An attempt by the senior anchor of Aapas Ki Baat on Iqbal Day (9 November 2015) to ‘correct’ history, I think, is worth sharing with Pakistanis at large.

He said:

* It is ‘wrong history’ to say that Iqbal gave the idea of Pakistan in his 1930 (Presidential) Address (of Allahabad);

* Iqbal, in fact, said that there should be provinces or states of Muslim majority areas within India;

* Iqbal never said that there should a separate (Muslim) state outside (India).

The anchor’s statements are quite significant just as they are quite false. Other than correcting history the statements appear to aim at fabricating history.

Iqbal’s Address of 1930, among other similar messages, carries a statement that hits the reader’s eyes and ears like a thunderbolt. Iqbal’s statement is: “Personally, I would go further... I would like to see the Punjab, the North-West Frontier Province, Sindh and Baluchistan amalgamated into a single state. Self-government within the British Empire, or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Muslim state appears to me to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of North-West India”

In my message dated 11th to the anchor, I sent to him the above statement highlighting that Iqbal, in his Allahabad Address, Clearly talked of a ‘single state’ as opposed to the ‘states’. Also, I drew his attention to Iqbal’s works clear as daylight on his idea of a separate state for the Muslims of India, including his famous rejoinder to Hussain Ahmed Madni’s proclaimed position that Millat exists because of ‘watan’ implying division of India to be against the teachings of Islam:

“Says he from the pulpit that Millat exists because of Watan – how unaware is he of the position of Muhammad (SAW) – on the subject”

Brief response that I received from the anchor was “I have read the Address. My reading is correct. See 3a”

Now 3a of Iqbal’s Allahabad Address does not even carry the word ‘states’ or ‘provinces’ that the anchor so vehemently tried to put in Iqbal’s mouth. The puzzling question is why he sees what is not in the Allahabad Address (‘states’ or ‘provinces’) and why he omits Iqbal’s real message of unmistakable emphasis on a ‘single state’.

In my message dated 12th to the anchor (un-answered till date) I drew his attention to a conclusive statement by none other than Mr Jinnah himself which is also worth sharing with all Pakistanis. The statement is recorded in the foreword of the book entitled “Letters of Iqbal to Jinnah” published in 1942 (by Sh. Muhammad Ashraf of Lahore). The foreword has been reproduced by countless references including Dawn dated 11th September 2011.

Mr Jinnah writes in his foreword:

“... I think these letters are of very great historical importance, particularly those which explain his views in clear and unambiguous terms on the political future of Muslim India. His views were substantially in consonance with my own and had finally led me to the same conclusions as a result of careful examination and study of the constitutional problems facing India, and found’ expression in due course in the united will of Muslim India as adumbrated in the Lahore Resolution of the All-India Muslim League, popularly known as the ‘Pakistan Resolution,’ passed on 23rd March, 1940.”

Two hugely significant observations of Mr Jinnah are:

1- Iqbal’s views led Mr Jinnah to the same conclusion that Iqbal had arrived at for the future of the Muslims of India; and

2- Iqbal’s views found expression in the Lahore Resolution, popularly known as Pakistan Resolution passed on 23rd March, 1940.

On the anchor’s concerns for the right history, when Mr Jinnah says that Pakistan Resolution reflected Iqbal’s ideas, that is the ‘Right History’. Anything contrary to it as promoted by the anchor is a ‘wrong history’.

The message in Mr Jinnah’s statement is readily verifiable by any serious student of Iqbal and history of Pakistan independent of Mr Jinnah’s own statement. Influence of the seer (Iqbal) on the strategist (Jinnah), stretched from time before his 1930 Address to the year1938 when he died. The fact that the strategist eventually adopted the insight of the seer has been acknowledged by the outspoken Mr Jinnah himself in no small terms. This fact sits at the core of the search for the ‘Right History’.

The enigma that has bewildered meand compelled me to share all this with Pakistanis is why one of our most articulate anchors is using one of our major media plat-form to promote. misinformation on a critical aspect of our national history.

DR NAIMETULLAH,

Melbourne, November 18.