The Pakistan army has been continuously selling the idea of ‘insecurity from India’ among the people, giving defence the top most priority while relegating critical issues like education and health to the bottom.
Pakistan has been continuously and successfully perpetuating lies through its media and books.
According to their textbooks, the history of Pakistan begins with 871AD, as Islam enters the Indian subcontinent.
Read the word – ‘Pakistan’ – what pops up in your mind? To me, it is ‘a rogue nation’.
Recently, taking a note of the Kashmir unrest, Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan nominated his 22 parliamentarians as special envoys to visit major countries across the world and rake up Indian atrocities and human rights abuses in Kashmir. ‘An attempt to appease the disgruntled parliamentarians by sending them on a world tour’ couldn’t hide behind the Kashmir curtain, but became a laughing stock as the parliamentarians when asked about Mehbooba Mufti, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and its ethnicity and map on a live show were mum asking, “Who is Mehbooba?” The Prime Minister in fact went on to address the United Nations General Assembly 2016 with Kashmir as their main agenda, another attempt to divert the immediate public attention from core issues, such as water and energy crisis, and most importantly, the Panama leaks, Sharif’s latest dilemma.
Home to the world’s most wanted terrorists, Pakistan is one of the biggest victims of terrorism too. According to an Amnesty International report, Pakistan is one of the world's five worst countries witnessing the highest number of human rights violations. However, Pakistan, on international platforms, continues to be garrulous on Kashmir, but boorish towards Baloch, Gilgit and Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir issues. The country is hopping on its endless animosity with India; compels me to raise the point – what’s wrong with the nation?
Besides sponsoring terrorism since 1947, as part of its foreign policy, Pakistan is obstinate, keeping public affairs, unresolved and unaddressed and leaving its origin – vague, weak, gloomy and tense that otherwise could have played a crucial role in pushing the nation forward.
The Genesis of Pakistan
Stability comes from the identity – who you are? The tragedy of Pakistan is that the more one reads about the country, the more confused he or she becomes. This is precisely because of the blatant lies, spoken in media and purposely written in their textbooks. The story of the genesis of Pakistan in the state textbooks is no different.
The 36 years of direct military rule not only weakened the very existence of the civic society, but in its quest to define the ideology of Pakistan and justify the genesis for a greater cause, Pakistan Army-led curriculum has gone to the extent of writing a fiction with some facts hanging here and there, and later declared the text as the ‘History of Pakistan’. ‘Pathological liars’ as the eminent political scientist and a professor at Center for Peace and Security Studies, at Georgetown University, Christine Fair prefers to call, Pakistan didn’t stop here, but blended the content with Islam and Arabic culture while omitting their real past – their Indian origin – snubbing the fact that the world is watching them.
Precisely, like their strategic failures at wars, this too damaged the country’s image all around.
Eminent Pakistani Historian and a Professor at Tufts University, Ayesha Jalal recalls, “During Pervez Musharraf’s regime, there were some sincere efforts to reform. It took five years to revise and rewrite the entire history books for Class V to Class IX. And, when the books were sent to me for review purposes, clearly the confusion was very much present there. The very first line was, “We want to teach our students analytical history and make our students good Muslims.”
Having understood the recursive mindset, she disassociated herself from the project, “The point is if you want to teach history, teach history, not Islam.” Her intent was pretty clear. “Don’t bring religion into it.”
Hasan Nisar, Pakistan’s leading anthropologist and journalist said, “One of the most blatant lies propagated in Pakistan is the very idea of Pakistan. The books don’t discuss the glorious civilisations of Mohenjo-Daro and the Indus Valley, their social system in which KPK and Sindh played prominent roles.”
According to their textbooks, the history of Pakistan begins with 871AD, as Islam enters the Indian subcontinent. The irony is that they have used the word ‘Pakistan’s Kingdom’ instead of Mugal’s. The books are so confusing that many of the countrymen call themselves as descendants of infamous barbarians Ahmed Shah Abdali, Bin Qasim, Mughals and Taymor Lung. The books make them believe that they have ruled India, Bangladesh and other countries for 1,000 years. And, they are here to rule.
“Islam which should have been the sociological reality became an abstraction,” said Jalal.
Nisar in his talk show averred, “The truth is, we are Aryans like most of the Indians, and that’s a fact. We are nowhere associated with the Arabs. We have nothing in common.”
Pakistan, once a cradle of civilisation became a buffoon of pseudo-nationalists.
The troublesome fiasco of Partition could have been avoided, had Jinnah followed Maulana Madani and not Allama Iqbal! Though, Iqbal never clearly asked for a separate nation for Muslims, but separate provinces under the federal governance. This was his idea of Pakistan.
Jalal in her book The struggle for Pakistan: A Muslim Homeland And Global Politics, observed, “The fact that two-nation theory was anything but far from solving the minority issues. The issues have, in fact, aggravated it.”
In many books, it is said that Pakistan was born because Muslims and Hindus never wanted to live together. The statement was actually made by various leaders of All India Muslim League and some Indian National Congress Leaders to make way for the Partition. Nisid Hajari, author of Midnight's Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India's Partition elucidated, “Islam or religion was never the reason behind the two-nation theory, but a medium infused later, to achieve the goals of various parties/personalities. The Partition was, in fact, a part and parcel of the thin skins of Jawaharlal Nehru and Muhammad Ali Jinnah.” Venkat Dhulipala, associate professor of History, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and visiting senior fellow, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, too supported the claim, “Muhammad Ali Jinnah, an atheist, used Islam as a mere bargaining chip, keeping the idea of Pakistan vague. A major part of the Muslim community had, in fact, disagreed with the idea, but lacked a separate voice as top leaders were in prison following the Quit India Movement.”
This was nowhere a ‘victory’, as described in Pakistan but just a bitter truth, untold in Pakistani books. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, who later became the first education minister of independent India, had rejected factual myths circling around the ‘two-nation theory' in 1946: "Jinnah was an ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity. Till 1937, he did not favour the demand to partition India. In his message to various student bodies, he stressed the need to work for Hindu-Muslim unity. But he felt aggrieved when the Congress formed governments in seven states and ignored the Muslim League. In 1940 he decided to pursue the Partition demand to check Muslim political decline. In short, the demand for Pakistan is his response to his own political experiences. As a politician, he has worked overtime to fortify Muslim communalism and the demand for Pakistan. Now it has become a matter of prestige for him and he will not give it up at any cost.”
Narendra Singh Sarila, in his book Shadow of the Great Game: the Untold Story of Partition, however, pointed out, “As early as March 1945, Winston Churchill and British staff decided that the partition was necessary for strategic reasons. They deliberately set out to create Pakistan because Jinnah had promised to provide military facilities and Nehru had refused to do so. This is key to understanding why Pakistan is so dysfunctional. It’s an artificial political entity. The British put together five ethnic groups that never before coexisted. The Bengalis were biggest. They outnumbered all the other four combined – the Punjabis, the Pashtuns, the Sindhis and the Baloch.”
Pakistan got the freedom by paying little. The Bengalis who paid the maximum cost were kept at bay when it came to the participation in federal governance. There was no ideology left for the nation. The self-proclaimed governor-general of Pakistan, Jinnah himself advocated a secular nation but didn’t take any step to set up any drafting committee to write/frame the constitution. The 1935 British laws was very much followed till 1956. As soon as the constitution came into existence, the state declared itself as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The minorities, which were 23 per cent of the population, began to decline and today, they constitute less than 4 per cent of the entire population.
A major chunk of animosity with India is derived from history and media reports. This can be set aloof by simply correcting history books and reports, narrating facts from both sides. This includes the positives of the other side too. For instance, people in Pakistan are not aware of the fact that it was Mahatma Gandhi, who entitled Jinnah by Quaid-e-Azam. Jalal in her interview with Rawal TV also dissertated that Gandhi was killed because of the fact that he extended his support (went on a fast to force the Indian government to give Rs 55 crore to Pakistan) to the Pakistani people, just as another human being.
Lies of the ‘Wars’ and the ‘Insecurity’
The Pakistan army and so their federal government has been continuously selling the idea of ‘insecurity from India' among their voters, giving defence the top most priority while relegating critical issues like education and health to the bottom. Blending the same with nationalism, they have continuously fooled the people for the last 70 years.
Christine Fair, in her book Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army's Way of War stated, “Pakistan is locked in an enduring rivalry with India since 1947, ostensibly over Kashmir. Started and failed three wars over Kashmir – 1947-48, 1965 and 1999; having lost more than half of its territory to India in the 1971 war, the strategy of coercion through Islamist terrorist proxies since 1947 failed and backfired since – 2002.” Who should be more insecure – India or Pakistan? India has not only been attacked by Pakistan four times, but by China too. As far as, India is concerned, it doesn’t only nurture its neighbours like Bangladesh, Nepal or Bhutan, but in the case of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam of Sri Lanka, India deployed its own army – four divisions of nearly 80,000 men with one mountain and three infantry divisions - in Sri Lankan territory.
Thus, the idea of ‘insecurity from India’ falls flat. Back in 1999, when Kargil War happened, such was the pseudo-nationalism of Pakistan’s army that they didn’t even come forward to claim the dead bodies of their own soldiers. Captain Sher Khan, one of their soldiers fought so bravely that an Indian Army officer wrote to their state administration asking to award the captain posthumously. He was later awarded Nishan-e-Haider by Pakistan. However, hundreds of Pakistani soldiers didn’t have that privilege.
Pakistan till date continues to blame India for their 1971 defeat, the state never took notice of the brutality of the Pakistan Army, which killed more than 15 to 30 lakh Bengalis, raped almost 20 lakh women there. Figures vary but it doesn’t deter the fact of the matter that widespread genocide took place. No investigation commission was set up, and rapists walked free; no one was ever tried for the war crimes. Courts were not allowed to revisit the basic question that led to the birth of Bangladesh – why Sheikh Mujibur Rahman – who later became the first prime minister of Bangladesh – despite having the majority wasn’t allowed to form the government in 1970? This led to the Partition of Pakistan in 1971. However, in Pakistani textbooks, there is hardly any mention of the brutal murders and rapes. In contrast, the books claim it was provoked by India, because of the Hindu-Muslim divide. The books don’t mention the fact it was the Pakistani Air Force that launched a pre-emptive strike on 11 airfields in north-western India, first.
Pakistan has been continuously and successfully perpetuating lies. First, they claim to have won all the wars against India. For example, on 16 December 1971, Lieutenant General A K Niazi, commander of Pakistani forces along with his 93,000 men surrendered to the Indian Army, the very next day, Dawn, Pakistan’s national newspaper’s front page headline read ‘War Till Victory’; similar was the headline of other newspapers. They were never told about the defeat, not in 1948, 1965 or 1971. People were never told the fact that it was Pakistan who attacked first, in all the wars.
To be continued in the second part.