(Disclaimer: Pakistan’s Buddhist past is not touched upon in the article)
About three-fourth of Pakistan’s Western border is with Afghanistan and the rest one-fourth with Iran. As per standard Islamic Narrative, Persia (Iran) became Islamic within twenty years of Muhammad’s death and Afghanistan and Central Asia followed the suit and was run over by Islam in the next 200 years.
Umayyad Arabs made repeated unsuccessful attacks to conquer Sindh between 708 AD and 711 AD. Then in 712 AD, Umayyad Arab general Muhammad bin Qasim defeated Hindu Brahmin King Dahir of Sind and included Sind, up to Multan, in Umayyad Arab Caliphate. Muslims could not progress further for next three hundred years due to stiff resistance from local Hindus. Then in 1001 AD, the first invasion of India by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni took place against Hindu Shahi ruler Raja Jaipala of Peshawar, who was defeated.
From 1001 AD, Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sind, and Balochistan provinces faced the brunt of many brutal Islamic invasions, devastations and forceful conversion from Afghanistan and Central Asia. Iranian invasion was mainly at socio-administrative and Sufi levels.
From the Shakti Peeth of Hingjal Maata in Balochistan to Battagram (village of Brahmins) and Purusha-pura (Peshawar) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa via Rawalpindi (village of Rajput Rawal), Sialkot (fort of Rajput Sial) and Multan (Mula-sthan in Sanskrit) in Punjab, – all still carry the Hindu past of Pakistan.
Today’s Pakistani Muslims may claim that they were converted by the Sufi saints, but this they say to cover-up their painful past. It is true that Sufi saints played an important part in the social dynamics of Pakistani Muslim society, but they first came to India in 11th century from Persia (present day Iran) with renewed Islamic invasions. However, forceful conversion and abduction of women by the invading Muslims were commonplace in those days.
Besides Islamic invasions, the peak of pressure for conversion came during the rule of Mughal King Aurangzeb (1658 AD to 1707 AD) and by the early eighteenth century, present-day’s Pakistan population became largely Muslims. A small proportion of Hindus, however, accepted Islam in exchange for some incentive.
Muslims ruled India for about 550 years. But Islam miserably failed to run over India as it could do in the Middle-East, North-Africa, Spain, Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia. By 1941, only about 25 percent of the population of British India was Muslims. Indian Hindus were never impressed by Islam and resisted conversion with blood and sweat through centuries.
Pakistani Muslim society is a reminder of a community which could not protect its identity from violation by Muslim invaders and rulers. In their anxiety to suppress their painful past, they erased their brave history from 712 AD to 1001 AD when they bravely resisted all Muslim incursions. To overcome their sense of guilt, they started harbouring contempt and hatred towards Hindus. Islamic teachings also aggravated their outlook towards Hindus Kafir.
In desperation to dissociate them from Hindus, Pakistani Muslims made heroes out of cruel Muslim invaders like Ghori, Ghazni and Abdali et al and lost their true identity and heritage. Even after seventy-five years of independence, Pakistani Muslims are suffering from identity crisis. From Jinnah to Bhutto to Musharraf to Shahbaz, – the staunch anti-India (anti-Hindu) sentiment has been the life force of Pakistan.
There is another reason for identity crisis among Muslims of Pakistan. As per Islam, they can never associate themselves with Hindu Kafir. In the words of V S Naipaul, “The convert has to turn away from everything that is his. The disturbance for societies is immense, and even after a thousand years can remain unresolved; the turning away has to be done again and again”. Thus, they cannot feel pride in Taxila, King Dahir, King Jaipala and Bappa Rawal and others. On the other hand, they are not Arab, Turk, Monghal or Iranian. So, many of them also suffer from ‘Porcupine Dilemma’ in case of identity.
After cleansing Hindus from Pakistan during the last seventy-five years, they are now engaged to violently resolve the issue as to who are true Muslims in Pakistan. The unholy nexus between Army, landlords, rich businessmen and the politicians is sanctified by Mullahs in the name of Islam.
The common people of Pakistan are sandwiched between Islamic terrorists and ruling elites. Today, Pakistani Muslims are a self-destroying, violently confused and a poor lot. The “New Medina” their grandfathers wanted to create in 1947 remains Dur Ast after more than seven decades. Pakistani Muslims still don’t know who they are and what is their root identity.