A rejoinder to Kamila Hyat

By Brig Asif Haroon raja

Anti-Pakistan and pro-western and pro-Indian Pakistani writers keep writing about Pakistan negatively to breed doubts and misgivings about the foundations of Pakistan, two-nation theory, Pakistan’s ideology, its identity and even Pakistan’s national anthem. The liberal class in particular remains in the vanguard to spread feelings of despondency. Fascinated by Indian and western cultures, this class steadfastly defends foreign cultures and their acts of omission and commission and enthusiastically sing the tutored themes to undermine Pakistan. The western educated intellectuals and writers among them feed half-truths and lies to confuse the youth that had neither seen British imperialism, nor the real face of bigoted Hindus, or had experienced the pangs of Pakistan movement and travails of partition of India.

It is now an established fact that irrespective of infrequent extension of hand of friendship, India has never desired to live as peaceful and friendly neighbor with Pakistan. 64 years is a long period but time and tide has not mellowed down the undying hatred of Indian leaders’ for Pakistan. They have neither forgiven Jinnah nor reconciled to the existence of Pakistan. They still dream of absorbing Pakistan into Indian Union so as to fulfill their age-old dream of illusive Akhand Bharat either by force of arms or through deceptive means. They have artfully used media and psy ops as tools to poison the minds of Pakistanis and to draw cleavages between various communities with a view to fomenting regionalism and weakening the very foundations of Pakistan. The US, Europe and Israel harboring ill-will for Muslim Pakistan buttress Indian efforts. 

In order to weaken Islam which acts as the sole unifying factor, India has been resorting to never ending tricks to undermine Islam. Apart from its own efforts, it has been making good use of the liberal brigade in Pakistan which helps in distorting facts of history and creating sense of disillusionment and despondency among the younger generation about Pakistan and its future. Since all the leading English newspapers like Dawn, The News, Daily Times as well as journals and publishing houses are controlled by seculars, and are funded by foreign powers; it becomes that much easier for India and western powers to promote their agenda.

India’s first major success was in former East Pakistan where Indian inspired language controversy became the cause of east-west estrangement. Subsequently real and imaginary grievances were aired on the plea that the west was prospering at the cost of east. Punjab was projected as the chief villain to widen the gulf. After dismembering Pakistan and creating Bangladesh, Indian psy operators shifted their focus entirely towards Sindh so as to poison the minds of Sindhis. Their insidious efforts resulted in birth of several anti-Pakistan political parties/groups in interior Sindh such as Sindhu Desh led by GM Sayyed. Politics of Sindh were further vitiated after the delivery of MQM in Karachi which sharpened rural-urban divide. Sindh is in throes and Karachi where target killings have become a norm has become a wounded city.

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India is currently concentrating on Balochistan where East Pakistan type conditions have been created. Rebellious Baloch Sardars belonging to Bugti, Marri and Mengal tribes in rural Balochistan fully aided by RAW and other foreign agencies are waging a separatist movement. While non-locals, Hazaras and pro-government Baloch are being routinely gunned down by shady outfits like BLA and BRA, the non-locals have migrated from Baloch held regions. The minds of Baloch youth and women are being poisoned and brainwashed to hate Pakistan, particularly Army and Punjab. Neither national anthem is sung nor Pakistan flag flown in most Baloch controlled educational institutions.

Although the separatist elements form a tiny minority and majority of Baloch as well as all other nationalities including largest minority of Pashtuns are patriotic Pakistanis and abhor separatists, human rights activists and some foreign paid NGOs support the cause of rebels. They feel disturbed when security forces take counter measures to safeguard national interests and to protect the lives peaceful citizens and dub their preventive acts as human rights violations.

In her write up ‘Our search for a forgotten identity’ dated April 14 appearing in The News, Kamila Hyat seeks to defend the acts of Baloch rebels. She maintains that only miniscule size of population in Balochistan prevents the struggle to assert independence from succeeding. Rather than castigating non-singing of national anthem in Baloch run schools/colleges, she casts aspersion on the anthem defining it as controversial and enigmatic. She makes fun of it by asserting that none in Pakistan understands its meanings since it is a mix of Persian, Arabic and Hindi. She also underplays Urdu saying that it is depicted as being more refined and higher in lingual hierarchy. Even English has not been spared since she says that only a tiny minority speaks this language. If that be so, one fails to understand, which language would have been more suited for our anthem.

Being so highly educated, one wonders why she is so ignorant about the history of Urdu which has vowels from Arabic, Persian and Hindi languages. Persian was the official language throughout the long rule of Mughals until it was axed by the British in 1835 and replaced with English so as to shatter the culture and civilization of Indian Muslims and render them uneducated. While Urdu was declared as a lingua franca for Pakistan by Quaid-e-Azam, and it continues to be so, Kamila sees language crises in Punjab where according to her tens of thousands of parents do not converse in Punjabi with their children and that Punjabi is not formally taught in educational institutions. What has she to say about that category of elites which converse more in English and very less in their mother tongue? 

All these 64 years, Pakistanis have been singing national anthem with gusto. The lyrics and powerful composition is so motivating that it inculcates a sense of pride and oneness among all Pakistanis irrespective of their religion, caste, ethnic and sectarian diversities. I am nonplussed what impelled Kamila to harbor dark thoughts about the anthem about which none has ever raised any objection. There can be no other reason to this lunacy than to please India and Bloch rebels.    

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To encourage separatists in Balochistan, she subtly draws a comparison by saying that today Bangladesh is much more prosperous than what it was when it was part of Pakistan and is socially and economically better than Pakistan. I may suggest to her to take a trip to Bangladesh and interact with the people and gain firsthand information how they feel towards Pakistan and India. Majority of the older generation fondly recall the good old days of united Pakistan and curse India. Despite Indian massive propaganda over 60% of the youth in Bangladesh is pro-Pakistan. This becomes evident on the occasion of India-Pakistan cricket match played in Dacca. Pakistan has helped Bangladesh in development of its armament industry, air force, air defence and several other fields.

Kamila pricks the minds of Pakistani youth by suggesting that it is confused about Pakistan’s identity, why was it created, what it is about and what precisely was gained by seeking independence and who we are.  She expresses doubts whether Pakistan is based around a commonality of religion or other factors. It is people like her who are befuddled and are neither here nor there. They are ashamed of their identity, culture and religion and their country of origin from which they draw all benefits and social status. Sailing in two boats, they are Pakistanis in name only but in practice are attached to western and Indian cultures. They call themselves Muslims but know little of their religion and yet censure those who are better versed with Quran and Hadiths. To please their mentors, they dub Islamists as uncouth, fundamentalists, extremists and terrorists and hold them responsible for all the ills in our society.

Kamila blames Gen Ziaul Haq for pushing Pakistan from South Asia to Middle East by way of introducing Arabic as a subject in schools and emphasizing on Islamic teachings as in Saudi Arabia and changing the dress code from trouser to shalwar kameez (she prefers to call it keffiyeh to sell her point that Zia imposed Saudi culture). Great majority in Pakistan has all along preferred shalwar kameez which is affordable and comfortable. She laments that Zia tried to mould our centuries old South Asian identity into West Asian. She is oblivious to the historical fact that it was secular Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who after the 1971 debacle had scraped western pacts of SEATO and CENTO and gravitated Pakistan towards West Asia to gain greater security from aggressive India. Islamic conference hosted by him in 1974 was a step in that direction.

Notwithstanding that 65% of our population has its origins in Central Asia; we cannot detach ourselves from our roots in Arabian Peninsula from where Islam under Holy Prophet (pbuh) sprouted. The first brick of Islam was laid in the Indian subcontinent by Muhammad bin Qasim in 712. The Arabs made Sindh an extension of Ummayad Empire and ruled it for over 300 years. Kamila and scores of her like-minded friends do not mind Indian and western culture seeping into Pakistan but feel unduly alarmed at the prospects of Muslim culture permeating into our society.

Ignoring Indo-Pak antagonism and following in the footsteps of Indian sponsored group ‘Aman-ki-Asha’, Kamila admonishes unnamed hawks who in her view are preventing Pakistan from falling into Indian lap. She strongly feels that salvation of Pakistan rests in forging friendship with India. I hazard to ask her, starting from Jinnah which Pakistani leader espoused animosity with India? All our leaders, whether civilian or military, endeavored to develop close ties with India, but their efforts were thwarted by hawkish Indian leaders. Didn’t Musharraf go out of the way to solve Kashmir dispute which is the real bone of contention between two neighbors? Is India prepared to solve the dispute in accordance with UN resolutions and the aspirations of people of Indian occupied Kashmir? Is India prepared to stop constructing dozens of dams over rivers flowing into Pakistan in violation of Indus Water Treaty? Will India agree to build even-handed and mutually beneficial ties with Pakistan? Answer to all will of course be in negative.

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While Indian historians have distorted history of Muslim rule in India by undermining Muslims rulers and overplaying Hindu leaders, Indian youth is fed with fanciful myths to glorify Hindus ancient past. However, India presses Pakistan that its history books lionizing Muslim rulers should be amended since it bred extremism.

Now that the real actors behind 26/11 attacks are getting exposed, Kamila has tried to give a new twist to the incident that Mumbai attacks may have been engineered by hawks in Pakistan (meaning ISI) to prevent the two archrivals to embrace each other. She has described India as a holy cow ever desirous of peace and Pakistan as a devil fomenting hatred against India and polluting the minds of the younger generation. Either she is extremely naive, or she considers us all to be dimwitted. 

I may like to remind her that Vajpayee had signed peace treaty with Pakistan in January 2004 with evil intentions. While he was signing the agreement RAW was busy giving final touches to its covert war plan to be unleashed from Afghan soil in concert with other intelligence agencies. Eastern border including Line of Control in Kashmir were made peaceful so as to launch cultural invasion in Punjab. The youth, artists of all hues and the liberal class were its targets for subversion. Publication of negative stories about Pakistan’s identity and national anthem are a consequence to Indian cultural onslaught. Kamila’s article devoid of judiciousness is simply nauseating. 

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