Pakistan has a Future
Pakistan Thinkers Forum held a seminar at Islamabad Club on March 29, 2015 under the chairmanship of Air Chief Marshal Kaleem Saadat. Lt Gen Naeem Khan Lodhi and Dr. Sultan Bashir Mehmood spoke on the topic “National Solidarity” while I and Prof Dr Anis Ahmed spoke on “Pakistan has a Future”. I will share my presentation in the succeeding paragraphs.
Miracle of 20th Century
Pakistan emerged as the largest Muslim nation in the world. It was seen as a miracle in annals of Muslim world. Never before the world had witnessed the assembly of such a large force under the banner of Islam struggling to create a separate homeland. It was unique that Muslims in minority provinces after consolidating ‘Pakistan Movement’ calmly relinquished their most cherished ideal to enable the Muslims of majority provinces to enjoy the benefits of ideal State.
It was equally novel that Pakistan’s vast and heterogeneous population comprising different races, customs and speaking different languages emerged as one people. The two wings lying apart integrated as one whole. This impossible feat was made possible by indomitable Quaid-e-Azam. Creating a new nation had taken all the character, foresight, faith and energy of the Quaid.
H.V. Hodson wrote: “It is barely conceivable that a new nation-state Pakistan would have been created, but for the personality and leadership of one man, Mr. Jinnah”.
Stanley Wolpert stated, “Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. MA Jinnah did all three”.
Birth Pangs of Pakistan. Hindu leaders in collaboration with the British masters opposed the Muslims demand tooth and nail and gave in only when there was no way out left for them. The only thing they could do was to tear off as much flesh from the body of Pakistan and hand over a bleeding and mutilated Pakistan. They hacked to death two million Muslims in East Punjab and adjoining states to bleed the heartland of Punjab. Over 7 million Refugees were pushed into Pakistan to make its fragile administrative machinery to collapse.
Willful Mutilation of Pakistan. Punjab and Bengal were unjustly divided by Lord Radcliffe. West Punjab was further sliced by handing over Gurdaspur, Batala, Ambala, Pathankot and Zira Tehsils to India. Junagadh, Manavadar, Mangrol, Hyderabad Princely States wanting to join Pakistan were annexed by India. Two-Thirds Kashmir was forcibly occupied by India.
Difficulties Faced by Pakistan. In their bid to bludgeon Pakistan out of existence, or to bring back the erring new born into the deathly embrace of Mahabharat, Indian hawks helped by Mountbatten burdened Pakistan with plethora of difficulties. Some of these were:
- Rehabilitation of 7.2 million refugees
- Denial of rightful share of assets, services and finances.
- No land corridor between 1000 miles apart eastern and western wings.
- Near absence of skilled manpower and managerial staff to run government machinery.
- Geographical frontiers had not been determined.
- War imposed in Kashmir in October 1947 when armed forces were scattered and under command of British.
- Without a seat of government and administrative structure.
- Governed by 1935 India Act till 1956.
- Political and economic system was completely disrupted.
- Communication and irrigation infrastructure had broken down.
- Road/rail/telephone/telegraph/postal services were re-oriented from Delhi/Calcutta to Karachi/Dacca.
- Loss of Ferozepur/Madhupur Headworks gave India stranglehold over West Punjab irrigation system.
- Near absent industrial base with no ordnance factory.
- Only two universities (Lahore and Dacca).
- East Pakistan, Sindh and Balochistan, most impoverished regions in united India.
- Suspension of water flow in 1948.
- Military and economic coercion by India.
Six Months Life Given to Pakistan. As per Michael Brecher, “Most Congress leaders didn’t see Pakistan as a viable State and had regarded Pakistan as a transient euphoria of Muslims. They had given Pakistan a mere six months life”. Pakistan was deprived of every morsel of sustenance to make it succumb to their diabolical scheme of re-absorption by force of circumstances.
Sir Claude Auchinleck opined, “I have no hesitation in affirming that the present Indian Cabinet are implacably determined to do all in their power to prevent the establishment of dominion of Pakistan on firm basis”.
Roles of Regional Countries
- Kabul refused to recognize Pakistan and rejected Durand Line as an international border.
- Kabul and Moscow encouraged separatists in Balochistan and NWFP and raised the bogey of Pakhtunistan.
- China and Burma were unfriendly and Ceylon was indifferent.
Pakistan’s Quest for Security. Under such trying conditions, Pakistan wandered in apathy of political uncertainty, economic convulsions and deep sense of insecurity. In struggling to create a state structure in chaotic environments, our managers remained tied down fighting battle of survival and identity. It was essentially Pakistan’s quest for security against vastly superior India, unfriendly Afghanistan, overweening USSR and indefensible artificial boundary that impelled Pakistan to join western pacts. Hence Pakistan’s priority from the outset was security of State rather than socio-politico-economic development.
Pakistan’s Internal Disorders. In order to understand the genesis of the problem as to why Pakistan couldn’t progress in keeping with its potential, I will endeavor to bring to light the impediments faced by Pakistan.
- A segment disfavored establishment of Pakistan.
- Separatist tendencies in Balochistan, Sindh, NWFP and East Pakistan.
- Early Muslim League leadership had no roots in regions comprising Pakistan.
- Early demise of Quaid-e-Azam followed by assassination of Liaquat Ali Khan.
- Islamic-secular tension, which persists.
- Muslim League going in limbo allowed bureaucracy-military oligarchy to gain power.
- Internal squabbling delayed constitution making for 9 years.
- Ineptness of political class and leadership crisis led to repeated military takeovers.
- Ayub Khan’s gains were washed away by ZA Bhutto’s nationalization policy.
- Afghan war gave birth to radicalism, sectarianism, and drug/arms cultures.
- US economic sanctions, Kashmiri uprising and political polarization made Pakistan politically and economically fragile in 1990s.
- Economic gains made by Musharraf were wasted by war on terror and black rule of PPP led coalition.
Pakistan’s Internal Vicissitudes
- Our domestic moorings are fraught with peculiar individual and collective characteristics, which have exerted an enduring influence on the development of our national character.
- The country is faced with demon of crisis of vast proportions in the midst of which it is struggling to stay afloat and survive.
- Poison of corruption has seeped deeply into all layers of the society.
- Terrorism has become a festering sore and is tearing apart the fabric of the nation.
- Sectarian and ethnic passions are eating into the vitals like a cancer.
- The whole society is simmering with social and political upheavals and writhing in mutual hostility.
- Unbounded greed for materialism has overshadowed human and moral values and ethics.
- Media is playing a big role in the moral degeneration of the society.
- The rich not only control all the resources, but also display their wealth with a sense of vulgar pomposity.
- Justice is an expensive pursuit and beyond the reach of the poor.
- The vertically divided and horizontally fragmented society organized on caste, tribal, ethnic, sectarian and religious lines have obstructed integration process.
- The frescoes of our emotional and intolerant psychological make up in environment of poor literacy, lopsided placement of economic benefits, disturbed political situation, laminated with class consciousness and elusive justice have offered opportunity of lifetime to our adversaries to run us down as an independent nation.
- Foreign intelligence agencies and media helped by quisling and own media are taking advantage of internal imbroglio and adding fuel to fire to keep the pot steaming.
Pakistan’s Internal Strengths. Notwithstanding the dichotomies and polemics in the society, we know every dark side has its light side too:-
- Being a culturally pluralistic country, Pakistan’s overall homogeneity is superior to any other country.
- Its diversity is peripheral in nature and based on ecological factors.
- There is diversity in unity. Its mental unity based on common orientation towards life and religion is the basic binding factor. This bondage is natural and not superficially imposed.
- As a nation, Pakistanis have demonstrated tremendous resilience against all odds and challenges. They have absorbed the vivisection of the country, the vagaries of the fallout of First Afghan War and the burden of 3 million Afghan refugees since 1979.
- Inflamed ethnic and sectarian fires and juggernaut of terrorism which has claimed over 50,000 lives are being courageously sustained for a decade.
- The multitudes have silently borne the economic and social hardships inflicted upon them by parasitical rulers.
- Pakistan has refused to be cowed down by five time’s superior India.
- The society remains glued to Two-Nation theory.
- Pakistan is blessed with a vibrant middle class, which firmly believes that there will be a better tomorrow.
- 65% energetic youth, of which 90 million are under age of 25, are an asset in hand.
- Judiciary is fast moving towards achieving complete independence.
- Armed forces retain their traditional élan. They have remained the symbol of cohesive force and stayed clear of all negative forces polluting the society.
- Defence of Siachen/LoC in Kashmir has helped the Army to maintain its fighting spirit and indirectly boosted freedom struggle in occupied Kashmir.
- The common man fully trusts his defenders and our soldiers and Army are respected.
- Pakistan is blessed with all kinds of weather and terrain and its geo-strategic location is unique.
Gains Made by Pakistan in 67 Years. Either by default or as a Divine Plan, Pakistan is ready to be launched at a super-sonic speed to become an economic power comparable to any developed country at this age and time. Gains made by Pakistan are:
- Tarbela is the biggest earth filled dam in the world.
- Pakistan has largest irrigation network.
- KKH is highest paved international road, called 8th
- Pakistan is the lone Muslim nuclear power with uranium enrichment/plutonium capabilities.
- Pakistan’s nuclear program/missiles are superior to India.
- Nuclear deterrence is credible.
- While armies of 48 countries led by USA failed in Afghanistan, Pakistan military has gained an upper edge.
- Pak Army’s admirable role in various UN Missions has won it accolades of the world.
- Pakistan soldiers/pilots are adjudged among the best in the world.
- ISI is rated as the top spy agency in the world.
- From a narrow industrial base of 34 small industries, Pakistan now has 1262 medium/large industries.
- Pakistan defence industry has become an important player in global market. It is producing/exporting over 100 major items including small arms to major arms, tanks, APCs, jets, Masabs, missiles, drones, frigates, marines, NVDs.
- There is revolutionary growth in information technology.
- Pakistan has developed 3-Gs and 4-Gs mobile internet service.
- Avaz Networks is world’s highest density processor.
- Elance Website is 3rd biggest workforce in the world.
- Arfa Karim Randhawa is world’s youngest Microsoft certified professional.
- Ali Moeen Nawazish is world’s brightest A levels student.
- There are over 100 TV channels and media is free.
- Roads have increased from 35000 km 250,000 km, Railway track from 3133 km to 7791 km; power supply from 60 MWs to 22,797 MWs; universities from 2 to 60; hospitals from 3 to 396.
- There is array of motorways, flyovers, metro service.
- There are three ports and 49 airports including 8 international airports.
- There is 885 billion cubic meter gas sufficient tor next 20 years. New finds have also been made.
- Bhasha, Mirani, Sabakzai, Satpara, Bunji dams, Neelum/Jhelum and Dasu hydro power projects are under construction.
- Undertaken hydel power/coal/solar/wind/thermal/nuclear projects to tackle up to 7000 MW electricity shortfalls.
- Agriculture Products. Pakistan grows around three times more food than it eats; far more than an industrialised world. It is 4th largest producer of rice, cotton and mangoes; 5th largest in milk, date palm, sugarcane production. It is 6th largest producer of apricot, orange/kinos, and 7th in wheat, onion.
- Mineral resources like coal, mineral salt, marble, gems, copper, gold, iron ore mines are in plenty.
- Planned Energy Corridor worth $ 34 billion connecting Kashgar with Gawadar has potential to change destiny of Pakistan.
- Gawadar Port is world largest deep seaport.
- Pakistan’s tourism spots are breathtaking.
After lapse of 67 years, it is not possible for younger generation to perceive the nightmare faced by pioneers of Pakistan at the time of independence. We must pay tribute to the founding fathers, who started from a scratch and made Pakistan stand on its own economic feet despite the heavy odds. Those who are still living must be feeling proud and exalted to have gone past the period of trial and tribulation and put to shame the enemies of Pakistan and prophets of doom within own ranks.
Number of Pakistanis who nurture hope for a bright future for Pakistan is multiplying and in coming years, they will silence the doomsayers for good. Let us extend our hand to them, so that they may achieve their dreams of a united, stable, progressive Pakistan with quality of life second to none. Pakistan is not failing as propagated but is ready to take off.
Today the US, West, China and Afghanistan are looking towards Pakistan to facilitate peace in Afghanistan. Saudi led Gulf States are looking towards Pakistan for protection against external threats. Pakistan’s role in combating terrorism is looked at with admiration and respect by the world community. Image of Pak Army has risen very high. I end my talk with the verse: “
“Na ho mayoos Iqbal kashf-e-veeran se, Zara nam ho tou ye mitti bari zarkhez hai saqi”.
Pakistan has come to stay. Long live Pakistan.