Can Pakistan Survive? The Death of a State
Penguin Penguin Penguin Penguin Penguin
Books Ltd, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England Books, 625 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10022, U.S.A. Books Australia Ltd, Ringwood, Victoria, Australia Books Canada Ltd, 2801 John Street, Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R IB4 Books (N.Z.) Ltd, 182-190 Wairau Road, Auckland 10, New Zealand
First published 1983
Copyright© Tariq Ali, 1983 All rights reserved
Made and printed in Great Britain by Richard Clay (The Chaucer Press) Ltd, Bungay, Suffolk Set in Times
Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or othenvise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser
For Natasha and her Grandparents
1 2 3 4
The First Decade 1947-58 ·
The Gun and the Hat: Military-Bureaucratic Dictatorship I958-69
The Break-Up of Pakistan I969-71
The Populist Experiment: Bhutto in Power I971-7 ·
The Crisis of Legitimacy: Martial Law with an Islamic Face I977-?
Between the Hammer and the Anvil: Geopolitics and the Super-Powers
1 2 3
Poem: For Dali, Who Dared to Struggle and Die
Interview: Murad Khan
How the Landlords Won in Sind
Pakistan has been in existence for thirty-five years. For half this period the country has been under the heel of the Pakistan Army, a mercenary force par excellence, whose major 'successes' have been politico-military cam paigns against its own population. Since the distintegration of Pakistan and the establishment of Bangladesh in
1971-2, the ruling elites have been in
search of a new identity. The collapse of populism and the execution of the country's first and last elected prime minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bh::tto, has posed the question of survival. For the first time in Pakistan's chequered history, many ordinary citizens in the majority province of the Punjab and the minority provinces of Sind, Baluchistan and the North-West Frontier Province (N W F P ) are questioning the birth of the new state. The Pakistan army has been in power since
5 July 1977. It has attempted
to utilize Islam in order to institutionalize a brutal dictatorship. On the external front, the army has mortgaged the country to the United States once again. In return, it has willingly agreed to help service and police the Gulf states. Everything is for sale in Pakistan: its labour force, its army, its women, its doctors and teachers are all leased to the oil-rich oligarchies in the Arab Gulf. Pakistan's uniformed mercenaries in Saudi Arabia are, in fact, strong enough to mount a coup in that country, should the need ever arise.
demoralization and despair can be gauged by the fact that many people look eagerly to India and even the Soviet Union for salvation from this regime. In reality, relief will come only from within. The length of this third period of military rule is directly correlated with the level of mass struggle in the country. If there is a renewal of urban unrest, this regime will fall. The problem, however, extends beyond the current dictatorship and its front-man. Ever since its inception, Pakistan has prevented its intelligentsia from discussing its own history. The poets (Faiz, Jalib, Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Salim, Fehmida Riaz and many others) have occasionally managed to loosen this ideological straitjacket. Elsewhere silence has prevailed, sometimes broken by the whispers of Baluch insurgents or the loud explo sions of the Bengalis. The question which now increasingly haunts the new
generations in Pakistan is not simply whether the country can survive, but whether its existence was necessary in the first place. This small book is an attempt to discuss hitherto taboo or undiscussed themes without inhibition. Some of the ideas contained here have never been publicly aired in Pakistan. The aim is to ensure that this material is read and discussed where it is most needed - and since ideas are notorious violaters of frontiers, one hopes that this book will reach its destination. I would like to thank all those Pakistanis who gave me relevant factual information, on condition that their anonymity was preserved. I would like also to thank the O.J. Trust for the modest, but necessary, help they provided in 1980, to enable me to work on this project. Lastly, many thanks are due to my editor at Penguin Books, Neil Middleton, for all his help and encouragement. Tariq Ali London, 8 July 1982
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Bay of-' Bengal
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PAKISTAN AND SOUTH ASIA
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PAKISTAN: INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL FRONTIERS
Statistical Tables (The 1965 figures do not include East Pakistan)
Demography, Culture and Armed Forces 1965
million Inhab. per sq. mile % per 1,000 live births years %
50.2 161 2.88 142b b 44 22b
70.3 225 3.0 113 50 26
79.8 256 4 n.a. s2• 28
% % %o %o
25 1.8 0.1 9
32 2.0 4 16
n.a. n.a. 8d 20d
8 20 160 4.0
10 17 365 6.1
17 17 400 5.1
Units Population Density Annual population growth Infant mortality Life expectancy Urban population Illiteracy Education: primary & secondary• higher TV receivers Radio receivers
'000 '000 '000 %GDP
a. average 1960-70; b. 1960; c. 1978; d. 1977; e. 5-16 years.
External Trade Units External trade"
b Total imports Food & agriculture Raw materials Manufactured goods
billion$ % % %
1.0 20.2 8.0 71.8
2.2 20.9° 3o.8• 48.3°
5.4 19.9d 29.6d 50.4d
b Total exports Food & agriculture Raw materials Manufactured goods
billion$ % % %
0.5 9.3 54.6 36.1
1.0 32.1° 10.8 57.0°
2.6 30.2d 14.2d 55.5d
13.3 12.9 4.1
12.7d 12.6d 8.1d
6.8 11.1 6.2
8.2d 6.9d 6.3d
Main suppliers United States Japan Kuwait
Main customers Japan Hong Kong United Kingdom
4.5 3.6 -
a. non-factor goods and services; b. manufactured goods; c. 1976; d. 1979.
Economy Units Gross national product Annual growth Per capita Structure of G D P Agriculture Industry Services
billion$ % $
% % %
1965 4.3 7.2" 85 39.9 20.0" 33.5"
Public external debt
Rate of inflation Active population Agriculture Industry Services Public spending Education Health Defence Energy production Energy consumption
million % % %
million$ million$ million$ MTCE kg C E per head
n.a. 3.3" n.a. 61f 18f 21f 129g 23g 483g 2.0" 61g
11.3 3.3 160
21.0 4.3 260
34.0 22.6b 43.3b
32 24' 44'
19.7 (55) (18) (27)
22.3' 58 ' 19' 23'
120b h 48 690h
n.a. n.a. n.a.
6.8i i 169
a. average 196(}-70; b. average 197(}-77; c. 1978; d. average 197(}-78; e. 1980; f. 1960; g. figure does not deduct East Pakistan; h. 1974; i. 1973. MTCE = millions of tonnes coal equivalent.
'We have not been elected or placed in power by the people, but we are here through our of circumstances, by the will of Providence. This alone constitutes our charter to govern India. In doing the best we can for the people, we are bound by our conscience and not theirs.'
moral superiority, by theforce
John Lawrence, Viceroy of India, 1 864-9
'!fired and continued tofire until the crowd dispersed, and I considered this as the least amount offiring which wouldproduce the necessary moral and widespread effect it was my duty toproduce if I was tojustify my action. Ifmore troops had been at hand, the casualties would have been greater in proportion. It was no longer a question of merely dispersing the crowd, but one of producing a sufficient moral effect from a military point of view not. only on those who were present, but more especially throughout the Punjab.' General Dyer, 1919, after ordering the massacre of unarmed Indians attending a political rally at Jallianwallah Bagh, Arnritsar. Official figures were: 379 dead, I ,200 wounded. Unofficial estimates were three times as high in both cases
If the British had not colonized and ruled India for nearly fifteen decades, the confessional state of Pakistan would not have come into existence on 1 4 August 1947. This is not to imply that divide et impera was the central tenet of the colonial state from its inception. It is probable that if India had been granted 'dominion status' on the Canadian and Australian model in the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries, the entire pattern of political and economic development would have been strikingly differ ent. The refusal of the British state to countenance such a solution aided the birth of Indian nationalism. In order to prevent the composite growth of such a movement, the strategists of the Raj sought to weaken the potential of their adversary at an early stage. They encouraged- both ideo logically and through constitutional measures - the birth of communal politics throughout the subcontinent. Religious divisions, which prior to
the British seizure of power had been of minor importance, were ruth lessly stimulated and utilized by successive consuls and pro-consuls to prevent the nationalist movement from feeling and acting upon its real strength. Communal historians in both India and Pakistan would no doubt challenge this view. For mos...