Friday, June 20, 2008

Pakistani Army and foreign policy

The Pakistan Army and foreign policy of Pakistan.

The recent Pakistani election threw up two leaders Zardari of PPP and nawaz Sheriff of PML(N).First it was the turn of Zardari to talk to an Indian TV channel about shelving the Kashmir question just like India is doing with China and proceed with other relations which will bring more togetherness and economic benefits between the two countries.

Then we had a statement from Nawaz Sheriff in which he suggested Visa less travel between the two countries even if India does not reciprocate the gesture.

Now we have Army Chief Kiyani coming out with a statement immediately after these comments that relation between India and Pakistan especially with regard to Kashmir will be the decision of Army ALONE. Now the two ELECTED leaders of Pakistan just shut up and they were shown who is the boss as far as the foreign policy front is concerned. The agents of Pakistan who rule Jammu and Kashmir , immediately came out with the line that 1)The coming Jammu and Kashmir state election with Indian army in place will not be free and fair And so it must be boycotted.Of course the same leaders including maulvi Farook who controls the hazrathbal shrine in Srinagar will not give up on their personal security provided by the foolish Indian state. They openly said that the foreign policy line provided by Pakistani army and endorsed by Musharaff is the line Indian government should follow .Indians noted this with dismay as the infiltration and wire cutting increased along with firing at the LOC. Yesterday it was 5 casualties for the Pakistani army due to misunderstanding between the infiltrating Terrorists who mistook Pakistani army as Indians and killed them.

Of course the 12th June incident involving Afghanistan and ISAF airforce is known which resulted in 12 deaths to Frontier constabulary.

Today we hear Iranian frontier guards have killed a Pakistani hassan Jan at Pangroor who was visiting his relatives on the other side of border.

Pakistan Army was conducting the foreign policy during the regime of Yahyah Khan when 1971 happened and it has to be bailed out by Z.Bhutto.

It was conducting foreign policy during the regime of Zia-ul-Haq when it served the Heritage foundation and was bleeding Indian Punjab.

It was Musharaff who was conducting foreign policy during the regime of Nawaz sherriff and inflicted kargil. He also betrayed Taliban when 9/11

happened. He had no civilian to fall back upon and he became responsible for his own actions.

Now Kiyani may be thinking that his actions to revive Punjab and scuttle the coming elections in Jammu and Kashmir or extend depth into Afghanistan will

have civilian face and so can escape responsibility for its actions.

He must understand the Thackeray editorial in Saamna to raise Hindu suicide bombers also has the same Handlers who is playing Pakistani army's strings.

The nukes of India and Pakistan are the real targets. If Heritage proposal to dismember India or Rand proposal to make independent Kashmir and Baluchistan with

land from Iran and Pakistan are also has the same puppeteer. The Indian think tanks are talking about ethnic cleansing by Pakistan in 1947 when it got 25% of land

from India and accepted only 15% of Muslims while cleansing almost 99% of Hindu population from the land of Pakistan. Some Hindu fundamentalists are talking about ethnic cleansing of Muslims of India as was done in Punjab and Haryana during partition in 1947. Indian subcontinent will disintegrate along with its Nukes. Pakistan army must think like CIVILIAN think tanks

and look whether it wants disintegration of India? Here I want to post again the CRY of anguish of Indian Muslims raised 50 years back and want the Pakistani army establishment

to look at issues in broader perspective.

Letter to Frank Graham UN special rep on 14th august 1951.

It is a remarkable fact that, while the Security Council and its various agencies have devoted so much time to the study of the Kashmir dispute and made various suggestions for its resolution, none of them has tried to ascertain the views of the Indian Muslims nor the possible effect of any hasty step in Kashmir, however well-intentioned, on the interests and well- being of the Indian Muslims. We are convinced that no lasting solution for the problem can be found unless the position of Muslims in Indian society is clearly understood.

Supporters of the idea of Pakistan, before this subcontinent was partitioned, discouraged any attempt to define Pakistan clearly and did little to anticipate the conflicting problems which were bound to arise as a result of the advocacy of the two-nation theory. The concept of Pakistan, therefore, became an emotional slogan with little rationale content. It never occurred to the Muslim League or its leaders that if a minority was not prepared to live with a majority on the sub- continent, how could the majority be expected to tolerate the minority.

It is, therefore, small wonder that the result of partition has been disastrous to Muslims. In undivided India, their strength lay about 100 million. Partition split up the Muslim people, confining them to the three isolated regions. Thus, Muslims number 25 million in Western Pakistan, 35 million to 40 million in India, and the rest in Eastern Pakistan. A single undivided community has been broken into three fragments, each faced with its own problems.

Pakistan was not created on a religious basis. If it had been, our fate as well as the fate of other minorities would have been settled at that time. Nor would the division of the sub- continent for reasons of religion have left large minorities in India or Pakistan.

This merely illustrates what we have said above, that the concept of Pakistan was vague, obscure, and never clearly defined, nor its likely consequences foreseen by the Muslim League, even when some of these should have been obvious.

When the partition took place, Muslims in India were left in the lurch by the Muslim League and its leaders. Most of them departed to Pakistan and a few who stayed behind stayed long enough to wind up their affairs and dispose of their property. Those who went over to Pakistan left a large number of relations and friends behind.

Having brought about a division of the country, Pakistan leaders proclaimed that they would convert Pakistan into a land where people would live a life according to the tenets of Islam. This created nervousness and alarm among the minorities living in Pakistan. Not satisfied with this, Pakistan went further and announced again and again their determination to protect and safeguard the interests of Muslims in India. This naturally aroused suspicion amongst the Hindus against us and our loyalty to India was questioned.

Pakistan had made our position weaker by driving out Hindus from Western Pakistan in utter disregard of the consequences of such a policy to us and our welfare. A similar process is in question in Eastern Pakistan from which Hindus are coming over to India in a large and large number.

If the Hindus are not welcome in Pakistan, how can we, in all fairness, expect Muslims to be welcomed in India ? Such a policy must inevitably, as the past has already shown, result in the uprooting of Muslims in this country and their migration to Pakistan where, as it became clear last year, they are no longer welcome, lest their influx should destroy Pakistan's economy.

Neither some of the Muslims who did migrate to Pakistan after partition, and following the widespread bloodshed and conflict on both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border in the north- west, have been able to find a happy asylum in what they had been told would be their homeland. Consequently some of them have had to return to India, e.g Meos who are now being rehabilitated in their former areas.

If we are living honorably in India today, it is certainly not due to Pakistan which, if anything, has by her policy and action weakened our pooition.

The credit goes to the broadminded leadership of India, to Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, to the traditions of tolerance in this country and to the Constitution which ensures equal rights to all citizens of India, irrespective of their religion caste, creed, colour or sex.

We, therefore, feel that, tragically as Muslims were misled by the Muslim League and subsquently by Pakistan and the unnecessary suffering which we and our Hindu brethren have to go through in Pakistan and in India since partition, we must be given an opportunity to settle down to a life of tolerance and understanding to the mutual benefit of Hindus and Muslims in our country - if only Pakistan would let us do it. To us it is a matter of no smaller onsequence.

Despite continuous provocations, first from the Muslim League and since then from Pakistan, the Hindu majority in India has not thrown us or members of other minorities out of Civil Services, Armed Forces, the judiciary, trade, commerce, business and industry. There are Muslim Ministers in the Union and State cabinets, Muslim Governors, Muslim Ambassadors, representing India in foreign countries, fully enjoying the confidence of the Indian nation, Muslim members in Parliament and state legislatures, Muslim judges serving on the Supreme Court and High Courts, high-ranking officers in the Armed Foroes and the Civil services, including the police. Muslims have large landed estates, run big business and commercial houses in various parts of the country, notably in Bombay and Calcutta, have their shares in industrial production and enterprise in export and import trade. Our famous sacred shrines and places of cultural interest are mostly in India.

Not that our lot is certainly happy. We wish some of the state Governments showed a little greater sympathy to us in the field of education and employment. Nevertheless, we feel we have an honourable place in India. Under the law of the land, our religious and cultural life is protected and we shall share in the opportunities open to all citizens to ensure progress for the people of this country.

It is, therefore, clear that our interest and welfare do not coincide with Pakistan's conception of the welfare and interests of Muslims in Pakistan.

This is clear from Pakistan's attitude towards Kashmir. Pakistan claims Kashmir, first, on the ground of the majority of the State's people being Muslims and, secondly, on the ground, of the state being essential to its economy and defence. To achieve its objective it has been threatening to launch "Jehad" against Kashmir in India.

It is a strange commentary on political beliefs that the same Muslims of Pakistan who like the Muslims of Kashmir to join them invaded the state, in October 1947, killing and plundering Muslims in the state and dishonouring Muslim women, all in the interest of what they described as the liberation of Muslims of the State. In its oft-proclaimed anxiety to rescue the 3 million Muslims from what it describes as the tyranny of a handful of Hindus in the State, Pakistan evidently is prepared to sacrifice the interests of 40 million Muslims in India - a strange exhibition of concern for the welfare of fellow- Muslims. Our misguided brothers in Pakistan do not realise that if Muslims in Pakistan can wage a war against Hindus in Kashmir why should not Hindus, sooner or later, retaliate against Muslims in India.

Does Pakistan seriously think that it could give us any help if such an emergency arose or that we would deserve any help thanks to its own follies ? It is incapable of providing room and livelihood to the 40 million Muslims of India, should they migrate to Pakistan. Yet its policy and action, if not changed soon, may well produce the result which it dreads.

We are convinced that India will never attack our interests. First of all, it would be contrary to the spirit animating the political movement in this country. Secondly, it would be opposed to the Constitution and to the sincere leadership of the Prime Minister. Thirdly, India by committing such a folly would be playing straight into the hands of Pakistan.

We wish we were equally convinced of the soundness of Pakistan's policy. So completely oblivious is it of our present problems and of our future that it is willing to sell us into slavery - if only it can secure Kashmir.

It ignores the fact that Muslims in Kashmir may also have a point of view of their own, that there is a democratic movement with a democratic leadership in the State, both inspired by the progress of a broad minded, secular, democratic movement in India and both naturally being in sympathy with India. Otherwise, the Muslim raiders should have been welcomed with open arms by the Muslims of the State when the invasion took place in 1947.

Persistent propaganda about "Jehad" is intended, among other things, to inflame religious passions in this country. For it would, of course, be in Pakistan's interests to promote communal rioting in India to show to Kashmiri Muslims how they can find security only in Pakistan. Such a policy, however, can only bring untold misery and suffering to India and Pakistan generally and to Indian Muslims particularly.

Pakistan never tires of asserting that it is determined to protect the interests of Muslims in Kashmir and India. Why does not Pakistan express the same concern for Pathans who are fighting for Pakhtoonistan, an independent homeland of their own ? The freedom-loving Pathans under the leadership of Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan and Dr. Khan Sahib, both nurtured in the traditions of democratic tolerance of the Indian National Congress, are being subjected to political repression of the worst possible kind by their Muslim brethren in power in Pakistan and in the NWFP. Contradictory as Pakistan's policy generally is, it is no surprise to us that while it insists on a fair and impartial plebiscite in Kashmir, it denies a fair and impartial plebiscite to Pathans.

Pakistan's policy in general and her attitude towards Kashmir is particular thus tend to create conditions in this cauntry which in the long run can only bring to us Muslims widespread suffering and destruction. Its policy prevents us from settling down, from being honourable citizens of a State, free from suspicion of our fellow-countrymen and adapting ourselves to changing conditions to promote the interests and welfare of India. Its sabre-rattling interferes with its own economy and ours. It expects us to be layal to it despite its importance to give us any protection, believing at the same time that we can still claim all the rights of citizenship in a secular democracy.

In the event of a war, it is extremely doubtful whether it will be able to protect the Muslims of East Bengal who are completely cut off from Western Pakistan. Are the Muslims of India and Eastern Pakistan who sacrifice themselves completely to enable the 25 million Muslims in Western Pakistan to embark upon mad, self-destructive and adventures?

We should, therefore, like to impress upon you with all the emphasis at our command that Pakistan's policy towards Kashmir is fraught with the gravest peril to the 40 million Muslims of India. If the Security Council is really interested in peace human brotherhood, and international understanding, it should heed this warning while there is still time.

Dr. Zakir Hussain
(Vice Chancellor Aligarh University)

Sir Sultan Ahmed
(Former Member of Governor General's Executive Council)

Sir Mohd. Ahmed Syed Khan
(Nawab of Chhatari, former acting
Governor of United Provinces and
Prime Minister of Hyderabad)

Sir Mohd. Usman
(Former member of Governor
General's Executive council and
acting Governor of Madras)

Sir Iqbal Ahmed
(Former Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court)

Sir Fazal Rahimtoola
(Former Sheriff of Bombay)

Maulana Hafz-ur-Rehman M.P.
Col. B.H. Zaidi M.P.

Nawab Zain Yar Jung
(Minister Gcvernment of Hyderabad)

A.K. Kawaja
(Former President of Muslim Majlis)

T.M. Zarif
(General Secretary West Bengal Bohra Community)

Monday, June 09, 2008

Indian Muslims,Christians/Caste,Class,Quom,Tribes.

DALIT CHRISTIANS, a word coined by a Texan lady who created DALIT FREEDOM NETWORK is now very active in India and has influence among the Indian parliamentarians who immediately jump at the bandwagon when they see a vote bank. Christianity has no room for caste-ism and votaries of this group have become so vocal that they tend to drown the voice of real dalits who can be only from amongst the Hindus.The catholic clergy which was supporting the demand for RESERVATION for this group has got official support from protestant groups also, a shame realy. They will not clean their own practise of separate communion, separate burial ground for dalit Christians but will ask government for reservation.

This stands in sharp contrast to the stand of Mr. K.T. PAUL who in the Round table conference of 1930 wherein he opposed "reservation" for Indian Christians as he considered this demand as " Communal" though Congress party offered this sop just like it offered to Anglo Indians which was accepted by them. This visionary not only promoted social justice amongst the weaker lot of Christians but also encouraged EDUCATION as the tool to get out of poverty and communal ghetto thinking. He was General secretary of YMCA in 1914 and guided the Indian Christian community especially in the south towards national thinking. So the Indian leadership of so called Dalit Christians like John Dayal may have proximity to ruling politicians for their own personal benefit but in the long range they are enemies of Dalit christians themselves as also Indian nationalism. Of course we all know the pride of Jat Sikhs and the place of scheduled caste Sikhs in Indian army and Punjab.

We now have a Sachar committee report which has brought about the economic backwardness of Indian Muslims compared to general Indian population. The following article which was written by my blog friend Kabir is very educative of the social division amongst the Indian Muslims.The Indian Muslim clergy will not remove them but will fight with Indian government for Reservation on the basis of Sachar report!!!! When an Ajlaf APJ.Abdul Kalam became President of India, this clergy did not know what to do. He was not only a scientist but also an eminent Tamil Scholar to boot(not Urdu or Arabic).They can understand Presidents Zakir hussein, Fakhruddin Ali ahmed all congress politicians but not this man from Tamilnadu.

Indian Muslims by Kabir

In descending order the top classes or "castes" are Sayyad, Sheikh, Mughal and Pathan. They are the self-proclaimed parachutes from Garden of Eden via Wadi-al-Kora in to this landmass. That leaves perhaps 90% of Muslims in Ajlaf classes.

Their own further classifications can be mind-boggling. A Darzi (tailor) is superior to a Nai (barber) who is superior to a Dhobi (washer man) who is superior to a Qasai (Butcher). Julaha (weaver) and Rangarez (house-painter) may think they are direct descendants of Turkish quilt makers or Persian calligraphers whose work decorates Taj, respectively but we know better, says the Ansari who thinks his forefathers were the first to welcome the Prophet at Medina and therefore he is next only to a Sayyad who is after all directly related to the blood line of the Prophet unlike the Sheikh, or Mughals that are really the by-products of inter-racial marriages or the Usurious Pathan! But none of the Sayyads would consider even a Kidwai anywhere near to them. The Qasai who slaughters only mutton or chicken is better than the one who deals in beef too but he may have a bone to pick with a Mirasi who is just a Singer/Dancer/Musician/Baul-Sufi Minstrel or a Manihar (Bangle maker) of Faizabad or Lad Bazaar of Hyderabad but the Mirasi may look with contempt at one who handles effluents..

An Ajlaf treats himself to Ashraf-hood by first arriving at some level of economic security and when that happens, the first thing that he does is to obtain a "fair" complexioned woman of higher class even if a widow of poorer means and then put her in Purdah exactly as a Ghairatmand Khandaani Sayyad would, so that she doesn't have to work outside. No more jobs in a Tanning Factory for her even if she is the smartest one around. Next, he must procure a lower caste Muslim or even a Hindu maid-servant so that Begum Sahiba does not have to deal with riff-raff by going to Bazaar on her own. Next is to prevent his girl-child from even thinking of going to a co-ed school. The colloquial simple dialect common to common men must be dropped by the children and Zer/Zabar/Pesh must make an appearance even in speech. Dark spot of Piety on forehead by then is a must and a few phrases dropped here and there in Arabic are always useful. Next is to become choosy about whom not to break bread with. Social Stratification has to be converted to one's advantage, not to that of the others. In due course one must look for a Daughter-in-Law from a Higher Caste making SURE at the same time that one's daughter does not start making eyes with a "badzaat" boy of lower caste!

Next is to create a Legend. By the time his grandson starts growing up Abbumian whose father belonged to caste of Dhobi and hence accused of permanent state of "nijasaf," (pollution) would want to forget his real ancestors. Short of looking for a Clan Coat of Arms, it may now become essential for him to discover an Ancestor who either came with Ghori, Nadir or Abdali as a Swordsman. And then he honorably married a High Caste Brahmin or Rajput woman after making her "embrace" Islam before entering in to her embrace, would say such fine story Abbumian to grandchildren with a nostalgic catch in his throat. If only he could produce a Firman issued by Aurangzeb, as claimed by ZAB, donating thousands of acres at Larkana, he would!

It is amazing irony that more a Muslim tries to flaunt the outward symbols of his religion (skull-cap, beard, prayer, fasts, pilgrimage, Urdu etc) to assert his individuality more and more "Hindu" he becomes in his social stratification. While the Hindu has tried with quite some success to break out of the shackles for which some early reformers got inspiration from egalitarian Islam/Christianity and self-efforts, followers of both Islam and Christianity want to outdo the Hindus now in terms of social hierarchy!
Ironically a "high caste" Mirza girl like Sania is perfectly fine playing lawn tennis in shorts and sleeve-less tops but the daughter of a "lower caste" Mirasi may well be forced in to Purdah. It is another matter that, the Mirza lass is fast becoming a thorn on which the rose sits.

Some are born Noble, some acquire Nobility and some thrust their Nobility in your face. Such are the plans of mice and men.

Caste, Class, Quom, Biradari, tribe within a Tribe, sub-sect within a Sect...One can keep adding; have a lot to do with at least three factors: birth, hereditary profession and exposure to Saudi Preachers' influences.

There are a few honest-to-God Muslims who practice discrimination most unwittingly. They really don't mean any harm but they themselves are First Victims. There is a couple of interesting twists:

Firstly: - A Muslim Family considers itself higher on social-scale depending upon how long "Islam" has been in their Clan, genuinely or as per exaggerated family lore. Thus, it is common for one Clan to look down on the other claiming that while WE have been Muslims right since the days of the Prophet (or, near about of Qasim's times) YOU are actually recent Hindu "converts" who are practicing some mixed-up form. Who really knows the truth?

Take the case of Allama Iqbal. As per one version, his great-grandfather was a Kashmiri Hindu Pandit named Sapru who became a Muslim. Angry counter arguments were put forth by somebody else that Iqbal's family had been Muslim at the very least for 250 years. I do not understand the economy exercised by the latter. Neither may have cared much for Iqbal's world view or his own mystical thoughts. Conclusions are self-serving: longer your Clan has been Muslim; better you must be.

Secondly: - The harder the form of Islam one claims to profess, better class he belongs to. Soft-speaking, easy going South-Indian and Bengal Muslims had mostly remained indistinguishable from their Hindu or Christian peers except in few details. Dress, culture, social practices, cuisine and most important the language is almost identical. This is no longer acceptable to the New Brand of Evangelists who keeps looking for finding ways of accentuating differences. The Gulf influence is trying to create a gulf among peoples and drive a wedge in a social scene that had simply and painlessly evolved over centuries.
Thirdly:- One tends to look for ancient roots as far away from (British)India as possible, claiming ownership with present locale-the motherland-at the same time. The desire for conformity is always at conflict with a desire to be somebody special. One, who can manage to demonstrate, in some acceptable manner, his kinship with some group far away, always can claim a higher status on the social ladder. His Quom, Khaandaan, Biradari is greater in the pecking order. What is so great about being just another Balochi; one needs to be more and it is the Omani or Kurdish connection that matters and that does NOT mean one is negating one's present environs!

There is a kind of dichotomy here and some poorly informed but well meaning Hindu Indians, who do not understand, straightaway think that the Muslim loyalties are divided. It is not so. He loves his land of birth and would remain forever loyal to it but it gives him some temporary joy to show that look, I am somebody DIFFERENT, even as I am part of you. And I choose to live with you but I am STILL somebody SPECIAL. I am of ancestry from far off lands and though you are my own, there are some whom I have never seen but they are more of my own even if THEY never acknowledge me to be one of theirs. There is sweet agony and harmless wistfulness with an added pinch of fevered imagination leading to false pride of a kind which I understand but I am unable to articulate here well.

Such harmless sentiments are the ones on which an Arab-petro-dollar financed Wahabi plays. An innocent desire to be "special" can lead in a matter of a single generation to a hard form of Islam-ism where anything that has a "local" flavour needs to be discarded as un-Islamic. In reality, what the Evangelist means is all that is Non-Arabic is Un-Islamic!Instead of guiding a person towards piety and tolerance they goad a man towards hate and intolerance. If every other chap claims that he is a direct descendent of the Prophet or Companions of Prophets or early Khalifas or the Rashidun or of stock from the Turk or Mughal or Afghan or Arian or Early Converts or First One to Embrace Islam or related to a pioneer's merely points to a need to acquire the seal of antiquity as proof of superiority within his peer group. Whether they have actually practiced piety or not is a separate matter. And then whether he calls all that "Caste-ism" or something else is just a matter of semantics.

And the crowning glory would be a City dwelling Tribal fellow holding on to some Pre-Islamic semi-barbarous Code of Honour and calling a simple, peace-loving Namazi a "Pagan-Muslim" lacking in any such Code!

Mughals are dead and gone and Shah Jahan is just a name and Babur's ancestry of Samarqand & Bokhara is just a wisp of memory but not for anything that the Cleric who runs the imposing Jama Masjid in Delhi still calls himself: Shahi Imam of Bokhara.

The self-indulgences of men of High Birth!