Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Whither Pakistan? Tarek Fateh with Dr Baland Iqbal

Sorry, Urdu/Hindi speakers only. Tarek Fateh dissects and examines under the microscope the Pakistani mindset. He sees as the only solution the dissolution of Pakistan into its four provinces.

Update: for the Hindi/Urdu challenged, my rough notes below the fold.

My very rough notes of the interview:

Dr Baland Iqbal (BI) starts off with God is dead, and He died on the day the first child was murdered in His Creation. Referring to the Peshawar school massacre BI says that there was no God in the sky or on the ground to save the children. And there were many more such murders of children before. And BI calls upon the liberal scholar, Tarek Fateh (TF), to make sense of all of this.

BI asks TF about why all this is happening, to start with, the good & bad Taliban.

TF replies that the good and bad Taliban are identical twins, whom only their mother can distinguish; and their mother is Pakistan. And this game of blood has been going on since 1947 (the year Pakistan was created). The basis of Pakistan is separateness and hatred; it is based on a superiority complex, that Muslims cannot live anywhere where they are not in a majority. It is not possible for Muslims to live in "Dar-ul-Harb" (the "abode of war" as opposed to the Dar-ul-Islam,, "the abode of Islam") except as a fifth column, in enmity to the non-Muslim majority. That is why Pakistan was formed, that we do not wish to live among the Hindu majority of Hindustan. In the name of religion we divide Hindustan with its 5000 year-old civilization, now we are feeling the consequences.

The Peshawar massacre occurred on December 16; on December 16, 1971, this very army that killed 3 million Bengalis surrendered to the Mukti Bahini (the Bangladeshi freedom fighters) - why will those who have no shame about that have any shame over the murder of 140 children?

BI then asks TF, what was behind the release of Zakiur Rehman (the mastermind of the Nov 26, 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai, India) the very next day. Was the goal redirection toward Hindustan?

TF replies that there is not one army, not one government. There is the civilian intelligence bureau, there is the army military intelligence, there is the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence). Some army officers quaff whisky in the evenings (alcohol is strictly forbidden by Islam), others recite the Quran (tilawat). There is no common worldview, the nation itself is artificial. This will break into its provinces, Sind, Baluchistan, the trans-Indus Pashtun province - put together as an Anglo-American enterprise to stop communism, the need for it is over. Now flopping around like a fish out of water, when it will die, who knows? The ideology of Pakistan was finished in 1971. Strange that no one pointed out that this December 16 (1971) was the day when Pakistan lost its dignity, people were happy that the starving, ill-clothed Bengalis were gone, there were floods there every year. Pakistanis do not understand that calamity, still playing the same game, as though you killed your mother and now you are attacking your father.

BI says it is being said that before this there were killings of children.

TF says, those were the children of the poor; in Peshaware the children of the elite were killed, children of officers who like me wear tie and jacket. It is a question of whom is it permissible to kill. Last year, roughly the same time, when more than a hundred Christians were killed in Peshawar, what difference did it make, somebody blew them up, they were only Christians.

BI asks whether the Peshawar attack might expose schisms within the army.

TF says, I've said before that either Pakistan can exist or its army; they cannot both continue.

BI asks, was the beginning of all this with Zia ul Haq (military dictator 1978-88, who explicitly Islamized Pakistan)?

TF replies, it goes back further. Ghulam Muhammad (the third Governor General of Pakistan) dissolved the Assembly (in 1953); before that Liaquat Ali Khan who brought in Islam through the Objectives Resolution, a man who could not win an election in Pakistan, so you made him Prime Minister. Suhrawardy (Bengali politician) who was slated to become Prime Minister after 1947, you prohibited him from going to Bengal; and you took Liaqat Ali Khan, who wore churidaar-kurta (Punjabi dress) and spoke much better Urdu - you took him from Haryana (now in India) and made him Prime Minister. Liaqat Ali brought in Islam after the death of Jinnah through the Objectives Resolution (the preamble to the Pakistani constitution). Once you're playing the game of Islam -- well, it is a dangerous game.

BI asks was there any debate about this in Pakistan.

TF explains, the first constitution of Pakistan was in 1956, which created the "One Unit". "One Unit" took the North-west Frontier Province, and Baluchistan -- Baluchistan which was an independent state that was taken over by the Pakistani Army in 1948, and killed the Khan of Kalat and his family and annexed the state to Pakistan -- and made them all into One Unit. The man in Gwadar (Baluchistan) had his capital in Lahore! The province of Sind was abolished, there were prohibitions on the Sindhi language, Pashto was restricted, Punjabis gave up their own language for Urdu. An Urdu-stan was created to balance Bengal. About 60% of Pakistanis were Bengali and Bengali language was not acceptable to the rulers of West Pakistan who were Mohajirs (immigrants from India at the time of Partition) or Punjabis - how could that barbarian language of those short-statured people have national status? To balance Bengali, you introduced Urdu, and squashed Sindhi, Pashto, Punjabi in favor of Urdu. To do this, you took the help of the army; the first martial law was applied in Punjab in 1953, when there were the anti-Ahmedi riots.

Then there was the 1958 martial law. That came about because in the (scheduled) 1959 elections the victory of the National Awami Party was almost certain. The National Awami Party had two demands. The first was that Pakistan withdraw from CENTO and SEATO, the American security pacts akin to NATO. The second was that West Pakistan ("One Unit") be reconstituted as its four provinces. At that time Sheikh Mujibur Rehman ("Father of Bangladesh") was member of that party; and when it seemed that that party would win the elections, the army intervened, (General) Ayub Khan abrogated the constitution. Sikandar Mirza who was the President at the time was ousted. By October 1958, Pakistan's trajectory was completely changed, and a man who had taken oaths of loyalty to the British Army took charge.

Remember, those who made up the Pakistani army in 1947 had two choices - they could join the Indian National Army of Subhash Chandra Bose that fought the British or join the British. Those who fought the British were incarcerated in Pakistan and those who sided with the British ruled the roost. The Army makes cement, cornflakes, trades, trucks, makes bombs, sells bombs to the Taliban, takes money from America to kill Taliban - how long can this continue?

(We are only upto minute 12 of the 45 minute interview.)

BI remarks that it is an open secret that Pakistan has been kept on a permanent war-footing. But it seems to me that other countries do similar things, e.g., America. So I want to move westwards and discuss Syria, ISIS/ISIL and then let's connect up with Pakistan.

TF says this is an important issue for Pakistan - this desire for a Caliphate, Pan-Islamism is a disease of Hindustani Islam, it is not an Arab issue. Arab nationalism - Arabs always identify themselves as Arab & Muslim, they do not see any differentiation between the two. The Indian or Pakistani Muslims who join ISIS go as cooks, cleaners, polish shoes. The Hindustani, Pakistani or Bangladeshi is not allowed to consort with the (enslaved) Arab women that the Arabs are permitted. For in their Shariah, the Hindustani Muslim is not allowed to have any form of sexual relations with an Arab woman. Understand their racism, the Arab superiority - for them Islam is their brand.

The Muslim from Hindustan has renounced any connection with Hindustan. You can't think of Iran without Nowruz (the pre-Islamic Persian New Year). But (in Pakistani Punjab) there is no Basant (the pre-Islamic Punjabi spring festival), is there? Nor has the Indonesia Muslim renounced Indonesia. Your and my names are completely Arabicized, because we have accepted Arabs as our overlords and taken up pan-Islamism. (TBD A couple of sentences about the Islamic States of Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and a fourth formula where the constitution is Sharia that I don't fully understand.)

BI asks whether Pakistanis understand where they are headed, that their women might sell for $300 (for weapons?) and Pakistan might become an ISIS-like Islamic state?

TF replies that the Pakistani army had prostituted a hundred thousand Bengali women in Bangladesh; the United Nations had to start abortion clinics, the Pakistani army had left so many Muslim Bangladeshi women pregnant in 1971 that there was a crisis in mid-1972. So this zinna (sexual relations) with Muslim women in a war, Pakistan has already done; it has already done all that the Shariah permits. Shariah allows the wives of non-Muslim prisoners-of-war to be your sex-slaves, there is no question about this. One just has to read the Sirah (biography of the Prophet). Now when you have accepted that you are inferior to Arabs, Ibn Taimmiya says that very clearly, that to consider a non-Arab equal to an Arab is a sin. Some will say that the Prophet Muhammad says that all people are equal, but that is what he said. Those who wrote the Shariah wrote it two hundred years later; so you can either dump the Shariah and Hadith, and say Ibn Taimmiya is wrong - this is from the 14th century and the reason is that roughly around 1250 the Abbasid Caliphate was destroyed and Baghdad was captured by the Tatars and Mongols, who later converted to Islam. But Arabs lost their sovereignty from the 13th century till this day. First the Turks ruled them for 600 years. The Iranian Safavid dynasty, the Hindustani Muslim, e.g., the Nizam of Hyderabad had some power; but the Arabs had no power, and relies primarily on his superiority authorized to him by the writings of Ibn Taimmiya. But 99% of Pakistanis have not read the Hadith, the Sirah, Ibn Taimmiya - they become Islamicized based on (ignorant) goodwill.

BI asks about the general IQ in this regard (???) of Pakistani and Hindustani Muslims; TF says it is a Pakistani problem, Hindustani Muslims don't have this problem, they are better and far ahead of Pakistani Muslims.

BI then wants to talk about Saudi Arabia, Iran, their interests in the Middle East, their relations with Pakistan, the money Nawaz Sharif got for Pakistan by sending Pakistani army there.

TF says there are effects when you become a client state. Pakistan had a respectable role till about 1973 because the Saudis had not yet become ascendant. Oil prices shot up with the war in 1973 and the oil embargo, when the prices shot up to $20-30 a barrel, when previously they were $3-3.5 a barrel. Saudis did not have enough money to buy people, when the Emir of the United Arab Emirates used to visit, the Deputy Commissioner of Karachi used to receive him. Turkey-Iran-Pakistan was the crescent belt fighting communism. After oil prices rose, Pakistan sold itself to the Saudis, and with the Iranians. The Shias came into ascendance in Iran with the 1979 revolution. The Shia of Pakistan persianized themselves, a bizarre identity complex that we are now Iranian, Imambada (Hindustani) became Imambargah (Persian).

Pakistan's problem is that it doesn't have its own identity. When you yourself say that you are not from Hindustan then where are you from? Has any Arab ever said he is not from Arabistan? Has a Turk ever denied being Turkish? This is singular that the Punjabi says that I'm not from Punjab. A person born in Hindustan, moved to Karachi from Bhopal, Bihar, Delhi or Hyderabad, says, I'm not Hindustan. Then where are you from? When the Pathan Peshawar was a Hindu city, and Lahore was Rama's (of the epic Ramayana) son Luv's city, then what are you talking about? Say this - I'm a Hindustani Muslim. Once you say you're not Indian, then you are nothing.

BI: Absolutely.

TF: In the absence of your own identity, anyone can along with two dollars, ten dollars, thousand dollars, can sell you an identity, be it Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, or the King of Saudi Arabia, and you are sold.

BI: After the break we will talk about ISIS and its connection with Pakistan, the Taliban, Pakistan's foreign policies. Accusations against Hindustan (regarding the Peshawar massacre) have begun, and also as usual, the West, some American or Hindu conspiracy, we will talk about this after a short break.


BI: There is one matter which has been troubling me, thinking about ISIS, when the children were killed it is said that the killers were speaking Arabic, don't know how true or false that is.

TF: It is wrong. Consider it to be your ignorance that you were putting children into a top school who don't know what Arabic sounds like and how it is spoken. (The perpetrators) turned out to all be Pakistani citizens. Consider that there are children in Peshawar who don't understand Pashto; they must be the children of Punjabis. How will a Pathan get into a good school. There must be a child or two, of course; but it is lie that the terrorists spoke Arabic. Is this an excuse? Some say the killers came from Hindustan, others say from Arabistan; brother, you gave raised these, in your garden, you sowed poison, and now that poison is affecting you.

There is no need to invoke ISIS here, the Pakistani army, in Baluchistan, via Shafiq Mengal (boss of the Defense Army for Pakistani Occupation of Baluchistan, allegedly responsible for the murders of Baluchi nationalists), killed many hundreds of children, destroyed schools; in Khuzdar (district of Baluchistan) the mass grave with several hundred dead bodies in which, you are a doctor, you know about these things, there was no food in their stomachs and post mortem suggested that everyone of them died buried alive, five hundred minimum Baloch children. In that country where no one shed a single tear for the Baloch children. One man, with three girls and my friend Talpur went on a foot march from Quetta (capital of Balochistan) to Islamabad (capital of Pakistan). Nobody supported him. No Urdu-ist, no Punjabi, no Caliph of Islam, no Sultan, no Qutbuddin Aibak (Islamic conqueror), nobody. They went alone, and returned alone.

Aasiya Bibi (Christian woman convicted of blasphemy) has been imprisoned now for six years, somebody in heaven must be hearing her lamentations.

BI: What is Nawaz Sharif's role? Is he just a clerk now?

TF: Nothing. He was made to be a clerk, he is a clerk. It is astounding that he took refuge from a dictatorship in Saudi Arabia, not in England, or India, but in a place where you are mistreated even for breathing, where Pakistanis are treated worse than dogs. Benazir Bhutto at least went to the United Arab Emirates or was in London. This man took refuge in Saudi Arabia.

BI: So the army has taken full control?

TF: The army has always had full control....A country where educated people are saying "Army Zindabad" (long live the army) where the army has accomplished nothing. I was shocked to see senior Dawn correspondents tweeting they are proud of General Shareef, (to be completed).