Category Archives: Partition

Religious Right in Their Own Words; What Constitutes a True Muslim

Part 2

By Adnan Syed

This series revisits one of the pivotal events of the early Pakistani history; the riots by the religious right wing parties to get Ahmadis declared as non-Muslims, and the subsequent Munir-Kiyani inquiry commission report into the causes behind the riots. The report went on to interview the religious leaders of the newly formed state of Pakistan regarding their motives and their ideas of Pakistan as a pure Islamic state. As the interviews revealed the incongruous replies of various leaders, they also showed vague but chilling ideas that the right wing parties harboured to turn the newly formed Muslim nation into a politically Islam dominated theocratic nation. The interviews reveal the role of democracy, non Muslims, Jihad and punishments like apostasy that would be practiced in an ideal Islamic state.

Originally planned as a two part series, I decided to split it to three parts due to the sheer volume of information in interviews in the Munir-Kiyani Report.

 (AZW)

 

SOVEREIGNTY AND DEMOCRACY IN ISLAMIC STATE

Munir-Kiyani report was one of the first studies into the contradictory stance taken by framers of the Objectives Resolution. The report pointed out that the Resolution misused the words “sovereign” and “democracy” when the Resolution stated that the constitution to be framed was “for a sovereign state in which principles of democracy as enunciated by Islam would be fully observed”.

Continue reading

46 Comments

Filed under Islam, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, minorities, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Partition, Punjab, Rights

Multiple Identities II

By Yasser Latif Hamdani
Part III of Ishtiaq Ahmed’s article, reproduced on PTH website, has considerably clarified his position on many issues. 
 
While he is on the money on the issue of exclusive nationalism,   especially when such an idea is adopted by a state to the disadvantage of those who are not from that group,  he fails to see that nationalism, inclusive or exclusive, is ultimately the ideology of the other.  For example the difference all but disappears between the inclusive and exclusive variety when both nationalisms try to over-ride diversity and differences.   Continue reading

15 Comments

Filed under Pakistan, Partition, secular Pakistan

Multiple Identities 1

By Yasser Latif Hamdani
Muhammad Ali Talpur and Ishtiaq Ahmed, in their articles in Daily Times, have addressed the issue of identity and nationhood in their serial articles in recent weeks which require careful review.  Addressing a very fundamental issue i.e. the interplay of identity with citizenship,  regrettably both gentlemen have turned the facts on their head and equally unfortunate is their appeal to each other’s authority on the subject which is neither here nor there.    Continue reading

33 Comments

Filed under Partition, secular Pakistan

Why Pakistan is not a nation

And how it could become one.

By Pervez Hoodbhoy    Himal South Asia,  June 2010

 Pakistan has been a state since 1947, but is still not a nation. More precisely, Pakistan is the name of a land and a people inside a certain geographical boundary that is still lacking the crucial components needed for nationhood: a strong common identity, mental make-up, a shared sense of history and common goals. The failure so far to create a cohesive national entity flows from inequalities of wealth and opportunity, absence of effective democracy and a dysfunctional legal system.

While it is true that most Punjabis think of themselves as Pakistani first and Punjabi second, this is not the case with the Baloch or Sindhis. Schools in Balochistan refuse to hoist Pakistan’s flag or sing its national anthem. Sindhis, meanwhile, accuse Punjabis of stealing their water, the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) runs Karachi on strictly ethnic grounds, and in April the Pashtun of NWFP successfully had the province officially renamed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (against the wishes of other residents). In getting a job, caste and sect matters more than ability, and ethnic student groups wage pitched battles against each other on campuses throughout the country. Continue reading

32 Comments

Filed under Democracy, Identity, Islamism, Pakistan, Partition, secular Pakistan, Society, state

The Death of Jinnah, The New York Times Obituary

In this post, we take a trip down the memory lane. Below we are reproducing the obituary of Quaid Muhammad Ali Jinnah that was published in the New York Times on September 13, 1948.

In a first glance, there is nothing in this obituary that we don’t know of today. The narrative may seem slightly odd for many among us who have gotten used to a fast paced narrative in the internet blog age. Yet, this narrative sheds light on Jinnah as the West saw him in the years immediately post partition of the Sub Continent. For starters, it seems that Jinnah’s death was quite an unexpected event for many observers at that time.

The obituary speculates on a succession struggle for Jinnah, the brain and the heart of the “Moslem” League. Unfortunately, the void that Jinnah left behind was never filled by any of his successors, or their successors, or the ones afterwards. That succession struggle did not play out on the political lines that the author had outlined. The struggle for Jinnah’s mantle assumed ideological proportions in the newly established state of Pakistan; a struggle that still plays out in the hearts and minds of Pakistanis. How Jinnah’s mantle will be inherited will define the course of Pakistan itself.

Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Identity, Jinnah, Jinnah's Pakistan, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, Pakistan, Partition, south asia, USA

Pakistan is in pieces

[There is plenty here to stimulate a robust debate; Not that surprising, considering who the author is. PTH does not necessarily agree with the views expressed in this article.]

Belfast Telegraph, Tuesday, 6 April 2010             By Robert Fisk

I tried, in Pakistan, to define the sorrow which so constantly afflicts this country. The massive loss of life, the poverty, the corruption, the internal and external threats to its survival, the existentialism of Islam and the power of the army; perhaps Pakistan’s story can only be told in a novel. It requires, I suspect, a Tolstoy or a Dostoyevsky.

Pakistan ambushes you. The midday heat is also beginning to ambush all who live in Peshawar, the capital of the North West Frontier Province. Canyons of fumes grey out the vast ramparts of the Bala Hisar fort.

“Headquarters Frontier Force” is written on the ancient gateway. I notice the old British cannon on the heights – and the spanking new anti-aircraft gun beside it, barrels deflected to point at us, at all who enter this vast metropolis of pain. There are troops at every intersection, bullets draped in belts over their shoulders, machine guns on tripods erected behind piles of sandbags, the sights of AK-47s brushing impersonally across rickshaws, and rubbish trucks and buses with men clinging to the sides. There are beards that reach to the waist. The soldiers have beards, too, sometimes just as long.

I am sitting in a modest downstairs apartment in the old British cantonment. A young Peshawar journalist sits beside me, talking in a subdued but angry way, as if someone is listening to us, about the pilotless American aircraft which now slaughter by the score – or the four score – along the Afghanistan border. “I was in Damadola when the drones came. They killed more than 80 teenagers – all students – and, yes they were learning the Koran, and the madrasah, the Islamic school, was run by a Taliban commander. But 80! Many of them came from Bajaur, which would be attacked later. Their parents came afterwards, all their mothers were there, but the bodies were in pieces. There were so many children, some as young as 12. We didn’t know how to fit them together.” Continue reading

15 Comments

Filed under Army, Colonialism, Democracy, History, Identity, India, Judiciary, Pakistan, Partition

Unbordered Memories – Sindhi Stories of Partition.

Edited and Tranlated by Rita Kothari

We are grateful to Isa Daudpota to have alerted us to an invaluable collection of Sindhi Partition narratives.

As Isa says, most people in Pakistan are unaware of the plight of Sindhi Hindus who migrated to India at the time of Partition.  The two stories are a useful corrective. Copies are available from www.penguinindia.com or amazon.com.  Indeed, All public libraries in Sindh should have a copy.

Raza Rumi

Unbordered Memories. Sindhi Stories of Partition. Ed and Trans Rita Kothari. Contents and Intro[1]

Two stories from Unbordered Memories. ed Rita Kothari. Penguin[1]

Comments Off on Unbordered Memories – Sindhi Stories of Partition.

Filed under Books, Literature, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Partition, Sindh, translations, Writers