A banker by profession, Salim Ansar has a passion for history and historic books. His personal library already boasts a treasure trove of over 7,000 rare and unique books.
Every week, we shall take a leaf from one such book and treat you to a little taste of history.
BOOK NAME: The Nation that Lost its Soul
AUTHOR: Sirdar Shaukat Hyat Khan
PUBLISHER: Jang Publishers
DATE OF PUBLICATION: 1995
The following excerpt has been taken from Pages: 356 — 359
“Sir Sikander Hyat Khan, Premier of the Punjab, who by voluntarily taking Muslim Unionists of his Party having won ninety five percent Muslim seats in the Punjab, to the rescue of the Muslim League at Lucknow in I937, although The Muslim League had lost in all Muslim majority Provinces. And later by making arrangements for the 1940 Muslim League Session at Lahore where ‘The Pakistan Resolution was passed’ but who has become a victim of the ‘short memory’ and the ingratitude of his people. But for their contributions the creation of Pakistan would have been impossible.
“Like his father, Sir Sikander, Premier of the Punjab from 1936-1942, Sirdar Shaukat was educated at Aligarh University which immediately brought him into contact with Muslims from all over India. It was a remarkable culture and it created and laid down the foundations for what would become the Pakistan movement. It was also creating a kind of Muslim renaissance.”
ZIA & AFTERMATH
“Bhutto was in a worse predicament. He was arrested on the queer charge of murder, along with five policemen, for the murder of Ahmed Raza Kasuri’s father. Bhutto’s order to fix Ahmed Raza up for having defied him while he was a member of the People’s Party was misinterpreted or misunderstood by his FSF deputed for the purpose. They thought that it meant killing Ahmed Raza. He was driving from a function where he had accompanied his father. The opened fire on his car accidentally killing his father instead of him. Now this charge was brought up against Bhutto as an accessory. He was tried by the Lahore High Court presided over by the Chief Justice Mushtaq Ahmed a Muslim League worker. I sensed from the press reports, as also from other sources, that they proposed to hang Bhutto as an accessory to the murder.
“I happened to be visiting the High Court for some work and passed the door of the Chief Justice’s Chamber I enquired if he was present. On receiving an affirmative reply I asked his Secretary if he could check whether the Chief Justice was free to see me. He called me in and showed me all the respect. I said, ‘Mushtaq, I hear that you propose hanging six people for the murder of one man. Would it be just, under the British Jurisprudence or under the Islamic Law to do so? If the news is correct does not he realize that if his Judgement is quashed by the Supreme Court he would be placing his own person in danger of reprisals by the People Party.’ He told me that he had been solemnly assured by a majority of the Judges of the Supreme Court that his Judgement would be upheld by the Supreme Court.
“Then Chief Justice Mushtaq added another miscarriage of Law to many others pronounced by our Courts. Five men were hanged for the murder of one. The Supreme Court upheld the Judgement as had been predicted by Chief Justice Mushtaq. Only two Judges, namely Mr. Justice Durab Petal, and one Muslim Judge Mr. Justice Safdar Shah had the courage to disagree. Poor Safdar Shah had to quit his country to save himself from the vengeance of General Zia. Bhutto was hanged on the phoney charge. May be it was a punishment for some other sin such as the murder of East Pakistan.
“I wonder if Ziaul Haq’s own end was not a quirk of fate on account of his own cruel actions. Zia’s promised Election which never came about nor did any of his much heralded Islamic Constitution.
“When a historian writes about his regime he would not fail to point out some of his misdemeanors: such as when the Jordan Army’s Arab soldiers refused to fire on the helpless Palestinians refugees, even disobeying their monarch’s orders. It is said that Zia who was a Military Advisor only, himself got into the tank and shot those poor souls, killing and wounding many. Nor would the writer miss the story of the Sale of American munitions, meant for Afghan Rebels, to other countries with the connivance of General Abdul Rehman and later enacting the drama of the Qjheri Depot Blast, killing many Afghans who had come to load the munitions for conveying to the Afghan Rebels, also killing many others belonging to Pakistan who were working at the Ordnance Depot, just because the American Inspection Team was expected to arrive the next morning. Then who will miss his connivance and help to Heroin Smugglers from Afghanistan to carry the dreadful substance to other countries, in the course creating millions of addicts in Pakistan, including both males and females, young and old, ruining their entire families? Last but not least of his heinous crimes was allowing the epidemic of corruption which spread amongst our bureaucrats as well as Members of a Shoora (a name used for the Advisory Body of the Caliph in early days of Islam!) and the People at large. Do these acts earn him the title of Mard-e-Momin and Mard-e-Haq (A pious and a truthful Muslim)?
“I had occasion to meet him just once in his eleven year’s rule. He acted as a very humble and God-fearing person. After discussing some of the National problems he turned to me and asked me. ‘Sirdar Sahib, please tell me if I can be of any personal service to you.’ This shook me. It seemed as if he wanted to buy me. I politely asked him to please pray to Almighty God that He does not relegate me to a position in which I have to beseech help from any other than Himself.
“All he did for Islam was to corrupt many Imams of mosques by allowing them perks from the Zakat Funds, in order to use them for his own personal propaganda and publicity from the pulpit, quite contrary to the prescribed use of Zakat Funds, as’ prescribed by Islam. Finally he misused the name of Islam to get an extension to his Office of President by a Referendum which asked people to vote if they approve of his Islamic actions. If they voted in the affirmative he would consider it a vote of electing for himself to rule for another term of Office.
“I cannot forget it because my son Maqbul was getting wed on that day. When we were passing Polling Stations we found most of them empty but for the Election officials who were seen busy stamping the ballot papers by themselves. He won hands down! He used Islam only as a facade to hide many a crime that he committed. Does he deserve the annual expense of millions by his successors on the flags alone to commemorate his air crash? And who is financing it and how?
“The worst legacy he left behind him was his illegal amendments to our unanimously adopted constitution through Martial Law Orders. The worst of which was the Eighth Amendment on account of which the entire Nation has suffered. This was his most Draconian Amendment, which he left behind. Allowing Powers to the President to dismiss the duly elected Parliament. This has been used so often by his equally un-principled successor who had made a mockery of constitution. Elections to the assembly has become a lucrative business. Consequently the election expenses have spiralled.
“The ‘Horse-Trading’ has increased the election expenses in every constituency because of greed. Unlike our days when one got elected on the basis of service and popularity. In my own case the Six Elections that I have contested have not cost me even one hundred thousand Rupees, in all my elections put together. Today’s Assemblies are becoming almost akin to prostitution, where the members bodies are on sale!!
“If someone asks me to give reasons which contributed to damaging the great spirit of patriotism and sacrifice, generated by the Muslim League before 1947, and what made our people forget the holocaust at the time of partition, the murder of half a million Muslim People of East Punjab and abduction of a hundred thousand of our women, and the abandonment of their abode by five million people of East Punjab, my answer would be as follows:
1. Greed and Corruption:
2. Ghulam Mohammad and the Civil Servants:
3. Ayub Khan with an ambition which led him beyond his Oath of Loyalty: Followed by other military dictator,
4. Misuse of the name of Islam without any practical imposition of Islamic social laws by General Zia.
5. Inexperienced and inept political leadership.”