Geopolitics

Pakistan: The Anti-India Identity
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Issue Vol. 23.4 Oct-Dec2008 | Date : 25 Nov , 2010

Jinnah’s full encouragement to the vicious anti-Hindu rhetoric in the campaign for Pakistan raises serious doubts about his much -touted stature as a visionary. More importantly, it reveals a streak in his character that argues strongly against his ability to forge a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and to an extent multi-religious Pakistan into a nation-state. Mrs. K.L. Rallia Ram, an Indian Christian and founder secretary of Indian Social Congress, who supported the cause of Pakistan, had written to Jinnah on 22 September 1946 from Lahore: “I wish you can also win over Sikhs. But the difficulty is that the Hindus are trying their level best to keep the Sikhs to themselves to fight their battles with Muslims. Hindus are morally and physically a coward race and so they want Sikhs to act as their militia. Do you know that 4000 Hindus left Murree two days before, when somebody gave out that Muslims would create trouble?”1

The mohajirs who migrated to Pakistan should be considered as most patriotic and the Hindus who took the risk to stay in Pakistan, as ultra-patriotic.

In the 1950s, the then Director of Centre for the Study of American Foreign Policy at University of Chicago, Hans J Morgenthau, in his book ‘The New Republic’, observed: “Pakistan is not a nation and hardly a state. It has no justification, ethnic origin, language, civilisation or the consciousness of those who make up its population. They have no interests in common, save one: fear of Hindu domination. It is to that fear and nothing else that Pakistan possess its existence and thus for survival as an independent state.” During the same period, another American scholar Keith Callard in his book ‘Pakistan, a Political Study’ commented: “…the force behind the establishment of Pakistan was largely the feeling of insecurity”.

The Cabinet Secretary of Pakistan, Mohd Ali, when asked by a top Indian bureaucrat, B.K. Nehru, regarding the persistent use of abusive language against India and Hindus by the Pakistani Newspaper ‘Dawn’ (Muslim League’s mouthpiece), replied that, though he knew that it was wrong, but such fabrications about an enemy was necessary for building Pakistan. When Nehru retorted by asking what would happen if India was also to conjure up the bogey of “Hinduism in danger”, Ali quickly enounced that Hinduism was incapable of fanaticism.2

Military and civilian rulers in Pakistan have used the anti-Hindu rhetoric for mobilising the people against India both during war and peace. On 29 August, just before the 1965 War, President Ayub Khan in a directive to the Commander in Chief, (General Mohammad Musa), wrote: “…… as a general rule, Hindu morale would not stand more than a couple of hard blows delivered at the right time and place. Such opportunities should therefore be sought and exploited.”3

Z.A. Bhutto was as anti-India centric like any military ruler in Pakistan. In his book “From My Death Cell”, he takes credit for some of the major achievements which are the prevention of Iran from funding Rajasthan Canal; the revival of Kashmir dispute and; preventing India and China to be closer any more. He also boasts that: “In my time, I took the Indians for a walk”.

Jean Luc Racine, a French scholar on South Asia gave his view that “the doubts expressed now and then in India (outside official circles) on the viability of Pakistan and the hypotheses foretelling its breaking up into independent provinces give rise to added rancour, even though some Pakistanis themselves also conjure up the danger of the implosion of their country.”

Pakistanis who had opposed the idea of Pakistan are labeled by a section of the leadership as lacking in nationalism, thus making the process of national reconciliation quite difficult. Bhutto’s book comments on some leading figures of Pakistan at that time. “Maududi (head of Jamaat-e-Islami), who called the Quaid-e-Azam, Kaffer-i-Azam and opposed Pakistan, is the Pope of the Marital Law Regime and his party is the de facto partner of Martial Law” and adds, “….. most of the PNA Leaders, who opposed the creation of Pakistan, are the ‘B Team’ of Martial Law”. “…….. Ghaffar Khan and Wali Khan who were the stalwarts of Congress and until this day have not given up their hatred for Quaid-e-Azam, have been called patriots by the Chief Martial Law Administrator(Gen Zia) and are being projected as the true leaders of Pakistan.” says the book.4 By this logic, the mohajirs who migrated to Pakistan should be considered as most patriotic and the Hindus who took the risk to stay in Pakistan, as ultra-patriotic. But then, such logic, going by the book of Bhutto, would be highly unpatriotic.

Economic wisdom can be a hostage to military and strategic imperatives, and such proclivities, are best illustrated in the case of Pakistan. Its hugely beneficial prospects of trade and economic cooperation with two of its important neighbours, (India and Afghanistan), have suffered because of its strategic agendas. Both the countries offer natural economic complementarities. While Afghanistan can provide the much-needed maritime access to Central Asian Republics, which can generate enormous revenues, Pakistan can benefit hugely by means of trade and commerce in agricultural and industrial products with contiguous India. Given India’s current economic growth, this imperative weighs heavier on Pakistan.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

RSN Singh

is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research and Analysis Wing, or R&AW and author of books Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and The Military Factor in Pakistan. His latest book is The Unmaking of Nepal.

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