London – 21 June 2000
Mr Altaf Hussain, founder and leader of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) said that history has proved the two-nation theory wrong. Any true ideology is for the benefit of mankind, long-lasting and certainly not to its detriment. He was expressing these views to a delegation of professors and intellectuals of history and international affairs from Indo-Pakistan sub-continent. The delegation visited the MQM International Secretariat in London where a frank interaction took place. Mr Altaf Hussain satisfactorily and frankly expressed his views in response to all their questions.
Answering to the question, “what is the future of Pakistan”, Mr Hussain stated that what could be the future of a country, which has already been disintegrated, and the remainder is on the verge of catastrophe. The Pakistan created under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was dismembered in 1971. East Bengal, the majority province that supported the creation of Pakistan based on the two-nation theory separated itself in 1971, proving that the concept of two-nation theory was a farce. The people of Bengal (former East Pakistan) had caste their hundred per cent votes on the slogan of the two-nation theory for the creation of Pakistan. He said that if we analyse the history of the Pakistan Movement then it emanates that virtually all the Muslim majority provinces of the present day Pakistan had opposed the creation of Pakistan. Only the province of Sindh with the majority of one vote supported the creation of Pakistan and Mr G M Syed most actively participated to support Pakistan. While the people of Muslim majority province of East Bengal, which had supported the two-nation theory, created their own independent state in 1971. By carving an independent country, the people of East Bengal redeemed themselves of the blunder they committed in pursuing the two-nation theory.
Mr Hussain said that all those who supported the concept of the two-nation theory and Pakistan have been labelled as ‘traitors’ in Pakistan. Mr Fazl-e-Haq, the Lion of Bengal who presented the Pakistan Resolution, was labelled a ‘traitor’, the Sindhis were labelled as ‘traitors’, the Balochs were labelled as ‘traitors’; and now the Mohajirs have also been labelled as ‘traitors’.
Mr Altaf Hussain continued that the plight of the stranded Pakistanis in the sixty-six Red Cross Camps in Bangladesh for the past twenty-nine years is sufficient proof to render the two-nation theory wrong. He posed a question to the “champions” of the two-nation theory, who were not pacified with the arguments, “Why did the Pakistan Army attack fellow Muslim Bengalis in 1970 in the former East Pakistan? Why did they commit their blood bath and put them through river of blood and fire? Why did they dishonour and rape their fellow Muslim mothers, sisters and daughters in the former East Pakistan? Why the Pakistani Army marched against their fellow Muslims Baloch? Why they advanced on Sindhis and the same Army is now targeting Mohajirs for the past eight years? For what? He said that the army operation upon the Mohajirs, which commenced on 19 June 1992, is also a negation of the two-nation theory.
It is evident from history that one Muslim majority province of East Bengal separated itself from Pakistan while the rest of the people or provinces those supported the creation of Pakistan on the basis of the two-nation theory are all wrecked, concerned and struggling for the sustenance of their future generations. He asked that if any member of the delegation has any objection on his rationale then would he be kind enough to answer just one question, ‘for what crimes the stranded Pakistanis who are languishing in the Red Cross Camps for the past twenty-nine years in Bangladesh are being punished for’? These stranded Pakistanis did not just fight the war shoulder to shoulder with the Pakistani army but made more sacrifices than the army for the sustenance and integrity of Pakistan. They sacrificed their family members as a result of which the old and dependent parents lost their sons, sons separated from their beloved and old parents, wives from their husbands and young children from their parents. While the defeated army, “custodians” of the two-nation theory surrendered to the enemy, went back to their homes and remained the source of support for their families, parents and children. He stated that the plight and the miserable lives of the stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh is food for thought that those who would struggle for the sustenance of the two-nation theory, sustenance of Pakistan and support the army, their fate would be Red Cross Camps and they would never be reunited with their separated families. They would not only be consigned to the Red Cross camps but would be punished for disseminating and remaining steadfast on the two-nation theory. Whereas, sustenance would become the fate of those who would surrender instead of offering lives and presenting their sacrifices. After a brief detention, they will be free again and their reunion with their families would be only matters of days, weeks or months.
Mr Hussain said that today the preachers of the two-nation theory offer their advice to the stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh to opt for Bangladeshi citizenship or settle elsewhere in a Muslim country instead of inviting them back to Pakistan. Mr Hussain asked the custodians of the two-nation theory that on what ideological basis are they offering such advise to the stranded Pakistanis? Does this advice relates to the concept of the two-nation theory or does it negates the very concept? The custodians of the two-nation theory also say that if those stranded in Bangladesh are brought back to Pakistan then they will become a burden on the country’s economy. He asked them whether Pakistan was created just for the Muslims of the present day Pakistan or to safeguard the interests of the Muslims of the entire undivided India. In 1951, the Pakistani borders were closed for the Muslims of India under the pretext that Pakistan cannot bear the burden of all the Muslims of India. Mr Hussain said that now the question arises that as to why this fact was not disclosed before the creation of Pakistan when the Muslims of the Muslim minority provinces were sacrificing their lives for the two-nation theory. Therefore, by closing the Pakistani borders for the Muslims of India, the rulers have themselves negated the two-nation theory.
Mr Altaf Hussain further elaborated that the formation of nation on the basis of religion is fundamentally wrong because if the religion was the foundation of nationhood then more than forty-five independent and sovereign Muslim states would not have been the members of the United Nations as separate and independent ‘sovereign states’.
Mr Altaf Hussain claimed that the emergence of the former East Pakistan as an independent state not only totally negates the two-nation theory but also proves that the two-nation theory further divided the Muslims of the undivided India instead of uniting them. He said that if the Pakistan, created on the basis of the two-nation theory was the guarantor of prosperity and sustenance of the Muslims of the undivided India then Bangladesh would not have been created or the Muslims of India would not have thought or felt the need to form their own organisation or party. Neither would the Balochis, Sindhis, Pakhtoons, Saraikis or Mohajirs would have been demanding their rights or waged struggle for their rights, he said.
Mr Hussain said that the slogan of two-nation theory was raised to deceive the Muslims of the Subcontinent. It was preached at the time that Hindus are a separate nation having their own religion, culture and social values, which are different from those of the Muslims. Therefore, Muslims are a separate nation having their own religion, culture and social values. Hence, the Muslims cannot live together with the Hindus. Furthermore, it was preached that as the Hindus are in majority, therefore, after the withdrawal of the British, the Hindus would dominate over the Muslims. Therefore, the Muslims need a separate homeland where they could freely live according to their religion, culture and social values. Speeches made by the leaders of the Muslim League in this regard are part f history where they have stated that a separate homeland is needed for the one hundred million Muslims of the Subcontinent. However, the country created on the basis of the two-nation theory became the homeland for the Muslims of the Muslim majority provinces only and not for the Muslims of the Muslim minority provinces. Today, if we compare the population of the Muslims living in Pakistan with that of the Muslims living in India then we see that the population of Muslims living in India is much more than the total Muslim population of Pakistan. It means that the two-nation theory failed to provide protection and security to the majority of the Muslims of the Subcontinent because the number of Muslims living in India is greater than the total Muslims of Pakistan. Pakistan, created on the basis of two-nation theory, could not provide independence to one hundred million Muslims of India. Instead, the two-nation theory subjected the Muslim population of India, which are more than the total population of Pakistan, to the Hindu majority. Further elaborating Mr Hussain said that the two-nation theory became the protector of the Muslim minority but could not become the protector of the Muslim majority of the Subcontinent. If the Muslims of India were to remain under the Hindu majority then why were they taught the doctrine of Pakistan Movement and the two-nation theory? In addition, why were they constantly preached that the religion, culture and social values of the Hindus are different from the Muslims and, therefore, they need a separate homeland for themselves? Mr Hussain said that if the Muslims of India were to remain in India then the prominent leaders of the Muslim League, neither should have propagated the ideology of two-nation theory in the Muslim minority provinces nor should they have allowed their sacrifices. He said that if Pakistan, the country created on the basis of the two-nation theory, would have become the protector of the Muslims of India and if the slogan of two-nation theory, which was raised before the creation of Pakistan, would have provided long-lasting and secure future to the Muslims of Undivided India and would have been the solution to all their problems then today the Muslims of India would not have been preparing to create their separate party for solving their problems. In fact, the two-nation theory not only divided the Subcontinent but it also divided the Muslims of the Subcontinent into three parts, thus scattered them. The, historical events prove that the slogan of the two-nation theory was raised to deceive the one hundred million Muslims of the Subcontinent and in the end it became the raison d’etre for the division and subdivision of the Muslims of the Subcontinent.
Mr Altaf Hussain said that a few days ago Indian Muslims have announced to form their separate organisation. He said that if the two-nation theory was correct then Indian Muslims would not have to think to form their own organisation or party, now. He said that if Pakistan, created on the basis of the two-nation theory, was the custodian of all the Muslims of the sub-continent before the partition of India, then there would have been no need for Muslims to live in India or the closures of the borders for them in 1951. He mentioned that if the slogan of the two-nation theory was raised only for the sustenance of Muslims of Muslim majority provinces then its notions negated the sustenance of the Muslims in the Muslim minority provinces of undivided India and is tantamount to deceiving them. The sustenance of Muslims now in India under the Hindu domination is also a precursor to the negation of the two-nation theory.
Mr Hussain said that ironically the two-nation theory has rendered the patriotism of the Muslims of Subcontinent doubtful. The Muslims of India are considered as Pakistani agents and Muslims who migrated to Pakistan are considered as Indian agents. It is propagated that since the relatives of Mohajirs live in India, therefore, under this cover, the agents of RAW come to Pakistan. Similarly, Mohajirs also go to visit their relatives in India; are doubted, therefore, the patriotism of Mohajirs as a nation has become doubtful. Mr Hussain said that the proof is that on the commencement of the Army Operation on 19 June 1992, Mohajir areas were cordoned off and their homes were raided. During these raids, not only the Army personnel used degrading language for the Mohajirs but also called them “offspring of Hindus”. In this manner, the two-nation theory rendered the Muslims of the Muslim minority province of the undivided India destitute (Na Khuda hi mila na wisal-e-sanam – Na idhar ke rahe na udhar ke rahe).
Mr Hussain said that he is ready even today to accept the two-nation theory with open-heart on the condition that if the ‘champions’ of the two-nation theory and its custodians reopen the borders of Pakistan for the Muslims of India without any further delay and allow the stranded Pakistanis to return to Pakistan or obtain permissions from the Government and the Establishment. Mr Hussain said that in this situation he will not only take back all his arguments against the two-nation theory but would also along with accepting that these reasons regarding the two-nation theory were wrong, he will apologise to the entire nation and would present himself for any punishment for pronouncing the two-nation theory as deception. On the other hand, if the preachers, protectors and propagators of the two-nation theory cannot succeed in opening up the borders for the Muslims of India and bringing the Pakistanis stranded in Bangladesh back to Pakistan then it is their moral duty and responsibility that they should also term the two-nation theory as biggest fraud played upon the Muslims of India and accept my arguments.