Pakistan: The flail of Allah – II
by Naseer Dashti on 18 Aug 2021 4 Comments

Pakistan: a purposely created state


In the changing political scenario where the Soviet Union emerged as the second superpower after Second World War; China and an independent India were eventually to be ruled by communists and nationalists, creating a client state to serve the interests of colonial power in South Asia and the Middle East with its newly found vast oil reserves was thought to be imperative. The Muslim League which was formed in 1906 was a political party composed of loyal Muslims, spies of the British administration in India, and personalities whose families had been on the payroll of East India Company for generations. Its leaders were ready to serve the purpose of safeguarding British interests. A pilot project of dividing Bengal in the early 20th century was implemented.


The open rebellion on the part of the Indian National Congress by initiating the ‘Quit India Movement’ of 1942 gave impetus to the British efforts of dividing India before withdrawing. However, the Muslim League party was not serving the purpose of gaining support from the public as its leaders were not trusted by the Muslim masses because of their open connections with the colonial administration. Despite sending their trusted person Muhammad Ali Jinnah from England to take over the Party to give it a new lease of life, in elections held in 1937, the League failed to secure a majority vote in any of the Muslim majority provinces of India.


But the British authorities decided to impose the partition and to do it fast. After World War II, the British hurriedly put into action their well-chalked-out plan of dividing India and then quitting. The British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1940, in Cairo, discussed the unfolding events regarding India with the pro-British Indian politician Sir Skandar Hayat. Sir Skandar Hayat after returning to India told his colleagues that he had discussed India’s constitutional problem with the British Prime Minister and had tried to make two points clear to him:


“. …I tried to impress upon him the fact that only the martial races of Punjab had contributed to the British War effort with loyalty and it would be a travesty of justice if they were made subservient to the Congress and the Brahmins who would be in majority at the center in a free India…. A loyal Punjab deserved to be the leader of a separate dominion, which should include Sindh, the NWFP, and Baluchistan. This could be easily achieved provided the British statesmen were convinced of its advantages. Such a federation would be loyal to the British under all circumstances. The defense of the new dominion and the rest of India should for some time, be joined under British supervision. Later, a mutually agreed formula could be evolved for the purpose. The new dominion would be economically self-sufficient”.


He told his colleagues that the British Prime Minister has assured that a country would be created for the loyalists of the British administration in India.


Sir Winston Churchill: One of the architects of Pakistan


During the meeting, Winston Churchill praised the loyalties of Indian Muslims towards the British Empire by saying that the Indian Muslims have shown their loyalty; their help in this critical moment has proved that they will be loyal after the independence of India. He declared that the British government, therefore, has decided to divide India and hand over a part of it to loyal Muslims. He emphasized that a government loyal to Britain in the Muslim part of divided India will in the future help in the creation of a group of countries friendly to the British. By leading the Muslim countries in the Middle East, the Muslim leaders in India who were loyal to the British are going to get the position of future leaders of Muslim states.


Meanwhile, Mr. Muhammad Ali Jinnah was asked to increase the campaign for the division of India. In this regard, a resolution to be passed during the 1940 Lahore convention of the Muslim League was drafted by officials of the India Office in London. Lord Zetland, the then secretary of state for India discussed fully and endorsed the resolution when Muslim League leader Choudhry Khaliquzaman met him in London to deliberate on the Lahore meeting of the Muslim League.  The resolution was passed demanding the partition of India and the creation of a state for Muslims.


Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, in an unsigned memorandum, summarized the crux of the British view for the creation of Pakistan:

“The Indus Valley, western Punjab and Baluchistan[the northwest] are vital to any strategic plans for the defense of [the] all-important Muslim belt…the oil supplies of the Middle East. If one looks upon this area as a strategic wall (against Soviet expansionism) the five most important bricks in the wall are Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.


“Only through the open ocean port of Karachi could the opponents of the Soviet Union take immediate and effective countermeasures. The sea approaches to all other countries will entail navigation in enclosed waters directly menaced by Russian air fleets…not only of the sea lanes of approach but also the ports of disembarkation.


“If the British Commonwealth and the United States of America are to be in a position to defend their vital interests in the Middle East, then the best and most stable area from which to conduct this defense is from Pakistani territory. Pakistan is the keystone of the strategic arch of the wide and vulnerable waters of the Indian ocean.”


With the speedy passage through the British Parliament of the Indian Independence Act 1947, two provinces of Punjab and Bengal were divided and with the merger of Sindh and North-Western Frontier Province, the state of Pakistan was created out of India on 14 August 1947. In a controversial referendum, British Balochistan was also merged with Pakistan. British Balochistan consisted of leased areas of the Baloch state of Kalat and some regions of southern Afghanistan which were ceded to British India with the drawing of the Durand line during the last decades of the 19thcentury.


Pakistan: the Allah given country


‘Divide and rule’ had been employed by imperial powers throughout history. India was divided and Pakistan was created to safeguard the multi-faceted strategic interests of the British Empire who at that time was also the guardian of Western Imperial interests in the region. However, Pakistan is the only country in the contemporary world whose creation has been sanctioned, according to Pakistani state narratives, by a divine entity. The only other example of a divine sanction of granting land, according to the Old Testament, was the promise of the land of present-day Israel by god Jehovah to Jewish Patriarch Abraham in ancient times.


In the school curriculum, Pakistan is being mentioned as an ‘Allah given’ country for the believers of the Islamic faith in India. However, for the people who were engaged in a protracted struggle against the colonial power, it was a British-created country; nevertheless, as put forward by a Sindhi nationalist, many unique and unnatural characteristics of Pakistan make a person seriously think about a supernatural origin of the country.


The genesis of Pakistan is a unique experience in the history of political science in the sense that it was the first country created on the assumption that the people of one religious faith cannot live with the people of another religious faith in one country. It was also unique in that to give an ideological base for the creation of the state, a new theory of nationhood was manufactured which was based on the perception that people of different cultural, historical, and linguistic backgrounds can form a nation only upon the basis of their religious faith denying all established social science definitions of a nation.


People who invaded, ruled, and settled in India since the 8th century was a medley of various Middle Eastern and Central Asian nations and tribal groupings who never constituted a nation. The Indian two-nation theory outrightly rejected the universally accepted definition of national identity based essentially on a common race, common language, common social values and traditions, a common history, and a territory.


There are many other unique features of this ‘Allah-given’ state. The speed at which the creation of Pakistan was finalized is unprecedented in the history of colonialism. In 1940, a resolution was passed at the meeting of a pro-colonialist party demanding the division of their country on religious grounds, and within six years, they achieved what they demanded. It was also unique in the history of political science, that a country was created without any movement on behalf of the general population and without even a nosebleed in the struggle to liberate a people from a powerful colonial power.


It was unique that the entire national leadership of this newly independent state was exported from elsewhere, its ideology was created by the colonial power, its national language was not the language of any national entity of the country, and the population of regions which now comprised Pakistan was overwhelmingly against the creation of Pakistan. All this uniqueness forces someone to believe in divine intervention in the creation of Pakistan.


For the people of the regions, which now comprised Pakistan, the creation of a religious state came as a shock; however, the British decision of partitioning India and creating a religious state was the culmination of a long-standing and unrelenting policy of the colonial administration in India and policy planners in London for the Middle East and Central Asia. The occupation of India, the rivalry of Czarist Russia with Britain in Central Asia, the emergence of the Soviet Union on the horizon of world politics, and the discovery of oil reserves in the Middle East can be cited as causative factors in the creation of Pakistan.


Pakistan is a unique case of exploiting a people’s religious or mythological beliefs in the division of a country by powerful forces in the political history of the world. Although, the creation of Pakistan shows the brilliance of a colonial administration in successfully carving out a client or subservient state; nevertheless, it was a mortal blow on the aspirations of those people who struggled long for sovereignty and national integrity of their country. It was a blow that came from heaven and for which they were not prepared. For them, Pakistan appeared to be a real divine punishment. Pakistan, as it appeared later, was a flail of Allah to punish the people of this region for their committed or uncommitted sins.



Dr. Naseer Dashti is a writer on south-central Asian affairs. His books include; Tears of Sindhu: Sindhi National Struggle in the Historical Context (2018), The Baloch Conflict with Iran and Pakistan: aspects of a national liberation struggle (2017), The Baloch and Balochistan: a historical account from the beginning to the fall of the Baloch State (2012), The Voice of Reason (2008) and In a Baloch Perspective (2008). He has contributed numerous articles on current affairs related to South Central Asia in general and on Balochistan and Sindh in particular. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Balochistan Affairs.


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