Why Can’t Pakistan Open Its Borders For Indian Muslims?
The gross brutality we see now daily on Indian TV channels where the RSS-BJP goons terrorize Muslims are understandably shocking images.
The very well organized propaganda machine of the Hindu Right immediately comes into action and starts a counter offensive about Muslims using violence and in reaction to which the Hindus are defending themselves.
All decent and responsible Indian commentators underline that the protests against the CAA are peaceful though some Muslim agent provocateurs do goad on Muslims to violent action.
In Pakistan of course a concern for Indian muslims now figures in government pronouncements and social media all the time. Most interestingly none of them ask the Pakistani state to open its borders and let Indian muslims seek refuge in Pakistan.
For me, all concerns for Indian muslims are just crocodile tears.
In China the treatment of Uighur muslims is infinitely worse but the same Pakistani muslims hardly say a word protesting Chinese concerted policy to destroy Uighur muslim identity.
I have never said things because they are politically correct. I have always spoken against tyranny and oppression wherever it takes place.
So, Jinnah wanted a homeland for Indian Muslims India was partitioned in 1947. That horrific episode of partition was soaked in blood. Some 1 million Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs lost their lives. 14-15 million fled their homes mostly to escape death and from the Urdu-speaking belt to get better opportunities in Pakistan. In East and West Punjab there was ethnic or religious cleansing. 10 million Punjabis crossed the Radcliffe Line to save their lives. More than 800,000 were killed.
The 21 per cent Hindu-Sikh population of West Pakistan had been expelled by the end of 1947. Only 1.6 per cent remained in West Pakistan, that too in rural Sindh.
So, now if India wants to give refuge to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Jews from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh and there is enough evidence that in all these countries there is a bad record of minority persecution, then why does Pakistan not become the true home of the Indian Muslims?
If you have no genuine sympathy and just want to score points then let Indian Muslims, progressive Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and others join ranks and face the ugly and fascist onslaught of the Hindu Right comprising RSS, BJP, and several so-called cultural organizations known collectively as the Sangh Parivar.
Afterball, Israel was founded for the Jews and they have a law called the Law of Return which allows Jews from anywhere in the world to come and settle in Israel.
Why can’t Pakistan open its borders just for Indian Muslims? After all Chaudhary Rahmat Ali, Allama Iqbal and over and above Mohammad Ali Jinnah wanted a separate homeland for Muslims. Why are the doors closed for Indian Muslims in Pakistan?
So, if Pakistan cannot offer refuge to Indian Muslims then they should let them find a survival strategy which must mean that all Indians opposed to the fascism of the Hindu Right join forces and thus confront the saffron brigades.
Otherwise I have no other words to describe the concern show for Indian Muslims by Pakistani Muslims except shedding crocodile tears.
The writer is Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Stockholm University; Visiting Professor Government College University; and, Honorary Senior Fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore. He has written a number of books and won many awards, he can be reached on [email protected]