The term Pakistan was coined in 1933 by Indian Muslim student Choudhury Rahmat Ali while studying at Cambridge. In Now or Never he argued that India’s Muslim minority needed their own homeland to be safe from Hindu majority tyranny:
“The ideals which move our thirty million brethren-in-faith living in these provinces to make the highest sacrifices are fundamentally different from those which inspire the Hindus. These differences are not confined to the broad basic principles – far from it. They extend to the minutest details of our lives. We do not inter-dine; we do not inter-marry. Our national customs, calendars, even our diet and dress are different.”
In 1942 Rahmat Ali came out with The Millat and its Mission which shows a very revealing attitude about minorities. Because large Hindu and Sikh minorities would be left in Pakistan, with Muslims left in India, Rahmat Ali had his own ‘Final Solution’:
‘What is the fundamental truth about minorities……… remember that, in the past ‘Minorityism’ has ever proved itself a major enemy of the Millat; that at present it is sabotaging us religiously, culturally, and politically even in our national lands; and that in the future, it would destroy us throughout the Continent of Dinia and its dependencies, Hence the Commandment (one of the seven commandments laid down in the pamphlet “The Millat and its Mission”), Avoid ‘Minorityism’, which means that we must not leave our minorities in Hindu lands, even if the British and the Hindus offer them the so-called constitutional safeguards. For no safeguards can be substituted for the nationhood which is their birthright. Nor must we keep Hindu and/or Sikh minorities in our lands, even if they themselves were willing to remain with or without any special safeguards. For they will never be of us. Indeed, while in ordinary times they will retard our national reconstruction, in times of crisis they will betray us and bring about our redestruction.”
In other words their total elimination. This is exactly what happened with partition in August 1947. While the loss of life on both sides was horrendous, Hindus and Sikhs were almost completely expelled from Pakistan to the extent that they now barely make up one percent of the population of that terrorist state. Yet Muslims have grown as a community in India with their own personal law and constitutional safeguards. This includes in Punjab where almost all were expelled or massacred. No such analogous growth is seen in Pakistan. Rather it is the opposite as Hindu girls are kidnapped, raped and forcibly converted in Sindh, while Sikhs have been beheaded by Taliban in the North-West Frontier Province for refusing to embrace Islam. Hindus and Sikhs have therefore left the oppressive Islamic state in droves, even in recent years.
With western academia either being misled by the Marx worshippers who saturate Indian media and academia, or looking to be ‘even-handed’ every outbreak of communal violence in India has either been dismissed as sectarian or blamed on Hindus. The former indicates even handed clashes. It is now a term being employed to describe oppression of Copts in Egypt since the unprovoked massacre at Maspero. There is a bitter poignancy in all this. The architect of Pakistan as leader of the Muslim League was of course Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He tried to gain Sikh support by offering them vague assurances. A meeting therefore took place in Delhi on April 2, 1946, at the house of Sir Teja Singh Malik, a retired chief engineer who had also been minister in the princely states of Jaipur and Patiala. Besides Master Tara Singh and Jinnah, Maharaja Yadvinder Singh of Patiala, his prime minister, Sardar Hardit Singh Malik who was the host’s brother, and Giani Kartar Singh joined the meeting. Malik Hardit Singh was assigned to presenting the Sikh viewpoint as the principal spokesman. Jinnah’s one overriding concern was of course to have the Sikhs rescind their opposition to Pakistan and so told the Sikh leaders that their community would have a position of honour in the new state. Because he refrained from elaborating, Malik Hardit Singh tried to extract from him a more specific answers and pressed the Quaid-i-Azam (great leader) to say what exactly would be the Sikhs’ position in Pakistan. Jinnah slimily avoided the issue once again by inviting the Sikhs to set forth their demands in writing and by citing the instance of Zaghlul Pasha of Egypt. He said that Zaghlul Pasha asked the Copts to give him their charter of demands. Without having a look at what was written in document, Zaghlul Pasha signed, “I agree.” ” That is how I shall treat the Sikhs”. Hardit Singh was not satisfied, “You are being very generous, Mr Jinnah, but how about your successors? What is the guarantee that they would implement the assurance given by you?” “My friend, in Pakistan my word will be like the word of God. No one dare go back on it,” replied Jinnah.
Of course the reality was different. As to this whole episode being put down as just a sectarian conflict between Muslims on one side with Hindus and Sikhs on the other what about the present plight of the Christian minority in Pakistan? Islamisation laws allow the rape, forcible conversion and other officially sanctioned discrimination by the state, not least through the application of an extremely elastic blasphemy law. The Kailash, a microscopic minority in the Hindu Kush with their own religion, face extinction. Ahmadis, instrumental in working for the Pakistan movement before 1947 have now become its victims by being designated as kuffar. Shia are oppressed by the Sunni minority. There was once a thriving Jewish community in Karachi, the Bene Israel. In 1948 after the creation of Israel this community was subject to anti-Semitic attacks and fled to India. Others went to Israel and Canada. Zia-ul-Haq demolished the Magen Shalome, the Bene Israel’s only synagogue, to make way for a shopping plaza. Can that be blamed on Hindu-Muslim sectarian violence or Hindu intolerance?
We must remember how in his address to the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on 11 August 1947, Jinnah pledged freedom of religion and equal rights for minorities as citizens. This was the same man who was planning the elimination of those very same minorities from an all-Muslim state. And he was a ‘liberal’ who drank, smoke, ate pork and knew more English than Urdu, spurning Gandhi’s raw cotton garments in favour of Saville Rowe tailoring. The lessons are ominous. Whatever assurances Islamist groups give to western governments and media about minority rights, this taqiyya or lying in the name of the faith should be seen for what it really is. On 16 May 2012 Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is calling on Pakistanis to join the Arab Spring uprisings and revolt against their government, saying the country’s leaders are “slaves of America”. Pakistan never became the democratic state as envisioned by Jinnah’s eloquent outward taqiyya. Instead it has become the ideological fountainhead of radical Islam. Syed Abul Al’aa Maududi founded the Jamaat-i-Islam in a still united India in 1941. It has become the largest radical Islamic party in an already fundamentalist Islamic state, supporting Zia’s hardline military-clerical rule and now enjoys heavy influence in the military and ISI. Maulana Maududi was given the title of Imam-ul-Muslimeen in the annual meeting of Raabta-e-Aalam-e-Islami, Saudia Arabia held in January 1974. Maududi was read by both Hasan al-Bana and Sayid Qutb with the latter in particular using Maududi’s ideas in creating a vanguard revolutionary totalitarian movement. He had similar effect on a young Iranian cleric who became Ayatollah Khomeini. Tunisia’s Ennhada party, now touted as ‘moderate’ in a vain hope and Orwellian Newspeak that it actually is, was also inspired by the Maulana.
Therefore if we want to understand where the Arab Spring is going then the lessons are there in how Pakistan was wrenched from India, ethnically cleansed large swathes of its minorities, and has become a fountainhead of exporting terrorism and ideological jihad. When Hindu Pandits were forced from their ancestral homeland of Kashmir at gunpoint in 1990 by Pakistan backed mujahadeen, the west was silent as it has been when India has been subject to an unrelenting jihad. The Mumbai attacks which selected Jewish, western as well as specifically Hindu targets made this rather more difficult to ignore. Now with various Pakistan-style states on the very doorstep of Europe how long can western nations ignore the obvious? Can they learn from past mistakes of backing Pakistan as a western ally against India for over half a century? Or will geopolitical realignment reflect the new realities? Assurances from Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist groups carry about as much weight as Jinnah’s assurances to the Sikhs in 1947. Rather we must face reality that over 70 years later it is the ominous words of Choudhury Rahmat Ali which resonate and clearly spell out the views on how minorities will be treated in the New Order emerging in the Middle East.