A Pakistani in search of a homeland – Koenraad Elst

Dr. Koenraad Elst“Pakistan …  is the fruit of a hybrid ideology, mainly consisting of Islam but adding un-Islamic elements from modern majority rule and nationalism because these were deemed necessary for the Indian Muslims in the then-prevailing circumstances. In particular, the attempt to streamline a country’s history in the service of the present state’s continued existence is not Islamic but nationalist; however, it is Islamic in so far as the state of Pakistan is a useful instrument in the Islamization of the whole of South Asia.” – Dr. Koenraad Elst

Indus River ValleyIn Eurasia Review on 25 December 2012, Khan A. Sufyan published a paper titled: “Pakistan: The True Heir Of Indus Valley Civilization – Analysis”. In it, he argues that Pakistan is not just the state for South-Asian Muslims created by Mohammed Ali Jinnah in 1947, but was in fact delineated already by the Harappan civilization. After all, its extent coincided roughly with that of modern Pakistan, and not for nothing it is called the “Indus civilization”, after Pakistan’s main river. He is the typical Pakistani Hindu-hater who pretends that Pakistan was necessary for fear of “Hindu domination”, as if Hindus were not extremely benevolent towards their minorities. His aim is to give body to the official Pakistani propaganda of “five thousand years of Pakistan”. Let us evaluate the case he makes.

First of all, the extent of the Harappan civilization. An important number of cities lie outside Pakistan, from the Afghan colony of Shortugai to a large number in Gujarat, including the port of Lothal, and another large number in India, including the metropolis of Rakhigarhi. Many of these cities are near the bed of the Saraswati in Haryana, which is why Indian archeologists are entitled to speak of “Sindhu-Saraswati civilization”. The emphasis on the Indus is the result of the first discoveries, viz. of Mohenjo-daro on, and Harappa near, the Indus, but is now dated. Note that this civilization was much larger than the contemporary Mesopotamian civilization. If we don’t look Panca Svastitoo closely on the map, with a Martian’s glance, we might say that its borders very roughly coincide with those of Pakistan.

Sufyan’s thesis is that Pakistan “was an outcome of thousands of years of historical, geographical and genetic distinction between the peoples of Indus Valley Civilization and those occupying the Gangetic plains”. Here we see a logical implication of the doctrine behind the Partition, stemming from the Indian Muslims’ immediate interests assuming a continuation of the Westminster democracy in which numbers are important: they could achieve safety and power only in a state where they would form the majority. That state would then, Maulana Azadlike other states, have to endow itself with a proper history, justifying the state’s continued existence.

This conflicts with the orthodox Islamic calculation, upheld at the time of Partition by Maulana Azad, that (1) democracy is un-Islamic so that, like for the medieval Muslim invaders, power can just as well be obtained by a strong-headed minority, and that (2) in the longer run, the Muslims would obtain the majority in united India anyway, by means of conversions and a higher demographic growth. From the Islamic viewpoint, the history of Pakistan is not important because Pakistan is not important: it can only be a temporary tactic (and not even the best) on the way to the ultimate goal, viz. the Islamization of India. But in a confrontation with the infidels, anything un-Islamic becomes Islamic by being useful in the confrontation. Thus, suicide is strictly un-Islamic, but before silly secularist or Western commentators say that therefore suicide-bombing must be un-Islamic, let us realize that before an Islamic court, any would-be (or failed) suicide-bomber can successfully plead that in this case, his suicide was the way to inflict terror on the infidels, hence Islamically correct. Pakistan, therefore, is the fruit of a hybrid ideology, mainly consisting of Islam but adding un-Islamic elements from modern majority rule and nationalism because these were deemed necessary for the Indian Muslims in the then-prevailing circumstances. In particular, the attempt to streamline a country’s history in the service of the present state’s continued existence is not Islamic but nationalist; however, it is Islamic in so far as the state of Pakistan is a useful instrument in the Islamization of the whole of South Asia.

Indo-Gangetic PlainAs a real Pakistani patriot, Sufyan lists Harappan cities found in the four provinces of his country. Nothing against that, but we repeat that he could also have listed cities from Afghanistan, Gujarat, East Panjab and Haryana. Here is his main argument: “The South Asian subcontinent is principally divided into two major geographical regions; the Indus Valley and its westerly inclined tributaries, and the Ganges Valley with its easterly inclined tributaries. In his book, The Indus Saga and the Making of Pakistan, Aitzaz Ahsan identifies the geographical divide between these two regions as the GurdaspurKathiawar salient, a watershed which is south-westerly inclined down to the Arabian Sea. This watershed also depicted the dividing line between the peoples of Indus Valley Civilization and those of Gangetic plains and also corresponds almost exactly with the current day Pakistan-India border. Historically, only the Mauryas, Muslims and the British amalgamated these two regions as a unified state. For most of the remaining history, when one empire did not rule both the regions as a unified state, the Indus Valley Civilizational domain was always governed as one separate political entity.”

Gupta Empire 320-600 ADAs a historical claim, his thesis is largely untrue. For instance, the Gupta and Sikh empires clearly straddled this border, and one looks in vain for a historical kingdom coinciding with the Indus territory or with modern-day Pakistan. But the geological claim is of better quality. East Panjab and Kashmir constitute Indian parts of the Indus region (or is this a veiled Pakistani claim to these regions?), but further downstream, the border does roughly coincide with the watershed defining the Indus area. But is this watershed of political or civilizational relevance? The Aegean Sea separated Greece from Ionia, the Greek area of coastal Anatolia, yet the two areas were one in language and culture. Jinnah also didn’t base his Pakistan on this watershed: he would gladly have included the Nizam’s Hyderabad and did include East Bengal, part of the supposedly un-Pakistani Ganga plain.

Sufyan has the usual swearwords for the Indian archeologists, whom he accuses off-hand of “distorting” and “manipulating” their findings, and even of “forging” a straight line between Harappan and later Hindu civilization. He bases himself predictably on the Aryan invasion chronology, which puts the Vedic age after the Harappan age: “However, the later identification of emergence of Vedic Hindu cultural traditions between 1500 – 600 BC, discounted such linkages.” In reality, the low Western chronology of the Vedas is anything but proven.

Dancing girl from Mohenjo-daroHe is, however, right to identify the southern Pakistani province of Sindh with the Sumerian-attested name Meluhha. That this name is the origin of the word Mleccha indicates that its people were not embraced or held in high esteem in Vedic circles. And here we run into a phenomenon that Sufyan doesn’t realize yet, but that would certainly serve him well: the areas now constituting Pakistan and Afghanistan were considered inauspicious by the Vedic people. In his book The Rigveda and the Avesta (Delhi 2009), Shrikant Talageri describes how the Northwest was held in suspicion and taken to be the home of people who brought misfortune. In the Ramayana, exile and misery are visited upon Rama and Sita by the hand of Rama’s father’s second wife Kaikeyi, who hailed from the Northwest. In the Mahabharata, the war between the Pandava and Kaurava branches of the Bharata lineage is triggered by Pandu’s death, caused by his being enamored of Madri, again a wife of Northwestern provenance. Talageri testifies how his own Brahmin family fasted by refraining from consuming Gangetic rice, while Panjab-grown grain was not deemed real food and hence was permitted. This information would marvelously fit in with Sufyan’s project.

So, let us assume that the Vedic people did indeed frown upon the areas now constituting Pakistan. Unfortunately, the quarrel between the Vedic people and the Mlecchas or Dasas from the Northwest has nothing to do with the present state of Pakistan. Both parties were perhaps ethnically or culturally a bit different, but both were Pagans, unwelcome in today’s Pakistan. It is against the Pagans of Sindh Priest-King(formerly Meluhha) that Mohammed bin Qasim, revered as the ultimate founder of Pakistan, waged the first successful Jihad on South-Asian soil. Come 1947, it was the West-Panjabi Hindus and Sikhs, straight descendants of the Harappans, who were driven out of West Panjab to make way for the new state of Pakistan. This Islamic state usurps the territory of the Harappans but otherwise wants to have nothing to do with them.

The contrast between Harappa and Pakistan, or the fundamental Hinduness of the Harappans, is perhaps best illustrated with the three most famous artifacts from the Harappan civilization. The “priest-king” was probably a practitioner of the stellar cult suggested on many Harappan seals. The Quran emphatically forbids the Pagan worship of sun, moon and stars. At any rate, he was not a Muslim but a propagator of Paganism, the same kind against whom Mohammed made war. So, according to Islam, the state religion of Pakistan, the priest-king has been burning in hell for four thousand years. As for the “dancing-girl”, she exudes self-confidence and is stark naked. In today’s Pakistan, there would be no room for her. In fact, she would be stoned to death. Finally, the “Pashupati seal” may or may not depict Shiva as Lord of the Animals, but the character depicted would certainly feel more at home in a Hindu temple than in a mosque. A figure in a yoga posture clearly belongs in India more than in Pakistan. There is nothing Islamic and therefore nothing Pakistani about these three faces of the Indus civilization.

Shiva Pashupati of Mohenjo-daroMost Pakistanis are biological descendants of the Harappans, as are many Indians. So what? Is Khan Sufyan sneakingly revalorizing the un-Islamic notion of ancestry? The Pagan Arabs of Mohammed’s time were his own relatives, yet he chose to fight them. He located his own mother in hell because she was a Pagan. Similarly, the state religion of Pakistan situates the Harappans in hell, even though they are the ancestors of today’s Pakistanis. So, the state of Pakistan is estranged from its Harappan heritage, while the Hindus have a far more profound claim on the Sindhu-Saraswati civilization. However, every Pakistani can do something about this. Yes, he can turn Pakistan into the successor-state of Harappa. To do this, he must only do one thing: renounce Islam and reconvert to Harappan Paganism. Paki, come home!

» Dr. Koenraad Elst is an independent researcher in Belgium who earned laurels and ostracism with his findings on hot items like Islam, multiculturalism and the secular state, the roots of Indo-Europeans, the Ayodhya temple/mosque dispute and Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy. His email contact is koenraadelst@hotmail.com.



8 Responses

  1. Bamyan Buddha

    In the above article, Elst makes the point that Harappan Paganism would be unwelcome in Islamic Pakistan. However, he (and the Pakistani author) missed the elephant in the room. That is the doctrine of Jahiliya, whereby all pre-Islamic references, not to mention inspiration, are forbidden for the believers. This is the reason Saudi Arabia frowns on digging up its pre-Islamic past.


    This is also the reason that representatives of several Islamic nations and sundry ‘experts’ could not convince the Taliban to give up the idea of destroying the Buddhas of Bamiyan.


    You see, there’s always the danger that some fool might decide to worship the Buddha (cf. Pashupati cf. Cow)!

    In spite of their rather busy schedule, what with trigger-happy Americans strewing lethal hardware like confetti all over the place, the Taliban still found time to supervise the destruction of objects d’art in the Kabul museum.

    One of the notable early outcomes in Baghdad after ‘Enduring Freedom nee Infinite Justice’ was visited on Iraqis was, guess what, museum vandalization!


    “In the display area, angry mobs had shattered the cases and smashed 2,000-year-old statues.”

    What does a 2000-year old statue of one’s own country have to do with American adventurism or Saddam’s dictatorship? Why not sell that statue to the Americans instead, to adorn some ‘Holy Land’ gallery, and make some very easy money? I’m sure Archaeology magazine does not want to answer that question!

    Please see Ram Swarup’s perceptive review of Naipaul’s book that discusses this matter.



  2. Pakistan is india’s shadow and however it try hard it cant escape from that shadow


  3. The broad classification of Vedic literature tends to underline two different facets; Rig Veda based early Vedic literature and Atharva Veda, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishadas based later Vedic literature. However, it also reveals a protracted cultural growth which can be identified through use of Sanskrit, societal varna system, monotheistic and polytheistic rituals including yajnas, animal sacrifices and cremation of the dead etc.

    From the archeological evidence it becomes clearly evident that Vedic literature based cultural traditions are better identified with Post Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) cultural traditions. Let me highlight some of the more pronounced facts in this regard:

    • The formation of IVC’s cultural entities can be identified between 3300-1300 BC. Contrarily, the Historians identify formulation of Vedic traditions between 1500-600 BC.

    • The IVC’s culture was identified in the Indus Valley, Ghaggar-Hakra basin and in the Doab. These cultural moorings however do not find an extension into central and lower Gangese Valley in eastern and central Indian plains. Contrarily, the traditions abound in Vedic culture extends all over Pakistan and northern India.

    • The decline of IVC traditions started declining after 2000 BC and little of it was identified around 1300 BC. However, the Vedic traditions sustained its development even to the early historic era and shaped into a state-based urban civilization period.

    • The Vedic cultural tradition do gel with the chiefdom based rural Post-Indus cultures as they also use rice, horse and iron etc. However, it also displays a distinct difference with the IVC for it being an urban civilization, whereas the Vedic Hindu culture was pronounced for the absence of fortified cities, town planning and drainage, monumental art and architecture of burnt bricks, advanced specialization and sea trade, use of seals, weights, measures and script and the custom of burying the dead in cemeteries.

    • An attempt aimed at presenting a distorted version of history through identification of fire places as fire -altars, waste pits as sacrificial pits in Harappan era sites and the imaginary reading of Sanskrit legends on Indus seals is nothing but clear fabrication of historical and archeological evidence. Such falsehood was presented in the manner because the presenters believed that India lis a Hindu nation and has Hindu culture in continuity from Vedic Aryans and they themselves wanted to see it that way, which however is not supported by evidence.

    Based on the above clearly identifiable differences, I agree with Khan A. Sufyan that Pakistan is the scion of and holder of the cradle of Indus Valley Civilization and not India.


  4. Quite amusing, this Paki quest for their antiquity.With a bomb blast a day and drone attack a week, do they wish to turn away from Wahabism and return to their roots? or is it one more attempt to spite Hindus to their East?


  5. An incisive commentary on the Paki claims ! I admire the way Dr.Elst has developed his arguments. I would have loved to know Khan Sufyan’s response to this point-by-point rebuttals.


  6. Fine article by Dr. Elst, a combination of his remarkable polemical skills and knowledge of history. The comment on the close bond between the Ionian Greeks and the mainland Greeks is particularly significant. The Hindus of the Gangetic Valley and the Sindhu Valley are one.


  7. The link for Maulana Azad is for general reference only. The specific references to Azad in the article would have to be confirmed by Dr. Elst himself. You may contact him at (koenraadelst@hotmail.com).


  8. Thank you for the post. Largely well written. The take on Maulana Azad could not be confirmed by the link provided. Can that part be confirmed.

    Best wishes. Narinder


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: