THE MURDER OF HISTORY IN PAKISTAN & THE MINCING OF HISTORY IN PAKISTAN

This picture above, of the cover of a well known book, speaks for itself. One of Pakistan’s premier historians, the late Dr. K.K. Aziz laments herein about the utter lack of real historiography in Pakistan — and the disgraceful and distorted decrepitude of what passes for the official narrative. I will not comment further, and leave it to the interested reader to procure the book for himself and read it.

THE PROBLEMS OF UNOFFICIAL LOCAL HISTORIOGRAPHY

On the other hand, the Gujjar community of Pakistan must be credited for publishing an extensive narrative of its own history which is perhaps the only real historiography in existence here— even if its claims are outrageously wild and dubious and pseudo-historic tales.

A Gujjar friend of mine has recently sent me this set of valuable books (pictured below) about the history of his community. The Gujjars are a very powerful and organized caste of the Subcontinent, even if they are not otherwise very well regarded. They are also found in Afghanistan, and have an intimate connection with Pashtuns-Afghans (many who claim to be Pashtuns are in fact Gujjars). A plus point in their favour is that they extensively promote and publish their ethnic history. In fact, they may be the only agency in Pakistan which actively promotes a form of genuine yet “vernacular” historiography — which is based on real ethnic pretensions rather than the Pakistan Studies balderdash that passes as officially sanctioned “history” in Pakistan. This spirit and effort are commendable, even if their narrative is not entirely accurate of contextual. The Gujjar narrative is a vulgar hodge-podge fused from pieces taken from standard Indo-European history, local lore and Abrahamic (Islamic) myth (such as that of Noah and his sons, and from which of them who is descended). In this case, what matters most it is not its quality but its extensive propagation. However, the undesired effect in this case is, that in the absence of an official, objective, comprehensive, formally vetted and mainstream international narrative — such “private” narratives of certain lobbies tend to compensate for the lack, with all their distortions. One major flaw is that the Gujjars tend to approximate the entire Indo-European annals and put the stamp of their own community on it — as if it all led to them directly. Whereas that is true in many indirect ways, it is also patently untrue in the sense that they imply it. The same affliction also underlines the current “Pashtun nationalist” Afghani narrative: they claim a 5000 year “Pashtun” history on the basis of various bits and pieces they have picked up from mainstream Indo-European research. But if asked about what country these ancient Pashtuns inhabited or who their chiefs were 5000 years back — they will be unable to answer, and draw a blank stare. Instead they will try to divert the topic by resorting to abusiveness and quarrels. While the Indo-European connection to the Pashtuns is basically correct, in more ways than one — their distorted assertions are grossly inaccurate and betray a childish comprehension of facts: because Pashtuns are not the only Indo-Europeans around, even in this area. They have even started identifying figures like Ghori and Ghaznavi as Pashtuns. In the same manner, Gujjars are certainly not entirely or totally Indo-European — but are composed of Indus Valley Adivasis and other aboriginal non-Indo-European races. (Most Pakistanis do not even know what the term “Indo-European” implies — let alone being able to nuance the deep ramifications of the subject).

Scholar, Historian, Ethnologist, Philosopher, Activist.