A few days ago, I saw a comment on a friend’s wall on facebook. It had stuff about provincial autonomy, injustice, inequality and separatism in Pakistan. I replied to that and here are my responses.
Actually, Pakistan does not make any sense without Islam. Seriously consider this fact that if a large Muslim majority did not exist in this part of the world that we now call Pakistan, Jinnah’s ancestors could not have conceived Pakistan even in dreams. The only sensible idea for Pakistan to exist is Islam. No Islam, no Pakistan. And I would be happy to join India as I would find better ways to thrive, excel and be happy in a united India as at the end of the day I belong to the Rajput community and I really do identify with the land and culture of the Indian subcontinent. My forefathers were kings on this land. After creation of Pakistan that prospect of myself or my descendants becoming kings and emperors on this piece of land that belonged to Indians has diminished to a great deal actually. Consider the Islamic ideas of equality and lack of racism, they snatch away something from me what could be called my eternal right to rule.
You talk about a thousands years of tradition and heritage of Pakhtuns in this region. But please consider what was here before that. Exactly a thousand years ago there ruled a king named Jayapala on the land you want to call Pakhtunkhawa and have it as yours. The dominion of Jayapala stretched till the borders of Ghazni and included Kabul. When Jayapala attacked Sebektegin, he actually invited a barrage of attacks by his son Mehmood. Mehmood, in his successive attacks and battles, took away from Jayapala all the region that you now call KPK. Mehmood was not a Pakhtoon. He was a Turkik Mamlook. So Pakhtuns never owned or ruled this place. As a matter of fact, although they have been living here, they have at times even been persecuted. Consider the genocide of Pakhtuns that was committed by Babar (who was also not a Pakhtun and was of Mongol descent by the way) in what why now call koh-e-Hindukush.
The same kind of argument goes about Balochi people as well. I have lived a lifetime listening, praising and admiring Balochi and Pashtoon tradition, valor, and values. There is a bit of a legend about these two identities. Akbar Bugti was once asked about his identity. And he said, I am a Pakistani for 60 years, a Muslim since 1400 years and a Balochi since, I don’t know, 2000 years (maybe, perhaps even more than that). Akbar Bugti (and all the rest of the Bugtis and Baloch people) tend to make a great deal out of their Baloch identity. But when should ask this great more-than-two-thousand-years-old proud Baloch, where did he live before 1400 years (i.e. before converting to Islam). It turns out that where ever he did, he either did not live in the land that we now call Balochistan or even if he did, he was not only not a proud ruler over there, he was actually a subject, and most possibly an abject one. The fact is that before the advent of Islam Balochistan was a dominion of Indian rulers and kings. This is a fact that when Balochistan was conquered for the first time by Muslims, it was during the era of Hazrat Umar (RA) and the ruler of Balochistan was Rai Chach (an auspiciously Indian name).
Given all of this one feels a great deal of an urge to ask our dear Pakhtuns and Balochis, who are so fond of tradition, this question that where did they practice these princely traditions before that. Some of their traditions are very princely indeed. I had a Baloch friend who had a really long shalwar. I think its circumference would be 25 meters at least, I am not exaggerating. When asked the reason why he wore such a huge shalwar, his answer was that the tradition compelled him to do so. So the question is that where did such traditions come from? And I am sure that the true answer cannot be that they originated in the land of KPK or Balochistan. And even if they did, it wasn’t the time the Indians were ruling the place. It was most possibly when Muslims were in command that such liberal traditions could evolve.
The reason for writing all of this is that the land of Pakistan makes sense (to me at least) with Islam. If we take Islam out of the question, there is no point in having Pakistan. Then merge everything with India. And the merger would also include those landmasses of KPK and Balochistan.
Yes, there is misfortune in our country. There is not enough equality. We are not even close to the equality preached by Islam. Our justice system is poor. But a solution to these problems is not divisions. The solution is to improve. Things are improving too. Now the speaker for NA is from KPK. There are oher notable top-notch politicians who hail from Balochistan. Divisions are not the solution. Because in a divided Pakistan, each of the piece of land will begin to belong to someone who is not currently living there. And their case is as legitimate as your traditions and heritage.
Well the thing is that there are surely problems. Why don’t you achieve more autonomy now through a constitutional process in this new setup. You guys have your own speaker. And you should pitch a bill of your demands. Why don’t you go constitutional? This is your government. Even the PM is Pashtun and takes great pride in being so.
What exactly did we achieve with the Muslim state? I really don’t know. But we lost a lot. I mean India lost a lot. India lost KPK (which is ruling since 320 BC, since the reign of Chandra Gupta Muriya) and Balochistan. What did we gain? Well, I guess independence. The independence to write this kind of stuff. I think it means a lot.
On a separate note, Taliban should never have demolished those Buddhist temples and religious emblems. Islam does not allow that. And they were emblematic indeed. Those emblems tell us that once upon a time there was Budhism in that part of the world. This is a very profound idea about who belongs where in the world.
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