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Archive for category BABA-I-QAUM PAKISTANI

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Muslim League and Accession of Princely States

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Muslim League and Accession of Princely States

 

 

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Quaid-i-Azam(Muhammad Ali Jinnah), Muslim League and the Accession of Princely States

The study of princely States is a fascinating chapter in Indian history and is mainly consisted of confused facts and deviating policies. The areas which come under direct British subjugation were called as British India while the remaining territories entered into the British government through treaties and agreements were known as Indian states.

It is commonly believed that Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah and All India Muslim League had a weak policy towards princely states and thus they are mainly responsible for the mess created in shape of the illogical accession and merger of princely States in India and Pakistan. But let’s analyze the sequence of events which created that mess and then decide was Mr. Jinnah only and solely responsible for it:

The question of political future of some 565 Indian states, ruled by native princes, constituted about one fourth of India’s population, had engaged the serious attention of the British rulers, the Congress and Muslim League leadership. Unfortunately, the widely divergent policy approaches of the three major actors in respect of states’ future created challenging situation for Quaid-i-Azam who was already pre-occupied with more and severe problems arising out of partition. The manner in which the British implemented their laconic policies through Crown Representative Mountbatten, who due to his open conflict with the Quaid and blatant commitment of the proto-Indian Government’s policy, made the Quaid’s task difficult indeed.

The 3rd June Plan was, on purpose, kept ambiguous about the future of the States. It merely affirmed that the British Government’s policy towards Indian states remained as enunciated in the Cabinet Mission’s Memorandum of 12 May 1946, which stipulated that paramountcy would lapse with the withdrawal of the British from India and would in no circumstances be transferred to an Indian government. The void crated by the lapse of paramountcy and the cessation of political and other arrangement s between the states and the British Crown was “to be filled either by the States entering into a federal relationship with the successor government or governments in British India, or failing this , entering into particular political arrangements with it or them”. 1 In their statement of 16 May 1946, the Cabinet Mission pronounced that paramountcy would neither be retained by the British Crown nor transferred to any new government in India. The states, released from the obligations of paramountcy, would work out their own relationship with the succession states, and it by no means followed that such relationship would be identical for all the states. 2

These policy parameters did not define the precise status of the states after the British colonial rule in India had come to an end rather it had confused the whole situation. However, during discussions with the States Negotiating Committee, which comprised the Rulers or their representatives, the Crown Representative observed that, in order that no administrative vacuum might result from the lapse of paramountcy, standstill arrangement would have to be made for the interim period until fresh agreements had been made. He also confirmed that the accession of a State to one or the other Constituent Assembly was a matter of free choice”. 3 But the same Mountbatten only some three months later, in a volte-face urged that the rulers take into account the geographical factor in deciding which dominion to join, so that the balkanization of India be avoided. Moreover, although the right of the states to determine their own future had been conceded by the British Government, Mountbatten chose to go along with the Congress plan to pressure the princes into accession before 15 August 1947.

The policy of Mountbatten was scarcely compatible with the states policy of the British Government. Referring to the deadline of 14 August 1947 that Mountbatten had given the States for accession, Secretary of State Listowel reminded him that his “statement was inconsistent with the thrust of the debate in Parliament on the Indian Independence Bill.” 4

Whereas the States had accepted the British plan for the transfer of power in so far as it concerned them, this was far from true of both the Congress and the Muslim League leadership. At a meeting between Mountbatten and the Indian leaders on 13 June 1947, Nehru reiterated the oft-repeated Congress policy that paramountcy would devolve on the succession states upon the transfer of power. He claimed that the states had no right to declare independence and that the Cabinet Mission’s Memorandum of 12 May 1946 did not permit of this. Jinnah had a legalistic approach towards the states. The British Government policy of not merging the Indian states and retaining their status quo was far beyond any logical justification. The only justification we find is their policy of indirect rule. Now Jinnah had to cope with the legacy, so special care was needed. Jinnah took the view that the States would regain sovereignty with the lapse of paramountcy and their treaties and agreements with the British would cease to be valid until fresh agreements were concluded on a voluntary basis with the Succession states. Nehru had to concede that “he was not intending to lay down that every state must join one or other Constituent Assembly; but if they did not come in, they would have to come to some other arrangement could not and should not be preceded by declaration of independence.” 5

Jinnah reaffirmed that, constitutionally and legally, the states could not be mandated by the British Government to join one Constituent Assembly or the other. If a state wished to come in, he said, it could do so by agreement.

Jinnah’s stand was in conformity with that of the Nawab Hameedullah Khan of Bhopal, Chancellor of the Chamber of Princes, who held that the states should be free to decide which constituent Assembly to join and suggested that the All India Muslim, League (AIML) offer liberal terms for future relationship with Pakistan to those States that might wish to associate with it. The states should be assured that “their sovereignty, integrity and autonomy are in no manner to be jeopardized”. 6 He even resigned as Chancellor and declined to attend the meeting of the States Negotiating Committee called for 25 July 1947 protesting that the Rulers have been invited like the oysters to attend the tea party with the walrus and the carpenter.

A firm believer in constitutional process and political fair play, Jinnah’s statement of 17 June 1947 exhibited his legalistic and constitutional approach. He said that “constitutionally and legally the Indian States will be independent sovereign states on the termination of paramountcy and they will be free to decide for themselves to adopt any course they like. It is open to them to join the Hindustan Constituent Assembly, or the Pakistan Constituent Assembly, or decide to remain independent”. 7

The policy of the All Indian Muslim League, as clarified by Quaid-i-Azam was that “we do no wish to interfere with the internal affairs of any state… Such States as wish to enter the Pakistan Constituent Assembly of their free will and desire to negotiate with us, shall find us ready and willing to do so. If they wish to remain independent and … to negotiate… any political or any other relationship… with Pakistan, we shall be glad to come to settlement which will be in the interest of both”. 8

The Muslim League leadership from the very beginning stood for faithful adherence to the doctrine of non-interference in the affairs of the states which in turn overlook the insidious political developments taking place in states of vital interest to Pakistan like Jammu and Kashmir. Even among the 12 states located within the geographic limits of Pakistan, at least two rulers initially attempted to keep away from Pakistan. Mountbatten quoted in an aid-memoir that “a large state-Kalat-approached the Government of India for political relationship, but was refused; and unofficial overtures from Bahawalpur [for acceding to India] were similarly discouraged”. 9 The Muslim League was not looking into the merits of each of these cases and their political hold over the prospective areas of Pakistan appeared to be loose.

The Muslim, League had admittedly no political ambition as far as Hyderabad was concerned except for maintaining centuries’ old culture and religious bonds existing between the States’ Muslims and Pakistan.

On the contrary the Congress had taken a lead in extending its political influence in the princely states. It actively helped to establish the All-India States Peoples’ Conference in 1927. During 1928-46, the Congress leadership worked for establishment of representative institutions in the states and lent active support for their legitimate and peaceful struggle for responsible government.

By 1946, the Congress was successful in establishing a strong political hold and propagated for majority rule for the states’ people. Its resolution of 15 June 1947 stood for a comprehensive political framework in respect of the states which did not concede the right of any state in India to independence and to live in isolation from the rest of India. All states had to accede to one or the other Dominion in respect of only three subjects like Defence, External Affairs and Communications. Nehru had apprehension about the “balkanisation of India” if the States were allowed to opt for independence following the lapse of paramountcy. He urged that administrative and other arrangements concerning matters of common interest, especially in the economic and fiscal spheres, be made in time. 10

In the course of negotiations between the British Government and the Rulers of the States, the Congress leaders, Nehru and Patel, adopted a stance based on intimidation and coercion of the Rulers as well as resorting to clandestine and crafty dealings. On 9 April 1947, speaking at Gwalior as President of the States’ People’s Conference, Nehru threatened the Rulers to join the Indian Constituent Assembly or be treated as hostile. 11 On 5 July Patel invited the Rulers and the people to the Constituent Assembly in a spirit of friendly cooperation. The states, he warned, should “bear in mind that the alternative of cooperation in the general interest is anarchy and chaos which will overwhelm great and small in common ruin if we are unable to act together in the minimum common tasks.” 12 Patel told Mountbatten, in discussing on the future of the States that “he need not bother about the States because after the transfer of power the States’ peoples would rise, depose their Rulers and throw in their lot with the Congress.” 13 Such was the attitude of the Congress; they wanted to grab as many states as they can no matter with fraud, violence or intimidation. The Indian Government had criticized the accession of Junagadh to Pakistan but were not ready to handover Kashmir to its people even Nehru once wrote, before partition, in a letter to the Maharaja that “the idea of accession of Kashmir to Pakistan is hateful to me. I want to do anything that is reasonably possible to prevent its accession to Pakistan.” 14

Conrad Corfield, Political Adviser to Mountbatten, a man with a strong sense of duty and moral obligation, believed that the States would act in concert in asserting their “theoretical” right to independence. He held the view that the states should not sign anything before the transfer of power and lapse of paramountcy. At that point, he thought, they would be free as independent entities to act in unison and even dictate the terms of any merger with India. Mountbatten, however, was opposed to this approach because of the Congress pressure. Corfield had flown to London with Ismay in May 1947 to seek direct support from the India Office. His trip, without Mountbatten’s consent, provoked the Viceroy to dub his Political Adviser as a “son of a bitch”. 15

H. V. Hodson, a Constitutional Advisor to Viceroy Linlithgow, in his book the Great Divide mentions of a deal between Mountbatten and Sardar Patel on States’ accession to India at all costs. Patel is quoted to have told Mountbatten; “I will buy a basket of 565 apples”, the computed number of states-but if there are even two or three apples missing, the deal is off”. Mountbatten responded: “if I give you a basket with, say, 560 apples, will you buy it?” Patel replied “I might”. 16 The bargain was struck and the ostensible reward was the assurance of Governor Generalship of independent India.

In open opposition to Jinnah, Mountbatten actively prevented the accession of 5 Kathiawar States namely Dasuda, Vanod, Jainabad, Bajuna and Radha to Pakistan. Each of these states had a Muslim ruler who requested for union with Pakistan. In the case of Junagadh, Manavadar and Mangrol, which had acceded to Pakistan, India ordered military action in September 1947, which culminated in their forceful annexation on 9 November 1947. Four months later, Mountbatten justified the illegal military action against Junagadh, in an aide-memoire to the King of England. He maligned Jinnah in accepting accession of the State, aimed at “deliberately teasing the Government of India into taking precipitous and aggressive action.” 17 He accused Jinnah of launching a wider campaign in which Pakistan appeared as the innocent small nation, the victim of aggressive designs of its large, bullying neighbor. Mountbatten boasted that the accession exercise was a convenient bargaining counter for Pakistan vis-à-vis Kashmir. “When I saw Mr. Jinnah at Lahore on 1 November,” Mountbatten informed his King, “he gave me his view that there was no sense in having Junagadh in the Dominion of Pakistan, and that he had been most averse to accepting this accession. He had in fact demurred for long but had finally given way to the insistent appeals of the Nawab and his Dewan”. 18Both the views are an apparent contradiction in the first instance and an insult to the sagacity and wisdom of the great Muslim statesman that Jinnah was, on the other. Jinnah has long been criticized for his acceptance of accession of Junagadh State to Pakistan. Actually it was in conformity with League policy of giving right to states to decide their political future. Not only the Muslim League but the British Government had assured them of this option but with certain ambiguities and contradiction and later the same advocate of free will i.e. Mountbatten, broke his previous promises. 

The case of the Rajasthan Hindu States of Jodhapur, Jaisalmer and Bikancer, contiguous to Pakistan, who favoured independence and accession to Pakistan in accordance with the ground rules provided by the British Government, is proof how Mountbatten cajoled and threatened them into submission by joining India. According to Hodson, Jinnah had offered Jodhpur the use of Karachi as a free port, free import of arms, jurisdiction over Jodhpur-Hyderabad Sindh railway and a large supply of food grains for famine-struck state population.

Bhopal, Indore and Travancore, influenced by Jinnah’s political stance on States’ future stood for independence, as against acceding to India or Pakistan. Mountbatten talked them with deceit intimidation and got them into the Indian fold. According to the Viceroy’s personal Report No. 15 of 1st August, the “adherence of Travancore after all C.P [Ramaswamy Aiyar] declarations of independence has had a profound effect on all the other states and is sure to shake the Nizam”. 19

Accession of Kashmir is the best example of Congress deviation and contradiction of their stance of representative and responsible government. Following partition, Jinnah had to confront the Indo-British conspiracy with the Maharaja of Kashmir as a pawn, and the anti-Pakistan National Conference of Sheikh Abdullah as perpetrators. According to reports filed by Charles W., Charge d’Affaires at U.S Embassy in Delhi with his State Department in October-November 1947, “that Maharaja had been intending to bring his state into the Indian Union…but at all costs to prevent it from adhering to Pakistan.” 20 The ruler demonstrated open partially towards National Conference and other pro-India elements with a view to “faking popular support for an anti-democratic decision amounting to the political murder of the state’s majority community.” 21 Nehru’s anxiety over Kashmir is evident from a letter he wrote to the Maharaja on 12 December 1947: “I have an intimate and personal interest in it and the mere thought that Kashmir joins Pakistan and become a part of foreign territory for us is hateful to me. I want to do everything that is reasonably possible to prevent it”. 22 He had been directing Sardar Patel for arranging accession of Kashmir “as rapidly as possible.”

The final act of the conspiracy was therefore initiated by the Maharaja by letting loose a reign of terror against the pro-Pakistan Muslim Conference and their Muslim supporters and by hurling baseless charges of infiltration of Pakistani nationals in his state. Pakistan made repeated attempts to defuse the alarming political situation by mutual discussions. In return Maharaja sent an ultimatum to Pakistan to invite external help to solve the problem. Jinnah wrote back: “the real aim of your Government policy is to seek an opportunity to join the Indian Union as a coup d’etat.” 23 He advised the Maharaja to depute his Prime Minister to discuss all contentious issues. Earlier, a Pakistan representative sent to Srinagar with peace proposals had been turned away by Kashmir Prime Minister.

Eventually, on 27 October 1947, Indian troops marched into Kashmir after getting the Maharaja to sign the instrument of accession in a dubious manner. Pakistan declared that the accession was predicated on fraud and violence. On 1 November 1947, Jinnah told Mountbatten at a Lahore meeting that he felt from beginning to end this was a deliberate, long worked out, deep laid plot to secure Kashmir’s permanent accession. 24

Mountbatten sharply reacted to these statements as did the Indian leadership at Delhi. He somewhat scolded Jinnah by terming these as “unstateman-like, inept and bad mannered”. It was like a conspirator reprimanding the victim of the conspiracy. In contrast, one finds him arguing before his Kings, in February 1948, with no scruple of conspiracy that “from the strategic and economic point of view… while Pakistan had no interest in Junagadh, India has considerable interest in Kashmir.” 25 It was scarcely surprising that Mountbatten persuaded the King to believe that India had put no pressure to bear on the Maharaja to cause him to accede, even though there is overwhelming evidence that India had done all the dirty work to force the Maharaja into accession.

Another problem which the nascent country faced was the accession of Kalat to Pakistan. The British Government had given more autonomy and independence to Kalat through their treaties of 1841, 1854 and 1876. The khanate were power drunken. They were literally Kings of Kalat through Sandeman System of administration and the privileges granted to them by the British Government due to the geo-strategic location of the state. Now Quaid-i-Azam had to cope with that mindset of Kalat and it was not easy for him to topple down the state and merge it with Pakistan with just a stroke of pen. So tact was required and that was what Quaid-i-Azam did.

Jinnah had problems in dealing with his friend, the Khan of Kalat, who claimed independent sovereign status for his State. In the negotiations held on 19 July 1947, with Crown Representative Mountbatten in chair, who stated that on the lapse of paramountcy “states would de jure become independent; but de facto, very few were likely to benefit… that although Kalat would have gained freedom, no practical course other than some from of association with Pakistan was open to it.” 26 On 11 August 1947, Jinnah recognized Kalat as independent sovereign state in treaty relationship with British Government, with a status different from that of Indian states, although the British Government had earlier disallowed the Kalat’s position other than an Indian state.

It is surprising that even though the Indian Independence Act 1947 did not give the option of independence to any Indian state, Pakistan conceded such a status to Kalat. This position was incompatible with the policy adopted towards all the states and resulted subsequently in strained relationship and conflict between Pakistan and Kalat. Britain also objected to this policy and advised against recognition to the State as a separate international entity. Jinnah was anxious to complete the formalities of accession which the Khan of Kalat promised to complete shortly. Not favorably disposed towards accession to Pakistan; the Khan stood for establishment of relations on a treaty basis and took several unwelcome steps to press his demand through his state assembly. Jinnah took a dim view of his “most disappointing and unsatisfactory” attitude. The six-month delay in the completion of legal formalities taxed his patience, and on 27 March 1948, he instructed Foreign Secretary Ikramullah that “there should be no negotiations of any kind or any further discussion to create slightest impression that anything but accession is possible”. 27A.S.B. Shah, a Joint Secretary in the Foreign Office, and Ambrose Dundas, Agent to the Governor-General of Balochistan, were also asked to make it clear to Kalat to give us his answer whether he is prepared to accede as promised by him more than once or not”. While these developments were going on, the All India Radio broadcasted accession of Kalat to India. Khan of Kalat retaliated and somewhat dramatically decided to accede to Pakistan since Las Bela, Kharan and Mekran had already acceded to Pakistan on 17 March 1948.

We can conclude that Jinnah was not solely and only responsible for what had happened in respect of its accession. Policy of Jinnah and AIML from the very beginning was of non-intervention and favoring maximum autonomy and sovereignty for the states. Though the policy of Muslim League and Jinnah, regarding princely states, had certain discrepancies and weakness but whatever it was; they stood firm on it. On the contrary British Government and Indian National Congress changed their stances from time to time. Let the readers decide for themselves who was right and who was wrong. Let this issue be discussed and debated so that the truth may come to surface.

References

1 Z. H. Zaidi, ed., Jinnah Papers: The States Historical and Policy Perspectives and Accession to Pakistan, Islamabad: Quaid-i-Azam Papers Project, 2003, p.7.
2 Statement by Stafford Cripps, 16 May 1946. Mansergh, ed., The Transfer of Power, Vol. VII, p. 597.
3 F. 2/27-33, Quaid-i-Azam Papers, Islamabad: National Archives of Pakistan.
4 Mansergh, ed., The Transfer of Power, Vol. XII, pp. 459-61.
5 Z. H. Zaidi, Op. cit., p.15.
6 Ibid., p.12.
7 Waheed Ahmad, ed., The Nation’s Voice; Achieving the Goal, Vol. VI, Karachi, 2002, 212-4.
8 Ibid.
9 Z. H. Zaidi, Op. cit., p. 403.
10 F. 200/143, Mountbatten Papers, Islamabad.
11 H. V. Hodson, The Great Divide: Britain-India Pakistan, Karachi, 1985, p. 358.
12 Z. H. Zaidi, Op. cit., p. 38.
13 Hodson, Op. cit., p. 367.
14 S. Gopal, Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, Vol. IV, New Delhi, 1987, p. 373.
15 Patrick French, Liberty or Death: India’s Journey to Independence and Division, London, 1997, p. 311.
16 Hodson, Op. cit., pp. 367-8.
17 Zaidi, Op. cit., p. 405.
18 Ibid., p. 407.
19 Hodson, Op. cit., p. 378.
20 Z.H. Zaidi, Jinnah Papers: The States: Hyderabad, Jammu and Kashmir, Vol. IX, Islamabad: Quaid-i-Azam Papers Project, 2003, p. 298.
21 F. 845.00/11-447, US National Archives.
22 S. Gopal, Op. cit., p. 373.
23 Zaidi, Op. cit., Vol. IX, p. 277.
24 Durga Das, ed., Sardar Patel’s Correspondence (1945-50): New Light on Kashmir, Vol. I, Ahmedabad, 1971, pp. 73-81.
25 Ibid.
26 Zaidi, Op. cit, Vol. VIII, p. 137.
27 Ibid., p. 184.

(archived from http://www.jinnaharchive.com/articles/accprincestates3.htm)

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What have we done to Pakistan” by Ayaz Amir

 What have we done to Pakistan” by Ayaz Amir

Islamabad diary:  Friday, August 01, 2014

Quaid-i-Azam

Quaid-i-Azam

democracy has done things to itself which it now finds impossible to get rid of. We can take it as an axiom of ‘modern’ civilisation that the state has no business to legislate about religion. It is not for the state to say who is an infidel, who a pagan or who a righteous Muslim. And please let us not take Saudi Arabia as a model. The Saudi kingdom is unique unto itself. We can take its money and say thanks but it is not a model that any other country, while remaining sane, should care to emulate. Having fixed this cardinal principle, let us see what has happened here. As if our fixation with religious rhetoric – the lip-service to the faith – was not enough, in 1974 the Islamic Republic took upon itself the task of religious definitionism – who stood within the circle of the faith and who outside the pale of Islam. It was under no dictator that Pakistan went down this path. This happened under the umbrella of democracy and under the freshly-passed 1973 constitution no less. Thus where Pakistan in a supposedly democratic era should have moved towards greater social freedom, towards a clearer demarcation between the kingdom of the temporal and the realm of the spiritual, it went down the path of reaction – hallooing and cheering that a great blow had been struck for Islam. And the great leader of the time, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, felt that by so doing he had secured for himself political immortality. Barely three years later, he was overthrown in Pakistan’s most reactionary and backward-looking coup – a watershed event which ultimately flung wide open the doors to bigotry and fanaticism, the hallmarks of today’s Pakistan – and two years after that he was carried on a stretcher to the gallows. So much for immortality. On the foundations thus dug by Bhutto, his successor, Gen Ziaul Haq, erected a veritable temple of religious particularism (I am being careful with my words), decreeing through an ordinance issued in 1984 that it was a criminal offence for members of the Qadiani community to proclaim themselves Muslims or call their places of worship mosques. The 1974 constitutional amendment passed under Bhutto, the 1984 ordinance decreed by Zia, allied to changes in the blasphemy law sanctified by the 1985 parliament have together created a peculiar climate of fear for Pakistan’s minorities. The application of the blasphemy law has hit the Christian community the hardest. The application of the three laws together has affected the Qadiani community the most. It is not a question of doctrine – whether the doctrinal matters these laws touch are right or wrong. Of practical importance is the larger principle – whether it is any business of the state to legislate on religious matters. For when the state sets out on this path it leads, as history amply shows, to the Spanish Inquisition, the burning of witches and supposed heretics at the stake or the head of Mansur on a pike displayed on the city walls. By passing such laws in Pakistan our legislators or self-serving dictators were supposedly holding aloft the banner of the faith and, in their own estimation, striking blows for the eternal glory of Islam. The reality is somewhat different. Over the years the winds of intolerance have been fanned, bigotry and fanaticism have flourished and what we call the minorities have had a rough deal, the application of the law – and we are talking of well-documented cases – discriminating against them. The latest in this steady march of outrages is the shocking incident in Gujranwala where an allegation of blasphemy – and so far it is just a one-sided allegation with no supporting evidence or witnesses whatsoever – leading to attacks on Qadiani families, culminating in the suffocation to death of an elderly lady and two of her minor granddaughters. The house in which they were hiding along with others was set on fire. Things have reached such a pass and religious feelings so easily inflamed that anyone can make an untested allegation of sacrilege or blasphemy and if the accused is from the lower classes and is either a Christian or a Qadiani it takes little time for a mob to gather and go on the rampage – society leaders either watching the spectacle in silence, too afraid to intervene, or, as so often happens, pouring oil over the flames. There is also evidence to indicate that in many instances a blasphemy charge becomes a handy excuse for someone out to settle a score or achieve a mercenary purpose. The police usually cut a sorry figure, arriving too late or standing by proclaiming their ineffectiveness and helplessness. So it has been in Gujranwala. In the video pictures of the incident to be seen on YouTube the police were on the scene but for all the difference they made they might as well not have bothered. How do we roll back the tide? How do we make Pakistan a more tolerant society? Democracy may have a hundred achievements to its credit but Pakistani democracy has proven itself a frightened animal when it comes to social evils. It will not touch them, afraid as it is of its own shadow. If the 1984 ordinance was the brainchild of a dictator, six democratic governments – 1988, 1990, 1993, 1997, 2008 and 2013 – have had the chance to remove it from the books and roll back the wheels of state interference in religious matters. They have done nothing of the kind. Six more democratic governments may come and this state of affairs will remain unchanged. Two democratic governments have found the YouTube ban too hot an issue to handle. How does anyone expect these souls of chivalry and emblems of knighthoods to touch anything hotter? So who can take up the challenge? Who can set the historical record right? In Pakistan’s particular milieu only a Kemalist figure can,someone invested with legitimacy not by the constitution – we have seen enough of that – but by military performance, and then taking the tough decisions that Pakistan’s elected politicians in a hundred years will shy away from. Take also the Hudood Ordinance, passed again by Gen Zia as a sop to Saudi vanity, because he was just about to hang Bhutto and his treasury was empty. He wanted both Saudi money and Saudi silence over Bhutto’s end. For Zia and his regime it may have been a useful thing at the time but we are stuck with it. Has Pakistan become a purer place because of this law? Is there less boozing and less homage to the oldest profession because of the Hudood Ordinance? Has vice been eliminated from our hallowed spaces? Are we better Muslims? Police bribery rates have gone up – the only useful outcome of this law. The Ottomon Caliphate, kicked into history’s dustbin by Kemal Ataturk, for all its decrepitude was tolerant of other faiths. It passed no laws such as we have passed. What caliphate are we constructing? Our founding fathers played the religious card in the run-up to the creation of Pakistan. Otherwise they were enlightened figures, schooled for the most part in western liberal thought and with little tolerance for the ingrained social prejudices of the traditional theocracy. The country’s founder, the great Jinnah, would not have understood much of the nonsense at which we have come to specialise. Four items of social backwardness lend a mediaeval cast to our society: 1)    the discriminatory laws touching religious belief, 2)    the Hudood Ordinance, 3)    Pakistan’s apartheid system of education – one for the lower orders, something else for those who can afford it – and, 4)    last but not least, the peculiar caste system which prevails with us – ashraafs and kammis. Ataturk abolished all titles. A Pakistani Kemal should do the same – chaudhrys, rajas, maliks, makhdooms and what have you…what age are we living in? These tasks fulfilled, the Kemalist figure can step back into the shadows and the democrats can return. And we can mount the walls of the Fortress of Islam and midst a flourish of trumpets and the beating of drums celebrate the restoration of democracy

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Independence by Inam Khawaja

Independence

 

by

 

Inam Khawaja

 

Physically the British rule ended on 14th August 1947 but are we truly independent? On 2nd February 1835 Lord Macualay in his address in the British Parliament said:-

 

I have seen in this country, such moral values, people of such caliber, 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, their native culture and become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.”

 

In the past sixty years we have done hardly anything to improve and reorient the existing education system. Instead we have allowed the mushroom growth of schools leading to British ‘O’ Level and ‘A’ Level producing youngsters totally imbibed with British values and mores. They hardly have any pride or self esteem, they think that only imported things are good and have no pride in our own things. We have gone ahead in implementing Macaulay’s agenda a step further than what the British did.

 

It is time that we take stock of ourselves and see where our present policies are leading us, Pakistan is an Islamic State and we claim to be Muslims, what we need to ask ourselves; is our education policy designed to produce good Muslims imbibed with Islamic values? Has anyone given any thought to this matter? Is the educational policy specifically designed to inculcate at least the universally accepted moral values? Unfortunately the answer to all the three questions is in the negative.

 

Lest we continue to forget; the Quaid in his address to the mammoth rally in Lahore on 30th October 1947 had instructed us that:-

 

“If we take our inspiration and guidance from the Holy Quran, the final victory I once again say will be ours. —— All I require of you now is that everyone of us to whom this message reaches must vow to himself and be prepared to sacrifice his all, if necessary, in building up Pakistan as a bulwark of Islam and as one of the greatest nations whose ideal is peace within and peace without.”

 

In the past sixty years we have continued to formulate and implement policies diametrically opposed to the Quaid’s vision. None of our policies are inspired by the injunctions of the Quran nor do the courses in our Civil Services and Armed Forces Academies emphasize that the officers must be guided by the injunctions of the Quran in their dealing with the public.

 

Regarding the bureaucracy the Quaid on 25th March 1948 in his address to the Officers at Chittagong had said:-

 

“Those days have gone when the country was ruled by the bureaucracy. It is people’s Government responsible to the people more or less on democratic lines and parliamentary practices. —— You have to do your duty as servants; you are not concerned with this Political or that political Party; that is not your business. —— The second point is that your conduct and dealings with the people in the various Departments in which you may be: wipe off that past reputation; you are not rulers. You do not belong to the ruling class; you belong to the servants. Make people feel that you are their servants and friends, maintain the highest standard of honour, integrity, justice and fair-play.”

 

The Quaid in his informal talk to the Civil Officers at Government House Peshawar on 14th April 1948 had said:-

 

“The first thing I want to tell you is this, that you should not be influenced by any political pressure, by any political party or individual politician. —– Governments are formed, Governments are defeated, Prime Ministers come and go, Ministers come and go, but you stay on, and, therefore there is great responsibility placed on your shoulders. You should have no hand in supporting this political or that political party, this political leader or that political; leader this is not your business.”

 

We celebrate the Quaid’s birthday but totally ignore his vision of what he wanted Pakistan to be. Our bureaucracy continues to behave arrogantly as rulers and that freezing atmosphere still exists. These speeches of the Quaid (of 25th March and 14 April 1948) are totally ignored by the bureaucracy because they are not the part of their training course even the media has ignored them. In fact the full text of both these speeches should be published on the date they were delivered by the Quaid and the electronic media should play their recordings.

 

The Quaid visualized Pakistan as a state having equality of man and social justice this vision is expressed in his last speech which was delivered on 1st July 1948 at the opening ceremony of the State Bank of Pakistan:-

 

“The opening of the State Bank of Pakistan symbolizes the sovereignty of our State — I will watch with keenness the work of your Research Organization in evolving banking practices compatible with Islamic ideals of social and economic life. The economic system of the West has created almost insoluble problems for humanity —– The adoption of Western economic theory and practice will not help us in achieving our goal of creating a happy and contented people. We must work our destiny in our own way and present the world an economic system based on true Islamic concept of equality of manhood and social justice. We will thereby be fulfilling our mission as Muslims and giving humanity the message of peace which alone can save it and secure the welfare, happiness and prosperity of mankind.

 

 

May the State Bank of Pakistan prosper and fulfill the high ideals which have been set as its goal.”

 

The State Bank did hardly anything in fulfilling the goal set for it by the Quaid. I doubt if the Banking Institute of Pakistan includes the above speech as a part of its curriculum. It was only when Islamic Banking was introduced in some Muslim countries that we woke up and started introducing it a few years ago.

 

 

The Quaid’s opening remarks are very significant because he equates the opening of the State Bank with national sovereignty that is independence. In essence it means that the lack of economic independence compromises national sovereignty. Within a few years after the assassination of the first Prime Minister the civil bureaucracy came into power and it did not take long in compromising national sovereignty by accepting foreign economic and military aid. But when the military assumed power they went a step further and gave bases over which Pakistan had no control.

 

The time has now come to reassert our sovereignty by first regaining economic independence and doing away with all foreign aid. This is a matter of political will because foreign aid is certainly not an economic necessity. This is very eloquently expressed with convincing facts and figures by Dr. Ishrat Hussain in his article “Is US Assistance Really so Critical for Pakistan” published in both Dawn and the Business Recorder in April 2007.

 

“The result of this analysis shown in Table II indicates that even under the worst case scenario of zero aid flows and no reimbursements for logistics services rendered to the US troops the diminution in foreign exchange receipts or budgetary resources would be insignificant – varying between 4.5% of total foreign exchange receipts to 7.2% of total budgetary expenditures. The other two indicators i. e. the proportion of total value of imports and current account receipts financed by US assistance account for 6.4% and 5.8% respectively — not worrisome amounts. —– the main argument of this analysis is that the pundits in the US who believe that they can use the leverage of US official aid to paralyze Pakistan’s economy are sadly mistaken as they have an exaggerated sense of the importance of these official flows. Any attempt to impose conditions that impinge upon the sovereignty of Pakistan or conflict with our own national interests can be resisted without creating a serious dislocation to our macro economic stability or growth prospects. This analysis explodes the popularly held myth that Pakistan is so dependent on foreign assistance for its economic survival that pulling the plug would force it to yield under this pressure.”

 

The US economic assistance for 2008 and 2009 is US$ 400 million per year plus military assistance of US$ 300 million per year this the country can easily do without with only the elimination of extravagant expenditure.

 

The government must take note of the fact that the people of all shades of opinion today are united in regaining their independence and sovereignty which was achieved by democratic means in 1947. The lawyers, the civil society, the NGOs, the opposition political parties and now even the retired military personnel are all rightly demanding; an independent judiciary, independent Election Commission, freedom of information and full fundamental rights with justice and equity in short a truly free and independent Pakistan..

 

Simultaneously Published on May 24, 2014 in Business Recorder, Pakistan

 

 

 

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Sovereignty – the Task Ahead

Sovereignty – the Task Ahead

By

Inam Khawaja

 

The people of Pakistan have given their verdict – PML(N) in Punjab, Baluchistan and the Centre, PTI and JI in KPK and PPP and MQM in Sindh. Once again providence has given another opportunity to us to set aside differences to achieve unity and work for the welfare of the common man. The Quaid visualized Pakistan as a state having equality of man and social justice this vision is expressed in his last speech which was delivered on 1st July 1948 at the opening ceremony of the State Bank of Pakistan:-

“The opening of the State Bank of Pakistan symbolizes the sovereignty of our State — I will watch with keenness the work of your Research Organization in evolving banking practices compatible with Islamic ideals of social and economic life. The economic system of the West has created almost insoluble problems for humanity —– The adoption of Western economic theory and practice will not help us in achieving our goal of creating a happy and contented people. We must work our destiny in our own way and present the world an economic system based on true Islamic concept of equality of manhood and social justice. We will thereby be fulfilling our mission as Muslims and giving humanity the message of peace which alone can save it and secure the welfare, happiness and prosperity of mankind. May the State Bank of Pakistan prosper and fulfill the high ideals which have been set as its goal.”

The State Bank did hardly anything in fulfilling the goal set for it by the Quaid. I doubt if the Banking Institute of Pakistan includes the above speech as a part of its curriculum. It was only when Islamic Banking was introduced in some Muslim countries that we woke up and started introducing it a few years ago. 

The Quaid’s opening remarks are very significant because he equates the opening of the State Bank with national sovereignty that is independence. In essence it means that the lack of economic independence compromises national sovereignty. Within a few years after the assassination of the first Prime Minister in October 1951 the civil bureaucracy came into power and it did not take long in compromising national sovereignty by accepting foreign economic and military aid. But when the military assumed power they went a step further and gave bases over which Pakistan had no control.  

The time has now come to reassert our sovereignty by first regaining economic independence and doing away with all foreign aid. This is a matter of political will because foreign aid is certainly not an economic necessity. This is very eloquently expressed with convincing facts and figures by the well known economist Dr. Ishrat Hussain in his article Is US Assistance Really so Critical for Pakistanpublished in both Dawn and the Business Recorder in April 2007. 

“The result of this analysis shown in Table II indicates that even under the worst case scenario of zero aid flows and no reimbursements for logistics services rendered to the US troops the diminution in foreign exchange receipts or budgetary resources would be insignificant  –  varying between 4.5% of total foreign exchange receipts to 7.2% of total budgetary expenditures. The other two indicators i. e. the proportion of total value of imports and current account receipts financed by US assistance account for 6.4% and 5.8% respectively — not worrisome amounts. —– the main argument of this analysis is that the pundits in the US who believe that they can use the leverage of US official aid to paralyze Pakistan’s economy are sadly mistaken as they have an exaggerated sense of the importance of these official flows.  Any attempt to impose conditions that impinge upon the sovereignty of Pakistan or conflict with our own national interests can be resisted without creating a serious dislocation to our macro economic stability or growth prospects.  This analysis explodes the popularly held myth that Pakistan is so dependent on foreign assistance for its economic survival that pulling the plug would force it to yield under this pressure.”

For the guidance of the civil services I under note what the founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah said on 25 March 1948;

“I know you are saddled with the old legacy, old mentality, old psychology and it haunts our footsteps, but it is up to you now to act as true servants of the people even at the risk of any Minister or ministry trying to interfere with you in the discharge of your duties as civil servants. ——-Wipe off that past reputation; you are not rulers. You do not belong to the ruling class; you belong to the servants. Make the people feel that you are their servants and friends, maintain the highest standard of honour, integrity, justice and fair-play. ——Now that freezing atmosphere must go;that impression of arrogance must go that impression that you are the rulers must go and you must do your best with all courtesy and kindness and try to understand the people”, (Dawn 26, March 1948)

 

Today these instructions of the Quaid are especially applicable to the politicians. The people of Pakistan are fed up with the arrogant behavior of the politicians and the members of the establishment who think that they are above the law. As the Quaid had said; “That freezing atmosphere must go; that impression of arrogance must go that impression that you are the rulers must go and you must do your best with all courtesy and kindness and try to understand the people.” 

The above speech of the Quaid, his speech to civil servants in Peshawar, the speech of 30, October 1947 in Lahore and the speech of 25, January 1948 in Karachi must be included in the curriculum of all the institutions for new inductees in the civil services and the armed forces of Pakistan. They must know what is expected from them by the founder – Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

There are accusations afloat of foreign ownership of some members of the press and the electronic media and that they project the agenda of the foreign owners and that their narrative is against the national interest. No one can deny that the owners determine the policy and the narrative of the media/paper. It is therefore in the national interest that PEMRA publishes the full details of the ownership of all TV channels because the people have the right to have this information.  

Now we have an independent and free press/media which must act responsibly and do away the sensationalism with which it is obsessed today. It should instead offer critique rather than just criticism of the policies and actions of the government. The electronic media has a special responsibility in changing its narrative in the national interest in the right direction 

True the task before the new governments is beset with many challenges but with political will, sincerity, selflessness and honesty these challenges can be overcome. The people of Pakistan have time and again risen to the occasion and have not flinched from any sacrifice for a national cause.  To obtain the confidence and support of the people it is essential that this ostentatious VIP culture of the past twenty five years must be discarded forthwith by visibly adopting simplicity in dress and transportation by the political leadership. 

It is essential that several think tanks are established consisting of a broad cross section of economists, entrepreneurs, engineers/technical experts, retired diplomats, retired officers of the armed forces, educationists and former Chief Justices to prepare position papers for public debate and the guidance of the government. 

If the political leaders visibly demonstrate the political will by acting in public interest then the 160 million hardworking people of Pakistan will once again prove these voices and lobbies of doom wrong by putting the shoulder to the wheel and sustaining rapid growth and achieving prosperity sooner than later.

New York 

August 10, 2013

 

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