Pakistan Army’s Corrected Approach to Deal with Taliban Thugs

This is a heartening brief published by CENTER for RESEARCH and SECURITY STUDIES ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN

Taliban were thugs and a strategic burden from the beginning: The army and civilians alike were shocked and alarmed in early April when the TTP militants taking cover under a controversial peace deal, began occupying strategic locations in Buner, Mingora, Malam Jabba and other parts of Malakand. Their worries multiplied when Taliban militants abducted four Pakistan army commandos in the mountainous Buner valley and eventually executed them. “When the pet develops rabies and starts biting its own mentors, it must be put to sleep, no way around it.” This statement that a senior general involved in military operations in the Northwestern Frontier Province (NWFP) told CRSS in late April suggested a definite new realization — if not change of heart altogether — that as far as the military establishment was concerned, the militants had gone too far; until that point, the army’s claims that it was doing its best to hunt down “miscreants” were met with skepticism across the board. The common perception in Pakistan and elsewhere is that the country’s security establishment — because of old relationships with militant outfits — was only shadow-boxing to impress the world and would not harm those it had once created. But the military’s efforts in the Swat Valley and now in Khyber have helped diminish this view — partially at least. In the process, military officials claim, close to 350 soldiers and officers have lost their lives, since the operation in Malakand/Swat region was launched in early May.

Militants being killed: It was the third major setback for the dreaded outfit since August 5, when a CIA-operated drone missile took out Baitullah Mehsud, the TTP founder and chief. Only a few days after Mehsud’s death, TTP spokesman Maulvi Mohammad Omar was captured in the Mohmand tribal region. Also, the fate of Hakimullah Mehsud, whom the organization’s shura purportedly picked as the new chief on August 25, is still uncertain, with virtually no sign of him since the day he was made the ameer. Similarly, another fierce al Qaeda aligned TTP leader Maulvi Fazlullah is handicapped by serious wounds and reportedly under siege and probably counting his days as a free icon of terror. Additionally, Shah Dauran, another infamous associate of Fazlullah who used to spread terror through mobile FM radio airwaves, is also dead.

Arrest of the deputy chief thug, Muslim Khan: The dramatic capture of Muslim Khan and four other Taliban militants in a military-intelligence sting operation on September 3 marked another deadly blow against the embattled Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Muslim Khan, as the spokesman for the TTP in the Swat Valley, had owned up to scores of suicide bombings on the security forces and admitted attacks on dozens of girls’ schools in the Swat region. Khan also claimed responsibility on behalf of the TTP for sending two suicide bombers to weapons manufacturing complex — the Pakistan Ordnance Factories near Islamabad — where about 90 people were blown into pieces in one of the deadliest attacks in Pakistan, in April 2008.

Pakistani commandos moved brilliantly to arrest him: The sting operation became possible only after Kamal Khan, an old acquaintance of Muslim Khan now living in the U.S., agreed to become part of the game; the strategy to capture him aimed to create a façade of negotiations and trap the militants, who had been publicly vowing attacks on Pakistani government institutions. Kamal Khan and Pakistan’s Military Intelligence, a division of the Pakistani Army, moved in tandem and eventually a raid involving some six dozen commandos resulted in Muslim Khan’s capture at a village called Mangalore, some 12 kilometers southwest of Mingora, the administrative headquarter of the Swat district. “It was purely an intelligence-driven operation,” a senior army official overseeing the operation told CRSS. “It was not a smooth affair. Six of their guards got killed in the firefight that erupted when the commandos moved in.”

More good news coming? Pakistanis writ large therefore expect that the army and the government will remain united and take this war to its logical conclusion i.e. bringing people like Muslim Khan and Hakimullah Mehsud to justice and making them accountable for the deaths and destruction that have taken place in Pakistan since the formation of the TTP in December 2007 will continue to inject new optimism into the security debate and revive confidence in state institutions. And we should not be surprised if, as a result of Muslim Khan’s interrogations, his mentor Maulvi Fazlullah also gets captured — perhaps timed to coincide with President Asif Ali Zardari’s meeting in New York on September 24, at which he is expected to urge world to compensate Pakistan for its efforts against extremists, who — under the tutelage of al Qaeda — still pose a grave threat to the entire region.

Now, Pakistan has an honorable working relationship with the US: Since last September, when the army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani issued a veiled warning against the repeat of a raid by helicopter-borne U.S. Marines in South Waziristan who carried out a ground assault, the level of trust between the two armies has considerably improved, although the U.S. has yet to give Pakistan the Predator drones technology that has taken out several top al Qaeda and Taliban leaders in the country. Intelligence sharing has gone up and so has the coordination, reflected in the presence of a large number U.S. military and intelligence assets in the Waziristan region alongside the Pakistani forces. As a whole, the war against militants seems in full swing; operations against criminals calling themselves Taliban in the Khyber Agency and the Pakistan Air Force’s bombardment of suspected militant hideouts in Waziristan continues. So is the push in the Swat region, where large areas have been cleared and handed over to civilian authorities.

People returning home after Taliban’s terrorism: Another favorable indicator is the return of more than 1.65 million people displaced by the fighting since mid July to their homes in the Malakand region. This underscores that perceptions of the Pakistani military’s complicity with the extremist movements have given way to more confidence in the government and army actions against “miscreants.” And the icing on the cake came with the arrests of Muslim Khan and four other central leaders of the Swat chapter of the TTP, which now appears to be facing defeat by attrition. These captures served as huge psychological booster not only for the civilian administration but also for the forces battling the militants. Mayors of several sub-districts in Swat , particularly those of Kabal, Kooza Bandi, Matta and Chaharbagh, have meanwhile returned from self-imposed exiles in towns such as Peshawar, Mardan and Islamabad  to revive public confidence in government institutions. But most of mainstream politicians — members of Parliament in particular — still feel insecure and intimidated by militants.



Filed under Pakistan

185 responses to “Pakistan Army’s Corrected Approach to Deal with Taliban Thugs

  1. Junaid

    This is indeed good news.

    To truly break the enemy, Pak army must not use the same brutal tactics that the enemy uses while interrogating.

    I guess, given a true and good leadership,Pak army can do wonders.

    This article should be sent to the US army command in Afghanistan so they can learn a few lessons.

    Is PTH doing any fund raising for the families of those martyred in the operation?

  2. neel123

    The Army’s so called correct approach has a long way to go !

    Ms Paterson, the US ambassador has clarified that the Army and the ISI must act against their so called assets, to prove their intention is not to eye-wash the world.

    Until the Army and the ISI acts decisively against Jalaluddin Haqqani, Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Mulla Nazir, the actions will remain cosmatic in the eyes of the world.

  3. Hossp

    Another one of those veiled hagiographic accounts of Pak army’s success, coming right out of the Pak army PR machine. As the events unfolded right after the deal in April last year (?) that pretty much gave control of the area to TTP, that the deal was actually a set up most likely conceived by the US agencies; executed by the Pakistan army and the civilian government. The Pak army had many opportunities before that to go after the TTP and other groups, but it never did.

    There were, I think, three main issues were involved in there.

    First, under the Bush admin the noise about terrorism was politically more beneficial than actually fighting it. Second, the blasts in Mumbai and Islamabad placed the Pak army under tremendous pressure to act against at least the pockets,if not the core, of the TTP. Third, the New Obama admin refused to play the game the Pentagon, the Bush White House, and the Pak army were playing in that area. The swat deal was set up to provide some legitimacy for the army action against the people the army supported for the Eight years before that.

    While there are many upsides of the military action, the downsides are beginning to unravel pretty fast too.

    The army action shattered the Taliban myth that was created by the Pak army and the Pentagon PR machine. The Taliban was and still is just a shallow hotchpotch group of hoodlums and nothing else. They were made to look like formidable foes, which they were not, by the international and especially the US media. The ease with which the Pak army was able to first move two million civilians out of the way and then brought them back in less than two months, showed that the Taliban had no way of impacting the situation because they truly couldn’t.

    While the Pak army was able to quickly dispose off the Taliban in selected areas of Pakistan, the question that popped up was: why the US army was not successful in weeding out the Taliban in Afghanistan in the last Eight years? The US army’s stock answer was that it never had the people out there and requested more. The fact of the matter is that the US and NATO for years had more soldiers in Afghanistan than the Pakistan army deployed against the militants in Swat and elsewhere. The US army and NATO did not have a single important victory against the Taliban in the last years in Afghanistan. The presence of the Taliban was strategically more important for the Bush admin than any decisive defeat of the Taliban.
    The Obama admin clearly is not playing this game. It seeks results and results mean letting the world know that the Taliban are mere paper tigers, as the Pak army has shown in order to get in Obama’s good books.

    PS. I think I have some idea who the author is and my apologies for harsh criticism.

  4. Hossp

    “The US army and NATO did not have a single important victory against the Taliban in the last EIGHT years in Afghanistan.”

    Though all my sympathies are with the deceased officers and jawans of the Pak army, I must say that 350 was not a huge loss of life considering the noise about the Taliban strength in NWFP or the tribal areas before the army action started.

    Consequently, I am inclined to think that the numerical or otherwise the Taliban strength in Afghanistan is also blown out of proportion. The Taliban certainly control less area in Afghanistan than the US media credits them with.

  5. kashifiat

    Mohabbat golion say bow rahay ho;
    Watan ka chehra khuu se dho rahey ho.
    Guman tum ko keh rasta cut raha hai;
    Yaqeen mujh ko keh manzil kho rahay ho

    Habib Jalib

  6. yasserlatifhamdani

    It is ironic that crooks from Jamaat-e-Islami quote Faiz and Jalib… who they earlier abused as being Kafirs…. just like how they now claim “Quaid-e-Azam” after calling him Kafir-e-Azam. I suppose this is standard Jamaat-e-Islami operating procedure.

    A bunch of crooks … especially this Kashifiat fellow… Jalib said this about Bangladesh where Kashifiat and crooks like him were raping and murdering Pakistanis….

  7. kashifiat

    Yasir ! Talk like a gentelman (if u are).
    Otherwise you will be expose onece again.
    Don’t shout like a crow.

  8. D_a_n


    Yes. those that are now doing the fighting were also expecting the casualty rate to be much higher. However, what I believe this shows is that how much the PA has learnt over the past 4-5 years in how to fight the Mullah. Many Many engagement SOPs and tactics have been revised….training tweaked and quite a number of the Lt.- Major level officer core having experienced battle conditions and learnt from it. Throw in enhanced battle field info available in the form of UAVs, the heavy use of air power and you get the kind of targeted fire power that the Mullah has not really tasted before.

    PS: the fact that the PA hasnt really been interested in ‘taking prisoners’ has been helpful in applying the kind of ruthlessness and clarity of mission required.

  9. D_a_n


    Good God man do you ever form some kind of semblance of a thought before you put forward your usual garbage….you lack of understanding on almost everything is gag inducing…

    Please feel free to go by what the US and Nato are saying…we all know how much they have to teach us all regarding COIN. Having see how well they are doing next door.

  10. D_a_n


    ‘as the Pak army has shown in order to get in Obama’s good books.’

    damned if you do…damned if you dont…

    such is the stuff that we have to put up with as analysis…

  11. yasserlatifhamdani


    Disgusting {EDITED} madmen like you don’t deserve any respect. You may “expose” me … the day I was scared of [EDITED] liars like you, I would just stop posting altogether.

    Let us get to the nitty gritty shall we… why is it that you are quoting Jalib now?

  12. D_a_n


    Kyun idher nangay honay aa jatay ho janab??

    You bloody Jamat e EDITED are next on the national hitlist if you’r not careful….

    Well no need to pay much attention to you here. I’m enjoying the royal shafting (Please check what that means) that your bearded friends are getting on a daily basis now. You are soon going to be completely irrelevant InshAllah.
    if you are looking for gentelman..[EDITED}. This is what we are and this is what we enjoy.

    PS: Habib Jalib is going to be throwing up in his grave at you quoting him

  13. Dear Dan
    I am sorry that I had to edit your comments as I am not going to entertain more of the earlier stuff. It is counter-productive and feeds into the Mullah stereotypes about us liberal fascists, closet kafirs etc..
    By all means argue with him and respond but please check the language. You are a valuable member here at PTH and this is why my actions must not be misconstured.

  14. YLH bhai. My apologies to you as well..

  15. yasserlatifhamdani

    Raza bhai,

    In both cases Edited conveys fully what we want to say. 🙂

  16. D_a_n

    Raza Bhai…

    you are a fair chap so no offence taken.

    I will however re-iterate that this is the only language these people understand.

  17. Ummi

    The post shows how coward secular groups endorse extremism by backing up the violence of USA. Since seculars are like hijras, have no guts to face things directly hence they seek some shoulder who can convey their violence. Thanks for being a local dalal of America.

  18. Anwar

    Fundamental question is why the situation was allowed to get out of hand in the first place. True, some in provincial governments had fear based sympathies with the thugs but that could have been easily countered by federal government – as is being done at present.
    Let us hope that this campaign does not become a Salvador option where the right wing death squads became notorious for abuses..

  19. yasserlatifhamdani

    Raza bhai,

    Please allow Ummi’s fine post to stay as it is… these people claim that they never abuse anyone once someone retaliates.

  20. D_a_n

    @ ummi

    nothing you say matters. We are cutting you down (and throwing you out of helicopters if you want specifics) with relish now.

    So cry and piss all you want. Your time is up. The very march of history is against you.

    ( now I step back and wait for what follows when one throws stones in poo)

  21. Mustafa Shaban


    Anne Patterson is mouthpiece for US propaganda. The TTP and Afghan Taliban are totally different and Pakistan Army and ISI does not support these foreign funded terrorists in any way. The Pak Army did what US Israel India and Sri Lanka can not even dream of doing. They cleared an area twice the size of Sri Lanka within 2 months which is the biggest victory in modern military history. The US had only few triumphs in Afghanistan and now everything is going downhill as history repeats itself. India is having big trouble with Maoists rebels. Sri Lanka took decades to defeat an insurgency which occupied only a small portion of Sri Lanka. Hats of to Pak Army. Anne Patterson is completely involved with the massive expansion of US embassy and the calling in of 1000 US marines into Islamabad to increase US influence in Pakistan. So I wouldn’t take her view on Pakistan.

  22. Bilal Aslam

    Yasser, the ‘bhai’ postfix is passive-aggressive. Please be honest, and drop it – regressive, reactionary, fundamentalists should be called out by their first names, no modifiers needed. Thanks for speaking truth to power and, more importantly, to idiots.

  23. neel123

    @ Mustafa Shaban

    That is precisely the point.

    Only you can clear the mess more efficiently, that is created in the first place by yourself !

    It is obvious that the ISI keeps track of the modus-operandi of the terrorists, better that anyone else, but only selectively use it in the fight on terror.

    At the end of the day, it is intelligence gathering that is the most effective tool to eliminate the terrorists, and the Americans are expanding in Pakistan to have their own intelligence network, independent of the ISI.

  24. Junaid

    Just to add to the 1971 reference of YLH.

    Apart from the JI thugs, the Pak army , headed by Yahya Khan,

    a pork eating,
    alcohol consuming,
    liberal womanizer

    was also as deeply involved in the rapes and murders of Bengalis as the JI was.

    So blaming every thing on the Islamic fundos is not a justified stance. Some one is suffering from selective amenisia.

    In 1971, the liberal and westernized military elite class was running the show. The JI fundos were being used as foot soldiers as usual to do the military’s dirty work. Just as they were used in Afghanistan and now being misused.

    Playing the religion card has always been the favorite pass time of the sub-continental elite. A tactic which their British masters were masters at.



  25. hayyer

    Pork eating
    alcohol consuming

    The first is a mortal sin I suppose, and the last a moral one perhaps-but liberal? Isn’t racist a better description, and that would explain the indifference to rape and murder.

  26. Bloody Civilian


    why should junaid accusing the brits and ‘sub-continental elites’ of playing the religion card be above playing it himself… in order to condemn the ‘irreligious’, racist yahya khan.

  27. Hayyer

    Well it depends upon categories. One can also, like Arundhati Roy, be a category of one, of whatever definition.

  28. talkhaaba

    YLH & D_a_n


    And the slaves of the Most Beneficent (All�h) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness, and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness

    Al – Furqan 63

  29. kashifiat

    Junaid !

    Pls don’t insult 10’00 martyrs of JI & Islami Chatro Shubber who sacrificed their lives for this country & Islam

    You liberal thugs not aware with the sprit of those 10’000 Bengalies who decided to defend their homeland against Indian aggression. Against Mukhti Bani they stranded alone.

    I salute all those my brothers & Inshallah we will meet them in Jannah (Aameen)

    @ Talkhaba ! U r right, we should do Salam to these liberal fascist

    So SALAM to all of u

  30. D_a_n

    @ talkhaaba

    it doesn’t what you say…no one votes for you and others like you are being dragged behind jeeps and thrown from choppers…Enjoy the show 🙂

    Also to know whom is abusive to whom; scroll above and see ummi’s abusive filth there for all to see…

  31. kashifiat

    Dear D_a_n,

    RR is capable enough to understand what should edit & what shouldn’t. 🙂

  32. yasserlatifhamdani

    The problem with Junaid is an inability to understand anything in its proper context.

    That Yahya Khan was an infantry chap who liked his drink strong is a fact. But it is also a fact that Yahya regime in 1969 came up with an educational policy which sought to de-emphasize the role of the liberal Muslim elite (yes those who Junaid and his Indian friends abuse) and westernized Muslims in the Pakistan movement and play up the non-existent role of people like Maulana Maududi in Pakistan’s nation-building. This education policy which was drafted after the negotiations with the Jamaat e Islami further put down the following:

    1. English should be replaced completely with Urdu.

    2. The services of Aligarh (which Jinnah called the arsenal of Muslim India) to Muslim India should not be highlighted.

    3. Those who rejected the English language and culture like Maududi, Mufti Mahmood, Darul uloom Deoband etc be presented as heroes.

    Thus Muslim post colonial pretences inverted the history of Pakistan on its head laying the foundation of what may only be described as “Nawai Waqt Nationalism” which was based on a puritan lie called “Nazaria e Pakistan” which itself was not based on modernist Muslim sensibilities that had led to Pakistan Movement.

    The military rulers were votaries of this nationalism. Contrary to the understanding of most people, it was the 1965 war that laid the foundations of mutual hostility. Despite partition and disputes like Kashmir, Pakistan and India had enjoyed open borders, open trade and rail links before 1965. Before 1965, Oberoi chain of hotels owned for example Dean, Falettis and two other hotels in Pakistan. It was in 1965 that such property was designated “enemy property”. The 1965 war itself was waged by a dictator to distract attention from the rigging that had changed Fatima Jinnah’s electoral victory into defeat.

    The 1965 war reopened the Hindu-Muslim question which was seemingly under control- atleast to the extent of Pakistan. Instead of viewing the 1965 war as one nation state fighting another, it was viewed as a great battle of Islam and kufr.

    It is in this background that the Army alliance with Jamaat e Islami should be considered. Jamaat e Islami always believed in subversive politics and as such was open to alliances with Military rulers. Maududi was an intellectual prostitute… for sale to the highest bidder.

    Those dogs of Jamaat e Islami who raped and maimed Bengalis in Bangladesh did not fight for Pakistan. They fought against Pakistan’s majority – the Bengalis- without which majority there would be no Pakistan or even a Muslim League.

    Sarmila Bose has written about the Pakistan Army being restrained upto a certain point… In my view it was Al-Badr and those crooks from the Jamaat e Islami who were responsible for much of the violence perpetrated against Bengalis.

    Junaid meanwhile strikes me as a typical ill-informed type who assumes too much.

  33. Bloody Civilian


    The Polo ace Major General Nawabzada (of Pataudi) Sher Ali Khan, Yahya’s Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting & and National Affairs… was as much a shocking surprise in patronising islamists, given his westernised ways, as Nur Khan vis a vis the education policy of 1969. ‘islam = national unity’ did start after ’65. but then that’s the problem with dictators (padshah generals). as ayub khan says in his book, it was while he was having a stroll outside his hotel in NY that the solution to pakistan’s problems came to him.

  34. PMA

    YLH: As you know I am no fan of religion based politics, so please listen to me carefully. In Pakistan not every thing starts or ends with Jamaat-e-Islami. But listening to you post after post I am getting this feeling that that is what you seriously believe in. Pakistan, like any other country is a complex society with multiple forces at work at once at the same time. Please do not loose the greater perspective in your zeal. Unless you strike a balance, you will lose many who agree with you on secular issues.

    And second point. You have carefully laid out Jinnah’s position regarding political and economic due share of the Muslims of British India in a post-colonial period. That is fine and dandy. But please do give an intellectual space to the other competing “Ideas of Pakistan” coming from other groups – ideas that you tend to ridicule as “Nazria-a-Pakistan”. Such a gesture on your part will give you an even higher place in the intellectual world.

    And third point. In building your case above you have misrepresented the pre- as well as the post-1965 facts on the ground. Hindu-Muslim hostility is a fact of Sub-continental experience. World saw a manifestation of it first hand during the carnage of 1947. Post-independence Pakistan has not seen it because there ARE no Hindus left in Pakistan; 1947 partition solved that problem in case of Pakistan while in case of India it is still there. Just re-visit the past six decades of Muslim experience in post-independence India. You will see the Hindu-Muslim hostility alive and well. It did not start in 1965.

  35. Junaid

    PMA you are spot on.

    It seems that for Mr YLH, the story starts and ends with JI.

    YLH is obsessed with JI and blames every thing on JI just as the JI blames every thing on America and Israel.

    Buddy you need to take the lens of JI from your eyes and stop seeing Pakistani politics in the shades of JI and Non-JI groups.


    Defending Pakistan should not be equated and mixed with raping and murdering even if its your most hated enemy.

    Bengalis were treated as second class citizens and colonial subjects by west Pakistanis. West Pakistanis could not fathom the fact that Bengalis could raise their voice and try to assert their majority.

    I dont care whether the people who sacrificed their lives for Pakistan were army wallahs or JI activists. Any one who murdered and raped Bengalis is a criminal who deserved to be put to death.

  36. Hossp

    I think YLH is spot on in his description of Jamaat Islami. JI might appear to be an insignificant political party now but it has played a major role in bending the ideological bases of Pakistan. JI’s influence over the middle class in Pakistan during the late 70s and eighties and until the 90s changed the political discourse in Pakistan.

    It was literally the political wing of the Pakistan army and perhaps still is. JI’s direct sponsorship by the army started under Yahya regime with Gen. Sher ali khan as the main sponsor. He, despite his outwardly liberal lifestyle, was a strong supporter of the JI mainly because he and the Yahya regime saw emerging moderate civilian leadership in Bhutto, Wali Khan and Mujib in Pakistan as the main opponents of the army. Before the elections in 1970, JI led a campaign to discredit all moderate political leaders and created the election campaign slogan Pakistan supported by its friends in the media, Pakistan ka mutlab kiya la-illahha illah. Before that this slogan was never used in Pakistan. Before the partition some groups used this slogan occasionally but the ML or Mr. Jinnah never supported it.

    The middle class in the 70s, during and after the Bhutto regime, was completely inspired by JI. JI was a dominant political party in Karachi and to some extent in Hyderabad and had strong support in Punjabi middle class. It is correct that in Punjab its support from the middle class never translated in to election victories but many in the Bureaucracy both civil and military were inspired by it.

    Out of the many coup attempts against Bhutto, two were led by JI inspired officers. (Gen. Islam and I can’t recall the names of other Army officers.) The one led by Zia succeeded and he turned out be the most ardent supporter of the JI. His cabinet was full of JI leaders including the idiot so-called economic Prof. Khursheed who did not and still does not have any clue about economics.

    YLH in his post has sketched the whole thing as succinctly as possible given the space we have here for comments.

    The emergence of MQM, which was created to counter the PPP influence, ended up wiping out a major chunk of the JI influence in Karachi. Likely, an unintended result. Despite that JI is still the second largest party in Karachi with considerable support in Urdu speaking middle class and influence over Karachi media.

    JI is Alqaeeda.

  37. AZW

    This forum has done a good job of analyzing Pakistani history, its founding fathers various statements, and how muddled the founding philosophy has become over years. As Pakistan gravitated from one crisis to another in its history, governed by inept leaders seeking to prolong their careers, we have seen Nazaria-e-Pakistan being defined by a right wing ideological party and its sympathizers. This party has been at the forefront of the major events that have shaped Pakistani history; from agitation right after the independence to get the new republic an Islamic character, 1954 anti-Ahmedi riots, 1971 secession of East Pakistan where JI’s foot soldiers and leaders are still wanted criminals in Bangladesh, 1980s Islamization drive under the auspices of Mard-e-Momin, and supporting the rabidly fanatic group that brought death and destruction across the world by establishing fast track Jihadi training camps to “train” every confused soul around the world that was seeking to find a purpose in life.

    Given that JI has been pivotal in being at the wrong end of every important event in Pakistani history, I find the focus on this group quite necessary. This party has never secured ANY notable votes in Pakistani democratic process. Yet it has managed to destroy a lot more than a party without any popular support base should ever be able to do.

    I do not think that secularism is alone the panacea for fixing Pakistan’s ills. Yet the confused religiosity does hinder Pakistan from firmly embarking on good governance and becoming a strong institutional based republican democracy. At the forefront of the confused religiosity is JI and its sympathizing media.

    I say bring on the scrutiny on JI. The sharper the focus of that lens, the better it will be.

    Which also brings me to Mssrs. Kashifiat and Ummi and Talkhaba (it is quite funny how this group always appear together everywhere). I found it quite amusing to see Kashifiat quoting Habib Jalib; such is the paucity of arguments that a religious ideologue wants to quote a Marxist-Leninist poet on a liberal forum. Life is indeed am interesting learning experience.

    It is quite clear Mr. Kashifiat that you are unhappy with Pakistani Army action against the Taliban. The Amir of JI has called Baitullah Mehsud a “Shaheed”.

    So Kashifiat: Can I hear it from you as well that Taliban are nothing but holy warriors and Baitullah Mehsud was a Shaheed too. Let’s hear it from you that Pakistani Army is the wrong army here, and that the rapidly improving security situation in Pakistan (that many of the poor souls like us believe is due to tackling the root of the problem in FATA) is nothing but a mirage. Or while we are at it, let me hear your opinion on the Mujahideen in Swat, the public beheadings of policemen, burning of schools, forcing women to stay home (thus driving many of them to instant poverty), or the invasion of Buner were justified in your opinion.

    See, it seems you like to have your cake and eat it too. You show your unhappiness, never cease to quote sporadic Hadiths and Quranic verses to show that the liberals are the misguided ones and you are Alhamdolillah on the righteous path; yet we never hear your opinions on the barbarity of the people you support, and how they had systematically usurped the sovereignty of Pakistani state one at a time, and poor Buner people still did not understand why they were a target of a group that wanted the Buneris to live under Sharia under a gun point.

    Somehow all these details become quite trivial and you jump straight to the proclamation and denunciation of American-Zionist agents. Therefore let’s put you (Kashifiat) on the spot: please care to enlighten us on the questions that I have posed in the previous paragraph.

    Kind regards,


  38. yasserlatifhamdani


    Hindu-Muslim problem has existed for a long time and certainly pre-dates the founding of both Congress and the League.

    However my suggestion is – which I can historically prove- that 1965 war laid the foundations of hostility between Pakistan and India not the events of 1947 or the Kashmir dispute per se. I will go so far as to say that before 1965 the whole US-Canada model was pretty much at work and partition – despite its problem- seemed to be working as a solution. I know these are controversial things but I have come to this view after some amount of research.

    Operation Gibralter and Operation grand slam were an ill-planned exercise. Then Akhtar Malik’s replacement with Yahya Khan at a critical time gave Indians an opportunity to attack the international border.

    There are several lies about 1965 that should be confronted :

    1. India attacked Pakistan. No! India counter-attacked us. Air Marshall Nur Khan – the chief then- is on the record saying “what should’ve the Indians done? They were left with no option. Ofcourse they would attack.”

    2. Foreign Ministry was to be blamed. Again this is nonsense. Ayub Khan the crook said that FM Bhutto assured him that India would not attack the international border. Since when did the Field Marshall start listening to a bloody civilian? And why did the great strategists and tacticians of the Pakistan Army – educated at Sandhurst and Dhera Dhun- not assume that India would attack the International border?

    Ayub Khan then declared what he did about the “musalman qaum”. Did Ayub suddenly think he was the sole spokesman of the Muslims in undivided India? Or was he the president of a nation state. One of the first Shaheeds of the PAF was a Christian Peter O’ Riley- was he fighting for Musalman qaum or Pakistan ?

    It was in and around 1965 that rhetoric like “Ghazi ya shaheed”, “jihad fi sabeel allah” etc trickled into a national army. It laid the foundations for the populist Islamization based on militarist notions in Pakistan.

    As for Jamaat e Islami I think Hossp has written how and why the JI factored in. There is another element to it. The popular Islam of Pakistan- Barelvi Islam- as well as the other major Islamic sects like Shiaism (which is probably the most liberal and progressive form of Islam in entirety) don’t provide the straitjacket required for Project military Islam in Pakistan.

    Maulana Maududi was the intellectual prostitute who provided them the religious basis for their fanatical versions of Islam required. Furthermore Americans (who had formed a Jamaat e Islami desk in the CIA) naively believed in the 1950s and the 1960s that Maududi’s Islam could be used against communism without any fall out. Americans funded the Jamaat e Islami and Maududi’s publication “islam and ishtrakiat”. Thus Jamaat e Islami was imposed on Pakistan by America and Army in the name of Allah, despite Maududi’s role against Pakistan itself. History was re-written to make him a source of both Islam and nationalism in Pakistan.

    Jamaat e Islami are a bunch of crooks. Even today they have clandestine links with those they abuse. Americans know that the terrorist problem lies with Jamaat e Islami but Americans keep it there for reasons known to all of us.

  39. Majumdar

    The correct position is somewhere in between YLH and PMA. There are two serious issues which bedevil Indo-Pak relations:

    1. The way Kashmir ended up.
    2. The refusal of Hindoos to accept Partition and Pakistan whole-heartedly (which is not surprising considering most Hindoos have their heads buried in their a***es)

    While it is certain that #1 wud have meant that there wud have been no overt hostility between India and Pak and let us not for a moment forget that between 1949-65 there was a peace in the subcontinent.

    But #2 wud have reared its head sooner or later. It wud have provided an excuse for Pak military to intervene in matters that shud have been none of their concern. Besides #2 had another long-term consequence. In my opinion the main reason why Pak was born as one state and not two was #2. But sooner or later the Bongs and Punjoos wud have come head to head and Indians wud have been sorely tempted to interfere.


  40. Junaid

    For a complete over view of how the Islamists have always been playing into the hands of the British, please go through the following report

    Its a 4 part report , detailing the nexus of evil i.e. the Islamists and the British.

    It has quite a chapter on Maududi as well.

    Kind Regards


  41. Hayyer

    YLH and Majumdar:
    “…….1965 war laid the foundations of hostility between Pakistan and India not the events of 1947 or the Kashmir dispute per se. I will go so far as to say that before 1965 the whole US-Canada model was pretty much at work and partition – despite its problem- seemed to be working as a solution.”

    Yes and No. As someone old enough to remember the situation before 1965 I must say that there was no great love between the two countries. But there was trade and freer travel. Relations were not so fraught as they have been in the past few decades and even now are.
    Events may have taken us to the US-Canada pattern had not Kashmir got in the way. Pak foreign policy it may be remembered with membership of anti-communist pacts, Cento and Seato, was ostensibly directed against the USSR and China but actually hoped to use the arms and perhaps even the alliances against India.
    Sheikh Abdullah had visited Pakistan to meet Ayub Khan in 64 and was working out some sort of plan to resolve Kashmir, which may have worked and put an end to the enmity; unfortunately just as he seemed to be on the verge of a breakthrough Nehru died and that was that. Rann of Kutch followed less than a year later and then Gibraltar and Grand Slam.
    Trains and trade and travel and newspapers all stopped. I mentioned in an earlier post how popular grapes and pomegranates from Chaman were in North India and the dry fruit and rock salt. Bollywood (not so named then) was not banned. But for the events in 65 something may have prodded us towards peace. Whether it was Bhutto’s diabolical plan to bring down Ayub or the latter’s own bungled assessment that stemmed a more harmonious development of affairs I can’t say.

    “The correct position is somewhere in between YLH and PMA. There are two serious issues which bedevil Indo-Pak relations:

    1. The way Kashmir ended up.
    2. The refusal of Hindoos to accept Partition and Pakistan whole-heartedly (which is not surprising considering most Hindoos have their heads buried in their a***es)”
    Kashmir ended up that way in 1947 -53.
    #2 was not true in the circles I inhabit. It was certainly not true in Bengal where I happened to be then. And it was not true in Punjab which then included Haryana. There may have been residual revanchist feeling in right wing Hindu groups but they did not count politically then. The closest hope along those lines I heard someone express was when he spoke of a possible confederation-this is what was missed in the first place.

  42. PMA

    YLH: On the subject of hostility between India and Pakistan. You say that you have come to your views after some amount of research. Let us take advantage of your research and ask ourselves few questions:

    Was the division of the Empire done in a peaceful atmosphere with fair distribution of the assets and each party leaving with a handshake. Did millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims not butcher each other in 1947 leaving emotional scars for generations to come. Did the two countries not go to war over Kashmir in 1948. Then in the years immediately following the independence did Pakistan and India not join the opposing Cold War camps. Did the two parties sit down and resolve their disputes like friends. Did India not annex Kashmir forcing Pakistan to start covert activities in the disputed state.

    I think your research will support my position that Pakistan and India since their inception have never lived in an environment other than mutual distrust and hostility. In doing so the two countries did not follow “the whole US-Canada model” that you say “was pretty much at work” before 1965.

    We need to look at the events leading up to Operation Gibraltar and Operation Grand Slam and not just the war of 1965 alone. Had Pakistan not gone to war with India in 1965, it would have lost its claim on Kashmir for ever. War is a game of rallying masses behind the war efforts. At the time of war each country uses all means at her disposal. In case of India and Pakistan nothing stirs up emotion like religion does. Ayub and Bhutto and Yahya were all ‘secular’ in your definition of the term. Pakistan is a Muslim country; India is a Hindu majority country. Any open hostility between the two would translate into Hindu-Muslim language of conflict. Please re-examine your position on this subject.

    On the issue of JI and YLH. I think it is an emotional issue with you. I will step back before you get all upset. But please do not let your emotions get the best of you.

  43. Bloody Civilian

    Had Pakistan not gone to war with India in 1965, it would have lost its claim on Kashmir for ever.

    and therefore ’65 war not happening would have been another step forward on the loooong road to the US-Canada type of relationship dream. with every step closer to that goal, who actually ‘owned’ or ‘claimed’ kashmir would have mattered less and less, in practical terms.

    the pre-1965 language out of both capitals was certainly less belligrent… more sane. there was some tangible progress… from liaquat-nehru, to noon-nehru to ayub’s indus basin treaty (hayyer mentioned sheikh abdullah’s visit to pak). tashkent and simla are only parts and parcel of the two wars… tashkent a return to status quo.. and simla giving india the expected advantage.

    hossp said that “The middle class in the 70s, during and after the Bhutto regime, was completely inspired by JI. [..] It is correct that in Punjab its support from the middle class never translated in to election victories
    the idiot so-called economic Prof. Khursheed who did not and still does not have any clue about economics.”

    is it because they have no clue about modern government and governance that the people do not vote for them or because they are islamists?

  44. PMA

    Bloody Civilian (September 23, 2009 at 8:02 pm):

    USA-Canada even though having gone through territorial border conflicts are not burdened by a ‘thousand year’ history of religious hatred. The two have resolved their territorial disputes what ever existed in the past. In case of India and Pakistan that is not so. Between USA & Canada water rights is not an issue, even though it does surface every now and then. In case of India & Pakistan water rights in the next and looming reason for war.

    Look at the issue of transit. USA-Canada routinely provide transit routes to each other. India badly needs road, rail and energy transit routes through Pakistan. Smart politics would be to resolve ones disputes with neighbors and get to the business of trade. Unfortunately India can not bring itself to that. Pakistan-Iran-Turkey has just started rail service between Islamabad and Istanbul via Tehran. India has made a formal request to Pakistan to join the system. Knowing well that India is involved in covert subversive activities in Balochistan, why would Pakistan agree to such Indian proposal.

    The point is that before a USA-Canada type relationship could be established between India and Pakistan it is essential that the two first overcome their mutual disputes and enter into a peace agreement. Otherwise it would be just that: ” A loooong road to the US-Canada type of relationship dream.”

  45. Hayyer

    “The two have resolved their territorial disputes what ever existed in the past. In case of India and Pakistan that is not so. Between USA & Canada water rights is not an issue, even though it does surface every now and then. In case of India & Pakistan water rights in the next and looming reason for war.”
    YLH’s comments were about the situation prior to ’65; the current situation is less friendly-that was the only point I think.
    I don’t see why there is a looming reason for war. The Indus Waters Treaty governs water rights. There was a dispute over Baglihar which went to arbitration and was resolved by reduction of the dam height by a couple of metres. I don’t understand these references to war over water.
    The only other reason for war is Kashmir and that is on and off for 62 years now. If war could have resolved the issue by now it would have. No rational person can see another war resolving anything.

    Religious hatred between Hindus and Muslims is something that we should try to overcome, not use as a reason for continuing warfare. Religious hatred is not unique to the Ind0-Pak context. There is as long a history of war between Islam and Christianity, and within Christianity between the sects. Christians are not fighting each other nor are Muslims fighting Christians over God any more (unless you include the Al-Qaeda types).
    If Kashmir continues to obstruct our relationship it may be thousand years before we all get along. Why insist on making the better the enemy of the good.

  46. yasserlatifhamdani


    The existence of Hindu-Muslim problem necessitated the solution reached in 1947. My point is that from 1947-1965 despite the Kashmir dispute and despite the war that was waged there, Pakistan and India remained more or less at peace. The proof of this is that evacuee property was designated “enemy property” only after 1965 in both countries. 1947-1965 provide evidence enough that the solution that Jinnah had suggested was on the mark even if patchily implemented. History would have been completely different had Fatima Jinnah been allowed to win.

    In so far as who was secular and who was- in my opinion Jinnah, Nehru and Mujeeb were the only major politicians in the subcontinent’s recent history who may be described as secular – though all three by their own actions at different times harmed their own secularism and secular (and democratic liberal) ideals…

    There is no definition that I have put up that would make those other three ie Ayub, Yahya and Bhutto secular. (Btw none of them were pork-eating as suggested by Junaid. pork-eating would suggest a degree of mental liberation from religious dogma that these three didn’t have).

    I am not sure how the JI issue is an emotional one when historical documents make it plain that Jamaat e Islami was coopted by both the US and Pakistani establishment? Wasn’t the JI consulted by Yahya Khan regime in the formulation of the Education policy and “Nazaria e Pakistan” lie? Didn’t all of this lead to an erosion of Jinnah’s Pakistan?

    PMA Kemal Ataturk also used Islam in the war of independence. Why didn’t Ayub then follow suit after the 1965 war by crushing all political claims of Islam like Ataturk. Instead the military regime chose to coopt Islamists from the camp that had always opposed Pakistan? Why?

    Well the answer is simple- Ayub’s 65 war was not a genuine war for Pakistan’s interests…it was a war to divert domestic unrest created by the rigging the regime carried out against Fatima Jinnah.

    Ironically the only time in his life that Maududi did anything worthwhile was when he endorsed Fatima Jinnah’s candidacy (not out of love of democracy but because Ayub had taken lead in religious matters from G A Parwez who Maududi hated)… but then Maududi turned around and joined the military regime’s witchhunt in the East after the military regime conceded the role of ideologue to Maududi.

  47. yasserlatifhamdani

    Pakistan should agree to India’s proposal ie joining Istanbul-Teheran-Islamabad rail link is because adding Delhi to that list would certainly make the rail service more attractive.

    What India really needs to do is set up a similar Lahore-Delhi-Dhaka link …

    And Pakistan ought to work a similar arrangement between Beijing and Islamabad.

    Pakistan’s potential as the heartland and meeting point of civilizations, trade systems …indeed all of Asia!!! We hold the key to a Pan-Asian Union. Let us recognize this instead of holding onto a bankrupt militarist idea that has nothing to do with Jinnah’s Pakistan.

  48. yasserlatifhamdani

    Btw is someone following the hilarious exchange between Munib ur rahman and Haji Bilour on TV all day?

  49. yasserlatifhamdani

    Btw what I find surprising is this request that I should stop ridiculing the so called Nazaria e Pakistan as it represents the ideals of other groups and their idea of Pakistan.

    That is all fine and dandy except I am not speaking from a majority perspective looking to accomodate. Those who believe in Jinnah’s idea of Pakistan like I do have been forced into a minority by state propaganda and state’s adoption of Nazaria-e-Pakistan.

    Pakistan today is – with its blasphemy laws and hudood laws- a theocracy for all purposes and definitions. I still can’t believe there are people who are willing to claim what Junaid and PMA have done so.

    Jamaat e Islami is Al Qaeda …as much as Al Qaeda exists. The Americans know it but they allow it to flourish to use it to keep Pakistan in check.

  50. PMA

    YLH: We are coming down to the question: Was 1947-1965 a period of relative peace between India and Pakistan or was it not. As Hayyar has said. Yes and No.

    Even if we take out the 1948 Kashmir war, the absence of active hostilities could not be regarded as a period of peace and friendship. The two countries were continuously maneuvering their position to gain advantage over the other and aligning themselves with two opposing groups involved in the world wide Cold War. Pakistan during that period time and again had raised the Kashmir issue in the Security Council, hardly an evidence of good neighborly relations. There was no formal or informal peace agreement between the two neighbors. It was a state of equilibrium ready to be tipped over by any incident. The incident was Indian annexation of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. The 1965 India-Pakistan war simply let the dam go. The two countries have not recovered since.

    I dismiss your point of “evacuee properties.” It has no relevance here. The evacuees had been long gone and were not returning to put claim to their properties. The issue was already dead. There are no ‘good old days’ between India and Pakistan that the people of the two countries could be nostalgic about. I don’t know why you keep on insisting that Jamaat-e-Islami was in cahoot with Ayub Khan while all the facts point other way. During his rule JI was in the anti-Ayub camp. Your assertion that 1965 war was to divert attention is totally off base. That war, whether you approve of it or not, was to keep Kashmir issue alive. The entire nation was in support of that war. I wish you take off your JI glasses and start seeing the bigger picture. There is more than ‘Islamists’ to Pakistan’s political scene. Your JI and Moududi obsession has obscured you vision.

  51. PMA

    YLH: Pakistan is a theocracy; fine. Jamaat-e-Islami is Al-Qaida; fine. America is behind all this; fine. Damn Moududi and Damn Osama.

    Now let us talk about ‘Nazria-e-Pakistan’ with its English translation as ‘Idea of Pakistan’. But before we get into that, let us hear what is your understanding of it and how ‘Nazria-e-Pakistan’ is different than Jinnah’s ‘Idea of Pakistan’. Now please stay focus and don’t bring in superfluous arguments. Let us have an academic discussion and not a court room argument.

  52. Bloody Civilian

    The entire nation was in support of that war

    including the anti-ayub maudoodi, despite the fact that he considered jihad in kashmir to be haram. so the 1965 war was halal despite a haram beginning/cause, according to the maulana?

  53. Rulling Class

    can US hang all the ruling class blood sucking monsters in pakistan. like they did with saddam hussien and his ruling elite…

    hang PPP for exploiting the name of Bhutto to do exactly opposite of Bhutto’s vission.

    and building Surrey palace in UK(larger than Queen of England’s palace)
    offshore bank accounts

    hang PML for exploiting Pakistan like Abba jee ka chai ka hotel
    making palaces in saudi arabia and uk and europe
    like pakitan already is not suffering from RELATIVES corruption, SIFARISH, only those related to these monsters prospers,
    hey wat about 200 million Pakistanis, should they try to be relaed wid PML to get a decent living…

    hang MQM for its party animal who shouts like a monkey living a luxurious life in UK for the last 20 years and pretending 2 be leader of karachi

    hang Mullahs whose own children are liviving in europe and usa , for using Allahs name and their religion to decieve and exploite muslims

    all these so called servant of people, Leaders
    have Palaces abroad, huge oversease accounts, huge oversease properties…

    hang imran khan….for marrying 3 richest jewish jemima(jewish agent)

    hang lawyers for making millions and still our poor suffers in jail for false cases,

    hang judges for hanging most brilliant politician of modern world Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in a false case to please USA

    hang musharaf for not hanging these politicians and being over confident that these politicians will never come back in pakistani politics…..and not hanging these politicians when the whole of pakistan was crying for corruption,

    may be he under estimated corruption in pakistani society and his own millitary generals……e.g. tales of corruption of general jahangir karamat

    to be continued……..list is long…….

    THese monsters killed Quade-Azam …..he worked so hard to his death….cuz these rulling elite wont work and was busy in marry making , and grabbing property

    the ambulance send for Quade Azam broke down on the way

    and later went outa petrol while bringing Quade Azam back…..

    these rulling class elite hanged Bhutto for restoring pakistan millitarys moral after defeat…

    for making pakistan a nuclear power

    for making pakistan leader of the Islamic world(the only successful islamic gethering of the muslim leaders ever)

    for not bowing down to India

    for reastoring pride of pakistanis in UN and international world…

    for giving pakistan only successful constitution……

    After all, the crimes of the Baloch sardars in burying women alive,

    or the Tumandars of southern Punjab cutting off the noses of women

    or the Sindhi feudals setting dogs on women to kill them

    carefully wact for those who divert your anger towards one provence or other, they are foreign agents trying to make brother fight with brother…

  54. Hayyer

    The arguments are bound to lead to some very fine positioning. I do not want to get in the way, but just as an aside-
    “It was a state of equilibrium ready to be tipped over by any incident. The incident was Indian annexation of the state of Jammu & Kashmir.”
    This ‘annexation’ if that what PMA wants to call it occurred in 1947. There was no equilibrium in ’47 as the Maharaja would not take a position till elements of the Pak Army decided to help him make up his mind. That paved the way for Indian intervention. After that there has been disequilibrium.
    The 1965 war and the 1971 one almost led to Bhutto ceding Kashmir. Aides to Indira Gandhi at Simla in ’72 maintained that Bhutto made a verbal concession but asked that it not be reduced to writing because he would not be able to sell it to his country. Some say that Bhutto was moving towards that goal incrementally when he lost power.
    Far from keeping the issue alive the ’65 war made it clear that Kashmir could not be retrieved by military means. It also made ordinary Pakistanis aware that military alliances were not useful against India.
    After ’72 the Kashmir issue was almost dead. Even Sheikh Abdullah came to this conclusion and responded to Indira Gandhi’s overtures of reconciliation.
    What brought back Kashmir to international attention as an existing dispute was the historical obtuseness of the Congress and its damned centralism. It was not prepared to tolerate a National Conference government not aligned to it. After suffering a sound thrashing in the 1983 elections despite its communalization of issues, the Congress maneuvered to have the National Conference reduced to a minority paving the way to Governor’s rule. That was the start of the current phase of the Kashmir issue; it coincided with some muscle flexing by Pakistan’s ISI by the end of the ’80s which had just helped drive out the USSR out of Afghanistan and believed it could do the same to India in Kashmir.
    1965 had nothing to do with keeping Kashmir alive.

  55. Bloody Civilian

    1965 had nothing to do with keeping Kashmir alive.

    i doubt ayub was that worried about a backlash from what he did to Miss Jinnah. in any case, grass roots support for her was in east pak… not west pak. there the military had been out in force during the polling in any case. and east pak’s issues were bigger than just the polls being rigged. it was not at all a crisis that required a distraction as big as a war.

    as for kashmir… the only way pak could hold on to territory in kashmir… even if there had been success… was going to be if india decided not to to do the only thing she could have done – cross the int’l border. once there was int’l war… there could only be a ceasefire — sooner or later — and a tashkent like return to status quo ex ante.

    it seems that there wasn’t much more to the war than what stupidity would explain adequately. after all, it was a dictatorship of the most mediocre man, busy surrounding himself with even lesser men.

  56. Bloody Civilian

    every time there is war over kashmir… it only strengthens the view of the LOC as being an int’l border, for all intents and purposes. how is that ‘keeping the issue alive’? unless, making the LOC the int’l border is indeed what pak wants. in that case, what has all this fuss been about!

  57. mel

    I like reading everybody’s comments and the responses they get, but this time its way too much, so i give up. By the way guys, u should swap contact numbers and discuss these issues directly instead of wasting your energy here. Lol

  58. bonobashi


    Thank you for spending the energy to tell us how to spend our energy. It was a kind thought. May your laugh light a million candles, if I may match the clarity of your thoughts.

    @bloody civilian

    You and YLH share a characteristic, of not diluting your evaluation of stupid behaviour, whatever be the nationality of the fool in question.

    One has to agree with you that the 1965 misadventure was born out of stupidity. There is sufficient (Pakistani) evidence that an encounter in Kutch earlier, in which the Pakistan Army, led by the gifted but eccentric Eftekhar, whom we see in action later in 71, directing a brilliant armoured action in Chhamb, was seen at its best, and their Indian counterparts at their worst.

    I am sorry about using the kind of language that the Mustafas of this forum deplore for being complicated and difficult to understand, but the fact is that writing these words is extremely painful.

    After the Kutch incident, Bhutto and his friends on the General Staff concluded, with the aid of very dubious Chinese inputs interpreted in a very creative way by this coterie, that India would not do much about a guerrilla attack on Kashmir. If that failed, an attack across the international boundary would follow, and even this, it was felt, would not be sufficient casus belli for the Indians. This was the monumental error on which everything was built, and due to which all was lost.

    Truly stupid behaviour.

  59. yasserlatifhamdani


    Could you point out where exactly you feel that I have “insisted” that Ayub Khan and JI were in cahoots with each other? On the contrary I mentioned that Maududi had opposed Ayub…

    Is it that you didn’t even bother to read what I have written? The rest of your posts show exactly that you haven’t.

    I pointed out that Oberoi Chain owned 4 main hotels of Pakistan prior to 1965. As for evacuee issue being dead… somebody forgot to give my dead grandfather and dead father that memo… given that they were tenants in such evacuee property (now enemy property). You reject it because you didn’t get what I was trying to say.

    I am afraid we can’t have a discussion if you continue to misrepresent my point of view.

  60. yasserlatifhamdani

    There is no idea of Pakistan. Pakistan is a geo-political reality not an idea. This political reality is the result of historical conflict and politics in the closing stages of the raj.

    As its founding father and governor general, Mr. Jinnah prescribed certain basic principles for it for it… i.e. where sovereignty would rest with the people, there would be no distinction of citizenship, no bars on any distinguishing characteristic… it would be a democratic state run on democratic lines. It is true that by making a few (and far between) ambiguous statements about Islam, he damaged his cause, but he remained constant in this vision.

    The Nazaria-e-Pakistan on the other hand is a bankrupt idea invented by ideologically bankrupt people i.e. Pakistan was founded as an Islamic state, sovereignty belongs to God, the President of Pakistan can only be a Muslim, no laws will be made repugnant to sharia, all fundamental rights of all citizens including minorities are subject to the glory of Islam… Quran and Sunnah shall have primacy, Pakistan is the defender of the faith globally…. etc etc

  61. kashifiat

    “There is no idea of Pakistan. Pakistan is a geo-political reality not an idea.”

    One of the most riduculous item I ever read

    Becharai “Two Nation Theory” aaah haa!!!

  62. PMA

    Hayyer (September 24, 2009 at 5:14 am):

    Thanks for the Indian perspective on the history of Kashmir dispute. Now the wise man too has joined the chorus by saying that Pakistan’s 1965 intervention in Kashmir was a “Truly stupid behaviour.” Both your eminence and the wizard will find plenty of company to your views in Pakistan as well. But is it really stupid of Pakistan to stir up things in Kashmir time and again?

    Pakistan has the military capabilities to defend itself from an all out Indian military attack but it is in no way near capable of attacking and holding on to an Indian territory. It has always been known to Pakistan that Kashmir could not be won by military means alone. If Pakistan could win Kashmir by force then it would have done by now. Then why the 1965 intervention?

    One could buy the popular view that it was “born out of stupidity” of some pompous misguided coterie. But what does the do nothing option look like? India has managed to frustrate Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir for six decades now. The endless rounds of talks and talks to have talks have produced nothing. Pakistan does what a frustrated lesser party does: gorilla intervention in Kashmir.

    India’s answer to Pakistan’s 1965 Kashmir intervention was an all out attack on Pakistan. But she too found out that use of military force is not an answer to the political problems. The result was and still is: no peace in the Sub-continent. In spite of her military superiority India has not been able to put away the Kashmir Issue. If use of force to resolve political disputes is a stupidity then India is equally stupid as a neighbor.

  63. PMA

    YLH: Here is your question:

    “PMA: Could you point out where exactly you feel that I have “insisted” that Ayub Khan and JI were in cahoots with each other?”

    And here is what you had said earlier:

    “Why didn’t Ayub then follow suit after the 1965 war by crushing all political claims of Islam like Ataturk. Instead the military regime chose to co-opt Islamists from the camp that had always opposed Pakistan? Why? Well the answer is simple- Ayub’s 65 war was not a genuine war for Pakistan’s interests…it was a war to divert domestic unrest created by the rigging the regime carried out against Fatima Jinnah.”

  64. bonobashi


    I am sure you can do better than to argue that to mount an all-out attack as a defence against an admitted act of aggression is stupid.

    This is special pleading with a vengeance.

  65. yasserlatifhamdani


    I read my quote and your claim again and again and so far it doesn’t seem that you were right. Can you point out where you saw Jamaat e Islami in that statement?

    On the contrary had you read a few lines more you’d see that I had spoken about Maududi’s opposition to Ayub.

    What I pointed out vis a vis Jamaat e Islami’s nexus with the army started in 1969. However 1965 war and the rhetoric greatly facilitated it.

  66. yasserlatifhamdani

    I think we can refer to the judgment of Air Marshall Nur Khan – a patriot and pakistani to the core despite his unfortunate role in the yahya regime- who said “Indians were justified. What should they have done otherwise? We left them no choice”

  67. PMA

    yasserlatifhamdani (September 24, 2009 at 3:03 pm):

    Yes Pakistan is a geo-political reality born out of an idea, commonly known as “Idea of Pakistan” or in Urdu “Nazria-e-Pakistan.” Jinnah articulated it very well in the days leading up to and after the independence. The “Nazria-e-Pakistan” that you have outlined in your last paragraph above is the competing ideology. Unless I have missed it there is no “Nazria-e-Pakistan” Magna Carta hanging in the lobby of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. True that in the last sixty years laws have been made that are closer to Islamist Ideology, but isn’t it what majority of Pakistanis wanted? You and I don’t like these laws, but they reflect majority opinion. Even though you and I are ideologically on the same side of the equation, what troubles me about you is that you refuse to tolerate opposing opinions. In that respect you are a mirror image of those we both tend to disagree with. Hold on to your believes and ideals. Speak forcefully to put across your point of view. But do grant same intellectual room to those who have ideas different than our own. That is the true essence of democracy we all aspire for.

  68. Hayyer

    “India’s answer to Pakistan’s 1965 Kashmir intervention was an all out attack on Pakistan. But she too found out that use of military force is not an answer to the political problems. The result was and still is: no peace in the Sub-continent. In spite of her military superiority India has not been able to put away the Kashmir Issue.”
    Is there any military or legal logic to the supposition that if two countries fight in a disputed territory they should confine the conflict to the disputed territory? What you call the Kashmir intervention was an attack by the Pakistani army; in disguise across the ceasefire line in Kashmir and across the international boundary in Jammu. Pakistan may recognize no boundaries between itself and J&K but it did launch an attack by a division of its troops to which India responded by opening up a front in Punjab.
    “If use of force to resolve political disputes is a stupidity then India is equally stupid as a neighbor.”
    Generally speaking India has not used force with Pakistan. I think all the conflicts between our two countries began with provocation from Pakistan except Siachen, which was an Indian initiative. Please note that I have not used the word ‘stupidity’ now or earlier.

  69. PMA

    Hayyer (September 24, 2009 at 7:38 pm):

    “Generally speaking India has not used force with Pakistan.”

    I guess East Pakistan was not really Pakistan. Neither is Balochistan I suppose. Can’t we see that Balochi sardars are so unhappy with the presence of Pak Military in their country. Who better to come to their liberation than the benevolent Indians. And the beat goes on.

  70. D_a_n


    ‘Generally speaking India has not used force with Pakistan.’

    with apologies to yourself for this is a repetition and to PMA sb…but I cannot believe that you missed ’71 when making that statement…

  71. Hayyer

    I did include ’71 and then left it out. ’71 need not have happened. It was a trap set by India that Pakistan fell into. I am given to understand that as early as November 23 of 71 Indian irregulars did go into East Pakistan. I felt that this was not a regular invasion but akin to Operation Gibraltar, which did not provoke an Indian response. Technically ofcourse it was an Indian incursion. If Pakistan had not attacked openly on December 5th or was it the 3rd, India would been hard put to justify mounting its invasion of East Pakistan.
    About Baluchistan I cannot say. We read that the whole thing is Indian financed but no evidence has been adduced (no dossier was given to Manmohan Singh by Gilani). I can accept that India may be up to mischief there but it is not an invasion by India’s armed forces. Intervention of that sort has been a Pakistani standard in Assam and Punjab and elsewhere in India.
    Indian activity in Afghanistan offends Pakistan too, but it is, I venture to suggest of the same sort as Pak activity in Nepal and Bangla Desh.

  72. Bloody Civilian

    It was a trap set by India..

    it was a trap set by pakistan that pakistan fell in to. don’t be so greedy. give credit where credit is due.

  73. D_a_n


    ‘‘71 need not have happened’..

    Well yes…on so many levels…

    However chiefly if India had not done what it did.

    saying otherwise is a huge stretch…

  74. yasserlatifhamdani


    Since when did tyranny of the majority become equated to democracy?
    And since when did a country born out of the principle “permanent majority shall not oppress a permanent minority” suddenly start using “democracy” as an excuse? Constitutions and Fundamental rights chapters are there to temper majority rule. Therefore Pakistan’s majority can only operate within a framework.

    As for the “nazaria Pakistan” magna carta hanging on the door of the supreme court- may I suggest that next time in Pakistan you visit the Supreme Court. And why go so far – search “national assembly of Pakistan” on google. You’ll see Nazaria e Pakistan plastered on its front.

    By the way when you accuse me of “mirroring” those we “both hate” could you tell if Have I gone around killing people who disagree with me? Have people not been disagreeing with me repeatedly? When and where do people make this claim that I don’t give them “intellectual room” ? If it is because I inundate people with facts and arguments, then I am afraid I will continue to do it. If anything I have allowed for repetitive control freakery.

    Now you’ve resorted to a line that does not make sense to me.

  75. Bloody Civilian


    you’ve already responded to PMA’s tyranny of the majority issue. even the plaque hanging inside the supreme court… and how it was adulterated by an unelected dictator… and how laws – passed by a dictator or a democratic majority – cannot overturn fundamental rights.

    but on the other part i’m afraid you can be slightly trigger happy, sometimes. just when one is enjoying a cup of tea in this tea house of ours… seeing an ignoramus tying himslef into knots, thanks to you more often than not, exposing who he really is… suddenly the tea house turns in to an old west saloon. shots whizz past our heads. and the ignoramus is turned in to a cyber martyr. i think we do need to tolerate a lot more intolerance before drawing the line. only when it is really bad language and entirely personal. then only why block when a little well-directed editting will do. just an observation.

  76. yasserlatifhamdani


    I can assure you that no one is on a block and no posts have deleted. Kashifiat, Talkhaba and others are welcome to comment.

  77. bonobashi


    This is specifically for you. It could have been sent on private mail, but there is nothing in it, in my opinion, which cannot stand the broad light of day.

    ’71 was the doing of the Pakistani establishment; India played an opportunist, reactive role. This is the core issue. In this connection, you might like to read Brig. Z. A. Khan’s flinty-eyed look at what happened. We might start with this quote:

    There were several reasons for the secession of East Pakistan. The biggest reason was Gandhi was able to stop the riots in East Pakistan which prevented the Hindus from being driven out to India, these Hindus were denied government jobs, they became school teachers, college professors, lawyers, businessmen, smugglers etc, they influenced the minds of the Bengalis against Pakistan.

    There was a vast cultural difference between West Pakistanis and East Pakistanis and a thousand miles which separated the wings prevented any close association, the official language became an issue immediately after independence and because of the language East and West Pakistanis felt like foreigners in each other’s wings.

    In 1952-54 my father was posted to East Pakistan, when he returned he told us that East Pakistan would secede. I was told by an American senator in 1965 that East Pakistan would secede, when I had never considered it possible. My younger brother Squadron Leader Shuaib after serving in East Pakistan told us East Pakistanis were saying that West Pakistan would separate from East Pakistan because of the economic disparity. The events of the 1960s and 1970s were the culmination, there was nothing common except religion, East Pakistan should have been separate state from the beginning.

    This is General Shamim Ahmed Khan’s brother, not some Tom, Dick or Harry. As you probably know, he commanded his own SSG battalion in East Pakistan and had a ring-side view of events. He was posted out by Tiger Niazi himself with an adverse report, which should count in his favour.

    It was years of sustained, persistent effort that drove East Pakistan out of Pakistan. What finally happened was a military sealing of an established political and social fact. To attribute the entire credit for the separation to the last military action is to assume that only five minutes out of twenty four hours was important.

    I could go on and on, but don’t want to reduce this to the tired, moth-eaten practices of the recent past, when Pakistanis and Indians would get locked into interminable arguments which could never end, neither side being able to concede a point, let alone the full nine yards.

  78. Bloody Civilian


    i see now. it’s typical jamaati behaviour — faking victimisation when down. and being beastially cruel when they have the opportunity.

  79. bonobashi

    @Bloody Civilian

    Actually I find my position converging on YLH’s.

    You know that I started from a position similar to yours, feeling that YLH occasionally was quick on the trigger. There have been posters, however, who have totally soured my cud by being superficial, ignoring earlier posts on the same thread, assuming that they can teach everybody else a thing or three, whining for help when confronted and hiding behind a victim persona for self-preservation.

    I can’t stand these blog-kiddies.

    Everybody can respond and take part; sure, and I’m sure that the administrators will welcome everybody. But is some minimum courtesy to others not involved?

    They don’t seem to think so, in the first wild rapture of seeing their nickname and their views in print. It is for scraping one’s nails across a board kind of bloggers like this that I pour out my vials of wrath.

  80. PMA

    yasserlatifhamdani (September 24, 2009 at 8:43 pm):

    YLH: I have repeatedly said that ideologically I am on your side of the equation. But the laws you have pointed out reflect the majority opinion. We can oppose views of others but we can not impose our views on others. The most we can ask is minority rights but we can not force our views on the majority. You have repeatedly articulated Jinnah’s vision and his concept of Pakistan. His Pakistan was ‘a Muslim majority country’. Well, that never happened. What happened instead was ‘a Muslim’ country with a minuscule non-Muslim minority. The laws of Pakistan are the laws of a ‘Muslim’ country and not of a ‘Muslim majority’ country.

    And yes I have seen that one line on the face of Pakistan National Assembly building. But that is what people of Pakistan wanted. That is why it is there. I don’t see people of Pakistan marching onto that building trying to remove it. And by the way neither are the black coats. I was inside the Supreme Court of Pakistan not too long ago. (Incidentally in the company of your friends Ahtezaz and Kurd). I must have missed the Magna Carta.

  81. Bloody Civilian


    the plaque hanging inside the supreme court… and how it was adulterated by an unelected dictator

    this was done during nawaz sharif’s first term…. not zia as i mistakenly suggested. sorry! both plaques were removed by sajjad ali shah.

  82. yasserlatifhamdani


    As a lawyer I will tell you that Pakistan has the most draconian anti-human rights laws in the world all justified in the name of Islam.

    The people have been fooled into believing that Pakistan has to be Islamic because this was the raison d’etre of its creation. This is a lie.

    I don’t know why you keep denying that this is the officially sanctioned ideology when everything from the oaths of state officials to ACRs of state functionaries contains a reference to ideology of Pakistan and the Islamic ideology.

    You keep saying that the majority wanted this. First of all this is a highly debatable matter…but even if we concede this where are those high faluting ideals of saving minorities from the tyranny of the majority?

    Not that the majority ever accepted these questions. For example 1970 elections…let us consider PPP and Awami League manifestos. Did either of the parties have any commitment to Islam (other than PPP’s “islam is our religion” slogan). Did PPP or Awami League promise Sharia? PPP contested elections on completely secular issues and the majority of the people voted them in.

    How then does the 1973 constitution, its Islamic provisions, the horrendous abuse in its name, etc represent the majority of Pakistan? The 1973 constitution was thus put in place by the PPP in complete negation of its mandate.

    If the majority of Pakistan wanted Islamization, they would have voted for Maududi and Mufti and Qazi and Fazal instead of Jinnah, Bhutto, Benazir and Nawaz Sharif. Did NS promise “sharia” or “15th Amendment” in the the 1997 elections ?

    The problem of Islamization in Pakistan has never been one of popular will … in every parliamentary election, those with Islamization on their manifesto have been rejected … But from Bhutto to Sharif every government has then tried to outsmart the Mullahs by outflanking them …and it has never helped them.

    In the process Pakistan has been set on the road of Islamization, no one in Pakistan voted for.

  83. D_a_n

    @ bonobashi

    I am familiar with brig ZA khans account and don’t really gave a different opinion of the facts that you mentioned…
    We dug our own grave and that us a statement if fact. The factors mentined in the extract you quoted are also known and duly aknowledged.

    We gave the otherside an opening which was exploited. But my point was that exploiting it was the decision that drove the final nail in the coffin…

    With the Indians intervention.. The insurgency may or may not have been out down ( with a heavy tilt towards ‘may not’)

    The case for an eventual separation was quite strong however in my opinion; it would have come much later. Possibly giving west pakistanis the chance to rethink what was being done, change course, stop the military operation in the face of a tougher than expected insurgency ????????( or even divine intervention. Please go easy on me for thus one!!)

    My point was that eventhough they were only a few minutes out of 24 hours; they were impossibly crucial:)

  84. PMA

    Alright YLH. You don’t like the laws and the Constitution of Pakistan. Me too. I don’t like it either. But the people of Pakistan have no problem with it. Jinnah died on September 11, 1948. Only six months later the famous Objectives Resolution was adopted on March 12, 1949, by the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. You mean to tell me that the people of Pakistan were fooled within six months of the death of the Quaid and his “Vision of Pakistan” was callously transformed into “Nazria-e-Pakistan” which in your opinion should be scrapped. I am sure as a good lawyer, that you are, you have seen this document millions of time. Let me reproduce it for the benefit of others. Item no. 5 deals with the minority rights.

    “Objectives Resolution was moved by Liaquat Ali Khan, the then Prime Minister of Pakistan. It proclaimed that the future constitution of Pakistan would not be modeled on European pattern, but on the ideology and democratic faith of Islam. The Objectives Resolution, which is considered to be the “Magna Carta” of Pakistan’s constitutional history, proclaimed the following principles:

    1. Sovereignty belongs to Allah alone but He has delegated it to the State of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him as a sacred trust.

    2. The State shall exercise its powers and authority through the chosen representatives of the people.

    3. The principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed.

    4. Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives in the individual and collective spheres in accordance with the teachings of Islam as set out in the Holy Quran and Sunnah.

    5. Adequate provision shall be made for the minorities to freely profess and practice their religions and develop their cultures.

    6. Pakistan shall be a federation.

    7. Fundamental rights shall be guaranteed.

    8. Judiciary shall be independent.

    The Objectives Resolution is one of the most important and illuminating documents in the constitutional history of Pakistan. At the time it was passed, Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan called it “the most important occasion in the life of this country, next in importance only to the achievement of independence”. The importance of this document lies in the fact that it combines the good features of Western and Islamic democracy. It is a happy blend of modernism and Islam. The Objectives Resolution became a part of the constitution of Pakistan in 1985 under the Eighth Amendment.”

    Pakistan was declared Islamic Republic by its Constituent Assembly in March 23, 1956; not by Ayub, Yahya, Zia or Musharraf. What I am trying to tell you is that that is how people of Pakistan had wanted it from the day one. It does not matter how MAJ, YLH or PMA want. If it was up to me, I will take God out of the state. But that is not how people of Pakistan want. Not in 1949, and not in 2009. Jinnah wanted a ‘Muslim majority state’. What he got was a ‘Muslim state’. The Jinnah’s Pakistan you are fighting for never happened. If you want to fight for the minority rights, you have to fight within this framework. Minority can not force its will on the majority. It could only ask for the safeguard of its rights.

  85. Bloody Civilian


    i do not wish to butt in to the debate between you and YLH.

    1. the ‘magna carta’ was on the wall of the present supreme court building when it was opened in march 1993… but deviously adulterated.

    2. the subsequent constitution(s) decided to leave some parts of it out of the body of the constitution – leaving them as a preamble. it was made a substantive part of the constitution by a dictator… not any kind of democratic will.

    the debate whether jinnah’s aug 11, 1947 speech or the OR was/is the magna carta — i’ll leave for later. i’d also leave for later the debate about how easy it is for a few to bring the religion genie out of the bottle but difficult, even for the many, to put it back in…. for a variety of reasons. just to quote an example: it is much easier for a mob to bring down babari masjid than it is for the secular state and law and constitution of india to ever rebuilt it or even prevent or in any way regulate the temple already up and running in its place.

    for now, i’d just like to add a verbatim text of the OR quoted from the official record of the CA from March 7, 1949, and some additional stuff (as reproduced in a cowasjee article):

    “The Honourable Mr Liaquat Ali Khan (East Bengal, Muslim) : Mr President, Sir, I beg to move the following Objectives Resolution embodying the main principles on which the Constitution of Pakistan is to be based.

    “In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful;

    “Whereas sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to God Almighty alone and the authority which He has delegated to the state of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limit prescribed by Him is a sacred trust;”This Constituent Assembly, representing the people of Pakistan, resolves to frame a constitution for the sovereign independent State of Pakistan;

    “Wherein the state shall exercise its powers and authority through the chosen representatives of the people;

    “Wherein the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed;

    “Wherein the Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives in the individual and collective spheres in accord with the teachings and requirements of Islam as set out in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah;

    “Wherein adequate provisions shall be made for the minorities freely to profess and practise their religions and develop their cultures;

    “Wherein the territories now included in or in accession with Pakistan and such other territories as may hereafter be included in or accede to Pakistan shall form a federation wherein the units will be autonomous with such boundaries and limitations on their powers and authority as may be prescribed;

    “Wherein shall be guaranteed fundamental rights, including equality of status, of opportunity and before law, social economic and political justice, and freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship and association, subject to the law and public morality;

    “Wherein adequate provision shall be made to safeguard the legitimate interests of minorities and backward and depressed classes;

    “Wherein the independence of the judiciary shall be fully secured;

    “Wherein the integrity of the territories of the Federation, its independence and all its rights, including its sovereign rights on land, sea and air, will be safeguarded;

    “So that the people of Pakistan may prosper and attain their rightful and honoured place amongst the nations of the world and make their full contribution towards international peace and progress and happiness of humanity.”

    LAK then addressed the President of the CA, Tamizuddin Khan:

    “…the people are the real recipients of power. This naturally eliminates any danger of the establishment of a theocracy …. In the technical sense, theocracy has come to mean a government by ordained priests, who wield authority as being specially appointed by those who claim to derive their rights from their sacerdotal position. I cannot overemphasize the fact that such an idea is absolutely foreign to Islam. Islam does not recognize either priesthood or any sacerdotal authority; and, therefore, the question of a theocracy simply does not arise in Islam. If there are any who still use the word theocracy in the same breath as the polity of Pakistan, they are either labouring under a grave misapprehension or indulging in mischievous propaganda.

    “….. Therefore, there should be no misconception in the mind of any sect which may be a minority in Pakistan about the intentions of the state. The state will seek to create an Islamic society free from dissensions, but this does not mean that it would curb the freedom of any section of the Muslims in the matter of their beliefs. No sects, whether the majority or a minority, will be permitted to dictate to the others and, in their own internal matters and sectional beliefs, all sects shall be given the fullest possible latitude and freedom. Actually, we hope the various sects will act in accordance with the desire of the Prophet who said that the differences of opinion amongst his followers are a blessing. It is for us to make our differences a source of strength to Islam and to Pakistan and not to exploit them for our own interests which will weaken both Pakistan and Islam.

    “…. We believe that no shackles can be put on thought and, therefore, we do not intend to hinder any person from the expression of his views.”

  86. bonobashi


    Fairly stated, as might have been expected.

    I have to agree that the insurgency was on the back foot by November ’71, with the renewed drive to the frontiers ordered by Niazi (this is contrary to contemporary Bangladeshi folklore, so I’ve probably shot to hell all chances my of getting there ever again).

    Yes, after what happened there, and even with the suppression of evidence about the massacres, I suppose the separation would inevitably have happened later. ‘Inevitably’, regrettably from your point of view, because the Army + Foreign Service + politician combine has never shown remorse with regard to action taken within Pakistan against insurgents. Especially Bhutto, with his record of threatening opponents of his with the instruments of state. I have not much recollection of any display of remorse on his part either. He was quite happy to pick up the broken pieces and sweep under the carpet his own paramount responsibility, greater than any other individual, for the horrific happenings.

  87. I agree with YLH: “Allah” doesn’t belong anywhere in the constitution of a modern nation-state.

    The very statement “Sovereignity belongs to Allah alone” is inherently discriminatory to those who don’t believe in the Muslim god– Christians, Hindus, communists, atheists– all of whom may be citizens of Pakistan.

  88. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear PMA,

    Like I proved above, the people of Pakistan did not vote for the Objectives Resolution or the Constitution of Pakistan of 1973. On the contrary they voted for the exact opposite.

    Both were compromise documents by the party in power… in both cases the liberals in power thought (much like Von Hindenberg) that they could control the Islamists by concessions… and in both cases the party in power was not elected to do what it did.

    Had they wanted this they would voted for the parties that promised this. Neither the Muslim League in 1946 nor the PPP in 1970 promised this in any of their manifestoes and public documents. On the contrary, in both cases the charismatic leaders of the two parties promised a Pakistan based on people’s sovereignty and equality for all. I have already quoted Jinnah’s speeches…. I can also quote Bhutto’s speeches.

    The people of Pakistan don’t have a problem with an Islamic state but by an Islamic state they mean a just, fair and egalitarian state ruling over an honest and incorruptible model society… no one has a problem with that. The people of Pakistan when given an honest choice will always choose people on issues… not nazaria.

    The clearest indication of this is what happened to the residual Pakistan Muslim League after 1954… once it confined its politics to the issue of separate electorates …. the people of Pakistan were mature enough to realize that the erstwhile demand of Muslim minority in United India had no place in a Muslim Majority Pakistan and that only section that could claim a separate electorate were the minorities . The Muslim League learnt a lesson from it… and the revived versions have tread carefully… even the Junejo version which was revived by General Zia.

    So don’t keep repeating this lie. If you honestly want to see what the people of Pakistan want… let them elect a new and truly representative constituent assembly on a fair federal basis (and by fair basis I mean adequate representation for all groups be they ethnic, linguistic, religious or sectarian) … and let that constituent assembly make a truly unanimous constitution after proper deliberation … and till that unanimity is achieved, no constitution should be unveiled. This is the only solution to Pakistan’s ills… back to the basics. You said you wanted competing ideas of Pakistan… well this would give every competing idea of Pakistan a fair hearing.

    And stop repeating this “I don’t agree with it but…” … If you concede that all that was done undemocratically in Pakistan without regard to mandates and electoral promises is “okay” for Pakistan’s majority… well then you agree with it.

  89. D_a_n

    @ bonobashi

    actually his lack of an ‘institutionalised’ display of remorse has been the saddest part of 71 and had helped to extend the shadow and influence of out defeat/divorce from beyond the military. From beyond the grave.

    which is interesting because apart from JI types middle class-eay, I have observed people generally accept our actions in the west.

    This lack of remorse not only allowed us move forward with a shocking lack of introspection over a siesmic event as this. This lack of thought on what we did, why we did it and how we did it them crept into virtually all things since. An almost self imposed retardation.

    When I ask myself this question the only answer I can come up with in our defence is that the Indian intervention allowed us to keep looking at 71 alone (ignoring pre 71) and that too only in the indo pak war context.

    Ps: please put down glaring spelling mistakes and wired sentences to the handheld 🙂

  90. bonobashi


    I have been thinking about what you wrote above, ever since you hinted at it being a reason in an earlier post.

    It is depressing but accurate; it is probably the Indian intervention and the Pakistani bitterness at the outcome which allowed attention to be focussed on Indian perfidy rather than West Pakistani barbarism. At that point, perfidy against barbarism unfortunately reduces to our old friends the torn shirt and the open fly, however grotesque may be the comparison.

  91. Bloody Civilian

    re. 1956 constitution

    this has been alluded to already… but a CA having been through the butchering by GM, upheld by munir, with no new elections since 1946, the c-in-c sitting in cabinet from 1954, and the lack of legitimacy of mirza himself… can hradly claim either democratic mandate or independence.

  92. Bloody Civilian


    his [ZAB’s] own paramount responsibility, greater than any other individual

    what legal power did ZAB have over the absolute dictator with all legal, executive powers? what was stopping yahya’s regime from doing the right thing… or at least the less wrong thing… and ignore bhutto… even run rough shod over his wet dream?

    and to use action from an enemy country as an excuse to avoid introspection is even more despicable than making excuses, in the form of ZAB, for the military regime of the time. since when did introspection involve questioning the actions or motives of another?

  93. yasserlatifhamdani

    Kashifiat mian,

    “Becharai “Two Nation Theory” aaah haa!!!”

    It must come as a surprise to you (most logical things do)… but Two nation theory or Muslim Nationalism is not nazaria or ideology. If it had been, Maulana Maududi would not have dared call it an oxymoron akin to “chaste prostitute”.

    The Two Nation Theory in any event relegated religion to a secondary level, when the names, cultures, language, antecedents and customs were mentioned. The end objective of the TNT was a consociationalist one… a power and sovereignty sharing formula.

    In any event… for a Qadiyani-dahria baiting Jamaatia like you TNT is a very dangerous proposition… nazaria or not… because if subjective nationhood (as the theory of nationhood has long held) is based on names, culture, antecedents, common historical experience, customs, dietary habits etc … then by that logic: you, Kashif Hafeez Siddiqui are only as Muslim as a Qadiyani or an Atheist .. because Qadiyanis in culture, antecedents, common historical experience, dietary habits etc are Sunni Muslims… and all Pakistani atheists born in Muslim (and Qadiyani) families are culturally Muslim…. (which is how it was anyway during the Pakistan Movement).

    Come on give it up now. There must be a decent human being lurking somewhere. Why don’t you give up this unnecessary obsession with persecuting minorities of Pakistan and thinking up ridiculously paranoid conspiracy theories about American and local alliance… and join instead in the march of progress and civilization? Leave Jamaat-e-Islami… work for Pakistan and a true renaissance of Islamic civilization that is possible through modernity, rational thought, science and technology.

    If we – Pakistanis, Muslims etc- follow the path of moderity, rational thought, science and technology and put our house in order, there is no end to the progress we will make. We would not be a third rate power being pushed around by bigger powers … isn’t that your gripe? But so long as you continue to turn Muslim against Muslim… Pakistani against Pakistani and rabble rousing creating false religious frenzy… we will be perpetually the slaves of the powers that be.

  94. Bloody Civilian

    re. the quotes from OR on the new Supreme Court building

    i rather made a hash of this. the point i was hoping to make, instead of the mess it ended up being, was that even if one were to ignore the dubious or worse democratic credentials of OR and even the 1973 consitution, and the 8th amendment (!!)… the equity pleaded for this POV by PMA would require the other party to come with clean hands. deviously altering the text on the plaque from the original is just one tiny example of unclean hands in addition to a long list of other glaring examples and worse… some of these have already been listed in the posts above.

  95. Bloody Civilian

    re. TNT = “chaste prostitute”

    and yet when jinnah’s 11 aug speech quite logically closed the chapter on TNT, the jamaat didn’t accept that either… with islahi calling it the blueprint for a country fit for ‘iblees kee makhlook’. so what does the jamaat really want?


    absolutely. TNT made no difference whatsoever between the identity and rights related to identity of a muslim atheist or a religious muslim, by being completely irrelevant to the whole subject of religion. it was about identity, as subjectively felt and expressed by the muslims (religious or atheistic), with or without good reason, and not one imposed on them either by congress or by AIML. jinnah came to accepting this right but congress rejected it. once the context changed, with partition, this subjectivity also, naturally, changed to one or more new and different ones.

  96. rizwan

    From this side of the border (in India) (referring to the Pakistan army’s corrected approach) and to a person born in 1970, the entire scenario is quite bizarre.

    Who is the Taliban? who created them? Is it possible for a huge bunch of thugs to make an army without the knowledge of the govt in Pakistan?

    The whole thing is one bunch of smokescreens after another. Anyone cares to walk me through from the beginning?


  97. Bloody Civilian

    TNT contd.

    that leaves the matter of the handful of references to islam made by jinnah. there were as many religiously minded muslim in the subcontinent in the second quarter of the 20th century as they’re today. instead of telling them that their religion counts for nothing, to try and argue with them that the truer spirit of their great religion stands for equality and justice amongst men can only be described as being somehow dishonest if it is claimed/accepted that trying to be pragmatic and avoiding totally unnecessary conflict is in itself a dishonest act.

  98. Bloody Civilian


    if you’d allow me to be pedantic/splitting hairs… you are quoting the paraphrased text, ie if we’re talking strictly of the OR itself (not the present constitution). the official record says “God Almighty”… which isn’t necessarily the “muslim god”. it does not change the validity of your criticism… just an unimportant detail or two.

  99. yasserlatifhamdani

    Is that true? Because the OR (Article 2A) as well as Preamble says “Almighty Allah”…

    I know that the word “freely” was freely omitted as it applied to religious freedoms of minorities. But this … this is extraordinary.

  100. Bloody Civilian

    unless cowasjee has made a mistake in what he claims is the official record of the CA from march 7, 1949, “when the Objectives Resolution was moved and adopted on the first day of the fifth session of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, meeting in the Assembly chambers at Karachi, at four of the clock in the evening”. and cowasjee has put forth the same in more than one of his articles. i’ve reproduced it in whole in one of my posts above. ie

    the official record says: “Whereas sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to God Almighty alone..”

    and the present constitution says: “Whereas sovereignty over the entire Universe belongs to Almighty Allah alone…”

    for whatever it’s worth…

  101. bonobashi

    @Bloody Civilian
    September 25, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    My very hesitating response to your questions.

    I think that this lies in the nature of the Pakistani establishment as it was constituted at the time of independence and as it gradually developed.

    From what I have been able to piece together, there seem to be several factions within the ruling classes. It is popular to equate these to the feudal classes, but I believe that that is a mistake.

    Instead, it seems to me that there was an original faction that brought Pakistan into being, the Muslim League followers of Jinnah who didn’t quite understand the extent and scope of his vision. This faction, constituted of the middle class allied to the feudals, who, as has been recorded faithfully in our discourses on this forum, joined the Jinnah/ AIML bandwagon once it became apparent that it was going to prevail, saw in Pakistan, and more or less faithfully served Jinnah while he was alive. Regrettably, it was not a very popular or broad-based faction; the famous victories and the mass following it enjoyed in pre-partition elections conducted by the British were due to popular support for Jinnah, not support for the AIML. As a result, it felt increasingly vulnerable in the newly-formed Pakistan, not being well-experienced in mass mobilisation, which for them earlier had meant putting the Quaid-e-Azam to speak at a particular venue, and that meant more or less that the neighbouring vote had been won.

    When Jinnah died, this faction was bereft of a popular mandate. The devious politics began.

    First, they were always unsure about the nature of secularism and the precise contours of Jinnah’s vision. The Pakistan movement, it is clear from all that has been published, was almost a one-person movement, in the sense that there was only one leader. It was constituted of a multi-class constituency, from the feudal classes, from the middle classes and from the proletariat alike, which is where the role of the Communist Party is significant. In all this, the second rung leadership never seems to have been very sure about the nature of a state for the Muslims, rather than a state for Islam.

    When they were left bereft of the leadership of the Qaid, they lost their nerve. The theocratic leadership had started its migration to Pakistan, and in a remarkable volte face, had become supporters of Pakistan. These theocrats were preaching Islam at the tops of their voices. In the face of these challenges, and without the guidance of the Qaid, the establishment raised the flag of Islam; it took up the Kashmir issue; and it passed the buck to their brothers, cousins, uncles and nephews who were in the military.

    All these three issues were responses by a challenged middle class in power but fearing to lose it to the theocrats at any moment. The flag of Islam, represented by the Objectives Resolution, by the banning of the Ahmediyyas, the adoption of Shariah Law with some modification, and various other steps, all of which have been discussed here at some length, was a prominent issue.

    So also was Kashmir. Please consider this in the context of the exchanges on the relevance of Kashmir and Operations Gibraltar and Grand Slam elsewhere.

    So, finally, was the attempt at keeping the forces of barbarism, that is, those who were not PLU – People Like Us – but were PLT – People Like Them, at bay by handing over power to the Army.

    This was the real raison d’etre of the Army, to prevent power from slipping away from the civilian branch of the middle class/ feudal class combine to any other class. They played this role admirably, except for a brief interregnum, when, betrayed by his own unbalanced genius, ZAB thought that Zia ul-Haq would be a suitable chief. He thought wrong; Zia wasn’t; Bhutto paid with his life for that mistake.

    2. The second phenomenon that they observed was that they tossed the ball to each other, each prime minister unsure of what to do, all while the President, and later the Chief Martial Law Administrator looked on balefully.

    With this background, I come to your two questions.

    For the Martial Law administration, they and the civil service, especially the foreign service, with which Bhutto was peculiarly associated, were one and the same. The links between Bhutto’s coterie and military circles have been recorded; this was not abnormal. Nor should it be forgotten that ZAB had been advising military rulers what to do from 65 onwards; his role in emphasising that the Indians would not escalate the conflict beyond Kashmir is well known. It was not strange to consider Bhutto close to the ‘real’ establishment; it was equally, for reasons that I should like to go into separately, not strange for the political heirs of Fazlul Haq and Suhrawardy to considered slightly strange and alien.

    Why did Bhutto not introspect himself, why did the state not review what it had done? The question did not arise. The state was sanctified as the homeland for Muslims; there was no question of apostasy or breaking away from this. I don’t want to go into detail on that part of it; it is better delivered by a Pakistani and a Muslim. But there was blind refusal on the part of the establishment to accept that anything wrong was done, even while the common people sensed that a catastrophe had occurred.

    This is what I can do for the time being for an answer, although I will be glad to return and clarify and amplify as needed, later.

  102. Bloody Civilian

    i think the 1956 constitution is true to the offcial record of the proceedings of the CA. 2A is of course what gave it legal effect whereas before that this had been a compromise, no matter how ill-conceived, with no legal implications.

    btw, if nothing else, the preamble, with its legal power thanks to 2A, itself keeps jinnah relevant to this debate about the constitution of pakistan. or the presence of lack of an ideology of pakistan other than acccording to the mental capability of each one of us, democratically expressed. for the preamble itself says:

    “Now, therefore, we, the people of Pakistan,

    Cognisant of our responsibility before Almighty Allah and men;[words shared by preambles to constitutions of several western countries]

    Cognisant of the sacrifices made by the people in the cause of Pakistan;

    Faithful to the declaration made by the Founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, that Pakistan would be a democratic State based on Islamic principles of social justice”

    whether, what, when, where and how was any declaration made by jinnah?

  103. Bloody Civilian

    whether, what, when, where and how was any declaration made by jinnah… if not the one made inside the CA itself?

  104. Bloody Civilian


    1. This was the real raison d’etre of the Army, to prevent power from slipping away from the civilian branch of the middle class/ feudal class combine to any other class

    and every time the Army tried this, it ended up making the ‘political classes’ many times weaker and even less capable of surviving on their own. the raison d’etre is nothing more than a recipe for substituting unnatural disaster for a natural one…. and accordingly ever more hopeless. so i believe the opposite of They played this role admirably… since i see their role within the context of my characterisation of the raison d’etre/recipe. whereas the political classes were a mix of the middle and feudal classes… the middle class generals displayed the feudal mentality in its purest form in thinking they were the ultimate custodians of ‘pakistan’ and above the law. no wonder they behaved as sickeningly as the worst feudals (that is a feudal is supposed to be lord and protector of his people but actually violates and decimates them day in and day out). but yet, ayub khan from rehana cannot be as naturally grand or sure of himself as a true feudal. so he will be a different kind of scoundrel than your typical feudal. not as naturally grand or as self-assured. which is dangerous.

    the only problem with zia, a lethal one indeed, was that, unlike his military predecessors, he was not a closet feudal. he was a closet maulvi, instead.

    2. you’ll have to ‘go into’ this:

    It was not strange to consider Bhutto close to the ‘real’ establishment; it was equally, for reasons that I should like to go into separately, not strange for the political heirs of Fazlul Haq and Suhrawardy to considered slightly strange and alien.

    in order to explain this… or at least how the above sits with this:

    The state was sanctified as the homeland for Muslims; there was no question of apostasy or breaking away from this

  105. bonobashi

    @Bloody Civilian

    I agree wholly with your refinement of my arguments. Indeed the Pakistani military branch of the ruling class fulfilled their role admirably – but only insofar as they kept power away from the theocrats, the maulvi faction. As far as their role as the military wing of the combined civil-military ruling class was concerned, they failed. The reasons for the failure have been analysed by you beyond any need for elaboration. Their being closet feudals, however, may not have been restricted to them alone, but may have extended in some manner to their civilian partners as well; my argument is based on the behavioural patterns of the foreign service bureaucrats, who in no way stood behind the military in their assumption of guardianship of the holy grail.

    In the ultimate analysis, the difference between the civil and the military branches may have been that “Power flows out of the barrel of a gun.”

    It does not seem to me that the arrogation of a closet feudal role was immediate, in spite of the fact that the origins of the feudal classes were precisely military in nature; rather, I suspect that the same ecosystem that produced a military officer produced his civilian counterpart. This is borne out by European experience, where it generally took 3 or 4 generations for a military ennoblement to end up in gentrification.

    Since you have had the advantage of a close and personal observation of this sociology, you are more likely to be correct than I; my views are placed here for the purpose of discussion.

    I would like to take the Bengal specific comments in the next post, if you please.

  106. yasserlatifhamdani

    I think Jinnah’s successors were to the extent of equal rights for all Pakistanis etc quite faithful to his vision.
    They obviously didn’t understand or have Jinnah’s understanding of Morley, Locke or history of Protestant-Catholic conflict. And with the Muslim identity came a Muslim past with Iqbal’s exhortations fresh in their heads. Besides Jinnah himself made a few ambiguous statements about Islam during those last 8 years which in the long run damaged his own idea of a state.

    His immediate successors allowed some role for Islam in state (main to distinguish themselves from India… when objection was raised about Islam in objectives resolution the geniuses responded saying that India too refers to a Hindu identity when it says “india that is bharat”) but they continued to believe in freedom of religion, democracy of some kind and rule of law.

    Then some of them – not the main leaders of the Pakistan Movement- decided to take up the issue of separate electorates in Pakistan…this showed their immaturity. After all taking the whole logic of separate electorates, the only section that had any locus standi to claim separate electorate were the minorities.

    That said Pakistan was a different place. People of all faiths did reside here and not only did they practise by openly preached their faith (they did so even in my childhood- christian missionaries were not unusual)… Pakistan may not have been a completely secular state but it was multicultural and tolerant.

    It was the wars that changed it…

  107. Bloody Civilian

    It does not seem to me that the arrogation of a closet feudal role was immediate

    yes. the military has been slow to take up its ‘role’… and the role has gone beyond what was originally envisaged without any one intending it to be so. but such are the limits to the ‘power that flows out of the barrel of the gun’, and of the human being sitting atop the barrel. the organisation and running of a state is a much bigger and more complex project for this narrow and myopic civil-military model to manage.

    it is difficult to keep the institution and its professional role effectively insulated from its assumed political role. more importantly, both the military and the civilian leadership are weakened as a result. the soldier king who needs legitimacy and the politicians who provide it.. are both decreased in stature… to the mullahs’ benefit.

    even the 180deg turning musharraf used the mullahs. indirectly rather than directly like zia and then even bb and NS did in the pre-9/11 world. the mullah had a spring in his step during the 1990s that was difficult to miss. 9/11 spoiled much for him.

    the latest war, and the pain and sacrifice involved in getting through the last 8 years… has meant that a process of introspection has started in pakistan. no matter how much we criticise the media’s tilt to the right, questions are being asked that would not have been mentioned 10 or 20 years ago. there is little chance of the mullah ‘returning’ in this post-9/11 world… despite bungling Bushes. will the military now tolerate a civilian set up no matter how anaemic and abysmal? let it evolve instead of waiting, comatose, for the next coup?

  108. Bloody Civilian

    Their being closet feudals, however, may not have been restricted to them alone

    indeed. the state was bureaucratized before it was militarized.

  109. D_a_n


    you addressed the following to Bonobashi but i’d like to comment:

    you wrote: ‘and to use action from an enemy country as an excuse to avoid introspection is even more despicable than making excuses, in the form of ZAB, for the military regime of the time.’

    I put that idea forward for lack of a better explanation to be honest and as something that makes sense to me personally. Individual people exhibit the same behavior at certain traumatic events in which they are culpable as well.

    I’m not saying that this right or wrong…despicable or not…just that this is how it is.

    I’m not even saying that this has been the only reason. Possibly one of many but if some actual research is done on the national psyche I believe this will spill out.

    The role of ZAB isn’t an excuse born out of thin air. It is there for all to see. You asked what legal authority did he have? I say he had something better…he has his popularity. He had his legitimacy.

    Yes he isn’t exactly seen rushing to draw West Pakistani’s to his bosom or even try to stand up for them specifically.

    He could have used his political legitimacy to much better use. He didn’t. Deliberately. Qualifies as diabolical in my book.

  110. PMA

    Gentlemen: Had been late coming to my desk this morning. In the meantime valuable contributions had been made to the discussion, or should I say discussions. Particularly Bono B’s analysis of the Pakistani Establishment and BC’s refining of it. It is a mistake to break down Pakistan Ruling Class into separate Military, Bureaucracy, Feudals, Politicians and Industrialists classes as in fact they are all related to each other and are directly and indirectly responsible about what happens in Pakistan. Jinnah had a vision of Pakistan but as Bono B has put it:

    “When Jinnah died……… The devious politics began……the second rung leadership never seems to have been very sure about the nature of a state for the Muslims, rather than a state for Islam……they were always unsure about the nature of secularism and the precise contours of Jinnah’s vision…….they lost their nerve.”

    They lost their nerve, reverted to the popular demand and allowed Islam, Allah and Mohammad to be the center piece of the Constitution of Pakistan.

    Bono B further adds that:

    “The theocratic leadership had started its migration to Pakistan…..These theocrats were preaching Islam at the tops of their voices. In the face of these challenges, and without the guidance of the Quaid, the establishment raised the flag of Islam.”

    But the final responsibility of moving away from the secular vision of Jinnah and allowing Islam, Allah and Mohammad to be part of constitution lies with the leadership of Pakistan.

    YLH’s point is that it happened but “the people of Pakistan did not vote for the Objectives Resolution or the Constitution of Pakistan of 1973…..Both were compromise documents by the party in power… in both cases the liberals in power thought (much like Von Hindenburg) that they could control the Islamists by concessions… and in both cases the party in power was not elected to do what it did.”

    In other words it was a case of blackmail and appeasement. Meaning that the people did not want it but the august house, the duly elected Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, only six months after the death of The Quaid was forced and blackmailed by the rag tag Jamaat-e-Islami to include Islam, Allah and Mohammad in to the framework of Constitution of Pakistan. Give me a break! Members of the Constituent Assembly were not the seasoned leaders but some school yard children. Now you are demanding that people of Pakistan must “elect a new and truly representative Constituent Assembly.” What would you do if the new Constituent Assembly also includes Islam, Allah and Mohammad in to this new constitution? Throw tantrum and say ‘no no this is not what Jinnah had wanted’. You don’t like it. That is fine. But people of Pakistan are OK with ‘Islam, Allah and Mohammad’. Is it fair to the minorities? No it is not. But don’t say people have nothing to do with it.

  111. Bloody Civilian


    i did note that you were giving a possible, even probable, explanation for the lack of introspection and not a justification.

    i’m not saying that bhutto did not have what i called his ‘wet dream’… or his utterly anti-democratic and therefore treasonable behaviour. but the fact remains that the buck stopped with yahya and his regime… not with bhutto. in fact, that bhutto was given a free hand and was not behind bars… i also lay that at yahya’s booted feet.

    mujib was twice as popular as bhutto.. yet yahya and his regime had no qualms about arresting and trying him (without any real evidence) or about 25 march 1971.

    bhutto wasn’t all that less popular when yahya’s military successor had him judicially murdered.

    i suggest yahya’s motives were that a politically more aware national majority with next to no links to the national army and 1000 miles of india in between was far too inconvenient for what the 101 brigade is now able to accomplish within the hour. 30 minutes?

  112. bonobashi

    @Bloody Civilian

    It is interesting that three postulations have emerged regarding the point at which the rot set in.

    My hypothesis, as a theoretician, with scanty knowledge of the facts, was that this started immediately on the death of Jinnah.

    Yours seems to be that this began with militarisation of the state, that is, presumably, with Iskandar Mirza seizing power.

    YLH has pointed out the period of calm and peace until the wars began. Now the question is, which wars? I suspect that he is referring to 1965 as the first real war, and also as one which set the tones and the tempers of South Asian dialogues or discussions. He cannot have been referring to the first skirmish over Kashmir, and to have classified it as an extension of the horrors of partition, even though there was an exclusive military element about it.

    Very interesting.

  113. D_a_n


    i believe it takes about 45 🙂

    buck did stop with Yayha. No contest there.

    my only ‘iltijaa’ is that you agree that this was a ‘tag team’ event. Always has been.

  114. Bloody Civilian


    i cannot accept as ‘democratic’ will or ‘independent’ action all that was done after GM’s action against the first CA. however, it is difficult to refute your points about 12 march 1949… even if what the CA assembly endorsed a good chunk of what maudoodi proposed (for example in his feb 1948 address at Law College, Lahore), and flew right in the face of everything jinnah had said on 11 aug 1947 right inside the CA in its inaugral session. in the case of OR, i call it wrong, not illegitimate.

    all muslim members were misguided, some proved to be spineless hypocirites, with the exception of mian iftikharuddin. but i cannot fault it for lacking in democratic legitimacy.

    however, much of the problem we have with the OR is because of what has happened subsequently. it was in no way automatic that OR should lead to 1973… or worse the 2nd amendment. there was more than just a lot of sabotaging of democracy enroute from 1949 to 1989… and beyond. some of the muslim member’s naive assurances about the harmlessness of OR seems much worse in the light of what actually happened subsequently (most of it was far less than democratic when not outright undemocratic).

    here’s abdur rab nishtar as an example of the naivete: “”It was remarked by some honorable members that the interpretation which the mover of this Resolution has given is satisfactory and quite good, but Mr. B.C. Mandal says: “Well tomorrow you may die, I may die, and the posterity may misinterpret it.” First of all, I may tell him and those who have got some wrong notions about the interpretation of this resolution that this resolution itself is not a constitution. It is a direction to the committee that will have to prepare the draft keeping in view these main features. The matter will again come to the House in a concrete form, and all of us will get an opportunity to discuss it.”

  115. yasserlatifhamdani

    Well it not only flew in face of what Jinnah said again and again… the voting pattern shows that if flew in the face of the very principle that was claimed when Pakistan demand was raised and even before that.

    ML’s whole point was that a permanent majority may not by sheer numbers oppress a permanent minority… The records in 1949 show that every single Non-Muslim member of the CA opposed and voted against the Objectives Resolution. Was it not then mandatory upon the Muslim League government to reject the damned resolution?
    Btw every single non-Muslim pointed out that had Jinnah lived, this would not be passed…

    PMA is trying to a point dramatically by referring to “only six months after the Quaid’s death”… as if it was supposed to mean anything.

    Mr. Jinnah was a constitutional politician who proceeded on compromise and negotiation. In health he was frail but as a politician with weak hand he projected himself as larger than life indestructible and formidable … a true measure of his indomitable spirit and personal courage. Similarly through out the Pakistan Movement, Jinnah had to contend with unruly ranks and rank opportunist politicians in the provincial Leagues. The Quaid e Azam was often forced to play an arbitrator and history shows quite clearly that he was not quite in control as people thought he was. To say that OR came only six months after Jinnah’s death means nothing. Infact I challenge PMA to produce a single PCA document between 11th August 1947 and 11th September 1948 which speaks of an objectives resolution or anything of the sort…

    Jinnah shot down a similar resolution in 1943. This was a resolution forwarded by Dr. A H Kazi of Bombay … It sought to commit Pakistan’s future to Quran and Sunnah and hukoomat e Illahaya …
    Jinnah described it as tantamoubt to nothing less than a censure on every Leaguer. It was his force of advocacy that the resolution was discarded.

    So I am not sure what PMA’s point is. To prove his point he would have to show that either AIML or the PPP promised OR and the Islamic constitution of 1973 respectively in the elections of 1946 and 1970 in any of their manifestos.

    If it isn’t fair to the minorities then it is automatically unconstitutional even according to the watered down Islamized fundamental rights chapter of the current constitution. So I am not sure what we are arguing about? Should unfairness continue because a majority want it?

    In that case perhaps the unfairness of the Congress was a much better deal.. for whatever our legitimate grievances, by failing to faithfully follow Jinnah’s vision for Pakistan, we have done many times worse than the Congress did. Then nothing is worth fighting for. If you convince me today that it is worth it to accept the status quo of Pakistan vis a vis minorities … I can assure you I will quit writing or commenting or following politics/ history for all times to come and will confine myself to my own personal life. Why should I bother with a country that is unable to undo the wrong it has done?

    There is nothing to aim for or fight for then …certainly not some majoritarian fascist state…implementing the very same majoritarian idea in an even cruder form than that which it was created to give shelter against.

    If what you say holds any water my dear friend, then we were all wrong and even Mr. Jinnah was wrong …and we’ve lost already.

  116. PMA

    Bloody Civilian (September 26, 2009 at 12:17 am):

    I think most of us in this discussion are in agreement that bringing ‘Islam, Allah and Mohammad’ in to the Constitution of Pakistan was unfair to the non-Muslims. But YLH is so obsessed and fixated with Jamaat-e-Islami and Moududi that he sees them under every bed. Such a narrow focus obscures his peripheral vision. Not every thing that goes on in Pakistan must end with “Mullah did it.” For God sake. With this note I think it time to rest this thread.

  117. yasserlatifhamdani

    PMA- did not expect such control freakery from you. Shame.

    Jamaat e Islami is just one party I have blamed… But you can’t see that can you.

    You clearly have no answer to any of the points raised. So you must do what you do best.


    I didn’t know blaming the army, Pakistan’s political elite and even

  118. yasserlatifhamdani

    Erratum: the last sentence ought to be discarded. My comment ends at “best”.

  119. AZW


    May I suggest there are three factors that have greatly caused confusion for Pakistani leaders and population in its formative years:

    1) Pakistan’s early leadership had tried to find an identity for the newly born nation that may not have been born had history would have taken another turn. For a lot of Pakistanis, it is almost unbearable to think that Pakistan was a conditional demand that Quaid and ML made to safeguard Muslim interests against the complete domination by the Hindu majority.

    If Desai-Liaqat Ali Pact of 1945 to form temporary ML-AIC coalition government was followed with sincerity, or Congress would have accepted Cabinet Mission unconditionally in 1946, Pakistan would likely not have happened.

    Pakistan was as much a result of ML demands as it was a result of obstinate behaviour of the Congress and its leaders.

    That a nation came out of the cataclysmic events of the severely weakened post war British, a high level of distrust between the two majority nations living within the polity of United India, was just not acceptable to many Pakistanis. How can a country exist without an ideology? But their idea of ideology got the Muslim Nationalism confused with Islamic theocracy (or at least they did not realize that not forcefully pointing out the differences right away was a recipe for disaster in the future).

    2) What we learn from the formative years is an intense pressure from Islamic organizations that had become overtly political entities and had begun forcefully demanding the implementation of Islamic state. Moudoudi voiced his well founded fears that “it was not clear either from any resolution of the Muslim League or from the speeches of any responsible League leaders, that the ultimate aim of Pakistan is the establishment of an Islamic government…..Those people are wrong who think that if the Muslim majority regions are emancipated from the Hindu domination and a democratic system is established, it would be a government of God”.

    Under such pressure, the Objectives Resolution was passed. Full 60 years later, we have the luxury of looking back and clearly see the naiveté of the ML leadership. Speaker after speaker in 1949 reiterated that OR was not the beginning of theocracy. However it is apparent that even Liaquat Ali Khan and other Muslim League speakers confused Islamic democracy with the secular ideals. In fact, LAQ’s words in a heated discussion following the introduction of Objectives Resolution speak of making Pakistan a “laboratory where we could experiment upon principles of Islam”. All that time he kept saying that Objectives Resolution will never result in the creation of theocratic Pakistan.

    The die was cast by affording the sovereignty to the Almighty. Islamic parties successfully used that sovereignty argument to say that since God mandated Sharia, therefore the Objectives Resolution was the first step towards making Pakistan an Islamic state. Justice Munir and Kiyani Report pointed out the inherent contradiction in the Objectives Resolution as far back as in 1954. Non Muslim members of the 1949 Constituent Assembly were unanimous that the resolution ran smack against Jinnah’s ideals of a secular nation.

    3) I would further suggest that secularism as a nation’s political system is severely mangled and maligned by the religious organizations to infuse fear within the population. Islamic parties frequently equate Secularism with “La-Diniyat” without ever clarifying it is equal “diniyat” for every single person in the society. Maybe a Hindu, Shia, Ahmedi having exact same rights and privilages is intolerable to them to disparage secularism completely.

    However this is the same confusion that keeps Pakistani population uneasy. It has been drummed into their head that Islam is their religion and deploying secular government will take away their primary identity, being a Muslim. Our founding leaders therefore had to employ phrases like Islamic democracy, laboratory for Islam, and Islamic socialism.

    It is clear that mixing Islam with left wing politics has failed miserably. The confusion has allowed religious organizations to stay in the game by keeping Islamic government ideals alive, as well as confusing the masses by introducing ideas like Nazaria-e-Pakistan, and “Pakistan ka matlab kiya, La Ilaha Illallah”.

    Once Pakistan can truly appreciate how much this confusion has played havoc with the country, it may begin to lead itself out of an ideological quagmire that has trapped it for the last 60 years. No more of mixing Islam with the democratic and administrative process. It has led to nothing but confusion throughout our history.

    A secular and inherently equal Pakistan for every single Pakistani will be a slow, painstaking process. It will be led by the liberal pen; some of which is employed here at PTH. It has to be a constitutional change and should never be employed through backdoors. We have to initiate a dialogue with a regular Pakistani, making them appreciate the fundamental difference between a secular Muslim majority state vs. A theocratic Islamic state. If you wish to give up thinking that it does not matter anymore when the majority of population does not agree with you, it is your prerogative. But for us and many more, this battle will take our lifetime and more, but which is worth fighting for the founder who died 60 years ago and for the generations yet to come.



  120. yasserlatifhamdani


    The famous Ch. Muhammad Ali censored allegedly Jinnah’s 11th August speech. He was the Cabinet secretary. According to him the speech was against Pakistan hence it had to be censored. Dr. Mehdi Hassan has claimed this many times and I heard it directly from him on 21st March 2008 at panel discussion in which I participated.

    CMA played an important role in Pakistani politics from 1947-1957. He was no doubt involved in the making of the OR as well as the constitution of 1956.

    I suppose it is just by conincidence that he (and his family after him) are strong followers of Maududi and his Islamic school of thought.

  121. yasserlatifhamdani

    Thank you Adnan as usual for summing it up eloquently.

    How about writing for us?

  122. Bloody Civilian

    when i said OR was wrong but not illegitimate, i was wrong in my choice of word. i should have said it was wrong but not unrepresentative. i was talking in terms of the majority of the CA voting in favour… i was obviously not giving it my full attention.

    a majority cannot be allowed to give away the sovereignty of the next generation – the future majority. they cannot be allowed to try and rule beyond the grave. the remedy is not merely for the future majority to overturn the act. it is wrong, and illegal, the moment it is attempted. the attempt being successful does not make it any less wrong and illegal.

  123. PMA

    AZW (September 26, 2009 at 1:38 am):

    I concur with you. It is sad that from the high ideals of Jinnah we as a nation have fallen down to killing all those who do not agree with us. We are all guilty for that. Not just Mullah, or Military.

  124. Bloody Civilian

    re. CMA

    i hear he was instrumental in convincing LAK that there was no danger of OR being misused. although, i think LAK, even on his own, was naive enough in this respect, without CMA working on him.

    as for CMA’s very able progeny, i’d go no further than saying that i was very dissapointed to hear, on the infamous rehman malik tapes, the law minister calling up justice qayyum.. during BB’s trial.

  125. Bloody Civilian

    re. LAK’s naivete

    how could he stupidly claim that there was no clergy in islam, when that clergy had been his party’s bitterest enemies… and he was worries enough about them to try and placate as well as undercut them? this is worse than naivete.

    the similarity between maudoodi’s feb 1948 speech and the OR as drafted does seem to be the work of the maudoodist CMA.

  126. Bloody Civilian


    my only ‘iltijaa’ is that you agree that this was a ‘tag team’ event. Always has been.

    if i accept that, then, in principle, i should i also accept PMA’s assertion that we are all equally guilty – civilian, military and mullah.

    will you accept that the military is as guilty as the mullah? i won’t.

  127. D_a_n

    @ BC…

    I was not talking in general but regarding specific events…ie 71 related and about ZAB specifically.

    The grand guilt that PMA is talking about is more a sweeping indictment of us as a nation in general. Guilt either by acts of commission, omission or indifference.

    The Mullah vs Military guilt is of another nature altogether with its own very complex dynamics. I don’t really see the comparison to be honest.

    PS: you know, just an off hand comment. The military never had much love for the Mullah because the Mullah was the way he was. Only because they were a convenient tool. The Military uses tools (good/bad is another matter)….

    and if a more effective tool was the ‘United front of Neutered Franciscan monks of Burkina Faso’…..those would have been used instead.

  128. Bloody Civilian

    it is wrong, and illegal, the moment it is attempted. the attempt being successful does not make it any less wrong and illegal

    aargh! illegal = undemocratic/unconstitutional etc.

    you know. think whatever word our resident lawyer or the resident bard would have used. as for me, it’s back to ESOL lessons.

  129. Bloody Civilian


    and that is why the military should listen to their civilian masters… to avoid unthinkingly creating spectacular disasters. they should leave it to the civilians to walk in to disasters entirely of their own making all by themselves… and then there would be no need to fight over a just division of blame.

    btw, i agree with your ‘tag team’ comment, but not at the leadership level.. but only taking a more holistic view. with your permission…

    at the top level… it is very much the boots have precedence and the civies are the ‘also rans’. it follows from what bonobashi pointed out as ‘power flows from the barrel of the gun’… not to it.

    it’s just that soldiers – rank and file – are twice the victims than we, their other compatriots, are. while civies were either crying or laughing or being indifferent in the aftermath of 1971… it was 93,000 mostly military men suffering… and their families and relatives who were most directly and doubly affected.

    and in the buildup to and during 1971, while the civies were either condoning or condemning or keeping quiet about what was happening… it was the soldier who was preparing to report to duty… and serving his country and laying down his life for it. the mukti bahini were not the traitors. they were not the ones who had stabbed their own people in the back. who was it that didn’t give a damn about what happened to our soldiers? who had to be dragged to dhaka airport on his way back to china? .. and arrived completely drunk and all he did was bark a few insults at the people of east pakistan from the tarmac. more interested in serving mr nixon with his detente with china.

    the same comparison can be made between ‘civilians’ and ‘soldiers’ in the case of the present war. civilians come out even worse this time round… since amongst them are those who stand, albeit unarmed, with the enemy and against the country. but when i condemn military dictatorship… i’m talking of the top leadership alone. the rank and file have nothing to do with it, except being twice the victims.

    coming to PMA’s assertion that – civilian or military (or mullah??) – they are all ‘inter-related’… well, yes they are. but the brother-in-law who is a general is slightly more equal than the one who is the cabinet minister (e.g. wasi zafar and his maj gen brother). it’s simply proportionate to one’s distance from the barrel of the gun – the ultimate font of power once rule of law has been cast to the winds.

    you might know of famous or not so famous ‘middle-men’ amongst this ‘inter-related’ lot. despite PMA’s claims, more often than not, the offer of ‘sleeping partnership’ is made to the retired general (who at times is representing parties who wish to remain anonymous).. before a bid is made for prestigious and large-scale public sector projects… or signficant commercial operations. it’s almost never the other way round. those with the clear precedence have the right to first refusal. and many do refuse, indeed. i;m only talking of the perceived precedence. and the perception is not without good reason.

    shall we look at post-retirement civil service jobs now? shall we compare respective percentages of retired military brass and senior civil servants? each with comparable leadership skills… one perhaps even more transferable than the other.

  130. Bloody Civilian

    the civilian despot bhutto was hanged by the military dictator zia, to save his own skin… at least as per zia’s perception. while yahya would not put bhutto in prison, or just ignore him, in order to save the country. otoh, the military dictator yahya had no more inconvenience than a short house arrest, having to send a written statement to court… merely asking for an opportunity to give his side of the story… and burried with full military honour. some ‘tag team’ that is.

  131. Bloody Civilian

    re. judiciary

    the chief justice was sacked, illegally. what did he have to do to get his job back? the COAS was sacked on 12 oct 1999… he thought illegally. how did he get his job back? in 45 minutes.

    there’s no point talking of the, say, sec of defence, the COAS’s boss being sacked.. and comparing employment tribunals and petitioning the high court with the barrel of the gun.

  132. Bloody Civilian

    The Mullah vs Military guilt is of another nature altogether with its own very complex dynamics. I don’t really see the comparison to be honest.

    neither do i. the mullah is vermin. pure and simple. my question was rhetorical.

  133. Gorki

    “If you convince me today that it is worth it to accept the status quo of Pakistan vis a vis minorities … I can assure you I will quit writing or commenting or following politics/ history for all times to come and will confine myself to my own personal life……”

    “If you wish to give up thinking that it does not matter anymore when the majority of population does not agree with you, it is your prerogative. But for us and many more, this battle will take our lifetime and more, but which is worth fighting for the founder who died 60 years ago and for the generations yet to come……

    “A majority cannot be allowed to give away the sovereignty of the next generation – the future majority. they cannot be allowed to try and rule beyond the grave. the remedy is not merely for the future majority to overturn the act. it is wrong, and illegal, the moment it is attempted. the attempt being successful does not make it any less wrong and illegal…..”

    …..JINNAH LIVES !!

  134. AZW

    Thanks Gorki, Yasser. Jinnah’s Pakistan lives in all of us; all who believe in a prosperous Pakistan, where every Pakistani is treated as equal, irrespective of caste, creed or colour.

    I believe time is putting in perspective how far ahead Jinnah was ahead of his fellow ML leaders. His vision for a Muslim majority state at peace with its neighbours, and acting as a modern Muslim democratic country was so far ahead of its time that his own party members were censoring his speeches.

    In Pakistan, time has been a merciless tutor for us. While we floundered to identify our raison-d’être, one self serving ruler after another came upon us, hoisted his own brand of Islamic democracy, socialism, outright Khilafat, Mard-e-Mominiat and what else. But time has also laid bare the minuteness of the ideals that replaced Quaid’s broad and inclusive vision.

    Secularism is not the panacea for Pakistan’s ills. Pakistan has deep seated administrative and governance issues. But a while back, Cyril Almeida argued passionately in Dawn that Pakistan needs to figure out its raison-d’être; unless it does so, it will keep floundering. Pakistan will rock between the forces that seek to convert Pakistan into an Islamic fortress, or a state where militants will continue to seek to wage wars against the infidel Yahud-o-Nasara-o-Hunood axis.

    The rulers in Pakistan have seek to signify the glorious Islamic history to expound their secular ideals. This approach has gone nowhere. Even Quaid talked about Islamic principles, laboratory of Islam, and glorious tradition from 1400 years back in his speeches. He never realized that some 40 years later, a dictator will latch on to the select words Quaid spoke, consigned his Constituent Assembly to dustbin, and seek to convert Pakistan to a fortress of Islam. He never thought that his arch religious right enemies, who viewed him with utter disdain and hatred, will ensconce themselves in the state he had created, and try to portray him as a religious leader that he would rather have died before become one.

    Therefore I believe it is time to put a complete stop to mixing Islam with politics. Do not invoke Islam at all. Protect an individual right to pray, and protect their right to live their life the way their creed decrees. An average Pakistani distrusts secularism; he has been told vociferously since his childhood of the nexus of Islam and Pakistan. He probably has never read Quaid’s June 11 speech. He probably does not realize that the same secularism that he views so suspiciously ensures that his Muslim brethren are treated as equals across the globe. More importantly, all of the so called leftist leaders that this average Pakistani has seen, have been corrupt and self serving to shamelessly invoke religion, either under pressure, or for their own gains.

    The road to equal rights and equal laws will be a long process, but it has to be a grass root movement. It has to be a democratic process, and a constitutional movement with majority population support. When it will happen I do not know. But good things do not happen to those who just keep waiting for them.



  135. AZW


    In the fifth paragraph, it should read:

    “He (Quaid) never realized that some 30 years later, a dictator will latch on to the select words Quaid spoke, consigned his Constituent Assembly speech to dustbin, and seek to convert Pakistan to a fortress of Islam. Quaid never thought that his arch religious right enemies, who viewed him with utter disdain and hatred, will ensconce themselves in the state he had created, and try to portray him as a religious leader that he would rather have died before become one”.

  136. bonobashi


    After reading your posts, and those of Bloody Civilian and D_a_n, I have no doubt whatsoever that the future of Pakistan is in safe hands. It may be tempestuous, stormy, turbulent, scary at times, but it is safe against all tempest and calamity. I hope to see such aspirations and nobility of intention among young Indians as well. But that is another matter; for now, please accept my warmest good wishes for your continued brilliant defence of all the considerable amount that is good, and your unrelenting construction of the future principles of your country.

  137. Bloody Civilian


    The Mullah vs Military guilt is of another nature altogether with its own very complex dynamics. I don’t really see the comparison to be honest.

    i think i need to deal with this in more detail than i already have done…. in view of this very sensitive time that we are going through fighting the vermin. with our military men putting down their lives for us so that i can sit here and type away on a blog. or go to work.. or the restaurant.. and my children can go to school. while my soldier, protector and saviour gives little thought about his children becoming orphans.

    PMA said: “We are all guilty for that. Not just Mullah, or Military.” now had he said ‘not just military, or civilians’… that would have been a different thing. but to mention the mullah in the same breath as any one else – civilian or military – i had to react to it.

    so i asked a purely rhetorical question:”will you accept that the military is as guilty as the mullah? i won’t” there is no comparison. there can be no comparison between the bungling and blundering military or civilian leaderships and the mullahs. my intention was to highlight the stark difference between my argument about comparing civilian v military culpability… and the fact that there are other ‘villains’ who were entirely in a league of their own … that would bear no comparisons.

    i think my approach or the way i put it was not very clever. instead of making things clear, i caused unncessary doubt. so defeating my own purpose.

    the mullahs have proved the rule about them (and like all rules there are exceptions). there was not one mullah organisation standing on the right side of the lal masjid affair (except solitary voices like javaid ghamidi’s). i remember hanif jalandhari, sec gen wifaaq al madaaris at the time, saying less than 24 hours after the end of the operation that both the security forces men and those fighting against them were shaheed!! and he gave the most diabolical explanation for his despicable stance. that MNA from karak, abdullah shah(?), telling ghazi “dattay raho” on his mobile… while goign there as part of ch shujaat’s shambolic delegation… is free on bail today. hafiz saeed is a free man. while we are fighting a war against these people. this is extremely worrying.

    as for those who are equivocal about cut-throats…. they’re no better than cut-throats… notwithstanding their being in denial. and our continuing failure to honour those dying on our behalf in this war… or to honour and stand shoulder to shoulder with those fighting for our safety… or with the innocent victims of this war… our brothers and sisters… well, what can i say. except, that this amount of callousness is alarming.

  138. D_a_n

    @ AZW

    ‘In Pakistan, time has been a merciless tutor for us.’

    thunderbolts man. Thunderbolts.


    it seems we have reached a point of fundamental disconnect in what we are arguing.

    I concede each and every eloquently point raised by you on what military rule has done to us. The point where are not being Able to agree is that you say the politicos have been ‘also rans’ and are guilty of lesser crimes.
    I happen to believe that in order to convince folks they’re watching a race, an also ran or two is critical. Otherwise people might come to watch acouple of times but in the end no one will turn up.

    We also have a disconnect on power of the gun vs the power of legitimacy that serves to unnaturaly prolong the beast’s life. So as far as this one is concerned, let’s agree to disagree lest we (and particularly I) become repetitive…

    PS: yeh pankha aik do haftay baas phit on kar lain gay.. 🙂

  139. D_a_n


    ‘PMA said: “We are all guilty for that. Not just Mullah, or Military.” now had he said ‘not just military, or civilians’… that would have been a different thing. but to mention the mullah in the same breath as any one else – civilian or military – i had to react to it.’

    yes I have also read it again and you are right. I will allow myself to be lumped in with any type of flora and fauna but not the beards…

    Absolutely right of you to have reacted and wrong of me to have said otherwise or misunderstood.

  140. Bloody Civilian


    nothing “fundamental” about it. i doubt there is a disconnect either. i’m arguing for little more than a matter of degrees. almost splitting hairs. your point about ‘also rans’ making the race a race… hits the target.

    both together have, however, helped make ours a military state. weak rule of law helps both. so my argument needs to have a rather different header. how a military state harms the military and the civilians.. is what must be investigated and focussed on. not who is more blameworthy. regardless of who administered it, it was a specific kind of poison and causes a particular set of symptoms to appear. the traffic policeman will only book a major, that too with trembling hands, if and only if the major repeatedly and earnestly insists that the cop does so. i used to think that this meant that: iss hamaam main sab nangay hain… magar kuchh nangay naach rahay hain 😉

    thanks to you, and bonobashi mentioning the social angle, i realise that that is just a symptom. not necessarily a motive. that this is not about a differential aportionment of blame…. but diagnosis and treatment in the wider society. it just so happens that the disease is militarisation with the consequent emaciation of the civilian state (whatever it’s original state of health).. and society. i know i still haven’t got it right… but i think i’m getting there 🙂

  141. Bloody Civilian

    not necessarily a motive

    i need to take lessons from our lawyer friend and learn how to keep an argument tight and not let such stupidities creep in.

    i was only comparing the experience of, say, a grade 17 or 18 govt officer with that of a captain or a major… with the traffic cop… unless he happened to be from the police service.

    as for the ‘elites’ they all enjoy being above the law. we, the non-elites, have to suffer and live or die with the consequences.

    as for restarting the old pankha another time… i think i can let it retire and rest for good. the poor thing has rattled on long enough…. in too many fits… and starts.

  142. bonobashi

    @Bloody Civilian

    D_a_n, I feel in your 3:15 post, you caught the error in your 3:05 post, and that covers that. Clubbing all sections of Pakistani society is not necessarily a valid analysis; I started by arguing that the ruling class was an alliance of the feudal classes, the Unionists, with the middle class seculars, the Muslim League, and both in opposition to the JI and associated factions, some of which were in existence right at the inception, others entering in subsequent years.

    YLH points out that the situation before the wars was different. This is a statement I need to study carefully and understand. Perhaps he is pointing to a corruption of society due to the ill-effects of a war, and the aggrandisation of the military in a small state.

    However, going back to the argument, Adnann (AZW?) points out what I personally, as a distant observer with no personal knowledge of Pakistan, believe is the correct picture.

    The secular middle class + feudal faction couldn’t figure out what the Quaid had meant should have happened; they refused to believe that a partitioned Pakistan was an accident and that they should have been a confederated and very important part of the old British India; they sought frantically for an ideology, an ‘Idea of Pakistan’, which they couldn’t decipher from Jinnah’s speeches (a measure of the distance between MAJ and the other AIML leaders), anything, in order to stand up to the virulent attack from full-fat theocrats who insisted that Pakistan was nothing but the Islamic state of legend.

    In this process of defence against the theocrats, the secular faction started promising things, in an effort to outflank the mullahs. The efforts failed; they succeeded merely in causing the debate to shift closer to the theocrat point of view. Each concession led to a hardening of the theocratic point of view, and subsequently, the shifting of the battle front further into secular territory. At this early stage, however, the full extent of the damage was not still evident, and it was possible to pass the Objectives Resolution without much difficulty, and in the sincere belief that it would be less influential in the theocraticisation of Pakistan than in reality turned out to be the case.

    I believe that it was this period of unwitting surrender to the theocrats concealed by the existing AIML ethos that YLH is referring to as the halyon years of Pakistan. If so, then it is necessary to include the Iskandar Mirza and Ayub Khan administration in the golden years. It becomes increasingly evident that the ruling class most probably did see these various administrations as facets of the same order, and continued to work as part of the establishment with no misgivings whatever.

    I believe, however, that it is important not to place the entire blame for the decline of Pakistan at the door of the military. The military was indisputably primus inter pares, first among equals, but it was also the case that soldier and bureaucrat saw themselves as complementary.

  143. PMA

    BC & DAN & YLH: Gentlemen. From my corner of the ring, where I am standing alone, I see things differently. I got on the wrong side of the ‘quad’ long time ago. So I do not expect any accolades from that group. But that does not bother me a bit. My audience is with you gentlemen. I do not reserve or limit my criticism to just one segment or section of the Society Pakistan. Similarly I do not view Jamaat-e-Islami & Moudodi as the only Islamists. There are Islamists of all shades all over the country that routinely spread hatred towards other religions, religious sects as well as non-religious groups. It is very important that we must not forget that. But I do not wish to ban them unless they have committed any crimes against the state or the individual. Doing so will be undemocratic. In a free and fair society all points of view must be allowed even when we ourselves do not agree their point of view. This may not be a popular position here at PTH, but that is my position.

    Now about the other group; the group often referred as ‘The Establishment’. The oligarchy of Military-Bureaucracy-Politicians-Feudals. This group has been in control of the country from the day one and has been running the affairs of the country in various group combinations. I hang the crime sheet around the neck of this group. If there is poverty, illiteracy, hunger desperation and hopeless in the country, it is because of the greed, selfishness, and disregard of human life by this group.

    Now I will like to say few words about AZW. He does not say a lot all the time, but he has a balanced and not an idealized approach. I hope he continues to add to this forum. I will like to reproduce some of his statements:

    “Secularism is not the panacea for Pakistan’s ills. Pakistan has deep seated administrative and governance issues.”

    “Therefore I believe it is time to put a complete stop to mixing Islam with politics. Do not invoke Islam at all. Protect an individual right to pray, and protect their right to live their life the way their creed decrees.”

    “More importantly, all of the so called leftist leaders that this average Pakistani has seen, have been corrupt and self serving to shamelessly invoke religion, either under pressure, or for their own gains.”

    “The road to equal rights and equal laws will be a long process, but it has to be a grass root movement. It has to be a democratic process, and a constitutional movement with majority population support.”

  144. yasserlatifhamdani

    I don’t know why you are switching goal posts here? First you accused me of being obsessed with jamaat e islami but having failed to prove that you objected to my objection to majoritarian fascism in the country.

    Now you are claiming implicitly that we have either banned or want to ban Jamaat e Islami. I mean seriously what are you on about? Who wants to ban them? Can you point this out please?

    I responded to Kashifiat’s comments and you’ve made it into some sort of a personal issue.

    Don’t flatter yourself. There is nothing practical in your approach. Frankly there is no approach. You’ve misrepresented my position atleast 4 times and that is about it.

  145. Bloody Civilian

    unless they have committed any crimes against the state or the individual

    whether the laws perverted by them see it as a crime or not. so the state committing or sanctioning crimes are still crimes are included. be it vandalising dr abdus salam’s grave, or requiring pakistanis to do commit a perversity against themselves or their compatriots every time they fill in a passport/NIC application, or deny millions of pakistani children the right to dream to be president one day[*]. fascism, criminality and sabotaging the very fabric of state and society cannot be tolerated in the name of democratic plurality and diversity. even the majority has limits to its rights. the nazis being able to get a (coalition) majority in parliament did not at all mean that whatever they did with it for was right.. or legitimate. they used it to sabotage democracy, rule of law, decency and humanity.

    PMA, of course we will all not agree about everything. that does not make us belong to different sides when it comes to the more important battles. as far as i can see, many here, including you and the ‘quad’, belong on the same side of the more important divide. there is more than enough evidence of that in the many posts here. i do apologise, in advance, if i;ve at all been presumptious. i hope i wasn’t.

    i agree entirely with what you have reproduced from AZW. it’s worth reproducing, indeed.

    * i think it was shaukat hayat khan who said in the OR debate in the CA that ‘if, say, a hindu were to be electable to the office of president of an 85% muslim country, he would have to be a saint’… what a great loss to not be able to have a saint as our president because of an unjust law.

  146. Bloody Civilian

    it was also the case that soldier and bureaucrat saw themselves as complementary

    that was true till even the end of the zia era. but this complementary understanding had unintended, but perhaps inevitable, consequences:

    1. air chief asghar khan tells us that when he went to the vip lounge of karachi airport to see off the president and first lady who had just had been toppled the previous night… and were being bundled off to quetta… he found them sitting on hard plastic chairs next to the wall… with a major sitting in front of them with his feet on the table pointed towards the couple. yet, at the tope ayub khan continued to rely heavily on the likes of bhutto, aziz ahmed, altaf gauhar and several others.

    2. zia kept up the partnership – indeed he had been ‘invited in’ by the defence secretary ghulam ishaq khan – but did not put any effort in to insulating/protecting his officers from the dirty, lucrative civilian world out there…. unlike ayub (who had done much much better despite a few rather glaring exceptions). zia being a maulvi made a mockery of the whole raison d’etre… but that was just bloody bad luck. the opposition to the islamising bhutto was the nizam-e-mustafa PNA… whom zia turned in to his constituency (which turned out to be insufficient… since it did not enjoy majority support.. despite zia’s efforts to empower the ‘constituency through other means. towards the end, they had abandoned zia… as a used condemn… and were only interested in holding on to the means/instruments of empowerment given to them by him. an old habit that has served them very well from the khilafat movement, through to OR, 1973 constitution and onwards.)

    3. mush’s excuse to come to the stage in itself was, more or less, a departure from the raison d’etre. quite unrelated. thank god he was there to take the correct decision on 10/11. though i doubt NS would have done any different… but there might have been greater risk to him. then mush laid in to the bureaucracy, again forgetting about the ‘partnership’. perhaps the partnership had changed. he emasculated the superior of the superior civil services – the district management group – as part of his ‘devolution plan’. although that is not a criticism of the ‘devolution plan’.. just to point out that it went against the ‘complimentary partnership’ of old. as an unintended result, it did make the police more ‘powerful’ by removing the DMG from above it. but the ‘devolution plan’ is a whole discussion in itself.

    now these were unintended evolution/degeneration of the ‘partnership’. the military’s role has been changing. personally, what i’ve learnt from this discussion is that i’ve been listing symptoms, as i’ve observed them on the ground, thinking that they were, at some level, accusations. i was wrong. i’m grateful to D_a_n for helping me realise that “what military rule has done to us” are really symptoms, of that ‘partnership’ (“tag team” to use D_a_n’s term for it) so no one party can be accused of them in isolation. both parties, indeed, have been victims of many of these symptoms.

  147. Bloody Civilian

    president and first lady “… ie the mirzas, as you’d have guessed any way.

  148. Bloody Civilian


    “defence secretary ghulam ishaq khan”… i think he was director defence(?)

  149. Bloody Civilian

    to refresh memories… the post above is based on:

    “raison d’etre” (mostly) = “insofar as they kept power away from the theocrats, the maulvi faction” (quoting bonobashi)

  150. AZW


    I would also like to post another important event that I believe played a major part in shaping Pakistani psyche in its formative years. Please feel free to add your thoughts here; this is an important discussion here and tremendously educative for all of us right now.

    The nightmare of massive pogrom killings that happened post partition haunted Pakistan a lot more than India. A million innocent lives were lost on both sides, likely more Muslims than Hindus and Sikhs. For a country to born out of tremendous misery, and detachedly proclaim that it was a bargaining chip in Muslim aspirations to thwart Hindu majority, was impossible; especially when the scars of partition were so raw.

    The tremendous loss of life hardened attitudes on both sides, and when combined with Kashmir mess, the new state of Pakistan started evolving more towards a religious identity. The founding father, who was probably the only person that could rise above the tremendous distrust and hatred that had riled up post partition died too quickly. The religious right had migrated en-masse to Pakistan, and the innocent blood that had shed was used as the justification for Pakistan’s unbroken link to Islam, and the long series of Islamic martyrs who have waged wars against Hunood in India for the past 1000 years.

    It was, and probably still a tough question to answer what half a Million Muslims gave their lives for? Pakistan or Islam? India as an entity was taken for granted, Pakistan was suddenly born out of nowhere. Pakistan as an entity was too new in 1947 for Pakistani leadership to rise up and say that half a million lives were worth it for this new geographical entity alone. They had to invoke Islam; Islamic martyrs made more sense than Pakistani martyrs.

    The phrase “this country was achieved after a lot of human and material sacrifices” is still widely used in Pakistan, and rightly so. However, chronologically, we were too close to the tragedy to take a step back and detach the rationale behind the country’s independence and the loss of life at the independence. Our previous generations gave their lives for the country; a country that materialized out of the chaotic conditions and a squabbling Indian leadership that was not willing to respect a majority minority perspective.

  151. bonobashi


    I can sense that this is important, but need a little time to think about it and sift through it and test out mentally the thoughts that occur.

    At first glance, it does help to explain why Jinnah’s secular faction supporters felt insecure in the first place, during YLH’s period of calm and progress. Fascinating! Thank you for this input.

  152. PMA

    bonobashi (September 28, 2009 at 12:12 am):

    AZW, who also signs off as ‘Adnann’ is a very timely addition to this forum. We do not know his full name or if this is the same Adnan who used to write for ATP. His balanced analysis, calm demeanor and voice of reason does bring in some badly needed fresh air. I find myself going back and reading his comments more than once. I agree with his assessment that, “The tremendous loss of life hardened attitudes on both sides, and when combined with Kashmir mess, the new state of Pakistan started evolving more towards a religious identity.”

    I belong to the post-independent generation of Pakistanis. I can see the process of ‘hardening of attitudes’ and movement towards ‘religious identity’ or shall we say ‘not moving away from hardened attitudes and religious identity’. In the face of Indian hostility Islam was and still is a rallying call for most Pakistanis, even when they are not necessarily religious in their personal private lives. Pakistanis will gradually move away from ‘religious identity first’ after they become more certain about the security and future of their own country. A non-aggression peace agreement between the two countries would help in achieving that goal.

    Let us hope AZW continues to write for PTH.

  153. AZW


    You are too kind. I have learned more from this forum than probably from any other website. I have been writing under my real name Adnann Syed since November 2008, but switched to my first name initials AZW lately to differentiate (quite clearly I must say) myself from other Adnan on the forum.

    I am a big fan of YLH, Majumdar and many more on this forum. You may have noticed that in this thread, your POV is different from YLH and others. Yet this has been an extremely civilized and even more educational discussion for all of us. Contrast it to the religious right as it enters the discussion and below the belt tactics ensue.

    PTH may be a small corner on the internet, yet it gives us all hope that Pakistan has a bright future. That our generation is looking to rise above the rhetoric, introspect and hopefully not make the mistakes we committed over the past six decades.



  154. bonobashi


    I completely agree; AZW is shaping up to be one of the more influential analysts on this forum, which already enjoys such a wealth of talent.

    It has been a fascinating journey for me over the last one year. From a position of indifference to Pakistan affairs, while being positively disposed towards individuals whom I had the pleasure of meeting during business transactions in Kuwait, it has become a situation where I consider that Pakistan’s success or failure is almost as important my own country’s success or failure. This is not to say that I have come to sentimentalise the matter or wish to be a candle-holder at a candle-lit vigil at the Wagah check-post; instead, taking a cue from a strong personality not entirely unknown to you personally, who has no bones about making his point, irrespective of who else agrees with him, I have come to understand that it is best for both Indians and Pakistanis to concentrate on cleaning up our own respective messes before seeking any kind of rapprochement stronger than perfectly polite and correct neighbourly relations would demand. It is clear to me that Pakistan must decide what it wishes to be in the future (the portents are already clear; it was in this forum itself that the potency of citizenship by free choice, and of citizenship by geographic belonging were mooted), and that all of us who are not directly concerned should leave that to be evolved by Pakistan internally, with NO interference whatsoever from across the eastern border.

    This aspect is not connected to the historical, sociological, analytical aspect, which is fair ground for discussion, debate and conjecture, in my humble opinion. Conditions apply, of course. This is a good place for such discussions, provided, as an absolute pre-requisite, that the person concerned should be at least educated in the relevant subject to a minimum degree, provided that he has the humility not to thrust blindly-absorbed rubbish from propagandist websites or TV programmes devoted to demagoguery, provided that he has the equipment and the mental capacity to engage in these discussions without losing his/her cool and provided that he has something of academic interest to say, not merely a desire to be seen and heard in public.

    [An aside:]I cannot pretend to like blog-kiddies and their effusions. It would be nice if there could be a junior PTH, where these warts could go and attack each other peacefully, and commit a thousand patriot crimes a day, and leave my favourite discussions alone, as well as stop giving my favourite commentators hypertension (that adds dangerously to my hypertension, so I am against it).

    On this second front, it has been a journey of wonder and discovery. I have been privileged to watch a debate, or rather, a series of interconnected debates, unfold in front of me, even occasionally to play a walk-on role. The ideas unfolded have been equivalent to a university education, free of cost. You will not wonder, therefore, that I count myself singularly, providentially lucky, and that I hang around to gather crumbs from the table on these occasions.

    Adnann, as he calls himself, has embellished what YLH has already presented in earlier ‘tutorials’, which in turn have been supplemented by Bloody Civilian’s narrative, both on and off this forum.

    It was strange to trace the development of a neighbouring country, which I was guilty of thinking of as a morass of fundamentalist and backward, regressive thinking, until coming across and, and then, PTH (lured here by you and YLH actually). Strange because so much in the landscape was familiar, but in a different way, as if dipped in a pigment which turned every vista into something subtly different – even magically different, if it is accepted that magic is both good and bad, that in such a magical experience there are moments of horror and terrible, heart-gripping fear. Strange because it was indecipherable until it was suggested, in so many words, that a constant comparison with my own country was precisely the wrong way to see things, and that it was necessary to shed xenophobia and Indo-centrism in order to understand others fully.

    It seems that I am slowly getting to understand this unknown country and its workings, nowhere at an expert level, forget about a scholarly level, but perhaps at the level of an informed amateur. What is of greatest interest is the way in which it developed over the last sixty or so years, and what factors and influences shaped its journey. I have been on the verge of suggesting that education had something to do with it, and even wrote a preliminary draft, which came out so abominably bad that I was forced to keep it to myself until it could be mended sufficiently to expose it to successively larger and less forgiving circles. But learning is a constant thing, and Adnann has jolted me with a fresh line of thinking, in my mind, a valid line, considering the self-awareness and streak of acceptance of martyrdom that seems to run through the collective consciousness in Pakistan, rather more so than my experience has revealed in similar contexts elsewhere.

    He has now given me hours of thinking and web-based research to do; unfortunately, it is not financially possible for me to afford the books which contain the information so desperately needed. It does seem possible however to combine these three threads, the influence of education on the followers of the original great men of the independence movement, the dynamics of the struggle for power between the secular faction and the theocrats, and – this new input – the pain and sorrow that has stayed within the Pakistani core and influences the collective so strongly. This last subject to careful examination and consideration, of course; it is far too early for an outsider like me to come to any view on this.

    Just at the moment, my life is going through a bleak phase. This is a ray of sunshine. I do think I’m very lucky, PMA.

    [Disclaimer: This is not in any way an acceptance of your views in totality on all other subjects, and is to be read solely in the context of your pointing out the fresh new viewpoint that we have been given.]


    Strangely, or perhaps not so strangely, it has been precisely November 2008 since when I have sought to understand Pakistani affairs better. As I said, it will take me time – it always takes me time – to understand the repercussions of what you have written. Bear with me. Sometimes my brain aches under the strain of keeping up with you young terrors. Gorki, please note. From my perspective, you are one of them.

  155. PMA

    bonobashi (September 28, 2009 at 4:38 pm):

    Dear Dasht Naward:

    True to yourself, you have very nicely and eloquently summed up the journey of PTH. I remember you from ATP, the site I myself had stumbled upon few years back. I had commented few times on that site before Dr. Adil Najam asked me if I could write something for his blog. There I came across wonderful people like Mast Qalandar (Aziz Ahmad), Owais Mughal and Raza Rumi. I have the privilege of communicating with these worthies occasionally off and on the web. These are some of the nicest people I have come to know even though we have never met in person. I followed Raza Rumi to his other blogs and then to PTH. Occasionally I have contributed to these two blogs. Nothing earth shaking mind you. Reading Gorki, Hayyar, and yourself here at PTH had been a pleasure even though comprehending your writing is not always easy for this untrained earthling. But thanks to google I finally get it.

    Non of us will always agree with every one. Otherwise it will be a very boring place. I think people like Raza Rumi here and Dr. Najam and Mr. Mughal at ATP are doing a service to Pakistan by maintaining these blogs. It is not an easy job. Well, I know I am rambling so I will close it here. Thank you for kind words. You are a gentleman sir, even when I am not on occasions. Without getting personal on this public forum. Let me say that may your life be always filled with sunshine. Regards. PMA.

  156. bonobashi


    Now you have both embarrassed and humbled me. Thank you very sincerely for your good wishes; they mean a lot at this difficult juncture. I wish I could say something as effortlessly graceful as you did, but that, I regret to say, is the essential difference: the people of Pakistan are effortlessly graceful, just as their manners are naturally exquisite.

  157. Gorki

    This above has been a truly great discussion.

    I write this somewhat self consciously for two reasons; the first because it is so intellectually rich and challenging that I cannot think of anything else to add to all that has been stated so well by others; YLH, DAN, PMA Sahib, BC, Bonobashi and the new addition Adnann; who came as a breath of fresh air to an already distinguished group.

    Even the various summaries by BC, PMA Sahib and Adnann are a treat to read.

    Secondly, this being a discussion about Pakistan and among the Pakistanis (even more so than most such discussions on the PTH) I felt I would be intruding if I chipped in.

    In such instances I am grateful to have that sage from the East; Bonobashi Da, on the ‘quad’ besides me because he can usually say exactly the right things at such times to register our presence but without appearing out of place.

    Gentlemen, all of you above are extraordinary in your own way and it is a pleasure to visit the PTH and hear from you. Please keep it up.

    My only comment here is that while I respect the rigorous approach that the historian in Bonobashi advocates while reading Adnann’s observation regarding the effects of partition massacres on collective attitudes, the layman in me has no problems accepting it as a major factor in deciding why we are where we are today.

    Because I wonder, how could such a colossal tragedy take place without leaving any residue? In fact it such a tragic brutalization of our people is bound to unfold not instantly but over the years, perhaps in several stages (and maybe still continues to unfold.)

    If one accepts the above argument then it is easy to believe that while the massacres, the rapes and the kidnappings were the original collective sin, not accounting for it further compounded it. As a result, the society not only absorbed millions of destitute refugees, it also absorbed countless murderers, rapists and kidnappers into its midst. Not holding the human trash on one’s ‘own side’ responsible for what they did to other fellow human beings, (often helpless women and children) laid the foundation for a society that now readily overlooks such brutality from time to time and keeps weakening the very foundation of the state.

    If so then how can we become a strong nation without a universal condemnation of Delhi 1984, Godhara or the Babri Masjid Riots? Yet how can we condemn these without first confronting and then atoning for the sins of our previous generation?

    I know a lot of water has flowed down the Ravi and Sutlej since then and there are many (perhaps three quarters of the quad itself) who are openly contemptuous of the ‘doves’ who hold candle light vigils at the Wagah from time to time but in light of the above observation by Adnann at least I feel that we may have to confront our combined past in order to move forwards with a similar gesture but on a grand scale.

    There are many ways to do it. Kuldip Nayer himself at one point suggested having a holocaust museum dedicated to the victims of 1947 massacres right at the border with entry from both sides of it for people on both sides.

    Other such ideas can be discussed; what is important is that we have to first face our ghosts of the past; then forgive ourselves and then finally firmly commit to the idea of ‘Never Again’. Every school child on both sides should be taught about what happened, and the senselessness of it all.

    Once we have unburdened ourselves in this way then perhaps we can turn our backs on each other with confidence and without having to keep looking over our shoulders. Maybe then we can firmly commit ourselves to the task of building our two nations; separately but surely.

  158. AZW

    Let me say this guys: A lot of what I am saying here has genesis in YLH writings on PTH. Yasser has been pounding these ideas for quite a while; what we are finding is that Pakistan could have been created, or may have stayed within Indian federation. However, the influx of the religious right, a heavy price paid in the form of innocent blood that was shed for the new nation; there were far too many forces at work that worked together to set the country adrift right away.

    However in my view, to say that Pakistan had a clear direction at inception is also not completely correct. Even before Quaid’s death, from what I have read, the idea of pure secularism was not present.

    For starters, I do not believe that the idea of pure secularism (where the laws of the state are completely independent of any creed) had any noticeable torch bearer in the Muslim League leadership except the Quaid. Even as I would discuss below, Quaid’s message itself was not absolutely clear as he invoked both secular principles as well as overtly Islamic references.

    Stripping away religion from the affairs of the state was not pronounced by anyone except Quaid in his famous August 11 speech.

    “You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State…. You will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State”

    Quaid also said in his broadcast to the people of United States that “Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission”.

    I would like to think that this is a darn clear statement from Quaid where religion would be a personal matter of an individual and would play no part in affairs of the state. More importantly, there is a mention of an incident where Quaid shot down the argument that Pakistan was ever meant for “Pakistan ka matlab kiya, La Ilaha Illalah”. I have rarely read about it anywhere else therefore I am quoting the relevant passage in total from Abdus Sattar Ghazzali’s book Islamic Pakistan; Illusions and Reality (

    “However, the fact is that this oft quoted statement (Pakistan ka matlab kiya, La Ilaha Illalah) is an election slogan coined by a Sialkot poet – Asghar Saudai. But it was never raised by the platform of the Muslim League. First and the last meeting of All Pakistan Muslim League was held under the chairmanship of the Quaid-i-Azam at Karachi’s Khaliqdina Hall. During the meeting a man, who called himself Bihari, put to the Quaid that “we have been telling the people Pakistan ka matlab kia, La Ilaha Illallah.” “Sit down, sit down,” the Quaid shouted back. “Neither I nor my working committee, nor the council of the All India Muslim League has ever passed such a resolution wherein I was committed to the people of Pakistan, Pakistan ka matlab….., you might have done so to catch a few votes.” This incident is quoted from Daghon ki Barat written by Malik Ghulam Nabi, who was a member of the Muslim League Council. The same incident is also quoted by the Raja of Mehmoudabad”

    However, we do not see Quaid completely separating the religion from his speeches. And this is true even at or after partition. I know of two instances at or post independence when Quaid invoked religion quite clearly:

    “The Khan brothers…have raised another poisonous cry that the PCA (Pakistan Constituent Assembly) will disregard the fundamental principles of the Shari’ah and Qur’anic laws. This, again, is absolutely untrue. More than thirteen centuries have gone by ….. we have not only been proud of our great and Holy Book, the Qur’an, but we have adhered to all these fundamentals all these ages, and now this cry has been raised…[that] we cannot be trusted” (Quaid’s retort to anti Muslim League propaganda in NWFP, taken from Dr. Parvez Hoodbhoy’s excellent essay Jinnah and Islamic State- setting the record straight,

    Another reference to Islamic principles is found in his speech to the State Bank of Pakistan on July 1, 1948:

    “The Western world, in spite of its advantages, of mechanization and industrial efficiency is today in a worse mess than ever before in history. The adoption of Western economic theory and practice will not help us in achieving our goal of creating a happy and contended people. We must work our destiny in our own way and present to the world an economic system based on true Islamic concept of equality of manhood and social justice. We will thereby be fulfilling our mission as Muslims and giving to humanity the message of peace which alone can save it and secure the welfare, happiness and prosperity of mankind”

    I can go into the post Objectives Resolution discussion where Liaquat Ali Khan similarly invoked Islam (“Pakistan was founded because the Muslims of this sub-continent wanted to build up their lives in accordance with the teachings and traditions of Islam, because they wanted to demonstrate to the world that Islam provides a panacea to the many diseases which have crept into the life of humanity today “). Yet LAQ vehemently maintained that Pakistan will not be a theocracy.

    From here, the following are strictly my own views, a bit unformatted and maybe a bit speculative.

    Fast forward 60 years and we are left with a bewildering message from Quaid’s speech. We can all be confident that Quaid never dreamed of Sharia rule over the country. However, the clear distinction between an Islamic state and the Muslim state was also not made. It is my view that Quaid and the Muslim League leadership looked for a country inspired by Islamic principles, rather than a country governed by the Islamic principles. They wanted to combine the modern democratic ideals with a Islamic values. How exactly they were going to achieve that, at least I do not know.

    At the same time, the religious right had started agitating vociferously for the complete Islamization of Pakistani state. Enormous bloodshed at partition happened with half a million Muslims were martyred for the new state. Quaid died in September 1948, and Pakistan’s uneasy balance of combining modern democracy with Islamic ideals started becoming tenuous. I can only conjecture that Objectives Resolution was introduced to fill in the Islamic inspiration part, or to appease the religious right, or both. Our leaders remained adamant at that time that they were not looking for theocracy, simply for ideals of Islamic democracy.

    I don’t know what Pakistan’s early rulers meant by Islamic democracy. Can anyone explain this concept? According to Objective Resolution, Sovereignty is with Allah, entrusted to his people. This confusing statement is latched on to by the religious right gleefully. They rightly point out that we cannot have it both ways. If the state of Pakistan is subservient to Allah and his commands, then Quran and Sharia are necessary for the Muslim state.

    (How valid is the concept of Sharia is another discussion. Yet Sharia is a widely accepted view and need to be treated as such).

    Past 60 years have shown that this uneasy equilibrium is unsustainable. The oxymoron term of Islamic democracy has caused untold damage to Pakistan so far. Religion was unable to keep our two wings together. Small parties with insignificant vote banks keep leftist parties hostage. Pakistani population is supremely confused; in their minds, religion is an important part of their lives, the country seem to have an inextricable link to the religion, yet Pakistanis have never voted a religious party in power. Pakistanis seem to require a semblance of religion at the state level, yet are extremely uncomfortable with the full implementation of Sharia in the country.

    In between, we have token gestures implemented by self serving rulers over past 60 years, where Qadianis are kicked out of the fold of Islam by the state, penal code has its own bizarre mixture of Islamic laws mixed with modern code. Pakistan looks at itself with bewilderment, yet is unable to do anything about it.

    The idea of Islam as a basis of Pakistan is taken for a ride by the Islamists, local and foreign. Aymen al-Zawahiri invoked Nazaria-e-Pakistan at least six times in his message to the people of Pakistan in August 2008 (

    It will require a lot of courage for Pakistan to look into the mirror, see the mess its confused thinking has made, and do something about the role of religion in our government affairs. Our next sixty years may be spent creating further carnage at home and abroad, if we keep experimenting with introducing religion selectively at the state level. It is my view that looking at our founding fathers will not give us clear answers; we have to chart the course ourselves going forward. Our founding fathers wanted to have a country for Muslims where Islamic ideals were inspiration, not rigid rules. Yet we need to take their ideas to a logical conclusion. We are and will remain a Muslim majority country. We will defend our right to practice the religion in our lives to the fullest. Yet our right to practice our faith will not come at any price to any other group in our country, or abroad. We have developed a distinctive Pakistani identity over the past 60 years. Yet we have not reconciled our Muslim identity yet to the Pakistani identity. It is time to confine the Muslim identity to our private lives and carry on as Pakistanis first and foremost at the national level. If not, the uneasy equilibrium is bound to play havoc with our country, over and over again in the future.



  159. bonobashi


    Indians play two different roles here at PTH: as visitors and spectators, who really should not “interfere” in some things, just as we do not take notice of our hosts’ internal matters when we enjoy their hospitality as their house guests, and as part of a community of scholars and analysts, commenting on current affairs and (for some of us the more important matter) on historical events of interest to us intellectually.

    In the second role, this fresh new idea, which has significant links with thinking in other wounded locations and geographies, needs to be examined carefully and with ginger circumspection.

    In the first role, it does seem clear, once it has been pointed out, that both countries as now constituted as states, need to apologise to each other for the crimes committed during partition. This has never been done formally; it has always been assumed that our crimes are neutralised by their crimes. That is emphatically not so. We need to do this, the earlier the better, and give this time of horrors a decent interment.

    There is no doubt that you are correct in this regard, dear Gorki. Your last three paragraphs were very, very consistent with all that humanity demands of descendants of those involved.

  160. Majumdar

    Adnan bhai,

    I believe time is putting in perspective how far ahead Jinnah was ahead of his fellow ML leaders.

    Sadly, the problem is that not only was MAJ (pbuh) far ahead of his fellow ML leaders but perhaps a century ahead of the IM community as a whole.

    That is why I have often regretted that the great man was not born in a Hindoo household- he wud have continued the task that the likes of Roy and Ranade had begun for the Hindoos. Sadly, it was not him but Gandhi who born in a Hindoo Gujju baniya household and put them back by perhaps half a century.


  161. mel

    I am lost for words, you guys know alot about the past wars etc, which is a good thing. I can’t comment as i have no idea what really went on, all those years. I only know that we won all the wars that we ever fought with India(according to our school books) and they were always the aggressors. And the Pakistan and Bangladesh issue wasn’t even mentioned. I recently found out that why the Bangladeshi people hated us so much.

  162. mel

    September 24, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Dear Bonobashi
    i forgot to thank you for the cute response and also for your great sense of humor.

    one more thing toi add to the above comment ” I hope we learn from the mistakes we made in the past. May Allah bless our country.

  163. Majumdar

    Yasser Pai,

    ML’s whole point was that a permanent majority may not by sheer numbers oppress a permanent minority…

    I propose a small correction. AIML’s objection to a permanent majority oppressing a permanent minority was only in as far as the majority was Hindoo and minority a Muslim. With the situation reversed, they had no problem as OR-49 showed.

    In that sense perhaps the liberal, progressive AIML was not all that different from the Hindoo fascist INC.


    all muslim members were misguided,

    IMHO it is not possible for all Muslim members of a CA to be misguided, some maybe but not all. We have to consider the possibility that these gentlemen were actually striving to adopt what they had wanted all along.

    some proved to be spineless hypocirites, with the exception of mian iftikharuddin.

    Err,… what exactly did Ifti mian did. Did he vote against the OR (I presume Ifti mian was a member of the CA).


  164. Bloody Civilian


    responding to your last point first.. yes ‘ifti mian’ was a member of the CA and voted against the OR.

    as for the bit about ‘misguided’ and ‘spineless hypocrites’… we could add ‘shameless bigots’ too which will cover some ML and all mullahs.

    not only was MAJ (pbuh) far ahead of his fellow ML leaders but perhaps a century ahead of the IM community as a whole.

    and thanks to the likes of roy and ranade, the IH was a century ahead of the IM. which should have meant that MAJ and IH were at the same ‘evolutionary stage’… and ought to have been able to agree or disagree more amicably. or was it gandhi’s contribution, as characterised by you, that reintroduced a 50-year lag between MAJ and IH? would that characterisation not apply to all of india? gandhiji pushed IM back another 50 years too (ML satyagrah, DAD.. etc. being just one type of example) from their already century-wide gap? and ambedkar was forced in to a compromise 50-year advance for his people than a full century? btw, just out of curiosity, not directly relevant, how many non-reservation dalit MLA’s do we have in the lok sabha today?


  165. Bloody Civilian


    “voted against” = spoke against…. till i can find out about the actual voting (i think it was in the committee rather than open to the assembly… but i don’t know)… or the resident expert can help. sorry!

  166. Majumdar


    or was it gandhi’s contribution, as characterised by you, that reintroduced a 50-year lag between MAJ and IH?

    Yes, that is true.

    how many non-reservation dalit MLA’s do we have in the lok sabha today?

    Not too many Dalits have made it to the lower houses either at Centre or at States except perhaps in UP and Maharashtra.

    But in upper houses where there is formally no reservation for dalits still quite a few dalits have made it.


  167. Bloody Civilian


    …but the upper house is party nominated, i.e. self-imposed quotas… not direct election. for the lok sabha i guess electability is a much higher priority than any other niceties. which is perfectly fine.. for such is democracy and its evolution.

    btw, the figure i’ve from a 2001 paper is 81 lok sabha members with 79 on reserved seats.

  168. Majumdar


    Few parties nominate SC/ST representatives from non-elected seats becuase it is “understood” that reserved seats provide adequate representation to SC/STs. Where such adequate representation is not possible (as in upper houses) parties practise “self-imposed quotas”

    There are no reservations for minorities in Lok Sabha or in assemblies. So are there are any minorities in India’s legislatures from seats where Hindoos are the majority? Maybe you can dig up the numbers from the same source.

    An interesting tit bit for you. In South Kolkata (or was it Jadavpur???) a Hindoo gentleman converted to Islam and contested and won a seat from a Hindoo majority seat. I wud rather not speculate on the fortunes of a gentleman attempting the reverse in Pak/BD.


  169. Bloody Civilian

    majumdar da

    re. the tit bit

    if lahore were as lucky to be as diverse as kolkata… ! BD? considering the kind of ‘leadership’ pak and BD have had… in an unbroken, degenerate chain…. don’t you think you could give nehru his due? …..even solely on the basis of the ‘tit bit’. 🙂

  170. bonobashi


    One of the best commentators, albeit an astringent one who respects no reputations not based on success in battle, is PAVOCavalry, who is an ex-serviceman of the Pakistan Army, who has dedicated himself to writing relentlessly honest accounts of various military incidents between Pakistan and India. It is difficult to get used to his pitiless dissection of battles and leadership in battle; we are used to the press release type of reprocessed baby food. If you want to know the bitter truth about these battles (and you will learn about failures on both sides, including failures of big names who were supposed to have been famous warriors), read him. Google him and find out where to get it; I can’t tell you without giving away the alias under which I have attended various other fora.

    Be under no illusions, and do not be disillusioned suddenly; both sides have lied about their battle history, the Indians as much as the Pakistanis. Both sides had units that performed like the Spartans at Thermopylae; both had units that broke and ran. Both had idiot generals; both had junior officers who held off an overwhelming enemy almost single-handed.

    Perhaps the most honest accounts in general are the accounts of the PAF and the IAF; for some reason, they tend to be straight people. There are equally brilliant writers, equally pitilessly truthful, in the two air forces as is PAVOCavalry. If you are interested in air combat and the truth about what happened, there is another author whose book you have to read.

    There is one, and only one difference between the two sides, and I shall not reveal it while I am still gathering data. Suffice it to say that as I think of that difference, there is a swagger in my stride, and I am proud of the Indian Army.

  171. Bloody Civilian

    not quite a tit-for-tat… but a tit bit of another kind:

    there was a transvestite/hijra candidate (i think) in the 1988 general election. he was such a crowd puller… with even a sensible political programme… the sitting MLA paid him rs 1m (allegedly) for him to withdraw his candidacy… which he happily did.

  172. hayyer

    Jadavpur is not that diverse a place. It has pockets of the upper middle class, but overall it is, or was, when I last knew it a fairly low middle/middle class. Majority Bengali Hindu. But Majumdar must be mistaken. Jadavpur is I think Mamta Banerjee’s fief.
    A transvestite stood for election in Madhya Pradesh one or two elections ago but did not win. In a movie, which you should see if you can get hold of it (Welcome to Sajjanpur, directed by Shyam Benegal) a Hijra actually prevails in the election. Not impossible in India these days. I am surprised myself by some of the things happening.

  173. Bloody Civilian

    as for religiously diversifying lahore… even jadavpur would do. in any case, in india’s case, the nation-wide demography also has an influence.

    of course pak has hindu parliamentarians… from the general electorate… more often than not elected from majority muslim constituencies. but a muslim turning hindu and becoming a candidate…. well, with a draft apostacy bill (2006, proposed by mush’s mullah friends) frozen, indefinitely, at the standing committee stage… what can i say. we will need a couple of roys and ranades before that… and even then.. how do you protect against individual mad mullahs.. with a gun.

    the hijra, mohammad aslam, i just googled, was a candidate in the 1990 elections. from abottabad. an independent put up by the people of the town. the indian parliamentarian, returned in 2000, was shabnam mausi. and we have the recent pak supreme court’s verdict … which of course is no precursor to anything like the delhi high court decision on homosexuality.

  174. Bloody Civilian

    There is one, and only one difference between the two sides, and I shall not reveal it while I am still gathering data. Suffice it to say that as I think of that difference, there is a swagger in my stride, and I am proud of the Indian Army

    bonobashi, this ‘data’ that you’re gathering does not have anything to do with india’s and pak’s relative geography and demography by any chance… does it?

  175. bonobashi

    @Bloody Civilian

    Not telling, and you can tell D_a_n threats, pleas and cajoling won’t work until I’m through with my research.

  176. mel

    Thanks for all the info, i ‘ll definitely read it.
    ” I am proud of the Indian Army”. i just have one question, are you indian????
    If you are writing a book then please do send us a copy, i am sure its gonna be a good read.Lol (or we can buy it). TC

  177. bonobashi


    No; actually I am part Bangladeshi, part Gurkha; we don’t have very large armies of our own, so it’s more fun rooting for the Indian Army. Now don’t go revealing these secrets, please; it might cause some ill will on the diplomatic front between Pakistan and Bangladesh, or between Pakistan and Nepal. And then they’ll all turn and jump on the little guy (me, me).

    Actually, in some of my posts, I keep hinting at being Indian, because
    1. It gets those bullies Gorki and Majumdar off my back;
    2. It makes sure that the sour buttermilk of the forum doesn’t pick on me as much as he can, if he gets a hate on (creepy crawly’s name rhymes with Varun);
    3. It irritates that blog-kiddie, Mustafa Shaban.

    Smart, no?

  178. mel

    Hahahaahaa………good one
    But as far as my limited knowledge goes Gorkhas are the killer army men which were initially hired by the Britts to fight for them, later on India did the same.
    I hear gorkhas are pretty good at being gorilla fighters , so why don’t you use this strength for your own good.( i mean get ur own country or somthing)

  179. bonobashi the killer army man


    Of course we are brilliant gorilla fighters. Do you see a single gorilla left in Nepal? For that matter, since I am part Bangladeshi, I have laboured manfully there as well; not a gorilla left.

    In fact, we have toiled and slaved at the service of humanity throughout South Asia, and I have a glorious report. In India, there are only a few left; there are so few that we have given them pet names, Kuran, Aneep, and Dont Surrender. Another two or three are in Bhopal and Ahmedabad and are very unfriendly; they keep flinging bits of their poo at you if you try to approach them, so no humans live nearby any more.

    Almost no gorillas; as soon as they stop eating, they’ll stop generating ammunition, and we have them.

    If you want a gorilla pet, this is the time to ask – nicely. If you promise to treat them nicely (they are picky about their food, you have to feed them mashed bananas and mashed human big toes, fresh ones), we will enter your name in the long list of applicants. But be careful never to allow them to stand for elections; you have enough problems in that department.

    It was mean and hurtful of you to remind me that Bangladeshi Gurkhas have no country of their own. We are trying, and we are confident; we have identified a place where the last remaining chimpanzees in West Bengal live. Once it’s our own, I’ll invite you there, but you must park your gorilla at the gate. We don’t want to frighten the children.

  180. yasserlatifhamdani

    Neither I not the working committee ever passed a resolution wherein I committed Pakpeople of Pakistan to Pakistan. Ka matlab…you must have done so to catch a few votes”m

    There you have it. Ultimate slap in the face of Islamists and their bankrupt conception of nazaria Pakistan.

    Jinnah zindabad

  181. mel

    i am sorry i didn’t mean to hurt you. My intention was only to ask you, thats all.
    And 2nd i hope you get a place of your own and i am pretty damn sure you will get it, but when you don don’t forget to invite me. But btw i don;t have any gorilla so don;t worry about the parking etc.Lol

  182. bonobashi


    No hurt feelings; I was just playing the fool, which I do very well. People are now beginning to understand that I’m not even playing, just being natural.

    Was it that instead of gorilla, you were looking for the other word, for irregular combatants, guerrilla? there is a difference, although even highly educated people confuse the two.

    Both guerrillas and gorillas are to be parked at the parking lot. ;-)>

  183. Bloody Civilian


    on another thread, you were admonishing another poster for dishonouring the mujahideen of al-badr and al-shams, a few days ago. implying that you consider the BBC to be a big bunch of conspiratorial liars, given what the Beeb had to say about your mujahideen. is this the pot calling the kettle black? and to now shamelessly call BBC to bear witness…. this is rich coming from you.

    btw, condemning your indefensible stand is not to condone the PA behaviour in any way. i hope and fully expect that there would be proper investigation and the law shall take its due course.

  184. mel

    @ bonobashi
    my bad……….i had no idea the spelling for both was different. But if we look on the bright side it gave me a good laugh, i bet u had the same. anyways take care and enjoy life