Category Archives: Partition

Pakistan’s Jinnah

By Ayesha Siddiqa             Dawn, 19 Feb, 2010

 Some time ago, I had a chance to read veteran columnist Ardeshir Cowasjee’s article ‘Bring back Jinnah’s Pakistan’ in which he talked about the founding father’s liberal vision for the country.

 Mr Cowasjee’s argument was that the state envisioned by Mohammad Ali Jinnah would have been governed by a different set of social norms than the one in place today.

I would like to inform the respectable writer that while he is searching for Jinnah’s Pakistan, we might be threatened with the eventuality of losing Pakistan’s Jinnah. Continue reading



Filed under Jinnah, Jinnah's Pakistan, Pakistan, Partition, Religion, secularism

Why Jinnah Matters!


A  few days ago, I was criticized for talking about Jinnah.  Dead and gone said my detractor.   Well here is Sugata Bose explaining why Jinnah matters in Indian Express. – YLH 

On the death of Mohammed Ali Jinnah in September 1948 an Indian political leader paid him a rare, fulsome tribute describing him as “one who was great as a lawyer, once great as a Congressman, great as a leader of Muslims, great as a world politician and diplomat and, greatest of all, as a man of action”. Despite having serious differences with the Quaid-e-Azam, Sarat Chandra Bose recalled that Jinnah, initially along with Mahatma Gandhi, once lent support to a last-ditch attempt to prevent Bengal’s partition along religious lines.

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Filed under India, Jinnah's Pakistan, Partition

Nahid and the Secretary: Liaison d’Amour

By Pervaiz Munir Alvi

It is London, June 4, 1953. The official delegation of the Dominion of Pakistan, headed by Prime Minister Mohammad Ali Bogra, who also holds the portfolio of Ministry of Defence, is staying at the Claridge’s Hotel. Included in the entourage is the Secretary Ministry of Defence. Only two days earlier the Secretary, as part of the delegation, had attended the pomp and show filled coronation ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II. Today a telegram from the office of Air-Vice Marshal Cannon, Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Pakistan Air Force arrives stating that the Secretary has lost his twenty year old son in a tragic plane accident. The Secretary is devastated. Comforting him in this moment of grief are his few close friends and a thirty-nine year old women named Nahid. The Secretary is Colonel Iskander Mirza – future President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

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Filed under civil service, Pakistan, Partition, Politics

Jennifer Musa

From Daily Telegraph UK, Published 18-Jan-2008


Irish nurse who became head of a tribe in Baluchistan and dedicated her life to its interests

Jennifer Musa, who has died aged 90, was an Irishwoman of modest stock who took over from her husband as head of a tribe in the remote borderlands of Baluchistan; unveiled and uncompromising, she dedicated her life to the conservative Muslim tribesmen among whom she lived for 60 years until her death.

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Filed under Afghanistan, baluchistan, Democracy, History, Jinnah, Pakistan, Partition, Politics, quetta, Taliban

The scholar, the sufi, and the fanatic

[This was originally published in DAWN’s blog section and then subsequently also included in the much recommended critical PPP/Let us Build Pakistan site. The link for the latter is and for the former is  The critical PPP site is quite refreshing and has taken on both the naysayers as well as been critical of its own party. Even their news reports are more reliable at times than the mainstream media. In reposting the article, critical PPP has accreditted DAWN. – Ali Abbas]

By Nadeem F. Paracha            Dawn 31st Dec, 2009

Roughly speaking, the political and social aspects of Islam in Pakistan can be seen as existing in and emerging from three distinct sets and clusters of thought. These clusters represent the three variations of political and social Islam that have evolved in this country: modern, popular and conservative. Continue reading


Filed under Democracy, India, Islam, Islamism, movements, Pakistan, Partition, Politics, Religion, south asia, state, Sufism

Rediscovering Jinnah

We have discussed partition of India far too many times on PTH but old habits die hard (Partition was the most frequently discussed topic in the real PakTeaHouse as well).  This is another article on Jinnah published by Dawn, we are reproducing here for discussion.  While Faruqui is on the money about Jinnah’s secularism,   his over all analysis is as usual quite weak – which is nothing new for those of us who have followed his articles in Daily Times and Dawn. For example,  Life Magazine’s coverage has been discussed on several occasions on this website.  Similarly the words he uses – ethnicity, religion etc – are terms Faruqui is incapable of fully understanding. 1971 cannot be termed as a war between ethnicity and religion,  as much as the failure of constitutional accomodation.  Nationalism is the ideology of the other and there is not much to choose between X, Y and Z kinds of nationalism.  Nationalisms can be abated by constitutional accomodation.   By Faruqui’s logic 1947 should be seen as a victory of religion over ethnicity – but what ethnicity?   Had both Jinnah and Nehru lived to see 1971,  they would have viewed it similarly – with alarm and regret- Nehru might have seen his own shadow in the policies of West Pakistani elite when it rejected Awami League’s perfectly reasonable six points much in the same way Nehru had refused to accept Muslim League’s mandate as the sole representative party of the Muslims of South Asia.  Jinnah might have been horrified to see Bhutto employing some of his own arguments perversely to deny Mujeeb ur Rahman’s majority party the chance to form the government.   Just as Jinnah and Nehru were part Hamilton part Jefferson, both Bhutto and Mujeeb were each part Jinnah part Nehru.  Hence the second partition in 25 years. History is an argument without an end, because on a long enough time line all survival rate falls to zero. Have a look -Yasser Latif Hamdani

By Ahmad Faruqui

Jinnah remains shrouded in mystery, hagiographed in Pakistan and demonised in India. Born just 19 years after the end of the Mughal Empire in 1857, he studied law in Britain. Within a few years of returning to India, he had emerged as one of its most successful barristers. But politics was to be his true calling. With his entirely secular upbringing and thoroughly British outlook on life, it was no surprise that he soon became, in Gopal Krishna Gokhale’s words, “an ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity”. Never known to be a religious man, let alone an advocate of a theocratic state, Jinnah went on to establish Pakistan. Jinnah had envisaged that Pakistan would be a homeland for the Muslims of India. In less than seven years after his death, his successors had declared it to be an Islamic Republic. Continue reading


Filed under India, Jinnah, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Partition

Three Poems By Iqbal IV: Dialogue Between God And Man

By Dr. Ali Hashmi

Muhawaraa Maa Bain Khuda-o-Insan (Dialogue between God and Man):

 The third poem in this selection, ‘Muhawaraa maa bain Khuda-o-Insaan’ features one of Iqbal’s favorite styles, a dialogue or interplay between earthly and celestial figures. It also employs one of Iqbal’s favored poetical styles, the Socratic Method (or Socratic Debate), named after the Classical Greek philosopher Socrates, a form of inquiry and debate between individuals with opposing viewpoints based on asking and answering questions to stimulate rational thinking and to illuminate ideas. It is a dialectical method, often involving an oppositional discussion in which the defense of one point of view is pitted against the defense of another. One of the most famous examples of this genre is Iqbal’s lengthy poem ‘Shikwah’ or ‘Reproach’ in which Man(representing the Muslim faith) complains to God about the shabby treatment meted out to Muslims by God inspite of the sacrifices that Muslims have made on God’s behalf. The poem, which caused quite a stir when first read by Iqbal in public, is a bold criticism of God’s indifference to a people who feel they deserve better: Continue reading


Filed under Partition, Philosophy, poetry