Shahid Illyas’ bankrupt article today: Just another example of how General Zia poisoned our youth

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

If you don’t nip a lie in the bud, it grows to be a tree.   This is what has happened to the nationalist mythology perpetuated by General Zia.   I don’t like wasting my weekly space in Daily Times to argue it out with specific lies of specific authors – which is why I tend to record my dissent here on PTH.

In his article today in Daily Times,  Shahid Illyas,  the self professed Pakhtun Nationalist and “secularist”, has reproduced the severally debunked and illogical arguments  of the Jamaat-e-Islami and other Mullahs in Pakistan to bolster his own indefensible positions vis a vis Bacha Khan and Faqir of Ipi.    Mr. Illyas is not bothered with the utter bankruptcy of his argument so long as he gets to abuse Jinnah and the Pakistan Movement.     He is also unconcerned what his half truths would do to the cause of secularism.   Like Ishtiaq Ahmed (and scores of other spent forces in our history ala Aga Shorish Kashmiri) he is seized with an irrational hatred for Jinnah, Sir Syed and the secular liberal leadership that Pakistan jettisoned – primarily through 1969’s education policy that specifically sought to down play Sir Syed’s and Jinnah’s modernity because it did not gel with the demands of Yahya’s political expediency.  It is ironic that while Illyas criticizes Pakistan’s poor education system,  he quotes Pakistan’s official narrative as the gospel truth. 

Frankly I am tired of correcting half baked lies.  Besides I have too much work to afford this luxury. For those who are interested in an honest discussion on partition or interested in responding to Shahid Illyas’ half baked piece – which has to be amongst the top 10 most ridiculous pieces on the creation of Pakistan-  may consult the following articles of mine where I have debunked in detail all, without exception, of the ridiculous notions being peddaled by Mr. Illyas for reasons best known to him and about which I can only conjecture, at best.   In my opinion it is a thinly veiled apologia for the bigots of Deoband and other Mullah fascist types who opposed the creation of Pakistan and who are today mainly responsible for the Islamist threat that Pakistan faces.

1. On Jinnah’s secularism and his references to Islam:

2.  On the real culprits of Islamism in Pakistan

3.  On Two Nation Theory and its history

4.  On the role of inter alia Aga Shorish Kashmiri and Ishtiaq Ahmed types in distorting history

5.  On Bacha Khan and Faqir of Ipi

These are just some of the articles I have written in recent times on these issues which may shed better light on the half truths being peddaled by our current Islamo-fascist superimposed state structure  as well as those like Shahid Illyas who use the state’s lies to their own ends.



Filed under Jinnah's Pakistan, Pakistan

29 responses to “Shahid Illyas’ bankrupt article today: Just another example of how General Zia poisoned our youth

  1. ahmad

    For someone who has an opinion about every issue, it bothers me that you are so intolerant of others opinion. I’ve just read Ilyas Khan’s article ( thanks to you mentioning it here) and I fully agree with it.
    Jinah may have been a secular politician to start with (eating pork & drinking alcohol), and he may have been “the symbol of muslim-hindu unity”, but by the time Pakistan was created he was far from it.
    Jinah used religion to achieve his goal of a separate state for muslims of India, you cannot deny that. “Pakistan ek nazariatee mumlikat hai”, This has been the favorite slogan of almost all Pakistani politicians, from Banazir to Imran khan and Fazlu Mullah.
    I regularly visit this blog and enjoy reading it, sometimes I agree with you other times I don’t. There would be no point in spending time here if agreed with you all the time.
    You have to respect others opinion too, no name calling please!

  2. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Shahid illyas aka Ahmad zia,

    Pakistan is not a nazrayatee mumlakat. Read the links I have given. This “used religion to make separate state” argument has been debunked not by me but historians studying this all over the world.

    I don’t need to respect any point of view that is based on a lie. No one is asking you to agree with me. I will however call a spade a spade and a lie and lie.

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  3. ahmad

    your knowledge of history is very selective.
    and I’m not Shahid Illyas. I’m not a pakistani and I’m not in Pakistan, I’ll give my no if you wnat to chat.
    Nice to know that u own a blackberry!

  4. yasserlatifhamdani

    How is it selective? Because I don’t take superficial view of history based on PakStudies that you do? How ironic.

    Read a few books. This nazriati nonsense has been debunked. Read Patrick French or Ayesha Jalal.

  5. Mustafa Shaban

    @Ahmed :

    ”Nice to know that u own a blackberry”


    YLH: You sometimes accuse certain people of being certain personalities, how did u figure out that ahmad is shahid illyas?

  6. Mustafa Shaban

    Also I agree with Ahmad that you do have a very selective view of history.

  7. yasserlatifhamdani

    Yawn. Two half wits agreeing with each other doesn’t make it true.

    You guys base your history on “pakistan studies” . I base it on renowned historians and scholars like H M Seervai, Ayesha Jalal, Patrick French, Sumit Sarkar, S K Majumdar etc…

    How then is my history “selective”? Get a life.

  8. bciv


    fazlu mulla not only calls pakistan a nazariati mumlakat, but also considers the movement for the mumlakat’s ‘creation’ to have been a sin. even the other day he was saying on a talkshow “jisse aap tehreek e pakistan kehte hain, hum usko taqseemi siyasat kehte hain”. he agrees with you there.

    he obviously thinks (and knows) that the nazaria was created after the mumlakat had already been ‘created’. He also knows that the nazaria was created by his elders and their ilk and their sponsors, and now the nazaria ‘sponsors’ his luxurious lifestyle.

  9. yasserlatifhamdani

    Oh don’t say that … Zaid Hamid’s followers will say you are being “selective”.

  10. @bloody civ and Yasir
    in pashto we say,
    “da salampur miaagan yaw bal ta Pachaa wai”
    hope bloody can understand what I mean, and will help yasir Pakistani (1st and then punjabi later) understand what I mean

  11. Mansoor Khalid

    The Zia regime or the dark age of Pakistan as I would like to call it was the time when youth was injected with the Islamo-fascist ideology. The after-math is what we have seen today. Although I must say that the credit goes to Pakistan army for their operation and civil society groups for taking up the battle on the intellectual front.

  12. Waqar

    Dear Yassir,
    I tend to agree with Ahmed that we should respect the opinion of other whether we like it or not. I mean we should agree to disagree gracefully. Regarding “Nazriati mumlikat”, around 90% people in Pakistan think it so. It is just 5% liberal who have different opinion about it, but we 90% shouls also respect their point of view.
    We Muslim take guidance from the Qurans and the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (SAW). Saying of Quid have the secondary status. Just for those to whom, Quaid sayings are more important, below are the extracts of 2 speeches of Jinnah. I believe you have read them already
    “The constitution of Pakistan has yet to be framed by the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. I do not know what the ultimate shape of this constitution is going to be, but I am sure that it will be of a democratic type, embodying the essential principles of Islam. Today, they are as applicable in actual life as they were 1,300 years ago. Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fair play to everybody. We are the inheritors of these glorious traditions and are fully alive to our responsibilities and obligations as framers of the future constitution of Pakistan. In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state- to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-Muslims- Hindus, Christians and Parsis- but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan.”
    Broadcast speech to the people of the USA in February, 1948.
    “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”
    Speech at the opening ceremony of State Bank of Pakistan, Karachi July 1, 1948
    Regarding the history, the version you have is not correct just because those were written by H M Seervai, Ayesha Jalal, Patrick French, Sumit Sarkar, S K Majumdar so on and so forth.
    Please don’t deny the 2 nation theory and, that the Slogan “Pakistan Ka Matlab Kia, Lailaha Illallah” was basis of Pakistan.

  13. yasserlatifhamdani

    Nonsense. Jinnah ruled out Pakistan ka matlab kiya explicitly. Read the first link that I have given which answers all of your points…especially the selective out of context quotes you’ve produced.

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  14. Before partition had happened, Jinnah absolutely had no clue or have no interest in how the new state will be shaped up, and what sort of system it will have, as actually he had no intention of separating a territory or dividing it on religious identity basis, and thats the reason of his incoherent political statements regarding the shape of future state, but when Pakistan’s creation was evident of subverting the Cabinet Mission Plan by the Congress, he clearly mentioned that the new state will never be a theocracy or islamic state, as he didn’t ever believe in such abstract concepts

  15. swapnavasavdutta


    why did not he clearly mention the new state will be secular?

  16. faiqizvi

    whether you are a new visitor at the blog or you have avoided reading the article and jumped to the comments section directly to indulge in a debate, in the above article many links are provided to the blog archives regarding your question?

  17. Kashif Jahangiri

    Mr. Ilyas begins his article with the following: “Had Islam not been central to the creation of Pakistan, we would not have had the Objectives Resolution as a guiding principle of our constitutions”

    If only Mr. Ilyas had researched a little before this. The Objectives Resolution was passed in March 1949, some 6 months after the death of the Quaid-e-Azam when the Mullahs (Ahrars and Jama’at-e-Islami) received value for using filthy and foul language.

    Only one example would suffice. The source is pages 14 & 15 of the Report of the Court of Inquiry set up under Justice Munir in 1954. It goes as:

    The record of the speech, of Sahibzada Faiz-ul-Hasan referred to in Malik Habib Ullah’s letter shows that in his speech delivered on 27th August 1848, on the occasion of the Urs of Sayyed Imam Ali in village Bhullar, he described Begum Liaquat Alt Khan and other women who did not observe pardah as “prostitutes” and alleged that the abduction of one hundred thousand Muslim women by Hindus and Sikhs in East Punjab, was due to the Quaid-i-Azam’s desire to become the Governor-General of Pakistan.”

    I have a very simple question for all those who believe that Pakistan was secured as a theocratic State for Muslims only. Why were all the religious parties against the creation of Pakistan at the time and calling it “Na-Pakistan” and “Paleedistan”? Could you elaborate, Mr. Ahmad and team!

  18. Kashif Jahangiri

    The date od the speech was 27th August 1948 and not *1848*. The typo is regretted.

  19. Kashif Jahangiri

    The date of the speech was 27th August 1948 and not *1848*. The typo is regretted.

  20. bciv


    there had been a long controversy going on amongst the islamic and islamist right – congress allies most – that secularism meant atheism (laa deeniyat). that it was the negation of, opposition to and agenda for elimination of religion etc. these parties/groups were already at J’s throat, and congress was more than happy to use them to hit below the belt. in that context, J’s clarifications were crystal clear and morally and politically correct, without giving the opponents grounds to claim and confuse many that he had further confirmed their accusation that he was kafir e azam. criticism for criticism’s sake is another matter.

  21. twilight_zone

    I went through the columns that you have mentioned. There is one thing I don’t understand. If the demand was for Pakistan, whether as a bargaining chip or in real, how can you blame the other party for accepting it. If, on the other hand, we go by your version that had they accepted the cabinet mission plan, the partition would have been avoided, what is the surety that 10 years down the line, such a demand wouldn’t have been revived. Jinnah’s words, after all, were broken by his immediate successors, as you have mentioned in your articles. In that case, we would have been back to square one where instead of two states at war, there would have been 4-5 of them constantly at odds with each other and a happy hunting ground for the superpowers. One cannot blame Nehru and Patel too much.

    Another thing that I find in your columns is your claim that political Islam was given a fillip by Gandhi. From what I know, political Islam was always there, right from the inception of Islam. If you get a chance, please read “The Last Mughals”. The author makes a similar claim there too, about political Islam and Hinduism being the driving factors behind the rebellion.

  22. twilight_zone

    By the way, there is a new column in the Daily times:

    Apropos to this column:
    “At the time of the Lahore Resolution, Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan was a member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council. Viceroy Linlithgow instructed Sir Zafarullah to prepare a memorandum advising the Muslim League to demand a separate state (Wali Khan, Facts are Facts, 2004, page 40).

    At that time, World War II was raging in full fury and Britain was facing defeat on all fronts. The British wanted to put pressure on the Indian National Congress, which was not cooperating with them. In September 1939, the Congress ministries had resigned to protest over India being committed to World War II without Indian leaders being consulted. Moreover, the Congress had started demanding transfer of power and the British wanted to prevent such menace from gaining momentum. Nothing would have done it better than the Indian Muslims demanding a separate state and thus calling into question the Congress’ claim to represent Indian opinion. Sir Zafarullah was by no means acting as a free agent when he prepared a memorandum on Pakistan. He simply carried out a task given to him by the viceroy.”

    Is this true? This seems to be an incredible claim. What is your take on this?

  23. Kashif Jahangiri

    AG3L says: “June 22, 2010 at 7:27 pm The historical project of converting Hindustan to Islam would be negatively impacted by the creation of Pakistan and that is why the religious parties were against it.”

    Sir, you must be joking.

    None of the religious parties at the time cited the reason coined by you in the above. The record suggests that the religious parties had termed Pakistan “Na-Pakistan” and “Paleedistan” (“Land of Filth” or “Land of Immorality”). They also said that Pakistan would be a Muslim state of the infidels.

  24. Waqar

    I don’t care whether Jinnah ruled out this slogan or not. I am talking about the aspiration of the majority of the Muslims of sub continent during Pakistan movement. Can you deny that fact as well.
    I read one of your article you referred. The Jinnah’s speech you mentioned in that article is not the one I quoted above, although the context still support my argument. This is exactly what an Islamic state should be like. I sincerely believe that you don’t know exactly, what does an Islamic state means.
    it is quite unfortunate that people like you, who talk about democracy and democratic values do not respect the wishes of the majority. I, not being a big fan of democracy still respect that.

  25. yasserlatifhamdani

    I am afraid enough has been written about it. The out of context speeches you quoted don’t prove your point for precisely the reasons I gave in that article.

    Jinnah was quite clear on the kind of state he wanted and vetoed every attempt to introduce a state religion or to commit state to Islam either through league resolution or PCA resolution.

    If he tried to justify his secularism in Islamic vocabulary it just shows the difficulties he was facing. On both sides crooks – those who claim he wanted an Islamic state and those who try to paint him unjustifiably as an exclusivist- have the same bankrupt ridiculous arguments. As for the vast majority of Muslims in the subcontinent …why did they vote for Jinnah and not any of the Islamists if islam was on their mind. This is actually a historical joke. 1946 elections were for Hindus and Muslims limited franchise. The Salariat that voted for Pakistan voted to protect its economic and political rights. The rural poor in any event don’t give two hoots about ideology… It is only post Zia urban middle class that has pakistan ka matlab kiya stuck ints throat.

  26. @Waqar

    I don’t care whether Jinnah ruled out this slogan or not. I am talking about the aspiration of the majority of the Muslims of sub continent during Pakistan movement. Can you deny that fact as well.

    You do understand that there is no way to go back into history and do exit polls of those people who voted in the several elections held before independence. Or to interview those who were disfranchised by the British framing of the electoral eligibility. This means that short of opposing our respective opinions to each other, there are no choices other than (1) going by the election results; (2) going by printed speeches and documents.

    With this evidence, there is nothing to show that anyone other than political activists whipping up passion to muster the vote, or agitators bringing together the flock to support the AIML policies, had any desire to push for what you have stated as their explicit purpose, if it meant opposing or contradicting Jinnah.

    Please try to understand what that means. It means that the thinking part of the Muslim community that saw their future to be in danger saw in Jinnah their only hope of negotiating a reasonable settlement from the British and from the INC. Whatever else they may have felt was kept aside in favour of a loyal support for Jinnah. It was only after achieving independence, in a form that they had not anticipated, that they sought to re-group, after their leader died, and sought alternatives, which would fight back the Islamists who had suddenly discovered a new-found love for Pakistan.

    I read one of your article you referred. The Jinnah’s speech you mentioned in that article is not the one I quoted above, although the context still support my argument. This is exactly what an Islamic state should be like. I sincerely believe that you don’t know exactly, what does an Islamic state means.
    it is quite unfortunate that people like you, who talk about democracy and democratic values do not respect the wishes of the majority. I, not being a big fan of democracy still respect that.

    Here too the point has been lost. It was not that Jinnah opposed Islam. Not at all. It was just not his priority. Development of Muslims was his priority; that was the brief that he had received, and he argued to that brief.

    So it is not a question of how to define an Islamic state that he put before himself or his new nation. As he had already made clear, with the diversity of Islamic belief that an administrator faced inpractical terms, he did not wish to fall into the trap of supporting one faction against another, one sect against another. Instead, he set himself the eminently sensible, practical and reachable goal of creating a liberal, secular democracy, which would not conflict with the Quran or the Hadith.

    What is the difficulty that you have with this? The practical consequences? Please consider the policy outlined very carefully. It would have meant a concentration of reforms, in land holding and in education, the most important point. It would have meant a strong and robust constitution, to serve as a framework for democracy. It would not have led to state legislation on matters of private belief, like definitions of who was a Muslim, nor to disqualification of any citizen from holding public office on the grounds of that person’s parochial affiliation. And it would not have allowed extra-constitutional centres of power to develop.

    If I may step away from Jinnah for a moment.

    We keep talking of a Pakistan that resembles Turkey. In my humble opinion, it might be more to the point to look at the example of Lebanon, as it was in its golden days, before Syrian and Palestinian intervention, and the murder of a country, when every shade of belief was acknowledged and recognised, but none was allowed to dominate the others.

  27. Kashif Jahangiri


    Could you please let me know if Islam was the slogan for Pakistan and if Pakistan was conceived and propagated as a theocratic state, why did the Mullahs term Pakistan as “Na-Pakistan” and “Paleedistan” (“Land of Filth” or “Land of Immorality”) and why did they say that Pakistan would be a Muslim state of the infidels! The Majlis-e-Ahrar went to the extent that they termed pakistan as a “prostitute”. Why did they behave like that? Would you please answer!

    Let me know please if you need references and I will be happy to provide.

  28. Waqas


    Its interesting how any critique of your worldview of Jinnah being less than perfect is not platable to you.

    Despite attempts at blaming ONLY religious leaders and “Islamo-facists”- a term used by Daniel Pipes and “secularists” or Pashtun Nationalists the truth still remains that Jinnah was the first person to truly use Islam for a politcal purpose and nothing else.

    Atleast Maududi, and their ilk were honest in what they believed in–even though it was wrong. But Jinnah and ML leadership in pre-partition times just used it as a politcal tool and nothing else.

    You mentioned in one of your article how the Two Nation theory was not an ideological position of Jinnah and ML. This again prooves how TNT was USED as a politcal tool.

    I don’t really blame him, politics is a dirty business and Jinnah and the ML had to get their hands dirty even if it meant using Islam for politcal purposes. IF you recall, ML was actually competing NOT with religious parties but other secular muslim parties in muslim majority areas, the Khudai Kitmatagars, the unionists and the workers party in bengal. And to me its understandable why it was only by rasing the Islamists slogans that they were able to win votes.

    Istiaq Ahmed article in Daily Times on Demand for Pakistan and Islam recently hinted in that direction. So does todays’ daily times article ANALYSIS: Whose progeny? — II —Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

  29. yasserlatifhamdani

    Waqas ever hear of the Khilafat Movement? So you are absolutely wrong. Jinnah was not the first person…he was actually the last.

    As for ishtiaq ahmed and talpur the less said the better.

    So acquaint yourself better with facts.

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