National

Does Pakistan not have a history of its own?

First and foremost, Asalam O Alaikum and [Pakistan zindabad](https://i.dawn.com/primary/2014/08/53eeb644f1fa7.jpg) !

As the Turkish serial became a hit all across Pakistan, Ali Wazir took the opportunity to spit out his racist venom once again and he taunted a certain specific ethnic group in this tweet:

[Ali Wazir’s tweet](https://twitter.com/Aliwazirna50/status/1268594088867225600?s=20)

When a Pakistani talks about “our” history, he/she definitely starts with the Mughul Empire, as it was the golden age for the Muslims of Hindustan. After that, many Central Asian empires are discussed, who invaded their way into Hindustan/sub-continent. As a Muslim, I can completely understand how the Muslim identity in Pakistan has always been promoted beyond the basis of ethnicities, apart from Mughul & Delhi Sultanate history, we refer to the history of Ottomons, Abbasids, Ghurids, Timurids, Durrani empire etc as a Muslim history which we are proud of. I am not saying that to glorify them as “our history” is wrong. I rather find it beautiful as we all identify it as no nation is different from any. People today in Afghanistan idealize Durrani and Hotak dynasty etc only because they perceive them as “Afghan history” or Uzbeks feel proud about the history of Timurid empire and Emirite of Bukhara etc only because they look at it as “Uzbek/Turk history”. While we look at these examples as “Muslim history” **some** of us take it pretty much too far AT TIMES. Some even think that we are descendants of Turks/Persians. This is where Afghan/Turk/Persian nationalist get on us, calling us “people without history living in a country made by British”.

Of course that is bullshit. Apart from the times where present day Pakistan used to be a part of Mughul, Durrani and many other empires, our land is embedded with a unique history of its own. Even the Muslim history.

Our land has the honor to have some of the most wise sufi elders, mystics, poets and philosophers to walk and live on it, for example, Baba Bullay Shah and Waris Shah, Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, Ali Hujwiri and so many more that it will make a very long list. These pious men spread love, peace and Islam at the same time.

Similarly, not going back too far in history, the great poet of East, the great Muslim philosopher, Allama Muhammad Iqbal also belonged to our country. His works requires a next level of understanding to be understood. Allama Iqbal is one of the most beautiful decorated mind that ever walked. He’s our history, his life is our history and his achievements are our history. Just like that, after the creation of Pakistan, Allah blessed us with more intellect minds. We were gifted by some the very best writers of literature. Is this not all our history as well? Well it is.

*Ashfaq Ahmed* is another name when it comes to literature writing. Think about it and in the post 1947 history, we had some of the best Urdu poets. Take Faiz Ahmed for example, his work in Urdu was once being translated into English and being published in the West. As I end my talk about poets, sufi saints, intellects, writers and philosopher, just know there are hundreds of gems hiding in our history for each category, with thousands having potential to make their mark. The names I mentioned were used for mere examples, there are many.

Now I know one of the reasons why Pakistani public glorifies Turk and Central Asian history is because of the way they expanded and won several battles. Others consider it history based on one specific nation/ethnic based-nation, Pakistanis glorify it as Muslim history, which is fine. But hey lets be honest, there are many Muslim figures and empires in present day Pakistan who also have battle-history embedded in history.

But here I will again fast forward to post 1947, from 1948 till date, our country has witnessed great sacrifices from our soldiers. Some gallantry efforts by them, sacrificing themselves to the very last drop of their blood. For example, *Major Aziz Bhatti, the defender of Lahore*.

Look at the Nishan-e-Haider’s recipients and we know their stories. We have it all recorded. Some of the most brave men in recent history. The question is, why don’t Pakistanis glorify them as part of their Muslim history as well? I’m not saying that they don’t but a very less importance is given to them.

Turks, Persians, Arabs etc made their history, now it is time for Pakistanis to make some history – let it be Muslim history instead of Pakistani if you think so.

We have dragged ourselves from a merciless wave of terrorism – something which is very unusual in rest of the world. Now it’s time for us to record history once again by dragging us out of poverty, illiteracy and corruption.

And here is an idea from me: If you want Pakistanis to acknowledge the history of Pakistan, make them. A drama serial on the Pakistan movement, Iqbal’s life or historic Sufi elder will inspire the viewers. Not to forget, our literature should be promoted among the public.

*The creation of Pakistan is itself a history, Pakistan paindabad.*

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16 Comments

  1. Love this, I really agree. They need to focus their energy on making that happen, instead of crying about Ertugrul. I’m getting tired of this topic in our media.

    If they spent half as much time contributing to a positive project about our own history, as they do tweeting about the fact that we have one, we’d have more seasons than any other Arab or Turkish serials for us to watch by now.

  2. Ali wazir is a racist . His whole political persona is based on blaming Pakistan and one specific ethnic group for all that is wrong with fata . If a person from Lahore said(incorrectly) that all pashtuns were terrorists this would be racism but when ali wazir says all Punjabis are terrorists and shit like that noone bats an eye . Mohsin dawar literally stater that the policeman who arrested him was a “ugly Punjabi” . I don’t know why this racism is not called out .

  3. Controlling narrative, brain drain, education killing creativity, silencing divergent voices, using diversity as a controlling element. These are the reasons, many of these as a reaction to contextual develooments, we see little or no outputs from our nation, IMO.

    As a result, we’re more focused on subsisting, individually as well as a nation,than creating something.

  4. I wholeheartedly agree with what you have written, also please understand that we have made dramas and movies on our heroes as Pakistani Heroes after 1947, and before big media houses came the big hits were those dramas, leading at front was Alpha Bravo Charlie.

    The thing is Ertugal got famous because it was something IK said. Yes it is a great drama and was already quite famous, but not to this level in Pakistan, especially after PTV took it to YouTube.

    As for the rest of people who like to poke fun at us, this is just another topic for them, if it was not Ertugal they would have used another, this is not the first time neither last, so best to ignore such people.

  5. As a nation state, no. But then again nation states are a relatively new concept. With that said, Punjabis, Sindhis, Baloch, Pashtuns, Kashmiris, Gilgit Baltistanis all have their own history.

    Pakistan itself in an amalgamation of different nations (or ethnicities) who were under British occupation who shared a religious identity and gained their independence.

  6. Pakistan most definitely has a rich and glorious indigenous history, one that we have (deliberately among institutions) forgotten and abandoned.

    We also need to acknowledge that there is definitely an identity crisis; as long as we refuse to recognize this problem, we will never be able to find the solution.

    These are primarily the results of our national compass being set by a people that are not indigenous to Pakistan and are understandably not keen on a Pakistan which embraces it’s indigenous history, culture, heritage, languages, etc… as one of the pillars of our national identity as that would leave them out and instead wants us to gravitate towards **their** history of “Muslim India” which has ironically been at odds with ours.

    An example is how we glorify the Mughals and many even here consider Pakistan their “successor state”. I have also seen nonsense cringey claims being peddled by people here that Pakistanis are the “descendants” of the Mughals. When in reality; modern-day Pakistan was nothing but an over-taxed backwater for them from their seat of power in Delhi; mostly ruled by autonomous tribes, tributary Kingdoms and semi-independent Governors. Our ancestors considered them to be occupiers and foreigners; hence why among the most notable folk heroes of each ethnic group, there are those that fought and resisted the Mughals.

    I advocate for a Pakistan that embraces it’s **real** heritage, both pre-Islamic and Islamic, as an integral part of it’s national identity. We have seen through East Pakistan that religion alone cannot be the sole pillar of national cohesion.

  7. Nicely put by OP. Pakistan’s history starts at 1947, as it is a country born of ideology not historical linkages. And in absence of finding anything relevant the history of Islam or Islamic India is being adopted. The future lies in your own hands.

  8. In a way, Pakistani history is tought like American history; as in America, the studants at schools study the history of the Greeks, Romans and the western heratige, Pakistans study the history of the Ottomens, Ghaznavids and the Islamic heratige; nothing wrong with that

    Also as a Persian speaking Iranian, I can confirm that Iqbal Lahuri has some pretty great work, he’s probably the best Pakistani poet ever.

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