‘Bring back Jinnah’s Pakistan’

Ardeshir Cowasjee’s latest column in Dawn

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Of late, amidst the murder and mayhem accompanied by an absence of government or any signs of governance, a group of citizens has been circulating an email message exhorting whoever to ‘bring back Jinnah’s Pakistan’.

Now, to bring back something that existed for a mere moment in the life of this nation is more than difficult at a time when the national mindset is what it is.

Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s Pakistan was denounced six months after his death when the Objectives Resolution was passed, negating the words he had so eloquently spoken to his constituent assembly on Aug 11 1947: ‘… You may belong to any religion or caste or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the state.’ Thus, willy-nilly, the state was made the custodian of religion.

In the early 1950s, the British writer Hector Bolitho was commissioned by the government to write an official biography of Jinnah. It was published in 1954. Such was the moral dishonesty and hypocrisy that had taken a firm hold and rooted itself in the country’s psyche that the ruling clique of the day perverted Jinnah’s words, and printed in the book was this version of the quoted sentence: ‘You may belong to any religion or caste or creed — that has nothing to do with the fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one state.’

In April 1962, the days of President Gen Ayub Khan, came a lessening of the prevailing hypocrisy and the government press department published a collection of Jinnah’s speeches as governor general of Pakistan. The Aug 11, 1947 speech was printed in full in its original version. (These speeches were reprinted by the government of Benazir Bhutto and released for sale in 1989.)

In 1984, when wily Ziaul Haq ruled, came the finest biography of Jinnah so far written. Prof Stanley Wolpert’s well-researched book, Jinnah of Pakistan, was published in the US by Oxford University Press and 500 copies were sent to Pakistan to be released for sale.

Prior to its release, two copies were sent by OUP to the information ministry seeking permission to reprint locally. The minions of this pernicious ministry, which should not exist, took exception to certain passages in the book in which our founder-maker’s personal tastes and habits were mentioned.

The 498 copies of the book lying with OUP were removed from their storeroom and reprinting of course denied. To top this crass idiocy, Wolpert was approached and asked to delete the offending passages so that it could be reprinted and sold. Naturally, Wolpert’s response was that as a scholar he was unable to compromise on basic principles and any deletion/amendment was out of the question.

Thus the book effectively remained banned in Pakistan until in 1989, when, to give full credit to Benazir and her government, permission was given to OUP to reprint and the book was released for sale. Zia’s was an exercise in pure futility.

Our large neighbour also has blinkered intolerant elements in its midst. There is a long list of books that are banned in India, amongst them Stanley Wolpert’s ‘factional’ novel on the assassination of Gandhi, Nine Hours to Rama, which was banned by the government in 1962. And now, this August, two days after its release the government of the Indian state of Gujarat saw fit to issue a notification ‘forfeiting’ and ‘prohibiting’ Jaswant Singh’s Jinnah: India-Partition-Independence (Mr Singh was also expelled by his party, the BJP).

The book was banned with immediate effect and in the wider public interest because it was alleged that its contents are highly objectionable, against the national interest, misleading, distort historical fact and that it is defamatory in regard to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who is largely regarded as the architect of modern India.

Mr Singh swiftly approached the Indian Supreme Court challenging the ban on the grounds of the violation of fundamental rights. The court issued a notice to the Gujrat government. In the meantime, an appeal was submitted to the Gujrat High Court which struck down the ban. With the Gujrat government prevaricating, the matter remains before the supreme court.

Now, to the bringing back in totality of Jinnah’s Pakistan — that we can never do as half of his Pakistan was shorn by the collusion of our politicians and army generals, the deadly mixture of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Gen Yahya Khan who threw away East Pakistan through a lust for power coupled by incompetence and insensitivity. What can be saved, if we had the leadership to do so, is the spirit of Jinnah’s Pakistan as expressed by him on that distant August day.

Had a large part of the Middle Eastern region and parts of South Asia been able to heed Jinnah’s words that religion, caste and creed ‘has nothing to do with the business of the state’ the world may well have been in better shape today. It is possible that the extremism that has galloped away in these areas would not have taken root had various states not been allowed to force upon the world their dangerously distorted version of a religion.

As for Pakistan, the Objectives Resolution forms the preamble to ZAB’s constitution and was additionally inserted as an annex by Ziaul Haq. Then we have ZAB’s second amendment to his constitution which reinforces bigotry and intolerance. No government has been strong enough to take on the mullah fraternity whose grip has strengthened with the years. To bring us back to Jinnah’s Pakistan, we must have a revolution — a revolution of the national mindset and a latter-day Ataturk to ensure that it is successful.

38 Comments

Filed under Islamism, Jinnah's Pakistan, minorities, Pakistan

38 responses to “‘Bring back Jinnah’s Pakistan’

  1. Ajnabee

    Just wanted to inform you that the ban on the Jinnah book was lifted by Gujarat high court.

  2. yasserlatifhamdani

    “To bring us back to Jinnah’s Pakistan, we must have a revolution — a revolution of the national mindset and a latter-day Ataturk to ensure that it is successful.”

    Hear hear…

    But we must be clear that this Ataturk should not be a military general… but a modernizing leader extracted from the civilian constitutional stream.

  3. Bloody Civilian

    @Ajnabee

    Thanks. but mr cowasjee had already told us that: In the meantime, an appeal was submitted to the Gujrat High Court which struck down the ban. With the Gujrat government prevaricating, the matter remains before the supreme court.

  4. rexminor

    mr jinnah was a decent person but a contridiction.just look at the dress he is wearing and he still spearheaded the movement to create an separate islamic state.most probably muslim minority were facing difficulties in practicing their religion.while he foresaw the killings but did not foresee the migration of people from one part to another.may be on reflection he would have preferred several pakistans and indias fully independent in the subcontinent as existed before its colonization.it woul seem that urdu speaking people coming from across are still not integrated with natives.

  5. yasserlatifhamdani

    “he still spearheaded the movement to create an separate islamic state”

    He did no such thing. We have discussed it many times… and this is simply a lie invented by both Indian Nationalists and Pakistani nationalists.

  6. Ammar

    “Had a large part of the Middle Eastern region and parts of South Asia been able to heed Jinnah’s words that religion, caste and creed ‘has nothing to do with the business of the state’ the world may well have been in better shape today. It is possible that the extremism that has galloped away in these areas would not have taken root had various states not been allowed to force upon the world their dangerously distorted version of a religion.”

    What Cowasjee Sahib is saying is right about most countries in Middle East- but two countries had secular constitution from 1920 onwards- with complete separation of religion and state- Turkey and Iran. Turkey has been ruled by an Islamist party for more than a decade and Iran had a Islamic revolution as a reaction to Raza Khan Pehalvi and Raza Shah Pehalvi’s secular policies- seperation of state and religion- inspired by Ataturk . From these examples, it seems that if complete seperation of religion and state means complete banning of politics on the basis of religion ( as it happened in Iran and Turkey ( where Islamic parties keep reinventing themselves with another name after ban), then in a Muslim majority country either Islam comes through the back door or as a backlash force- as these two examples show. If secularism means paying lip service to religion, then religion inspired parties in Turkey are doing the same except for the fact that they are paying lipservice to secularism! In other words, they know how to play the game better than secularists in Turkey.

    Something that needs to be thought about- if one wants to avoid a repeat of these Turkey inspired experiments in other Muslim countries.

  7. yasserlatifhamdani

    I am afraid that is not true. Tayyip Erdogan the Prime Minister of Turkey is a Moderate Muslim leader of a Democratic Islamic Party within a completely Secular state.

    To my mind Tayyip Erdogan – who in my view is the finest leader on the world stage- is a perfect secularist.

  8. Ammar

    I am not saying that Mr. Erdogan or for that matter Mr. Erbakan are extremists or not moderate Muslims. But the very fact that in a country with a long history of secularism ( now more than 80 years), you have an Islamic party ( sorry I used the word Islamist last time- which might have caused the confusion), goes on to show that Islam is a political force to be reckoned with any Muslim majority country. You cant ban it completely as Reza Pehalvi tried to do it with disastrous consequences.

    As for other Muslim countries, can one be sure that there the Islamic parties will be as moderate as Turkey’s are? If not, then what does one do.

  9. yasserlatifhamdani

    Well that justs shows that Islam and secularism are not irreconcilable…. Do you Ataturk would have a problem with Erdogan? I don’t think so. Ataturk for most part used the same rhetoric as Erdogan…

    In any event…. a moderately Islamic leader in a Secular Republic has roughly the same effect and role as a moderately Secular leader in an Islamic Republic. The issue is to get the right balance.

  10. PMA

    Yasser: You and I have discussed Pakistan-Turkey similarities and differences previously on another post. Someone who has spent considerable time in Turkey for the last three decades and knows a thing or two about that country let me share my thoughts with you.

    Turkey has come a long way. Ataturk had completely suppressed religion and religion-based politics in his time. In Turkey the mosques were and still are under government control. The Imams are appointed by the government and the activities of the mosques are strictly watched. Only limited use of the mosque, even public speaking system is allowed. There is a freedom of religion but not freedom of religion-based politics. However under oppression the religion-based politics had gone underground but had never disappeared. There is a lesson to be learned here. The Turkish country side is as conservative and religious as in any other Muslim country. The Islamic parties have capitalized on that sentiment and in the last twenty years or so the religion-based politics has found its way back. Before we talk about emulating Ataturk we must keep that in mind.

    There is an analogy between ‘secularism’ of Ataturk’s Turkey and ‘communism’ of Mao’s China. In both cases the system was oppressive but it helped the state to get established. Pakistan missed that opportunity in its formidable years and the result is that nation is in the middle of a sea without a rudder. In Pakistan’s case the pendulum has gone to the other side; here political Islam is the one that has hijacked the state. We in Pakistan, today, have to start from a different position than what Turkey did eighty years ago. We have to take the initiative away from the religion-based politics. How do we do that? Where do we start? We must do that not by shouting at each other but by enlarging our circle and by bringing those in who are willing to listen to us. There are few such souls even here at PTH. Let us bring them in. The road is long but Rome was not….

  11. yasserlatifhamdani

    PMA,

    Thank you for post.

    My understanding of Ataturk is that he was – as I explained earlier- during the war of indpendence very much a Muslim nationalist of sorts who led the Muslims of Anatolia and gave them a modern republic… Then after being enconsced in power, he proceeded to swing the pendulum so far down the other side…so that a center could be found.

    He repressed the Mullahs and then the Sufi Dargahs… but remembered he only placed a ban on them for 10 years and it was lifted during his lifetime. The impression I get from Andrew Mango’s book is that Kemal Ataturk was not out to destroy Islam… but to create a truly modern state based on nationalism… Ataturk operated at a time of ideologies of fascism, communism etc…. he chalked a course of Turkey rooted in Kemalism. I don’t think he would be displeased with a leader like Tayyip Erdogan… in many ways Tayyip represents what Ataturk had wanted to create… something which is impracticable in theory but very applicable in reality… an Islam which coexists as the majority faith with a secular state in the same Muslim majority nation.

    How does one emulate Ataturk according to one’s own time? Well the authoritarian militarism is certainly not the part we wish to emulate. What will bring about a reformation in Pakistan is a clear headed democratic leader who sets on a part of modernization according to liberal and humanistic ideals of the 21st century. So this is why I spoke of a democratized civilian Ataturk… not Ataturk of 1920s and the 1930s…

  12. PMA

    YLH: Even though there are many similarities between Turkey and Pakistan, there is one difference; a very big difference between the two. Turks are Turks first and every thing else second. Paks are Muslim first and Pak later. Why? We must ask ourselves this question.

    Turkish Nationalism is rooted in Turkish history, language and culture. In case of Pakistan it is the Muslim Nationalism of the pre-Pakistan days. The very important transition to Pak Nationalism has not taken root yet. The failing is of the educated upper-middle classes of Pakistan, the classes to which Jinnah belonged. We could blame ‘mullah’ all we want, but the fact is that ‘mullah’ has only filled the vacuum created by the educated upper-middle classes. The upper-middle classes which are the chief beneficiaries of the independent Pakistan have failed to educate and embrace the masses. A disfranchised common man feels that he has no stake in the state. To him Pakistan has brought nothing. For him Pak Nationalism is an empty word where as Muslim Nationalism is real and promising. As for as his life is concerned he has simply changed his master. I say to you my friend: Let us take the initiative away from ‘mullah’. Let us embrace our down and out. Let us make them partner in our beloved Pakistan. I assure you they will move away from ‘mullah’. Let us create a Pakistan less obsessed with ‘mullah’ and more concerned about social justice and economic opportunities. The Jinnah’s Pakistan.

  13. Ammar

    PMA- it is true that Turkish nationalism is much stronger than Pakistani nationalism but even Turks have had their share of difficulties in assimalitating the Kurds into Turkish nationalism. Ironically, one of the reasons why the Turkish army, guardian of the secular values of Turkey, allowed Islamic parties more room to operate was to primarily counter the Kurdish nationalist threat to Kemalism which they perceived as more dangerous than Islamism. As Eric Rouleau- the noted author on Turkey and former French Ambassador to Turkey- wrote in his article “Turkey- Beyond Ataturk”

  14. Ammar

    In 1996 he wrote in the article:

    “Turkey’s Islamists have seized the occasion to extend their influence
    and claim to offer a way out of the impasse. They note
    that Islam unites, while nationalism divides; that the umma
    (community of believers) makes no distinction between its children,
    whatever their ethnic or linguistic background; and that the sharia (Islamic
    law) assures them equality of treatment, as was the case, they
    maintain, under the Ottoman Empire. What is certain is that the Kurdish
    conflict is among the factors contributing to the remarkable revival
    of Islam in Turkey.”

  15. Ammar

    Rouleau, instead of comparing Kemalism to Mao’s communism, compared it to Soviet and French models in the following words:

    ” The Kemalist republic was born of a peculiar set of historical circumstances
    and the genius of one man. It drew its inspiration from both
    the Soviet and French models. From the Soviets, it adopted in its early
    decades an authoritarian, single-party rule and a statist economy; from
    the French, a strict secularism and the concept of a centralized nationstate
    wherein citizenship is based on the rights of the individual rather
    than on ethnic or religious identity. Secular citizenship was meant to
    forge a homogenous nation dedicated to modernity and irrevocably tied
    to the Europe of the Enlightenment. To that end, it was necessary to suppress, if need be through violence, the various ethnic and cultural
    loyalties of the disparate populations that had made up the Ottoman
    Empire. The Kemalist republic cemented national unity by imposing
    the Turkish language (with latinized Arab script) and by promoting the
    birth of a new culture cut off from its Muslim roots.
    For the most part, the experiment succeeded. Nonetheless, many
    Kurds, despite their assimilation by and large into Turkish culture,
    remained attached to an identity that the state sought to crush
    through any means”

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/Ning/archive/archive/103/TurkeyBeyond%20Ataturk.pdf

  16. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear PMA,

    Jinnah belonged to self confident rising Shia trader class… and was therefore by definition middle class. He was also a self made man.

    As for the transition from Muslim Nationalism to Pakistan Nationalism… Jinnah made it in his 11th August speech but unlike Ataturk, he was not a military man and besides his secularism was of the British variety not the French.

    The important thing to realize is that the Turks made that transition after independence not before it… Ataturk’s Reforms came first…. Turkish Nationalism in its present form came later… and for them the transition was harder because the word “Turk” was interchangeable with “Muslim”…. besides the issue today is not as much as whether one is Pakistani first or a Muslim first… but whether every Pakistani -regardless of whatever his self-identification- allowed to live, pursue happiness and worship or not worship as he pleases.

  17. yasserlatifhamdani

    And I agree… the common man needs to feel more participatory in order for a genuine Pakistani nationalism to truly develop.

  18. PMA

    Ammar: I enjoy reading your informed comments. You are right that: “Turks have had their share of difficulties in assimilating the Kurds into Turkish nationalism.” Kurdish issue has always been there. It might have helped to the rise of Islamic parties to some extent in the east and south as an alternative, but is not the over riding reason of the rightward shift of Turkish society and politics. I remember my conversations with urbanised Turkish students in Istanbul as far back as the eighties. In those years a large segment of Turkish rural population had migrated to the big cities like Istanbul and Izmir for reasons of economics, education and better opportunities. These families and university students from rural backgrounds were initially shunned by the the Turkish urban elites. This migrant group is the one that initially formed the nucleus of the Islamic movement in the urban centers. All of sudden ‘hijab’ and ankle length skirts in the case of female students and cropped beards in the case of male students appeared on the university campuses. The new movement was seen as an alternative to the westernised decadent corrupt elite. The underground Islamists joined in but had to stay in the background for the fear of the Turkish military, the establishment if you please. Since then the Turkish society has moved somewhat to the right.

    My reason of Kemalist-Maoist comparison was that both started as regimes repressive towards their religious and ethnic minorities and then over decades with economic prosperity both have moved towards the center. There is no doubt that today both Turkey and China in relative terms are stable polities and strong economies. Both belong to the G-20 while Pakistan with all its potentials is no where to be seen. Let me end by saying. Thank you for a healthy and civilized exchange, something so rear at the net these days.

  19. stuka

    Cowasjee comes across as someone with dictatorial sympathies. Even if Jinnah’s Pakistan is an utopia, it should come across only when people of Pakistan want it to come. A country is an organic entity and every generation builds it to suit it’s own philosophy. A basis for the country is to have a set of processes that allow transitions to take place. Democracy is the best answer – including those answers that you or I may not like.

  20. rexminor

    mr hamdani, please do not use strong words by calling it a lie or blaming nationalists if you do not agree with any statement.i do not fall into any of the catogaries you imagined.the part which is pakistan now did not have the need to form a separate state.you are reading it and i lived it. perhaps on reflection it would have been better if mr jinnah had worked with his masters, the brits and his collegues messrs nehru,ghandi and co. to return the subcontinent to its original form, ie many pakistans and indias.

  21. YLH

    Dear rexminor,

    Read H M Seervai’s “Partition of India : Legend And Reality”… you’ll realize that Jinnah probably tried as much if not harder than Nehru and Gandhi to keep India united…

    And by original form do you mean the 500 states it was divided in just before company raj … or do you mean Aurangzeb’s Mughal regime?

    Either way… a unitary political center was a folly of the highest order…

  22. Vajra

    @rexminor

    That is an interesting thought. The only plan or thought put out around that time that this thought matches was the proposition that on the lapse of the Empire, the suzerain status Britain enjoyed vis-a-vis the princely states also lapsed, as did its status with regard to parts of the North-East. There were even locations – on a Pakistani blog, I do not wish to be incendiary unnecessarily by reminding ourselves of which that was – that were not in either the British Empire, nor a subsidiary owing suzerain allegiance to Britain.

    So is your thought that the states should have been left alone as they were, and that British India should have been one more entity among many?

    This is of course presently a discussion in the realms of pure fantasy: tempus fugit and all that. But considering the stubborn and completely irrational posts by some others, your idea is soothing and harmless, at this point of time, and it would be nice if you could tell us more of what you had in mind. Of course, it might have been a phrase which found its way in because of its nice sound and symmetry of thought, in which case, let us leave it alone.

  23. rexminor

    i do not wish to enter too deep into an academic debate. i am simply an analyst and do not wish that people ignore the history and draw their interpretation which could be misleading.many do not know that the brits had no control over the pushtoon region throughout their colonial times. they were allowed certain access to roads and cantonments against a regular payment of cash and privilage to local tribes.nor do the people of today’s pakistan know that if the nwfp province had not opted for pakistan, the state of pakistan would not have been born.there was no muslim majority for pakistan in other provinces of india.with regard to the states the maharajas were left alone to exercise their option for remaining independent or an affliation with india or pakistan.the premise of creating a muslim state separate from india was intended to satisfy the demands of muslim leaders from india including mr jinnah.the fact that pakistan and india have had numerous issues and are unable to reconcile their differences,this has very little to do with religion but can be explained simply because of cultural differences.i am sure that the ex president of pakistan felt completely at ease when he was having an afternoon tea with the urdu speaking indian leaders but felt very awkward when invited by the pushtoons and baluchi leaders.by the way mr jinnah was the first gov.general of the islamic republic whereas the indian allowed the british lord to hold the non-elected post.if any one believes that mr jinnah did not spearheaded the movement for a muslim country then how come he was the first office holder of the post. i am sorry if i have disturbed your indulgence in the subcontinent politics.i hope you will consider my knowledge in your deliberations.

  24. yasserlatifhamdani

    What Islamic Republic was Mr. Jinnah the first governor general of? How would an Islamic Republic have a governor general? Surely such a thing never existed on the map of the world when Jinnah was alive? I know that Jinnah was the first govenor general of a state called the Dominion of Pakistan.

    Your question as to why Jinnah held the office of GG if he did not spearhead a movement for a separate state for Muslims…. Jinnah’s idea of a space for Muslims was not separate and distinct from India. Partition as it happened was Congress’ idea.

    But your question strikes me as an absolute waste of time. My suggestion read a book or two instead of indulging people in discussion on this website. Start H M Seervai’s classic “Partition of India: Legend And Reality”. It will most certainly open your mind a little bit..

  25. Akash

    EDITED for Hindu Chauvinism and bigotry.

    (Indian Chauvinists, crooks, cranks and madmen are as unwelcome on PTH as the Maududian-fascists, crooks, cranks and madmen)

  26. YLH

    Dear Akash

    The truth is what has been coming out consistently … like stinging slap in the face of people like you.

    You are not welcome to post on these boards… so don’t waste your time.

  27. Vajra

    @rexminor

    Thank you for your detailed comment. There are some issues there which you might find of interest to consider, in the total view that you have taken in your note. These are interpolated between your lines for your ready reference and kind consideration.

    many do not know that the brits had no control over the pushtoon region throughout their colonial times. they were allowed certain access to roads and cantonments against a regular payment of cash and privilage to local tribes.nor do the people of today’s pakistan know that if the nwfp province had not opted for pakistan, the state of pakistan would not have been born.

    First, the degree of control exercised over a territory, and its legal and constitutional status, are not identical. Many states, throughout history, too numerous to mention, have had wild and ungoverned frontier or interior regions, which did not in any way either weaken their legal status as administrators of those regions, or take away their right to change the conditions of government in later times. Both Baluchistan and the NWFP come under that rubric; the fact that the British did not intervene in day-to-day life, that the justice of the Empire was not in force there, does not prove that they were not the rulers, accepted as such by the only alternative rulers, the Afghan Emirate. They had full legal power and authority to devolve their legal rule of these parts (there are some caveats with regard to Baluchistan which we can ignore for the present). They did so, in fact, and handed over power to the Dominion of Pakistan. This is not a devolution that can be challenged, and as far as I know, it has not been seriously challenged.

    Coming to the question of its status at that time, and the changes sought by the Government of Pakistan, or the state government presently in authority, Pakistan is a sovereign country, with full authority to bring any change in its constitution and in its administrative processes that are legitimate with the constitution it has given itself. This is in no way violated by the illegal acts in previous years by illegal and extra-constitutional authority. It is merely that the legal consequences of these illegal acts have to be unravelled in detail. For example, the acts and processes instituted under the authority of these illegal acts have to be abrogated, sometimes with retrospective effect, and it is admittedly a difficult and complicated situation considering what has happened. The better solution may be to declare an amnesty and to go forward with prospective effect.

    there was no muslim majority for pakistan in other provinces of india.

    Punjab? Sindh? Bengal?

    with regard to the states the maharajas were left alone to exercise their option for remaining independent or an affliation with india or pakistan.

    No, this was not so. They had the option of choosing India or Pakistan. Several rulers had other thoughts, but these were wishful thoughts, and not part of the British plan.

    the premise of creating a muslim state separate from india was intended to satisfy the demands of muslim leaders from india including mr jinnah.

    At the cost of doing an imitation of a stuck record (an image which may not be understood by most of the readers today), this didn’t happen in the simple way that it has been described above.

    It is clear that Jinnah and others sought to establish Muslim-majority ‘areas’, which would still be part of a greater India along with other areas, for instance, a Hindu-majority area. It is clear that they wanted a certain autonomy for these areas; except for a critical core set of issues, defence, foreign affairs and one more which I forget, all the rest of the powers of the government were to be exercised by these ‘areas’.

    Nehru, on the other hand, along with the bulk of the Congress leadership that thought about these issues, wanted a strong centre, and was very uncomfortable with the concept of a weak centre and three very strong ‘areas’. Finally, this constitutional impasse led to a lot of infighting, a coarsening and worsening of personal relations, and a determination on the part of the Congress that Jinnah and his Muslim League would never cooperate with any other political part at the centre.

    It was at that time that the Congress decided that they would agree to partition, rather than tolerate Jinnah within their sphere of administration.

    This is surprisingly contrary to the conventional wisdom that the Muslim League led by Jinnah was almost entirely solely responsible for wresting Pakistan by demanding and enforcing partition. It was not so; there was a grave crisis with regard to the model of government to be followed, and the Congress decided that even a partition woulld be preferable to co-existing with the Muslim League.

    the fact that pakistan and india have had numerous issues and are unable to reconcile their differences,this has very little to do with religion but can be explained simply because of cultural differences.i am sure that the ex president of pakistan felt completely at ease when he was having an afternoon tea with the urdu speaking indian leaders but felt very awkward when invited by the pushtoons and baluchi leaders.

    Not entirely baseless, but you will agree that the matter has so many other facets that picking up this facet does the issue less than justice.

    by the way mr jinnah was the first gov.general of the islamic republic whereas the indian allowed the british lord to hold the non-elected post.if any one believes that mr jinnah did not spearheaded the movement for a muslim country then how come he was the first office holder of the post.

    This is somewhat more complex than you have depicted.

    1. There were no republics in August 1947, only two dominions, ruled by the King, through his Governor-General, Mountbatten for India, Jinnah for Pakistan.
    2. Pakistan was not an Islamic Republic, it was a Dominion which happened to contain a huge majority of Muslims.
    3. Mountbatten wanted to be Governor-General of both Dominions, but Jinnah found the idea absurd, and also susceptible to conflict of interest, so he made it clear that Mountbatten would not be found acceptable as a dual purpose GG.
    4. Your final sentence is reasonable, with modifications. Jinnah did lead the struggle for a secular democracy where Muslims would be in a majority, and free of the day-to-day stresses and struggles of coexisting with a Hindu majority. When things went wrong for him, he was compelled to accept a moth-eaten award, and he did accept the governorship, given the paucity of leadership around him.

    i am sorry if i have disturbed your indulgence in the subcontinent politics.i hope you will consider my knowledge in your deliberations.

    You will probably find that the administrators and thought leaders on PTH are remarkably kind and tolerant. It is we stray commenters who are sometimes loud and strident in our responses, and occasionally need a gentle reminder.😉

  28. rexminor

    mr vajra,
    thank you for considering my commentry on the subject and expressing your detailed commentry on published and non published pre- partition deliberations which went on between brits, congress and muslim league.the facts in certain cases are different to that interpretted by agreements or any international legal position.to mention few;
    1) the facts are that the current border between india and pakistan, india and china, pakistan and afghanistan is in dispute ie not recognised by the respective govts.2)pakistan army intrusion in the pushtoon territories is illegal and against the agreements made between the pushtoon tribes and the brits. and later accepted by the pakistan govt.3)the mahraja of kashmir did not opt for affiliation with pakistan, and was invaded by pakistan army in a poor sloppy clandestine operation which backfired and the maharaja subsequently asked for indian army intervention.if one is of the opinion that pakistan was created with the blessing of congress party then how come its army moved into the territory of kashmir which had a majority of muslim population?why did’nt the congress party ignore the declaration of kashmir maharaja as in the case of hyderabad?
    4) it is my view that urdu speaking muslims had great difficulties in integrating with non-urdu speaking people of the sub-continent regardless of religion.was this not witnessed in former east pakistan?.
    to have a debate now whether mr jinnah’s vision was for a dominion or an islamic republic or a country with majority mulims is simply an illusionary debate. not to forget the repeated claims of some that it was mr iqbal’s vision to have a separate islamic state in india which mr jinnah undertook to make it a reality. finally we should not forget the time of historical events.to day we are living in different times and this is often ignored by the readers.

  29. Bloody Civilian

    rexminor

    re. your point no. 2

    how is it illegal? even the british military ‘intruded’ when a matter involved the settled areas or protected british interests where the tribe(s) failed to punish or handover the culprits and/or pay compensation, as per the agreement, later inherited by the state of pakistan.

  30. Vajra

    @rexminor

    I will try to respond to your detailed and searching questions, and to the issues raised by you, to the best of my knowledge and ability. Please do not forget that information being conveyed to you through these responses is of a secondary and scholastic nature, and not gathered through any direct experience. That fact somewhat attenuates them.

    1) the facts are that the current border between india and pakistan, india and china, pakistan and afghanistan is in dispute ie not recognised by the respective govts

    Indubitably true. This is correct in all respects.

    2)pakistan army intrusion in the pushtoon territories is illegal and against the agreements made between the pushtoon tribes and the brits. and later accepted by the pakistan govt.

    No, not so; both by custom and by law, this ‘intrusion’ is permitted.

    Regarding agreements. Agreements are made in certain conditions, and if those conditions are broken, then the agreement is void. Further, an agreement made in particular circumstances does not necessarily continue indefinitely.

    3)the mahraja of kashmir did not opt for affiliation with pakistan, and was invaded by pakistan army in a poor sloppy clandestine operation which backfired and the maharaja subsequently asked for indian army intervention.if one is of the opinion that pakistan was created with the blessing of congress party then how come its army moved into the territory of kashmir which had a majority of muslim population?why did’nt the congress party ignore the declaration of kashmir maharaja as in the case of hyderabad?

    This is, to say the least, tendentious.

    There is evidence that it was not the Pakistan Army which invaded Kashmir in the first instance; there is evidence that the Governor-General of Pakistan sought the intervention of the Commander-in-Chief (Pakistan retained that position for some years, India converted on becoming a Republic), but in vain. The state-sponsored invaders were a heterogeneous lot of people, including ex-servicemen and plain free-booters, although there was an element of supervision by supernumeraries of the ruling Muslim League, ex-servicemen from the Maharaja’s own state forces and ex-servicemen from the British forces.

    Coming to your dependent questions, it is not my opinion, nor the opinion of Jinnah scholars, that pakistan was created with the blessing of congress party . That is a serious misunderstanding of what has been argued. What has been argued is that Pakistan was created because of the lack of cooperation of the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League with each other on the issue of the Cabinet Mission Plan, which proposed a solution quite close to Jinnah’s desire, apparently. The INC refusal to agree to Scheme A hardly amounts to a blessing for Scheme B. They too were extremely reluctant to face Scheme B, but that was inevitable once Scheme A had been swept impetuously off the table.

    The Indian Army moved into Kashmir on the legal grounds of the Maharaja’s accession to the Dominion of India.

    Please recall, as you had pointed out yourself in an earlier post, that the situation of the princes was different from the situation of the constituent elements of British India. While for British India, there was assignment of the Muslim-majority provinces to Pakistan, except for the provinces of Punjab and Bengal, which were partitioned, the princely states had the option of selecting Pakistan or India, and nothing more.

    So Kashmir’s position was not dependent on the nature of its population, but on the desires of the Maharaja.

    What happened in Hyderabad was an act of force, with no backing of law whatsoever.

    4) it is my view that urdu speaking muslims had great difficulties in integrating with non-urdu speaking people of the sub-continent regardless of religion.was this not witnessed in former east pakistan?.
    to have a debate now whether mr jinnah’s vision was for a dominion or an islamic republic or a country with majority mulims is simply an illusionary debate. not to forget the repeated claims of some that it was mr iqbal’s vision to have a separate islamic state in india which mr jinnah undertook to make it a reality. finally we should not forget the time of historical events.to day we are living in different times and this is often ignored by the readers.

    You have made some separate observations under this point, and come from those to a completely different conclusion.

    Urdu speaking Muslims had some difficulties, it is reported, in integrating with non-Urdu speaking people (let us accept that the only Urdu-speakers were Muslim, which is a reasonable approximation, as for Hindus, it tended to be a second language at best).

    This was indeed reported widely from East Pakistan.

    It is not clear how from these two facts we come to the question of Jinnah’s desire. What bearing do those anterior facts have to the question being considered? Jinnah’s vision was in no way connected to the question of integration of Urdu-speaking Muslims to non-Urdu speaking Punjabis, Sindhis, Baluchis and Pashtun. It is not even clear that he proposed that Urdu-speaking Muslims should emigrate from their home-lands and come into the new wings of Pakistan.

    While they were free to make that journey, it was not called for; the continued existence of a Muslim minority in Hindu-majority areas was as integral a part of the plan as was the existence of non-Muslim minorities, the Hindus, Sikhs and Christians in the West, the Hindus and Buddhists in the East.

    It is perfectly permissible for you to argue separately that a debate today on Jinnah’s vision is a futile effort, because whatever it was, there have been events, and the events were real, not the vision.

    It is equally perfectly permissible to argue that unless the original vision is correctly conveyed to the masses, that Pakistan is seen as a secular, democratic homeland for the Muslims living in its constituent elements and any who wished to join them from the Hindu-majority areas, then the misleading alternative, that what was in the mind of the founding fathers was an Islamic Republic, will triumph.

    The debate is of crucial relevance to Pakistan today. Please note carefully and without underplaying its significance the word crucial.

    The claims that Jinnah was implementing Iqbal’s dream is true only in the narrow sense that both thought of a homeland for Muslims; Jinnah thought of it as part of a larger aggregation, it is not clear what Iqbal may have thought of it, at least, not from the practical point of view. I think this conjecture need not be given excessive airing; in the general sense that Jinnah brought to life the yearning of many Muslims afraid of living under Hindu domination and restricted in their right to live as a Muslim citizen of a free country is good enough. But this is a matter on which you should really consult Bloody Civilian, when he is not engaged in making life intolerable for peaceful men of letters, or YLH.

    Your final observation about the changes in circumstances and the fact that we are living in different times today is valid. We must each ponder over its implications, and ensure that nothing is recommended after our theoretical and historical exercises, which is inconsistent with present-day reality.

  31. rexminor

    @vajra
    on balance i will go along with your commentary.the only exception that when a written agreement is not kept and one party decides to use force then one should also contemplate the reaction from the second party. 1)the brits intrusion into afridi’s home land brought an immediate response in the form of afridi’s intrusion into the house of the british commissioner whose daughter was taken away as a hostage.2) the brits intrusion in other tribal areas including waziri land are recorded as disaster for them, not to mention when the afghanistan amir threw away the agreement and ordered the massacre of foreigners in kabul.people like sir robert burton gave a detailed account in his book about the fate of cavagnari, the british ambassadors.

  32. rexminor

    @bloody civilian
    there is no such agreement which calls for handover of any “culprits”.we should not forget that the afghans/pushtoons do not accept or follow any agreement which has no benefit for them. also once a tribe gives an asylum to a so called “culprit”, he is protected and not handed over his native land where he faces persecution.neither money nor force is of any use to break their pakhtoonwali tradition.by the way this is is no different from the practice followed in most european countries.

  33. Bloody Civilian

    @rexminor

    we should not forget that the afghans/pushtoons do not accept or follow any agreement which has no benefit for them

    who does??

    the maliks of the agreeing tribes did put their thumb impressions on to a piece of paper produced by the british (and later pakistani in case of swat etc, for example) authorities.

    their refusal, justified in their minds or not, amounts to a breach of agreement on their part. there are umpteen examples of the british feeling morally and legally justified in using military force when faced with such a breach.

    their independence was limited, by agreement, to intra-tribal activity and did in no way extend to the settled areas.

  34. Vajra

    @rexminor

    Please be quite clear and very certain that in reporting the legal position which allows the GoP to intervene in tribal areas, I am not supporting the action nor attacking it, as it would be very awkward and most unbefitting of a foreign guest to comment on these wholly internal affairs of a neighbouring state.

  35. rexminor

    @bloody civilian
    sorry, but swat is not a part of the tribal autonomous region. the wali of swat agreed to integrate into the main land.with regard to the pushtoon traditions they will not honour signed or unsigned agreements if has disadvantage for them. they take less time than the germans to disregard any such agreements.
    @vajra
    i happen to be a guest and found several commentries very useful. i am used to freedom of speach and therefore have not shown restraints in my commentry.

  36. Bloody Civilian

    rexminor

    swat is not part of FATA. it is PATA. so still not at par with the settled province. there were agreements. and a breach by the tribes invited military intervention by the administrators of the settled areas. so your original contention that such intrusions were illegal, notwithstanding all the tagential points you’ve made since, was incorrect: pakistan army intrusion in the pushtoon territories is illegal and against the agreements made between the pushtoon tribes and the brits. and later accepted by the pakistan govt.

  37. Bloody Civilian

    vajra

    somehow i missed your comment of november 7 at 6.01 a.m., which made my restatement of the same point redundant. sorry!

    regards