He posted five comments (one was not enough), which are must-read. “I went a little overboard,” he admits. “But we need to have some of these discussions frankly, if we are going to heal the wounds of the ‘batwara’ and move ahead as an Ummah.” Given below are his comments compiled into a single text.
“You really want a list? Here's a start:
- When Muslim countries – and the wider international community – have needed soldiers and manpower, Pakistan has stepped up; just a few: Jordan (Black September might have been evil, but it was done as a favor), Somalia (the first 24 UN casualties there were not US, but Pakistani – and they did a real peacekeeping job), you name it.
- Several new countries – Muslims and non-Muslim – from the Gulf to Zimbabwe have had their armed forces organized and trained by Pakistanis till politicsand racism kicked in.
- Pakistani economic experts have helped everyone – including, for example South Korea (Mahboobul Haque).
- The Algerian delegation was literally smuggled onto the floor of the UN General Assembly to declare their independence. Especially in our earlier, less-problem-ridden days, Pakistan did a lot of things like this.
- Hosting and helping form and lead the OIC. Yes, it has taken it's lead from the Saudis and Gen. Zia was a part of that process, but leadership started with Bhutto (despite all his faults).
- From the Indian Muslim point of view, have you heard of the Liaquat-Nehru Pact?
- From the Indian point of view, a lot of the burdens Pakistan has carried – border dispute with Afghanistan, the unresolved issue of FATA, the fanaticism fanned by the Afghan resistance to the Russian Empire's expansion, unresolved political issues in Balochistan, just for example would – if Pakistan had not come into existence – be issues India would have to deal with.
“And what has Pakistan gotten in return from the rest of the Muslim World:
- Racism, and exploitation of our people for cheap labor?
- Use of our society for experimentation with fanatic projects?
- And ask an Indian Muslim: What have Indian Muslims given us? Condemnation? Spite? Condescension? Calling us illegitimate?
“Yes, we’re in a bad place right now, but are we getting any sympathy from other Muslims? Any help with dealing with the demons we’re wrestling? Take your reaction. You ask what we’ve given, and demand what we’re going to do about it. If you consider us part of a Muslim Ummah you are talking about, shouldn't your attitude be one of sympathy and trying to figure out how to help us in our difficult time?
“Funny thing is, Pakistanis always have a sympathetic attitude to the plight of Indian Muslims and try to think about how to help solve their problems and make life better for them. Ask yourself honestly: is that the attitude of Indian Muslims towards us? And I mean that individually, because I know some Indian Muslims are coming around.
“One last point: one of the demons we are wrestling with is that of religious fanaticism, and Indian Muslims often talk down to us on that issue – “Look what they’ve done to our beautiful religion…” Our societies – Pakistani and Indian Muslim – are not very different and my personal opinion is that you are just a generation behind us on that score but are in denial. The sooner you get off your high horse and deal with the issue, the better it will be for all of us.
Because funny thing is, Indian Muslims are one of the largest and, if you ask me, one of the most important communities in the world in this regard. You have it in you to help find a solution for this issue and make the world a better place for all of us: after all, it is Muslim India that gave us Iqbal and Azad and Jauhar – and, yes, Jinnah.”