The Case of Darul Uloom Deoband, Pashtuns and Jihad — I

At the beginning of 20th century Muslims of India started to struggle to consolidate the Indian Muslim identity. Darul Uloom Deoband played a conspicuous role as mentioned in Barbara Metcalf’s study “Islamic Revival in British India: Deoband, 1860-1900”. Jamaluddin al-Afghani’s (1839 – 1897) work, a Persian religious and political philosopher, started to gain popularity in India. The idea of pan-Islamism as a universal identity of Muslim was promoted through the works of al-Afghani in the sub-continent  and it gained momentum especially in the year 1910, writes Ira Lapidus in his book “A History of Islamic Societies”. Because the colonial repression was faced by many Muslim countries at that time the idea of pan-Islamism as a rescue ideology from the colonialism easily penetrated more in the Muslim society of sub-continent. The Chancellor at Darul Uloom Deobad, Maulana Mahmudul Hasan, mobilised a movement in year 1914 to liberate the sub-continent from the British. It wasn’t just a movement but it was more to it which invoked upon Pashtuns a new spirit of religionism, not that they weren’t already under the influence of it.

Maulana Hussain Ahmed Madni, who was a senior scholar at the Darul Uloom Deoband, describes this Jihadi movement as “Reshmi Rumal Movement” in his book Tehreek Reshmi Rumal. Ubaid Ullah Sindhi (1872 – 1944), a Sikh who converted to Islam, and became a part of Darul Uloom Deoband, who worked under the Chancellor Maulana Manudul Hasan, writes in one of his essays “Shah Waliullah Aur unki Siyasi Tareekh” that the movement was founded on the ideals of Shah Waliullah and its aim was to achieve the political and religious agenda on the lines of Shah’s ideologies; this belief was in some way different than the predominant motives of Darul Uloom Deoband.

The band of Pashtuns mobilised to fight against the British were called “Jamaat e Mujahideen” or the religious warriors. Darul Uloom Deoband procured the funds and disbursed it to the Pashtuns. Printing presses were setup during this time in the sub-continent. Darul Uloom Deoband struggled to recruit more and more youth to wage a Jihad against the British. As for Pashtuns and Balochs a plan was devised. The Kohistan (upper Swat) was tasked to join the Turkish army against the British in order to weaken the British position there on the frontline and make them focus rather on the First World War where British were engaged against the Turkish than the sub-continent. On the other hand, the Mohmands and Mehsuds (Waziristan) were given the task to wage Jihad on the British forces in Peshawar; Kalat and Makran tribes of Balochistan were to wage Jihad on British forces in Karachi; the Ghaznis (Afghanistan) were to wage Jihad in Quetta. This was the plan of Darul Uloom Deoband to use and mobilise the Pashtuns and Balochs against the British on the name of Jihad.

Such a Jihad by Pashtuns against the British was not any thing new. Between 1893 and 1897, Hadda Mulla’s Jihad against the British also focused on the preservation of Pashtun’s culture, religion and their independence. This Jihad was different than the Jihad against British as the one earlier in time had no supervision of Darul Uloom Deoband, whereas this time the Darul Uloom Deoband fully sponsored the Jihad against the British and provided the Pashtuns with funds, munition and all the support required in insurgency that they needed.

It is noted that the links between the Pashtun tribes and Darul Uloom Deoband wasn’t newly established. The first interaction between the Pashtun tribes and Darul Uloom Deoband happeneed when a Pashtun freedom fighter Fazal Wahid, more commonly known as Haji Sahab of Turangzai of Charsadda, joined the Darul Uloom Deoband and got his madarsah education from there, and later with the Ulemas from Darul Uloom Deoband he went on to perform  the Hajj. It is said that he got his extreme inspiration of Darul Uloom Deoband’s ideologies during the journey.

Hussain Ahmed Madni , the Shaikh ul Islam, from Darul Uloom Deoband strongly believed that violence was necesasry to remove the British from the sub-continent. And for violence there was apparently a need to raise an army of Mujahideen. Naqsh-q-Hayat, the autobiography of Hussain Ahmed Madni “Naqsh-e-Hayat” describes the use of force against the British and termed it Jihad. Madni also argued that Gandhi, Nehru, Ali brothers (Maulana Muhammad Ali & Maulana Shaukat Ali), Dr Ansari and Maulana Bari — all were against colonialist. However, while Gandhi was strictly against the violence it cannot be put aside by the Pashtuns for militancy in a larger historical picture had always been the prerogative of the frontier tribes.

Considering the Pashtuns as the experienced militants, the Maulana Mahmud believed they were the best recruits for the anti-colonialism cause.

More on the case of Darul Uloom Deoband, Pashtuns and Jihad in the next write up.

Partition & Muhajirs — II

Soon after the 1947 partition, for several reasons many of the Muslim refugees who had migrated to Pakistan started returning back to India. The most of the returning Muslim refugees to India, especially to Delhi, were coming from Karachi. One of the reasons of the re-migration of the Muslims (noted: most of them originally belonged to Northern India and were said to be Urdu-speakers) was that they were facing a severe housing and settlement crisis in nascent Pakistan. Severe clashes between Muhajirs in Karachi and native Hindus took place in Karachi. The religious and ethnic tension in Karachi rose to its peak on January 6, 1948. According to a Jang Editorial titled “Aman” on January 15, 1948: “the premier of Sindh [Muhammad Ayub Khuhro] does not like to see Hindustan’s Muslim Muhajirs in Sindh.”

On the other hand , a cartoon in Jang [Figure 1] projected a picture that the situation in Delhi has been changed for the Muslims and

Jang Cartoon (1)

Figure 1: A Visit to Chandni Chowk: The stall vendors are selling hot fresh fried kababs. The man with the bottle in his hand is selling alcohol (desi sharaab). The other two men standing at the center are talking: “Brother, we were in better condition with Muslims than we are with these Sikhs now.” (Reference: Jang Cartoon, January 15, 1948)

now Muslims are welcomed back. Perhaps the most crucial thing in restoring the faith of Muhajirs to re-migrate to India was the fast of Gandhi on January 12, 1948 to bring the peace to Delhi and provide good security to the Muslim population of the city. According to Abul Kalam Azaad in his book “India Wins Freedom” the actions of Gandhi produced a far-reaching affect on the morale of Muhajir Muslims and it encouraged them to re-migrate to India and claim all those properties and wealth they had left in their way of migration to Pakistan and later those left-over wealth and properties got in the hands of the Hindus and Sikhs, especially those migrating from Pakistan to India.

The Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan during the mid of March 1948 announced that thousands of Muslim refugees in Pakistan were returning back to India for their old homes. During the mid of May 1948, the British High Commissioner to India quoted a local newspaper saying that so far 200,000 to 300,000 Muslim refugees from Pakistan had arrived back in India. A report by Commonwealth Office sometime later highlighted that 100,000 to 250,000 Muslims had returned from Pakistan to India, and 40,000 among them alone had returned to Delhi.

However, the diary of Superintendent of Police, CID Delhi from March 27, 1948 had different statistics to say. According to the diary, the total number of Muslim refugees in Pakistan who arrived back to Delhi (India) up to May 1948 amounted to 16,350. According to the analysis of Vazira Fazilla-Yacoobali Zamindar in her book “The Long Partition and the Making of Modern South Asia: Refugees, Boundaries, Histories”, “if the number leaving (almost 4,450, but otherwise unremarked) is subtracted, then an increase in the Muslim population of the city amounted to only 11,900 — which was nowhere near the suggested 40,000 people.

In all these events there is something interesting — however couldn’t completely be agreed upon — which was highlighted in a secret report of Intelligence Bureau, dated June 11, 1948 (DSA F56/48-Conf C). The excerpts taken from the report argued that the Muslims were returning to India because they wanted to start communal riots and disturbances in order to influence the opinion of the United Nations Organisation (UNO) commission that was coming to India to settle the issue of Kashmir which had by then became a hot issue between India and Pakistan. According to Indian Government, the returning back of Muslims in abundance from Pakistan to India was actually a part of a planned-conspiracy by the government of Pakistan in order to take the revenge from the Hindus and Sikhs who had massacred the Muslims during the partition riots. The secret CID report further highlighted that it was a understood fact that some Muslims who have come all the way from Rawalpindi and other parts of Pakistan are being watched over by the intelligence people who found  [some of] them lurking in the “Sabzimandi” area of Delhi dressed up in Hindu fashion telling other Muslims of the area that they had come to Delhi to avenge the wrongs done to the Muslims of Delhi. It is noted that the “Sabzimandi” area of Delhi prior to partition was predominated by the Muslims but now after the partition the dice was rolled against the Muslims of Delhi who had lost their predominance in “Sabzimandi” area, and their houses and other properties were occupied by the Hindus and Sikhs most of whom were those who came to India from the parts of Pakistan. The CID secret report further highlighted that the conspiracy to create havoc in Delhi was hatched by the Government of Pakistan; the sole aims of Pakistani government, according to the CID officials, were to create communal tension in Delhi, influencing on the opinion of UNO, and influence on the opinion of the “world” against the India.

Following to these events when they first began, the issue was highly debated in the Constituent Assembly of India on March 22, 1948. It was discussed that the India should reconsider its “open-door policy” for the refugees coming back from Pakistan to India. However, Jawaharlal Nehru reminded the Constituent Assembly about the promises they had made to Gandhi just before his death. It should be mentioned again that Gandhi was hugely in favor of those Musim refugees coming back to India from Pakistan. Nehru insisted that the Constituent Assembly should abide by the promise it had made to the Gandhi. However, it was still deemed necessary to take some actions to avert the communal tension in certain parts of the country. Consequently, India went on to discuss a “permit” system where anyone coming from Pakistan to India would first have to obtain a permission from India.

Ironically, the abundance of Urdu-speaking/Muhajirs in the government and bureaucracy were helpless in preventing the mass migration of Muhajirs from Karachi back to Delhi (India). Muhajirs endlessly wrote letters — one of which can be found in the “letter to editor” in the Jang edition of March 27, 1948 with the title “Muhajireen ki Hindustan Wapsi” & March 29, 1948 with the title “Wapas Ja Rahe Hain” — and criticised the Pakistani government for failiing to provide adequate refuge to “the very people who had struggled for the Pakistan.”

Figure 2: "Aah! This Selfish World". The bottom translates as: "If all the Muhajirs leave Pakistan for India, then only Government Officers will be left here to build this country." (Reference: Jang, April 9, 1948)

Figure 2: “Aah! This Selfish World”. The unreadable Urdu text at the bottom translates as: “In case all the Muhajirs leave Pakistan for India, then only the Government Officers will be left here to build this country.” (Reference: Jang, April 9, 1948)

To project the inability and inaction of the Government of Pakistan to address the grievances of Muhajirs, a cartoon, presented in Figure 2, was printed in the Jang edition of April 9, 1948.

The cartoon evidently highlights the concerns and feelings of Muhajirs toward the inaction of their [brother] Muhajirs in government.

A resolution for the Rehabilitation of Muslim Refugees was emotionally discussed in the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on May 20, 1948. The former premier of Sindh, Muhammad Ayub Khuhro, was accused and vehemently criticised for spreading the anti-refugee sentiments. This was yet another phase of a tension between Sindhi political leaders and the “Muhajir” leaders who happened to be in the federal government of Pakistan and bureaucracy in abundance.

On the other hand, the federal minister for refugees and rehabilitation, Ghazanfar Ali Khan blamed the Indian Government for providing a support to the Muslims to return back to India. He also criticised the remarks of Nehru that that traffic between India and Pakistan was “one-way”, meaning that only the refugees from Pakistan were going [back] to India. Gazanfar Ali Khan pointed out that thousands of Muslims from India were continuing to come to Pakistan by sea, therefore it was never a “one-way” traffic. According to the estimates of Ghazanfar Ali Khan, the problems concerning refugees gained strength with time as more Muslim migrants arrived in Pakistan. He ultimately pointed out that the source of refugees problems was the constant influx of Muslims from India to Pakistan. He also asked the Indian government that it should not allow the mass migration of Muslims from India to Pakistan. In order to not sound conflicting with the notion that “Muslim League” was the representative of all the Muslims of sub-continent, Ghazanfar Ali Khan is further said to have rhetorically bluster that Pakistan has never closed its doors for the Muslims; it is the home for all the Muslims of the world; however, so many Muslims should not be accommodated [as of now] in order to prevent the early [economic] demise of Pakistan.

At this point, India had finally rolled out its “permit” system, where anyone coming from Pakistan to India would first have to obtain a permission from India. At the beginning of the Indian introduction of “permit” system, the Pakistani government opposed it. Following to Pakistan’s objection, India proposed that a “two-way” traffic could be introduced with the help of both Pakistani and Indian government via which all the refugees would be given the chance to return to their original homes. This ingenious proposal of India was almost tantamount to the notion of reversing the partition’s displacements. However, on August 19, 1948, during a cabinet meeting, Liaquat Ali Khan rejected the Indian idea of reversing the partition’s displacements and sought to threaten India to retaliate with the equal measures.

Not long after that, on September 4, 1948, Pakistan introduced the “permit” system just like India’s. The Pakistan Control of Entry Ordinance introduced in 1948 was implemented on not just non-Muslims but also the Muslims. In the coming days the “permit” system was heavily criticised by the government in East Pakistan so as in some government sections of West Pakistan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs pointed out that it was almost impossible for Pakistan to keep a strong vigilance over its borders and the long sea-coast; therefore, on that ground the Ministry suggested that the government of Pakistan should abandon the “permit” system and rather take its control over the sale of the “lower-class” train and ship ticket via which the heavy majority of refugees were arriving in Pakistan. On the other hand, the Interior Ministry defended the “permit” system and argued that the economy of Pakistan was in the thick of it, therefore it was necessary to keep the influx of refugees regulated through a “permit” system. The Interior Ministry also presented the stats of growing population in Karachi which, according to the Ministry, would impair the overall economy of Pakistan. The Interior Ministry also cited an example of Hyderabad which was ruled by a Muslim Nawab, but was taken over by the Indian Army in September of 1948; it argued that had it not been the “permit” system in functioning, the deluge of refugees would have arrived in Pakistan from Hyderabad just within few days, affecting the security and economic  condition of Pakistan.

More on “Muhajirs” in the next write up.

Kashmir — A broken Promise, or a negligence of Pakistan?


As usual in the morning after waking up, I was going through the newses. There was nothing unusual — same old news on Talibans, bad security condition of Pakistan and so forth. The other news caught my attention labeled “Troops martyred one innocent youth in IHK”. Once again I started mulling over the past events — the time of Independence of Pakistan and even before that.

In early 19th century, Kashmir — former name is Punjab Hill States — was ruled by barons of Rajput. At that time, Kashmir constituted of 22 small states. The barons of Rajput were loyal to Mughals. They had also fought many battles along with Mughals in against of Sikhs. The downfall of Mughal Empire also made Rajputs weak hence making Sikhs to attack on the princely state of Kashmir and take it over. Sikhs kept on crusading state by state and ultimately took over all the 22 states of Kashmir. The Kashmir was now belonged to the Sikhs leader Ranjit Singh.

From the Sikhs, Kashmir was taken back by British East India Trading Company who allowed Dogra ruler Gulab Sing to rule over Kashmir hence making Gulab Sing the first Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.

During the time of Partition when British were about to leave the sub-continent, each state was given a freewill either to join Pakistan or India. The same way Kashmir’s ruler were given the freewill. The then Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh, wanted Kashmir to be an Independent state. However, on the other side, there was one another condition that the Muslim majority states will be given to Pakistan. It also included Feroz Pur, Gurdas Pur and Jalandhar Pur which are Muslim majority states. Gurdas Pur had a Muslim population of above 50% at that time. It was given to Pakistan, but later on it was given back to India again because of the factor that Amritsar was surrounded by Gurdas Pur and Amritsar has a vast population of Sikhs. The place Amritsar is also called the historic and religious place of Sikhs. Indians thought if Gurdas Pur would be given to Pakistan then Gurdas Pur would become a buffer zone to Amritsar where Pakistan could also stop the supply of river water to this Holy City of Sikhs. With that fear, and to please the Sikhs, it was taken back from Pakistan. However it was totally against the pattern of Partition which entailed that Muslim majority areas would be given to Pakistan. Absolutely unfair!!

The other reason was that Gurdas pur is an extremely strategic location and it is one of the three routes to enter Kashmir. Pakistan already had two of the routes under its boundary, whereas Gurdas Pur was also becoming the part of Pakistan due to its Muslim majority population — which India didn’t like at all. India didn’t have any other route to enter Kashmir and if it would loose Gurdas Pur, then it’ll loose Kashmir totally. Here again, a fraud was done with Pakistan and India kept Gurdas Pur. Had Gurdas Pur been a part of Pakistan today, Pakistan would never have lost Kashmir as well. In 1948 Kashmir war, Indian Army entered Kashmir through the route of Gurdas Pur.

Now come to Junagadh. Unlike Kashmir, Junagadh was ruled by a Muslim Nawab. He ruled over almost 80% of Hindus. The Nawab of Junagadh was a pro-Pakistani. He decided to joined Pakistan at the time of Partition — disregarding the sentiments of Hindus. He was guided by one of his Chief Minister Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto — father of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto — who also suggested the then Nawab to join Pakistan. However, if we go through the case of Kashmir, it was totally opposite. A Hindu Maha Raja ruling over a Muslim majority state ignoring the sentiments of majority of Kashmirs — decided to join India whereas Nawab of Junagadh ignoring the sentiments of majority of Hindus decided to join Pakistan. Junagadh was invaded by India then. New Delhi announced plebiscite there — which of course was a formality. Junagadh was then acceded in India. However, when Pakistanis — people from NWFP tried to infiltrate in Kashmir — Maha Raja called for the help of India and Indian Army approached there and invaded Kashmir. There was no plebiscite being announced in Kashmir. India again played a spoof here — a total fraud!! While Kashmir was and is a Muslim majority state — it should have been given to Pakistan. But India never did that. Instead, it invaded it and kept it along with Feroz Pur, Gurdas Pur and Jalandhar Pur — going against the rules and pattern of demarcation of boundaries at the time of partition of Pakistan and India.

Former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had promised to the people of Kashmir that they would be given right of self-determination. The promise is yet to be fulfilled. When? No one knows. The brazen government of India is still sitting there controlling Kashmir from New Delhi. Stupid United Nation is sitting and watching the demonstration of Kashmir’s for last 62 years. No one has ever played a serious role in solving the Kashmir Issue so far. The attack over Georgia by Russians had called an immediate meeting in United Nations Security Council to resolve the dispute and the dispute was resolved on immediate basis. But for Kashmir — does the United Nation care? Does India care? And the bigger question is, does the puppet of Americans now, who are also called as the representatives of Pakistan — government of Pakistan — cares?

Jinnah – The movie

I downloaded the movie “Jinnah” yesterday and planned to watch it as soon as I’ll get time. Today, after coming from uni – I had nothing much to do. So, I thought to watch the movie like a shot – in spite of the fact that I’ve already watched that movie once long back when it was released.

I turned on the movie and started watching. The beginning was good – the movie was quite enough to make one overenthusiastic. As being a patriotic and nationalist – I was stirred and evoked with emotions. Overall, the movie was great. Some of the dialogues and talkses were great which we commonly encounter while reading the history of Pakistan.

There was an argument amongst Quaid-e-Azam and Lord Mountbatten about the creation of Pakistan – where Mountbatten enounced that I’m a representative of King Emperor. Reciprocally, Quaid-e-Azam responded, “Whom we respect (aiming towards the ‘King Emperor’) And I’m here as a representative of Muslim Nation whom you must learn to respect!!” That was a top-drawer reply by Quaid-e-Azam.

At some occasion – a lunch Quaid-e-Azam and Fatima Jinnah with Lord Mountbatten and Lady Mountbatten, Mountbatten says, “King called me and said, “Go to India and give a way” And after that, Fatima Jinnah replies, “Can’t you give a way what really never belonged to you.” — Again a brilliant response!!

At another event – Liaquat Ali Khan brings some scandalous letters between Lady Mountbatten and Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru to Quaid-e-Azam. Quaid-e-Azam, the man of principles and dignity articulates in a wonderful way. He says, “History is made by the wills and wounds of millions of people – not by the letters for blackmailing purpose.” That was an howling reaction by Quaid-e-Azam. Excellent!!

In today’s politics – we see this trend is a lot more usual. The opponents of other political parties are always in hunt of pulling the legs of their opponents. The use crummy negative techniques to slander their opponents by embroiling opponent’s families, personal lives etc. That’s way too bad. The founder of our Nation – Pakistan – never ever followed this. He reacted harshly yet with Liaquat Ali Khan when Liaquat Ali Khan tried to tell to Quaid-e-Azam to use those scandalous letters for the sake of Pakistan. *Salute* to the man of principles who never used it. Quaid-e-Azam could have used those letters which would have solved a few issues in a trice. In any event, he never did!!

Now where are we heading towards?? What are we doing?? What are we – ourselves up to? We’ve stooped to such a level of ignominy that even the thing which is called ‘a basic sense’ has stopped working. Sad – but yet true!!

In another event – when someone brought with a news to Quaid-e-Azam that Maha-Raja of Kashmir has made up his mind to join India – Liaquat Ali Khan who was sitting along with Quaid-e-Azam exclaimed, “Mountbatten is coming today at Lunch and I must slap him.” For that, Quaid-e-Azam responded superbly and said, “We must learn to rise above these differences, Liaquat.” — Merely a wonderful response!!

During the last hours of movie, Quaid-e-Azam proclaimed:

“If we want to make this great state of Pakistan happy and prosperous – we must concentrate only and solely on the well-being of the people. You’re free .. free to go the Mosques, free to go to your Temples, and to any other place of worship in the state of Pakistan.”

I wish we all open open our eyes and see what history says – what those great leaders did – what those great leaders followed – and what made them great?? Principles – and honest dedications!!

We must subdue the things and thoughts – the awry thoughts – we’re poured into. Rise .. Rise .. Rise Pakistanis and make nation proud of you – the nation for which your forefathers fought down to see it as a greatest nation in the world!!

Pakistan Zindabad – Pakistan Paendabad. Long live Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

May Allah bless Pakistan. Aameen!!!