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March 27, 2011

Page: 7/36

Home > 2011 Issues > March 27, 2011


All this talk about stable Pakistan is bunkum

There are many intellectuals and media persons in India, who think that a stable and strong Pakistan is in India’s interest. I beg to differ.

The first and foremost thing is that Pakistan cannot be stable. Instability is inherent in its being. It was the imaginary bogey of ‘Islam in danger’ i. e. danger from the Hindu majority in United India, that created a fear psychosis in Muslim leadership abetted by the British rulers, that created Pakistan. There was no positive basis for the creation of this new state. The negative sentiments of hatred-in this case hatred of Hindus-cannot sustain a State. Negativism is useless in creating any nation. Idea of a nation needs a positive sentiment, because, as Ernest Renan, a French thinker says, "a nation is a spiritual family and not a group determined by configuration of the earth."

It may be argued that Islam was the uniting force. But let it be understood that Islam is not an adhesive stuff. Islam can inspire people for heroism, and sacrifice, And when this feeling of valour gets entrenched in any people’s character, they always need an enemy to fight against and demonstrate their prowess. The ‘kafirs’ or infideds in the form of Jews, Hindus and even Christians fulfilled that want. But after Pakistan drove out almost all Hindus, there was no visible enemy. Brave people then invent it. Ahamadias in Pakistan became the first enemy. Then followed Sufis and Shias. Had Islam adhesive character, there would not have been wars between Iran and Iraq. Nor would have Iraq attacked Kuwait. Turkey would have established peace with Kurds. Bangla Desh would not have been separated from Pakistan.

Besides, Pakistan as such does not have any intrinsic identity. Nor did Pakistan’s political leadership make any serious efforts to create, maintain and sustain such a national identity. If they had a vision of one Pakistan based on their Muslim identity, they would have accepted Mujibur Rahman as their Prime Minister in 1970, because Mujib was also a Muslim and his party had won the majority seats for Pakistan’s Parliament. But their love of Urdu overpowered their idea of one State, undermined their Muslim identity and sowed the seeds of its vivisection.

Take the case of the West Pakistan. Sindhi, Balooch, Pathan and Punjabi identities are stronger than the so-called Pakistani identity. In N. WFP, where 95 per cent population was and is even now Muslim, had in 1946 voted for the Congress which stood for United India. In Sindh ‘Jiye Sindh’ movement was a popular movement till eighties of the last century. Baluchistan is still restive and it is military’s pressure that is suppressing the eruption in that province. Punjab and Punjabis dominate and that is resented by Sindhis, Pathans and Baluchis. Zardari, a Sindhi, is tolerated because of America’s pressure.

I do not mean that Pakistan was never stable. It was stable during military dictators’ rules. But whenever it was stable it was more anti-India. Gen AyubKhan, without any plausible reason, started war against India in 1965. Gen YahyaKhan, unnecessarily arrested Mujiber Rahman and triggered war with India in 1971. Gen Zia Ul Haq carefully contrived a proxy war against India. Stability in Pakistan works as an incentive to intense anti-Indian operations.

Let us admit that Pakistan is a failed state. It is destined to disintegrate. If India can help the pro-democracy, sub-national identities of Sindhis, Pathans and Baluchis, it is in India’s interest. India can promise them maximum autonomy. It can take care of their defence requirements against agressors internal as well as external and guarantee absolute autonomy in internal matters. Gilgit and Baltistan within PoK are already seeking India’s support. This is evident from a meeting that the leaders of these areas, had as recently as in May 2009 in Delhi. Only India can save Pakistani people from the violence-infected nightmare of Jihadi extremists like Taliban or Al Qaeda. Majority of people in Pakistan must be witnessing and appreciating the rights, privileges and freedoms that the Muslim population of India, which in numbers is almost equal to that of Pakistan, are enjoying. Our diplomatic and strategic efforts should, therefore, be directed towards guaranteeing these people a peaceful life imbued with democratic norms and values. Enlightened people and their leaders, will have to shed their hatred for India. India should be able to convince these people that their freedom and autonomy can be secured only by India. They should be able to understand that before August 14, 1947, in villages and small towns, Hindus and Muslims generally lived amicably together. Occasional riots, mostly in big cities, did take place, because of provocations many a time engineered by the foreign rulers. In the new dispensation, Sindhis, Pathans, Punjabis, Baluchis can be their own rulers, under the benign umbrella of protection assured by India. Even USA and UK, if they really value democratic polity should help strenghen the democratic movements in these areas. Democratic regimes alone will be able to wean the young generation from extremist influences. In short, disintegration of Pakistan is in our interest, and also in the interest of the people of all regions that form the present irrelevant uniformity called Pakistan. Earlier the better. It is the only way of keeping this region free from aggresive Talibanic forces.

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