The scourge of colonisation continues in the 21st century, only the players and methods have changed. Historically, European powers were known for colonising weaker nations. Technology was used as a very effective weapon to conquer and dominate. The Portuguese, French, Dutch, British all indulged in this evil act of human exploitation. Perhaps the British Empire was the largest of them all, as the sun never set on the area under their control. Asia, Africa, America and Australia; no continent was spared. Their policy of divide, rule and intrigue worked very well for them. Once in control, they skimmed off the assets and resources of the colonies. The Indian Subcontinent was considered a jewel in the crown of the monarch in the literal sense. The Kohinoor, one of the largest cut diamonds of the world that the Queen of England adorns, was taken from a vault of the Lahore Fort. Both India and Pakistan have laid claims to this precious jewel. It did not stop here; communication networks were developed to transport raw materials for processing in Manchester to be sold back after value addition. Before the ‘Gora Sahib’ started ruling India the GDP was 22 percent of the world economy, second only to China under the Ming Dynasty but larger than Europe. Due to the loot and plunder of the Raj, till today the Subcontinent (Hindustan, Pakistan, Bangladesh) have not been able to regain their lost position in the world economic order. After the revolution, the People’s Republic of China has been able to regain second position behind the United States in the world economy while India has managed to attain fifth, Pakistan and Bangladesh seriously lag behind.

While the colonists were forced to leave, they left behind their colonial structures of control and human exploitation which continue to manipulate and exploit the masses. It was because of this reason the elected government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) moved Pakistan out of the British Commonwealth. The act was hailed as ‘Daam-e-Farang say rehai’ (Freedom from foreign yoke). Like the first Prime Minister (PM) of the republic Liaquat Ali Khan, ZAB tried to dismantle the colonial structures left behind. Both the elected leaders of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan lost their lives in this struggle for the emancipation of the common man.

This time it was colonisation by the internal forces of exploitation. The ‘Farangi’ now provided havens for stolen wealth of the poor developing nations that they had colonised and exploited. In his recent speech to the United Nations Security Council the PM has asked for return of this ill-gotten money with enactment of laws to curb such currency transfers and holding of expensive real estate by third world politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen and generals. The source of funds should be questioned before transfer of ownership title. First, it was the Swiss banks where all this stolen wealth was parked, now London has become the hub of such investments. Both the sons of the former PM have been declared absconders, they own property worth millions in London and so does their relative the former Finance Minister who was also their accountant.

There is a famous American saying, “You can run but cannot hide”. Lord Mountbatten was in a hurry to leave India as it had become unmanageable for them but they were able to hide their theft and continue to receive more through the unscrupulous elements left behind. There should be no havens for money that comes without a trail as it is invariably stolen. Money hideouts have to be eliminated for a more just and equitable world, otherwise the poor will remain poor and the entire world economic order would collapse. When the American colonies revolted against the colonisers, they dismantled the entire set-up through which the British ruled over them. All uniforms were taken off and files burnt, to start afresh all over again.

In July 1997 Chris Patton the last British Governor of Hong Kong handed over the island to the People’s Republic of China. The limousine that went to drop the ‘Gora Sahib’ was driven straight to a museum, the entire mansion and its contents became a part of history to be conserved, no Chinese ever lived in it. It was the end of a painful era. Unfortunately our pain continues through the ‘Brown Sahib’, the colonial structures and the ‘Gora Sahib’ who now operates remotely from the comfort of London, the haven of stolen wealth of poor nations. Perhaps this 21st Century Colonisation is more lethal and deadly as it is camouflaged and hidden that is why we hear slogans like, “Prove our corruption” with no mention of a money trail. Hideouts of stolen money have to be exposed and then shut down to end this human exploitation.