To save Pakistan, we have to let go of the idea of Pakistan

Published: April 13, 2015

Why is it that non-Muslims only have the white portion, which is completely separate from the rest of the flag? PHOTO: AFP

“We are fighting a fight for Pakistan.”

This is an oft repeated statement from politicians, military personnel, bureaucrats and journalists.

Let me tell you unequivocally, we are losing the fight for Pakistan.

In our attempts to salvage an archaic idea of Pakistan, an idea relegated to the back shelves of the global landscape, we are losing the Pakistan that we have.

We will not win this war in North Waziristan, we will not lose this war in Lahore, we will either win or lose this war in the minds of our countrymen. Yes, that is what they are, our countrymen, and every single one of them should matter more to us than any idea of Pakistan that was conceived a century ago.

If we have any hopes of saving Pakistan, we have to let go of the idea of Pakistan. Neither the sub-continent, nor the world needs a separate homeland for Muslims. We need a country where people can live freely regardless of their creed, caste, religion or political affiliation.

The emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has convoluted any concept of an ‘Islamic state’. The global landscape simply has no space for such a transcontinental organisation. The ISIS harkens to the dream of a Muslim Ummah but the state structure prevalent around the world simply does not allow for one.

Vested interests

Every Muslim country around the world has its own vested interests. They make decisions based on those interests rather than any religious association. Upon the creation of Pakistan, leaders and the military establishment of Pakistan extensively wrote to Muslim countries with the idea of forming a Muslim block led by Pakistan, but even 60-years ago, the idea was not broadly welcomed.

As Pakistan learnt in the United Nations, Muslims countries do not necessarily support other Muslim countries, especially if it is against their economic interests to do so. Yet, subsequent governments have tried to rehash the Islamic coalition model. Both, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s Organisation of Islamic Countries and Ziaul Haq’s Islamisation debacle did not yield much.

The world politics fundamentally changed post 9/11, yet the narrative in Pakistan failed to change with it. Pakistan’s establishment failed to anticipate the changing landscape. Following Zia’s policies during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, we once again formed a precarious partnership with the US. A partnership of deceit, double-cross and unreliable allies, it may be a personal badge of honour for the bureaucrats to successfully outwit a global superpower but the embarrassment caused to the country may be irrevocable.

The same narrative

Pakistan has been called a failed state, a terrorist state, yet our narrative continues to be the same. The jihad discourse promoted effectively to galvanise our countrymen during the wars with India continues to dominate the narrative.

The raison d’etre of Pakistan is a Muslim homeland. However, the same Islamic narrative that united us against India, has now divided our own country. The global Islamic narrative has been hijacked by terrorist outfits, and with Pakistan failing to radically redefine itself in the modern world, it has allowed its own narrative to be hijacked by them too.

The thing about monsters is that you can create them but you cannot control them; it is the same with ideas. Unfortunately, we not only created monsters, we also provided them with the ideas, giving them the legitimacy to exist. We are now finally fighting the monsters but we are not still fighting the ideas.

I am not bemoaning the Islamic nature of our state, neither am I criticising Pakistan turning into a security state. My criticism is directed towards the culture we have created that acts as the incubator for violent extremism in the country, especially in the name of religion. The culture has been created at times unwittingly but mostly it has been done consciously without realising its full consequences.

And how do we create a culture? A narrative? A history, even?

We tell stories. And at the crux of my argument are the problems I have with the stories we tell.

Our stories

Stories that are produced, reproduced and perpetuated through our society. Stories combined together which create the idea of Pakistan, an idea that was noble in its conception but needs to be re-examined in the socio-political context of the modern world.

We harken to this mystical idea of ‘Quaid ka Pakistan’, a never-ending debate as to how exactly Quaid-e-Azam wanted Pakistan to be. I too have my own conception of what I feel Quaid wanted Pakistan to be, but ideas are not born in a vacuum. They emerge out of the historical epoch.

Unfortunately, Quaid’s historical epoch is over.

Many of Quaid’s ideas are still relevant and fundamentally important but they should be applied for those reasons rather than the fact that those ideas belonged to Quaid. He was a great man but we are not ordained to follow every single word of any of our forbearers.

Rather than debating whether Quaid wanted an Islamic state or a secular state, we should invest our energies in researching which one of the two would be best suited for the country, and which is the preferred model for most Pakistanis alive today. As Pakistanis, we have more stakes in the future of Pakistan than the ones we have lost to the passage of time.

Naya Pakistan

It is a futile exercise to repackage all the old ideas as Naya Pakistan; if we are to build a Naya Pakistan, we need to redefine our history. I would go to the extent of saying that we need to correct our history. As KK Aziz has exposed in his magnificent book Murder of History, our Pakistan Studies book might as well belong in the fiction section.

When you have stories glorifying Ilmuddin, a man revered by Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal for killing an alleged blasphemer, then you should not be surprised to find that Mumtaz Qadri is a national hero.

Our stories make us who we are.

The story of Ilmuddin defines who we see as our heroes, and if Ilmuddin was a hero, then so was Qadri. And the retelling of these stories in this light will ensure our future will see many more such heroes.

Both Islamic Studies and Pakistan Studies curriculums in Pakistan heavily highlight the wars and the violence. The glorification of jihad and shahadat (martyrdom) in both ensures generations are bred into that culture at a young age. It is important for a security state, especially a state under threat for an antagonistic neighbour, to cultivate such a culture but without any resemblance of the writ of state such a culture is allowed to run amok.

The culture of violence perpetuated by our education is easily rerouted to fit the narrative of militant terrorist organisations. The use of the same symbols and ideas make the people of Pakistan the idle recruits for these organisations. It is no coincidence that Pakistanis worldwide flock to join every cause masking itself as jihad. We grow up idolising jihad, whether it is against non-Muslims or India.

The trauma of partition

The very existence of Pakistan is defined in terms of the violence of partition. As a nation, we have become apathetic to violence because we grow up reading about millions of death before even lunch time. At home, our television informs of us of hundreds more.

It is important for people to know their history but the politics of language heavily pollute the narrative of language. The death of Muslims during partition is heavily highlighted whereas Muslims who committed killings of non-Muslims is glorified.

In my own research in Lahore, I met people who were extremely proud of the number of people killed by their family members during partition. During and post-partition, people in both India and Pakistan enjoyed impunity to commit mass violence against who they perceived to be the ‘other’. Unfortunately, these violent crimes have never been addressed hence they continue to repeat themselves in Bangladesh, Kashmir, and Balochistan.

Any movement for self-determination in the country is tinted with our constructed memories of the partition. The glorification of both the martyrs and the killers of non-Muslims in the partition narrative ensure Pakistanis are ever ready to take up violence to protect what they perceive Pakistan to be. And this is where the problem is.

Need of narrative

The idea of Pakistan, created through our stories, is a group of people using violent means against the state to protect their idea. The moment we were successful in creating a state, the idea should have been addressed and redefined but we continue to tell the same stories, and thus create a culture where people feel it is their duty to take up violent arms against the state to protect their ideas.

The hammering of the idea of unity further amplifies the problem by the perception that a multiplicity of ideas is against the fundamental virtue of Pakistan. The matter is only made worse for minorities and non-Muslims. And every single story that we tell within this paradigm, only perpetuates the core problem. Even if it is something as coincidental as our flag, our flag is basically a piece of art. An artist’s rendition of the idea of Pakistan; an aesthetic choice rather than the objective definition of our country. However, the strict demarcation of the flag between the non-Muslims and Muslims is highly problematic.

Why is it that non-Muslims only have the white portion, which is completely separate from the rest of the flag?

In isolation, these things may mean nothing but collectively, they all add up to form a narrative that we have all subconsciously internalised. We take these things as given but we are surprised when the inevitable consequences of perpetuating such a culture play out.

If we do not forego our fascination with our past, we will lose our future.

If we do not let go of all our individual ideas of how Pakistan should be, and continue to fight against each other for our piece of land, then there will be no Pakistan left to fight for.


Shehzad Ghias

A graduate from the LUMS Law School and is running his own theatre production company, Cogito Productions.He works as a theatre teacher at various schools. He tweets @Shehzad89 (

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • KJ

    Brilliantly put – the enforcement of the idea of Pakistan has only led to the weakening of the country and the unity of individuals within itRecommend

  • Ahmed

    Everyone’s a philosopher these days .Recommend

  • shahid

    very few Pakistanis honestly look within and question their identity- why was Pakistan created, is it relevant, who is more relevant Bangladesh or Pakistan – and what about the 180 million muslims in india – does it make sense to have a Pakistan as a homeland for muslims of the sub-continent– and are muslims really better off in Pakistan- why are 40 million shias, ahmedis etc in Pakistan not feeling safe in Pakistan – it is time to do some real soul-searching- maybe Pakistan should seek a reunification with india – instead of constantly fighting with india , and comparing with india …please think carefully and sensibly without having false egos, and false ambitions….Recommend

  • abhi

    Nice articleRecommend

  • samz

    Confused Narrative bereft of logic sorry but not impressiveRecommend

  • Southie

    Intense for youngster ! The vision is needed for the further of Pakistan.Recommend

  • lancersboy

    Nations that lose touch with their history and forget about their roots are doomed,why is Mr Modi reviving 3000 years old outdated ideology in India…he knows the importance of history.Recommend

  • Zee

    Pseudo liberals like you won’t get the idea of Pakistan! Do whatever you want to do but the idea behind the creation of Pakistan will never ever erase from the minds and hearts of people of Pakistan. And the idea called is two nation theory and if you want to witness this ideology now, go visit our neighbouring country and see how Muslims are being treated there! Third level citizens and now they are in more worse conditions and your complaints about minority treatment in Pakistan will cease to effect.

    There are problems indeed but don’t every country / nations has its own problems and the brave Pakistani people are fighting to overcome such problems and Inshallah Pakistan will prosper.


  • aman

    Amazing Article,Recommend

  • aman

    This is an eye opener article. You have to have lot of courage to accept the reality.
    The false notions of Muslim homeland was nothing but a political motive to get power in a country where non Muslims were in a majority.

    The idea of Pakistan lies in hatred towards other sons of the same soil- namely Hindus SIkhs Jains Buddhists,Tribals. This hatred was extended to Ahmedis, Qaiddanis, Shias after partition.

    A nation that regards invaders as it heroes-(Ghaznavi,Ghori, Taimur) who beheaded their own ancestors is bound to sink in chaos.
    A nation that gives second class status to Punjabi, Balochi, SIndhi, sairaiki, Pashto and considers URDU as national language that was developed in Awadh and Delhi is bound to lose its identity.Recommend

  • abu

    this is the best article I haven’t readRecommend

  • Agrippa – The Skeptic

    This kid can think and he can writeRecommend

  • Muhammad Asad Noor

    nonsense; well written rubbish. but still, an enticing opinion.
    contemporary trend shows how our “educated” youth, being oblivious minded, losing track of two nation inclination, is as wayward as a street rat.Recommend

  • The Truth

    Mr Shehzad, Hindus and Sikhs made 20% plus of population of W Pakistan in 1947.
    Lahore, Karachi, Multan, Rawalpindi had majority or near majority Hindus. Today they make a non-existent 1% of W Pakistan and are no longer part of the Pakistan landscape. Nothing that Pakistan does can change any of that. The mould for Pakistan has been cast.Recommend

  • Varun

    Well, you have a simple proposition, but have tried too hard to sugar coat the medicine. Anyway, you must realize Pakistan has tried to ‘start fresh’ almost every decade. Starting with a ‘clean slate’ comes as often as an yearly spring cleaning ritual.

    What you suggest, a completely new start, as opposed to a repackaging of the old, comes by not simply ‘rethinking the future’, but by nothing short of a revolution. A revolution needs leaders who present a radical departure from the current, leaders who are not afraid to use all available means to achieve their aims, and a critical disgruntled mass of followers.

    Well, don’t you think the firmament is already rife with these possibilities – though not exactly in the direction you have in mind. Well, revolutions are a messy business..Recommend

  • Barekzai

    How about we simply break up Pakistan altogether, hence the Afghans venturing back to Afghanistan and the Indian Muslims to India?Recommend

  • Imran

    I’ve always wondered why upper class wannabes are so disenchanted with this country that they never miss an opportunity to talk it down.
    I mean look at this dude, he has the best that this country has to offer. He’s gotten the best education at a fraction of its price. Probably lives comfortably with his parents, has no student loan, never worked menial jobs to support himself, has other staff to do domestic duties like cooking, cleaning etc.
    My friend if you were born in a western country you’d be doing all that above and paying off your loans as well. So be grateful for what this country has given you and stop talking it down.Recommend

  • Atheist

    Very well writtenRecommend

  • Faulitics

    “When you have stories glorifying Ilmuddin, a man revered by Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal for killing an alleged blasphemer, then you should not be surprised to find that Mumtaz Qadri is a national hero.”

    People should read this again and again and again…..Recommend

  • ahmed41

    A GREAT article !!!!

    as an Indian ,It makes a lot of sense to me.

    “…..In my own research in Lahore, I met people who were extremely PROUD
    of the number of people killed by their family members during partition.
    During and post-partition, people in both India and Pakistan enjoyed
    impunity to commit mass violence against who they perceived to be the
    ‘other’. Unfortunately, these violent crimes have never been addressed
    hence they continue to repeat themselves in Bangladesh, Kashmir, and Balochistan.

    Any movement for self-determination in the country is tinted with our
    constructed memories of the partition. The glorification of both the
    martyrs and the killers of non-Muslims in the partition narrative ensure
    Pakistanis are ever ready to take up violence to protect what they
    perceive Pakistan to be. And this is where the problem is……”

    “……It is important for people to know their history but the politics of language heavily
    pollute the narrative of language. The death of Muslims during
    partition is heavily highlighted whereas Muslims who committed killings
    of non-Muslims is glorified….”

    So, what is the answer ???? I feel people should go back to the basic COMANDMENT : ” Thou shal not KILL !!! ” under any circumstances.Recommend

  • Zaid Feroz

    Ideologies change over time. Its not that they were wrong when they were conceptualized. But rather they became outdated. Scientists throughout history have been replacing their peers’ outdated theories for centuries. But doesn’t mean their predecessors were wrong. They laid the foundation for their future to come up with their own ideas. The two nation theory may have made sense back then but now its tearing us apart. Discrimination runs rampant in our country. Have we not learnt the mistakes of 1971? How many minorities will be marginalized or how many pieces must Pakistan break into in order for us to come to the logical conclusion : That it doesn’t matter if you’re a Muslim or Non-Muslim, Shia or Sunni, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pathan,Baloch, Siraiki or Mahajir. You are all brothers. PeriodRecommend

  • Nastik

    Under the influence of the global and national media depicting Muslims as a savage race, I had started doubting the veracity of the historical notions of the Hindu cultural and religious imperialism that primarily worked as a wedge dividing the Muslims and the rest in the pre-partition India.

    Then, I saw BJP and Modi getting come to power. The statements by key leaders of the Sangh Parivaar and the ghar-wapsi campaign by the BJP. It kind of worked a mirror of the past. I realized that the notions of Muslim suppression under a majoritarian Hindu India were not completely unfounded.

    The Shudhi and Sanghatan movements of the then India were not very different from the ghar-wapsi movement of the 21st century India.Recommend

  • BlackHat

    It is constantly projected that Muslims wanted a separate country. While that may be true for a few, the vast majority of Muslims had no say in the matter, or for that matter non-Muslims. I recently read that Churchill foresaw, at the dawn of the Cold War, that an independent, united India would not automatically join the American led western alliance against the Soviets and that there would be a need to have ally in the region that would protect western economic interests in the middle-east and strategic concerns on the southern flank of the Soviet Union. The reason, supposedly, for mysteriously and hastily advancing the date of independence of India from June 1948 to August 1947 was the British were aware of Jinnah’s health condition. They would not have been successful with their Pakistan project without Jinnah. Ofcourse, Jinnah passed away in 1948. The West had an ally in the subcontinent. We have always worked for the interests of outsiders never our own. Mir Jaffer, Mir Sadiq, … The list is long. So, let us all suffer happily ever after.

    Those who advocate reunification must realize that it will not happen. The manipulation of the west in the form creation of Pakistan, has broken the Muslim power in the subcontinent. Non-Muslims would be averse to changing the status quo. The only solution is to empower and enhance SAARC.Recommend

  • Fahad

    The premise of this article is based on the notion that “religion (Islam) is the root cause of all issues in Pakistan today” which is baseless. If you are a violent person then you bring violence to religion, if you are a peaceful person then you bring peace to religion. Its the humans that twist and mold the religion to suit their mischievous needs and plots.

    I highly recommend the author and other people happily agreeing with this article to read about the “Millet” system during the Ottoman empire where Islam safeguarded other religions rights. Understand what and how was the Millet system enforced and used to safeguard other religions. Today, most of the Muslims are oblivious to our history and the rest of the majority just doesn’t care for it !!Recommend

  • Neutral

    Awesome article. I haven’t read such an amazing piece for a long time now. Reminds me of Fukuyama’s nation building. Anyone who likes this article must read Fukuyama’s work for useful insights about the ‘narratives’ that a country feeds it people. The nation-building rhetoric aims to dehumanize and demonize ‘others’. No wonder it boils down to ‘us against them’. Bravo Shehzad!Recommend

  • Frank

    In 1947 minorities were 20% of the population of the whole of Pakistan, both East and West, not of West Pakistan alone. And most of the them were in East, not West, Pakistan. Lahore city had a 2/3 Muslim majority in 1947 and the Muslim majorities in Multan and Pindi were even larger. Hindus and Sikhs were barely 10% of the population of the ENTIRE Rawalpindi district.Recommend

  • Frank

    The imposition of Urdu-Hindustani by the Cult of Iqbal and the murder of native Pakistani languages and cultures is the single biggest issue facing Pakistan, in my opinion. It is the cause of our disorientation and utter cluelessness when facing or dealing with the world.Recommend

  • An admirer

    That’s a very mature head on a young set of shoulders – Shehzad. Very well written piece. Gutsy. You have done the country a great service! One part I do not agree with – “The idea of Pakistan, created through our stories, is a group of people
    using violent means against the state to protect their idea. The moment
    we were successful in creating a state, the idea should have been
    addressed and redefined” – I think when Jinnah was giving the call for Pakistan, with the language and imagery he was invoking, he was also defining the nature and fabric of the country he was about to found. When you claim that muslims cannot leave alongside hindus, that becomes a part of the fabric and genetic constitution of the country and is open for opportunists (and every country in every age has its share of these people) to invoke and use these as they want. It is individuals like the author who are the hope for the this country and he is right in his title ‘To save Pakistan, we have to let go of the idea of Pakistan’Recommend

  • Feroz

    Please get out of the basement in which you are hiding. The five richest and most successful Muslims in South Asia are Indians — Recommend

  • PAKISATN zindabad

    . nonsense . He has liked complete different things together.Recommend

  • Feroz

    He is not running the country down, he is suggesting the removal of Ideology from the narrative of the nation State because it has torn the social fabric of the country and is making innocent youth into violent beasts who indulge in mindless killings. Very difficult to understand ?Recommend

  • Singh

    Yeah come and see how salman, aamir, sharukh gets treated..Our president was muslim many examples that this page is not enough…Do you have a single example…

    You are also a prey of false perception..not your faultRecommend

  • Emad

    Creating an imaginary debate about whether Pakistan was supposed to be secular or Islamic may help in trying to divide the nation but unfortunately the notion fails tremendously. The idea of Pakistan has always and will always be summarized in the following words ” FAITH UNITY DISCIPLINE” where FAITH is the fundamental purpose of Pakistan which highlights a freedom to practice any faith (specifically for Muslims since historically there have always been violence between Hindus and Muslims where mosques had been destroyed). UNITY stands to unite all Pakistanis no matter what ethnicity or caste they belong to and even today no matter what you say about Pakistan, we still are still the most diverse Islamic country on the planet where we are not represented by only band of ethnicities like arabs turks afghans etc. DISCIPLINE stands to signify tolerance and patience as well as serve as a reminder to our armed forcesRecommend

  • Whatever

    even it was mere 4% it should have gone to six not crashing down to 1%. Problem is that Pakistanis like you try to run from problems not want to face it. massacre of minorities should be boldly faced not hidedRecommend

  • DareDevil

    Pakistan was made to stop persecution of minorities from majority and after 7 decades you can see who is massacring its minorities. irony is that muslims prospered more in India than Pakistan. muslims are ruling bollywood, Md. Azhar was captain of hindu majority country cricket team, muslims of India become president and vice-president of the country. ahmadi muslims of India become non-muslim in pakistan. today even muslims are trying to flee out of from the so called land of pure. day to day bombings are norm of pakistan, killing of children become just some news.Recommend

  • Shelly

    “Neither the sub-continent, nor the world needs a separate homeland for
    Muslims. We need a country where people can live freely regardless of
    their creed, caste, religion or political affiliation.”
    Your article is a slap on the two nation theory (now re-named 3 nation theory). Where was the sense in partition if you wanted to live freely regardless of religion, creed etc?
    What you are dreaming about is what India is. That is not Pakistan.Recommend

  • kartikey mishra

    he is stating what he studied in their school that is not his fault that is pakistan’s fault. any way the reality is that Indian muslims are 1st class citizens as like other hindus, jain, sikhs.muslims education rate is 59% unlike in pakistan that is 49% overall . even pakistani muslims can’t match Indian muslims in any area because they getting better treatment & facality to grow & live as compare to pakistan.
    pakistani are known for their hatred against Hindus indians.this destroy only pakistan & their children.But its good article the writer will not be living in pakistan.Recommend

  • Rukunuddin Aslam


  • Jor El

    “… go visit our neighboring country and see how Muslims are being treated there!”
    I do wish that Shehzad vsits India … I like his sense of humour …Recommend

  • ather khan

    ban on beef, force sterilazation of muslim population, asking parliament to revoke the muslims to vote. etc. this is united india. i am thankful to ma jinnah.Recommend

  • Jor El

    Where has he talked it down ??? He’s given ways to save its soul, not destroy it …Recommend

  • ather khan

    ban on beef just because muslims eat it. threatening muslims of force steralization. threatening to revoke their vote rights. all the threat coming from the party in power. do we still need to justify pakistan.Recommend

  • Humza

    Maybe Pakistan should be given to Persia like in history? Maybe Baluchistan and KPK can be given to Afghanistan. Maybe Punjab should be given to Uzbekistan since Mughals ruled there. Maybe Karachi should join India since a lot of Indian origin people live there.Depends who you ask I guess.Recommend

  • Emad

    I am sorry but your whole argument is completely pathetic; First of all a place where Hindus will always be a majority while Muslims will always be a minority wasn’t a very fair system when it comes to democracy especially when the Muslims were very large in numbers yet percentage wise their weight was completely ignored. As far as the statement “A nation that gives second class status to Punjabi, Balochi, SIndhi, sairaiki, Pashto and considers URDU as national language” is so illogical and senseless that it makes me question your educational background. First of all Pakistan’s national language could not have been Punjabi, Balochi, Sindhi or Pashto because then this would create ethnic divide in the country as it would seem like the language of one province is superior to that of the other, thus the language had to be one which was understood by all provinces and hence Urdu was the best choice. Making Urdu a national language does not make anyone else “second class” although i do understand this is a common statement used by anyone who just wants to create senseless debate without any logical reasoning or argument.Recommend

  • Milind A

    Better to be a philosopher than a terrorist.Recommend

  • wb

    Fair analysis. But not bold enough.

    To save Pakistan, Pakistanis must start using Islam as a mere divine guidance instead of a complete, perfect way of life.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    That is not correct. Hindu population of East Pakistan was 35 – 40% before partition. This is now down to 8%, while, the muslim population of West Bengal is now 25%, so it is impossible to even attribute the decline to migration; most of this can be traced back to the policies of Pakistan when it treated the Eastern half as a colony and remained suspicious of its Hindu citizens. The Hindu population of West Pakistan was around 20% at the time of independence – cities like Karachi had a Hindu majority, and Lahore including Hindus + Sikhs was almost at 50%. There was no part of undivided India which had the kind of percentages that you see currently in Pakistan.Recommend

  • abhi

    As we know so far the count of people converting to Hinduism via Ghar Wapasi is zero. It is just a hype created by congressis to create fear in minority community. I am pretty sure same would have happened during pre-partition days when ML created a fear for its own political agenda.Recommend

  • abhi

    Ban on beef was there even during Akbars period. Other things that you have mentioned please tell me one example where muslime is force sterilized or their right to vote is curtailed? You are just looking at the sensation created by vested interests.Recommend

  • Manan

    U r right factually.. Hindus were 54% in Karachi. BTW Muslims were 62% in Lahore in 1941 census, the one which was famously boycotted by certain Sikh sects.Recommend

  • DudeFromDC

    While you being a Pakistani, are not welcome in most parts of the world, you need to do a lot of reading.. I mean a lot…
    And case in point for the author.Recommend

  • DudeFromDC

    Sure…. BJP and Modi are the the root cause of all the problems in Pakistan right now. Keep blaming India for your troubles, its so much fun to watch.Recommend

  • Sane Indian

    If are respecting Muslims sentiment, by having Halal certified at every non-veg shop, then why cannot we respect our own religious sentiments by banning Cow meat/killings?

    Its not only for Muslims, its for all Indians. By asking a strict 2-child policy, we want to give quality of life to everybody.

    For every Sanjay Raut’s you have millions of rabids in Pakistan, so first look inwards.Recommend

  • Jor El

    “do we still need to justify pakistan.”
    No, u dont, in fact u cant … there was no justification for the creation of Pakistan.

  • Jor El

    “asking parliament to revoke the muslims to vote”
    Buddy,… who asked the parliament to revoke muslims to vote … the article appeared in the Sena newsletter “Saamna” … in parliament, u can’t raise issues like this …Recommend

  • Frank

    “Accordingly to the 1941 census, Lahore city had a total population of 671,659. It had crossed the 700,000 mark by 1947. It had an absolute majority of 64.5 per cent Muslims and the rest were Hindus and Sikhs as well as a small Christian community.” –Ishtiaq AhmedRecommend

  • Frank

    Nearly half of the population of East Punjab was Muslim in 1947. Punjabi Muslims were at the very least the plurality in nearly all East Punjab districts. What’s the situation now? Near zero. There is no such thing as ‘Undivided India’. We are talking about Undivided Punjab.Recommend

  • Frank

    So now it’s 4% and not 20%? Instead of just pulling figures out of a hat why don’t you provide a source for them? BTW, what happened to the Muslim plurality in East Punjab?Recommend

  • Frank

    Don’t worry, the federal and provincial governments are expelling all Afghans from Pakistan as we speak and all the Afghans will be back in Afghanistan within a few months.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Yours is the true analysis.Pakistan has become mulla-istan gradually.When all the people will become brothers,it will be the real Pakistan.That won’t happen unless mullahs are limited to mosques,and closely monitored for hate speech.Texbooks need to become secular.They were much more secular before 1971.Then bigoted mullahs became the historians and filled books with hatred .And who is suffering from this-it is Pakistan that is being torn apart,and is image tainted all over the world.Will a change happen.Not any time soon!Recommend

  • Frank

    Many of us have had enough of the imposition of Urdu-Hindustani. We want rights for our own languages and cultures and are not willing to standby and watch them and our identities being murdered by Hindustani. Contrary to your claim, the Hindustani language has been a source of division and of problems in Pakistan right from the beginning.Recommend

  • Sane

    Massacre of minorities…… need to change the region. Muslims were massacred during partition and still being massacred in India. In Pakistan there were never a case of en-mass massacre of Minorities. Now start arguments…..This, if, but etc. etc.Recommend

  • Sane

    No. This is fun to watch Chaiwala turned Prime Minister and in between a murderer.Recommend

  • Rafeeq

    You forgot the recent riots in malwa which no major media outlet has covered:

    Or the forceful removal of a muslim from his Bungalow in Bhavnagar.

    Nor have you mentioned that nobody in Baroda is willing to accomodate muslims who had to be shifted due to some developmental work and now look to be thrown out of the city.

    You need better research man!! ;)Recommend

  • Rizwan

    Halal certified at every non veg shop? Do you even read what you wrote.

    I am a Muslim and I have to actually ask.Recommend

  • Rajju

    For every salman shahrukh and aamir you have millions of people in places like Chandni chowk, kalupur and Johapura. Look at the shabby infrastructure there and compare it to other parts of town.

    Perhaps see how difficult it is to apply for a passport or a bank loan even if you have a decent job and a pristine credit record. Or for that matter have a Muslim name and see if you can buy at the other places in Town.Recommend

  • Rafeeq

    You forgot the recent supreme court of India decision to release the malegaon blasts accused finding ‘no evidence’ despite them being clearly implicated.

    Perhaps you also forgot the security forces responsible for the Hashimpura (Meerut) massacre have all been let go and declared innocent due to ‘lack of evidence’

    You need to try harder man..ample stuff out there :DRecommend

  • Faulitics

    The beef ban will last only till the current party rules. I can say that with confidence. But i agree that beef ban is idiotic and deprives people of their freedom of choice.Recommend

  • Faulitics

    “brave Pakistani people are fighting to overcome such problems”

    Yes. Like this author. He is asking some basic fundamental questions . You should think about what he is saying.Recommend

  • Faulitics

    The author is in the mould of Nadeem F. Paracha. The attitude seems to be “cut the BS and get to the heart of the matter”. Very good. Just what Pakistan or even India needs.Recommend

  • Grace

    But is the government also sending back the Indians in Karachi? We are expelling Afghans West but why then are Indians from East allowed to stay?Recommend

  • Agrippa – The Skeptic

    Urdu was imposed to counter the weight of Bengal / Bengali.
    West Pakistan was bundled into one unit for the same reason, but the move has backfired and how!Recommend

  • Agrippa-The Skeptic

    64.5 % Muslims means 35.5% non-Muslims.
    What have you done with the 34.5%?Recommend

  • Agrippa-The Skeptic

    How can a computer literate person like you even think that the massacres during the 1947 partition were one sided?
    In Pakistan the Hindus ad Sikhs were as badly treated during the partitions as the migrating Muslims were in India. Pakistan continues to mistreat it’s minorities. Now that the number of non-Muslims has dwindled to practically nothing, new minorities are being defined and maltreated.Recommend

  • Agrippa-The Skeptic

    Ever heard of the transmigration during partition?
    Do Google for the population mix breakup of the Republic of India. And, discover the discrepancy between the nos. in the population of minorities in India and PakistanRecommend

  • Agrippa-The Skeptic

    Not just Shehzad, even you should go to India and discover for yourself how Muslims live in India. One should not believe the Zaid Hamids of this world. Just check how many Indian Muslims stay back illegally in Pakistan when they go on a visa to visit family and, how many Pakistanis disappear in India after the lapse of their visa.
    Check how many Pakistanis go to India for medical treatment and how many Indians come to Pakistan for medical treatment.

    Official India does not discriminate against any religion, the minorities are not displayed on the national flag, the Constitution does not care about any religion, no one is barred from any office based on caste, creed, religion or gender.
    Hindus, Muslim, Sikh, Christians and Parsis have served at the highest levels in Judiciary, Government, Armed Forces, Finance … .
    India has miles to go to find it’s place in the Sun but India certainly isn’t what one sided media consumption makes it out to be.Recommend

  • Agrippa-The Skeptic

    The Afghans are the least of your problems.
    Look within and you will find your problem Recommend

  • Agrippa-The Skeptic

    At least the kid has a philosophy – what about you?
    Still in denial mode – waiting for the all mighty (or China) to solve the problems?Recommend

  • Agrippa-The Skeptic

    Now that Pakistan is there for all to see and experience – what is wrong with Shehzad’s dream that it be a secular, non-religion based entity easy on all and sundry? And, in the bargain if it happens to be like India so be it.
    He certainly can dream of an India like Pakistan if he wants to.
    Your question: then why did the partition take place?
    Answer: It is not relevant here. Here, Pakistan already exists and the discussion is on what shape and form should it take to get away from the current quagmire.Recommend

  • Jor El

    “… even you should go to India …”

    Y do I need to go to someplace when am already there ???
    ;) …Recommend

  • Jor El

    Wow, u really do great justice to ur internet avatar name …Recommend

  • Sridhar Kaushik

    @ Emad,
    Looks like you have not learned from your own history.
    Jinnah declared (days before his passing away) while in Dacca (East Pakistan) that Urdu would be the national language of Pakistan, sowing the seeds of dissention that 25 years later became a secession movement.
    Do you even understand what democracy is all about? You say:
    ( First of all a place where Hindus will always be a majority while
    Muslims will always be a minority wasn’t a very fair system when it
    comes to democracy especially when the Muslims were very large in
    numbers yet percentage wise their weight was completely ignored)
    In a democracy (a true one, not the kind that Pakistan has today), everybody matters. The majority get to form a govt but a significant minority would matter too.
    If the logic of forming Pakistan was to get a country with a muslim majority, then that idea was bad to begin with. The muslims in India were reduced to an even smaller minority, at the mercy of majority Hindus. It is to the credit of the Constitution makers of India (stalwarts like B.R.Ambedkar), secular people like Nehru that India gave equal rights to all, including muslims. Imagine how much more power muslims would have if they were not divided now between 3 nations.
    In a democracy, constitution guarantees rights to all. Minorities can negotiate for more rights through a well defined process. Rights are upheld by the courts.
    That is not the real reason why Pakistan was formed. It was formed because many powerful landlords were afraid to lose privileges in a united India. Army also developed vested interest to keep Pakistan as a rentier security state. Common man has been dumped by the wayside.Recommend

  • DudeFromDC

    Well.. speaking about fun.. Things happening in Pakistan on a daily basis tops anything and everything across the world.. So…Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    I wonder ET , why were you people silent on the below :

    It seems Pakistan’s “Seculars” care more about Secularism in India than about Secularism in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Alann

    To be honest, I’ve reached to a point where it doesn’t matter anymore whether the “idea of Pakistan” completely annihiliates this wasteland or whatever… Only thing I fear most is the painted green nuclear missiles falling in the hands of extremists, once the army leadership and the corrupt politicians fly away to their second homes in US/UK/Saudi Arabia to save their lives.Recommend

  • RFD

    Nope. Wrong. Punjab was the homeland of Jat hindus. And Gujratis
    who migrated from Gujrat.[ rather kicked out by the higher castes.]
    Include some Bheels. Then the Sikhs, who came from the north.
    The ethnic mix, is Dravidian. From MohenjoDaro/Harappa Civilization.Recommend

  • Faulitics

    LOL! Agrippa-The Skeptic is too skeptical about you. Maybe Jor El is an arab sounding name for a person who is not into comics.Recommend

  • AJ

    Great answer. As Nasruddin Shah says in movie Wednesday – “Kuch bhi ho marta main hi hoon – a common man”.Recommend

  • Humza

    Read European sources on the history of Punjab. Punjabis are by and large Aryans and Jatts. The Aryans descended upon South Asia from the North. There may be remnants of the original Indus Valley Civilization within this mix but Jatts themselves are derived from Sythian invaders from Central Asia centuries ago. Sikhism is a religion that only came about 400 years ago in the Punjab.Looking at Gujratis or so called Bheels will sow them to be different to the natives of the Punjab.There are several anthropological texts written by British and European Orientalists on this topic such as that by Denzil Ibbetson, Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab. These texts existed even before the British introduced the martial race theory where preference in the military was given to Punjabi soldiers due to supposed racial characteristics.Recommend

  • AJ

    The problem is when you decide that ethnicity/sub sects does not matter at that point the rationale for Pakistan becomes weaker. Pakistan is based on we are “NOT India”. Your idea of Pakistan will make it officially mini-India.Recommend

  • Rasheed

    You’re either acting disingenuous or being woefully ignorant. Pakistan Studies inspires the zest for war? Yes, these books do have partisan and occasionally erroneous facts and figures but when it comes down to violence it doesn’t strike a nerve. This is like teaching Americans not to impart their history with all its horror toward the native Indians on the basis that it’s spreads the redneck’s Confederacy and anti-black propaganda. Pure leftist and SJW BS. Tell the truth, don’t sugarcoat it.

    And as far as Islamic studies are concerned pray pick up a textbook from both main educational outlets, GCSE’s or Matric, and then push your biased dogma upon innocent readers. Nearly all of those editions have their inceptions with verses of kindness and humanity ingrained in them at the start, sometimes along with melancholy descriptions of hell. If you want to talk about conflict then who’re you kidding? Do you seriously wish to opt out one of the most decisive battles in mankind’s past, acknowledged by the likes of George Bernard and Napoleon Bonaparte? It’s not the teacher’s fault on how a student interprets it. People become atheists and apostates not because of their parents, but significantly due to their own experiences. Learn the philosophy of empiricism on this matter.

    I agree we need a reformative movement across Pakistan but your thoughts of regression and degeneracy will only leads us to more anarchy than at present. These are perilous times and we must proceed with caution and “not” pull a Ataturk.Recommend