I remember!

I remember the political crisis in the 50’s in Pakistan. Every other month a new government would be formed. One prime minister (I. I. Chundrigar) was prime minister for only thirty days. Politicians used to quarrel like children fighting over candy. I remember President Iskander Mirza proclaiming martial law and being replaced a few days later by General (later Field Marshal) Ayub Khan. For sometime, the country became normal, and Karachi was declared the “cleanest city in the world” by a German writer (apparently he didn’t go to Lyari or Lea Market to see the filthy conditions there).

I remember taking part in student demonstrations against dictatorship in 1961. I was surprised when the police threw tear gas shells at us and I was rescued from the police by the people living on the ground floor of a building in Burns Road. I remember the massively rigged presidential elections in which Mohatrama Fatima Jinnah was defeated by Ayub Khan. How we hated him after his son took out a victory procession, firing in the air, as a result of which many Nazimabad residents were killed!

I remember the war of 1965. It was very frightening to see Indian planes over Karachi early in the morning. Perhaps that was Pakistan’s finest hour. The nation was united because we had been attacked by an enemy which was five times stronger than us. And how proud we felt when the Indian Defence Minister announced in the Lok Sabha that their army had been forced to retreat from Lahore! In that war, at least, we were undefeated.

I remember the day sugar disappeared from the country. There were rumours that it had all been smuggled to India by influential people (sounds familiar, doesn’t it?). And so it began, the movement to oust Ayub Khan. Finally, the old man decided to go, violating his own constitution in the process by handing power to his army chief. I remember the 1970 elections which resulted in the break-up of the country. We, who saw everything first hand, knew that the situation could have been saved if the politicians and the generals had agreed to Mujib (the winner of the elections) being prime minister. But alas, as usual, we didn’t know what hit us. Oh, the shame of it all! The Pakistan of Jinnah was no more. All because we had leaders who were selfish and didn’t care what happened to the country.

2 thoughts on “I remember!”

  1. I am the great grand son of major-general Iskander Mirza if you have any information you can leave a message on my talk page on wikipedia.


    A video of my great grand father.

    Major-General Iskander Mirza was not power hungry or corrupt I have all the evidence and proof. Anyone saying rubbish behind him now can tell it to me and with the evidence not just by reading some articles on the web or newspaper written by people such as jamat-e-islami and other islamic / fundimentalist `mullah` group as mostly they are spoiling his name.

  2. What a good reminder of our troubled history – indeed we have been taken for a ride by our leaders!

    What I am worried is that at the time when we need stability the most, we are yet again pushed into a situation that is uncertain and potentially anarchic

    thanks for visiting razarumi.com

    Hopefully our paths will cross again..


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