It was easy to mix with Black Africans at Oxford because their mind was tabula rasa but most of the South Asian carried a lot of baggage.
In a speech from his container Imran repeatedly mentioned Abd al-Rahman bin Muhammad Ibn Khaldun, who was born in Tunis on 27 May 1332, and is considered one of the greatest historians of the world and a philosopher of history. When the great conqueror, Amir Timur besieged Damascus he heard that the great historian and philosopher Ibn Khaldun was in the city. Timur immediately asked to see him. Ibn Khaldun was lowered from the walls in a basket and spent seven weeks in Timur’s company before returning to Egypt.
Ibn Khaldun’s main thesis in his Muqaddama (introduction) to his history is that the Muslim polity is based on Aasabiyat (bias, prejudice) or simply speaking tribalism. The Oxford graduate, Imran Khan, is good example of this tribalism which still prevails in most of the Muslim world in various garb.
According to Bellew who wrote a number of books on Afghanistan including a Pashto dictionary and a grammer of Brahui, ‘The pride of the Pashtun is a marked feature of their national character. They eternally boast of their descent, their prowess in arms and their independence.’ Imran Khan wrote a book, ‘Indus Journey: A personal view of Pakistan’, which is written to glorify himself and the Pathans. For example he writes on page 33 that, ‘Pashtuns had never been subjugated’. But in fact, the Pathans have been throughout history a subject people. Afghanistan has been ruled by the Aryans, Medes, Achaemenids, Greeks, Mauriyas, Parthians, White Huns, Sassanians, Hindu Shahiya, Ghaznavid (Turks), Ghorids (Tajiks), Mughals and Timurids. Afghanistan became independent only recently under Ahmad Shah Abdali Durrani born and brought up in Multan. Ahmed Shah was the commander of the Abdali contingent in the army of the last great Asian conqueror, Nadir Shah Afshar (1736-1747). When Nadir Shah was assassinated on 19 June 1747, Ahmed rushed to his tent to confirm it. He saw his severed head and body, and removed the royal seal from his finger, and the Kohinoor diamond tied to his arm, and headed for Afghanistan with them. On the way he captured a caravan with booty from India. And he collected the Afghan chiefs and distributed among them the wealth that Nadir Shah was carrying from Delhi to create an independent Afghanistan as king, with the titles of Padishah-i-Ghazi and Durr-i-Durrani (pearl of pearls). He is known as the father of the Afghan nation or Ahmad Shah Baba (1747-1772) for creating Afghanistan out of Timurid Indian empire conquered by Nadir Shah, wealth looted by him from Delhi and living off raiding Punjab. Unlike the Buddhist Mauriya and the Muslim Timurid Kings of India, who kept the Afghans as their subjects, the British were too commercially minded to occupy financially unviable Afghanistan. They only went into Afghanistan each time with a few thousand Hindustani sepoys, to install rulers in Afghanistan who would act as buffer state against Russia. Sometimes the Hindustani sepoys, who were mostly Muslims, with a few of British officers were treacherously massacred by Afghans, which was hailed as a great victory of Islam over infidels by the ignorant masses. They failed to mention that the British retaliated each time by returning to punish the criminal pathan tribes and install a friendly government in Afghanistan. If a separate Afghanistan still exists, we have to thank the British. Now the British role has been taken over by NATO, otherwise by this time, historically and ethnically, western Afghanistan should have been a part of Iran, with the northern part in Tajikistan and the eastern Afghanistan a part of Pakistan. Therefore our early leaders promoted a confederation of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. After all, for most of its known history Afghanistan was part of the subcontinent, ruled by Mauriyas from Patna, Hindu Shahiya from Punjab and Timurids from Delhi.
Further, Imran Khan wrote on page 100 of his book, ‘For me, one of the most dramatic incidents in our history occurred on the Indus between Kalabagh and Attock. Jalaluddin was a young Pathan prince who had inflicted a good deal of damage in Afghanistan on the invading Mongol army, with the result that a very much larger army was sent against him under Genghis Khan. Jalaluddin was forced to retreat back into India, and found himself surrounded by the Mongol army, with river at his back. Like a cornered tiger, he charged into the middle of the Mongol army with his bodyguards, cut his way back to the river, recaptured his standard, and then – since there was nowhere to go – leapt on his horse over a sixty-foot cliff into the Indus below. His horse’s belly burst open when it hit the water, but Jalaluddin swam across the river to the other side. When Genghis Khan saw this, he was so impressed by the young man’s bravery that he ordered his men not to fire, since so brave a man didn’t deserve to die, and Jalaluddin made his way to India and safety.’
Imran Khan like most of English school and college educated sahibs is obviously totally ignorant of history of Islam and the subcontinent because Jalal-ad-Duniya wa ad-Din Abu-al-Muzaffer Mingobardi was no Pathan, he was a Turk, a prince of Khwarazm whose kingdom was spread from the Caspian Sea to Afghanistan. He is one of the most admired figures of Muslim history, because he was the only Muslim prince to defeat a Mongol army at its best, which forced the great Chingiz (Ginghiz) Khan to come personally with a large army to pursue him to the Indus. Jalal-ad-Din had defeated the Mongol army at the battle of Parwan, north of Kabul, but when he was betrayed by his Afghan contingent which deserted him, he retreated towards India. He was defeated at the Battle of the Indus, crossed over to India by throwing himself along with his horse into the river to the amazement of Chingiz Khan, and after about three years in Punjab and Sindh, went back to retrieve his kingdom but was murdered.
Imran Khan incessantly talks about emulating the Western welfare system and democracy but he kept a Pir (a religious guide) about whom he wrote on page 120, ‘But never, in the almost twenty years that I knew Mian Bashir, was one of his prophecies ever wrong.’ It is therefore not surprising that his second wife mentioned taweez (amulets), ganda and kala jadoo (black magic) in his house.
When Imran decided to enter politics he wrote a series of syndicated articles, which were published in various newspapers, in which he stated that he would never be a brown Englishman and would marry a Pakistani girl chosen by his family. The result was that a number of educated Pakistani girls sacrificed everything that they had, including their monthly paychecks, which they donated to his Cancer hospital, but Imran married a rich Jewess who according to various version given by him, gifted a house to him near Islamabad or loaned money to buy it. Allama Iqbal wrote;
‘Firdaus jo tera hay kisi nay nahin dekha
Afrang ka her qaria hay Firdaus kay manind’
There is a Pathan saying that most Pathans are liberal-minded, and will discard an old practice for a new when convinced that they will gain by so doing. This reminds one of the Persian poet Shaikh Saadi’s well known couplets;
‘Even if famine of men has befallen
Do not associate with three low grade people;
Firstly Afghans, secondly Kamboh, thirdly base Kashmiri.
From Afghans you will receive hate and vindictiveness
From Kambohs you will receive fraud and dishonesty
From Kashmiris you will receive nothing save grief and affliction’.
The British had a similar saying, ‘Kick the Punjabi, Bribe the Pathan, Honour the Baloch and Shoot the Sindhi’. Another version of the same was, ‘The Punjabi is to be led, the Pathan to be bribed, the Baloch to be honoured and the Sindhi to be killed’.
It is therefore not surprising that according to Imran, Sharif family offered him a bribe to give up the panama case against them, which he unlike a pathan refused and was accused by his female FATA MNA for being a second grade pathan. His recent speeches and consistent talk of justice and merit shows that his life and education in England has hopefully brought about in him a change. However he continues to make mistakes when he refers to history for example he was not quite correct when he referred to three of the most remarkable prime ministers of Great Britain, namely Wilson, Thatcher and Blair, who were like me and Imran graduates of University of Oxford. James Harold Wilson was a brilliant economist who was prime minister for eight years by winning three elections but left office because he had planned to resign at the age of sixty in deference to distate of his wife for politics. The Iron Lady Thatcher was a science graduate who became the first female prime minister of UK but became unpopular because of insistence on a kind of poll tax and her defense minister challenged her in the party election, which she won in the first ballot but she decided to quit for the sake of party unity. Anthony Charles Lynton Blair’s ten years tenure as prime minister was the second longest continuous period (after Margaret Thatcher’s) in recent years. Blair also enjoyed a 179-seat majority in the House of Commons—the biggest parliamentary majority in the history of the Labour Party and the largest majority of any party since 1935 but because of his support for American invasion of Iraq his own party members became critical and junior ministers resigned therefore he decided not to stand for a fourth term for the sake of party. However, it is quite correct that no British prime minister has ever stuck to office as ours have habitually done.
Historically speaking, Pathans are recent arrivals in KPK from Koh-e-Sulaiman in Balochistan. If they had any inkling of the history of the land they now occupy they would have known that their province is a treasure trove of Buddhist history and requires funds to excavate, conserve and protect, which can give manifold income through international and national tourism.