The Murder of History

i critique of history textbooks used in Pakistan



by the same author

Britain and Muslim India Some Problems of Research in Modern History The Making of Pakistan Ameer Ali: His Life and Work The Historical Background of Pakistan The All India Muslim Conference The Indian Khilafat Movement Britain and Pakistan Party Politics in Pakistan The British in India Complete Works of Rahmat Ali (2 vols.) Muslims under Congress Rule (2 vols.) A History of the Idea of Pakistan (4 vols.) Rahmat Ali: A Biography Prelude to Pakistan (2 vols.) Public Life in Muslim India

The Pzkistani Historian


A critique of history textbooks used in Pakistan

K.K. Aziz


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means

without prior permission in writing from the author and publisher

Copyright: K.K. Aziz, 1993

First published in Pakistan by Vanguard Books Pvt Ltd Lahore Karachi Islamabad

Vanguard Books Pvt Ltd

Head Office: 45 The Mall Lahore Pakistan Ph: 243779, 243783, Fax: 042-321680

Tix: 47421 SCOOP PK

Branch Office: D-212, KDA 1-A, Stadium Road, Karachi Ph: 4939729, 4931564

Branch Office: Jinnah Super Market, Islamabad

Ph: 215215, 210099

Printed at Maktaa Jadeed Press (Pvt) Ltd., 9-Railway Road, Lahore.

ISBN: 969-402-126-X (HB)

To the late Uncle Hakim Jan of blessed memory

More than a brother to my father, a benefactor of my family, whose mind, lit by the flame of virtue, was a miracle of equilibrium

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The Prescribed Myths The Calamity of Errors The Road to Ruin

The Burden of Responsibility

Appendix A Appendix B Appendix C


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Pakistan Studies and History in use in the schools and col Pakistan by students of classes 1 to 14, discussed their contents at full length, and explored the dimensions, implications and ramifications of their errors, faults and deficiencies.

This study has taken its rise from a series of adventitious circumstances, not all agreeable or gratifying. In 1989-90 I wrote a book on the Pakistani historian which contained one chapter of 82 pages, the longest of all, on the textbooks written by the historians of the country and in use in the schools and colleges. (The book has since been published by Vanguard under the title of The Pakistani Historian, and | advise the reader to look through it to understand why such books have been written by the country's historians). The typescript was handed over to a Lahore publisher on 25 March 1990, and two weeks later I went away to Cambridge for an 8-month spell of teaching and writing, with a firm promise from him that the book would be in the market before the year was out. But he bilked me and did not publish it then or ever. This unredeemed pledge led, in slow stages, to the expansion of the chapter on textbooks into the present full-length study. Blighted hopes do sometimes tum into cheerful prospects, if one has the requisite fortitude and resolve, and of course luck.

My work has never offered me the leisure to write something for journals or newspapers. But the publisher's remissness was making me impatient, and when The Frontier Post offered to serialize this particular chapter, I raised no objections because the material combined scholarly research and topical interest to an uncommon degree. I then believed that a study of the books which every school- and college-going student reads will attract the parents of these students. i thought that in a country where the average sales of serious books are abysmally low the wav to the attention of the educated reader lay through the columns of a national English daily. The original chapter thus came to appear in The Frontier Post in eleven long instalments on 17, 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26 April and 1, 3, 5, 8 and 9 May 1992. The newspaper also extended me the unprecedented courtesy of advertising the series on the front page for several days running prior to their


x Preface

publication. I am grateful to Mr. Khaled Ahmed, the resident editor, for this kindness.

On I1 May the newspaper carried a letter from one Professor M.1.Haq, suggesting that I should "issue a corrigenda for the plethora of mistakes and mis-statements he has so diligently compiled, because the authors [of the textbooks] would not know the correct answers themselves, and this burden of the martial law will continue to be carried by our textbook boards, God knows for how long”. On the same day Mr. Khaled Ahmed telephoned me to say that he had received several calls from his readers who now wanted to know the "real facts” of history after having read in my articles the myths and distortions contained in the textbooks. He asked me to write out a detailed statement rectifying the mistakes of the books and telling the truc tale.

My immediate reaction to this request was one of shock. I had already annotated cach textbook, listing faithfully all the errors it carried, but had limited my commentary to a very few remarks and an odd correction here and there. I had thought that the great majority of my readers knew their history and after perusing what I had written would respond according to their temperament and attitude to life: either laughing at the ignorance of the textbook writers or feeling concerned about what their children were being taught. And now I was being informed by the editor of a major national daily that educated people, living in big cities and reading an English-language newspaper did not know where the textbooks had gone wrong, and they needed the telling of it.

But a little reflection opened my eyes. These people who were asking for the correct version of history had been brought up on these very textbooks. Those few among them who were fond of reading had received their knowledge of history from a few popular or serious general books which had been written by the same professors who had put together these textbooks. It was then that I realized the truc proportions of the disaster which had devastated the country. For me it was the moment of truth.

Mr. Khaled Ahmed's injunction was reinforced by the advice given to me by my friend Mr. Najam Sethi, who publishes the Vanguard Books and edits The Friday Times.

As ill luck would have it, when { reccived these messages I was engaged in a triple fight against the heat of Lahore to which I am not accustomed, a severe bout of influenza which had laid me

Preface i

low, and the aftermath of a serious accident of 7 May which had disabled me aurally for life. But you can't argue with your editor: it is not for nothing that only the royalty and the editors have arrogated to themselves the right to use the first person plural ("we") for their formidable selves. Anyway, the request was reasonable, and I owed it to my readers to supply the corrections to the errors committed by the textbooks. So, all handicaps notwithstanding, I sat down and wrote long correction slips and a short concluding lament, and this matter appeared in The Frontier Post in five instalments on 12, 15, 19, 20 and 21 June.

By this time I had decided to publish this critique as an independent book. When | discussed its publication with Mr. Najam Scthi he made some admirable suggestions about recasting the first chapter, which were accepted and have improved it. I have thoroughly revised and expanded the matter which appeared as the second series in The Frontier Post; this forms the second chapter of the book. While revising, modifying and expanding the original material (Chapter I) and the corrective redaction (Chapter 2), I had time and opportunity to give more thought to the subject and to view it in a larger perspective. Chapter 3 and most of Chapter 4 are the results of this cogitation. These additions were not published by The Frontier Post.

Having studied, lived and taught abroad for most of my working life, I have leamed to view the educational and intellectual needs of a socicty in ways which are foreign to the Pakistani mind. Therefore, in my academic innocence I expected that the publication of my study of the textbooks in a daily newspaper would or should produce the following results:

First, a flurry and a ferment among the general reader, aroused by the low quality of our textbooks; and a more specific and indignant commotion among the parents on discovering what their Children were being taught about national history. I was looking forward to a prolonged debate in the correspondence columns, which would include a harsh criticism of what I had dared to do, a discussion among the parents on how to dam up this flood of ignorance let loose by the textbooks, some protests in self-defence from the authors of these books, a riposte from the textbook boards in self-justification, even an angry rebuke from a “patriotic” Pakistani on my anti-national and subversive outburst. What actually happened did not amount to more than a whisper. A

xii Preface

total of four letters appeared, only two of which were relevant to the subject. All of them are reproduced in Appendix C in order to mark and preserve the totality of national response to such a vital subject.

Secondly, considering the impact of my discoveries on every household in the country which sent its offspring to school and the interest this should arouse among the public, at least some of the English national newspapers would reproduce these articles in toto cr in condensed form, and the Urdu press in translation; so that the maximum number of parents were informed of what their children are studying. Had any newspaper or magazine cared to copy what I wrote even without my permission, I would not have minded this at all or asked for a fee. Far from any such dissemination, no notice was taken of what I had written.

Thirdly, at least one or two papers would carry an editorial comment on the disaster to which I had pointed my finger. But the silence was total.

Lest I be accused of self-praise or my frustration be attributed 4 my pique on being neglected, let me make one thing clear. I know that my work was not a feat of exalted scholarship. I had Ot Written anything of exceptionally high quality, for which I was icoking for a pat on the back. Bul, in all modesty, I may claim that 1 was the first to

(1) examine the textbooks with meticulous care,

(2) list all errors of fact, emphasis and interpretation,

(3) enumerate the major omissions of which they were guilly,

(4) correct the mistakes committed by them,

(5) discuss the contours and dimensions of the false history

being taught and studied;

(6) calculate the effects of this on the students, and

(7) measure the implications of a distorted view of history for

the people at large.

1 hink I had some justification in presuming that this would shake the educated classes and make them sit up and take notice of ‘what was being done to them and to their progeny by the sovemment, the scholars and the professors of the country. But my hopes proved dupes, and my fears were not liars, I discovered ihat L knew the textbooks in use in the country, but not the cvnntry.

Preface xili

The pain of this realization was exacerbated by a number of things which happened in quick succession between the appearance of the articles in April and the writing of this preface. I detail them in their chronological order:

1. By a coincidence, the publication of these articles ran concurrent with the budget sessions of both the National Assembly and the Punjab Legislative Assembly. In Islamabad questions were asked about the government's failure to issue its new education policy. In Lahore one full day was spent on debating the performance of the provincial education department and the Minister of Education was castigated for his incompetence and ignorance. But in both places not a word was uttered by the treasury or opposition benches on the textbooks. Now I knew that Pakistani legislators don't read newspapers or, if they do, don't attach any importance to their contents.

2. On 6 June, at a function held at the Lahore Museum when a retired ambassador donated a few articles of historical importance, the Chief Minister of the Punjab, Mr. Ghulam Haider Wyne, told the audience that "proper knowledge about different annals of history /sic.) can provide a nation with guidance for its future", that "the nations who are indifferent about their past can face problems in future", and that “people who forget their history cannot keep their geographical boundaries intact" (The Nation, Lahore, 7 June 1992). He did not make any. reference to the textbooks which his own government was issuing and prescribing. The executive arm of the government followed the legislative branch in ignoring what the press published.

3. In its leading article of 9 June The Nation pulled up the chief minister in strong language. "Our rulers have been systematically distorting history to create a place for their claim and perpetuation of the same over political power /sic.]. We have seen cnough of a conscious process of turning and twisting of historical facts and events as well as the guiding philosophies behind them ... honest and effective answers ... are impossible to get as long as the current practice of projecting only selective facts in the light of dominant political propagandist line is not abandoned in favour of an objective and dispassionate reporting and interpretation of facts. We have to leam to separate political propaganda from history .... It is imperative that the task of writing history books for formal education is assigned to serious

xiv Preface

scholars rather than propagandists. Power politics and scholarship

writers read no newspapers other th consider it beneath their dignity to re press is publishing? Had this leader-wri would have derived from them solid facts reinforce the brief he was pleading.

4. In its Independence Day supplefrént issued on 14 August The Frontier Post carticd an article by Professor Rafiullah Shahab on the "Genesis of Pakistan Resolution", whose first paragraph . claimed that the Resolution was "adopted" on 23 March and the last paragraph repeated that it was "passed" on 23 March. The article reproduced the text of the Resolution in bold print in the centre of the page with one major error: the words “independent states” were not enclosed within quotation marks as they were in the original text. In the second series of my articles I had given considerable space to the correction of the date, printed the true text, and criticized the writers who were irresponsible in their treatment of the document. This made another truth dawn upon me: not to speak of the readers, even the regular contributorsyo a newspaper don't read what that newspaper publishes on their 0 subject.

5. Between April and now I received over a score of visitors at my residence. and all of them, either to make polite conversation or out of genuine interest, inquired about what I was then writing. As my mind was full of textbooks I told them in some detail about my discoveries, their effect on the tranqutily of my mind, and my frustration on having failed to arouse t interest or even the ire of my readers. Their reaction opencd many doors to my understanding of the socicty to which we belong. Some were visidly bored with my enthusiasm and changed the topic. Others pretended to show sympathy, but their mealy- mouthed phrases were like the trivial, trite, fatuous words we use to console a neighbour who is in some slight trouble: why are you worrying yourself? don't take such a little thing to heart; all will be well; nothing lasts for ever; do you take so seriously everything that you write about? and so on. But the true and memorable comment came from an educated couple with two school-going


who accompanied thepes What gfse goes right in Pakistan should worry| abqyi/these WaPieeeZotiEske Urdu words they u¥ed: "Pakistan of aj Sigua ich z theek chal rahi hai jo ham in Deiat kitabg 1” 9, rir jo n jo ye perh rahe hain?"

Fick: oD: n cficizing the current tex ks ore (han one editorial in Dawn in the Bx ; Apfi 1989 The Nation called hay elgee: Dal © .’ : ine Gur bgeks imparted SOTTe a Moc Jadic/y Aicentrating on indoctrimjteg a Mae ts w among our studenly ; 5 Sa, sae Pp complained

RS of apologetic

. ai The TP - pa to face at the hs : TS nce i ourS0cial scic le younger generation a Friday Times of 19-2§ , a -pabe investigative report by Miss ia rae Ttics d follies of these books.

These editorials an the quarters responsi

@te.cvoke any response from the warts and foibles which disfigure the textbooks } here was not even a squeak from the establishment. Why shgyld I delude myself with the pleasing but vain thought that my Jalfour on thiSbook will be rewarded with any attention?

The only people Eff from whom a sympathetic he}ripg may be expected are the pafg§ts whose children drink in poisomof these textbooks eveWjday of the week. But th appears, are indifferent or unable raise their voice, thoug bject of this book could not impifige upon them mgs f They say they

have greater problgms to contengi seper worries to avoid. Probably thgy are right.) gument

I bring forth, it will not ags i i touch them on

/ government and the whims of pai. : pat facts as if they were divine edicts: B ty ca stal, the voice of ultimate authority, incradicable, immovable, irresistible, hewn in granite.

Even when the ashes of controversy are still hot the icy brilliance of the historian's reason should explain the conflict with humour,

Pip. Mangyel fF 2y7) wee fleated te draw tive f



xvi Preface

serenity and balance. Interpretations should be models of rational thinking, with an array of arguments sound and stout, building up and edifice of thought and analysis which has the harmony of an ancient Greek monument, the symme‘ry of the Ta} Mahal, and the strength of the a Roman column. The various considerations should be balanced with a hand unshaken by prejudice, and into the play of ideas should be injected the vigour of intellect. and through all the writings should ring the bell of justice.

But, how far is what ought to be from what actually is! But have textbooks which mislead the children and scholarly works which misguide the nation. As things are or appear to be to an open eye, will the country ever see the day when history is a narration of facts instead of a catalogue of sweet wishes or damnable lies? Not during the lifetime of the next few generations.

If reason is on my side, the reader of this book has the right to ask me: if that is what you think, why have you written this book? I must confess that my reply will not go down well with him. But here it goes. What i have written will bring no change to our textbooks or to the education system which produces them. Few will read this book. Fewer will remember it after reading it. Our own little stubbom world will go on as it has been going on for 45) years. The top will continue spinning because it is kept in motion, by blows of lash not by natural momentum; it is a whipping-top,, not the ordinary toy. What I write will not matter. Who listens to a, feeble, lonely voice coming from the wildemess, crying for the: light like an infant in the night?

My publisher is more optimistic than I am. I edmire his mettle: and his tenacity. I pray he is right. I don't share his hopes. And yet I hope I am wrong.

So my answer to why I wrote this book is: I have written forr posterity. (Sometimes I feel that I have written all my books forr the generations whom I will not.see). In a hundred years’ time: when the future historian s¢ts ov. to contemplate the Pakistan off an age gone by and look for the causes that brought it low, he: might find in this book of mine one stall candle whose quivering: flame will light his path.

I am beholden to my wife for making certain helpfuil suggestion during the writing of this book, for making myy working hours less tedious and more productive by offeringg material comforts and moral cheer, and for reading the proofs.


It is my pleasure to thank the following gentlemen for their assistance and kindnesses: Mr. Razi Abedi, Mr. Muhammad Azam, Mr. Muzaffar Ahmed Bhutta, Mr. Khaled Ahmed, and Mr

Mr. Najam Sethi has taken a keener interest in the completion and publication of this book than he ordinarily does in what I write and he publishes. I stand in his debt.

Lahore 2 February 1993 K.K. Aziz

RT a a eee



In every country the textbook is the primary implement of education at the school and pre-university stages of instruction. In Pakistan it is the only instrument of imparting education on all levels, because the teacher and the lecturer don't teach or lecture but repeat what it contains and the student is encouraged or simply ordered to memorize its contents. Further, for the young student the textbook is the most important book in his little world: he is forced to buy it, he carries it to the classroom every day, he has it open before him when the teacher is teaching, he is asked to learn portions of it by rote, and he is graded by the quantity of its contents that he can regurgitate.

The ultimate supremacy of the textbook is confirmed by its official provenance. Since the early 1960s the planning, preparation and publication of all textbooks for classes 1-12 are the responsibility of the Textbook Boards, of which there is one in each province. These bodies are created and controlled by the provincial Department of Education, and their personnel is recruited from the provincial education service. Their textbooks are generally written by a team of authors, then corrected and supervised by another person or a group of persons, and finally edited by another individual. Then the manuscript is submitted to the National Review Committee of the Ministry of Education of the Government of Pakistan, which checks its accuracy and approves of its "ideological" content. When the book has been published, it is prescribed by the Provincial Government as the "sole textbook" for the relevant class in all the schools of the province. Each copy of the book carries 1) the names of authors, supervisors and editors, 2) the imprimatur of the National Review Committee, and 3) the official notice that it is the only prescribed textbook. In some books there is a warming issued by the Chairman of the Board that the students must not buy or use any

2 The Prescribed Myths

“additional” textbooks.

It becomes necessary to examine and scrutinize these textbooks because 1) they form the foundations of the pre- university education system, and, in one case, of the university system, 2) they are prepared with such great care and attention, 3) they are written by the country's leading college and university teachers, and 4) they are the only source of information for millions of students whose education stops at or before the 12th class. ~

History as a subject in the schools was abolished by the government of Field Marshal Ayub Khan. Its place has been taken by a subject called "Mu'ashrati Ulum” or "Social Studies" for classes 1-8 and by another subject called "Mutala‘a-i-Pakistan" or "Pakistan Studies" for classes 9-12. Both are amalgams of bits of geography, history, economics, civics, Islamic Studies and intemational relations.

In the following sections I provide the reader with the major inaccuracies, distortions, exaggerations and slants to be found in each officially prepared and prescribed textbook and in a representative selection of private commercial publications which are in wide use as textbooks. As there is no library which keeps all the textbooks published since 1947 my presentation is confined, with a few exceptions, to the books which have appeared during the last twelve years and are in current use. In the annotation of the items prepared by the Textbook Boards I have omitted the statements that they were approved by the National Review Committee and prescribed as sole textbooks by the govemments of the provinces; these announcements should be taken for granted.

Primary Level: Urdu Medium

Class 1

Jadid Mu‘ashrati Ulum by a Board of Senior General Knowledge Teachers, West Punjab Textbook Depot, Lahore, n.d., pp.16.

"Question: Who created Pakistan?” "Answer: The Quaid-i-Azam created Pakistan."

The Prescribed Myths 3 “Question: What is the Quaid-i-Azam's actual name?"

"Answer: Quaid-i-Azam's actual name is Muhammad Ali Jinnah"(p.3).

The first question and its answer lead to several reflections, both of pedagogics and historical substance. Is it wise to introduce a 5-year old student on his first day in school to national history through such a naive question? With his limited intelligence, little ability to grasp historical facts, and total incapacity to analyze concepts and all these weaknesses maximized by his stepping into an entirely new world, in what way does the answer advance his information or knowledge?

In the prevailing teaching system the student will repeat aloud the answer twenty times in as many minutes in the company of his fellows in the class, and in the resulting cacophony lose all sense of what was created by whom. If his intelligence or curiosity is above par, he would like to know the "why" of the creation after its "what" and "by whom"; but the answer to the "why" is not in the book. It would have been more logical and to the point and also more suited to his age to use the following catechism:

Question: What is the name of our country?

Answer: The name of our country is Pakistan.

Question: What does this name mean?

Answer. It means land of the pure.

Answer. P stands for the Punjab, A for the NWFP (Afghan province), K for Kashmir, S for Sind, and TAN for Baluchistan.

Question: Who invented this word?

Answer: It was invented by Chaudhri Rahmat Ali.

Question: Who created Pakistan?

Answer, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah created Pakistan.

. | | Question: How is the word made up?

4 The Prescribed Myths.

But then Rahmat Ali will appear in the book before Jinnah, and the ideological masters of the country will not sanction the order of precedence.

The problem of historical substance exists on a higher plane and eludes the comprehension of both the teacher and the writer of the textbook. The problem is: did Jinnah alone create Pakistan? The question leads directly to a sophisticated discussion of an historical and philosophical nature. Legally and constitutionally, Pakistan was created by the British Parliament which passed the Indian Independence Act of July 1947, Politically, it was created by the popular support given to the All India Muslim League by the Muslims of India and by the tripartite negotiations among the Muslim League, the Congress and the British. Morally, it was created by an urge among the Muslims to have a country of their own where they would not be Subject to a permanent and unalterable Hindu majority. One could also Say, with much justification, that it was created by the Hindus. Had the Hindu leaders shown greater wisdom, more flexibility and less arrogance, the Muslim League would not have insisted on a partition of India. It was Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's declaration that India would rather live in peace without the permanent headache of a Muslim problem which tilted the balance of decision in favour of a partition and signalled Congress acquiescence in its oosummation. We must remember that in May 1946 Jinnah had accepted the Cabinet Mission Plan, thus abandoning the Pakistan ideal.

Another aspect of the same problem is Summed up in the academic but pertinent question: would Pakistan hawe come into existence if Jinnah had died in Say 1945 or even 194677 Arguments can be given on both sides, Jinnah was the supreme leader, with nO successors, alternatives, deputies, assistants, substitutes, proxies or replacements in sight. The Congress had a long line of well-established succession and a large group of top-ranking leaders with rich public experience and long political raining. The League had neither, (Compare the personnel of the Working Committee of the All India Congress Committee witty that of the All India Muslim League Working Committee, and ithe point is painfully made). Had Jinnah gone to his Maker, the Le:ague would have been a party not only without a head but also without a mind or a heart or any other vital Organ. Look at the League group


Th prescrived Myths which negotiated with the Cabinet Mission. Consider the persons who accompanied Jinnah in his talks with Mountbatten. Contemplate the e nominees in the interim government. Was there anyone W ah even for five or defended a oposition? Liaquat Ali Khan? Rab Nishtar? Raja Ghazanfar Ali Khan? All


Sardar Ab , pygmies of sho public lives and even shorter statures. ; What is the explanatio of this absence of leadership? Did ‘« men? Or, did he find none wo trusting

ne Pakistan movement? Isnt tragic) feature of Muslim politics? The Khaksar movement was ia Party and AX. Fazlul Haq were

ja) o <= S. a = & 2. oe c = c n = e 5] bs a

interchangeable terms. The Khudai Khidmatgars were bom, liv i Abdul Ghaffar Khan. Were the Muslim

and died with Khan League of the years of the Pakistan movement and Jinnah twins?

The door is patent for discussion. The other side of the coin is inscribed with equally eristic gue that by 1945 oF 1946 the

Pakistan deman itch of excitement, enthusiasm j *s demise could not have

and conviction which even hairbreadth. The impetus was too great to be

reversed. The gulf between Hindus and Muslims had become too

d wide to be bridged over. Jinnah or no Jinnah, nothing

Ihave gone into th ficeding class ] studen sh indigestible historical pap. A i fit the size of the student's

dit, Asking the students of such

wender age to learn

thabituatio knowing everything by rote. Let us refrain from making history jimto a nyultiplication table. Mu‘ashrati U lum, Shakil Brothers, Karachi, n.d..pp-24- "Question: Who gave Liaquat Ali Khan the title of Quaid-i- Millat?"

¥ i

6 The Prescribed Mytlhs

"Answer: Liaquat Ali Khan was given the title of Quaid-ii- Millat by the Pakistani nation.”

“Question: Where is the mazar of Shahid-i-Millat Liaquat Aili Khan situated?"

“Answer: The mazar of Shahid-i-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan iis situated in Karachi" (p.5).

The lesson on Mohanjo Daro does not tell thie student where it is located (p.15).

The lesson on Pakistan's friends in the worlld contains 12 Muslim countries; the 13th name is Australia (p.20).

The lesson on the Taj Mahal does not even hint at what the building is meant for (p.23).

If patriotism and loyalty to the memory of Jinnah dictated a reference to him in class I textbook, there was no such compulsion in the case of Liaquat Ali Khan. Anyway, the elementary stage of education should not be converted into a platform for praising dead prime ministers. I can name fifty public figures from Sayyid Ahmad Khan and Sayyid Ameer Ali to Fazlul Haq and the Raja of Mahmudabad whose individual contribution to the Muslim nationalist struggle was immeasurably greater than Liaquat Ali Khan's.

In fact, Liaquat's inclusion in the textbook is a particularly ill- suited choice. Not only ill-suited, but poignant in the light of Jinnah-Liaquat relationship. This needs some elaboration.

In 1945 Liaquat signed an agreement with Bhulabhai Desai of the Congress party, committing the Muslim League to a certain line of action on future constitutional progress of the country. He did this after telling Desai that Jinnah was a sick man and was dying and if the Congress desired a lasting and practicable solution of the Muslim problem it should deal with him (Liaquat) rather than with Jinnah. It was a secret and shady deal and Jinnah was neither consulted nor informed. When he read the news and the text of the Liaquat-Desai pact in the press he was shocked, and

considered it as an act of treachery on Liaquat's part, and ordered his domestic staff not to let Liaquat enter his residence if he came to visit him. (This was told to me by Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada,


TThe Prescribed Myths 7

who was at this time acting as honorary private secretary to Jinnah im Bombay), ;

In 1946 the first list of Muslim League nominees on the Wiceroy's Executive Council which Jinnah sent to Lord Wavell diid not contain Liaquat's name but in his place Nawab Muhammad Ismail Khan's. But when Ismail divulged the secret 0>f his nomination to a joumalist who carried the tale to Jinnah his mame was dropped and substituted with Liaquat's. (Information gziven to me by Pirzada and later confirmed by K.H. Khurshid in a Cconversation with me).

Why didn't Jinnah expel Liaquat from the League and get rid oof someone whom he considered as a traitor within the camp? The siame answer was given to me by Pirzada, Khurshid, Chaudhri Muhammad Ali and Professor IH. Qureshi. The years 1945-47 were the most delicate in the annals of the Pakistan movement. UJnity in the Muslim League ranks had top priority. Before 1945 Jiinnah had publicly called Liaquat his "nght hand man", Liaquat was also the General Secretary of the All India Muslim League.

Assembly. Even a hint of a Split in the top leadership of the Loeague at this time would have Spelt disaster for the party's public image and its Standing and credibility on the political scene of the country. So Liaquat was retained and permitted to act as a League leader, but no love was lost between him and Jinnah.

I was also told by Sir Muhammad Zafrullah Khan that in July 1947 he had carried a message from Jinnah to Nawab Muhammad Hamidullah Khan of Bhopal asking him if he would be prepared tO come over and become the first Prime minister of Pakistan, The

was made by Jinnah to the Nawab of Bahawalpur, but with no success. It is thus clear that Liaquat Ali Khan got his job in Pakistan by default, not on merit.

Even as Prime Minister, Liaquat did not enjoy the trust of Jinnah. How could he with this background? Chaudhri Muhammad Ali implied in his talks with me that the two men were not even on speaking terms except in public and large company. M.A.H. Ispahani Said that the Prime Minister did not take the files



8 The Prescribed Myths

to the Governor General for personal discussion but sent them by the hand of his secretary.

The tragedy of this relationship is confirmed by the memoirs. of Miss Fatima Jinnah (the typed manuscript of My Brother in the archives of the Quaid-i-Azam Papers in the Federal Ministry off Education), who writes that when Liaquat and others came to see: Jinnah in Ziarat during his last illness he refused to see them andi, after they had gone away, told her that they had come to see how soon he was going to die.

There are people, including Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, who suspect that Jinnah’s death took place in extremely suspiciouss circumstances, and that the Prime Minister had something to do with the creation of these circumstances.

Thus there is sufficient evidence from authentic quarters to prove that Liaquat Ali Khan, in spite of being the first primce minister of the country, was far from being a national hero. Hiis own record in office provides additional support to thiis contention. He failed to expedite the process of constitution making and dicd after more than four years in command without giving the country its basic law. He made a deliberate decision tto refuse to visit the Soviet Union from which he had received can invitation. Instead, he chose to go to the United States and takke Pakistan into the American camp, thus initiating a slide which led, by stages, to f riendship, junior partnership, dependenc:e, obedience, beggary and servitude. He groomed certaiin bureaucrats for high political offices and preferred their advice to the counsel of his political colleagues. he neglected the task of organizing the Pakistan Muslim League and muking it into a grassroots party. He chose inefficient and weak politicians mand installed them at uie centre and in the provinces. He did nothing: to mect the needs or allay the fears of the indigenous populatiom of East Bengal. On the contrary, he posted arrogant, unsympathectic and self-willed Punjabi and Urdu-speaking civil servants to ithe easter wing, laying the first brick around the foundation stone: of Bangladesh. He started the practice of nomination to fill in !the vacancies occurring in the membership of the Constituent Assembly (which also acted as the National Assembly). He appointed members of parliament us govemors and ambassadiors, allowing them to retain their seats in the house.

The Prescribed Myths 9 Of course, all this cannot be told to the young school students

for they will not understand it. Such detailed information should come later, preferably in classes 11-12, and in full amplitude in classes 13-14. But these facts of history will not be palatable to senior students if they have been brought up for 10 years on imaccurate and tendentious stuff.

Anyway, to present to class | Students such a controversial figure as a national hero only second to Jinnah is to trespass on the national pantheon.

Class 2

Jadid Mu‘ashrati Ulum by a Board of Senior General Knowledge Teachers, West Punjab Textbook Depot, Lahore, n.d., pp.16.

“Question: When was Pakistan created?"

"Answer: Pakistan was created in [men] 14 August 1947" (p.3). On Jinnah's educational career: he eamed a degree in law in England" (p.4).

"Question: How did Jinnah come to think of creating Pakistan?"

"Answer: The people of India were demanding freedom from the British. Pandit Nehru said that after independence there will be a government of the Hindus in India. The Quaid-i-Azam said that Muslims also lived here {and] Mus!ims should have a separate government [ hakumat}" (p.4).

On all these points see Chapter 2.

One full page (5) is on Miss Fatima Jinnah. One full page (6) is on Iqbal, where it is said that he, together with Jinnah [sath mil kar), did much for the creation of Pakistan.

The rest of the book is on Muslim children, fruits and vegetables, our food, animals, means of transport, dresses, mountains and rivers, and

good habits.

10 The Prescribed Myths

Mu’ashrati Ulum by M.H. Qadri, Shakil Brothers, Karachi, n.d., pp.32.

The Quaid-i-Azam received his higher [a’ala] education in London. His mazar is guarded by the Pakistan Army day and night (p.15).

See Chapter 2 for correction.

For the services rendered by Liaquat Ali Khan the nation gave him the title of Quaid-i-Millat and Shaheed-i-Millat. The "title" is in the singular (p.17).

The point has been covered above in full detail.

Iqbal went to London for higher education, and after that received his doctorate in Germany. He was the first to present the concept of the creation of Pakistan (p.18).

Both the statements on Iqbal are discussed fully in Chapter 2.

Class 3

Mu‘ashrati Ulum: District Lahore, Punjab Textbook Board, Lahore, Sth reprint, March 1989, pp.76. Authors: Professor Dr. Miss Mariam K. Ilahi, Dr. Miss Firoza Yasmin, Sahibzada Abdur Rasul, Mrs. Nuzhat Mansur, Maqbul Anwar Daudi, Ali Shabbar Kazmi and Bashiruddin Malik. Editor: Bashiruddin Malik. Supervisors: Hifsa Javed, Sibt-i-Hasan and Shahnawaz. Prepared by the Punjab Textbook Board and prescribed as the sole [or civil; in Urdu both words are written identically] textbook for the schools of district Lahore. Print order: 80,000 copies.

"Raja Jaipal tried to enter the country of Mahmud Ghaznawi. Upon this, Mahmud Ghaznawi defeated Raja Jaipal, captured Lahore, and established an Islamic government [hakumat]" (p.8).

Does this explanation of Mahmud Ghaznawi's invasion also justify his repeated inoursions into India and unprovoked pillage of Hindu places of worship? The Punjab under his rule was not an Islamic state.

Two pages on Jesus Christ do not mention the fact that he founded Christianity (pp.70-71).

The Prescribed Myths Il

The last lesson on the "Important Personality of Our District" is in praise of Shaikh Ali Hujweri alias Date Ganj Bakhsh. Tomb worship