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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Pakistan: The land ruled by ‘Toadies’

Despite the fact that the land of the pure was declared a constitutional democracy in August 1973, Dr. Farid A. Malik thinks the ‘Toadies’ still continue to rule over Pakistan.

Toadies go by several names; flatterers, leeches, parasites, sponge, sycophants, electables, lotas, etc. Despite being a Muslim League child and having met most of the founding fathers of Pakistan, one question remains unanswered till today; Why was the resolution for the new land presented in Lahore which was the heartland of the toadies? I am hoping perhaps some historian or political scientist will one day provide an answer—Dr. Ayesha Jalal may be able to help.

The All-India Muslim League (AIML) was formed in Dhaka in 1906. The ‘Lahore Resolution’ was presented on March 23, 1940, by A.K Fazalul Haq also called Sher-e-Bengal (Tiger of Bengal). Our Bengali brethren were at the forefront of the freedom movement.

Read more: 23rd March: The Pakistan’s resolution walk down memory lane

At the time, Punjab was under Unionist Control, led by Sir Sikander Hayat Khan while Sher-e-Bengal was the Prime Minister (PM) of united Bengal. Lahore was tense during that period. Jinnah stayed at the Mamdot Villa on Habibullah Road (off Davis Road).

The Khaksars led by Allama Inayatullah Khan Mashriqi were agitating against the division of the Indian Subcontinent and so was Jamaat-e-Islami under Maulana Abul Ala Maududi.

Read more: Khaksar Martyrs’ Day: remembering the sacrifices they made

Young volunteers of the Muslim Students Federation (MSF) were deployed for the protection of the Quaid. My father traveled from Ludhiana to be a part of the movement. Under the leadership of the Quaid, the resolution was passed.

Seven years later, on August 14, 1947, a new country emerged on the world map called Pakistan. The land of the pure was divided into two wings, West and East. Unfortunately, the western part inherited most of the colonial leftovers including the ‘toadies’ of the fertile ‘Land of the Five Rivers’ called Punjab.

Read more: Bangladesh’s independence: a history marked with India’s tirade against Pakistan

Graves in Lahore

It is often said that great people are remembered long after they are gone. As a child, I remember my first visit to the Iqbal Mausoleum located on one side of the stairs of the Badshahi Mosque. After Fatiha, I saw a deserted grave on the other side; upon inquiry, I was told that the former PM of Punjab lay buried there.

Being a historic city, Lahore has several abandoned graves. For a long time, Sultan Qutub-ud-din Aibak, who died in Lahore while playing polo, lay in obscurity till the elected government of Bhutto restored the monument.

Read more: Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto: A Challenge to Status Quo

The same was the condition of the tomb of Empress Nur Jehan who lay buried near the banks of the River Ravi outside the grand Jahangir’s Tomb.

By contrast, Anarkali was a bit lucky as she rested in peace within the civil secretariat till one of the out-of-turn Chief Secretary appointed by Shehbaz Sharif decided to store historic records inside her resting area.

Read more: What is the case against Shehbaz?

Every time I pass by this ugly site, I feel sorry for her and the people of the province whose record is being grossly mishandled which might lead to grave consequences in the future.

Cracks in leadership

In the national elections in India in the year 1937, AIML won 37 seats in the Bengal Assembly compared to 1 in Punjab where the ‘Toadies’ prevailed. After the 1940 ‘Lahore Resolution’ and then independence, the port city of Karachi was declared the capital.

Perhaps Lahore and Dhaka were also considered. Being a border town, Lahore was overruled but I am not sure why Dhaka was not given this honor; after all, it was here where the journey for Pakistan had started in 1906.

After the death of Jinnah in 1948 followed by the murder of the first PM in 1951, cracks started to appear in the leadership. As a candidate of the United Front in Bengal, Fazalul Haq defeated Khawaja Nazimuddin, a stalwart of the Pakistan movement and former Governor-General and PM.

Read more: Administrative versus political structures – Farid A Malik

Then came the 1956 constitution in which the formula of population parity was also accepted by the Bengalis despite being in majority. Iskander Mirza took the oath of office as the first President of the republic. Elections were scheduled for 1958. Pakistanis in both wings were excited about the real democratic and constitutional transition in the new land.

Khan Qayyum Khan, as the most popular leader of his time, decided on a long march to the capital. Fearing defeat in the coming electoral contest, the ‘toadies’, in connivance with the Army Chief of the time, decided to strike back.

Toadies continued rule

Today, Bangladesh as they call it now has moved ahead of Pakistan in almost all areas. Despite the fact that the land of the pure was declared a constitutional democracy in August 1973, the ‘Toadies’ continue to rule over us.

In order to save what remains of original Pakistan, lessons must be learned. If we are unable to get rid of the ‘Toadies’ of Punjab, then it would be prudent to call ourselves ‘Toadistan’ and present the much-revered title of Pakistan to our Bengali brethren who not only struggled for its creation but also valiantly fought against its ‘Toadisation’.

Read more: Pakistan and Bangladesh to promote trade ties

The division of West and East is no longer valid, Pakistan belongs to them, let us save the dream till we are able to exterminate this unique breed of individuals from this part called, ‘Toadies’, flatterers, leeches, sponges, sycophants, electables, lotas, etc. The slogan for ‘Jaag Punjab’ is indeed a call for ‘Toadistan’, not Pakistan.

Dr. Farid A. Malik is Ex-Chairman from, Pakistan Science Foundation. The article has been republished here with the author’s permission. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.