Interaction with Prof (Dr) Istiaq Ahmed
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On 08 June 2023, the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) organised an interaction with Prof (Dr) Ishtiaq Ahmed from Stockholm University. Prof Ahmed is a Swedish political scientist of Pakistani origin and a renowned author of books like Jinnah: His Successes, Failures and Role in History; Pakistan: The Garrison State, Origins, Evolution, Consequences (1947-2011); and, The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned and Cleansed.

Dr Arvind Gupta, Director VIF, gave the introductory remarks, followed by a presentation by the speaker, Prof (Dr) Ishtiaq Ahmed. Dr Gupta welcomed Prof (Dr) Ishtiaq Ahmed, Lt Gen Ravi Sawhney (Retd), Shri CD Sahay, Amb Satish Chandra, Shri Rana Banerji, Dr Shalini Chawla, Shri Amit Cowshish, Amb TCA Rangachari, Dr Makkhan Lal, Amb Prabhat P Shukla, Prof Sujit Dutta, Brig Vinod Anand (Retd), Gp Capt Naval Jagota (Retd) and all the Young Scholars and Young Professionals.

Prof Ishtiaq Ahmed started by sharing his personal experience of his recent visit to Lahore. He said that Pakistan holds the view that the Quaid-e-Azam of Pakistan, Mahomed Ali Jinnah, was a secular man, and Mahatma Gandhi was the one who brought religion to politics. However, he believes that religion was already in politics. Gandhi Ji only brought forth the common humanity in all faiths to unite people.

While commenting on the current situation in Pakistan, Prof Ishtiaq Ahmed said that the ruling class and the elitist class in Pakistan do not benefit from the narrative they had built for 75 years. He observes that the economy is absolutely paralysed, and the politics is in complete turmoil. He further shares the view that the only party affected by the mess created by the ruling elite is the common man. The ordinary people of Pakistan are struggling socially and economically as they continue to hope for a revived Pakistan economy. He further said that the dissent within Pakistan would only increase with time. They might attempt to silence Imran Khan and other voices that rise with him, but the fall or a reform of the establishment is inevitable.

After a remarkable and thought-provoking Q&A session, Prof Ishtiaq Ahmed concluded with some final thoughts. He remarked that Hinduism is not a converting religion. Hence the idea of Pakistan in itself is a sham, as Hinduism could have never ended Islam in the Indian subcontinent for years to come. He emphasised that Pakistan did not care about Islam or the protection of Muslims from prosecution. The idea of Pakistan was built on Hindu hatred, which quietly adopted a nihilist way of functioning, a vicious spiral into its own destruction.

Event Date 
June 8, 2023

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