ISLAMABAD - Executive Director Sustainable Development Policy Institute DR Abid Qayyum Suleri Monday said that re-writing the history based on peoples perspective in terms of ideology is the need of hour to avoid controversies.
He said this during the launching ceremony of SDPIs recently completed re-writing history project, conceptually and financially supported by Heinrich Boll Foundation Pakistan-Afghanistan, entitled The land of two partitions and beyond and Reconstructing history with three video documentaries on 1947, 1971, and religious minorities of Pakistan.
The research focuses primarily on the personal experiences, feelings, and understandings of aged people in Pakistan, Bangladesh and India about the events of 1947 and 1971.
It highlights a balanced version about history and is interesting addition to the on-ongoing work on these subjects.
Senior Research Associate at SDPI, Ahmad Salim, observed that the history was not an isolated or alienated subject rather it has a strong relevance with our present and future while highlighting a relationship of countrys present breaking social fabric and worsening situation especially in Balochistan, FATA and Swat.
He said that the history of partition in Pakistan and in India was based on official record, oral accounts, autobiographies, one-sided violence against Hindus and Sikhs and in India against Muslims was not the true history.
History books in Pakistan whether dealing with our freedom movement which resulted in independence or the war of 1971 which resulted in the dismemberment of Pakistan and the emergence of Bangladesh or our ancient and recent past; unfortunately lack peoples perspective instead, it is based on autobiographical accounts of military and civilian rulers, generals administrators of different levels he added.
Citing his research, he said that many Hindus and Sikhs saved the lives of their Muslim neighbours and friends, even at times saved lives of Muslims they did not even know similarly many Muslims saved the lives of their Hindus and Sikhs friends and neighbours.
Dr Abid Suleri lamented that it was very unfortunate that soon after the partition of 1947 and that of 1971 the historical context, facts, and realities got fictionalised.
He said that three histories of partition exist in our part of the world, the one that is told and taught in Pakistan, the other that is told and taught in India and/or Bangladesh, and the third that is the real version.
He said that this partially happened to serve the vested interests of certain classes that are using the manoeuvred history to gain the maximum benefits.
To me hiding historical facts or distorting them is not only a crime against current generation but also a sheer crime against our future generations who would be deprived of being acquainted with truth he said adding that SDPI has not followed to develop first two histories.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 21-Apr-2009 here.