Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The state of Pakistani population statistics

The state of Pakistani official statistics is interesting.

After a story earlier in the year, about preliminary results from the Pakistan census 2011,  showing the population to be 192+ million, there is nothing further.

The Economic Survey of Pakistan 2011-12

gives a figure for the population of Pakistan, 2011, as 177 million.
Their source is:
National Institute of Population Studies, Planning & Development Division, June 2010

Trying to chase that down, I find another survey, where the source for the 177 million is given as:
"P&D, Division, National Institute of Population Studies (NIPS), CIA Fact Book".
( )

Their official publication depends on the CIA fact book!!!!

The last actual survey from NIPS appears to be from 2007.
( )

This also appears to be the case with the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

Anyway, the CIA Fact Book has in the meantime been updated.
Pakistan's population is:
190,291,129 (July 2012 est.)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Being Shia in Pakistan

Let me share an email with you. It is reproduced with slight changes as the sender appeared uncomfortable being identified. Under the circumstances who would blame anybody choosing anonymity to protect themselves?
“I write to you as Shia killings warrant attention. Today (Friday, Nov 30) a 7th Grade student, 12-year-old Syeda Mehzar Zehra was shot by the Taliban/SSP on (Karachi’s) busy Shaheed-i-Millat Road as she was on her way to school.
“She was a classmate of my child at Al Murtaza school. Her father, driving her to school, was shot dead, while the child is in a critical state. Some reports indicate that at least 10 people have been killed today for being ‘Shia …’.
“I write because my own child is subdued, sad and in a state of shock since the morning. We are trying to do our best to help our child cope; other classmates would of course be in the same state of panic and grief.
“Much as the Malala incident was regrettable, Mehzar was also doing the same — going to seek an education. Where are the media and the so-called civil society and human rights activists? I write in the hope you might be moved to take notice, Sir.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Weakness of liberals

People like Mr Sword are also important because, unlike liberals, they retain the ability to speak, write, compose poems and make speeches in their own languages.
The Mr Sword that I know speaks chaste Punjabi and fluent Urdu. He quotes versus from the Holy Quran and couplets from Sufi poetry in his speeches. Most liberals cannot. So when he speaks, he has an impact. The English-mixed, Urdu, Punjabi or Sindhi the liberals speak, does not have an impact.


 Jinnah and some of the other Westernized Muslims in the Muslim League (like their later descendant Imran Khan) seem to have had the vague notion that a true Islamic state was some sort of social-democratic welfare state that was first introduced into the world by the Caliph Omar and then taken by the Swedes to Europe (see here for details regarding this belief).  Some of them even thought Pakistan would be a secular Westminster- style democracy, but one dominated by Muslims rather than Hindus (to which they added the common belief that Muslims are "inherently democratic" while Hindus are “caste-ridden”).
From Omar Ali, on Shias and their future in Pakistan.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The war on journalists

Pakistan Taliban try to blow up Geo News journalist, Hamid Mir.

The Taliban threatened Mr Mir and other journalists for their coverage of the militants' shooting of schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai last month.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Creating terrorists

Dean Nelson writes in The Telegraph (UK) about the President of Pakistan:
Asif Zardari told a meeting of former senior civil servants in Islamabad, it was time to be honest about their deployment.
"Let us be truthful to ourselves and make a candid admission of the realities," he said. "The terrorists of today were the heroes of yesteryears until 9/11 occurred and they began to haunt us as well."
These groups were not thrown up because of government weakness, but as a matter of policy. He said they were deliberately "created and nurtured" as a policy to achieve some short-term tactical objectives.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bangash: Ghosts of Partition

Yaqoob Khan Bangash, Chairperson of the History Department at Forman Christian College Lahore ,  writes in the Tribune

Every country’s Independence Day is a defining moment in its history. The events of the day are the culmination of years of struggle and the day hearkens to a new beginning. The same is true for Pakistan, except that we have yet to move on from our ‘1947’ moment. This is not because historians keep writing about it but that in our collective memory, we still have to reconcile with the events of 1947 and move forward. Let me highlight just a few aspects.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Endless rehashing of whether Jinnah wanted Partition or not

The latest installment.

Some questions and answers:

Q1. Where did the proposal allowing for secession after 10 years come from?

 From the Muslim League proposals of May 12, 1946 (here)
10. The Constitution of the Union shall have a provision whereby any Province can, by a majority vote of its Legislative Assembly, call for reconsideration of the terms of the Constitution, and will have the liberty to secede from the Union at any time after an initial period of ten years.
The Cabinet Mission Plan statement of May 16, 1946 (here) accomodated it as follows (also read answer to Q2)
(6) The Constitutions of the Union and of the groups should contain a provision whereby any Province could by majority vote of its Legislative Assembly could call for a reconsideration of the terms of the Constitution after an initial period of ten years and at ten-yearly intervals thereafter.

Q2. What was the Congress response to the above proposal?

 From the same link above, the relevant points

a.  from the Congress' proposals of May 12, 1946
8. The Constitution should provide machinery for its revision at any time subject to such checks as may be desired. If so desired, it may be specifically stated that this whole Constitution may be reconsidered after 10 years.

b. from the Congress response to Muslim League Proposals of May 12, 1946
(10) The Constitution of the Union will inevitably contain provisions for its revision. It may also contain a provision for its full reconsideration at the end of ten years. The matter will be open then for a complete reconsideration. Though it is implied, we would avoid reference to secession as we do not wish to encourage this idea."
 Q3. What would the strength of Muslims be in the proposed Central Legislature per the May 12 proposals?

The Muslim League: (here)
6. There should be parity of representation between the two groups of Provinces in the Union Executive and the Legislature, if any.
 7. No major point in the Union Constitution which affects the communal issue shall be deemed to be passed in the joint constitution-making body, unless the majority of the members of the constitution-making body of the Hindu provinces and the majority of the members of the constitution-making body of the Pakistan Group, present and voting, are separately in its favour.
 The Congress: (here)
(6 and 7) We are entirely opposed to parity of representation as between groups of Provinces in the Union Executive or Legislature. We think that the provision to the effect that no major communal issue in the Union Constitution shall be deemed to be passed by the Constituent Assembly unless a majority of the members of the community or communities concerned present and voting in the Constituent Assembly are separately in its favour, is a sufficient and ample safeguard of all Minorities.

We have suggested something wider and including all communities than has been proposed elsewhere. This may give rise to some difficulties in regard to small communities, but all such difficulties can be got over by reference to arbitration. We are prepared to consider the method of giving effect to this principle so as to make it more feasible.
Q4. What did the Cabinet Mission Plan statement of May 16 say about the composition of a Central Legislature?

It did not say much.  On the subject of the Central Legislature, here are the salient points:
(2) The Union should have an Executive and a Legislature constituted from British Indian and States' representatives. Any question raising a major communal issue in the Legislature should require for its decision a majority of the representatives present and voting of each of the two major communities as well as a majority of all members present and voting.
 Q5. Did Jinnah interpret the 10 year clause in the Cabinet Mission Plan as allowing for secession?

As per Jinnah's conversation with Major Woodrow Wyatt on May 24, 1946, Jinnah was upset that the Cabinet Mission Plan statement did not allow provinces to secede.

6. His general criticism of the Statement was that it had not settled any of the fundamentals. For example:-
(d) Provinces had not been given the right to secede after 10 years although the Congress had always been willing to give the right to secede and had raised no real objection this time at Simla.
 Q6.  Was Jinnah quite happy with the federal solution laid down by the Cabinet Mission Plan?

As per Jinnah's conversation with Major Woodrow Wyatt on May 24, 1946,  this is what Jinnah thought:

3. He considered that the Statement was not a practicable proposition. The machinery envisaged would not work and could not work mainly because there was no spirit of co-operation on the Congress side. The Mission had obviously not even fully appreciated the situation in India. What was required was a surgical operation. This Statement would settle nothing.....

5. He said that the preamble to the Mission's Statement had bitterly hurt the feelings of the Muslims. Not only that, it was inconsistent with the rest of the Statement. This onslaught was quite unnecessary and had been done in order to placate Congress. Indeed, the word Pakistan was an anathema throughout the Statement. This preamble made matters even more difficult for him than before.

6. His general criticism of the Statement was that it had not settled any of the fundamentals. For example:-

(a) The Muslim group of Provinces had not got parity with the others at the centre.

(b) There was no real protection for the Muslims in the Constituent Assembly, because from the very start the chairman would be a Hindu, unless the Muslims were to say that the election of the chairman was a communal issue, in which case the Constituent Assembly would break down straight away.

(c) The position of the States was left far too vague.

(d) Provinces had not been given the right to secede after 10 years although the Congress had always been willing to give the right to secede and had raised no real objection this time at Simla.

(e) The Union had been given the power to raise money. This was not a communal issue and would inevitably lead to taxation from the Centre with other subjects being added on the short list of the Union Government.

7. He explained to the Viceroy why there should be entirely separate Constituent Assemblies which only met together for the purpose of deciding the structure of the Union Government.

He thought the Viceroy had understood. This was a psychological matter and the Mission had created a single Constituent Assembly working in three sections only to please the Congress, ignoring Muslim feeling.

8. The only real safeguard for the Muslims was parity between Federations. The method of voting on communal issues would not work as there would always be dispute as to what was a communal issue and what was not.

9. He could not understand why the Muslim provinces had been split into two groups. He agreed that it was something to have the groups at all and without them he could not even have looked at the Scheme.

10. He disliked the Advisory Committee on which the Muslims would be in a minority, and as far as he could see would be unable to prevent the Union Constituent Assembly incorporating its recommendations as a part of the constitution of the Union Government, thus added another subject to those dealt with by the Union Government.

11. He dilated at considerable length on the attitude of Congress who had not conceded anything during the Simla Conference and would never approach the Constituent Assembly in a spirit of co-operation. They would aim the whole time to use their majority to steam-roller the Muslim League and sidetrack the provision as to safeguarding the Muslims on communal issues. It was inconceivable that such a Constituent Assembly could work at all.

12. He will not come down to Delhi until June 1st or 2nd. He can say nothing further until he has consulted the Muslim League Working Committee and Council. He is being bombarded with telegrams from his supporters protesting against the Statement and the Muslim reaction is very strong against it. My own impression is that he definitely wants to see where he is with the Muslim League before giving a decision on the Statement and he wants them to have time in which to absorb the two shocks which they have been given.

(a) His own letter agreeing to a Union Government
(b) The preamble to the Mission's Statement.

He is particularly hurt that the Mission have seized on this concession(which was an enormous one from his stand point) and have not taken his offer as a whole. None of the provisos that went with it have been accepted. I pointed out to him that everything that Congress had asked for had not been accepted either but he did not seem particularly convinced.
Q7.   Does the conversation of Major Woodrow Wyatt and Jinnah on May 24, 1946 prove "...that Muslim League’s resolution was aimed at saving face with its own constituents and did not have any serious ramifications in terms of the federation that was envisaged under the Cabinet Mission Plan, which Jinnah seemed to believe was workable"?

The answer to Q6 provides excerpts to this very conversation, which show that Jinnah did not believe the plan was workable.  Second,  there is nothing here about saving face:

13. I asked him, in view of the foregoing, whether he thought that the Muslim League Working Committee might possibly pass a resolution on the following lines:-

The British had exceeded their brief in pronouncing on the merits of Pakistan. They had no business to turn down what millions of people wanted. Their analysis of Pakistan was outrageous. But the Muslims had never expected the British to give them Pakistan. They had never expected anyone to give them Pakistan. They knew they had to get it by their own strong right arm.

The scheme outlined in the Cabinet Mission's Statement was impracticable and could not work. But nevertheless in order to show that they would give it a trial, although they knew that the machinery could not function, they would accept the Statement and would not go out of their way to sabotage the procedure-but they would accept the Statement as the first step on the road to Pakistan.

At this proposition he was delighted and said "That's it, you've got it", and I am completely convinced that that is what the Muslim League will do.
14. He will demand parity in the Interim Government if he decides to come into it.
 PS: Jinnah's public statement of May 22, 1946 on the Cabinet Mission Plan has pretty much the same complaints that he reiterated to Major Wyatt on May 24 (answer to Q6 above).

PPS: As to the sincerity of the June 5-6 acceptance of the Cabinet Mission Plan by Jinnah, also see this.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Djinn Energy 2001

DJINN ENERGYA leading Pakistani nuclear scientist who was questioned by the Pakistani government last week concerning his ties to the Taliban is known as a proponent of "Islamic science," a weird hybrid of scientific terminology and Islamic lore.
Sultan Bashiruddin Mehmood is a pioneer in the development of nuclear technology in Pakistan. But in 1980, as a senior director of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, he "recommended that djinns [or genies], being fiery creatures, ought to be tapped as a free source of energy. By this means, a final solution to Pakistan's energy problems would be found."
This episode was recounted by Pakistani physicist Pervez Hoodbhoy in his enlightening book "Islam and Science: Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality" (Zed Books, 1991).
In a Wall Street Journal article on Islamic science (13 September 1988), Dr. Mehmood noted that King Solomon had harnessed energy from djinns. "I think that if we develop our souls we can develop communications with them," he said.
While the notion of "djinn energy" is ridiculous -- even in Pakistan there are no djinn engines -- ridicule is beside the point. A more important point is that influential figures in the Islamic world are devoted to a view of reality that cannot be readily reconciled with conventional Western thought. This is a "translation" problem that cannot be solved with dictionaries.
The detention of Bashiruddin Mehmood, which is expected to be temporary, was reported in the Pakistan Observer in Islamabad on October 25. See "Nuclear Scientists Picked [Up] By Agencies":

Pakistan's water-powered car

Shahid Saeed picks apart the water-powered perpetual motion machine, invented in Pakistan:

Charlatans, quacks and scammers in Pakistan are not a new phenomenon. Witch doctors, black magic practitioners, and herbal healers have long been a part of society, offering ways to cure a disease, get revenge on your mother-in-law or to improve sexual prowess.

These days, however, classical physics is being brutally murdered on television in Pakistan, in front of millions, even if only a few of them care about Science. The laws of conservation of energy, the laws of thermodynamics, basic human intelligence and rationality have been brought to the guillotine. The sentence was carried out by a team of ‘engineers’ from Khairpur, talk show hosts, their production teams and unscientifically leaning ‘renowned scientists’ brought as expert commentators.
‘Engineer’ Agha Waqar and his team have invented the magic pill which will solve all the world’s – but first Pakistan’s energy problems. Lo, and behold, the ‘water kit’! It has already got the nod of approval from a few ministers, a ‘report’ of some sort is due in two weeks on it and the heads of the Pakistan Council of Scientific; and Industrial Research and Pakistan Science Foundation are believers too.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The (Re)construction of a liberal Pakistan

David Igntius's Washington Post column, "Our high-maintenance relationship with Pakistan",
Why did it take Washington more than seven months to apologize for the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers? But you know the answer: It’s because the United States and Pakistan have the most neurotic, mutually destructive “friendly” relationship in the world.
provoked this response from a reader, indianobserver:
See, till May 1 2011, Pakistan Army was a liberal moderate army of professional soldiers whether on CNN or in far reaches of left and right wing blogs. May 2 after Bin Laden was killed it was difficult for Pak Army to be moderate and liberal but everyone tried, whether on CNN or in far reaches of left and right wing blogs. But plausible deniability Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall. Here's a suggestion on how to get the plausible deniability Humpty Dumpty together again. Write a couple of articles iin WP/NYT on attending a private party in Lahore where you meet all these well speaking Ivy League returns quoting the Greek classics especially a impeccably dressed young nubile one who speaks eloquently on moderation in Islam and running a business/teaching Faust(all ingredients are required). Or you could go to Karachi and report on a fashion show or TV studio where you meet all these well speaking Ivy League returns quoting the Greek classics especially a impeccably dressed young nubile one who speaks eloquently on moderation in Islam and running a business/teaching Faust(all ingredients are required). Do a couple of those articles, and Pakistan Army can go back to being liberal moderate and professional on CNN and in far reaches of right and left wing blogs. I am sure making this sound authentic is within your creative reach. Mr Haqqani will help you get the details right.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

English and Urdu

Khaled Ahmed writes in The Friday Times:  (one never knows when the link will no longer be available)

There is no doubt that Pakistan is in trouble. The world says that. Every Pakistani says that too. But the diagnoses of the two are different. That inclines Pakistan to disagree and take on the world for the wrong diagnosis. The world thinks Pakistan tolerates terrorism inside its territory and is either unwilling to counter it or lacks the capacity to do so. Pakistan thinks terrorism is caused by powers from outside (the US, India, Israel); therefore Pakistan has to fight these powers if possible with the help of its 'reformed' terrorists.

The world analyses Pakistan's disease in light of facts; Pakistan analyses the world outsides through strong emotion. It accomplishes the task in two methodologies that mutually undermine themselves.

In English, it reveals facts about itself that are unsavoury. Those who do so can be bullied or even killed. In Urdu, the paranoid response of the state is monolithic. English punctures the microcosm of a nationalist comprehension of the world. Urdu is the carrier of raw emotion and contains textbook solutions of crises. Urdu cannot violate the rule of its discourse. You can get away with the truth in English but not in Urdu. The state, the Taliban and Al Qaeda all scan Urdu carefully. You can get killed.

Saturday, June 30, 2012


(Ultimate source - Transfer of Power Papers, proximate source: Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah Papers, Volume VIII, The States: Historical and Policy Perspectives and Accession to Pakistan, Edited by Z.H. Zaidi)

M.A. Jinnah to Louis Mountbatten

9 August 1947

Dear Lord Mountbatten,
  Many thanks for your letter dated the 8th of August along with a letter from Lord Ismay.

  I have accepted the draft agreement between Pakistan and Kalat, and you may now issue the communique {Annex I} accordingly.


Annex I to PS-66
Press Communique on Situation between Pakistan and Kalat State
11 August 1947
As a result of a meeting held between a delegation from Kalat and officials of the Pakistan States Department, presided over by the Crown Representative, and of a series of meetings between the Crown Representative, His Highness of Kalat, and Mr Jinnah, the following is the situation:

1. The Government of Pakistan recognizes Kalat as an independent sovereign State in treaty relations with the British Government, with a status different from that of Indian States.

2. Legal opinion will be sought as to whether or not agreements of leases between the British Government and Kalat will be inherited by the Pakistan Government.

3. When this opinion has been received, further meetings will take place between representatives of Pakistan and the Khan of Kalat at Karachi.

4. Meanwhile a Standstill Agreement has been made between Pakistan and Kalat.

5. Discussions will take place between Pakistan and Kalat at Karachi at an early date with a view to reaching decisions on Defence, External Affairs and Communications.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

America's failed Pakistan policy

C Christine Fair wakes up to the failure of American policy with respect to Pakistan.

At long last, it seems, various agencies of the United States government have come to the conclusion that Pakistan cannot be changed. Islamabad's behavior in the region will remain staunchly pegged to its antipathy toward New Delhi. It will pursue policies that threaten the integrity of the Pakistani state for no other reason but the chimerical objective of resisting the obvious rise of India, while clinging to the delusion that it is India's peer competitor -- despite obvious and ever-growing disparities
Fair outlines some new policy prescriptions, and then,
While some may view these offerings as unreasonable, reckless, dangerous, and irresponsible, it is equally fair to ask whether Washington's decades of policies toward Pakistan have been unreasonable, dangerous, and irresponsible? Moreover, what good have they accomplished?
My take is (1) late to the party, but finally arrived and (2) yes, Washington's decades of policy towards Pakistan have been unreasonable, dangerous and irresponsible.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Exemplar in Foreign Relations

MajorlyProfound provides this list of official superlatives:

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Delusions of a Pakistani Marxist

Lal Khan, editor of the Asian Marxist Review and so on, in the Daily Times, on Bangladesh:
(emphasis added)
Revolutionary upheaval on a class basis had erupted in both East and West Pakistan in 1968. The state was hanging in midair as a revolutionary wave swept across the country. Power was there to be seized. Lack of a revolutionary leadership prepared and determined to carry out a socialist revolution, necessary for a victorious class struggle, led to the derailing of the movement onto nationalist lines. Even then, as military aggression was being defeated, in liberated areas, people’s soviets, with JSD, communists and left nationalists in the leadership, were taking control. A new order was coming into being that threatened the whole system. Fear of the revolution spreading to West Bengal and beyond persuaded the Indian army to enter East Bengal. The defeated Pakistani army was salvaged for another occasion by its supposed foe and transported to prisons in India to subsequently return home. The Indian and Pakistan elites were and are terrified of a revolutionary transformation. War was waged to divert it. The US seventh fleet anchored with marines on board in the Bay of Bengal to intervene in case the Indian army failed to crush the burgeoning revolt. The bourgeois nationalist government based in Calcutta was installed under Indian patronage. Capitalism was saved. People continued to suffer its exploitation and repression.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

On Urdu columnists

Introspection is alien to Urdu columnists. Pakistan is never to be blamed for its ills, it is always some foreign powers who are trying to sabotage the fort of Islam and our Islamic bomb (the last I checked, inanimate objects were not practicing any faith but I digress).  The foreign country bashing is not limited to but is generally aimed at United States of America and India – depending on what the topic of conversation is. The really good writers do not just go ahead and blame India for all slights and transgressions – imagined and real – they invent a fictional white Caucasian character they have met in trips abroad and make him say that India is a horrible place where everyone is evil and Pakistan is the ultimate Shangri-La.  After all, the hidden racist within us would agree more with a learned white man than a Pakistani, even if that Pakistani happens to be an esteemed columnist traveling to the foreign lands inhabited by learned white people.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


From Twitter:
Nitin Pai ‏@acorn Pakistan is a state of mind. It can happen to anyone if they are not careful.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Indicators of liberalism

Taimur Ashraf, in the Daily Times, has an interesting point to make.  Since Jinnah, a lawyer, defended in court both Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak (1909, on a charge of sedition) and Ilam Din (1929, appeal of his death sentence awarded for the murder of Rajpal; motive of the murder - alleged blasphemy against the Prophet),  Jinnah's liberal credentials are established.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The cost of losing East Pakistan

Regarding Gilgit-Baltistan [GB], Nazir Naji writes:
What did we lose after losing East Pakistan? Those who are pushing this country deep into a quagmire in the name of Islam still have no idea about how grave that loss was. The leadership of East Pakistan would never have let Pakistan be embroiled in the Afghan war. The Kashmir problem would possibly have been solved. Just like India, Pakistan would be on the road to rapid development. We would be standing with dignity in the comity of nations. Our society would have been free from the scourge of violence. No OBL would have been ensconced safely in our quarters and no Hafiz Saeed would have had the gall to support foreign terrorists. We have seen all this because we let East Pakistan go. And what is happening in GB now, if I allude even perfunctorily to it, it would scare the daylights out of most.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Census: Preliminary : Pakistan population > 192M

(Click on the image for a larger version)
Sources of data:
and below.

That Pakistan's population is 192+ million is supposedly the preliminary count from the 2011 census.  The previous census was in 1998, when the population was 131 million.    If these figures are correct (but every figure from Pakistan needs to be taken with a degree of skepticism), the experts been greatly mis-estimating Pakistan's population growth rate.

For instance, the World Bank lists for Pakistan, Population, total (2010, estimated) 173,593,383.

The UN estimates were:

           Year       Value
1995  127,347,000
2000 144,522,000
2005 158,645,000
2010 173,593,000
2015 189,648,000

and so on.
There are low, medium, high, and constant fertility population projections available there for all countries, including Pakistan.  Even in the high projection, Pakistan reaches 191 million only in 2015.

The constant fertility projection is as follows, which means that fertility in Pakistan can only be increasing - i.e., more surviving children per woman.

Year  Pop('000s)
1995    127347
2000    144522
2005    158645
2010    173593
2015    192422
2020    213758
2025    237213
2030    261599
2035    287169
2040    314904
2045    345569
2050    379242

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pakistan Day

There has been some controversy in the Pakistan press about just when Pakistan Day began to be celebrated.  The correct answer is that Pakistan Day was celebrated March 23, 1941 and every year since till 1947 as the anniversary of the Lahore Resolution.  I do not know if Pakistan Day was observed in 1948. (Jinnah was in East Pakistan arguing with them about Bengali and other issues.)

Photographs of the source documents are below the fold.  Clicking on them should lead you to flickr, where larger sizes should be available. One day, I may transcribe them.

Note: 1942 is the only case where we can quibble about whether "Pakistan Day" is inferred from the date rather than from Jinnah's statements.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ishtiaq Ahmed: What's inside Muslim minds

Distinguished Pakistani sociologist Professor Emeritus Riaz Hassan has undertaken one of the most extensive studies of the religious consciousness of Muslims: Inside the Muslim Minds (Melbourne University Press, 2008). It has recently been published under the title Muslim Zehn from Lahore (Mashaal Books, February 2012).It covers seven countries — Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Iran and Turkey — and is based on the evidence of 6,390 Muslim respondents. The research was conducted in cooperation with research institutes in the respective countries. The themes include issues of personal piety, conscience, philanthropy and social justice, veiling, blasphemy, hudood laws, jihad, political order and religious institutions, globalisation and the Islamic ummah, Islam and civil society, mutual suspicions between Muslims and the West. The author has adhered to the highest standards of honest and qualified research. The result is a mine of information and profound insights. He makes it clear at the outset that multiple meanings and interpretations of Islam are possible. The two main interpretative approaches he identifies are those of the apologists who strive to reconcile Islam with modernity and the Islamists who fiercely oppose it. It is the latter’s influence that has been growing currently and the book highlights the problematic aspects of this.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Jinnah and Robeson's music

Via pakteahouse, this

Taj Mahal Foxtrot
Naresh Fernandes
Lustre/Roli Books
Rs 1,295 pp 192

At the stroke of the midnight hour, when India was coughing awake to light and freedom, the charmed people of Bombay and Karachi were celebrating in swing time. In Bombay’s Taj Mahal Hotel, jazz bands led by saxophonist Micky Correa and trumpeter Chic Chocolate were playing the new national anthem with a young JRD Tata and Vijaylakshmi Pandit in audience. At the Karachi Club a night later, Ken Mac’s band played a special request by Muhammad Ali Jinnah — Paul Robeson’s ‘The End’, which the Quaid-e-Azam apparently used to hum while visiting his wife’s grave in Mazagaon, Bombay.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Excerpts from Ispahani letters to Jinnah

M.A. Ispahani was the first Pakistani Ambassador to the US. The following series of excerpts relate to the United Nations actions on Jammu & Kashmir.

January 8, 1948

The Security Council met at 2.45 pm on Tuesday last and decided to admit India and Pakistan to their table and permit them to take part in the discussion without having the right to vote.
January 22, 1948

We are busy with the Security Council and Government is being kept informed by telegram of the developments. India is obstinate and Inshallah she shall be made to learn the lesson of her life. Zafrullah Khan is working like a Trojan; his presentation of our case before the Security Council was masterly and his negotiations across the table with the Indians are a feast for us who sit on his side. Every time he beats the best talent of India arrayed opposite us.

February 27, 1948

The other evening we had the pleasure of hearing Sheikh Abdullah making an ass of himself. He lost control of his tongue with the result that he even blasphemed by uttering that 'not even God Almighty, if appointed to take charge of the Interim Government, would remain neutral. Yesterday, Zafrullah Khan tore Abdullah to shreds.

March 27, 1948

The sudden turn of events at Lake Success must have shocked you. In spite of what Attlee told Zafrullah Khan in London, I did not think that the UK would dare commit such a volte face. She has, however, done it and managed to talk the USA, France, Canada and Belgium into following suit. China, who from the outset pulled in favour of India, served as an excellent tool. It is no longer a secret, in spite of the earlier denials by Britain that the Chinese resolution now before the Security Council was in fact sponsored by Britain and approved of by the USA......I am convinced that threat and blackmail on the part of India gave Attlee cold feet. It is both urgent and necessary therefore that the UK and the USA should be advised that we are determined not to swallow a pill that they are out to manufacture for us, which pill we know will cause us incalculable and irreparable injury....

March 31, 1948
It is really tragic to witness such a sudden change in the attitude of the majority of the Security Council. The very points they turned down as unfair, they now seek to justify as fair. Britain, of course, is behind the move. I think that the present international situation - USA/USSR tension - must have influenced the US through British pressure, to keep on the good side of India. So, an attempt is being made to throw us to the wolves.

April 5, 1948

At this stage it can be said that he [Zafrullah] received a fairly sympathetic hearing and it is hoped that Pakistan's viewpoint will not be disregarded totally. Much will, however, depend on the stand England takes, and so far, it seems that both Attlee and Cripps are out to appease India and to back her unreasonable views. They seem concerned about what India will accept and not with what is fair. We have had clear intimation from the British Delegation recently that they are unable to support our point of view......

Noel-Baker who sided with us and who still appears sympathetic, seems helpless. He has been sent back with a mandate to press us and to back India.

April 20, 1948

It seems that the Kashmir dispute will eventually have to be settled in Kashmir and not at Lake Success and that unless India faces a military reverse, there cannot be any hope for her seeing reason.
....[Zafrullah] quoted from the earlier speeches of the sponsors of the 'final resolution' to show how they had suddenly changed their stand and how they were now labouring to make us accept what they themselves not long ago, considered to be unfair and unjust. He made a clear analysis of the resolution and submitted our amendments to it which, as he said, were in line with the principles propounded by the nations before they were cast into the Hudson for some 'unknown' reason. Most of the representatives were unable to hide their discomfiture but that is hardly a consolation to us.

June 6, 1948

During the last five or six weeks, it has grown more and more patent that the members of the Security Council are no longer interested in the Indo-Pakistan dispute. Furthermore, they have shown themselves unwilling to arrive at a decision that will not be well received by India. Particularly the big powers are out more to appease India than do justice. It took me three weeks to get the President of the Security Council to call the meeting of May 27th. It was my constant pressure and protest that eventually persuaded the President, Parodi of France, to summon a meeting of the Council on the 27th of May....

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The forerunner of Nabi Fai?

The forerunner of Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai? From a letter from M.A. Ispahani to Jinnah, from Calcutta, February 17, 1947

As I advised you on my return form the U.S.A. the opening of a foreign publicity department in the U.S.A. is not as easy as in the U.K. Washington is most careful; it does not want foreign money to come in through the backdoor for propaganda purposes. I think Washington is afraid of Soviet Russia. Any citizen of U.S.A. who participates in foreign propaganda has to answer too many questions and produce, if required, his books of account. You will agree that no businessman wants or has the time to reply to all kinds of enquiries that may be made from time to time by Washington. In the circumstances, we have to see if arrangements cannot be made whereby the monthly expenses incurred by our Centre for its maintenance and publicity cannot be remitted to the persons directly in charge of the Centre. Liaquat Ali, our Finance Minister, is in a better position to guide us in the matter than anyone else. I shall be obliged if you will let me know what I should do. I shall be leaving for Delhi on the 19th of this month and I shall make it a point to discuss this matter with Liaquat Ali.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Imran Khan on Pakistani liberals

Who are these liberals? I want to know because if you look at our rallies, for me it was very satisfying because I have struggled for 15 years, but it was all cross-sections of society. It was girls coming in jeans. It was women coming from deeni madrassas, it was Urdu medium, English medium, the religious. All of them came. It's the only party in Karachi that does a rally and all sections of society come; the Pashtuns come and the Urdu speaking come and the Balochis, Sindhis. So it is a party that hopes to get all the country on one platform. I don't know whom you talk about. These liberals. I don't know these liberals, because these liberals back bombing of villages. They back drone attacks. I mean, I don't call them liberals. I call them fascists. In my book these people are fascists. They have criticised me because I opposed this War on Terror. I opposed this criminal bombing, aerial bombing of villages, women and children getting killed. And these people were applauding it. These are not liberals. This is the scum of Pakistan who call themselves liberals, who have brought this country to this stage. Because of them we have extremism in this country. When they look at these people who stand behind every American policy which allows this country to, all human rights being violated, people being picked up and disappeared, and they've applauded all that. These liberals, so called liberals, applauded the incineration, where they bombed this mosque when there were children and women in it, students in it. And these liberals were in the forefront. I don't call them liberals. I agree. I really think these are the scum of this country.
Full transcript of the interview

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sardar Patel on Direct Action

Volume III, Chapter IV, item 145 of Sardar Patel's Correspondence, issued in ten volumes edited by Durga Das:  Sardar Patel's letter to R.K. Sidhwa in Sind.

New Delhi
27 August 1946

My dear Sidhwa,

I have received your letters of the 22nd and 24th instant along with their enclosures.  

The Muslim League tried its programme of direct action in Calcutta and to their great bewilderment they have found out that two can play at the game although it may be started by one.  The poor Muslims in Calcutta have suffered terribly and the League had discredited itself by their doings in Calcutta.  If they follow the same method of arson, loot, murder and anarchy, they may be able to inflict hardship on the non-Muslims but eventually that way will without doubt lead the League organisation to ruin and destruction.  

I am not sure that your Governor will allow any violence or disturbance to take place, because he is much too clever not to understand his own responsibility and his own reputation would be at stake.  He will no doubt try his best to keep the Ministry in office but he will not allow his own reputation to suffer.  I hope things will ultimately straighten themselves.

Yours sincerely,
Vallabhbhai Patel

Shri R.K. Sidhwa


Some letters of Sardar Patel

Sardar Patel’s daughter, Maniben Patel, deposited his papers with the Navajivan Trust, Ahmedabad. Around 1970 Maniben Patel decided that it was time to make public Sardar Patel’s correspondence. The Navajivan Trust brought in Durga Das, former Chief Editor of the Hindustan Times, as editor, and ten volumes of correspondence, covering the period 1945-1950 were published.

Volume III, Chapter IV contains letters related to the Cabinet Mission Plan. Some of those are reproduced here.  I don't think any commentary is needed, because Sardar Patel's point of view is expressed very clearly.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Jinnah: a Bangla view

Mr. YLH points out:
It is important to draw a distinction here between state language/lingua franca and national language. The two are entirely distinct — the former is appurtenant to statehood and the latter is a cultural construct. Nowhere in any of his speeches on that fateful trip to East Pakistan did Jinnah refer to Urdu as the national language. He used the words state language and lingua franca interchangeably. More importantly, he repeatedly emphasised in the same speeches that East Pakistanis had every right to safeguard and protect the Bengali language and culture as the official language and culture of East Pakistan. The impression therefore that Jinnah was out to destroy the Bengali language and culture is erroneous.
Since it is a matter of language, let's see what Jinnah said and what Bengalis heard:
In a Radio Address to East Pakistanis before his departure from East Pakistan on March 28, 1948, Jinnah had harshly rebuked the critics of his language policy.  He characterized the opponents of Urdu language as the "opponents" of Pakistan.  He said that the supporters of Bengali as a state language are nothing but the "paid agents" of foreign countries.  Aimed at castigating those who had the guts to demand Bengali to be one of the State languages of Pakistan, an imbecile Jinnah had labeled the champions of Bengali language as "communists,"  "enemies of Pakistan," "breakers of integrity of Pakistan," "defeated and frustrated hate-mongers,"   "champions of provincialism," " breakers of peace and tranquility," "political assassins and political opportunists," "traitors," " inhabitants of fools' paradise," and "self-serving, fifth columnists" etc. He commended the Chief Minister Khawaja Nazimuddin for using various forms of repressive and aggressive measures against the supporters of Bengali language. Jinnah had repeatedly reminded the proponents of Bangla language that the Central Government of Pakistan "is determined to take appropriate stern actions" against these evil forces.
Note: the above is a composite of the speeches that Jinnah gave around that period, and all of the above is not in the one radio address.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Jinnah: Bengalis Muslims are all from outside

Mr. YLH keeps making points about Jinnah that cause me to look it up and find more interesting things about this man.  YLH writes:
Jinnah overturned the martial race theory, declaring that the martial qualities of the Bengalis had been suppressed by the colonial rulers and that the Bengalis were second to none. He thus became the first ruler in 200 years to undo the officially sanctioned racism against the Bengalis.

Even this is funny - prior to the revolt of 1857,  as you can check in Wiki or elsewhere - the British did not discriminate against the Bengalis in recruitment.
Each of the three "Presidencies" into which the East India Company divided India for administrative purposes maintained their own armies. Of these, the Army of the Bengal Presidency was the largest.
Since Jinnah gave a speech in 1948 reminding the Bengalis of their martial tradition, (and it is not clear he did anything to improve Pakistani army recruitment of Bengalis), it was only 91, not 200 years.  But Pakistan is known for its madrassa math.

But I digress.  Let me get to the point made in the headline.  In Dhaka (Dacca), addressing a public meeting, March 21, 1948, Jinnah tried to calm the apprehensions of the East Pakistanis about the official language, Urdu.  He blamed the "certain amount of excitement over the question of whether Bengali or Urdu shall be the State language of this Province and of Pakistan" on the enemies of Pakistan, who were seeking to foment provincialism.
As long as you do not throw off this poison [of provincialism] in our body politic, you will never be able to weld yourself, mould yourself, galvanize yourself into a real true nation.   What we want is not to talk about Bengali, Punjabi, Sindhi, Baluchi, Pathan and so on.  They are of course units.  But I ask you: have you forgotten the lesson that was taught to us thirteen hundred years ago? [i.e., Islam]  If I may point out, you are all outsiders here.  Who were the original inhabitants of Bengal—not those who are now living.  So what is the use of saying "we are Bengalis, or Sindhis, or Pathans, or Punjabis". No we are Muslims.
[emphasis added.  Quote from Speeches, Statements & Messages of the Quaid-e-Azam, Volume IV, collected and edited by Khurshid Ahmad Khan Yusufi.]