New Age Islam
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Islam and Politics ( 10 Dec 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

Objectives Resolution and Secularism— Part 10: Newly Formed Pakistan Had Ample Opportunities for Muslim Officers



By Wajahat Masood

(Translated from Urdu by Sohail Arshad, New Age Islam)

It will not be irrelevant to mention here that Rizwanullah was so disgusted with the whole situation that he left both India and Pakistan and settled in Australia. The attitude  of the Muslim League towards the Muslims left in India has also been summed up by Maulana Ghulam Rasul Meher in Ashique Hussain Batalvi's book 'Chand Yaden, Chand Tassurat"( Some Reminiscences and Reflections). He says, “One important thing is that the main purpose of the scheme of Pakistan was not only an independent system for the Muslims but also complete arrangements for the security of the Muslim minority to be left in India. After the partition, complete arrangements for the security of the Muslim minority were extremely necessary. I am not one of those who could not get proof of any efforts made towards this most important national cause in the whole episode of the partition, nor could I understand the reasons for avoiding this basic purpose.

Apart from the exchange of populations as a result of the large scale riots, the other important factor was the decision to give the employees of the central government the option to choose between India and Pakistan. In his brief address to the Muslim officers at Shuja'at Ali Husni's residence on May 30, 1947, Qaid-e-Azam had said:

"Pakistan's issue has been finalised and now the responsibility of its administration and development has fallen on the shoulders of the Muslim officers who will have to work hard. The employees of the central government will have the option to remain in the Indian government or switch over to the Pakistani government. Religion or place of birth will not be a constraint."

It should be noted here that Qaid-e-Azam did not put religion as a precondition for choosing Pakistan. Probably he could not foresee that the religious peshwas of Pakistan will refuse to give non-Muslims 'key posts' in Pakistan.

As anticipated, a huge majority of the Muslim officers opted for Pakistan. Pakistan was a new country where there was a dearth of experienced and able officers. It was evident that in the new country they would have ample opportunities of promotion. They were also assured of the fact that in Pakistan they would not have to face competition from senior and more experienced non-Muslim officers. The number of Muslim officers coming from areas within Pakistan was limited. Therefore, the expectation of the Muslim officers belonging to Muslim-minority areas that in the new country they will have unlimited opportunities of promotion were not unfounded. It had another angle that the non-Muslim officers coming from areas within Pakistan would understandably opt for India and so the posts rendered vacant by those officers would go to Muslim officials. Moreover, Muslim officers belonging to the Muslim-minority areas knew well that the majority of the Muslim League leadership was inexperienced in administrative affairs and they will soon gain supremacy over the political leadership.

 As the news of riots in West Punjab and the subsequent forced evacuations started to pour in, the Muslim officials became increasingly worried about the grand houses, shops, factories and fertile fields the non-Muslim population was leaving behind. It is true that the motives of all the Muslim officials could not be called in question. It can undoubtedly be said that the Muslim officials did not display high moral values. Many intellectuals believe that the political anarchy, moral degradation and corruption in Pakistan started with the plundering of the abandoned properties.

The former President Ayub Khan in his book "Jis rizq se aati ho parwaz me kotahi" wrote:

"Before the partition, the Muslim army officers could at the most expect to retire from the post of colonel or brigadier. But after the establishment of Pakistan every officer thought it would not be worthwhile if he could not become the army chief.

In Ayub's words, speedy promotions generated unlimited lust for power among government officials in Pakistan. Ayub Khan himself had been in the post of Brigadier after 20 years of service in 1947 and just as he was possibly on the verge of being removed for allegedly being romantically involved with the sweetheart of the Maharaja of Patiala, instead of competently discharging his duties in the Punjab Boundary Forces, he was conferred the prestigious post of the GOC of East Pakistan. He did not look back after that. Ghulam Mohammad and Chaudhry Mohammad Ali were unknown officers of the accounts department. In his old age, Ghulam Mohammad became the financial advisor in Hyderabad Deccan. Due to rapid promotions, both men went on to become the Governor General and the Prime Minister respectively. Sikander Mirza was the deputy commissioner of Peshawar in 1947.He got the honour of becoming the first President of Pakistan.

In this context Maulana Ghulam Rasool Mehr wrote:"In my view it was the gravest mistake to give the Muslim officers the option to come to Pakistan. In my active political life spanning over 20-22 years, never did I come across a bigger cause of hardships and woes for the Muslims as the government is synonymous with jobs and membership of Parliament (lawmaking and administration). It is strange that with the partition of the country, the Muslim minority (of India) were stripped of every means of security. I wrote articles after articles, pleaded personally with the political masters but nobody gave it a thought. Everyone had only one thing in mind: if the non-Muslims go out from amidst us, they will have more opportunities for promotions. You will agree that it was not the standard criterion to render the national duties."

URL of Part 1 of the Series:’s-dream-of-a-secular-pakistan-was-shattered/d/9489

URL of Part 2 of the Series:

URL of Part 3 of the Series:’s-secularism-was-undermined-by-the-mullahs/d/9526

URL of Part 4 of the Series:’s-secularism-was-undermined-by-the-mullahs/d/9539

URL of Part 5 of the Series:

URL of Part 6 of the Series:

URL of Part 7 of the Series:’s-prophetic-dream-about-jinnah/d/9576

URL of Part 8 of the Series:—part-8--jafri-conference-demands-inclusion-of-shias-in-pakistan’s-legislative-body/d/9599

URL of part 9 of the Series:—9--maulana-maudoodi-did-not-care-if-muslims-in-india-were-treated-like-malechchas-and-shudras/d/9621