(Shared By Mirza Ashraf)
Pakistan has existed for about 66 years and much has been written about the purpose behind its creation and the sacrifices the Muslims of the Subcontinent made for it. Pondering over the reasons for Pakistan’s creation and the goals that the Quaid-e-Azam had in mind, I could not help turning to the result of that effort and the Pakistan of today.
Let me start off by quoting how Lord Macaulay saw the Subcontinent and described it in the British parliament on February 2, 1835: “I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief; such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture; for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, the native culture, and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation”.
This was the situation in the Subcontinent at that time. After 1857, things drastically changed; Muslims became the oppressed community and the Hindus became the darlings of the British. The British followed the advice of Lord Macaulay in letter and in spirit. With Sir Syed’s efforts and hard work, and under the guidance of Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam, we did manage to get a homeland of our own. Hopes for its future were very high at the time and our forefathers often mentioned the golden principles that lay at its foundation. Unfortunately now, after 66 years, we are forced to come to the conclusion that it is a dream gone sour.
I would like to quote Sir Winston Churchill, who was against granting independence to the Subcontinent so soon. He said: “Power will go to the hands of the rascals, rogues, freebooters; all Indian leaders will be of low calibre and men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles. A day would come when even air and water would be taxed in India”.
Churchill was a great leader, a great Brit, a great patriot and he had great intuition. He could see what would happen fifty years ahead. How right he was, especially concerning Pakistani leaders!
The following is a quote from Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, a genius, a great religious scholar and later India’s education minister. The interview was given to Shorish Kashmiri in April 1946. It was spread over a period of two weeks and is so pertinent that I would like to share it in total at some later date. Azad said: “We must remember that an entity conceived in hatred will last only as long as that hatred lasts. This hatred will overwhelm the relation between India and Pakistan. In this situation, it will not be possible for India and Pakistan to become friends and live amicably.
“Indian Muslims will have three options: 1) they become victims of loot and brutalities and migrate to Pakistan; 2) they become subject to murder and excesses and a substantial number of Muslims will pass through this ordeal; and 3) a good number of Muslims, haunted by poverty, political wilderness and regional degradation decide to renounce Islam.
“Pakistan will be afflicted by many serious problems. The greatest danger will come from international powers who will seek to control the new country and, with the passage of time, this control will become tight. I believe that it will not be possible for East Pakistan to stay with West Pakistan for any considerable period of time. There is nothing common between the two regions except that they call themselves Muslims. The environment of Bengal is such that it disfavours leadership from outside and rises in revolt when it senses danger to its rights and interests. After the separation of East Pakistan, whenever that happens, West Pakistan will become the battleground of regional contradictions and disputes.
The assertion of subnational identities of Punjab, Sindh, Frontier and Balochistan will open the doors for outside interference. I feel that, right from its inception, Pakistan will face some very serious problems viz 1) incompetent leadership will pave the way for military dictatorship, as has happened in many Muslim countries; 2) the heavy burden of foreign debt; 3) absence of friendly relations with neighbours and the possibility of armed conflict; 4) internal unrest and regional conflicts; 5) the loot of national wealth by the new-rich and industrialists of Pakistan; 6) the apprehension of class war as a result of exploitation by the new-rich; 7) the dissatisfaction and alienation of the youth from religion and the collapse of the theory of Pakistan; 8) the conspiracies of the international powers to control Pakistan; and 9) in this situation, the stability of Pakistan will be under strain and Muslim countries will be in no position to provide any worthwhile help. Assistance from other sources will not come without strings and it will force both ideological and territorial compromises”.
This interview was conducted in Urdu, translated into English by former Indian Cabinet Minister Arif Mohammad Khan and published in the magazine ‘Covert’. In another interview he warned migrating Muslims that in Pakistan it would be their heads and only the shoes would change.
Briefly, these were the apprehensions (and forecasts) that Maulana Azad had about the future of Pakistan. Look around and see if he was wrong! He had the interests of the Muslims of India at heart. He knew that India would be divided and that the Muslims would suffer heavily. And without any fear or ambiguity, he put the blame of Partition on the Congress.
Prof Dr Schuemann in a lecture on Asian Politics delivered at Brooklyn, New York on June 3, 1949. He said: “The state of Pakistan, which recently came into being in South East Asia, is a state manifest with enormous pitfalls unique to itself. Its existence is vulnerable, as time will show…in less than half a century the state will collapse because of its people who are born with the chains of slavery, whose thoughts cannot see love of a free country and whose minds cannot function beyond the scope of personal selfish ends, mark my words. I know their insides”.
If we don’t learn from these forecasts and put our house in order, we are doomed. As a matter of fact, unfortunately the future of Pakistan looks very bleak.