Governance in Pakistan

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by ajtr, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Governance in Pakistan – 1

    By SouthAsian
    In this series of posts we will try and provide an explanation of the seemingly intractable problems that afflict Pakistan today.

    But first we address the issue of why analysts and observers are so often wrong in their assessments of the Pakistani situation.

    The occasion for this is an article by William Dalrymple who has made a name for himself as a chronicler of Mughal history and an analyst of modern South Asia. Writing on March 4, 2009 he says:

    Just over a year ago, in February 2008, I travelled by car across the length and breadth of Pakistan to cover the country’s first serious election since General Pervez Musharraf seized power in 1999…. The story I wrote at the time for the New York Review of Books was optimistic.

    Like most other people given the option, Pakistanis clearly want the ability to choose their own rulers, and to determine their own future, I wrote. The country I saw over the last few days on a long road trip was not a failed state, nor anything even approaching ‘the most dangerous country in the world … almost beyond repair’ as the Spectator (among many others) recently suggested … By and large, the countryside I passed through was calm and beautiful, and not obviously less prosperous-looking than its subcontinental neighbour. It was certainly a far cry from the terminal lawlessness and instability of post-occupation Iraq or Afghanistan.

    A year on, however, the situation could hardly be more different, or more grim…


    So this is our question for readers: Why was as astute an observer as William Dalrymple deceived? Why was he unable to correctly predict the future one year ahead?
     
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  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Governance in Pakistan – 2

    By SouthAsian
    I had intended to wait a while to get some feedback from readers on William Dalrymple’s analysis of the situation in Pakistan (Governance in Pakistan – 1) before starting a discussion on the reasons for its poor predictive power.

    My plan was to follow that up with some samples of analysis by Pakistani commentators to reiterate the reasons that, in my view, contributed to the weakness of the analyses.

    I changed my mind when I immediately came across one such analysis in the March/April 2009 issue of the Boston Review. This review is by a member of the crème de la crème of Pakistani society, educated in the best institutions, a journalist by profession, and with the benefit of living abroad in a vibrant intellectual environment. The analysis provides a good parallel to Dalrymple’s piece. While Dalrymple brings an outsider’s excusably incomplete perspective, the contributor to the Boston Review is a well-connected insider very familiar with the history of events in Pakistan.

    Consider a few examples from the analysis and see whether you agree if they provide a good basis for predicting the future.

    The opening optimism is based more or less exactly on the same reasoning as Dalrymple’s:

    Though outraged by General Musharraf’s strong–arm tactics, Pakistanis were not despondent. The economy was strong and foreign investors looked favorably upon Pakistan as an emerging market. A national election was in the offing, and Benazir Bhutto, emerging from years of exile the leader of Pakistan’s largest and most popular political party, had returned to contest it. Though religious extremists had dug into the Tribal Areas in the north, Benazir vowed to flush them out and, with American backing, end their reign of terror. Relations with India were calmer and more open than even before. There was everything to play for.

    And the verdict a year later is also the same as Dalrymple’s:

    Today that optimism has vanished.

    But once again, there is no explanation why the analyst was deceived and why her optimism was so misplaced.

    Let us look at the article for some clues:

    Here are the author’s observations on the elections after the death of Zia ul Haq:

    Soon after, Pakistan held elections, and I was glued to the television as results trickled in through the night. The first time Benazir Bhutto—so young, so beautiful, so full of promise—appeared on the screen, I wept.

    The basis for the author’s hope was the fact that Benazir Bhutto was ‘so young, so beautiful, so full of promise.’ There was little anxiety that Benazir Bhutto had no training for the job, no prior experience in governance, and no demonstrated competence in managing a complex enterprise.


    Are you surprised at the sentence that follows?

    But my euphoria was short–lived.

    Did the author learn anything from this episode? Here are the author’s responses to the entry of Pervez Musharraf:

    I was one of many who expressed quiet relief when Musharraf seized power in 1999…. From my home in London, I anxiously watched the Pakistani news reports. Though relieved to see the back of Sharif, I was initially wary of the new general. By then I knew what military rule could mean. But my worst fears were dispelled when I saw him pose for his first staged photos in the lush lawns of Army House with a fluffy dog under each arm. Since mullahs consider dogs unclean, I took his choice of props as a clear sign of his secular leanings. His talk of accountability endeared him further to a nation sickened by the rampant corruption of its civilian leaders. And when he promised to promote enlightened moderation and economic development, the ghost of General Zia was finally exorcised from my mind.

    Once again, there was no apprehension that this was the mastermind of Kargil, a man whose competence in his own field of specialization was so woefully exposed, a man who derailed the peace process with India, a man who overthrew a democratically elected government, and a man with no experience in political governance.

    It seems the fluffy dogs and a few promises were enough to dispel all the fears and the apprehensions. That does make it pretty easy for any charlatan to pull the wool over the eyes of Pakistan’s crème de la crème, doesn’t it?

    With analysis like that does it surprise you when the author discovers eight years later that:

    Musharraf’s doublespeak about “enlightened moderation” was not confined to appeasing Americans alone.

    And so on to Asif Zardari:

    Whether President Zardari—working against a history of corruption allegations to win the trust of the people—is up to the job remains to be seen.

    What is your prediction about what you are likely to see?

    You have some clues to work on here. Read the article and decide for yourself if it is possible to make good predictions with this kind of analysis that is so gullible, that falls so easily for youth and good looks and fluffy dogs and empty promises.

    Is this analysis or wishful thinking? How would you go about improving on the analysis?
     
  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Governance in Pakistan – 3: More Bad Analysis

    By SouthAsian
    The previous two posts in this series have described what we think are poor analyses of the situation in Pakistan by William Dalrymple and Moni Mohsin, respectively.

    Now the venerable New York Times has entered the fray with another bad analysis (Closer to the Cliff, March 12, 2009). Let us dissect it:

    We are especially alarmed to see President Asif Ali Zardari repeating the excesses of his predecessor, Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

    Why alarmed, one may ask? What was the basis for the expectation that Asif Ali Zardari would act any differently? Is this a case, once again, of wishful thinking leading the analysis?

    Mr. Zardari is dishonoring his late wife’s memory by following that same path.

    So, the expectation is that Mr. Zardari’s prime loyalty should be to his late wife’s memory and not to his self-interest, as he perceives it. Is this a realistic expectation? Or is it a pathetic attempt at emotional blackmail – what would your late wife think Mr. Zardari?

    Mr. Sharif is all too eager to manipulate this destructive drama for personal gain.

    Surprise, surprise! Any basis for assuming Mr. Sharif would act differently?

    The American ambassador in Islamabad spoke with Mr. Sharif, and an envoy, Richard Holbrooke, had a video conference call with Mr. Zardari… They need to press Mr. Zardari now to compromise on the dispute over Pakistan’s courts and to allow Mr. Sharif to run for office. And they need to press Mr. Sharif to work for peaceful political solutions. If there is any hope for democracy in Pakistan, a robust opposition must be allowed to flourish and participate fully in the country’s political life.

    Here is the impatient solution – the bad boys have to be told to behave and fix the situation in no uncertain manner. There is no need to try and understand why they are behaving the way they are.

    Otherwise: hint, hint!

    Already, some Washington analysts are suggesting there might be worse things than a return to military rule in Pakistan.

    This is typical of what passes for analysis at the New York Times. More than a year ago, we had highlighted this style of NYT analysis (Ah, New York Times) when the crisis under discussion was the electoral chaos in Kenya. Replace Mr. Zardari and Mr. Sharif with Kenyan names and note the similarity of the advice:

    Mr. Kibaki should renounce that official declaration and the embarrassingly swift swearing in that followed. He should then meet with his principal challenger, Raila Odinga, to discuss a possible vote recount, election re-run or other reasonable compromise.

    What is wrong with this mode of analysis?

    Note that it is entirely top-down. It starts with a desired outcome (democratic governance in these two cases) and then works backwards impatiently to try and ensure that the outcome is achieved. It invariably ends up chastising the bad boys who are misbehaving, informing them that they are acting stupidly, and threatening them with worse consequences.

    There is no attempt to understand why the boys are bad in the first place, why they are misbehaving yet again, and what may be the systemic causes that lead to this kind of repeated crises.

    It is no wonder that the NYT joins the rising crescendo of lamenting voices from Pakistan who are surprised that Mr. Zardari and Mr. Sharif are behaving badly, who had expected them to have learnt their lessons while in exile, who had hoped that the ‘restoration’ of democracy was itself the solution, who had really lulled themselves into believing that there are dictators and democrats and that they behave differently.

    Any meaningful analysis has to work from the bottom-up. It has to look at the forces that operate at ground level and then project what kinds of outcomes are feasible given the interplay of these forces and the changes in them over time.

    A bottom-up analysis need not always be right but it creates room for meaningful discussion that can help lead to a better and fuller understanding and more realistic expectations.

    This is how an analysis in The South Asian Idea (Helping Pakistan, November 2007) approached the issue with a bottom-up perspective:

    Understand that in a deeply unequal society without individual rights, and with extreme dependence of the many on the few, the functions of political representation and social protection are inseparable…

    Understand this is still very much a monarchical society in which the ruler, in whatever garb, believes he rules by divine right…

    Understand this is a society at a stage of development where political parties are personal affinity groups with lifetime leaders…

    And based on the reading of these and other attributes it predicted:

    So what does a transition to “true democracy” mean in a situation like this? Understand that representative democracy is not going to emerge any time soon by pressure from below. Democracy will be the name given to a sharing of power amongst the elites holding the wealth, the guns, and the controls over rules and rituals. And, barring anything different, this democracy will go the way of previous democracies, each morphing from “true” to “sham,” each leaving the country more wounded and vulnerable than before. Has this not been the story of the last sixty years?

    In 2009, this prediction elicits much less surprise and disappointment than Dalrymple, Mohsin, the NYT or the lamenting chorus in Pakistan. Why?

    The bottom line is that one needs to determine the appropriate starting point for analysis. Starting with what one hopes for almost always renders the analysis useless. Starting with the reality that exists on the ground and working upwards may not always yield the correct prediction but it is the most promising approach to an eventual understanding of why things turn out the way they do.

    And that understanding is needed as the real starting point on the road to reform. Without that we would continue to cycle endlessly between our rascals and our redeemers, between our unrealistic hopes and our betrayed expectations.
     
  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Governance in Pakistan – 4: What is Good Analysis?

    By SouthAsian
    In the three preceding posts (Here, Here and Here) we have pointed out pitfalls in analytical reasoning using the situation in Pakistan as case material.

    Readers are entitled to ask: What is good analysis?

    What follows is my perspective on what makes for good analysis. It is not original but something I was taught by a teacher I feel I was lucky to encounter.

    I enrolled for a course in Decision Analysis and this is what the teacher talked about in the first class:

    The most important concept to understand is that a Decision and an Outcome are two separate things.

    A Good Outcome is not necessarily the result of a Good Decision.

    A Bad Outcome is not necessarily the result of a Bad Decision.


    How can this be so?

    Because between the Decision and the Outcome there is something called Uncertainty or Randomness, something that you can never know fully in advance and over which you may have no control.

    Let me illustrate this with some examples that I have invented for a South Asian audience:

    Suppose a batsman picks the wrong ball to hit and makes a lousy shot but the fielder drops the catch and the ball goes over the boundary: A Bad Decision yields a Good Outcome.

    Now suppose a safe single is there for the taking and the batsman sets off but slips in the middle and is run out: A Good Decision yields a Bad Outcome.

    The lesson to take away is that a Decision can be Good or Bad independent of the Outcome.

    A Good Decision is one where you have taken all the available information into consideration, gone over all the alternatives possible, studied their costs and benefits, and then chosen what you think is the best course of action in the circumstances.

    The Outcome could still be bad – fate may intervene, an earthquake may alter the cost-benefit calculus, a coup in Russia may freeze the credit markets. As they say, ‘there’s many a slip between the cup and the lip.’ Regardless, given what you knew when you knew at the time you made the decision, it was the best if you did all that was mentioned above.

    Now replace Decision with Analysis and Outcome with Prediction.

    An analysis is not considered good ONLY if it predicts correctly.

    An analysis is good if it does the following:

    Marshals all the available evidence that is relevant to the analysis.
    Organizes the evidence in a way that it can be assessed carefully.
    Understands the context in which the evidence is to be applied.
    Recognizes the forces and trends that are acting upon the context.
    Surveys critically the various alternatives that are likely.
    Intuits the motivations of the key actors in the situation.
    Based on the above the analyst offers his or her opinion on the most likely outcome – which could still be wrong.


    Note that the good analyst acts more or less like the good doctor or the good detective in the process he/she follows in reaching a diagnosis or a conclusion.

    Note also that these skills require a lot of training. There may be the rare intuitive analyst born with the gift but most of the time analysis is a learned skill that requires dedicated study.

    It is not for nothing that leading universities in the West have programs to train analysts who then earn their livings as professional analysts. It is because, more often than not, good analysis yields good predictions. And when it doesn’t, it is possible to go back and study what might have gone wrong improving the analytical method in the process.

    It is certainly not possible to do good analysis driving by in a car, or drawing conclusions from fluffy puppies, or hoping for the best.
     
  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Governance in Pakistan – 5: An Example of a Good Analysis

    By SouthAsian
    Professor Ralph Russell died on September 14, 2008 at the age on ninety. Known as the British Baba-e-Urdu, he was a leading scholar of the language and was awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz for a lifetime of notable contributions.

    Professor Russell was a scholar of language and literature and never thought of himself as a political analyst. But his training in the humanities endowed him with the ability needed for good analysis.

    Here I take an extract from his essay (Strands of Muslim Identity in South Asia – first published in the 1980s) to illustrate the attributes of good analysis.

    It is quite likely that Muslims and Pakistani readers were upset by this analysis. But Professor Russell, a great friend of Urdu, Islam and Pakistan, never let that keep him from saying what he felt needed to be said. It is from him that I picked up the line: Do you want me to say what I think or what you want to hear?

    In another of his essays, Professor Russell says “I sometimes have the impression that in the field of Islamic studies more than most, scholars feel a need to be ‘diplomatic’ (which, let us face it, is only a polite way of saying ‘less than completely honest’) so that influential people will not be offended. And then he refers to Hardy in the Explanatory Note to Tess—that ‘if an offence comes out of the truth, better it is that the offence come out than that the truth be concealed.’

    So here is Professor Russell not trying to be analytical but making an observation based on the analytical process. Follow the logic of the argument as Professor Russell tries to explain the rise of religious fundamentalism in Pakistan:

    The sophisticated Muslim case underlying the separatist demands that ultimately became the demand for Pakistan rested on the secular or quasi-secular concept of the Muslims of the subcontinent as a separate nationality; in the years preceding independence it was this concept that was always stressed by the authoritative spokesmen of the movement for the creation of Pakistan. To such a concept religious orthodoxy was irrelevant. ‘Muslim’ meant anyone who called himself a Muslim, anyone who was born into the Muslim community, even if he were a militant atheist. Jinnah himself, the Qaid e Azam (Great Leader) of the Muslim League, was anything but an orthodox Muslim of the old-fashioned kind. For him, the concept of a Muslim nationhood implied even an onslaught on the conservative Muslin divines, and an effort, as he wrote in 1942, ‘to free our people from the most undesirable reactionary elements.’

    But such sophisticated concepts could not arouse the mass Muslim enthusiasm which the leadership needed if acceptance of its demands were to be enforced. With the illiterate and half-literate Muslim masses, what carried weight was precisely the ideas of the ‘most undesirable reactionary elements’—the prejudices which told them: ‘One Muslim is worth ten Hindus. We Muslims ruled over these people for centuries. We are a fine, manly people: the Hindus are slaves and cowards. Our type is the warrior, bold and generous: theirs is the banya, the cowardly, extortionate, hypocritical moneylender. Islam is a fine faith, the acme of all religious development: Hinduism is an inhuman and revolting system which sanctifies human degradation.’


    And so on and so forth. An appeal to the Muslim masses to come into the political arena could, in the late 1930s and 1940s, hardly have had any other result than to fan this sort of Muslim chauvinism. The response to Jinnah’s call in December 1939, to celebrate a ‘Day of Deliverance’ when Congress ministries resigned, already showed this; still more horrifying was the response to his Direct Action Day of 16 August 1946.

    It hardly needs to be said that if appeal to sentiments of this kind helped to mobilize the mass support without which Pakistan could not have been won, it also strengthened the religious (or pseudo-religious) fanaticism which Jinnah had opposed.

    I am not saying that this is necessarily the correct diagnosis. What I am pointing out is the process by which Professor Russell explains the present through a link to the past and traces the consequences of actions taken and forces let loose a long time back to the conditions that exist at present.

    If you feel Professor Russell is wrong, the field is wide open to present a better analysis. There would be little point, however, in the common response of merely accusing Professor Russell of being an agent of the enemy.
     
  7. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Governance in Pakistan – 6: Advantages of Good Analysis

    By SouthAsian
    In the last post we used material from an essay by Professor Ralph Russell to illustrate what we consider a good analysis. Let us continue using that example to convince the reader of the advantages of good analysis.

    Resting one’s future on hopes does provide solace but is self-defeating because it provides no direction for the future. What happens when the hopes are dashed? More hopes? No wonder things continue to deteriorate as they have in Pakistan over the years so that we have now reached the stage where the unimaginable is peering in through the windows of our homes.

    A good analysis, on the other hand, provides a roadmap for the future because it is based on an understanding of the forces that are operating in society and it is possible to shape and mould societal forces with intelligent public policy. Not that the intelligence emerges out of a vacuum. On the contrary, it is good analysis that helps inform public opinion of what is happening and mobilizes it behind the demand for intelligent responses.

    We can see now a critical dimension of the systemic problem in Pakistan more serious than all the other seemingly more immediate problems. Without good analysis mobilizing public opinion on a continuous basis all there is are misplaced hopes and prayers for miracles. I too wish for a miracle but I would not count on it. As we have mentioned before, it is fine to trust in fate but it is wise to tie your camel.

    So, let us go back to Professor Ralph Russell who explained the rise of religious fundamentalism in Pakistan by referring back to the tactics that were used to mobilize Muslim support for separation in the 1930s and 1940s. We ended with Professor Russell’s conclusion:

    It hardly needs to be said that if appeal to sentiments of this kind helped to mobilize the mass support without which Pakistan could not have been won, it also strengthened the religious (or pseudo-religious) fanaticism which Jinnah had opposed.

    When we read this analysis we can easily understand why Mr. Jinnah’s famous appeal on the founding of Pakistan was such an abject failure:

    You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State.

    This appeal failed not because Mr. Jinnah’s deputies were pygmies as is commonly argued. It failed because the emotional forces that had been let loose to achieve Pakistan were too powerful to be easily controlled even by a personality with the charisma of Mr. Jinnah.


    Professor Russell picks up this thread:

    Once Pakistan had come into being, this force, which the new country’s rulers had themselves done so much to foster, confronted them with a challenge. It has done so ever since.

    Professor Russell’s argument is worth reading in detail but let me just summarize his bottom line. A situation had been created in which there was no getting away from the fact that Islam had to be a key element in the identity of Pakistan to weld the people together.

    To Professor Russell it was clear that the answer was not to be found in conventional Islam. And based on his analysis he both asks the question and suggests a possible answer: If an Islamic identity was inevitable, why did it have to be the obscurantist one of Maududi when an alternative was available?

    It seems to me that Islam in the subcontinent possesses a still living tradition which is at once authentically and recognizably Islamic, intelligible to the mass of the people and a more than adequate sanction for policies ‘workable in the light of the requirements of modern life.’

    This is the tradition of Sufism, of Muslim mysticism, which finds such powerful expression in the poetry both of Urdu and of the regional languages such as Punjabi and Sindhi, and which is as familiar to the illiterate peasants as it is to the sophisticated Urdu-speaking literati. It proclaims values which are no less authentically Islamic than those proclaimed by Maududi and his supporters, but have little else in common with them.

    Among these values are a cordial, and bluntly declared, hatred and contempt for religious bigotry, and a passionate dedication to humanist ideals which inculcates, among other things, a proper respect for the rights of ALL men, whether they be Muslim or not…


    One may perhaps point to this last-named strand in Muslim consciousness as one which could provide even the most modern and progressive of Pakistani politicians with the authentically Islamic sanction for their policies which they seem to feel that they need.

    It is easy to forget that Professor Russell was writing this in the 1980s and it was only his analysis that could make him see the writing on the wall so far ahead of time and to propose a feasible alternative that could have changed the trajectory of the future.

    So, a new question arises here: Why was this Islamic tradition that was so deeply rooted in the everyday life of the majority of Pakistanis not made an integral part of the school curricula? Why was it displaced by an alien tradition imported from Saudi Arabia?

    This requires an analysis of its own and Professor Russell hints at some of the reasons. We shall take up this discussion in a subsequent post.
     
  8. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Governance in Pakistan – 7: Which Islam?

    By SouthAsian
    The question left over from the last post was the following:

    Given that it had become inevitable for Pakistan to have a religious identity (for reasons articulated by Professor Ralph Russell in the previous post) why was the tradition of Islam that was indigenous to the subcontinent ignored in favor of one imported from Saudi Arabia?

    As we have mentioned, Professor Russell was not a political or religious scholar and he never sat down to explicitly address this question. However, in his essays he left behind numerous astute observations that we can use to begin crafting a plausible answer.

    Our aim is not to reach a definitive conclusion but to see how the mind of a trained humanist works, how from certain observations a hypothesis is derived, and how facts are linked through a chain of reasoning to arrive at conclusions that can be tested against the outcomes of real life.

    Such a process based on reasoning need not always lead to the correct explanation but it provides the reader the opportunity to identify particular links in the argument that he or she disputes or disagrees with and to offer a new explanation based on the substitutions. It is important to be clear about what one disagrees with and to be able to suggest alternatives that stand up to criticism. The ensuing dialogue forms the basis of the method of intellectual enquiry.

    Let us take Professor Russell’s essay Aziz Ahmad, South Asia, Islam and Urdu and note straight away his observation in passing about the fundamentals of intellectual discourse.

    Aziz Ahmad was for a while (beginning in 1957) a colleague of Professor Russell’s at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Professor Russell mentions that he had sharp and vigorously pursued disagreements with Aziz Ahmad on the methodology of teaching Urdu to foreign students:

    Such disagreements were not infrequent. That being so, it surprised and puzzled him when he found that this in no way inhibited my whole-hearted praise of his talents and of his published work. (He came from a milieu where it is indeed rare for these two things to go together.)

    One must admit that it remains rare even today.

    Professor Russell mentions that often the best understanding of social situations is to be found in literature:

    For example, the problem of Kashmir is one of the major problems of the politics of the post-1945 period. An important element in the determining of the present situation was the internal political struggle of the 1930s and the 1940s. Where can one find a vivid picture of Kashmir during those years? In Aziz Ahmad’s novel Aag. But those who (if they knew about it) would like to read it for this purpose, can’t. And those who can read it aren’t for the most part interested in doing so for this purpose.

    At this point a question that naturally arises is: What about historians and social scientists in Pakistan and India who write in English but know Urdu well? Don’t they use these materials? The answer is: For the most part, no. Why not? For several reasons. First, numbers of them come in the category already described, of people who have acquired their English at the cost of letting their Urdu rust. Secondly, many of them are more English than the English, more royalist than the king.

    In a society where conventions have for centuries been more rigid than in the West, English-derived conventions (for example, that a novel cannot be a worthwhile source for academic studies of this kind) are observed with a rigidity which the Western world does not apply to them. Even where non-fictional writing is concerned they think (often, but not always, rightly) that works written in Urdu lack the scholarly qualities of works written in English, and that therefore no self-respecting scholar pays any attention to them. Even if the premise were wholly correct (and it isn’t) the conclusion doesn’t follow from it. But there it is. They think that the premise is correct, and that the conclusion does follow from it; and they act accordingly.

    Note Professor’s Russell’s hypothesis and the argument he is constructing: that the Pakistani ruling elite was alienated from its own traditions and often contemptuous of them. If this was its attitude towards Urdu, imagine what it must have been towards the languages of the masses and what its perception must have been of the folk wisdom and traditions of illiterate people.

    When a ruling elite is alienated from its own traditions it is all the more susceptible to the presumed superiority of outside ones. As Professor Russell observed, it was more English than the English. And similarly, it was more Arab than the Arabs.

    And so when Saudi Islam came backed by large amounts of money there was no resistance, intellectual or otherwise. The game was over.

    This is where Professor Russell’s chain of reasoning leads us. If you have a different explanation we can build a discussion around it.

    Let us end by adding a general observation of Locke about human beings to Professor Russell’s observation of the Pakistani intelligentsia:

    Most men are simply too lazy or ill trained to apply themselves to the dull work of sifting through evidence and reasoning properly. They prefer pseudo-certainties, even if those are inherited from tradition and untested by experience; and once they are committed to dogmas, they enjoy imposing them on others. This is how religious superstitions are born and perpetuated. But that also means that they can be combated if human beings are given enough leisure and training to let their natural faculties develop.

    The bottom line is that it is important to learn to reason; and this learning requires training; and this training can only be imparted by educational institutions, preferably early in life.

    We have a challenging agenda before us.

    Professor Russell’s essay is from his book How Not to Write the History of Urdu Literature and Other Essays on Urdu and Islam. The observation from Locke is to be found on page 94 in the book by Mark Lilla (The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West).
     
  9. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Quaid e Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah: Secular Or Islamist?


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    Product Description

    One of the most famous books in Pakistan, the late Chief Justice Muhammad Munir’s From Jinnah to Zia (1979) has finally received the ultimate rebuttal from a British-born Asian – using only one piece of evidence. Saleena Karim tells the story of how a point of curiosity – based on little more than an issue of grammar – led her to the startling discovery that a quote used by Munir and attributed to Jinnah is in fact a fake. Furthermore this quote has also been used by a number of Pakistani professional writers and scholars, none of whom have thought to check the original transcript of the interview Munir supposedly quoted from.


    Over twenty-five years after the release of From Jinnah to Zia, the author shows us how much damage the ‘Munir quote’ has done – not only in terms of twisting the facts of history, but now in exposing the intellectual dishonesty of Pakistani scholarship. Saleena Karim names those who have quoted Munir, as well as discussing the other myths about the founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and sets the record straight.

    “The new state would be a modern democratic state with sovereignty resting in the people and the members of the new nation having equal rights of citizenship regardless of religion, caste or creed.” Mr. Munir claims that these are the words of the Quaid from an interview to Reuters’ Doon Campbell. In reality these words appear nowhere in that particular interview, and in fact they appear nowhere at all (I spent years checking)”

    Q) Please tell us briefly about yourself, your education and background.

    A) I am a writer born and brought up in the UK. Almost as soon I learned to read, I wanted to write. When I went to Loughborough University I wanted to take a degree in publishing, but for reasons that are not worth mentioning here, I ended up studying Human Biology and obtained a BSc. I had no interest in pursuing a career in my subject area, so I followed my instinct and began writing part-time. At first I was mostly translating short articles mostly on Islam (Urdu-English), and also started a work of fiction, but I became a full-time writer after I wrote Secular Jinnah: Munir’s Big Hoax Exposed in 2005. As a child I was brought up with religious values and always considered myself a spiritual individual. As I grew older I began to question some of our traditional religious teachings and began to study Quranic principles in depth. I became very interested in Islamic philosophy and in particular, ethics, and this study helped me in ways I cannot even begin to describe.

    Q) How did you get interested in the life of Quaid-e-Azam, and what inspired you?

    A) Until a few years ago I knew relatively little about the Quaid-i-Azam but accepted he was a hero of Islamic history by default. My father got me interested in his life originally, but I only learned about him in detail after I began work on Secular Jinnah. I was inspired in the first instance by Mr. Jinnah’s speeches, which I later referred to as a first-hand resource on his thinking.

    Q) The readers want to know what is it that Justice Munir has said in his book that is either wrong or controversial about Quaid-e-Azam?

    A) In short, there is a statement that the late Chief Justice Munir quoted in his book From Jinnah to Zia. It reads:

    “The new state would be a modern democratic state with sovereignty resting in the people and the members of the new nation having equal rights of citizenship regardless of religion, caste or creed.” Mr. Munir claims that these are the words of the Quaid from an interview to Reuters’ Doon Campbell. In reality these words appear nowhere in that particular interview, and in fact they appear nowhere at all (I spent years checking). In the first edition of my book I explained that since 1979 (when Mr. Munir’s book was released) right up until the present no one had spotted that the quote was a fake. Since then I have learned that the quote has its origins not in 1979, but in the famous Munir Report of 1953. That’s the short story, but in my book I went into much more detail about how this quote has became the favourite amongst even the best-known commentators on Mr. Jinnah to try and undermine his stated cause.

    Q) What inspired you to write a rebuttal to Munir’s book?

    A) It may sound trivial to go after just one fake quote, but I was inspired to write my rebuttal because of it. When I first encountered the Munir quote in From Jinnah to Zia, I did for a short time wonder whether the Quaid was a true secularist after all. I pursued the original source of the Munir quote purely to find out the truth. But this was before I obtained the original transcript of the interview. If the Munir quote had turned out to be real, I would definitely have accepted and argued that Mr. Jinnah was a secularist – but that would still have had no bearing on my personal thoughts regarding the Pakistan idea. In the beginning I intended to write just a short article detailing the finding, but my research soon showed that Mr. Munir’s quote (which I now call the ‘Munir quote’) has had an astonishing impact on scholarship. Admittedly, I myself found it difficult to believe at first, but I knew I had to write a book.

    Q) Tell us about your book. How come it got such high praise from various sections of the readers’ community?

    A) Other than exposing the damage done by the Munir quote, my book argued in favour of a ‘Muslim’ rather than a ‘secular’ Jinnah. I have put quotes around these words because I’m aware that they tend to mean different things to different people. The biggest problem in fact, is the meaning and use of words like ‘secularism’, ‘Islam’, ‘sovereignty’, ‘ideology’, etc. But insofar as there are two broad camps arguing over Mr. Jinnah, my research convinced me to side with the much-misunderstood ‘Muslim Jinnah’ camp. To my mind Quaid-i-Azam does not fit into the ‘secular’ category, and I explained why in the first book. I also discussed some of the myths surrounding Mr. Jinnah. The number of people actively backing the ‘Muslim Jinnah’ argument is currently dwindling. This I suspect is part of the reason that my book was well-received by the readership, who probably felt that a new entry from this side was long overdue.

    Q) Did Quaid-e-Azam want to create a secular Pakistan or a Pakistan based on Islamic principles?

    A) This is the big question. Mr. Jinnah certainly did not tire of talking about Islamic democracy and Islamic socialism. In my book I showed that there are literally hundreds of references to Islamic terminology and principles in Mr. Jinnah’s speeches. Additionally, whilst he stressed the absolute equality of non-Muslim citizens in Pakistan, he never once used the word ‘secular’ to describe the country. There is also some evidence lying around which shows that there were non-Muslims who properly understood Mr. Jinnah’s view of Islam, if you know where to look. These facts should really speak for themselves. People arguing for ‘secular Jinnah’ tend to get upset by this argument because they assume that I, or whoever else, is trying to imply that the Quaid was pro-theocracy. They think for instance that we support a class distinction between religious minorities and majorities, or that we advocate the idea of legislation either being written or authorised by ulema. Yet, as every sensible Muslim and especially Pakistani Muslim knows, a state truly guided by Islamic principles is as far removed from theocracy as is an ideal secular state (I might add that there is not one example of either of these states in existence today). The Quaid himself made this point about theocracy versus Islam, which again I showed in my book. The few people who do support such ideas – taken, unfortunately, from fundamentalist literature, rather than the Quran – usually belong to parties that historically were opposed to Partition and Pakistan. So why give their views special attention, and why assume that every ‘non-secularist’ agrees with them?

    Q) How would you describe Quaid-e-Azam’s Pakistan? How far are we today as a nation from Quaid’s Pakistan?

    A) ‘Quaid-i-Azam’s Pakistan’ as such never had a chance to establish itself. At any rate, it is not right to speak of ‘Quaid’s Pakistan’ when Mr. Jinnah said that it was up to the people and the Constituent Assembly to decide the form of their constitution. But we can safely say that the main difference between Mr. Jinnah’s time and now is that back then, a majority of people truly believed that they would rise out of poverty, be given the chance to educate themselves and then make a positive contribution to the international community, in the name of Islam. Pakistan appeared on the map at a time when the Muslim world was facing a political identity crisis, following the abolition of the Caliphate in Turkey. The end of the Caliphate was necessary, but this left the Muslim world in a void. Many people saw the creation of this new Muslim country as a laboratory where Islam would be established afresh, so to speak, taking account of contemporary political and sociological conditions. For this reason Islam in Pakistan was described as the ‘third way’, representing neither capitalism nor communism, but a form of socialist democracy conforming to Islamic (and thus universal) principles of liberty and justice. There was no question therefore, of recreating an early form of Islamic state which may have had merits in its time but could not be made to work in the twentieth century. Again, exactly how this would work was left up to the people and the Constituent Assembly. The Quaid’s sheer integrity and strength of personality was enough to keep the early leaders of Pakistan together – just. Within a few years of his death however, personal rivalries and a lack of intellectual unity between these same politicians came out into the open, marking the end of ‘Quaid’s Pakistan’ practically before it had begun. Today we see nepotism, despotism, jobbery, and discrimination running rampant in Pakistan – all qualities of the worst type of secular state (not to mention the worst of a theocracy). To even begin to undo all of this, will require first and foremost that the people look within themselves and make a concerted demand that they want things to change. Unity must come first.

    Q) What do you think about the new book on Jinnah that Jaswant Singh has just written? Have you read that?

    A) I have not read the book, but I have seen the interview in which Mr. Singh described its contents. From what he said there seems to be nothing remarkable or new that hasn’t been said by someone else already. There was an interesting article on this subject by Dr. Waheed Ahmad in Pakistan’s News International recently. He suggests on the one hand that Mr. Singh had courage for challenging the wisdom of certain Congress leaders before Partition. On the other, he mentions that some cynics might question the motives of the author, who is after all a veteran member of a far-right political party. Whom does it suit to be told that Mr. Jinnah never really wanted Partition? Is it not suggestive of a wish to see the two countries reunited as one India? I admit to being one of the cynics.

    Q) What is the Jinnah Archive? Is it just a website or some project?

    A) The idea behind the Jinnah Archive is to make the speeches of the Quaid-i-Azam easily available online. Most collections of speeches have short print runs and they end up in a few university libraries in random places across the globe. My own difficulty in obtaining collections of speeches when researching Secular Jinnah gave me the idea to try and create a searchable database on the Net. Thereafter I began tracking down and purchasing all the printed collections that I could find, and then I built the website. Some distinguished academics kindly helped by giving permission to make full use of their collections. The whole project is privately funded, is non-profit, and is entirely free to the public. Unfortunately it has been neglected of late because I was working almost completely on my own from the beginning, and other unrelated projects have taken up my time in between. This is however, something I will rectify in the very near future.

    Q) How do you want to contribute to Jinnah’s Pakistan?

    A) That’s an interesting question. We all should utilise our individual talents to the best of our ability. Mine is writing. I hope that my use of the pen will at least get people to think about the Pakistan idea, and not to give up on it.

    Q) How would you describe Jinnah?

    A) How does anyone describe an awesome personality such as Mr. Jinnah? He was evidently a man of unswerving integrity, high intelligence, pride, conviction, strength, and with more than a smidgen of dry humour. A true example of a Muslim leader, certainly one of the finest of the twentieth century, if not the finest.

    Q) When is the second edition of your book coming out?

    A) Soon, though I can’t promise a particular date. It’s close to completion and has already been picked up by a publisher. Unlike the first edition, this one should be made available in Pakistan as well as internationally, in both Urdu and in English languages. It contains much more on the story of Mr. Munir’s literary legacy, and in it I reveal one or two other surprises as well. But I can say no more for now.
     
  12. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Partition
    The Messiah and The Promised Land

    Margaret Bourke-White was a correspondent and photographer for LIFE magazine during the WW II years. In September 1947, White went to Pakistan. She met Jinnah and wrote about what she found and heard in her book Halfway to Freedom: A Report on the New India,Simon and Schuster, New York, 1949. The following are the excerpts:

    Pakistan was one month old. Karachi was its mushrooming capital. On the sandy fringes of the city an enormous tent colony had grown up to house the influx of minor government officials. There was only one major government official, Mahomed Ali Jinnah, and there was no need for Jinnah to take to a tent. The huge marble and sandstone Government House, vacated by British officialdom, was waiting. The Quaid-i-Azam moved in, with his sister, Fatima, as hostess. Mr. Jinnah had put on what his critics called his "triple crown": he had made himself Governor-General; he was retaining the presidency of the Muslim League -- now Pakistan's only political party; and he was president of the country's lawmaking body, the Constituent Assembly.

    "We never expected to get it so soon," Miss Fatima said when I called. "We never expected to get it in our lifetimes."

    If Fatima's reaction was a glow of family pride, her brother's was a fever of ecstasy. Jinnah's deep-sunk eyes were pinpoints of excitement. His whole manner indicated that an almost overwhelming exaltation was racing through his veins. I had murmured some words of congratulation on his achievement in creating the world's largest Islamic nation.

    "Oh, it's not just the largest Islamic nation. Pakistan is the fifth-largest nation in the world!"

    The note of personal triumph was so unmistakable that I wondered how much thought he gave to the human cost: more Muslim lives had been sacrificed to create the new Muslim homeland than America, for example, had lost during the entire second World War. I hoped he had a constructive plan for the seventy million citizens of Pakistan. What kind of constitution did he intend to draw up?

    "Of course it will be a democratic constitution; Islam is a democratic religion."

    I ventured to suggest that the term "democracy" was often loosely used these days. Could he define what he had in mind?

    "Democracy is not just a new thing we are learning," said Jinnah. "It is in our blood. We have always had our system of zakat -- our obligation to the poor."

    This confusion of democracy with charity troubled me. I begged him to be more specific.

    "Our Islamic ideas have been based on democracy and social justice since the thirteenth century."

    This mention of the thirteenth century troubled me still more. Pakistan has other relics of the Middle Ages besides "social justice" -- the remnants of a feudal land system, for one. What would the new constitution do about that? .. "The land belongs to the God," says the Koran. This would need clarification in the constitution. Presumably Jinnah, the lawyer, would be just the person to correlate the "true Islamic principles" one heard so much about in Pakistan with the new nation's laws. But all he would tell me was that the constitution would be democratic because "the soil is perfectly fertile for democracy."

    What plans did he have for the industrial development of the country? Did he hope to enlist technical or financial assistance from America?

    "America needs Pakistan more than Pakistan needs America," was Jinnah's reply. "Pakistan is the pivot of the world, as we are placed" -- he revolved his long forefinger in bony circles -- "the frontier on which the future position of the world revolves." He leaned toward me, dropping his voice to a confidential note. "Russia," confided Mr. Jinnah, "is not so very far away."

    This had a familiar ring. In Jinnah's mind this brave new nation had no other claim on American friendship than this - that across a wild tumble of roadless mountain ranges lay the land of the BoIsheviks. I wondered whether the Quaid-i-Azam considered his new state only as an armored buffer between opposing major powers. He was stressing America's military interest in other parts of the world. "America is now awakened," he said with a satisfied smile. Since the United States was now bolstering up Greece and Turkey, she should be much more interested in pouring money and arms into Pakistan. "If Russia walks in here," he concluded, "the whole world is menaced."

    In the weeks to come I was to hear the Quaid-i-Azam's thesis echoed by government officials throughout Pakistan. "Surely America will build up our army," they would say to me. "Surely America will give us loans to keep Russia from walking in." But when I asked whether there were any signs of Russian infiltration, they would reply almost sadly, as though sorry not to be able to make more of the argument. "No, Russia has shown no signs of being interested in Pakistan."

    This hope of tapping the U. S. Treasury was voiced so persistently that one wondered whether the purpose was to bolster the world against Bolshevism or to bolster Pakistan's own uncertain position as a new political entity. Actually, I think, it was more nearly related to the even more significant bankruptcy of ideas in the new Muslim state -- a nation drawing its spurious warmth from the embers of an antique religious fanaticism, fanned into a new blaze.

    Jinnah's most frequently used technique in the struggle for his new nation had been the playing of opponent against opponent. Evidently this technique was now to be extended into foreign policy. ....

    No one would have been more astonished than Jinnah if he could have foreseen thirty or forty years earlier that anyone would ever speak of him as a "savior of Islam." In those days any talk of religion brought a cynical smile. He condemned those who talked in terms of religious rivalries, and in the stirring period when the crusade for freedom began sweeping the country he was hailed as "the embodied symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity." The gifted Congresswoman, Mrs. Naidu, one of Jinnah's closest friends, wrote poems extolling his role as the great unifier in the fight for independence. "Perchance it is written in the book of the future," ran one of her tributes, "that he, in some terrible crisis of our national struggle, will pass into immortality" as the hero of "the Indian liberation."

    In the "terrible crisis," Mahomed Ali Jinnah was to pass into immortality, not as the ambassador of unity, but as the deliberate apostle of discord. What caused this spectacular renunciation of the concept of a united India, to which he had dedicated the greater part of his life? No one knows exactly. The immediate occasion for the break, in the mid-thirties, was his opposition to Gandhi's civil disobedience program. Nehru says that Jinnah "disliked the crowds of ill-dressed people who filled the Congress" and was not at home with the new spirit rising among the common people under Gandhi's magnetic leadership. Others say it was against his legal conscience to accept Gandhi's program. One thing is certain: the break with Gandhi, Nehru, and the other Congress leaders was not caused by any Hindu-Muslim issue.

    In any case, Jinnah revived the moribund Muslim League in 1936 after it had dragged through an anemic thirty years' existence, and took to the religious soapbox. He began dinning into the ears of millions of Muslims the claim that they were downtrodden solely because of Hindu domination. During the years directly preceding this move on his part, an unprecedented degree of unity had developed between Muslims and Hindus in their struggle for independence from the British Raj. The British feared this unity, and used their divide-and-rule tactics to disrupt it. Certain highly placed Indians also feared unity, dreading a popular movement which would threaten their special position. Then another decisive factor arose. Although Hindus had always been ahead of Muslims in the industrial sphere, the great Muslim feudal landlords now had aspirations toward industry. From these wealthy Muslims, who resented the well-established Hindu competition, Jinnah drew his powerful supporters. One wonders whether Jinnah was fighting to free downtrodden Muslims from domination or merely to gain an earmarked area, free from competition, for this small and wealthy clan.

    The trend of events in Pakistan would support the theory that Jinnah carried the banner of the Muslim landed aristocracy, rather than that of the Muslim masses he claimed to champion. There was no hint of personal material gain in this. Jinnah was known to be personally incorruptible, a virtue which gave him a great strength with both poor and rich. The drive for personal wealth played no part in his politics. It was a drive for power. ......

    Less than three months after Pakistan became a nation, Jinnah's Olympian assurance had strangely withered. His altered condition was not made public. "The Quaid-i-Azam has a bad cold" was the answer given to inquiries.

    Only those closest to him knew that the "cold" was accompanied by paralyzing inability to make even the smallest decisions, by sullen silences striped with outbursts of irritation, by a spiritual numbness concealing something close to panic underneath. I knew it only because I spent most of this trying period at Government House, attempting to take a new portrait of Jinnah for a Life cover.

    The Quaid-i-Azam was still revered as a messiah and deliverer by most of his people. But the "Great Leader" himself could not fail to know that all was not well in his new creation, the nation; the nation that his critics referred to as the "House that Jinnah built." The separation from the main body of India had been in many ways an unrealistic one. Pakistan raised 75 per cent of the world's jute supply; the processing mills were all in India. Pakistan raised one third of the cotton of India, but it had only one thirtieth of the cotton mills. Although it produced the bulk of Indian skins and hides, all the leather tanneries were in South India. The new state had no paper mills, few iron foundries. Rail and road facilities, insufficient at best, were still choked with refugees. Pakistan has a superbly fertile soil, and its outstanding advantage is self-sufficiency in food, but this was threatened by the never-ending flood of refugees who continued pouring in long after the peak of the religious wars had passed.

    With his burning devotion to his separate Islamic nation, Jinnah had taken all these formidable obstacles in his stride. But the blow that finally broke his spirit struck at the very name of Pakistan. While the literal meaning of the name is "Land of the Pure," the word is a compound of initial letters of the Muslim majority provinces which Jinnah had expected to incorporate: P for the Punjab, A for the Afghans' area on the Northwest Frontier, S for Sind, -tan for Baluchistan. But the K was missing.

    Kashmir, India's largest princely state, despite its 77 per cent Muslim population, had not fallen into the arms of Pakistan by the sheer weight of religious majority. Kashmir had acceded to India, and although it was now the scene of an undeclared war between the two nations, the fitting of the K into Pakistan was left in doubt. With the beginning of this torturing anxiety over Kashmir, the Quaid-i-Azam's siege of bad colds began, and then his dismaying withdrawal into himself. ....

    Later, reflecting on what I had seen, I decided that this desperation was due to causes far deeper than anxiety over Pakistan's territorial and economic difficulties. I think that the tortured appearance of Mr. Jinnah was an indication that, in these final months of his life, he was adding up his own balance sheet. Analytical, brilliant, and no bigot, he knew what he had done. Like Doctor Faustus, he had made a bargain from which he could never be free. During the heat of the struggle he had been willing to call on all the devilish forces of superstition, and now that his new nation had been achieved the bigots were in the position of authority. The leaders of orthodoxy and a few "old families" had the final word and, to perpetuate their power, were seeing to it that the people were held in the deadening grip of religious superstition.
     
  13. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    715
    Partition
    The Messiah and The Promised Land

    Margaret Bourke-White was a correspondent and photographer for LIFE magazine during the WW II years. In September 1947, White went to Pakistan. She met Jinnah and wrote about what she found and heard in her book Halfway to Freedom: A Report on the New India,Simon and Schuster, New York, 1949. The following are the excerpts:

    Pakistan was one month old. Karachi was its mushrooming capital. On the sandy fringes of the city an enormous tent colony had grown up to house the influx of minor government officials. There was only one major government official, Mahomed Ali Jinnah, and there was no need for Jinnah to take to a tent. The huge marble and sandstone Government House, vacated by British officialdom, was waiting. The Quaid-i-Azam moved in, with his sister, Fatima, as hostess. Mr. Jinnah had put on what his critics called his "triple crown": he had made himself Governor-General; he was retaining the presidency of the Muslim League -- now Pakistan's only political party; and he was president of the country's lawmaking body, the Constituent Assembly.

    "We never expected to get it so soon," Miss Fatima said when I called. "We never expected to get it in our lifetimes."

    If Fatima's reaction was a glow of family pride, her brother's was a fever of ecstasy. Jinnah's deep-sunk eyes were pinpoints of excitement. His whole manner indicated that an almost overwhelming exaltation was racing through his veins. I had murmured some words of congratulation on his achievement in creating the world's largest Islamic nation.

    "Oh, it's not just the largest Islamic nation. Pakistan is the fifth-largest nation in the world!"

    The note of personal triumph was so unmistakable that I wondered how much thought he gave to the human cost: more Muslim lives had been sacrificed to create the new Muslim homeland than America, for example, had lost during the entire second World War. I hoped he had a constructive plan for the seventy million citizens of Pakistan. What kind of constitution did he intend to draw up?

    "Of course it will be a democratic constitution; Islam is a democratic religion."

    I ventured to suggest that the term "democracy" was often loosely used these days. Could he define what he had in mind?

    "Democracy is not just a new thing we are learning," said Jinnah. "It is in our blood. We have always had our system of zakat -- our obligation to the poor."

    This confusion of democracy with charity troubled me. I begged him to be more specific.

    "Our Islamic ideas have been based on democracy and social justice since the thirteenth century."

    This mention of the thirteenth century troubled me still more. Pakistan has other relics of the Middle Ages besides "social justice" -- the remnants of a feudal land system, for one. What would the new constitution do about that? .. "The land belongs to the God," says the Koran. This would need clarification in the constitution. Presumably Jinnah, the lawyer, would be just the person to correlate the "true Islamic principles" one heard so much about in Pakistan with the new nation's laws. But all he would tell me was that the constitution would be democratic because "the soil is perfectly fertile for democracy."

    What plans did he have for the industrial development of the country? Did he hope to enlist technical or financial assistance from America?

    "America needs Pakistan more than Pakistan needs America," was Jinnah's reply. "Pakistan is the pivot of the world, as we are placed" -- he revolved his long forefinger in bony circles -- "the frontier on which the future position of the world revolves." He leaned toward me, dropping his voice to a confidential note. "Russia," confided Mr. Jinnah, "is not so very far away."

    This had a familiar ring. In Jinnah's mind this brave new nation had no other claim on American friendship than this - that across a wild tumble of roadless mountain ranges lay the land of the BoIsheviks. I wondered whether the Quaid-i-Azam considered his new state only as an armored buffer between opposing major powers. He was stressing America's military interest in other parts of the world. "America is now awakened," he said with a satisfied smile. Since the United States was now bolstering up Greece and Turkey, she should be much more interested in pouring money and arms into Pakistan. "If Russia walks in here," he concluded, "the whole world is menaced."

    In the weeks to come I was to hear the Quaid-i-Azam's thesis echoed by government officials throughout Pakistan. "Surely America will build up our army," they would say to me. "Surely America will give us loans to keep Russia from walking in." But when I asked whether there were any signs of Russian infiltration, they would reply almost sadly, as though sorry not to be able to make more of the argument. "No, Russia has shown no signs of being interested in Pakistan."

    This hope of tapping the U. S. Treasury was voiced so persistently that one wondered whether the purpose was to bolster the world against Bolshevism or to bolster Pakistan's own uncertain position as a new political entity. Actually, I think, it was more nearly related to the even more significant bankruptcy of ideas in the new Muslim state -- a nation drawing its spurious warmth from the embers of an antique religious fanaticism, fanned into a new blaze.

    Jinnah's most frequently used technique in the struggle for his new nation had been the playing of opponent against opponent. Evidently this technique was now to be extended into foreign policy. ....

    No one would have been more astonished than Jinnah if he could have foreseen thirty or forty years earlier that anyone would ever speak of him as a "savior of Islam." In those days any talk of religion brought a cynical smile. He condemned those who talked in terms of religious rivalries, and in the stirring period when the crusade for freedom began sweeping the country he was hailed as "the embodied symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity." The gifted Congresswoman, Mrs. Naidu, one of Jinnah's closest friends, wrote poems extolling his role as the great unifier in the fight for independence. "Perchance it is written in the book of the future," ran one of her tributes, "that he, in some terrible crisis of our national struggle, will pass into immortality" as the hero of "the Indian liberation."

    In the "terrible crisis," Mahomed Ali Jinnah was to pass into immortality, not as the ambassador of unity, but as the deliberate apostle of discord. What caused this spectacular renunciation of the concept of a united India, to which he had dedicated the greater part of his life? No one knows exactly. The immediate occasion for the break, in the mid-thirties, was his opposition to Gandhi's civil disobedience program. Nehru says that Jinnah "disliked the crowds of ill-dressed people who filled the Congress" and was not at home with the new spirit rising among the common people under Gandhi's magnetic leadership. Others say it was against his legal conscience to accept Gandhi's program. One thing is certain: the break with Gandhi, Nehru, and the other Congress leaders was not caused by any Hindu-Muslim issue.

    In any case, Jinnah revived the moribund Muslim League in 1936 after it had dragged through an anemic thirty years' existence, and took to the religious soapbox. He began dinning into the ears of millions of Muslims the claim that they were downtrodden solely because of Hindu domination. During the years directly preceding this move on his part, an unprecedented degree of unity had developed between Muslims and Hindus in their struggle for independence from the British Raj. The British feared this unity, and used their divide-and-rule tactics to disrupt it. Certain highly placed Indians also feared unity, dreading a popular movement which would threaten their special position. Then another decisive factor arose. Although Hindus had always been ahead of Muslims in the industrial sphere, the great Muslim feudal landlords now had aspirations toward industry. From these wealthy Muslims, who resented the well-established Hindu competition, Jinnah drew his powerful supporters. One wonders whether Jinnah was fighting to free downtrodden Muslims from domination or merely to gain an earmarked area, free from competition, for this small and wealthy clan.

    The trend of events in Pakistan would support the theory that Jinnah carried the banner of the Muslim landed aristocracy, rather than that of the Muslim masses he claimed to champion. There was no hint of personal material gain in this. Jinnah was known to be personally incorruptible, a virtue which gave him a great strength with both poor and rich. The drive for personal wealth played no part in his politics. It was a drive for power. ......

    Less than three months after Pakistan became a nation, Jinnah's Olympian assurance had strangely withered. His altered condition was not made public. "The Quaid-i-Azam has a bad cold" was the answer given to inquiries.

    Only those closest to him knew that the "cold" was accompanied by paralyzing inability to make even the smallest decisions, by sullen silences striped with outbursts of irritation, by a spiritual numbness concealing something close to panic underneath. I knew it only because I spent most of this trying period at Government House, attempting to take a new portrait of Jinnah for a Life cover.

    The Quaid-i-Azam was still revered as a messiah and deliverer by most of his people. But the "Great Leader" himself could not fail to know that all was not well in his new creation, the nation; the nation that his critics referred to as the "House that Jinnah built." The separation from the main body of India had been in many ways an unrealistic one. Pakistan raised 75 per cent of the world's jute supply; the processing mills were all in India. Pakistan raised one third of the cotton of India, but it had only one thirtieth of the cotton mills. Although it produced the bulk of Indian skins and hides, all the leather tanneries were in South India. The new state had no paper mills, few iron foundries. Rail and road facilities, insufficient at best, were still choked with refugees. Pakistan has a superbly fertile soil, and its outstanding advantage is self-sufficiency in food, but this was threatened by the never-ending flood of refugees who continued pouring in long after the peak of the religious wars had passed.

    With his burning devotion to his separate Islamic nation, Jinnah had taken all these formidable obstacles in his stride. But the blow that finally broke his spirit struck at the very name of Pakistan. While the literal meaning of the name is "Land of the Pure," the word is a compound of initial letters of the Muslim majority provinces which Jinnah had expected to incorporate: P for the Punjab, A for the Afghans' area on the Northwest Frontier, S for Sind, -tan for Baluchistan. But the K was missing.

    Kashmir, India's largest princely state, despite its 77 per cent Muslim population, had not fallen into the arms of Pakistan by the sheer weight of religious majority. Kashmir had acceded to India, and although it was now the scene of an undeclared war between the two nations, the fitting of the K into Pakistan was left in doubt. With the beginning of this torturing anxiety over Kashmir, the Quaid-i-Azam's siege of bad colds began, and then his dismaying withdrawal into himself. ....

    Later, reflecting on what I had seen, I decided that this desperation was due to causes far deeper than anxiety over Pakistan's territorial and economic difficulties. I think that the tortured appearance of Mr. Jinnah was an indication that, in these final months of his life, he was adding up his own balance sheet. Analytical, brilliant, and no bigot, he knew what he had done. Like Doctor Faustus, he had made a bargain from which he could never be free. During the heat of the struggle he had been willing to call on all the devilish forces of superstition, and now that his new nation had been achieved the bigots were in the position of authority. The leaders of orthodoxy and a few "old families" had the final word and, to perpetuate their power, were seeing to it that the people were held in the deadening grip of religious superstition.
     

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