A future foretold

By Saad Hafiz

resolution

Another Pakistan Day or Pakistan Resolution Day has come and gone, this time with a grand military parade put off for several years due to terrorism fears. On March 23, 1940, the All-India Muslim League moved a resolution in its annual session in Lahore that demanded autonomous states for the Muslims of British India. This resolution was a change in strategy from the Muslim League’s earlier demand for constitutional guarantees for Muslims in a federal system. It was meant to be the only viable solution to the persistent Hindu-Muslim discord. This discord was primarily driven by the quest of rival communal elites for political and economic power.
In keeping with a general lack of will to query and investigate the past pre- and post-March 23, 1940, the inviolability of the March 23, 1940 resolution is rarely questioned in Pakistan; it is considered supreme belief. Few have had the courage to probe into the conditions prior to the passage of this resolution, to question whether it was an attempt to regain past Muslim glory, force some political concessions from the Hindu majority or a virtual declaration of a one-way flight towards independence, irrespective of the costs.

The motives of the founding leaders from the Muslim League are also rarely questioned. They were almost all from the landed gentry, with feudal mindsets, mostly beholden to the British for their station in life. Did the Muslim leadership work up some grand design to reduce the Hindus from a majority in undivided India to a minority in real terms? Did they act out of patriotic instinct and genuine fear of Hindu domination or from a limitless Muslim political appetite to demand Pakistan? Did they genuinely see the demand for Pakistan benefiting Muslims and Islam?

We know that the Lahore Resolution became the ideological justification and framework for the creation of Pakistan. Based on the Two Nation Theory, it meant that the Muslims of united India, defined by their distinct religious identity and culture, represented a separate nation in need of a separate homeland. Away from a sense of trepidation and apprehension of Hindu domination, it provided the foundation for a homogenous Muslim nation state, increasingly of a distinct brand and zeal. Gradually, the kind of Islam in South Asia that propagated humanity, tolerance, peace and love was buried under nationalistic fervour. Moreover, as predicted, the masses in the Punjabi heartland fully succumbed to the propaganda in favour of pan-Islamism.

The post-independence Muslim leadership was more concerned about protecting its privileges and had little interest in building an inclusive, progressive society. After Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan, the leadership lost its credibility and charisma, and mostly regressed into the visionless, dogmatic and ordinary. The destructive desire to see more Islam in the public domain took precedence over transformative decisions on the abolition of feudalism and land reform. The dominant elite adopted a self-serving policy for the use of state resources and patronage. As an alternative to establishing a democratic political order that created a sense of political participation and socioeconomic justice among the diverse populace, the authoritarian elite established a highly elitist model that served the interests of the ascendant political and bureaucratic-military elite. Instead of establishing a just society, the new state pursued policies that exacerbated and entrenched social, class and ethnic divisions. The neglect of the issues of human and societal development that increased poverty, underdevelopment, unemployment and socioeconomic deprivation haunt Pakistan now.

And Pakistan entered into unequal foreign alliances to overcome its deep-seated insecurities and to help fund the national security state. The acquisition of weapon systems, warplanes, missiles, tanks and nuclear capability took precedence over health, education and welfare. After 1971, with the secession of East Pakistan, Pakistan finally evolved into an exclusive Muslim national security state ruled and protected by its martial races. Despite its huge defence capability, fear and insecurity plagues the state in the present day. The political system has always lived on borrowed time under the careful eye of the top military brass.

The founding fathers could hardly have foreseen the Pakistan of today; a dysfunctional country mired in chaos, A future foretold by Saad Hafiz

Another Pakistan Day or Pakistan Resolution Day has come and gone, this time with a grand military parade put off for several years due to terrorism fears. On March 23, 1940, the All-India Muslim League moved a resolution in its annual session in Lahore that demanded autonomous states for the Muslims of British India. This resolution was a change in strategy from the Muslim League’s earlier demand for constitutional guarantees for Muslims in a federal system. It was meant to be the only viable solution to the persistent Hindu-Muslim discord. This discord was primarily driven by the quest of rival communal elites for political and economic power.
In keeping with a general lack of will to query and investigate the past pre- and post-March 23, 1940, the inviolability of the March 23, 1940 resolution is rarely questioned in Pakistan; it is considered supreme belief. Few have had the courage to probe into the conditions prior to the passage of this resolution, to question whether it was an attempt to regain past Muslim glory, force some political concessions from the Hindu majority or a virtual declaration of a one-way flight towards independence, irrespective of the costs.

The motives of the founding leaders from the Muslim League are also rarely questioned. They were almost all from the landed gentry, with feudal mindsets, mostly beholden to the British for their station in life. Did the Muslim leadership work up some grand design to reduce the Hindus from a majority in undivided India to a minority in real terms? Did they act out of patriotic instinct and genuine fear of Hindu domination or from a limitless Muslim political appetite to demand Pakistan? Did they genuinely see the demand for Pakistan benefiting Muslims and Islam?

We know that the Lahore Resolution became the ideological justification and framework for the creation of Pakistan. Based on the Two Nation Theory, it meant that the Muslims of united India, defined by their distinct religious identity and culture, represented a separate nation in need of a separate homeland. Away from a sense of trepidation and apprehension of Hindu domination, it provided the foundation for a homogenous Muslim nation state, increasingly of a distinct brand and zeal. Gradually, the kind of Islam in South Asia that propagated humanity, tolerance, peace and love was buried under nationalistic fervour. Moreover, as predicted, the masses in the Punjabi heartland fully succumbed to the propaganda in favour of pan-Islamism.

The post-independence Muslim leadership was more concerned about protecting its privileges and had little interest in building an inclusive, progressive society. After Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan, the leadership lost its credibility and charisma, and mostly regressed into the visionless, dogmatic and ordinary. The destructive desire to see more Islam in the public domain took precedence over transformative decisions on the abolition of feudalism and land reform. The dominant elite adopted a self-serving policy for the use of state resources and patronage. As an alternative to establishing a democratic political order that created a sense of political participation and socioeconomic justice among the diverse populace, the authoritarian elite established a highly elitist model that served the interests of the ascendant political and bureaucratic-military elite. Instead of establishing a just society, the new state pursued policies that exacerbated and entrenched social, class and ethnic divisions. The neglect of the issues of human and societal development that increased poverty, underdevelopment, unemployment and socioeconomic deprivation haunt Pakistan now.

And Pakistan entered into unequal foreign alliances to overcome its deep-seated insecurities and to help fund the national security state. The acquisition of weapon systems, warplanes, missiles, tanks and nuclear capability took precedence over health, education and welfare. After 1971, with the secession of East Pakistan, Pakistan finally evolved into an exclusive Muslim national security state ruled and protected by its martial races. Despite its huge defence capability, fear and insecurity plagues the state in the present day. The political system has always lived on borrowed time under the careful eye of the top military brass.

The founding fathers could hardly have foreseen the Pakistan of today; a dysfunctional country mired in chaos, civil conflict and external diktat, a breeding ground for jihadi fundamentalism and extremism, heavily dependent on its domineering armed forces for its very survival. The religious conflict that continues to tear Pakistan apart nowadays is rooted in the pre-independence projection of Islam as an instrument of political power. It is a major consequence of looking at essentially political disputes through the religious prism.

It is worth noting that whilst laying down the political demands of the Muslims of India, the Lahore Resolution emphasised, with equal passion, the provision of “adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards” for the “protection of the religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights and interests” of minorities. The resolution envisaged a Pakistan not solely as a homeland for Muslims, but as a state where pluralist ideologies and beliefs could survive and flourish, amidst tolerance and protection. The revival of this dream is required if Pakistan is to become a modern, progressive democratic state and make the celebrations of national days meaningful for all civil conflict and external diktat, a breeding ground for jihadi fundamentalism and extremism, heavily dependent on its domineering armed forces for its very survival. The religious conflict that continues to tear Pakistan apart nowadays is rooted in the pre-independence projection of Islam as an instrument of political power. It is a major consequence of looking at essentially political disputes through the religious prism.

It is worth noting that whilst laying down the political demands of the Muslims of India, the Lahore Resolution emphasised, with equal passion, the provision of “adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards” for the “protection of the religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights and interests” of minorities. The resolution envisaged a Pakistan not solely as a homeland for Muslims, but as a state where pluralist ideologies and beliefs could survive and flourish, amidst tolerance and protection. The revival of this dream is required if Pakistan is to become a modern, progressive democratic state and make the celebrations of national days meaningful for all Pakistanis.

  • saadhafiz

    Rex Minor: my favorite twit! You are right that the Taliban are the salt of the earth. They shoot first and ask (no) questions later. We need more of their kind around for humankind to progress.

  • Rex Minor

    Saad Hafiz,
    You need no look or tweet too far, they are in your neighbouring country the USA wearing police uniforms and do exactly what you prefer. No one can escape them and those who show their back ends up with eight bullets in the back.

    Rex Minor

  • romain

    Saad Sb,

    I wonder how much truth there is in Christine Fair’s book. Here is an synopsis that she is presenting to an Indian think tank in India. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrxDtncXZZg

    If 1/2 of what she is saying is true then I think the problem is not land reforms, it is the mindset of a defeated Army. Lets take this discussion to the email domain if public discussion could be like smoking – ie injurious to health.

  • saadhafiz

    Thanks Romain sb. I will watch and revert.

  • romain

    Saad Sb,

    if you thought HH was bad here is a dated Tariq Ali speaking exactly what HH is saying

  • saadhafiz

    All that is needed against the Taliban!

    Paintballs and bird calls: Army double downs on unorthodox tactics against Taliban

    WASHINGTON POST

    KHARIAN: The army is employing some rather interesting methods at a training site tucked in a forest in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, where the military says 65 per cent of troops fighting Operation Zarb-e-Azb are being trained.

    Earlier this month, the military took The Washington Post on a rare public tour of the 2,500-acre facility, which opened in 2009. According to the Post article, as many as 3,000 soldiers arrive each month for two dozen training scenarios, some of which are staged in a set made to look like a typical village in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

    “This is a complete architectural rendition, from the interior to the exterior to the foxholes, of what you would see in FATA,” Maj. Nauman Mushtaq said as he led a reporter through a muddy tunnel that started in one house and ended in another.

    While training at this site does include live-fire exercises, the army is also relying heavily on paintballs for its simulated war games. One section of the sprawling National Counterterrorism Center Pabbi is dedicated to these paintball fights. Soldiers armed with paintball guns face off in a field about the size of a volleyball court, exchanging at least 2,000 paintballs during one training session.

    A soldier shot above the chest with a paintball is considered killed, while three or more shots below the waist lead to ejection from the drill.

    According to Maj. Khalid Waleed, the training techniques are designed to make troops more comfortable with “close-quarters battles close to the ground.”

    Another part of the base houses a mock two-story cave with a window on the second floor which allows troops to look into the cave. A computerised camera system and mannequins are used to fire paintballs at soldiers inside.

    A demonstration involved three soldiers throwing flash bangs before storming a cave, battling their computer-controlled opponent while taking cover behind rocks. Two soldiers escaped without any injury, but a third was left rubbing off paint off his neck.

    Read: Pakistan army battles Taliban for strategic valley

    In another exercise, soldiers are taught who to kill first when shooting from a moving truck. The instruction is fairly simple; the assailant closest to the vehicle is shot at first since they could be a suicide bomber. In another noteworthy exercise, troops are taught how to rescue someone while still using both hands to fire their weapons with shoulders being used to carry the person being rescued.

    A Pakistani soldier carries ammunition used in training at the National Counter Terrorism Centre Pabbi in Punjab province. PHOTO COURTESY: THE WASHINGTON POST

    Another interesting unconventional tactic being used by the army at the training base involves bird calls. In the exercise, a soldier hides in a tree in what looks like a large nest. The soldier then uses one of many bird calls that he has been taught when he spots a potential target. Then, under the tree, soldiers concealed in a small pit covered with sticks and grass climb out and begin shooting.

    “The terrorists don’t suspect us to use these tactics, so when we do, they are really badly trapped,” said Brig Abrar Ali, commander of the center.

    He went on to add that fighting against militancy in Pakistan’s northern areas demanded an evolution of battle tactics. “In our experience, this is not a battle with large forces. We have to learn how to fight in very small teams,” Ali added.

    Lt Col Kashif Amin, who leads a cavalry regiment of 44 tanks based in Lahore, brought 400 soldiers for training at Pabi since tanks are of little operational use in rugged North Waziristan.

    “Especially for the younger soldiers, this is more challenging because they were trained for armored operations but will now be doing infantry,” Amin said.

    Still, Ali concedes that the military is battling an enemy who will probably always have some advantage when fighting in Pakistan’s tribal areas. He notes that many militants use the same stealth tactics that they or their fathers perfected as mujahideen fighters who resisted the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

    Read: Nawaz has ensured ‘all potentials of Pakistan Army’ to Kingdom: Saudi press agency

    “The only specialized training they need is how to make [bombs],” Ali said.

    Pakistani commanders and troops say the training conducted at the National Counterterrorism Center Pabbi is what is really allowing them to gain the upper hand against militants. Since the army launched a major operation in June, soldiers have cleared most of North Waziristan. They are now trying to drive the extremists from their final hiding places in the Tirah Valley, in adjoining Khyber Agency, commanders say.

    “These Taliban are dug in the caves, so you can’t do it by aerial bombardment,” said Javed Ashraf Qazi, a retired general and former head of Pakistan’s intelligence service. “You have to go in there and physically dislodge them.”

    The article originally appeared in The Washington Post

  • slk

    PTH reveals how muslim brains are programmed to lie and shriek for those lies and also pretend innocence and cleverness.


    A book that cannot be criticized leads to fascism centered on this book.

    A so-called prophet who cannot be criticized leads to fascism centered on this so-called prophet.

    These are basic facts about human societal life.

    Defending so-called holy cities means to defend those who have the self-made privilege to lie and rob in these cities.