Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Proxy War by Pakistan

October 26,2009

By Saeed Qureshi
Pakistan has been fighting America’s proxy war in Afghanistan and lately in Pakistan for almost 30 years. This war started with the deployment of Soviet army in Afghanistan in December 1979. Although the Soviet Union withdrew its army from Afghanistan 8 years later, America has been involved in Afghanistan even after that. Subsequent military engagements of American forces with Taliban and al-Qaida including the route of Taliban by the NATO and North Alliance militants continue to this day. Pakistan has been with America all along in these conflicts. The only difference between now and the past is that Pakistan is presently fighting this proxy war in its own territory against Taliban and Al-Qaida.
The humiliating exit of the Soviet army from Afghanistan, also led America to wind up its military operations and terminate its presence there , leaving that blood-soaked country to the mutual fighting of the tribal chiefs, each vying for the throne of Kabul. But the unkindest cut was inflicted upon Pakistan- its sacrifices and historic support was repaid by imposing Pressler Amendment. In consequence of Pressler Amendment President George H. W. Bush after determining in October 1989 that Pakistan had developed a nuclear weapon, cut off aid and many commercial relations with Pakistan.
Who knows, if Pakistan army is able to clear its territory of Taliban and al-Qaida insurgents; another “Pressler Amendment” may be hurled on Pakistan once again. The Kerry-Lugar Bill and the undertones of American military aid is pregnant with some semblance of mild Pressler condionalities. Only time will bear out if the United States’ claims for long term strategic relationship with Pakistan stand the test of time.
As to why Pakistan is the only country fond of or submitting to waging proxy wars for other countries is a mind boggling question. Why this ignoble practice was never thought to be called off? Why Pakistan gets entangled in internecine, interminable, bloodletting wars of others and its leadership willingly accepts the role of a pawn or mercenary without any threat to its own integrity? In the case of actual threat from across the border, United States in the past, balked with stubborn indifference. One of the cardinal reasons for Pakistan’ backwardness and regression is this country’s readiness to be a part of conflicts that hardly concern it. Pakistan has been promoting foreign agendas at the cost of its own self-esteem and sovereignty. It has been in the habit of turning into an ally of United States not on honorable terms but with a defeatist and submissive mindset.
Unlike Bush, the Obama administration is relatively, benign towards Pakistan. But in equal measure or disproportionately, Zardari government is overly pliant towards America in comparison to his predecessor Pervez Musharraf. He is ready to deliver on American terms any task assigned to his government. Hence the full fledged onslaught in South Waziristan that president Musharraf has been stalling during his tenure. Zardari’s no holds barred mercenary role for America is a compulsion that he has to fulfill anyway. There is a noose around his neck of copious crimes, covered under NRO. If he dithers or shows his disinclination in playing the role he is told to play, the noose will be tightened around his neck. Moreover, empowered with unprecedented elephantine powers, a yester years’ gaol bird is not willing to relinquish his fiat being supported by the foreign stake-holders. Unless s situation akin to falling of heaven happens, president Zardari would go to any extent to keep Americans in good humor. The victory in Swat and the ongoing military offensive in South Waziristan, if successful, would lend exceptional confidence and clout to president Zardari for retaining the egregious presidential powers as long as he can.
Pakistan is definitely in a civil war situation. What Al-Qaida and the religious fanatics did for USA in 90s, is being reenacted by the Pakistan army now. The Frankenstein of Taliban and al-Qaida is not going to be vanquished or at least defeated so soon. The region comprising Afghanistan and Pakistan and the tribal belt in between would keep burning in the war flames that cannot be doused for a long time to come. So the Pakistan army is in for a long drawn counter-insurgency operations that might exhaust it in due course a la the American forces that fought a similar war in Iraq. But supposedly even if it succeeds in annihilating the insurgents, the disastrous socio-economic fallout cannot be contained so soon.
Although Americans are sounding to stay in Afghanistan for a long time the possibility of indefinite presence of NATO in Afghanistan is remote. Even if Pakistan army overpowers the insurgents in Tribal regions, the war cannot come to end in a similar fashion in Afghanistan. Predictably when the tide starts turning against the Taliban and other militants in Pakistani territory, these elements would move to Afghanistan, a much vast land to carry on their anti NATO insurgency as long as they want. Pakistani forces cannot cross over to Afghanistan to help NATO to browbeat the insurgents there.
There is yet another possibility that once the anti Americans insurgents and militants are subdued by Pakistan, NATO and US would lift their anchors and leave the area as they did after the defeat and retreat of the Soviet Union army from Afghanistan. Or America may entirely concentrate on Afghanistan and may even lose interest in continuing her military and economic aid to Pakistan. Americans are known for abandoning their commitments half way after the needful is done or the mercenary countries finish their hireling’s job.
On the domestic turf, President Zardari and Nawaz Sharif have met presumably to bring about a thaw in their chilly and fractious relationship. It’s difficult to conjecture whether they would be able to forge a fresh durable alliance. But understandably, Nawaz Sharif like a bitten man would not like to be bitten for the second time. Perceiving that NRO was going to be debated in the parliament, the Kerry Lugar bill turning out to be an irksome irritant, the South Waziristan war going to be a long haul and the growing disenchantment of the people with the incumbent government, Nawaz Sharif will keep on aggressively pressing for the implementation of the several accords that he reached with Zardari.
President Zardari might agree to the PMLN’S demands for the trial of former president Musharraf and might even dispense with some of the controversial injunctions in the constitution. But he would further erode his credibility if he again reneges on his commitments. The glaring fact is that it would be pretty difficult for the PPP coalition government to keep their solo flight in power without PMLN which is the second largest party in Pakistan. The NRO issue is certainly very tricky and even if it is approved by the Assembly and the Senate, it would still leave the government in a clumsy situation. Any government surviving under the questionable cover up of amnesty granted by an individual for keeping himself in the power saddle, cannot claim to be firm on moral grounds. Moreover, the Supreme Court still retains the prerogative to overturn or reject or reinterpret the parliamentarians’ approval or disapproval of the NRO. This murky climate might force midterm general elections.

MQM’s New Political Initiatives

September 20, 2009

MQM’s New Political Initiatives
By Saeed Qureshi
Happily, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) is spreading its political tentacles beyond its power base of Urban Sindh. It is making its entry into Punjab, a stronghold of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and also the bastion of the quisling Punjabi feudals and big landlords. There are already signs of panic and commotion not only among the hereditary and traditional political circles but also in the landed gentry that perceives in MQM a political force, committed to remove the vestiges of family based politics.
There are reverberations in the hegemonic political dynasties of the well entrenched aristocratic classes that have been surviving on a virtual tutelage over the landless tillers and impoverished urban slum dogs. The lecherous sway of the blood sucking dominant sections of Punjab seem to be threatened by MQM”s overtures of broadening its political base in other parts of Pakistan which were practically sort of no go areas for this party composed of mostly middle and lower middle yet conscientious and educated work force.
It is stunning to watch MQM”s announcement to contest the elections for the Gilgit Baltistan legislative assembly, scheduled for November 15. It has thrown 19 candidates into the election arena. In between Karachi and Gilgit, lies the entire territory of Pakistan. It means that for proliferating its political ambitions or mandate, MQM has covered the entire country. The gaps and the gray areas yet to be covered in between, must be on the express and eventual agenda of MQM.
The MQM’s thrust into the rest of Pakistan and its endeavors at breaking its regional barriers augurs an auspicious development for Pakistan’s politics which thus far remained hostage to the closely guarded legacy of the nexus between the feudalism, civil and military bureaucracy and big wigs of mercantile empire. The MQM cadres are resolute and are unflinchingly rallied behind their leader Altaf Hussain. They have demonstrated a monolithic unity and exemplary cohesion all these years. They are immune from the fear of making sacrifices for the ideals that they steadfastly stand for.
In the preceding years, the image of the MQM largely has been to be an ethnic party. The doubts were cast over its loyalty to Pakistan and its alleged linkage with India. Some of the speeches of the firebrand Altaf Hussain also fueled such apprehensions that he was out to truncate Pakistan and that plans were afoot for the Urban Sindh to rejoin the Indian federation. The Jinnahpur conspiracy was entirely attributed to MQM. The time has proven that all such allegations and rumours were part of a disinformation campaign The statements or the speeches of Altaf Hussain were merely a spontaneous outburst in retaliation to the maltreatment to the MQM members at some juncture in the past.
The MQM’s remarkable demonstration of nation building work in Karachi stands in good stead for it. It has with absolute honesty and attention reoriented and expanded the much needed roads and highway network in Karachi. It has laid down the sewage system, ensured sustained supply of water and have performed similar civic milestones to ease the lives of the citizens. It was always in the lead in rushing for helping the afflicted people from natural calamities such as 2005 earthquakes or man-made chaos such as in Swat.
Now when MQM wants to be a part of national political ethos, all such incriminations should be set aside. In fact the stagnant or degenerate Poltical culture prevailing in Pakistan needs vibrant political forces as the MQM, to join the mainstream political spectrum. This would be a welcome turning point in many ways. The MQM would be able to come out of the much trumped up cocoon of parochialism, ethnicity, and regionalism, linguistic or provincial entity. MQM should be more patriotic because the migrants suffered immensely in all manners at the time of partition of the Indian sub-continent The Mohajars or the migrants could have lived in India like other Muslims but these valorous people imbued with the undying spirit to live in the newly created Islamic independent state of Pakistan, crossed a sea of blood to reach this new land. So despite their being originally from a different part of undivided India, they have thoroughly justified their right and privilege to be the real Pakistanis.
It’s not the sacrosanct right of the already settled people to exclusively call themselves the real or patriotic citizens of Pakistan. Although Pakistan geographically happens to be carved on their lands, yet the country belongs to all: whether migrants or the natives. Ironically, as the history bears out, the feudals and land barons in the West Pakistan were not vociferously committed to the creation of Pakistan. But even if they supported the independence movement their only aim was self aggrandizement and to enjoy and secure the ownership of the vast tracts of lands bestowed upon them by the British colonial masters for serving their imperialistic interests in the Indian subcontinent. They were and still are the local tyrants over the powerless and the impoverished population.
So MQM would be a befitting and uncompromising bulwark against the privileged landed gentry, besides other vested interests that have been parasitic and odious agents of status quo. The grand and coveted dream of Pakistan to be a state with the shining hallmarks such as social justice, equality egalitarianism, accountability and clean and effective governance can be realized if political parties such as MQM join hands with other poltical forces at national level and steer Pakistan out of the quagmire this country is steeped in. The unholy alliance between exploitative and unduly privileged classes in Pakistani society can be effectively dented and debilitated provided the forces from the middle class and grass root sections, emerge on the national horizon, capture power and initiate a war to cleanse the society of the self perpetuating, blood sucking sections thriving on the miseries and agonies of the vast majority of the people of Pakistan. The clear demarcation between ‘haves’ and “haves not” has yet to be erased.

That can be done with clean governance and with rule of law and with a spirit of self denial. The spiritual, the economic exploitation of the disempowered masses and political monopolies have to end to carve out a glorious, honorable and prosperous Pakistan to emerge. Perhaps the hour for political parties with grass root orientation and mass appeal has come to deliver Pakistan from the chronic and unremitting multi-dimentional morass and perfidy it has been pushed into by a corrupt and degenerate system and by a pedigree of insidious politicians and parasitic privileged classes.
The task of MQM is going to be certainly daunting and apparently a long haul. To defeat and outflank the centuries old monstrosities and to eject the powerful feudals and their collaborators out of the power corridors is easy said than done. But as the proverb goes, “a thosuand miles long journey starts with the first small step.” It’s the people of Pakistan and downtrodden teeming masses who would definitely respond to the calls aimed at changing their miserable lot. The road to this pinnacle destination seems to be striven with fallen heroes and sacrifices by the torch bearers of change and revolution. But revolution will come and come it must: this is a lesson of history.

Army Rule not to be Ruled out

Upright Opinion
October 13, 2009
Army Rule not to be Ruled out
By Saeed Qureshi
The top brass of the Pakistan army is getting apprehensive of the policies of the ongoing PPP coalition government. The crucial decisions taken and directed from the presidency on matters of national import, without involvement of the parliament or on occasions the coalition partners and even the prime minister gives a farcical and sham image to the PPP led democratic governance. President Zardari is either purposely sidetracking the established democratic norms or is oblivious of the fundamental imperatives of parliamentary form of government. He has opted to remain physically cut off from the people as well as from his own PPP cadres within the party and in the government. He seems to have an irresistible penchant for foreign junkets that makes him look like an ambassador at large than the head of the state of Pakistan.
“Absolute power corrupts absolutely” is a dictum that is so relevant to the sitting government with a flamboyant president, wearing two feathers in his hat of power: chairman of the PPP and the head of the state with unprecedented powers. The windfall presidency that was bestowed upon him by a benign nature and also by the fast emerging combine of favorable developments makes Zardari as one of the highly enviable yet luckiest man on the planet earth.
But old habits die hard. He is a staunch believer in the philosophy that democracy is not an honorable system of government. He perceives parliamentarianism as a mob rule. That perception comes closer to fascism. It is presumably under this impression that he has arrogated to himself the exclusive distinction of being a past master in double speak, back-tracking from his solemn commitments and jugglery of unceasing tricks. Humans can be miserably devious and meanly dodging but a president of Pakistan who was catapulted from the status of a most maligned person to the highest office in the country is second to none in deception and chicanery.
The army is undergoing a spell of brain storming after the passage of the controversial Kerry Lugar Bill that tacitly berates the Pakistan army and fetters it in several vexatious conditions. In the Kerry-Lugar Bill, the Pakistan army looks like a guinea pig, while the sitting government goes scot free with a clean certificate. So the apprehensions are that there might have been deliberate attempts at some stage by some political or bureaucratic elements or even the Pakistan embassy in Washington DC, to add such stipulations that would keep the army under the thumb of the Pakistan government and America. The clause restraining the army not to interfere in judicial domain is patently, to forestall army’s replay of the pressure or persuasion exerted last year, on government to reinstate the sacked judges So if the political government once again deposes judges who supposedly might reactivate NRO landmine, the government should have the powers to sack them and replace them with her favorites.
The latest attack on army headquarters by a group of dare devil gun totting infiltrators must have jolted the military bureaucracy to ponder as to how such an improbable event could happen. The army must be scurrying to put its act together by scanning and sprucing up its organization. But it was not an ordinary incident that should not warrant any serious attention. In this process the army might like to renew its assertion vis-a-vis a dysfunctional political outfit to avert such ignominious pitfalls and appalling flaws for the future.
The impression might be gaining currency in the army’s hierarchy that while it was fighting an epic war against the militants in various hot spots of Pakistan, the political government was on the move to clip its wings via Kerry Lugar Bill. The Army feels that it deserves a pat on the back and due appreciation by the government trying to liberate Pakistan from the ruthless conservatism of the Taliban that was more inhuman that being Islamic. Ostensibly Pakistan’s army’s war in the tribal regions and northern valleys was more a dire need of America than Pakistan. So Pakistan army should be given a free hand and a strong impetus to carry on its anti- insurgency mission than projecting it as interventionist in the domestic affairs.
The widespread public unrest and woes due to appalling civic and social problems and poor governance cannot be ignored by the army that had surged as a savior in the turbulent times for Pakistan. The PPP government’s foot dragging even on registering an FIR of Benazir’s murder, the unfulfilled pledges for prevalence of parliamentary democracy, the wanton statements issued by the president cutting across the national interests, the squander of public funds, and a casual and regal way of governing the country might create a justification for the army, howsoever, untenable to renter power corridors. If the cleavage of mistrust keeps widening due to government’s back stabbing of the army as is done in Kerry Lugar Bill, it would again be the army having the last laugh. That would be a benighted day for Pakistan if fifth martial law comes to Pakistan due to politicians’ black deeds. But who can stop the inevitable?
For USA, it hardly matters if the country is run by a discredited political cabal or by the army. They want to see the job accomplished. They want desired results in the troubled areas infested by Al-Qaida and Taliban. Burma has been under a military rule for ages and no one minds that seriously. If again, military takes over power in Pakistan; America wouldn’t blink the eyes if the task of chasing Al-Qaida and Taliban to their ultimate annihilation continues unhindered. If it happens, then this time, the martial law won’t be as a benign as was that of Pervez Mushrraf. It would spell doom for the politicians and for sleazy rulers in shape of the nemesis that any army is perfectly capable of delivering. Countless heads would roll.

The Battle in GHQ

Upright Opinion
October 11, 2009

The Pakistani electronic media is heaping accolades and all possible laurels on Pakistan army for flushing out the terrorists that barged, on October 9, into the General Headquarters of the Pakistan army located at the very heart of the Rawalpindi city. The media is going out of the way to project as if the victory or in simple terms the overpowering of the attackers was to save Islam and Pakistan. The media is trumpeting the battle in GHQ as an exceptional heroic deed that was unsurpassed in terms of the valor and marvelous planning of the army “Jawans (young soldiers). The media projection gave an impression as if a new war has started between India and Pakistan that ended with a stunning and humiliating defeat to the enemy.
This hyperbolic description of a local clash by the media is as amusing and shocking as to be seen in third rate thrill movies showing quick fix feats by an all powerful hero. The passion-generating national war time lyrics were played incessantly with loud calls of Salam to Pak army along with the expression of abiding gratitude of Pakistani nation to these invincible warriors for thwarting the nefarious attempts of the enemies to harm Islam and Pakistan. Such was the ludicrous cacophony and hype of the electronic media with Geo leading this overly bizarre publicity blitz.
There were less than a dozen individuals who stormed the well- fortified garrison of Pakistan army and held hostage more than three dozen both uniformed and civilian persons. In the bloody clash 6 precious lives from the army with a brigadier and a Lt.Colonel were lost. Now admittedly, this was a daring and brazen surprise attack by the infiltrators on the heavily cordoned Headquarters of Pakistan army. On the very face such a desperate foray looked impossible. But it did happen.
Why don’t we look at the whole sordid event from a different angle? Was it a lapse on the part of Pakistan army and its intelligence network that a few individuals picked up the courage to wear the military uniforms, come closer to one of the gates and force their way into the interior of the garrison? Secondly, it took more than 18 hours for the elite troops and police to overcome the dogged terrorists. Backed by a conducive environment for easy movement, maneuverability and logistic support, it should not have taken for the highly trained troops to storm and dislodge the holed-up terrorists. This long and inordinate delay can be interpreted as extreme caution to judge the situation, fatigue the attackers and to save the lives of the held-up hostages. Still it was very long time to launch an assault which finally came and in the wake three innocent hostages died too.
That the Headquarters of the army can be so vulnerable as to come under a well coordinated terrorist attack is a yawning question that stares right in the face of all the high ups and top command of the Pakistan army. Was it a jay walk by the miscreants and armed brigands that they came so close to the entry gate and started strafing the check post inmates after brief altercation?
\Why the media was straining and bending over backward to make it out like Waterloo? The sacrifices of the six army jawans was the result of the ambush by the assailants and there was, understandably, no duel that took place. It is indeed a sober moment for introspection and reflection to explore how and why, in the first instance; the terrorists were able to break into into the boundary wall or through the gate of this huge complex of buildings?
Even a police contingent could have finally prevailed over this small group of terrorists within the same amount of time that the strong and rigorously trained army Jawans took. The terrorists were able to jolt the entire country and catch, the valiant and staunch Pakistan army, unawares with their shock emitting onslaught. And that was exactly their insidious motive.
The army should mount a speedy enquiry to find out the possibility of the inside collaborators of this most heinous and vicious attack on GHQ. This flabegausing happening gives a clear and loud message that the enemies of Pakistan were well organized and have long arms, resources and tactical information to hold even the headquarters of the Pakistan army, be it for a day.
The debate that it was a reaction to the army’s operations in the tribal regions of Pakistan, is hardly relevant to justify the laxity and army’s intelligence wings’ utter failure to anticipate and preempt such deadly and stunning acts of terrorism. There is no need for the media to unnecessary highlight and blow the counter operation of the army out of proportions, which in any case the army had to undertake. The army’s killing of the terrorists was foregone and the therefore, it was a normal counter offensive by the army to dislodge the infiltrators.
But still the stand-off and the consequent but prolonged operation should be looked at more in the nature of a lapse rather than a monumental feat of gallantry in the name of Islam. The bare fact is that it was neither an attack by the terrorists for Islam nor was a counter-operation by the army to save Islam. So to mention paradise and prophet receiving the Ghazis (martyred for Islam) in paradise seems irrelevant to the battle in GHQ.
It’s time to ponder what has gone wrong with the Pakistan army, to plug the loop holes in its citadel and to take a new look at its overall turn-out and flawed intelligence paraphernalia.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Fuss over Kerry-Lugar Bill

The Fuss over Kerry-Lugar Bill
By Saeed Qureshi
Why there is so much fuss over Kerry-Lugar Bill? In media and elsewhere, the dark and damning ramifications of this bill are being weighed against the sovereignty and national honor of Pakistan. Ironically, if the bill had not been approved, there would have been a horrendous outcry and this would have been interpreted as a failure of an unpopular government. So the people are never happy: one way or the other. There was a long wait with prying eyes for this bill to see the light of day and when finally it has been processed, an adverse backlash is unleashed against it.
There is nothing wrong with Kerry Lugar. Rather it is a timely help and a blessing in disguise. It’s an aid package that is essentially different from all such previous aid baskets. It is drastically toned down in its language and contents. The periodic certification by the Secretary of State about the satisfactory performance of Pakistan is not a big deal. If America is giving so much of money to Pakistan, doesn’t she have a right to ask how this money was being spent and was it expended on the stipulated targets?
Suppose what could have been Pakistan’s plight, if it was under attack by the radical religious outfits and there was no one around to help? Without enough financial resources the whole of Pakistan would have come under the murderous sway of Taliban. Like Swat or Afghanistan under Taliban, in the Islamic state of Pakistan too, the hands of the thieves would be chopped off and the women folk s to be whipped in public. The schools of the girls would be closed, the modern information and music gadgets smashed, the shop owners beheaded and the traders of such businesses hanged in squares or deprived of one of their body limbs.
This is not an imaginary fearsome scenario or a mere macabre fantasy. It would have been a sordid fact of life as we have seen, in not too distant past, such gory situations, prevailing in Afghanistan and a part of Pakistan. The unrelenting armed clashes between the frenzied religious militants and the Pakistan army would be a foregone outcome. The army has its limits of fighting. It would be worn down by interminable skirmishes with the hit and run shooters, spread all over Pakistan.
Jamat-e-Islami and other religio-political parties that oppose cooperation between United States cooperation are deceitful and backdoor friends of America. When, at the behest of the West, they were mobilizing the whole Islamic world to fight, against the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan, they had no such hiccups for Islam and integrity of Pakistan. Now when they are out of that mercenary and henchman’s game, they see a smelling rat in Pakistan’s collaboration with the United States.
Pakistan all along, has never been, in an unenviable position. Thanks to the lack of visionary, courage and patriotic leadership, Pakistan never rose above the flak of being a corny of the United States. Unfortunately, the impression of subservience and toadyism that remained tagged with Pakistan in relation to America has seldom been erased. The mutual relations between the two countries have generally remained clouded by suspicion and love-hate syndrome.
But viewing the current mode and tenure of relationship between America and Pakistan, it is safer to infer that, of late, United States seems to be treating Pakistan as a trusted ally and the misconceptions of the past appear to be evaporating. This is not to say that the future relations would also remain cast in the same mold. With the stunning victory that Pakistan has scored against the Taliban in northern valleys, the level of American trust with regard to Pakistan has risen.
The situation in Afghanistan is getting worse with the time passage. The casualties of the NATO forces and those of American troops are on the rise. If Pakistan can rein in or check the Taliban and Al-Qaida’s insurgency in the tribal belt bordering on Afghanistan then Pakistan would further conclusively establish its credibility as an effective counter-poise against the radical militants. If areas such as North and South Waziristan are cleared of Taliban and other similar fanatics then America would be left with no tenable reason to blame Pakistan for duplicity or charade against Taliban and their protégé Al-Qaida. That was an accusation against former president Mushrraf for running with the hare and hunting with the hound.
There is an amazing development for a possible thaw between Pakistan and belligerent Taliban. Maulana Fazalur Rehman the chief of JUI, a religio-political political party has made an offer to make peace between Taliban and Pakistan. If that happens and if a process of pacification between Taliban and Pakistan is set in motion, Pakistan as well as United States would be utterly redeemed and spared from a calamity.
Those elements in Pakistan who plead antagonizing America forget the case of Libya. Libya under revolutionary Qaddafi had to pay a very heavy price for posing herself as a bulwark against the western imperialism. It was declared as a pariah state and remained cut off with the rest of the world for pretty two decades. Iraq is another example. Pakistan could have become another example of devastation and pillage by ruthless imperialist onslaught. The fundamental stark reality to comprehend is that the current times are in favor the technologically advanced and economically prosperous nations. Going against them is like going against the strong current in a stormy ocean.
The appeasement strategy of Zardari towards the friendly and hostile nations alike is rewarding both in the long and short terms. If we cannot act as the new-born revolutionaries nor have we the means to stand our ground, then the most prudent policy is to draw maximum benefit out of an intractable situation as the one Pakistan is currently faced with. Pakistan’s pressing problems are all internal. Poverty, illiteracy, lawlessness, unemployment, the upsurge of religious militancy, health, water, a downgraded social and civic life, the ineffectual governance, the institutional breakdown, the mediocrity of the politicians and lack of or slow economic development are the major issues that have to be addressed post haste.
If we want to prove ourselves as honorable and independent people then we have to first put our own house in order. The world is moving towards universal understanding. The ideological differences and divisions are the legacies of the past. Pakistan has to be peaceful and embark upon a rapid economic development revolutionary course. Only then can Pakistan unfetter itself from the bonds of external aid and concomitant condionalities attached to foreign largesse.

Saner course is to quit Afghanistan

Saner course is to quit Afghanistan
By Saeed Qureshi
Let Afghanistan go to hell. America should think of a prompt withdrawal of its forces from that God forsaken country. The sooner the better. The incumbent American administration cannot he held responsible for plunging United States into a treacherous quagmire that has swallowed numerous armies during the past several milleniums. The latest example is the Red army’s humiliating defeat and Soviet Union’s disintegration in the wake of its decade old military incursion in Afghanistan. If a mighty neighbor like Soviet Union, that maintained her ideological and military sway on Afghanistan for many decades, buried its prestige in the wilderness of that vast expanse consisting of nude mountains and sand, how a country from the overseas could spring miracles.
The land starting from the Central Asian states to the no man land called tribal areas in Pakistan is rightly or wrongly blessed by nature with at terrain that has remained insurmountable for the mightiest armies equipped with the obsolete to the latest weaponry. More than that, the inhabitants of that land tend to be shrew, chivalrous and warriors. If one has to travel through the historical Khyber Pass in Pakistan to reach the border of Afghanistan; a trek of about 50 miles, one can witness the stray groups or individuals with rifles slung on their shoulders. The shepherds carry the rifles and daggers with them. Before the invention of firearms there were other weapons such as spears and swords that were part of their body armor. The mutual tribal feuds and bloody clashes are customary and are taken as part of their normal fighting culture.
On top of this internecine culture, it is the religious faith that inflames their chivalrous spirits even to willingly lay down their lives if needed. The central Asian Muslims are more tenacious, conservative and staunch believers in Islam and treat to die for Islam as the greatest and most coveted goal to be rewarded with paradise. Taliban are one breed of another fanatic Muslims who came into being by default and by a queer mix of circumstances. Taliban, a distinct, freakish religious brotherhood is more ferocious than other Islamic conglomerations. These religiously motivated brigands keep mushrooming to replace the dead and the maimed. Their movements are nomadic. If they cannot succeed in one part, they move to another. This is what has happened in Pakistan. Driven out by Pakistan army from Northern valleys, they have relocated themselves in tribal regions or in Afghanistan.
In the 8 years standoff between the NATO forces led by United States against the interspersed bands of Taliban and Al-Qaida, the auxiliary and replenishing fighting support for insurgents comes from the traditional warrior races from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and other conservative Muslim Central Asian states
If Iraq’s case is instructive to provide any insight then the NATO military network in Afghanistan will have to sooner or later, pack up and leave. The kind of victory that the Pakistan armed forces have scored against Taliban’s strongholds in Swat and Dir cannot be reenacted in Afghanistan because of the huge difference in terrain and geographic conditions. Swat and Dir were small valleys fortified by high mountains and therefore it was possible for the Pakistan army to hunt Taliban them and flush them out. The local population that could have posed an impediment in speedy and effective military onslaught moved to the plains, leaving the battlefield between the discredited and savage Taliban and trained troops. The fear of civilian casualties was reduced to minimum and thus Pakistan army was able to take swift and effective action against the well entrenched radical religious militants.
The role of NATO forces in Afghanistan is merely confined to have sporadic skirmishes with Taliban and in this wild goose chase, either kill them or get killed. Another frivolous role of the occupation forces is to defend the surrogate government of Hamid Karzai and keep it on life support. Karzai may be loyal to America but his government is confined only to Kabul city and its suburbs. His stay at the helm is staggeringly costly to United States and NATO allies. It is quite evident as also being projected by the top brass of NATO and American commanders that the war in Afghanistan was not on the winning track. It’s foregone that with more troops in Afghanistan, the coveted victory would still remain elusive. The NATO casualties are alarmingly on the rise.
In ten years’ of civil war among war-lords, then followed by between war-lords and Taliban and finally between Taliban and Northern Alliance supported by NATO has devastated that country, economically, culturally, socially and in huge loss of humans. Even earlier during a decade’s long armed resistance against the Soviet Union army, Afghanistan and its population suffered enormously in all manners. Never was so mush of upheaval, displacement and slaughter of Afghan population that had taken and place in three decades of unremitting war.
If military option has failed to tame Taliban or to annihilate America’s number one enemy Al-Qaida, then this futile option should be called off to spare further casualties of civilians and soldiers. Besides a huge war budget can be curtailed. United States should not be worried about the future of Afghanistan. It should, instead, focus on its timely and face-saving withdrawal from Afghanistan. The NATO allies too seem to be war weary and the spiraling deaths of their troops is setting off public outcry in their respective countries. Before it is too late and the United States is left alone to bear the brunt of this aimless war; a draw down strategy of troops from Afghanistan should be put in place.
The most viable and time tested recourse is to maintain a level of humanitarian help for reconstruction of Afghanistan and rehabilitation of its population. America can rein in and defeat or neutralize the overbearing effect of Taliban through dialogue and peaceful means that would only need diplomatic skills and international moral and financial collaboration. The Afghan war lords and friendly bands from among the Taliban and local population should be wooed and won over by generous economic aid and postures of friendliness, to act as a local bulwark against the radical factions of the religious militants.
That strategy can be applied from remote control and perhaps would be ideally safe and effective. United States should build up an international front to isolate dissident and fanatic Taliban whom the local population does not like. Otherwise, to lend a conclusive military defeat to Taliban or Al-Qaida, America needs a million troops to be engaged in every district, on mountains tops, in valleys and in every nook and corner of Afghanistan. Only thus Taliban can be physically eliminated. Pakistan’s victory in Swat is a shining example of such an achievement. But to mobilize a million soldiers with all attending logistic and other support is a monumental undertaking that cannot be accomplished. The saner course is to quit Afghanistan.

Racial Smearing of President Obama

Racial Smearing of President Obama
By Saeed Qureshi
The white population of United States should understand that president Barrack Obama is not wholly black. He is half white and half black. Which means that on this account, he should be spared of a full blown racial smear storm against him that is sweeping across America in the past several weeks: caricaturing and buffooning him and his wife? He has been equated with Hitler, Federal Castro and Stalin among other villains, under the delusion that he was socializing America through his otherwise far reaching healthcare reforms.
A president has been called names, ridiculed, maligned and slandered obviously for no cogent reasons except that his pigment is not as fair as that of majority citizens. Does that entitle him to denigration and vitriolic blitz? There seems to be a bulging deluge of vilifications and cat calling let loose against him so much so that some of the posters demanded of him to go back to Kenya where he spent his early childhood. Such is the deplorable intensity and gravity of racial onslaught against Obama. This vicious campaign, in essence, more than Obama as a person, undermines the dignity of the office of the presidency. It means a segment of the white populace has not accepted him as the president of this country symbolized with equality, liberty, freedom and justice irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity and religion.
This sordid situation is pregnant with horrifying and equally bizarre forebodings as in retaliation; the black community in future could adopt racial postures against a non black president. And thus there would ensue a racial bad blood that might cut across the very foundations of this country, known for being free from discrimination and racial prejudices .The American constitution negates discrimination or bias or prejudice in any form, be it a job offer or grant of social benefits. It is the hang up of a particular hate filled chunk of white conservatives that raises hell and heaven in the name of color of the skin. They perhaps still look at the black community with an inborn disdain as the slaves of yester years. Human narrow obsessions can be as obdurate as to spawn over two hundred years among a community that calls itself the leader of modern liberal civilization (white man’s burden).
America is being dented from within by show of reckless and unwarranted narrow-mindedness of a section of the society that would have otherwise proudly demonstrated to the world at large, “look we are the followers of Jesus Christ who spoke and succored the lowly and the downtrodden, black and white alike.” Incidentally Jesus, the spiritual fountainhead of Christian faith and for them the son of god was not a white human. He was from the Middle East where the color of the skin is not as milky white as of those who hailed from the Britain and descended upon America as colonists. But before the advent of white races in North America, the natives living here were not white either.
Does color really matter in determining the faculties and genius of a human being? Does a color other than white really subverts or stymies the performance of a person? Does it really make him an intellectual dwarf and scum of earth to be hated? If the color is the benchmark for intellect and intelligence then we have to disown the pioneering yet mammoth creative and inestimable research work of the non-white scholars and scientists in diverse branches of human knowledge at a time when white Europe was sunk into “Dark Ages.” Based on that patrimony of knowledge, the Europeans scholars and men of merit took a queue and advanced the enlightenment and knowledge to dizzying heights, that is still continuing.
The Healthcare reform issue is being used as a handy tool to spur the antagonism of the anti Obama intelligentsia and the conservative section of society to such an extent, that he would not be able to run for the second term. It is also an attempt by Obama bashers to paint and portray him as a failed or a hamstrung president whose performance fell much short of his electoral pledges. If the healthcare reforms are essentially good and if his retreat strategy from Iraq is sagacious, his detractors would still not like him to take the well deserved credit for these sterling accomplishments. He is winding up a war that was an unbearable burden and fruitless parasite for America. He is trying to revive the endearing image of America by eschewing the path of war and blind belligerency and rerouting America’s March on a path of peace, understanding and mutual respect with the rest of the world. The question is how long American forces can fight in foreign battlefields for fuzzy and freakish reasons? Iraq is an example where America had no justifiable reason to penetrate militarily and remain caught up in a nightmarish spell for eight years.
To hold a country under the jack boots, no matter how small she might be, is a tall order in the present times. It was possible in the colonization eras of the past but not now when the world is integrated and when it is not possible to isolate a country by occupation armies. If, of late, there are signs of receding friction between USA and the rest of the world, it is because of Obama’s new thrust and ambition to douse the anti-American flames and to win the antagonists by a process of pacification. Let him do his commendable job. If his opponents could win in the next elections, let them reverse his policies and restore the blighted Bush era. That is how democracy should work. To completely blacken a semi black yet a visionary head of state by scurrilous attacks on his person, is a self-defacing propensity that would stand in good stead for president Obama but backfire against his hate mongers. It would also defile a cosmopolitan and ideally democratic America’s fair image.

Azad Khan is one of those Talented Persons

Azad Khan is one of those Talented Persons
By Saeed Qureshi
Azad Khan, the host of the Radio program “Bol Ke Lab Azad Hain Tere” aired from AM 870, is a young thinker and a scholar brimming with a reservoir of diverse knowledge. He is one of those gifted persons, whose intellect is not confined to one branch of knowledge: it’s all embracing and pervasive. With consummate skill, absorbing narrative and with matchless fluency, he can articulate and analyze the complex and varied themes and ideas.
I am amazed how, on the spur of the moment, he answers all those variety of questions: on occasions putting them in proper perspective and on another adding them up with more output of information and knowledge. A talented person as he is, he injects a philosophical and somber tone into the discussions encompassing various dimensions of human knowledge. From science to fiction, anthropology to sociology, political to economy and from philosophy to history, he can, with great dexterity and felicity, proffer information as if one has opened an encyclopedia. It comes readily. With forthright sincerity and sober conviction, he goes on to express his candid opinion till his listeners or interlocutors are one with him.
Dissention and debate he welcomes, and if he finds an opportunity to correct himself, he does so without acrimony or retort. And that trait speaks for his earnest urge and humility to explore knowledge no matter which quarter it comes from: from a school student or a scholar of eminence and lofty standing. With a military background, a young and robust Azad with so much of intellectual depth and richness is a blessing for the immigrants who hail from Asia, India and Pakistan and live in North Texas.
He carries in his genes the chivalrous traits of a Pathan who can go to any extent even fighting for upholding their honor and dignity. I can observe and identify in him that element of valor and defiance flavored with a spirit of friendliness and sociability as well as humility that are the shining hallmarks of the intrepid Pathans.
H could have stayed in army with all the attending perks, splendor and excitement that is commonly believed to be part of the life of military officers. With his brother as an army general, he could have fallen into the boastful mannerism and would have been accorded preferential treatments. But look! He shunned that glare and left the coveted position of a captain. I have a plausible explanation for his retreat from the army. His laudable idealism, his inborn flame of universalism and his curiosity and quest to learn, seek and explore in the world at large and beyond military ramparts, prompted him to doff his military uniform. I am sure, had he been in the army, he would have been counted as an outstanding soldier.
Brought up in purely traditional culture and village life, Azad fondly mentions about his family and the early childhood with interesting yet inspiring anecdotes that shaped his life and nurtured the values that are so precious to him. Perhaps these memories are part of his life and would serve as the abiding rudder of guidance for him to be staying on the right course. He is utterly proud of his father who is his alter ego and who has been a noble guide, teacher, father, friend and sage for him. He still speaks and makes his presence felt through Azad.
If you sit with Azad he would tell you about his early life spent in primitive village, otherwise so deeply rich with centuries’ old culture, customs and traditions. He would tell you how his father would keep them on the straight path with his mix of soft and stern command and control system. He has inculcated in his children the habits to pray, to be righteous, to be humane, to be generous, to be humble and helpful and kind and caring, and to be punctual and industrious. But he would also exhort them to keep away from bartering their self respect, faith and dignity no matter what the cost could be. That is why you will find Azad with a tinge of steadfastness not to budge or compromise and not to shy away when it means protecting his honor and well guarded principles of moral grandeur.
He is an embodiment of rich and time tested values and virtues of a culture that betokens simplicity, truthfulness, honesty, a fraternity that enlivens and animates our villages, dales and valleys. I am not sure whether I can call him a village folk but if he is, then admirably he has made a giant leap from a remote village environ to the pinnacles of both material and intellectual gains at a very young age. He is a strong believer in humanism, liberty, equality and freedom among human beings.
Azad starts the radio program with a slogan that calibrates and corresponds to his own ideals, beliefs and outlook. “BOL KAY LAB AZAD HAIN TERAY” is a line from the poem of Faiz Ahmad Faiz, the legendary poet of our times. It’s a clarion call for emancipation of the fettered and gagged humanity. It’s a marching order for the disadvantaged, the enslaved and the underdogs to rise and bring a change. The freedom of expression is a great and self-evident, yet unalienable right of all humans. So when Azad tunes up the line from his lips to open the program, he is echoing the same message of that rebellious poet who immensely suffered for his poetic exhortations to the slumbering nations to wake up, to speak out for justice, equality and freedom for all.
Understandably Azad Khan prepares his radio programs with lot of hard work and research that keeps him busy for the better part of the whole week. But still he can snatch some time out of his loaded and unalterable schedule for a lively gossip and pleasant discourse with his well wishers and friends. Without fear of contradiction, I would asset that you would not find him wanting in animated conversations that would be replete with mirthful anecdotes, laughter emitting jokes and interesting and unforgettable events of his life both as a civilian and a military man. Even on such occasions, his scholasticism goes hand in hand with the cheerful spirit of the company.

Rubbing Salt to the Wounds

Rubbing Salt to the Wounds
By Saeed Qureshi
While Pakistan’s disadvantaged populace is wasting away their precious lives in wrestling for a sack of Atta or a bag of sugar in the blessing-drenched month of fasting, the leaders are freelancing with their “add insult to injury” kind of statements. The illustrious president of Pakistan, Asif Zardari says that it was not his job to deal with such ordinary problems as Atta, sugar and other essential commodities. He is busy in snuffing out the Taliban and other pedigree of humans that have played havoc with the human civilization in the name of religion: a brand of religion that is more of distortions that being pristine.
The ministers of Prime Minister Gilani are outbidding each other in issuing outlandish and outrageous volleys of statements that can, at best, be described as vicarious and sadistic. No saner individual with an iota of sympathy with the teeming impoverished could have the audacity to offer the ill-conceived suggestion that the people should stop using sugar and Atta if they wanted the spiraling prices to come down or to ensure their easy availability. This is Qamar Zaman Kaira, the Information Minister of Pakistan, who has arrogated to himself the exclusive privilege of denying, debating and debunking anything that was in the public interest.
I wish he was one of those belabored citizens who stand up in disorderly lines for a bag of Atta thrown on them like crumbs to pets or the relief food to the famine stricken or marooned communities. These stone-hearted power wielders do not seem to possess a faint feeling of the growing famine specter in Pakistan: a land that used to be the grain granary in the undivided India. The Prime Minister is wont to categorize things in doable and undoable. He is silent on high prices and availability of sugar and Atta which means that these are undoable for his government.
Another mesmeric veteran leader Mian Manzoor Watoo, a scion of Punjab was so ludicrously bold as to decree that the hoarders booked for keeping the stocks away from the market, would be released and protected. It clearly connotes that these thugs and “economic enemy combatants” would have a free hand to hoard and charge any price of their choice. The cartels have their accomplices in both the cabinets and bureaucracy that support and abet these public tormentors to be at liberty for fleecing the people and get away with hefty profits.
Is there someone other than God to contain this unbridled loot and shameless indifference of the VIP classes to the peoples’ woes, who confess by thumping their thick chests, “yes it is happening and we are not going to stop it?” The despicable alliance between the ministers, bureaucrats, and the cut-throat mercantile classes has made the already miserable lives of a hapless nation more traumatic and unlivable? Have the hearts of these leaders and bureaucrats become barren and devoid of even an ounce of the milk of human kindness?
The people are unsafe, afflicted and dying of mal-nutrition, pervasive diseases, adulterated food and polluted water. The whole nation is at the mercy of high-way robbers, the daredevil thieves and brazen gun totting ruffians barging into the private houses and decamping with hard earned and precious belongings of the inmates. The police is as corrupt and mismanaged as it is toothless and ineffectual. The crime mafia is more overpowering and lethal than the ill-equipped, ill-dressed, ill-fed, ill-trained and inadequate police force. They too join the crime gangs or patronize them for a share in the booty.
The Roman civilization at its fag end and during its declining period could offer a parallel to the anarchic situation prevailing in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, where muslim are numerous but Islam is scant. In the sacred month of Ramadan, the Muslims resort to every dirty trick to fleece the harried shoppers as if they were treading the satanic path who according to the tradition is chained and quarantined for the whole month. So his mischievous and insidious role is taken upon by the Muslim faithful who at the same time fast and sermonize about the virtues of Islam as a great religion for all times and generations. Their conduct is an antithesis of what they preach.
Can you picture the life in Pakistan sharply divided into haves and have nots? There is no middle class and if it there any, it is minuscule. One can see the aristocracy and plutocracy with unbridled lust for more power, privileges and wealth. At the other end of the spectrum one may find the helpless, emasculated, poverty and hunger stricken expanse of humans who call themselves Pakistanis. Patriotism is alive in the downtrodden and lower classes who bear the brunt of all miseries heaped on them by the upper and licentious classes. Members of elitist and privileged segments physically sojourn in Pakistan buy have their minds, hearts and wealth abroad.
They switch over to Pakistan under the garb of saving Pakistan, but in fact to rule, enjoy, lord over the people, amass more wealth and run away for a leisurely stay abroad once again. The political parties outflank each other by fooling the people and for alternating the stints in power in the name of glorious future, defense, saving religion or the bogey of nationalism, which they themselves consider as venom. Today it is Muslim League, next time it would be the Peoples’ Party and so on.
There is no end to this fishy stereo of musical chairs’ game. The only difference with the new political edifice is that its present dwellers do not pretend to suffer from qualms of conscience while doing or saying things that are out-rightly nauseating. They treat the odious collusion of manufacturers and bulk suppliers as normal. Yet they gloat over peoples’ ordeals with stubborn refusal to come to their rescue. Don’t they watch women’s paradari (veil or covering their body) being ransomed for a few kilos of staple food without which they and their children would starve to death. Why the government has withheld action against the sugar sellers or Atta hoarders or has backtracked on finding an amicable solution of a horrendous chaos? Why is it totally unmindful of the urgency of instituting an enquiry into such devastating shortfalls of consumer necessities?
If Taliban are being vanquished which is a good thing, but in equal measure the peaceful, law abiding yet poor denizens of Pakistan are dying, decaying, mentally retarding and committing suicide as the final recourse. It’s akin to a Roman coliseum where beasts tore humans apart so that the people forget their sufferings, even momentarily. But then finally the savage Roman emperor Nero fled, was chased, caught by the violent crowd and killed in a secluded sanctuary. It’s a lesson for all those rulers who take Pakistan as Rome and themselves as Neros of today.

Of All the Persons Jaswant Singh!

Of All the Persons Jaswant Singh!
By Saeed Qureshi
Isn’t it amazing, that out of blue, Jaswant Singh belonging to a race steeped up to neck in hate against the Muslims and more pointedly against the founder of Pakistan showers accolades on Quaid-e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the father of Pakistani nation? By winning Pakistan in the face of the combined hostility of British and Hindus, not only that Quaid-i-Azam earned the abiding gratitude of his nation, but also created for him a glorious niche in the gallery of the legendary figures who shaped and crafted history by performing amazing and impossible feats. Quaid-e-Azam remains as the tallest and an imposing statesman when judged in the light of the epic and relentless struggle for independence from the British imperial yoke of slavery.
If someone receives aplomb and admiration from one’s own clan or nation, it might look less edifying or credible. But if the praise comes from a high profile political opponent such as Jaswant Singh then it becomes a veritable and self evident truth. That is what Jaswant Singh has done. With Jaswant Singh’s bold narration of the division of the sub-continent and apportioning blame for this to the Congress leaders’ shortsightedness, the character bashing and vilification of Quaid orchestrated by both British and Hindus before and after partition stands nailed and checkmated for future. A top notch Hindu leader who is also a member of an anti Muslim extremist political party would never spew out truth unless his conscience awakens to compel him not to deviate from the facts.
While the Hindus have had only one contender to deal with, i.e., the British; Quaid-e-Azam had to fight on two fronts: one against the British colonial masters and the other, the inveterate anti-Muslim chauvinism of Hindus. The great leader as he is fondly called, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah waged his resolute struggle under the banner of the Muslim League to wrest an exclusive homeland for the Muslims of the subcontinent. With his god gifted tools of unimpeachable character, unwavering convictions, immaculate honesty, bounteous talent for advocacy and deep legal knowledge, he surmounted all the hurdles in his way of achieving the goal of Pakistan. If any leader in the Sub-Continent is, adored, revered and acclaimed for his impeccable character, his lofty and sublime principles, it was Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The Quaid was above petty politicking, base intriguing and sleazy wheeling dealing and similar shady norms that are considered as raison d’être in politics.
The back door compromises and underhand deals were far from the clean and unsullied character of Quad-e-Azam. He was cast in a mould of disarming his rivals with the weapon of irresistible logic and veracity of his views and ideals. He knew not what hypocrisy was. His personality was free from murky shades of cant, deceit, duplicity, dodge or cunning. Perched on the lofty throne of righteousness, rectitude and moral glory, he reigned supreme over others in the field of politics. The friends and foes alike entirely believed in the nobility of his character and the supremacy of his intellect.
By holding responsible the Indian leaders more conspicuously Nehru and Patel, for partition of India, Jaswant Singh didn’t do any favor to Quaid-i-Azam nor has he become a supporter or friend of Pakistan. He has simply tried to state the bare facts and remove the vicious propaganda about Quaid Azam. But it also doesn’t mean, which Jaswant Singh might have cleverly tried to convey that Quaid-i-Azam did not want partition of India and Pakistan because he accepted the Cabinet Mission Plan to live with Hindus within a federation. Yet Jaswant Singh should be appreciated as a courageous man, who though belatedly, could not suppress the truth in regards the Indian Independence Movement and has put it in correct historical perspective.
But Jaswant Singh is not alone in his truthful portrayal of the personality and character of a great Muslim icon. There is a trail of such writers, historians and commentators who paid tributes to Quaid-i-Azam for his charismatic leadership and for the nobility of his character and clean principled politics.
Sarojini Naidu, a freedom fighter, poet and the first woman President of the Indian National Congress and the first woman Governor of Uttar Pradesh, thus eulogized Quaid e Azam, “The true greatness of Quaid- i-Azam lies not in the range and variety of his knowledge but in the faultless perfection of his subtle mind and spirit; not in the diversity of aims and the challenge of a towering personality but rather in the singleness and sincerity of purpose and the lasting charm of a character animated by a brave conception of duty and the austere and lovely code of private honor and public integrity.”
Mr. R. G. Casey the Governor of Bengal writes about Quaid, "Mr. Jinnah is the only outstanding Muslim of all India stature in Indian politics today. He is a man of iron discipline and has denied himself the luxury of any qualities that might loosen his concentration upon his purpose.”
Indeed Quaid was known as the ambassador of the Muslim-Hindu unity, a conviction to which he remained wedded till the rejection by the Indian leaders of the power transfer plan presented by the Cabinet Mission sent by the British government in 1946 to India. Quaid-i- Azam accepted the Cabinet Mission Plan which meant to remain with Hindus in a federation or in an undivided India. But the acceptance of Cabinet Plan was a masterly stroke by Quaid to call the bluff of the Indian leaders that they did not want a separate Muslim land. Quaid knew that the biased and hate filled Indian leaders would reject the plan. It happened exactly and thus the British were convinced that the partition of India in two independent states was the only option left out.
Jaswant Singh’s book, “Jinnah - India, Partition, and Independence” is selling like hot cakes in Pakistan which in fact demonstrates the deep love and respect of Pakistanis for their great leader. Although Jaswant Singh is known as a liberal democrat, yet the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), from which he has-been expelled for favoring Jinnah, is a right-wing nationalist political party. By hastily expelling one of their distinguished leaders who has been twice the finance minister, one time each the External Affairs minister and Defence minister of India, the BJP has brazenly exposed the anti Quaid and for that matter the anti Pakistan animus and bias that still linger on in the minds of Indian fanatical leaders. It was the same anti Muslim mindset that convinced and impelled Quaid-i-Azam to demand a separate homeland for the Indian Muslims so as to live in peace without the oppressive lordship from a biased and hostile Hindu majority.
Also by not allowing Jaswant Singh to travel to Pakistan in connection with the sale and promotion of his book, the Indian government has shown the hate and venom that their forbearers had towards the creation of an independent Muslim country and its illustrious founder. Does it not quite candidly and irrefutably establish that the creation of Pakistan was a genuine and indispensible demand of the Quaid-i-Azam for the Muslims of undivided India?