July 16, 2010

Guru Gobind Singh jiThree hundred years ago, Guru Gobind Singh, the Tenth Guru of the Sikhs, predicted in his work titled “Sou Sakhi” – one hundred predictions – that an ‘impure-country’ would be created from the western region of India. Then that a great war would rage, and ‘the-impure’ would be finished. Could this prediction be manifested in the creation of Pakistan and the long war in Afghanistan and the adjoining regions? Only time will tell.

For thousands of years, the Khyber Pass has been stained with blood. And the nation of Pakistan, where the Khyber lies, has also been soaked in blood from its start just sixty-three years ago. It has been the site of massacres, ethnic cleansing and the largest migration of humanity in history. Pakistan was conceived as a Muslim nation, though its founding father, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, – a Gujarati trader convert from Hindu stock – did not practice Islam: Jinnah ate pork; smoked a cigar; loved his drink and scoffed at the idea of Muslim prayers and fasts. Even though Pakistan means “The Land of the Pure” its founding, like its founder, was impure right from the start.

map of PakistanBecause Pakistan is strategically wedged between India, China and Afghanistan, its territory has always been sought after by world leaders, from Alexander the Great to Barack Obama. When India became independent of the British in 1947, its leaders did not want any British military bases left behind. But Mohammad Ali Jinnah willingly conceded bases to the British in Pakistan, giving the Western powers a foothold in South and Central Asia.

Then, in 1979, the Russians invaded Afghanistan as part of their Cold War strategy. Just across the  Khyber Pass from Pakistan, the Afghans received American military aid to fight the Russians. The native Afghans, the Pashtuns of the Khyber Pass area, used those very weapons against the Americans after September 11, 2001. Today, Americans are back in Afghanistan with Pakistan as its partner in the war against terrorism. Yet Pakistan supports the Taliban, which has frustrated NATO force’s attempt to bring local control and political order to the area. Now the Americans are considering banning the ‘insurgent group’ known as ‘Haqqani network’ of Sirajuddin Haqqani who is supported by the Pakistani spy agency ISI.

map of pakistand and regional map

Pakistan contains many ethnic minorities, including the Sindhs, the Punjabis, the Balochis and the Pathan. Virtually every one of its borders, drawn arbitrarily in the last gasps of the British Empire, is disputed with its neighbors, not least Pakistan’s bitter rival India.

Map of current borders of Pakistan and map of proposed revisions to borders of Pakistan

Ralph Peters has suggested that adjusting the borders of Pakistan might ease tension in the area.

Ideas for moving the borders of Pakistan to ally ethnic tensions and violence include creating an independent country for the Balochis west of Karachi and merging with it the Balochi speaking territory of Sistan province from Iran. In lieu of Sistan province, move the Iranian border east to include Herat province of Afghanistan. The Pashtun tribes would be brought under a single national flag by returning the Pashtun area in the west, including the Khyber Pass, to Afghanistan, in lieu of Herat province.

Once ethnic groups are settled together, there may be fewer border disputes. With Pakistan reduced to the areas of Punjab and Sind provinces, there might also be greater interior harmony, restoring Pakistan to the original vision, “the Land of the Pure.”


  1. Hi my friend! I wish to say that this article is amazing, nice written and come with approximately all significant infos.
    I’d like to peer extra posts like this .

    • tejwantsingh Says:

      Hello Friend,
      Thank you for the encouragement.
      Will follow with more, on social issues as well as others, besides trying to drive some sense into those who are bigoted -to whichever faith they may belong.
      Warm regards,
      Tejwant Singh

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