By Engr Mansoor A Malik
The 1920 Khilafat Movement in India was a watershed in the Indian Muslim history and never again would the Muslims in India repose their trust in the Hindu majority for a common Islamic cause in future. The failure of the Khilafat Movement to save the Ottoman Khalifa in Turkey in the post First World War scenario had fallout on the popularity of its Muslim leaders; the Ali Brothers (Muhammad Ali and Shaukat Ali).The Muslim leadership pendulum in India started shifting towards Allama Iqbal of Lahore and Muhammad Ali Jinnah (Our Quaid-e-Azam) of Bombay. This also became visible soon thru the 14 points agenda of Mr. Jinnah as a rebuttal to Mr. Nehru’s political ploys in the 1920s’.The crescendo, however, came in the annual session of the All India Muslim League in 1930 at Allahabad during the Presidential address by Allama Iqbal spelling out clearly the future political framework of a Muslim Majority Region encompassing North-Western Hemisphere of India.
The 1930s’ period was politically the most pro-active for the Indian Muslims. The Bengali Muslims on the Eastern periphery of India joined in the new initiative as enunciated by Allama Iqbal and an Indian Muslim student in U.K; Mr.Rehmat Ali coined a new word PAKISTAN for this emerging entity in the Indian sub-continent. Allama Iqbal relentlessly pushed Mr. Jinnah for taking over the political leadership of the Muslim League to deliver Pakistan for the Indian Muslim masses. The March,1940 All India Muslim League annual session in Lahore would have turned out to be a dream come true for Allama Iqbal in his own hometown, but, unfortunately, he had expired a few years before and could not see the same in his life-time. The Lahore Resolution of 23 March, 1940 laid down the conceptual contours of Pakistan stretching from the North-Eastern fringes of India to the North-Western ones and offering new political opportunities to the Muslim rulers of Hyderabad Deccan State in the South and Junnagarh &Mannavadar State in the West. It is to our mis-fortune that this concept was barely understood by a handful of Indian Muslim Political Stalwarts of the time and an Academician Dr.Ayesha Jalal from Pakistan had to write a book on Mr. Jinnah’s Pakistan: The Sole Spokesman, almost 50 years after his demise and in the wake, encouraging Indian Politician of the likes of Mr.Jashwant Singh to explore Mr. Jinnah and his Pakistan almost 70 years after the Pakistan Resolution of March, 1940.
Mr. Jinnah’s death in Sept 48 left a big political void in the emerging largest Muslim country of the world and the entire onus fell on the shoulders of Mr.Liaqat Ali Khan (Quaid-e-Millat), the first Prime-Minister of Pakistan to steer our ship from troubled waters. His first major political decision to install a weakling Khawaja Nazimuddin, from Eastern Bengal, instead of a strong political leader from Western Bengal, Mr. Hussein Shaheed Suhrawardy, as the second Governor-General of Pakistan to fit into the shoes of Mr. Jinnah on his death badly back-fired. The palace intrigues pushed its way into the Governor-General’s office and within five years of Mr. Jinnah’s death, Liaqat Ali Khan was eliminated (1951) and the Establishment took full control of the reigns of power of our newly born State of Pakistan. This merry-go-around of Power Politics is being played out in full view during the last sixty two years of our existence after the death of our Founding Father.
The only silver lining in these years have been the unanimously approved 1973 Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and our indigenous Nuclear & Missile capability to survive in our region as an Independent and Proud country. The major historical distortions brought about by half-educated generals like Zia-ul-Haq and Pervez Musharraf are now being washed away at the peoples’ altar. While we were involved in washing this dirty khaki linen in public, we have been pushed into a regional quagmire which is not of our making. This has triggered our intellectuals and political leaders to think outside the box for our very survival as a nation state in the 21st Century.
The circular journey of Pakistan from a Concept to a Country and back to the Concept has just begun which was stunted by the sudden death of our Founder Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The major players playing poker with us have now changed and instead of the British Empire and Hindu leaders of the 1940s’ we have to deal with Uncle Sam on one hand and the Indo-Israeli nexus on the other hand. This provides the right challenges to our First Born Free Pakistani generation which is now at the helm of our affairs. There have been two major Expanding Ideological Poles in the Middle-East, one defined by Israel thru its Illegimate Military Muscle and the other by Pakistan thru its Political Ramification. Might is Right may not be sustainable any longer in this politically suave century. Military strategy alone cannot go so far in the 21st century and for the good of Israel itself, it should learn a lesson or two from our own Bonapartist Generals who put their country at stake in order to meet their self styled and self defined half baked and half cooked military strategy in the past.
So back to the drawing boards after a gap of 62 years from the death of our Quaid. He chartered his own political strategy in the presence of three distinct so-called friendly Muslim forces around him, namely the Khaksar Tehreek who wanted to grab power militarily from the British Empire as they, in turn, had done from the last Muslim ruler of India; the second one were the Islamists who did not support en-bloc the creation of Pakistan at that time under the leadership of Mr. Jinnah; the third were the more educated and politically suave Secular Muslim leaders embedded in the Congress Party who thought Pakistan to be an aberration. The strength for the cause of Pakistan under the political leadership and sagacity of Mr. Jinnah not only neutralized these opposing forces in the midst of the Muslim population but also challenged the strangle hold of the British and Hindu leadership of the time. The present, well informed, generation of Pakistan will not allow any Tom, Dick and Harry to hijack the rai-son d’être of our beloved country.
Pakistan’s conceptual configuration in this century can be best understood thru our Poet Philosopher Allama Iqbal’s book titled: Re-construction of Religious Thoughts in Islam. Apart from the Spiritual Integration of the inner with the outer world in the Meta-Physical domain, his thought process invigorates the inclusiveness of the socio-economic equation with the Political Architecture of a Muslim Nation which he dreamed for Pakistan. Are we capable of making his dreams come true in our life-time? The greatest anomaly which the enemies of Pakistan try to paint for us is to portray most of us as the tribal marauders inside the no-mans land on the Pak-Afghan border. It may be synonymous to calling the Average Americans as Red Indians of yester years. This widening gap between Perception and Reality has to be reduced on an emergency basis. Political awakening is on the horizon thru the courtesy of a free Electronic/Print Media and a ferociously independent Judiciary in Pakistan. Will the real face of Pakistan be allowed to make an entry in the global village of the 21st century or our enemies, God forbid, would succeed in sub-merging us in the River Indus? Only time will tell.
In brief, Mansoor Malik has been Director General with over 33 year of experience in planning, establishing and managing national level, strategic, high-tech organizations. Director General, Marketing & Industrial Relations Organization (MIRO). Commandant, College of Aeronautical Engineering, Risalpur, Pakistan.
Senior Engineering Manager, PAF Project where he was responsible for the smooth induction of F-16 Aircraft Weapons System in the PAF and making them fully operational.
His experience is very versatile in different fields of technology and education. He is consultant to number of organizations and the Universities of Pakistan.
He writes for Opinion Maker and other English dailies.