One day I just sat down and saw things on the internet and realized that the normal never gets spoken on the internet. Usually two extremes battle each other, bent upon showing oneself as superior and the other as inferior. It is a wrong attitude. The qualifications are not for us to decide. It is the right of everyone to come to own conclusions. No one should enforce. There is nothing better than FREEDOM and the Statue of Liberty can very well represent us in Pakistan too.
The appreciation of Freedom is given by Allah to us. Take Quranic laws, you cannot take the freedom of anyone, not even for a minute. That is why imprisonment is not part of Quranic law. Punishment, yes, only quick justice. Insaaf for all. There are no concept of dreary jails for people to languish in for years without outcome. And the Quran gives us the right to eliminate SHARRAR, all those who indulge in FASAD from existence itself. PEACE is the ultimate aim not only for Muslims but all humankind. No one has right to impose ones will on another. Islam is indeed a way of life, classic, traditional, as well as most modern in all times.
A thousand years of detracting from Islamic values made us fall lower and lower in the esteem of Allah. Dr Allama Iqbal told us so, and instructed us on the reconstruction of religious thought in Islam. Pakistan is the first step towards that future.
We had things to say. We found ears all over the world. Thank you world, thank you all those who read. We really love you. You need not follow us, but this we assure you, we believe in HUNDRED PERCENT TRUTH. And whatever we tell you is the TRUTH itself. Surely, TRUTH sets us free. God bless you!
THE MUSIC WHICH ROCKED LAHORE FOR YEARS
‘COME SEPTEMBER’ MOVIE THEME
Ever open to new things
Regular movies used to come to Lahore. There was no Bollywood and its vulgarities. The latest movies used to be released here from the agents and most of them were on Mall road, Lahore. We loved posters and we used to visit this guy now and then, and used to rather beg him for handing us out the left over posters of the movies. The movie ‘Come September’ rocked Lahore with Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida. But what rocked Lahore for decades was the theme from the movie. You walked into restaurants, movie theaters, and elsewhere, and the music tone was everywhere. On the Radio Western Music programme, Yasmeen Taher was requested to play it again and again.
It got so popular not only with the educated class but with even the man on the street. You could hear it playing even on the ‘Pan’ shops on the roads. It was used in TV plays as background music, and what not? For years it seemed, it would never go away. But it did, and not without leaving the Lahori guys twisting all the time. But then that is another story.
The ‘Planet of the Apes’ series is a wonderful example of man’s creative impulses. There is iconic imagery in it. I trembled when astronaut Taylor (Charlton Heston) comes back to Planet Earth to discover a destroyed New York with the Statue of Liberty broken and lying in the sea water. But even more iconic was the imagery when faced with imminent threats, the new astronaut Brent (the sequel to that movie ‘Beneath the Planet of the Apes’} pushes a button, and destroys Planet Earth itself . It seems that within the mountains was a secret nuclear area made long ago then for an eventuality of Planet Earth being taken over. With the apes rushing towards Brent, and with no hope, he pushes the button, and Planet Earth is no longer in the Universe. The message is simple, when Man is pushed into a corner, even a rat becomes a lion. When there is no way out, it is total destruction.
Perhaps this was in front of the decision makers when they bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and changed the course of the war. And the Japanese not only did acquiesce to them, they are still in that position even today. A proud nation humbled beyond recognition.
General Mirza Aslam Baig (then Chief of Army Staff) recounts an interesting tale like that. He says that when threat to Pakistan was imminent, a perception was here to either save Pakistan or take the rest with us. And that is exactly what the Pakistan Army did, by loading a nuke on a jet, ready to take off, if a certain protocol was breached. Was it a bluff! He said, no, not at all. Better die with dignity, rather than lose everything. Beneath the Planet of the Apes is just a movie, here we have decision making in the real world.
Everyone would agree that LIFE is better than lifelessness. But honourable death is a death of a martyr, and the next world awaiting the result of test of mankind. Self respect and dignity is better than anything else, and no effort ever goes waste. To take even one other life is murder of the social system, but to remove injustice, death is a small price to pay. Coward nations should always check the morale of brave nations before going into any needless adventure.
The Think-tanks are supposed to be full of intelligent people. After all their whole job is to collect information and process the same into workable solutions. But their work is not based on thought. It is based on premise, and the premise is National Policy. And that National Policy is based purely on GREED and ability to contain the world as vassals and slaves. Pure Imperial approach that the history of mankind has not been able to eliminate from the mind of these so called thinking people. Thinking people dream of peace for all, not acquisition of the worlds resources as their own.
The race for Moon has been overshadowed by the race for Mars. Experiments are taking place there which the dumb people of Planet Earth cannot share. The race for WHAT? Acquisitions of course. Some neo-cons wanting to become richer and richer, while the whole world becomes poorer and poorer. A recent report in the press talks of all billionaires having doubled their wealth in the last few years. Charles Ratliffe, the American Economist, once told me, that however bad it seems, they have put a value to human life. I think it was twenty dollars then. And he said that lest the price of WHEAT comes down in international market, instead of feeding the poor, they dump the wheat in the sea, to maintain healthy price levels.
Stephen P. Cohen is an intelligent man. I like him. I love talking to him. And not only him I have met many think tankers in real life. But when poor Cohen says that ‘The Zardari Presidency was the best in the history of Pakistan’ it speaks of him in another light altogether. Just walk out on the streets of Pakistan, and ask anyone what they think of the rule of Asif Zardari. I need not give you the reply. Seek it yourself. What the think tanker is saying and the people of Pakistan are saying are on the opposite ends of scale. So who is right?
The 2015 syndrome is still on the minds of the West. It means they will try their best to undo us by this date. The key power points in Pakistan are in their control after all. So when Cohen thinks that we are on the way out and India will overwhelm us, it makes us laugh. Yes, laugh! Laugh like this:
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA H HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
I need not put lines on this, but I would make it an infinite laughter. Dear Sir, you do not know the heart of Pakistanis. Those dumb Pakistanis who lick your boots when you come here are not Pakistanis. Go in the street. Go in the cinema houses at present and see people watching the film ‘WAAR’. People rise in their seats to cheer their heros. People get tears in their eyes with the words of ALLAH O AKBAR. Yes Dr Allama Iqbal dreamt of Pakistan and Quaid e Azam made Pakistan, but he made it out of these people. Do not short change this Pakistan. This is a nation which hibernates all the time, but when pushed into a corner, has the resilience of a tennis ball. Press it as hard as you can, it gets into shape again.
Is it coincidental that the missile programme of both countries are named after their heroes! Muhammed Ghauri and Prithviraj Chauhan (more on them later). Pakistan and India are not 66 years old, they are 1200 years old. After all Muhammed bin Qasim was the first Pakistani here. You do not analyze two nations in recent spats, you analyze their entire history. Yes, there is a need for PEACE and peace should be there. Bu never at cost of Self-respect. Castrating us wont do any good, we can grow our manhood again! There is enough testosterone in us.
KABULI MAL AND NEPHEW AMIR SINGH
VASSALS OF AHMAD SHAH ABDALI
Survival issues of Lahore
There is a havelli near Dabbi Bazaar in Lahore. To this day people call it the Havelli of Kabuli Mal, a figure inter-wined in history of Lahore in the worst period of its existence. It is on the tongue of many and yet this character stands forgotten in history. As the name suggests, he belonged to the city of Kabul in Afghanistan, and he was the vassal of Ahmad Shah Abdali. Ahmad Shah Abdali had captured Lahore many times, and left his Governors here. For some years Ahmad Shah Abdali even stayed in Lahore. The great historical incident between Mir Mannu Governor of Lahore and Ahmad Shah Abdali also took place outside Lahore.
Obviously being from Kabul was not unique in any way for the Abdalis, but being a Hindu from Kabul was indeed different. Kabuli Mal was a trusted vassal of Ahmad Shah Abdali, and he appointed him for some years as the Governor of Lahore. The worst period can be understood from the writings of G. Forster, who published a book on his travelogue from Bengal to England, in 1809. Forster writes:
“Soon after the march of Ahmad Shah, the Siques (Sikhs) were seen descending from their various holds on the Punjab, which they rapidly laid waste and after several desultory actions, in which the Afghans were defeated, they besieged, and what seems extraordinary, they took the city of Lahore; where wildly indulging the enmity, that had ceased to inflame them against these severe scourges of their nation, they committed violent outrages. The mosques that had been ever rebuilt or restored to use by the Mohamedans, were demolished with every mark of contempt and indignation; and the Afghans in chains, washed the foundations with the blood of hogs.”
The Muslim Kings cooperation with Hindus was phenomenal. Much to the distaste of general media hype, the Hindus were enlisted by the Kings all the time in their service. Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi had Hindu generals in his army, and had built temples for Hindu subjects in Ghazni itself for prayers. Unbelievable, but very very true! Such tales abound in history channels. Often considered in such a bad light by bigoted people, Emperor Aurangzeb patronized Hindus all the time. Farmans exist of his donations to various Jogis of Hindustan and maintenance of temples. But those are separate stories. So if Ahmad Shah Abdali had Hindus with him, it was not very different. In fact Guru Aqil Dass had written to Abdali for help. In history we find that those were political wars going on to maintain law and order, nothing else.
Kabuli Mal was defeated by a general Daud Khan, and the citizens of Lahore came to the rescue of Kabuli Mal, and saved him from certain death. But the truce was short lived, as Kabuli Mal imprisoned Daud Khan. Again the citizens of Lahore, particularly Qazi Idrees helped Kabuli Mal to regain power in Lahore. This is a story of the period between 1763 and 1767. One of the worst periods in the history of Lahore. And Kabuli Mal, the pragmatic character of the times and his nephew Amir Singh leaves us to decide in our minds the rights and wrongs of politics of existence.
In Lahore Fort, we have two reception halls of the Mughals. One is Diwan-khass and the other is Diwan-am. Special and common, and they are no longer justified in modern times. The Americans perfected their names into Senators and Congressmen (Congresswomen). But the British legacy is still existing even in a Constitutional Monarchy.
It is highly repulsive for the use of the word commoner with people who matter. The public matters and to reject them, as being the public is disdain of the Royalty, which is no longer applicable in modern times. All Judea-Christian-Muslim traditions speak of equality of Man in the eyes of God. To divide them on basis of other than QUALIFICATION IS BIGOTRY. And not up to the standards of these days.
THOUSAND YEARS OF LAHORE 1014-2013
THREE YEARS UNDER HINDU RULE
An all revealing statistics
The amazing history of Lahore is actually never analyzed. People talk of things here and there but never look at the big picture. Media hype is that it was a Hindu city, but to this day the Hindu city has not been traced. Some place it on Icchra, others like Anjum Rahmani reject the conjecture. In any case there are no Hindu ruins in later, more than a couple of hundred years old. At most we may have temples made around 1780s. Certainly there were Hindus in the city, but always as a minority. We hear of the Hindu Slave boys brought by Ghaznavids to the city, as told to us by historian Baihaqi and poet Sulaiman bin Masood. And a lot of Hindu nobility patronized by the Mughals. It is worth while looking at a 1000 years of Lahore and the Hindu rule in this long period.
The first hint of a Hindu in possession of Lahore is when the central government in Delhi as well as Multan had broken down due to assaults by conquerors. In that period, we hear of a Hindu Shaikha Ghakkhar ruling Lahore in 1394. He was then driven out, and fled to Kashmeer. In 1398 he took possession of Lahore again, and Amir Timur had him put him in chains and he was taken to Samarkhand for an unsavoury death. His brother Jasrat Ghakkhar took control, and Sayyid Mubarak himself came from Delhi, and routed him out. So in total Hindu rule in that period of total calamity, less then two years. One year or less in 1394, and the same period in 1398. And mind this there were not in total control of the territory or governing properly in any way.
Then we jump ahead to 1759. There was infighting going on between the army of Timur Shah Durrani and the local ruler. The Qazilbaschs of Timur Shah ‘s army captured the ruler, and asked help from Jankuji, leader of the Mahrattas, by offering all sorts of bribes to him. Jankuji sent SAMA the Mahratta, who also ruled Lahore for less than a year in 1759, but could not govern it, and was routed out of existence.
So here is the history of Lahore for a thousand years:
1. MUSLIM RULE IN LAHORE various eras 1014-1768
2. SIKH RULE IN LAHORE without Central Government 1768-1798
3. SIKH RULE IN LAHORE with Ranjit Singh 1799-1839
4. SIKH RULE IN LAHORE assorted rulers 1839-1849
5. BRITISH RULE IN LAHORE with various rulers 1949-1947
6. MUSLIM RULE IN LAHORE with Pakistan 1947-2013 onwards
Besides 98 years of official British rule from 1849 to 1947. Forty years of Ranjit Singh from 1799 to 1839. 10 years assorted Sikh chieftains. And 30 years of lawlessness under various Sikh chieftains. Total Hindu rule over Lahore in 1000 years, less than 3 years. And that is a fact.
This present city was founded as Mahmudpur, by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna. The Hindu city of Lahore undiscovered to this day with only conjectures of its existence. We have more on that later on. But the greatest trial of Lahore was when all the Hindu chieftains got together to take Lahore under the Ghaznavids, and were defeated in the heroic battle for Lahore. More on that later.
QURAN AND THE SWORD
LIVING SYMBOLISM OF SHARF-UN-NISA
Allah Baqi wa-alkul Fani
Dr Allama Iqbal was observer of many things. Historical figures attracted him. To him came the take of Princess Sharf-un-nisa, the sister of Nawab Khan Bahadur, Viceroy of Lahore. The symbolism of the Princess had a deep effect on our national poet, and he has written an eulogy on her. The symbolism of the Quran and the Sword very much there.
Sharf-un-nisa had built a residential tower for herself for seclusion. She used to mount a removable ladder to the top of the tower and in side alone used to read the Holy Quran for one hour every day. She also had a jewelled sword with her in a box and she used to put both things together there. When she died, according to her will, she was buried in the same tower. And according to her wishes, the Quran and the Sword was placed on her sarcophagus, and the building sealed from all sides. And there they remained till the Sikhs took over Lahore.
The Sikhs were on rampage, greedy for mere bricks and stone, they would not let any treasure be forsaken by them. They broke into the building and stole the precious objects. Somehow the other the tower survived the ages and is today known as SAROO WALA MAQBARA. Heavily encroached upon, the Archaeological department is playing mischief with it. No protection is provided to our legacy and this monument, like many others, is suffering the present wrath of times.
Beauty and Power is the re-occurring message of Dr Allama Iqbal and the monument of Sharf-un-nisa is living testimony of the effects she had on others. Tiles on her monument declare that ALLAH IS ETERNAL, REST IS PERISHABLE. The destruction of the monument is still on to this day. No one has even bothered to research it properly. There may be secrets to it still unexplored by our whiz guys.
I was standing on the roof top of a house of a friend in Mochi Darwaza and across the roofs, we saw an English women washing clothes. ‘Yar, maim lagti hai’. Yes, my friend said, this man married her in London and brought her here, and she is working so hard all the time. Not a big house, not a financial giant, a common down to earth man who went to England to make money and came back with a bride. Such cases are many in Lahore. Brides from England are most common but so are from other countries. We could add Lebanon for some of our religious leaders, perhaps an Irani or two, even French, Central Asian, Germans yes, but mostly English. M.A. Rahman Chughtai used to explain it simply and in simple terms. He used to say that most of the Pakistanis going to England would accost the washer women or the cleaner lady or the worker for the land lady, and early in the morning, the romance would start, with no knowledge, as to who seduced whom? The World War left England with plenty of women and few men. That is why England encouraged people from other lands to settle in England and provide relief to their women. But the story is older than that.
Mahrajah Dallip Singh (touted as the son of Mahrajah Ranjit sIngh when it is famous in Lahore to this day that he was illegitimate son of Mai Jindan from her paramour Gulu Mashqi) at hands of John Logins embraced Christianity in the Lahore Fort impressed with the Christianity package of Reverend Abdul Masih Salih. Dallip Singh went to England and was the personal guest of Queen Victoria. Love was at first sight, and Queen Victoria was having the time of her life with this Lahori boy. The young boy dreamt of becoming the King of the English Empire or Prince at least. But when she had enough of those rendezvous with him, she rejected him out right. He became riled as being an emotional Punjabi, and after being rebuked, decided to go back to Punjab, India. He renounced Christianity after all. He could not make it to Marseilles, where the reputation is that he was assassinated by the British Secret Service. Not possible. Who knows? But this kind of story is there even today. We hear again and again that Princess Diana was carrying the child of Harrod’s Dodee, and that the British Secret Service dealt with her. After the High Court in England decided the case, presumably forever, fresh evidence has come from Paris itself, that it was actually the case. Let us see if the truth ever comes out.
Queen Victoria must be having a passion for men of this region. Munshi Abdul Kareem was another confidante of her and novels have been written of their affair. No one will know the actual truth, but imagination plays riot, and one ends up thinking even worse than the truth itself. We are just relating stories, as we were not there.
But back to another Lahori boy, Dr Hasnat, the original shy lover of Princess Diana. A movie has been made on them. Dr Hasnat denies it as being the truth. Surely the truth would be even more bitter for the British. A Brownie Paki from here romancing the Princess of England. Does not look good, but these boys from Lahore are men of another order. Princess Diana begged Dr Hasnat’s mother in Model Town, for permission to marry his son. She refused the Princess. What a lady? She made Lahore proud of her.
Lahoris are great lovers. We have a living example in our own local Cary Grant, Najum Latif. He did the impossible. He romanced with the daughter of an American Senator. And married her happily. The American family sings his song to this day. And not to forget our own Imran Khan who married Jemima, the doting daughter of a Jewish millionaire Mr Goldsmith. Good luck to Imran too! The great dramatist Mr Pirzada married a German lady, who remained with him till the end. Nur Jahan’s son Akbar married a French lady. And the Qazilbaschs, in the tradition of the great Agha Khans, spring from one English mother to another. Surely English girls have a passion for Lahori Nawabs. The Principal of a Beaconhouse School had a doting Americabn wife. And so many others.
Cases after cases, few seduced the women at the top, but it happened. And Lahore left its mark on the world as well as the world of romance. Yes, something special in Lahori boys, after all.
WHEN NO ONE LEFT ALIVE IN LAHORE
THE INVASION OF AMIR TIMUR
Making a dead city alive again in 1421
Lahore was the passing point of many conquerors, and the city witnessed the ups and downs of the time. The greatest upheaval was that of Amir Timur, or Timur lang. The invasion of Timur to Hindustan is an event in itself. The entrance to Punjab was in 1398.
Shaikha Gakkhar was the Governor of Lahore. Perhaps only for a period of one year or less. Seeing the fall of other cities of Hindustan to the Timurids, Shaikha Gakkhar capitulated to the Timurids, and offered his assistance o them. He was the first to side with Timur. Timur knew that he was doing all this as a necessity to save himself, but even then, gave him credit for services rendered to him. In this way Lahore was saved from the first assault of the Timurids, comparing it to other fallen cities, where massacres had taken place. Once Timur had left, Shaikha Gakkhar was not willing to please the Timurids again. This report was submitted to Timur and he ordered Prince Pir Muhammed Jahangeer, Prince Rustam, Amir Sulaiman and Amir Jahan to set things right.
This party of Princes reached Lahore and ransacked it. Shaikha Gakkhar was probably put n chains and sent to the presence of Amir Timur. But most of these things are scattered here and there and little information is obtained. When Lahore was ransacked, much wealth and property was obtained from the city. It is said that the city was emptied of all its population.
Lahore was a deserted city. No one lived here. (Perhaps few did but nothing is known about the composition of Lahore in those days). When Sayyid Mubarak son of Khizr Khan became the ruler of Hindustan, he appointed Malik Mahmud Hassan as Viceroy of Lahore. Sayyid Mubarak himself entered Lahore after defeating Jasrat Ghakkhar brother of Shaikha Gakkhar. The task before Sayyid Mubarak was stupendous, to repopulate and build Lahore from a scratch. It is said that in 1421, there was not even an owl living in Lahore. The Fort and the Gates were repaired and a standing army put in the Lahore Fort. Invitations and concessions were issued all over the region, inviting people to settle and build in Lahore, with the cooperation of the state machinery itself. And that is the birth of NEW LAHORE in 1421. This resilience of Lahore to bounce back is the back bone of the Pakistani spirit.