It was easy to mix with most Africans at Oxford because their minds were tabula rasa, but most of the South Asians carried a lot of baggage.
In a speech from his container Imran repeatedly mentioned Abd al-Rahman bin Muhammad Ibn Khaldun, who is considered one of the three greatest historians and philosophers of history, namely, Ibn Khaldun (27 May 1332-17 March 1406), Edward Gibbon (8 May 1737- 16 January 1792) and Arnold Toynbee (14 April 1889- 22 October 1975).
When the renowned great conqueror, Amir Timur (Tamerlane), besieged Damascus he heard that the celebrated 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 Muqaddimah or Prolegomena(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’, 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 (Indians), Scythians (Shakas), Parthians, White Huns, Sassanians, Hindu Shahiya, Ghaznavid (Turks), Ghorids (Tajiks), Khwarism, Mughals (Mongols) and the Timurids (Central Asians). Afghanistan became independent only recently under Ahmad Shah Durrani born and brought up in Multan. Ahmad Khan Abdali was the commander of the Abdali contingent in the army of the last great Asian conqueror, Nadir Shah Afshar (1736-1747).
On returning from Delhi, Nadir Shah was assassinated on 19 June 1747, and Ahmed Khan 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 the caravan of Nadir Shah’s army with booty from India. He collected the Afghan chiefs and distributed among them the wealth it 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 (1722- 16 October 1772) for creating Afghanistan out of the Timurid Indian empire conquered by Nadir Shah, and the wealth looted by him from Delhi, and lived off raiding Punjab. He expressed his love for Afghanistan in the following verses;
I come to you and my heart finds rest
Away from you, grief clings to my heart like a snake.
I forget the throne of Delhi
When I remember the mountain tops of my beautiful Pakhtunkhwa
If I must chose between the world and you
I shall not hesitate to claim your barren deserts as my own.
Unlike the Buddhist Mauriyas of Patna and the Muslim Timurid Kings of Delhi, who kept the Afghans as their subjects, the British East India Company of Calcutta was too commercially minded to occupy financially unviable Afghanistan. They only went into Afghanistan with a few thousand Hindustani sepoys of their Bengal and Bombay Army, to install rulers in Afghanistan who would act as a buffer against Russia. The Hindustani sepoys, who were mostly Muslims, with a few British officers, were treacherously massacred by Afghans, and this was hailed as a great victory of Islam over infidels. They failed to mention that the British retaliated by returning to punish the criminal Afghan tribes and installed a friendly government in Afghanistan, pensioned by them.
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 northern Afghanistan in Tajikistan and eastern and southern Afghanistan a part of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Therefore, some of our early leaders promoted a confederation of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. After all, Afghanistan was often 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 English school and college educated sahibs is obviously totally ignorant of the history of Islam and the subcontinent, because Jalal-ad-Duniya wa ad-Din Abu-al-Muzaffer Manguberdi ibn Muhammad 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, which forced the great Chingiz (Genghis) 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, as aforesaid to the amazement of Chingiz Khan, and after about three years in Punjab and Sindh, went back through Baluchistan to retrieve his kingdom but was murdered in Kurdistan.
Imran Khan incessantly talks about emulating the Western welfare system and democracy but he kept a Pir (a religious guide) whom he faithfully followed and 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 Imran’s second wife, Reham Khan, mentioned taweez (amulets), ganda and kala jadoo (black magic) in his house. After the death of Mian Bashir, he took to receiving guidance from a lady whom he ultimately married.
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 (Jemima) who according to various version given by him, gifted a house to him near Islamabad or advanced money to buy it. The Supreme Court of Pakistan let Imran Khan off the hook by accepting that it was bought by money advanced by Jemima. The Peoples Party leader, Nisar Khuro, said that it was the first case in Pakistan of a husband receiving Haq Meher. 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 mostPathans 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 a 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 British saying is, ‘The Punjabi is to be led, the Pathan to be bribed, the Baloch to be honoured and the Sindhi to be killed’.
His recent speeches and constant 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 Imran and myself graduates of Oxford University. 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 the distaste of his wife for politics. The Iron Lady Thatcher was a science graduate who became the first female prime minister of the UK, but became unpopular because of insistence on a kind of poll tax. This was challenged by her defense minister in the party election, which she won in the first ballot but decided to quit for the sake of party unity.Anthony Charles Lynton Blair’s ten year’s 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 the 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 the party. However, it is quite correct that no British prime minister has ever stuck to office.
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 could give manifold income through international and national tourism.