A journey of peoples that have witnessed crossroads of history
By Zulfiqar Shah-Indus civilization ages seven thousand years. Pakistan is just seventy. Sindh and Balochistan together are the core of the Indus civilization that can be called Sindh civilization. Each brick of Maher Garh, a 5000 BC archeological site of Indus near the adorable Bolan hills of Balochistan was sold out by Sardar Yar Mohaamad Rind to international archeological mafia. The same was done by Al-Qaida and Taliban to get financial resources for their terror networks. Sardar Yar Mohammad Rid, a Baloch tribal was given protocol by the establishment of Pakistan. Why Pakistan has preferred seventy years of oblivion over seven thousand years of majesty? Silence can be the only answer from their side. Is Pakistan on the path of an unending anarchy of the State and society?
Sindhi and Baloch love their identity. They are happy that their identity is nurtured since seven thousand years. Sindh gave identity to Pakistan. Sindh Legislative Assembly passed the resolution of Pakistan. Sindh took back its favour from Pakistan in 1946 provincial elections of British India. Pakistan mongering All India Muslim League (AIML) lost the elections of 1946 in Sindh. Sindhi nationalists in alliance with Indian National Congress formed the government. After creation of Pakistan, the word and authorities of ‘legislative’ is omitted from Sindh Legislative Assembly in Pakistan. It is called Sindh Assembly today. Its sovereignty is intruded.
Pakistan was created on August 14, 1947 on the basis of Muslim nationhood in Indian Subcontinent, which was undone practically in 1970s by turning East Pakistan into Bangladesh on the ethnic-nationhood lines. There has been not constitution of Pakistan made by a constitutional assembly; therefore Pakistan remained under India Act of 1935 until 1950s. Pakistan adopted AIML ‘Qarardad-e-Maqasid’ as preamble and essence of all would be constitution. This ‘Qarardad-e-Maqasid’ led Pakistan towards Islamic republic. Pakistan was not an Islamic republic on August 14, 1947. Until 1960s, judiciary and legal fraternity in Pakistan were using Indian Penal Code (IPC), Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and other Indian laws. Although the All India Muslim League (AIML) was rejected by the popular Will of Sindhi in 1946 and Pakistan Resolution passed by Sindh Legislative Assembly was undone by Sindhi in the provincial elections of 1946.
The word ‘Pakistan’ was coined by Chaudhry Zafar, a London based student of Ahmadiya Muslim origin. The partition of Punjab and its becoming Pakistan could only become possible when Punjab Legislative Assembly passed resolution for the partition of Punjab and India from Punjab Legislative Assembly with one vote majority given by a Christian Punjabi.
Mohammad Ali Jinnah (M. A. Jinnah) was medically killed. He had acute asthma. His native town Jhirak was having a Tuberculosis Sanitarium and was declared a human settlement suitable most in Sindh for the rehabilitation of Tuberculosis and asthma patients. Jinnah was sent to Ziarat in Balochistan in high altitude mountains highly inappropriate for Jinnah’s health. Jinnah in fact was born in a home on banks of river Indus in Jhirak village of district Thatta; however Pakistan history wrongly mentions that he was born in Karachi. When Jinnah had serious asthma attack, his sister Fatima Jinnah took him to Karachi for medical treatment. None received him at Karachi airport excepting the driver of a Red Cross ambulance sent by the Government. The ambulance was not even having adequate fuel. While heading for the hospital, the ambulance suddenly stopped. The driver asked Fatima Jinnah, sister of Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, please take care of Qaid-e-Azam (Great Leader–title for Jinnah) until the fuel is arranged for ambulance. Jinnah breathed his last in the ambulance while on road. Jinnah, a Sindhi, no doubt is the first Sindhi martyr in Pakistan.
Fatima Jinnah, a Sindhi founding figure of Pakistan and sister of Mr.Jinnah, was termed a traitor and Indian agent by Pakistan Army Chief, President General Ayub Khan. Her official title in Pakistan was ‘Madar-e-Milat’ – mother of the nation. She was the first Sindhi and Pakistani that was dubbed an Indian agent. When mother of the nation and founding figure of Pakistan is termed traitor and Indian agent by the Chief Chowkidar (head of security), Pakistan Army Chief, labeling of Indian agents on the Sindhi, Baloch and others is meaningless.
Jinnah was married to a Zoroastrian girl, which never got converted to Islam. Jinnah was a Shi’ite Khuwaja Ismaili. He in his first speech to Pakistanis termed citizens of all religions equal to the state in Pakistan. He, in his speech to the Legislators in Pakistan in 1947, said that time and history would decide whether the act of creating Pakistan was right or wrong. The speech got published in Daily Republica, Kathmandu, Nepal on August 14, 2012, Opinion page.
It is important to mention here that Mahatma Gandhi was killed by Nathu Ram Godse because Gandhi was observing hunger strike against Nehru led Indian government because it was not handing over the partitioned treasury to Pakistan. Why Pakistan has not claimed Gandhi a martyr for Pakistan, if not of Pakistan. Gandhi wanted to visit Pakistan without a visa. He was never facilitated. No doubt, it was Khan of Kalat (King of Balochistan) who as the ruler of independent and sovereign Balochistan handed over money and gold to Pakistan for running its business. Balochistan was freed by Britain as sovereign country in March 1947, five months before the creation of Pakistan and partition of India.
It is a fact that Sindhi, Baloch, Pashtun, and Siraiki ethnic nations and Christians, Ahmadyas and Shia religions and sects are paying worst price in Pakistan. Siraki still wait for their recognition. Pakistani manual passport is in English, Urdu and Arabic languages. English is official language of Pakistan. Urdu is lingua franca. There is no Arabian territory in Pakistan. Why, then, Arabic is published on Pakistani passports? Why not the national languages of the provinces and historical lands are recognized as national languages? Sindhi, for example, is recognized a scheduled / national language in India. USA Congress had also a decision for the development of Sindhi language. No indigenous langue is declared national language in Pakistan. In Pakistan, the website of Sindh Government is not allowed to carry Sindhi language. Balochi, Pashto, Siraiki, Punjabi and other languages are not allowed to have their official scripts. In fact Pakistani Punjabi chose the partition of pre-partition Punjab and withdrew their language as medium of education. If Punjabi speaking part / districts of Punjab in Pakistan withdrew their language, why Sindhi, Baloch, Pashtun and Siraiki should pay a price for that?
If Muslim is nationhood in Pakistan, whose citizens would the Christians, Zoroastrians, Ahamadiya and Jews would be? If Muslim armed forces of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, for example, fight against the Muslim armed forces of Islamic Republic of Iran and Afghanistan, whose killed soldiers would be martyrs? When the armies would chant the war-warmer slogans like ‘Allah-o-Akbar’ (God is great) from any of the side, whose Allah (God) would be great? Pakistan passport mentions ‘Pakistani’ in the column of nationality. Why, then, obsolete song of two-nation theory be sung on the both banks of Indus?
Nature of rule in colonial India; international politics in the first half of twentieth century; sudden concept of Pakistan after Second World War; and the feudalist-cum-religion orientated composition as well as politics of AIML turned the newly created Pakistan an inappropriate statehood that has not become as yet an inclusive, people-oriented and self-relying state internally and externally.
Pakistan faced and is still facing serious constitutional crises, which is deeply rooted in the absence of the legitimate constitution until now. First two-decade long period of Pakistan was guided by Britain Indian Act of 1935, in the light of Qaradad-e-Maqasid, an AIML resolution adopted immediately after creation of Pakistan. After the dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971, the remaining country was limited to Indus plains. A new constitution was adopted in 1973, albeit by the same Parliament that was controversial because East Pakistan’s mandate was not accepted. In accordance with the political principles, practices and precedence, a non-constitutional parliament cannot undertake the constitution making process. In the perspective of federations and ethnically diverse countries, particularly if the federating states / provinces have historical status of countryhood, a constitutional elections are required which either have equal seats from the federating states / provinces or may undertake the constitutional process in association with central-provincial joint deliberations for the constitution making.
History of federating provinces in Pakistan is peculiar to federal issues. Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa (N.W.F.P previously) led by Khan Ghaffar Khan, known as Bacha Khan, did not want to become part of Pakistan. Besides, N.W.F.P was leased out from Afghanistan for its annexation with British India through a simple Durand Agreement. Although the expiry of lease and claims of Afghanistan on Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa have been the issues that need detailed discussion, Awami National Party (ANP) is having Pashtun opinion on the historical as well as contemporary matters. Punjab chose its own split / partition into two through Punjab Legislative Assembly Resolution.
Sindh took part in the Second World War under the leadership of Pir Pagara Syed Sabghatullah Shah Rashidi known as Soorihya Badshah. The combatants were kept in prisons and also some of them were hanged after creation of Pakistan. Since Pakistan Armed Forces were created out of Punjab Regiment of British Indian Army; Air Force, Parachute Wing, Sindh-Rifle (Pakistan Rangers today), and British Navy, the armed forces of Pakistan were dominated by Punjabi Muslim soldiers and officer with a few Hindko Hazara amongst them. Even the Major General Wisal Mohammad, officer British Indian Army and Air Martial Asghar Khan, officer British Indian Air Forces, who bombed Sindh and participated offense on Sindhi by colonial Britain during the Second World war, were promoted to the posts of senior hierarchy of Pakistan Armed Forces. Since, Sindhi were not leading Sindh Intelligence during colonial Britain, which during the Second World War was led by British Army’s Colonel Yung, no Sindhi and Baloch was included in the Intelligence Bureau under Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan. Later on they were not given spaces in the newly found Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI).
Sovereignty of federating province is not recognized. Punjab protects its borders with India through Pakistan Rangers-Punjab in which Punjabi are majority. About seventeen districts of Punjab are ethnic Siraiki but they are not given adequate share in Pakistan Rangers – Punjab. Pashtun of Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa (KP) protect their borders with Afghanistan and China through Frontier Constabulary – KP. A small number of Baloch and majority of Pashtun protect Balochistan borders with Afghanistan and Iran through Frontier Constabulary – Balochistan. Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Coast Guards in Balochistan is Punjabi. Punjabi protect Sindh border with India through Pakistan Rangers – Sindh. Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Coast Guards in Sindh is Punjabi. Sindhi are nonexistent in Sind Regiment. Sind Regiment yet has to change its name to ‘Sindh Regiment’. ‘H’ in the spelling of ‘Sind’ Regiment has not been added as yet even after eighteenth constitutional amendment which officially corrects spell of Sindh. Baloch Regiment hardly has recruited a few Baloch very recently. Pakistan Army’s other sections does not have Sindhi, Baloch, and Siraiki and to certain extent Pashtun. Similarly Inter-Service-Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) do not have Sindhi and Baloch. Intelligence agencies like Intelligence Bureau (IB) although have a little recruitments of Sindhi and Baloch; however Sindhi and Baloch are not appropriately represented in this third powerful as well as civil intelligence agency of Pakistan. A true federal Pakistan would be only when Sindhi, Baloch, Siraiki and Pashtun are appropriately given participation in the security regime of Pakistan. It is important like Punjabis, Sindhi, Baloch and Siraiki have sovereign right to protect their international and provincial borders. A roadmap should be devised in which Sindhi, Baloch, Siraiki and Pashtun should be recruited in Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Coast Guard, Pakistan Rangers- Sindh, Frontier Constabulary – Balochistan and Pakistan Rangers – Punjab. Besides, their recruitment in ISI, MI, IB and FIA should also be initiated.
Shah is Sindhi refugee journalist, analyst and activist currently staying in Delhi, India www.zulfiqarshah.com