In his latest outburst, the ANP leader Haji Adeel has uttered yet another pearl of wisdom saying that Pakistan does not need a large army. He belongs to a party which was founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, known as Baacha Khan, on the principles advocated by Hindu leader MK Gandhi. The political face of Gandhi in Pakistan is called ANP and is being led by Baacha Khan’s family. This party, originally NAP, was banned by ZA Bhutto for its anti-Pakistan credentials but it reemerges with a new name, ANP.
This demand for a smaller army should not come as a surprise for Pakistanis of today. The founding fathers of the party always preferred India over Pakistan. In fact, they have been Pakistan-haters from the very beginning. This demand resonates the desire of India which wants either to disintegrate or reduce Pakistan into another Nepal or Bhutan. The only stumbling block to becoming Pakistan India’s subjugated state is Pakistan’s army which is fighting India on all fronts, TTP and BLA included, which are India’s proxies in Pakistan. ANP wants a free hand for India to disintegrate Pakistan.
ANP, always aligned with Afghanistan government’s anti-Pakistan stance has been at the helm of NWFP for the last five years. The only achievement it can claim to its credit is renaming the province as per desire of Baacha Khan, and renaming state institutions and airport after its leaders. Baacha Khan always fought for a United India and when he could not prevent creation of an independent Pakistan, he started fighting for an independent homeland for Pakhtuns. The new name of the province, Pakhtunkhawah is in line with his political goals.
Why ANP does not need an army which it reckons as large is anybody’s guess. The India-centric army does not fit in the designs of ANP because of the party’s leaning towards India and because Baach Khan was one of the very few in today’s Pakistan to oppose establishment of the country. They were supported by India and Afghanistan. The latter is the only country in the comity of nations to oppose Pakistan’s admission to the UN. Their hatred against Pakistan is manifest in the fact that Baacha Khan refused to be buried in Pakistan. He was buried in Afghanistan.
According to official website on Mahatma Gandhi, Baacha Khan was “another Mahatma in the NWFP” inspired by Gandhi. A devout Muslim and committed ally of Gandhi, Ghaffar Khan worked in close collaboration with his inspirer for independence.
New York Times ran an obituary on his death in January, 1988. According to the paper, the causes he fought for from the early 1920’s until his last arrest by the Pakistan Government in 1976 were the independence of India, a unified India as homeland for both Hindu and Moslem, and Pakhtun autonomy in the Pakistan created when India gained independence in 1947. The only goal he attained was the first. The Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, stopped in Peshawar on his way to Sweden to pay tribute to the man who was known in India during the long struggle with the British as the ”frontier Gandhi,” and who was honored with India’s highest civilian award, the Jewel of India. India’s immediate declaration of a five-day period of mourning for him explains why his servants do not need an India-centric army.
Baacha Khan was one of the three close confidants of Mr. Gandhi, the other two being Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabhai Patel. All three formed Gandhi’s inner circle of advisers and leaders in the Congress Party.