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Historical
India-Pakistan Relations Since 1947
Nov 2012

Pakistan in Catch-22 : Pakistan is caught in a catch-22 situation from which it is impossible to get released in the foreseeable future. Catch-22 is a problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem. Two thirds of the country consists of Punjabi persons. The other three main provinces namely Sind, Baluchistan and NWFP comprise the remaining. There was a movement for Pakhtunistan even in the pre-Partition days and it carried forward until the advent of the Taliban. Go Sind or cessation is well known as is the struggle for Independence of Baluchistan. With the loss of Bangladesh in 1971, Pakistan shrank in size. If the last named three provinces were also to be separate, only the Punjab province would remain as Pakistan. Such a possibility is distinct even if acceptable, if not also frightful, to the Punjabis, especially where the elite dominates the bureaucracy as well as the armed forces.

The common civilian, would like a tension free Pakistan which would be at peace with its neighbours. The industrialist would go a step further and like normalization of relations with the neighbours so that exports and imports can take place freely. The common people whether peasants or workers would like peace because in the event of war their sons would be shedding most of their blood. All these civilians, belonging to the Punjab, would have one inclusive pre-condition in their minds that Pakistan should not be allowed to break up so that Punjab does not end up as the only remnant of Pakistan, too small as to be vulnerable to external pressure.

The bureaucracy which, in effect, runs the government of Pakistan and is privileged with pay, perks and power. It is only Punjabi dominated. So is the officer corps of the armed forces. The preference of both these sections would be tension, short of an all out war. So that their raison d'etre or reason for existence does not dilute or in any way weaken their grip over the country. The one acceptable justification for the survival of the bureaucracy as well as the armed forces is the Kashmir issue. So long as these two institutions are able to keep whipping up the hysteria in the country all should be well for them. Certainly the prospect of peace would be unwelcome.

All in all, the Punjabi two-thirds of the people would like a united Pakistan. The bureaucracy and the armed forces in particular would consider it virtually indispensable. The call of Islam, they have seen, is not a foolproof lever of unity. Hence the Kashmir dispute becomes perennially indispensable to all Pakistani vested interests including the clergy or the Mullahs.

Peace with Pakistan therefore in the foreseeable future is a pipe dream, more than the dreamer for the unthinking admirer of peace. 
Genesis of Pakistan : Of late, newspapers and individuals particularly those appearing on T.V. Channels have made suggestions that India should go out of its way and improve her relations with Pakistan. Most of them appear to have been born after the Partition of India in 1947 and very few of them have any knowledge about the genesis of Pakistan. It is the only country in world history with a new name carved out of an existing one on the basis of religion. Furthermore no minority other than Indian Muslims in world history has been given a separate homeland on religious basis. Another novel feature of the event is that the Muslim minority which had demanded the creation of Pakistan was not asked by Indian leaders to leave for their darul Islam. In this context, Ayesha Jalal in her book, The Sole Spokesman, (Lahore, 1999) observes: In the making of Pakistan religion appears to have been the determinant of nationality. There have been various theories to explain the cataclysmic events of 1947. The most common argument is that the Indian Muslims were always a separate and identifiable community. India, this theory argues, always contained the seeds of two nations; the Muslims were never wholly assimilated into their Indian environment and had their own distinctive traditions.

Unfinished agenda of Partition 

(a) Kashmir issue : Prime Minister Clement Attlee announced on February 20, 1947 in the House Commons that in a year's time India would be granted Independence. In the scheme formulated by the British, India would be divided on the basis of religion (Muslims and Non-Muslims) and Princely India would be free to accede to either the dominion of Hindustan or Pakistan. Right in November, 1947 Pakistan sent Kabahlis or Mujahideen to invade Kashmir. Pakistan did this to annex Kashmir valley because it was a Muslim majority area. Pakistan did not care to abide by the Standstill Agreement that she had signed with the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir. Under these circumstances the Maharaja acceded to India and the invasion was checked by Indian army. Pandit Nehru, however, referred the issue to the United Nations. The UNO recommended plebiscite subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions by Pakistan and India. Pakistan did not comply with these conditions. Having failed at the UN for years, Pakistan again invaded Kashmir in 1965, and again in 1989. The 1971 war occurred on the issue of East Pakistan wanting to secede. Despite all this, Pakistan has not stopped raising the issue of Kashmir at the bilateral, regional and international fora. On the 26th September, 2012, addressing the United Nations, President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan said that Kashmir remains a symbol of the failure of UN system and Pakistan's principled position on territorial disputes. The dispute is a bedrock of Pakistan's policy. Islamabad will continue to support the right of the people of J&K to choose their own destiny..

(b) Communal riots : Since the disappearance of Muslim rule in India and the takeover by the British, communal riots were a regular feature. At the time of the Round Table Conference in London in 1931, Gandhi was asked his views on Hindu-Muslim conflicts. The Mahatma was a member of the Minorities Committee set up by the Conference. In his reply he said that these communal conflicts were coeval with the British rule in India and would go once the British leave. Readers will recall that riots have continued periodically since the departure of the British in 1947. Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah in his 14 days talks with Gandhi in 1944 had made it clear that the only permanent solution to Hindu-Muslim conflict lay in declaring Hindustan for Hindus and Pakistan for Muslims. He went on to suggest that partition of India should be accompanied by an exchange of populations. As early as 1942, Choudhry Khaliquzzman, President of the Muslim League in India after Jinnah left for Pakistan, wrote to Jinnah: one of the basic principles that lay behind the Pakistan idea is that of keeping Hindus hostage in Muslim provinces as against the Muslims in Hindu India. If we allow millions of Hindus to go out of our orbit of influence, the security of Muslims in the minority provinces will be greatly minimized. (The Sole Spokesman) Mr. Khaliquzzamam was a friend of the Nehru family.

(c) Ethnic cleansing of Hindus in Pakistan : In recent months, the exodus of Hindus from Pakistan to India has been highlighted in the media. They have sought asylum in India because of their continuing persecution in Pakistan. Neither Gandhi nor Nehru did implement the logical corollaries of partition. They thus deceived the Hindus of India. The Hindus from Pakistan should have been given Indian citizenship without any reservation. When a huge influx from East Pakistan came in 1949-50, New Delhi entered into the Nehru-Liaquat Pact for safeguarding the interest of minorities in the two countries. There was another pact/agreement signed in 1971. Both these documents have remained a dead letter as far as Pakistan is concerned.

MINDSET OF CONGRESS LEADERS :

All the problems mentioned above are traceable to a particular mindset of the Congress leadership. Its mindset revolved around the following axioms: (i) Hindus and Muslims can peacefully coexist in India. (ii) Congress was the sole representative of the Indian people. This mindset of the leadership did not change even after the Muslims forced the division of India on religious lines. (iii) Muslims are to be given a preferential treatment over non-Muslims.

A fallen Mussalman better than Mr. Gandhi: In December, 1923 Maulana Mohammad Ali presided over the Congress session and had spoken about Gandhi in eulogistic terms. A year later the Maulana made a thundering statement at Aligarh : However pure Mr. Gandhi's character may be, he must appear to me from the point of view of religion inferior to any Mussalman, even though he be without character. Sometime later, in Lucknow he was asked whether he stood by his statement made at Aligarh. He replied : according to my religion and creed, I do hold an adulterous and fallen Mussalman to be better than Mr. Gandhi. The Mahatma did not mind the above remarks of his friend Mohammad Ali. (Times of India, March, 1925 quoted in Ram Gopal's Indian Muslims, Asia publishing House, New York, 1959).

Gandhi's failure at the Round Table Conference, London,1931: No one from the Congress Party had attended the first session of the Conference convened by the British Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald. Gandhi was persuaded by Viceroy Irwin to attend the second session in 1931. There were two committees-The Fedral Structure Committee and The Minorities Committee-to help the conference. Gandhi was made member of both the committees. No progress had been made in the Fedral Structure Committee as no agreement had been reached among different representatives in the Minorities Committee.

Gandhi volunteered to hold discussions between the Congress and the Muslim League. After one week of deliberations, Gandhi made the following statement at the conference : It is with deep sorrow and humiliation that I have to announce utter failure to secure an agreed solution to the communal question.

Sir Aga Khan was a leading Muslim leader at whose residence in London Gandhi and other representatives met to discuss the communal question. Sir Aga Khan has pointed out in his autobiography (1954) that Muslim leaders told both Gandhi and Ramsay MacDonald that the Congress did not represent the Muslims of India. There were two nations in India namely Muslim and Hindu. Muslims had their own independent point of view.

MUSLIM SEPARATISM INTEGRAL PART OF MUSLIM THEOLOGY

Since the Congress Party was founded, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan had declared his opposition to Muslims joining that party. That his community should unreservedly support the British rule in India. Badrudddin Tyabji's biography contains the exchange of correspondence on these issues between Sir Syed and Tyabji.

Francis Robinson has written a book titled Separatism Among Indian Muslims (Cambridge University Press, London,1974). He observes: UP Muslims were at the heart of Muslim separatism. They founded the Muslim League. They mainly led the organization which represented the Muslim interest in Indian politics� UP Muslims rejoined the Muslim League in large number after the 1937 elections and thereafter Muslim separatism was revived. In the League's years of glory from 1940 to Partition, UP Muslims were at the heart of the agitation. They held the two most important posts after that of the President, and dominated its committees. Whenever the politics of All India Muslim Organizations were vigorous they were more the politics of UP Muslims than those of any other group of Indian Muslims.

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