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What Dr Hoodhboy got wrong

An opinion piece in The Express Tribune “Run for your life” by Dr Pervez Hoodhboy on March 5, 2012 read:

This essay deliberately excludes Hindus, Christians, and Parsis. The reason: these communities were never enthused about India’s partition (even though some individual members pretended to be)…

First of all, bravo Dr Hoodbhoy for such a brave article on the injustices faced by the non-Muslim Pakistanis in the name of religion.

While Dr Hoodbhoy painted a factual picture on the general state of affairs, he conveniently made some very disturbing assumptions on behalf of people, that to date, are fighting for their right of “Pakistaniyat” just as Shias or Ahmadis, thanks to the Pakistan studies books we were fed on.

With all due respect sir, I expected better of you.

I would be surprised if you had not heard of Mr Jogendra Nath Mandal and his role in the freedom struggle. A leader of the scheduled castes, he ‘enthusiastically’ fought for the cause of Pakistan along with the Muslim League, convinced that Jinnah’s Pakistan was a superior ideology than ‘MaBharata’. Born in Bengal, he was chosen to be Pakistan’s first Minister of Law and Labour— but is now a forgotten Hindu.

Mr SP Singha was the speaker of the Punjab Assembly when the resolution for Pakistan was moved. Short of three votes he ‘enthusiastically’ rallied the Christian members to vote in favour of Jinnah. Muslim League won, resulting in the inclusion of several populations near Sialkot, Chunia, Kasur etc. in present day Pakistan. Singha died a Pakistan “enthusiast” Christian -conveniently ignored.

And who can forget Samuel Martin Burke? He was the magistrate of the Election Petition Commission of Punjab in 1945 who moved 16 petitions in favour of Muslim League, all to the chagrin of Congress and Sir Hayat’s Unionists who wanted a United India. These petitions eventually won Pakistan’s case, and after partition Mr Burke chose Pakistan as his native country.

To date, he is revered as a pioneer of Pakistan’s foreign policy. As Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Canada, he is accredited to convincing USA and Canada of Pakistan’s need of nuclear reactors. Mr Burke passed away as a Non Muslim Pakistan “enthusiast”. Ignored again.

These are, but a few names that shared Jinnah’s dream of Pakistan and were instrumental in leading thousands of Hindus and Christians to join the cause. Whoever thinks that it’s only the Muslims who migrated on that glorious night of August 13, 1947, needs a history lesson. Several thousands of non-Muslims left the Ganges behind believing that Pakistan was their true calling – my family included.

Where is it that we have fallen short of patriotism or denied service to our country? Christian, Hindu and Parsi soldiers have fought and accepted martyrdom as recently as the operations in Swat. They have been both war heroes and prisoners, enduring harrowing tortures for the country. Who can forget the Cecil, Cyril, Anthony Chaudhrys, Mervyn Middlecoats, Peter Christies, Brig Golwalas, Nazir Latifs, Justin Sharafs and many other like them who answered the call of Labaik?

Since independence, missionary schools and hospitals have opened their doors to every Pakistani without difference. According to recent stats only 2.1 percent of the total Christian population has immigrated abroad, the rest stayed put. So where is it you see that we were never enthusiastic about the creation of Pakistan?

I am sorry Sir, but please don’t insult us by assuming that we, as a community, were never better than frozen poultry that was waiting to be re-branded as “minority” Pakistanis rather than “minority” Indians. Not from you sir…not from you.


By: Danielle Sharaf: The Express Tribune Blogs.


  1. Kamal says:

    Heart warming piece of mind sir. Pakistanis like you are the very reason to make us proud who we once were, some of us still are and all of us will be one of these days inshAllah.

  2. Nuktaa Shah says:

    Agreed with every single word and loved it to bits … !

  3. Amal zaka says:

    . And not to forget jagan nath azad who wrote the first national anthem.

  4. shadow says:

    Thank you Asra! That was short but a very effective message.

    These liberal fascists are even crueler than terrorists!

  5. sarfraz says:

    i like the christen community becuse my lovable teacher sir aslam was a christen also sir chand they was great human being,they alot respect the islam & mohamad saw,all pakistan for all the peoples we are pakistanis wo pakistan for all
    Sarfraz hussain

  6. Mustafa Abeer says:

    I’ll say only,sometimes intellectuals feel they are the ultimate authority,but perhaps they are not….and this is the reason due to which our dear, Danielle Sharaf,felt so disgraced.You are right…….

  7. Muhammad Noor says:

    I am greatly moved by ur article and especially the last para.minorities are not treated well in Pakistan not by the standards islam teaches us . but that doesn’t mean that our minorities are not loyal i consider it disrespectful to even question their loyalty .. minorities of Pakistan are as much Paki as we are and we are proud to have such a vibrant community .. the beauty of Pakistan. !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Being a student of LUMS where Dr Hoodbhoy is a faculty member i just like to tell you that i don’t share his views !!,,,,

  8. Bilal says:

    Although I hold great respect for Dr.Hoodhboy, but I don’t know in what state of mind he said this. I expected better from him as he is a very qualified person and he represents Pakistan, our country, on different International Forums.

  9. Umair says:

    We have to stop our national policy of appeasing the mullahs! It started with Bhutto and has since continued under PPP, Zia-ul-haq and PML-N. If we dont stop this we are headed for a massive civil war that will disintegrate Pakistan completely.

  10. haroon says:

    ms Asra you are wrong i belong to a non Muslim community we are being persecuted and still live in fear you have no idea what it is like to be a minority ms LEARN FROM US, not the old books that you read. It is our perspective that you DONT WANT TO SEE. recently your law of blasphemy just trashed one families lives. they have three small little daughters. you of all the people in Pakistan don’t what to listen to us just read NCJP minority reports. and the statistics you quoted in 2.5 minorities gone how many minority people you know are well off in Pakistan JUST A FEW that is why they dont get a visa because they are not financially sound ? in rural areas we are still being persecuted, i mean your thoughts are like a joke to me i have been listening to this crap from every one of your community. here is the the thing OPEN YOUR EYES AND IF YOU REALLY WANT TO LISTEN AND SEE US. just open your eye you are living in a fantasy world. you are not our leader not our voice. you are just a puppet a blind puppet. there is nothing new in your article ms.

  11. farhan says:

    While i appreciate your article, I still feel that Hoodbhoy is right to write. He is pointing out not people on the streets but the opinion leaders. I feel very sorry to see growing intolerance in Pakistan and I feel ashamed to call myself a sunni because of these ***holes

  12. Drjaurakzai says:

    Excellant analysis & a master piece answer with statistics. Very well done Danielle Sharaf, Pakistan is yours, mine and everyone who lives. Cheers