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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

There is more to this story, a Look back at 1971

Photo: Bengali nationalist terrorists publicly executing non-Bengalis while Bengalis all around look on in amusement. This is something the Indian media (as well as the criminal gang of racist traitors that calls itself the Government of Bangladesh) refuse to accept. The sheer ignorance of that grisly episode of history in 1971 should be exposed to the Pakistani public. Many Biharis, Punjabis and other non-Bengalis were brutally murdered by Mukti Bahini, as it wanted to "cleanse" East Pakistan to create an ethnically pure Bengali state. This is something Bangladeshis would rather hide than accept and to this day the obnoxious swarm of racist mass-murderers, that calls itself the Bengali nation, treats non-Bengali Pakistanis left behind in East Pakistan like animals living without even the basic rights of a human being (over 3 million "stranded Pakistanis" live in Bangladesh). And who could forget the reaction that came from the ENTIRE Bengali nation when Pakistan defeated their national team at the 2012 Asia Cup Final in Dhaka.

Just to make it clear, we have no urge to take back East Pakistan nor do we hold any grudges against Bangladeshis - however, we will defend ourselves and let the world know the real truth behind 1971.

Ever since 1971, Pakistanis have been brainwashed with a masochistic version of history that holds us responsible for everything that happened in that war. But the actual evidence tells a very different story - Pakistan is accused of provoking Bengali separatism by committing atrocities in East Pakistan, but it's a fully established fact that the Indian intelligence agency (RAW) fomented secessionist terrorism and sponsored the Mukti Bahani, while politicians in its pay whipped up war hysteria among the Bengali people. Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman's daughter admitted her father had started his separatist campaign in 1969, a full 2 years before the alleged "atrocities" of the Pakistan Army (which we have been told were the reason why East Pakistan broke away). This is now known as the Agartala Conspiracy; moreover, our history books make no mention of Crusader-100, which Jessica Fox writes about in great detail here in the link below

Indian General Manekshaw in his book, admitted to recruiting 80,000 Hindus to create the Mukti Bahini. This group (whom he trained) would dress themselves up in Pakistan Army uniforms and killed, raped and pillaged large numbers of civilians in East Pakistan. They also carried out acts of sabotage against the government of Pakistan while dressed in civilian clothing. 

In the book "Blood and Tears" by Qutubuddin Aziz, he describes in great detail about the Mukti Bahini which committed large scale massacres of innocent civilians during the war. Once again, a lot of the times they did this while dressed up in Pakistan Army uniforms. 

Another book entitled "RAW and Bangladesh" written by a Mukti Bahini terrorist-turned-journalist Zainal Abedin, is a huge eye-opener that reveals the true face of the Bengali separatists and shows the Indian hand behind the atrocities committed in East Pakistan (that were blamed on the Pakistan Army). In this book, Zainal Abedin also says India, under the guise of giving Bengalis freedom, turned them into a colony and vassal.

In the book "Genesis of Indigenous Chakma Buddhists and Their Pulverization Worldwide" by S. P. Talukdar, it documents the atrocities of Mukti Bahini against the Buddhists of East Pakistan's Chittagong Hill Tracts, even though they never fought for Pakistan in the 1971 war. 

Sarmila Bose has written an excellent account of 1971 in her book "Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War" published by C. Hurst and Co. and Columbia University Press. She has been subjected to howling denunciation from the vanguards of politically correct history in Bangladesh, but the evidence upon which she wrote her book have not been refuted by her detractors. Read more about her book here in the link below:

Here's a story about the Jessore massacre - that massacre was definitely NOT committed by the Pakistan Army. The dead men were non-Bengali residents of Jessore, butchered in broad daylight by Bengali nationalist terrorists, reports Sarmila Bose. This is an on-going theme of 1971 - the massacres claimed to have been committed by the Pakistani armed forces were in fact carried out by Mukti Bahini then covered up by both Bangladesh and India.

Pakistan is accused of committing a genocide and killing 3 million people in East Pakistan. So, this means the Pakistan Army was killing Bengalis at a rate of over 17,000 per day, about the same rate as Auschwitz. This at the hands of a military that was fighting a war against a foreign power from the front and secessionist terrorists from the back, while the majority of its war assets were based a thousand miles away in West Pakistan. 17,000 per day? Impossible!

There are certain hallmarks without which no genocide can possibly take place - these include:

a. Mass Graves
To date, not a single mass grave has ever been found in Bangladesh. If 3 million were killed, where did they go? Did they simply vanish into thin air?

b. Concentration Camps
Never existed - Bengalis themselves claimed none ever existed.

c. Mass Dehumanization of the target group
The Nazis called the Jews "vermin". The Hutus called the Tutsis "cockroaches". The Bengalis were generally looked down on by other Pakistanis but there was no such dehumanization. As if 2012, over 3 million Bengalis still reside in the city of Karachi alone. If Bengalis were being "dehumanized" why didn't these 3 million leave?

d. Systematic, Coordinated Execution of Killings
As mentioned earlier, Pakistan's military assets were all based in the Western wing and was fighting with insufficient supplies against the combined forces of India and heavily armed and militarily trained terrorist guerrillas. Moreover, the entire operation was a logistical and technical nightmare in the middle of a vast piece of territory full of marshy terrain completely unsuited for mass-scale genocidal military operations.

Not a single United Nations report claims anywhere close to 3 million were killed. To this day not a single Pakistani military officer or soldier has ever been accused of war crimes or tried by any international court for 1971 war-related crimes. Not a single western nation has ever denied a VISA to any Pakistan military officer or soldier on human rights grounds like Canada did with India regarding Kashmir and Gujarat. To think that a military low on ammunition, supplies, and morale could organize killings at the scale of the Nazis who had a detailed plan of mass murder is absurd. Also the allegations of 300,000 rapes means that every Pakistani soldier raped 5 women - yet another absurd claim. There may have been rapes and killings of civilians (both by the Pakistan Army and the Mukti Bahani of course), but to throw out such absurd numbers is so insane. 

The anti-Pakistan forces weaken their own case by making such preposterous claims, particularly since the claim of 3 million came from Sheikh Mujibar Rehman, as he was flying back to Bangladesh, after spending the majority of time in West Pakistan. How could he know the number of civilian casualties or rapes when he had no contact or accurate information from the ground? Civilian casualties and rapes may have occurred, of course, but to make arbitrary numbers for political reasons is the height of intellectual dishonesty.

Another Indian myth is that Hindus and non-Muslims were "wiped out" in the war.  The idea that some mass exodus of Hindus and non-Muslims occurred is a lie. Also a lie was the idea that Bengali Muslims and Hindus lived in harmony and Pakistanis ruined it during the war. For more information on Muslim-Hindu relations in East Pakistan, read "Bangladesh and Pakistan" by William B. Milam, in which he addresses this issue quite strongly. He even offers statistics; in 1947, 23% percent of East Pakistan was Hindu. In 1974, it was 14% and as of 2002 only 9%. Hindus have been continuously leaving Bangladesh since independence because of the violence they face and more commonality with people across the border in India. The so called eradication of Hindus and non-Muslims again is a major hyperbole and a lie.

Moreover, we must never forget the Soviet hand in the breakup of Pakistan in 1971. The following Youtube video is an almost 30-year-old interview; the USSR's actions were NOT mere conspiracy theories. This interview took place back in 1985 with a former KGB agent who was trained in subversion techniques. He explains the 4 basic steps to socially engineering entire generations into thinking and behaving the way those in power want them to. It's shocking because our nation has been transformed in the exact same way, and followed the exact same steps. LINK -


Here is an article entitled "Bangladesh Gets No Sympathy for 1971" by Bangladeshi writer Mohammad Shahidullah

Lately, a lot of attention has been focused on trial of the Pakistani army personnel who were responsible for the killing of so many innocent people in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) in 1971. I will try to provide some explanations why such a large-scale killing did not receive the kind of international and human rights groups' attention it deserved, and why the world did not move for any justice in this case. I will also reflect on how that impacts our psyche as a nation.

1) Credibility: Bangladesh govt. crudely and arbitrarily made up the number of deaths during the 9-month period of 1971. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, when released from Pakistani prison in January 1972, stated the death toll to be 1 lakh in London airport, 1 million in New Delhi airport and 3 million when landed in Dhaka. (Some people suggest that Sheik Mujibur Rahman confused million as English for lakh. But that is a different story). Obviously the number was not based on facts. Later, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman formed a commission to make a survey of the killings and come up with the real number.

The commission, after an exhaustive work, came up in 1973 with a death toll number, which was a 5-digit number. The results were published in newspapers briefly. The govt., in an apparent attempt to save it from a big embarrassment, hushed up the commission report and a high level decision was made to continue with the 3 million number publicly. (This is possible only for politicians of third world). Now, a casualty of 20,000 or 40,000 or 60,000 people in a matter of months is not a trivial thing, and is not to be taken lightly. It is a serious tragedy of mankind by any standard and in comparison to other events of the century, which deserved appropriate judicial action. Specially, the people killed were totally innocent to be a target of any army. We, Bangladeshis should not have anything to be ashamed of if the human sacrifice we made for our independence is not in millions, but in tens of thousands. Not many peoples have made that kind of sacrifice for their countries. But as the over-enthusiastic Awami League leadership wanted to take the whole credit for independence to themselves, they thought that by putting a large figure of deaths, they would increase their price in front of everybody.

2) Exaggeration: Another thing to note is that world community is not ready to buy this number of 3 million deaths. They are not as gullible as simple people of Bangladesh who hardly do any diligence behind the numbers. (Even people in India in their private conversations agree that the 1971 death toll number is absurd). They do hair-splitting investigation of everything. A death toll of 3 million over a period of 8 and a half months (266 days) means over eleven thousand people were killed everyday on an average! There is hardly any mechanism that any army can employ to kill that many people in one day (may be except by nuclear bombs) for so many days in a row. It is not possible for any force to kill that many people individually or in groups when the whole population was against the army. (Carpet bombing in Vietnam did not kill nearly as many people as someone would expect). Also, 1971 was in very modern time, and communication was quite developed then. It was highly unlikely that Pakistanis would get away with such a big genocide and the world would not know about it or not do anything about it. India and USSR were very much on Pakistan affairs then, and at least they would not let it slip unnoticed. I would even ask all of us who were adults in 1972 to take a sample survey. How many people did you know personally or your relatives who were killed in 1971? Or how many people did you know who had their relatives killed? Bangladesh is a country where people know each other unlike in USA. It is not difficult to know if people get killed. If 4% of the population was killed in a matter of months, then everybody should have some of their relatives killed. That was not the case. If you consider all the links, you will find that the death toll could not have been higher than what Sheikh Mujib's commission found out.

3) Political Motive: Bangladesh govt. was never interested in bringing to books the war criminals of the Pakistani forces. All they wanted was to make a political issue out of it and keep it alive. They were afraid that a trial of the criminals (at least 197 by the Awami League govt. account) would bring the matter to a closure, which would deprive them of a propaganda weapon. They wanted to maintain the hatred in public mind so that the Awami League govt. could cover their incompetence and failures in running the country. It also fit well their agenda to keep the Islamic forces in the country suppressed in the pretext that they were a party to the killings and until a trial happens, they will remain guilty in front of the nation. A fair trial of the Pakistani army officers would reveal facts that would cause embarrassments for many big Awami League leaders and clear the names of many of their political opponents who are always accused for taking part in killing without a charge sheet to this day.

4) Lack of Sincerity: The Awami League govt. was hardly concerned about the emotional side of the relatives and friends of the victims. In reality, very few of the Awami League leaders (even lower level ones) had lost loved ones during the 9-month period. (That can be a topic of another article). So there was no sensitivity or sense of urgency for them to work for justice for the relatives of the victims. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who did not lose anybody close to him, made behind the curtain deals with the Pakistani premier Bhutto (the person who was probably most responsible for the tragic events of 1971) in exchange of the war criminals. But he continued his high pitch rhetoric in public to keep his political enemies at bay. To this date, the same tactics are being used by the Awami League. When the identified war criminals were in their hands, they let them go and now they are behaving as if the Pakistani govt. rescued their army personnel by some military action. They are fooling the countrymen by their humdrum and shouting in the air for war crime trial knowing fully well that nothing will happen.

5) National Character: We have demonstrated time again how unreliable we are as a nation in giving out information. Especially our politicians have earned such notoriety as far as honesty is concerned that we do not need to elaborate. Even today, we lie about our population. When our population is nearing 150 million, we state it as over 120 million to avoid the disappointment of the donor agencies. We routinely exaggerate the numbers like percentage of literacy by a big percentage. The govts. in Bangladesh are only good at propagating lies, deceptions and falsehoods. They promise things in a flash that they know are not deliverable. They always claim credit for things that have really not happened, and for things they do not have any contribution. When our national budget's 50% comes from foreign aid, we always boast to pass a 'surplus' budget every year, which is totally farcical. These things are good for domestic consumption, but world community knows what goes in our country. Just because everybody is not blunt as Henry Kissinger was does not mean that people outside do not notice things or know things. They just tend to ignore things as petty matters in their big picture. The world community is sensitive enough not to insult the event by openly questioning the 3 million figure, but they all know it is an outrageous lie. So when the world community is consciously working to redress human tragedies in Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda, Kashmir, E. Timor, Chili, nobody is inclined to talk about 1971 tragedy of Bangladesh. The western world does not even recognize it as an important event of the century. It is not in the list of top genocides of the century for obvious reasons, although killings of less than half a million people got into the list (Time magazine). Apart from the fact that a considerable time has passed, we ourselves have weakened the case by our continuous dishonesty in this matter. We still hammer on the unrealistic 3 million number and are not willing to reconcile to truth. Because, in some of our hearts, we find our ego getting hurt to admit a mistake. Many of us do not really want a trial of the culprits, but are more interested in keeping a tension current in the region. This gives a good preoccupation for a section of our country, and suits the political agenda of many. Even today when 5 skulls are discovered in a grave in Mirpur, we drum it up as a 'MASS' grave. We try to sensationalize a thing that everybody already knows or expects. Because, it fits well with political timing of some special quarters. The situation now is very much like early seventies, and the party in power needs to create a lot of distraction to cover up their misdeeds. We discovered graves with many more skulls in 1972, but then we kept quiet. Why? This is the contradiction we suffer from. If we really believe 3 million people were killed in 1971, then why are we so excited to find a few skulls now? Are not 'millions' more supposedly buried in unknown graves? Discovery of 5 skulls does not go any distance to substantiate the 3 million number anyway. Some people will argue that it is an insult to the dead even to question the number of deaths now. But is it? And only 'anti-liberation' forces would do so. That is a typical response to many problems that our nation has come to face today. But if you think it carefully, we have insulted their memory more by making a farcical matter it has been reduced to. We have used them as a pawn in the narrow interest of the political parties. That is how we have treated our freedom fighters. Now we are politicizing even the children of the martyrs and using them for selfish propaganda. This is precisely why the sacrifice of our people did not (and does not) get the respect it deserved. This is the reason we did not get any justice in bringing the perpetrators of the crime to book. This has only reduced the honor of the nation to a level that we did not want. The present generation of Bangladeshis are only more confused by all these contradictions.

The publicized sacrifice of a huge number "3 million" does not inspire the nation for doing any good for the country and the society. Nobody cares to honor the people who laid down their lives (except for some politically motivated photo ops on certain days of the year). Why? We have deprived the nation of truth by distorting the history. Unless we become conscientious and do the right thing and face the truth, it may be too late to rectify the situation and we, as a nation will live a lie forever! This is called self-deception. Nothing can be more unfortunate for a nation.


And just to end it off, here are the Top 10 Worst Genocides In History. There is no mention of Pakistan anywhere on this list:

Mao Ze-Dong (China, 1958-61 and 1966-69, Tibet 1949-50)

Adolf Hitler (Germany, 1939-1945)
12,000,000 (concentration camps and civilians deliberately killed in WWII plus 3 million Russian POWs left to die)

Leopold II of Belgium (Congo, 1886-1908)

Jozef Stalin (USSR, 1932-39)
6,000,000 (the gulags plus the purges plus Ukraine's famine)

Hideki Tojo (Japan, 1941-44)
5,000,000 (civilians in WWII)

Pol Pot (Cambodia, 1975-79)

Kim Il Sung (North Korea, 1948-94)
1.6 million (purges and concentration camps)

Menghistu (Ethiopia, 1975-78)

Yakubu Gowon (Biafra, 1967-1970)

Leonid Brezhnev (Afghanistan, 1979-1982)

Jean Kambanda (Rwanda, 1994)

(Picture Above depicts a scene where post Liberation, Bengali nationalists are publicly executing non Bengali's, while an insensitive crowd in the back ground watches, is this the compassionate non violent Bengali way, present day Bangladeshi's speak off?)

Today the 26th of March is a Tuesday, only just the second day of the working week. For many of us living in the major urban centers of Pakistan, it is probably just about getting through another week of work before we can all unwind on the weekend. Thanks to the countless efforts done by our state institutions and our historians, many Pakistani's are probably not aware of the historical significance that this day has in Pakistan's history. Along with December 16th, this day too should be marked as a day of national shame and mourning, we should also be mourning that this day proved the lack of ability to unite as Muslims even in the same geographic region. Maybe the 60's and early 70's were different as that was also the age of Pan Arabism when the entire Muslim Majority Arab world was involved in a political war with Israel and had just suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the enemy in six days in 1967. In Pakistan's case, March 26, marks the day in the calender when back in 1971 when we were betrayed. It is true that the civil war did not come to an end till December 16 which is when the small contingency of Pakistani armed forces surrendered, but March 26th was the day we were officially betrayed and all the hard work of our forefathers in the 30's and 40's was forcibly drowned in the Bay of Bengal, so Youm-e-Ghadari-Mashriq Mubarak (being sarcastic here).

It was on March the 26th 1971, when the separatist traitors of East Pakistan under the guise of ethnocentric nationalism declared independence from their Western half and announced themselves as the new state of Bangladesh. Bangladesh in Bengali means nation of the Bengali people, if that does not imply emphasis of an ethnocentric identity what does? Majority of academics, intellectuals, writers, historians, regardless of whether they are Bangladeshi, Indian, Western or even Pakistani writers make an attempt to assign the entire blame of what happened in 1971 to our ruling elite in Islamabad and to our military, very few have dared to even make a borderline suggestion  that Pakistan was not entirely at fault. Those that dare to suggest, that others were at fault and forces other than Pakistan was at fault are often ridiculed, mocked and humiliated by others in the educated and intellectual community even within the educated circles of Pakistan. It seems it is just too easy to assign all the blame to Pakistan and any alternative suggestions is inviting insults to your intellect.

This blog is not about going deep into the historical causes, which lead to resentments and feelings of severe inequality among majority of former East Pakistani's. We are not going to look at the Language Movement of the early 50's or the failure of our Government to act in response to the 1970 cyclone. Even with events like these, civil disagreement and sentiments of inequality are one thing, it is another thing to commit treason and follow the path of secession from your own country. There are political and diplomatic channels through which such feelings could be managed, diplomacy was never given a chance. I will say this again and again, we Pakistani's as well as our founding fathers which comprised of thousands of Bengali Muslim leaders were betrayed by the educated urban class gentry of East Pakistan who wanted to have their cake and eat it to, they wanted the whole pie all to themselves. It is not unusual in any part of the world, even in the West, secessionist movements are usually lead by educated intellectual gentry from those regions that know how they can benefit personally if they come into power. Such secessionist movements in the West, good examples include Scotland in the United Kingdom, and the Basque and Catalan provinces of Spain. Even now the current Baloch insurgency in Pakistan is being lead by the elite and powerful of Baloch society which has managed to brain wash the urban middle classes of the province. They do not even deny foreign involvement.

 From a very long time, even years before 1971, they stopped calling themselves Pakistani, so this blog is about exploring and entertaining the thought that maybe we should also consider the events of 71 from the angle that maybe we were betrayed by our own fellow country men courtesy of an elaborate plan to break the country up which began many years ago and in which some decision makers sitting in New Delhi at the time were involved. While most of Pakistan in the mid to late 1960's was in the process of recovering from the after math of the costly 1965 Indo Pak war (which by the way we did not win contrary to popular belief, we only successfully defended ourselves) some politicians and intelligence agents sipping coffee somewhere in Connought Place in New Delhi were making strategies on how to break Pakistan apart and punish the Muslims of the sub continent for their original sin of 1947, the original sin of partition, which itself was based on the two nation theory. There are elements in Bangladeshi society who do not even deny that nationalist parties were too greedy to rule to be able to come up with a diplomatic solution. How is it possible, that overnight after Yahya Khan delayed the formation of the national assembly that all hell broke loose in East Pakistan, totally out of control civil unrest gripped the whole province. The amount of chaos that eye witnesses from the era testify to leaves one to believe, it was pre-planned to weaken the control and influence of Islamabad in the province.  Some off you reading this might be thinking that I seem to have conveniently forgotten about the 1970 general elections where Mujib Ur Rehman won fair and square. No doubt Mujib won the elections fair and square and it was ZA Bhutto's childish stubborness that prevented a government from taking shape in Islamabad.

Few people know that there were some back door negotiations taking place between Bhutto, Sheikh and Yahya while all hell started breaking loose in East Pakistan. It was only after the situation became uncontrollable by the police in cities like Dhaka and Chittagong, where the ethnic Bengali's police and other forces were committing mutiny that the army was requested to come in and help with managing law and order. Even fewer people have entertained the idea and thought that sure there were serious concerns that the West Pakistani gentry had about a Bengali man ruling them, and there is no denying there was borderline racism involved, but why does no one think for a minute that Sheikh Mujib made no effort to manage the fears and concerns of the people of West Pakistan or address their concerns, he was after all their leader also, their future Prime Minister also. It wasn't until many months after the election results that he was finally arrested in West Pakistan, he had ample time to address the concerns and garner public support. He even started referring to East Pakistan as Bangladesh as early as 1969 in his speeches. Concerns about those in West Pakistan could have included reasons such as the ruling party being a Bengali nationalist party, which might changed the cultural map of the Pakistani state and forced imposition of Bengali culture on the Western wing. Some modern day Bangladeshi parliamentarians have also admitted to the Agartala Conspiracy that it was infact a reality, this is also something Indian generals veterans of the 71 war have admitted to and they proudly brag on live television especially on NDTV that how the Indian government under the leadership of Indra Gandhi executed a master plan of breaking Pakistan up. Plans to break up Pakistan go back to as early as 1967, which is when direct contact between Bengali nationalists in East Pakistan began with Indian Government representatives in the Indian City of Agartala which is located 2 KM's from Bangladesh, one can even see the State Administrative building from Bangladesh. There was an even element of propaganda in the 71 civil war, on the global front lead by none other than your Indian performing artists. In the August of 1971, while the civil war was reaching crucial stages a 'Concert for Bangladesh' was staged in New York City lead by the legendary music maestro from India Ravi Shanker and his friends in the international music community. This along with Indra Gandhi's regular visits to Washington are reflective of the fact that a lot of media and public relations propaganda was also involved in the break up of Pakistan and of demonizing the Pakistani army as well as the ruling elite in Islamabad.


It was in 1967 only that West Pakistanis living in East Pakistan started experiencing discrimination and mistreatment from the ethnic Bengali majority. Survivors of the East have many a tales to tell, the civilians became soft targets overnight. The fortunate were those lucky enough to survive for in 1971, a mass genocide of ethnic Urdu Speakers and other Non Bengali's also happened in East Pakistan and also for many years in the years afte Bangladesh as an Independent state emerged. For those Pakistani's the ground beneath their feet was shaken, their whole world fell apart, during partition they migrated to East Pakistan because they were from the Eastern States and geographical proximity meant East versus West was a better choice, back then it was all about getting to Pakistan, didn't matter where you went to. None of them saw what was coming, none of us in West Pakistan saw what was coming. Let's also not forget that war with India erupted in West Pakistan which was effectively cut off from it's Eastern Wing, and the Eastern Wing after a mass insurgency in the form of the Mukhti Bahini got occupied from all directions by the Indian armed forces to the point where our armed forces of 55,000 soldiers were brutally out numbered. The only choice left was surrender at that point, the outcome would have been the same if every soldier fought till the last drop of blood. Why is it that even the most educated and rational of Bangladeshi's even refuse to listen to the idea that atrocities and war crimes were committed against Non Bengali's, they talk about it as if it is something totally fabricated fiction, the way we have buried 71's failure under the rug, they have buried crimes against Non Bengali's under the rug as if they never happened.

Now this is where a lot of people are going to argue that the Western Wing forced its culture and language on the Eastern Wing, we were a young nation, we were an inorganic nation carved out of British India, cultural development was in process, it takes many decades for young nations to establish their culture and society, such things happen when one sub culture is given more priority over the year. The Cultural model that was designed for Pakistan was one conceived by leaders of the All India Muslim League that founded Pakistan and it was a model designed by mostly your Urdu Speaking Gentry that went onto dominate Pakistani Society. For clarification purposes, the Urdu language was not even indigenous to Pakistan, it was adopted as the national language because the Urdu language at the time was representing Muslim India's linguistic culture. It was a language spoken mostly in UP and Bihar, and later went onto become a commonly spoken language by the educated Indian Muslim lot. Let's not forget India's national language Hindi falls under the same category, it is the language of North Indians which make up a third of the population but it is forced upon almost a billion other people including those in West Bengal. North Indian culture is also very dominant in Indian society, one can see odd mockery being made in popular culture in India about the differences between North Indian and Bengali Culture.  If any one has seen the low budget comedy 'Vicky Donor' they can see some accurate stereotyping a lot can relate to.

This is especially for all the modern Pakistani liberals out there who very conveniently love to bash their country especially the foreign educated one's who do not have any sense of patriotism left because they have seen Pakistan too much from an Imperialistic Orientalist Western perspective, show some respect, all nations make mistakes, even the America that educated you was founded on the basis of treason because their elite gentry, the cotton plantation owning gentry did not want to pay their taxes and wanted total control. And if any one from Bangladesh is reading this, if your going to punish the war criminals of 71, and you want to hold Pakistan accountable, also hold your parent's generation accountable, also hold your people responsible and accountable for war crimes even they committed and why treason was the only option left.

Youm-e-Ghadari-e-Mashriq would remain a dark day in Pakistan's history, but Pakistan is a survivor and will survive if we start showing patriotism and compassion on a collective scale, were a young nation, we still have a long way to go.

Pakistan Zindabad.

Monday, March 25, 2013

PTI Followers ko Samjhao, Siyasat Nahin Riyasat Bachao

Not that I was entirely surprised, I supposed I had it coming and I should have been mentally prepared. Quick Recap, Over this past weekend, I got a lot of abusive, derogatory verbal vomit for a status update on Facebook. My Facebook status mere said 'So How Many People are Wasting their Saturday by attending the PTI Jalsa in Lahore, Especially Those From Karachi'. I personally consider attending political rallies a big waste of time, and in this day and age where security has become a big concern in Pakistan, it is wise to avoid such large processions. Simple Question, could have lead to an honest answer, but fans of Imran Khan, who I affectionately like calling Phanay Khan threw out unlimited venom at me. For clarification these were not the infamous PTI Social media trolls, rather your every day followers of Imran Khan, those who believe in him. Fine good for you, you believe in the guy, you believe in his promise of change, good for you, leave me the hell alone. In a way it wasn't a total loss, such irrational aggressive overly emotional fans of Imran Khan lived up to their reputations, and it also created the opportunity to expose the hypocritical nature of some people I know, who would blindly go on attacking people yet expect others to observe silence. Some of them were not even happy with Silence, when I was being patient and silent I got accused of being condescending and disrespectful, when I spoke, though I was very diplomatic and non aggressive, I got to hear further bullshit. Khan saab, if you read this blog, I urge you to ask your followers to show patience, tolerance and compassion and avoid blasting every person alive who doesn't believe in you.

I am certain you have received such complaints from your opponents as well as the public in general about the hostile nature and attitude of your followers and your party workers. Such levels of aggression and hostility is not good in a volatile environment like that off Pakistan, where tempers are already flaring and people are losing their ability to show compassion and empathy towards other people, especially those with beliefs that differ from theirs. I understand Khan saab that a seasoned and educated chap like you understands the need for compassion and open communication for a society to be progressive in nature. We live in a society, where people are murdered in cold blood for their views, yesterday your followers are labeling those that do not follow you as unpatriotic, today they are unleashing severe verbal vomit, tomorrow they will be asking party workers to arrange for coffins and hunt down those of us who do not believe in you.

Isn't this supposed to be the beauty of democracy that it is about listening to the various voices that people, and giving people the freedom to choose their destiny. My reasons what so ever for not believing you doesn't mean I do not respect you as an individual, a human being and a man of sound character. At the same time I am genuinely entitled to having my own political opinions, my own perceptions and accordingly how I choose to exercise my democratic right. Come this May in the National Elections, I intend to vote not for a politician, not for a political party, but I will vote for Pakistan, it is a matter of great urgency that put aside ego's, old animosities and this political mumbo jumbo and think as a nation, what needs to be done in both the short term and the long term. I would also urge you to think long term, you can't be the change people expect you to be, but I believe you can be part of it. It is my utmost request to you also that, screw politics, save the nation, save Pakistan.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Khan ko Samjhao, Siyasat Nahin Riyasat Bachao

Khan ko Samjhao, Siyasat Nahin Riyasat Bachao, loosely translated it means 'some one knock some sense into Khan, it is time to save the state and not give preference to saving politics'. Now the Khan in Question here is Imran Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Tehrik e Insaaf, a right wing political party which made its debut in the political arena in the 90's. While the latter half of the title, Siyasat Nahin Riyasat Bachao, the one liner was made very famous recently by Tahir Ul Qadri, a leader of Minhaj ul Quran who flew all the way from Canada to shake things up as far as national politics is concerned. I must admit I have become a fan of the guy, he is firm on his ground that the violation of the constitution of Pakistan is unacceptable. The point of this blog is exactly this, it is more important to save the STATE, save the nation, save Pakistan, than save Politics. If the state survives, so do we, so does politics, so does everything else that Pakistan stands for. Now before I make my point, just a quick recap about Imran Khan for our foreign audiences.

PTI's founder Imran Khan, a native of Lahore was very popularly known as Kaptaan or Captain, he was once upon a time a legendary cricketer and an even more legendary Pakistani Cricket team Captain. He led a bunch of cornered tigers, a defeated and broken down team to glory on the global stage by winning Pakistan the Cricket World Cup in 92 in front of a crowd of 87,000 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Australia. Khan Saab retired from international cricket right after the conclusion of the 92 Cricket World Cup and moved towards completing his ultimate goal from at the time, which was at the time was completing 'The Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital' named after his late mother, that Khan had been spending years trying to gather funds and complete. His years of hard work paid off, today Shaukat Khanam Cancer Hospital is a rare beacon of hope and light in an otherwise decaying health care set up in Pakistan by free health care to the under privileged.  After Khan's completion of his cancer hospital project, he sought to head towards the Pakistani political spectrum, with an idealistic belief that he and his followers can shape the future of the county and rid it from both military dictatorship as well as failed democracies. Imran Khan and his political party the PTI boycotted the national elections of 2008, even though previously he had served as member of the national assembly in Islamabad running from Mianwali in South Central Punjab. Some see his boycott over idealism in 2008 as a social suicide.

Khan is now back to claim his stake in mainstream politics of Pakistan and with the overwhelming support of the urban middle class youth, he and his followers believe with the utmost confidence that they can sweep these upcoming elections in May and form a ruling government in the national assembly. His party now features veteran politicians such as Javed Hashmi (Ex PML-N) and Shah Mehmood Qureshi who for sometime was Pakistan's foreign minister in the recent PPP government till his falling out with the Prime Minister and was replaced with Hina Rabani Khar. I am personally a big fan of Shah Mehmood Qureshi, I admire the feollow, he was among the few gutsy and respectable young men in the PPP government, and his principle stand against the United States brought about his down fall. Imran Khan began his campaigning activities on a big scale in Fall 2009, which started off with a massive Jalsa (Rally) in Lahore which was attended by over a 100,000 people, followed by one in Karachi which some estimates claim was attended by somewhere between 250,000 to 500,000 people.

I do not doubt these figures, I do not doubt the number of supporters and followers he has, I also do not have much objection to the fact that his party is very right wing and are strong advocates of an Islamic influenced socioeconomic model to be adopted in Pakistan. I do not even doubt his sincerity and his honesty as a credible individual, but politically speaking just how realistic is it voting for him and having him in power. How equipped he is to handle the really dirty nature of politics. I was having a chat last week with a colleague of mine who is very active as far as political following is concerned, even he agreed with me, that in order to clean up the dirt, one needs to get their hands dirty, and Imran Khan's refusal to play ball, even if it means playing a few in the bag kind of tricks is not helping. All the more reason for me to say 'Siyasat Nahin, Riyasat Bachao, Save State Not Politics.

Imran Khan at this point does not have the political clout, even after his coalition with the Very Right Wing JUI to be able to form a ruling coalition government in the national assembly. If anything he is managing to achieve is to cannibalise to some extent the vote bank of the Center Right party led by Nawaz Sharif and his PML N. PML N according to many analysts and political experts is a hot front runner for sweeping the up coming elections. PML N is the only party that is capable of halting the Asif Zardari led Pakistan's People Party in its tracks and prevent Asif Ali Zardari from another five years in Government along with his countless corrupt ministers, who have done nothing but ruin this country and bring it down to the ground. Everything from the economic and energy crises,  to terrorism to smaller things such as chaos with passports, the government has done everything in its power to make life a living hell for citizens of Pakistan. They also failed to control insurgencies in the province of Balochistan or curb the militants that attack innocent people. It is off utmost national interest that everything and anything should be done to prevent another Asif Ali Zardari led PPP Government from coming into power, and the only political candidate capable of giving the PPP a fight is Mian Saab. I am personally not a fan of Mian Saab and I utterly despise the free hand he gives some religious organizations especially in his native Punjab, but we are talking about the need of the hour, which is we need a Government that does not feature Asif Zardari.

See I realise Nawaz Sharif isn't much to look at either, he doesn't have the appeal that draws in the ladies which Imran Khan does, but that's not the point of this. The point is we need to get rid of the PPP government, we need economic stability and a government that is nationalistic. Sure Mian Saab doesn't have a clean record and Khan saab has a record as clean as a whistle, but let's be realistic Khan saab does not have political leverage enough to form a government. Khan should think long term, it is in his long term and national political interest, that he throws away his ego and shake hands with Mian saab and form a coalition or an alliance of sorts with him in the national assembly. It will do wonders for Khan saab's political future and for his political party if they are part of a winning coalition government, even if they are a small minority partners in the ruling coalition. So my appeal to Khan saab is, please save Pakistan and worry about politics later, please put away your ego and personal dislike for Mian Nawaz Shareef and join forces with him for the greater good off Pakistan, once your PTI is part of the ruling government even as a small partner, there are limitless possibilities that await you. This is better than two right wing or two center right parties being divided and trying to eat up one another in the crucial Punjab primaries and giving leverage once again to the Left Wing Pakistan People's Party. If we as Pakistani's do not want Zardari back, we need to think long term, we need to think of National Interest and Save Our State.

So Siyasat Nahin Riyasat Bachao, Khan apne Supporters Ko Samjhao Aur Pakistan Bachao

Pakistan Zindabad.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Goodbye My Pakistani Hero


Yesterday on the 18th of March, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan said Good Bye to its most famous war heroes of all time. Muhammad Mehboob Alam, very popularly known as MM Alam passed away yesterday after fighting a long battle with terminal illness. He was 77.He will be best remembered for his decisive role and his incredible heroics in the 1965 Indo-Pak war. He single handedly shot down 5 Indian fighter jets in under a minute, 4 of them which went down in the first 30 seconds and established a world record by doing that. For his bravery and the skills he demonstrated in the theater of war, he was awarded the 'Sitara-e-Jurat' or the Star of Courage, one of the highest military honours given to military service men in the Pakistan armed forces. The very trendy and fashionable street in Gulberg, Lahore is named after him.

The nation should never forget a heroe like MM Alam, for he was not just a national heroe, but he was a true patriot till his very last days in mortal existence. MM was born in Calcutta (now called Kolkotta) in 1935 during the days of the British Raj and along with his family migrated to the new nation state of Pakistan. His war time bravery aside, he demonstrated his emmence patriotism for his nation, the very nation that his forefathers worked very hard to create by choosing to remain a Pakistani and a Pakistani serviceman even after the brutual civil war unleashed by ethnic nationalists in the former East Pakistan. He chose to stay on and become a Pakistani even after the new ethno centric state of Bangladesh emerged out of former East Pakistan. He went on to serve the state of Pakistan till he retired in 1982 and opted for a quite life in Karachi till his passing away. He is survived by his brothers, who are very well known individuals in the Pakistani intellectual community and are currently professors at universities in the United States.

 Despite the fact that thousands of Bengali origin soliders including those on senior ranks betrayed their country and defacted to fight with the seperatist minded rebels, MM Alam and a few others like him did not abandon the dream of Pakistan. It was unfortunate that at the time the Pakistani Airforce grounded him because of his Bengali origin  in the backdrop of countless defactions. A very well known example is that of Moti Ur Rehman who tried to defact by taking off in an aircraft from an air force base in Karachi, who was only stopped by the bravery of another patriot Rashid Minhas. I don't intend to go into the gory details of the 71 war in this blog, I am saving it for December, this is all about the man, the legend that was Muhammad Mehbood Alam who is now no longer among us. His bravery and patriotism is a good learning example for Pakistani's today and he will continue to be an example for many generations of young Pakistani service men in the years to come. Rest in Peace MM Saheb, may the Almighty grant you a place among others in Jannah.

Friday, March 8, 2013

International Women's day and Pakistan

Today the 8th of March marked International Women's day across the globe, and even in a country like Pakistan it did not go unnoticed in social media as well as online media. Numerous restaurants, cafe's and other retail outlets among the major urban centers tried to cash in by offering special women's day promotions through very segmented and targeted marketing activities aimed at the affluent, educated urban middle and upper middle class women. There were also countless blogs written by young Pakistani women on the day itself and concerning the status-quo of women in Pakistan. Even though the purpose of celebrating International women's day is to celebrate the achievement and the role that women play in the world, to celebrate their important contributions, in essence a celebration of women hood. It is unfortunate that this day is taken opportunistically by those women who have an agenda of feminiazism on their mind.

Feminism and Feminazism should not be confused with one another. Feminism is a noble initiative, it is about female empowerment and equality in society, while feminazism incorporates female dominance and supremacy, which also entails abuse and mistreatment of men, and also complete and utter rejection of some of the very important roles that women also play in our society. There is no denying that the nature of society is such that women have been the relatively marginalized and mistreated of the genders, such maybe the nature of traditional Asian societies, this however does not mean you at the same time encourage and give rise to the other extreme which I have already mentioned as being rejection  of what womanhood stands for and vile hatred and distrust for the opposite sex. As a comedian once jokingly said a woman is only a feminist till she finds her mister right ha-ha.

This was brought to my attention courtesy of a blog written by a young Pakistani girl who happens to be a graduate student at the University of Southern California in the United States. There is no denying that the West has played a significant role in female empowerment and delivering them the rights that every human being deserved. Their society hasn't always been like this, it wasn't until the early 20th century that women in the United States were able to vote, and it wasn't until Bill Clinton was President that women were entitled to   legal maternity leave in the United States. Even today, the United States is the only country in the developed world where maternity leave for women is unpaid and due to the poor economic conditions and lack of employment opportunities many are reluctant to take the 12 weeks off which are a legal entitlement to them.

In her blog, the young lady does manage to raise some important points about our societies short comings, how ever at the same time she is some what suggesting that women in Pakistan should complete reject all traditional roles and expectations out of them. In the blog she manages to particularly demonize marriage and motherhood quite a bit also, trying to make a point that this is where women's focus in Pakistan lies finding the right husband to settle down in  and have a family.  That might not be entirely accurate, but it is a bit of a generalization and it is unfair to demonize such aspirations if women have, even the educated one's if their ambitions include finding a good compatible life partner with whom to start a family so be it. Feminism is about women's right, if young women want to exercise their right to a good comfortable domestic life with a good life partner, I do not see anything wrong in that. As far as motherhood goes, a bond or a relation as noble as motherhood does not deserve to be demonized even in our thought, how would the blogger have felt had her mother neglected her in pursuit of the so called Western or American ideals of feminism?

We certainly have a long way to go towards female empowerment in Pakistan, we are definitely far behind. But let us not forget that Pakistan as a country and society is very different from the Anglo American West, maybe we need a customized approach towards female empowerment such as changing perceptions regarding women's education or women's use of two wheeler for personal transport as opposed to blindly following a western model, which doesn't distinguish between feminism and misguided feminism.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Freedom and Religious Bullying

One can't help but wonder and think whether the idea of others living in freedom is unbareable to some. Is it just the idea of freedom or a version of freedom that is different from that followed by some? We live in a world, where many are free, many are not, while some have freedoms which they are unaware and continue to live so somewhere in between. Freedom of thought, freedom of expression and freedom of religion are just some of the different types of freedoms people talk about. One will also find people who talk about Freedom from Freedom, I am guessing that refers to what I wrote about in the first sentence, some of us want others to be free from our type of freedom and give into their brand of freedom. If I am wrong in this interpretation, I have no idea what Freedom from Freedom means.

Anyways coming back to the main purpose of this blog now. I am trying to make a point here about religious freedom, which many try to exercise and some how this existence of religious freedom as exercised by some can not digested by some others. By some others, I refer to the lot on the religious right or very high on the religious sensitivity scale. Realistically a lot of us from the affluent educated urban middle classes of Pakistan, we do not like an era where religion is forced upon us by the gun or the sword, most of us wouldn't like a weapon inside our homes even though a crime ridden city like Karachi, maybe not the worst idea. However that does not mean, religion is being forced upon us and at times down our throats through other forms of force. To be specific, the use of soft force and bullying tactics which have become way too common across homes in urban Pakistan.

The kind of soft force tactics one comes across includes bullying, discrimination, verbal assault, harassment and second class treatment of those not religious or those not equally religious on par with those on the religious right. For example, I classify this as religious bullying when people claim that they get really offended if you decline an invitation to pray in congregation with them, I also consider this as bullying when those on the religious right try not just to preach but also try to induce fear inside of you of God and God's wrath as opposed to God's compassion towards His creations. Do not be surprised if you hear fictionalised tales of how young lives unfortunately came to an untimely end and that death was a painful experience for the individuals discussed because they were not religious, hence they created bad luck for themselves in life and did not even merit a painless departure from the world. Even bad luck is blamed by such people on our lack of religiousness through symbolic rituals and practices. Very recently a friend tried to convince me that stages of bad luck in my life happened because I was not religious and this was God's wrath coming my way, while another friend about a year ago when I was going through an agony due to dental infection also suggested that this pain and misery has come my way because I am not religous and God is unhappy with me. At the same these people will want to make you feel guilty about your life, and make you despise yourself and the choices you have made. Other signs of soft force and bullying includes being treated as a second class person because you might not be as rigid a practitioner of symbolic rituals and practices, in other words if you do not wear religion on your sleeve you could draw unwanted attention towards yourself.

As a child I had always seen religion as a personal affair from how elders around me were, only after I reached my teenage years and then early adulthood did I witness or experienced and witnessed a radical transformation of society. When I grew up, what I saw was that even informal gatherings in the extended family had become religious seminars off sorts, prayer which was confined to the privacy of a room for those wishing to pray, now has become a public spectacle in the main hall or the main garden. But what's worse is that this culture of open display of religious symbols has created hypocracy and given a lot of bargaining power to opportunists which wish to exploit religion for personal gain or hide their wrong doings.

In the Holy Quran, in Verse 256 of Surah Baqra, God Himself has declared that there is no compulsion in religion. For most Muslims, the interpretation of this is that you can not force some one to practise or be religious, while on the other hand for those way way on the right of the religious right spectrum, it means you can not by force convert any one to a Muslim. So if God Himself is saying there is no compulsion, then why are the mind of the religious right so thick in understanding this. At the same time, they quote this verse, yet also at the same time, they argue that if they kept their silence they would be questioned in the hear after for not bringing others around them to the right path. Somehow they are unable to understand that every individual is answerable for their own deeds, and somehow they can not come to terms with the fact that some people are just not religious. Bullying non practicing Muslims or even discriminating them based on how religious they are or are not is also end of the day use of force and an attempt to deprive others of freedom to practice religion, a personal affair on their own terms.