The lies beneath the hollow edifice that is Pakistan

By Jahanzeb Hussain

Pakistan’s public opinion is nurtured right from birth on a set of lies. These lies have now become so deeply ingrained in the Pakistani psyche that to deliver the Pakistani society from them would need the force and moral authority of all of the Prophets mentioned in Quran and the Bible.

Lie No 1:

That Muslims in undivided India felt so unsafe that they could not live any more in a united India.

However, in reality, going by the figures:

  • The majority of Muslims in what became Indian after Partition remained there. The population of Muslims in India is not very far below that of Pakistan even today.
  • More Muslims have been killed in terrorist attacks in Pakistan since 2002 than Muslims in all communal riots in India since Partition.
  • More mosques have been attacked, damaged or destroyed in Pakistan in terrorist attacks than the mosques in India since Partition. In fact apart from the Babri Mosque, very few mosques have been destroyed in India).

Lie No 2:

Pakistan was created through democratic choice.

However, in reality:

  • The legislative elections at union and the provincial level in 1946, which formed the basis for determining the will of the provinces, were not held on the basis of adult franchise. In fact, less than 10% of the population qualified for voting in these elections.
  • Among the constituent provinces of Pakistan:
    • Punjab elected a Unionist majority in the last provincial elections before Partition, which was dislodged through direct action by Muslim League.
    • N.W.F.P elected a Khudai Khidmatgar majority under the Congress flag
    • In Sind, the Muslim League did not gain majority. Re-election was held to engineer a Muslim League majority and that too by single vote.
    • Baluchistan did not have any elected body of any kind.
    • Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy, the chief minister of United Bengal chief Minister, who headed a Muslim League ministry was against partition of Bengal and remained in Calcutta even after Partition.

Lie No 3:

Muhammad Ali Jinnah is the Father of the Nation

However, in reality:

  • If he fathered any thing at all, it was not a nation.
  • He did not know where all of it would end.
  • As late as March 1947, he was prospecting to buy further properties around Bombay.
  • He was the architect of the demolition of what he created:
    • He irretrievably alienated East Bengal by declaring Urdu as the only national language of Pakistan - and that too in Dacca. Over and above all, he could hardly express himself in Urdu.
    • He was the first one to unleash tribal lashkars on Kashmir, thereby setting a precedent which is at the root of the Jihadi and Taliban phenomenon. He created an auxiliary force in parallel to the regular army. Present day Jihadis are descendants of those marauders, whose cruelty repelled even the Kashmiris whom they had gone to liberate.
    • He circumvented the representative Baloch jirga to get stamped the incorporation of Balochistan into Pakistan. The first armed revolt in Balochistan dates to 1948, hardly one year after the creation of Pakistan. Since then Balochistan is in permanent state of revolt.
    • He expelled the main leader of Muslim League in Sind, G.M Syed, from party, who is now considered to be the father of the Sindhi nationalism and separatism
    • The only province which has remained loyal to Jinnah and Pakistan is Punjab, where Muslim league as a party did not have decisive influence till one year before partition.
    • So Jinnah was not a father but an orphan. No province in Pakistan would own him. This orphan has been adopted by Punjab which has provisionally declared him the father of a non-existent nation.

Lie No 4:

Pakistan did not start the 1965 war with India and that it was dominant if not victorious in that war.

However, in reality:

  • Pakistan sent intruders into Kashmir, expecting that India will not react.
  • The Kashmiris, against Pakistani expectations, did not react favorably to this act either.
  • The war of attrition, which followed when India reacted outside of Kashmir, was costlier to Pakistan in terms of endurance.
  • It was Pakistan which finally begged the United Nations to broker a cease-fire.
  • Pakistan did not achieve any of its objectives. It failed to arouse the Kashmiris. It failed to militarily put pressure on India. Economically, it was disastrous for Pakistan because it lost its economic momentum although before that it had a more prosperous economy than India.

Lie No 5

The West wants to destroy Pakistan and that the Pakistan army is defending the country from it.

However, in reality:

  • United States of America and the Western camp offered protection to Pakistan when even most of the Arab countries did not like to sit with it.
  • Pakistan, since its creation, has received more military and economic help from the United States than any other country in the whole Near East and South Asia, except for Israel.
  • Pakistan would have ceased to exist after the 1971 defeat by India if America had not formally put pressure on India to halt the war by sending the 7th fleet into the Bay of Bengal.
  • Since 9/11, Pakistan has received more than 12 billion dollars of American aid and grants. The multilateral aid by different financial agencies is over and above that.
  • In fact, Pakistan cannot survive economically and militarily if  Western countries withdraw their economic and military assistance to Pakistan.

Lie No 6:

United States uses Pakistan for its own objectives and Pakistan has to pay a price for it.

However, in reality:

  • The plain truth is that Pakistan needs the US and wars in the region to have some international clout.
  • Let’s forget the anti-Soviet Jihad and take only the post 9/11 situation. If the US had not intervened in Afghanistan, the military dictatorship in Pakistan would have found very little international support. The present war in Afghanistan is a blessing for Pakistan army in terms of importance it has acquired as a result of it.
  • United States more or less closed its eyes over Pakistan’s nuclear program due to the usefulness of Pakistan during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

Lie No 7:

The present predicament of Pakistan is due to the war in Afghanistan and that terrorism in Pakistan is nothing but a spill-over of the Afghan war.

However, in reality:

  • Terrorism was exported into Afghanistan by Pakistan and not vice-versa, and that happened over the course of about two decades starting in mid 70s.
  • The gateway for Al-Qaida to get into Afghanistan was through Pakistan and not the other way round.
  • The anti-Shiite terrorism in Punjab started in the 1980’s and not after the American intervention in Afghanistan.
  • Has the unrest in the tribal areas spilled over into Pakistan mainland? The contrary is closer to truth. The ideology of terrorism has been injected, in ideological terms, into the tribal areas by the groups based in Punjab, although the military bastion of terrorism is now in the tribal areas.

Lie No 8:

If the war in Afghanistan comes to an end, terrorism will wither away in Pakistan.

However, in reality:

  • After the Soviet withdrawal, peace did not come to Afghanistan and the Pakistani society was ‘Jihadized’. Pakistan and Afghanistan mutually strengthened each other’s extremism. Pakistan saw to it that Afghanistan remained steadfast in its slide into self-destruction and Afghanistan, in turn, developed a stake in the promotion of extremism in Pakistan.
  • War and terrorism in Pakistan is an economy. Lots of sections of the society are thriving on it. Tribal areas need war to live on. War is money for transporters who carry NATO’s cargo, it is money for terrorist groups who take protection money from NATO transporters, it is money for the Pakistani military. Money from Saudi donors, head money in millions of dollars on this or that high-value target wanted by the US. First you create high value targets, then you sell them.
  • If the war, by any chance, came to an end, it will be the end of a whole socio-economic, political and ideological system. Terrorism is an ideological blackmail, to scare the Western countries into investing into Pakistan’s army and its corrupt elite.

 Jahanzeb Hussain is the editor of Collateral Damage.

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