By Lt Col S. Riaz Jafri (Retd) 7th PMA
Editor’s Note: Lt Col S. Riaz Jafri (Retd) was commissioned in a Signals Regt in Feb 1953. After the retirement, he has settled in Rawalpindi. Currently, he is the Vice Chairman of Pakistan Thinkers Forum.
George Orwell, a great philosopher warned the mankind in no uncertain words that, “The most effective way to destroy a people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” Unfortunately, our pseudo intellectuals and the so-called historians seem to follow this maxim, though admittedly unwittingly, and feed us some bizarre stories of their liking and inventions. It all started with the process of the Islamization of Pakistan and anything even remotely Islamic whether warranted or not had to be incorporated in and associated with our nascent history in the making. Anything of the pre-partioned subcontinent was Indian and alien to our history and culture, so much so that even the before-1947 songs of Noor Jehan, born, bred and buried in Pakistan, were considered Indian songs and considered a taboo by our patriotic Radio Pakistan to air them! At the same time our newly found religious frenzy made our ‘scholars’ lose sight of all pragmatism to introduce such bizarre stories in our schools’ text books that carried a most nonsensical recounting of our army soldiers throwing themselves before the Indian tanks at Chawinda in 1965 War with mines tied to their chests to embrace martyrdom (shahadat)? Stupid, firstly, their Commanding Officer would have been court-martialled for not ensuring the safety of the men under his command. And, secondly, if a soldier could get that close to the enemy tank to lay himself under its tracks then what stopped him from mounting the tank from the rear and lobbing a grenade in the hull that would have killed all its crew apart from exploding the tank’s main gun ammunition inside that would have destroyed the very tank itself ?!!
Whatever, I for one would like to stand up and be counted to unearth the facts of our history as truly as possible.
A few days ago I had written an article “11 August – OUR MAGNA CHARTA” establishing that our founding fathers had no intention of Pakistan becoming a religious state in the sense that our rightist are trying to make it one, as according to them religion was a personal matter that had nothing to do with the business of the state. Naturally, no daily, weekly or magazine dare publish it, except that it got a thundering response on the social media networks. I expect the same to happen to this article as well but that shall not deter an eye-witness me from speaking out the truth.
And the truth is that Pakistan was not LIBERATED but CREATED at midnight August 14/15, 1947. It was Bharat that was LIBERATED and got its independence. These are two distinct facets of our history and we should be able differentiate between them. Pakistan, mind you Sirs – Pakistan, was NEVER a slave country and/or ruled over by any foreign power. It was a born free country. We should, therefore, not commemorate its “independence” day but celebrate its ‘Birthday”. Actually, only the British – the Sovereigns – could legally and constitutionally ‘create’ Pakistan while they were still in power or else, once India became independent and a free country then it would have been up to its Constituent Assembly to legislate to carve out or not Pakistan from its main body. And who knows with the Hindu absolute majority in the assemblies and the Gandhi’s stance of, “Cut me into two before you cut India ! into two”, the Indian parliament would have agreed or not to the partitioning of India?!
Secondly, the birthday should be celebrated on the 15th August as it was done in the initial few years (four or five years) in the beginning. Please see the commemorative postal stamps of the birth anniversary of Pakistan of the time reproduced here to prove what I say. 15 August 1947 can clearly be read on these.
It was a later thought and some bright maulvi made it up to coincide with the 27th of Ramzan which had fallen on the 14th August 1947 instead of the 15th.
History must be read untarnished and as factual as possible. For, “Study the past if you would define the future”. Said Confucius long ago. Another great mind, Michael Crichton, reminded the mortals, “If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.”
My appeal to all especially the younger generation, read and read correct and unbiased history to know of your rich heritage which has an enormously important place in the realm of our human civilisation.
Editor’s Note: There was a confusion even during Quaid’s life time as to which date was Pakistan’s actual date of independence. It wasn’t until early 1949, that this confusion was cleared by declaring 14 August as Independence Day. Please see the official website of State Bank of Pakistan: http://www.sbp.org.pk/museum/
The version of State Bankof Pakistan is shown as under:-
Pakistan Army Blog (Retired Officers)
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