The soft story of the ‘official’ Pakistan, which glorifies its pre-Islamic past, hides the terrible narrative of the ‘real’ Pakistan — the Islamic Pakistan. The ‘real’ Pakistan has emerged as a global evil. See how the West, whose pet Pakistan was, perceives it now. With 70 per cent of all terror plots detected in the last 10 years traced to Pakistan, it is now a popular exporter of jihad. It has generated export surplus of jihadis, because Pakistan, from its founding, has supported and encouraged jihadi groups to hurt its perennial rival India (Washington Post May 10, 2010). Pakistan is world’s most dangerous place (Forbes September 5, 2012). Pakistan State is the principal terror-sponsor (Stephen Schwartz, Spectator, August 19, 2006). Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari himself has so confessed in 2009 (http://ibnlive.in.com). QED: The ‘real’ Pakistan is globalising the exportable surplus of jihad stock the ‘official’ Pakistan had built over decades for exclusive use against India.
Pakistan, a nation-less collective of culturally diverse peoples, is an artificial Islamic construct. A paper titled ‘Ethnic conflict in Sindh’ (October 2011) commissioned by the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDT) aptly, yet profoundly, characterises Pakistan as a ‘state-nation’ where people serve the state, not a ‘nation-state’ where state serves the people. The state-nation Pakistan always targeted Hindu India to suppress its own genetic contradictions. In his essay (World Affairs May/June 2011) Apoorva Shah, research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, says that Pakistan’s efforts to force-weld Punjabi, Bengali, Sindhi, and Pashtun peoples — who had distinct cultures, languages and traditions — as an Islamic state-nation have proved fatal to it. The PILDT report says that Islamic Pakistan regarded the distinct linguistic and cultural identities of Pakistan’s regional people as threat to its state-nation. Thus it suppressed them. The first effort to unite Pakistan, says Shah, was to force Urdu as national language — a move resisted by Bengal and Sindh. Such impositions became politically divisive. Eventually Bangladesh bid goodbye to Pakistan. Pashtun and Balochi people threaten similar course now.
The next effort of the ‘state-nation’ of Pakistan was to formulate an evil-minded education system to poison its young against Hindus, to unite Pakistan against India. Apoorva Shah cites the report of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in Pakistan which says that Pakistan’s education system was designed ‘from the very beginning’ to suppress the sharp diversities within and produce a homogeneous Islamic Pakistan distinct from Hindu India. To achieve this, Pakistan had to concoct a new, false history. The SDPI report observes that Pakistan textbooks declare that Mohammed-bin Qasim, who led the Arab conquest of Sindh in early 8th century, was the first citizen of Pakistan! A full 12 centuries before Pakistan was born in 1947. Ayesha Jalaal, historian, in her paper in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, points out that one text book ‘imagines’ the beginnings of Pakistan at Islam’s birth in the Arabian peninsula. Another text claims that Pakistan which was ‘established’ in 8th century when Qasim invaded Sindh, ‘occupied’ Northern India and Bengal in 13th century, ‘moved’ later to capture central India and the Deccan and ‘weakened’ only after Aurangazeb. Why this ridiculous forgery? As Pakistan’s history before 1947 was just Hindu-Indian, to disconnect the Muslims from their Hindu-Indian ancestry, it desperately needed to concoct Pakistan out of it.
The SDPI paper says that, additionally, the Pakistan public education system developed a strong anti-Indian and anti-Hindu bias in its curriculum. A textbook declared that the Hindus migrating to India were treated nicely, but the Muslim migrants from India were treated inhumanly. A report of the National Commission for Justice and Peace found that in the textbooks of Pakistan, the word ‘Hindu’ rarely appeared without such degrading adjectives as politically astute, sly, manipulative, or dirty. Pakistani historian Kursheed Kamal Aziz says, after examining 66 textbooks, that they supported military rule in Pakistan, promoted hatred for Hindus, glorified wars and distorted the pre-1947 history of Pakistan. (Haqqani Hussain, Pakistan: between the mosque and the military).
The SDPI paper also observes that government-run schools do much more damage than the globally noticed madrasas. It found that four themes emerge strongly from the compulsory textbooks. Namely — ‘one, Pakistan is for Muslims alone; two, Islamiat is to be forcibly taught to all students; three, the ideology of Pakistan is to be internalised as faith and hate is to be created against Hindus and India; and fourth, students are to be urged to take the path of jihad and shahadat (martyrdom)’. (‘Myth and Hate as History’, B G Verghese, The Hindu on June 23, 2004). The ‘real’ Pakistan — read the jihadis — has penetrated the state-nation of Pakistan and its army. It now controls or influences two-thirds of Pakistan’s territory (BBC News June 22, 2009). A research paper on ISI says: ‘The ISI has proven it is willing and able to provide aid to terrorist organizations and orchestrate their actions abroad. Its shadowy network has penetrated all ranks of the Pakistani government and military’. (Global Security Studies, Winter 2011, Volume 2). This the ‘real’ Pakistan. State-Nation of Pakistan is now virtually its captive.
With anarchy looming large and only a third of its geography under the ‘official’ Pakistan’s control, its interior minister has confessed (on August 2, 2012) that Balochistan Liberation Army has drawn a roadmap to disintegrate Pakistan. The Pashtuns are fighting for freedom. Ralph Peters, an influential military analyst, has told the US Congress (on February 8, 2012) that Pakistan should be allowed to disintegrate and Pashtuns and Balochs should become independent. Contending that Pakistan’s borders are artificial, colonially-fixed, not natural and do not match the cultures of the peoples bound by them, Peters has advised the United States not to assist Pakistan to defend its borders. He has also castigated Pakistan’s rulers as “violent oppressors of minorities”, “blackmailers”, and with “helping the enemies of Pakistan to kill US soldiers”.
In his book Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power (June 2012) David E Sanger says that US President Barack Obama fears Pakistan would disintegrate, which he regards as the greatest security concern of US. Then? Will Pakistan disintegrate as Peters says or Obama fears? Or, will the official Pakistan’s de-Islamisation efforts save it? Will the ‘official’ Pakistan win in the end, or the ‘real’ Pakistan? Explosive questions indeed. One thing is clear: Islam, which succeeded in dividing India, has failed to unite the diverse Hindu converts to Islam — the Pakistanis. They remain as diverse as when they were Hindus, but without the unity in diversity which Hinduism has achieved for India.
S Gurumurthy is a well-known commentator on political and economic issues. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org