am talking about! Brilliant stuff.

  2. Akash

    “Indians consider Pakistanis as a custodian of Mughal Muslim tradition of undivided India”

    That’s a rather overarching statement. I don’t think a lot of us think like that. A nice article, otherwise.

  3. PMA

    “World famous Pakistani historian and anthropologist late Ahmed H. Dani described, Pakistan’s landscape and culture as many countries rolled into one……Northern Areas are Central Asian Switzerland……Frontier is Afghani…….Punjab and upper Sindh are North Indian……and……Baluchistan and lower Sindh are Middle Eastern. Up until 2004, Pakistan used to have half a million European and American tourists every year.”

    Pakistan sits at the junction of Central Asia, Persia and India. Pakistan drives its cultural elements from all three sources. In addition to that there is a Greek component to our history as well. There is a great interest in Greece about the Greek history of Pakistan. This interest needs to be exploited by Pakistan.

  4. bonobashi

    @Bradistan Calling

    A most evocative piece of writing. Happy Birthday, Pakistan.

  5. Vijay Goel

    Happy Indipendence Day.Wish you the best.

  6. hayyer 48

    Nice piece. wishing Pakistan a happy peaceful and diverse future.

  7. Gorki

    “Pakistan is facing a Population explosion of 180 million people, but Pakistan is also bursting with energy and talent. Pakistani scientists, doctors and professors are among the best in the world.”

    I can second that. It has become a cliche to predict Pakistan’s slide into a ‘failed state’ but that is the glass half full story.
    The other part of the story is that Pakistan within its young population is producing many well educated, openminded and eager leaders of the future. These combined with the recent developments including the nascent movement towards restoration of judiciary and a cloudburst of a free media is a recipe for a generational intellectual ferment.

    Reading the above articles and thoughts of so many Pakistani intellectuals I feel goosebumps; could this be a nidus for a world wide movement in Islamic society; a begining of a reformation and renaiscance rolled in one?
    Let us hope so; and best wishes on the Independence Day.
    Great job Bradistan.


  8. Sanjay Rajoura

    A very happy Independence Day to all Pakistani brothers and sisters. May this year bring peace and prosperity to this great civilization!

  9. koschan

    you births were bloody, india-pakistan and gave a lot of pain to a lot of people , but since they were births afterall i have to congratulate both of u on ur janamdin…..

    Most of the congrats here r coming from indis, and they say that we are enemies.

  10. The article would appear to be upbeat, but misses the target by a wide shot. Pakistan was a vision of the Indian Muslim elite (namely Jinnah), but there were from the outset, many reluctant people dragged into Pakistan.

    Religion aside, why else is Pakistan falling? A sentiment itself is not enough to bind. A country is NOT a person, and that is precisely the trouble with Pakistan and it’s relationship with Jinnah. Jinnah may have paved the way for Pakistan, and who could be proud of the problem he created? What we have is an isolated country with a nuclear bomb on the brink to of too many possible futures, where seperatism, terrorist violence and insurgency are the voices of protest. His daughter and his descendents chose secular pathways away from Pakistan. They must have seen it coming.

    Pakistan was bound to fail. Jinnah was human, not a deity, so we should not be sending our apologies to him. Rather, the other way – Jinnah should be apologising to the world for setting upon then a schyzoprenic country that is best known for churning out failure, corruption and terrorism.

    We need to set the 14 August euphoria in context. Today is a dark day and we should re-visit misguided sentiments.

  11. Onyx

    Bada khabees aadmi hai yeh Tor khan. Khar.

  12. Hello people,

    I think, like millions others, that Pakistan and India must use each other’s tourist sites and allow tourists to cross borders with ease.

    If Alexander’s, Zoroastrian’s and Aryan’s footsteps were traced they have the potential to become hotspot tourist circuits.

    But then thats wishful thinking. But yes, if anyone knows of any walking tours in anywhere in Pakistan, do let me know.

    Explorer Ifte

    aspiring to be

  13. kamini

    with all due respect. Dr Tora Khan is stuck in same confusion that is the hallmark of Pushtuns,both sides of border.
    I have heard this before, Pakhunistan is our final destiny,pahtuns are peaceful people, there is american propoganda against taliban.
    and our religion is a religion of peace.

  14. In response to Kamini and Onyx – first of all to Kamini religion has very little to do with Pashtunistan, arguably that was never the case with Pakistan. I’ll let you decide if you think religion is peaceful.

    I feel your words – “hallmark of Pushtuns, both sides of the border” typifies how you view Pashtuns. I would hope that this view is not a rigid
    view caste in stereotypes and fashionable racism. It is this subtle prejudice that ultimately leads to calls for seperation. Take Bangladesh.

    The creation of the Taliban is a topic in itself, though no doubt you will be aware that whilst the bricks were made up of Pashtoons, the cement that held them together was not. It is traced back to the ISI, Islamabad and Washington, the architects and godfathers.

    I’ll leave you with a thought. I wonder who loved Jinnah more, the people of Pakistan or his daughter.

    Onyx* – khabees/khar. Thank you for the maturity of your debate.

    *Onyx is Latin for claw.

  15. yasserlatifhamdani

    “Indian Muslim Elite”

    Tor Khan and Pushtun Nationalists forget that unlike their Bacha Khan who was landowner, Jinnah rose entirely on his merit as a lawyer and was from the petty bourgeoisie…

    Hamza Alavi’s remarkable thesis shows that Pakistan was the vision of the Muslim bourgeoisie … and it was they who succeeded against the tribal chiefs, feudals of the unionist party, mullahs etc. Therefore in the longer term this idiocy called Pushtun Nationalism is as disastrous to Pakistan’s evolution into a modern state as Maududism which also opposed Jinnah and the Pakistan Movement.

    Ofcourse it is a dark day for Pushtun Nationalism (which shouldn’t even be called “nationalism” because it is merely the vision of a select few Pushtun Sardars … and is a curiousmix of tribalism and Islamic puritanism.)

    And while we are talking about Taliban let us not forget that this Pushtun Nationalist movement goes back a long way in history… even Bacha Khan was encouraging Fakir of Ipi in 1948 to rise up against Pakistan because Pakistan was unIslamic.

    I doubt that Tor Khan and other apologists for Bacha Khan will accept their culpability in the creation of Taliban any more than Maududians who similarly hated Jinnah and the creation of Pakistan.

  16. yasserlatifhamdani

    “Pakistan was bound to fail.”

    How ironic. This year we celebrated our independence day with our judiciary restored, a constitutional civilian democratic government, a crushing victory over the Taliban… and you are talking of failure.

    There are problems… but that doesn’t mean we have failed.

  17. Bacha Khan using Islam to rally up support for a cause? Not the first time that that has happened. Other examples would include Benazir (gave the green light to the Taliban to go forth in Afghanistan), her father (first steps towards appeasing the Mullahs by outlawing alcohol and bars) and dare I say it Mr Jinnah himself, after all, he pushed the hardest for a Muslim State.

    All of them in their own ways were champions of secularism. How ironic.

  18. YLH

    Let us not get into that debate. Read my NWFP series.

    As for history- you forget that the use of religion was started in the Khilafat Movement by Gandhi against all advice for people like Jinnah.

    Sad that you have added Bhutto to the list of secularists. He was not. The difference between all the rest and Bhutto was that Bhutto actually made religion part of the constitution and then used it to persecute a specific minority.

  19. Bloody Civilian

    bacha khan never forgot to mention sharia and how wonderful things would be under sharia law. bhutto gave us the compromised 1973 constitution and the 2nd amendment. wali khan put his name to this compromised constitution. bhutto was highly educated. bacha khan was, at least, half-educated, at best. a ‘neem mullah’.

    both of them were feudels though. unlike gandhi or jinnah. and both left us ruling dynasties, again, unlike gandhi or jinnah.

  20. Bloody Civilian

    @tor khan

    you are right that absurdities like ‘strategic depth’ cannot be ignored when it comes to analysing the history of the taliban or the mujahideen which included the likes of bin ladin. or the havoc that lack of democracy wreaks, especially, in a multi-ethnic federation. yet pashtun misogyny cannot be easily denied, ie to take a prime example. again, the ‘suspended animation’ that the brits and later pak govts kept FATA/PATA in, only made the stagnation worse. how this was turned in to a frankenstein lab since ’79 cannot be ignored either.

    as for who wrecked the chances for a united india.. you need to produce facts rather than mere statements. 14 aug ’47 was a partial defeat (or victory, depending on how you see it) on the long road to achieving a just peace and total amity amongst the peoples of this sub-continent of ours. the setback was neither total nor final. the struggle continues and a stable/strong pak is part of the road to this goal.

  21. Bloody Civilian

    “bacha khan was, at least, half-educated, at best.” = bacha khan, at least, was half-educated, at best.

  22. Gorki

    “the setback was neither total nor final. the struggle continues and a stable/strong pak is part of the road to this goal.”

    InshaAllah. 😉

    Wellcome back BC and happy Independence day.


  23. bonobashi

    to achieving a just peace and total amity amongst the peoples of this sub-continent of ours.

    Sounds like ‘e’s back. Good to see you in print again.

  24. Thanks for feedback Tor Khan, Kamini and Onyx (not exactly foes but…) and also to long time friends YLH,Bonobashi,hayyer and PMA.

    The Question that I want to discuss in light of Tor Khan comments, Is modernity more important than the self determination of ethno-linguistic groups like Pashtuns and Kurds? Do Kurds and Pushtuns want to live in modern nation states like Turkey and Pakistan? or want to make Pushtunistan and Kurdistan a modern version of tribal Somalia.
    I for one, despite my respect for Bacha Khan,do not want Islamic Emirate of Pushtunistan with Haji Muslim Khan(the Pushtu American Cabbie) cutting people’s hands in name of culture and religion.

  25. yasserlatifhamdani

    “I for one, despite my respect for Bacha Khan,do not want Islamic Emirate of Pushtunistan with Haji Muslim Khan(the Pushtu American Cabbie) cutting people’s hands in name of culture and religion.”

    Very incisive. To the point… and cuts to the heart of the issue.

  26. Bloody Civilian

    Gorki, Bonobashi

    many thanks! and a happy independence day to you too 🙂

  27. Bloody Civilian

    I for one, despite my respect for Bacha Khan,do not want Islamic Emirate of Pushtunistan with Haji Muslim Khan(the Pushtu American Cabbie) cutting people’s hands in name of culture and religion.

    why do people think that the pashtuns want to have regular amputations? why do they forget the result of the 1947 referendum? NAP was not KKs. and KK is north nwfp-centric – the only fertile part of nwfp. the only part with big landowners. whatever success NAP had, and the following the khans of uthmanzai have had, has been in large part a reaction to the leadership being in prison and/or in exile being denied an opportunity to have their incompetence exposed. the other reaction was to things like the one unit. and qayyum khan’s dictatorship (btw, he was a congress office bearer at the all-india level, number 2 to sarat bose in the central legislature, until the very end of ’46). even when NAP had their govt, bhutto denied them the opportunity to be found out. just like zia/army denied ppp a similar opportunity which at long last it seems to have now. we know how ANP is being exposed through its govt in the nwfp.

    there are four main types of pashtun: the settled pashtuns of pak (with their experience of brit india and pak, and whatever rule of law and parliamentary democracy was there); the tribal pahstuns of pak post-Durand (suspended animation, FCR etc.); afghan tribals under loose influence of kabul (via people like the padshah of kunar and rulers of nangarhar etc. in the past); and settled afghan pahstuns with no experience of western systems of govt but kabul’s islamist system since the times of abdali. to add to this is the decades of upheaval of the soviet war and the civil war since. and the pahstuns in kabul – the dari speaking ones. and the largest pashtun city in the world – karachi. so a simplistic stereotyping is really annoying.

  28. Hayyer 48

    “The Question that I want to discuss in light of Tor Khan comments, Is modernity more important than the self determination of ethno-linguistic groups like Pashtuns and Kurds? Do Kurds and Pushtuns want to live in modern nation states like Turkey and Pakistan? or want to make Pushtunistan and Kurdistan a modern version of tribal Somalia.”
    Dil Nawaz, it is not quite a racial matter and the history of the two groups is hardly similar.
    The Kurds are divided between Turkey, Iraq and Iran; two long existing countries and the third a British creation after WW1. Which is the modern nation they should associate with, if they are not to have a modern one of their own?
    The Pakhtuns are split between two countries by the Durand line and seem to have lived happily enough in Pakistan since ’47, and not so happily in Afghanistan. There is an equal case for absorbing the Pakhtun’s across the border into Pakistan (strategic depth?) as there is for letting your own lot go, though it has to be said there seems to be no great demand for the latter.
    Is modernity something that people, any people deliberately and consciously pursue? Is modernity worth pursuing for people who don’t know what it means; if anyone does? Are there evangelical modernists out there on the loose among Kurds and Pakhtuns hard selling modernity? I don’t think so; salesmen of the other brands have more persuasive mind moulding methods.
    If Pakistan leaves that anomaly called FATA unattended to, evangelists such as yourself will find it difficult to push alternatives that seem no brainers to you but mean nothing across.
    Besides if you give managers of the other brand free and welcome access to your own market as happened recently in Buner, consumers are bound to wonder if you believe what you say and can actually deliver what you claim to offer.

  29. PMA

    There are more ethnic Pashtuns in Pakistan than in Afghanistan and by the way not all of them live in the Frontier Province of Pakistan. Similarly not all domiciles of Frontier are ethnic Pashtuns. So there is no question of which country ethnic Pashtuns do or should belong to. Ethnic Pashtuns are all over Pakistan and some of them grow up to be President of Pakistan. Half of Punjab’s population has Pashtun heritage. Pashtuns are part and parcel of Pakistan. What needed is that Pakistan government must pay greater attention to the needs and aspirations of Pashtuns. As for as Pashtuns of Afghanistan. They are the largest ethnic group in that country and therefore have always been politically and economically a dominant group there. They do not want to loose that status. Pakistan and Afghanistan should have an open border where Pashtuns of both countries should move freely from one side to the other. Similar arrangement for the Kashmiris on Pakistan and Indian sides have been suggested.

  30. Bloody Civilian

    both the INC and kabul had an unwise policy vis a vis the pashtuns. INC was dishonest and kabul short-sighted. karachi ought to have done better than it did (e.g. it failed to understand that “There is an equal case for absorbing the Pakhtun’s across the border into Pakistan (strategic depth?) as there is for letting your own lot go”). btw, tribals from paktia, nangarhar, paktika, kandhar joined the wazirs and mehsuds to go to kashmir in ’47. some claim there were more afghan tribals than pakistani in kashmir.

    durand’s suspended animation meant maliks and bureauracy had a vested interest in his system. but it was zia who started the ripping apart of the social fabric of not just the tribals but also the settled areas. many maliks were killed, expelled or
    humiliated by the mujahideen (afghan and arab). peshawar has been over run and taken over by afghan refugees. they own it now.

    then came the taliban. with state sponsorship. even a cursory read of the history of mullahism in the tribal areas, and in the kabul- rather than brit-influenced pashtun areas, would make it clear that the taliban’s natural thrust will always be eastward. the next dots to join would be the wahabisation of previously sufi southern punjab. the HQ of JeM in bahawalpur. the popularity of LeT, SS/LeJ in small town central/northern punjab.

    more pertinently, the taliban wiped out the tribal maliks wholesale. 128 in one go in a grand jirga in orakzai, for example. for the first time in the history of the tribal areas, the mullah has become more powerful than the malik. btw, the bureaucracy’s interest in durand’s sytem is still there, even if the (temporarily) more belligrent than compliant mullahs have replaced the maliks.

    i guess we could blame the pashtuns and his culture for all of this. but i wouldn’t. just like i would never absolve him of extreme misogyny…. yet there were the few hundred girls’ schools in malakand for the taliban to destroy.

    has islamabad learnt any lessons? yes and no. mostly no. the plight of the $750million FATA uplift program proposed by the bush admin makes an interesting case study. has rawalpindi learnt more than islamabad? lets hope so.

  31. Thanks to Bonobashi for the following comments,

    Dear People,

    I wrote this Credo to explain why I want Pakistan to win, not because of Stockhold syndrome, not because of a desire to curry favour, not because I don’t have any loyalty to India, but because it is a situation where the failure of one is the failure of both.

    Please do let me know what you feel about this note.

    Perhaps it would help you clarify your thinking if I explained rather more clearly what I believe, even though it might seem discourteous to our hosts at places:

    1. I hope to see a strong and prosperous Pakistan in the future, as an indicator that a strong and prosperous India is similarly possible.

    2. I believe that, irrespective of where ideology takes their historical speculation about the culture and the history of their present state, at the time of partition and independence, what was created was two identical secular, democratic, multi-national (in the sense of multi-ethnic and multi-lingual) countries, one majority Hindu, one majority Muslim..

    3. I believe that India was lucky. We had a singularly good run right from the beginning. Most of all, except for a tragic deviation for a short period, we always enjoyed democracy.

    4. Pakistan was singularly unlucky.

    a. In civic affairs, in matters of administration, it was orphaned early; the second rung leadership was well-meaning but not up to the titanic demands of the situation, or a bunch of predatory swine who should be singled out for vilification by Pakistanis for the way in which they maimed the infant republic. I am speaking of Ghulam Mohammed and Iskandar Mirza in particular.

    b. In matters of statecraft, they were unfortunate in the quality of leadership they got, from the rape of the country by Ayub Khan onwards, through Yahya, Bhutto, Zia, the tweedledum-tweedledee Karunanidhi/ Jayalalitha years, and Musharraf the Magnificent. It is surprising that the country survived this long list of illuminaries.

    c. Since you talk glibly of military matters, in case your knowledge of that is on par with your knowledge of history, they were unlucky on several occasions after that: two examples are in the inexplicable battlefield supersession of Major General Akhtar Hussain Malik by Musa Khan in favour of Yahya Khan during the 1965 hostilities, and the untimely death of General Eftikhar during Pakistani 23 Div.’s attack on Chhamb. In both cases, we survived because of these interventions of providence.

    5. The result after 62 years is that though we have started from similar circumstances, we in India stand well ahead of Pakistan, but we do so through a fortuitous combination of our good fortune and their bad luck.

    6. If Pakistan fails, that is a bad omen for India. Just as Pakistan has its competition among Punjabi, and Pashtun, Baloch and Sindhi, we have similar competitions, muted in tone because there is more cake to go around.

    7. If Pakistan has its Taliban and its Baloch insurgencies, we have several of our own: this is not the place to announce our sensitive areas.We have in fact more than one set of insurgencies.

    If Pakistan fails, it will mean that so can we.

  32. We the Pashtuns should ressolve our issues within the federation of Pakistan…Talking of separatism is sick Nationalism…..
    Mr Bacha Khan with all due respect had left Azad sb alone on the Congress platform and stood on the side of Gandhi….which was devotion other than politics…..
    Separatism has never served us….
    As for Pashtun genocide is concerned….
    It reminds me of an urdu verse
    dekha jo teer kha K Kamin gah ki taraf
    Apney hi doston sey mulaqaat hogai….

  33. Mostly flawed article. I cannot point out every error in the comments section save for the major obvious ones. For example “World famous Pakistani historian and anthropologist late Ahmed H. Dani described, Pakistan’s landscape and culture as many countries rolled into one; Northern Areas are Central Asian Switzerland , Frontier is Afghani, Punjab and upper Sindh are North Indian and Baluchistan and lower Sindh are Middle Eastern.”

    Just because this quote is from Mr Dani, doesn’t mean it’s right. Frontier is Afghani? How about calling Eastern & Southern Afghanistan ‘Pakistani?’ Since they are the only two provinces in Afghanistan to share ethnic ties to Pakistan. Why are Sindh and Punjab being called ‘Indian’ when ‘Indian’ itself cannot be defined.

    This sense of ethnic diversity in Pakistan seems to surpass Iran, India, Afghanistan especially when these countries are more diverse than Pakistan ethnically speaking.

    You have failed to touch on the identity crisis of the country and infact seem to be only repeating it in this post. Pakistan’s identity crisis on the Islamic front keeps parading Arabs, Turks, Persians and other Muslims as the ‘ancestors’ of Pakistanis while the other Indianized front seems to be wanting to brand it Indian, without defying what is “Indian.” You seem to be speaking on behalf of the Indian side in your post.

    Every country has it’s set of invasions such as Poland by the Germans, but unlike Pakistan they don’t embed these invaders as a part of their ethnic history or identity.

    Pakistanis are descendants of Indo-European tribes that entered into the Indus Valley and merged with the native population.
    It saddens me that even after 62 years of an independent state, even the most educated Pakistanis are completely illiterate and unaware of the country’s pre-history.

    They either buy into the pro-Indian front’s claim of our prehistory as “Indian” giving India full hegemony over our prehistory.
    Or they buy into the Islamic front’s history which claims us to be descendants of Islamic armies from Central Asia and the Middle East that they constantly glorify.

    Or sometimes these “educated” Pakistanis borrow a bit from both claims to invent their own fantasy claims. And the funniest part is they do not use any scientific (ie. DNA) or other evidence to back up their fantasy claims.

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