The two-nation theory has been directly linked to India’s partition. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, a 19th-century Muslim modernist and reformer, used the term “two nations,” which may have had something to do with the formation of the All India Muslim League in 1906, which was formed to preserve “Muslim interests, amid neglect and under-representation.”
Sir Muhammad Iqbal, a poet and philosopher, proposed an autonomous new state in “northwestern India for Indian Muslims” on December 29, 1930. “A Muslim in one country has considerably more sympathies with a Muslim in another country than with a non-Muslim living in the same country,” Muhammad Ali Jinnah said. As a result, “the socially right notion of Indian Muslims as a country may not be racially correct.” These viewpoints were only part of certain material prior to 1940, and they were not as important as they are now. These viewpoints were the result of the British aim of keeping Hindus and Muslims apart in order to maintain internal peace in India. However, there are secret documents that indicate the Western countries’ grand strategy. Pakistan was formed more as a result of the growing Cold War’s geostrategic imperatives than the two-nation idea.
Why Pakistan Exists
The Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States had already begun in 1947. Over two centuries, the USSR has vowed to advance south through Afghanistan and Pakistan in order to reach the Arabian Sea’s warm waters (Indian Ocean). As they governed the world through their colonies, the British had always feared this menace. After 1945, the US assumed the role of world hegemon, and the security danger posed by Russia to the globe became a challenge to the US. After World War II ended in 1945, it seemed obvious that India would gain independence.
The withdrawal of the British Army from India would allow the Soviet war machine to invade the subcontinent. India had made it clear to Western nations that its security will be indigenous, not outsourced. India was unwilling to place its military under foreign command. The geostrategic hole could only be filled if the Allies established a buffer zone and controlled it with a native force. Because the British had failed to conquer Afghanistan three times, it was ruled out. The only option to break the impasse was to construct a British or American-controlled zone outside of India in the North West. The British Indian Army will provide the security personnel for this corridor. And it was Jinnah and the two-nation idea that carried out this approach.
Pakistan Army and the State
The US boosted the Pakistan Army in response to the threat posed by the Soviet Union. As a result, the Pakistan Army was given advanced equipment. Because it believed it was a vital component in global politics, the army grew powerful, and the generals began to look down on politicians, wanting their own strategic space. Pakistan’s political-strategic arena has shrunk to the point where a military coup was unavoidable.
In order to control greater assets, the army ignored the growth of the people. To justify its existence, it transformed Pakistan into a security-seeking state (over-emphasizing the threat from India), with a strong army seen as a requirement for the country’s survival. Pakistan’s first military coup occurred early in the country’s history, when President Iskander Mirza violated the Constitution and imposed martial law on October 27, 1958, appointing General Ayyub Khan as the top martial law administrator. Ayub Khan deposed Iskander Mirza thirteen days later. That was Pakistan’s final glimpse of democracy. Pakistan’s army has maintained control after this occurrence. Since then, they have been in charge of the defence and foreign affairs portfolios. The Pakistani army is primarily responsible for dealing with external threats, although it is also active in domestic matters.
Pakistan Army and Nationalism
Pakistan’s formation as a nation-state was a hastily conceived concept based on religious ideology. Nationalism was founded on religion. The well-connected, powerful class that flourished under British tutelage were more secular at the time of independence, and religion was a governing element for them, thus there was no sense of nationalism. They saw Partition as an opportunity and seized possession of all the riches and assets that were loosely claimed, amassing vast sums of money in Pakistan’s early years. This evolved into the feudal system that today governs Pakistan. This class desired to protect their money, so they built an army and recruited officers of their choosing, resulting in a symbiotic link between wealth and security. This expanded the army’s involvement in domestic politics. “The army’s image of itself, its domestic role, and Pakistan’s strategic environment will be the most crucial determinants in moulding Pakistan’s fate,” Stephen Cohen wrote in 2004.
In its inherited splendour, the Pakistan military imitated a colonial authority in its own country, alienating the people. General Zia-ul Haq attempted to restore communication with the people of Pakistan through Islam, which he saw as a great unifier. In the name of religion, he expected the people to willingly give up their few resources to support the army. (This sparked religious fervour in Pakistan.) Every Pakistan Army chief has frequently stated that Islam is their philosophy. These chiefs’ logic has been to achieve some level of national cohesion and attract support in the never-ending battle with India. The Pakistan Army has squandered the people’s resources by launching four useless and destructive wars against India, none of which have resulted in a victory and the loss of East Pakistan. The Indus Valley was undivided into India’s most fertile and rich region. It’s depressing to see how bad things have gotten.
The Pakistan Army’s most catastrophic blunder, which dates back to 1947, is its ties to terrorism. It has created an unethical terrorist force that it refers to as a strategic asset. Poor families with religious motives urge jihadis to commit terrorist attacks. The army has mastered the art of using terror to some extent. Brigadier S.K. Malik’s book Quranic Concept of War explains the use of terror very well. General Zia-ul Haq ordered that all officers in the Pakistan Army carry the book. Terrorism has utility for a while, but when it turns against you, it nearly always becomes a liability. Pakistan is struggling to maintain control of this force and is now facing international sanctions.
Pakistan has had a string of unfortunate incidents. Its revisionist policies are driving the country into bankruptcy. And its efforts to maintain the state’s security are jeopardising the state’s integrity, if not its existence.
The Military Regime Conundrum
The need to curb the expansionist state’s involvement in grassroots administration has made ‘Western’ academics cry themselves hoarse. However, in Pakistan, you do not have to be concerned about this. Indeed, some analysts argue that power must be established first in emerging countries before it can be curtailed later because the sheer amount of what is expected of the state effectively demands ad hoc decision-making. Long-term structural reforms are largely ignored. And the voters respond entirely to the brave, unselfish monarchs who, every now and then, descend from their thrones to deliver momentary gratification before returning to their abodes.
As a result, massive administrative vacuums persist in Pakistan, leaving everyone at the mercy of malicious forces. Natural and man-made disasters periodically show the shortcomings of our civilian systems, and we continue to rely on the military’s excellent performance in times of crisis. The administration’s problems are exacerbated by even more severe political instability. Ineffective politicians rush about in vain, attempting to restore some order and method to the chaos that they helped to create. Understandably, they are worried about re-election, but we appear to be stuck with a particularly bad bunch who have entirely abandoned the very people who elect them.
Perhaps, in the spirit of forgiveness, politicians seek out possibilities that will only benefit them personally. After all, the wealthy people in Pakistan are either directly involved in politics or allied with one political party or another for a reason. In order to sustain a condition of permanent upheaval – and with it, the necessity for an antidote to this mess – instability has also been produced through covert ways. Because of the elected leaders’ poor performance, there is always enough ammunition for this activity.
Frequently, politicians and political parties’ poor performance allows the security establishment to quietly sneak a few measures here and there to suggest what should be done to address the situation. Because repairing the situation would require severe decisions (which Pakistani politicians despise), the populace feels that only the military could truly clean up the country. Politicians and bureaucrats stammer and stumble in volatile times, and the dominoes fall where they may.