New Trend Magazine
(410-435-5000) (P.O. Box 356, Kingsville, MD 21087)
PAKISTAN in TRANSITION: From Subservience towards Struggle
by Kaukab Siddique, Ph.D
"A person who supports an oppressor and provides him succor when he
that he is an oppressor is definitely expelled from the fold of
(Prophet Muhammad, pbuh,
narrated by Aus ibn Shurajil, r.a., recorded in Mishkat)
"O Allah! Surely I honor the rights of two weakened sections of people,
orphan and the woman." (Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, Hadith narrated by
ibn ‘Umru, recorded in Nasai's Sunan.)
"I am opposed to nationalism as it is understood in Europe, not
it is allowed to develop in India, it is likely to bring less material
to Muslims. I am opposed to it because I see in it the germs of
materialism, which I look upon as the greatest danger to modern
Patriotism is a perfectly natural virtue and has a place in the moral
man. Yet that which really matters is a man's faith, his culture, his
historical tradition. These are the things which in my eyes are worth
for and dying for, and not the piece of earth with which the spirit of
happens to be temporarily associated." [Allama Iqbal, during his
president of the All-India Muslim Conference held at Lahore, March 21,
See Thoughts and Reflections of Iqbal, p.196-97)
"Pakistan is still not free. Previously it was Britain's colony. Now it
become America's colony." (Sajjad Ali Shah, former Chief Justice of
speaking at a seminar on human rights in Karachi, Reported in daily
Waqt of August 11, 2002)
Two forces are at work in Pakistan today: the westernized elites
the Islamic middle classes. The westernized elites are well entrenched
military, the bureaucracy, the police, the landed gentry and their
relatives and hangers on. The Islamic groups greatly outnumber the
rulers but the Islamic organizations, though numerous, are cut off from
other owing to sectarian, dogmatic and other reasons. They could sweep
the rulers but are usually busy in trying to put each other down; hence
they are ineffective.
THE MAJORITY of PAKISTANIS are neither westernized nor actively
These are the masses, conventionally religious but ridden with
and ignorance. From the westernizers, they learn the ways of European
corruption and some of them become savagely corrupted. From the
learn Islam but often the preachers who reach the masses are themselves
unclear about Islam.
The wealth of the nation is largely absorbed by a FAT MILITARY
ESTABLISHMENT which is yet to win a battle against India in the last 37
years. Whatever remains of the wealth is squandered by the bureaucracy,
police and landlords/industrialists. As a result, most Pakistanis lack
the basic requirements of life deemed essential in Islam. Here are some
about the appalling denial of the economic rights of the people by the
1. Out of an approximate population of 145,000,000 people, 51,000,000
live in the lowermost levels of extreme poverty.
2. 77,000,000 (57%) do not have clean drinking water.
3. 50% of the people live in ONE ROOM "homes."
4. 16,000,000 live in "kutchi abadis" (shacks and lean-to's) which lack
ALL facilities of civilized living and health, with general outbreaks of
5. There are only 864 government run hospitals for the total population
of 145 million
6. In rural areas there are a mere 542 health centers and 5147 basic
health units. (67% of the people live in the rural areas.)
7. The total number of doctors is a staggeringly low 93,576.
8. Of these, post graduate doctors are 13,176, dentists 4,380, midwives
21,304 and nurses 24,810.
9. Infant mortality at birth is 103 in every 1000.
10. About 42% of the population is younger than 15, 19% are 15-24 years
old, 35% are 25-64 years and 4% are 65 and above.
[Source: Research report issued by the labor wing of Pakistan Peoples'
Party, published in Nawai Waqt daily, Lahore, on July 7, 2002]
These facts obviously indicate the failure of Pakistan to fulfil the
aspirations of its people in any significant degree. The country has
exploited, looted and almost destroyed by its rulers. The rich live in
and obscene opulence. The poor simply want to survive. The military
establishment has sucked the life blood of Pakistan. The fat officers
towns built in American style, separated from the grinding misery of
the general population by well-built roads and security patrols.
What keeps this terribly mismanaged and exploited nation going? As
every politician knows, it is the basic faith, decency and innocence of
the people coming from their roots in Islam and their love for Muhammad
Mustafa (pbuh). Without that cement, Pakistan would disintegrate at great
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE?
Under the present conditions, nothing can be done other than humanitarian
projects and a few industrial and investment projects here and there.
THE ONLY WAY THE SITUATION CAN BE CHANGED IS THROUGH AN ISLAMIC REVOLUTION
which would break the power of the ruling elites. However, this too is
not possible at the present time owing to the disunity of religious
movements and the sectarianism which keeps them busy fighting each other.
A RAY OF HOPE:
In recent years new developments have taken place in Pakistan which, if
they continue for another few years, could transform the country. These
are the result of external factors, such as the oppression of the Kashmiri
India and the assault on
The new movements place
JIHAD as the primary factor in their program. They encourage social
reform, respect for and a steady rate of participation by women in the
Though LASHKARE TAIBA among the Ahle Hadith and Jaishe Muhammad among
Hanafis are the most prominent with considerable constituencies, there
are numerous smaller decentralized groups.
The peaceful political Islamic movements, JAMAATE ISLAMI and Jamiatul
Islam have also shown very considerable new dynamism and activism in
recent development. Both support Jihad in Kashmir and Afghanistan to a
or greater degree. Tarjumanul Qur'an, the Islamic journal founded by
Maudoodi, has been publishing very refreshing articles in support of
rights, often in the face of opposition from JI's conservative
SUGGESTIONS FOR the JIHAD/ISLAMIC MOVEMENTS:
1. Study the plans and strategies of the enemies of Islam in an
objective and scientific way.
2. Work for the UNITY of ALL MUSLIMS on a platform of anti-Brahmin,
anti-Zionist, anti-Imperialist front. In this matter of unity, ALL
INTERNAL DIFFERENCES SHOULD BE FORGOTTEN.
3. Create forums and communication links between mosques and Islamic
organizations to create tolerance of opposing schools of thought.
4. Medical facilities, preventive health projects should be part of all
5. SAFEGUARD THE RESPECT AND HONOR of MUSLIM WOMEN. Men should not be
permitted to oppress women. Teach Sura Noor to each Muslim so that
innocent women are never accused of sin on the basis of speculation and
6. Unite to overthrow the westernized power structure and to distribute
its wealth among the masses as ordained by the Qur'an.
7. BRING ABOUT UNITY OF SINCERE WESTERN EDUCATED MUSLIMS with
TRADITIONAL ULEMA. They should benefit from each other's learning.
8. Spend money to help people know and meet other Pakistanis in a
friendly atmosphere to help diminish provincialism and tribalism.
9. Work with strategic concepts: For instance, Afghanistan, Pakistan,
Kashmir should be one country loosely confederated with Bangladesh.
10. Pakistanis around the world should help Islamic movements so that
wealth of the Muslim world, in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait should be
to reduce poverty in Pakistan and to attract physicians and scientists
back from the Pakistani diaspora.
11. Put an end to internal racism and tribalism. Remember that Prophet
Muhammad's (pbuh) line of genealogy comes from an African woman,
r.a., through Ismail, pbuh. Strike blows at racism so that affinities
created with the Dalit people of India to break the power of Brahmin
12. The Pakistani armed forces should be put on permanent alert on the
frontier with India. If they cannot fight, cut their fat. Create the
awareness of the army's need to prove that it can fight. The army must
working to serve the enemies of Islam along the Afghan border. Why not
few units to Iraq which is about to be invaded? Let the generals show
they are not parasites. How long will Pakistanis continue to honor
fighting men who are yet to prove that they are not cowards?
2002-08-14 Wed 07:05ct