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.