All publications of Mir Ishfaque M Hassni . Khuzdār , پاکستان
Question: "Why is our history not taught to us in Pakistan Studies?". The answer is, it was...until 1981.
When examining surviving Pakistani history textbooks written between 1947 to 1980, all of them begin with the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation from 3000 BCE rather than the invasion of Sindh by Mohammad bin Qasim in 712. These books contained the collective history of the region Pakistan was in (the Indus Valley), and a decent effort was made to connect students to the land of Pakistan. The nation was viewed as a melting pot of different people and languages. Most importantly, the Pakistan Movement was described as the Muslim League had defined it; as a defence against Brahmin domination.
That all changed in 1981. Under the direction of General Zia ul Haq, the University Grants Commission issued a notice to all prospective textbook authors specifying that new history textbooks were to "induce pride for the nation's past, enthusiasm for the present, and unshakable faith in the stability and longevity of Pakistan".
To eliminate all possible ambiguities to this approach, Pakistani authors were given the following directive:
"To demonstrate that the basis of Pakistan is not to be founded in racial, linguistic, or geographical factors, but, rather, in the shared experience of a common religion. To get students to know and appreciate the Ideology of Pakistan, and to popularize it with slogans. To guide students towards the ultimate goal of Pakistan - the creation of a completely Islamised State."
In fulfillment of this directive, all of Pakistan's ancient history was either removed or simply relegated to a single insignificant chapter, with no emphasis being put that it was our history. Secondly, the invasion of Sindh by Mohammad bin Qasim was given high importance and was considered as the origin of "Pakistani history". The most disturbing aspect was the redefinition of the Pakistan Movement from the Muslim League's definition, to "a movement for Islamic revival", which mirrored the same concepts and politics of Jamaat-i-Islami. All textbooks were now being centered around the following themes, of which none were historically accurate:
1. The 'Ideology of Pakistan', both as a historical force which motivated the movement for Pakistan as well as its raison d'etre.
2. The depiction of Jinnah as a man of orthodox religious views who sought the creation of a theocratic state.
3. A move to establish the ulema as genuine heroes of the Pakistan Movement.
4. An emphasis on ritualistic Islam, together with a rejection of liberal interpretations of the religion and generation of communal antagonism.
> Destruction of Jinnah's speeches
On top of this, General Zia ul Haq ordered many of Jinnah's speeches and audio recordings held at National Archives and Radio Pakistan to be destroyed. These speeches and audio recordings were those that promoted secular, democratic ideals for Pakistan. One famous audio recording was the 11 August Speech, in which Jinnah famously said: "You are free; you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed—that has nothing to do with the business of the state.” By sheer luck, the only reason why Pakistan knows of this speech today is thanks to a audio copy that was stored by BBC Radio Archives.
> Collapse of Education System
Prior to the 90s, everyone attended government schools. The advent of private schools began when Zia implemented his education reforms in the 80s. After 1982, government schools prioritised stuffing student’s minds with paranoia, parochialism, and hyper-religiosity. Students were seen as "young foot soldiers" to preserve and protect a praetorian, ideological state of which they could eventually become a part. To produce students with empathy, moral sense, and capacity to reason independently was not just unnecessary, it was undesirable. Almost never were students told to respect a queue, obey traffic rules, and desist from littering. Exam cheating and degree buying, though widespread, was not decried as a moral crime. Machoism was promoted as a virtue, not treated as a disease. Nowhere was a student taught to appreciate those who are different culturally, ethnically, religiously, in physical appearance, or perhaps ability-disability. Families with money almost immediately withdrew from government schools because of this reason, and by the 90s the era of private schools began.
> Zia Generation vs Junoon Generation
The legacy of Zia was the generation he left behind and what negative effects it had on Pakistan 20 years later. The lost Zia generation (school children of the 1980s) became young adults in the early 2000s. Is it any coincidence that Pakistan's most troubling years of suicide bombings and extremism came between 2002 to 2015? This was the period the Zia generation took control of the country, both politically and socially. No
Wrote By Mir Ishfaque M Hassni