Close colleagues of the Muslim leader have stated on historical record: "Jinnah never wanted a Pakistan which involved the partition of India”.
The demand for a separate Muslim state of Pakistan was essentially a bargaining chip utilised to push the Congress Party into acknowledging the rights of the large Muslim minority present in India.
Let me remind those who are unaware that on 6th June 1946 Jinnah and the Muslim League voted to accept the plan calling for a confederated united India. Under this ‘Cabinet Mission Plan’ there would be a grouping of autonomous Muslim and Hindu provinces which allowed for a three tiered federation between Hindu and Muslim provinces, with the centre in Delhi only keeping the subjects of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Currency and Communication, all other subjects would vest in the provinces. These provinces would have been free to form groups (i.e. Muslim and Hindu) with their own executives and legislatures that would then deal with such subjects as the provinces within the group assigned them.
As we now know it was the rejection of this plan by the Congress party and the subsequent dishonest shenanigans of Mountbatten and Nehru, that forced a disappointed and dying Jinnah to accept 'the moth eaten and truncated’ state that we now know as Pakistan.
The profoundly vain and egotistical Mountbatten was so angered by Jinnah’s refusal to accept him as Pakistan’s first Governor General that he acidly warned him: "(This) may cost you the whole of your assets and the future of Pakistan” (Stanley Wolpert, Shameful Flight, OUP, 2006, p. 164).
Thanks to vengeful Mountbatten and Nehru, India delayed transferring Pakistan’s share of assets, which together with the Kashmir debacle embittered the relation between the two countries.
The precarious existence of the early Pakistan resulted in a warped emotional tunnel-vision which gave India-obsessed defence/foreign policies precedence over the economic wellbeing of its people. Six decades of this irrational passion has led to misplaced priorities which doomed our country to widespread illiteracy and economic penury. At the same it illogically elevated the status of the armed forces into some sort of ‘conquering heroes’ – which is ironic considering after six decades of existence our military has yet to win anything in the battlefield (other than those fought against its own people in East Pakistan, Balochistan and elsewhere).
Much of the blame for this distorted vision lies with self-styled intellectuals who appointed themselves guardians of our ‘National Ideology’. This dogma offered no economic or social benefits to the common citizen, but was instead steeped in a visceral distrust of India and called upon our ‘noble’ armed forces to defend every inch of ‘our sacred soil’ (which included Kashmir).
In a revealing moment I asked one of these ideologues: ‘What is more important? The future wellbeing of millions Muslim Kashmiris or obtaining the Vale of Kashmir’. The answer was immediate: ‘The Vale of Kashmir!”
Somewhere along the line these ideologues have managed to miss the boat completely. Whether one takes a religious, ethical or commonsensical approach the answer remains the same: It is always the people who matter (and not some piece of imagined real estate).
Unfortunately from the early days of Pakistan’s existence these absurd convictions have pervaded our Establishment. And so, the Army has always been there to protect ‘our sacred soil’ rather than to defend the liberties of its people. Compare that with the Allied Forces during the WWII who fought for five longs years to defend the freedom of their people from the tyranny of Nazism.
In defence of this pernicious ‘National Ideology’ it has been acceptable for our military leadership to declare thousands of Pakistani citizens (in East Pakistan, Balochistan, Sindh and NWFP) anti-state miscreants and kill them in course of their ‘sacred duty’ to protect Pakistan. As an editorial recently pointed out:
'Alas, much of this was done with a large civilian consensus in the dominant Punjab province'.It is therefore understandable that there exists a degree of animosity towards Punjab from the smaller provinces.
Contrary to this spurious ideology it is clear from our history that Pakistan came into existence simply to safeguard the economic and social wellbeing of Indian Muslims who feared getting subsumed by an overwhelming Hindu Majority. While Jinnah relentlessly fought for the rights of his people, it must be remembered, that he never uttered a word about the sacredness of any soil.
Sixty years down the track, your Blogger believes, it is high time we honoured Mr Jinnah's mission by placing the wellbeing of 160 million Pakistanis above all else.
The above Blog was written simply to mark 60 years of Pakistan’s existence, hence the reference to Mr Jinnah. The why and wherefores of Pakistan’s creation, in your Blogger’s opinion, are now only of historical relevance – Pakistan exists and that is all that should matter.
The point that I wished to make – probably not too clearly - was that Mr Jinnah did not fight to create a geographical entity but instead struggled to protect the rights of British India’s Muslims. And it was as a result of his battle to safeguard the interests of these people that Pakistan came into being.
The real purpose behind this Blog was to highlight the fact that for years spurious notions of “National Ideology”, “National Interest” and “National Security” have resulted in the rights of millions of ordinary Pakistanis being trampled under the pernicious jackboot of authority.
I believe it is high time that we acknowledged that it is the people who make up a country (and not simply the land they occupy); and that the civil rights and the wishes of the Pakistani citizen should take precedence over all else if we hope to succeed as a modern nation state.
Ideology of Pakistan