By Dr Shahid Qureshi
Coming from a family which migrated from Indian East Punjab into Pakistan in 1947, Pakistan day on 23rd of March every year use to be heavy and saddening for my late mother. She and her family paid the highest and ultimate price for Pakistan by sacrificing her father (my grandfather a respectable businessman) and his five brothers. My mother never saw her father as she was born after his martyrdom. My 1 ½ year’s old aunt was shot and injured during this exodus 1947 from India to newly born Pakistan. We never saw our maternal grandfather (nana) so we use to call father of the nation Qauid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah nana Jee. The brutal murder of my younger brother and The London Post journalist Faisal Qureshi in October 2011, by terrorists in Lahore is again a signal for people that Pakistan has not yet got it freedom? Pakistan needs to fight another war of independence from within. These national days used to be heavy for my late mother. My father had his own story of forced migration from India to tell.
My family and other millions were forced to become refugees (Mohajirs) in Pakistan. So becoming a refugee is not a matter of choice but need. People don’t become refugees for fun. Pakistan has approximately 4 million refugees and IDPs (internally displaced persons) as a result of two Afghan wars and treacherous behaviors of Pakistani leaders.
People are different around the world and Punjabis generally and Lahorees especially are known to be very empathetic, passionate and always stood by the down trodden, underdogs and victims of oppression. That is why Lahorees are known as ‘zinda dilan Lahore’ live hearted people of Lahore’. British were very careful and particular in learning about the local people and that was one of the reason they were able to run such a big empire from a small island for over two centuries. All most half of the Royal Indian British Army was from four districts of undivided Punjab of British India. There must be something in the people of these districts?
According to a senior writer the way PPP and PML-N are targeting Imran Kahn’s PTI there is greater chance that Punjabis and especially Lahorees will see this as fight between ‘good and evil’ and probably support PTI. It is unfortunate that some senior members of PTI are gravely concerned with the actions of senior members for ‘flirting with murders and criminals’.
The land of pure hosted great civilizations of Harappa and Taxila, founders of two great religions Buddhism (Siddhartha – Buddha) and (Baba Guru Nanak) Sikhism were son of the soil. Those pseudo intellectuals who have fits of self pity should know that according to British historian Michael Wood; ‘Alexander the Great faced resistance only on two places in the whole world one was Palestine (where people are still resisting) and other was Multan in Pakistan”. Surely at that time there were no collaborators like Gillanis and Qureshis available to the invading armies of Alexander the Great?
People in Pakistan are living in different muddy bubbles, from which they can’t see each other and are miles away from each other even when they are just next to each other. They only know about the existence of each other but don’t know or don’t want to know each other’s problems. The whole system in Pakistan is designed to protect the rich, powerful and corrupt? The poor Pakistanis are paying for the luxuries of the rich by direct and in direct taxes on fuel, electric and other commodities. This systemic failure is taking the state down? The never ending ‘greed of the elite’ will take this state down in the history as failed state. No doubt the IMF (Impossible Mission Force) of the current regime successfully accomplished its mission by derailing Pakistan’s economy, destroying its rail, road infrastructures, dams and electricity projects. The problems of the elite and rich are not the same as the common people of Pakistan.
Intellectual growth needs peace of mind and right environment. In developed countries mostly experts and every area are nurtured, developed and fully supported. The real policy makers in developed countries are not politicians but academics of universities and analysts of fully supported and funded think tanks. That is how countries progress, make transport, economic and defense policies and strategies years in advance.
I come across an interesting British/Indian Guajarati businessman in Lancashire whose family converted to Islam from Hindu religion few decades ago. He sent a worker to get locks for his newly established business unit in an industrial area. The worker got him cheap locks to save money. The cleaver businessman sent his worker back to buy expansive and good quality locks. He told his worker; ‘think about the size and value of the goods in the factory. Locks and security of the factory should show we care about our businesses.’ Even a small businessman knows this common sense logic that ‘locks should match the value of your businesses’. One member of that clan as Younas Habib living in Karachi and Bombay claimed to have Jewish roots. Though no objective evidence is available to prove that claim but he quoted me to “look at the culture, habits, actions, business techniques and thoughts might have some resemblance. They follow policy of serving the powerful and sacrifice everything to achieve business objectives including ‘honey trapping’ people in power”. The Indian businessman mentioned above from North of England was very popular among religious leaders due to his hefty donations and banks for bankruptcies.
What a good way of keeping balance between going into hell and heaven? Keep everyone happy? A very famous holy man literary insulted a now business, media tycoon and gold dealer in a mosque full of people stating; their forefathers were very poor, down trodden Hindus and my forefathers converted them Islam and now they are successful businessmen’. Some at the gathering said; ‘we are taught all human beings are equal and there is no blue blood’?
On the other hand Pakistani elite is totally ignorant about the safety and security of state assets including Baluchistan. India has been divided twice since 1947 with the emergence of two Muslim States Pakistan and Bangladesh with the population of about 400 million. These people have lot to share and trade with each other. All they need is a commitment and honest partnership based on equality and mutual respect for each other. India must show courage and give freedom to Kashmiris and right of self determination. The historical bond among the people is much stronger and this bond will be further strengthened by removing trust deficit. Sometimes use of common sense is better than intelligence.
For those who are being paid to destroy the peace and economy of Pakistan must remember that; ‘those who licks knives eventually cut their tongues’. Pakistanis need to declare and win another war of independence from within and against the corrupt and treacherous elite.