Sunday, 11 January 2009

He is ‘Proud to be Pakistani’

He is ‘Proud to be Pakistani’
Dr Shabir Choudhry 11 January 2009

In my article on achievements of Indians I never said there was no poverty in India, or there were no problems there. Most of my critics commented on things which were not part of the article. One can write 100 books on a big country like India and still might not be able to encompass every aspect of the society and government to the satisfaction of all; and I only wrote a small article and these critics expected me to include every aspect of the Indian life in it.

It is not possible to achieve this no matter what your wishes are. I want to leave that and move on, as there is more to life then to spend time and energy to persuade those who don’t want to be persuaded. Allah SWT is Almighty and all knowing, and yet not every one agrees with Allah, His wisdom and way of life He has ordered us to follow. I am no one in this respect, and don’t expect every one to agree with me; especially those who have myopic view of politics and are rewarded by outside forces for their activities and will never agree with true Kashmiris.

My message was that people from Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir should invest in education and new technology. They must pay special attention to education of their children, and provide them tuition and necessary facilities, instead of spending money on receptions and big advertisements in newspapers to welcome politicians and other civil servants from back home. This message was misunderstood and some people took that as glorifying Indian achievements; and others thought it was a good opportunity to settle some old scores or please their political masters.

A Pakistani reader of mine has sent me some data about Pakistan with a title ‘Proud to be Pakistani’. From my personal research, knowledge and experience, I know a number of things he has sent as facts are totally wrong. For example, he thinks Jammu and Kashmir is part of Pakistan, and based some of his data on this wrong assumption. I cannot confirm authenticity of the rest of the data he has sent.

To him construction of Taj Mahal was a big achievement of Muslims. To some, may be it was, but I wish Emperor Shah Jehan had used that money and effort to establish a university and colleges that people could have had access to education, which could have made them more competitive; and perhaps could have helped them to fight the enemies bit better.

He is proud that ‘Pakistan has K2, second highest mountain in the world; some of the longest glaciers outside polar, and so many rivers are in Pakistan’. K2 is not in Pakistan, but it is in Gilgit and Baltistan which is part of former State of Jammu and Kashmir. These glaciers are also in Gilgit and Baltistan, and some of rivers he mentioned also flow from Kashmir to Pakistan. In any case mountains, glaciers and rivers are gifts of the Almighty and not something created by the Pakistanis. It is unfortunate that despite Allah’s gifts in form of abundance water and other natural resources Pakistani governments have not been able to make proper use of them, hence Pakistan is facing the problems related to shortage of food, water, electricity etc.

I am presenting some of the data and let people draw their own conclusions, he says Pakistan is: ‘Modern, Progressive, and Dynamic State, world's 5th largest democracy, one of the fastest growing economy in the world, 6th largest standing armed forces – 0.7 Million strong, 300 dailies, 400 weeklies and 700 periodicals, GDP $128.83 Billion (GDP rate 7%), 7th largest pool of scientists and engineers in the World, one of the youngest workforce, a nation on the road to progress and advancement’.

I let people decide if Pakistan is on road to progress and advancement or struggling to survive as a nation state because of maladministration, civil war, destruction and extremism.

He further claims that Pakistan has: ‘More than 150 universities, world's 9th biggest producer of cotton, largest network of water distribution canals in the world, third largest producer of milk, fifth largest producer of dates, world champion in cricket, hockey, squash, wrestling and snooker, established nuclear power, JF17 Thunder completely built in Pakistan, AGOSTA 90b submarines- Al-Khalid Tank completely built in Pakistan, indigenously developed nuclear weapon carrying missiles, complete aircraft rebuilding complex in Kamra and indigenous manufacturing of pilot less aircraft, Uqaab.’

This friend claims that ‘5% of doctors, 6% of scientists, 9% of NASA scientists, 10% of Microsoft employees, 6% of IBM employees, 9% of INTEL scientists and 7% of XEROX employees in the USA are Pakistanis. Pakistan is among seven countries that launch their own satellites. Pakistan is one of the world's largest jewellery and precious gems exporter in the world; its exports were worth $ 48 Million in 2007. About 4 out of 10 precious stones sold anywhere in the world, pass through Pakistan’.

Apart from that General Electric has 2,600 Pakistani employees, Hewlett-Packard has 1,200, American Express has 1,500 and Dell has 2,200. Pakistani Overseas Work Force is 7.5 Million, Pakistan has 80 Million Cell phone Users and Dr. Abdus Salam won Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979. Trade of medicinal plants has crossed $ 500M

I am using this data in my article, but I regret I don’t know if it is accurate. I have produced this to show that I have nothing against the state of Pakistan or achievements of the Pakistani people. I want them to abandon out of date traditions and extremism, and divert their resources to educate their children that they become more competitive and good citizens. My struggle is against injustice, extremism and ignorance. I want Pakistan to become economically and democratically strong, that it can become stable and can live in peace with its neighbours.

But if Pakistani ruling elite, writers and Jihadi groups use religion, lies and fabricate facts to encroach my rights and rights of people of Jammu and Kashmir, then I cannot be expected to remain silent. People are at liberty to call me whatever suits them, or whatever helps them to run their kitchen.

All experts on South Asia and Pakistan have issued warning calls that Pakistan as a nation state is in serious problems; and its future is bleak and unpredictable. Some Pakistani experts and journalists have also issued similar warnings. But most Pakistani brothers are not in a mood to listen to any criticism or suggestion as they see it part of some conspiracy. They had similar attitude in 1970/71. Every politician is carrying a tag with allegations; and now even people in security services and with military background are also included in this.

Despite that we have some Kashmiris yelling Pakistan Zindabad, hence they create divisions and confuse the issue. If they do this out of conviction I will respect that because they have right to hold an opinion and express it, but if they do it because of rewards then I will continue my jihad against them.

Some people claim Kashmiris shout ‘Pakistan zindabad’ in order to tease India; they don’t actually want to join Pakistan. They know Indians hate to hear this slogan; and because they dislike India they will do anything to upset them. This slogan may be annoying to the Indians but it is also causing deep divisions among the Kashmiri groups and sending out wrong signals; so it is not prudent to use it as a tactic either.

We people of Jammu and Kashmir must think as a Kashmiris and must promote and protect a Kashmiri interest. We must not promote or do anything which supports claims and interests of Islamabad and New Delhi. Both countries have resources and established set up to promote their national interests.

Writer is a Spokesman of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs. Email:

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