Report By: Maj Kanwal Kiani

Pakistan is fighting the war against terror for more than a decade. The war saw many turns during this period but year 2014 will be remembered in history as the nation decided to give final and decisive blow to the terrorists in the shape of Operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan Agency (NWA). Though government gave peace and reconciliation a last chance in the start of 2014, yet, 20 major acts of terror conducted from January 29 to June 8, 2014, in which 195 Pakistanis embraced shahadat, brought everyone to the conclusion that the terrorist organizations were not sincere to the dialogue process.




Operation Zarb-e-Azb was initiated as a national effort to reinstate peace and order across the country. The operation was a step towards restoring the writ of government, destroying the sanctuaries of terrorists of all hue and colours, and shaping the environment for sustainable peace and development in the FATA and elsewhere in the country. In addition to the military aspects, the issue of Temporary Displaced Persons (TDPs) was very important, and indeed most sensitive. The mass of TDPs of NWA was marked as the second largest internal displacement during the recent years after Swat. It was a national responsibility warranting response from all individuals and institutions of the country.

The operation continues to date as planned with many success stories and will continue till the elimination of all terrorists from Pakistan. The safe return home of the TDPs to their native towns has also begun and will be executed in phases. However, their safe return is a function of national passion and merits the maximum amount of support extended to them by each of us.




Since June 15, 2014, when the operation commenced, it has been successfully progressing in flushing out the terrorists and clearing the no-go-areas. About 90% of areas including Mir Ali, Miran Shah, Shawa, Spinwam, Ghulam Khan, Boya, Degan, Dosalli, and Ghariom, to name a few, have been cleared and nexus between TTP and its affiliates is conked out. During the conduct of this particular operation, 316 soldiers have laid their lives whereas 2729 terrorits have been killed.

Usman Peerzada (Actor)

usman_peerzad.jpgOur armed forces have been at war since long. It’s not something small, whole nation along with army is fighting multiple enemies to safeguard frontiers of motherland. Pakistan Army has sent a clear message that how strong we are in defending our country by showing their valour in combat. I am so proud of our soldiers and all the sacrifices they have made while defending the country and nation.

Urwa Hocane (Film/TV Artist)

I would like to congratulate Pak Army and our entire nation on the success of Operation Zarb-e-Azb. Proud of Pak Army for taking this initiative of cleaning up terrorism from the core. As the citizen of this country and daughter of an army officer, I am really thankful to Pak Army for this unconditional security and safety I feel. I salute our soldiers for the sacrifices they render for us every day regardless of any appreciation or "anything" in return.

Shafaq Omer (Teacher Froebel's International School)

The operation has been a success all along. The brave soldiers of the soil are fighting with passion, loyalty and dedication to stem out the evil of terrorism for the better future of the young generation.The sacrifices made by Pakistan Army will be written in the pages of history with golden words.


Dr. Abid Suleri (Executive Director SDPI)

Now or never. I support Zarb-e-Azb for safety of our future generations and peaceful Pakistan.



Ashir Azeem (Actor/Producer)

Through Zarb-e-Azb, Pakistan Army has taken a bold, extremely necessary and long overdue step in the right direction to reclaim the rule of law in our own land and no longer to be held hostage by rouge armed groups.This step has raised the image of Pakistan Armed Forces both within and outside the country.Pakistanis stand firmly behind their army in this initiative to crush this subhuman enemy of Pakistan.Pakistan Zindabad!

Ali Moeen Nawazish (Student/Educationist)

This has been a watershed and landmark moment in the history of our country. The state finally acted against the menace which has plagued us for the last decade. It is important that the success of this operation continues and we form a narrative of patriotism as per our constitution. We must expand this brilliant effort to counter not only the militant but also the ideological elements. We must not let biases or exceptions shape this mission. This mission must continue as it is doing today. We need to bring back the days when our schools didn't need security guards and our children could play on the streets. Our future and our country's future depends on this.

Ghania Ahmed (Student Army Public School, Rawalpindi)

After the Peshawar attack, our school received a number of threats and we panicked. At times our school was closed and at times it was opened. We couldn't manage our syllabus. All of our major and minor problems were completely solved by Pak Army and its efforts in Zarb-e-Azab. I feel we are back in “good old days". Thank you Pak Army. Stay blessed. I and my school fellows will always be indebted to you.

Dr. Uzma Anjum (Faculty Member Quaid-i-Azam University)

This ongoing military operation is a commendable action by our army. It will help to develop peace not only in our country but will also have far reaching implications on the socio-economic development of the whole region.

Dr. Nadeem Omar Tarar (Director National College of Arts Rawalpindi Campus)

Operation Zarb-e-Azb signifies a profound change in the hearts and minds of Pakistani citizens. It stands for safeguarding the vision of Pakistan's founding father, for a free and fair society. Zarb-e-Azb is grounded in a moral consensus that knowledge sharing and dialogue are the key components of peaceful coexistence of diverse ideologies. The successful conclusion of the military operation, In-shah-Allah, will lead to strengthening of the social fabric of Pakistani society, nurturing peace and tolerance. We must reiterate our commitments not to harbour terrorism in our homes, educational institutions, and work places.


• 14000 youth from FATA will be recruited in Pakistan Army in next 5 years.

• 1500 students from FATA will be accommodated in Army Public Schools across the country.

• Students from FATA will be granted admissions on quota basis in the Military Colleges.

• Technical skills to the people of FATA will be imparted at technical training institutes in all major cantonments.

• Arrangements being worked out for large scale overseas employment of youth from FATA.


Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif while commenting about the operation said, “I feel that until and unless this country is cleansed from terrorism, this war and effort will not stop, no-one should be doubtful of this."

Gen Raheel Sharif, COAS, during his address to the passing out parade at Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul on October 18, 2014, said, " Zarb-e-Azb is not merely an operation, it is a concept, it is a resolve and a commitment of the nation. The commitment is to cleanse Pakistan of the scourge of terrorism once and for all. Pakistan Army is the cutting-edge of this resolve. A resolve that is currently evident in North Waziristan, where the military operations are delivering decisive results. Pakistan’s Law Enforcement Agencies aided by intelligence agencies are also playing a commendable role in hunting down terrorists and their networks across the country."




Several media personnel, political leaders/ representatives and ambassadors of friendly countries visited the areas and have lauded the efforts and resolve of Pakistani Armed Forces in their fight against terrorism and paid rich tribute to the martyrs. To ensure safe return of around 7.5 lac TDPs to their homes, Pakistan Army has chalked out an elaborate programme to settle these people in their homes. Hundreds of projects including health, education, markets and hospitals have been planned for these TDPs. In addition to this, a comprehensive youth package was announced by COAS during his visit to the area. Protected and dignified repatriation of TDPs to their homes under safe environment has already been started on March 31, 2015 and will be completed by Nov 2016.

Zarb-e-Azb is our national resolve and people of Pakistan never accepted the ideology of TTP and their associates. The operation will continue till elimination of terrorism from Pakistan.




Written By: Dr. Rasul Bakhsh Rais

Given the hard cash India has at its disposal and the Indian religious, nationalist right defining the Indian regional ambitions, Delhi has become a favourite defence customer in many capitals for advanced weaponry in every department of the armed forces. What options Pakistan has to balance the Indian military power?

In an anarchic world, power is the major currency for a state to prevent war by deterring the designs of an aggressive adversary. This is as old a principle as the emergence of the nation state, first in Europe and then in every part of the world after the demise of colonialism. How relevant is this old principle in the world that is fast integrating economically and generating webs of interdependencies? What is the balance of power today between Pakistan and India and why the power structure and the underlying issues that define it, are different from other regions? What are the options for Pakistan for dealing with the issues of power asymmetry? These are the questions that I attempt to address.

First, the idea of balancing power with power has not lost relevance to the modern world. It will remain valid and the primary principle of national security as long as the world system continues to be dominated by the sovereign states that often unilaterally define national objectives and select the means to achieve them. However, the power structure at the global level has changed several times with rise, fall and emergence of new powers and new centers of power. How many great powers and what the relationship between them from one end of hostility to the other end of amity, and their global policies and choice of allies, friends and strategic partners had left a deep mark on the policies of many regional players. Second, the issues that dominate the global politics have kept changing and will keep changing, leaving good impact on the choices that many nations make. For instance, we see great change from ideological issues dominating the cold war era to economic cooperation issues and new threats – terrorism, subnational conflicts and interventions by proxies. Finally, the relative value of the elements of national power has also changed. These changes have taken place within the structural context of the world system that continues to be shaped by power dynamics. The change is only the objectives, means, template of major players and issues that define our age.

While India allocated U.S. dollars 46 billion for its defence, Pakistan could not squeeze out more than 6 billion. In recent years, just increase in Indian defence spending in a single year has been more than total defence budget of Pakistan.

The positive changes that have taken place in other regions – Europe and East Asia – have yet to take place in South Asia. Contrary to economic integration and cooperation these regions which have entirely transformed old-fashioned nationalism and historical rivalries, the troubled legacies of the partition of the British Indian Empire, suspicion, distrust and latent hostility – a kind of cold war – remains the defining feature of power relations in South Asia. Another difference is more obvious and important. While the great powers of yesterdays have trimmed their ambitions regarding dominating the neighbours and have given up geopolitical designs on others, India that occupies the central position in the South Asian geopolitical order, lives by those ambitions. That makes the geopolitical system of the region increasingly shaped by fears, insecurity and nuclear arms race between Pakistan and India. The history of relationship – wars, intervention and destabilizing strategy – have never assured Pakistan of India’s intentions, often conveyed through peace rhetorics.

No amount of good intentions, no matter how best they are articulated and by whom, can assure any pragmatic leader and those possessed with the responsibility of national defence. It is old wisdom to say, intentions can change overnight, as we have seen they have throughout the history. States don’t take such risks of believing in words. Rather they look at the military power of the other – if and when the relationship happens to be adversarial – and think of their own appropriate responses. Never has Pakistan’s national security planners been oblivious to this fact. Balancing India that is manifold stronger than Pakistan, has not been either an easy choice or without tremendous difficulties or costs. In doing so, Pakistan has pursued several strategies beginning with the defence alliances with the Western world, notably with the United States to development of nuclear weapons.

In asymmetrical equations like with one between Pakistan and India or between Israel and the vast Arab lands, nuclear self-sufficiency and reliance on more advanced technological means provide some of the answers to the security dilemma. Since the East Pakistan tragedy in 1971, Pakistan pursued the nuclear option as the best guarantee to its national security. The idea is not to wage wars but to deter probable Indian aggression, somewhat compensate for the conventional gap and psychologically reassure the population of peace and security against the more powerful neighbour. Pakistan’s approach has been eclectic towards national security against the Indian threat, as the country has continuously rethought and recalibrated its responses to India’s growing military might – both conventional as well as nuclear. But that has not been without serious challenges, deficiencies and some serious questions about sustainability. This brings us to the major issue of imbalance in material resources, economies, numbers and the weapons systems at both ends. The question that has occupied the defence planners in Pakistan is how to counterbalance the Indian threat, and which means in a given situation will appropriate to do so. This also prompts some of the national and foreign defence analysts to raise the question of Pakistan’s capacity to sustain its strategy of countering the Indian threat. The gap in defence outlays, size of the economies, rate of growth and other elements of national endowment are quite obvious, and quite distressing for Pakistan. While India allocated U.S. dollars 46 billion for its defence, Pakistan could not squeeze out more than 6 billion. In recent years, just increase in Indian defence spending in a single year has been more than total defence budget of Pakistan. Second, Indian economy in recent decades has increased at much higher rate than that of Pakistan and continues to do better. Finally, the volume of the Indian economy is at least six times greater than that of Pakistan. Given the hard cash India has at its disposal and the Indian religious, nationalist right defining the Indian regional ambitions, Delhi has become a favourite defence customer in many capitals for advanced weaponry in every department of the armed forces. What options Pakistan has to balance the Indian military power? While maintaining a robust, full-spectrum nuclear deterrence, Pakistan must pursue a flexible response strategy. What would that mean in the sub-continental balance of power? An equally robust conventional, war-fighting capability is necessary to control the escalatory ladder in a hot-conflict situation. The choice of technologies, defence hardware, and forces structure are very important consideration for getting more out of less defence budget. The integration of tactical nuclear weapons doesn’t give me a comfortable feeling for obvious reasons of these being destabilizing and surely inviting similar use of weapons from India. There will always be a question of uncertainty of outcome – a stalemate, escalation, and mutually assured destruction? The real alternative is in conventional defence, if the nuclear deterrence fails to prevent a major war.

A broader national security framework needs to be formulated with essential components of national integration, political stability, amenable civil-military relations and a national framework for economic growth. Economic modernization through Chinese investments and successes in defeating extremism and ethnic militancy will create the right conditions for a solid base for national security.

Second, Pakistan is facing internal national security threats that India appears to have aided – some, at least in Balochistan and FATA, if not all. For national security and prosperity, Pakistan will have to defeat the internal enemy – the radical Islamists, sectarian and ethnic terrorists. National solidary, peace and stability will create the right conditions for the economy to grow. General Raheel Sharif is right in emphasizing that only “secure Pakistan can be a prosperous Pakistan”.

Third, Pakistan has rightly changed the course of policy toward Afghanistan, and Iran as well in the last couple of years. By not aligning with any power in the Middle East conflicts and by reassuring Afghanistan that “enemies of Afghanistan cannot be friends of Pakistan”, we have made a paradigm shift in our regional policy. Best of relationship with these two neighbours, often problematic, must provide the fresh security underlay for Pakistan. That will surely deny India opportunity to create and use bases from these countries to ignite troubles inside the country. Finally, a broader national security framework needs to be formulated with essential components of national integration, political stability, amenable civil-military relations and a national framework for economic growth. Economic modernization through Chinese investments and successes in defeating extremism and ethnic militancy will create the right conditions for a solid base for national security.

The writer is an eminent defence/political analyst who regularly contributes for print and electronic media. Presently he is on the faculty of LUMS. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Written By: Dr. Farrukh Saleem

National power is the “sum of all resources available to a nation in the pursuit of national objectives.” There are three natural determinants – population, geography and natural resources – and five social determinants – military, economic, political, psychological and informational – of national power. To be certain, one element alone cannot determine national power – it is the sum of all eight.

Having said that, “the ultimate yardstick of national power is military power.” Countries around the world allocate national resources to their military organizations for these organizations to evolve specific war-fighting capabilities enabling their “leaders to impose their will on enemies, existing and potential.”

There is no single measure of military power. Governments provide ‘resources’ to their military establishments and the establishments are then required to convert those ‘resources’ into “effective military power”.

National resources fall in four broad categories: financial, human, physical and technological. As far as human resources are concerned, the two factors that really count are the “size and quality of military manpower”.



Yes, sheer numbers are important but in this day and age what is even more important are three qualitative measures: the “educational levels of the officer corps”; the “educational levels of the enlisted ranks”; and the “levels of technical proficiency demanded of the recruiting base”. Under physical resources, it is the overall military infrastructure that includes: military facilities that “house military personnel and their equipment; bases and installation; number and quality of test ranges; medical facilities; level of protection provided to military assets; command, control and communication; munitions; petroleum, oil and lubricants; and the defence industrial base.” Next; ‘war-fighting inventory and support’. Yes, the number of infantry weapons is important and so is the number of explosives, rockets, missile systems, utility vehicles, air defence and engineering support.

Yes, the number and quality of naval ships is important and so is the number of submarines, electronic warfare, weapon systems, frigates, destroyers, corvettes, naval satellites and the number of exercises.

In 1988, India’s defence budget stood at $16.7 billion (in constant 2010). By 2011, India’s defence allocation had shot up to $44.2 billion (in constant 2010). In 1988, Pakistan’s defence budget stood at $3.6 billion (in constant 2010). By 2011, Pakistan’s defence allocation had gone up to $5.6 billion (in constant 2010).

As per records kept by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), “India remains the biggest buyer of arms in the world… Indian imports of major weapons rose by 111 percent in the last five years”.

Why is India accumulating tanks, for instance? Here’s India’s land boundaries: Bangladesh 4,053km, Bhutan 605km, Burma 1,463km, China 3,380km, Nepal 1,690km, Pakistan 2,912km. After all, tanks cannot run over the Himalayas.

According to a report by Stratfor, the Texas-based private intelligence agency, “China has been seen as a threat to India, and simplistic models show them to be potential rivals. In fact, however, China and India might as well be on different planets. Their entire frontier runs through the highest elevations of the Himalayas. It would be impossible for a substantial army to fight its way through the few passes that exist, and it would be utterly impossible for either country to sustain an army there in the long term. The two countries are irrevocably walled off from each other. Ideally, New Delhi wants to see a Pakistan that is fragmented, or at least able to be controlled. Toward this end, it will work with any power that has a common interest and has no interest in invading India.”

As far as military spending is concerned, the balance has always tipped in favour of India but over the years Pakistan still managed to meek out marginal budgetary enhancements.

Over the years, Pakistan’s military establishment has tactfully and efficiently converted allocated resources into “effective military power”. Red Alert: Pakistan’s military spending as a percentage of GDP has been steadily declining.

Red Alert: Since 2003, there has been a definitive, relentless widening of disparity in military spending. “War does not determine who is right – only who is left” – Bertrand Russell

P.S. This analysis uses Rand Corporation’s “Measuring military capability” as a guide.

The writer is an analyst who regularly contributes for national and international print and electronic media. Twitter: @SaleemFarrukh

Written By: Prof. Sharif al Mujahid

And, for now, the major premise is that with partition and independence, the two nations, encapsulated in the two-nation theory, have attained statehood, transforming themselves into Indian and Pakistani nations. And with reference to their respective countries and nations, their prime identification in the post-partition period is Indians and Pakistanis, and not Hindus and Muslims. Thus, in the new geo-political context, the two nations are India and Pakistan.

The two-nation theory meant that under pax Brittanica during the first half of the twentieth century, the Indian subcontinent was home to two major nations – Hindus and Muslims. And given the numerical strength of the two nations in certain specific areas/regions, it also meant that India was merely a “geographical expression”, to borrow Metternich’s (1809-48) picturesque phrase about the Italian peninsula during the first half of the nineteenth century. Further, if only as a corollary, India was also home to two polities, not one. In its final, crystalline format, the two-nation theory was most eloquently propounded and most cogently argued by none other than Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah himself, and that in his seminal Lahore (1940) address. And that, for sure, was the basis on which the demand for Pakistan was put forward, on which it garnered massive support, on which it betimes and acquired unchallenged political clout.

In his Thoughts on Pakistan (1940), Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the most outstanding Scheduled Caste leader, had argued its validity from an academic and historical angle while in the Verdict on India (1944), Beverly Nichols, a British journalist and author, from a contemporary political ground realities perspective – to name only the two most notable authors of the 1940-47 period. Since then the theory has been taken for granted, with even some enlightened Indian authors (e.g., Panikkar, Bannerjee, Bimal Prasad, and Sachin Sen, among others) acknowledging the prime rationale of the theory. As the McGill and Harvard Professor, Wilfred Cantwell Smith, an extremely perceptive observer of developments in Indian Islam and the Muslim world, has pointed out in his insightful analysis in 1969, the Indian Muslims became a self-defined, formalized, systematized, structured, reified, boundary-bound, and crystallized “religious community”, as a result of “a broad socio-ideological transformation in the 16th and especially the 17th centuries”. And by about the middle of the eighteenth century, the “religious” community of the seventeenth century seems to have assumed the role of a pro-active political community as well. Although by no means a consequence of it, this assumption coincided with the earliest major Western encroachments in the coastal regions, as underscored by Plassey (1757) and the South Indian Carnatic and Mysore wars. Interestingly, Veer Damodar Savarkar (1883-1966), the foremost spokesman of Hindutva (Hindu supremacy) during the last phase of British Raj in India, traces the birth of a Hindu “political community” to the day when, as he perceives it, the erstwhile “subjugated” Hindus got even with their erstwhile Muslim “conquerors” – that is, to “the day that witnessed the forces of ‘Haribhaktas’ of Hindudom, enter Delhi in triumph and the Moslem throne and crown and standard lay hammered and rolling in dust at the feet of [General Sadashi] Bhau and Vishvas [the Maratha Peshwa’s eldest son] in 1761 [24 July 1760] . . . For, that day the Hindus won their freedom back, proved even their physical fitness to survive on equal and honourable terms in this world”, asserts Savarkar (in Hindu-Pad-Padshahi or A Review of the Hindu Empire of Maharashtra).

Muslims as a Political Community

Lord Bryce defines nationality “as an aggregate of men drawn together and linked together by certain sentiments”, chief among them being “Racial sentiment and Religious sentiment”, buttressed by “linking” sentiments such as “a common language, the possession of a common literature, the recollection of common achievements and sufferings in the past, the existence of common customs and habits of thought, common ideals and aspirations.” Sebastian de Garcia lists “religious and political beliefs” as the criteria for transforming “a group of people” into “a community”. Thus, by about the middle of the eighteenth century, the Muslims, characterized by a set of overarching religious and political values, had become a political community. But the evolution did not “stop there”, as Professor Smith contends; it culminates “in the 20th century”. And an integrative process over the centuries had seen to it that they got evolved, to quote Robert Jackson and Michael Stein (Issues in Comparative Politics), into “a population or a segment of population living within a geographic territory… that share a common set of symbols, historical experience, and, particularly, subjective feelings which bind its members to one another.” That is how a pan-Indian Muslim community consciousness came to be engendered, and the erstwhile political community progressively developed the will to live as a nation. And with their sentiments of nationality, having been charged with the perquisites and prerequisites of nationalism over long decades, they had flamed into nationalism.

The transformation of a political community into a nation is, however, never a one-go affair. As Ambedkar points out on the authority of Professors Toynbee and Barker, “it is possible for nations to exist . . . even for centuries, in unreflective silence, although there exists that spiritual essence of national life of which many of its members are not aware”. As Disraeli once said, a nation is a work of art and a work of time. Thus, by the late 1930s the Muslims had acquired (what Lord Bryce calls) “a sentiment of intellectual or moral unity”, and had developed a “consciousness of kind”, a collective ego, indeed a national consciousness of their own which, to quote F. K. Khan Durrani (The Meaning of Pakistan), forthwith sought “to assert its sovereign self... The birth of national consciousness and the desire to live an independent sovereign life are concomitant . . . . For a nation is a body ‘corporate’, . . ., it has a soul, a will, of its own, and this collective soul reacts almost in the same manner as the individual soul: it refuses to coalesce with any other.”

Significance of the Lahore Resolution (1940)

Yet, the year 1940 becomes a turning point, a monumental watershed – if only because the self-perceived nationhood and the self-developed will to live as a nation were first proclaimed in that year, and the political expression to that will was, moreover, given in the Lahore Resolution. To borrow Lord Acton’s words:

The demand for Pakistan was entwined with the two-nation theory. Without that theory, the Pakistan demand would have been bereft of any intellectual base and political clout, nor justified on those grounds.

"Thenceforward there was a nation demanding to be united in a State – a soul, as it were, wandering in search of a body in which to begin life again; and, for the first time, a cry was heard that the arrangement of States was unjust – that their limits were unnatural, and that a whole people was deprived of its right to constitute an independent community."

Fortunately for Muslims, nature had provided them with a territory which they could occupy and transform into a state as well as a cultural home for the newly proclaimed nation. Without such a territory, nationalism, to use Lord Acton’s phrase, would have been “a soul, as it were, wandering in search of a body in which to begin life over again and dies out finding none”.

All told, it were these two prerequisites – the will to live as a nation and a territory where they were demographically dominant, as laid down by Ernest Renan, that had provided the intellectual and political justification for the Muslim claim to a distinct nationalism of their own. In consequence, when, finally, they broke their unreflective silence and gave meticulous articulation to their demands, they spoke in terms of a separate Muslim nationhood. Hence Jinnah could claim in the 1940s that “by all cannons of international law, we are a nation”.

Civilizational Ethos

However, contrary to what is usually assumed, Jinnah’s two-nation theory was not based on religion, pure and simple, although it does figure as one of the critical attributes in his definition of separate Muslim nationhood. For instance, in his epochal March 22, 1940 Lahore address, he chose to spell it out in sociological and political terms, and argue it out on the cultural and civilizational dimensions:

"Islam and Hinduism . . . are not religions in the strict sense of the word, but are … different and distinct social orders; [that] the Hidnus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs, literature, to two different civilizations, [that they] derive their inspiration from different sources of history … [with] different epics, different heroes and different episodes. We wish our people [he declared], to develop to the fullest our spiritual, cultural, economic, social and political life in a way that we think best in consonance with our own ideals and according to the genius of our people." (italics added)

Likewise, in his letter to Gandhi ji on 16 September 1944, he stressed the civilizational aspect: "We are a nation with our own distinctive culture and civilization, language and literature, names and nomenclature, sense of values and proportion, legal laws and moral code, customs and calendar, history and tradition, aptitudes and ambitions; in short, we have our own distinctive outlook on life and of life. By all canons of international law, were are a nation."

A mere political community, placed as the Muslims were within India’s body politic, could not claim an equitable share in power, as a matter of right especially because the Westphalian Model (1648) of sovereignty of “nations” and “sanctity” of borders, still dominant in the international system (e.g., consider Eritrea being tagged on to Ethiopia in the postwar settlement of the former Italian colonies in Africa under the UN auspices), had not come to be eroded as it has since the demise of the Soviet Union in 1990 (e.g., in the case of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia). In contrast, a “nation”, if also dominant in a specified territory, as the Muslims were in northeastern and northwestern India, can. Thus, the nationhood claim gave the Muslim quest for an equitable share in power, a shot in the arm; it made the quest meaningful; it endowed it with a chance of success.

Islam as the Cultural Metaphor

The Pakistan demand was raised on the premise that Hindus and Muslims were two separate nations. More specifically, that Muslims were a self-contained nation in their own right in the sub-continental context, and were, therefore, entitled to the right of self-determination. Raised in ideological and political terms for the most part, the demand was argued at the macro level, with Islam as the cultural metaphor.

For Muslims in prepartition India, with their deep horizontal, vertical, regional and linguistic cleavages, Islam alone could serve as a broad political platform a la Karl Deutsch (Nationalism and Social Communication)’s typology. A comprehensive, all-inclusive framework, a broad-based platform, so that all the ninety million Muslims in the subcontinent could be gathered incrementally under the all-embracing Pakistan canopy. Moreover, a platform not only transcending effectively their intracommunal cleavages, but also enshrining a cluster of shared beliefs, ideals and concepts that had lain deeply ingrained in their social consciousness over time, that had become enmeshed with the subterranean vagaries of their ancestral heritage and ethos, and that, moreover, was charged and saturated with emotions. Hence the choice of Islam as the rallying cry.

Jinnah’s choice of this metaphor was also determined by the overriding fact that Islam, to quote Iqbal, had not only furnished the Indian Muslims with “those basic emotions and loyalties which gradually unify scattered individuals and groups”, but had also worked as “a people-building force”, transforming them progressively into “a well-defined people”. The unity of Indian Islam, so far as it had achieved unity, may first and foremost be attributed to (what Montgomery Watt calls) “a dynamic image, the image or idea of . . . the charismatic community”. This explains how, scattered though they were across the length and breadth of the subcontinent in varying proportions, they had yet developed the will to live as a nation, and this on the basis of their “social heritage”, to borrow a Toynbeean concept. This “national will” in turn provided the Indian Muslims with the intellectual justification and the political rationale for claiming a distinct nationalism (apart from the pseudo-Indian or Hindu nationalism) for themselves.

Thus, the demand for Pakistan was entwined with the two-nation theory. Without that theory, the Pakistan demand would have been bereft of any intellectual base and political clout, nor justified on those grounds.

Two Nation Theory after Partition – Morphed into Two Nation States Theory

Even so, the two-nation theory was a paradigm, a conceptual framework, and a political construct, although bristling with ideological overtones, relevant only to the pre-1947 subcontinental context, in which the Muslims were denied an equitable share in power. The rise to statehood of the pre-1947, Muslim nation, in August 1947 has changed the substratum in Renan’s nationality framework – that is, the field of battle and the field of work, which were provided by geography and the political developments over the previous six decades. And with this change, the geo-political context, in which the two-nation theory was propounded, in which it had become functional and had, moreover, held forth the promise of a Muslim homeland, had obviously been rendered a little irrelevant and obsolete. And this for the obvious reason that the Muslims had acquired a homeland of their own and had attained nationhood. Hence, given the shift in the substratum, the two-nation theory had also undergone a paradigmatic shift. Since August 14-15, 1947, therefore, it has been replaced by a new, post-partition, India-Pakistan paradigm, or the Two Nation States theory.

This basic change in the loyalties and emotional attachment of the erstwhile Indian Muslim nation was, first, recognized, and called attention to, by Jinnah himself, a statesman that he was, while most other top Indian leaders (including Gandhi ji) were calling on the Muslim minority in India to make the “loyalty” tests. On the eve of his departure from New Delhi on August 7, 1947, Jinnah gave the call for forgetting the (immediate) past, burying the hatchet, and starting “afresh as two independent sovereign States of Hindustan and Pakistan”. The same message was repeated in his 11 August 1947 address to the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. He also called upon both the Muslims in post-partition India and the Hindus in Pakistan to give unreserved loyalty to their respective dominions.

And, for now, the major premise is that with partition and independence, the two nations, encapsulated in the two-nation theory, have attained statehood, transforming themselves into Indian and Pakistani nations. And with reference to their respective countries and nations, their prime identification in the post-partition period is Indians and Pakistanis, and not Hindus and Muslims. Thus, in the new geo-political context, the two nations are Indian and Pakistan, and not Hindus and Muslim.

Thus, an integral nation, comprising one and all inhabiting Pakistani territories, without reference to race, religion, language and ethnicity, came into being on 14-15 August 1947. Pakistani nationhood, both as a concept or a ground reality, was never in dispute. Of course, because of certain obvious reasons, East Pakistani diversity gathered momentum since the early 1950s and developed into a crystallized sub-nationalism, with its litany of grievances and demands. Subsequently, the Karachi rioters sought to accommodate its major grievances during 1955-58, and Pakistan was well in its way to developing a viable federal polity.

The writer is HEC Distinguished National Professor, who has recently co-edited Unesco's History of Humanity, vol. VI, and The Jinnah Anthology (2010) and edited In Quest of Jinnah (2007), the only oral history on Pakistan's Founding Father.
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