This too was Pakistan (1947-71): A response to Nadeem Paracha’s “Also Pakistan” – by Abdul Nishapuri

Related post: This All Began in 1947: The Jihadist Operations of Pakistani State

Nadeem F. Paracha’s (NFP) history of Pakistan in the four part series in daily Dawn suffers from an error of exclusion. It is the history of Pakistan’s upper-middle classes in an urban setting where lifestyle choices imply that somehow Pakistan was more liberal in the past.  It also reduces Pakistan to a (mainly) Punjabi-Muhajir urban upper-middle class landscape – like the plays of Fatima Surayya Bajia, Hasina Moin and Ashfaque Ahmed or romantic writings of Shafique-ur-Rehman and Nasim Hijazi.

The pictures in NFP columns tell a story of an upper middle class whose “liberal” membership has shrunk.  Simultaneously, it also reinforces the myth that there is a tiny bulwark of upper-middle class activists who are protecting Pakistan from complete Talibanisation – as long as their literary festivals, social media melas and fashion shows are well funded by foreign consulates and donor agencies.

In terms of strategy, “liberals” tactics are very similar to the post-9/11 strategy of General Musharaf.  In the first half of the last decade, this strategy was employed to the hilt by Musharaf in trying to convince the West that he and the army under him represent the last stand against the Taliban.  Of course, now the whole world knows the dual policy of Pakistan’s military establishment of officially opposing the Taliban but protecting and sponsoring  them and their local Jihadi affiliates at the ground level. Plausible deniability was taken to a new level by Pakistan’s military establishment. Similarly, it is commonly known that several of Pakistan’s “noted liberals” including but not limited to Najam Sethi, Ejaz Haider and their predecessors in the past have played a questionable role in undermining democratic governments in Pakistan.

What NFP has presented in this series is only a limited remembrance of Pakistan from an elitist, upper-middle class perspective. If a narrow window of Pakistani society can be described as Pakistan, rest assured such Pakistan exists even today within its typical confines, e.g., five star hotels, private beaches, civil society melas, literary festivals, aman ki asha events etc in secluded luxury hotels or private residences.

What NFP did not describe is how the country was shaping itself right from its inception when Jinnah and his close comrades authorized military take over of Balochistan, despatch of Pashtun and Punjabi mercenaries to Kashmir, dismissal of Dr. Khan’s government in NWFP and suppression of Bangla language. In 1948 and beyond we saw a repeat of similar events, e.g., when Jinnah’s funeral was refused to be led by a Shia cleric, when Objectives Resolution was passed by Pakistan’s first legislative assembly thus formalizing the ascendancy of Sunni Islam, when anti-Ahmadiyya riots took place in streets of Lahore and other cities of Pakistan. NFP also did not mention the fact that long before General Zia’s Islamization, one of the bloodiest massacres of Shias took place in Terhi Sindh in 1963. That too was Pakistan.

Romanticizing of Pakistan from an upper-middle class lens is a great thing to write and read and we are not challenging the fact that confines of the upper-middle class lifestyle have relatively reduced in the past few decades courtesy General Zia, Zakir Naik, Farhat Hashmi, Imran Khan etc, however, that lifestyle featuring several elements of social hedonism is still available and enjoyed by the select elite.

The photos and narrative also reinforce the upper-middle class narrative that the seeds of extremism, intolerance and hypernationalism were sown during Bhutto’s time and harvested by Zia ul Haq.  Unfortunately, this selective narrative excludes the role of Pakistan’s urban elites (eg Rana Liaquat Ali Khan, Qudratullah Shahab, Altaf Gauhar etc) who silently watched the destruction of a pluralist society and the resulting rampant extremism while their own socio-economic interests were taken good care of.

The seeds of extremism in Pakistan were not planted by Zia or Bhutto but were there much earlier and should be highlighted.  Today, Pakistan’s Shia Muslims are undergoing a slow-motion genocide which is deliberately being misrepresented or ignored by the urban elites who have positioned themselves as the “Endangered Liberal Species”. Such elites have largely participated in inexplicable silence on the massacre of at least 19000 Shia Muslims in Pakistan in the last few decades.

1947: A country created on the basis of communal hatred and othering

Pakistan was a country created on the basis of communal hatred and exclusion. The bloodshed was only natural in 1947-48 at the time of partition.

Millions of Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs etc were killed by violent Muslim, Hindu, Sikh mobs at the time of Partition.

Pre-1947: Founder of a communal state is evasive about his own communal identity

The country’s founder was a Shia but it was Mr. Jinnah himself who was evasive about his Shia Muslim identity.

The founder of the state, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, although himself a Twelver Shia after conversion from the Ismaili sect, was wont to describe himself in public as neither a Shia nor a Sunni. His stock answer to a query about his sect was: was Muhammad the Prophet [pbuh] a Shia or a Sunni? (Source)

1947: Pakistan army hires tribal mercenaries to liberate Kashmir

Tribal invasion of Kashmir started on 22 October 1947, an outcome of collaboration between Pakistan army, Pakistan Muslim League and Muslim Conference. Muslim Conference not only invited the tribal attack but also actively joined the raiders. Reward for this collaboration was that they were appointed rulers of this region known as Azad Kashmir; they and their political masters in Pakistan kept on feeding lies to people to strengthen the impression that the ‘tribesmen’ were ‘liberators’, and they came to Kashmir to fulfil their religious obligation. The Tribal Invasion was a contentious and significant action, because of its serious consequences; and because it clearly violated the Standstill Agreement concluded between Pakistan and the Ruler of Jammu and Kashmir. Furthermore, it resulted in death and destruction of thousands of innocent people; and it forced the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir to seek help from India, which was only made available after the ‘provisional accession’ to India. Apart from that it divided Kashmir resulting in enormous problems for thousands of families on both sides of the divide. It should also be remembered that the Tribal Invasion, apart from other problems also resulted in the first India and Pakistan war, bringing its own problems, animosity and subsequent wars. While discussing about brutalities of the Tribal attack, Khawaja Abdul Samad said: ‘Hindus and Muslims were taking refuge in separate areas. Most of the properties that belonged to Hindus had been burnt down. Many Hindus and Sikhs had been mercilessly slaughtered and most of their bodies were still lying in their homes or on the streets. In the past two days, the tribesmen had dragged numerous bodies and thrown them into the river………..’ 8 Khawaja Abdul Samad further said: ‘Their attack had totally devastated Muzaffarabad. The homes of Hindus and Muslims were looted, shops were plundered and all the stock loaded onto trucks. Places of worship were not spared; they entered and took whatever they considered to be of value. They tore down mandirs and desecrated masjids. In their lustful search for gold, silver and rupees they even used digging equipment to search beneath the stone floors of shops. Whatever they could find would be amassed in a collective place where tribal leaders would supervise the whole process. From here, everything would be loaded onto trucks and sent on their way to the North West Frontier Province. In Muzaffarabad and its surroundings, no Muslim home was spared from this tribal bounty-hunt.’ Tribesmen steal from a Masjid – Mosque. Khawaja Abdul Samad, while discussing the loot and plunder carried out by the tribesmen who apparently came to Jammu and Kashmir for the purpose of ‘Jihad’ and to ‘liberate’ people of Jammu and Kashmir, explained how they even looted materials hidden in a Masjid. ‘As there was no restriction on how much booty the tribal Pathans could take home, some of us locals consulted with each other and made a plan. We decided that in order to protect Hindu assets from being seized by the tribesmen, we would take upon ourselves (Muslims) to transport goods and valuables from Hindu homes and store them in the masjid. Some Hindu youngsters, many of whom were our close friends; who had yet somehow avoided the deathly onslaught were also utilised in this exercise….. ‘The ‘Bazaar Wali’ masjid was a two-storey building. By the evening, so much stock had been stored there that there was barely room for even a solitary ‘sandooq’ (large metal box for storing valuables) to fit in. We locked up the masjid at night and left for our respective camps of refuge. When I returned in the morning, I found that the masjid had been stripped bare clean. I was later to learn that the tribesmen had come late the night before and taken everything.’ (Source)


Jinnah with future military dictator

The Founder of Pakistan Jinnah with GOC East Pakistan Ayub Khan in 1948. Not yet Field Marshal, Ayub Khan was barely a Brigadier at that time. In 3 years he would be the C-in-C and 7 years more the Head of State. The person recieving the military cross is Mohammed Ahmed who became a Brig. and subsequently military sec to Ayub Khan.

1947: Jinnah dismisses an elected government in NWFP Province

Dr. Khan

Khan Abdul Jabbar Khan popularly known as Dr. Khan Sahib was a pioneer in the Indian Independence Movement and a Pakistan politician. On 15th August 1947 Mr. Jinnah took oath as Governor General of Pakistan and on 22nd August, just after a week dissolved the elected government of Dr. Khan. In 1958, Dr Khan was assassinated in Lahore.

1948: Bacha Khan remains in intermittent house arrest from 1948 to 1964

Bacha Khan

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Bacha Khan) was always presented as a traitor of Pakistan and an Indian agent. Ghaffar Khan was placed under house arrest without charge from 1948 till 1954. He was re-arrested in 1958 until an illness in 1964 allowed for his release.

1948: At least 150 Pashtuns massacred in Babhara village, Charsadda

On August 12, 1948, while Jinnah was at deathbed, the security forces opened fire on a protest rally of Khudai Khidmatgars in Babhara village, resulting in the killing of more than 150 people and injuries to over 400 men and women. Some reports, however, put the death toll at 602 while the number of wounded was stated to be in thousands.

1948: First military operation in Balochistan

Abdul Karim Khan, the great militant Baloch hero who went to the mountains to fight for his homeland in 1948.

The rebellion against Pakistan’s forced occupation of Balochistan was led by Prince Abdul Karim Khan, brother of the Khan of Kalat, Mir Ahmad Yar Khan. In April 1948 the central government sent the Pakistan army to harass and force Mir Ahmed Yar Khan to give up his state (Kalat). Mir Ahmed Yar Khan signed an accession agreement ending Kalat’s de facto independence. His brother, Prince Karim Khan, decided to carry on with the struggle. Basing himself in Afghanistan he conducted guerrilla warfare against the Pakistan army. Abdul Karim organized a rebellion against Pakistan in the Jalawan area. He received assistance from Mir Gohar Khan Zahri, an influential tribal leader of the Zarkzai clan. Major General Akbar Khan, who was in charge of the Pakistani army’s Seventh Regiment, was ordered to attack the insurgents and force them to surrender. Prince Karim and his 142 followers were arrested and imprisoned in the Mach and Quetta jails. Many Baloch insurgents were killed and others served rigorous imprisonments. Karim’s revolt is important in Baloch history for two reasons. First, it established that the Baloch did not accept the accession of Kalat with Pakistan. Second, it led to the wide-spread Baloch belief that Pakistan had betrayed the safe conduct agreement. The Baloch regard this as a first series of broken treaties that have created distrust between them and Pakistan’s central government/army. Karim and his followers were all sentenced to long prison terms and became rallying symbols for the Baloch liberation movement.

1948: State funeral for Jinnah cannot be led by a Shia cleric

Both Jinnah sahib and his sister Fatima Jinnah were given private Shia burial rituals initially before the State they created swung into motion and made a sectarian issue of their burials.

State funeral

Jinnah’s state funeral was not allowed to be led by a Shia cleric. That was a formal declaration that Pakistan is a Sunni State. Mufti Shabbir Usmani was an uncle of Mufti Taqi Usmani and Mufti Rafi Usmani, the mentors and apologists of the Taliban and Sipah-e-Sahaba in Pakistan.

Fatima Jinnah organized a private Shia funeral for Jinnah inside the house.

1949: Islamisation of Pakistan begins. Objectives Resolution passed by PM Liaquat Ali Khan

The Speech of Mr Sris Chandra Chattopadhya in Opposition to Objectives Resolution, Constitutent Assembly of Pakistan, 12 March 1949

1951: A Jihad-e-Kashmir mercenary kills PM Liaquat Ali Khan

A Pashtun mercenary used by Pakistan for Jihad in Kashmir later killed Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan

1952: Bangla language riots in East Pakistan

On 21 February 1952, a demonstration in the Language movement demanding equal and official status to the Bengali language turned bloody, with many fatalities caused by police firings.

Bangla Language Day procession in Dhaka University in 1952

The seeds of Bangladeshi liberation and independence were laid when Jinnah denied Pakistan’s largest ethnic group the right to their rich language.  From 1947-1971, the Bengladeshis were subject to constant persecution and discrimination  – an element that is missing from the happier times pictures in NFP’s collection.

1953: Anti-Ahmadiyya riots in Punjab

In 1953, a religious movement began to agitate for the removal of the Ahmadiyya Muslims from power positions, and demanded a declaration of Ahmadis as a non-Muslim minority groups. Due to government’s lack of action, mass rioting broke out in the Punjab against both the government and followers of Ahmadis. Several dozens were killed by violent mobs of Jamaat-e-Islami and other Sunni Deobandis, Wahhabi and Barelvi groups.

General Azam Khan with Sardar Nishtar

General Azam Khan – the first Martial Law Administrator having hard talk with Sardar Nishtar. With the government failing to contain anti-Ahmadi riots in Lahore, property of civilians being destroyed and truoble spreading to other major cities of the Punjab in 1953, Prime Minister Khwaja Nazimuddin, an ineffective administrator while presiding over a cabinet meeting in Karachi kept saying what should I do, what should I do. Lahore was on fire and the Governor of Punjab had just confirmed the fact. Defense Secretary Iskander Mirza was asked to find out the exact situation. He went to the ante room and called GOC Lahore General Azam Khan who confirmed the reports. ‘How long will it take you to control the situation?’ Mirza asked him. ‘One hour’ quipped Azam. ‘Then go ahead’ Mirza advised him. He returned to the Cabinet room and announced that he had declared Martial Law in Lahore. True to his word Azam restored law and order, arrested Maulana Maudoodi and Maulana Abdul Sattar Khan Niazi, tried them in a summary military court, sentenced them to death and sent them to the black cell for hanging the next morning. A call from King Saud however got them a reprieve. But with the carte blanche given to Gen Azam, military supremacy had been ensured in Pakistan for all times to come. Also Saudi hegemony in protecting and sponsoring Wahhabi-Deobandis of Pakistan was also established.

Pakistan was co-opted by a powerful civil-military bureaucracy immediately after coming into existence. This establishment ensured that Deobandi clerics and organizations e.g., Shabbir Ahmed Usmani, Maulana Maududi  were given a prominent place in a non-democratic setup.  The Objectives Resolution followed quickly and a large scale pogrom against the Ahmadi Muslims took place in Pakistan in 1953.  None of this is reflected in the pictures selected in NFP’s collection – incidentally, that is not Stewart Granger and Ava Gardner either – although both of them were here for the filming of Bhowani junction.  The most abiding memory of them  isn’t Ava Gardner’s ethereal beauty or Granger’s rackish charms. Rather is the pride felt by the urban elites when Stewart Granger was slapped by an army officer (Suo Moto anyone)

In terms of presenting an alternate history and point of view, it is important to appreciate some of Nadeem’s earlier anti-establishment work.  However, it is also important to highlight the limitation of these views as an urban reflection which do not delve deeper into the historical roots of the problems currently facing Pakistan.  Unwittingly, this presentation reinforces the selective elite narrative which works overtime to shift the blame from the establishment and the liberal class to convenient scapegoats (generals and politicians).

1955: One unit system adopted in West Pakistan

One Unit System adopted

One-Unit System Adopted Sep 30, 1955. West Pakistan adopts a one-unit government system, with Lahore as its capital, in an attempt to ease tensions between provinces over their representation in the National Assembly. In practice, this meant Punjabi dominance over Sindhis, Pashtuns, Balochs and other minority ethnic groups. It also means that Bengali majority was undermined by equating them with a much smaller ethnic group, Punjabis. Ayub Khan is appointed as Chief Minister of the One-Unit system.

1956: Islamic name for Pakistan

Islamic name!

Islamic Republic of Pakistan Mar 23, 1956. Pakistani leaders dissolve the Dominion of Pakistan and establish the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, with Iskander Mirza — a vocal advocate of “controlled democracy” (including an electoral college) — as president.

1958: Second military operation in Balochistan

The next violent outbreak of Baloch sentiments came in 1958 as a direct result of the centralising policies pursued by Pakistan central government and army. Fears of Bengali domination in the 1950s had propelled the Punjabi leaders of West Pakistan, who controlled the levers of power, to consolidate the Western Wing of Pakistan into a unified province to counter Bengali numerical strength. This One Unit plan was resisted by the Baloch, both by Abdul Karim who had completed his prison term in 1955 and the Khan of Kalat who mobilised wide spread demonstrations through tribal chieftains. Balochi nationalists urged Iskander Mirza to exempt Kalat from the One Unit scheme, and to allot more government spending on developmental activities in Kalat. But General Ayub Khans ambitions changed the political matrix in Pakistan and when some Baloch sardars started non-cooperating with the Pakistani commissioner, under a flimsy pretext that the Khan had raised a parallel army to attack Pakistani military, Ayub ordered Pakistani army to march into Kalat on 6 October 1958, a day before he imposed martial rule in Pakistan. The army arrested the Khan and his followers and accused them of secretly negotiating with Afghanistan for a full-scale Baloch rebellion. The arrest touched off a chain reaction of violence and counter-violence with the government bombing villages suspected of harbouring guerrillas. Pakistan military’s campaigns in Danshera and Wad were resisted by the Jhalawan Sardars loyal to the Khan. The octogenarian Chief of the Zehri tribe in Jhalawan, Nauroz Khan put up a stiff resistance in the Mir Ghat mountains, but the Pakistani military swore an oath by the Quran and urged Nauroz to give up arms and prepare for negotiations. Nauroz surrendered in anticipation of safe conduct and amnesty but the army put Nauroz and his sons behind the bars as soon as they laid down their arms. Naurozs sons were hanged soon afterwards, in Hyderabad and Sukur, in July 1960. A shocked and surprised Nauroz died soon afterwards in Kohlu prison in 1962. Ayubs message to the Balochis of Kalat who were the first to challenge the might of the Pakistani state, was clear. He reportedly threatened the total extinction of Balochis if they did not mend their ways.

The 1958 revolt was followed by the Pakistan Army setting up new garrisons at key points in the interior of Balochistan. This in turn provoked the Baloch to plan for more armed guerrilla movements capable of defending Balochi interests. The movement was led by Sher Mohammed Marri who was far-sighted in classic guerrilla warfare. The Pararis, as the guerrillas were called, ambushed convoys, bombed trains and so on. In retaliation, the army staged savage reprisals. For example, the Army bulldozed 13,000 acres of almond tress owned by Sher Mohammed and his relatives in the Marri area. The fighting continued sporadically until 1969 when the Yahya Khan withdrew the One Unit plan and got the Baloch to agree to a ceasefire.

1963: Shia massacre in Therhi, Sindh

At least 116 Shia Muslims were massacred in district Khairpur’s village Therhi (Sindh) on June 6, 1963. Police stood by while radical Deobandis and Wahhabis massacred Shias. This was the first major incident of Shia genocide in Pakistan. Justice was not done to the martyrs of Therhi and the anti-Shia terrorists and their masterminds were not awarded exemplary punishment. Lack of due action against the ferocious killers encouraged them to continue the genocide of Shia Muslims in Pakistan.

The 1963 Theri massacre of Shia was a landmark event but does not seem to merit a space in the photographical history presented by Nadeem Paracha. Of course such pictures and also those of the 1953 anti-Ahmadi riots would disturb the romanticized, liberal-baptized version of Pakistan which never was!

1965: Operation Gibraltar and the Pakistan India war

Operation Gibraltar was the codename given to the strategy of Pakistan to infiltrate Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state of India, and start a rebellion against Indian rule. Launched in August 1965, Pakistan Army’s 50th Airborne paratroopers and Pakistan Army’s guerrillas, disguised as locals, entered Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan with the intention of fomenting an insurgency among Kashmiri Muslims. However, the strategy went awry from the outset as it was not well-coordinated and the infiltrators were soon found. The debacle was followed by an Indian counterattack that resulted in the 1965 Indo-Pakistani War.

1967: Fatima Jinnah’s funeral

Mr. I.H. Ispahani was present when Miss Fatima Jinnah died in Karachi in 1967. He himself arranged the ghusl and janaza for her at Mohatta Palace according to the Shia ritual before handing over the body to the state. Her Sunni namaz-e janaza was held later at the Polo Ground, after which she was buried next to her brother at a spot chosen by Ispahani inside the mausoleum. Ritualistic Shia talgin (last advice to the deceased) was done after her body was lowered into the grave. (Jinnah had arranged for talgin for Ruttie Bai too when she died in 1929).

Fatima Jinnah’s own funeral became something of a theatre of the absurd after her friends had given her a Shia funeral before the state could give her a Sunni one. Field Marshal Ayub Khan writes in his Diaries:

11 July 1967: Major General Rafi, my military secretary, returned from Karachi. He had gone there to represent me at Miss Jinnah’s funeral. He said that sensible people were happy that the government had given her so much recognition, but generally the people behaved very badly. There was an initial namaz-e janaza at her residence in Mohatta Palace in accordance, presumably, with Shia rites. Then there was to be namaz-e janaza for the public in the Polo Ground. There an argument developed whether this should be led by a Shia or a Sunni. Eventually, Badayuni was put forward to lead the prayer. As soon as he uttered the first sentence the crowd broke in the rear. Thereupon he and the rest ran leaving the coffin high and dry. It was with some difficulty that the coffin was put on a vehicle and taken to the compound of the Quaid’s mazar, where she was to be buried. There a large crowd had gathered and demanded to converge on the place of burial. This obviously could not be allowed for lack of space. Thereupon, the students and the goonda elements started pelting stones on the police. They had to resort to lathi charge and tear gas attack. The compound of the mazar was apparently littered with stones, Look at the bestiality and irresponsibility of the people. Even a place like this could not be free of vandalism. (Source)

1971: Bangladesh Liberation War and the genocide of pro-freedom Muslims and Hindus of East Pakistan

The Bengali people in East Pakistan had long felt exploited and underrepresented by the Pakistani government, and for valid reason: despite a purportedly democratic election which the Bengali leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had clearly won, the new military President Yahya Khan refuse to surrender power. East Pakistanis are outraged and begin agitating non-violently for autonomy. West Pakistani forces try to put down the demonstrations in a brutal campaign to execute East Pakistan’s intellectuals, political leaders, and other civilians. Western Pakistan soldiers terrorize the East with methods including the rape of Bengali women and girls. Western Pakistan’s Army Chief Tikka Khan became known as “The Butcher of Bengal.”

But the western Pakistan militias are repulsed by an ad-hoc force made up of Bengali soldiers, paramilitary, and civilians, all backed militarily and economically by neighboring India. In an attempted end-around, the West Pakistani forces launch pre-emptive strikes into India, but are soundly defeated by the Indian Army. Pakistan’s surrender in December 1971 marked the birth of Bangladesh (the former East Pakistan).

Liberation War of Bangladesh: NBC News Footage

Executed intellectuals in the Dhaka Rayerbazar, 1971.
Bangalis win freedom

Text of the Instrument of Surrender, 16 December 1971

The Pakistan Eastern Military High Command agree to surrender all Pakistan Armed Forces in Bangla Desh to Lieutenant-General Jagjit Singh Aurora— General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Indian and Bangla Desh Forces in the Eastern Pakistan. This surrender includes all Pakistan land, Air Force and Naval forces as also all paramilitary forces and civilian armed forces. These forces will lay down their arms and surrender at the places where they are currently located to the nearest regular troops under the command of Lieutenant-General Jagjit Singh Aurora.

The Pakistan Eastern High Command shall come under the orders of Lieutenant-General Jagjit Singh Aurora as soon as this instrument has been signed. Disobedience of orders will be regarded as a breach of the surrender terms and will be dealt with in accordance with the accepted laws and usages of war. The decision of Lieutenant-General Jagjit Singh Aurora will be final, should any doubt arise as to the meaning or interpretation of the surrender terms.

Lieutenant-General Jagjit Singh Aurora gives a solemn assurance that personnel who surrender will be treated with dignity and respect that soldiers are entitled to in accordance with the provisions of the Geneva Conventions and guarantees the safety and well-being of all Pakistan military and paramilitary forces who surrender. Protection will be provided to foreign nationals, ethnic minorities and personnel of Pakistan origin by the forces under the command of Lieutenant-General Jagjit Singh Aurora.

Signed at Ramna Course in Dacca, East-Pakistan at 1701Hrs (6:01pm PST) on the Sixteenth day of December, 1971, by J.S. Aurora (India and Bangla Desh) and A.A.K. Niazi (Pakistan) on behalf of Republic of India and State of Pakistan, in the interests of succession of East Pakistan as Bangladesh, at war with Pakistan.

Lieutenant-General Jagjit Singh Aurora
Supreme Commander of Indian Eastern Command and Bangla Desh Forces in the Eastern Theatre.

Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi
Unified Commander of Pakistan Eastern High Command

Vice-Admiral Mohammad Shariff
Commander of Pakistan Eastern Naval Command.

Vice Admiral R.N. Krishna
Commander, Eastern Navy Command

Air Vice Marshal Patrick D. Callaghan
Commander of Eastern Air Force Command, Pakistan Air Force

Lieutenant-General Jacob Farj Rafael Jacob
Chief of Staff, Indian Eastern Command

Note: Several pictures in this post have been cross-posted with thanks from the on-line collection of Dr Ghulam Nabi Kazi. Several paragraphs in this post have been contributed by a fellow editor. This post is a quick compilation of several articles taken from web to present a picture of a much larger, bigger and more real Pakistan than what was presented in NFP’s collection of happy times.

We cannot move forward until we reconcile with our past. For a progressive, pluralist and secular Pakistan, we cannot be selective of our history and genesis.  By perpetuating a selective and concocted version of history, we are doomed to repeat our follies.

114 responses to “This too was Pakistan (1947-71): A response to Nadeem Paracha’s “Also Pakistan” – by Abdul Nishapuri”

  1. Thanks for publishing this. I somehow could not connect to most of what was published in NFP’s nostalgia of Pakistan. Perhaps it’s to do with my rural and lower middle class background.

  2. Why does LUBP insist to create divisions in Pakistan by highlighting certain sects and small ethnic groups? This is RAW, CIA agenda.

  3. This is a very unfair post. You can’t force Nadeem to write on topics of your choice. In a way LUBP is behaving as a liberal fascist blog.

  4. LUBP is creating further divisions in liberal class. We are already in minority; don’t divide us further. Keep your ethnic and sectarian agendas to yourself please.

  5. @Raza

    Long live Najam Sethi club. NFP has found his instant karma in the shape of the anti-establishment hero Najam Sethi and other similar liberal elites. Long live Marxist socialist class of five star hotels and restaurants.

  6. Shahzad Aslam Shaikh’s comment: (from facebook)

    Shahzad wrote: “The upper middle classes are also a part of Pakistani society and surely there is nothing wrong in a portrayal based more or less entirely on them. And while it is true that there still exists a class which continues its “social hedonism” (and why should it not) the space available to it has become rather restricted of late. A gentle reminder of those happier times (for some if not all) is hardly out of place. As for your casting aspersions on Jinnah – he was anything but communalist! He realized that this dead beat Indian Musalman could only be motivated by an appeal to his religious ideals and in that he was extremely successful. His evasiveness about his Shia beliefs is also understandable considering the narrow religious vision of the Musalmans, most of whom are Sunni and might not have so readily followed a leader belonging to a different sect. Jinnah was hardly a practicing Musalman anyway so that hardly made any difference.”

  7. I don’t agree with the line taken by LUBP against the article by NFP. Nadeem was not presenting or claiming to present the entire history of Pakistan; he was only presenting the liberal past of a Pakistani society that is either no more or is fast dwindeling.

    We all know about the violence of the partition, the anti Ahmedi riots of 1954 etc. However, that doesn’t take away the fact that Pakistan was actually much more liberal in the past than it is now.

  8. LUBP . . . . i think so enough now . .

    this behavior led you to so called genocide . . .

    buses se utar utar kr khtm kr dia jata hai aisi soch rkhne walon ko . . . got it ! bch k zrra . .

  9. @Naveed Lotia

    What LUBP post has shown is that the 1953 Ahmadi massacre, 1963 Shia massacre and 1971 Bengali massacre did not happen in a vacuum. There was a consistent pattern of intolerance and violence which started with the Partition itself.

  10. The post reflects the hatered of its author to wards the founder of Pakistan. LUBP stands for disintegration of Pakistan,how can you build a nation by creating division on sectarian basis.

  11. I don’t know why a real intellectual and PTI and Jinnah supporter @TheRealYLH is bothering to engage with these “ethnofascist storm troopers” of PPP and ANP. This blog is out to destroy the last bastion of liberals like Ejaz Haider, Hamid Mir, Najam Sethi, Ansar Abbasi, Beena Sarwar, Samad Khurram and committed activists of IJT and PTI. This post is all lies. Jinnah was a muslim and there is no sects in Islam.

  12. LUBP, thanks for writing this. Daily we are losing our near and dear ones and if one is Ahmadi, Shia, Christain or Hindu in Pakistan, they are in very bad state. Jinnah sahib should be clear that he was a Shia. If the founder of the country ducked clear and direct questions about his own identity, no wonder the rest of us are so confused. If the founder of the country was evasive in saying that Pakistan will be secular, no wonder we are heading towards Mullah Omar ki khilafat.

  13. The title of NFP’s column is “Also Pakistan” not “Pakistan”, so he has shown the Pakistan which was more Liberal and free than today 🙂

  14. In 1986, not long after the inception of Saarc, Pakistan hosted a meeting of Saarc finance ministers in Islamabad. Azam Khan travelled by car from Lahore to attend a small dinner party for the delegation from Bangladesh at the residence of the then ambassador.

    He was in an expansive and nostalgic mood. He recalled the 1953 anti-Ahmadiyya riots in Lahore and other areas of the Punjab. It had begun as a religio-political agitation. A motley group of extremists had demanded that the Ahmadiyyas be declared a religious minority, and that all Ahmadiyyas holding important positions in the government be removed from office. The main target was Foreign Minister Chaudhury Zafarullah Khan. There was the threat of “direct action” if the demands were not met.

    Prime Minister Khwaja Nazimuddin, a devout Muslim and a thorough gentleman, could not accede to the demands. He was, however, less than firm and decisive in addressing the admittedly difficult situation. In the month of March, when civil administration broke down in the face of widespread riots, killings, looting and arson in Lahore and other cities of the Punjab, martial law was proclaimed in the affected areas. Azam Khan, as the GOC of the 10th Division at Lahore, administered the martial law and quelled the riots with utmost rigour and efficacy.

    A summary military court sentenced to death Maulana Maudoodi and Maulana Abdus Sattar Khan Niazi for their role in fomenting the disturbances. The sentences were subsequently commuted to life imprisonment, and eventually both were released. This was Pakistan’s first experience of martial law; it would last for over two months.

    Azam Khan believed, as did many others, that the riots were a cynical ploy by a political cabal, which included Punjab Chief Minister Mian Daultana, to undermine and discredit Prime Minister Khwaja Nazimuddin. Both Nazimuddin and Daultana would be ousted from office in the aftermath — and largely as a consequence — of the riots.

    In the month of July, a two-member Court of Inquiry was constituted to inquire into the “Punjab Disturbances of 1953.” The Court comprised the chief justice of the Lahore High Court, M. Munir, as president and Justice M.R. Kayani, Puisne Judge, as member. The close to 400-page report of the Court exhaustively covered the issues, facts and train of events in respect of what happened. Their lordships concluded their report almost on a note of despair: “But if democracy means the subordination of law and order to political ends, then Allah knoweth best and we end the report.”

    The Lahore riots of 1953 were a series of violent agitations against the Ahmadiyya movement in the city of Lahore, Pakistan, which were quelled by the Pakistan Army. Demonstrations began around February, and soon escalated into citywide incidents of murder, looting and arson against the Ahmadi community. The attacks were held to be incited by the Jamaat-e-Islami political party led by Abul Ala Maududi, a Sunni theologian and strong ideological critic of the movement. Unable to contain the increasingly widespread civil disorder, Governor-General Ghulam Muhammad handed over the administration of the city to the army under Lieutenant General Azam Khan and imposed martial law on March 6.

    Marking the military’s first foray into civilian politics, the 70-day-long military deployment saw Lahore return to normalcy under Azam Khan’s coherent leadership. Purported agitators Maududi and then-Secretary General of the Awami Muslim League, Maulana Abdul Sattar Khan Niazi, were arrested and sentenced to death, but their sentences were subsequently commuted. The riots also brought hitherto unprecedented political consequences; Ghulam Muhammad first dismissed Mian Mumtaz Daultana from the post of Chief Minister of Punjab in March, before dismissing the entire federal cabinet of the country’s first Prime Minister, Khwaja Nazimuddin, on April 17 and swearing in Muhammad Ali Bogra.


    Jan After the convention of All Pakistan Muslim League at Dhaka, anti-Ahmadiyya elements threatened to take direct action after 22nd Feb. 1953, if their demands (to declare Ahmadis as non-Muslim) were not met.
    Feb 01 Burial of an Ahmadi was resisted by anti-Ahmadiyya elements in Sargodha.
    Feb 23 Anti-Ahmadiyya riots break out in West Pakistan specially in Punjab Province.
    Feb 27 Publication of daily Alfazal, published from Lahore, banned by Government for one year. The vacuum was filled by starting another periodical titled Farooq. First issue of Farooq was published on 4 March but after the second issue, it was forced to stop publishing on 11 March.
    Mar 05 Master Manzoor Ahmed, a teacher was killed in Baghbanpura, Lahore.
    Mar 06 Ahmadiyya Noor Mosque, Rawalpindi was attacked and set on fire by a mob.
    … Press belonging to an Ahmadi was burnt.
    … Many shops and houses belonging to Ahmadis and President of Jamaat Ahmadiyya, Rawalpindi were ransacked.
    Mar 06 Countrywide riots including torture, murder attempts and arson started against Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, especially in Lahore.
    Mar 08 Havaldar Abdul Ghafoor and another Ahmadi perfumer were killed in Lahore.
    Mar 12 Additional Magistrate Jhang prohibits Supreme Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community from commenting on anti-Ahmadiyya riots and anti-Ahmadiyya movement.
    Apr 01 Mirza Shareef Ahmad and Mirza Nasir Ahmad were arrested in Lahore during the ongoing riots. They were released on 28 May.
    Superintendent of Police Jhang searched Qasre Khilafat and central offices of Sadar Anjuman Ahmadiyya, Rabwah.
    Nazir Tableegh was arrested.

  15. Dear LUBP:

    Some people (supporters of ISI, PTI, LeJ etc) are very upest by this post. Take care.

    @CriticalPPP be ready to see the massacre of #LUBP !

    and you know objectionable views (near masses) leads towards violence !

    #LUBP Islam dushman , Pakistan dushman , Quaid e Azam Dushman

    sir wait till some one buried alive NFP & LUBP words/ works ! @TarekFatah great article on the LUBP forum @AhsanMalik13 @munaeem

  16. Two different views:

    Tarek Fatah ‏@TarekFatah
    The undocumented history of early Pakistan exposed in this great article on the LUBP forum. @AhsanMalik13 @munaeem

    SanaaZ ‏@sanaaz
    This too is Pakistan! Roots of voilence and sectarianism


    Yasser Latif Hamdani ‏@theRealYLH
    @beenasarwar @AnsarKhakwani jokers at LUBP are CLUELESS about history. Half of their entire post is based on strawman fallacies/distortions.

    Zainab Imam ‏@zainabimam
    Fascinating rebuttal to NFP’s equally fascinating Also #Pakistan series. But Taqi Usmani is not a mentor of TTP or SSP:

  17. Oh, boy, here we go again. Now the LUBP rabids are after NFP. Why are you guys so reactive? I mean, really. NFP’s writings have done more for secularism in Pakistan and Zardari’s PPP than you guys can ever will or can do!

    Btw, if you go through NFP’s Also Pakistan series, he has covered the East Pakistan issue and the coming of Zia rather brilliantly. And suggesting that it is an upper-class perception is ridiculous. Did you actually go through the series?
    The way you guys have lost friends I’d amazing. I am now convinced about what someone once told me: LUBP is a bloody ISI reckket.

    Good day and riddance, former comrades. I’d have NFP over you guys any day.

  18. Oh no, here we go again. Now you guys are after NFP. His writings have done more for secularism and democracy in Pakistan than you guys can ever will or can do.

    Why are you so reactive? What a silly argument you have put forward. Did you even go through his Also Pakistan series in which he sensitively covers the East Pakistan issue and Zia’s take over? Did you even comprehend his overall thesis? Nope.

    You guys have been losing friends fast. And I am now convinced about something I mostly used to reject: Many on Twitter think LUBP is actually an ISI front. I now believe that.

    Well, good luck, good day and good riddance.

  19. @Yawar @YB

    I did not see anything in this post to suggest that LUBP guys are after NFP. Stop behaving like Samad Khurram, Hamid Mir types.

  20. Yawer, I am shocked to see your reactive response. Is that all you saw in this excellent post? I personally like NFP’s writings but agree with this post that his series on Pakistan was limiting and suffered from an errors of omission. Did you even bother reading this article.
    Team LUBP: please keep writing such bold articles. It must be funny to be called an ISI racket when your entire material is the opposite. Hope the ISI arranges nice 5-Star events for you in nice hotels where you get to schmooze. Oh wait, that is only for “real liberals”


  21. @anon . . .

    its not fair . . . actually upset you are else never write or support this article . .

    ” Some people ” (supporters of ISI, PTI, LeJ etc) are very upset by this post. Take care.

    you wrote some people and pasting only one person’s comments 😛

    LUBP walas abhi tk ap ne btaya nahi AZAM KHAN AHMEDI ne kitne sunniyo ko goliyon ka nishana banaya ?

    19000 ka to brra pta hai ap ko gin gin kr thakay nahi kya

  22. Wonderful article as always from the guiding force of LUBP Mr Nishapuri. NFP can get biased in some of his write ups. Anyway, IMO some good old feedback never hurts!

    As far as one comment here credits NFP for bringing more liberalism to Pakistan than Prez Zardari and PPP, I can only laugh at its childishness. PPP govt has introduced more legislation for women than probably no other previous govt or dictatorship, for that matter!

  23. There’s no harm in criticism. Why would any one think NFP is being targeted. He is a hero in his own right.

  24. Dear writer,

    Actually Nadeem Paracha series was accurate. His series was titled this WAS Pakistan where as the series you post is more like this IS Pakistan.

    All those pictures posted by NFP are bygone days of mostly urban Pakistan. While the pictures above the genocides of Shias and Ahmedis, the atrocities, the expulsion of Hindus and Sikhs is not history more like an event underway which began in 1947.

  25. It is a good reminder of the ugly history. I agree with you in that while many people like Nadeem Paraccha say o everything was so great prior to the sixties but became terrible after Bhutto and Zia is an oversimplification.

    I dis agree with you on the Shia identity issue. There is hardly any difference between Shia and Sunni (indian Pakistani) in AQEEDA.

    While there maybe more differences between Sunni and Sunni ( Maliki Vs Hanafi).

    You are making a big deal about Jinnah’s Shia identity, he was not very practicing anyway. Maulan Shabir Osmani was the perfect guy to do the funeral as he is respected by both Shia and Sunni Ulema.

    This too is Pakistan




  26. This post is just sour grapes by LUBP becos they were not invited to the Social Media Mela at Avari Towers.

  27. @Ali Taj

    Shabbir Usmani was the main mind behind the Objectives Resolution, which was the first fatal blow on secular and multicultural Pakistan.

    He became a member of Muslim League only in 1944 just like Abu Sufyan to reap benefits in the new dominion.

    He founded the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam in 1945 and served as JUI’s president until his death in 1949. JUI as you know is the parent party of Sipah-e-Sahaba. Haq Nawaz Jhangvi used to be provincial deputy president of JUI Punjab.

    After the Partition of India, Usmani became a member of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, and spearheaded the Qarardad-i-Maqasid Objectives Resolution, which was passed by the constituent assembly on March 12, 1949. It may be added here that most non-Muslim members of the constituent assembly opposed the Objectives Resolution. Usmani was given the honor of inaugurating and flying the flag of Pakistan.

    Usmani died at Baghdadul Jadid in Bahawalpur State on December 13, 1949, and was buried at Islamia College, Karachi. Had he been alive, you would have seen him taking a more active role against Ahmadis, Shias and Barelvis just like his sons and grandson. Taqi Usmani, his descendant, is the same person who wrote a book in condemnation of Maulana Maududi’s Khilafat o Mulukiat, and is known for his sympathies to Taliban and SSP.

    Taqi Usmani’s brother Rafi Usmani is the same man who blames Blackwater for terrorism by LeJ-ASWJ and refused to condemn Shahbaz Bhatti’s murder. When the prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, led a two-minute silence in parliament, three members of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam party remained seated. “I am afraid that this could be an American conspiracy to defame the government of Pakistan, Muslims and Islam,” Rafi Usmani, the grand mufti of Pakistan, told AP.

    Taqi Usmani is the board chairman of the Dow Jones Islamic Index (IMANX). Whatever his stockpicking abilities may be, they are dwarfed by his jihadist credentials. A key executive of Pakistan’s prominent Deobandi jihadist factory, the madrassa Darul Karoom Karachi (currently headed by his brother, Rafi Usmani), Taqi Usmani has openly advocated jihad by Muslims in the West, and just last month again publicly endorsed suicide bombing and the Taliban.

    Taqi Usmani was a key member of a team of scholars which helped declare Ahmadis as non-Muslims by Pakistan’s National Assembly. During the presidency of General Zia ul Haq, he was instrumental in drafting laws pertaining to Hudood, Qisas, and Dayiat. He strongly opposed the Women’s Protection Bill.

  28. Real liberals like Najam Sethi, Ejaz Haider, Nadeem Paracha, Hamid Mir, Beena Sarar, Mehr Bokhari are doing financially productive things. LUBP on the other hand is obsessed about Ahmadi-Shia-Baloch-Minority rights! Get a life LUBP and learn from real liberals.

  29. Strange. NFP in his series also greatly touches upon folk music, leftist student movements, soft drinks, cinemas, Urdu films, cricket matches, habib Jalib, qawali … Etc., etc., etc..
    How are or were these “elitist?”

    I agree with Mr. Yawar. So you guys are entirely reactive. And what’s even more ironic I ca,e across this post when I saw some LUBP people advertising this post to ppl like Beena Sarwar and Ejaz Haider. LOL!

    NFP’s series was a social history with a hit of politics thrown in. You misjudged it etirely. Sad.

  30. @Sharmeen
    By financially productive things you mean they have jobs. You should get one as well. It’s good for Pakistan’s economy.

  31. Also, NFP speaks a lot about the hippies that use to come to Pakistan. Most of them stayed at run down cheap hotels. All these hotels were run by not very elitist Pakistanis. Seriously guys, there was a better way of getting attention. Your whole post smacked of reactionary finger wagging.

  32. Most Respected,
    I do not know what do you want to present in this critical situation of Pakistan. And I also do not know where from are you educated. But educated from my best country “Pakistan” then you must deliver good past prospects of Pakistan. Because if you read American early 60 or 70 years history, may be American condition nearly same like the Pakistan. But there educated personalities DELIVER the positive behaviour rather then explain the negativity of their past Leaders. Please we get early education from, so its duty to deliver one s duty positively.

  33. @Rohail

    In Nadeem’s own words:

    “I’ve been scouting newspaper libraries and personal photo collections belonging to the parents, aunts and uncles of friends and acquaintances for the last many years in an attempt to chronicle social and cultural shifts and trends in Pakistan before the years when Pakistan’s cultural and social evolution began to become ruddily ridiculous by a quasi-Orwellian ‘Islamist’ dictatorship – a flippant happening whose deafening echoes can still be heard and felt in the now much anguished and tormented Pakistan. There is very little memory left of a Pakistan that today almost seems like an alien planet compared to what it has been ever since the mid-1980s. Here, I will share with you some interesting photographs that I’ve managed to gather in the last couple of years of that alien country. A place that was also called Pakistan.”

    Here he is suggesting a “shift from mid-1980s before Pakistan’s cultural and social evolution began to become ruddily ridiculous by a quasi-Orwellian ‘Islamist’ dictatorship”.

    This shift had started right from 1947, and more than Islamist dictators it was manufactured and enabled by Pakistan’s very founders (Jinnah, Liaquat Ali Khan etc) and apparently secular dictators (Ayub Khan, Iskander Mirza etc).

    Obviously Qawwalis and Sufi shrines do exist in Pakistan today and are still visited by millions of pilgrims and devotees. Nadeem is mourning the shrinking of liberal space for his parents, uncles, aunts and acquaintances.

  34. @Rohail

    “I saw some LUBP people advertising this post to ppl like Beena Sarwar and Ejaz Haider.”

    Evidence? Who? Where?

  35. jawad hassan ‏@ideal_ben
    why Founder of a communal state is evasive about his own communal identity

    Ijaz Khan ‏@ijazkhan
    Breaking the Myth of Pakistan ever being a liberal state – This too was Pakistan –


    Daaniyal ‏@le_Sabre
    These johnnies of @CriticalPPP aka Let Us Bugger Pakistan (LUBP) represent the perfect nexus of faux activism, irrelevance and idiocy

    Adnan Aamir Sarparah ‏@AdnanSarparrah
    Also Pakistan, A rare article based on reality from a disinformation blog LUBP

  36. “Punjabi Mohajir” elite? You guys make me laugh out loud. NFP is one of the most blatant critics of urban middle class and elitist Punjab and one of the most open sympathizer of Sindhi nationalism in mainstream media. What are you people talking about? 
    Have you guys ever visited any college in interior Sindh? NFP writings are read religiously by the students there. And he is also unique in the way that he is also popular with PSF and APMSO youth.
    Elite, my ass.

  37. I fail to understand from where it is conceived that this piece of write is in defiance of Nadeem F. Paracha’s take. On the contrary, this write up tells the unsolved question put forth in Paracha’s beautiful fact sheet. At least I can’t deny the hard work by Paracha. It has simply jolted the minds of the people by showing “that was then and this is now”. Whosoever has written this piece has just given explanation “why that was then and why this is now” which Mr. Paracha just left unanswered. This write up by no means belittles the masterpiece of Paracha, rather it explains the present situation that we are in up to our necks, was being cooked right from 1951 that gained momentum after 9/11.

    In my humble opinion both the articles are just commendable and must be kept as two faces of historical coin. Pakistan has not become so overnight.

  38. Ali Taj, Shia doctors killed in Pakistan because they were “practicing” shias or just practicing doctors who happened to be Shias. What you mean “practicing”? Thousands of Shias killed in Pakistan becos they practicing? Also Jinnah sahib should gave straight forward answer to direct question; why he ashamed of his Shia identity. How come he choose Shia Qabristan for his wife in Mumbai. No wonder rest of country so confused about their identity

  39. Rohail,

    Did you even read the post. LUBP simply pointed out omissions in Nadeem’s article. The same post even praises NFP. I don’t get the job dig by Sharmeen and you. Does LUBP get money like other NGOs/think tanks/consulates/journalists or does it do this work gratis.

    Pointing out the ommission of history and critisizing a simplistic narrative might be “finger wagging” to you but not to those who have suffered. Where were all these Marxists/MQM activists when Ahmadis were being apostasized. It is shameful to see how even Faiz sahib kept quite. I used to think LUBP was over the top but the more I see the insecure reaction to bold posts published at LUBP and the more I investigate their arguements, I think they have a point. They have exposed the activists-for-hire who canvass for safe causes but talk utter rubbish when it comes to real issues of life and death.

  40. And another thing Rohail,

    No one is above criticism. Not Zardari, not Chaudhary and certainly not NFP. I also like his articles but that does not mean that everything he says is the gospel truth. If this is how you people react to well researched critiques, then you all are a very insecure bunch of people.

  41. @Javed Kamal Sahib

    NFP is good. But don’t make him holy!

    His support for MQM and Altafism is hugely liked by Sindhi speaking folks in Nawabshah and Shikarpur.

    Particularly his recent praise for Peer Altaf (whose inspiration of drill machines, bori coffins, bhatta came for Sufi traditions of Ibn Taymiyya and Sayyid Qutb) was hugely liked by Sindhi nationalists.

    “It can be explained as a consensus reached between the modernist, pro-business and secular aspirations of the party’s new leadership and the hyper populism of the old guard that still roots its rhetoric in the horrid memory of the bloodshed witnessed during the state’s operations against the party and in imagery entrenched in the idiom of martyrdom found in the tales of defiance in Sufi folklore.”

  42. Upon NFP work i would say, his work clearly shows that Pakistani state its avoided to patronize the religious extremism. till the time of Zia though nation was religiously arrogant but state of neutral player to a significant level.
    Declaring Jinnah as communal leader is totally wrong because the communal-ism in India started with shuddi, sanghatan and arya samaj movements. the main purpose of such movements was to purify India from ISlam.
    Jinnah were never a religous person but he just proved to be true advocate of muslim cause. he was a political leader rather a religious ideologue. he advocated the wishes of the then muslims. thats all.

    Yea Jinnah did wrong on the issue of Bangali language. to some extent Jinnah’s dictatorial actions against provincial govts are also questional but one should also have the then scenario in mind. For example state then was having principalities, provincial governments were not as such committed to pakistan. It were though tough actions but such actions were under compulsions.
    NP. India did same with regard to principalities . Indian control on Kashmir, Junagarh and hyderabad was also by military use.
    meaning thereby it was a time when both states were trying to have central control on all provincial territories . it was under fear of secession
    rest of the work after Partition regarding military’s wrong actions, atrocities agianst Shia and Ahmadiaya etc are totally accepted.

  43. Without doubt Pakistanis live in a fools paradise and selectively focusing on their history. There is a need for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission across all of Pakistan. On 65th Anniversary of Pakistan, there can not be a greater gift

  44. This is amazing. And I mean it when I say it’s amazing. You, LUBP, have always been amazing no matter what your critics say, rightly or wrongly 😉

  45. @Mehreen, I don’t know what u have heard but here at LUBP, it is about the discourse, not the person. I know some of the LUBP Team and they are passionate but welcome constructive criticism. Please feel free to comment and if u want to write something for them, go ahead. I agree with ur observation on NFP’s recent series. I really used to like his writing but he seems to have lost some originality of late.

  46. I am a keen observer of Pakistan and Islam. I am realizing that most Pakistanis are now accepting the fact that something is wrong with Pakistan and its ways and are trying hard to find the reason. Few of them are even moving further and seeing something very wrong with Islamic World as a whole.
    Pakistanis need to answer one question very honestly:
    We Indians and Pakistanis are basically same people in almost every sense except religion. India has many inherent problems it has more diversity, poverty, social imbalances, langauges, religions, etc.. Now how come India managed to get its act together whereas Pakistan could not. The real question to be answered is : HAS IT SOMETHING TO DO WITH ISLAM? IS ISLAM THE REAL PROBLEM? Unless this question is not answered honestly and courageously – no solutions will be found – everyone will keep beating around the bush. Nonetheless – I wish you all the best in your endeavors. I would be happy to answer your doubts, if you have any. Regards,

  47. Hi

    First of all, let me compliment you guys for caring. I had given up on that. There may still be hope.
    I do not see your post as a response to that of NFP. I actually see it as an addition. I am happy for both because in the end we are filling in the gaps in the history books.
    Thanks for your effort.

  48. Raman:

    Welcome to this forum. Although, your “question” is not pertinent to this thread, nonetheless, thanks you asked this question. I know from where you are coming from. You want to prove that there is something wrong with the religion Islam, and very politely, you have challenged you are ready to dig into arguments. Had there been anything wrong with Islam, it would not have blossomed from Mecca city and spread throughout the world. It is very wrong concept that Islam was “enforced” by sword or coercion. If that would have been so, where are now the Mongols, where is nation of Genghis Khan and Hilaku Khan. They are nowhere, but Islam is here with all its glory. What is in Islam, what the Koran says, is not being followed. Its not Islam’s fault, it is certainly our fault that we are not following the principles of Islam. Hinduism is older than Islam, besides India, just how many more countries have adopted this religion. It is high time, we should forget about good religion and bad religion. What we are discussing is injustice, oppression, tyranny. Islam has nothing to do if we keep our name muslim and do the acts of Rasputin or Hitler. We are the victims of “what goes around, comes around”.

    Some other time dear friend. Please google “Not the whole truth Mr. Huntington”. First is me. May be you could remove some misconceptions of yours about Islam. Regards.

  49. Amazing. First of all, welcome Ms. Mehreen Kasana. Bold of you to comment on an epic display of feature writing (Also Pakistan) and this. I was expecting your usual doodling. You still doodle, don’t you? Very impressive. Doodling is epic too. Especially when done by .. errm .. feminists like you. You are a feminist, no? Doodling feminist.

    Well, first of all congrats to LUBP for such an interesting post. But friends, this piece has NOTHING to do with NFP’s series, really. His was not a political feature but a look at certain aspects of Pakistan’s old urban culture. After all, it is the urban middle classes in this country that have been displaying and deciding morality for us, aren’t they.

    I agree with someone here who said this post can be seen as an addition to NFP’s series. It is certainly NOT a rebuttal. Wrong word, my friend.

    So, Ms. Kasana, where were we? Yes, of course, doodling …

    • Pakistan One,
      I must say your remark about Mehreen Kasana as a doodling feminist is , well, out of context. Do you have a problem against doodling feminists or just feminists since I detect a tone of scorn?
      You should really try doodling yourself sometime. It would really release those pent up emotions of yours. You are rather…unclear…about what you really mean.
      Fellow doodler and feminist

  50. @Khalid,

    1. I appreciate that my comment is still seen on the forum and not deleted. This is excellent – as the solution to any problem can only be found when anything and everything is discussed openly without any fear or favour and nothing is treated as holy cows – including religion.

    2. I agree my bringing religion into this topic is quite unrelated – that is why I mention that the real topic that need to be discussed is HAS IT SOMETHING TO DO WITH ISLAM? IS ISLAM THE REAL PROBLEM? I am ready to write a full article on this topic – but dont know if it will get published. I think I can prove my case – those who think with their heads will agree and those who think with their hearts will disagree.

    3.Let me know if publishers will agree to this article, if not, we can have a good healthy discussion on the subject through emails.

    Awaiting your reply, Regards,

  51. Raman:

    Any way you say. Period. I am nobody as far as LUBP administration is concerned. I am a freelance writer whose two or three articles have also been published on this forum that also after going through thorough vetting. You better contact them. This thread is already saturated. On publishing your input, I would be able to give a befitting reply.

    In case your article does not get published in here, try to get it published in any other forum even any Indian forum and just invite me, I will be there.


  52. In his selections on DAWN’s blog, “Also Pakistan”,Nadeem Farooq Paracha, though, posted around four pictures reflecting atrocities committed against Bangalis in Ex-Pakistan, now Bangladesh. But, many stories, highlighted in this article, are missing NFP’s selections. In short, I want to quote here Hassan Nisar that “If you distort the history, then, the history will distort you [ruthlessly]”.

  53. I think, Mr Raman is Raman Sehgal, a right winger racist who is quite active on some facebook groups. Now if this guy had been a secularist or an athiest, I would have respected his views. But this guy is simply a right wing hindu trying to only prove how his gods are better than Islamic Allah and how Muhammad is a child molestor.
    Ask him if that is not true?

    It is a different thing to be critcal of religion from a secualrist and progressive point of view but completely different from superiority of one over the other. The former is a humanist approach while the later smacks of chauvanism.

    I remember all the progressive and moderate hindus on that forum were severally critical of this mentally sick person.

    But anyways allow him to publish his views. You will soon find out that his agenda is simply to prove that how his religion of birth is better than that of Moslas..

  54. “Knee-jerk reaction, anyone?”
    The title and into of your article led me to believe that you (whoever you are, hiding your name/names) would somehow be refuting all the pictorial evidence and info gathered and presented by NFP (I know for a fact that some info in his articles was incorrect or sloppy, but not to the extent of perjury). However, you you seem to be braking up the wrong tree. As some other reader has pointed out, you would have done better to make your article an addendum to NFP’s, instead of a rebuttal…simply because it is NOT a rebuttal! You have singularly & spectacularly failed to provide even one counter-argument to NFP’s articles.

    If you or your editors had taken a few moments to calm down and think it over, instead of getting ants in your pants, your article might have had garnered more value. Instead, your knee-jerk reaction has tainted the merits of your own article, which provides some valuable facts about the past of Pakistan, albeit facts that have nothing to do with the content of NFP’s article!

    Now, for the inaccuracies in YOUR article: not all of the stuff in NFP’s article related to the upper middle-class ‘elite’ as your intro insists. Jagjit & Chitra Singh fans you will find amongst the most simple living Pakistanis. Ava Gardner’s arrival in Lahore to make a film, was a big event even for lower middle class people and cinema-going lower class people of non-metropolitan places like Muzaffargarh (that’s near Multan), where fans would cycle to great distances just to catch a movie at the nearest cinema house. Not everyone had a TV, but the huddled masses from around the neighborhood of even rural areas, in front of a single TV, enjoyed the Pakistani dramas of the 70s, which were more socially relevant than, say, Humsafar, and a lot more politically and ideologically savvy. No play was cancelled because an actress appeared in jeans/pants (unlike a few years ago…just ask Maria Wasti) before Zi forced ‘Islamization’ and political censorship on ALL media. If you somehow believe Zia was only curbing the elite of Pakistan, then you may be more naive than I initially thought.

    You may argue that alcohol and disco clubs were ‘bad’ for Pakistan (not that I agree, but that’s a different discussion), so you may cheer their forced removal by the Zia regime…but you’d be wrong again. In fact, what Zia did was make alcohol consumption and clubbing the EXCLUSIVE domain of the rich upper class ‘elite’ after these things became unavailable to the general public. See the irony of your statement?

    The rich and powerful have always enjoyed privileges and the jet-set life, in all eras, in all regimes. It is the general public who have been deprived of the little slice of the pie that they once were able to get. You (and others) may not have liked the pie for whatever reasons, but at least you had the option. NFP is mourning the loss of that option, as are many others who value the freedom of choice.

    One last thing: your questioning of Jinnah’s reluctance to showcase his chosen sect, reeks of infantile & directionless hatred. I have often been asked what sect of Islam I subscribe to, and I have never answered by naming any sect. Because I do not believe in this kind of division, even if by default (birth) I happen to land in one of these sects. Jinnah’s ‘stock’ answer was the right one, and you would be extremely lucky to come up with an equally profound yet simple answer. You want to know my answer? I actually have three (not as profound as Jinnah’s but good enough for you):
    1. “It’s none of your business!”
    2. “It’s a personal matter.”
    3. “It’s between me & God.”

  55. PS: My reply above contains some typos for which I must apologize. I was typing this in the dark, so could not get everything right. The darkness was due to load shedding…another gift that was bestowed on us (us being the poor people of Pakistan…the elite still get by on generators/UPS) by the benevolent Zia-ul-Haq.

  56. Another gutter post by gutter LUBP. They abuse and make personal attack on great liberal anti establishment stalwarts like Najam Sethi, Ejaz Haider and Hamid Mir. Whenever they criticise such greats; for me that is abuse and personal attack. LUBP must not criticise judges, civil society, media, PTI, PTH, SSP, ASWJ, LeJ, LeT, TTP, ISI, PML N, GHQ like they do all the time. They must only criticise fake PPP like ZAB, BB, AAZ and their cronies. Real PPP is Sherry Rehman and Aitzaz Ahsan. If LUBP obeys me, they are good blog. Otherwise, they continue to remain the least read alternative blog of Pakistan. Teeth, Chappatti, Cafe, PTI, Kalakutta, Bhooti Kauri are the most popular blogs of Pakistan.

  57. @Ajmal

    “Jagjit & Chitra Singh fans you will find amongst the most simple living Pakistanis.”

    You will find such fans even today. Nothing has been lost on that front. Thus, that was an irrelevant example of “Also Pakistan”.

    Your discussion of non-acknowledgement of sect simply shows your insensitivity to Shia identity and the ongoing Shia genocide in Pakistan. This is notwithstanding the fact that Jinnah’s funeral was led by a person who had a sect. See the irony?

    Ava Gardner was popular in Muzaffargarh? Good. Keep smoking.

  58. @ajmall, ever heard of straw manning or non sequiturs. Look it up as it might save both ur time and those who might pore over ur tedious and irrelevant comment. Like scores of others in the comments section, I didn’t think this post was a rebuttal. It was simply offering a more complete picture. Those who are not at the receiving end of daily attacks can afford to give glib, insensitive and dishonest remarks about their faith identity. It is disgusting that even after tens of thosands of dead Shias and Ahmadis, we are still having this discussion. Neither Jinnah or NFP are infallible and their criticism should be evaluated on its merits! Trying giving ur inane response to an LeJ gang pumping bullets into u based on ur name and other information that ascertains that u r an Ahmadi or Shia.

  59. Ajmal, yaar I hope you don’t mind my saying this but I am in splits after reading your comment. So you are suffering load shedding but have enough electricity to run a computer and modem. Either that or you own a great smartphone which costs the same as a decent generator 2 UPSs. LOL!

  60. Excellent post, Ajmal. LUBP lost the plot. Now I am scratching my head and thinking should it not be called (to quote NFP himself), ‘Let Us Save Bakistan?’

  61. @ Ajmal……while your criticism and analysis is generally well reasoned, but still you failed to, deliberately or otherwise, give credit to LUPB for pointing out the root of the problem of extremis and intolerance, which as rightly pointed by LUPB lies in the very raison d’eter of Pakistan. Also is true that legacy of undemocratic norms was sowed by the actions of Baba-e-Qoum himself, as again rightly pointed out by LUPB. I hope you would not throw the run down argument in defense of MAJ that “it was needed..bla..bla..and bla”. I expect better than you.
    While I agree that MAJ’s answer to the questions relating to his faith was a good one, but at the same time, it was nothing but “faith based identity” i.e. “muslim” that he had been riding. Should’nt MAJ have dealt with the faith issue in a similar way when in politics? Actually, he was forced to do that finally in his 11 Aug 47 speech “hindus are hindus and muslims are muslims… is a personal matter”. Is’nt that what Congress and anti-partition parties had been saying all along “Dont divide the country on the bases of faith”. What a summersault MAJ took….and yet never apologised for having done the opposite politics for more than a a decade long resulting in worst bloodshed.

    Last but not the least, I agree with your line of argument that Zia made the liberal culture and values more exclusive and accessible only to few.

  62. Nadeem Paracha was doing a pretty good job at trying to inspire us to Build pakistan again, till you came along and shat all over the place.

  63. @Pakistan one, If NFP really called LUBP “Let Us Save Bakistan”, then I guess he and his partisans have lost the plot themselves. I like both LUBP and NFP and I think both should accept valid criticism gracefully. One of LUBP’s chief criticism is that it tends to go over the top at times. I kinda agree but that is what makes is so interesting. Look at the current articles. LUBP is easily the most vocal blog against the Saudiazation of Pakistan. It does not even spare the PPP on this count. I don’t think NFP ever said this about LUBP because that would make him look really stupid which he is clearly not.

    Unfortunately, the comments by his supporters against LUBP is beginning to sound a lot like PTI trolls. That is really not doing a service to NFP’s work. While I think even NFP has a blind spot for ethnofascist bhatta-khors like MQM, I am willing to overlook that as long as he continues to take on the extremist point of view. For me, both LUBP and NFP are good. Those of his supportors who are so stung by this post have lost the plot themselves as evident from their silly arguements on this thread.

  64. Take away Jinnah’s August 11th speech and there is not much of a qualitative difference between his speeches covering 1940-48 and that of Maudodi. Jinnah (mis)used faith to create an artificial state and the sooner we wake up to this fact, the better it is.

    Those silly psuedo liberals who don’t get this deserve to be properly critiqued at LUBP. Thank you LUBP for publishing this post. It has made a whopper of an impact in a growing section at KU!

    As for Ajmal, it is one of the most self-contradictary comments that I have come across and sounds like a typical hypernationalist who cannot handle historical facts. Jinnah used the muslim faith as a central plank for creating Pakistan. This was a terrible mistake on his path and one vague speech in the middle, just does not suffice. When asked the specifics about his muslim faith, he ducked the question. This is intellectual dishonesty. What was wrong in accepting the fact that he was a Shia. Or that his most secular and able advisors were Ahmadi and Hindu.

    For a secular Pakistan that values pluralism (on which NFP has written some excellent articles), we need to get past Jinnah and develop our own discourse. And if people like Ajmal can’t handle bold critiques and facts, they need to let others have this debate. This intolerance of criticism by liberals is galling!

  65. Reading Ajmal, Pakistan One and Mohsin’s comments, I am convinced of the limitations of glib one-liners and strawmen caricatures that form the bulk of some of NFP’s posts. LUBP needs to be more open in its criticism of NFP. Sad to say but in the last two years, NFP is not sounding very different from other MQM propagandists. Don’t take my word for it. Just read his posts. There are still some good ones here and there but too many of them are either apologizing about MQM or limited to NSF politics at KU.

    As for NSF, look at what it has been reduced to. Apologists for the PCO judges. Look at two PPP back stabbers that continue to romantisize about the same limited urban campus politics. I am talking about Mairaj Khan and Dr. Mubashir Hasan. Two, failed bitter men who betrayed their benefactor (ZAB) and became PTI shills. One joined hands with the Jamaat Islami in launching a petition against the current PPP government. The other is reduced to taking pathetic personal pot shots at the young son of Shaheed Mohtarma on Faisal Qureishi’s shows.

    NFP needs to regain the same freshness of mind that made him so captivating. I am tired of reading Mummy-Daddy posts about the country-club lifestyle of urban elites. I can still get that at Fez Night at Sindh Club.

  66. let us build pakistan by what?? breaking it!??? it is my point always that what is done is done! there is no use of criticizing or pondering over whether jinnah made a secular or religious state! was he shia or sunni! etc. etc. let us build pakistan from what we have now! the most pressing of issues is balochistan. then we have to build an identity of a nation: no more sindhi balouchi pathan hazari punjabi etc. it is the only way this country can survive and that is the intention of everybody here i think! ONE last thing try to write something positive rather than critical always!

  67. Wow! Looks like this thread has turned out to be a Hyde Park. Everybody is making a speech which mostly has got nothing to do with the topic. Calling names and thinking themselves Don Quixotes, well there are millions of ordinary computer geeks doing this big time. My dear friends, it is the substance that matters not your egocentrism. “None of your business”? What if another geek drops “mind your own business”. Egocentrism, in my humble opinion, is expecting omniscient and omnipotent being which jeopardizes a healthy discussion.
    What faith Jinnah had is “none of our business”, what he did for us, we are indebted because he did it against all odds. Nobody is worried why Einstein was a Jew, we worship him because his General & Special Relativity theory and his formula E=mc^2 revolutionized the whole world. Action speaks louder than words, it is as simple as that.

  68. All I know is, Mohammed Ali Jinnah was born Shia and he was died Shia, so please we should not be jealous of Shia Muslims now, we should be proud of them as they are the founders of our nation.

  69. It seems like Mr. Abdul Nishapuri is ‘Debbie Downer’ from Saturday Night Live. I checked and most of his posts or writings are aimed to belittle Pakistan. He just can’t help to find flaws in even the slightest bit of effort if someone makes to show the lighter side of this country. What NFP did was to collect some of the golden memories to show us how things were. It is shameful to see such hatred.

    If you are a muslim then I hope you realize that this will only incite more hatred and you will be the cause of that. Instead, you should do or write something POSITIVE to actually BUILD PAKISTAN…

    Your article was an utter nonsense and nothing more than a rambling… Shame on you…

  70. Wow, this keeps getting better & better…

    Surkhab Aurakzai writes: “So you are suffering load shedding but have enough electricity to run a computer and modem. Either that or you own a great smartphone which costs the same as a decent generator 2 UPSs. LOL!”
    Oh dear! Looks like you haven’t heard of laptops and EVO sticks. LOL, indeed 🙂

    Rai Naveed wrote: “You will find such fans (Jagjit & Chitra Singh’s) even today. Nothing has been lost on that front. Thus, that was an irrelevant example of “Also Pakistan”.”
    No sir, your response is irrelevant. Firstly, because you either missed the point of my reference or don’t want to acknowledge it. The point was, such fans are not only found in the elite of Pakistan, which was the whole contention of the writers of this article (go through the first few paragraphs, in case you forgot), that NFP’s articles were addressed to a nostalgic upper class.

    As for ‘nothing being lost’, let’s see…the security situation in our country right now is so good that no sensible person wants to set foot here, let alone celebrities from India (an ‘enemy’ country, as many perceive it here). Hell, our own police stations have barricaded themselves! NFP also mentioned the once-booming tourism in Pakistan, which is no more. Something has been lost, alright…

    “Your discussion of non-acknowledgement of sect simply shows your insensitivity to Shia identity and the ongoing Shia genocide in Pakistan.”
    Hahaha, how exactly? By claiming that I do not want to be recognized as a Shia or a Sunni, or an Ahmedi, or whatnot? You logic seems to stem from “you are either with us or against us”, and if that is the extent of your intelligence, then I am against you (regardless of your faith or sect).

    “This is notwithstanding the fact that Jinnah’s funeral was led by a person who had a sect. See the irony?”
    Er…frankly, no. After a person is dead, you may cremate him ala Hindus, or you may give him a burial at sea, or you may as well dance upon his grave…none of it matters to the person who died, because his deeds are done, his time is over, and he has checked out already. Which camp gets to claim his last rights has zero implications on the life he lived.

    “Ava Gardner was popular in Muzaffargarh? Good. Keep smoking.”
    I don’t smoke, but nice try. Yes, all the classic movie stars of Hollywood & Bollywood were popular in some very non-metropolitan places. But then, I actually had friends in Muzaffargarh (and Pak Pattan) who used to get film & showbiz magazines just to feed their interest. Obviously, you are clueless about Pakistan, past or present.

    Salman wrote: “@ Ajmal……while your criticism and analysis is generally well reasoned, but still you failed to, deliberately or otherwise, give credit to LUPB for pointing out the root of the problem of extremis and intolerance, which as rightly pointed by LUPB lies in the very raison d’eter of Pakistan. Also is true that legacy of undemocratic norms was sowed by the actions of Baba-e-Qoum himself, as again rightly pointed out by LUPB.”
    Well, I have already noted in my response that this article has valuable information, but that information is not contradictory to what NFP’s articles were about; these are additional (and equally important) facts. It just highlights the negative aspects of our past, which NFP would be the first to acknowledge (as he has done in the past). His articles were about another aspect altogether.

    As for Jinnah, here’s the thing: I don’t get what all these arguments about Jinnah, Gandhi or even the order of the caliphate (the basis for the Shia-Sunni rift) are trying to achieve, and therefor I do not participate in them. My take is, what is past is past. Whether Jinnah was less than perfect or completely wicked has no relevance now. So even if the anti-Jinnah or pro-Jinnah camp wins the argument, they will have achieved nothing in terms of solving Pakistan’s problems today. Let’s say that the very raison d’etre of Pakistan was intolerance/extremism…so does that mean we should make intolerance/extremism a national & ideological trait? If Jinnah did something wrong, it does not mean that we should pardon our corrupt politicians today. Whether Hazrat Ali deserved to be the first caliph or not, has NO relevance to shedding blood in the name of sects or faith. Common sense should prevail. Sectarian violence, bias against different faiths, prejudice against other castes…even as a child i knew this was nonsense, and therefor I never aligned myself to any camp or sect or group that had that kind of bent. I have long-ago cut myself off from friends & family who had that sort of backwards mindset. I have friends who are Sunnis, Shias, Ahmedis, etc. I have found decent people amongst Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Jews…and I have embraced them. THAT is my faith, that is what I have learned from Islam.

    So, yes, Sabine, I will in fact give the same ‘inane’ response to whoever is pumping bullets in me. Fear of death is also something that I tore off and threw away a long time ago. Just ask the IJT activists who tried threatening me (or are you too young to know/remember the time when student unions ruled the colleges?)

  71. I have sent my article now it depends on the publisher to post it or not – it is there on facebook – let me know any other pakistani popular blog that where I can post it.

  72. Ajmal, so u own a laptop and a USB dongle but can’t afford a generator! Or is the darkness in ur heart and/or head?

  73. Dear Sir,
    I read your article and while some of the things you say are factual but some are not complete and based on your own prejudice and opinion. Especially your views about Jinnah being undemocratic are totally false and need to be backed by serious research.

    I don’t know your back ground or your view point but it is certainly not exactly pro pakistani. History is full of compromises not all of them pleasant for ones you can call minorities. After 65 years the whole of Pakistan speaks urdu that tells us that integration takes time and their are many unpleasant things that will happen.

    Other cultures and people like European have committed brutal atrocities and massacares of each other were common. Where they are today is a result of all those things. NFP showed us something better and what you are trying to show is full of hate and venom.

    You are only serving and feeding your own prejudices and hatred not the people of this country.

    Best Regards,

  74. @Surkhab Aurakzai: Spoken like a true moron. Looks like the darkness is in front of your eyes.

    So a laptop and USB dongle are in the same economic bracket as a generator? But then, I suppose you wouldn’t know because all your bills are being paid by your mummy & daddy. FYI, a majority of professionals in various fields own laptops and internet connections because of the nature of their work (IT, graphics, multimedia, etc). These items are a necessity for them, whereas VERY few can afford generators, and as such they are called ‘luxury’ items.

    But I’m happy that at least YOU are enjoying your generator backed existence 🙂

  75. Well, Faisal Randhwa and Khalid Humayun has said, in their comments, what there was to be said objectively on Nadeem´s and yours article. My comment is personal.

    Omissions and exclusions-the anger that arose in me while reading Nadeem´s series and seeing how everybody was going wah wah wah, dissappeared, the minute I read yours. To me this post is a rebuttal and boy what a rebuttal it is! It´s a clenched fist punch delivered in full force to the mainstream media.

    What a brilliant start, connecting it with “Also Pakistan”, breaking the universal myth “it was better before”. Yeah, for whom? and at whose expense?. You had full command on language and symbolism, stunning selection of moments from history-It felt like someone stood up for millions of us “others”. The best piece written/compiled, so far on web. Abdul Nishapuri, you were way out of everybody´s league. Thanks!

    Arundhati Roy recently said that writing fiction is something she can´t afford. She was referring to the current situation of subcontinent. Nadeem´s 4 article series came at a time when every part of pakistan is on fire, piles of dead bodies reaching the sky. I wish Nadeem had taken that nostalgia trip in his livingroom with his friends. Millions of us can neither identify ourselves with those images nor can afford it. He shouldn´t have taken our time and space-NO.

    Everybody is desperatly looking for something positive, some good news för a change, a reason to smile… We are hummiliated, standing on shaky grounds, smeared in 65 years accumulated shit mixed with pool of blood. To me LUBP´s post is a good news. Javez Junejo´s excellent investigation on Saleem Shehzad is a good news (I am gonna comment on it-serious n objective comment later).

    And of course Laibaah, you definitely are a good news:)-(very professnal summing up of Saleem Shehzad´s case)-I don´t know who you guys are but you did give me a tiny hope…salmon´s struggle against the stream…..In Pakistan, everybody is for sale….wonder what your price gonna be?

    As I said, my comment is very personal and its mainly adressed to Nadeem, hoping he will read it. (hey Khalid Humayun, Hyde Park:)sorry for doing this. Plz…let me have it, plzzzzz)

    I do like Nadeem. Not that I find him funny, No. But I believe that he is not hypocrite-just few of that sort are left. He is the only one who is not tweeting about ifftar and sehri and ramazan. He announces what he is drinking and it ain´t roh afza-a stubborn man indeed! I can imagine his face getting rainbow colours reading the comment where he is being compared with Najam Sethi, Ijaz Hyder etc…acha Mehr Bokhari to too much hi ho gaya…nej? aur wo last bastion…:)

    Heyyy Nadeem, I was wondering…hmmm when will you get over Tarik Ali? You got enough work making fun of Taliban, Maya Khan, maulvi, wagaira wagaira. I know you are missing cricket but did you hear from Amman ki wo kia…fakhta… kay kabooter… kay murghi…that India n Pak will play together. Yeah-it will be synchronised with Indien troops entering Afghanistan-thats the deal we got. So till you can watch your cricket what about some movie tonight? No, not A Clockwork Orange, No. We passed that phase long time ago. What about some Italian? I bet you can guess which movie I am suggesting….Bingo! Fascist generals feasting in the last days of Massolini-suits perfect with all the beheaded bodies walking around us…some holding their heads under their arms, some holding them by the hair…some looking for their heads…..women-raped n muitlated….howling…children screaming…..I bet you can hear them as clear as I. I hear Tarik Ali sleeps tight. What about you? Does beer help? Vodka then…

  76. @Ajmal, a laptop costs between Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 10,000 if you are going for an core i7. A dongle with good speed will cost you anywhere between Rs. 900 – Rs.2000 per month. (or more if you go for PTCL EVO nitro). A generator can cost anywhere from Rs. 60,000 to upwards of Rs. 500,000 if you go for one with a high kva. A generator that will give you fans, lights, tv and your fridge can still be had for under 1 lac. So the costs are not that far off and since I live in a joint system where many family members are working and sharing bills, it makes sense to have a basic generator. A UPS that would give you basic support for atleast 3-4 hours would cost less than the generator. But enough about the economics.

    I agree that the power situation is a major crisis and there are enough ppl to blame starting with the current government. I just did not see the logic in your arguement that someone with a laptop would not be able to afford a simple generator. My apologies if this presumption is wrong or for any offense otherwise. Agree to disagree.

    As for the article, some interesting facts. I don’t think this is a rebuttal of Nadeem sahib’s work. Both offer different views and both images are part of our history.

  77. To preach to others that their faith identity is meaningless is quite insensitive. Today 25 Shias in Pakistan were hauled out of buses after being carefully identified and shot down in cold blood. Pakistan was made on the basis of a faith identity by someone who couldn’t even own up to his actual faith affiliation. When Jinnah got married, he was a Shia and when his wife died she is buried in a Shia graveyard in Mumbai. But when asked a simple question, Jinnahjee could not even give a straight forward answer.

    Nadeem Paracha is popular in India as well. I really like his progressive views when he talks about pluralism. But this does not mean that one has to negate one’s faith identity! I also have attended many faith ceremonies (Jain, Hindu, Christain, Sikh, Shia, Jewish) and learnt good things from all. That is why I find Ajmal’s comments both bizzare and insensitive.

    Face it, both our countries have had problems so please don’t take this as one upmanship. But when Ahmadis and Shias being killed mercilessly and when Hindus and Sikhs are being forcibly converted and driven out of their ancestral lands, it is rather glib to compare that with struggle with Jemiati thugs. This is not to demean standing up to fundo thugs. All in all, I find this comment not in keeping with Nadeem’s own writing. to roughly paraphrase Urdu saying “it is worse to have naive friends/supporters”.

    Nadeem sahib’s good articles stand on their own merit and this also is a good post. Plenty of room to appreciate Nadeem and LUBP as both are educational.

  78. @ Ajmal…

    You wrote….”As for Jinnah, here’s the thing: I don’t get what all these arguments about Jinnah, Gandhi or even the order of the caliphate……….”
    Well, I for one dont support the idea that since Pakistan was created on negativity, it should continue on that path…however, in the life of nations as well as individuals, unless and until mistakes are openly admitted and debated, no positive change is ever hoped….instead, in Pak, as you know we have legislated laws which make it a crime to criticize the venomous two nation theory and Jinna..check section 120A of the PPC (i hope i quoted the right section, but its around that number). So the state has made it relevant in that sense, and also it has crept into the very psyche of the nation to defend Jinnah and 2 nation theory at every cost and the most you get out of ppl is something what you said “lets say, even if it was wrong…” and the whol line of that argument. As the author of this article has so aptly summed that

    “”We cannot move forward until we reconcile with our past. For a progressive, pluralist and secular Pakistan, we cannot be selective of our either our history or our genesis. By perpetuating a selective and concocted version of history, we are doomed to repeat our follies.”””

    I wish i could have bold and underlined it for you and for all cuz that explains the importance and need of this whole discourse. Debate on a matter of recent history of such fundamental nature cannot be and should not be dismissed or brushed under the carpet on the pretext of relevance.
    Generation after generation Pakistanis have been morphized with this drug “reverance for Jiannah and 2 nation theory” to the extent that you utter any of these words and there goes any sense of logic and analysis that they carry.

    Also if your approach is follwed, the history departments across the country’s universities should just be locked down. (Although that otherwise might do good bcoz most of the history taught in Pak is simply distorted version of history)

    Your comparison of Jinnah and Caliphet is equally inapposite and misfit.

  79. This is not a “rebuttal” of NFP’s epic feature, it’s just an addition. Why call it a rebuttal?
    Maybe by putting his name in the heading you guys were trying to get more readership, perhaps?
    This is a good post. And as a said it should be seen as an addition to NFP’s mammoth effort.


  80. @Surkhab Aurakzai: I appreciate & accept your apology. No hard feelings. Like I said before, being a working professional a laptop was more of a priority than a generator. But yes, maybe somewhere down the line, when I can spare the expense.

    @Balraj: If you had been paying attention, you would see the folly of your own comments. Nowhere have I compared the struggles and strife faced by Shias, Ahmadis, Hindus, etc to my own struggles against IJT thugs or whatever…I simply responded to Sabine’s insinuation that, with a gun pointing/firing at me, I might be less inclined to say that I don’t believe in division-by-sects. Don’t take things out of context.

    Also, let’s be clear once and for all: I am not a supporter/friend/fan of NFP. Whether I am naive or you are, is a matter of conjecture. But rest assured, that I have written to NFP about the incorrect info in his articles, and also a rebuke to his nostalgia for the time when one could smoke in public places (my contention being, that it is a stupid and irresponsible thing to do, and just because a lot of people did it in the past, does not make it the right thing to do…again, common sense). And this is where I give credit to LUBP over NFP: neither of my 2 submissions to NFP have been printed (guess he doesn’t take criticism too well), whereas all my comments have appeared here on LUBP. Kudos for playing fair!

  81. Is this article suits to LUBP (Let Us Built Pakistan) or Let Us Destruct Pakistan (LUDP)? Seems anti-Pakistani wrote it.

  82. I am not in agreement with the author of the article over the subject of it, i.e. this is in response to the NFP’s Also Pakistan series. Its not that I have a special affiliation with his writings. The simple point I would try to make is name of the series he chose, ‘Also Pakistan’. many of us have thoroughly gone through the history of Pakistan and what critical conditions have we been facing. But to be honest, the image of Pakistan that NFP has presented was completely different from what we ourselves as well as the whole world has about Pakistan. In my opinion, ‘Also Pakistan’ presented a demonstration of a large group of people, mainly the upper middle-elite class about the perception and life style they are living in. This, to me, just indicates that living conditions in Pakistan are not that extreme as the world thinks. ‘Also Pakistan’ also highlighted a ‘culture’ of this country that the world is unaware of. In my opinion, what we really need to do at the moment to get our voices heard across the world is through projecting a positive image of Pakistan, not the negative one as the author of this article has. Nadeem Sahab is just doing the right thing. No part of this world is uncovered with the clouds of terrorism or extremism, and no part of this world had not have a brutal history. Every where there have been killings and massacres. Then Why Abusing Just Pakistan All The Time? Let NFP and other people keep doing the right thing. Even if they are excluding some event(s) from their writings, consider that as a better thing for you. Just consider it is being done to portray a positive image and culture of Pakistan because this is the only thing we can do now to send across the whole world a positive message. A healthy cultural message sent across is the only way we can get foreign investment (letting alone terrorist activities), Indian or any cricket team to play Pakistan IN Pakistan.


    The dismissal of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP, now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) government has long been cited as an example of an early streak of authoritarianism in Pakistan’s history. It is said much of Pakistan’s later crisis of democracy has its roots in this decision. This sound bite has been used by many critics of Jinnah as being one grave example of lack of statesmanship at a critical juncture. I have a different view and I will endeavour to explain why.

    We must examine whether Jinnah’s actions vis-à-vis the NWFP Assembly in that first week of independence were unconstitutional. If these actions were not unconstitutional, were these undemocratic and malicious under a veil of constitutionality? Finally, if we conclude that these actions were either unconstitutional or undemocratic, were these actions responsible for Pakistan’s subsequent crisis of constitutionalism and democracy, which manifested itself in the form of prolonged periods of direct military rule in the country.

    To begin with, it is important to note again that Pakistan opted to omit Section 93 powers, which allowed the central government to dismiss provincial legislatures. India, on the other hand, retained these powers and used the same on several occasions to dismiss provincial legislatures. The dismissal of the Khan Ministry in NWFP, however, was not a dismissal of the legislature. The governor of NWFP, Sir George Cunningham, acting on the advice of the Governor-General under Section 51(5), dismissed Dr Khan Sahib as the chief minister and invited Abdul Qayyum Khan of the Muslim League to form the government. Therefore, the issue of constitutionality of the action does not arise per se.

    Now the real question is whether this meant a dismissal of a democratically elected government and whether this action taken at the behest of Jinnah was indeed undemocratic or malicious.

    To address whether the decision was democratic or not, let us consider the facts.

    Dr Khan Sahib became the premier after the 1946 election on the basis of 30 members in a House of 50. Out of these 30 members, 12 were Hindu MLAs. It may be pointed out that the weightage given to the Hindu community was 24 percent against an actual population of six percent in the province; 11 of these 12 Hindu members moved to India at independence. Of the remaining 19, two belonged to the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, an ally of the Congress Party. Congress proper had won only 16 seats out of a total of 38 Muslim seats. Therefore, Dr Khan Sahib enjoyed the support of 19 members in a House of 39, already a minority government. Later the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind members also parted company and so did a Congress member Mian Jaffar Shah, leaving Dr Khan Sahib with only 16 members in a House of 39.

    As for the procedure adopted to effect a ministry and get the requisite support, the newly formed League ministry had to show its numbers by the next budget session, which it did.

    Even otherwise Dr Khan Sahib had lost all moral authority to govern after the referendum a couple of months before independence, which had returned 51 percent votes in the Muslim League’s favour. While in recent years some have tried to argue that the referendum was questionable, the truth is that Congress had not only endorsed the referendum but had successfully procured the removal of Sir Olaf Caroe, who it deemed inaccurately as pro-League, as governor, replacing him with Sir Robert Lockhart to preside over the said referendum.

    Even Dr Khan Sahib had confidently declared that if the League received 30 percent of the votes in the election, he would resign. Dr Khan Sahib himself agreed that the referendum was as proper or improper as the election that had gotten him into power and this was promptly reported to the Viceroy by Rob Lockhart, Congress’ governor of choice. Lockhart went on to advise Dr Khan Sahib that the right and proper thing to do was to resign immediately. The governor also expressed concern that the continuation of a ministry so utterly hostile to the new state would be untenable and that the Viceroy should consider dismissing the NWFP government under section 93, which would be the best course available. In public, of course, both Dr Khan Sahib and Bacha Khan continued to declare that the referendum was improper and fraudulent.

    To this end, it is important to quote Kanji Dwarkadas, who in his letter of July 26, 1947 said: “An American journalist who has returned to Delhi from the Frontier has told me that…the Frontier referendum was run on fair lines and not as Dr Khan Sahib and Abdul Ghaffar Khan have explained it. He found Dr Khan Sahib to be muddled headed and both Khan brothers are now rather sore with the Congress for having let them down.”

    As a liberal democrat with close to four decades of parliamentary experience in the Indian legislature, Jinnah was repulsed by the idea of dismissing any Legislative Assembly.

    Therefore, in early August, he suggested instead that if given a chance the Muslim League could form a coalition government with non-Muslim representatives, which would give the Muslim League legislative majority and thereby bypass the Section 93 dismissal. As mentioned earlier, this Section 93 was in any event not available after August 14, 1947. Rob Lockhart was of the view that if a change was to be made, in the fitness of things, it had to be made quickly because he recalled that Dr Khan Sahib had warned of a mass movement, which he “would try and keep non-violent”.

    Lord Mountbatten failed to heed either advice and consequently it fell to the Governor-General of Pakistan to take a decision that he had hoped to avoid.

    The Khan brothers were openly hostile to Pakistan. They had boycotted the referendum citing that it did not have the option of NWFP remaining independent or worse joining Afghanistan. Bacha Khan had on June 27, 1947 called for an independent and free Pathan state based on Islamic principles and social justice.

    Dr Khan Sahib meanwhile continued to distribute arms licences to his party men. Similarly, consider the police intelligence report of August 5, 1947 that said: “It is rumoured in some circles that Congress and Red Shirt supporters might start civil disobedience after the 15th of August if the Congress Ministry is made to vacate the office.

    It is reported that the Faqir of Ipi will declare jihad against the British and the Hindus after the Id and that the Zalmai Pakhtoon Party would fight the Muslim League for the attainment of Pathanistan” (See No 220, National Documentation Centre, Islamabad, 1996, 263-264, The Referendum in NWFP).

    In the circumstances, which government was going to allow an openly hostile government to continue in power, especially when that government had lost its majority in the Legislative Assembly?

    In the US for example, President Abraham Lincoln had dismissed not one but five state legislatures in the South in the immediate aftermath of the civil war. Jinnah, on the other hand, had not dismissed the legislature but had ensured an in-House change.

    Therefore, in the view of this writer at least the dismissal of the Khan Ministry was constitutional, democratic and morally responsible.

  84. “In April 1948 the central government sent the Pakistan army to harass and force Mir Ahmed Yar Khan to give up his state (Kalat). Mir Ahmed Yar Khan signed an accession agreement ending Kalat’s de facto independence”

    The States of Kharan, Lasbela, Makran, and the province of British Baluchistan had already acceded to Pakistan without a bullet fired or Pak Army soldier setting foot much before the last remaining state of Kalat did, that too in March 1948, not April.

    The Army was ONLY sent in when Mir Abdul Karim Khan and his 100 or so followers first emptied the Makran state treasury, and revolted against Kalat’s merger with Pakistan. Abdul Karim’s men very briefly fight it out in mountains of Khuzdar and then fled to Afghanistan.

  85. K.Afghan From London

    I am very much impressed with Mr.Nadeem Paracha.I have browsed his 4 parts write up on Pakistan.I have saved those in my folder,but this resume about “PAST PAKISTAN”is equally an eye opener for the younger generations
    I do not know whether he has published these facts of history in a book form or not.I would wish him to do that if he has not done so far.
    It reflects what had been happening since Pakistan’s creation, the people have been affected through migration across the borders and thus creating chaos and killings and one has doubts whether this was practical in the 20th century.We have seen nothing but conspiracies one after another,still people are not sure why this had to happen.
    The carving out of a subcontinent was a greatest tragedy and even if this was to happen this should have happened in stages as per the 1940 resolution but unfortunately it did not happen and a lines were drawn to divide the subcontinent on the basis of religion a very illogical basis. I personally feel that all those politicians involved on both sides will have to answer what the outcome has been!

  86. I don’t think there is problem of having two namaz-e-janaza. Quaid-e-Azam was a liberal guy and he didnt care about being shia or not. So 2 namaz-e-janaza is not a problem. Recently a Shia youth killed by ASWJ in pindi had 2 namaz-e-janaza as his sunni friend led his prayer then a shia scholar led his funeral again.