By Farman Nawaz (Daily Outlook Afghanistan)
Looking into the past we see that the Muslims of the subcontinent were having serious concerns about their downfall and the rising of the Hindus. After failure in the war of independence in 1857, Muslims rejected the reforms of Britain, especially modern European and scientific education. Just in two decades Muslims saw the result of their wrong decisions. Hindus were given preference in all spheres of government machinery because of their education. Instead of supporting Aligarh Movement, which tried to enlighten the Muslims, our community was resentful of Hindus growing strength. As a sovereign nation of India it was our responsibility to stop the growing power of English merchants. But rather we tried to hold the Hindu responsible for that.
Later on our fear takes the shape of two nation theory and the solution presented at that time was a separate state. Pakistan came in being but still after getting a separate homeland we neglected education. For example India started work on the Information Technology Education in 1957 while we introduced this subject in late 80’s.
The reason of delayed constitutional development is again the fear of majority, this time Bengalis. And this time the fear caused division of Pakistan. What does it mean? Not only Hindus but we even can’t live with fellow Muslims. Still Hindus are united inside India but Muslims strength is split into three parts that is Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. My point is not to defame All India Muslim League or Quaid-e-Azam. Pakistan is now a fact. But because of our fear of majority we Muslims are divided in three parts.
All is well that the end is well. What happened can’t be reversed now. But still we are frightened of Hindus even after getting a separate state. This fear factor is a major part of our foreign policy. National interests and nationalism are the realities of the world. If we look at the Afghanistan problem, it is evident that Afghanistan is centre of clashes of interests and nationalism. If this issue is not solved with regional approach, it can cause in vivisection of the region. No one is having a solution that is acceptable to all the concerned countries and neither we see a single revolutionary or national movement in Afghanistan that can unite Afghans. So the possible hurtful solution is the division of Afghanistan. But the composition of Afghans is so complex that adjacent countries will have to loose their parts, which is not acceptable to none of the neighbors of Afghanistan.
Recently there was a combined effort of India, China and Russia to curb terrorism in Afghanistan. Pakistan must be a part such regional efforts because Americans have complex policies for the solution of Afghanistan. And even after three decades the solution is not in the pipeline. We must not be fearful of majority. Only American friendship can not guarantee the safety of our national interests in Afghanistan. We will have to become a part of the regional solution – majority solution.
Because of the fear of majority we have made wrong decision in the past. We got rid of Hindus and Bengalis but still we are not able to see the day which we have dreamed in 1940. Whatever we have done in Afghanistan is the result of our fear of Hindus – the same majority which we feared six decades ago. We will have to accommodate the interests of other major players in Afghanistan. We must realize that as a nation we are weak. And weak nations can’t fight for long. When Russia realized that they are not able to support their concept of International revolution so they retreated and concentrated their focus on the national revolution. Today again its reserves are more than 400 billion dollars and they have started to show their strength in international politics.
We are not standing on our own feet. So how can we fight for our national interests in Afghanistan? There is burden of loans on our shoulders, terrorism is such a threat that is still not in our control, Balochistan issue is not resolved yet and democracy is still not strong enough to work for the good governance. Just like Russia we must concentrate on strengthening our country from inside. The possible way out to get rid of terrorism is the putting our eggs in the basket of regional coalition.
If in this meager state of economy we will concentrate on the position of India in Afghanistan, surely we will loose some more parts of our homeland. America is sitting in the neighborhood of China, Iran and Russia but still they are working on their agenda with patience. But we are loosing our senses in balancing Indian factor in Afghanistan. The safest way to balance Indian influence in Afghanistan is to engage India in business by opening our corridors for her. Once India found the safest way through Pakistan, she will have to work for the stability of Pakistan. Why China is helping us? Because we have engaged China in business inside Pakistan as well as opening our ports for her. In the same way India can be neutralized by providing opportunities to her.