My Urdu column published at Urdu Times, USA and Canada , can be read as a PDF file by clicking the following link;
Following is the English synopsis:
Knights of Darkness, Worshippers of Tyranny
Many readers may not remember the name of Suroor Bara Bankvi, a distinguished Urdu poet, but those who know Urdu poetry would find his lines that I translate , as heart rendering. He said that, “Knights of Darkness and Worshippers of Tyraany”, will always follow the horrible dark nights”. If you read these lines in the perspective of God gifted land of Pakistan, you may understand the reasons of why Pakistan has become an abode of pain and misery. You may also recognize the princess of darkness who have been behind it. You will also then understand the lines of another Pakistani poet, who wrote that “Night rules the courtyards of my homeland”.
If you contemplate on the history of Pakistan, you will find that since its inception it has been overtly and covertly ruled by the Knights of Darkness. You will finds that these are the people who have raided your lives and fortunes in the darkness of nights. There have also been those who have resisted this tyranny and oppression.
We must remember that in whichever country the tyrannous horde raid its people, there will always be those who courageously oppose oppression. And these resisters will be declared as traitors and forever maligned. In Pakistan such resisters include, Jalib, Hasan Nasir, Fehmida Riaz, Ghaffar Khan, Baloch activists, oppressed Pakistanis, activists of human rights, intellectuals, and writers. These are the ones who expose tyranny and snatch the veils from the faces of the tyrants. After reading these lined many will also call me, who is only a student of affairs, a traitor. Such is the practice of worshippers of darkness.
No one can deny that the land of Pakistan has remained oppressed and backward since its creation. During various decades it has been ruled by those who thrive on public hangings and flogging of activists on the streets. It is but natural to call these oppressors as heartless tyrants.
You may also add to the above the scenes of young and old men being paraded in the streets with their eyes blindfolded by their own shirts, by heavily armed security personnel, and their pictures and videos are shown on media. You can also add to these thousands who are illegally abducted. If ever a court makes any hue and cry on this, then their tortured corpses are thrown on the street. These include, Bloch, Sindhi activist, and also those who declare Urdu as their mother tongue. One can also add to this many a journalists who are killed with impunity for their reporting, and whose own media houses do not even wink an eye on their murders. Those who practice such barbarity can only be called despotic satraps.
We must remember that those despots who have directly and illegally ruled over Pakistan, include Iskanadar Mirza, Ayub Khan, Yaha Khan , Zia ul Haq, and Pervez Musharraf. All were generals of Pakistan’s security establishment. Since they raided the kismet of the nation under the cover of nights, they are the Knights of Darkness that one must remember.
One must also always recognize their facilitators and hanger-ons. These are the bureaucrats of the government.
We must also remember that these two usurpers have always bad mouthed the civilian politicians, declaring them as corrupt and incompetent and responsible for Pakistan’s wretched backwardness. These tyrants have engrained this mantra on the minds of people. This has been going on since the very first days of Pakistan. They sugar coat this accusation with such sweet poison that people will not believe any other narrative.
We must review the period during 1947 to 1956, and try to dig out the now nearly forgotten name of Malik Ghulam Mohammed, a bureaucrat who became the 3rd governor general of Pakistan. He is the classical example of Peter’s Principle under which one rises to the highest levels of incompetence. He messed up the Kashmir issue, and imposed the first Martial Law during anti-Ahmadi riots. He is the forefather of all the bureaucrats of Pakistan who work with the security establishment to rule the people. We should also not forget the name of Justice Munir, who first used the Doctrine of Necessity that continues to guide the judges of Pakistan who came after him, and have protected nearly all military revolutions that destroyed the constitutionalism in Pakistan.
People may not even realize that Ayub Khan was appointed as the first military commander of East Bengal or East Pakistan. The same East Pakistan where Pakistani army surrendered during the tenure of Yaha Khan who was the successor of Ayub Khan as Pakistan’s Commander in Chief.
We should also note that Ayub Khan became the head of Pakistan army in 1951, and forced himself as the President of Pakistan in 1958
To comprehend the symbiotic relations of Pakistan’s bureaucracy and its defence establishment, one must review the times of Iskandar Mirza, a major general of army, who became a secretary of defence, minister of interior, governor general ,and then the president of Pakistan. It was he who promulgated the first constitution in 1956, and then declared Martial Law. Once you understood this, you can deduce as to how Pakistan’s military and bureaucracy manipulated the political system.
Those who parrot the corruption of politicians in Pakistan since its inception should ask as to what kind of corruption prevailed there during 1946 and 1958. They should also inquire as to what kind of corruption Fatima Jinnah practiced that made Ayub Khan contest her in his own engineered elections. Those who call the Muhajirs (people whose mother tongue is Urdu) as criminals, should never forget the victory parade in Karachi led by Ayub Khan’s son Gohar Ayub. That was the beginning of ethnic strife that has ever tormented urban Sind.
In order to understand the misery and troubles in Pakistan, we must refresh our memories about secession of Bangla Desh, Pakistan’s participation in Afghan Jiahd, Zia ul Haq’s Islamization policies, purposely entrenched inequities, and economic demise. We must remember that Pakistan’s is ruled by a dual system of governance, one by the defence establishment and the other by its bureaucracy.
Defence expenditure is a major burden of our economy, it may be and must be debated. But we must also note that a significant portion of defence spending is allotted to the civilian budget. A recent report revealed that several billions rupees on account of military pensions was drawn from civil accounts. If the people lose their resources in this manner, should it be the politicians who must hang?
We hear a lot about the corruption of Zardari and Sharifs. Do we ever question as to who their facilitators are. Many a times, it is the bureaucrats who collude with them. How many such officers have been punished for it. Have we ever questioned as to how retired army officers are inducted in civil service, in diplomacy, and NGOs, and what kind of corruption do they undertake? Have we ever investigated as to which retired officer benefitted from Hub Power plant, or who benefitted from various defence purchases? Most recently two senior army officers were found guilty of massive embezzlement to the tune of multi billion rupees, why were they not jailed, and why their property was not confiscated?
In a country where ignorance and darkness prevails, we accuse that those whose mother tongue is Urdu exploited Pakistan’s resources for the first eleven years of its existence. What kind of injustices they committed that their generations are made to pay for it forever?
You have to find the answers for all of the above yourself. Knight of Darkness, and Worshippers of Tyranny will not help you. They will indulge into foul language, and will use the pedantic phrases that Imran Khan has spread around.
We have tried to point out the true tormentors of Pakistan, now it is up to you to pursue it.
We are content in the dream that Suroor Bara Bankvi saw, when he said, “I know the stretch of the dark night always ends in the morning” . Long Live Pakistan!