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Monthly Security Review

August 2010
Volume: 1 Edition: 3
Contents

Patron-in-Chief
Zaid Hamid Editor’s Note 01
On the Question of National Media Policy 04
Provincial Autonomy and Pakistan 09
BrassTacks Security & Political Analysis 19
Giving India Trade Route or Crossing Red Lines? 29

Editorial Board
From Indus to Oxus 33
Shehla Zafar Pakistan’s Spiritual Dimensions 42
Noureen Akhtar

Graphic Designer

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The Ideological Battlefield

Dear readers,
Assalam oAlaikum
14 August and Ramadan Mubarak!

This day reminds us that Pakistan is an ideological Islamic state and we are proud
of it. But under the threat of 4th Generation War, not just the geography, but also the
ideology and identity of the country is under attack.

A critical analysis of “Clash of civilizations” theory by Samuel Huntington, one of


the most provocative as well as thought provoking thinkers and writers of the
Western world, suggests that the West is trying to maintain its dominance through:

Maintaining weapons superiority through non-proliferation regimes:


Despite massive qualitative and quantitative Western superiority in conventional
weapons, the emerging hostile civilizations can radically bridge the gap of military
imbalance by deploying WMD's and their delivery systems. This explains the
western obsession with WMD's in the hands of Muslim and Chinese civilizations.

Promoting western political and cultural values:


These include democracy, free sex, women empowerment, Western sponsored
education and amoral Western secular cultural values in non-Western states,
particularly Muslim States.

Protecting Western values and culture from diluting under Islamic


ideology:
Restricting immigrations to West and stopping influx of Muslims and Muslim

BRASSTACKS 01
Indian Hydro War
values through legislation, social pressures and media. The raping of thousands of
Bosnian Turk Muslim women to produce Serb offsprings, banning of Masjid
Against Paksitan
Minarets in Switzerland, banning of head scarves and veils in France, racial
profiling of Muslims and demonizing Islam and Islamic values in media, are just a
few of the means towards that goal.
We witness all these strategies being implemented very aggressively in the Muslim
world, particularly in Pakistan.

Plans,Huntington
Impact & Consequences
further, in general terms, defines the present state of the Western
world, which after decades of moral degeneration, stands on the verge of total
collapse in terms of human and social values:

Increase in anti-social behaviour such as crimes, drugs and violence.

Breakdown of family unit, including increase in divorce rate, illegitimacy,


By: Farzana
teenageShah
pregnancies, single parent families and now homosexuality as an
accepted social norm.

Decreasing commitment to social contribution in the form of reduced


charity, minimal social work and personal sacrifice for larger moral or
spiritual objectives.

Decreasing commitment to learning and intellectual activity and generally


slipping standards of scholastic achievements.

General weakening of work ethics.

It is because of this moral and social decadence that even the best sociologists in the
Western world feel that the future would belong to nations which stand on higher
ideological, moral, ethical and spiritual plane than the West and who could offer an
alternate code of life to the world other than the degenerated life style, produced by
the materialistic and blind amoral values of the secular, liberal Western civilization.

Islam is the fastest spreading religion in the West. Islam, and particularly Pakistan,
remains the biggest threat for the modern Zionists, which must be diluted at all
costs – in both military and ideological terms!

In the previous issues, we have discussed the 4GW against Pakistan and its
derivatives. In this issue, we shall discuss the ideological axis of the same ruthless

BRASSTACKS 02
war. The double pincer is being delivered by combined Western and Hindu
civilizations on our ideology in the following manner:

1.By totally controlling/destroying the education system in Pakistan.

2.By waging a ruthless media and information war aimed at diluting


the Islamic identity, ideology, and language of the nation.

A massive psychological operations campaign, through liberal and secular


media, is being bombarded upon Pakistan these days. The softening up
strategy is obvious – to shake the faith of the youth in our Islamic identity,
ideology, founding fathers and philosophy, in order to render it vulnerable to
an imperceptible invasion by Hindu ideology and liberal, secular values that
are directly in conflict with Islamic ethos. Urdu language is being disfigured –
a tragedy in the making of mammoth proportions for Islamic civilization.

However, this axis of 4GW against Pakistan can be reversed; it already has
been to a great extent. Protecting Pakistan's ideology, identity and language is
as vital as defending the geographical frontiers of the state. It is a war we
cannot afford to lose. InshaAllah, never.

Farzana Shah

BRASSTACKS 03
Cover Story

On the Question of National Media Policy

Fight for the Heart and Soul of Pakistan

By: Zaid Hamid

Making a media policy is far more complex than dos “unbiased media” or “free media”. Let's not get too
and don'ts of administrative nature or forming legal carried away blindly with this notion. Not even in US,
contracts for private channels. There are two major UK or the so-called best democracies, have anything
aspects of a national media policy. like that. Either strong State control for national
security is exercised on media, or there is strong self-
1. The Philosophical Vision, Mission regulation by the national media, which collaborates
statement, goals and objectives to be with the national security and development strategy.
achieved. FOX, CNN, BBC, ZEE TV, Door Darshan, Star Plus
etc, all follow the macro agenda of their governments
2 .The BrassTacks – the actual details and are either directly controlled by the mega cartels,
involving technical, human, administrative, having vested interests and influence in their
legal and financial aspects of the policy to country's policy formulations or are ideologically
achieve the defined vision and goals. motivated to promote their strategic vision.

This paper only deals with the first aspect – the Bollywood, in India, is acting as an extension of
Philosophical part – of the Media policy. Once this Indian foreign policy, with the strong political and
aspect is accurately defined, all energies can then be sexually explicit movies they are churning out, while
channelized to achieve this objective through the keeping Pakistani audiences, particularly youth, in
deployment of the second aspect of the media policy. focus. The compromised and incompetent
government's media policy ensured that these movies
The vision and goals decided must be protected by a end up in Pakistani theatres. Pakistani media
comprehensive media strategy, which defines the managers and information ministry remains
parameters of journalism, rules for electronic media, ridiculously complacent in this regard as well. While
methods of monitoring and surveillance of fifth making an apologetic attempt to project to the world
columnists under the garb of journalism, as well as that media is free in Pakistan, the government
media force projection capabilities, ensuring much unabatedly allowed vulgarity and ideologically
more than just issuing licences for tens of poisonous views to be strongly promoted in the
uncontrolled channels which act as enemy artillery on country, which are actually worse than the Indian
our social, moral, religious and national defenses. artillery and nukes pointed at us. Can we allow these
This is war and we must respond on war footings. amoral values to be promoted in the country in the
name of freedom of expression? Let's draw the line
There is no such thing as “freedom of expression”, and do not be fooled by the twisted notion, which we
BRASSTACKS 04
have accepted hook, line and sinker without Indian sub-continent and their application of
questioning. psychological warfare, information war, education
strategies and literature in creating a colonised
Also, the media cannot be above the law nor have the society. The process remains equally relevant even
authority to operate outside the ambit of national legal, today and must be understudied when we formulate
social and moral limits. Freedom of expression has its our own media policy.
limits and they must be understood, written, applied
and enforced in any media policy, which the country
wishes to deploy. As has been noted by numerous scholars of British
rule in India, the physical presence of the British in
It has to be forcefully asserted that without Islamic India was not significant. Yet, for almost two
ideology and identity, there is and will be no Pakistan. centuries, the British were able to rule two-third of the
Our ideological frontiers must be guarded as jealously subcontinent directly, and exercise considerable
and responsibly as our geographical frontiers and leverage over the Princely States that accounted for
nuclear assets. Anyone not guarding these frontiers the remaining one-third.
would not be sincere to this nation and the country.
While the strategy of divide and conquer was used
most effectively, an important aspect of British rule in
India was the psychological indoctrination of an elite
layer within the Indian society, who were artfully
tutored into becoming model British subjects.

This English-educated layer of Indian society was


craftily encouraged in absorbing such values and
notions about themselves and their land of birth, that
would be conducive to the British occupation of India,
and furthering British goals of looting India's physical
wealth and exploiting its labour.

In 1835, Thomas Macaulay articulated the goals of


British colonial imperialism most succinctly:
"We must do our best to form a class who may be
interpreters between us and the millions whom we
govern, a class of persons Indian in blood and
We must never allow Allama Iqbal to be sidelined, colour, but English in taste, in opinions, words and
degraded or bypassed by the media as it launches intellect."
direct attacks on his thoughts, visions and role for
Pakistan and Ummah. He is the most dangerous man As the architect of Colonial Britain's Educational
for the anti-Islamic forces due to his revolutionary and Policy in India, Thomas Macaulay was to set the
inspiring beliefs, therefore, he is the topmost priority standards for what educated Indians were going to
for the enemies to be destroyed. Iqbal must be learn about themselves, their civilization, and their
jealously guarded, lovingly projected and patronised view of Britain and the world around them. An arch-
as his views and beliefs fit the new role for Pakistan as racist, Thomas Macaulay had nothing but scornful
the leader of the Muslim world. disdain for Indian history and civilization. In his
infamous minute of 1835, he wrote that he had
"never found one among them (speaking of
Know thy enemy --- The Colony and the Colonials: Orientalist, an opposing political faction) who could
deny that a single shelf of a good European library
At this point it would be very appropriate to learn from was worth the whole native literature of India and
history and refer to the British attempts of colonizing Arabia. It is, no exaggeration to say, that all the
BRASSTACKS 05
became more Romans than Gaul or Italians.."
That this was no benign process, but intimately related
to advancing British colonial goals, was expressed
quite candidly by Charles Trevelyan in his testimony
before the Select Committee of the House of Lords on
the Government of Indian Territories on 23rd June,
1853:
"..... the effect of training in European learning is to
give an entirely new turn to the native mind. The
young men educated in this way cease to strive after
independence according to the original native
model, and aim at improving the institutions of the
country according to the English model, with the
ultimate result of establishing constitutional self-
government. They cease to regard us as enemies and
usurpers, and they look upon us as friends and
Thomas Macaulay
patrons, and powerful beneficent persons, under
historical information which has been collected whose protection the regeneration of their country
from all the books written in Sanskrit language is will gradually be worked out. ....."
less valuable than what may be found in the paltry
abridgments used at preparatory schools in Much of the indoctrination of the Indian mind actually
England". took place outside the formal classrooms and through
the sale of British literature to the English-educated
All manner of conscious (and subconscious) British Indian, who developed a voracious appetite for the
British novel and British writings on a host of popular
(and European) agents would henceforth embark on a
journey to rape and conquer the Indian mind. Within a subjects. In a speech before the Edinburgh
Philosophical Society in 1846, Thomas Babington
matter of years, J.N Farquhar (a contemporary of
(1800-1859), shortly to become Baron Macaulay,
Macaulay) was to write:
offered a toast:
"The new educational policy of the Government,
created, during these years, the modern educated "To the literature of Britain . . . which has exercised
class of India. These are men who think and speak in an influence wider than that of our commerce and
English habitually, who are proud of their mightier than that of our arms . . .before the light of
citizenship in the British Empire, who are devoted to which impious and cruel superstitions are fast
English literature, and whose intellectual life has taking flight on the Banks of the Ganges!"
been almost entirely formed by the thought of the
West, large numbers of them enter government However, the British were not content to influence
services, while the rest practice law, medicine or Indian thinking just through books written in the
teaching, or take to journalism or business." English language. Realizing the danger of Indians
discovering their real heritage through the medium of
Macaulay's stratagem could not have yielded greater Sanskrit, Christian missionaries such as William
dividends. Charles E. Trevelyan, brother-in-law of Carey anticipated the need for British educators to
learn Sanskrit and transcribe and interpret Sanskrit
Macaulay, stated:
texts in a manner compatible with colonial aims. That
"Familiarly acquainted with us by means of our Carey's aims were thoroughly duplicitous, is
literature, the Indian youth almost cease to regard underscored in this quote cited by Richard FoxYoung:
us as foreigners. They speak of "great" men with the
"To gain the ear of those who are thus deceived, it
same enthusiasm as we do. Educated in the same
way, interested in the same objects, engaged in the is necessary for them to believe that the speaker has
same pursuits with ourselves, they become more a superior knowledge of the subject. In these
circumstances, a knowledge of Sanskrit is valuable.
English than Hindoos, just as the Roman provincial
As the person thus misled, perhaps a Brahman,
BRASSTACKS 06
deems this a most important part of knowledge, if
the advocate of truth be deficient therein, he labours
against the hill; presumption is altogether against
him."

Elaborating on the phenomenon of cultural


colonization, Priya Joshi (Culture and Consumption:
Fiction, the Reading Public, and the British Novel in
Colonial India) writes:
"Often, the implementation of a new education
system leaves those who are colonized, with a lack
of identity and a limited sense of their past. The
indigenous history and customs, once practiced and
observed, slowly slip away. The colonized become
hybrids of two vastly different cultural systems. Here it would be appropriate if we turn the pages of
Colonial education creates a blurring that makes it history to see what has gone by already to predict what
difficult to differentiate between the new, enforced will happen in the future if we maintain our present
ideas of the colonizers and the formerly accepted course. It can be seen that the debate on educational
native practices." policy, medium and the long- term political and social
implication is not new and has been raging since the
The Impact of Language on National Character times of East India Company and the British Empire.
and Ideology:
This is what our founding fathers stressed upon in
Perhaps the greatest damage done to Pakistan in the order to create an identity for us:
last few years is that Pakistan is fast tracking its way to “The all India Muslim League calls upon all the
lose its language and subsequently its identity. Urdu is Urdu speaking people of India to make every
obviously not on the priority list of the present rulers possible endeavour to safeguard the interests of
who now want to introduce English from class one, their language, in every field of activity, with which
against all basic laws and norms of basic education, the Central and Provincial government were
local culture, availability of resources and teachers concerned, and where ever the Urdu language is the
and capacity of the target student body. In a population language of the area, its unhampered use and
where children are even unfamiliar with Urdu due to development should be upheld, and where it is not a
local ethnic cultures and local languages, now English predominant language, adequate arrangement
will be introduced as a subject, overburdening the should be made for teaching it as an optional
rural children who are already struggling with Urdu. subject, and in all government offices, courts,
In private schools, Urdu is a non-entity anyway, legislature, railways, and postal departments
having given way to broken and poor English long provisions should be made for its use. Efforts should
time ago. Already from road signs to most basic also be made to make Urdu the universal language
routine state and private business, Urdu has been of India”
abandoned entirely or replaced with Roman Urdu or th
(All India Muslim League 25 session, 15-8-1937.)
English words written in Urdu script – symbolic of a
disintegrating civilization. “We will speak and write Urdu, educate our
children in Urdu, never call our language by any
It is a devastating state of affairs that an entire Muslim other name except Urdu”
civilization is on its way out, just as 800 years old (Liaqat Ali Khan 9-4-1939, Educational conference
Turkish history was lost to new Turkish generations at Aligarh.)
when Mustafa Kamal destroyed classical Turkish to
be replaced with Romanized Turkish. At the present What the Colonial Masters had planned for the natives
rate of decimation of Urdu in Pakistan, we fear that in via the education policy:
next five years, the damage would be irreparable. “Endeavours should be made to form a class of
persons “Indian in blood and colour, but English in
BRASSTACKS 07
taste, in opinion, in morals and in intellect” “The (language controversy) began in 1780 and in
(Macaulay 1835, Education Commission of India) a sense has never ended. It was not only an
educational matter but was indeed connected with
“The great objective of the British government the political domination of India by the British”
ought to be the promotion of European literature (Spear 1938)
and science among the natives of India and that all
the funds appropriated to education would best be “The abolition of the exclusive privileges which the
employed on English education alone” Persian language has in the courts and affairs of the
(Committee of Public Instruction,1835,under Macaulay) court will form the crowning stroke which will shake
Hinduism and Mohammedanism to their centre and
Consequently, the question arises that how is language firmly establish our language, our learning and
critically associated with identity, imperialism, ultimately our religion in India”
mental slavery, cultural invasion and national unity? A (Letter of William Bentinck 9th April 1834 -- Philips
question, which our myopic leaders, interested only in 1977, 1239)
false notion of economic growth, do not understand
but the British colonizers did: While the British colonial masters westernized the
“All language is ideological in the sense that it natives, their own government understood the need to
encodes certain conception of life. As such, learn and understand local languages by the rulers
language always wields ideological, often covert themselves, for better communication between the
power” rulers and the ruled. A strict policy to learn local
(Connolly 1983, page 139-50) languages especially Urdu, Persian and Hindi, was
adopted by the Imperial British officers:
“The battle for identity of Central Asia, whether it “So seriously these examinations taken that the
was to be Islamic and Turkic or Marxist and Soviet, suggestions of the Commander in Chief, Sir
was also fought partly through language policies Fredrick Roberts, that army officers should be
and corpus planning. Soviets changed the Arabic allowed to write Hindi in Roman rather than in
based script of the Central Asia languages to Latin
Devanagri letters, was not accepted by the
in the 1920'sand then to Cyrillic in the late 30's to
cut them off from their Muslim past” secretary of the board of examiners.”
(Shorish 1984) (Letters no 2523, 27-August-1886, India office
library, London)
“Today with their autonomy, these States give their
languages symbolic status as a measure of their Even history forgets the nations who do not
national identity” jealously guard their identity. Enemies always
(Rashid 1994) attack the identity of any people to cause their
final and total annihilation. The most unfortunate
“Ben Yahuda's dream of preserving the Jewish aspect is that the battle to annihilate Muslim
identity through the revival of Hebrew made him the identity and culture from India, which had started
father of nationalistic language planning in Israel.”
(Fellman 1974)
after the battle of Plassey, in 1757, continues even
today.
“Linguistic imperialism is also central to social
imperialism, which relates to the transmission of the The British first decimated Arabic and Persian
normal and behaviour of a modal social structure, from India to break away the connection of Indian
and these are embedded in language. This occurs Muslims from the Arab and the Persian- speaking
whenever a socializing influence is exerted” world. Then they began destroying Urdu as well,
(Phillipson 1992: 54) but could not finish the job; it was obligingly taken
up by Pakistan's westernized elite, as well as the
“Language is an important tool of Imperialism, Education and Information Ministries.
defined as the domination of one collectively over
another”
(Galtung 1980:107)

BRASSTACKS 08
The National Media Policy, Philosophical viewpoint from the perspective of Pakistan
Outlines: and Muslim world today.

Objective Mission Statement: 4. To project Pakistan as leader of the


Muslim world and as the model ideological
“To create and deploy a proactive, visionary and Islamic Welfare State.
strong media policy to propel Pakistan into the
21st century, creating and galvanizing a unified 5. To project Pakistan as the bridge between
and ideologically proud nation -- with a glorious the civilizations based on Sura Kafirun and
history and uniquely dignified divine code of life also to block the efforts of extremists to
-- with strong transnational associations within create a clash of civilizations to destroy the
the Ummah. The policy should be protective of Islamic Ummah.
ideological and geographical boundaries of the
State, Government and Nation, as well as a 6. To project Pakistan as the technology and
powerful information and psychological warfare military leader of the Muslim world and as
weapon, to act as an extension of national the only nuclear and missile power,
security doctrine, rising up to the challenges representing the Islamic block.
faced by the nation in the internal, external and
global arenas.” 7. To counter the attempts by foreign hostile
media to encircle Pakistan and to prevent
Minimum recommended Goals of the Media the foreign powers and states from
Policy: exploiting the national laws and media in
order to deploy the Pakistani media to
1. To set the limits, terms and framework for advance foreign hostile agenda.
responsible and mature media, acting as an
extension of national security doctrine 8. Urdu language to be jealously guarded,
working within the ambit of law, respecting protected, promoted.
the social, moral and religious values of the
State, nation and Ummah and challenging Any media policy, which can keep the above
the attempts by the enemies to attack so as to parameters in close perspective and respond to the
redefine Pakistan's ideological, moral, above mentioned challenges in a dignified manner,
social and national values. Azad media but would be a sound investment into national security
not Awara Media! To project the concept of and would serve the nation and state very well. It is
mature, responsible and value friendly a do-able job. Once the vision guidelines are
media which would assist in incorporated, the next step would be to devise laws,
r e p r o g r a m m in g t h e n a t i o n a l a n d vehicles and tools to achieve the defined
international psyche about human, moral objectives. That is the easier part, once the vision is
and Islamic values in the modern times. clear and the goal is sharp and focused.

2. To create a nation knowledgeable and


......................
proud of its history, heritage, ideology and
values and galvanized to take up the
challenges of 21st century.

3. To give voice to global Muslim and


Human issues for balanced and alternate

BRASSTACKS 09
Provincial Autonomy
and Pakistan
By: Shahzad Masood Roomi

The Constitution of Pakistan has been broadly corruption, mismanagement and incompetency.
reshaped under the 18th amendment by the present
political elite of the country. Allowing provincial Usually it is believed that the center has seized all the
autonomy to the provinces is one of the major powers, however, the truth is that every political party
amendments made in the constitution. Provincial makes this allegation against its opponents when they
autonomy has been a buzz word in Pakistan since the are in the government but as soon as these politicians
time of its independence. It means a system of themselves come into power, they make new
provincial government, independent and free from amendments in order to grab more powers while
any external influence or reliance in governance, sitting in Islamabad. Recent amendments in
administration, legislation and management of constitution have opened up a Pandora's box of this
provincial affairs. Complete provincial autonomy kind of autonomy and its implications on Pakistan's
means absolute independence of provincial stability once again.
government, with an absolute right to secede from the
state at will. Does Pakistan really need provincial autonomy? Did
the Pakistan resolution promise something like
Politically and administratively, Pakistan is a provincial autonomy? What the founding fathers have
federated state with a center holding major policy and said in this regard? What is the difference between
decision making institutions in the realm of national provincial rights and autonomy? What is the real
security, finance and foreign policy. Provinces have source of sense of deprivation in masses? What is
some other subjects under their jurisdictions. Just like required to be done to ensure socio-economic uplift of
any classical federation, the state also has some masses? This paper examines all these aspects of
subjects managed both by center and provinces at provincial autonomy and attempts to find some
different levels. answers.

The debate on provincial autonomy in Pakistan stems At this point it would be prudent to take a look at the
from the fact that socio-economic progress and origin of this particular political dogma of provincial
development is not uniform among all provinces due autonomy.
to various natural factors and management issues.
According to provincial autonomy campaigners, this ProvincialAutonomy in Pakistan Resolution:
assorted social development among provinces is a
culmination of disallowing complete autonomy to the The promise of provincial autonomy in Pakistan
rd
provinces. What these provincial autonomy resolution of 23 March, 1940, is used as the strongest
aficionados do not tell the nation is how socio- argument in favor of provincial autonomy. This view
economic uplift in the provinces would be ensured point stems from an objective analysis of the 1940
while every state institution is indulging in unparallel resolution, according to which, since Muslim struggle
for independence was to gain states with autonomous
BRASSTACKS 10
units in united British India, hence autonomy must be
given to provinces in Pakistan as well. One must keep
Pre and Post World War II political landscape of
British India in sight, before making any judgment
about the 1940 resolution and its demands, in context
of provincial autonomy in an independent Pakistan.
Below is an excerpt of Pakistan resolution:
"No constitutional plan would be workable or
acceptable to the Muslims unless geographical
contiguous units are demarcated into regions which
should be so constituted with such territorial
readjustments as may be necessary. That the areas
in which the Muslims are numerically in majority as
in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India
should be grouped to constitute independent states
in which the constituent units shall be autonomous
and sovereign".

Last two lines of the given excerpt make it clear that in


1940, One Pakistan was not the demand rather Different Muslim States envisaged in the 1940 Resolution
separate Muslim states were demanded; One in North
West of India and other in Eastern zone. This deprived of their legitimate legislator representation;
resolution was adopted by Muslim League later in but by looking at the intentions of British Raj and
1941 as part of its constitution. Hindu conspirators, soon it was realized by the
founding fathers that the demand for autonomy was no
An important fact is overlooked often, that during the solution to this problem. This fact is evident from the
debate of demand of autonomy in the 1940 Quaid's speech at the conclusion of Muslim League
Resolution, there were reasons for using the word Legislator convention held inApril 1946 in Delhi:
autonomy in that specific resolution by the drafters, as “There are those who say to us what is the good
any word like “independence” or “separation” were of you talking of Pakistan when you cannot form
strictly banned in any public procession by the law ministries in your majority provinces? I say to
known as Defense of India Rule, introduced after the them this is the very reason why we want to get
start of Second World War. Furthermore, it was rid of India Act of 1935 and establish Pakistan.
mentioned in the last paragraph of 1940 Pakistan
Look at the spirit how they are forming
Resolution that a mechanism for “final assumption of
powers” will be formed afterwards in new Muslim Ministries in Mulsim majority provinces and
states which All India Muslim League demanded at hindering us from forming Ministries in our
rd
that historic occasion of 23 March 1940. majority provinces.”

In these circumstances Indian Muslims were Post 1940 political developments are instrumental in
desperate for retaining their participation and understanding the shift of demand from autonomy to a
representation in state affairs at that time. So another sovereign separate homeland for Muslims; the fact is
major reason behind calling for autonomy was to get that by 1943 Quaid-e-Azam had demanded “Divide
justice in representation of Muslims in legislative and Quit”, this makes it clear that demands of
bodies in Muslim majority provinces. The British had autonomy under 1940 resolution had very much
curbed the real representation of Muslims in legislator reallocated towards “complete independence and
elections in two majority provinces: Punjab and sovereignty” by then and this fact becomes more
Bengal. In Punjab Muslims were 56% of the total evident after 1945 elections, when Quaid-e-Azam
population with a representation of just 42% and in called for “Direct Action” if Indian Muslims were not
Bengal Muslims were 45% of legislator bodies despite allowed to have their own independent state, Pakistan.
having a majority population share of 57%. So in these
circumstances the demand of autonomy makes To make the shift in demand more clear, All India
complete sense in United India where Muslims were Muslim League held its historic legislator convention,
BRASSTACKS 11
But still supporters of complete provincial autonomy
insist that Pakistan was intended to be a loose
federation, comprising of completely autonomous
provinces/states or in other words it was deemed as a
confederation rather than a federation. The most
absurd part of this whole drama is the way completely
autonomous provinces are presented, as if it were
promised to the nation by the founding father himself.

To thwart this misconception once and for all, below is


an excerpt of Quaid's historical speech at Quetta
th
municipality on 15 June, 1948 (Just 87 days before
his death) where he demolished any concept of
provincial autonomy:
“While, however, one must love one's town and
Quaid presiding over All India Muslim League's
work for its welfare--indeed because of it--one must
historical Lahore session of 1940 at Iqbal park
love better one's country and work more devotedly
for it. Local attachments have their value but what is
April 1946, in Delhi, in which not only the earlier the value and strength of a "part" except within the
resolution of 1940 was amended but a new draft was "whole". Yet this is a truth people so easily seem to
also formulated making it clear that Muslims could forget and begin to prize local, sectional or
not live with Hindus in 'One India' and any oppression provincial interests above and regardless of the
and force will be resisted in the toughest possible way. national interests. It naturally pains me to find the
This was the first time that Muslim League decided to curse of provincialism holding sway over any
shift its decisive struggle towards crafting one Muslim section of Pakistan.
state (i.e. Pakistan) in Indian subcontinent instead of Pakistan must get rid of this evil. It is a relic of the
previously envisioned two states (one on North West old administration when you clung to provincial
and other in Eastern zone). The Quaid's speech on this autonomy and local liberty of action to avoid
occasion makes it clear that autonomy was no more a control--which meant--British control. But with your
demand of Muslims and also that Muslims were not own Central Government and its power, it is a folly
interested in being part of any government in united to continue to think in the same terms, especially at
India: a time when your State is so new and faces such
“We cannot agree to a single constitution- tremendous problems internal and external. At this
making body, because it will mean we are juncture any subordination of the larger interest of
signing our death-warrant and we cannot agree the State to the provincial or local or personal
to consider any agreement unless Pakistan interest would be suicidal.”
scheme is accepted as sine qua non.”
The Quaid also appealed to the nation for an
Despite the fact that provincial autonomy was unshakable Pakistani nationalism to overcome the
introduced in India Act of 1935, when it came to menace of provincialism:
protection of social rights, political identity and “Baluchistan is the land of brave independent people
ideology, the only solution Quaid envisaged was the and to you, therefore, national freedom, honour, and
creation of Pakistan and not the provincial autonomy strength should have a special meaning. These
within united British India. Below is another excerpt whisperings of mulki and non-mulki are neither
of his speech at the conclusion of Muslim League profitable for the land nor worthy of it. We are now
legislator convention: all Pakistanis--not Baluchis, Pathans, Sindhis,
Bengalis, Punjabis and so on--and as Pakistanis we
“If there is any safeguard known in the world
must feel, behave and act, and we should be proud to
for the minority provinces, the most effective be known as Pakistanis and nothing else. I ask you
safeguard is creation of Pakistan. The present always to pause and consider before taking any step
constitution also has safeguards but are paper whether it is conditioned by your personal or local
safeguards any good? ” likes and dislikes or is determined by consideration of
the good of the State.”
BRASSTACKS 12
ProvincialAutonomy in Pakistan: result of two things, both are mutually exclusive.

Soon after the death of Quaid-e-Azam, political 1. Power grabbing by political elite
parties started to deviate from Pakistani nationalism
that was eagerly desired by him. Rhetoric of 2. Corruption
provincial autonomy started once again and results
were devastating for national security.Awami League, Every political party after coming into power tries its
in East Pakistan, started to demand complete level best to grab maximum powers to have absolute
autonomy under 1940 resolution. Politicians, in both control. This flawed political practice only generated
East and West Pakistan, treacherously played ethno- absolute corruption, with no accountability to the
linguistic cards to push their own political agendas. nation. Like it is said, “Power corrupts and absolute
Though heinous political blunders were committed by power corrupts absolutely.”
Islamabad at times as well but chiefly it was the
demands of Awami League which resulted in the Instead of solving problems, the corrupt politicians
severance of East Pakistan. and sub nationalists are using social and public issues
to further their agenda to have more powers by
The 6 points presented by Mujib-ur-Rehman, including presenting provincial autonomy as a divine remedy
demands like two currencies, two paramilitary forces, for these crucial problems like water management,
two separate accounts for foreign exchange were a clear food shortages, energy and terrorism.
declaration of secession of East Pakistan and all of
these were based on pure ethno-linguistic politics to Granting legitimate rights of legislation and
gain power. Never, during his whole political career, governance, to the provinces can reduce the sense of
did Mujib come up with a practical approach for deprivation among masses in smaller provinces but
uplifting the socioeconomics of East Pakistan. He that would only work if Pakistani political culture
rather used problems like poverty, linguistic undergoes a radical change.
polarization and ethnic disparities to work in his favor
to pursue his agenda of separation. Unfortunately ProvincialAutonomy versus Provincial Rights:
political parties demanding provincial autonomy now
in Pakistan also have same desires and designs. Sub nationalists and small ethnic political parties are
more vocal for complete provincial autonomy without
No political party ever demanded something like realizing the fact that it is not possible in a federated
provincial autonomy after the debacle of 1971, until state like Pakistan. In a federation there are some
very recently when sudden uproar was seen in enabling mechanisms between the two layers of
Pakistan for this cause in pretext of deprivation of governance and administration: One at federal level
provincial rights and local control over various natural and the other at provincial level. A federation, in its
resources. true sense is very different from what sub nationalists
and parities are demanding i.e. a confederation.
Leaving military dictators aside, even elected civilian
governments always try to clutch maximum powers in Contrary to all the propaganda, a federation has no
the center to plunder unabated. The 18th amendment concept of imposing the will of the center on any
is a clear example of this tragedy in Pakistan. province, while at the same time it is directly in
contradiction of complete provincial autonomy. There
People of Pakistan demand the resolution of their must be a balance of power between center and
problems with feelings of participation in governance. provinces among all pertaining issues of governance
The sense of being deprived by the center or a majority and management and this is something we don't see in
province must be nullified. Realization of social Pakistani federation. This imbalance of power
problems and provincial right is the first step in that between center and provinces gave birth to problems
direction. like corruption, inadequacy of resources, lagged
progress and social chaos.
Provincial autonomy and Social issues:
In a multi ethnic country like Pakistan, with its diverse
All the major problems and crises in Pakistan are a demography, it is imperative to maintain a sense of

BRASSTACKS 13
uniform development and progress among all the incarnation this is what must be done as well, but
ethnic communities and groups within and among the along with these proposals there are some important
provinces. questions, which must be answered:

The smaller the ethnic group or community, the more 1. How smaller provinces, consisting of
sensitive it would be towards its growth, progress and Punjabi population, will solve the problem of
development. Baluchistan is mere 4% of Pakistan's provincial disharmony and how will they
total population and the province is further divided promote ethnic cohesion in the state of
into multiple ethnicities. In such a diverse and Pakistan?
complex, cultural and social landscape every small
ethnic community would feel insecure socially, 2. How provincial rights would be granted
economically and politically if the government fails to with this divide of larger provinces into
ensure uniform socio-economic progress among all smaller ones? Dividing larger provinces into
ethnic communities. This is something that is smaller ones is not something equal to
agitating the Baluchis and other communities in provincial autonomy. So provincial autonomy
Baluchistan. is a subject directly between the center and
provinces, regardless of how big or small they
Does size matter? are.

Some analysts supporting provincial autonomy are of 3. How diverse ethnic demography in Pakistan
the view that disparity between size of Punjab and will be managed in this new setup? How equal
other provinces is a major bone of contention for representation of all ethnic blocks will be
gaining provincial harmony; so Punjab must be split ensured in Senate with split of larger
into two to three smaller provinces to dissipate the provinces? This arrangement can lead to a
other provinces' sense of insecurity. It would help in calamitous situation; as with this division,
improving management and governance in newly Punjabis and Baluchis will have more than one
formed smaller provinces. Another group has similar province of theirs while Pukhtuns and Sindhis
views about Baluchistan, which, according to this will have just one. This will destroy the
group, must be divided into two to three smaller existing political and ethnic harmony and
provinces so that social uplift in Baluchistan can be balance in national institutions like Senate.
ensured.
4. How just and fair resource division and
Apparently, these proposals seem to be very realistic allocation would be ensured? This is already a
and practical. In its pure management and governance serious and critical issue among center and

A proposed plan for dividing


Pakistan into multiple provinces
for administrative purposes would
not solve the critical problems like
provincial autonomy and provincial
harmony rather it would further
complicate existing governance
issues in the provinces.

BRASSTACKS 14
provinces. Dividing provinces would further while denying sense of complete provincial
complicate this issue. autonomy. To ensure this, a careful evaluation of each
subject enlisted in concurrent list was compulsory
So it is clear that dividing larger provinces is not a before passing these subjects over to provincial level.
solution to any challenge, neither governance nor
provincial autonomy rather political situation in Lack of capable and experienced bureaucratic work
context of ethnic harmony will become more fragile. force in smaller provinces is a big issue to deal with
th
after the eradication of concurrent list. As now these
18 Amendment & Provincial Autonomy: departments would function under provincial control
so every province would employ its own people in
1973 constitution of Pakistan described the role of these departments. Baluchistan and KPK have real
both central and provincial governments along with difficulties in bridging the demand of experienced,
their roles and mandates. There were 47 items in the local managers and bureaucratic staff for newly
constitution (Concurrent List) enlisted in schedule IV shifted departments.
of constitution which were shared among center and
provinces. It's surprising that no advocate of provincial
autonomy ponders upon these issues as how
This list was to be abolished within the ten years of provincial rights must be exercised while enhancing
formulation of constitution but it remained there till the capacity of provinces in management and
governance areas to give local people in provinces
some sense of ownership and participation in
resolution of their local issues.

Provincial Autonomy in context of National


Integrity:

The curse of grabbing absolute political powers by


amending the constitution not only caused stagnation
to national progress but also ruined the concept of
federating state by providing opportunity to hostile
states and agencies to use this demand to launch
severe psychological operations to create mistrust,
friction and drift among various ethnic communities.

The demands of complete provincial autonomy along


the 18th amendment. In the past, concurrent list (in with corruption, mismanagement, incompetency and
schedule IV of the constitution) remained a cause of disastrous policies can potentially pose a serious
contention between center and provinces. It has been internal threat to the national security, the likes of one
eliminated by the current government through the 18th the nation faced in 1970s, when Awami League
amendment under the catchphrase of giving complete demanded the same, taking advantage of poor socio-
provincial autonomy to the provinces. All 47 subjects economic situation in East Pakistan due to poor
in concurrent list, have been shifted to the provincial management by the then government in Islamabad.
legislative list. As this decision was made without
th
proper forethought and parliament passed 18 As Pakistan armed forces have crushed insurgency in
amendment in clumsy haste, now provincial Swat and Malakand, it has now become evident that
governments are up against a mammoth challenge of these insurgencies are not just the fall out of Pakistan's
managing all the departments moved from center to decision to support US in war on terror rather are part
th
provinces. of the 4 generation warfare tactics being employed
against Pakistan by forces like CIA, Mossad and
Elimination of concurrent list was necessary but this RAW.
was supposed to happen in a manner that ensures
maximum possible provincial rights to provinces Multiple insurgencies, of varying strengths, have
BRASSTACKS 15
(Women protestors in Quetta 2010) (Women protestors in Dhaka 1971)

erupted in the country, particularly in Western and taking corrective measures in governance and
North Western provinces, so the environment is national security policy formulation. Resultantly, sub
conducive for sub nationalists to push demands of nationalist and separatist elements have become
complete provincial autonomy. Taking advantage of stronger political players on the national canvas.
the situation, Indian backed BLA and BRA activists
are killing non Baluchis. Sub nationalist political The government was hoping for a decline in separatist
th
parties have got unprecedented power and the streets tendency in restive provinces after passing the 18
of Quetta are presenting similar scenes that were once amendment but it got messier. The situation in
witnessed on the streets of Dhaka. Baluchistan is already very fragile as people
responsible for socio-economic plight of the masses
The current government in Pakistan is almost fatal for are sitting in the government of Baluchistan.
the nation. This government has failed miserably in
reading the security dynamics of the region and NWFP was renamed as Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (KPK).
allowed an unprecedented level of foreign meddling As renaming was carried out on ethnic basis, this
into state affairs through continuation of failed triggered a chain reaction in the country by various
policies of previous government. A weak center is communities demanding separate provinces for
unacceptable in a federation from the security point of themselves. This trend will divide the whole country on
view and unfortunately the nation is living with a ethnic and linguistic basis. Violence and clashes
politically feeble center, without any real power of erupted among different communities within NWFP in
which many lives were lost. Aggressive campaigns for
establishing Hazara province were carried out and the
situation is deteriorating with each passing day.

Angry and grieved Hazarawals have put up illegal


road signs and billboards are displayed along various
roads in Hazara, showing the region as a separate
province, whereas the government and parliament has
not decided anything like that.

The situation between Punjab and Sindh is getting


tense by the day over water issue.

Punjab and Sindh are in head-on collision on water


distribution and Chashma-Jhelum Link canal power
project announced by the government of Punjab recently.
BRASSTACKS 16
After shifting water to provincial government, Punjab i-Azam has told. In this regard, given below is another
can initiate KBD (Kala Bagh Dam) project, which is excerpt of the same speech he made on 15 June 1948:
vital for its energy and agriculture needs but it would “If each individual, thus scrutinizing himself
widen the trust deficit which is already reaching a and forces--for initially it will require a certain
critical threshold. amount of force--upon himself the principal of
By: Shehzad Masood Roomi honesty to others as well as to himself,
Issues like water crisis are not made up by provinces regardless of fear or favor. I see a very bright
but are culmination of sheer mismanagement and
future ahead. If individuals, both officials and
treacherous policies at federal level, by both current
and previous governments in Islamabad. Provincial non-officials play their part thus and work in
autonomy will not solve, rather it would deepen the this spirit, the Government, the Nation and the
crisis which is already in the making, as India has State will immediately bear their stamp, and
stopped the flow of Pakistani rivers by building dams Pakistan will emerge triumphantly as one of the
on these rivers and violating IWT of 1960. greatest nations of the world.”

History has taught a very tough lesson to the Pakistani Here the Quaid called for pure Islamic concept of self
nation that provincial autonomy is a tool of accountability so that no individual can be allured by
propaganda warfare used by India, successfully any kind of corruption. It is corruption at different
throughout the 1960s and Pakistan had to pay the price levels that has put Pakistan in the current state of
in 1971. The situation is once again similar. Pakistani affairs. As said by the Quaid at the end of Muslim
nation is under attack by Indian and Western media, League legislator convention in 1946;
who are using provincial autonomy, objective analysis “We have lost the fullness of our noble
of history and exaggerated facts as their weapons in character. And what is character?- Highest
this media war. Pakistan needs to take some serious sense of honour and highest sense of integrity,
steps to combat evil of provincialism. conviction, incorruptibility , readiness at any
time to efface oneself for the collective good of
Proposals: the nation”.

There are few proposals to combat this evil of Pakistan is facing the same dilemma once again, and
provincialism: the only solution to get out of this is to curb corruption
at every level, at any cost. Had Pakistan a strong
1.Elimination of Corruption: accountability system, the situation would have been
very different in every field of life, including uniform
Pakistan has only one way forward on the subject of progress for all ethnicities and communities. Absence
provincial autonomy and that is to follow what Quaid- of accountability and speedy justice have shrouded the

BRASSTACKS 17
masses with a sense of deprivation and hence it must There are federating states, like Pakistan, with more
be eliminated. than two legislative lists sharing some areas and
subjects. In India, some of the subjects from provinces
2.Islamic ideology and Pakistani Nationalism have been put into federal list. Eliminating concurrent
list or moving everything to provincial legislative list
As it was said by the Quaid some 63 year ago, it is is not the word of Gospel. Pakistan needs some kind
Islamic ideology blended with Pakistani nationalism of enabling bodies that can work with center and
that can keep Pakistan united under all circumstances. province at the same time on issues which are inter
Pakistan must protect its ideology jealously. linked, like security, higher education, revenue etc.

Education and Language are two sensitive areas in this 4.Capacity Building
regard in any country and Pakistan is no exception.
These areas will overlap between center and Many problems that smaller provinces are facing are
provinces. Neither provinces nor center can cope with direct result of lack of adequate experience and skill
these subjects alone. Center must provide the man power in public offices and not having capacity to
provinces with a broad framework of education, built cope with challenges of modern age management
around the theme of defending and safeguarding the issues.
ideology of Pakistan.
Capacity building is important and provinces must
Also, center must do everything possible to save Urdu form specialized academies so that new managers and
in the education system by adopting it as a medium of administrators can be trained to take responsibilities in
instruction in institutions and universities at higher new departments, which would be handed over to
education level, while provinces must do the same at provinces separately.
secondary and primary levels.
Conclusion:
Language and Education are two most important
pillars against the curse of provincialism and must be Corruption and mismanagement over the decades
cultivated into the nation's interests. have distorted the social fabric of the Pakistani nation.
Nation and state have also suffered from lack of
Another major area in which government must work leadership due to corruption. This has caused a deep
on war footing is media management in context of sense of deprivation in the masses, particularly in
ideology of Pakistan, so that propaganda of provincial smaller provinces.
autonomy can be thwarted. India and US are investing
in Pakistani media to initiate complex psychometric Pakistan has to overcome this corruption in its
media wars on ideological axis. political system and must also get rid of elements that
always seek more and more power while sitting in the
3.Provision of Provincial Rights: center. On the other hand Pakistani nation must reject
any ethnic or linguistic appeal by any political party or
While drafting the 1973 constitution, an interim group in order to show Pakistani nationalism rather
period of ten years was given before elimination of than provincialism.
concurrent list. The wisdom behind this delay was the
realization that provinces would not be able to run so Quaid-e-Azam gave principles of leadership and
many departments without proper capacity building. nation building and it is time for Pakistani state to put
these principles into practice, while also devising
The present government has eliminated concurrent policies for the future.
list but has failed to solve the problems. Giving
provincial rights is imperative but how this will be ..............................
done is a subject where most of the brains in
intellectual community of Pakistan must start
pondering. Provinces in Pakistan are highly
interdependent and also rely on the center for various
resources.

BRASSTACKS 18
Synopsis of the Month
By: Zaid Hamid

Eastern Front:

Regional security dynamics are changing rapidly.


Afghanistan remains the battleground for the regional
countries to fight high intensity proxy wars against
each other. There are only enemies or temporary allies
here but no friends.

There are multiple counts where Pakistan is now


openly defying US, much to the frustrations of Indians
as well.

1. Pakistan signed the IP gas pipeline deal


despite threats from the US. Indians have been
left out of it.

2. Pakistan has so far refused to send troops to


North Waziristan despite demands by the
Americans.

3. Pakistan has signed the nuclear cooperation


deal with China despite reservations by the
US.

4. Pakistan is increasing military cooperation


with China simultaneously and also going for
a full SCO membership despite strong US
reservations.

5. Pakistan defied US and helped Iranians to


track and trap the Jundullah head Abdul Malik
Regi, breaking the back of CIA operations in
Iran.

These are unprecedented developments in recent


times and show a major shift in Pak-US relations.
Indians had been counting upon US pressure on
Pakistan. Here the tables seem to be turning against
them as well. The Afghan situation is at a very critical
moment for the US now and they simply cannot afford
to have Pakistan on the wrong side of the fence.
Exploiting this weakness, Pakistan is now exerting
BRASSTACKS 19
itself openly. US knows that Pakistani military as well wounded as well. It is a simmering sore which just
as the patriotic elements in the government and does not heal. Indians obviously blame Pakistan for
establishment are going to protect Pakistan's interests supporting the Kashmir cause.
and US betrayal in the last nine years has made
Pakistan bitter. There is a desperate scramble in US to Since 9/11, Indians had been counting upon US
regain Pakistan's trust. pressure upon Pakistan to gain regional and strategic
advantage. Indian presence in Afghanistan and their
US and NATO are now facing a defeat in Afghanistan ability to exploit the moment to wage ruthless
and some elements are quick to find scapegoats, insurgencies in FATA and Baluchistan also depend
blaming Pakistan for their failures. They acknowledge upon keeping Pakistan out of Afghanistan. But as
that Pakistan is already fighting a bloody war in the Pakistan continues to gain ground in Afghanistan, it is
tribal region but are never satisfied as Pakistan selects frustrating for Delhi. Indians are definitely not
its own targets despite pressure from the US/NATO. amused over the possibility of failure of their geo-
US and NATO know that Pakistan has capacity, political trump card. Americans are now also forcing
capability, will and the experience to bury the ISAF them to come to talks with Pakistan as well but the
dreams in Afghan mountains and gorges if Islamabad Indian foreign office maintains its hard line despite
or GHQ wills, hence keeping Pakistan on their side some initial contacts. The levels of distrust, anger and
remains their topmost priority. hate is so high between India and Pakistan that no talks
are possible under these circumstances. Indians
In defiance to the US and UK, Pakistan this month also especially continue to harp on some make belief
persisted with the new aggressive Iran policy. terrorist threat from Pakistan especially in Kashmir.
Pakistan's forging a strategic alliance with Iran would
have long term regional implications in Afghanistan Kashmir was bad enough. Now an even more ruthless
also. and bloody insurgency is threatening the Indian
federation – Maoists. We can visibly sense panic in the
Bilaterally, Pakistan and India tried to initiate the Indian security establishment as the Maoists launch
media façade of peace talks under the umbrella of more and more daring attacks on Indian federation in
SAARC conference but the suspicions and mistrust the “Red Corridor” of Indian mainland. Indians
remain too deep-rooted to make even the basic start on cannot blame Pakistan for supporting the Maoists as
any contentious issue. Americans continue to insist,
hence the formality of meeting between Pakistan and
India was carried out. But even while these photo ops
were being conducted, tensions and frictions continue
to simmer between the two hostile neighbors – from
the Arabian Sea to the Himalayan ranges of Kashmir.
As we have said, the peace talks remain a definitive
non-starter except that Indians would be extracting
more and more concessions from the weak and over
inclined PPP government. Indians blame Pakistan for
all the violence in Kashmir and losses of the Indian
forces in the restive valley.

Indians' frustrations on Kashmir are now reaching


their peak. For the first time, it is the Indian army
which is demanding that government should resolve
the matter through talks and politics. This is a clear A training camp of Maoist insurgents in some
sign that war fatigue is now setting in Indian army in a remote forestland
valley which is called the largest prison in the world
with over half a million Indian troops to contain less
than 4 million civilian population demanding their they are a known homegrown rebellion and now
freedom. Over hundred thousand civilians and Indian army is being asked to develop plans to counter
freedom fighters have died in the last 20 years of the growing threat. With Kashmir already boiling to
struggle with thousands of Indian troops killed or dangerous levels, Indian army is understandably
BRASSTACKS 20
jittery about opening another unwinnable protracted region, shifting the geo-political security balance
war front within the mainland. Indian federation is somewhat in Pak-China favor. US is still strongly
under great stress and federal government has no plan committed to keeping Indians as the 21st century ally
or strategy in hand to handle these threats except to but its own follies in Afghanistan are now making US
delay and defer or use reactive force to contain a threat very vulnerable, incapable to support Indians against
which is driven through a powerful ideology. Indian Pakistan and China in the short term at least. If US
strategy is hopeless to start with. decides to leave Afghanistan, that would be great geo-
political setback for the Indians and a net gain for
But even in India now, the Indian stance that Pakistan Pakistan, Iran and China. The battle field for South
is involved in supporting the Kashmiri resistance is Asia is now shifted to Afghanistan and the war is on
beginning to lose currency. Indian army, political big time with CIA, ISI, RAW, MI6, Iranian and
brokers and even moderate Kashmiri leaders now Chinese Intelligence battling it out in the Afghan
acknowledge that it is a home grown intifada and gorges.
Indians have a serious internal unity crisis. The issue is
getting international attention, causing more There is real anger in Indian Foreign Ministry and the
embarrassment for Delhi. Also, Indian army finds government against ISI. Pakistan's spy agency is the
itself unwilling and unable to fight on multiple major nightmare of Indian security establishment. While, ISI
counter insurgency fronts especially now when has begun neutralizing Indian covert operations from
Maoists too have emerged as major national security Afghanistan, its Indian counterpart spy agency RAW
threat to Indian federation. Kashmir is now a global remains paranoid about the reach and capacity of ISI.
embarrassment for India. Their own armed forces are This factor too contributed its share in the outburst of
demanding that government should decide the issue Indian government official against ISI, resulting in the
politically as 22 years of military threat to quell the collapse of talks and Afghan transit trade agreement.
resistance has not eroded the crisis. Now, even the UN Indian Foreign office is petrified of the concept that
seems concerned. Last thing Indians want is Kashmir ISI has penetrated the organization.
being debated at the international forums. Pakistani
FO remains incapable to embarrass Indians despite the Pakistan and India can never be at peace with each
opportunities. other but only have ceasefires. The disputes, conflicts
and hatreds are so severe that the only threat of a
But the positive axis from Pakistan's perspective is the massive war maintains peace. It has remained like this
fact that China has started an aggressive partnership for the past 63 years. It shall remain so in future as well
with Pakistan to counterbalance threats from US and until one day when a showdown would decide the fate.
Indian axis. The US vulnerabilities in Afghanistan are In reality, diplomacy, politics and talks are only meant
now being fully exploited by Pakistan and China. Last to delay that final showdown as long as it can be, not
week, we gave the following snapshot of the emerging for peace between the two countries. That's the reality.
regional developments. A new security and power The reality has also dawned on the country's leaders
paradigm is emerging with China taking the lead role while they try to hide this bitter fact under the jargon of
and Pakistan and Iran exerting themselves more diplomatic niceties.
against US. Chinese are in no mood of entertaining
any US “concerns” over their cooperation with As expected, the so called peace talks between
Pakistan. This is very discomforting for Indians as Pakistan and India fizzled out even before they started.
well where the restive Himalayan valley Kashmir is The weak and compromised PPP government wanted
giving them serious geo-political nightmares. Both to bend backwards to appease India but the national
Pakistan and China have fought wars with India over mood was against giving any concessions to India
Kashmir and Indians are always nervous over especially when Indians were not willing to talk on
Pakistan-China military co-operation especially in the Kashmir, water, Indian support to terrorism or any
region around Kashmir. other issue of dispute. In the end, even the weak FM
had to present a harsh face to India.
For the first time in years, we find Indian seriously
trapped in internal security issues and facing a setback When both countries so seriously distrust each other,
in blaming Pakistan for their ills. Pakistan and China peace talks without any external or bilateral pressure
are now regrouping and exerting themselves in the remain meaningless. But despite the total and chaotic

BRASSTACKS 21
end to the talks, it was Hillary's job to get India the
concession of transit trade through Pakistan to
Afghanistan and she almost did. The compromised
PPP government was all set to sign the controversial
and unprecedented Afghan Transit Trade deal to
benefit India unilaterally but the mistake by Indian
Foreign service officer of accusing ISI of terrorism
flared the tempers in media and brought the issue in
the limelight, creating a crisis for the PPP government
as well as Indian Foreign Minister, making it
impossible for them to go ahead with the agreement.
Indian Foreign Minister is rightly angry over his
officer. A historic opportunity for India was lost
though they have not given up hope. In the presence of
this corrupt and compromised PPP government,
Indians feel their best chance to subdue Pakistan
3rd generation of Kashmiris has joined the
diplomatically. It was the Indian government officials
struggle of freedom from Indian clutches.
who harmed Indian interests, not Pakistani Foreign
Restive valley witnessed unprecedented
office which had bent backwards to appease Indians.
freedom processions and uproar by civilian
population during the last two months.
There is now a genuine panic in Pakistan over looming
water crisis and Indian blockade of Pakistani rivers.
With the failure of political government to take up the Indians would not allow them to interfere in Kashmir
issue at any international forum, military has now affairs. If Pakistan was counting upon US help to tame
taken it upon itself to press the issue in strategic India, that's not happening either. US has flatly refused
dialogue with US. The issue is sensitive enough to to mediate between Pakistan and India and are only
trigger a war between Pakistan and India. US should working on the strategy of “bribing” Pakistani
be genuinely concerned as such a scenario would leadership into compliance. Pakistan is now
throw the entire US designs in the region for the 21
st affectively on its own to deal with Indians, who are
century into a tailspin. The government has now also fully backed by US, Israel, EU and even Russia.
been forced to act under duress. The much delayed Hillary and Mullen spoke what the Indians wanted to
dams are now being approved but still no one is hear.
willing to talk about Kalabagh Dam, the real need of
the country. Indians have been pulling all global Also, blaming LeT as the master terrorist organization
strings to make sure that Pakistan does not get the in place of Al-Qaeda is also a strategic shift in US
dams. The complacency of the government and the stance which is more geared to please Indians and has
water wars by India has indeed created a dangerous nothing to do with the reality on ground. This is a
situation for Pakistan. serious development against Pakistan and shows the
strategic relationship between India and US.
The mood and sentiments in Pakistan are running high
at all levels. Freedom and Water are two issues which The frictions between Pakistan and India are so high
can trigger another war and it would in the midterm. In even today that both countries can go to war on a short
the Indian controlled Kashmir, resistance, civil notice as they almost did after the Mumbai incident.
disobedience and unrest continues for the last 22 years Under these circumstances, peace talks were a façade
and does not show any sign of slowing down. The anyways. Now even the US is realizing the gravity of
intensity of the resistance varies but it continues to the situation. Pakistanis and Indians are being told to
flare up despite almost half a million Indian troops in calm down. US was particularly upset when Indians
the valley. leaked secret US-India understandings and accused
ISI of being involved in the Mumbai attacks. Pakistan
In the coming days, US may just be able to contain the could afford to delay Kashmir for 63 years. But it
rising frictions between the two countries but there cannot afford to delay water dispute for even next five.
would not be any peace process, talks or dialogue A major war with India is inevitable now as there is no
between the two hostile neighbors. Despite US desire, external pressure on Indians to give concessions or
BRASSTACKS 22
back off from their present stance of blocking While Americans insist that Pakistan should squeeze
Pakistani waters. “Kashmir is Pakistan's jugular” were the Haqqani group in North Waziristan, behind the
the words of founding father of the country – Quaid e scenes, US and Karzai government are now talking to
Azam. Back then in 1947, not many could understand Afghan Taliban and Haqqani group, even if they deny
this. Today, it's clear as daylight. Both countries know it on the surface. This is utter humiliation for the
this and continue to prepare for a final showdown!! Americans but now as they continue to take losses in a
protracted bloody war, all the options are open.
Indians have an upper hand at the moment as they
support multiple insurgencies in Pakistan, political In reality, the Afghan situation is fast turning a war
government in Islamabad is slavish, Pakistani water is between CIA and ISI, with Indian RAW acting as
being blocked and Indians ride the tide of strategic scavengers. In fact, pressure is again being mounted
partnership with US. Pakistan is desperate to re-gain upon ISI and Pakistan that militant outfits are being
the foothold but in the presence of this government, sent from Pakistan to fight the US/NATO forces. LeT
the task is much more uphill and difficult for the or JuD as they are called are not present in Afghanistan
patriots and the armed forces. Rest of the “peace and this latest US information war is only meant to
process” is all media stunts and facades.

Western Theatre:

It is a witch's brew which the US is cooking in


Pakistani politics to salvage its Afghan debacles. US
want to take control of Pakistani armed forces through
the corrupt and sold out government of PPP. This is the
ultimate US strategy and desire which has been failing
ever since they installed Zardari as the President and
PPP as “democratic” government. But it's not
happening as army continues to exert itself to protect
Pakistan's national security interests.

US now want to fight to the last Pakistani!! After


failing to subdue the Afghan resistance, now US
administration officials want Pakistan to do their
fighting. This is not going to happen as Pakistan is
already busy fighting the CIA/RAW backed TTP General McChrystal was released by Obama on
terrorists and does not have the appetite, resources and openly expressing his frustration.
the will to fight the Afghan resistance who are not at
war with Pakistan.
increase pressure on ISI and Pakistan army. This US
US are desperate to gain control of a fast spinning out DoD's statement on LeT is totally and completely
of control war in Afghanistan. The civilian military rubbish.
differences have lead to the sacking of the US
commander of the theatre already. New General is As we have said, US desperation is now on its peak.
now equally desperate to show results but is frustrated US strategy remains to blame make belief “Al-Qaeda”
by Pakistan, Taliban resistance and abandoning of the for all their failures in Afghanistan. The fact that so
difficult war zones by their British allies. The pressure called Arab fighters are no more than 100 desperate
is now mounting on US army and they are in panic men in Afghanistan does not seem to bother the spin
mode. doctors of US government and army. US is not being
defeated byAl-Qaeda but by 7 million strong Pashtuns
The statement of DG ISI has given cold feet to the CIA in Afghanistan, led by Mullah Umar, Haqqani and
and US/NATO and explains the underlying friction Hekmatyar. TheseAfghans are NOTAl-Qaeda!!
between the power players in the region. Pakistan is
now on way to charting its own course of national But the disinformation continues and US would try to
security. This is the ultimate US nightmare. bring Pakistan on its knees by blaming army and ISI of
BRASSTACKS 23
supporting the mythical “Al-Qaeda”. US wants pressure on the opposition through the controversial
Pakistan to go to war with Haqqani group in North drones strikes strategy in Pakistani tribal regions.
Waziristan but to make the case for it, “Al-Qaeda” has Pakistani government or the military have not taken a
to be reinvented. Suddenly we find flurry of news firm stance on this issue yet and allowed the US to get
reports and allegations that all global terrorism is away with this so far. Sooner or later, GHQ will have
originating from Pakistan and under the banner of to take the matters in its own hand on this aspect as
“Al-Qaeda”. This is massive psy-ops, disinformation well. These strikes are causing Pakistan army to lose
and propaganda war. lots of goodwill within the local population. If the
intelligence is correct and the control is with Pakistani
Instead of fighting against the Haqqani network forces, these drones' strikes are a cheaper and affective
themselves, US want Pakistan to do the dirty job for way to wage a war against an elusive enemy but in the
them. Even today, US has not declared Haqqani's group hands of the ruthlessAmericans, these are more part of
as a terrorist organization and only now proceedings the problem than being part of the solution to the
have started for the same. There is no major US scourge of terrorism in those regions. Every drone
offensive in Eastern Afghanistan where Haqqani strike causes civilian deaths creating more enemies for
operates. This is farcical as well as ironical. The US Pakistan.
game plan is so obvious that only the blind cannot see it.
US do not want to risk its own assets and resources to Resistance within the Pakistani civil society is now
tame Haqqani's group. This clearly indicates that also increasing against these attacks. Even the
Haqqani is not as bigger a threat for US interests as they government is now coming under pressure from
project him to be. But if Pakistan goes to war with within their own ranks to review the policy as PPP
Haqqani, Islamabad and GHQ would lose all their rapidly lose public support and draw flak.
goodwill in the Afghans and Pakistan would not have By: Farzana Shah
any foothold in the future of Afghanistan when US US policy and objectives contradictions become
leaves or reduces their influence. US do not want to glaringly obvious when they spit out the real deal they
hand over Afghanistan to Pakistan!! US, Indians and plan for Afghanistan – dismemberment of
Israelis are too upset about it. Afghanistan. The “Lebanon option” has now been
floated where Hezbollah controls the south and a
Pakistan is now firmly selling the idea of national separate government runs in Beirut. We have always
reconciliation to the Americans to guarantee them a been saying that actual end game planned by US for
safe exit from Afghanistan. That means offering an Afghanistan and Pakistan is redrawing borders on
olive branch to the Taliban and the Afghan resistance “blood lines”, separating the countries on various
to bring them on board in a national government in ethnic lines. The exit plan of US envisages a bloody
Afghanistan. Despite the fact that US know that they civil war as in Yugoslavia and then division of the land
have lost, the ego of a super power resist the with new maps. The same game plan it has for
humiliation of shaking hands with the rag tag militia Pakistan also.
which have humbled a super power in the gorges of
Afghanistan. This is the dilemma which is now It is up to Pakistan and Iran to decide what future they
seriously threatening the unity of the US armed forces want for Afghanistan. Pakistan having a bigger say as
and the government. The Taliban and the anti-
coalition militia have sensed this weakness of the
foreign forces and have upped the pressure lately.
While Karzai denies, Obama and CIA acknowledges.
British army chief also supports the idea making it the
mainstream strategy to end the war or to find an exit
strategy. Now it's an open secret. Pakistan is sure to
have a greater role in the Afghan affairs now as this
new strategy gains currency. In fact, this is a historic
moment for Pakistan to re-establish its foothold in
Afghanistan and displace Indian and foreign forces.

But while US pursue the strategy of trying to buy or


win over Afghan resistance, it also plans to maintain
BRASSTACKS 24
Pashtuns resistance maintain a soft corner for tries to steer it to sanity.
Pakistan. What US desire is a perpetual recipe for a
civil war, an option the region cannot afford to To sum it up, US is facing following fatal and grave
implement. The US endgame is as ruthless as their issues at hand inAfghanistan:
failed war for the last 10 years.
1. US is not winning the war. Taliban and anti-
The contradictions and confusions within the US war coalition Pashtun militias are gaining more
planners are glaringly obvious. The sacking of former strength.
US General McChrystal was a sign of critical
differences between civil and military leadership. But 2. Cost of the war in terms of material and
even within the political leadership, we find those who human losses are rising exponentially. In the
seek reconciliations with all Afghans including the latest statistics, number of suicides has
resistance. Holbrooke has perhaps seen the futility of increased than the number of battlefield deaths
US war adventures and now seeks a path of least in a month! Morale of the troops is all time low
resistance. Not many in Obama administration would and no end of war in sight.
tag along this line. After sacking of General
McChrystal, the new US military command is not just 3. NATO is not willing to do the difficult
hawkish, they are delusional as well. We are seeing a fighting and only British, Canadian and
visible hardening of stance by the US army against American troops are taking major casualties.
Pakistan. Also, the plans of an exit strategy are being
“revised” to a “long haul stay” – a psychological war 4. Karzai regime is failing and falling rather
tactic to demoralize Taliban into talks. The levels of rapidly.
mistrust and bad taste are going to increase between
Pak and US armies now. US is trying to bully Pakistan 5. Zardari is an equally failing regime in
now once again, though US are on such a weak turf in Islamabad, making Pakistan army and ISI
Afghanistan that any firm stance by Pakistan can take more dominant and in control of policies. Bad
the wind out of the entire US strategy. news for US.

There is a reason why US cannot push Pakistan 6. With a withdrawal timetable given early,
beyond a certain degree. Their lifeline passes through Taliban have hardened their stance towards
Pakistan. Right now it is the militants who attack at the any talks. Now a back peddling is required by
targets of opportunity. If the Pakistani state decides to US and NATO to give a perception that they
choke the vital route, that would be the end of are not quittingAfghanistan.
US/NATO Afghan war days. In reality, the cost of war
already is rising exponentially for the occupation 7. Pakistan is not willing to do the fighting for
forces. The stress is increasing and so are the suicides. theAmericans against Pashtun resistance.
War is truly ruthless in the country as both sides try to
gain upper hand in the summer offensives. Now the 8. Indian presence in Afghanistan has made it
Taliban resistance is even spreading in North of the very difficult for US to balance their relations
country which had remained safe till now. with Pakistan. Pakistan is clearly angry over
US patronage and protection of Indians.
This year is going to be very rough in Afghanistan.
Taliban are sensing victory and are not going to lose 9.Pakistan continue to hold influence over
the initiative this time. Despite the bravado, US do not Pashtun resistance making it clear that in the
have the capability or the will to carry the war for more absence of US and NATO forces, Pakistan
years. It is either an exit for them or a total defeat and would once again control theAfghan future.
decimation. But even if it is an exit, US would want to
prevent a Taliban return and would be doing a fair bit 10. There is no defined objective of war now
of killings to achieve that objective. Pakistan remains for the US. There is total confusion. Al-Qaeda
the key player in this scenario. Apowerful government is now being replaced with LeT as the next
in Islamabad can turn the tide in its favor. For now, the bogey. Osama and Mullah Omar have not been
ship in Islamabad remains rudderless though the GHQ caught. In short, US do not know how to get

BRASSTACKS 25
out or what to do next. It is confusion galore. billions of dollars of corruption and is now fighting
tooth and nail to salvage their sinking ship.
11. NATO came into Afghanistan to maintain PPP government is most disturbed by the fierce
their strategic presence to counter Islamic, attacks on it by the media. Now, in the name of
Russian and Chinese threats. There is no way national security, they are going to draw dictatorial
they can forego these grand strategic laws to check the media blitz. Government would try
objectives even if some kind of peace deal is to bring the army on board as well to get the muscle
reached in Afghanistan. NATO is making this behind it. While there is no doubt that Pakistan needs a
clear now, finally. solid media policy as the present media is almost an
untouchable holy cow, causing massive anarchy in the
So after earlier giving an exit date, by 2011, now we state, the way PPP wants to do it would cause more
see another confused policy announcement by US and mayhem than good. It seems that the realization is
NATO. But all these US plans and announcements there in the PPP ranks as well despite the desire to go
donot affect Taliban who remain ruthless, cunning and ahead with the idea.
resolute. Major embarrassments continue to come US
way. In the coming days, frictions will increase Meanwhile the corrupt politicians continue to divide
between Pakistan and US/NATO as well as the the provinces over water and resource allocations,
occupation forces' casualties would mount in the increasing the provincial disharmony and weakening
coming war season. Pakistan is rightly not willing to the federation. Power crisis also continues to get
fight the dirty war for the US/NATO. There is not serious all over the country with no end in sight. This
much US/NATO can do about it except fume, bluff sorry state of affairs is deliberately orchestrated to
and threaten. justify rental power plants by the government.
Railways are collapsing and all major trains which
Political / EconomicAxis: have been running for many decades are now being
ceased to operate. This is a horrible state of affairs or
It can only happen in Pakistan! A huge percentage of national governance and is almost touching the limits
legislators and MP's are now known to have fake of a failed State.
educational degrees and have defrauded the nation
and the judiciary to win their seats. But they remain The PPP government is already on a suicide path. Now
shameless! Instead of supporting the law, even Mr. PML (N) has also joined their ranks and has picked up
Zaradri is upset and sees this as a conspiracy. This has fights with almost all power players – PPP, Media and
now become the biggest scandal in the country which the army. This is bad news for Nawaz Shareef and his
can actually disqualify a majority of the MP's making political future. But PML (N) was quick to back track
the parliament non-functional. The entire political and do damage control over their stance towards
system is so corrupt and decadent that it is futile to media and terrorism. The inaction and failure of
expect them to deliver. Punjab government to nab and nail the terrorist outfits
has brought them under immense pressure and have
The government and its cronies continue to make led to panicked response against media and the
laws, rules and policies to grab billions in windfall government and defying the military's national
profits, commissions and kickbacks. This is security strategy. Now PML (N) is desperate and
staggering and unprecedented levels of corruption and trying to limit the damage. The political fiasco is so
financial embezzlement without any shame or fear. total and complete that it is breathtaking. It is not just
While the SC is trying to resist the autocratic corrupt the government but also the so called opposition
rule of the government, the PPP government continues which is equally comical, confused and disorientated.
to declare their war against the judiciary as well. Chief
Justice SC continues to give a tough time to PPP The PPP government is also under immense pressure from
government. religious scholars and organizations as well. The failure to
control terrorism is now haunting the PPP government
Every trick known to crooks and thieves is now being more than the corruption they have been doing.
deployed by the government to wriggle out of the legal
grip of the Supreme Court. The clash is breathtaking As Pakistan continues to face water crisis, the
as well as shameless. The entire leadership is mired in government work on multiple axis to aggravate the
shortage. The government is creating a major crisis
BRASSTACKS 26
through following means. On inter provincial axis, the disputes and frictions
1. New dams are not being built. In fact, the continue to increase between provinces creating a
government is blocking all projects. dangerous fault line for the Federation. This
government is making sure that Pakistani federation is
2. New storage reservoirs and canals are not weakened beyond repair in the coming months and
being created. weeks. The passing of the 18th amendment is the
biggest crime of this government. War on ethnic lines
3. Water disputes increasing due to corrupt and in Karachi by two separatists' parties – MQM and ANP
incompetent decision makers. This is – is alarmingly out of control. Both parties have great
increasing friction between provinces. sympathies with Indians and reject creation of
Pakistan as a State and tacitly work to create
4. Issues not being taken up with India over environment to cripple Pakistan. Both are in
Indian blockade of Pakistani water. government in Sindh and NWFP and are aggressively

What the government is doing is plain and simple


treason. This may seem a harsh word but the
corruption and incompetence of the government is
pushing Pakistan towards a famine and food crisis.

The only aspect where we find this PPP government


aggressive is the borrowing from IMF and World
Bank on terms which surely are to break the national
economic back, if it is has not already. The massive
loans are being siphoned back into accounts of the
leaders while the country continues to sink deeper into
bottomless pit. The system cannot last. It is just a
matter of time now. We only hope the change is not a
bloody one.

Prime Minister Gillani extended the tenure of the


powerful army chief for next 3 years, a full new term.
This is perhaps the best thing that PM has ever done.
working on the agenda of weakening the federation in
General Kayani is a fierce patriot and a professional
cohorts with the PPP regime. A gang war between
soldier and is respected in the army. He has handled
MQM and ANP has crippled Karachi since last month
the war within the country well and his extension is a
or so and it still continues and getting intense by the
good omen for the country. But not so much for the
day with dozens killed in targeted assassinations just
government or the US plans in the region.
over the past week.
But if the PPP government thinks that General Kayani
Baluchistan is also in real crisis now as multiple
would remain loyal to the government despite their
blatant betrayals of national interests and corruptions separatists' groups are fighting for “independence”.
then they are sadly mistaken. Chief Justice and the The Baluchistan issue can be resolved in no time but
Army Chief are the two people who can put some fear the CM and his provincial government are themselves
of God into the hearts of the rulers. With already a separatists and are known criminals and no one can
head-on collision between SC and the government, expect any good from them. Such is the irony and
army's taking sides would be decisive and this is what shamelessness of this PPP regime.
the PM wanted to avoid. But we know for sure that the
loyalties of the General are with Pakistani State and its If the corruption and mismanagement of the
ideology and any deviance by the government on government was not enough, the country is hit by the
these counts would not be taken lightly by the army worst flooding in its history, creating more havoc and
and its powerful chief. destruction in the country. Over 2000 have died
already in the first week of August and property worth
BRASSTACKS 27
billions of rupees have been damaged. Major cities of The positive side is that the TTP has taken mortal hits
NWFP like Nowshehra and Charsadda are completely and number of suicide attacks against the people and
submerged and Peshawar areas are without electricity the security forces are decreasing steadily, almost
for days now. none last month. Military operations continue in FATA
and militants are taking regular casualties and have
It is undoubtedly the most horrifying collapse of state not been able to react as frequently as they used to
management by any government in national history. previously. The tide has now decisively turned against
This time, military wants the Supreme Court to do the the militants and the morale within the security forces
cleaning of the sick system. How long the SC would and army is very high. It's a long haul war as the source
take, one cannot say at the moment. But the fact of the insurgency lies in Afghanistan which is still
remains that PPP government and the SC are now volatile and hostile to Pakistan.
locked in a mortal combat and the country bleeds in
the process. Army watches on the wings and so far is In Baluchistan, campaign of violence continues as
resisting the temptation to intervene. Let's see, how well where violence levels are lower but targeted
long they wait and see the nation bleed profusely? assassinations and attacks on the forces continue to
challenge the State writ. With a most corrupt and
Internal Security: incompetent government in Quetta as well, there is no
possibility of any improvement in the security
As the TTP terrorists continue to take hits in the tribal situation as long as this government remains. An
areas, they are moving deeper into the mainland internal fight for turf is rocking Baluch separatists.
hitting softer targets, causing much mayhem and
bloodshed. But the positive outcome is that these Baluchistan witnessed violence and protests over
attacks are uniting the nation against their terror and assassination of a sub-nationalist leader. The BLA
forcing the government to shape up or be prepared to attacks against the State have gone down but exist on
ship out. The nation has refused to buckle down under regular basis. Present government of Baluchistan is
the terror. Operations continue in the tribal areas both unwilling as well as unable to contain these threats.
by the Pakistani forces and the US drones. The more severe damage is being done on the political
front where the local population feels alienated and
It's a long slog to victory. In the absence of political distanced from the federation due to corruption and
will and in the presence of a failed judicial system, bad governance of the provincial government. Recent
army has to do the dirty job of cleaning the mess on all flooding has also done severe damage in the province
fronts. The TTP militants also want to expand the axis but army came to help once again in Marri and Bugti
of war into a sectarian conflict as well. The Shias in regions.
Parachinar are almost blockaded for more than a year
and their road passes through the TTP areas where Karachi remains a city of concern where MQM and
ambushes are routine. ANP have turned it into a war zone with Police and
Rangers incapable of controlling the marauding mobs.
It is a complex and dirty war in the FATA and tribal With MQM and PPP in the government, police and
regions. Multiple axis of threats, violence and security forces are under their own control and their
conflicts rage with various intensity. gangs have been set lose on political opponents with
shameless audacity.
1. Sectarian.
............................
2. Swat.

3 .Drones and CIA's own war.

4. Pak army's operations against TTP.

5. TTP's revenge against the State.


BRASSTACKS 28
Giving India Trade Route
or
Crossing Red Lines?
By: Farzana Shah

th
In a country that has been affected by low and high two years. Earlier during the last year, on May 6 ,
intensity insurgencies, entrapped in a vicious debt trap 2009 Pakistani and Afghan ministers signed an MoU
of IMF and World Bank, indulged into economic in US to renew transit trade agreement, of 1965, to
mismanagement and political corruption at all levels; give India a transit facility for trade with Afghanistan
constituting a foreign policy which can protect its through Pakistani land routes from Wagah to Khyber
security interests is really a cumbersome job but even surrendering its 43-years-old stance on not allowing
then some red lines are drawn by nations on all fronts India to use its soil for trade with Afghanistan till the
of national defense and economic security which are resolution of all outstanding issues including
not meant to be crossed at any cost under any Kashmir.
circumstances.
The decision by government to sign a bilateral
Right after 9/11, US helped India to establish her agreement with Afghanistan on a foreign soil and
political and economical foothold in Afghanistan by giving India unilateral concessions on transit trade
overlooking Pakistan's geo-political and geo- met with severe criticism and skepticism by Pakistani
economic interests. US policy towards establishing intelligentsia and military establishment as
Indian hegemony in SouthAsia is in full swing and it is government was to concede Pakistan's economic and
getting its objectives met, one after another, thanks to security interests to India through this agreement.
another US supported and sponsored government in
Islamabad just like the one they have in Kabul. Present Some of the terms agreed upon by both countries in
government is willingly crossing red lines just to MoU in 2009 were openly against Pakistan’s
protect artificial democracy in Pakistan by appeasing economic hand strategic interests.
Americans and Indians.
Under the second clause of the MoU not only could
The only way for US and Indian plans to succeed in the Afghanistan get access to the sea route; it could also
region is to get sway over all the trade routes and find new avenues to India and China for similar
corridors to Afghanistan through Pakistan. This is purposes.
something Pakistan cannot afford politically,
economically as any such concession to India would The clause titled "Objectives of Pak Afghan Transit
undermine vital national geo-strategic interests. Agreement", in the MoU, elaborated that the future
agreement would emphasize the easiest routes for
th
On July 18 2010, both countries signed a framework international traffic (also including access to a third
for final transit trade agreement between Pakistan and country).
Afghanistan. Actual agreement for Afghan Transit
Trade would be based on this framework. Efforts and The need for establishing a transit corridor connecting
work for this framework were underway for the last Pakistan's border areas with Afghanistan, and to give
BRASSTACKS 29
3. In future, India would be allowed through a
“side-letter” by Islamabad to use Pakistani
land routes for moving its goods directly to
Afghanistan via Wagah – Khyber route.

Pakistani intelligentsia and patriots reacted strongly


over this precarious framework which now has become
binding for Pakistan to follow while finalizing final
agreement for Pak – Afghan transit trade. Reacting to
this outrage, the government tried to do some damage
control by giving some absurd and twisted explanations
and reasons for the need for new agreement like; the
previous agreement, signed in 1965, had become
obsolete, there was no mechanism to prevent
smuggling, the new agreement would enable all
the two countries access to each other's neighbouring Pakistani ports to be utilized for Afghan transit trade
countries was also emphasized in the MoU. etc. These reasons given by commerce minister have no
answers for the following critical questions;
US secretary of state Hillary Clinton was jubilant and
declared the MoU a “landmark memorandum of I) If an agreement between Pakistan and
understanding” but that was last year. This year, she Afghanistan was becoming obsolete why did
traveled all the way to Islamabad to supervise signing US intervene? Pakistan and Afghanistan are
ceremony of framework that will be utilized while two neighbors which have a history and they
formulating the final agreement which would be can talk to each other directly.
signed in future after approval by cabinet.

Though the transit trade agreement is completely a II) Why Pakistani government has allowed
bilateral matter between Pakistan and Afghanistan but Washington to hijack the whole transit trade
there is an unprecedented level of US interest and agreement? Why US diplomats are so much
interference, since 2008, in this agreement and that is involved in a regional matter that has nothing
something raising eyebrows in some circles in to do with any foreign country?
Pakistan.
III) Why Americans are so worried for Indian
According to media reports, Pakistan has conceded
access to Afghanistan through Pakistan?
following to Afghanistan;
Which US interests would be served or
protected by facilitating India inAfghanistan?
1. To provide, for the first time, Afghanistan
with facility to use Pakistani land routes of The only answer to these questions is that actual deal is
Wagah-Khyber for exports to India. to protect US interests in the region and not the trade.
Americans want Indians in Afghanistan, US wants to
2. To continue providing sea-port access to leave Afghanistan but wants a reliable partner in
India for her exports to Afghanistan. Not only Kabul and some regional player as a babysitter for that
Karachi port would be used but Gawadar and partner. On the other hand Indians want access to
Bin Qasim ports would also be available for Central Asia and Middle East, something that is only
Indian exports to Afghanistan. possible via Pakistan. Indians also want to corner
Pakistan from its Western border (which they are
This may not sound turbulent as Pakistan is bound to already doing by supporting multiple insurgencies in
provide transit trade to land locked Afghanistan but Pakistan but after getting land access via Pakistan the
there are more concessions from Pakistan in this noose around Pakistan will be further tightened).
framework for future Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade
Agreement (APTTA) and these concessions are Indo-US regional plan can move forward only in the
primarily for India. presence of a completely compromised, complacent
BRASSTACKS 30
and sellout government in Islamabad, which the and FATA is going to be proved disastrous for
current regime has proved itself on multiple accounts. Pakistan.

b. The accord will allow India to use Pakistan


as a road contributing towards its military
buildup and intelligence network in
Afghanistan which is being used against
Pakistan.

c. Once gates are opened it would be difficult


for Pakistan to distinguish between traders and
Indian intelligence and military personnel.
Trucks loaded with RAW operatives, Indian
military personnel or weapons pretending as
trade convoys will be a new aid to Indian-
backed insurgents in Pakistan.

d. India would be in a position to support


Baluch insurgents more affectively once it has
So, all the ingredients are there to cook a very nasty a direct road access from within Pakistan.
recipe to undermine Pakistan’s economic and
strategic interest.
e. It would provide an excellent opportunity
This agreement with above mentioned provisions, for Indian intelligence operatives to conduct
when materialized, would be a bigger favor to India by ground surveillance and espionage operations
US than the nuclear deal between Washington and of sensitive installations and infrastructure,
New Dehli. while traversing between Wagah –Khyber
trade corridor.
India had been trying her level best in the past to get
this transit route through Pakistan which will easily f. Safety of Afghan / Indian trucks on Pakistani
give her a license to expand her footprints from soil will be a problem and Pakistan will have to
Myanmar in the East to Afghanistan, the Central Asia allocate extra resources for the protection of
and to the Middle East in the West. Apart from that, trade convoys through new routes along with
allowing transit route to India has some other grave those which are already used for Afghan
implications for Pakistan as well, ranging from transit. Banned Jihadi outfits can attack these
security issues to economic ones. convoys while they travel through Pakistan.
This would create another security situation.
Security Implications:
Economic Implications:
Pakistan and India both have long and outstanding
issues. India never missed any chance to harm Indian involvement in APTTA will be disturbing in its
Pakistani interests unlike Islamabad where a pure economic incarnation due to following reasons;
deepening leadership crisis has encouraged the
Indians to form an aggressive foreign policy towards a. It is said that the new framework has strict
Pakistan. control recommendations to eradicate the
menace of smuggling but in reality there is no
In current circumstances, providing any facility to industrial base in Afghanistan that can cater to
India or Afghanistan to use Wagah –Khyber route huge Indian market and also there is no huge
would be a strategic blunder for following reasons; market in Afghanistan which can provide
sustained business to Indian industries. So
a. Giving India transit route despite the clear there is a big possibility that eventually all the
proofs of Indian involvement in Baluchistan goods intended for Afghanistan would end up
BRASSTACKS 31
in Pakistani markets. unilateral concession in this regard is flawed
geo-politically.
b. Pakistan and China invested heavily in
Gawadar mainly for using it as a trade hub Final thoughts:
between countries in Central Asia, China,
Russia and rest of the world. Allowing India As all the odds are turning against NATO and US
transit through Pakistan may end up in forces in Afghanistan, a panic and urgency is visible in
allowing all Central Asian countries and US efforts to secure its strategic interests in the
Russia to sign deals with Afghanistan and region.US administration also feeling pressure from
India for using Indian ports instead of local masses to end this war. So for US and NATO,
Gawadar for trade with Far East, Australia and leaving Afghanistan, sooner or later, is inevitable. US
Japan as Indian ports are closer to these found India to do its dirty work but Indians have their
countries than Gawadar. own plans for the region. Pakistan is caught in
between and this is where both India and US have
c. Currently 90 per cent goods ranging from found common grounds vis-a-vis Paksitan.
food to construction material for Afghanistan
Putting all the above into perspective it becomes clear
are being supplied by Pakistani traders and
that Pakistan has found itself caught in a vicious
balance of trade is heavily in favor of Pakistan.
conspiracy due to some grossly treacherous policies
But it would not remain so as cost of Indian
by US backed governments in Islamabad since last
goods will be reduced in Afghan markets once
nine years. Pakistan offered Indians a unilateral
they are supplied via land routes. Currently
ceasefire on LoC (Line of Control) in 2004 and India
India cannot accessAfghanistan through roads
responded this “confidence building measure” with
so cost of Pakistani goods is somehow
her aggressive water policy, support to multiple
competitive to Indian goods but after the
insurgencies in Pakistan and diplomatic offenses.
transit route opened Pakistan will completely
How Pakistan can hope for any return of generous
lose theAfghan market.
concessions offered in Afghan –Pakistan Transit
TradeAgreement?
d. Currently, Afghan exports are carried to
Wagah border by Pakistani trucks. There is In a situation like this, Pakistan cannot risk its own
large number of agents, workers and crew interests and security while signing treaties like APTTA
members employed by Pakistani transporters. especially when the country is facing a gross
After implementing APTTA, these persons mismanagement in every statecraft due to leadership
would be rendered jobless. crisis. Judiciary is one institute that can bail out Pakistan
from this death trap completely and this agreement has
Political Implications: already been challenged in the court of law.
APTTA would impact Pakistan on political axis as Final agreement hasn't been signed yet so Pakistan
well due to following reasons; still has an opportunity to limit Indian economic and
strategic interests in the region by reviewing this
a. Allowing India trade route has always been agreement. Indian and Afghan governments, on the
linked with resolution of Kashmir issue by behest of US, would urge Pakistan to finalize the
Pakistani policy makers since last many agreement as soon as possible but they can urge only
decades. The sudden U-turn by current as long as US is in the region. Once US quits, tables
government not only surprised Pakistanis but will be turned in the region and in Afghanistan as
it will send a very disturbing message to well. The question is, can patriots in every institute get
Kashmiris as well. together against foreign pressures for this agreement
along with thwarting attempts by conspirators within
b. Pakistan would not get any beneficial Pakistani government till US taste ultimate defeat in
concession on reciprocal basis from India. Afghanistan?
Pakistan would not get trade access to Nepal or
Bhutan through Indian land routes, so a ..............................

BRASSTACKS 32
Zaid Hamid

Into the killing fields!


Since I was an amateur young man in the books of Afghans, my
first stop was also planned at a training camp in Warsak, near
Peshawar. After an hour long drive across the black top road and
a diversion into the hills, we reached Warsak camp, a bustling
training camp of Afghan resistance, accommodating a few
hundred fighters at a time, in an ongoing cyclic schedule. The
camp commander received me in his tent and after a few cups of
light black tea, which was to become my staple drink for the next
few years in Afghanistan; we set about touring the camp.
Various weapon-training sites were scattered all over the planes
and hillocks. There were small groups of 15-20 men sitting
around a specific weapon, with an instructor briefing them about
how to use it and later allowing them live fire practice. Though
this camp belonged to Hizb-e-Islami, Hekmatyar group, which
is a dominantly Pashtun party, the trainees came from various
ethnic backgrounds – Pashtuns, Uzbeks, Tajiks. Most of these
trainees were young men but some were also elderly, who had
chosen to take up arms and liberate their homeland from the
oppression of one of the mightiest armies in the world back then.

To be honest, I was surprised at the simplicity and limited


variety of weapons at the camp. My perception of fighting a high
intensity war was with heavy artillery, armoury and jet fighters. I
had no clue about how a guerilla war was fought and with which
weapons. I needed to correct my mental bearings in quick time.
The array of weapons at the camp included:

BRASSTACKS 33
1. Anti aircraft 14.5 mm single barreled guns are good”, he replied with an amusing smile under
called Ziguyags. which I detected a subtle taunt. “When we started, we
only had homemade guns, First World War bolt
2. Anti aircraft 12.7 mm heavy gun called actions and even shot guns”, he seemed happy at the
progress made in six years of resistance. I was still not
Dashekas. so sure. “Which weapon would you like to fire?” he
asked. The offer was tempting but I only settled for the
3. Heavy Machine Gun 7.62 caliber called Kalashnikov; all other weapons seemed fairly simple,
Grunov. and with a surge of over confidence, I felt I did not
need to use them here and preferred an on-the-job
4. Light machine gun 7.62 mm with belt or training in the battlefield.
drum magazine.
Later, when faced with the enemy, my apprehensions
5. Rocket propelled grenades RPG – 7. proved true, and even though the resistance was giving
some serious, tough time to the Soviets with these
light, transportable and shoulder carried weapons; the
6. Light Cannon shoulder or tripod fired
war had actually begun to swing in the favor of the
recoilless 82 mm. Soviets due to their much modified tactics, superior air
power as well as their use of high technology weapon
7. Light Cannon shoulder or tripod fired systems, especially the feared MI-24 gunship
recoilless 75 mm. helicopters and the modified armoured plated Sukhoi
bomber. These weapons, which had somehow
8. Mortars of various calibers like 82mm to managed to carry the war thus far for the resistance,
120 mm. were not going to be enough if the Soviets were to be
driven out of Afghanistan. Within the next few days,
9. Single barrel rocket launcher 107mm. fate was to present me with the opportunity of
experiencing this phenomenon first hand.
10. AK-47 Kalashnikov. On a wooden target, placed at a distance of 200 yards, I
prepared to fire my first shots of the AK-47. One of the
instructors tried to brief me on magazine loading but I
declined the offer. It was my time to make an
impression. First, while standing and then sitting and
taking aim, I fired 5 rounds each, hitting the bull's-eye.
Then lying down on my stomach, turning the selector
switch to full auto, I fired short bursts into the target,
generating some serious excitement in the small group
of onlookers who had gathered to see the “guest” try
his luck. Finally, it was time to really fascinate them. I
flamboyantly fired a full magazine, in small bursts
from the hip, without aiming into the target. Though
not all shots struck home, it was impressive enough an
attempt to draw a round of applause. “Where did you
RPG-7 Training In Warsak learn to fire like this?” The camp commander could
hardly conceal his amazement, “At my university, in
“That's it?” I thought, with some dismay, after Karachi,” I replied with a smile, handing over the gun
completing my quick tour of the training posts. My to another instructor. I could sense the commander's
disbelief, as I walked away triumphantly.
confidence in the Mujahideen's fighting ability, as
well as my own chances of survival in the battlefield
began to frizzle away. “Are these weapons enough? **********************
Are we supposed to fight the Soviets with just these?”
I could not resist asking the camp commander. “These Finally on March 27, 1986, the moment of truth
arrived. I was asked to carry my rucksack and join a
BRASSTACKS 34
Enfield 303 bolt action rifle with about 30 rounds. I
was quite disappointed at not being given an AK-47,
but then I convinced myself that in any real
engagement, I would be able to take down quite a few
enemies, even with this weapon.

Plans had been made to attack a Soviet convoy as well


as a nearby enemy post the next day, therefore, we
were told to take an early rest. The next few days had
some shocking experiences in store for me and served
as a tough initiation process into what was to come my
way during the next six years. I had maintained a small
diary, taking down brief notes as the perilous
A group of Arab and Afghan Mujahideen after adventure unfolded itself. It makes fascinating
ambushing a Soviet Convoy reading and gives first hand insight about life on a
typicalAfghan battlefield during those days.
group of about 20 Arab Mujahideen moving towards
Paktia inAfghanistan via Parachinar, the last Pakistani (Diary notes are in Italics and I have added extra
town on Afghan border in Kurram agency, tribal commentary underneath now for clarity).
region. It was reported that fighting had broken out
there as a Soviet military column was bogged down Date: 28.3.86:
while traveling through the province towards Khost. “From Mujahid camp to close to enemy positions,
Ambushing convoys was a favorite pastime of the 5km long tiring walk through mountains with heavy
resistance. Arriving in Parachinar just after midday, load of shells and guns. It is nearly mid-day now
we moved on to cross the border by afternoon, and and we plan to attack the enemy with multi barreled
then made a long trek through the mountains towards rocket launchers. I have not seen enemy so far but,
the closest Hizb base in the village of Chamkani inside inshaAllah, after a couple of hours…..”
Afghanistan, arriving there just after dusk. The Arab
group, of which I was a part, was escorted by a local The Mujahideen attacked the Soviets with multi-
Afghan guide, armed with an Ak-47. None of the new barreled rocket launchers from across the hills into the
recruits carried any weapons at this stage, which made plains, where the convoy was stuck. 12 thunderous 107
me feel somewhat vulnerable while entering the war mm rockets would form a typical barrage onto the
zone empty handed. But, Chamkani base was the enemy positions, creating a fearsome onslaught of
closest to the Pakistan border and the Mujahideen had artillery for the enemy. The Soviet response was swift
controlled the region fairly well thus far, as hundreds and even more ruthless. For the first time, I saw the
of fighters and vehicles crossed both ways almost dreaded MI-24 Gunships, hovering at a safe distance
daily, despite threats of Soviet bombers and Gunships. and firing salvos of rockets into the hills where MBRL
was dug in. The action lasted for about 2 hours and then
For the first time, I experienced a surge of tension, we started the retreat back to base.
seriousness and excitement building up. “This is for
real”, I told myself, as I took stock of the battle The earth shook beneath our feet as bombs and rockets
hardened Afghan and Arab men surrounding me, were fired at us from Gunship copters and jets, which
wearing their battle gears and carrying weapons, kept on chasing us as we tried to make our way back
discussing exploits of the bygone battles and from the battle front to the base carrying our dead,
preparing plans for the next day. One could hear the wounded and weapons. We had taken casualties and
thunder of artillery in the distance and the reality the MBRL position had taken a direct Soviet rocket
began to sink home that now there was no turning hit, knocking out the launcher and killing a crew
back. I was in the battle field now. We were led into a member. As we started the retreat, the Gunships gave
small brick room, lit with kerosene lanterns, a typical chase. With only one single barreled 14.5 Ziguyag at
example of local architecture; the ambiance created a the base to keep the fearsome MI-24's away, we had
mystifying aura about the place. Many such rooms little chance of survival but darkness became our ally.
dotted the harsh mountainous base, occupied by Arab And then the jets arrived, dropping light flares and
and Afghan fighters. I was given a first world war
BRASSTACKS 35
again all hell broke loose.

Heavy bombardment from enemy with mortars,


missiles, Gunships and Jets. Enemy suffered great
losses due to Mujahideen's rocket attack. We were
hiding behind rocks with shells falling all around us.
Only Allah protected us. A brother from Afghanistan
was Shaheed.

One Arab was wounded. He was taken to Pakistan. At


night jets bombarded the place in flare lights. We were
hiding in a cave. Allah saved us again. For the first
time in my life I have experienced something like this, A Mujahideen’s anti aircraft 14.5mm gun
but this is Jihad…
Till today, I regret not having shot at those aircraft, for
Date 29.3.86: I am sure that if I had, even with a bolt action rifle, I
“Heavy bombardment again by jets, rockets fell wouldn't have missed. I had often gone duck hunting
close to us. We kept hiding behind the rocks. It is with my dad, and in retrospect, seeing those fighter
midday now and we are at a Mujahideen outpost jets sailing though the air, I could not help but compare
close to enemy. We can see enemy camp and jets them to fast teals and mallards that could have been
bombarding Mujahideen positions in different areas. shot down without much effort. But, at that point in
We can see white mountains around us”. time, I was too frozen with fear to even consider the
possibility. Till that time, advanced surface to air
Early morning the next day, we were forced to leave missiles had not arrived in Afghanistan and Soviet
camp by the Mujahideen even before day break and a planes released decoy flares but those were more of a
column of about 20 men dashed out towards a forward precaution than due to a real threat from an advanced
post, but we were trapped in a small ravine when a SAM.
squadron of Soviet jets attacked us, diving low, firing
rockets and strafing right into the column. The column We finally managed to move out of the ravine and into
consisted mostly of young Arab fighters who had not the observation post closer to the Soviet base in the
seen much action before. They panicked. The group, valley below. We came back to our own base at night.
including myself, desperately tried to take cover For the next few days, our group used to move out to
behind rocks and stones with Soviet jets diving in our outpost, OP, in the morning and return at night.
waves, releasing flares to prevent any SAM attacks. Those days were of relative calm for me as I saw the
The roaring, whistling sound of aircraft, slicing war unfolding around us while we waited and
through the wind was uncannily familiar, perhaps observed Soviet positions and tactics. It seemed like
from the movies we had seen, and then panic and fear watching a movie, only with real, deadly action taking
began to set in almost immediately. place around us, without the rewind or pause buttons.

I stared, horrified as three fighter jets formed a line and Enchanting, snowy, mountainous landscape and the
entered into a dive straight at me, strafing with bullets stillness of the serene environment, did not betray the
whizzing past me and hitting the ravine floor kicking immense bloodshed and butchery those valleys had
clouds of dust. I was frozen in fear, almost into a trance witnessed. The Soviets had used brute and ruthless
of disbelief as the jets released their loads. The planes force to decimate almost every village they even
dived so low that I could see the helmets of the pilots suspected of hosting the resistance. Miles after miles,
when they flew past me. Luckily, bombs and rockets abandoned villages dotted the hills and valleys, their
exploded on the hill slopes, missing the terrified occupants having migrated to Pakistan with only
young fighters in the ravine below, who lay there, fighters returning to continue the struggle. We were
hugging the ground as bullets whizzed past, also lodged in one such vacated, mud and stone,
miraculously missing the targets. This was my first double storied house.
ever experience of coming under a hostile fighter jet
attack and made me freeze in sheer terror. It was here, for the first time, that I was properly
introduced to the Arab fighters as well. I was the only
BRASSTACKS 36
Rag-tag Afghan resistance militia

Pakistani in the group and could speak English, a disappearing into the darkening shadows. I never saw
fascination for the Afghans and Arabs alike. My or heard about him again. People just seemed to vanish
Arabic, Pushto or Dari was almost non-existent at the in those killing fields.
time and only Abu Hajir, from Iraq could speak
English. We became good friends immediately. He Date: 30-3-86:
had not met any Pakistani on the battle front before “Not much happened yesterday after midday. We
and was keen to know about Islamic movements in came back from OP after dusk. Today we pushed off
Pakistan. This small band of Muslim fighters very fast from our base and reached OP. Jets
comprised of young men from at least 10 different bombarding surrounding hills, probably our HQ as
nationalities from various social and educational well. Came back late in the evening, saw enemy
backgrounds, almost all meeting each other for the movements and Mujahideen firing rockets on enemy
first time but united by the bond of a common sacred positions with enemy retaliating and us in the
cause. Afghan Jihad was truly a Pan Islamic middle with shells flying over our heads. Sent a
movement. letter to Mom”

I last met Abu Hajir briefly after 4 years on my way to Date: 31.3.86:
Takhar, towards regions of Ahmed Shah Masood in “Not much action for us all day except usual sights
Northern Afghanistan in 1990. Abu Hajir was of jets bombing and rocketing. At night enemy
trekking back towards Pakistan from Takhar on that attacked us with rockets. It was a surprise attack.
grueling journey. Just before sundown, on a dusty, Thank God no one was hurt.”
narrow dirt track in the Farkhar valley, he recognized
me riding a horse, nursing my lacerated feet after days Date: 1.4.86:
of walking. We embraced each other with excitement, “Early morning left for Parachinar. Not much
shook hands, introduced each other to the comrades. action here for a Kalashnikov. Decided to leave for
He even offered me his own boots when he saw that other fronts. Arabs also coming back.
mine were hurting me. I then rode into the wilderness, Date: 2.4.86:
as Abu Hajir hastened on the opposite dusty track, “Back in Peshawar”.
BRASSTACKS 37
These first four days on the front line were to change immediately started to take my language lessons.
my entire perspective and outlook on life. Despite its Within a few days, we were communicating
harshness and ruthlessness, it was a surreal experience, reasonably well in Dari, which was to become my
almost mystical in intensity. The experiences of trials, second language during all my adventures.
human brutality as well as sacrifice, undergone during
this span of time, taught me phenomenal lessons about Somehow, I could never pick up Pashtu fluently
life and death. Those of us who were alive did not know despite my years of association with Afghan
why they were spared and those who died, we did not resistance and having Peshawar as my second home
understand why they were chosen. This dangerous, but for this period, perhaps because of my focus on Dari,
extremely mystifying life was to be my destiny for the which was closer to Urdu and easier to learn and
next few years. speak. Every educated Afghan is at least bilingual and
hence Dari became and remained my first choice of
During this first trip into the killing fields of language inAfghanistan.
Afghanistan, I was destined to undergo similar
experiences in Jalalabad and Paktia. I had maintained Kochi handed me anAK-47 and I was ecstatic. That was
a brief diary of these events as well, and this gives to be my personal weapon from now on. I had a small
more insight into the ways and tactics of war being camera with me as well and had been taking pictures all
fought in those days: Earlier it was ambushing along. In those days, there were no digital cameras and
convoys, whereas now in Jalalabad, it was joining old fashioned films had to be loaded, so one would only
Mujahideen for attacking a fixed enemy post. know after weeks or often months the results of their
photography; but I kept on clicking. In the coming years
Very close to the Pakistan border was the Mujahideen I was also to become part of Mujahideen propagation
base at Shalman Dakka. It was overseeing the road to department and produce hundreds of thousands of
Jalalabad from Torkham, Pakistan-Afghan border. It pictures, audio tapes and video films for the resistance.
was a very strategic road for the Soviets, heavily But at that moment, in Shalman, I was on my own, a
guarded and bitterly fought for by the Mujahideen. young Karachi student who had enigmatically decided
Ambushing this road was a regular battle strategy. But to abandon an engineering career and join the resistance
to get to the road, one had to pass through many as a foot soldier.
security posts or hilltop fortresses dotting the area.
Therefore, this area was very suitable for post warfare One day, it was decided within the groups, to launch an
as well. attack on a post inside the enemy territory. The plan
demanded that we cross the heavily guarded Jalalabad
I landed at Hizb-e-Islami camp in Shalman. The wide highway at night, penetrate deep near the target post,
valley had a river running through it, with one exit hide in the gorges and natural trenches in the day,
towards Pakistan, hence making it easy for the dodge the hilltop posts on the way, make an attack in
resistance to cross the border and bring in men and the afternoon and finally come out alive somehow. It
supplies. The smaller side of the valley, where the was insane to start with but everyone was hyper
Mujahideen had their bases was dotted with tents, charged, so I decided to go along silently. Every group
caves and make shift shanties for all Mujahideen contributed men and a total of 50 fighters were
groups, having their camps side by side. Hilltops assembled for the operation. Kochi Khan was the
were manned with anti-air craft guns to keep fighter commander of the combined force. The weapons
jets and helicopters away. included AK-47's and RPG's with the troopers and
only one 82mm recoilless rifle as softening up
I was received by a short, stout, well built, very artillery, which was to be used by Kochi himself. As
confident middle aged, Mujahideen commander, per battle plan, an assault team was to attack the post
Kochi Khan. He was a Pashtun from a nomadic tribe frontally, once it was softened by the 82mm rockets.
and interestingly his name Kochi literally means Kochi wanted me to stay close to him, obviously for
'nomad'. I was to spend the next 10 days with Kochi my protection. I wanted to go with the assault teams, a
and he was to become my mentor in Dari/Persian, war high risk proposition. Kochi was visibly
strategy, guerilla war tactics and observations, lessons uncomfortable about sending me along with the
in ambushing convoys and in attacking posts. Though assault group. He was jealously protecting me like a
he was a Pashtun, he spoke Dari very well, and I guardian angel. I decided to go with the fighting group
BRASSTACKS 38
anyway and let the battle decide my fate. night. It was my first experience to march with battle
hardened Mujahideen on those treacherous mountain
My diary entry reads: slopes and I was struggling to keep pace. Within the
first hour, I was exhausted, carrying my load of
Jalalabad 14-4-86: weapon, about 250 rounds of ammunition, medical
“At night going for an attack, inshaAllah. Hope to pack and some extra clothes. We crossed hills, dirt
be back after two days. Saw target post in the day tracks, ponds, canals, mountain passes, drinking dirty
from an OP post. Enemy tanks and vehicles are close sand infested water on the move, without stopping and
to it. About 50 Mujahideen are going. We will stay then finally reaching the Jalalabad road around 10 pm
out at night and reach target area and hide. Next at night after 3 hours of forced march. We had been
morning we will keep hiding till after noon and then observing this stretch of the road for days now and
attack and make our way back in the darkness. We knew it was guarded with tanks and posts. Now came
are using Kalashnikovs, RPG's, 82 mm shoulder fired the tricky part: How to cross the road in a bright,
recoilless gun. Attack will last one hour. If we fail, moonlit night? The agitation and fear factor began to
retreat. If we succeed, a full assault will be made. take over. Mujahideen and Kochi were unnerved.
The one hour would be decisive”.
It was decided to send small groups of men across the
The awe-inspiring, mysticism of that particular night road one after another. Kochi went first, then another
bewilders me even today. After dusk, men assembled and then another. It was my turn now. Rising from the
at the rendezvous, verses from the Quran were recited, roadside ditch, I stepped on the blacktop road,
followed by a collective prayer for victory. Men were precariously visible under the full moon. Crouching
aware of the risks and were willing to take the chances low, head down, anticipating hostile fire, I rushed
with courage. It was an audacious plan and if the across the road and dived into the ditch on the other
attack had taken place, many or perhaps all could have side. Now we were officially in the enemy territory.
perished. There was a full moon, and the column My pulse began to rise.
started their march in single file almost in silence, only
the rattling of the weapons and sounds of the marching On the face of it, it was insanity what Mujahideen had
footsteps on mountain stones broke the stillness of the planned to do. Coming this far into enemy territory

Faith comes first -- Praying in the battle field


BRASSTACKS 39
and so close to tanks and posts was bad enough. Now became casual on the Afghan killing fields nor separated
they planned to move deeper, passing many posts on myself from my weapon ever again and it did help keep
the way and then hide near a selected post and spend me alive. The situation was getting desperate. If we had
the next day there, hoping that no one would see them. to get out before daybreak, we had to move out now;
If we were to be seen by the enemy during daytime, else, we would be trapped within the enemy zone and
there would be a massacre for sure, with no escape decimated. Kochi took a brave and pragmatic decision
route. If we were to attack the post the next day and despite resistance by the younger, emotional members
then try to make our way back through this same of the group. He ordered a withdrawal.
treacherous path, the probability of a massacre would
still be strong. But now, we were across the road and My diary entry read:
no one was planning a retreat, not now at least.
15.4.86:
The attacking column re-assembled in a single file “Attack called off. Reached enemy area near the
target post but then it was discovered that more enemy
once again, the standard marching formation in
posts are present then previously known. Enemy was
Afghanistan for fear of landmines. Another half an
all around us and we were trapped in the middle. If
hour of silent march into the hostile territory and
they had known our positions, some of us would not
suddenly the leader signaled to everyone to stop and have returned alive. We made a safe entry and safe
sit. There was trouble. retreat. It was a long walk, mysterious but interesting,
tiring and adventurous at the same time. At 8 pm we
The dogs on the nearby posts had felt the movement of started and reached the target area at 12 midnight.
the Mujahideen and were barking uncontrollably, Retreat was immediate and we reached back at 4 am
making the Soviet/Afghan army guards alert and in the morning at base. I was extremely tired and
nervous about possible presence of Mujahideen in the could not even lift my feet properly, desperately trying
area. And then, all hell broke loose. All the posts to find my way back in darkness”.
started to fire simultaneously in all directions. It was
obvious that they did not know our exact location, but I could not make it back to the base by the first light but
were not taking any chances and multi directional, we were in the safe territory. We forced marched almost
indiscriminate fire was the best insurance against the entire night through the mountains and hills. My
sneaking Mujahideen fighting patrols. Our column sat whole body ached with cramps and pains. Unable to
in tensed silence as machine gun and AK-47 bullets walk any further, I sat between rocks along with a couple
whizzed past our heads. The tracer rounds were of Afghan Mujahideen and we made a makeshift
particularly enthralling to watch as they left a trail of sleeping arrangement. Here, I had no problem sleeping
light when they passed by. I saw two tracer rounds but still, tightly hugged my rifle and dozed off. Kochi
move at lightning speed towards me and just missed had reached the base and waited for me, till I finally
by a fraction. It was close. Very close. While the joined him just before noon. There was disappointment
Mujahideen guide was desperately trying to find in Kochi at not achieving the mission but also a genuine
alternate route to move forward and the column was satisfaction at pulling the group out alive without any
tensely ducking the incoming machine gun fire, the casualty. He had a very sensible head on his shoulders.
incredible happened. I went to sleep! He knew it was a long war and had learnt the art of
staying alive to fight another day. I was fast learning
I was jolted from my deep sleep by an Afghan comrade from his cool head, calm composure and brave attitude.
minutes later and he asked “Tufung Kuja ast?” Where is It was amazing how a nomadic shepherd had turned into
your rifle? Panic and fear ran a chill down my spine. My a genuine guerilla fighter against the mightiest army in
rifle was gone. I frantically searched all around in the the world.
darkness, not moving too far from the column for fear of
losing it, keeping the head low to avoid the incoming It was time for me to take leave from Kochi. He was a
sporadic fire. All my sleep, laziness, tiredness and mentor whose expertise and affection continue to
fatigue vanished in a flash of sheer panic. Seeing me inspire me. The next day I went back to Peshawar to plan
horrified, he reached behind a bush, pulled out my AK- my next move.
47, handed it over to me and gave me a survival lesson of
a lifetime in a single sentence “This is not our base. Three years later in 1989, I once again went back to
Don't ever sleep”. I remembered this hard learnt lesson Jalalabad to participate in the bloody fight for the city.
throughout my association with Afghan Jihad and never After the Soviet withdrawal, Mujahideen had planned to
BRASSTACKS 40
A typical mujahideen fighting group !

capture a major city and make it their capital of the free part time job of a security guard. He did not have an
government. The attack turned out to be a disaster of artificial leg and used crutches. Now I could see tears of
mega proportions on which I shall write later. On way to desperation and helplessness in his eyes. I was
the battle front on the outskirts of the city, I drove from shattered.
Torkham to the exact spot on the Jalalabad road where
we had crossed 3 years earlier with our small battle The Commander Kochi Khan I knew was a tiger of the
group in the moonlit night and were almost killed in the mountains, taking on the Soviets and charging on their
subsequent confusion. Driving past that exact very point posts. The Kochi whom I was meeting now was from
of crossing, memories of that night and its nostalgia took another world. The Soviets had planted millions of land
me by storm. My mind thought of Kochi. mines in Afghanistan and they continue to kill and maim
Afghans even today. It is estimated that it would take
In 1988, almost two years after my return from Shalman 400 years to clear Afghanistan of all the land mines
front, I was driving through University town, Peshawar planted and dropped by the Soviets. It is a brutal and
and stopped by a house. The poor security guard, sitting indiscriminate way of killing and maiming a nation.
on a chair, looked into my eyes and instantly called my Thousands of Afghans have lost lives and limbs till
name. I was a little surprised, trying to recognize the today, and the toll continues to climb higher every week.
broken face of a very sad man. “mun Kochi astam”, I am Kochi was just one more statistic in this brutal war. I
Kochi, he said in Dari and then I recognized him, a little wanted to give him some cash as gift. He gratefully
surprised at why he did not get up to greet me. I was accepted. I still remember tears in his eyes when I left
excited, happy and wanted to embrace him but he kept him there and went ahead to my duty. I am not sure
sitting and then it dawned on me: One of his legs was whether he saw my tears or not. I could not even take his
missing! address and later I was told that he had moved with his
nomadic tribe to where he belonged. He was a nomad, a
Commander Kochi Khan had stepped on a landmine free soul and could not do a job sitting in a chair. That
after I had left the base and had nearly been killed and was my last meeting with Kochi Khan. May Allah bless
ever since had been under treatment and now doing a you Kochi, always and forever. (to be continued)
BRASSTACKS 41
14 August Special

Pakistan’s
Spiritual Dimensions
Translated by: Zaki Khalid
(Left) Qudratullah Shahab, (Right) Mumtaz Mufti. Eight years passed by. During this time, I got
acquainted with a literary figure who was full of
NOTE: Translated excerpts from Mumtaz Mufti’ s Islamic zeal and fervor. Someone in whose life the
book 'Pyaz ke Chilkey' Islamic codes were practically visible. One day, I went
to meet him and saw Khawaja sahib seated there. We
It was the 14th of August, 1947. were introduced to each other. After this, I had the
opportunity to come across Khawaja sahib quite many
For the first time that day, I had a positive feeling for a times, now and then. Khawaja sahib spoke less. He
Pakistan. It was nearing midnight. The signature tune was used to hearing what others had to say instead of
was being played on the radio. The echo of the duffs talking himself. He was intelligent and had a keen eye
was creating an eerie atmosphere, as if war drums on various affairs. He always felt delight in helping
were being beaten. Trumpets were blowing loudly. others and the best thing in him was his correctness.
However, this signature tune held no special
importance for me, I was busy, engaged in reading One day, I left for the graveyard. There, inside an
some book. And then it was announced, "Radio ordinary square-walled building, I saw Khawaja sahib
Pakistan"... the book fell out of my hands... I felt as if reciting Fatiha over a grave. I stopped. After he got
tiny insects were walking all over my body. A gush of free, he greeted me with great joy as usual.
air passed over my heart. Colorful stars started to
dance inside me. This was my first positive feeling for "So tell me, how are you?" he asked.
Pakistan, which unexpectedly penetrated inside each
and every vein of my body as if the full moon raises up I replied "Not well really.."
the tides in the calm sea.
"And why is that?" he asked.
After the creation of Pakistan, all hopes for a secure "Just going through anxiety", I replied.
and prosperous life at Bombay seemed vague. The
items and collectibles, for which we had gone to He asked again "Why?Anxiety for what?"
Bombay, lost their signifance. And so, Ahmed Bashir
and I arrived in Pakistan as we were (without bringing I said "Khawaja sahib, what will become of Pakistan?
any other thing along).. The only thing that got us This boat is shaking wildly"
anxious after we reached here was to shift our relatives
from Gurdaspur to Pakistan. Pakistan had become an I had said this in a bit of amusement. It is true that I
abode of peace for us. Pakistan had security for us, could feel Pakistan's boat shaking, but I had no real
Muslims. Now I could really feel with high intensity concern for it in my heart.
that I am a Muslim. Though the light of faith was there
in my heart or not, whether my lifestyle was in Khawaja sahib actually turned serious after listening
accordance with Islam or not. Whether there were pro- to what I said:
Islamic sentiments in my heart or not. In any case, I
was a Muslim. "Mufti sahib" he said "Why do you worry for Pakistan
BRASSTACKS 42
when there are so many huge entities and personalities separately.”
worrying for it? Why do you or I have to worry for it?"
"Yes Sir," I replied.
He paused for a while, then continued "Do you see that
old man over there?" I looked towards the place "The peon will bring the box," he said. "Alright Sir", I
Khawaja sahib was pointing at, where he was offering said, as I left the room.
Fatiha just a while ago. Khawaja sahib spoke up.
I opened the first letter, it was written: "Oh Shah! How
"That old man had spent his whole life for the creation fortunate you are that you got the honour of ruling
of Pakistan. This tree was planted by him." Pakistan!"

"Mufti sahib", he said smiling "Great personalities are 'What a weird letter!' I thought after I read the whole
working for Pakistan. Why do you worry?"

"Then what do I do?" I inquired jokingly.

"What you can do is, before you do something, ponder


over whether you are working for Pakistan's benefit?
Is your step going against Pakistan? Your own interest
lies in it. Pakistan will live free and prosper no matter
what. People will be stunned by its blossoming.
Insha'Allah!"

I was quite surprised after hearing Khawaja sahib's


talk. Khawaja sahib never talked like this before. He
always talked sensibly, rationally. He was not in
favour of saint-following, etc. Then who was that old
man who had planted the tree of Pakistan? Who were
those great personalities who were bent on worrying
for Pakistan?... What is so special about Pakistan that
great personalities get concerned for it? Pakistan is a
small country, no Islamic specialty has developed in it
yet. And there are dozens of Islamic countries. All
their conditions are pitiable... Khawaja sahib's talk
sounded strange...

Four years passed on.

I got transferred to a special department. I was


appointed to a high-ranking official (Qudrat Ullah
Shahab rehmatullah alayh). Afew characteristics were
prominent in my new officer. He was very intelligent. letter.
Spoke less. He was full of patience.
I was surprised further when I opened the second
Sahib (Shahab saab) called me in: "You may start your letter: "Beware! Don't ever let flour get expensive in
work." Pakistan!"
"Yes Sir," I replied. In the third letter, it was written: “The day is not far
when the residents of Madinah would look at Pakistan
"There are letters from the week past in this box" he and say 'SubhanAllah, SubhanAllah'"
said. "Read all of them carefully, classify them French Scorpion Submarine
according to their subject and make a summary. Those I was worried after I read all these letters. I could not
letters that require special attention, place them
BRASSTACKS 43
understand why the writers of these letters even wrote madman. When the storm managed to subside for a
them. What was their purpose?Anyhow, one thing was while, I went into wondering again. I decided to go to
obvious. The writers had no intent to abuse the rulers, sahib (Qudrat Ullah Shahab rehmatullah alayh) and
neither did they want to gain attention for themselves. tell him.
Nor did they ask for personal claims or demands. Most
of the letters did not even have the writer's name on 'Sir, these letters are beyond my understanding. Please
it.These letters ended with 'Yours respectfully' or give me some serious work that has got something to
'Yours faithfully'. Most of the letters were written on do with sanity.'
chunks of papers. The writing and its expression both
were crude. They weren't really effective. Why had the The third day, I was ready that as soon as sahib
writer's even bothered to write such things? Why did (Q.U.Shahab) would be left alone, I would go inside
they waste time and money on it? and talk to him about this. At that very instant, sahib's
peon arrived. I thought it best to tell him to inform me
Then I grabbed hold of a long letter. This letter was as soon as sahib gets free. The peon came back and
received from Malayam, a city in South India. The said "Sahib is calling" As I entered the room, I waited
writer was a sub-judge who had been disabled due to for sahib to say something and only then will I share
an accident 20 years ago. His only work during these what I wanted to.
20 years was worshipping. Despite the length, the gist
of the letter was 'I am not writing this letter for you, but He was busy in writing something at the time. He
for Pakistan. Soon, Pakistan will become a great state. looked at me and said: "Please go to the security room
A great victory will be achieved and then Pakistan will at the gate. Someone is insisting to meet me there.
become a great centre of the Islamic World.' Please talk to him, tell him I have sent you.If he agrees
to talk with you, ask him what the matter is. But if he
These letters stupefied me. Which world was this? insists to meet me, then do not let him go, do inform
What kind of people were they? What was the reason me... I will meet him."
for them writing such letters? Were they all victims of
religious hysteria? Madmen or wishful thinkers? "Yes Sir..." I said, as I turned towards the door.

However, a few letters were written by educated "And listen," he said Do not talk inside the security
people. It was surprising that none of the letters talked room. Take him outside. In separation, understood?"
of any individual or personality. No one was
appraised/criticised in these letters. They were devoid "Yes Sir"... It was not the time to talk with sahib about
of any appraisals. No "His Majesty" was addressed to my issue. I thought of talking on it during my return.
in these letters. Their subject was Pakistan. Pakistan's
exclusive status. Pakistan's association with A miserable-looking man was standing inside the
RasulAllah sallallaho alaihi wasallam, Allah's Mercy security room. I took him outside in the lawn.
and Blessings on Pakistan... these letters drove me
crazy. A weird eeriness engulfed me. What is all this? "Sahib is busy in work, he has sent me. If you can tell
Who are these people? Which world is this? What is me in what regard you would like to meet him, then..."
Pakistan? What exclusive status does it have? And
why? I had barely finished my sentence that he spoke up:

I am known to be emotional by nature. No event leaves "Mister, what do I have to do by meeting sahib? I have
any effect on me under normal circumstances, but nothing to do with him neither do I know him. I was
when it does, then I am left stunned. Lava starts to boil coming from my village. I came across an ox-cart rider
within me and then, as if the volcano erupts. At first, near this street. He pointed at me. I went to him and he
after reading these letters, I was lost in amazement, I said 'Mian, go inside this house. Meet the sahib and
do not know what happened next. It was as if both ends give him a message of our's' The ox-cart rider was an
of sanity and rationality broke off; a wave of emotions old man. I did as he told and came here. But these
overtook me and I was drowned in it. policemen do not even listen to what the other is
saying, they keep on blabbering themselves."
For two days, I kept walking around my house like a

BRASSTACKS 44
I told him to share the message with me, I will convey Generally, their subject was the same: Pakistan,
it to sahib. Pakistan's status, Pakistan's upcoming Might, bright
future...I started to sense this fourth-dimension is a
(The man said) "The ox-cart rider told me to go and tell reality after all. Maybe Allah does indeed hold special
him (sahib) that what he is writing is wrong, and what liking and affection for a country or person. After all,
he already wrote and tore, is correct.” He is the Lord of the Heavens and the Earths, if He
wants to say something, who can stop Him?
'What a weird vague message' I thought. What did an
ox-cart rider have to do with sahib's note? And how One day, sahib called me to hand over some work and
come an ox-cart rider was travelling here? I had never told me to sit there so I may complete it right there. I
seen an ox-cart rider in this area. This person must be a was working seated at a corner, that the peon entered,
fool for sure, I thought.
"Sir, an uncle of mine went for Hajj this time. He has
I was sure that sahib would listen to what I would tell brought a message for you from Madinah, may I call
him, smile and then get back to work. However, he him with your permission?"
went into a moment of silence after he heard it all.
Then he spoke in a serious tone: Sahib listened with seriousness to what the peon said,
then he spoke up, "Call him.”
"Please pickup this waste-paper basket."
He placed his work at one side. He got up and kissed
I picked up the waste-paper basket up and placed it on the old man on his hand and started to listen to the old
the table. man's message with attention and care.

He very delicately picked up torn strips of paper from After praising Allah, the old man spoke, "You see, he
the basket. I was amazed at this sight Had sahib taken (the one who has sent the message) is a resident of
the ox-cart rider's message to be true? Jhelum. He was a sepoy in the Army. Had gone to an
expedition during the big war. From there he went to
Sahib handed over the strips of paper to me, "Please Madinah Shareef for Salaam and attendance. And then
join these when you find the time." he stayed there. He is there since then. He is the key-
holder now (who takes care of the key to Rauda e
"Yes Sir", I said. He picked up the new note he was Rasul sallallaho alaihi wasallam). It is a very high
writing, tore it up and threw it in the waste-paper station."
basket. My mouth was wide-open in surprise. This
man right here, who is so intelligent and acute, who Sahib nodded his head in agreement.
stands by what he believes in even after so many
things others advise him. Who has individualistic The old man shared the message (on behalf of the
thoughts. Who stays away from fake traiditonal army officer at Madinah):
rituals. Who has not an inch of relation with any sort of
fanaticism... "In 1946, we saw a dream in which a tree-vine sprout
up from the Masjid e Nabwi sallallaho alaihi wasallam
Why is this person accepting an unknown ox-cart and kept going far and wide as it grew. Green leaves
rider's advice, as if he has always been in appeared on its other end,"
communication with such ox-cart riders? As if he has
always been familiar with such messages, what is this Sahib nodded his head in agreement.
mystery?
"After about four years, we saw the same tree-vine in a
I joined the strips of paper together. It was a clause in dream. The branch was present as it was, but the leaves
the proposed Constitution of Pakistan which had a had withered... Now again, we have seen that tree-
relation to Islam. At this point, talking to sahib about vine. It is getting evergreen again, bulbs are sprouting
those mysterious letters seemed meaningless and I up on it again." He (the officer) told me to go and
was shuffled here and there amidst the brewing storm convey glad tidings; also to give this message that
of the letters. Such letters were received everyday. shepherds do not sit under the shade themselves.”

BRASSTACKS 45
All the time the old man talked, I could not focus on Two years later, another event of such magnitude took
my work despite repeated efforts. When he said 'Give place. Sahib and I had gone to Karachi for an official
glad tidings on our behalf', I felt as if the glad tidings trip. One evening, we went to Central Jail. Sahib had
were being given to me. That day, I sensed Pakistan's some work there. He had just gotten free from work
tree to be more greener than before and fresh new there that a guard came up to him and gave a salute,
leaves coming up from thin branches. I kept reciting "Sir, a prisoner is repeatedly calling you by name, he is
'La hawla wala quwwata'. I tried to control myself but asking for you."
all in vain. There was a mysterious feeling in this
magical world. A strange intoxication.. My senses We followed the guard to where the prisoner was. A
tried to control my mind but I was lost in the magic.. eunuch was locked inside a small hollowed cell. Sahib
took a glance towards him.
An event occurred after this incident by which every
nook and cranny of my body started to jitter and I was "Open the lock" said sahib.
shocked with fear. A friend of sahib called up, "A
mystic has come, in the beginning he was the IG of The lock was opened, he went inside and told the
Police in Hyderabad, then he was called (to Madinah) guard, "You may go'. I stood nearby, outside.
after which he put everything aside and went there. He
is a very interesting man. Do come to my place if you The eunuch shouted at sahib as soon as he saw him,
would like to meet him" "We had to get locked up to warn you!"

Sahib took me along when he went to meet that I got in fear as soon as I heard this and ran outide. An
mystic. The mystic's face was too frighterning. Black hour later when sahib came out, he was in the same
colored, a skeloton of bones, terrifying eyes, crude state as he was when he met the mystic. Oh Allah, what
voice; after his friend introduced sahib to the mystic, is this mystery? A pool of wonders floated in my mind
he had to leave for a while. The sahib and mystic were again. The next day, I went to the jail alone but he (the
left alone in the room after this, and the mystic to me prisoner) was not there. I inquired about his
looked like a rotten chilli. I was seated in the room whereabouts from here and there and came to know
next to their's, reading a newspaper and waiting for that he was not a formal prisoner. He was ranting in the
sahib. bazaar next to the jail, because of which the guard at
the jail was forced to lock him up. No guard had any
Suddenly the newspaper fell out of my hands as I knowledge of who had brought him here. These
heard that mystic from the next room talking in incidents drove me crazy. The mystery of Pakistan's
English "Flay you alive, put bran on you and place you status got even more amazing. In all this, I got
in the Sun!" . Huh? What was this old man telling convinced of Pakistan's special importance. The
sahib? Is he a mystic or a butcher? fourth-dimension was no more a wonder to me.

"I have come only for this purpose," his crude voice War broke loose. India attacked Pakistan. News
boomed, "to warn you, you do know that warnings are reports of the time were something like this:
not given in such cases, those who err are suspended,
removed, but Pakistan has a special exception. That is "RasulAllah sallallaho alaihi wasallam was coming
why you are being warned. If carelessness still on a horse to participate in Pakistan's jihad, The
persists, then you will be skinned, salted and placed in martyrs of Badr had reached the battle-fields. Hazrat
the sun!" Ali, Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain were seen going
towards the battle-field near and around Sialkot sector
The blood in my body froze with shock. I came outside wearing white clothes. An Indian POW (Prisoner Of
in amazement. The mystic and sahib remained in the War) stated that Pakistani troops dressed in long white
room for three hours. clothes were destroying Indian forces one by one.

When sahib came out, his face was yellow, as if all the Flames were coming out of their swords. Another
blood had been sucked. He was walking with Indian POW said that Pakistani troops wearing red
difficulty. It seemed as if his bones were crushed. caps and short in stature had sealed off intra-Indian

BRASSTACKS 46
communication. A captured Indian bomber said that Pakistan has the blessings of elders on it. So many of
bombardment was useless. A white-clothed elder the top-elders have their hands on Pakistan... they are
would catch my bomb and thow it aside. Indian pilots the caretakers of Pakistan. They look after it, don't you
stated that when they threw bombs, then white- worry about Pakistan.”
clothed elders caught them in the air and placed them
down on the ground in such a way that the bombs did Qazi sahib's statement rattled the hive of hibernating
not explode. bees once again. Oh Allah, who are these great elders?
Are they those who were seen wearing long white
All of Pakistan was resounding with such miracles. clothes in the Sialkot sector? Were they the ones who
were catching cannon-balls fired by Indians? Who
During the war, a colleague of mine came to visit me. I picked up aerial bombs and placed them far away
asked him whether he was going home. "No," he said. without them exploding? Was it one of these elders
"I will meet Qazi sahib and then go home" who tricked one of the Indian pilots and he saw six
bridges of the river Ravi instead of one? Were they the
I asked who he is, he replied, "He is a worshipful ones who ordered the Indian pilot 'Bail Out, Bail Out!'
person, a very nice man." and they returned back without fighting Pakistani
troops?
I requested him to take me along too.
A naked madman and mystic was talking to himself
Pictures of Madinah adorned Qazi sahib's room here near a graveyard, "Nothing has happened yet. Rivers
and there. Prayer-beads were spread all over his of blood will flow. Many will die, many! Corpses and
prayer-mat. He met us with great zeal and talked about corpses, then a great victory will be achieved and
random affairs. He looked at me and said, "Please do SubhanAllah, SubhanAllah!" He was clapping
say something.” excitedly as if someone was bothering him.

I said, "Uh, please do dua for Pakistan" I watched Khawaja sahib offering Fatiha at the tomb in
the graveyard and stopped.
He turned serious. "I'm a very small man. A very small
man, what worth do I have that I do dua for Pakistan? "How are you Mufti sahib?" he asked.
No Mufti sahib, I am not of such a worth"
"Stuck in anxiety Khawaja sahib.." I replied.
But Qazi sahib, anyone can do dua!" I spoke up.
"In whose anxiety are you getting stuck in?" he
"That is right", he said "But Pakistan is a different inquired.
matter. You do not know. I also have very little
knowledge, very little. I am a small man, very small. “I am worried for Pakistan" I said.

He got serious; there were indications of anger on his


face. He spoke up:

“Mufti G, leave Allah's affairs to Allah alone. Do not


take Allah's affairs into your own hands. Who are you
to worry for Pakistan? Think about yourself. Fulfill
your obligations. Think of how you can serve
Pakistan. Check whether you are doing something that
is against Pakistan's interests. Do not worry for
Pakistan... RasulAllah's hands (sallallaho alaihi
wasallam) are over Pakistan. Wah Mufti G! You could
not understand this point till now!”

...........................

BRASSTACKS 47
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