itself will be afflicted by many serious problems. The greatest
danger will come from international powers who will seek to control
the new country, and with the passage of time this control will
become tight. India will have no problem with this outside
interference as it will sense danger and hostility from Pakistan",
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad had said more
than sixty years ago.
Maulana Azad made these observations
while talking to Shorish Kashmiri - veteran journalist of the time
and editor of Chattan. Former Union Minister Arif Mohd Khan
translated the Urdu interview published in Chattan that was
carried by Covert with the title 'The Man who knew the
How true his observations are sixty years after the partition. The
Maulana did not stop here. He elaborated one by one the danger the
new state would face. Again, as assessed by Maulana Azad, the
situation today in Pakistan, and also in the Indian Sub continent is
not far from different.
Maulana Azad's above observations came
when Shorish Kashmiri asked,
Maulana, what is wrong if Pakistan becomes a reality? After all,
“Islam” is being used to pursue and protect the unity of the
Maulana Azad replied:
You are using the name of Islam for a cause that is not right by
Islamic standards. Muslim history bears testimony to many such
enormities. In the battle of Jamal [fought between Imam Ali and
Hadrat Aisha, widow of the Holy Prophet] Qurans were displayed on
lances. Was that right? In Karbala the family members of the Holy
Prophet were martyred by those Muslims who claimed companionship of
the Prophet. Was that right? Hajjaj was a Muslim general and he
subjected the holy mosque at Makka to brutal attack. Was that right?
No sacred words can justify or sanctify a false motive.
Pakistan was right for Muslims then I would have supported it. But I
see clearly the dangers inherent in the demand. I do not expect
people to follow me, but it is not possible for me to go against the
call of my conscience. People generally submit either to coercion or
to the lessons of their experience. Muslims will not hear anything
against Pakistan unless they experience it. Today they can call
white black, but they will not give up Pakistan. The only way it can
be stopped now is either for the government not to concede it or for
Mr Jinnah himself — if he agrees to some new proposal.
Now as I gather from the attitude of my own colleagues in the
working committee, the division of India appears to be certain. But
I must warn that the evil consequences of partition will not affect
India alone, Pakistan will be equally haunted by them. The partition
will be based on the religion of the population and not based on any
natural barrier like mountain, desert or river. A line will be
drawn; it is difficult to say how durable it would be.
We must remember that an entity conceived in hatred will last only
as long as that hatred lasts. This hatred will overwhelm the
relations between India and Pakistan. In this situation it will not
be possible for India and Pakistan to become friends and live
amicably unless some catastrophic event takes place. The politics of
partition itself will act as a barrier between the two countries. It
will not be possible for Pakistan to accommodate all the Muslims of
India, a task beyond her territorial capability. On the other hand,
it will not be possible for the Hindus to stay especially in West
Pakistan. They will be thrown out or leave on their own. This will
have its repercussions in India and the Indian Muslims will have
three options before them:
1. They become victims of loot and brutalities and migrate to
Pakistan; but how many Muslims can find shelter there?
2. They become subject to murder and other excesses. A substantial
number of Muslims will pass through this ordeal until the bitter
memories of partition are forgotten and the generation that had
lived through it completes its natural term.
3. A good number of Muslims, haunted by poverty, political
wilderness and regional depredation decide to renounce Islam.
The prominent Muslims who are supporters of Muslim League will leave
for Pakistan. The wealthy Muslims will take over the industry and
business and monopolise the economy of Pakistan. But more than 30
million Muslims will be left behind in India. What promise Pakistan
holds for them? The situation that will arise after the expulsion of
Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan will be still more dangerous for
them. Pakistan itself will be afflicted by many serious problems.
The greatest danger will come from international powers who will
seek to control the new country, and with the passage of time this
control will become tight. India will have no problem with this
outside interference as it will sense danger and hostility from
The other important point that has escaped Mr Jinnah’s attention is
Bengal. He does not know that Bengal disdains outside leadership and
rejects it sooner or later. During World War II, Mr Fazlul Haq
revolted against Jinnah and was thrown out of the Muslim League. Mr
H.S. Suhrawardy does not hold Jinnah in high esteem. Why only Muslim
League, look at the history of Congress. The revolt of Subhas
Chandra Bose is known to all. Gandhiji was not happy with the
presidentship of Bose and turned the tide against him by going on a
fast unto death at Rajkot. Subhas Bose rose against Gandhiji and
disassociated himself from the Congress. The environment of Bengal
is such that it disfavours leadership from outside and rises in
revolt when it senses danger to its rights and interests.
The confidence of East Pakistan will not erode as long as Jinnah and
Liaquat Ali are alive. But after them any small incident will create
resentment and disaffection. I feel that it will not be possible for
East Pakistan to stay with West Pakistan for any considerable period
of time. There is nothing common between the two regions except that
they call themselves Muslims. But the fact of being Muslim has never
created durable political unity anywhere in the world. The Arab
world is before us; they subscribe to a common religion, a common
civilisation and culture and speak a common language. In fact they
acknowledge even territorial unity. But there is no political unity
among them. Their systems of government are different and they are
often engaged in mutual recrimination and hostility. On the other
hand, the language, customs and way of life of East Pakistan are
totally different from West Pakistan. The moment the creative warmth
of Pakistan cools down, the contradictions will emerge and will
acquire assertive overtones. These will be fuelled by the clash of
interests of international powers and consequently both wings will
separate. After the separation of East Pakistan, whenever it
happens, West Pakistan will become the battleground of regional
contradictions and disputes. The assertion of sub-national
identities of Punjab, Sind, Frontier and Balochistan will open the
doors for outside interference. It will not be long before the
international powers use the diverse elements of Pakistani political
leadership to break the country on the lines of Balkan and Arab
states. Maybe at that stage we will ask ourselves, what have we
gained and what have we lost.
The real issue is economic development and progress, it certainly is
not religion. Muslim business leaders have doubts about their own
ability and competitive spirit. They are so used to official
patronage and favours that they fear new freedom and liberty. They
advocate the two-nation theory to conceal their fears and want to
have a Muslim state where they have the monopoly to control the
economy without any competition from competent rivals. It will be
interesting to watch how long they can keep this deception alive.
I feel that right from its inception, Pakistan will face some very
1. The incompetent political leadership will pave the way for
military dictatorship as it has happened in many Muslim countries.
2. The heavy burden of foreign debt.
3. Absence of friendly relationship with neighbours and the
possibility of armed conflict.
4. Internal unrest and regional conflicts.
5. The loot of national wealth by the neo-rich and industrialists of
6. The apprehension of class war as a result of exploitation by the
7. The dissatisfaction and alienation of the youth from religion and
the collapse of the theory of Pakistan.
8. The conspiracies of the international powers to control Pakistan.
In this situation, the stability of Pakistan will be under strain
and the Muslim countries will be in no position to provide any
worthwhile help. The assistance from other sources will not come
without strings and it will force both ideological and territorial
Part of Maulana Abul
Kalaam Azad's interview
with Shorish Kashmiri -
veteran journalist of the time and editor of Chattan.
Former Union Minister
Arif Mohd Khan translated
the Urdu interview
published in Chattan
that was carried by
Covert with the title 'The Man who knew the future.