December 25, 2004

Pakistani Studies Textbooks Can Cause Cognitive Dissonance in Students

By Yvette Rosser

The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) http://www.sdpi.org/ organized a conference in Islamabad on December 8 & 9 2004 where the author presented a
paper titled: "Troubled Times: Sustainable Development and Governance in
the Age of Extremes".

Abstract:The teleological nature of the civic responsibility to create
patriotic citizens finds a malleable tool in the social studies
curriculum where myth and fact often merge. Pakistan Studies textbooks are
particularly prone to the omissions, embellishments, and elisionsthat
often characterize historical narratives designed for social studies
classes. Discourses about Islam and its relationship to the Ideology of
Pakistan comprise the majority of Pakistan Studies textbooks which say,
"Namaz1prevents a Muslim from indulging in immoral and indecent acts." One
textbook states that governmental officers should "be honest, impartial
and devoted. They should keep in view betterment of common people and
should not act in a manner which may infringe the rights of others or
may cause inconvenience to others." This discourse does not tally with
the tales that the students have heard about corruption and the hassles
their parents have endured simply to pay a bill or collect a refu!
nd. Sev
eral students complained

A textbook published by the Punjab Textbook Board states, "The Holy
Prophet (PBUH) says that a nation which deviates from justice invites its
doom and destruction".2 With such a huge disparity between the ideal
and the real, there is a great deal of fatalism apparent among the
educated citizens and the school going youths concerning the state of the
nation. Pakistan Studies textbooks are full of inherent contradictions. On
one page the text brags about the modern banking system and on another
page complains that interest, riba, is unIslamic. There is also a
certain amount of self-loathing written into the Pakistan Studies textbooks,
the politicians are depicted as inept and corrupt and the
industrialists are described as pursuing "personal benefit even at the cost of
national interest".

Bouncing between the poles of conspiracy theory and threat from within,
the textbooks portray Pakistan as a victim of Western ideological
hegemony, threatened by the perpetual Machiavellian intentions of India's
military and espionage machine, together with the internal failure of its
politicians to effectively govern the country, coupled with the fact
that the economy is in the hands of a totally corrupt class of elite
business interests who have only enriched themselves at the cost of the
development of the nation. Ironically, in textbooks intended to create
patriotism and pride in the nation, the country is ridiculed and despised.
All of these failures of the state and internal and international
conspiracies could, according to the rhetoric in the textbooks, be countered
by the application of more strictly Islamic practices

Pakistani Studies Textbooks and Cognitive Dissonance in Students

All students in Pakistan are required to take courses called Pakistan
Studies and must pass standardized tests based on that curriculum.
Pakistan Studies is a compulsory subject in all secondary schools and
colleges. There are numerous textbooks published under this title for the 9th
class to the BA level. In general, the curriculum is a composite of
patriotic discourses, justification of the Two-Nation Theory,
hagiographies of Muslim heroes, and endemic in the discourse, polemics about the
superiority of Islamic principals over Hinduism. The rubric in these
textbooks must be learned by rote in order for students to pass the
required exam.

Many students in Pakistan with whom I have spoken not only dislike this
required course, but openly mock it. A student at a women's college in
Lahore told me that "Pak Studies classes were usually scheduled at five
or six in the afternoon" and "hardly any students attend," choosing
instead to spend their time studying for "important classes such as Math
or Urdu or English" which are held in the mornings. "Besides," the
student continued, "we've covered the Pak Studies material year after year,
it's just the same Lucknow Pact, Two-Nation Theory. . . we don't have
to study for the test, the Ideology of Pakistan has been drilled into
us."


Textbooks in Pakistan must first be approved by the Curriculum Wing of
the Ministry of Education in Islamabad after which they are published
by the provincial textbook boards located at Jamshoro in Sindh, Quetta
in Balouchistan, Lahore in Panjab, and Peshawar in the North West
Frontier Province (NWFP). The social studies curriculum in Pakistan, as both
product and propagator of the ''Ideology of Pakistan,'' derives its
legitimacy from a narrow set of directives. The textbooks authored and
altered during the eleven years of General Zia-ul-Haq's military rule
between 1977 and 1988, are still in use in most schools. They are decidedly
anti-democratic and inclined to dogmatic tirades and characterized by
internal contradictions.


When discussing General Zia'a lasting influence on the teaching of
social studies in Pakistan, a principal at a woman's college in Lahore told
me a joke which she said was well known among intellectuals in the
country, "General Zia-- May He Rest in Pieces." Indeed, after his airplane
exploded in the sky, the pieces of his body were never found, along
with the American ambassador and several other top brass generals on board
the fatal flight. The casket in Zia's mausoleum near the beautiful
Faizl Mosque built with Saudi money in Islamabad, purportedly contains only
his false teeth, jawbone, and eyeglasses. The remaining weight of his
coffin is compensated with sandbags. There are, however, bits and pieces
of Zia-ul Haq's body politic littered across the Pakistani
psychological, educational, political, and military landscape.

During the past three decades, the Pakistani military3 has
helped to empower a vast cadre of politically motivated, religiously
conservative Mujahideen, evidenced by the accelerating crisis in Kashmir,
the war like situation in Kargil, airplane hijackings, and the
Talibanization of madrass education. This continuing move towards Islamization
is accentuated against the ominous backdrop of nuclear testing, missile
development, failed diplomacy, and sporadic tit-for-tat acrimonious
exchanges between India and Pakistan. The social studies curriculum in
Pakistan employs a very narrow definition of Islam in the construction of
Pakistani nationalism.

Islamization is a controversial term with a variety of
interpretations. There are subtle distinctions among usages of words such as
Islamization, Islamic nationalism, Islamic Republic, Islamizing, that
represent the manipulation and implementation of religious terminology
and symbols as political tools. Both Maududi of the Jaamat-I-Islami and
Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran saw Islamization as a model for the
world-wide community of Islamic Ummah, distinct from Islamic nationalism, which
is "essentially a Western, non-Islamic, secular, and territorial
concept that emphasizes patriotism and love of one's nation-state, its sacred
territory, political institutions and symbols".5 A more thoroughly
Islamized Pakistan, which would finally fulfill the true Shariat-ruled
mandate inherent in the creation of an Islamic Republic was how General Zia
constructed the meaning of his Islamization campaign, which he
propagated and popularized as the inevitable evolution of Pakistani nat!
ionalism
. Zia institutionalized a

The "Ideology of Pakistan'quot; is based on Islamic nationalism.
Islamization is what Zia called it, but not coincidentally. He was
consciously pushing for stricter adherence to external expressions of religion,
placating conservative forces, exerting social control, influencing
social norms. Pakistan's ideology of "Islamic nationalism," still has a
dynamic and powerful hold over the overwhelming majority of Pakistanis.
Professor Mir Zohair Husain wrote in a personal communication:

Just because Zia used the word 'Islamization' time and again, doesn't
mean that he was successful in his so-called 'Islamization' of Pakistani
political and economic institutions. While Pakistan's governing elite
may have been relatively liberal, pragmatic and secular, the majority of
Pakistanis were always devout Muslims, and Pakistani culture was always
'Islamic' [and] thus didn't need any further 'Islamizing.' If Zia's
so-called 'Islamization' of Pakistani society had actually occurred,
Pakistanis would never have elected two relatively liberal, pragmatic, and
secular Muslims to run Pakistan four times in 11 years in free and fair
elections based on adult franchise--Benazir Bhutto (1988-1990,
1993-1996) and Nawaz Sharif (1990-1993, 1996-1999). General Pervaiz Musharraf,
who usurped power on October 12th, 1999, is also a liberal and
pragmatic Muslim, who has said that he admired Mustafa Kemal Ataturk of Turkey
[who] is denounced by devout Muslims all over the world for bei!
ng a sec
ular dictator who tried t

Husain's observation, contrasting the elites with the more "Islamized
common" people highlights the irony of Zia's efforts. Though this
impetus to Islamize the outward manifestations of social and political
institutions was itself a reflection of a world-wide movement towards
religious conservatism and fundamentalism within the Islamic community, the
results of twenty years of Zia's Islamization indoctrination programme
has given rise to more women in burqas, a generation of Pakistani girls
prevented by social conventions from riding bicycles, and militant
mullahs preaching political jihad from their Friday pulpits. Though
certainly, these expressions are part of the international trend among Muslims
toward religious conservatism, Zia latched on to that and used it. The
Islamization of Pakistan initiated during the eighties brought an end
to the liberal secular ambience of the sixties and seventies, inherited
from the sophisticated and educated father of the nation, Quaid-e-!
Azam, wh
en some women still wore


Men in Pakistan have also adopted more Islamic expressions in their
outward attire. Prior to the pressures exerted by Zia to Islamize all
facets of society, Pakistani men who sported long beards and short pants
could be seen on their way to pray at the Mosque, they were respected as
either sincere Tabliqi practitioners or elderly gentlemen who had
performed Haj. Now, as friend in Sindh told me, 'Most of the men who dress
up as mullahs are quacks and crackpots. Every dacoit, shopkeeper, middle
class businessman, and rickshaw wala wants to look like a mullah.'He
added, 'Twenty or thirty years ago Pakistani men were not judged by the
length of their pants or their beards.' Once social and political
conventions become codified by conservative religious dictates, it is
extremely difficult to break or oppose those newly imposed norms that quickly
become sacrosanct and in fact, required of 'true believers'. External
expressions of Islamization, such as traditional Muslim fashion--b!
eards an
d caps for males, burqas,


Since the deadly terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., on
September 11, 2001, the popular media in the West has begun to pay
attention to the vitriolic anti-American narratives that are pervasive in
textbooks in several Islamic countries, including allies such as Saudi
Arabia. For years, objective Pakistani scholars have warned that the
textbooks in Pakistan were fomenting hatred and encouraging
fundamentalism. For several decades now, textbooks in not only Pakistan, but many
Islamic nations have promoted a radically restrictive brand of Islamic
exclusivism, and exported that perspective to other nations as in the case
of Pakistani born Taliban and their negative impact on Afghani society.
In March 2001, an article I wrote appeared in The Friday Times, a
weekly newspaper published in Lahore, Pakistan. In that article I warned of
the imminent blowback of America's foreign policies, in the 1980's in
South Asia.6 Unfortunately, the dire predictions became front-pa!
ge news
on September 11, 2001 and

In the minds of a generation of Pakistanis, indoctrinated by the
"Ideology of Pakistan' are lodged fragments of hatred and suspicion. The
story manufactured to further Zia's 'Be Pakistani/Buy Pakistani' worldview
is presented through a myopic lens of hyper-nationalism and the
politicized use of Islam. According to Dr. Magsi, a psychiatrist at the Civil
Hospital in Karachi, 'When Civics classes teach negative values' the
result is a xenophobic and paranoid acceptance of authoritarianism and
the denial of cultural differences and regional ethnic identities.' In
the past few decades, social studies textbooks in Pakistan have been used
as locations to articulate the hatred that Pakistani policy makers have
attempted to inculcate towards their Hindu neighbors. Vituperative
animosities legitimize military and autocratic rule, nurturing a siege
mentality. Pakistan Studies textbooks are an active site for negatively
representing India and othering the Subcontinent's indigenous past.


The teleological nature of the civic responsibility to create patriotic
citizens finds a malleable tool in the social studies curriculum where
myth and fact often merge. The many textbooks published in Pakistan
under the title Pakistan Studies are particularly prone to the omissions,
embellishments, and elisions that often characterize historical
narratives designed for secondary level social studies classes. During the
time of General Zia-ul Haq, social studies, comprised of history and
geography, were replaced by Pakistan Studies, which was made a compulsory
subject for all students from the ninth standard through the first year
of college including engineering and medical schools. Curriculum
changes, institutionalized during Zia's Islamization campaign, required that
all students also take a series of courses under the title Islamiyat,
the study of Islamic tenants and memorization of Quranic verses.
Committees formed under Zia's guidance began to systematically edit the t!
extbooks
. The University Grants C

To demonstrate that the basis of Pakistan is not to be founded in
racial, linguistic, or geographical factors, but, rather, in the shared
experience of a common religion. To get students to know and appreciate the
Ideology of Pakistan, and to popularize it with slogans. To guide
students towards the ultimate goal of Pakistan'the creation of a completely
Islamized State.7


Pervez Hoodbhoy and A.H. Nayyar published an article, 'Rewriting the
History of Pakistan' in 1985 when Zia's policies were in full swing. They
commence with a near prophetic comment regarding the inevitable and
eventual blowback from General Zia's efforts to Islamize the educational
system, 'the full impact of which will probably be felt by the turn of
the century, when the present generation of school children attains
maturity.'8 Nayyar and Hoodbhoy explain that the UGC's directives centered
on four themes:

1. The 'Ideology of Pakistan,' both as a historical force which
motivated the movement for Pakistan as well as its raison d'être

2. The depiction of Jinnah as a man of orthodox religious views who
sought the creation of a theocratic state

3. A move to establish the 'ulama' ' as genuine heroes of he Pakistan
Movement

4. An emphasis on ritualistic Islam, together with the rejection of
interpretations of the religion and generation of communal antagonism 9


The broad expanse of South Asian history is a tabula rasa upon which
Pakistani historians and policy makers have created the story of a new
nation replete with cultural roots and ancient socio-religious
trajectories. This manufactured view of the past narrates Pakistan's emergence as
an independent country: in just seven short years, under the
enlightened guidance of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Quaid-e-Azam, the father of the
country, Pakistan rose from the strife and oppression of religious
communalism in Hindu dominated India to join the comity of modern nations.
Nayyar and Hoodbhoy explain, "The 'recasting' of Pakistani history [has
been] used to 'endow the nation with a historic destiny'."10The story of
Pakistan's past is intentionally written to be distinct from and often
in direct contrast with interpretations of history found in India.

In the early seventies, Z.A. Bhutto in a precarious political position,
governing a drastically diminished territory, strove to win the support
of the religious sectors of the population. He had the textbooks
altered to placate these factions. An integrated Pakistan, one strong Islamic
nation that could overcome separatist movements and prevent another
splitting such as the creation of Bangladesh, was the mandate. To appease
the conservative clerics, such policies as the declaration that
Ahamadis11 were "non-Muslims" were enacted under Bhutto. Textbooks laid even
greater stress on the Islamic perspective of historical events.
Islamiyat was made a required subject up until class eight. The use of the
phrase, "The Ideology of Pakistan" had already been inserted into social
studies textbooks during Bhutto's first term, and pre-Islamic South Asian
history was obliterated. Despite all this, Bhutto gets no credit for
Islamization, textbooks calling his efforts 'too little, too lat!
e.'

The military coup that ended Bhutto's second term and eventually his
life brought his protégé General Zia-ul Haq to power. Islamization began
in full measure. Non-Muslims, such as Hindus in rural Sindh, were made
to vote in separate electorates. Blasphemy laws were often used
selectively against non-Muslims. The phrase "Ideology of Pakistan" was
installed with vigor and the textbooks were rewritten by committee to
reassert the Islamic orientations of Pakistani nationalism according to
General Zia's socio-political decrees. It has now been over a decade and a
half since Zia was assassinated yet, the textbooks he caused to be
authorized have survived four democratically elected governments, and the
supposed de-jihadization campaign of General Musharraf, the propagandistic
tone of the historical narrative is still taught as absolute truth to
the youth of Pakistan. Zia is depicted as benevolent and religious
minded, a discourse that remains in the textbooks published through th!
e 1990's
during the two tenures o

>From their government issued textbooks, students are taught that
Hindus are backwards, superstitious, they burn their widows and wives, and
that Brahmins are inherently cruel, and if given a chance, would assert
their power over the weak, especially Muslims and Shuddras, depriving
them of education by pouring molten lead in their ears.12 In their
social studies classes, students are taught that Islam brought peace,
equality, and justice to the Subcontinent and only through Islam could the
sinister ways of Hindus be held in check. In Pakistani textbooks "Hindu"
rarely appears in a sentence without adjectives such as politically
astute, sly, or manipulative.

Teaching Cognitive Dissonance

Discourses about Islam and its relationship to the Ideology of Pakistan
comprise the majority of Pakistan Studies textbooks that delve at
length on how Islam can create a fair and just nation,

In the eyes of a Muslim all human beings are equal and there is no
distinction based on race or colour [. . . .] The rich or poor [are] all
equal before law. A virtuous and pious man has precedence over others
before Allah.13

This Pakistan Studies textbook goes on to say, "Namaz 14prevents a
Muslim from indulging in immoral and indecent acts." And regarding issues
of justice, the 1999 edition of this Pakistan Studies textbook, which is
used widely in Pakistan states,

On official level (sic) all the officers and officials must perform
their duties justly, i.e., they should be honest, impartial and devoted.
They should keep in view betterment of common people and should not act
in a manner which may infringe the rights of others or may cause
inconvenience to others.


How does this discourse tally with the tales that the students have
heard about corruption and the hassles their parents have endured simply
to pay a bill or collect a refund? Several students in Pakistan
complained that they felt cheated and pessimistic when they read these things.
They were angry because they could not rectify their cognitive
dissonance of what they hear about elected officials and wealthy landholders
and industrialists buying off court cases lodged against them or simply
not charged for known crimes, with statements from their textbooks such
as,

Every one should be equal before law and the law should be applied
without any distinction or discrimination. [. . . ] Islam does not approve
that certain individuals may be considered above law.


A textbook published by the Punjab Textbook Board states, "The Holy
Prophet (PBUH) says that a nation which deviates from justice invites its
doom and destruction" (emphasis added).15 With such a huge disparity
between the ideal and the real, there is a great deal of fatalism
apparent among the educated citizens and the school going youths concerning
the state of the nation in Pakistan. Further compounding the students'
distress and distancing them from either their religion or their
nation-state, or both, are contradictory statements made in this Pakistan
Studies book that "the enforcement of Islamic principles . . . does not
approve dictatorship or the rule of man over man." Compared with the
reality unfolding a few paragraphs later when the student is told
uncritically that,

General Muhammad Ayub Khan captured power and abrogated the
constitution of 1956 [...] dissolved the assemblies and ran the affairs of the
country under Martial Law without any constitution.16


In Md. Sarwar's Pakistan Studies a whole chapter is
dedicated to 'Islamization of Pakistan' with subtitles, 'Islamization Under
Zia,' 'Hindrances to Islamization,' and 'Complete Islamization is Our
Goal'. Other themes and events in the history and culture of Pakistan are
judged vis-à-vis their relationship and support of 'complete
Islamization'. Within this rhetoric are found dire warnings that Islam should be
applied severely so that it can guard against degenerate Western
influences, yet a few pages later the text encourages the students to embrace
Western technological innovations in order to modernize the country.
One part of the book complains that Muslims in British India lost out on
economic opportunities because conservative religious forces rejected
Western education yet a few pages later the authors are telling the
students to use Islam to fend off the influences of Western education,
eulogizing the efforts of conservative clerics who are the last hope !
of preve
nting the degeneration of

The Sarwar textbook claims that Islam sees no differences
and promotes unity among peoples while it also discriminates between
Muslims and nonbelievers. On page 120 the author states,

The Islamic state, of course, discriminates between Muslim citizens and
religious minorities and preserves their separate entity. Islam does
not conceal the realities in the guise of artificialities or hypocrisy.
By recognizing their distinct entity, Islamic state affords better
protection to its religious minorities. Despite the fact that the role of
certain religious minorities, especially the Hindus in East Pakistan, had
not been praiseworthy, Pakistan ensured full protection to their rights
under the Constitution. Rather the Hindu Community enjoyed privileged
position in East Pakistan by virtue of is effective control over the
economy and the media. It is to be noted that the Hindu representatives in
the 1st Constituent Assembly of Pakistan employed delaying tactics in
Constitution-making.


That this claim is exaggerated can be seen in the recent book by Allen
McGrath, The Destruction of Democracy in Pakistan, in which the author,
a lawyer, analyzes the efforts at constitution making in the first
decade after independence before Iskandar Mizra dissolved the National
Assembly. In the McGrath book the productive role D.N. Dutt, a Hindu from
East Pakistan played in constitution making is mentioned. Yet, in
Pakistan Studies textbooks, anti-Hindu rhetoric and the vilification of the
Hindu community of East Pakistan are the standard fare.


In this particular version of Pakistani history, which is the official
version, General Zia-ul-Haq is portrayed as someone who "took concrete
steps in the direction of Islamization." He is often portrayed as very
pious and perhaps stitching caps alongside Aurangzeb. Though Zulfikar
Ali Bhutto is generally criticized in the textbooks, General Zia escapes
most criticism though he was the most autocratic of the four military
rulers who have usurped the political process in Pakistan. Each time
that martial law was declared in Pakistan, and the constitution aborted,
placed in abeyance, or otherwise raped, textbooks describe it as a
necessary repercussion responding to the rise of decadent secular values.
Dr. Sarwar describes martial law as an inevitable solution stimulated by
unIslamic forces,

During the period under Zia's regime, social life developed a leaning
towards simplicity. Due respect and reverence to religious people was
accorded. The government patronized the religious institutions and
liberally donated funds.17


This textbook and many like it, claim that there is a "network of
conspiracies and intrigues" which are threatening the "Muslim world in the
guise of elimination of militancy and fundamentalism." In this treatment
Pakistan, under the guidance of General Zia, takes credit for the fall
of the Soviet Union and lays claim to have created a situation in the
modern world where Islamic revolutions can flourish and the vacuum left
by the fall of the USSR will "be filled by the world of Islam." The
Sarwar textbook continues, "The Western world has full perception of this
phenomena, [which] accounts for the development of reactionary trends
in that civilization." Concluding this section under the subheading
'Global Changes,' the author seems to be preparing for Samuel Huntington's
Clash of Civilizations when he writes,

The Muslim world has full capabilities to face the Western challenges
provided Muslims are equipped with self-awareness and channelize their
collective efforts for the well being of the Muslim Ummah. All evidences
substantiate Muslim optimism indicating that the next century will
glorify Islamic revolution with Pakistan performing a pivotal role.18


Pakistan Studies textbooks are full of inherent
contradictions. On one page the text brags about the modern banking system and on
another page complains that interest, riba, is unIslamic. There is also
a certain amount of self-loathing written into the Pakistan Studies
textbooks, the politicians are depicted as inept and corrupt and the
industrialists are described as pursuing "personal benefit even at the cost
of national interest".

Bouncing between the poles of conspiracy theory and threat from within,
the textbooks portray Pakistan as a victim of Western ideological
hegemony, threatened by the perpetual Machiavellian intentions of India's
military and espionage machine, together with the internal failure of its
politicians to effectively govern the country, coupled with the fact
that the economy is in the hands of a totally corrupt class of elite
business interests who have only enriched themselves at the cost of the
development of the nation. Ironically, in textbooks intended to create
patriotism and pride in the nation, the country is ridiculed and despised.
All of these failures of the state and internal and international
conspiracies could, according to the rhetoric in the textbooks, be countered
by the application of more strictly Islamic practices. In July of 1999,
I spoke to several well-placed individuals who told me that they would
welcome a Taliban type government in Pakistan so that the cou!
ntry cou
ld 'finally achieve its b


Most of the people I met in Pakistan in the late nineties were alarmed
about the "Talibanization of the nation". I was told time and again
'the CIA created the Taliban Frankenstein in Pakistan's backyard, then
walked away, leaving the monster behind'. Some Pakistanis, inspired by the
politicized sermons of Mullah elites, vociferously called for a
'Taliban type system' and are willing to die to Islamize the nation. This may
be especially true among the poor, whose only access to education is in
a crowded Madrassa where they learn that Sunni Islam is poised to take
over the world of kafirs (non-believers) and apostates. These
economically and emotionally deprived young men have been taught that a Taliban
type system could overcome their poverty, their powerlessness and
despair. Caught between conspiracies, corruption and the Holy Quran, they
see no alternatives.


When textbooks and clerics cry conspiracy and the majority of
newspapers, particularly the Urdu press, misinform the people and sensationalize
the issues; the tendency for Pakistanis to feel betrayed and persecuted
is not surprising. During the 1971 war, newspapers in Pakistan told
very little about the violent military crack down in Dhaka nor did they
keep the people informed of the deteriorating strategic situation. The
role of the Mukti Bahini19 was practically unknown in the western wing of
the country, and when defeat finally came, it was a devastating and
unexpected shock that could only be explained by the treachery of Indira
Gandhi, who is often quoted as saying, 'We have sunk the Two-Nation
Theory in the Bay of Bengal'. India remains a hyperbolic threat to
Pakistan's existence.

In the thirty years since the 'fall of Dhaka' the government controlled
curriculum still does not include a historically circumspect version of
the causes of the civil war that dismembered the nation. It is no
wonder that during and in the aftermath of the Kargil crisis in the summer
of 1999, newspapers often ran stories referring to the occupation of the
heights above Kargil as 'revenge for 1971.' There is a chronic shortage
of objective information available to the majority of Pakistani
citizens that can adequately explain the actual events that led to the three
wars with India. Kashmir in 1948, the war with India in 1965, and the
Bangladesh War of Independence have become national metaphors20 for
betrayal within and a reminder of the constant threat looming from Hindu
India. The split-up of the nation and the creation of Bangladesh remains a
potent symbol of Pakistan's disempowerment and a constant reminder of
what will happen if the Muslim Ummah does not remain vigilant.

During the war-like situation in the summer of 1999 at the Line of
Control near Kargil, the Pakistani government claimed that the Mujahideen
were not physically supported by Pakistan, that they were indigenous
Kashmiri freedom fighters. However, the presence of satellite television,
the Internet, and newspapers which are now more connected to
international media sources, offered the possibility of broader exposure than
during the two previous wars fought over Kashmir. Perhaps there is at
least one positive outcome of the tragic Kargil crisis where hundreds of
young men lost their lives; in the aftermath there was an outpouring of
newspaper and magazine articles in Pakistan that attempted to analyze
the brinkmanship from various angles. Such critical reflexivity is
essential in a civil society. Although some of the essays in Pakistani
newspapers prophetically called for the military to take over the government
in the wake of Nawaz Sharif's sell out to the imperialist Clinton,!
most of
the discussions were mor

Pakistani textbooks are particularly prone to historical narratives
manipulated by omission,according to Avril Powell, professor of history at
the University of London. History by erasure can have its long-term
negative repercussions. Another example of this is the manner in which the
Indo-Pak War of 1965 is discussed in Pakistani textbooks. In standard
narrations of the 65 War manufactured for students and the general
public, there is no mention of Operation Gibraltar, even after four decades.
In fact, several university level history professors whom I interviewed
claimed never to have heard of Operation Gibraltar and the
repercussions of that ill-planned military adventurism which resulted in India's
attack on Lahore. In Pakistani textbooks the story is told that 'the
Indian army, unprovoked, inexplicably attacked Lahore' and that 'one
Pakistani jawan (soldier) equals ten Indian soldiers', who, upon seeing the
fierce Pakistanis, 'drop their banduks (rifles) and run away'. !
Many peo
ple in Pakistan still thi

Operation Gibraltar, the 1999 debacle in Kargil, and especially the
tragic lessons that could have been learned from the Bangladesh War are
products of the same myopic processes. The Kargil crisis was a legacy of
the lack of information that citizens have had about the real history
of their country. The Kashmiri conflict has left a trail of denied
incursions and undeclared wars. In 1948 the Pakistani army took an active
role in the military action in Kashmir, and numerous historical accounts,
such as Hodson's The Great Divide, offer evidence that Jinnah was ready
'to call the whole thing off' if 'India would withdraw' its forces.'21
In a letter to Mountbattan in late December 1948, Nehru wrote that

the resources of Pakistan are being employed. . .[and] the invasion of
Kashmir is not an accidental affair resulting from the fanaticism or
exuberance of the tribesmen, but a well-organized business with the
backing of the state.


Nehru added ominously, 'The present objective is Kashmir. The next
declared objective is Patiala, East Punjab and Delhi. 'On to Delhi' is the
cry all over West Punjab.'22


You can email feedback to author on yvetterosser@yahoo.com

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

From Another Forum:

The pakistanis are good at blaming others for their ills to cover up their own failures. Its the same with muslim theologians and religious leaders. There is nothing surprising in this kind of a strategy of pakistan, its a nation based on islam. Like islam, it has to project everything non islamic as the reason for its poor state !!!

Let the pakistani people realise that their saslvation lies not in Islam. No people have progressed by following this uncouth ideology. They must get back to becoming a knowledge society. Their land was always one before the barbarians from the west destroyed every trace of their greatness. For that to happen, the yoke of islam has to be jettisoned once and for all.

job opportunitya said...

Fruitful blog. I favor your site and I shall
return to it! I go to sites like this when I get the
chance, and find blog just like this.
No matter when you are, just stop by and check for my free conference calling blog site.

job opportunitya said...

Enchanting blog. Your site was off the chain and I
will return! I peep the web for blogs just like this
one.
Go and click my plastic surgery chicago blog.