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Ahrar-e-Hind (TTP Mohmand Group) : the 21st Century reincarnation of Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam Hind

By Yasser Latif Hamdani Bilawal Bhutto in his closing speech to Sindh Festival reminded the intellectuals of Pakistan that those who stand with the Taliban today are the same people who stood against Jinnah and called him Kafir-e-Azam.  This point is not always underscored. The recent emergence of the terrorist group Ahrar-e-Hind has surprised many.  Unfortunately our intellectuals do not read history nor are they particularly adept at any kind of deep analysis.  Had they read some history, they would know that the whole intellectual movement that has spawned Taliban has always been consistent in its hatred of Pakistan, its founding principles and what it represented for the Muslims of South Asia. The role of Majlis-e-Ahrar is the most significant when it comes to Militant Islam in the subcontinent. This was a pre-partition body of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Drawing a Line o the Events of 1947

Drawing a Line o the Events of 1947

By Ghazala Akbar The division of the Sub-continent into India and Pakistan and eventually into Bangladesh reverberates 66 years after the event. Partition as we are painfully aware did not begin or end in 1947. Not a single day passes, in the collective memories and in the present day politics of our three countries when we are not reminded or are rueful of the consequences of this cleaving. It is a continual work-in-progress, a chapter that … Read entire article »

Filed under: Identity, Jinnah, Politics

The Partition debate

by Saad Hafiz The intense debate over the Partition of India in 1947 continues six decades later. Some commentators have described the partition as neither inherently desirable nor necessary feasible but tragically inevitable. They attribute this to the Congress and Muslim League’s incompatible visions for India, which led to deadlock in talks forcing the British to impose a solution. Others suggest that the partition was a crude and unthinking form of gerrymandering with tragic consequences leading to a permanent poisoning of Hindu-Muslim relations. They dismiss it as a socio-religious experiment, a failure of leadership that the worst possible alternative was chosen. Messrs Gandhi, Jinnah, Nehru and Mountbatten, the main players in the partition saga have been praised or vilified as strong-willed visionaries or mediocre statesmen. It has been suggested that they … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

SPLITTING INDIA: A Corrective of Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed’s Inaccuracies

SPLITTING INDIA: A Corrective of Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed’s Inaccuracies

This article is in response to the so called “myth busting” series on partition by Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed, published in The Friday Times.  Tragically the so called “myth busting series” is fraught with errors, concealment and special pleading. In this first rebuttal I will only address the factual inaccuracies so far. I do intend to write more rebuttals as the good dr continues his “myth busting” reinforcement of nationalist narratives of India and Pakistan.   By … Read entire article »

Filed under: History, India, Jinnah, Partition

A Distortion of History?

By Umair Tariq Recently I came across an essay written by renowned historian William Dalrymple – best known in Pakistan for his famous work ‘The Last Mughal’ – examining the current Afghanistan situation within a historical context. Reading the essay pained me greatly for it was like looking at a burlesque fantasy where the author conveniently distorted facts and mingled them with his love for the Indian establishment and Hamid Karzai. The essay – if not completely then partially—is murder of historical accounts and acute distortion of facts that quite unworthy of a reputable international historian like Dalrymple. Dalrymple grossly misinterpreted history and twisted it in favor of Hamid Karzai, all the while overlooking the drastic mismanagement, corruption and acute embezzlement in Karzai’s government. It starts with Dalrymple pointing the barrels of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Afghanistan, Pakistan

Kapil Komireddi’s butchery of history on Jinnah

Kapil Komireddi’s butchery of history on Jinnah

  By Yasser Latif Hamdani So complete have been the state sponsored mythologies in the subcontinent that both Indians and Pakistanis are incapable of looking at the past objectively or with any kind of intellectual ability. Consider for example jingoistic Indian columnist Kapil Komireddi’s piece for Daily Beast titled “Pakistan’s Mohammad Ali Jinnah is not Mandela”. As if Jinnah would care he would be compared to Mandela. Nelson Mandela is no doubt a great leader of our times … Read entire article »

Filed under: Jinnah

Hamid Mir, Nasim Yousaf and distorting the image of the founding father

By Yasser Latif Hamdani Pakistanis like to claim a lot of nonsense about Jinnah. Most recently Hamid Mir of Geo has claimed that Jinnah had willed that Shabbir Ahmed Usmani would lead his funeral prayers. What can one say to such patent nonsense? I suppose Jinnah told his butler, “I have decided that Usmani old boy would lead my funeral prayers” while holding a cigar in one hand, a class of single malt in the other and his pet dog resting in his lap. Ludicrous. There is absolutely no evidence of any kind – primary or otherwise- that seconds such a ridiculous claim. As a counter-question, one may also ask why then a separate Shia funeral was held at the Governor General’s residence? Was that also willed? It goes without saying that … Read entire article »

Filed under: History, Jinnah

Baloch Separatism is not a liberal cause

We are posting this exclusive article by Yasser Latif Hamdani. It should be noted that this is the personal view of the author and should not be construed as the stance of Pak Tea House, its editors and contributors. PTH Admn It is become some what of trend in chattering classes of Pakistan where causes are fads and the latest fashion. If you disagree with Baloch separatism you are automatically illiberal, Islamist, ISI Stooge, Punjabi elite boys, fakester, Fake Liberal, racist against Baloch people and so on and so forth. Therefore let me state it at the outset- Baloch Separatism is not a liberal cause. In fact it is not much of a cause as much as it is a bunch of political actors fighting over royalty from Gas well heads … Read entire article »

Filed under: baluchistan

Maulana Azad on Jinnah and Partition

From Watan 1948: Muslims alone are not responsible for it. This strategy was first adopted by the British government and then endorsed by the political minds of Aligarh. Later, Hindu short-sightedness made matters worse and now freedom has become contingent on the partition of India. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Partition of Sudan: Learning from India and Pakistan

Partition of Sudan: Learning from India and Pakistan

By Yasser Latif Hamdani Sudan, the largest country in Africa, has been partitioned into two much like British India was partitioned in 1947. The principle on which South Sudan today stands as the newest member of the comity of nations is the same principle on which Pakistan was founded. In both cases the underlying principle was not religion but rather a group identity escaping the majoritarian identity of the mother state. At the very least it … Read entire article »

Filed under: Jinnah, Pakistan, Pakistan-India Peace Process, Partition

Was Jinnah A Democrat?

Was Jinnah A Democrat?

A continuation from “Was Jinnah secular?” and “Did Jinnah want Pakistan?”. By Yasser Latif Hamdani There are many people who criticize Jinnah – quite incorrectly in my opinion- of having laid the foundations for subsequent periods of authoritarian military rule. They allege that Jinnah’s decision to become the Governor General was the first blow to parliamentary democracy in Pakistan. Unable to distinguish the argument of constitutional purists pleading the ceremonial and executive roles of president and prime … Read entire article »

Filed under: History, Jinnah

Religious Right in Their Own Words; the Concept of an Islamic State

Part 1 By Adnan Syed This two part series revisits one of the pivotal events of the early Pakistani history; the riots by the religious right wing parties to get Ahmadis declared as non-Muslims, and the subsequent Munir-Kiyani inquiry commission report into the causes behind the riots. The report went on to interview the religious leaders of the newly formed state of Pakistan regarding their motives and their ideas of Pakistan as a pure Islamic state. As the interviews revealed the incongruous replies of various leaders, they also showed  vague but chilling ideas that the right wing parties harboured to turn the newly formed Muslim nation into a political- Islam-dominated theocratic nation. The interviews reveal the role of democracy, non Muslims, Jihad and punishments like apostasy that would be practiced in an ideal … Read entire article »

Filed under: Constitution, Democracy, Islam, Islamism, Jinnah, Judiciary, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Religion

Daily Times: Nationalism: inclusive versus exclusive — III

Cross Post from Daily Times Published July 13, 2010 By Ishtiaq Ahmed Rather than hate India, we should learn from India. It has five times a greater population, far greater ethnic and linguistic variation and myriads of religious faiths and cults. It is not a democracy in the social sense but it is a sophisticated democracy in the political sense I have presented, mainly, the exclusive model of nationalism and state-nationalism that I have argued emerged in Pakistan, notwithstanding the very bold attempt of Jinnah to supplant it with inclusive nationalism. Exclusive nationalism — whether based on race or religion or some other cultural factor — discriminates, constitutionally, people who do not qualify as members of the community because they do not share the specific cultural ties that have been chosen to define the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Identity, India, Islam, Islamabad, Islamism, Jinnah, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, minorities, Pakistan, Religion, secular Pakistan

Daily Times: Nationalism: inclusive versus exclusive — II —

By Ishtiaq Ahmed When the Hindu members of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly expressed their worries about ‘sovereignty over the entire universe belonging to God’, Liaquat Ali Khan assured them that a Muslim state should have no problem in having a non-Muslim as prime minister. However, this was not true Jinnah wanted to establish a Muslim-majority state, but not a Muslim-majoritarian state that would privilege Muslims over non-Muslims in their status and rights as citizens; hence he spoke of Pakistani nationalism and not Muslim nationalism when on August 11, 1947 he addressed the Pakistan Constituent Assembly: “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Egalitarian Pakistan, History, Identity, Islam, Islamism, Jinnah, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, minorities, Pak Tea House, Pakistan

Daily Times – Nationalism: inclusive versus exclusive — I

At PTH, we have argued for the partition as a nuanced set of events that were characterized by extreme mistrust between the two major political forces of that time. These major parties harboured deep distrust against each other. The Muslim League politics increasingly focused on the idea of Pakistan as a bargaining chip to win the rights for the sizeable Muslim majority within the United India. The British hurry to leave the United India, emergence of Muslim League as the sole spokesman for the Muslims, and Congress unwillingness to recognize the Muslim nation demands within the United India resulted in a bloody and messy partition. We still live with the scars of the partition that resulted in one of the largest uprooting and human migration of modern times. … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture, Democracy, Egalitarian Pakistan, History, Identity, Islam, Islamabad, Islamism, Jinnah, minorities, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Religion, secular Pakistan