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Islam and Sectarianism ( 6 March 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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What Dr Hoodbhoy got Wrong

By Danielle Sharaf

Mar 7, 2012

An opinion piece in The Express Tribune “Run for your life” by Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy on March 5, 2012 read:

This essay deliberately excludes Hindus, Christians, and Parsis. The reason: these communities were never enthused about India’s partition (even though some individual members pretended to be)…

First of all, bravo Dr Hoodbhoy for such a brave article on the injustices faced by the non-Muslim Pakistanis in the name of religion.

While Dr Hoodbhoy painted a factual picture on the general state of affairs, he conveniently made some very disturbing assumptions on behalf of people, that to date, are fighting for their right of “Pakistaniyat” just as Shias or Ahmadis, thanks to the Pakistan studies books we were fed on.

With all due respect sir, I expected better of you.

I would be surprised if you had not heard of Mr Jogendra Nath Mandal and his role in the freedom struggle. A leader of the scheduled castes, he ‘enthusiastically’ fought for the cause of Pakistan along with the Muslim League, convinced that Jinnah’s Pakistan was a superior ideology than ‘MaBharata’. Born in Bengal, he was chosen to be Pakistan’s first Minister of Law and Labour— but is now a forgotten Hindu.

Mr SP Singha was the speaker of the Punjab Assembly when the resolution for Pakistan was moved. Short of three votes he ‘enthusiastically’ rallied the Christian members to vote in favour of Jinnah. Muslim League won, resulting in the inclusion of several populations near Sialkot, Chunia, Kasur etc. in present day Pakistan. Singha died a Pakistan “enthusiast” Christian -conveniently ignored.

And who can forget Samuel Martin Burke? He was the magistrate of the Election Petition Commission of Punjab in 1945 who moved 16 petitions in favour of Muslim League, all to the chagrin of Congress and Sir Hayat’s Unionists who wanted a United India. These petitions eventually won Pakistan’s case, and after partition Mr Burke chose Pakistan as his native country.

To date, he is revered as a pioneer of Pakistan’s foreign policy. As Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Canada, he is accredited to convincing USA and Canada of Pakistan’s need of nuclear reactors. Mr Burke passed away as a Non Muslim Pakistan “enthusiast”. Ignored again

These are, but a few names that shared Jinnah’s dream of Pakistan and were instrumental in leading thousands of Hindus and Christians to join the cause. Whoever thinks that it’s only the Muslims who migrated on that glorious night of August 13, 1947, needs a history lesson. Several thousands of non-Muslims left the Ganges behind believing that Pakistan was their true calling – my family included.

Where is it that we have fallen short of patriotism or denied service to our country? Christian, Hindu and Parsi soldiers have fought and accepted martyrdom as recently as the operations in Swat. They have been both war heroes and prisoners, enduring harrowing tortures for the country. Who can forget the Cecil, Cyril, Anthony Chaudhrys, Mervyn Middlecoats, Peter Christies, Brig Golwalas, Nazir Latifs, Justin Sharafs and many others like them who answered the call of Labaik?

Since independence, missionary schools and hospitals have opened their doors to every Pakistani without difference. According to recent stats only 2.1 percent of the total Christian population has immigrated abroad, the rest stayed put. So where is it you see that we were never enthusiastic about the creation of Pakistan?

I am sorry Sir, but please don’t insult us by assuming that we, as a community, were never better than frozen poultry that was waiting to be re-branded as “minority” Pakistanis rather than “minority” Indians. Not from you sir…not from you.

Source: The Express Tribune