Thursday, 14 April 2016

Jallianwala Massacre: Note from Dr Mahmud Awan


Today is the 97th Anniversary of the Jallianwala Massacre that the Colonial British carried out in Amritsar on April 13, 1919. It was a turning point in the history of the sub continent that defined the nature of revolt and cooperation with the West for a century to follow. It took almost three decades to force the exit of the British after this massacre but it changed people's psyche for ever. The British left behind their loyalists to rule the partitioned India who became the exploiters of the masses worse than the British ever tried. Amritsari, Jullundhari, and Gurdaspuri migrants to Lahore became the new masters of Punjab and the rest of Pakistan. They took control of the Army within a few years of the death of the founders and they started the new culture of settlement, entitlement, and grabbing of evacuee properties right away. Ayub and his Corps Commanders were not known as financially corrupt but they accepted favors and bribes from migrant businessmen like Mian Sharif and granted them properties and other entitlements that enabled them to get rich at the expense of the State. Thus started the rise of a few Punjabi merchant families that took both the industrial and political power in Pakistan, later to be lamented by Mahbub ul Haq as the 22 ruling families. Britain has been the safe haven for these families since the very beginning. It is no wonder that the disgraced Prime Minister of Pakistan owns more properties in Britain than in Pakistan. The only difference is that all of his property acquisition in Pakistan was facilitated by the State whereas those in Britain he bought with the looted and laundered money from Pakistan. Mossack Fonseca arranged for him to hide his tax evasion for decades but he along with PM Cameron are now fully exposed. Cameron can make his apology tour to Jallianwala Massacre site but nobody takes him seriously any more. And why should Nawaz Sharif be spared?
Dr. Mahmud Awan 4/13/16

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