Saturday, May 21, 2011

Who Ruined the Quaid's Dream (1958-65)

Political Debacle (1948-1958)

Failure of Pakistan Muslim League after assassination of Liquat ali Khan gave rise to a long lasting political crisis which prevailed until General Ayyub Khan took over and banned all political activity in the country. Muslim League failed to counter the problems because of the lack of capable and enthusiastic leadership. Although there were some faithful associates of Mohammad Ali Jinnah to guide the country but they were not able to resolve their own differences. Personal rivalries, power struggle, ethnic differences and regional bias resulted in a forgettable period of Pakistani political history. In the first ten years of its establishment Seven Prime Ministers, Four Governor Generals and a president had been tried but most of them failed to deliver. The other major reason behind the political debacle was the fact that country had two culturally, politically and socially distinct parts East and West Pakistan. Bengalis were economically weaker but politically more mature than the West Pakistanis, they did not want to accept the hegemony of West Pakistan. Ethnic and lingual divide between two halves gave rise to difference which remained the centre of politics in the country. In East Pakistan the darkest chapter of our politics was written when on Sep 21, 1958 in an assembly brawl deputy speaker Shahid Ali Jan was killed and many assembly members were injured. This incident highlighted the political turmoil which invited the military to take control of affairs

Military Take over (1958)

Ayyub Khan was made the commander in chief of Pakistan army superseding two senior officers in 1951 by then Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan. Ayyub Khan had strong links with the political leadership in the country. In his autobiography he has revealed some interesting facts about the role he played time to time in the early politics of the country. How he described the politicians (even Quaid’s associates) is a clear indication military mind set about the civilians. It is an open secret that he had a strong backing from USA and other anti-USSR countries; in fact he was made the C-I-C after a strong support from Anglo-American forces. Ayuub Khan joined the active politics when he became the Defense Minister in the cabinet of Mohammad Ali Bogra in 1954. Iskandar Mirza took over as Governor General ousting Ghulam Mohammad; he had deep rooted ties with Ayyub Khan. In 1958 he declared martial law in country citing the fragile political situation. Ayyub Khan was made chief martial law administrator, who later toppled Iskandar Mirza and became field martial.

U2 Incident 1961 (US used Pakistani Airspace)

It is a million dollar question these days who was the first ruler in Pakistan who gave USA the permission to play with the sovereignty of Pakistan. It was in late 50’s when Pakistan gave them the air and land space to fight their enemy no 1 USSR. In 1960 a US spy plane was shot down by USSR for violating its territories. The incident intensified the ongoing cold war between US and USSR and world was on the verge of first nuclear war. It was later discovered that the spy plane was flown from an air base in Peshawar, which was given to USA. This event enraged the Soviets who were already seeing Pakistan as an enemy for siding USA. This event signified that Pakistan had given the USA authority to violate its territory and use its space for carrying spy operations. Afterwards Soviet Union turned against Pakistan and helped India to break the country into two.

Fatima Jinnah Defeated (1964)

Ayyub Khan introduced basic democracies system and got elected as a president through a poll by basic democrats. He used every possible opportunity to wrest his control on power. During his regime political parties were banned from any political activity and strict bans were put on already inept press. In these circumstances Ayyub introduced a construction in 1962 which was a big failure as the nation rejected his self created document. In 1964 he announced elections for President under new constitution to legitimize and prolong his rule. Opposition was able to persuade Fatima Jinnah to contest the elections. Fatima Jinnah was highly respected personality fro her role in supporting Quiad e Azam in his great struggle. Ayyub Khan had an agenda on his hands from foreign powers so he made the worst rigging in elections and won it by a clear majority. This election is an important event in the history of our nation. Results of the elections divided the country among two as Fatima Jinnah gained majority in East Pakistan and Karachi but in other parts of country there was no contest between the two. Bengalis were outrageous on the manipulated elections and protests started in different parts of East Pakistan. The year after the elections Sheikh Mujeeb Ur Rehman announced his famous 6 points which was considered as the document of separation.

Operation Giberalter (1965)

Kashmir issue was thrown into cold due to the domestic turmoil in Pakistan in early days of Pakistan. India gave Jammu and Kashmir an autonomous entity through their constitution in early 50’s thus rasing fears in Pakistan. There were worrying signs in Jammu and Kashmir as no major appraisal opposition was seen there, Kashmiri’s main leader Sheikh Abdullah was released and was in some dialogue with India. Pakistan was having full support of US due to cold war situation. Sino-Indian war of 1962 has put China and Pakistan in close relations. The news of disappearance of a holy Relic (holy hair of Hazrat Mohammad PBUH) in 1965 had given rise to dissent and revolt among the Kashmiris on the Indian side. Ayyub Khan considered it a real opportunity to get hold of Jamuu and Kashmir, thus a program was designed to infiltrate the civil and military guerillas into Indian Occupied Kashmir and liberate the remaining area. The operation named Opreation Giberalter was started in 1965, Pakistani forces aided with civilian fighters crossed into Indian Occupied Kashmir and captured many areas of great importance. India was on the verge of loosing Kashmir therefore they attacked Pakistan from the Western front Punjab. Both countries have made considerable advancement into each others territory, when USSR and USA come to rescue and a ceasefire was arranged. Ayyub Khan and Lal Bahadur Shastri signed Tashkent agreement in 1966 to put militaries from both countries to pre war positions. Given the situation in Pakistan facing worst ever political and economic turmoil operation giberalter was a luxury which Pakistan did not afford. The operation put the morale of already suffering nation to ground and we were not able strengthen ourselves when India designed the same operation in East Pakistan top deprive us from half of our land and people.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Who Ruined the Quaid's Dream (1947-1958)

Pakistan is a country which was established in the name of Islam, where people from all religions and sects were envisaged to live with honor, dignity, peace and prosperity. But after 64 years of it establishment it has turned into a country with worst law and order, terrorism, racial discrimination, sectarian hatred and ethnic divide. There are many factors which contributed to take Quaid’s country to such a miserable condition. The country has not plunged into this catastrophe overnight; there are events in our history which put us to current situation. I have tried to sum up the most significant events from the history of Pakistan in shortest possible text.

Quaid’s Death (1948)

In the early days of Pakistan Death of Quaid e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was an unfortunate event. After Quaid’s death Pakistan Muslim League which had almost been hijacked by then landlords and feudalists failed to carry on the mission of our leader. Muslim league had no economic and social reforms policy therefore in a few years the founding party of Pakistan was a story of past. Inability of civilian leadership to run a country which had a lot of inherited problems lead to the civil-military conflict which afterwards paved the path for the breakup of the Quaid’s country.

Rawalpindi Conspiracy (1951)

Pakistani military planned its first coup on civil government when chief of general staff General Akber Khan was arrested along with many of his communist minded companions who were later tried and jailed. The most unfortunate aspect of the coup was the timing as in those testing times no one expected such an act from inside the military. The coup also showed that big powers would not let us live freely even after the independence and they did so.

Liaquat Ali khan Assassination (1951)

Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated at Company Bagh Rawalpindi (Liaquat Bagh), the same year he made a visit to USA which kick started our ties with an anti-communists country. The murderer Sad Akbar, an Afghani national was shot dead at the spot therefore no one could ever find out who killed him. The murder signified the fact the enemies were among our own people. We have always blamed India for our failure and turmoil but actually they are far less dangerous for us then our Afghan neighbors. Pushtoon rulers in Afghanistan were a part of a great conspiracy of creating a pushtoon country including Afghanistan, NWFP and Pushtoon majority Baloch areas. It would be surprising for many that when West Pakistan was made one unit Afghan government officially protested the decision and broke all diplomatic ties with Pakistan. What could be more unfortunate that the party which was the part of that conspiracy is a part of our government after 64 years?

Bengali Language Movement

Benagalis were 45 million out of the total population of 75 million at the establishment of free Pakistan. Most of the prominent Muslim League Leaders like Liaquat Ali Khan, A K Fazlul Haq, Khwaja Nazimuddin, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani were from Bengal. Bengalis should have been declared as the state language given the majority of Bengalis but it did not happened. In 1948 Quaid e Azam visited Bengal and declared Urdu as the national language, as a result the nationwide movement for Bengali as the national language started. The situation become worst when riot broke out on the issue, police opened fire at Bengali students killing many of them. The outcome was evident from the results of first election for East Bengal Provincial Assembly held between 8 March and 12 March 1954, The United Front (comprising of Awami League, Krishak-Sramik Party and Nezam-e-Islam) won 215 out of 237 Muslim seats in the election as compared to 9 seats won by ruling Muslim League. Most of the prominent leaders had left PML therefore it was completely wiped out in the election of 1954.

Khwaja Nazimuddin’s Dissmissal (1953)

Khawaja Nazimuddin became prime minister after the murder of Liaquat Ali Khan, and a western minded bureaucrat Ghulam Mohammad became governor general. Ghulam Mohammad was a puppet in the hands of foreign powers specially USA, it was a mistake by Nazimuddin to leave governor general seat for him. It is painful fact that on Octocber 17, 1951 when LAK was assassinated Ghulam Mohammad was at US Embassy to get assurance of his accession to top position. As expected after a shot term as PM, K Nazimuddin was dismissed by Malik Ghulam Mohammad on pretext of law n order situation and food crisis in Punjab. Bengalis had already been protesting for the declaration of Bengali as the National language, this act further enraged Bengalis. Khwaja’s tenure was full of trouble due to internal turmoil and movements. Anti Ahmdis movement was the most significant, which was lead by Mian Mumtaz Daultana, then chief minister of Punjab. Those events widened the gulf among Punjabis and Muhajirs (especially Bengalis), which played a significant role in the separation of East Pakistan.

Maulvi Tameezuddin vs Justice Munir- the Doctrine of Necessity (1954)

After dismissing Khawaja Nazimuddin Ghulam Mohammad dissolved the legislative assembly which was almost given final touch to the constitutional draft. Justice Munir’s judgment on the legality of dismissal of constituent assembly by Ghulam Mohammad was a judicial coup which altered the path of our politics. Maulvi Tameezuddin then the president of the constituent assembly challenged the decision of dissolution of assembly, Sindh High court ruled in favor of Maulvi Tameezuddin. The Federation challenged the ruling in federal court where chief justice Munir invented the doctrine of necessity and gave the ruling in favor of Ghulam Mohammad. The impact of this decision is long lasting; it bowed the judiciary before executive indirectly paving the path for martial laws. It also ended the politics of Muslim League and threw the country into a long run constitutional crisis. There were also significant political repressions of the verdict, as it widened the gulf among the Punjabis and Non-Punjabis specially Muhajirs.

Accepting SEATO and CENTO (1954)

Given the fragile democratic government in early 50’s Pakistani Military and civil bureaucracy was at the helm of affairs to a greater extent. Ghulam Mohammad a Bureaucrat was himself a puppet in the hands of these powers, as his actions proved. An era when world was bi-polar, India was trying to form Non-Aligned forum, Pakistan decided to side with USA and signed the agreements like SEATO, CENTO and Baghdad Pact. This was the start of a long lasting slavery which was bought in return of dollars. These agreements not only made USSR our enemy but also provided an opportunity to India to side with USSR despite of being an active member of Non-Aligned Movement. The nation is still facing the repercussions of this one-sided love affair. There is no doubt that these agreements were made by our Military establishment as the civil leadership was totally inactive in those days.

Establishment of One Unit (1955):

National Assembly under Chaudhry Mohammad Ali passed the one unit resolution on September 30, 1955. One Unit resolution was claimed to be a move to eradicate the ethnic and racial differences among different provinces of West Pakistan. Bengalis felt this act as an attempt to undermine their numerical superiority by West Pakistan. Protest broke out in East Pakistan against the one unit formula, when situation got out of order Military Chief Ayyub Khan took this opportunity to seize the power in 1958. Bengalis who had already been very active and conscious about their rights, started a movement which turned into an armed struggle in 60’s and ultimately resulted into separation of East Pakistan in 1971. When General Yahya Khan found out that the purpose had been fulfilled, he dissolved the one unit on July 1, 1970. It was surprising that Dr Jabbar Khan (brother of Bacha Khan) was appointed first Chief Minister of one unit. Dr Khan was the leader who remained loyal to congress even after the establishment of Pakistan and he opposed Pakistan movement throughout his political career and it was widely speculated that his party was conspiring to include NWFP in greater Afghanistan.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Killing of Osama Bin Laden: Lessons for Pakistan

Osama Bin Laden the world’s most wanted man has been killed by US authorities in an attack in Abbotabad near Pakistan Military Academy Kakool. Since his killing, this NEWS is the centre of all debates running on Pakistani and international media. Although the operation for OBL killing is still under suspicion for most of the analysts but the follow-ups are proving that he has been killed in the operation. Osama was the man who waged the holy war against US and allies across the world. It is a disappointing fact that most of our Muslim brothers use name of Islam to fight against evil but they end up causing long lasting damages to Islam and Islamic countries. Osama a Saudi billionaire casued the worst ever destruction to an Islamic country Afghanistan, now his killing has brought Pakistan to the most dangerous era of existence. His killing has left us with more questions than answers.

The worst part of the OBL episode was a complete collapse of civil-military co-ordination in Pakistan. There was no official announcement from military days after the operation. A military that is known for its professional brilliance did not have a clue that OBL was residing at half KM distance from their training academy and less than 100 KM from their military headquarters in Rawalpindi. They were completely uninformed about what had happened there on Sunday night. Civil government was busy in oath taking of new ministers (whom once they termed as their worst enemies) in the name of national reconciliation. It seemed that Zardari government has no interest in the military matters, they put the ball in the court of military leadership. These signs are worrying for citizens of Pakistan.

In the follow-up, it is obvious that Pakistan would face the worst repercussions of OBL killing as we have already been facing from Taliban and Al-Qaeda for last many years. Time has come to decide who is our foe and who is the friend? We have to decide whether we want to live in a civilized world or a world ruled by Taliban and Al-Qaeda? We need to clarify our policy on Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters in Pakistan. The war against terror might not be ours but the situation has changed, we have lost thousands of soldiers and civilians in this war. We should not let the terrorist, who waged a war against innocent citizens of Pakistan rule the people. Now this is the war of the sovereignty, integrity and survival of our homeland. No one has the right to fight against others from our territory; those who want to take up Jahad against enemies of Islam should use their own bases.

Our Military fought everywhere in the world, we fought for Arabs against Israel, we fought for Jordan against PLO and we fought for Saudis. We were the largest franchise of US war against soviets, now we are fighting against the same people whom once we trained for the sake of Dollars. We should not suspect the intent of our military fighting against the terrorists throughout country but it is a fact that we are not fighting them for our own sake instead we have been paid to do that. We never fought purely for the national interest of Pakistan whenever it was required whether it was 1965, 1971 or 1999. Now it is time to fight for our own safety, integrity and sovereignty. The elements in our military and civil bureaucracy who supported these militants in past should realize that the world has completely changed after 9/11; we can not afford to support the people who have no respect for humanity, Islam and Pakistan.

Government should immediately call a grand meeting of all political parties, civil society activists, Pakistan military leadership and other prominent civilian leaders. The meeting should workout a complete policy framework for safeguarding the national interest. Moreover they should come out with an official statement regarding the operation to clarify the suspicion and fears.

Long Live Pakistan.