Has Pakistan Arrived?

By Brigadier (ret) Simon Samson Sharaf

In an emotional and controversial address to his constituency, the President of Pakistan, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari referred to the country as Sindhu Desh. In his fiery and reactive speech, this was perhaps the only silver lining. Deliberately or otherwise, he had touched a very sensitive issue of nationhood.

The politicians of Sindh unlike the Unionists of Punjab have been more Pakistani in many ways than they are accredited. Jinnah, the Syeds, Qazis, Soomros and Bhuttos are but to name a few.  Reviewing the annals of history, we are pleasantly reminded that Pakistan was never the realization of one ethnicity, sect or mindset. It was a struggle based on the aspirations of diverse groups and still remains so.

The Baloch voted for the creation with an overwhelming majority. At a crucial time the princely states of Balochistan were advised by Maulana Azad to join Pakistan. Nawab Akbar Bugti valiantly stood by the concept of Pakistan. Can we forget the roles of the Khosas, Jamalis, Qazi Issa, Achakzais, Mandokhels, Jogehezais?

Similarly, the people of NWFP rejected the Congress friendly approach of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and rallied to the beck and call of Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan. Many tribal leaders preferred to join Pakistan rather than live under the Afghan-Indian intrigue.

Let us also not forget the people of Bengal and their leaders including Sheikh Mujib ur Rehman, a young firebrand Muslim Leaguer. These were all sons of the soil who organised the Muslim Education Conference to Muslim League. They lived comfortably within their own majorities least affected by the Congress-Muslim League (Hindu-Muslim) divide. Yet they chose to be Pakistan.

Christians of Punjab and Sindh voted unanimously in favour of Pakistan. Leaders such as S P Singha, Joshua Fazal Din, Chandu Lal and Gibbons remained Quaid e Azam’s most trusted allies in difficult and treacherous times. So did both factions of the Ahmediya Jamaat. They were Pakistanis by choice and never the conquered people. They were also the torch bearers of Pakistan Movement that ran the last but one lap. Men like S M Burke made remarkable contributions in articulating Pakistan’s foreign policy.

Those who ran the last lap sacrificed the most. They had faced the brunt of socio economic injustices and struggled valiantly within their enclaves and ghettos for Pakistan. They migrated from far afar on carts, trains and foot. Very few would know that these hapless caravans also comprised Christians from as far away as South India and Delhi. Most as events proved tragically, left one ghetto, to create another. They still ask, ‘Has Pakistan come?’

Within the premise of the Two Nation Theory and Lahore Resolution, the State that Quaid e Azam promised was an Inclusive Country with Muslim majority; A modern nation-state where people from all walks, ethnicities and beliefs were equal citizens. But as events proved, these die-hard supporters were condemned. Patriotism and nationalism became an exclusive domain of few. Calls for devolution were construed as sub nationalism and separatism. Traitors became a term to define dissent and men such as Faiz and Mian Ifthikhar, the architects of the Kashmir resistance were quickly dubbed as traitors.

My father Lal Din Sharaf, then a young and firebrand revolutionary poet attended the gathering at Manto Park Lahore on 23-24 March 1940. He noted these words of Quaid e Azam in his diary, “Pakistan is a Nation and now must have defined Boundaries”.

For this and many other reasons, I have always opined that PAKISTANIAT is distinct in its evolution. It took birth much before the geography of Pakistan was drawn. If we accept Quaid’s logic of Nation before a Boundary, Pakistaniat existed in the hearts and minds of millions of people who subsequently migrated to East and West Pakistan as also those states that joined Pakistan by choice. Unfortunately, the concept of a Pakistani nationhood has since deteriorated.

The ownership has gradually shifted to those who never made a choice.

There is another dimension to the geographical notion of Pakistan. Historically, the people of Indus were called Sindhu. The term Hindu is a derivative of both Sindhu and Schinde. The little discovered Nara Civilisation that existed along and astride the banks of this river system pre-dates Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa and Mehr Garh. Over ten thousand years old the region had been the world centre at least thrice; the Nara (Sarasvati) Age, Mohenjo-Daro and the Great Mauryan Empire. It ruled the world as far away as Greece and Egypt. It had a river system of which Indus was just a part. This Great Nara River entered what is now Pakistan near Fort Abbas and debouched at a place Nagar Par Kar (cross the river). This is the land of world’s highest mountains, largest river systems and oldest deserts. This was the wonderland imbedded in the innate memories of us people.

Indeed, if both the spirit of Pakistaniat that predated its boundaries and innate memories of dreamland morphed into the Pakistani construct of nationhood articulately enunciated by Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, what went wrong?

The quest of inventing a nation that already existed, repeated military interventions, misuse of religion for expediencies and political violence has all but obscured the Pakistan that Jinnah created. The bureaucracy, trained to rule fared no better. The two combined with the political rats jumping ships to create a ruling elite. The thesis to emerge was the indispensability of an individual in the backdrop of extreme national vulnerability. Those who challenged the drift or showed imagination were singled out as non conformists, ambitious, pseudo, alarmist and traitors.

These distortions to the national fabric were pronounced during the Zia era and snowballed thereafter. Unfortunately, the last three decades (1977-2008) comprise 19 years of exclusive military dictatorships. If we add the troika factor that continued to remove successive elected regimes, then the past 30 years are patrolled by a praetorian mindset.

The latest round of democracy has landed through a very bloody route. Pakistan’s highlands are burning and economy sinking. The process of nation building has to begin now. It is time to act! President Zardari has to build a spirit of national reconciliation and reconstruction. He has to be accountable to emotions and reflections that highlighted his own speech. This is no time to complain and mourn the past nor any space left for political stratagems.

Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, please get out of your paranoia, self pity and persecution complex. You are the all powerful President of a democratic dispensation that ever was. The Bhutto Legacy inasmuch as it is yours is also ours. You are the head of an empowered democratic regime with a friendly opposition in place.

Your challenges are not opinion makers but the people for whom you have to deliver. Your challenge lies in answering with actions and not rhetoric, the many questions you raised about Pakistan’s identity.

Despite any dilemmas and daemons you confront, your challenge is to take the bull by the horns; Come on, pick the baton and lead the way for Jinnah’s Pakistan! This would forever cleanse you of all malignancies that haunt you and your party.

The Parliament has to take a new guard and play out a long resolute innings without loosing wickets. If they do, the people of Pakistan will see hope and coalesce the way they did as recently as the earthquake of 2005 and against militancy.

Our Destination inevitably is, ‘The Wonderland of Pakistan’. Even if we die doing it, the spirit must keep marching on. This is what Benazir Bhutto did.


Filed under Jinnah, Jinnah's Pakistan, Pakistan

56 responses to “Has Pakistan Arrived?

  1. Majumdar

    Brig sb,

    Well-written and I will return in greater details time permitting. Bit pressed for time now.

    The little discovered Nara Civilisation that existed along and astride the banks of this river system pre-dates Mohenjo-Daro

    It might interest you that Hindutvist historians are very much interested in promoting this civilisation. For two reasons:

    1. It is believed to be the mythical Saraswati.
    2. The bulk of this civilisation is located within the geographical limits of the modern Republic of India and thus they can prove that the roots of the Indian civilisation is “Indian” and not “Pakistani”


  2. Majumdar

    They even style this the Indus-Saraswati civilisation.


  3. Milind Kher

    It is difficult for Zardari to keep his spirits high when he is in fact between a rock and a hard place.

    On the one hand are the terrorists, and on the other are the people pressing for his resignation. If Pakistan is to come out of this mess, and emerge with strength and self respect, then people will have to willy nilly throw their weight behind Zardari putting aside any personal dislike.

    Let us hope things work out well.

  4. gv

    @mililnd kher

    Everyone would like things to work out well but Zardari is not the man for the task.

    Change does not have to be violent you know – the man can be impeached, his powers seceded to the Prime Minister (as they should have been a long time ago) . I speak for myself here but I’m fairly certain no right thinking Pakistani would care for any further adventurism from GHQ.

    Zardari is a failed leader – The man is too busy perpetually ensconced in his presidential palace still sticking his fingers in as many pies as possible. Not to mention that he is politically divisive and is playing mere lip service to much political/institutional reform.

  5. Milind Kher


    You are advocating ceding Zardari’s powers to Gilani. However, I do get the distinct impression that Gilani is a hawk.

    Given the troubles brewing in the region, I would be more inclined to select somebody who would easily elicit cooperation and goodwill from India.
    I do not by any means wish to be doctrinaire about this, as there are those who would know much more on the subject than me.

    This is my point of view.

  6. vajra


    I am afraid Milind Kher is right, devolving (not ceding surely!) his powers to Gilani, indeed, giving those two supporting clowns, Gilani and Qureshi, any further influence in Pakistan’s affairs is more than likely to create a significantly increased level of tension with India.

    Not for the world would I suggest that Pakistan should select her leadership after getting India’s approval; the thought is so bizarre that not even a BJP political committee member or Mohan Bhagwat, head of the RSS himself, would suggest it. But it is needed to note that these two have been very negative factors in the relationship between the two countries.

    More royalist than the king, in fact.

  7. Bloody Civilian

    it’s about supporting democracy and not personalities, as gv has correctly pointed out. gillani is a ‘hawk’ would be true if he were his own man. any wonder about him hedging his bets? even shoring up his non-existent power? and as for his royalist credentials, that’s exactly how and where he started his political career.

    let him have the powers that a pm in a parliamentary democracy is entitled to, on behalf of the electorate, then judge him. at least, it would be criticism of him as a person, then, and not capable of damaging democracy.

    i might stop short of condemning zardari as ‘not the person’ for the job. but i cannot ignore the fact that the present situation is doing little for democracy and needs to be democratised. either we have a parliamentary democracy, or we don’t. it’s not about zardari or gillani. if zardari can restore parliamentary democracy, he would have done his job. if he wishes to do more, he needs to become the pm first.

    as for qureshi, when bb first became pm she was not even allowed to have an fm. then zia’s fm gen sahibzada yaquoob khan was forced upon her.

  8. Milind Kher


    Let us assume that Gilani gets the full powers that a PM rightfully should. There are two things that could happen.

    He may have an open minded approach, in which case things should work out fine.

    However, if his stance against India is aggressive, the US will come down hard on him. That could then be a rather sticky situation, and then if they want him eased out and power restored to Zardari, the status quo would still hold. Any thoughts?

  9. vajra

    @Bloody Civilian

    Fair enough, Gilani’s entitled to be up for Buggins’ turn; in a parliamentary democracy, in any case, he has the right to give it a shot.

    And let the FM stand up and say his say. Let the chips fall where they may; that, again, is the practice of any democracy, and we can hardly deny Pakistan the liberties that we wallow in ourselves.

  10. gv

    @mk & vajra

    sorry am in a bit of a rush so quick rejoinder here – but if you guys peek out of your indo-centric box for just a second you will notice that we’ve enough internal issues to deal with on our plate without worrying about india for now..

    p.s. as BC says the focus should be democracy (and my final line the last post should have read ‘much needed democratic/institutional reform’)

    p.s.s .vajra – yessir you are correct – it should have been devolve not cede!!

  11. Samson Simon Sharaf

    I appreciate your view.
    I would never wish the sub continental divide to come in Nara-Sarasvati. My research on the subject is ongoing and began in 1992. In 2005, I traversed 1,700 Kms in this difficult but wonderland. Pics are on my facebook. It is not to score a brownie but to assert a fact of history. The Civilization spread from Kabul to Thatta-Nagarparkar, and some part of it was in Indian Gujerat. In fact some parts of this civilization sank into the sea during a big Earthquake creating Allah Wala Bund near Karachi and thence the trapping of sea inland as also creating marshes in Rann area. It is recent that Indians have discovered the submerged city and some also call it ATLANTIS. It is a joint asset and could become a rallying point in ushering cooperation and demilitarizing the area. So no arguments.
    @Other Readers
    Its not a question of Zardari or Gilani. It is the Parliament I mentioned in the last but one para.

  12. Bloody Civilian


    vajra has said it more succinctly than i could have done.

    and then if they want him eased out and power restored to Zardari, the status quo would still hold

    my stance is for democracy. i’d fight any undemocratic easing out of any elected govt or person, be it gillani or zardari.

    if the status quo were to return via the hypothetical route you suggest, my opposition to it would be even greater, since zardari would have lost, en route, the democratic legitimacy he enjoys right now.

  13. gv


    personally i don’t care whether we have a presidential or a parliamentary democracy – i just want it be a clear and sustainable expression of one or the other..

  14. Bloody Civilian

    …. instead of one undermining the other.

    although, my view is that in a diverse and divided country as pakistan, a supreme parliament of 340 or so, is likely to be more widely acceptable than a single individual – no matter how richly hybrid – as supreme leader.

    many countries today are diverse, which is not at all the same as divided. i say ‘divided’ in the sense of political identity. and the answer to this ‘diversity of political identities’ is a federation, not partition. at least not a less than fully democratic partition, nor certainly a bloody and acrimounious one.

    the fact that a president will also be democratically elected does not address the issue/danger of majoritarianism. neither in actual voting patterns, nor symbolically in the identity of the individual who will be president.

    one hopes that by addressing divisions democratically, rather than ignoring them, one can justify them making room for more important issues that are faced by the common man.

  15. Luq

    >The Parliament has to take a new guard
    > and play out a long resolute innings
    >without loosing wickets.

    Will the army be carrying the drinks (or more precisely – man the security of the stadium) or will they continue to come on as a hostile combination of pace, spin and underarm bowling?


  16. gv


    Agree with you – the future lies in strenghening or shall we say enabling a real federation vis a vis provincial autonomy etc .

    While I am all for a supreme parliament in our particular case – i detest the notion of a dual executive. (even at the provincial level)

  17. Milind Kher


    Let us wait and watch. It looks like Gilani is going to get more power in any case.

    @gv, It is not a case of being ONLY Indocentric, hostility with India will create problems for Pakistan too, in terms of having to station its troops on its eastern borders, instead of focusing on the Taliban.

  18. gv


    I suppose what i was trying to say is that any sensible leader needs to focus on getting our house in order.. which means zero aggressive posturing with regards to india and afghanistan.

    however that does not mean that that self same sensible leader should bend over and drop their pants at the slightest (unjustified) admonishment from the neighbours and global community etc.

  19. Milind Kher


    I understand that the Head of State should not buckle under pressure.

    He could possibly resist Indian pressure. But what about the US? If the US turns the heat on, who is he going to go to? China? Worth a try, but not necessary the most reliable ally.

  20. Bloody Civilian


    the more visibly voluntarily zardari empowers parliament, pm and democracy, the less they will feel like they owe their powers to the establishment wrestling them away from zardari. also, an establishment that can force zardari’s hand, would be duly feared by the pm. there is a strong case for zardari to do it voluntarily, if democracy and not the establishment is to benefit. as the head of the majority party, he can only gain. although, zardari might have waited too long already, in a mistaken focus on keeping himself relevant.

    as for indo-centrism and its fruits, strengthening democracy is the only answer. all shortcuts are doomed do fail in the long run, no matter how attractive they may seem right now to those meaning well.


    if you mean the powers and presence of a provincial governor, i totally agree with the need to do away with the legacy of british diarchy. it only serves to undermine both democracy and federalism, simultaneously.

  21. Samson Simon Sharaf

    Once Zardari sheds power, the governors will also shed.

  22. Milind Kher


    The essence of it lies in the last paragraph you have addressed to me. Now Pakistan needs to work in a manner that ensures that democracy is always the operating system and there is no scope for military rule.

    Let us see how the devolution of powers works. I understand it is happening.

  23. gv


    yes i do mean provincial governors – but even as far as the president is concerned – why can’t we have a executive authority invested in a single inividual answerable to the parliament?

  24. Bloody Civilian


    absolutely. the president, in the parliamentary system, is just the ‘brand ambassador’ for brand ‘pakistan’ – both internal and external.

  25. Milind Kher

    In India, the President is the titular head, with all the power vested in the Prime Minister. It has worked well for India, and should work well for Pakistan too, given the right candidate.

    A properly functioning democracy will effectively shut out JI and similar pests.

  26. gv


    Precisely and i’m fairly certain the PM, foreign minister and interior minister should be able to divide that function amongst themselves??

  27. Bloody Civilian

    brig sb

    thanks for the great article. i don’t understand grand military or geopolitical strategy much, so am in no position to do any more than just read what you write on the subject. but this article is a bit more my cup of tea. it is just the truth pakistan needs to know about (everything before the last 4 paras), the choice it must make and the hope it must have (ie the last 4 paragraphs of your article).

  28. gv

    @why oh why do we need a ‘titular’ head?????

  29. vajra


    The idea was originally to give the state an inactive personality above politics (a recreation of the British sovereign) who would be the residual fountainhead of power, the personification of the sovereignty of the people.

    It isn’t a good idea to leave the head of the executive to be also the head of the state; concentrates too much power in a single pair of hands.

    The British, the Germans, the Japanese have it this way; the French, the Americans and the Saudi Arabians (in fact, all the Arabian autocracies) have it that way (one has to accept that the Prime Minister in these states is the equivalent of the American Secretary of State, but operating on internal affairs as well as generally responsible for foreign affairs, which would have a minister of its own).

  30. Samson Simon Sharaf

    Thanks for the encouragement.
    NATION had an issue publishing it today. Hopefully, it will see the light of Day tomorrow.

  31. Bloody Civilian


    there is some benefit in letting the ‘brand amabassador’ cut ribbons and lay foundation stones etc. and the elected, partisan politicians get on with the real work as per their own manifesto and policies.

    also, it opens up the possibility of having someone, say, like bhagwandas* or asma jehangir representing the brand.

    * with the painfully necessary change in the constitution, of course.

  32. bushra naqi

    My analysis that Zardari is a man who knows his mind well and is quite lucid as to what he has to do especially as far as the war on terror is concerned.He is determined to eliminate the terrorists and fight till the end. To give him credit he has never dilly dallied on this issue and has openly declared that he is secular and wants to build a strong alliance with the other secular parties eg. ANP and MQM. Now saying this openly requires a lot of courage at this time when other politicians are constantly mincing their words to the extent of deliberately creating an ambiguous perception.

    We know now that any vacillation in the war on terror at this time can be death for the war. An unflagging and consistent strategy only can salvage us now.

    P.M. Gilani on the other hand seems a man who is constantly pandering to the wishes of other politicians. He does’nt have a mind of his own and is trying to placate everyone at the same time. Such people will compromise to the extent of eroding their strength and destroying their purpose. I do not think that in a crisis he would be able to take a dogged stand on issues. The reason is not only that he does’nt have the authority but does not appear to have the muscle.

  33. gv

    @bc, vajra

    i dunno – i understand the background to it – i just think its as much a colonial hangover as are the provincial governors.

    I think it is easier and cleaner, especially in our ego driven political world, to have a single executive tightly hemmed in by a sovereign parliament and supreme court.

    i can see the use of a vice president /prime minister- which i always saw as the embodiment of the roman junior consul – but a titular head is just empty rhetoric..

    BC i see your point about rising above partisan politics but i think it will be (has been) fairly difficult to achieve in practice..

  34. gv

    christ my typing is abysmal today!

  35. Bloody Civilian


    i see your point. which political govt in its right mind is going to elect asma jehangir (or even bhagwandas) as the president! and a fazal elahi does absolutely nothing for the office or the federation. a rafique tarar is actually a good reason to do away with the whole concept ‘brand amabassador(!)’ altogether.

    it would also mean that there would be no ghulam ishaqs and farooq legharis, no 58.2.b, and the establishment would have to think of some other way of holding democracy to ransom.

  36. gv


    my sentiments exactly!

  37. vajra

    @Bloody Civilian

    And very respectfully, gv Sir, knowing that I have a tendency to ‘lose it’ and therefore determined not to ‘lose it’ at all, could I point out that both types of democratic arrangement, Ministerial and Presidential, have given us autocracies? Mahathir Mohammed and Lee Kuan Yew, to name two on top of mind on the Ministerial side; Iskandar Mirza and H. M. Ershad on the Presidential side.

    If you wish, I could do an elaborate list, with two columns, but it is hoped that the point has been made.

    Purely at random, could I mention that admonishment has the effects of fingernails drawn across a blackboard, whereas admonition is so soothing and pleasant? Any reference to any individual, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Look, I can’t help it; Bloody Civilian can testify to this. It’s not I; it’s something from outside which takes possession of my body.

  38. gv



    1) the point has been made.

    2) feel free to admonish at will (i just like being the teeli to YLH’s patakha 🙂 )

    3) still stand by my argument that a titular head does in no way add to the ‘democratic’ credentials of a government.

  39. vajra


    Bless you, dear Sir, for your kind heart.

    The position has no value, except at times when all other arrangements break down. In the Presidential system, you have seen the frenetic activity during both Nixon and Clinton periods in office; when normalcy breaks down, there is nothing left but THE VOID!

    Actually, I don’t know what I’m doing working myself up into a fury, lashing my tail and impatiently pacing the length of my cage. I’m not a supporter of either system to the extent that it should affect my BP, perish forbid.

    [Exit, curling tail and placing in left pocket of kurta for future use in lashing while pacing length of next cage impatiently]

  40. gv


    At the risk of further agitating you (and the now pacific tail) isn’t that particular void supposed to be filled by the Vice President – or by the leader of the (larger) house ????

  41. vajra


    [greasy smirk: the good sir has spotted the gap in the flanks and sent a strong column forward charging into it – now to roll back the infantry and open a straight line of fire for the concealed field pieces]

    Er, precisely, and that is why a strong president with a weak vice-president is such a terrifying prospect. If it is going to be a weak VP, then you might as well have a weak President in the first place, mightn’t you?

    [using the pacified tail to smooth down the edges of a bland and ill-concealed smile: there is one more trap to spring]

  42. gv


    [beaming with earnestness and supremely chuffed to have the senior member on the back foot]

    As long as the presidential powers are held in check by the parliament and the judiciary and there are clear procedures for dealing with unexpected ‘voids’ or breaks in the power structure –

    – i shall still stand by a governing system managed by a single executive (call it a premier, president or big white chief its all the same to me)
    and unencumbered by any aching nostalgia for a more regal past… in the form of a ceremonial figurehead

    My sincere apologies once again for giving rise to your grammatical ire… 😛

  43. mohammad

    A satellite state run by inept superficial and soi-disant leaders who re-emerge from their over seas palaces just to rule pakistanis whenever the terms are favourable, where first wave of immigrants forged documents to grab properties, I am not sure if that was the country Quaid envisaged. To be brutally honest ruling class from military to pseudo politicians are totally oblivious from a common mortals daily grind and aspirations.

  44. Bloody Civilian

    in case of a hung parliament, the postmaster general shall invite a member to form govt. similarly in case of a govt losing majority. how about that? have i missed any situations that the majority party and parliament itself cannot take care of without the need for a president?

    the test, i believe, is not how susceptible a system is to failure or how badly wrong it can go. there is no system that might, threat of force, cannot destroy. the question is if the office adds anything worthwhile. or whether there is a better way of doing it, within the parliamentary system.

    btw, the imperialist English Bob from that clint eastwood movie thought that he could understand a king or queen commanding respect, “but a president? why not shoot a president!” gv is saying a similar thing except he is shooting it down as a legacy of the imperialists.

  45. Samson Simon Sharaf

    This is what Shaid Batalvi wrote on my blog

    ye daaG daaG ujaalaa, ye shab_gaziidaa sahar
    wo intazaar thaa jis kaa, ye wo sahar to nahii.n

    ye wo sahar to nahii.n jis kii aarazuu lekar
    chale the yaar ki mil jaayegii kahii.n na kahii.n …

    falak ke dasht me.n taro.n kii aaKharii ma.nzil
    kahii.n to hogaa shab-e-sust mauj kaa saahil

    kahii.n to jaa ke rukegaa safinaa-e-Gam-e-dil
    jawaa.N lahuu kii pur-asaraar shaaharaaho.n se

    chale jo yaar to daaman pe kitane haath pa.De
    dayaar-e-husn kii be-sabr Khwaab-gaaho.n se

    pukaratii rahii.n baahe.n, badan bulaate rahe
    bahut aziiz thii lekin ruKh-e-sahar kii lagan

    bahut qarii.n thaa hasiinaan-e-nuur kaa daaman
    subuk subuk thii tamannaa, dabii dabii thii thakan

    sunaa hai ho bhii chukaa hai firaq-e-zulmat-e-nuur
    sunaa hai ho bhii chukaa hai wisaal-e-ma.nzil-o-gaam

    badal chukaa hai bahut ahl-e-dard kaa dastuur
    nishaat-e-wasl halaal-o-azaab-e-hijr-e-haraam

    jigar kii aag, nazar kii uma.ng, dil kii jalan
    kisii pe chaaraa-e-hijraa.N kaa kuchh asar hii nahii.n

    kahaa.N se aaii nigaar-e-sabaa, kidhar ko gaii
    abhii chiraaG-e-sar-e-rah ko kuchh Khabar hii nahii.n

    abhii garaani-e-shab me.n kamii nahii.n aaii
    najaat-e-diida-o-dil kii gha.Dii nahii.n aaii
    chale chalo ki wo ma.nzil abhii nahii.n aaii

    who else but Faiz- August 1947

  46. YLH


    Next time any post I deem to be a teeli to my patakha will automatically be deleted.

    Vajra sb,

    I think the issue of executive and head of state is a long debated one. Even in the history of British Empire and commonwealth we will find enough examples which show the utility of this concentration.

    I think the current system of a parliamentary democracy with a strong president does not suit Pakistan. Either we do away with the PM and have a directly elected president vis a vis US or we have a parliamentary system in pure form.

    My personal view is that constitution of 1962 minus the basic democracy units gave the best possible model for Pakistan…the intermediary basic democrats ruined it all for that constitution.

  47. Milind Kher


    Very briefly, what are the key features of the 1962 constitution? And why do you believe it is the most workable?

  48. Majumdar

    In my opinion, all the systems- Prez, Parliamentary and mixed (like France) can work well provided people are basically committed to it and nefarious outside elements do not poke their noses into it.


  49. Samson Simon Sharaf

    1962 constitution was very rigid and non federal. There was no upper house to safeguard the rights of the two (then) provinces and ultimately collapsed.

    The original 1973 is the most representative and comprehensive provided the non parliamentary amendments are removed. The political pundits in Pakistan are obsessed with the check and balance theory with the argument that the parliament agrees to scratch each others back to corrupt the system. They cite the 1999 2/3rd majority of NS and how he was ready to be Amir ul Momneen.

    I feel politicians have still not learnt their lessons and intrigues as they are will continue.

  50. YLH

    It collapsed because of the ill-advised 1965 war and because Ayub refused to follow it when handing power over to Yahya.

    You have a point about unicameral legislature …but how effective is our upper house is known to you.

    Constitutions ought to be more logical than consensus based but they ought to establish representative government… 1962 constitution (denounced by Habib Jalib as subhe-be-noor – a dark morning) is still in my opinion a modernist document in its spirit- its Islamic provisions are aimed at reform not revival…

    It did have its drawbacks. Lack of an Upper house is one… Basic democracies is another but if these could be rectified it was the work of a first rate legal mind. Manzur Qadir wrote the whole thing.

    This is my view. And I am not a big fan of the 1973 constitution.

  51. Majumdar


    We dont know much of Pak’s constt history. Why dont you write a series on the karnamyes that delayed Constt formation till 1956 and the three main constt- 1956, 1962 and 1973 with the relative merits and demerits of each.


  52. Ranjit

    Brigadier Sahib,

    The problem is that Pakistan is just too preoccupied with foreign policy and external issues……..as compared to that, there is relatively little focus on the domestic agenda such as economy and development……..this is a legacy of the Indo-Pak rivalry, Kashmir issue, the non stop issues in Afghanistan and the instinct to champion any cause that is remotely Islamic in nature……….

    In fact, policy discourse in Pakistan media is almost entirely focused on geo-strategy and foreign policy………I was watching some of the interviews with Hillary Clinton when she was visiting Pakistan…….there were like 1 or 2 questions on the economy, if at all…….almost the entire focus was on geo-strategy, militancy, afghanistan, india, kashmir etc……

    This situation needs to change if Pakistan has to make progress and provide a better life to its people……..foreign policy and geo-strategy doesnt feed people unless you make your living off it like Zaid Hamid or Hamid Gul types……..

  53. gv


    “ghussa noshi aap ke sehat ke liye nuqsan deh sabut kiya gya he!” – Vizarat -e- Sehat

  54. Milind Kher


    It is aap KI sehat and SABIT. But yes, the health ministry is on the right track..

  55. Ganpat Ram

    As long as you are able to forget you had any Hindu connections, you’ll be doing fine.