Pakistan’s creation will remain fruitless as long as it remains a dictatorship
With this article Ayaz Amir shows why he is stands head and shoulders above his contemporaries. Unlike absurd attempts to rewrite history, he is right in pointing out that Pakistan will be able to shape its own destiny only when it shakes off its authoritarian yoke.
What, then, was partition all about? Did we go through the blood-drenching and mass migration accompanying partition – more than a million people killed and about 8-10 million people uprooted from their homes – so that Pakistan should be a country dedicated to the permanent usurpation of power?
Was Pakistani independence meant to be a synonym for authoritarianism?
But to recap the usual factors held responsible for the founding of Pakistan, Islam was not in danger in pre-1947 India. Indeed, considering the sectarian violence and religious bigotry we face today, it was in better health then.
Nor was democracy the issue because even if partition had not happened, India was getting democracy once the British left. The Indian Independence Act promised that.
So what was the compelling reason for the Muslims to insist on a separate homeland especially when there was no going around the uncomfortable fact that, no matter how generously the frontiers of the new state were drawn, an uncomfortably large number of Muslims would remain in India?
The purpose of Pakistan, transcending anything to do with safeguarding Islam or promoting democracy, was to create conditions for the Muslims of India, or those who found themselves in the new state, to recreate the days of their lost glory.
In other words, breaking away from India, for that’s what partition did, the justification for Pakistan lay not in merely existing but in showing the spark, vitality and vigour of a new organism, like America to the old world, Israel to its decadent surroundings, the breakaway part, in short, proving better in all that qualifies for civilized achievement than the erstwhile whole.
The principal strengths of Muslim rule in the subcontinent were war, the consolidation of conquest, politics and administration. In all these fields Pakistan has not distinguished itself. Wars that should never have been fought started and then lost. About politics the less said the better. [Dawn | Archive Link]