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Pakpotpourri2 supports no political party or institution. Pakpotpourri2 only supports a strong, prosperous,independent Pakistan.The views expressed on the blog do not represent the views of the blogs and are the sole intellectual property of the writer(s).

Eluding Peace

ArticleYAAPeace is a state desired not only on a personal level but also on national level and in relationships between nations. Yet it continues to elude at all levels. On a very general level it may be defined as, ‘freedom from disturbance; tranquility.’ Yet, how many of us, at an individual level have ‘complete’ peace? Not many, is my bet. Each one of us has those gray areas in our lives that perturb us. Relationships can be marred by various differences.

Then there is the national peace we hanker after, especially in today’s Pakistan. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as, a) ‘a state in which there is no war or fighting b) an agreement to end a war and c) a period of time when there is no war or fighting. In a country fraught with differences that have reached a boiling point, any difference to approach is dealt with extra-judiciously. A country with citizens and those residing within (they may not be citizens), armed with the latest state-of-the-art weapons with little or no accountability, taking law in their hands settle scores. The culprits are either not nabbed or go unpunished. The writ of the state has been negatively affected as a result.  Root causes of lack of peace, leading to terrorism are many like injustice, increasing levels of social gap, economic disparity with the rich accumulating more and more wealth and the poor falling to sustenance level or below, lack of equal opportunities to better one’s social standing, rampant corruption that has seeped into every level of the society, increasing radicalism resulting from politicizing religion etc. Religious conflicts have increased over time, deepening rather than lessening. Unfortunately, since 2001, religious conflicts owing to armed factions has become a huge security threat to the nation; in particular its innocent citizens. A difficult-to-manage border situation with Afghanistan does not help.

Unfortunately, various governments that have come and gone have not really processed through the issues to move towards a logical solution. A short term and long term plan has been consistently missing, marrying a political and social approach towards addressing the issues at base level. If at all, there has been an effort to address an issue, at best it has been at a superficial level. A friend argued this is so because governments have been dismissed repeatedly, take-overs by the Army been a regular feature of Pakistan’s checkered past. I respectfully disagree. Though the fact so stated, cannot be denied, it is also a fact that the civilian governments formed to rule have failed to develop a blueprint to the effect, what to speak of taking the first step towards any implementation that even came close to addressing the issues briefly touched upon.

The challenge that faces the Pakistan government is to reorient the people of Pakistan ideologically. This is a more uphill task than original orientation. It requires more focused, more determined approach towards clearing up of the fog enveloping the society. There is, in many pockets, a genuine confusion. This confusion is often channelized by vested interest groups into acts of hate having a negative cascading effect on the society. Arshi Saleem Hashmi, Senior Research Analyst, Institute of Regional Studies, Islamabad in his research paper published way back in 2009 states, ‘The real clash is not between Islam and the west, as projected, but between the orthodox and the moderates. The key question is how far the new generation will be different from the one lost to orthodoxy and militancy. Pakistan’s inability to control radicalization limits its capacity to engage in a sustained struggle to control extremism and terrorism and revive the pluralist and tolerant spirit of Pakistan’. He just about hit the nail on the head here. He suggests, ‘Pakistan needs to emphasize the synthesis of culture and religion rather than be influenced by “Arabization” to prove its true Islamic credentials’. I could not agree more. In my earlier articles I have always promoted support to all cultures, religions, sects within under the umbrella of Pakistan. Appreciation of the differences that enriches the society.  Former President FW De Klerk to the Rotary Reunion Conference Cape Town, on 04 February 2011 rightly said, “The main threat to peace during the 21st century will come from the inability of states to manage relationships between ethnic, cultural and religious communities.”

Then there is peace sought at international level. J. Kirk Boyd; a lawyer and professor at the University of California in his article on peace (excerpted from 2048: Humanity’s Agreement to Live Together; on May 11, 2010) writes, “Religious diversity also lies at the root of some of the ongoing conflicts in the world. Ongoing tensions in India have their roots in the unresolved conflict between Moslems and Hindus in Kashmir and elsewhere in the sub-continent. Differences between Hindus, Moslems and Sikhs in India; and Moslems and Christians in Nigeria and Sudan all create volatile situations that can explode into violence and terrorism at almost any time…. The age of the single culture, single language state is over. Two thirds of the world’s 200 countries have minorities comprising more than 10% of their populations. Cultural and ethnic minorities now comprise more than 900 million people throughout the world – one in seven of the human population… Everywhere populations are becoming more multicultural. Throughout the world people are on the move, legally or illegally, across borders, across continents and across oceans.”

The problem surfaces when one or more nations become more equal than equal. They take over the moral responsibility of making a determination as to who is right and who is wrong. Not stopping at that, they then launch upon a course of action to punish the ‘wrong doer’. This responsibility is left best to the relevant world forums without being subjected to external influences. Sometimes, one or more religious, ethnic groups overshadow others marginalizing space for their freedom. This too leads to chaos.

In a world riddled with conflict, there must be an effort to move towards a harmonious one. Peace however, cannot be imposed by pressure, threats and bullying. This has to be achieved with patience, setting of specific time related goals, addressing issues at grassroots level.  Thor Halvorssen, President of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation and founder and CEO of the Oslo Freedom Forum in his article writes, “Meaningful peace is never based on coercion between nations. It is based on open international communication, and problem-solving through non-violent channels. Such a network can only exist when its individual pieces are free.” (Forbes Magazine 12/09/2011) Nations must stop viewing issues through a narrow prism with self-interest first.  One country cannot be allowed to get away with a wrong as the world criticizes another for the same. He further shares, “If we are to achieve meaningful peace, the foreign policy of free governments and the cultural export of free societies must: help build civil society, establish rule of law, secure individual freedoms, spark economic development, separate religion and government, secure freedom of thought and belief, and expose human rights violations.” Agreed with Thor!

Nations world over must decide; how long will peace elude them?

The writer is a lawyer, academic and political analyst. She has authored a book titled A Comparative Analysis of Media & Media Laws in Pakistan. Her email is: and tweets at @yasmeen_9

This is a cross post from Pakistan Today published 15 April 2014.

Afghanistan elections and Pakistan

ArticleYAAThe question deals less with which candidate wins the presidential race and more with the legitimacy and acceptance of the election results by the multiethnic population of Afghanistan. The Afghan election system follows that of the French. There are a total of 11 candidates in the run and it is not possible for any one of these aspirants to get more than 50 per cent of total votes. This will mean the two candidates getting the highest votes will be pitted against each other in the second round. The process of declaring an ultimate winner can take a few months if one takes into consideration the disputes erupting as a result of ballot complaints. The second round of two leading contestants will take minimum six weeks from the date of the first, or even more.

The question that is important here is whether or not the Uzbek, Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Nuristani, Pamiri, Aimak and others will accept the result or will Afghanistan descend into civil war. The latter is most likely. The apparent stronger candidate Abdullah Abdullah, previously Karzai’s foreign minister, resigned and in 2009 had emerged as a serious contender to the Afghan President post. He garnered enough votes to make it to the second round. However, he does not command Pashtun support in Afghanistan. Hence, any opposing contender of his, assuming there is a second round will walk away with the Pashtun votes for the simple reason that Abdullah will not be acceptable to them.

The Afghan National Security Forces are not strong enough to counter a full blown insurgency. Although in most areas, the local forces are responsible for maintaining law and order, the international forces do patrol to support them in certain areas upon request. Let us not forget a doggedly continuing insurgency continues in the eastern and southern part of Afghanistan as I write.

Afghanistan is going to face shortage of investment, security back-up support, collapse on the front of transportation and reconstruction upon the international forces leaving its land. There will be a dire need to focus on long term sustainable programmes based on strengthening the economy. This can only follow a peaceful transition of power, or at least near peaceful.

Afghanistan will no longer be recipient of heavy international aid to restructure its economy. It needs to develop production sectors, looking for markets to sell their wares inside and outside Afghanistan. But, as Pakistan’s example teaches us, economic stability relies on secure environment. Killings, insurgency and related security instability can effectively make the capital take flight outside the borders.

The Afghan ground will be fertile for Taliban with the international forces out of the picture. Russia, Iran and India will support the anti-Taliban forces;India’s investment in Afghanistan is a whooping US $2 billion in development aid and has a huge stake there. In 2011 both countries had signed an agreement to the effect that India will train and equip the Afghan Security Forces. Afghanistan’s importance for India is further emphasized by Rupakjyoti Borah and Panditdeendayal in their article. “Afghanistan is important for India’s energy security. Afghanistan is India’s gateway to energy-rich Central Asia – the US$7.6 billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline is scheduled to start bringing natural gas from Turkmenistan to India by 2017… India has a big economic stake in Afghanistan. It owns the mining rights to three of the four blocks of the Hajigak iron ore deposits, west of the capital city of Kabul, and has funded the construction of the 218 kilometer Zaranj-Delaram road in Afghanistan, which gives landlocked Afghanistan access to the sea via Iran. India uses the Iranian port of Chabahar to ferry supplies to Afghanistan because Pakistan refuses to give India access overland to Afghanistan.” (Published August 6, 2013)

Iran on the other hand is using media in Afghanistan with an aim to gain stronger influence. “Nearly a third of Afghanistan’s media is backed by Iran, either financially or through providing content, Afghan officials and media groups say. Iran spends $100 million a year in Afghanistan, much of it on the media, civil society projects and religious schools, says Daud Moradian, a former foreign ministry advisor who now teaches at the American University in Kabul.” (Reuters, May 24, 2012)

On the Russian front, Karzai offered unequivocal support to Russia in it annexation of Crimea. Russia is viewed as a natural ally to Afghanistan in the changing geopolitical scenario. Russia has not forgotten Pakistan’s role in supporting USA vis-à-vis Russia in the 1980s. China has supported Pakistan principally, whereas Russia has done the same for India. A tricky situation by any given standard.

Pakistan is in a noose. On the one hand it needs to deal with militant outfits on its soil. There are no two ways to go about it. On the other hand, in the evolving situation next door, with a next to impossible border to manage between the two countries, there is a strong chance of the Afghan soil being used to organize attacks within Pakistan by the militants rather than the other way round. A report by Stratfor states, “Pakistan has hoped a negotiated settlement between the United States and the Afghan Taliban ending the insurgency in Afghanistan would eventually help Islamabad deal with militants on Pakistani side of the border.” (April 15, 2013)

One interesting point the report raises is, “If the Afghan Taliban are not part of a broad-based coalition government in Kabul, Pakistan will face serious difficulties in getting a handle on its own Taliban rebels. This explains why Pakistan has been pushing for a balance of power between the Taliban and anti-Taliban forces.” However, with Taliban not having participated in the 2014 elections, such participation is not possible. Being a militant group and being a politically organized party are two different things altogether.

So what does Pakistan do? It has landed itself in a situation where they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. There is no perceived ally with which Pakistan can associate itself or rely upon to counter this situation. Allying itself with Saudi Arabia in this volatile situation may well lead to more complications for obvious reasons. The argument between the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ Taliban will not hold. Let us be clear that the standing between Pakistan and Taliban (earlier called the Mujahideen) is a different and difficult one than when created to counter Russian influence in Afghanistan. Policy making in Pakistan is divided owing to a mix of extreme right, right, moderate and left legislators.

Author Mike Malloy rightly said, “Afghanistan – where empires go to die.”

One sincerely hopes it does not drag down Pakistan with it.


Roadmap of talks with Taliban

Militant outfits must shun terrorism for good

ArticleYAAHere it is: the first talk between the newly formed committee of the government and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan took place a few days ago. The government’s team was headed by Secretary Ports and Shipping Habibullah Khan Khattak. The three members of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan were headed by Maulana Samiul Haq. Some members of TTP Shura were also in attendance. According to a local newspaper report the venue was the house of one Mohammad Jamil, a retired Levies subedar in Bilandkhel area.

The same report states the talks revolved around two points; first, extending the ceasefire between the government and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and second, release of detainees who may technically be deemed as ‘non-combatants’. All this leaving aside, for the time being the ethical question as to whether or not talks should be held with those who have committed crimes against the state.

Let us examine the situation at hand and where it can go from here.

First, the government must have a blueprint of its own objectives and advantages to be extracted from the talks. There is a difference between walking into negotiations with no point-by-point objectives, going with the tide so to speak and going in with clear cut objectives. In the former scenario, the situation is fluid and the government committee may end up appeasing the militants rather than gaining much in return and in the latter situation the government can contain terrorism.

Terrorism by the non-state actors has impacted the society causing great loss to lives having a cascading negative effect on the economy of the country. Pakistan must focus on developing its economy, on restoring sustained power at both domestic and industrial levels among myriad other issues – including terrorism. The causes that provide a fertile breeding ground to terrorism can no longer be brushed under the carpet and must be dealt with a firm hand.

Second, the government committee must bring in a broader picture into the talks if any agreement has to sustain over a period of time. Releasing prisoners and extending ceasefire though can be a start, a beginning at best, but nothing more. This too must be agreed to and acted upon only if certain understanding on broader issues is reached first. Should this not happen, once these short term steps are taken, Pakistan may well be back to square one.

The government must aim first towards a permanent end to terrorism by the militant outfits. Now, if some outfits support the peace talks and adhere to refrain from terrorist activities while others continue with the terrorist activities it not only sabotages the process but also raises the question on the authority the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan committee members’ exercises over other splinter organizations. What must be clearly laid out is that if TTP committee has entered into talks with the government they must squarely accept the responsibility for any deviants and must deal with them with a very strong hand themselves while providing conclusive proof that it was so done, in order to build up a confidence level with the government.


Of course, the possibility that peace talks are being used by TTP to gain time till the regional geopolitics is clearer cannot be ignored. In which case, you just need to trash this piece!


Can the TTP commit on a permanent basis that these militants will never use the weapons against Pakistan and her innocent people who have been the victims of hate? Can the government convince the militants to lay down their arms? Who then will ‘hold’ these arms? Will they be turned in? Will they be retained by TTP leader(s)? These questions are of paramount importance in practical terms. These also define the long term thought process of the TTP.

Will the government in these talks be looking at complete outfits’ numbers in different areas and developing a programme to induct them into the mainstream? If not, what are these members supposed to do even if a ceasefire on some permanent basis is achieved? What is their future – a standby army, too tempting for vested interests not to use it at some point in time?

The government must also determine in its objective plan, what exactly it plans to give away in exchange for peace on a permanent basis. If the TTP and its affiliates want an agreement to secure peace inside and outside Pakistan, they will demand their pound of flesh. What exactly is that pound of flesh? Can the government afford to deliver? If it can deliver, what guarantee will the government ask for, so that the promise will be kept? This is a loaded question however you may look at it.

Of course, the possibility that peace talks are being used by TTP to gain time till the regional geopolitics is clearer cannot be ignored. In which case you just need to trash this piece!

Coming to the two points discussed in the maiden meeting, the TTP members’ committee has demanded that the government is allegedly holding 400 members of theirs as captive while refusing to release sons of both (former) PM Gilani and (late) governor SalmanTaseer. The government needs to put together a complete list of all (if any) abducted and put it on the table, not just two.

In a more recent development, Chaudhry Nisar has chaired Taliban and government committee meeting. Chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Sami (JUI-S) and head of the Taliban negotiation committee, Maulana Samiul Haq is quoted by a local newspaper, “the agenda for the next round of direct talks with the Taliban will be worked out after the government makes its stance public… The Interior Minister has sought some time,” he told the mediamen.”

In any negotiation, there are minimum two parties involved. Each must give some and take some. No negotiation of any nature can be one-sided. Definition of negotiation is, “to deal or bargain with another or others, as in the preparation of a treaty or contract or in preliminaries to a business deal.” In any given treaty, contract or bargain, it is unreasonable to expect that interests of one party should be completely ignored at the expense of the other party.

Ram Dassa, known spiritual person of USA, said about negotiations, “We’re fascinated by the words – but where we meet is in the silence behind them.”


“Investigations into the March 3 Islamabad Judicial Complex attack that killed ten people and the March 21 twin bombings in Peshawar that killed 20 people have concluded that these assaults were ordered by the TTP top brass which were then planned and executed by four Taliban commanders – Qari Mansoor and Mufti Hasan from the Mohmand Agency, Hafiz Daulat from the Orakzai Agency and Abdullah from the Khyber Agency. According to well-informed sources in security agencies, those investigating the three terrorist attacks (claimed by the little known Ahrarul Hind) have been able to collect credible evidence which shows that these assaults had been ordered by none other than the fugitive TTP ameer Mullah Fazlullah in a bid to further erode the authority of the government especially at a time when it was holding talks with the Taliban.” (Published March 28, 2014)

This is a cross post from:

Advertising and Ethics

This is a Pakpotpourri Exclusive

ArticleYAAYasmeen Aftab Ali

Sounds pretty basic. Except it isn’t. There are dos and don’ts in advertising. Or there should be. Advertising is not just about selling products or services; it’s also about molding opinions on issues, creating better civic awareness among masses among other things. Remember the advertisements telling you about the precautions to be taken to avoid dengue fever? The advertisement telling the viewer how AIDS spreads and ways to avoid it? Then there are advertisements that ask for donations in earthquakes and floods.

There are (sigh) advertisements that are singularly in bad taste. An article titled, ‘Commercials: Bad taste, good advertisement?’  in The Independent UK, Published 14th June 2012 gives a prime example of bad taste in advertising, “a post appeared on the Facebook page for the condom manufacturer Durex, purporting to be an advertisement for its core product: an image of a woman’s mouth, patched up at the corners with sticking plasters; a box of Durex XXL condoms; and the tagline “Really Big…”. In fact, the image was originally a 2007 print ad for Burger King’s “Real Big Burgers”, repurposed by an internet wag in 2009 and published on the Durex page in 2012 by some tone-deaf social-media operative, who’d also commented: “Poor woman (or maybe a lucky one?).” When the complaints started flooding in, the post was quickly removed.”

Then there are advertisements that are not quite truthful. They may not be an outright lie, attributing a quality to the product it does not possess to being somewhat misleading. Hey, there’s a big time difference between pushing the truth and between out rightly making a false claim guys. There have been cases, where blurring the lines has cost an arm and a leg to the rich clients! And many a time consumers have purchased a product only to find it never offered the traits advertised. Pox on the advertisers! According to a report by Business Insider, “Dannon’s popular Activia brand yogurt lured consumers into paying more for its purported nutritional benefits — when it was actually pretty much the same as every other kind of yogurt.

Falsely touting the “clinically” and “scientifically” proven nutritional benefits of the product, Dannon even got a famous spokesperson, Jamie Lee Curtis, for the supposed digestion-regulator. But after a while, some customers didn’t buy it. A class action settlement last year forced Dannon to pay up to $45 million in damages to the consumers that filed the lawsuit and others who said they’d been bamboozled. The company also had to limit its health claims on its products strictly to factual ones.” (Original Source ABC News)

Boy, do I hate the advertisements that reinforce stereotypes. Those advertisements that show the mother-in—law always as a grumpy, hard-to-please type, the daughter-in-law as the sweet, smiling angel, single handedly cooking a feast with the un-melted make-up, not a hair out of place, freshly done dress, not a wrinkle seen-whether its breakfast time or dinner. Give me a break for God’s sake OK? Gender roles are boring. Wake up guys! We live in the 21st century. Men like to cook. Actually men who cook are sexy. They use face washes and clean their under arms. Get real please!

While we are at it, STOP selling to kids. I hate tiny tots whining at supermarkets and dragging over the floor wanting to buy something ridiculous like sanitary napkins for a cheap, free treat. The mum shushing them, probably a granny who doesn’t get her periods anymore.

Advertisement need to be fun, sell yes, but please don’t bore or clown me into buying. Can we have more of that new batch of U-fone advertisements they run on the local channels? Great ones. They tell you what the product is, advantages or USPs as we call them.  (unique selling point) The concept of a group of workers going to a rich landlord all het up and wanting an answer to injustices is not only a social and political comment but links the U-fone beautifully to the theme, as we say in advertising, ‘bringing it together.’ The setting, the dresses, the dialogue all a master stroke. This particular advertisement based on ‘Hisab Doh’ (Give accountability) released in 2014 is mind-blowing!

Ethics in advertising is about lightly teaching the consumers some civic sense- nudging them ever so gently in the right direction. Taking greater responsibility not only for their actions but also for the environment. Remember the Tetra Pack advertisement many years ago, educating people as to why packaged good is good? Another brilliant advertisement in year 2014 is by Habib Bank Limited. Introducing the Fuel Card, the commercial shows a couple driving while facing the wrong side of the traffic. The traffic warden stops them.  (Great projection here HBL; breaking the stereotyping of the negative image of the police) As they argue a voice over says words to the effect that the right way to save fuel is NOT to go the wrong way of the road in order to make a short cut but to get yourself a Fuel Card. The advertisement tells the viewer that on HBL Fuel Card monthly savings is up to Rs 2000/- by driving in to any fuel station in Pakistan. A driver is shown at a petrol station and proudly says, ‘ Yeh Hai Bachat ka Right Way.’ (This is the right way to save)

The idea was simple yet brilliant. How many times each one of us has taken the wrong turns knowing full well the damn street is either a one way or when we take a turn from a place we are not supposed to turn, we increase the chances of possible hurt in such cases by breaking traffic rules. Here is HBL trying to drive some civic sense in our thick heads, telling us hey you! Stop! If you really, really want to save on fuel get yourself an HBL Fuel Card. OK guys thumbs up, I love the concept intertwined with being an organization that acts socially responsible. That’s super-cool! I mean, the damn advertisement was so convincing it made me go to a branch of their bank to get more information and a Fuel Card made for me. That’s the power of advertisement for you!

David Ogilvy Mather, the guru of advertising said, “The consumer isn’t a moron. She is your wife.” (Confessions of an Advertising Man)

Yeah  true. Cut out the crap when you make one. Let it not stink!

The writer is former Advertising & Sales Promotion Manager for Coca-Cola South West Asia region. She is also a lawyer, academic and political analyst. She has authored a book titled A Comparative Analysis of Media & Media Laws in Pakistan. Her email is: and tweets at @yasmeen_9











COUP OF 1951: Concluding Part

Naveed Tajammal


Part I can be read at :

Part II can be read at:

Part III can be read at

Part IV can be read at

Part V can be read at

Part VI can be read at

Part VII can be read at :

The chief prosecutor A. K. Brohi and Qurban Ali Khan I. G. Police Punjab had built their case around four important meetings,22-preliminary meetings and 25 different episodes, however the Chairman of the Tribunal identified 12 different episodes and asked the Chief Prosecutor A. K. Brohi to focus on them, these were in the chronological order as under ;

[1] The Piffer’s week celebration meetings at Abbottabad between 05 Oct-08 Oct-1949.

[2] Kohat and Peshawar visits of Col. Sidique Raja and Brig. Sidique khan on 27 Nov 1949.

[3] Attock rest house meeting on 04 Dec 1949.

[4] Fatah Jung meeting on 21 Dec.  1949.

[5] Kohat visit on 24/25 Dec 1949.

[6] Lunch at Sidique Raja’s House on 30 Dec 1949.

[7] Peshawar Visit of Sidique Raja on 26 Feb 1950.

[8] Sialkot visit of Sidique Raja and Sidique Khan on 16 Oct 1950.

[9] Visits of Sidique Raja to Gen. Akbar Khan at Rawalpindi on 26 Jan and 04 Feb 1951.

[10] Air-Commodore M. K. Janjua’s meetings with Akbar Khan and Sidique Raja in the CGS Office GHQ on 6th/7th Feb 1951.

[11] Events between 19 & 20 Feb 1951;

[a] Telephone call from Rawalpindi to Thal for Col. Arabab.[b] Telephone call by

Lt. Col Sultan Ali shah, Director- [weapons] GHQ to Askar Ali shah at Peshawar.

[Askar Ali Shah the CID inspector who was the first to divulge the conspiracy]

[c]Telegram sent by Akbar Khan to his brother Azam Khan [d] The 2 telephone

Calls and telegrams made and sent to Maj. Ishaq Muhammad at Kalat by Maj. Eusoph Sethi under Akbar Khan’s instructions.[e] Telephone call to Sidique Raja at Quetta by Akbar khan.[f] Telegram by Sidique Raja to Ishaq Mohammad at Kalat & his arrival at Quetta to meet him.[g] Events of 21 Feb 1951-[i] Sidique Raja could not reach, but Arabab & Khizer Hyat did[ii]An urgent call to Sidique Khan at Bannu from Rawalpindi

[12] The proceedings of the Conference held at the CGS House on 23 Feb 1951.

Those senior Army officers who were posted in Kashmir after the war had ended in 1948-had been provided with family accommodation in Murree Cantonment -so that, on their short leaves they could visit their families who were stationed there-In April 1949,Brig.Akbar,Brig Habibulah and Lt-Col Gul Mowaz had been allotted adjacent houses in the Murree cantonment.

Akbar Khan was commanding 101 Brigade at URI sector Habibullah was commanding 100 Brigade at Kotli sector and the Battalion of Gul  Mowaz was located at Bagh and it often happened that all three would be on leave together. In those days as per the testimonies given by the both the prosecution witnesses Habibullah & Gul Mowaz, that, Akbar Khan was very bitter about the way Liaqat Ali Khan had handled the Kashmir Affair and thousands had died needlessly, as Akbar Khan had been part of Government & the planning of this war since its inception and had quite a few meetings with Liaqat Ali Khan in his official capacity as have been highlighted in the other parts of the article according to the P.W’s [Prosecution witnesses] Mrs. Nasim Akbar khan used to be present in all these meetings and  agreed with her husband as she too had been part of the Kashmir Affair in her own personal capacity, as she belonged to a major political family of that Time.

The stance of Akbar khan was that corruption, nepotism and favoritism had set in, so soon after the inception of our Independence and the cause was this Democratic system, which was legacy of the British Raj, and even now the British officers infested all over in all arms beside the statecraft, and Why Should Not the Army take over and set the whole system on the right path, however what Akbar khan wanted most was to launch a War on India and wrestle back Kashmir from India as it rightfully belonged to Pakistan-historically and geographically.

Gul. Mowaz was the main P.W who divulged the above, subversive statements given by Akbar khan on different occasion-however to build case and defend Habibullah, he stated that, it was he who had suggested to Habibullah to meet Akbar Khan as at that time he too was impressed by the logic of Akbar Khan, and that he was the first to have shared these ideas of Akbar khan with Habibullah, who subsequently met Akbar khan in a number of meetings between June-July 1949,and they all discussed these issues, both Gul  Mowaz and Habibullah also testified that they met Lt-Col M. A. Latif also in Murree who likewise along with them attended these Dinner type of meetings at Akbar Khan’s house-as Akbar khan was very lavish with his dinners and a excellent host, as was Mrs. Nasim Akbar a good hostess, as she was always present at these meetings.

In between Sept/Oct 1949 Akbar khan was posted to Kohat. Habibullah was posted to Peshawar and Gul Mowaz to D. I. Khan, whereas M. A. Latif was posted to Kohat under Akbar Khan.

It may be of interest that the Approver number one Lt-Col Sidique Raja, who was from the Murree hills, had joined the army as a y-cadet in 1933 and joined Military Academy Dehra Dun in Aug 1937 and passed out in Jan 1940.And joined 1/14 Punjab the same of Ayub Khan and served in Burma with him later, however he came in contact with Akbar khan  when for 21 days in June 1948,when commanding 4/13 FFR, his unit  was part of 101 Brigade under Akbar khan and it was deployed all over, it’s companies attached with other units/formations. Subsequently there was a large gathering of Piffer [Punjab Irregular Frontier Force Regiment] officers at Abbottabad to celebrate the Piffer Week [1st to 8th Oct 1949],it was later on 07th Oct that Akbar Khan had invited Sidique Raja at the Palace Hotel where Akbar khan and his wife were staying during this week long function.

On the morning of 08 Oct when Sidique Raja visited the Hotel on the invitation of Akbar Khan he found in the room of Akbar khan at the Hotel-Mrs Akbar Khan, Latif khan and his wife, later Maj. Gen Nazier Ahmad, Brigadiers Sher Khan, Gulzar Ahmad ,Lt-Col Bashir Ahmed & Maj. Eusoph Sethi too joined the Tea/Coffee party. Later in the evening again at the dinner at the Piffer Mess he had met Akbar Khan, and  he was asked by Akbar khan to see him at his hotel in the morning as well on 09 Oct. as he was departing back to Kohat and he was informed by Akbar Khan that morning that the best brains within the Army were working and preparing a detailed plan to overthrow this inefficient Government, and that later between Oct-Dec 1949 Akbar khan often visited Rawalpindi, and met him, as he was stationed there with his unit-4/13 FFR.

Maj.Eusoph Sethi was posted in the GHQ in the Military Operations Directorate, in 1949,and used to provide vital classified information to Akbar Khan as and when it was required by Akbar Khan from time to time, about the latest information about the officers posted at all Army Signal offices or under whom came the Telephone exchanges or the exact location of each main telephone exchange. Sethi,by nature was a weak man, and was according to himself in the testimony given before the court that he was highly impressed by Akbar Khan because of his rank and stature and the wealth of his wife, and had acted as their messenger, batman, ADC and the personal staff officer in his own personal capacity-he was regularly entrusted with all household related matters-arranging dinner parties or arranging the boarding and lodging, and travelling of all their guests who visited them from time to time. Maj Gen Hayuddin and Akbar Khan had never got along well throughout their post-1947 Army careers, and as he was to be arrested on the day of coup d’état, a fact which had surfaced during the interrogation of the Sidique Raja by Ayub Khan and Iskandar Mirza-and was also known to Habibullah much before the 09 March 1951-the Arrest date of Akbar Khan, and must have been told to Hayuddin who had therefore taken onto himself the duty of the Chief Liaison Officer between Police and the Army since the day of the signing of the Dismissal Order of Akbar khan by the Governor-General, and it was he who had gone to give the same order to Akbar Khan on 09 March 1951-and remained part of the investigation/prosecution team.Brig.Habibullah was DSD in GHQ and under Akbar Khan as he was the CGS,whereas Lt-Col Gul Mowaz was posted in Quetta and was in charge of the Joint-services Pre-Cadet Training School.

On 05 Jan 1953-The special Tribunal announced its judgment and all 15 accused were taken one by one, escorted by a CID inspector before the Court and each one was accordingly told the sentence. All were dismissed from the Army- service the same day.

[1] Akbar khan was given 12 Years R.I

[2] Sidique Khan -7 years R.I & a fine of Rs.500 in default to undergo a further one year sentence and dismissal from the Army.

[3] Latif khan-5 years R.I & fine of Rs 500,in case of default to serve one more year.

[4] Zia ud din-5 years R.I & fine of RS.500 in default in fine to serve another 6 months.

[5] Niaz Mohammad Arbab-5 years R.I ,a fine of RS 250,in case of default in fine to serve 6 months more.

[6] Khizer Hyat- 4 years R.I.a fine of RS 250 ,in case of default in fine to serve another 6 months.

[7] Hassan Khan-4 years R.I a fine of RS 250 in case of default in fine to serve another 6 months.

[8] Ishaq Mohammad- 4 years R.I ,a fine of RS 250 in case of default in fine to serve another 6 months.

[9] Zafarullah Poshni- 4 years R.I ,a fine of Rs.250 in case of default in fine to serve another 6 months.

[10] M.K.Janjua -7 years R.I a fine of RS 250 in case of default to serve another 6 months.

[11] Nazier Ahmad-Had provided all information after his arrest, he was therefore

Punished for Not informing the higher authorities on time, his under trial imprisonment was taken as punishment served and so was dismissed from service.

[12]Faiz Ahmad Faiz-4 years R.I. and a fine of RS 250, in case of default in fine to serve another 6 months.

[13] Sajjad Zaheer-4 years R. I and a fine of RS.250, in case of default of fine to serve 6 month more.

[14] Muhammad Hussain Atta -4 years R.I ,a fine of RS 250,in case of default of fine, to serve 6 months more.

[15] Mrs. Nasim Akbar was the only accused who was acquitted, and her imprisonment, while under-trial also taken in cognizance.

Faiz Ahmad Faiz, got himself shifted to Karachi Central jail on medical grounds. However the ministry of interior decided to shift all other convicts to different jails, Akbar, Zaffarullah, and Atta were retained in Central Jail Hyderabad. Sajjad  Zaheer and Sidique Khan were dispatched to Mach jail Balluchistan. Ishaq Mohammad & Khizer Hayat were sent to Central Montgomery [Sahiwal],Arbab & M.K.Janjua to Central jail Lahore, Latif, Hassan & Ziauddin to Central jail Multan.

In June 1954 Gen. Akbar khan was transferred to Central Jail Lahore through the efforts of his mother in law Begum Jahan Ara Shahnawaz.

As their luck would have it, the Constituent Assembly was dissolved by the Governor-General Ghulam Mohammad on 24 Oct 1954-the president of the Assembly Moulvi Tamizuddin khan filed a writ against this order -in the Federal court-the case continued and finally the Federal Court upheld the order of the Governor-General.

Gen. Akbar through his wife on the behalf of all convicts filed a Writ petition of ‘Habeas corpus’ in the Lahore High court challenging the validity of their sentences, as now the Special Tribunal Act was invalid, and the sentences awarded & the detention under this Act was unlawful-The High Court allowed them Bail-though they were later detained after their Bails under the Security ACT of Pakistan, yet another Writ was now filed by Gen Akbar and his associates, in the Lahore High Court-on which the High Court gave its Order on 15 June 1955,that,’They all be allowed Bail till the Constituent Assembly again met’.

Later the Government granted pardon to all convicts for the remaining period of their sentences.

After his release Akbar Khan joined Awami League of Suhrawardy in 1955-in 1963 he obtained a degree in law and started practice in Karachi, in 1968 joined PPP and he was appointed Chief of National Security by Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1971  .He had divorced his wife Nasim Akbar in 1959.

Nasim Akbar likewise joined PPP and was elected in the National Assembly 1971- on seats reserved for women. Ishaq Mohammad joined Awami League and later NAP and fell out with him in 1970 and formed his own ‘Mazdoor Kisan Party’.

Sajjad Zaheer went back to India-Faiz Ahmad and Zafarullah Poshni suffered over their leftist views-but Poshni ran a thriving advertising business in Karachi-Niaz Mohammad Arbab became a Federal Minister under Zia Ul Haq- Government. Nazir Ahmad was made the Administrator -Lahore Municipal Corporation. Latif Khan was made member of the Punjab Public Service Commission-and Zia ud din, was given a job in Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation.

All accused later, after their full pardons by the Government- in vain tried to put up their representations against the dismissal orders by the Tribunal but the GHQ rejected them.


Fear of being a woman

Cross post:

ArticleYAAYasmeen Aftab Ali

She sat on the floor, the tiles hard and cold under her feet. Her knees drawn up to her chin, arms wrapped around her legs. In spite of the cold, she felt sweat dampen her back and armpits. The hair at the nape of her neck stood up. It was fear. Pure, unadulterated fear. She had switched off the TV many hours ago but had been unable to switch off the fear.

The news of a young 18-year-old who doused herself with petrol, setting herself ablaze outside Bet Mir Hazar police station, having gone to lodge a complaint against the investigation officer for helping the main culprit get bail by favouring him in the report, had terrified her. The girl was allegedly raped on January 5, 2014 on her way back from school, by the culprit and four other accomplices.

This was a few days ago. She had followed the news since. The “rape victim” later died at Nishtar Hospital. What a contradiction it is, she thought; they call her a “rape victim”, yet thelaw minister says the girl was not raped, but there was an “attempt” to rape her. She tried to laugh, but it turned into a sob that caught at her throat. How worthy was that extinguished life is reflected in the following sentences: “Very low attendance was witnessed in the sixth sitting of the assembly as members discussed the incident of self-immolation of rape victim through 11 points of order. Opposition legislators, except the JI MPA, staged a token walkout for two minutes against the incident … The opposition MPAs raised slogans against the minister, alleging he was covering up police negligence.” (Published March 15.)

She recalled a TV channel saying that in spite of the proof presented in the medical report, the main assailant was set free on bail. The “rape victim” decided to set herself on fire in protest. But now they say that she was not raped. Why did the “rape victim” then resort to a course of action that would surely take her own life?

She could feel the fear the “rape victim” must have felt when her assailants would have closed in, the utter helplessness she must have felt. Punishment for rape is harsh:

“1) Whoever commits rape shall be punished with death or imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than 10 years or more than 25 years and shall also be liable to fine.

“2) When rape is committed by two or more persons in furtherance of common intention of all, each of such persons shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life.” But if the ‘rape victim’ was allegedly never raped, do the assailants get off scot free?

She had heard the Punjab chief minister promise the family justice. How? She’s already dead. He announced a “compensation” of Rs0.5m for the family of the “rape victim”. They must be dirt poor, she assumed. Will the money “compensate” their honour? A life wasted? What exactly was the compensation for? Will they pay more if the same happened to her? They were rich. She feared her uncle’s son who lived in the same house. His eyes were beady. She did not like the way they roved over her. She did not like his overtures. He had tried to get physical twice. She had started spending more time in her room recently.

She lived, in fear of being a woman!

Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2014.


A Pakpotpourri Exclusive

Naveed Tajammal


Part I can be read at:

Part II can be read at:

Part III can be read at

Part IV can be read at

Part V can be read at

Part VI can be read at


On 14 March 1951 a government spokesperson told the press that specially selected staff of the civil police were conducting the investigation of those involved in the conspiracy case, and a cell had been created within the criminal investigation department of Government of Punjab, under Malik Habibullah SP. On 15 March the Punjab CID drafted the FIR and deputed one of its DSP to go to Rawalpindi and get it registered in the cantonment police station. The FIR was registered on 16 March 1951.

On 21 March Liaqat Ali Khan in reply to pointed question[on this conspiracy case] which was raised in the constituent assembly, by the opposition gave a vague reply-he never once mentioned the rationale behind this conspiracy-which was the Kashmir Affair mishandled by Liaqat Ali Khan and his team. The press and public were left in a total blackout. However the Prime minister did inform the assembly that, ‘the conspirators had planned a forced take over with help of communist and revolutionary elements, by making use of such members of the Armed forces as they could temper with’.

To a query by a member, that, whether they would be tried by a military court martial the prime minister refused to reply, even on the insistence of the opposition.

Meanwhile the police investigations continued with a unlimited mandate to rope in any one they felt was needed or those indicated by Ayub Khan, as he was the C in C, a thorough witch hunting settling old scores was done-the daily banner headlines, the free for all searches in cantonments hunting army officers was done blatantly-and Qurban Ali Khan the IG Police Punjab having the full authority given by the prime minister to enter any other province to investigate, so started the police detentions of army officers and interrogations, which created a general scare in the army. Ayub Khan was thus establishing his own writ-by weeding out the elements within the army using police as a cover.

A Bill to try these Army Officers was introduced in the Constituent Assembly  on 13 April 1951-termed as ‘The Rawalpindi Conspiracy- Special Tribunal Bill’. On the morning of 16 April it was passed-but not before a heated discussion on it-by the opposition members. According to the opposition, all from the Bengali leaders- led by Mr. Dhirendranath Datta, that, ”it abrogated the rights of the accused, which was contrary to the normal laws’- the Bill was a mockery to justice, on a point of order Dhirendranath, further stated, being a lawyer himself, that, ‘This bill was out to amend provisions of Code of Criminal Law procedures, the Evidence Act and the Army Act, therefore, it came under the competence of the Federal Legislature and certainly Not under the propriety of the Constituent Assembly-as had been had wrongly done so, with mala fide intentions. Dhirendranath further argued that, ‘under the Constituent assembly of Pakistan procedure rules, a bill could be introduced in the Constituent assembly for purpose of making the constitution or amending the Independence Act or amending the Government of India Act 1935,which was adapted in Pakistan, as an interim constitutional framework of the country.

The crux of all these shenanigans by Liaqat Ali Khan which resulted in bulldozing the fundamental rights was the First of its kind-and totally at variance with the prevailing liberal laws current in the country till this Act was enforced.

This Act abrogated the rights of the accused, it relaxed the standards of prosecution evidence and laid stringent trial procedures to suit the prosecution side alone.

All this was done at the expense of sound principles of criminal administration and the so-called Democratic Government of Liaqat Ali Khan in our formative period of independence-the end result was that it set the First Tradition of bad governance and a total disregard for the human fundamental rights.

And so it became the foundation of each successive regime Military or Civil to twist and turn laws to make more repressive laws, rules and practices so started a chain of perverting policies in our politics-which resulted in perverting the course of justice.

The four main glaring aspects of this special tribunal Act, as was made under the wishes of Liaqat Ali Khan’s Government were-

1] Under the then existing law, the normal procedure for the trial of an offence, even if it carried the maximum punishment was through certain procedures-[a] preliminary inquiry by the magistrate-[b] after hearing the evidence, the magistrate, if it was adjudged by him, that a ‘prima facie’ case could be made against the accused, the magistrate was to refer the case directly to the sessions-court judge, for a full-fledged trial-[c] After the sessions court had tried the accused and found him guilty and convicted him-the case was referred to the High-Court before two judges, if the high court upheld the order of sessions court, the accused by special leave of the high court  could appeal before the Federal Court.

This Special Act by passed all above procedures, as the three judges nominated by the Government could hold in the trial in camera[secrecy] and so the three stages of judicial scrutiny provided for offences carrying capital punishment were thus reduced to one stage-which deprived the accused, of multiple stages, of sifting the prosecution evidence.

2] The Evidence Act of pre-independence India-adopted by Pakistan had provided that. No testimony was acceptable unless it was subject to cross-examination by the accused in the court-This Act of Liaqat Ali Khan by passed this vital provision of Law-in the old Evidence Act, by this New Act. ”A statement made before a magistrate by any person, whose presence during the trial could not be arranged was allowed by this Act to be received as evidence by the Tribunal, without giving any opportunity to the defense [accused] to confront such a person & rebut him-Even more sinister was the provision of this Act, that allowed, ‘The Tribunal to receive in evidence any statement of a witness or that the accused, had been made to give during investigation before any police officer.

3] Under section 5[2] of this new Act-the Tribunal was empowered to convict any accused of any offence, even,if he was Not charged with it-purely on any evidence produced before it in respect of some other offence, so the discretion of adding new charges remained with the Tribunal.

The Accused therefore could be charged and condemned for any offence, even though he may not have been charged with in the framing of charges against him on the onset of the trial and no opportunity was given to him to defend himself under this Act.

The pertinent point being that,’the accused could be condemned for any offence-during the trial-which was against all the norms of jurisprudence”.

4] The section 10 of this Act ensured that, ‘No order, judgment or sentence of the special Tribunal shall be called into questioning, in appeal or revision or otherwise howsoever, in any court and No court shall entertain any plea, As to the jurisdiction of the special tribunal, or as to its legality or propriety of anything done or was being purporting to be done by the special tribunal court.

In nutshell the three judges were given absolute powers of life and death, above and beyond scrutiny by any judicial forum of the land of the legality of their action in respect of an order during the Trial or at any other stage before or after the judgment.

The best part was that the sitting Government of Liaqat Ali Khan was ‘indemnified’ against any scrutiny of the propriety, legal or otherwise, of this Act, which had created new procedures unprecedented in the legal history-as all these procedures were totally arbitrary and clashed with the propriety of rules of Evidence.

These new rules even surpassed the Martial Law court orders-as any capital punishment awarded by the even the summary military courts was subject to confirmation by the Chief Martial Law Administrator.

It should also be kept in mind that such had a hype been created by the newspapers against the conspirators that people tried to be more loyal than the king-when Bengal Congress under Dhirendranath Datta had opposed the above Bill-One of the ruling party stalwart-Syed Hassan Mahmud had countered the opposition motion by this logic, that since the majority was presenting this Bill-anyone opposing it, was nothing but, ‘a disruptionist and anti-democratic’.[Constituent Assembly Debates-Vol-9-13th April-16th April 1951]

On 15 May 1951-it was announced that the special tribunal had been set  up and it would consist of a chairman of the tribunal who would be Justice Abdur Rehman of the Federal Court under him would be two judges of High court-Justice Amiruddin Ahmed of Dacca High Court and Justice Mohammad Sharif of Lahore High Court. The Tribunal would hold its court at Central Jail Hyderabad.

On the same day the Ministry of Defense under its able Secretary Iskandar  Mirza announced the arrest of more officers involved in the said conspiracy case-all officers were reverted to their Substantive ranks as per Army rules-[1] Brig.Siddique Khan[9FFR] to Major-w.e.f 05 June[2] Brig. Ziaudin AK Captain-w.e.f 23 May [3] Lieut. Col Niaz Mohammad Arbab[1st Punjab Regt] to Captain w.e.f 05 june.[4] Captain Khizer Hyat [1st Punjab Regt] to Lieutenant w.e.f 25 May[5] Col. Mirza Hassan Khan AK Regt to Captain w.e.f 05 June[6] Major Ishaq Mohamad[Kalat forces] to Captain-w.e.f 05 June [7] Captain Zaffarullah Poshni [16 Punjab Regt] to Lieutenant[8] Air Commodore M. K.J anjua to Group Captain w.e.f 09 Mar.

Hence forth in all proceedings of the Trial they were addressed by these Ranks-PA-25-Maj-Gen Akbar khan[1st FFR] & PA-105 Brig. M. A. Latif[2 Guides FFR] were dismissed from service w.e.f 09 March, so they held no rank.

PA-14 Maj. Gen Nazir Ahmed[1st FFR] was arrested from Karachi Airport on 20th May-at 1 am on his return from London after attending a course at Imperial Defense College. was reverted to  a Lieut. Colonel-w.e.f 10 June 1951,and taken to Lahore-Bird wood Police Lines, for interrogation.

Mr. A. K. Brohi who was the Advocate-General was appointed, as the Chief Prosecutor- to conduct the whole prosecution Case before the Tribunal.

Earlier to all this Sajjad Zaheer had been arrested from Lahore on 28th April and lodged in central Jail Lahore. Other officers had been lodged in different jails-but on 15 May they were all moved to Lahore Central jail. The same night they were brought before Justice Abdur Rehman at his bungalow. The other Judge.Mohammad Sharif was also present. These two judges gave the police a remand for 14 days for all accused. A day before expiry of the remand they were again produced before this Tribunal but one judge remained i.e Mohammad Sharif of Lahore High court,as others were unavailable. On a further remand given they were again taken back for interrogation.

On 3rd June the accused were all rounded up and taken Lahore cantonment station to be put in a special train and moved to Hyderabad. By the second week of June all 14 accused lodged in central Jail Hyderabad had been charge sheeted. The fifteen accused Muhamad Hussain Atta was arrested from Chittagong Port, around 15 July 1951 and taken directly to Central Hyderabad, as the trial was under process.

Two Officers-Major-Eusoph Sethi of 6/13 FFR when arrested on 14 May-asked for a full pardon if he told the state everything he knew and more-his request was granted to him, on grounds that they were subject to his statements before the Tribunal. Lt. Col Siddique Raja 1/14th Punjab[Ayub Khan's unit] became the approver number-one from the inception of this case-even before the arrests.

The Special Tribunal started its trial proceedings in camera inside the central jail Hyderabad on 15 June 1951 at 8 am.

The chief Prosecutor [A.K.Brohi] submitted before the court a list of 351 witnesses out of which the Tribunal selected a few, inclusive of the two main approvers. Throughout the proceedings Not once was Inspector Askar Ali Shah of NWFP CID on whose indication and written report the whole inquiry and arrests were made-ever was produced as a witness. Nor did the Court stress on his being brought before the Tribunal.

The main prosecution witnesses on whose statements the eventual punishments were given were.

[1] Maj. Gen Hayuddin [2] Brig. Habibullah [3]Brig. Masood khan [4] Lt-Col Gul Mowaz [5] Lt-Col Khudadad Khan [6] Lt-Col Tor Gul [7] Maj. Asad Namazi[isi][8] Maj. Gul Khan [9] Maj. Ishaq[Salauddin][10] Maj. Khadim Hussain [11] Maj. Salim Ahmad Yazadani[12] Captain Noor Hussain [13] Kamal Sher [a official of information dept. NWFP].

The amazing part remains that all main accused were from the Army, the prosecution witnesses were from the Army, there is no mention of any JAG [Army-Judge Advocate General] being present in the Tribunal proceedings. All officers were tried under the Army Act of 1911-they had been dismissed likewise by the same Army Act.


Russia rises again!

ArticleYAAYasmeen Aftab Ali

A quick recap: After placement of travel bans as well as freezing assets against a total of 21 officials out of which 13 are Russian and 8 are Ukranian and suspension of Russia from G-8, Washington Post reports more sanctions duly announced by Obama. He declared signing of an executive order, “that gives the United States authority to impose sanctions not just on individuals but on “key sectors of the Russian economy.” (Published March 20, 2014) It was a forgone conclusion that pressure on Russia would increase as a result of annexation of Crimea with Russia. It was also a forgone conclusion that the world will move towards a cold war-like situation between the west and USSR.

How Crimea is going to influence strategic partnerships between different countries and its impact demands some attention. Coming up are talks in Vienna on Iran’s nuclear programme this week between Iran and P5+1 (composed of the five permanent UN Security Council Members excluding Germany) Will Russia be willing to co-operate with other members at this point in time? If not, this will undoubtedly weaken the pressure on Iran and Iran will be less likely to make concessions. A UPI report quotes Gary Samore, a former senior aide on nonproliferation on the National Security Council in President Obama’s first term, “If President Putin goes ahead with his apparent intention to annex Crimea, we’re going to have to sanction Russia, and they are going to have to retaliate, and it’s really going to screw up the P5-plus-one negotiations with Iran.” (Published March 18, 2014) Though Iran will probably refrain from involving in the face off over Crimea, it may well stand to benefit from the existing situation. And USSR may well use the Iran card to ease off pressure on annexing Crimea.

Strategic interests of Russia and Iran intertwine on many tangents. First, both are wary of a returning Taliban government in Afghanistan in the ensuing scenario of departure by the US and NATO forces. Resurrection of Al-Qaeda is not a proposition being relished by either. NATO and USA have extended military bases stretching towards the east, an unwelcome move for Iran and USSR as it is against the legitimate interests of both the nations relating to security.  Also, reach of USA towards the Caspian Sea region, Central Asia and the Persian Gulf is viewed with extreme distrust by both.

Donald Kirk for Forbes magazine says, “If President Obama can talk of a “pivot” of U.S.  Military might to east Asia after withdrawing from wars in the Middle East, why should President Putin not envision a build-up of Russian forces too?” But it’s not just about increasing regional influence. Crimea was a part of Russia till 1954 when it was presented to Ukraine by the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev aimed at balancing out the fascists in Ukraine whose numbers threatened to unsettle and destabilize Ukraine. The umbilical cord between Crimea and Russia cannot be ignored.

Russia is not going to buckle down and this is going to pose a challenge for western policies which had had an open playfield since the dissolution of Soviet Russia in 1991.  Dmitri Trenin is right in surmising, “A three-dimensional (economic, political and information/cultural) competition with a much stronger adversary will require Russia to mobilize all its available resources. It will also expose the flaws of Russia’s present system. As a result, Russia could either re-emerge as a nation with a strong sense of patriotism, or it could break up again.” (Published March 19, 2014 China Daily USA)

One can safely predict a renewed Cold War-like scenario developing. Added to this, is the possibility of increasing proxy wars which is a powerful tool of post-Cold War era. Russia will be shopping for new strategic partners. An obvious choice will be China. Both the countries are interested in limiting US reach in Central Asia. Their trade relationship is an old one. In year 2000 Russia sold 70% of arms it produced to China. The cornerstone of China’s foreign policy has been non-interference in other states, but undoubtedly China fears being surrounded by the west (read the United States). As a result of the sanctions, which at best is a knee-jerk reaction by USA leading to stronger alliance between Russia and China thereby creating an opposing strong nexus which is exactly what it wishes to avoid; Russia will turn to China. This will run opposite to USA’s desire to contain China in Asia. USA policymakers have unfortunately failed to see the bigger picture here. This will not mean China adopting a path of confrontation with the western powers. It will advance very cautiously, benefiting from the situation but nonetheless, in line with its policy of non-interference in other states. China will carefully watch its step on this one.

Besides China another country walking a tight rope here is India. Both Russia and India have historically enjoyed a good relationship. In light of the episode of Devyani Khobragad, open Russian support can effect relations between USA and India. Will India be willing to risk a standoff with USA? Or will it risk relations with a weather trusted ally? “India will not support any unilateral decision that is taken against Russia” states Times of India. (Mar 19, 2014)

Relationships between Russia and North Korea can expand in the present scenario in spite of the fact that trade relationships between both are minimal. What favors Russia here is a strong anti-American feeling in North Koreans. This anti-Americanism however has never translated into a healthy trade relationship with Russia.  The relationship between Russia and South Korea though, has been much better in terms of trade. If one recalls, in November 2013, a summit meeting between Mr Putin and Ms Park had taken place. It was agreed that South Korean companies, a minimum number of three; will navigate the possibility of investing in Russian Railways joint venture with North Korea. The purpose is to develop the North Korean Port of Rajin and part of railway link to Khasan in Russia. At the same time it was mutually agreed to set up a fund to finance various development projects for cross-border investments worth $500 million.

The object of any leader is to defend the interests of the country he leads. President Traian Basescu of Romania stated, “Putin is a strongman who will never hesitate to defend Russia’s interests and who has a categorical objective to reestablish the borders of the former Soviet Union one way or the other,” Basescu said in an interview for newspaper Adevarul Live yesterday. “Where he can do it with words, fine. Where he can’t, he’ll send in the tanks.” (BNN: Business News Network, March 18, 2014)

Putin has just delivered!

The writer is a lawyer, academic and political analyst. She has authored a book titled A Comparative Analysis of Media & Media Laws in Pakistan. Her email is: and tweets at @yasmeen_9

This is a cross post from PAKISTAN TODAY where it was published on 25 March 2014








A Pakpotpourri Exclusive

Naveed Tajammal

Part I can be read at:

Part II can be read at:

Part III can be read at

Part IV can be read at

Part V can be read at

Maj_Gen_Akbar_khanThe Conspiracy to overthrow the Government of Liaqat Ali Khan had begun in the aftermath of the way he had handled our Kashmir Affairs. His ineptness to take the offer of Sardar Patel to take Kashmir in lieu of Nizam of Hyderabad’s State; which was trying to go independent by itself-Shows the lack of fore-sight or statesmanship on the part of Liaqat Ali Khan.

It is amazing the way he and his friends handled this conspiracy of traitors-as it was termed by the press or the statecraft. The State prosecution was extremely selective in nominating the Conspirators, a large number of senior army officers escaped prosecution and junior officers with a marginal connection were hounded in the criminal proceedings, all of these other senior officers who will be highlighted subsequently in other parts knew something about it and never reported the same as they were duty bound to the higher army authorities as per the Military law-Uniformed Men were tried by a Civil court ,whereas the Military Law is very clear-If you study all subsequent Conspiracies all were tried by FGCM’s or Field General Court Martial.

Gen. Akbar had rightly written on his dismissal order presented to him on 09 March 1951 by Gen. Hayauddin who had come to arrest him with a Police Force from the CGS House that the dismissal order issued by the Governor-General was illegal because Gen. Akbar was Not subject to the Indian Army Act-As he had been given a King’s Commission in 1933-thereby was subject to the British Army Act. The Governor-General had No authority to dismiss a King’s commissioned Officer as per the law and under no circumstances could be arrested by Civil Police and treated like a felon.

It was in the third week of February 1951 that Inspector Askar Ali Shah of CID-NWFP reported a imminent coup d’état, Askar Ali was allegedly a good friend of Gen. Akbar and both would discuss the rampart corruption and the sad way the Government was handling the National issues, he was a brother of Col. Sultan Ali Shah who was currently Director Weapons at GHQ and known to Gen. Akbar and belonged to Peshawar. Over the time, whenever Akbar wanted information on the movement or the security arrangements of the prime minister and the Governor General Askar Ali would procure them to Akbar, using his CID networking. On 19 Feb. Akbar had sent a telephonic message to Askar Ali in Peshawar, followed by a telegram through his brother Col. Sultan Ali shah to meet him at his office in GHQ on 20th Feb; if he reached Rawalpindi before 1 pm otherwise at the CGS House. By the time Askar Ali reached Rawalpindi, Akbar had left his office so Askar moved to CGS House and met Nasim Akbar. While they were talking Akbar also reached and told Askar that the Coup d’état had to be done and all necessary arrangements had  been worked out and planned-his team of  dedicated Army officers was ready-and turned around to Nasim Akbar-and remarked over some previous point, that, yes, almost all Officers are those who were in the Kashmir War with him in 1947/48.

Askar Ali now armed with this vital information was bursting to divulge it to his seniors-and saw a chance of a rapid rise in ranks on account of this information, however strangely it was only on the 23rd Feb that he told G.H. Kiani the Asst. Inspector General CID NWFP that he had met Gen. Akbar on the 20th Feb and that, he and some other Army officers were planning to overthrow the Government that detachments of troops would move to various predetermined strategic points, and arrest the prime minister of Pakistan, cabinet ministers and high civil and military officers and set up a new government. Askar Ali at this stage, deliberately did not disclose the names of other officers for reasons best known to him as most probably he wanted to prolong his nuisance value, as per the written report submitted by him to Kiani shown in the trial proceedings does not give details-but is a simple narration of his meeting with Akbar at the CGS house and what all was told to him by Akbar. Since the IG and the DIG as well the Chief Minister NWFP were all out of station, Kiani-forthwith called the Governor House seeking a urgent meeting with the I.I. Chundrigar. However he was told to come at 10 am the next day i.e 24th Feb. Kiani met the governor and told him verbally what all he had been reported to him by Askar Ali,and gave the Governor the written report of Askar Ali, however, Kiani was directed by Chundrigar to further probe Askar Ali on the subject matter-which he did on 24/25th Feb-during his interrogation of Askar Ali, he found out from him the whole list of the names of Officers involved in this proposed coup d’état s had been mentioned in part v of this article on the 26th Feb evening and the night; a joint session was held at the Governor house by Gen. Ayub Khan and Iskandar Mirza along with G,H. Kiani who all further interrogated Askar Ali Shah. As events were showing his own involvement in the proposed coup, over a period of time and he having withheld the information for so long, made him an equal suspect as he was now trying to save his own skin and trying hard to do so.

Askar Ali now suggested to the panel to raid the house of the CGS and that it would yield, all documents and plans as well names in the list and who was assigned with the task-as the conspiracy was deeply rooted since 1949,and so would prove his discloser with evidence.

On the day Askar ali had decided to disclose this conspiracy i.e 23 Feb-and he had a inkling that a pre-arranged meeting was being held at the CGS house-That can be a reason why he chose to delay the discloser to his senior-he may have thought that a raid could be conducted by CID NWFP just on his report as events unfolded even Kiani was helpless as Chundriga; -failed to see him on that evening, It was on 26th Feb. that a detailed in writing report under the signatures of Chundrigar, was sent through a special messenger to Liaqat Ali Khan in the morning as his special train reached Sargodha Railway Station in connection with the Punjab Assembly elections. After reading the report Liaqat spoke with Ayub and Iskandar Mirza directing them to come on a special plane to Sargodha, which they did. After this meeting both flew to Peshawar and by 8 pm, were interrogating Askar Ali and G.H. Kiani at the Governor house.

Ayub khan gives his own version of this meeting in his book, ‘he says that while he questioned Kiani, Iskandar Mirza interrogated the informer Askar Ali and according to him it soon became apparent that an uprising had been planned and that one of the conspirators was Brig. Siddique khan the Bannu Brigade Commander who had served in his unit at one time and a special plane was sent to call him in, on his arrival he was threatened by Ayub with these words,’Siddique, you tell me the truth or I shall string you upside down’.

However Hassan Zaheer, the author of the book ‘Rawalpindi conspiracy 1951′ states that as per his interview of Brig Siddique Khan on 18 Jan 1995, Siddique had this to say on that day’s proceedings-’I was called at Peshawar by Ayub khan from Miran Shah by a special plane sent to collect me on the morning of 27 Feb when I reached the Governor House Ayub, Iskandar, Col. A.S.B Shah and G.H. Kiani were in a meeting. When I was called in, only Ayub and Iskandar were in the room. Iskandar started the questioning. However shortly Ayub stopped him and said, ‘I rely on this officer, he will do anything that I say’ and so he inquired about our Attock meeting-[these facets will be highlighted later in a different part]-to which I admitted, and further said that, ‘Akbar wanted to start a War’[with India on the Kashmir issue] and that he had also openly discussed the same with you too [Ayub Khan] very frequently”. what one can deduce here is that Brig. Siddique khan was trying to divert the conspiracy meetings in relation to a war being planned against India over Kashmir-and I had stated in my previous Part V that Akbar had grave doubts in inducting Siddique Khan. However the approver Siddique Raja was in league with Brig, Siddique both had served in Ayub khan’s unit during the Burma war.

Ayub khan and Iskandar after these meetings with the informer felt that Askar Ali was still trying to withhold and outsmart them, so it was decided that Askar Ali be sent to Lahore on a special plane for further interrogation on the afternoon of 27 Feb G.H. Kiani did not like this transfer of case unearthed by him to the Punjab Police, Askar Ali on reaching Lahore was examined by Abdul Qayyum AIG Police.

In yet another interview taken in 1995 by Hassan Zaheer of Brig. Ziauddin at Islamabad. According to Ziauddin,’Ayub khan concluding that there was a conspiracy ,did not know what to do, initially he wanted to put the entire 9 Division under arrest, but that was not possible and that it was Brig. Habibullah who was a earlier informer to Ayub and that when told by Liaqat Ali at Sargodha, Ayub acted surprised and that Habibullah had provided Ayub with all details as he had gleaned from Siddique Raja and that Ayub followed the advice of Habibullah to arrest only the so-called ring leaders ,leaving the rest aside.

As per the narration of Hassan Zaheer who had accessed all the CID daily reports as well the Tribunal proceedings from the Cabinet Division archives, which had been forwarded to the secretary Interior G.Ahmed, on return to Rawalpindi-Ayub Khan discussed the matter with Brig. Habibullah and appraised him about the investigation concluded so far-and asked Habibullah to prepare his version of a statement of this conspiracy case-

In his testimony before the Hyderabad Tribunal-the approver Siddique Raja had stated that, it was on 1st March 1951, that Brig. Habibullah rang him to inform that Akbar’s plan had leaked out and that the C in C Ayub khan would like to see him in his office at 5 pm. They both went to-gather to his office and Siddique told Ayub all the details that he knew of the conspiracy case, on that evening.

On 04th March Ayub khan told Brig Habibullah to submit a full narration of all events till the meeting of Siddique Raja with Ayub and latest up to date and entitle the said File as ‘Duffer’s Drift’. In the later Hyderabad Tribunal  proceedings the Judges made some harsh observations on the report and its compilation by Brig. Habibullah and the court remarked that, ”Habibullah was quite clearly trying to appear in the garb from the beginning which was not real and in order to not only protect himself, but to take credit for things which he had not done, he wrote the Duffer’s Drift’ in a strain as if he was trying to protect the State throughout and to curb the movement which was being set afoot by Akbar Khan and his colleagues to subvert the Government of Pakistan by force from the time he came to know of it”.

Meanwhile all these proceedings remained unknown to Akbar and he continued with his planning, while he was at Karachi-as per the evidence later presented in the court, a military plane was specially diverted to Quetta to bring in Brig. Latif Khan to Karachi to meet Akbar and Janjua for the final operational plans-on the 28th Feb. All three participated in a series of meetings at 52-intelligence school Karachi between 1.30 pm to 1.45 am on the night of 28 Feb/01 March 1951.Akbar returned by Air to Rawalpindi on the 1st March evening, as when Maj. Eusoph Sethi approver number two-who went to see him at his house found him perturbed as things in Karachi were not well organized. The next day at 11 am he got the call from the CGS [Akbar] to come to his house after lunch and bring along Brig. Ziauddin and Col Hassan Khan. On meeting he informed all that he had been informed by the C in C to proceed to East Pakistan[east Bengal] on an inspection tour on 04 March as Zahir Shah the King of Afghanistan in cahoots with Indians was creating problems on the Chaman border and that Indians would try and divert our attention in East Pakistan [East Bengal] ,and the GOC East Bengal Maj. Gen Yusuf was being sent to Iran along with Brig. Latif Khan on some mission- it was strange because Chaman border was part of operational area of Brig.Latif Khan. It was here that according to Maj. Sethi that Brig Ziauddin informed Gen Akbar of the earlier meeting of Brig Siddique at Peshawar Governor house with Ayub khan and Iskandar mirza  on the 27th Feb that Siddique had rung up Col Arbab on return to Bannu and told him that the cat was out from the bag.

According to the trial proceedings GHQ had decided to move out Akbar from West Pakistan as all the information given in parts by Askar Ali shah under investigation was confirmed by Col Siddique Raja in the 1st March meetings in full details, therefore on the recommendations of both C in C and the Secretary Defence, the Governor General had issued dismissal orders of Gen.Akbar and Brig Latif khan and their arrest under Bengal Regulations lll of 1818-subsequently all four[Akbar, Nasim Latif and Faiz Ahmed Faiz] arrested on 09 march 1951  were also detained under the Public safety Act and the search of their houses was also done under these orders. Qurban Ali Khan was now made in-charge of this case-he was the same IG of Police who had changed the Army 4000, .303 British made Rifles and ammunition  to be given to Kashmir freedom fighters by replacing them with Dara made .303 rifles along with local ammunition  which resulted in a series of loss of life in various battles fought in the Kashmir war between 1947/48.

An operational plan was made jointly Maj. Gen Hayaduddin, who was made the chief coordinator between Army and police. However Army was not to be involved in the Arrests-and additional police from outlying and near districts of Rawalpindi was called in. Malik Habibullah who was S.P Criminal investigation Lahore was made in charge of this operation, he was accompanied by Ch. Nazier Ahmed S.P Montgomery, DSP Sh. M. Zahid of CID Lahore & Ch. Sikandar Hyat DSP railway police Lahore, all reached the bungalow of SP Rawalpindi[Najaf khan] at 7 pm on 08 march. The SP Cambellpur [Attock] M. Ramzan too reached on the same time-the plan of morning arrests was organized and they all departed to meet at 4 am, at the same location, at 4.45 am the convey of police moved towards the CGS House, en route  Maj. Gen Hayauddin joined them in his car by 5.45 am they reached the CGS House and shortly surrounded the house and a number of them entered the inner house, while Hayauddin went to the back of the house and tapped on the window of Akbar khan’s room from outside, who inquired him of his visit Hayauddin told him to open come outside as the matter was very urgent-Akbar  opened his bedroom door and was overpowered by police and was whisked away to a unknown destination while he was in his sleeping-suit. Nasim Akbar was told to pack her bag and taken to the residence of DIG police Rawalpindi. Some 56 different documents were seized by the search party from the CGS house that day,later the house was sealed and put under a heavy guard. All seized matter was sent to DIG-CID Lahore.

Brig. Latif following his orders had flown in Karachi on 08 March en route to Iran was arrested from the house where he was staying and by nightfall was lodged in Hyderabad central jail.

Faiz Ahmad Faiz who was living at 41 Empress road Lahore, was again arrested from his house but he got time enough, as no warrant of address had been issued to the police, this gave him a chance to call Mazhar Ali Khan who was his colleague in the ‘Pakistan Times’ and told him of his arrest without a warrant, later he was handed his arrest warrant under the Bengal Regulation 1818, and taken the same day to Sargodha Jail.

But what is the most glaring aspect in this whole episode is that, even though Mazhar Ali Khan had been forewarned by Faiz Ahmad Faiz of his arrest, no one from the print media wrote in the support of these men. A Press Hate Campaign against them was started simultaneously with the announcement of this Conspiracy by the Liaqat Ali Khan. They were called Traitors. Eighteen editors representing the entire press of Pakistan had been flown in to Karachi in a pre-planned move from Dacca, Lahore, Peshawar and all were addressed by Altaf Hussain the Editor of Dawn on the evening of 09 March 1951-The meeting without waiting for, or demanding details, all agreed to pass a resolution there and then, to support the Government Action done in the morning and gave full assurance to the Government of an ‘unqualified’ support to any further measures adopted by the Government however severe they maybe. This resolution and the statement of the Prime-minster appeared side by side on the front page of Dawn on 10 March 1951.This action on part of the Press without even verifying facts amounted to giving the sitting Government a ‘carte blanche’.

On 12 was announced in the press that Air Commodore M. K. Janjua Director Personnel Royal Pakistan Air force had been arrested in complicity of the conspiracy case.

To be continued

Renaming NWFP

This article was originally carried in The Frontier Post in 2008.

ArticleYAABy: Yasmeen Aftab Ali

With reference to Asfandyar Wali’s ANP Manifesto, Editorial Frontier Post dated 18th Dec. 2007.

Before the start of the process of renaming a province commences, various intrinsic factors must be kept in mind.Like the historical geographic boundaries, the d emographic placement of pathans and non pathans in the old districts of NWFP, that is, Peshawar, Hazara, Kohat, Bannu and D. I Khan, also to be kept in mind is the linguistic background  of the races which have inhabited the present NWFP since time immemorial to date in order, to give a name which has an equitable meaning and relevance to all its inhabitants.

Pakistan since 1947, is a culmination of many different races, each representing a different culture and heritage, therefore, just because an effective pressure group, now so wishes to rename a province as per their perspective, which negates the other races, who have inhabited this land much before the entry of the pushto-speaking races in this area ,will be an injustice to them. These races, are not represented by an equally well organised and motivated leadership to counter the pressure being so exerted at this point in time. However, in due course of time, there will be a reaction thus creating more ethnic complications for our nation.

Administratively, in the Mughal set up as created by Akbar the present NWFP, was part of Suba Kabul and consisted of various Tumans(Districts), Bolaks (Tehsils) and Sarkars. East of Kabul City, lay Lamghan, consisting of the Tumans of Ali Shang, AliNgar, Mandrawar, Kunar, Nurgul and Bolaks of Darra-i-Nur and Kama, within Lamghan was the Tuman of modern Ningnahar, with its headquarters, initially at” Admah”, between Kabul and Surkh-ab( Rivers). It was Akbar Badshah who shifted the capital of this province to a new location, and, it was named after him,” Jalalabad”, his full name being,”Jalal-ud-din Mohammad Akbar”.

Nangnahar, was originally ” Nekanhar”, meaning thereby, Nek, signifying in persian “good/beneficial” and Anhar is the plural of Nahr or streams or rivulets. Nekanhar by degrees got corrupted into Nangnahar in due course of time. It had nine Darahs out of which flowed nine rivers, all fell in one, now called Kabul River. The two eastern most Tumans of Kabul subah were Hashtghar and Bigram, it was the Tuman of Bigram, which is now called Peshawar. Hashtgar, had, eight towns ie Charsadda, Omarzi, Parang, Sherpao, Tarangzi,Rajur, Usmanzi and Tangi- the “zi” element is a new addition .

The Sufed Koh, earlier called Ak-tagh by the Turks, and by the new people ie the pushto speakers, is called Spin-ghar, seperated the Tumans of Nangnahar and Bangash which also included the Kurram Valley. Bangash was divided two parts ; Bala , meaning Upper and Pain meaning Lower. Bala Bangash started from Thal area and Pain Bangash was the now Kohat Region. The thanedar of Bala and Pain Bangash was located at Kohat.

Bannu, was bordered on the north by the mountains of Bangash and Nughz( Durrand Line -Range). The three Sarkars of Suwat, Bunner and Bajuar were also in Kabul suba. Modern Hazara ,was called Pakli Sarkar, sometimes it was administrated by Kabul, later, it was transferrred to Kashmir suba. Pakli consisted of Dhudhial, Nawa-Shahr and Dhamtaur. Darband and rest of Hazara, ie the lower parts of the present Hazara were part of Lahore suba.

Beyond, in the north of Bajauar, Bunner and Lower Suwat was a track of land called Baloristan, NOT part of the Mughal set up. Sometimes Badkhshan and sometimes Kashghar, dominated the region. Baloristan , extended to the North till the Wakhan Valley. Now coming to the latest addition meaning thereby, other than the old districts already mentioned as part of old NWFP. A description about the land of Chitral is relevant. Till the late 19th century, Chitral( A new name) old being Kashkar, had as its rulers, the progeny of Mohammad Baig. Chitral (Town area and below to the south till Dir), came under Mohtaram Shah and Upper Chitral was held by Shah Khushwakht, the elder brother of Mohtaram Shah.

Mohtaram Shah was known as Aman-ul-Mulk, ie his designation. In 1878, he accepted an agreement with the Maharaja of Kashmir on the behest of the British and started getting a grant of Rs 12000/- per year. The elder brother, refused to acknowledge the Maharaja of Kashmir and the British Rule.Hence, he recruited forces from YASIN, DAR-AL, TANGIR and HUNZA  areas of his rule and so went on a war against the Dogra Rule.While, the elder brother fought the British and Maharaja of Kashmir’s forces with full valour, his younger brother attacked him from behind on the behest of British & the Maharaja and thus the elder brother lost the war and turned a fugitive.

In the area known as Dir, now, a Mulla Ilyas, also called as Akhund Baba, a pushto speaker had created a following. In the 1880s,Rehmatullah, the younger brother of Jamdad Khan, the Head of Mullazi Clan( From Mulla a term comes Mullazi), took monetary assistance from Maharaja of Kashmir and deposed his elder brother. By 1895, Rehmatullah’s son, Mohammad Shareef was doing a lot of, “good service” to the British and had especially helped them in the capture of Chitral town. He had also helped the British in capturing, Sher Afzal ,one of the outlawed brothers of Aman-ul-Mulk of Chitral. For his good services, rendered to the British Crown, Mohammad Shareef was made a Nawab. When the Fakir of Api revolted the newly created Nawab of Dir, vide an agreement of december 1898, with the British, had the Fakir of Api declared,”enemy of the State and the Crown”. For these services rendered, his subsidy was raised to Rs 15000/- per annum with an antedate of first October 1898.

The purpose of this information is to establish the fact that, niether was Baloristan a part of Kabul suba nor was Dir. It was much later that they became part of NWFP or Punjab as it was earlier known ie after the annexation of 1849 by the British.

Dera Ismael Khan, was always a part of suba Multan.

These administrative boundaries lasted till 1739, from then till 1747 the whole of Trans-Indus was part of the Iranian Empire. On the asassination of Nadir Shah, Ahmed Shah Abdali who was a Captain of his bodyguards, moved to Qandhar and also took the bulk of the treasure taken from Lahore and Delhi by Nadir Shah. With this money he established himself as an independent ruler in the eastern regions of the Iranian Empire of Nadir Shah. Till the death of Ahmed Shah Abdali and much later there is no entity known as Afghanistan.Ahmed Shah was called in his lifetime as Badhsha-e-Khurrassan. On his death in 1773 his son, Taimur shah shifted the capital to Kabul by now the Sikhs had started their inroads and raids in the eastern parts of Taimur Shah’s kingdom. By 1823 Sikhs had entered Peshawar area and Hazara was annexed by Sikhs in 1818.

The Nawab of Mankera, Hafiz Mohammad Khan ruled an area till the present Muzaffargarh districts, Kot Addu Tehsil and had in the scramble, conquered, Isa Khel and outskirts of Bannu, the old areas of Kabul kingdom. By 1821, the Nawab of Mankera had lost in subsequent battles to the sikhs his lands and was pensioned off to D. I Khan. Kohat recieved its first Governor of Sikhs in 1834 and by 1836, Ranjit Singh had given  Sultan Mohammad, Kohat, Tiri and Hangu in a service jagir.

Demographically, the census of 1881 was held 2 years after the Treaty of Gandamak by virtue of which Khyber and Michni Pass and Kurram areas became part of the British empire and hence Punjab. Of the old five districts which are the heartland of NWFP, ie D. I Khan, Bannu, Peshawar, Hazara and Kohat the following is the demographic aspect as per the above census quoted:

a) D.I Khan had a total of 73022 pathans out of a total population of 441,649. In the pathans so mentioned the Niazis were 2377 and the Khetran were 1324, both seraiki speakers but somehow included in the pathan total.
b) Bannu had, 141,022 pathans, out of a population of 322,577,of whom the bulk were Jats, Rajputs, awans, Sheikhs, Mughals, syeds etc. then came others like Nais(Barbers), tarkhans(Carpenters), kumar(Potters),Rangrez(Dyers), a similar composition was in earlier mentioned D. I Khan’s figures too.Bannu had Tehsils of Bannu, Marwat, Isa Khel and Mianwali.
c)Hazara, had a population of 407,075 ,the pathans were numbered as 64,695 out of which 16962 were Jaduns, Hindko speakers and 28906 swatis again hindko speakers too but somehow classified as pathans. Hazara had the following tehsils; Abbotabad, Mansehra, and Haripur.
d) Kohat had a population of 181,540 and an area of Kohat, Hangu and Teri tehsils. In 1855 it had a population of 101,232 but a massive immigration caused a large number of pushto speakers from across the Durrand Line to enter in Kohat regions, thus by 1881 the pushto speakers alone stood at 116,431 rest were hindko/kohati speakers all non pushto ie Awans and other allied aborigine races.
e)Peshawar had the following tehsils; Peshawar, Charsadda, Swabi, Mardan and Nowshera. Between 1881 -1931 a span of 50 years the number of Afghan immigrants who entered this district alone were 249,347 a breakdown on 10 yearly basis to further elaborate the immigration factor is:
-1881: 35892(immigrants)
-1891: 56089(immigrants)
-1901: 55537(immigrants)
-1911: 45366(immigrants)
-1921: 30886(immigrants)
-1931: 25577(immigrants)
Therefore in this district the number of pathans keeping in view the above data was the highest in the 1881 census. The figure of Pathans stood at 276,656 but alongwith this came other races namely Awans: 97445, Gujjars: 13514, Baghban(Arians): 21240, Sheikhs: 9596, Jats: 4917, Rajputs: 3181, Mughals : 4538, Nais; 5648, Kashmiris; 13082, Churra: 7653, Tarkhan: 12504, Mochi: 3263 etc etc etc. Here we see that inspite of the massive inroads of Afghan immigrants since 1855 to 1931 the local population of aborigines remained a steady number. All of the above, were non pathans and spoke the orginal local peshawari/hindko dialects.To further elaborate my point, Bannu too had had, a massive inroad of Afghan immigrant between 1855 -1881 as in 1855 Bannu had a population of 237,557 by 1881 it has arisen to 332,577.

Therefore, keeping the above figures in mind, of the inroads of Afghan immigrants speaking the pushto language spanning only over 150 years back cannot justify of renaming an area as that of Pakhtunkhwa.

Coming now to the main linguistic issue. The languages from North to South of the present NWFP now consisting of 25 administrative units including FATA and administration areas spread over 101,741 kilometers has at its base from the north the following languages/dialects:wakhani, besh-gali,wai-ali,pashai,dardic,khowar or chitrali,shini,kashmiri or koshir, kohistani,hindkohi,tianuali of Hazara, awankari of Kohat, dhundi-kairali of Abbotabad, kohati of Kohat, khetrani/jaffari(seraiki) of D. I Khan and mulki of Bannu.

Now reverting to the mother language of all the above stated dialects is dardic, a term coined by the British. Being the base of all the languages/dialects spoken in the Sindh Valley/Present NWFP, by the original aborigines of this land. Even in the past, dardic influence is found amongst the original inhabitabts of Lamghan and nangnahar, even in the Teri Valley.This language was once spoken in areas now, presently inhabited by the Afridi Pathans.

Technically, dardic languages also covered Baltistan and western Tibet, philology, also shows that it had covered nearly the whole of the Sindh Valley. Punjabi and Lahnda still show traces of the earlier dardic mother language.

Ormuri, in South of present Afridi country is again dardic. Similarly, the Waziristan area on the whole was originally an Ormuri area before the influx of the pathans. Khetrani and Jaffari are again laced with the traces of dardic. Sindhi has in the Lari area ie below Hyderabad, the dardic influence.

In the Dir area,before the advent of the pathans, a language called Diri was spoken which has now in certain cases merged in Garwi of the Swat Kohistan. Lower down the Chitral(Kashkar), River which has now become to be known as Kunar River on it’s right bank lived the people who spoke the Pashai , a language of Dehgans of Lamghan. The area inhabited by the Dehgans(was)between west of Lamghan River and the north of boundry of Kafirs & to the east the Kunar River and to the south the Kabul River.

Tirahi was spoken at one time in Nangnahar and Tira Valley and is closely connected with Pashai and Gawar-bati. Khowar is the language of the Khos, the most important tribe of Chitral(Kashkar state) . On its west, comes the kafir languages & on its east, Shina spoken in present Gilgit area. It should also be borne in mind that Khowar is also related to the original Pamir language ie ghal chah.

The new cultures, in the Sindh Valley like the pushto, baluchi, punjabi, urdu, and ofcourse the english have in the last 150 years entered the Sindh Valley but the basic local languages and culture have till now held on. For example, in our canal colonies, of the present Punjab province the canal colonists of 1886 from what is now called East Punjab have given to our original inhabitants of this a derogatory name

The deductions of the above information is that no one speaks for the locals of the Sindh Valley because the intellectual in the literary circles is either an urdu speaker( a language of ganga jumna doaba) or a punjabi, a language spoken between sutlej & jumna ie that of the canal colonies or a baluchi or a pathan. And to top it the english speaker whose very thought process is on a different tangent altogether. The net result is, our old culture, languages & heritage is slowly being merged in a set of new languages and cultures , this is very detrimental to our very base.

If the Sindh Valley has opened its arms to refugees from Afghanistan since  1855 and now they have developed a pressure group in all justice, our old cultures ,languages, and heritage cannot be wiped out which has traditionally stood fast for thousands of years and a massive inroads of various invaders.Under the circumstances “SARHAD” is a good name ,if the name of NWFP has to be changed. It takes in consideration all races, cultures, languages having existed in “NWFP” from time immemorial.

The writer is a lawyer, academic and political analyst. She has authored a book titled A Comparative Analysis of Media & Media Laws in Pakistan. Her email is: and tweets at @yasmeen_9


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