Country needs unity not division
14 August 2022 is a landmark day in the history of Pakistan, specially this year it marks completion of 75 years of its independence. The nation is all out to celebrate diamond jubilee and we find Pakistani flags fluttering in the nook and corner of the country. This day reminds us the hard work, the pain and efforts coupled with sacrifices of thousands of people who laid down their lives to see this great land when our leader Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah created a history and changed the world map by adding Pakistan as independent and sovereign state. Father of the nation took a brilliant decision when he announced that Hindu and Muslims are two communities whose culture is totally different thus paved the way for two nation theory and achieved non achievable. Pakistan Movement started originally as the Aligarh Movement, and as a result, the British Indian Muslims began to develop a secular political identity. Later on, the All India Muslim League was formed, which marked the beginning of the Pakistan Movement. Many of the top leadership of the movement were educated in Great Britain, with many of them educated at the Aligarh Muslim University. Many graduates of Dhaka University soon also joined. Although the Pakistan Movement was a part of the Indian independence movement, it envisaged establishing a new nation-state that protected the political interests of the Indian Muslims. Allama Iqbal and Faiz used literature, poetry and speech as a powerful tool for political awareness. Ashraf Thanwi’s, Shabbir Ahmad Usmani and Zafar Ahmad Usmani were major players in religious support for the creation of Pakistan. It is true that not all Muslims of colonial India supported the Pakistan Movement and there was widespread opposition to the partition of India. But Jinnah was well aware about it and was all out to defeat the British and Indian designs to oppose an independent state for Pakistan.
All India Muslim League was formed in 1906. It was founded in Dacca after mass movement by Hindus because Lord Curzon partitioned the Bengal that was favored by Muslims as this gave them a majority in the Eastern Bengal. Until 1937 Muslim League had remained party of elite Indian Muslims but after mass movement in 1940 became masses party under dynamic leadership of Quaid e Azam when in 1940 Resolution was passed in Lahore. The Lahore Resolution marked the beginning of the Pakistan movement. At the 27th annual Muslim League session in 1940 at Lahore’s Iqbal park where about 100,000 people gathered to hear Jinnah speak: He said that “Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religions, philosophies, social customs, and literature… It is quite clear that Hindus and Muslims derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics, different heroes, and different episodes… To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a state”.
At Lahore the Muslim League formally committed itself to create an independent Muslim state, including Sindh, Punjab, Baluchistan, the North West Frontier Province and Bengal, that would be “wholly autonomous and sovereign”. The resolution guaranteed protection for non-Muslims. The Lahore Resolution, moved by the sitting Chief Minister of Bengal A. K. Fazl ul Huq, was adopted on 23 March 1940, and its principles formed the foundation for Pakistan’s first constitution. Talks were held between Jinnah and Gandhi in 1944. Jinnah represented the Muslims. Gandhi rejected and insisted that Indian National Congress-alone represented all of India, even the Muslims. Gandhi proposed to achieve independence from the British jointly and then settle the issue of Pakistan. Jinnah rejected and instead insisted on the partition of British India and the creation of Pakistan and he proved to the world he could accomplish what he desired.
Stanley Wolpert, a renowned historian uttered these golden words for Quaid -e-Azam who in a short period of 7 years carved new state on the world map now called Pakistan. “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. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.” This was the greatest tribute to the leadership of the Father of the nation. Unfortunately, the Muslim League failed to create harmony between the two wings and got divided in to different factions. From 1947 to 1958 there was total political stability and turmoil and when the situation became out of control President Iskander Mirza imposed martial law and Gen Ayub was made CMLA. He tried to remove him but in the process he was removed. That allowed Ayub Khan to rule the country for 10 years. In 1965 India attacked Pakistan but was defeated on all fronts. Due to unrest in the country people started agitation against Ayub Khan and he handed over to Gen Yahya instead of speaker of the national assembly by violating his own constitution, Yahya imposed martial law and announced elections to be held in 1970. Elections were held but power was not transferred to Shaikh Mujeeb who was in majority because this did not suit Bhutto.Mujeeb through connivance with Indra Gandhi revolted against Pakistan and East Pakistan was separated rest is history. This country saw democratic rule as well as military rule of Gen Zia, Gen Musharraf and rule of Benazir and Nawaz Sharif, both civilian governments were removed on corruption charges. The country continued to be hostage to two parties PPP and PML N. It was in 2018 elections when PTI Chairman IK challenged the status quo and broke the nexus between two parties and won the elections being the leader of largest party formed a coalition government and became hostage in hands of smaller parties with limited seats but enough to topple the government. An alleged conspiracy was planned and IK was removed through VONC on 7 April as a result PDM, composed of 13 Political parties formed the government. IK and the government are at daggers drawn that has greatly damaged the economy of the country. People are crying due to inflation that still remains out of control due to IMF conditionalities
We are celebrating our Golden Jubilee when Pakistan has good international rankings. It is world’s fifth largest populous country and has world’s second largest Muslim population around 240 million people. Pakistan 33rd largest country by area, is atomic power, has the sixth largest army of the world, but the nation stands divided, and the present state of affairs demands politics of unity and not division. It’s time politicians realize that their confrontation is damaging the country beyond repair. Let sanity prevail, enough is enough. State institutions appear to be helpless but people have hope from our SC and establishment to rescue this nation from further disaster but must act fast.