'Idea of Pakistan Couldn't Take Off'
'Idea of Pakistan Couldn't Take Off'
RECENTLY a three-member MQM delegation led by former Pakistan federal minister Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui visited India apparently on the invitation of an NGO ĎSecurity and Political Risk Analysisí(SAPRA), headed by former Indian Army Chief and now Rajya Sabha MP General Shankar Roychowdhry. The delegation was well received in India and a host of symposia were arranged in the capital where the MQM leaders shed tears at the Ďplight of Mohajirs in Pakistan.í In an interview to A. B. Masoud for Islamic Voice, Dr. Siddiqui blamed a section of Indian media for distorting their statements. Excerpts:
ďThe Pakistan resolution sought autonomous states. But when Pakistan was created, states were replaced by feudal
A. B. Masoud: What was your mission here and what are your expectations from India?
Dr. Siddiqui: Our only aim to visit India was to attend a seminar organised by an NGO, SAPRA. See! Our problems in Pakistan have nothing to do with India. Neither, we expect anything from India, nor, have we ever made any appeal to Government of India.
Q: The way you were received here by official and non-official circles particularly the national media denies your claim.
A: We regret that our statements were distorted here by the media. I alongwith my colleagues Khalid Anwar and Tariq Muneer clarified in various symposia that we have made no appeal to Government of India regarding our problems. But, yes, our aim was to interact with Indian Muslims and let them know our plight. Because, we are their part and parcel. We felt to clear our image that Pakistanís official media has carved out of us. We attended a programme in Jamia Millia Islamia in this regard.
Q: Your leader Altaf Hussainís recent pronouncements on partition reflect his political frustration?
A: See, Altaf Bhaiís statement made on September 17 in a public meeting in London that partition was a mistake stemmed from many dynamics. Pakistanís foundations were laid on two-nation theory that Hindus and Muslims are two nations and cannot remain faithful to each other and Pakistan would be a country for all the Muslims.
But, Pakistani borders were sealed for Indian Muslims in 1951. Pakistan could neither remain a country for Muslims, nor could Pakistani nationalism take roots. Instead a particular nationality, dominated and oppressed others so much so that a major part of the country was dismembered. The 1971 events negate Pakistani ideology.
The significance of Altaf Hussainís statement is that he wanted to convey that Muslims got divided into three parts with the result of partition. So their political power got divided and so were their social interests.
Q: Do you mean that there is no raison díetre for Pakistan existence now?
A: When we say that partition was a great mistake, we donít raise fingers on Pakistan Ďs existence. Pakistan is a reality now and is our country. We want to see it strong and stable. Altaf Hussainís statement points out that the mistakes over the years have made Pakistan bankrupt socially and politically. We pray for Pakistanís stability and longevity.
For that we have to clear past mistakes so that they are not recurred. Pakistan can become stable and strong through democracy and education and not through oppressing smaller nationalities. All communities should get respect and equal rights.
Q: When you talk of sub-nationalities keeping in view your pessimism over current situation what solution you are offering?
A: We want justice for all the communities. Constitution should be re-drafted in the light of 1940 Lahore resolution. The resolution talked of autonomous states. But, when Pakistan became a reality, states were replaced by feudal estates. Democracy was never allowed to grow. Pakistan Army, bureaucracy and feudals, 90 per cent of whom were Punjabis treated others as colonies.
Q: In contrast to refugees who migrated to India and fully merged their identities here, you (Urdu speaking people) could not dissolve into Pakistani society.?
A: It is unfortunate, the idea of Pakistani nationhood could not take off from the very beginning. Our forefathers fought for Pakistan and we used to call ourselves Pakistanis. But, when we reached Pakistan, we were confronted by Sindhis, Balochis, Saraikis, Pathans and Punjabis and not Pakistanis. We felt identity crisis. People there called us with jocular names. So we decided to identify ourselves as Mohajirs, which also has religious and historic connotation. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad had cautioned our forefathers that you will not find any Pakistani in Pakistan.
Q: Is it not against Islamic spirit that you are dividing the community into sub-nationalities?
A: Sub-nationalities are realities. Even Holy Qurían has stated that we have divided you in tribes for identification. In Pakistan, Islam was used by rulers to subjugate and oppress to meet their ends. Pakistan was created in the name of Islam. But, where was it implanted?
Q: It is alleged that the MQM is terrorising its political opponents and even its name is circulating in the murders of Hakeem Mohammad Sayeed, eminent journalist Salahuddin and Maulana Mohammad Yusuf Ludhianvi.
A: Rulers always label their opponents as terrorists. Hakeem Sayeedís murder became a pretext for Pakistani rulers to murder democracy in Sindh.
It has now become clear that then ISI chief Ziauddin Bhat had ordered elimination of Hakim. As far as killing of Salahuddin is concerned Pakistanís leading social worker Abdul Sattar Eidhi had then fled from the country and blamed secret agencies hatching a conspiracy to kill him. The intelligence agencies try to put their sins in MQMís basket.
Hakim sabís daughter has even put the blame of her fatherís killing on her husband and the ISI.
Q: Why Altaf Hussein has taken refuge in London and is not facing trial in Pakistan like a political leader?
A: He is staying there on the request of the party. If he had not been in London, he would have been eliminated way back. His uncle and his nephew were brutally killed by the agencies.
Q:Pakistan observers say that because of Altaf Hussainís dictatorial attitude MQM was divided into Afaq group or MQM (Haqiqi)
A: Repeated elections have proved that we have not lost even one percent of votes. We have expelled criminal elements in the party who were being patronised by the agencies.
Q: Are you envious of condition of Indian Muslims?
A: We donít consider condition of Indian Muslims as envious. I feel, Muslims here need unity and should strive for their betterment and education. Indian government should also pay due attention to their problems.