Original Articles

The Speech of Mr Sri Chandra Chattopadhyay in Opposition to Objectives Resolution, Constitutent Assembly of Pakistan, 12 March 1949

large-p-30-a

This is a historic speech and a document that posterity will re-examine because of its ever increasing influence on the amalgamation of religion and politics in Pakistan. Seldom has one piece of legislation caused so much trepidation. Here is the text of the address of Sri Chandra Chattopadhyay in Pakistan’s first Constitutent Assembly on 12 March 1949.

Mr. Sris Chandra Chattopadhya (East Bengal : General) : Mr. President, I thought, after my colleague, Mr. Bhupendra Kumar Datta, had spoken on the two amendments on behalf of the Congress Party, I would not take any part in this discussion. He appealed, he reasoned and made the Congress position fully clear, but after I heard some of the speakers from the majority party, viz, Muslim League Party, the manner in which they had interpreted the Resolution, it became incumbent on me to take part in this discussion.

I have heard Dr. Malik and appreciate his standpoint. He says that “we got Pakistan for establishing a Muslim State, and the Muslims suffered for it and therefore it was not desireable that anybody should speak against it”. I quite agree with him. He said; “If we establish a Muslim State and even if we become reactionaries, who are you to say anything against it?” That is a standpoint which I understand, but here there is some difficulty. We also, on this side, fought for the independence of the country. We worked for the independence of the entire country. When our erstwhile masters, Britishers, were practically in the mood of going away, the country was divided – one part became Pakistan and the other remained India. If in the Pakistan State there would have been only Muslims, the question would have been different. But there are some non-muslims also in Pakistan. When they wanted a division there was no talk of an exchange of population. If there was an exchange of population, there would have been an end of the matter, and Dr. Malik could establish his Pakistan in his own way and frame constitution accordingly. It is also true that the part of Pakistan in which Dr. Malik lives is denuded of non-Muslims. That is clear.

Dr. Omar Hayat Malik: On a point of order, Sir, I never said that. He has understood me quite wrongly.

Mr. Omar Hayat Malik: I never said that Pakistan was denuded of non-Muslims. My friend on the opposite has misunderstood me.

Mr. Sris Chandra Chattopadhya: I say the part in which Dr. Malik lives is denuded of non-Muslims. I did not say that Dr. Malik had said that Pakistan was denuded of non-Muslims. That is clear.

But we belong to East Bengal. One-fourth of the population is still non-Muslim. Therefore, what constitution is to be framed, it is our duty, it is in our interest to look to. We are not going to leave East Bengal. It is our homeland. It is not a land by our adoption. My forefather, founder of my family, came to East Bengal thousand years back on the invitation of the then King of Bengal. I am 27th in decent from him. Therefore, East Bengal is my land. I claim that East Bengal and Eastern Pakistan belongs to me as well as to any Mussalman and it will be my duty to make Pakistan a great, prosperous and powerful State so that it may get a proper place in the comity of nations because I call myself a Pakistani. I wish that Pakistan must be a great State. That will be covetable to Muslims as well as to non-Muslims who are living in East Bengal. A few people from East Bengal have left – may be five per cent and my calculation is not even that. Of course, there are other calculations too – somebody says ten lakhs. We are living in East Bengal peacefully, in peace and amity with out Muslim neighbours as we had been living from generations to generations. Therefore, I am anxious to see that its constitution is framed in such a way which may suit the Muslims as well as the non-Muslims. I have gone carefully through this Resolution and I have carefully, read made-to-order, nicely-worded statement of my esteemed friend, Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan. But after reading the Resolution carefully and reading the statement, even after hearing the speeches of my friends, both the Doctors and others, I cannot change my opinion. I cannot persuade myself to accept this Resolution and my instruction to my party would be to oppose this Resolution.

Now as for the first paragraph:

“Whereas sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to God Almighty alone and the authority which He has delegated to the State of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust”.

This part of the Resolution, I think, ought to be deleted. All powers, in my opinion, rest with the people and they exercise their power through the agency of the State. State is merely their spokesman. The Resolution makes the State the sole authority received from God Almighty through the instrumentality of people – Nemittamatrona, “Merely instruments of the State”. People have no power or authority, they are merely post boxes according to this Resolution. The State will exercise authority within the limits prescribed by Him (God). What are those limits, who will interpret them? Dr. Qureshi or my respected Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Osmani? In case of difference, who will interpret? Surely they are not the people. One day a Louis XIV may come and say “I am the State, anointed by the Almighty” thus paving the way for advent Divine Right of Kings of afresh. Instead of State being the voice of the people, it has been made an adjunct of religion. To me voice of people is the voice of God, “Jatra jiba tatra shiva.” The people are the manifestation of God.

In my conception of State where people of different religion live there is no place for religion in the State. Its position must be neutral: no bias for any religion. If necessary, it should help all the religions equally. No question of concession or tolerance to any religion. It smacks of inferiority complex. The State must respect all religions: no smiling face for one and askance look to the other. The state religion is a dangerous principle. Previous instances are sufficient to warn us not to repeat the blunder. We know people were burnt alive in the name of religion. Therefore, my conception is that the sovereignty must rest with the people and not with any body else.

Then about the Constituent Assembly representing the people of Pakistan. This Constituent Assembly was created by a Statute – Indian Independence Act – allotting one member for ten lakhs of people to be elected by the members of the Provincial Assemblies. The members were not elected by the people themselves. They are for the purpose of framing a constitution. They have the legal right to do so but they cannot say that they are the representatives of the people. They are merely a Statutory Body.

Then I come to the fourth paragraph:

“Wherein the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed.”

Of course, they are beautiful words: Democracy, freedom, equality, everything. Now about this portion I had some discussion with some Maulanas from the Punjab. What they told me must be from their religious books. I shall repeat here. If I commit blunder, I wish to be corrected.

In this connection you say “equal rights”, but at the same time with limitations as enunciated by Islam. Is there any equal right in an Islamic country? Was there any …. An Honourable Member: “There was in Islamic countries.” ……. It was not between Muslims and non-Muslims. We are now divided into Congress Party and Muslim League Party here for farming constitution and suppose after framing of this constitution we face election, and parties are formed on different alignment, there may not be Congress, there may not be Muslim League, because the Congress has fulfilled its mission of attaining independence and Muslim League has also got Pakistan. There may be parties of haves and have-nots – and they are bound to be – and have-nots party may have a leader coming form non-Muslims. Will he be allowed to be the head of the administration of a Muslim State? It is not a fact that a non-Muslim cannot be head of the administration in a Muslim State. I discussed this question and I was told that he could not be allowed to be the head of the administration of a Muslim State. Then what is the use of all this. The question is whether there can be Juma Namaz in a country with a non-Muslim as its head, I am told that a country where a non-Muslim is the Head of the administration – as was in India, the Britishers were the head of the administration – according to the interpretations of Muslim rules, and I do not know much of them Muslims cannot say their Juma Namaz. As an instance, I cite a case and I think, the Honourable President also knows about it – in the District of Faridpur, Dudu Mea’s party. They do not say Juma Namaz. His grandson, Pir Badshah Mia, told me that “in a country where the head is a non-Muslim, there cannot be Juma Namaz.” Therefore, the words “equal rights as enunciated by Islam” are – I do not use any other word – a camouflage. It is only a hoax to us, the non-Muslims. There cannot be equal rights as enunciated by Islam. If the State is formed without any mandate of the religion, anybody whether Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist who can get votes can become its head, as such there would be difficulty if a portion of a book – it is not my book, it is not a Congress book, it is a Jamat-I-Islam publication from Lahore and it was handed over to me. I read a few lines from this book – Page 20.

“The preceding statement makes it quite clear that Islam is not democracy; for democracy is the name given to that particular form of Government in which sovereignty ultimately rests with the people in which legislation depends both in its form and content on the force and direction of public opinion and laws are modified and altered, to correspond to changes in that opinion. If a particular legislation is desired by the mass of people steps have to be taken to place it on the Statute Book if the people dislike any law and demand its removal, it is forthwith expunged and ceases to have any validity. There is no such thing in Islam which, therefore, cannot be called democracy in this sense of the term”.

My friend, the Honourable Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, the other day said ‘What is in the name’? I also say, what is in the name? Name may be given to mislead people but it will smell theocracy.

The Honourable Sardar Abdur Rab Khan Nishtar (West Punjab: Muslim): Do you know what treatment was meted out to this man by the Government? He is in jail.

Mr Sris Chandra Chattopadhya: That is a different matter. Further he goes on:

“A more apt name for it would be the Kingdom of God which is described in English as “theocracy”.

I do not know much of your theocracy or Sunna. But he told me many things about Islam.

And then you will also find this:

“No law can be changed unless the injunction is to be found in God’s shariat. Laws are changed by the concensus of opinion amongst the Muslims.”

So, if any law is to be changed, it is to be changed by the vote of the Muslims only. Where are we then? We are not Muslims. There are, I find, many safeguards in the Resolution. I do not attach much importance to them. Words are there but there is no law which will allow them to be put into practice. That is the limitation. If the non-Muslims cannot vote, then what is the good of our coming here for farming the constitution? Even if we have the right to vote for a legislation but if some non-Muslim wants to be the President of the State, he will not be able to do so. If we want to elect somebody who is a non-Muslim, he cannot be elected by us to be a member of the legislature. We may vote, but we can vote for Mr Nishtar only and not for Mr Chandra Chattopadhya, who is a non-Muslim. I know you can pass this Resolution because you are in the majority and I know the tyranny of the majority. But we cannot be a consenting party to it; we must oppose it in order to safeguard our interests and not to commit suicide by accepting this Resolution. If that is so, what is the position of non-Muslims in a Muslim State? They will play the part of the second fiddle – the drawers of water and hewers of wood. Can you expect any self-respecting man will accept that position and remain contented? If the present Resolution is adopted, the non-Muslims will be reduced to that condition excepting what they may get out of concession or pity from their superior neighbours. Is it equality of rights? Is it wrong if we say that the non-Muslims will be in the position of Plebeians? There may not be patricians and plebeians in the Muslim community, but the question is between the Muslims and non-Muslims.

That much about this Resolution. Now, Dr Qureshi has attributed fear complex to the non-Muslims and has found a new dictum of behaviour for the minority. He has given a warning to the non-Muslims and has asked them to discard fear and behave well. What does our conduct show? We are not afraid of anybody. We, the Congress people, were not afraid of any or any power. We are still living in Eastern Pakistan and we are not running away. We are telling our brothers not to leave Eastern Pakistan and not to give up one inch of land. The position in the Western Pakistan is different. There the non-Muslims have left. But we are determined to stay on. As for behaviour it depends upon the majority community by their behaviour to get the confidence of the minority people. The minority people cannot create by their conduct confidence in the majority. They majority people should behave in such a way that the minority people may not be afraid of them and may not suspect them.

Dr Ishtiaq Husain Qureshi : On a point of personal explanation, Sir, I never said or implied in my speech that my friends on the opposite side were suffering from the fear of the seen. Unfortunately, they have been suffering from the fear of the unknown and my point was that the Objectives Resolution does not embody any principle which might make them afraid. I know that my friends are very brave and they would certainly not run away and I also know .. …

Mr President : This much will do for your explanation.

Mr Sris Chandra Chattopadhya : It goes without saying that by introducing the religious question, the differences between the majority and the minority are being perpetuated, for how long, nobody knows. And, as apprehended by us, the difficulty of interpretation has already arisen. The accepted principle is that the majority, by their fair treatment, must create confidence in the minority. Whereas the Honourable Mover of the Resolution promises respect, in place of charity or sufferance for the minority community the Deputy Minister, Dr Qureshi, advises the minority to win the good-will of the majority by their behaviour. In the House of the Legislature also we find that, while the Prime Minister keeps perfectly to his dictum, others cannot brook that the Opposition should function in the spirit of opposition. The demand is that the Opposition should remain submissive. That is Dr Qureshi’s way of thinking. The minorities must be grateful for all the benevolence they get and must never complain for the malevolence that may also be dealt out to them. That is his solution of the minority problem.

Dr Ishtiaq Husain Qureshi : Sir, I again rise on a point of personal explanation. I never said that. My words are being twisted. What I said was this that the best guarantee of a minority’s rights is the good-will of the majority and those words cannot be twisted into the way my friend has been twisting them.

Mr Sris Chandra Chattopadhya : My esteemed friend, Mr Nishtar, speaks that there is difference of outlook between the two parties. It is true that before the division of India into two States, India and Pakistan, we opposed the division on the ground that the people of India consisted of one nation, and the Muslim League supported the division on two-nation theory, the Muslims and the non-Muslims. There was this fundamental difference in our outlook and in our angle of vision. India was divided without the division of the population. So, in both the States there are Muslims and non-Muslims – no exchange of population and even no exchange of population under contemplation. We, the non-Muslims of Pakistan, have decided to remain in Pakistan, as the loyal citizens of Pakistan. Of course, some non-Muslims from East Bengal and practically the majority of non-Muslim from West Pakistan left the place. We all ourselves the nationals of Pakistan and style ourselves as Pakistanis. But this Resolution cuts at the root of it and Mr Nishtar’s speech makes it clear. We, the Congress people, still stick to our one nation theory and we believe that the people of Pakistan, Muslims and non-Muslims, consist of one nation and they are all Pakistanis. Now, if it is said that the population of Pakistan consists of two nations, the Muslims who form the majority party and the non-Muslims who form the minority party, how are they to be described? Nowhere in the world nationality is divided on the score of religion.

Even in Muslim countries there are people of different religions. They do not call themselves a majority or minority party. They call themselves as members of one nation, though professing different religions. If the Muslims call themselves Pakistanis, will the non-Muslims call themselves non-Pakistanis. What will they call themselves?

Some Honourable Members : Pakistanis.

Mr Sris Chandra Chattopadhya : Will they both call themselves Pakistanis? Then how will the people know who is Muslim and who is non-Muslim? I say, give up this division of the people into Muslims and non-Muslims and let us call ourselves one nation. Let us call ourselves one people, people of Pakistan. Otherwise, if you call me non-Muslim and call yourselves Muslim the difficulty will be if I call myself Pakistani they will say you are a Muslim. That happened when I had been to Europe. I went there as a delegate of Pakistan. When I said “I am a delegate of Pakistan” they thought I was a Muslim. They said “But you are a Muslim”. I said, “No, I am a Hindu”. A Hindu cannot remain in Pakistan, that was their attitude. They said: “You cannot call yourself a Pakistani”. Then I explained everything and told them that there are Hindus and as well as Muslims and that we are all Pakistanis. That is the position. Therefore, what am I to call myself? I want an answer to that. I want a decision on this point from my esteemed friend, Mr Liaquat Ali Khan.

I request my Honourable friend, Mr Nishtar, to forget this outlook, this angle of vision. Let us form ourselves as members of one nation. Let us eliminate the complexes of majority and minority. Let us treat citizens of Pakistan as members of one family and frame such a constitution as may not break this tie so that all communities may stand shoulder to shoulder on equal footing in time of need and danger. I do not consider myself as a member of the minority community. I consider myself as one of seven crores of Pakistanis. Let me have to retain that privilege.

I have stated about this Resolution. Now what will be the result of this Resolution? I sadly remind myself of the great words of the Quaid-I-Azam that in state affairs the Hindus will cease to be a Hindu; the Muslim shall cease to be a Muslim. But alas, so soon after his demise what you do is that you virtually declare a State religion! You are determined to create a Herrenvolk. It was perhaps bound to be so, when unlike the Quaid-I-Azam – with whom I was privileged to be associated for a great many years in the Indian National Congress – you felt your incapacity to separate politics from religion, which the modern world so universally does. You could not get over the old world way of thinking. What I hear in this Resolution not the voice of the great creator of Pakistan – the Quaid-I-Azam (may his soul rest in peace), nor even that of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the Honourable Mr Liaquat Ali Khan but of the Ulemas of the land.

When I came back to my part of the country after several months absence in Europe, the thing that I saw there depressed me. A great change for the worse has come over the land. I noticed that change this side also. I told His Excellency Khawaja Nazimuddin of it. I told the Honourable Mr Liaquat Ali Khan about it and now that spirit of reaction has overwhelmed this House also. This Resolution in its present form epitomizes that spirit of reaction. That spirit will not remain confined to the precincts of this House. It will send its waves to the countryside as well. I am quite upset. I have been passing sleepless nights pondering what shall I now tell my people whom I have so long been advising to stick to the land of their birth? They are passing a state of uncertainty which is better seen and left than imagined from this House. The officers have opted out, the influential people have left, the economic conditions are appalling, starvation is widespread, women are going naked, people are sinking without trade, without occupation. The administration is ruthlessly reactionary, a steam-roller has been set in motion against the culture, language and script of the people. And on the top of this all, by this Resolution you condemn them to a perpetual state of inferiority. A thick curtain is drawn against all rays of hope, all prospects of an honourable life.

After this what advice shall I tender? What heart can I have to persuade the people to maintain a stout heart? But I feel it is useless bewailing before you, it is useless reasoning with you. You show yourselves incapable of humility that either victory or religion ought to generate. You then go your way, I have best wishes for you. I am an old man not very far from my eternal rest. I am capable of forgetting all injuries. I bear you no ill will. I wish you saw reason. Even as it is, may no evil come your way. May you prosper, may the newly-born State of Pakistan be great and get its proper place in the comity of nations. (Applause.)

 

Ednote: Sadly the Objectives resolution, presented by a Deobandi politician Liaquat Ali Khan was supported, among others, by an influential Ahmadiyya Muslim, Sir Zafarullah Khan, who was at that time the foreign minister of Pakistan.

qm

About the author

SK

7 Comments

Click here to post a comment
  • Reassessing Liaquat Ali Khan’s role —Riaz Shahid

    Liaquat Ali Khan was the one to bring for the first time religion into politics. His alliance with the mullahs produced the ‘Objectives Resolution’, which declared Pakistan to be an ‘Islamic state’. Common perception holds Zia or Bhutto responsible for mixing religion and politics, but it was Liaquat Ali Khan under whose leadership mullahs were given entry into politics and the right to decide the fate of the nation

    Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan was the first prime minister and a founding father of Pakistan. Being the closest lieutenant of Quaid-e-Azam has given him a semi-divine status in Pakistani history. There is, to this date, very little objective assessment of his role as prime minister. I believe this is a folly since Liaquat Ali Khan lived a much longer time compared to Quaid-e-Azam after the birth of Pakistan, and his legacy still shapes Pakistan today in several critical areas.

    First and foremost is the fact that Pakistan’s disastrous constitutional history has much to do with Liaquat Ali Khan. He had no constituency in Pakistan. His hometown was left behind in India. Bengalis were a majority in the newly created state of Pakistan and this was a painful reality for him. While India was able to promulgate a constitution by 1950 and hold a first direct election on adult franchise in 1951, the Muslim League under Liaquat Ali Khan scrupulously avoided its responsibility to frame a constitution. The reason was simple. Had a constitution been framed, the Bengali demographic majority would have granted Bengalis political power and Liaquat Ali Khan would have been sent out of the prime minister’s office. The person who would have replaced him would have been Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy, the most popular political leader of Bengali Muslims and a great stalwart of the freedom movement. He had been chief minister and head of a Muslim League government of United Bengal before partition. Of course, the West Pakistani political elites, particularly those of Punjab, were also against a permanent Bengali majority in the National Assembly. Had Liaquat Ali Khan ignored his personal political interests and respected the ground reality of the Bengali majority, Pakistan might have got itself a workable constitution 60 years back. He was in a position to ignore the Punjabi elites and do the right thing. The Pakistani army was in formative stages and was in no position to challenge civilian authority. All the service chiefs were British.

    Liaquat Ali Khan was the one to bring for the first time religion into politics. His alliance with the mullahs produced the ‘Objectives Resolution’, which declared Pakistan to be an ‘Islamic state’. Common perception holds Zia or Bhutto responsible for mixing religion and politics, but it was Liaquat Ali Khan under whose leadership mullahs were given entry into politics and the right to decide the fate of the nation.

    Then there is Kashmir. During the initial stages of the Kashmir conflict, Sardar Patel, India’s deputy prime minister, offered Pakistan to exchange Hyderabad Deccan for Kashmir. This fact is corroborated by a host of impeccable sources including Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Chaudhri Muhammad Ali, Liaquat’s close confidant. The latter has described how this offer was made by the Indians in his masterly biography, The Emergence of Pakistan. Hyderabad Deccan was a gone case from day one. It was surrounded on all sides by the Indians and had a Hindu majority. Kashmir, on the other hand, was Pakistan’s jugular vein and we should have aimed to get it by hook or crook.

    Lastly, Liaquat Ali Khan paved the way for Pakistan’s first military dictator. Ayub Khan was merely a colonel in 1947. Quaid-e-Azam had given orders that he will not wear wings for one year and will be transferred to East Pakistan forthwith due to his involvement in looting evacuee gold and silver. No less a person than Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar had written a report on Ayub Khan’s misconduct. Ayub Khan’s British superiors had given him a horrible ACR for his timidity and refusal to participate in combat in Burma in World War II. Had independence not come about, the British would have retired him early. Most importantly, Ayub Khan had not even taken part in the Kashmir war. Strangely, this bad service record was ignored by Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan who also happened to be Pakistan’s first defence minister, and appointed Ayub Khan as Army Chief over two senior generals.

    I do not deny that Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan played a tremendous role in the creation of Pakistan, but this does not mean that we deify him and not critically analyse his policies and actions.

    The writer is a freelance columnist

    http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\02\15\story_15-2-2010_pg3_6

  • Clarification

    Sir: This is with reference to an article, ‘Reassessing Liaquat Ali Khan’s role’ (Daily Times, February 15, 2010)
    by Riaz Shahid.

    Mr Shahid has written that “Ayub Khan was merely a colonel in 1947.” Ayub Khan could certainly not have been a Brigadier at the time as his seniority would not have allowed it. Ayub Khan’s contemporary who was later to become General JN Chaudhuri in the Indian Army was also a Colonel in 1947. Both Ayub Khan and General JN Chaudhuri were commissioned on February 2, 1928.

    The allegation that Ayub Khan was involved in looting evacuee gold and silver is a figment of a rich imagination. Were the refugees coming into Pakistan carrying gold and silver? This allegation is totally fabricated and untrue.

    Ayub Khan’s posting to East Pakistan in early 1948 gave him military command of half of Pakistan. Postings, transfers and promotions were made by the British Commander-in-Chief. Further, it is wrongly stated that the Quaid gave orders that Ayub Khan “will not wear wings for one year and will be transferred to East Pakistan forthwith”. The Quaid never issued such orders.

    Mr Shahid states that the British gave Ayub Khan a horrible Annual Confidential Report (ACR) for timidity and refusal to participate in combat in Burma in World War II. The fact of the matter is that Ayub Khan commanded 1st Assam Regiment from January 4, 1945 to December 27, 1945 in the Burma Campaign during which the battalion participated in heavy fighting till the Japanese surrender in mid-1945.

    Mr Shahid goes on to make a ridiculous assertion that “most importantly, Ayub Khan had not even taken part in the Kashmir war”. Ayub Khan was in Waziristan soon after Pakistan’s independence in 1947 and was later appointed President of the Officer’s Selection Board in Rawalpindi. Officers do not leave their posts on their own and engage in combat. Officers have to be appointed or given command of troops in a conflict/war zone.

    I hope that these facts set the record straight for the benefit of your readers.
    GOHAR AYUB KHAN
    Islamabad

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\02\18\story_18-2-2010_pg3_7

  • Comment: Ayub Khan’s appointment —Riaz Shahid

    The fact that Pakistan got a person to lead its army who had no experience of commanding division level operations and had not participated in the Kashmir war ensured that during an actual battle, Pakistan Army’s performance would be below the optimum

    This is in response to Mr Gohar Ayub Khan’s rejoinder ‘Clarification’, published in the ‘Letters to the Editor’ section (Daily Times, February18, 2010) in response to my article ‘Reassessing Liaquat Ali Khan’s role’ (Daily Times, February15, 2010). In my article, I had deliberately not discussed Ayub Khan’s appointment as Pakistan’s first native army chief as these details are quite painful, not to mention controversial. Now that Gohar Ayub Khan has decided to challenge my assertions, I have no choice but to bring all the facts to light.

    Mr Gohar Ayub admits that Ayub Khan was a colonel in 1947. He gives the example of General JN Chaudhuri who was also a colonel in 1947 and went on to become the Indian army chief. The fact is that General JN Chaudhri did become the Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army, but on November 19, 1962, full 11 years and 11 months after Ayub Khan became Pakistan’s army chief! In his memoirs Glimpses into the Corridors of Power, Mr Gohar Ayub admits that his father was of the opinion that the rank of a full colonel was the most he could attain during British control.

    The promotion from colonel to general in less than four years for Ayub Khan had strategic consequences for Pakistan, as Ayub Khan had neither attained the experience or the gravitas needed to do justice to the office of the Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan Army. His shortcomings became apparent during the 1965 War into which he had led the country, thanks to the ill thought and badly executed ‘Operation Gibraltar’. Compare this to the Indian Army. Field Marshal Kodandera ‘Kipper’ Madappa Cariappa, who was its first native army chief, was the senior most Hindu officer serving in the British Indian Army on partition. He was the first Indian officer to be given command of a unit (by the British in 1942) in 200 years of the British Raj. For his military exploits against the Japanese as division commander of the 26th Division, Cariappa was given the Order of the British Empire (OBE). Ayub Khan had the honour of serving under him as a colonel in the Frontier Brigade Group in 1946.

    Gohar Ayub considers participation in Kashmir was inconsequential, deeming my assertion that Ayub Khan did not participate in the Kashmir war as ‘ridiculous’. The Indians, however, think otherwise. Cariappa, as general officer commanding-in-chief of the Western Command in 1947-48, captured Zojilla, Dras, Kargil and Leh for India, and to this day the Indians worship him for that. On the other hand, what does Pakistan’s first native commander-in-chief have to show for him in terms of gallantry awards or mention in despatches?

    The fact that Pakistan got a person to lead its army who had no experience of commanding division level operations and had not participated in the Kashmir war ensured that during an actual battle, Pakistan Army’s performance would be below the optimum and that operations in the Kashmir sector would be badly botched up. And that is exactly what happened during the 1965 War. The Indians, however, were lucky to get an army chief under whom the Indian Army had gotten its first baptism of fire.

    What very few people know is that Ayub Khan was so junior at the time of independence that he was given Pakistan Army No10 (PA10) and was not selected to represent Pakistan in the partition council that was set up to divide the assets of the British Indian Army between the Pakistani and Indian armies. There were nine officers senior to him on August 14, 1947, amongst which there were at least five full brigadiers (Mohammad Akbar Khan, Muhammed Iftikhar Khan, Faiz Muhammad, Fazal-ur-Rehman Kallue, Nawabzada Agha Mohammad Raza). In his memoirs Friends Not Masters, Ayub clearly states, “A Council was then set up to divide the armed forces. We had Raza, Akbar and Latif on this council representing Pakistan…I had little direct connection with the division of the armed forces” (page 20).

    Mr Gohar Ayub denies that the British gave Ayub Khan a horrible Annual Confidential Report (ACR) for timidity and refusal to participate in combat in Burma in World War II. Furthermore, he states, “Ayub Khan commanded 1st Assam Regiment from January 4 to December 27, 1945 in the Burma Campaign during which the battalion participated in heavy fighting till the Japanese surrender in mid-1945.”

    Both of the above claims made by him are false and untrue. Ayub Khan’s timidity and refusal to participate in combat in World War II is an established fact. AH Amin and Dr Ayesha Siddiqa Agha, who are the only defence analysts and military historians in Pakistan of international stature, testify to this. Reviewing Shuja Nawaz’s book on Pakistan Army, Crossed Swords, in Newsline magazine in August 2008, Dr Ayesha states, “In fact, he completely ignores the information that Ayub Khan had received a bad ACR from his bosses prior to the partition of India and had become a general through machination.” Furthermore, there are written testimonies in this regard from Lieutenant Colonel Parson and Lieutenant Colonel Mohatram who served in the same unit as Ayub Khan in Burma. The former in his presentation, ‘Battle of Kohima’, in 1984 categorically stated that, “Ayub Khan refused to command the regiment on the grounds that its men were no longer fit to carry on the battle and that he requested that he be sent back to India.” Lieutenant Colonel Parson’s revelations were published in the Daily Telegraph of Calcutta as well in Daily News of Karachi on April 28, 1984. From here the story gets really weird. Major General Joginder Singh, who was Ayub Khan’s battalion mate, asserts in his book Behind the Scenes (1993) that Ayub Khan was not considered fit to command his parent Punjab Regiment and was relegated to serving in Chamar Regiment, which was disbanded after the war ended. The point is that Ayub Khan did not serve in the prestigious Assam Regiment, which Gohar Ayub claims he did! For more on this issue and on Quaid-e-Azam’s order to transfer and freeze Ayub Khan’s career, I recommend the readers to read Major General Sher Ali’s The Story of Soldiering and Politics in India and Pakistan, Air Commodore Sajjad Haider’s Flight of the Falcon and Hasan Abbas’s Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism.

    I hope that these facts set the record straight for the benefit of Daily Times’ readers.

    The writer is a freelance columnist. He can be reached at blazinggun25@yahoo.com

    http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\03\06\story_6-3-2010_pg3_4

  • so that was the STARTING POINT OF OUR MISFORTUNES = OBJECTIVE RESOLUTION , A DEATH WARRANT FOR PEACE, STABILITY, PROSPERITY & UNITY IN PAKISTAN!

  • Pakistan is continuing to tread on the wrong turn that it took in 1949 and sadly there is no one to show the right path. How far it will keep going like this is anybody’s guess – but my hunch is that consequences will be bad. This is a perfect example of what happens when when ignores rational advise. Nonetheless, my all good wishes to Pakistanis.

  • Quaid-e-Azam had envisioned that Pakistan would be a state, where all citizens would enjoy equal rights irrespective of caste, creed, sect, or place of birth, but it could never become a reality. In a polarized and fragmented society like Pakistan, it is necessary to have the consent of all groups with regards to resolution of their genuine problems. This important aspect was never given a serious thought by political and military rulers.
    It was clear as early as pre-independence times that, given the immense ethnic diversity of Pakistan and the strong centrifugal forces, the new state would urgently need a ‘common denominator’ and that was Islam. Apparently, the religious ideology as the basis of the state was viewed as a tool for nation-building and thwarting possible Indian designs to reject the creation of Pakistan.
    The founding fathers, being profoundly secular (sometimes bordering to be non-religious), had to deal with the task to bring about what they had insisted upon prematurely: to make Pakistan into a “Nation”, to integrate the several ethnic groups into an national community – without over-using the only bond they had in common: religion. The task was made more complicated because most of the founding fathers were migrants or even refugees to what was to become Pakistan. The creation of the Pakistani “Nation” did not develop from “below”, from the societal roots or nationalist movements, but from top-down: first the State was created, hoping to develop its own social base. Nation-Building was to generate the Nation that the Nation-State desired.
    Despite Jinnah’s reluctance, the post-independence leadership of Pakistan deliberately projected the ideological dimension due to the lack of an alternative theme or philosophy.
    We remained confused, and still are, as to be a ‘Nation State’ or ‘Religion State’? While there can be no doubt that the Country is called the Islamic Republic, it is equally evident that religion as a glue failed to hold the Country together in 1971. Mere reliance on Islam to bind the federation together led us to the disaster of 1971. Bengalis remained a deprived segment and ultimately opted out of Pakistan. Sadly, our rulers failed to draw the right lessons from the break-up of Pakistan. Barring short intervals of democratic rule, and that too crippled by design, this nation has had to endure decade long nights of political strangulation and religious obscurantism.

  • Six months after Jinnah’s death, his trusted lieutenant and prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, introduced into the assembly the Objectives Resolution, now sanctified by the Constitution. It shattered Jinnah’s vision and firmly put the minorities, the non-Muslims, in what was deemed their rightful place and there, with very few exceptions, they have remained for 64 years. Any redemption is now beyond the pale.
    Every single non-Muslim member of the assembly opposed the Resolution and gave due warning of things to come. Sri Chandra Chattopadhyay, representing 25 per cent of the then East Pakistan population, was prophetic, but no one was listening:
    “ … What I hear in this Resolution is not the voice of the great creator of Pakistan, the Quaid-e-Azam (may his soul rest in peace), nor even that of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the Honourable Mr Liaquat Ali Khan but of the ulemas of the land.
    “This Resolution, in its present form, epitomises that spirit of reaction. That spirit will not remain confined to the precincts of this House. It will send its waves to the countryside as well. I have been passing sleepless nights pondering what shall I now tell my people whom I have so long been advising to stick to the land of their birth?
    “And on the top of this all, by this Resolution you condemn them to a perpetual state of inferiority. A thick curtain is drawn against all rays of hope, all prospects of an honourable life. After this what advice shall I tender? What heart can I have to persuade the people to maintain a stout heart?
    But I feel it is useless bewailing before you, it is useless reasoning with you. You show yourselves incapable of humility that either victory or religion ought to generate. You then go your way, I have best wishes for you.”
    The ‘sewerage workers’ and their co-religionists are not alone in their predicament. Whether close to a hundred were murdered in Peshawar last month because they were Christians is not known. The murderers murder at will, with impunity, fellow Muslims are murdered indiscriminately, as the numbers tell us. Carnage is the militants’ trade. Perhaps, they were merely on a killing spree and the church was an easy target. Unacceptable about that particular incident was the attitude of and certain remarks made by representatives of the state, which serve to embolden the militants and further foster the prevailing culture of violence and intolerance.
    Published in The Express Tribune, October 5th, 2013.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/613530/singling-out-the-minorities/