New PDF release: Conflict, Crisis and War in Pakistan

By Kalim Siddiqui

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Centres of Indian manufacturing, including Dacca and Murshidabad in Bengal, were destroyed. The Indian artisan class lost its home market through the pauperisation of the Muslim aristocracy, and it lost the European export market through the operation of mercantilist policies in England. A whole generation that might have produced in India inventive men like Arkwright, Wyatt, Watt, Cartwright, and Crompton, was displaced and thrown back on to agriculture. Nor was agriculture in India allowed an unbroken development.

Or, why was the Muslim League led by Jinnah reluctant to be identified with the Pakistan idea? The answer is that the Muslim League was started by men most of whom were instruments of British imperialism. They were men who had been 'ennobled' by the British raj. The former Muslim aristocracy of the Moghul period that acquired western education became a parasitical middle class. These Muslims did not share the pent-up exasperation of the peasants they exploited or the misery of the shanty-town dwellers of British India.

But the social cost of Minto's 'generous' concessions to the Muslims of India has proved so great that the people of Pakistan are still paying for it with their sweat and blood. From this point onward to the present day there has been no meaningful communication between the Muslims who after the fall of the Moghul empire sought refuge in mosques, and those who took the 'high road to infidelity'. While the mullah and his flock stuck to the ritual in Islam waiting for God to destroy the infidels and deliver the world to them, a handful of Muslims joined the infidels in keeping the devil supreme.

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