In Praise of Zia



  • http://tribune.com.pk/story/423864/in-praise-of-zia/

    In praise of Zia

    By Aakar Patel

    Published: August 18, 2012

    This past week marked two anniversaries, that of Pakistan’s birth and that of President Ziaul Haq’s death.

    Zia is a strange figure. Reading about him in Pakistan’s English press one would think that he is hated by most Pakistanis. Daily Times, in its editorial of August 15 said: “So-called Islamisation, starting from Zia’s era, has reduced the state and society to being entrapped by religious intolerance and lack of direction.”

    This is typical and Zia tends to pick up the blame for conditions in Pakistan’s society.

    But the fact is that the Hudood laws remain on the books. Pakistan Studies and Islamiat also remain in textbooks.

    Why? The answer is that Ziaul Haq gave Pakistan what it wanted.

    Liaquat Ali Khan and the Muslim League gifted Pakistan the Objectives Resolution, committing to align law with Sharia. Ayub Khan wrote the law restricting non-Muslims from becoming president. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto stopped non-Muslims from becoming prime minister. His law on Ahmadis need not be referred to other than to remind readers that it was both democratic and unanimous. All elected and unelected Pakistani leaders have generally moved in the direction that Zia also did. But he did it less hypocritically than others.

    After his death, a hagiography (“Shaheed-ul-Islam Muhammad Ziaul Haq”) was published by Zia’s friends. The contribution from Nawaz Sharif, which I suspect was written by Husain Haqqani, praises Zia for being like Allama Iqbal. Zia believed in the reconstruction of religious thought, writes Sharif, though I think that’s doubtful. In the same book, Zahid Malik writes that though seen as a nuclear hawk, Zia was willing to sign the non-proliferation treaty (NPT). His conditions were: 1) South Asia be declared a nuclear-free zone, 2) India and Pakistan sign simultaneously, 3) The two also sign a bilateral non-proliferation treaty, 4) The two allow international inspectors to check each facility and 5) The two renounce the use of nuclear weapons.

    I think this was a wise proposal, even if Zia was saying this to escape the United States’ pressure on signing the NPT. If India had accepted, we would have a less unstable subcontinent today.

    The other thing that occurs to me is that the problems India faced in Kashmir with the rise of the mujahideen, came in the first reign of Benazir Bhutto. Zia did not indulge in that sort of mischief and Indians exaggerate the support of Pakistan to the Sikh separatist movement of the 1980s. Zia was friendly towards India and surprised the world by announcing he was coming to Indira Gandhi’s funeral. He is the man who invented cricket diplomacy, springing it on Rajiv Gandhi.

    Zia may be disliked by English editorial writers but 10 lakh people came to Zia’s funeral, wrote his deputy, General Khalid Mahmud Arif, showing his popularity.

    Zia reminds me of Aurangzeb. Zia had his rival Bhutto executed judicially for the murder of a complainant’s father, exactly like Aurangzeb did away with Murad Baksh.

    The slogan for the emperor was “Alamgir, zinda pir“. Zia was “mard-e-momin, mard-e-haq“.

    Both men had a false modesty, made much of being reluctant to wield power (see Aurangzeb’s letters to Shah Jahan), and had a general dislike of Shias. Newsweek in its obituary said Zia was “incorruptible”. Another similarity.

    His court chronicler Saqi Must’ad Khan said Aurangzeb’s bedtime reading was Imam Ghazali. Zia read Maudoodi and not much else. General Arif says Zia “could not get down to reading bureaucratic situation reports and files”.

    The big similarity is of course the laws they introduced. Jaziya, the penalty for being born Hindu, went after Aurangzeb died because the Syed brothers of Barha were not bigots. The laws of Zia will remain longer.

    Fundamentalists have their softer side. Aurangzeb liked quality chinaware. He liked woodwind instruments played with the pakhavaj more than vocal music. But because the former was haram, he gave up listening to all music entirely.

    Zia was fond of Bollywood movies and Hindi music, and played squash, tennis and billiards.

    The words ‘silent majority’ are often used when Pakistanis writing in English refer to Zia’s laws or their fallout, such as the shooting of Salmaan Taseer.

    The truth is that the laws that remain on the book unchanged through dictatorial and democratic governments are there because they are popular.

    There is no silent majority in Pakistan, only a minority that doesn’t grasp reality.

    The Quaid-e-Azam and Ziaul Haq were two leaders who knew what Muslims wanted and gave it to them.

    Eid mubarak to all readers of The Express Tribune.

    Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2012.



  • Ohh Khudaia

    Yeh log roz apnay bachon ko martay dekhtay hain

    Phir bhi qatil ko salam kartay hain

    See his face

    Every one uses name of Islam for remainig in power .

    He didn't serve Islam , He passed his time serving his American masters .



  • انور کمال بھائی

    ذرا یہ بتا کر ہمارے علم میں اضافہ فرما دیجیے کہ

    طالبان کس نے بنائے تھے؟ کس کے دور میں بنائے تھے؟ کس نے کہا تھا کہ طالبان ہمارے بچے ہیں؟ طالبان کی حکومت کو کس نے تسلیم کیا تھا؟ اور اس شخص کا بھٹو کی پارٹی یا حکومت سے کیا تعلق تھا؟

    جب کوئی حقایق مجروع کرتا ہے تو اچھا نہیں لگتا خصوصا اگر وہ ہمارے بہت ہی محترم انور کمال بھائی ہوں



  • باوا بھائی

    بی بی نے

    مگر دوسری حکومتوں نے کیا کر لیا طالبان کا

    حکومتیں اپنے اپنے مفادات اور اکثر اپنی کمزوریوں کی وجہ سے الٹے سیدھے فیصلے کرتی ہیں

    مگر الٹے فیصلوں کو سیدھا کرنے والے کم ہوتے ہیں



  • @ hypocrite

    بھائی جی

    آپ درست کہہ رہے ہیں

    ابھی تک ہم یہ فیصلہ ہی نہیں کر پائے ہیں کہ طالبان ہمارے دوست ہیں یا دشمن؟ یہ کنفیوزن صرف حکومتی سطح پر ہی نہیں عوام میں بھی پائی جاتی ہے

    ابھی تک ہم اچھے طالبان اور برے طالبان کے چکر سے ہی نہیں نکلے ہیں اور آدھا ملک طالبان نے خون میں نہلا دیا ہے اور آدھا فوج اور حکومت نے

    امریکہ کے ساتھ ملکر



  • ہمارے ہاں کسی بلڈی سولین کی ہمت ہے جو کچھ بنائے



  • @ Anwer Kamal

    انور کمال بھائی

    ٹھیک ہے لیکن اقتدار کی ہڈی کی لالچ میں اس کام کی آگے بڑھکر زمہ داری بھی نہ لے جو اس نے نہ کیا ہو

    ملک فوج کی کرتوتوں سے ٹوٹا لیکن زمہ داری بھٹو نے مجیب کا حق اقتدار تسلیم نہ کرکے قبول کی

    طالبان فوج نے بنوائے زمہ داری بے نظیر نے لی

    اب سارے فیصلے فوج کر رہی ہے اور اقتدار کی ہڈی منہ میں دبائے رکھنے کی لالچ میں زمہ داری زرداری اور اسکی حکومت لے رہی ہے

    صرف پی پی پی ہی نہیں سب سیاسی حکومتیں یہی کرتی ہیں اور کرتی رہیں گی



  • You are right here but many excuses for that . Power is an aim of every politician .

    Dr qadeer is the best example of that .

    An honest and committed man but used by dirty and fool powerful people .



  • درست کہا آپ نے - صرف اور صرف اقتدار کی ہڈی کی لالچ میں



  • I am not arguing for point scoring . I am old man going near grave and also I am not in favor of any one now .We have been made fool due to our believe on Islam and love for Pakistan .

    There is no way left for us to give rights to our people but we are perhaps never ready for that .



  • سو فیصد درست

    الله تعالیٰ آپکو صحت و تندرستی عطا فرمائے اور لمبی عمر دے - آمین



  • fool due to our believe on Islam and love for Pakistan .

    انور کمال ، اپ نے ٹھیک بات کہی .. اسی کی دہائی میں اسلام کو استعمال کیا گیا امریکن مفادات کے لئے .. لوگوں کو اسلام کے نام پہ ابھارا گیا .. آرمی کے جوانو ن کو برین واش کیا گیا اسلام کے نام پہ ..سیاست دانون ، مذھبی لیڈروں نے خوب کمایا .. اور ابھی ١١ ستمبر کے بعد جب دیکھا گیا کے اسلام، امریکا کے راستے میں رکاوٹ بنے گے .. تو مشرف صاحب نے اسلام کو بلکل آرمی سے ختم کر دیا .. آرمی بیرک میں جو جہاد کی آیات ٨٠ کی دہائی میں لکھی گیں تھی .. فوجیوں کو برین واش کرنے کے لئے .. ان کو دھو ڈالا .. ابھی نام و نشان نہیں ملتا ان آیتوں کا



  • کتنے ہی معصوم لوگ ان سیاسی مفادات کی وجہ لقمہ اجل بنے..کتنے ہی عورتیں بیوہ ہوئیں.. کتنے ہی خاندان اجڑے .. کتنے ہی بچے یتیم ہوے ..اور میڈیا والے کیا کرتے تھے کوئی اچھی سی غزل ٹی وی پہ لگا دیتے ہیں .. کیوں موت کو کس نے دیکھا ہے ..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XF-U4IYvLA



  • may allah grant zia jannat



  • He was a great person

    He never liked to be in power

    But when Bhutto ordered army to shoot the people on agitation after rigging in elections

    Army had to take over rather than to kill own people for a traitor power hungry person

    He did not use Islam to be in power

    If it was the case he could have restricted himself to Pakistan

    Rather he took practical steps in Kashmir,Afghanistan and in Khalistan movement

    What a person he was





  • اسی کی دہائی میں اسلام کو استعمال کیا گیا امریکن مفادات کے لئے .. لوگوں کو اسلام کے نام پہ ابھارا گیا .. آرمی کے جوانو ن کو برین واش کیا گیا اسلام کے نام پہ ..سیاست دانون ، مذھبی لیڈروں نے خوب کمایا .. اور ابھی ١١ ستمبر کے بعد جب دیکھا گیا کے اسلام، امریکا کے راستے میں رکاوٹ بنے گے .. تو مشرف صاحب نے اسلام کو بلکل آرمی سے ختم کر دیا .. آرمی بیرک میں جو جہاد کی آیات ٨٠ کی دہائی میں لکھی گیں تھی .. فوجیوں کو برین واش کرنے کے لئے .. ان کو دھو ڈالا ابھی نام و نشان نہیں ملتا ان آیتوں کا

    فیئر جی

    اوپر والا آرٹیکل تو بات کو اور پیچھے لے جا رہا ہے

    Liaquat Ali Khan and the Muslim League gifted Pakistan the Objectives Resolution, committing to align law with Sharia. Ayub Khan wrote the law restricting non-Muslims from becoming president. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto stopped non-Muslims from becoming prime minister. His law on Ahmadis need not be referred to other than to remind readers that it was both democratic and unanimous. All elected and unelected Pakistani leaders have generally moved in the direction that Zia also did.



  • Quite an interesting article.

    Surprising that an Indian writer understands something which the whole 'bay ghairat brigade' in particular and secular lot in general do not seem able to comprehend.

    The Islamic laws remain because most Pakistanis want them.

    Zia ul Haq may be a symbol of hatred for supporters of PPP but he remains a hero for millions of Pakistanis in spite of many weaknesses in his policies, simply because he understood the religious leaning thinking of most Pakistanis and tried to act accordingly.



  • For correction of record .

    Khalistan ,Afganistan and Kasmir movements were wisely initiated by By Bhutto as a political move and those were going very well . Zia changed those into armed move .



  • انور کمال بھائی جی

    خالصتان کے علیحدگی پسندوں کی لسٹیں راجیو گاندھی کو کس نے دی تھیں؟

    کیا اسکا بھی کوئی بھٹو کے ساتھ تعلق تھا؟