My parents were born in modern-day Pakistan, father in Lahore and mother in Bhopalwala (district Sialkot). Dad was studying at Lahore Medical College when Partition forced him to move on. During childhood, Ma told us stories of the large amounts of land owned by her grandparents and the great times she had as a child in Pakistan.
Thus, I subconsciously grew up with some emotion for the land where most of my forefathers lived, although Nayyars hail from Jalandhar. I must add that my parents had zilch affection for their place of birth.
As I entered college and more so in the last 30 odd years, these emotions have vanished. Here are some reasons why:
1946: Direct Action to achieve Pakistan. "The worst Holocaust took place in Calcutta as the Muslim League government took a direct part in organising the Muslim attack against Hindus who were caught unaware but retaliated later. According to a rough official estimate, nearly 5,000 died, over 15,000 injured and about one lakh were rendered homeless".
I am yet to fathom how the grandson of Poonja Gokuldas Meghji (ie Mohammad Ali Jinnah) could give the go-ahead for these killings.
1947: Partition, the killing of half a million people and the displacement of 14 million.
During a 2014 visit to Jammu, I got to know of Balidan Bhawan in Rajouri. In November 1947, Kabayalis (Pakistani tribesmen) etc attacked this area killing app 20,000 people from Rajouri and nearby villages. The Bhawan was created in their memory and displays pictures of martyrs.
1947-48: The Kabayali action was followed up by an Army-backed occupation of large parts of the undivided state of Jammu and Kashmir that had acceded to India. Gilgit, Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir were permanently annexed. Pakistan violated the terms of the UN Resolution, failing to withdraw its forces from the occupied territories.
1963: Pakistan gifted Shaksgam Valley - 4,853sqkm of Indian territory in J&K - to China. This was used to construct the Karakoram Highway that connects China to Gwadar Port in Balochistan today.
1965: The India-Pakistan war started with the Kutch episode, that extended to J&K and Punjab.
"Under the Tashkent Agreement, India agreed to return the strategic Haji Pir Pass to Pakistan, in exchange for an undertaking by Pakistan to abjure the use of force to settle mutual disputes and adherence to the principles of non-interference."
Indians suffer from, what I call, the Prithviraj Chauhan syndrome, meaning inability to capitalise on victory and destroy enemy's strategic advantage/capability.
1971: War started over East Pakistan, later extended to J&K and Punjab.
India's former high commissioner to Pakistan G Parthasarathy recently wrote, "The Simla Agreement signed in 1972 after the Bangladesh conflict, by then Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, stated that the issue of J&K would be settled bilaterally between India and Pakistan, discarding recourse to earlier UN Resolutions. Despite the provisions of the Simla Agreement, Pakistan chose to enact a diplomatic soap opera in annual sessions of the UN General Assembly by demanding the UN action to resolve the Kashmir issue."
Has Pakistan fulfilled the promises it made after being defeated in wars of 1965 and 1971?
1983: The Khalistani Movement, in which over 21,000 Indians were killed, ended up being so violent due to Pakistani support. It was then that the AK-47 entered the Punjab conflict for the first time in May 1987.
1989 onwards: Over 43,000 people have died in the Kashmir insurgency and three lakh Kashmiri Pandits were driven out of their ancestral homes. This was probably the worst genocide that occurred in the recent times.
List of terror attacks in J&K is too long to list but here are a few.
a) The Charar-e-Sharif was burnt to the ground by Mast Gul.
b) The 1990 killing of an IAF squadron leader and 13 personnel by the JKLF cadres.
c) The Chittisinghpura massacre of 2000.
d) The Kaluchak massacre of 2002, in which 18 members of Army families were killed, among others.
One can blame the Congress and state governments for these two terror movements but Pakistan's support made these movements very violent.
1993: Allegedly provided sanctuary to criminal Feroz Konkani, who stabbed five mathadi (loaders) to death, one of the triggers which led to the Hindu retaliation thereafter.
Mumbai bomb blasts in 1993 left 257 dead and over 700 injured. It's well known that Pakistan provided training and support to those who organised blast.
1998: Kargil intrusions came merely months after Vajpayee's peace drive in Lahore.
In the same year, underworld don Fazl-ur-Rahman alias Fazlu, one of the closest associates of Dawood Ibrahim allegedly kidnapped Gautam Adani and Sanjay Agarwal of Pan Parag. Printing of fake Indian currency went on as well.
According to a white paper prepared by the home ministry, the cost of ISI terror between 1988-98 was:
|Nature of Cost/Loss||Value (in crore rupees)|
|Expenditure on Internal security||Rs 64,500|
|Security men killed||5,101|
|Indians hired by ISI||19,000|
|Pak/foreign militants sent into India||7,125|
Think of the economic and social cost that India had to bear all thanks to the ISI-sponsored terror! This money could have been used for hospitals, schools and hospitals instead.
1999: Picture of the then foreign affairs minister Jaswant Singh accompanying criminals to Kandahar is something no Indian should forget.
While the Kandahar hijack was extremely humiliating for India, Pakistan's role in several previous hijackings was established; the hijackers received significant help the moment planes landed in the neighbouring country. This includes the hijacking in January 1971, where the Pakistanis actually facilitated the burning of the plane on the tarmac in Lahore; in July 1984 and in August 1984, where a pistol used by the hijacker, who was eventually handed over to India by the UAE authorities after landing, was traced back to a consignment provided by Germany to Pakistan.
2001: Parliament House attack claimed seven lives.
2002: In Godhra, 58 women and children were burnt alive. Many have not pursued this angle but Colonel Anil Athale has a strong argument to prove why Pakistan may have orchestrated Godhra.
Attack on Akshardham Temple, Gandhinagar left 37 dead.
Attack on Jammu's most revered Raghunath Mandir left 12 dead.
2003: Bomb blasts at Mumbai's Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar killed 52 and 149 were injured.
2005: Powerful serial blasts hit Delhi - 59 dead and 200 injured.
2006: Mumbai train blasts left 209 dead and about 1,400 were injured. According to a Hindustan Times report of September 12, 2015, the following Pakistanis involved in the blasts are still absconding: Azam Chima of Bahawalpur, Aslam, Hafizullah, Sabir, Abu Kakr, Kasam Ali, Ammu Jaan, Ehsanullah, Abu Hasan and Abdul Rehman.
2008: Dreadful 26/11 Mumbai attacks crippled the city, leaving 186 dead.
The above is by no means an exhaustive list.
Can you think of any other country which has been subject to such attacks and terror for nearly 70 years?
Yet the proponents of Aman ki Asha and Track II diplomacy want Indians to forget all, ignore the principle of reciprocity, extend a hand of friendship and declare Siachen Glacier a zone of peace!
Do these people believe Indians are devoid of feelings, self-respect or have achieved nirvana?
Some say that if India gives Pakistan the Indian state of J&K, we will be friends. Such optimists should read Thoughts on Pakistan by Dr BR Ambedkar.
Those who burn candles at Wagah often say:
1. We are one: About ten years ago, a group of businessmen from Sindh were invited by Indian Merchants Chamber (IMC) Mumbai to explore business opportunities. Since the then president of the IMC was a Sindhi, some conversations were in Sindhi, guests said we are one people, emotions ran high just like when two lost brothers meet in a Manmohan Desai movie. During Q&A I politely asked the visitors, "If we were one people, what was the need for Partition". Silence!!
2. Culture and music know no boundaries: Much is made of the recent protest by the Shiv Sena against the Ghulam Ali concert. In 2004, singer Sonu Nigam escaped a car bomb blast outside his concert venue in Karachi. It was a peace concert to promote India-Pakistan relations. Recently, actor Anupam Kher was denied visa to Pakistan due to security reasons. Now, I ask: Have you ever heard about Indian actors starring in Pakistani movies?
The launch of former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri's book in Mumbai has grabbed quite a few headlines. The question is: Why was it launched here? It is size-of-market stupid! Way back in 1941, Dr BR Ambedkar justified Pakistan's expenditure pattern by saying that 77 per cent of undivided India's revenues were earned in modern-day India but their expenditure was disproportionately higher. Has anything changed?
India is like Kamadhenu - representing abundance and generosity for all - a constant giver, and Pakistanis want to keep benefitting infinitely from her bounty!
Am I suggesting we become like Pakistan? Not at all. We must value Indian lives, act resolutely to protect national interests and preserve our civilisation. This should not be construed to be Right-wing intolerance.
And that's why I thank my father for moving from Lahore or I would have to change my name, like Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien's cousins did, to say, an Abdul Hameed Nayyar.