Karl Marx once said: “History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce.” George Santayana also said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
As we see it, Islamabad is condemned to repeat history: farce in Pakistan, tragedy elsewhere. Sample this: in the midst of much sound-and-fury, on Monday, an angry Pakistani immigrant took Maleeha Lodi, Islamabad’s Permanent Representative to the UNO, to task in New York, shouting “Tum sab chor ho!” (You are all thieves!). This happened in full public view at a time when a hysterical Pakistan has become a laughing stock in the international community, including the Muslim world.
Srinagar-2019 reflects Islamabad’s Dhaka-1971 moment. Why not, if Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan also hails from the same Niazi tribe as Lt Gen AAK Niazi!
Remember, Imran Khan had, in April 2019, said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s return to power after the Lok Sabha elections would pave the way for “better talks” on Jammu and Kashmir. But, within 75 days of winning the polls, Modi has solved the entire 72-year-old issue without any talks whatsoever, or firing a single shot!
Naya Pakistan has surrendered before New Kashmir!
It is a remarkable coincidence. Imran Ahmed Khan shares his surname, Niazi, with the infamous Lt Gen Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi who had the dubious distinction of creating a world record: abject surrender of nearly 95,000 Pakistani soldiers to the victorious Indian Army in Dhaka after liberation of Bangladesh in 1971. In world history, this was the largest-ever surrender of a defeated army to a victor. In that historic event, Lt Gen Niazi, General Officer Commanding, Eastern Command, had surrendered his arms to his Indian Army counterpart, Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora.
During the Partition talks in the 1940s, the emerging Pakistan had demanded Srinagar as its paradise and Calcutta and Dhaka as its commercial ports. It never got Calcutta despite the Muslim League plotting massacre of thousands of innocent Hindus within 72 hours during the Jinnah-instigated “Direct Action Day” (August 16, 1946). The massacre came to be known as the Great Calcutta Killings and as The Week of the Long Knives.
After Calcutta (now Kolkata), Islamabad lost Dhaka on December 16, 1971. And it has lost Srinagar on August 6, 2019. Like December 16, August 6 will also go down in history as the second national day of mourning in Pakistan.
With these stupendous losses, Pakistan has also lost the very raison d’etre of its existence as a nation-state. It is now staring at liquidation and disappearance of the only nation ever created anywhere in the world on the basis of religion. Its new capital was named Islamabadto buttress the claim that it was, not Saudi Arabia, the capital of Islam! No wonder the Saudis despise Pakistanis as inferior Muslims: Saudi Prince Muhammed bin-Suleiman had, in 2017, said the Pakistani Muslims were, and will remain, slaves of Arabia!
Clearly, even the Saudis consider Pakistani (and Indian and Bangladeshi Muslims) as second class Muslims, al-Hindi Muskeen or Hindu-Muslims, as they had been converted from India’s majority people.
An orphan Pakistan’s tragedy and farce is, therefore, visible all over the world.
In the space of just one week, Pakistan, despite its high-voltage drama, threats, blackmail and war-mongering against India, faced a series of daily defeats and humiliation across the world wherever and whenever it unsuccessfully tried to raise the issue of bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir and scrapping of the Article 370.. The USA, UAE and some other countries promptly supported India or just issued pro-forma neutral statements urging peace and stability in the region. Only Turkey supported Islamabad, while Malaysia and others were ambivalent.
Pakistan had pinned great hopes on its “all-weather” partner, China, and Saudi Arabia. But nothing actually happened.
In the last couple of days, Pakistan lost three fondly-nurtured hopes: China virtually returned its Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi empty-ended; America’s President Donald Trump refused to mediate between the two countries; and Poland, which currently heads the UN Security Council, turned down any help to Islamabad.
Despite bravado, brouhaha and chest-beating, Pakistan’s frustration and sense of defeat peaked when Qureshi admitted as much, while telling journalists on Monday that “Nobody should live in a fools’ paradise that anyone would come to help Pakistan.”
And he also revealed the plain fact: no country is in a position to go against India which has a market of over one billion people!
Even Saudi Arabia, which threw coins worth $ 6 billion in a broke Islamabad’s begging bowl a few months ago, indirectly called the Pakistani bluff for a possible war against India when its oil major, Saudi Aramco, announced to buy a 20% stake in India’s largest company, Reliance Industries. The significance of this second largest FDI of $15 billion in India is that the Reliance refinery is located in Jamnagar (Gujarat) which was among the targets of Pakistani Navy during the Kargil War in 1999. Now with a Saudi company’s huge investment, Pakistan dare not even think of attacking Jamnagar! Earlier, when Russian oil giant Rosneft bought the Essar refinery for $13 billion in August 2017, also located in Jamnagar, the geopolitical realities of the western Indian coast had changed drastically.
Imran was born in Lahore in 1952 in a Pashtun (Pakhtoon) family, which is part of the Niazi tribe. The Pakhtoons are long demanding a separate Pakhtoonistan. They despise the Punjabi-dominated Islamabad Establishment and the Army, the way others like the Sindhis, Balochs and PoK’s Kashmiris do; that is why, when Pakistan was founded, Pakhtoon leader Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Frontier Gandhi) had bemoaned that India had thrown the hapless Pakhtoon Pathans before the wolves!
Imran’s material family was based in Jalandhar, India. Both he and Lt General Niazi hail from the Balokhel branch of the tribe and knew each other. When the Pakistani Army arrested Bangla leader Sheikh Mujib ur-Rehman, the latter was shifted to a jail in Mianwali, the native place of both Lt Gen Niazi and Imran Khan Niazi.
Pakistan has had no heroes after Jinnah. Due to this huge intellectual deficit and psychological backlog, it discovers “heroes” out of rank villains. For instance, Lt Gen Niazi is still a hero, known as “Tiger”; similarly, Imran Khan’s nickname is “Kaptaan”, as he, once upon a time, was captain of the Pakistani cricket team.
And all Pakistani Army officers, who never won any war, proudly wear bogus badges, stars and colours on their chests and shoulders for no rhyme or reason!
In a twist and turn of history, most Indian Muslims never wanted a Pakistan nor migrated there. Some among few who did, ironically, played important roles in dismemberment of the unwanted nation: Pakistan’s Founding Father Muhammed Ali Jinnah himself, born in a Gujarati family, wondered about longevity of the nation he created; “Field Marshal” Ayub Khan, a Pakhtoon, destroyed whatever little democracy his country had; Sindhi migrant from Gujarat, Shahnawaz Bhutto’s son Zulfikar Ali, indirectly contributed to the creation of Bangladesh; General Pervez Musharraf, whose forefathers had migrated from Delhi, exposed Pakistan’s fault-lines in the Kargil War, 1999…and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain, whose parents had migrated from Agra (Uttar Pradesh), has kept the pot boiling in Pakistan against Islamabad.
Clearly, the Muhajirs (migrants from India), as also those opposed to the Partition, have exacted their revenge on Islamabad and paid back their inherited debt to Mother India!