By Ijazul Haq
Souls of Sarhadi Gandhi, his real K C Gandhi, his scions Khan Wali Khan, Ajmal Khattak and others (may they rest in peace!) and many a cohorts must be complimenting and congratulating each other over the dubious doings and developments taking place back home. The assaults and affrays they typified, and the great dreams, aspirations and lofty ideals they embodied, relished and stood for about Pakistan stand achieved and accomplished – courtesy “Charon Subon ki Zanjeer” Party. The Kalabagh Dam issue, conveniently consigned to God knows where and NWFP renamed “Khyber Pakhtunkhawa”! While on Kalabagh Dam, one fails to understand that with International commitments like World Bank still in place and intact, how can a mere Minister of Raja Rental fame unilaterally ordain and announce demise of the dam-considered to be the life-raft for Pakistan ! President Bhutto would be regretting the ritualistic rise and rise of his President son-in-law when he started pampering politicians (whom the former called and got declared Traitors and Secessionists through a Court Verdict) by referring to the Province as Pakhtunkhwa when even the amendment had yet to be pushed through the Parliament. The Opposition by appeasement has ceded a strong support base in the Province and shot itself in the foot. It will take it years and years to find feet there. Weakening Federalism, the Country has thus been guided to the road to a Confederation as against strong Federation – putting into motion, the centrifugal forces, eroding national cohesion, unity and brotherhood. The clemency seeking cronies and courtiers may advise Mr. Zardari to now bury hatchet with Sindh National Front on adopting its manifesto, in toto.
The ethnicity envisioned “Pakhtunkhwa” sounds synonymous and smells simile to Pakhtunistan – which has hazy historic connotations. In lineal perspective ANP ascends to defunct NAP and to Khudai Khidmatgar – which unfortunately opposed – tooth and nail- the creation of Pakistan!
Khudai Khidmatgars did not believe in partition of India. In his autobiography, Khan Ghaffar Khan had categorically stated “I am afraid I do not entertain any friendly feeling for Pakistan. Pakistan was founded on hatred. She was born not on love but on hatred and she grew up on hatred, on malice, on spite and hostility”. ANP believes in nationalities and not a nation, which is in direct conflict with the two nation theory – the vary basic concept on which the creation of Pakistan was accepted even by British and Hindu leadership. The concept of nationalities is opposed also to the fundamentals of Islam. It preaches that the entire Muslim Millat is one nation. In the past the ANP has been pleading that the people of Balochistan and NWFP form a definite ethnic group, a political entity to be called Pakhtunistan which should have the right of self determination.
The partition plan contemplated a referendum in NWFP to decide whether people wanted to join India or Pakistan. Khan Ghaffar Khan wanted a third option i.e. separate independent state. This not being accepted, the Khudai Khidmatgar boycotted the referendum. In the referendum, the people of settled areas of NWFP opted for Pakistan. The tribal Sardars from tribal areas pledged loyalty to Quaid e Azam. The Quaid stressed to safeguard against split and divisions amongst muslims and warned against the provincialism.
Khan Ghaffar Khan after the partition plan complained to Mr. Gandhi “That a terrible fate awaits us in NWFP. We do not know what to do”. Mr. Gandhi advised him “to declare that Pakistan was altogether unacceptable to you”. Gandhi personally was so obsessed with the idea of independent NWFP that he wished Indian Government to go to war for it”. He wrote to Khan Ghaffar Khan and asked him to leave NWFP and direct and develop techniques for his non violence policy and guide his struggle from Indian soil. He offered by saying that “this you can do here with me or otherwise”.
In 1977, when the PPP Government, for follies of its own making, was overthrown by the military, Khan Ghaffar Khan addressed a two – paged letter to the Chief Martial law Administrator – commending the coup and appreciating the ouster of Bhutto. Written in his own hand, he surprisingly, chose to write in Pashto – knowing full well that neither it was the national nor official medium of communication. In the letter he stated that since he entertained aspirations, hopes and beliefs, entirely different, the changes taking place in Pakistan were of little or no interest, significance or consequence for him. He complained that with Bhutto toppled, the number of spy jeeps and strength of sleuths from Intelligence Agencies following and chasing him had been doubled. He vowed that he would follow through and continue with the stride for which he had stood for thus far.
In early Eighties, despite Soviet Soldiers present next door, the Martial Law Leadership in Pakistan contemplated a determined move to return the country to Democratic rule. Late Mr.Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, an elderly leader of Pakistan Peoples Party, was persuaded to play the role at national level. Mr. Jatoi agreed provided permitted by the Bhutto Ladies. Weaning power being an improbable for the Bhuttos and finding the offer not to their own personal interest and advantage, the ladies denied Mr. Jatoi a free ride. Having failed in it, Mr. Wali Khan was called upon to come forward. He was advised to shun provincial politics and peculiar parochial position. He was asked to focus on national issues instead thus making him acceptable to the masses in national politics. Mr. Wali Khan showed willingness and requested for favour of projection and patronage. Big public meetings with large gatherings were arranged for him at Karachi and Lahore where he pronounced patriotic posturing on national issues. Well received by public at large, the reaction and response was a resounding success. The third such public meeting was arranged at Peshawar. Wither Pakistan, true to his hue and salt, the thundering Khan challenged all and sundry to construct Kala Bagh Dam over his dead body. When confronted for such a stand and statement, the Pakhtun leader refused to rise above provincial, parochial and petty politics. Doing so, according to him would be a political suicide for him, for his family, and for his Party. This was the primary contributing factor for longevity of Military Rule. At the same time, it amply explains the democratic credentials of our present rulers – PPP and the ANP.
Wars and Violence, Peace and Non –violence signify strange dimensions where cause and effect are the two opposites. Seen through the prism of history, the facts reflect that Nobel Peace Prize each time has gone to the leader of the country waging wars and causing vast destruction. Policies of politicians preaching non-violence have always caused and resulted into blood shed and blood letting. ANP stalwarts pride in the policy of Non-violence pursued by their Supremos. The myth of our National Reconciliation – grand and great – germinated by NRO and being caressed and nursed by our national leaders of Zardari stature – seems a stretch and smack carrying features and figuration of the Doctrine of Non Violence. Lord save us, lest this heterogeneous alliance by big bigots with conflict of interests brings us further and frequent bouts of blood shed and blood letting.
Ijazul Haq is a former Federal Minister who has been Member of National Assembly for almost two decades. He is a CPA and President Ziaul Haq Foundation. He is also a regular contributor to www.oly.com.pk