Dear Mr. Hitchens,
It was only some weeks back that I came to stumble upon an excerpt from an old piece of yours, which was basically an ‘analysis’ of yours [ and that too, quite a typical one considering it was related wholly to Pakistan] on the origin and meaning of the word Pakistan, by which you imply that all the reasons that make it a menace for the world today, have always stood as the cause and aim behind its very creation.
Although, knowing your eager inclination for sparing no opportunity to bash the country, I should’ve ignored the piece but your absolute insolence of going to the extent of reasoning Pakistan’s existence as some vile plot on the basis of your twisted perceptions, made it perfectly beckoning for me to straighten them out for you and those who read it.
‘The very name “Pakistan” inscribes the nature of the problem. It is not a real country or nation but an acronym devised in the 1930s by a Muslim propagandist for partition named Chaudhary Rahmat Ali. It stands for Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, and Indus-Sind. The stan suffix merely means “land.” In the Urdu language, the resulting acronym means “land of the pure.”
To start with, Pakistan was intended to be, is and will always be the name of a country and a nation.
The British Imperialist Government in India never regarded it as a homogenous nation.
Lord Morley wrote to Lord Minto ‘Not one whit more than you do I think it desirable or possible, or even conceivable, to adapt English political institutions to the nations that inhabit India.’
It may be significant to remind you of the dispatch from the Government of India that described the ‘Brightest Jewel in the British Crown’ as ‘essentially a congeries of widely separated classes, races and communities and divergences of interests and hereditary sediment.’ And this was back in 1892.
Pakistan was never intended to be an ‘acronym’ or an adjective for anything else. Now, it is up to you, whether you choose to accept reality or not as you clearly seem to deny it here.
The manner in which you have mentioned Chaudhri Rehmat Ali, as some kind of unlettere or ignorant who blindly instigated a dangerous ‘propaganda’ – is deplorably exasperating.
You have plainly reduced all figures of the Pakistan Movement as mere ‘propogandists’ but must it be reminded to you that propagandas do not result into separate countries?
Mr. Hitchens, Pakistan was an ideology, not a propaganda.
An ideology that was never inevitable but was made inevitable by a series of events.
Yes, Pakistan’s creation was largely based on religious demographics that played a great role in the history of the subcontinent. And that, I might as well like to think of as the cause behind your evident penchant for penning down your antagonism and bias towards it, wherever and whenever possible – taking into account that those religious demographics were directly tied to Islam which you opine : ‘The real axis of evil is Christianity, Judaism, and Islam”.
Moving on, you write ‘It can be easily seen that this very name expresses expansionist tendencies and also conceals discriminatory ones. Kashmir, for example, is part of India.
The Afghans are Muslim but not part of Pakistan.
Most of Punjab is also in India. Interestingly, too, there is no B in this cobbled-together name, despite the fact that the country originally included the eastern part of Bengal (now Bangladesh, after fighting a war of independence against genocidal Pakistani repression) and still includes Baluchistan, a restive and neglected province that has been fighting a low-level secessionist struggle for decades.
The P comes first only because Pakistan is essentially the property of the Punjabi military caste. As I once wrote, the country’s name “might as easily be rendered as ‘Akpistan’ or ‘Kapistan,’ depending on whether the battle to take over Afghanistan or Kashmir is to the fore.”
You Sir, need to enroll in a school as soon as possible and one that teaches the history of this country for your understanding of it is even poorer than that of a 10-year old Pakistani child.
To state that Kashmir is part of India is a shameful travesty of history, facts and an insult to the thousands of martyrs of this Asian Palestine so I reiterate, that you seriously contemplate over my suggestion above.
The word ‘Afghania’ was used for Pakistan’s province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa [Previously known as North West Frontier Province ] and not Afghanistan as you seem to have fatuously believed so.
Startling, you are quite correct on the two counts of Bangladesh and Balochistan.
Indeed, it is an undeniable truth that the birth of Bangladesh was made inevitable by the behavior and actions of the governments of those time and an accumulation of political, cultural, social and economic reasons along with the military operation that was unsuccessfully carried out there when it was East Pakistan. And about Balochistan, the very campaign of atrocities that was executed in East Pakistan in ’71 by the Army is being repeated there.
As I deem that you may have not studied this quote of Chaudhri Rehmat Ali, I post it here:
“Pakistan’ is both a Persian and an Urdu word. It is composed of letters taken from the names of all our South Asian homelands; that is, Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, Sindh and Balochistan. It means the land of the Pure. It symbolizes the religious beliefs and the ethnical stocks of our people; and it stands for all the territorial constituents of our original Fatherland. It has no other origin and no other meaning; and it does not admit of any other interpretation.”
Oh and just for your imperative enlightenment, the ‘TAN’ in Pakistan is taken from Balochis-TAN.
Pardon me Mr. Hitchens for all the neck-craning you must be doing from reading this letter, but now that I have written this far, I might just seize the opportunity and address you on your latest piece on Pakistan.
Although I should have known better of what your article must be comprising, bearing in mind it began with the praise of Salman Rushdie’s judgments and opinions on Pakistan yet I felt compelled to read it after all the ‘praise’ you had elicited from many Pakistanis for it.
For your comfort and my sanity, I will be skipping on refuting much of your inane comments in it.
One of the lines in ‘From Abbottabad to Worse’, that had me much in shock was :
‘Everybody knew that the Taliban was originally an instrument for Pakistani colonization of Afghanistan’
I wonder who this ‘everybody’ is. For all one remembers, wasn’t it Reagan who said “These gentlemen are the moral equivalents of America’s founding fathers.” after his meeting with the Taliban that took part in the Soviet War in Afghanistan.
Maybe, this ‘everybody’ should accept that these Taliban were the illegitimate child, a Frankenstein created by the West and thrusted to the Pakistani Hitler of that time, Zia-ul-Haq, for nurturing and breeding more to combat the Russians in the War.
It was at that point in history, that Pakistan was prepared as the hot-bed of terrorism and the USA’s part in it can certainly not be overlooked.
Surely, the USA is a prisoner of shame. The ‘betrayal’ that you speak of, by the puissant in Pakistan is more painful for the people of that land than any other nation and it is none other than America itself who is also responsible for this. By its incessant and brazen support and assistance to the military dictatorships in the country, which have spanned almost four decades in its 64-year old history and uprooted the plinth layed by Jinnah for the state through myriad actions intended to solely to consolidate their power and strengthen the military along with sowing all the seeds that have reaped today, from Ayub to Musharraf – the military establishment’s dead hand became unimaginably great in the affairs of the state, controlling the rudder of the ship even as civilian captains came and went.
This was, what gave them the audacity to play double games and ‘decieve’ its own allies. This was, what gave them the liberty to execute an idea as dirty as the ‘Strategic Depth’ doctrine.
Yet through all this ‘betrayal’, the games and the and reactions to it by the US, it was only the Pakistani masses who suffered from it. Either in the form of drone attacks, Raymond Daviss’ or global censuring.
Oh and Mr.Hitchens, I marvel at your ignorance! This land has much, much to be proud of.
At the end of this letter I lend you some honest advise that you leave the task of analysing the world’s problems, whining over them and instead listen over and over again to Pakistan’s Coke Studio, throw up the vitriol inside of you that you fill your pen with before writing to be finally relieved of the pain of knowing a wretched country like ours exists and troubles and distresses you so much – because the problem isn’t with Pakistan’s name, its with your hate-sricken mind, Mr. Hitchens.
~ With love from Pakistan.