Type to search

Editor Picks History Politics

We Must Tell The Truth To Our Younger Generation And Stop Lying About Our History

  • 5.9K
    Shares

Most of the current widely held views on Pakistan’s dismemberment, provincial autonomy, external wars, quota system, etc. are deliberate and massive distortions when viewed in the context of historical facts, writes Yousuf Nazar.

An old friend called last night and urged me to write about our political history, if for nothing else, for posterity. The cynic in me told her who cares? History is written by the victorious. In Pakistan’s case, it is the military establishment. Our children know almost nothing about our political history. Ask a few and I wonder how many would know that the most popular leader of Pakistan’s history after Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s death was Sheikh Mujib ur-Rehman.

Most of the current widely held views on Pakistan’s dismemberment, provincial autonomy, external wars, quota system, etc. are deliberate and massive distortions when viewed in the context of historical facts.

Take the break-up of Pakistan in 1971. It didn’t just happen in a year no matter what the immediate causes were. The problems in former East Pakistan began with Mr Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s decision to impose Urdu as the sole national language despite the fact that Bengalis were in a majority in the newly created state. It was not appropriate or constitutional to decide about the national language without referring the question to the elected representatives of the people. It was this fateful decision that had sown the seeds of secession.

Bengali students started a protest movement against this decision. On February 21, 1952, several students were killed and injured in Dhaka. This day was commemorated as Martyrs Day in former East Pakistan and marked the beginning of the politics of Bengali nationalism within Pakistan. Due to the policies of the Punjabi-Muhajir dominated central government, a prominent Bengali leader, Fazalul Haq had called for independence as early as 1954. Ironically, Fazalul Haq was the mover of 1940’s Lahore resolution. He had won 1954 elections in East Pakistan but he was wrongfully removed as chief minister by the central government.

Mr Jinnah’s decision to declare Karachi as the capital and separate it from the Sindh province created unrest among the Sindhi politicians. Dismissal of Sindh’s first chief minister Ayub Khuhro in April 1948 was due to his reservations about the policies adopted by Mr Jinnah and Liaquat.

The quota system was introduced by Liaquat Ali Khan in 1948. East Pakistan had 56% of the population but its quota was just 42%. Karachi’s population was 1.5% but its quota was 2%. 15% was reserved for migrants from India. So the quota for Muhajirs was far in excess of their relative population from 1948 to 1971. The 60/40 quota for Rural/Urban areas in Sindh was introduced under the regime of General Yahya Khan in 1971 and not by the late Mr Bhutto as is commonly believed. Bhutto promised, in 1972, to end this after 10 years but didn’t live to fulfil this promise. Military governments did nothing to change this, neither did any civilian one nor the MQM itself whose representative, Ishrat ul-Ibad, was the longest-serving governor (14 years) of the province.

Kalat (whose area covered about 25% of present-day Balochistan province) was never envisioned to be part of Pakistan but it was forcibly annexed through an armed action in April 1948. This marked the beginning of a state of permanent unrest and periodic insurgencies. There was another military action in Kalat in October 1958, years before an armed insurgency rocked the province in the 1970s. It is an outright lie to tell young Pakistanis that problems in Balochistan have been created by enemies. It is not that simple and hides the ugly reality of how the ordinary Baloch have been treated since the early days of Pakistan and throughout its history.

READ  Asad Umar Under Fire For Launching Below The Belt Attack on Bilawal

Although most Pakistanis believe that India attacked Pakistan in 1965 and the 1971 war was an Indian conspiracy, it is a matter of historic record that Pakistan started the wars. The first India-Pakistan War of 1947–1948 was fought over Kashmir. Following a Muslim revolt in the Poonch and Mirpur area of Kashmir, on October 22, 1947, a Lashkar of tribals from north-western Pakistan, some five thousand strong, led an incursion into the valley from Abbottabad. Even as the Indian army came to the rescue of Kashmir’s maharaja, the joint incursion of the Lashkars and regular troops enabled Pakistan to acquire roughly two-fifths of Kashmir which it established as Azad Kashmir. On October 30, 1947, Mir Laik Ali, a special emissary of Quaid-e-Azam, met with the US state department officials in Washington and requested American financial assistance.

The two events, the use of tribal Lashkars and request for US financial assistance, took place within three months of Pakistan’s birth and were to cast a long shadow over Pakistan’s foreign policy. Ironically, it was Mr Jinnah, a proponent of the peaceful and constitutional independence movement and opponent of the British colonialism, who went for a military solution and sought the help of then rising neo-colonial power, the United States, when Pakistan’s very survival was at stake.

A former Chief of Pakistan Air Force, Asghar Khan was part of Ayub Khan’s martial law regime in 1958. He had a long political career after his retirement in the sixties. Just around three years before his death in 2018, Asghar Khan admitted in a television interview that it was Pakistan which initiated the wars. He said, ‘our policy for India has always been wrong. All wars fought against India were started by us.’ He cited the wars of 1947, 1965, 1971 and the Kargil war.

Coming to the more recent history, much is made of corruption. The median age in Pakistan is 23. The majority of this generation has been fed so much disinformation that it is almost impossible to have an enlightened and informed debate because the popular media is heavily dominated by doctored narratives and the state apparatus.

Corruption had always been there. However, the period during which the state resources including the banks were brazenly used to enrich a selected few and buy political loyalties was that of Zia ul Haq’s military regime. Beginning around the mid-1980s, it was under Zia, that the resources of the banks were abused to the extent that two of the biggest banks, Habib Bank and United Bank, were technically bankrupt by 1991. Nawaz Sharif, Chaudhry family, and others were among the biggest beneficiaries of bank loans during this period. Ironically, it was Nawaz Sharif who, as Punjab’s Chief Minister, allotted the land, as a grant, to Imran Khan to build Shaukat Khanum Hospital.

READ  The Curious Case of TLP Geniasses, the Government and Asia Bibi

The ugly reality is that the business of the state and politics has become a criminal enterprise with a mix of big money (read big business, real estate barons) interests and religious forces.  The core cause of the inner cancer is the military’s interference in politics especially since 1977. The mass commercialisation of politics by military’s proxies, personified by Nawaz Sharif in the 1980s, large scale criminalisation of politics by military’s creations principally the Mohajir Quami Movement in the mid-1980s, and use of terrorist organisations (e.g. Jamat ud-Dawa, Taliban, and allied groups) as proxies in both internal and external conflicts, are the direct consequence of the army high command’s active role in politics.

In short, what is currently taught in our schools and colleges and commonly believed and propagated on the popular media day and night is nothing but a murder of history. The denial of historic wrongs has led to the creation of a parallel world with many Pakistanis living in a bubble where it is a strong nuclear power which no power on earth can do any harm. The reality is bitter: Pakistan cannot afford to fight even a short war because it would go bankrupt and because it has mortgaged its sovereignty to the external powers.

Pakistan’s chronic issues are affecting the viability of state structures. The military high command is disappointed with Imran Khan, who it actively supported since 2011. Imran thinks the army does not have a choice after having destroyed other political parties. Forget polemics, this is actually a very sad state of affairs. Pakistan’s current crisis is not just a legal or political crisis and can no longer be addressed by prescriptions offered by conventional wisdom because it mostly focuses on the symptoms, while the rot has turned into a gangrenous mess turning Pakistan into a failing state. Pakistan faces an existential crisis. What do we need to do to make it a tenable state? Those who maintain that only the army can keep it together don’t understand that no army can hold a state together for very long if it is not a viable state.

We can’t build a nation on narratives that are lies designed to cover up colossal blunders. That is not to say that nations do not make mistakes but mature ones recognise mistakes and take measures to correct the course. Only a new beginning that recognises those blunders can heal the long-festering wounds. The only way out is a new social contract where army generals pledge not to interfere in politics. They may not like to hear this but that lies at the core of all crises since the 1950s. It is easy to blame politicians but then it is very convenient to blame the politicians after getting rid, one way or the other, of those who opposed the military’s interference and ultimately domination of politics.

Tags:

21 Comments

  1. A. Hameed July 2, 2020

    The true wide spread history of our ancestors or recent past ,I think, can only be written and published from somewhere abroad. It seems almost impassible that it could ever be part of our nation wide syllabus and curriculum design. Truest educationalists/reformers and historians aren’t needed whatsoever. Better try their luck in Koh E Qaaf or Plato’s “Republic”
    Hameed Khattak

    Reply
  2. abdulazizansari July 2, 2020

    A very authentic note based on facts and figures which get obliterated when someone in power uses the option of mutilating the facts to suit the people in power and the elites who gain out of corruption.
    Political mistakes were made from the beginning until Zia-ul-Haq initiated a wholesale loot of the nation, with vested interests and religious hegemony took the upper hand.
    Appreciate the bold acceptance of the fact that Sh. Mujeeb was the second most popular politician of the country after Jinnah and was disallowed to implement people’s will.

    Reply
  3. Sarwar July 3, 2020

    Please also write about history of Pakistan, before 800AD

    Reply
  4. Hosh Muhammad July 3, 2020

    True ans bitter truth

    Reply
  5. Who knows that what Mr Yousaf Raza has written is not a gross distortion of our political history. For instance he blames Quaid Azam for not acceding to the demand of Bengali as an official language by East Pakistan. Was Urdu spoken in any of the other four provinces or was mother tongue of even Quaid Azam? What was the Pakistan’s political scene between 1947 and 1948? Did not Bhutto’s two years of civilian martial law and four years of civilian rule smell of fascism and brutality through use if Gestapo type FSF? The writer must’ve heard about Dullai Camp in AK where his opponents even from his own party like Iftikhar Tari were confined and tortured. The 1965 and 1971 was also urged by Bhutto who was then the foreign minister and had assured both Ayub Khan and Yahya Khan that India will not attack our Western border. For these facts help of Google and Wikipedia May be sought. And who prevented passage of Polish Resolution demanding ceasefire in East Pakistan when it had become clear that very soon Indian force will soon enter Dhaka. Who in seventies ordered military action in Baluchistan and appointed Gen Tikka Khan to supervise the operation which helped the militants to garner a great amount of local and foreign support? Was it not Bhutto who invited Gulbadin and other Afghan leaders and trained the mujahideen and initiated the so-called klashankof culture. Let us not talk about different civilian governments under Nawaz Sharif, Benazir and Zardi as their loot and corruption is talk of the day. Martial law is not desirable but becomes inevitable when the civilian governments take the country to the brink of disaster. Our chosen form of democracy is not suitable for unifying different ethnically. Linguistically and traditionally diverse units into a strong and cohesive whole. It is basically divisive and besides the abovementioned disparities it has further split the country into different political parties (presently there 260 registered parties besides many more), religious factions and leanings, media groups and what not. Our ideology which was made a basis for the creation of Pakistan and happens to be the only unifying force was kept on the back burners and now mauled by the so-called enlightened media is forgotten or dispised. If martial law had somewhat succeeded it was because of some semblance of unity that it temporarily brought. To cut it short the only way forward is to get rid of the present political mafia, hierarchical leadership and multifarious political parties pulling in all directions and introduce a presidential form of government through mass awakening and peaceful movement otherwise we will remain a country of slaves wondering whether it will survive or crumble under its own weight. Criticism is good but inaction results in slow poisoning and ultimate death. Lt Col Abdul Qadir SJ (r).

    Reply
  6. Adil Khan July 3, 2020

    Thanks for this very sad and yet truthful analysis of decay of Pakistan – econmic, political and moral. Root of the decay is something that you have so correctly pointed out – distortion and corrption of history, mainly by the establishment which is Pakistan’s army.

    Reply
  7. Tehseen Abbas July 3, 2020

    Thought provoking article
    Stay blessed Sir Ysf Nzr

    Reply
  8. Malik Waqar Anwar July 3, 2020

    Sheikh Mujib was a political worker ofSuhrawadi Shaheed’s Awami League , kicked out over insolence and disobedience , when this dog opposed One Unit; which was stoutly supported by the 101% / 100% Bengali , Suhrawadi Shaheed!!!!!Mujib survived !!?? and proceeded to achieve his notorious victory in elections due to a hyper-popuklated province of Bengal ; it was an illegal, immoral and technically an unconstitutional victory since it was only limited to a province and not the entire Federation. Awami League under this dog Mujeeb threatened, blackmailed and bullied PPP and others from contesting elections in Bengal , while not fielding his candidates in Western wing of Federation; most likely supported by some mighty power aided by a bunch of bloody drunken sots of an Army cabal from Pakistan. why should Bengali have been given status of a national language!!?? for all the “bloody-majority-can-go-to-hell” , the Bengal had due to its peculiar habit of being over-populated. Urdu is / was not a provincial language but Lingua Franca of Federation ; rather entire Sub-Continent .

    “Annexation” of Kalat was due to “hesitation” by Khan of Kalat , for “whatsoever” reasons , and would have eventually have had to join Pakistan , but was restrained by Khan of Kalat , for “whatsoever” reasons .Despotic, cruel, anti-Federation Baloch sardars have always been responsible for the horrific plight of their masses for “whatsoever” reasons ., and have always been abetted by equally despotic , tyrant and desensitized Federal governments.

    We lost Kashmir , due to refusal of then Tommy Army chief, Gen. Gracy , who refused to forward Army troops , despite Jinnah’s orders; since India had already violated Kashmir; thanx to tribals for their Jihadi spirit, we still retain some portion!. Why would UN accept Kashmir as a disputed area if Pakistan was wrong!!?? Kashmir war of 1965(read “operation Gibraltar”) was a just ongoing struggle for liberation of Kashmir , started by a patriotic and loin-heart dictator of Pakistan , Ayub Khan, who was punished by imperial USA for his bravado+ “Friends not Masters” . Anyway the resulting ’65 war failing to consolidate any noteworthy gains , nevertheless was a crushing blow to Indian Army , who wanted , envisioned for sure!!!!!” Whisky celebrations” !!!!! at Lahore Gymkhana by 1200hrs!!!!!!!(my ass!!!) .

    1971 was indeed a tragedy , as i already mentioned above that it was USA’s punishment for Ayub Khan’s struggle for Kashmir cause+ “Friends not Masters” + and ultimately for his “Tashkent yatra” (did he have any choice!!??). 1971 was dog Mujib’s ‘achievement of notorious goal(s)” for which nature punished him in form of gruesome and insulting murder in hands of his own army!!!!.+ USSR’s love of India; we also took revenge by abetting USA and West in USSR dismemberment in the aftermath of Afghan war. So fair is fair enough!!!!! . Kargil was Pakistan’s reaction to earlier India excursion in Federation’s Siachin(why the hell do (even) you “intelligentsia” forgets that!!!!???), lost over usual political tyranny and fickleness ; so there.

    .

    Reply
  9. Saleem Khan July 3, 2020

    Excellent! Most of the facts you mentioned are correct. Our people are living in illusion and such living is not sustainable. Their brains are washed by injecting lies in schools, through media and day to day discussions. Even parents do not know anything correctly and afraid to tell truth. But your witting is 100% based on facts. Kindly publish in Urdu because this way we can reach masses. Even video recordings and posting on YouTube in local languages…

    Reply
  10. Fixit July 3, 2020

    So an investment journo wrote a calibrated piece only on the request of a friend (must paid to write foul & distort history). All the people working against Pakistani state are sharing on SM. And you’re going to get the facts straight, haan! People like you can be found anywhere for couple of hundred bucks, buzz off ghatya aadmi

    Reply
  11. Hussan Zia July 3, 2020

    History is not the product of someone’s imagination. It is what actually happened. Jinnah never imposed Urdu on East Bengal. He merely expressed his opinion about the national language of Pakistan. The issue was decided when the first constitution was formulated. It declared both Urdu and Bengali to be the national languages.

    If Fazul Haq and Khuro were removed from office it was because they were acting inappropriately in the eyes of the Governor General and under the powers granted to him by the constitution then in place. They could have challenged in court if they thought it was wrong but didn’t.

    The state of Kalat formally acceded to Pakistan in March 1948 as per the letter signed by the Khan of Kalat. The letter is available in the archives.

    The account of Kashmir struggle as stated is fictional. Please read, Kashmir: A Disputed Legacy 1846 – 1990, by Alastair Lamb if you want facts.

    Mujibur-Rahman wrote to Nehru in 1962 asking for military help to ‘l;iberate’ East Pakistan. This would be called treason in any country. His co-conspirator, Shaukat Ali admitted as much in Bangdesh Parliament on 23rd. Feb. 2011. Also see Asoka Raina’s book, ‘Inside RAW: The Story of India’s Secret Service’ about India’s involvement with Mujib.

    Reply
  12. STG July 4, 2020

    Agreed..

    Reply
  13. Stg July 4, 2020

    Agreed to Fixit comment.. What a haux of an article by an some invesment consultant sitting in UK..Come on why would this article be published in first place..

    Reply
  14. Bakhtawar Akber July 4, 2020

    A very amazing piece of writing indeed

    Reply
  15. Shahid Kinnare July 5, 2020

    After war Pakistan had no legal standing. An armed officer should be ashamed even to talk about this time. Bhutto had no choice but to act as a Martial Law admin because Pakistan had no legal standing. It took two years for politicians to come with a legal framework for Pakistan. Pakistan’s armed officer has been hell bend to destroy this framework starting 1973. Shame on you Lt. Col Qadir.

    Reply
  16. Salim July 5, 2020

    Everything is false in pakistan, including it’s people.
    They have forgotten it’s root.
    The sheer attempt to become Messiah of Muslim world has failed.
    The DNA for them is still Hindu but unfortunately they are obsessed with Arab civilization who don’t give a heed and keep calling them Fake Muslims.

    One more reality of pakistan is that they could not become the true Hindu but remains to be the fake Muslims.Period.

    Reply
  17. Sajid July 6, 2020

    The quota system was introduced by Liaquat Ali Khan in 1948. East Pakistan had 56% of the population but its quota was just 42%. Karachi’s population was 1.5% but its quota was 2%. 15% was reserved for migrants from India. So the quota for Muhajirs was far in excess of their relative population from 1948 to 1971.

    Bengalis had no qualified people. Their reduced quota was reflective of this dearth in trained manpower.
    Urdu speaking mohajirs had more literate people. Hence their increased quota

    . It is an outright lie to tell young Pakistanis that problems in Balochistan have been created by enemies. It is not that simple and hides the ugly reality of how the ordinary Baloch have been treated since the early days of Pakistan and throughout its history.

    In the other video, it stated that armed rebellion started in Balochistan in 1954. So who is telling the truth?

    Following a Muslim revolt in the Poonch and Mirpur area of Kashmir, on October 22, 1947, a Lashkar of tribals from north-western Pakistan, some five thousand strong, led an incursion into the valley from Abbottabad. Even as the Indian army came to the rescue of Kashmir’s maharaja, the joint incursion of the Lashkars and regular troops enabled Pakistan to acquire roughly two-fifths of Kashmir which it established as Azad Kashmir.

    Kashmiris wanted to join Pakistan. That is a historical fact. Hari Singh was working against the will of his people. Indian army invaded Kashmir before the document of cessation to India was signed. That is a fact

    Ironically, it was Mr Jinnah, a proponent of the peaceful and constitutional independence movement and opponent of the British colonialism, who went for a military solution and sought the help of then rising neo-colonial power, the United States, when Pakistan’s very survival was at stake.

    Exactly! It was Pakistan’s very survival that was at stake. No one wanted to enter US supermacy by choice. If it was not for hostile India, we would not have faced the horrible mess that we were facing right from the start

    He said, ‘our policy for India has always been wrong. All wars fought against India were started by us.’ He cited the wars of 1947, 1965, 1971 and the Kargil war.

    It is no secret that we started the war in 65. War in 48 started because of Indian armed intervention in Kashmir. War in 71 was started by India. What do you think happened in East Pakistan? RAW was harbouring political elements, was actively arming Mukti Bahini and manipulating anti Pakistan activities. India actually invaded East Pakistan on 21st November 1971. Two weeks before Pakistan launched a desperate invasion on 3rd December 1971.

    Reply
  18. Mohammed iqbal Nakhuda July 10, 2020

    I don’t understand why they are blaming ours old politician what we should do now try to safe Pakistan because of who ever try to say we want to show fact to ours new journation I think we have to learn what ever we did mistake in past so we are not going to repeat again again one think when Pakistan was independent india and rest of world they want to brake Pakistan which they did still ours internal and external enemies they dont want to see peace that’s why they want to destabilise.any how make duas allahsubanatalla keep Pakistan safe Aameen.long live pakistan.pakistan zindabad

    Reply
  19. exMnowDharmic July 12, 2020

    @Salim, very succinctly put. I can speak from mother’s journey till she left Islam out of frustration, bigotry and intolerance perpetuated by our so called religious leaders. Dil hai hindystani chaal hai arabikhali

    Reply
  20. Akbar July 12, 2020

    No comments on an issue that divided Pakistan into factions. Let time heel as Allah sends his messenger to redeem us

    Reply
  21. Hamid Saeed Sheikh August 1, 2020

    Urdu was the language of muslims in Sub-continent, that is why it was declared national language. None of the local language was declared national language and it shows the vision. Urdu has been successfully adopted by all the Pakistanis, and today even Bengalis speak the same language all over the world.
    Bhutto had a vision whereas Mujeeb was a Nehru’s tout and had no vision accept to become a king of Bengal. You cannot compare the two.
    The actual problem is Martial law and refusal of Royal Army turned into Pak army to obey the civil govt. Whereas Pakistan is purely made by civil struggle and can only be saved by civilians of Pakistan.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.

Naya Daur