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Cultural and Intellectual Trends in Pakistan Author(s): Aziz Ahmad Reviewed work(s): Source: Middle East Journal, Vol.

19, No. 1 (Winter, 1965), pp. 35-44 Published by: Middle East Institute Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4323813 . Accessed: 29/11/2011 05:52
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Aziz Ahmad

T HEN Pakistancame into existencein 1947, it had achievedonly

a politicalnationhood.Culturally was not yet a nation. It had it inherited components a common the of culture regionalformulain tions, but these had yet to be welded together. Apart from the problemsof interfusion into a "unity-in-diversity" was the cultural there of counterpart the politicalproblemof cuttingadrift from the Hindu culturalresidueof India in orderto isolate and establishthe new nation'sculturalidentity. The Problemsof Cultural Heritage Therewas also the complexquestionof claimingsuccession the heritage to of Islamicculturein India. The officialorientation this point was inhibited on and cautiouslymodifiedby two considerations.Obliged to accept the geographicalPakistanas a politicalentity,it tendedto emphasize almostselfits sufficient culturalunity, and in doing so it had to overlookthe heritageof the Indo-Muslim culturespatiallysituatedoutside the frontiersof Pakistan. it Conversely had to emphasize archaeological otherheritage,Muslim the and or non-Muslim,situated geographically Pakistanas well as literatures in written throughoutthe centuriesin languagesof the regionsthat now constitutedthe new country.GreatUrdu poets of Delhi like Mir or Ghalibhad to be neglected,while the regionalpoets 'Alaol or WarithShahor Shah'Abd al-Latifhad to be emphasized.Taj Mahallwent unnoticed poorerspeciand mens of Muslim architecture like Jahangir'stomb had to be given more publicity. Most baffling was the problemof balanced emphasis "cultural and parity" betweenEast and West Pakistan. The almost equal distribution cultural of emphasiswas partlya sop to the sensitiveness the East Pakistani of intellectual, and partlya genuineeffortat culturalinterpenetration. in termsof Yet, objectivevalue-creation determination standards resultedin curious or of this
* This paper was preparedfor and read at the Conferenceon PakistanSince 1958, held at the Institute of Islamic Studies of McGill University,Montreal,on June 17-19, 1964. 9 Aziz AHMAD was Director of Films and Publicationsfor the Governmentof Pakistanand is now Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Toronto. Among his works is the recent Studies in Islamic Culturein the Indian Environment(ClarendonPress, Oxford).




the situations.Nazrullslg.m, greatrevolutionary Bengalipoet, thoughmentally ill and residentby choice in IndianWest Bengal had to be equatedinstitutionally with the much greaterpoet philosopherSir Muhammad Iqbal, the of creation.Zainul'Abidin,a promising theoretician Pakistan's Bengalireprewith the sentational painterreceivedparityof officialattentionand patronage 'Abd al-Rahman incomparable Chaghta'i. and This steadybalancebetweenthe two regionsof Pakistan theircultural was show-pieces partlytranscended a sense of fulfillmentin the messianic by as of glorification Iqbal by non-official well as officialagencies. IqbalAcadewith Government at Lahoreand Karachi.Pakistan's aid mies were established his of embassiesabroadintroduced thought to the intellectuals other lands of and cultures. By far the most tangiblecontribution the officialpreoccupaand in some cases financialaid, tion with Iqbal was the encouragement, of provided for the translations his works in Western as well as Islamic calibre.' languagesby scholarsof outstanding in Classicalscholarship the universitiesand creativeimpulses in belles lettres sometimescut acrossthe officialslants,motivatedpurelyby scholarly intellectual attitudes or objectivity creative nostalgia.Therewere also dissident in crystallized the writingsof certainrefugeewriterslike Qur'atal-AinHaidar whose romanticimaginationis heavily tinged with the imageryand ritual of Hindu cultureand religion. Among dissidents might count the more one parochialof regionalwritersin Bengali,Punjabi,Pasht6and Sindhi;and at and the otherextremeMarxists theirsympathizers AhmadRahior Ahmad like betweenpartyline anduncompromising Nadim Qasimi,vacillating humanism. Media of Intellectual Expression The norms of historiographical orientationwere establishedby Shaikh Muhammad and by MahmiidHusain and Ikram,2 IshtiyaqIlusain Qureshi3 his school of the historiansof the "Freedom Movement." They presented, 4 with variationsof emphasisand variedtreatment detail, MuslimIndia as of a separatehistoricalentity, and as the field for a new historiographical ap1. Translationsof Iqbal, inspired or partly subsidized by the official agencies of Pakistan include A. Bausani,II Poema Celeste, Rome, 1952; idem, Poesie, Rome, 1956; A. J. Arberry,The Mysteries of Selflessness,London, 1953; Eva Meyerovitch,Reconstruirela pensee religieuse de l'Islam, Paris, 1955; idem, La livre d'eternite', Paris, 1960; idem et M. Achena,Messagede l'Orient, Paris, 1956; Ali Nihad Tarlan, Esrarve Rumuz,Istanbul, 1958; 'AbbasMa1hmud, Tajdid al-tafkir al-din fi'lIsldm,Cairo, 1955, etc. 2. S. M. Ikram,Ab-i Kawthar,Karachi,etc. 1958; idem, Rfld-iKawthar,Lahore, 1958; idem, Mawj-i Kawthar,Lahore, 1958; idem and P. Spear (eds.), CulturalHeritage of Pakistan,Karachi,

3. I. H. Qureshi, The Muslim Communityof the Indo-PakistanSubcontinent(610-1947), 's Gravenhage, 1962. 4. MahmudHusain (ed.), A Historyof the Freedom Movement, Karachi,1957.



proachinvolving the creationof a new historicaldiscipline. Broadlines of the new historical reconstruction emergein Ikrim's"Kawthar" trilogy,with its shift of emphasis the religiousand culturalhistoryof the Muslimsin India, to with exclusive its revoltagainstthe Britishhistorians' preoccupation the purely of of political structure Indo-Muslim history,and its primafacie acceptance hagiologicalsourcematerialas invariably authentic. This trend was earlier developed into a categoricaltheory rejectingthe establishedreliabilityof historian Muslimchronicles the apologetics the EastPakistani in of Habibullah ' it was evolvedinto a in favor of hagiologicaland literarysourcematerial; fascinatingdiscipline of modernisthagiographical researchby the Indian historianKhaliq Ahmad Nizdmi.6 Ikram'sown historicaldeductionsoften to sufferdue to his emotionalcommitments an establishmentarian interpretation of history,to the grafting of what-should-have-been what-has-been, into in short a "Whig"conceptof history. But in marshalling historical material from hitherto neglected sources,in polemical analysis,and in the general organization his materialhe occupiesa uniqueposition. of The more disciplined Westernizedhistoriography Ishtiyaq HIusain of Qureshiand Mahmud Husain,thoughequallypartisan, avoidssomeof Ikram's errors. methodological The historicalview which emergesin these writingsis the quest for the ideological source of Pakistan,i.e. Muslim separatismin the Indian suband continent; IndianIslam'seffortsthroughout centuries its co-existence the of with Hinduism to preserveits own identity, to resist the assimilativeand annihilating pull of Hinduism.7This involveda historiographical treatment of and a distribution emphasisdivergentfrom that of the Britishhistorians, tracingthe history of the self-preservation Indian Islam throughShaikh of Ahmad Sirhindi,Aurangzeb, Shah Wali-Allh, the Mujahidin(the so-called 'Wahhdbis'),SayyidAhmad Khan and the 'AligarhMovement,Iqbal and finally Jinnahand the Muslim League. Details of this pictureare filled in with consummate scholarship such scholarsas GhulamRasiilMihr,author by of a monumental historyof the MujThidin; by a large group of welland trainedacademic like historians Rahim,Chaghtal Wasti usingthe Western and of methodology documentation. This view of Indo-Muslimhistory endorses from the opposite angle fiercethesisof absolute cultural politicaldualityand antipathy Majumdar's and
5. A B. M. Habib-Ullah, "Re-evaluation the LiterarySources of pre-MughalHistory." of
Islamic Culture, XV (1941), pp. 206-16.

6. Khaliq Ahmad Nizimi, Some Aspects of Religion and Politics in India during the Thirteenth Century, Aligarh, 1961; idem, Studies in Medieval Indian History, Aligarh, 1956; idem, "Cishtiyya"in Encyclopediaof Islam, 2nd. ed., Vol. II, pp. 50-56; idem, Hayat-i Shaikh 'Abdul Haqq MuhaddithDihlawi, Delhi, 1953; idem, Tdrikh-iMashd'ikh-iChisht, Delhi, 1953 and severalotherworks in Urdu and English. 7. A. L. Basham,The Indian Sub-Continent Historical Perspective,London, 1958, passim. in



the betweenMuslimand Hinducultures.8It rejectsby implication diffusionist who see Indiancultureas a comthesis of Tara Chand or 'Abid Husain"0 9 posite growthand as an "experience inter-religional." In historiography there has been thereforea development and a growth, howevercontroversial might appearfrom otherpointsof view. In literature it there has been, on the other hand, a frustration and a trend towardsdisintegration.In 1947 the "Progressive Movement" by far the mostdynamic was and the most influential Urduliterature."The movement at the center in had a hard core of communistintellectualsand aroundthem a large group of youngwritersinterested in generallyand ratheremotionally socialjusticeand in depictingthe contrasts betweenthe extremes affluence poverty. The of and contentand technique theirworkvariedaccording theirindividual of to talents from incisive realismto affectedsentimentality.During the allianceof the Communist Partyof Indiawith the BritishIndianGovernment between1942 and 1946, the "Progressive" writers had gained considerable prestige and respectability; as duringthese veryyearsthe Communist and Partyhad made effortsto come to termswith the MuslimLeague, sustainedthoughunilateral to infiltrate into Muslimpoliticsand to give a Marxist-oriented to support the movementfor Pakistan,'2 Progressive the Movementhad succeeded enlistin ing a numberof Muslimwriters. The first majorcrisis came when, on the eve of Partition,the Communist Partyof India swungover to a strongantiPakistanstand. The majorrift in the ranksof the Muslimnumbers the of Progressive Movementoccurredin the literaryreflections the communal of riots that followed the Partitionof the sub-continent. Someof them decided to depict them realistically, concentrating subjectively their impactupon on uprooted Muslim masses and on the tortureand sufferingthey had gone through. Others, like Sa'adatHasan Manto, one of the most distinguished short story writersin Urdu, and most of the writerswho chose to stay in India adheredto a generalizedtheoreticaltreatmentof the riots, carefully the maintaining balanceof blame on Hindus and Muslimsin the sameproportion,or doing what was the easiestway out, throwingthe blame on the departingBritishimperialists.In the movementan ideologicalrift had also developedon the questionof politicaland culturalloyalties. Hard core Progressivesof Pakistanralliedaroundwhat was in the late 1940'sthe Saweri 13
8. R. C. Majumdar(ed.), The History and Culture of the Indian People: V, The Struggle for Empire,Bombay,1957; VI, The Delhi Sultanate,Bombay,1960, passim;idem, "Hindureaction to MuslimInvasions," PotdarCommemoration Volume, Poona, 1950. 9. Tara Chand, Influence of Islam on Indian Culture,Allahabad,1936. 10. 'Abid Husain,Indian Culture,Bombay,1963. 11. For its history see, Aziz Ahmad, TaraqqiPasandAdab, Delhi, 1945; 'Ali SardarJa'fari, TaraqqlPasandAdab, Aligarh, 1957. 12. Apart from the files of People's War/People's Age, Bombay,1942-1946 see P. S. Joshi, They Must Meet Again, Bombay, 1945; for the volte face in the CommunistParty'sattitude, R. Palme Dutt, "Pakistan Movementand the Communist Partyof India,"in LabourMonthly,London, April 1946. 13. A "Progressive" literaryperiodicalpublishedfrom Lahore.



group in Lahore;but their rankscontinuedto diminish. Someof themwere absorbed into Government serviceand were thus "neutralized." 1951 the In was a Progressive Writers'Association declared politicalpartyby the Ministry of Interior. The more intransigent amongthe Progressives suffered imprisonmenton politicalcharges,and were to someextentmoderated theirrelease. on The most outstanding case was that of Faiz AhmadFaiz,the most eminentof the Progressive poets, who was involvedin the Rawalpindi Case Conspiracy a of 1950andsuffered long imprisonment, whichhe developed unique a during techniqueof double entendrein his fascinating verseswhich telescopedlove and politics in a distinguishable eluding all censorship.In duality-in-unity, 1962 he was awardedthe Lenin Prize. It might be mentionedthat, on the questionof Kashmir,most PakistaniProgressives consistently supportedthe of thesis of the principleof self-determination the people of Kashmir, view a to contrary the officialCommunist Partyline and the declared policiesof the SovietUnion on the subject. The dissidents from the ProgressiveMovementwere led in 1947 by who in his disillusionment the official Muhammad Hasan'Askari, with cultural policiesturnedto art for art'ssake. He won over Mantoto his views to some influenceover a group of youngerwriters extent, and exercisedconsiderable who called themselves"Na'i Nasl" (New Generation)and wrote verses of subduedsensitivityor fiction about IndianMuslimlife before the Partition with colloquialnostalgia,or some aggressive criticism. literary in and Someindividualists Lahore, Karachi, Daccarefusedto be associated and with any movement, had frequentget-togethers underthe auspicesof the writersof the cul-de-sac Zawq. Therewere also distinguished Ijalqa-iArbab-i who had made dramatic like Ahmad'All, brilliantintellectuals debutsa long of timeago as enfantsterribles literature, had sincesuccumbed successful but to careersand in some cases turnedfrom purposefulcreativeurge to virtuosity, from Urdu to Englishand vice versa.14 turningin theiranguishfor expression The politicalpoem in Urdu,whichhad a powerfultradition from Hali to Iqbal, retainedsome of its greatnessin the verses of Josh and Faiz, but in general it was polarizedinto either the flat and unconvincing patrioticepic and poets of the officialperiodicalMAlh-i of Hafiz Jallundari Naw, or the satireof MajidLahorland SayyidMuhammad bitingpolitical Ja'farldirected respectively against self-seekingpoliticiansor at the psychological smugness of the Pakistani elite in controlof the country's politicaland economic destiny. for Islamicbelleslettresset in immediately A ratherlow-brow vogue after in novelsof Ra'isAhmadJa'farland Nasim Hijdzi, the Partition the historical could hardlyqualifyas literature.Religiousconvicwhich thoughbest-sellers to tion or commitment religiousvaluesin Pakistan seemsto have failed in the literature. creative of direction producing
14. Ahmad S. Bokhari, "The Urdu Writer of Our Times" in Crescentand Green, London,
1955, pp. 113-19.



Movementsin MuslimBengali literaturesince 1947 were broadlyanalogous to thosein Urduexceptthat,unlikethe urbanUrdu,Bengaliliterature has remained close to the soil. Its Progressive the group conserved revolutionary heritageof Nazrul Islam among some of its short storywritersand left its markon the inspired ruralversesof Jasimuddin. groupof urbanintellectuals A represented Shahidullah, Ahsanand 'All Ashrafis comparatively by 'Ali close to the West. Pro-establishment Bengaliwriterslike the poet GhulamMustafa and MizTn al-Rahman into unpopularity were branded the provinciran and by alists as government stooges, a chargewhich is as much a stigma in East as in West Pakistan. Trends in other regionalliteratures, Pasht5, Sindhi and PunjTbi remain to some extent ambivalentbetween the twin objectivesof preservingtheir individualliterary linguisticidentity,and its interfusion and into the emerging pattern of a compositeWest Pakistaniculture with Urdu as its principal mediumof expression.Government-aided Academiesfor the study and advancementof regionalliteratureshave been set up for Pashto and Sindhi; and this imaginative has madethe taskof accepting step Urdu as the common of literarydenominator culturalinter-communication West Pakistanmuch in easier. A Bengali Academyhas also been set up in East Pakistan,where Bengali is studiedand promotedquite independently any association of with Urdu,as one of the two nationallanguagesof Pakistan. Effortshave been made to re-emphasize literaryheritageof Persian the in the languagesof Pakistan.'5 like Individuals S. M. Ikr6m,'6 institutions and like the OrientalCollege at Lahorehave conducted this effortat a scholarly level. And yet it has not been possible for the academicians Pakistanto of catch up with the high academicdisciplineof Persianstudiesin India or to produce learnedjournal the stature Indo-Iranica. a of of Patternfor a determinant to approach the archaeological heritageof the Pakistan set bySirMortimer was geographical Wheelerin the later1940'swhen he was Archaeological Adviserto the Government Pakistan.'7 accepting of In monuments nationalheritage there is a significant as Pakistan's pre-Islamic emphasison their non-Hinducharacter.MohenjoDaro, for instance,is accepted as a pre-Vedic,non-Aryanand thereforean essentiallynon-Hindu heritage destroyedby Aryan hordes.'8 Trendsof culturalorientation could perhaps illustrated the followingquotation: be by
in West Pakistan. . . corresponds extent,more or less, to the regionwhere
the prehistoric civilization of Mohenjo Daro thrived.
. .

. In historical times the

15. Pakistanki 'Illqd zabanonpar Farsi ka athar, Karachi, 1953. 16. S. M. Ikram,Armaghain-i Lahore,1950. Pak, 17. R. E. M. Wheeler, Five Thousand Yearsof Pakistan,London, 1950. 18. Ibid. pp. 31-32 et seq; cf. S. Pigott, PrehistoricIndia, Harmondsworth, 1950, passim for the oppositeviewpoint.



well into this region, and broughtin its empireof the Achaemenids stretched wakethe Hellenizing influence Alexander's of conquest.Herethe artof Gandhara in synthesized a rare combination serenityof the Buddhistfaith with the the representational beautyof Greeksculpture.Only once in historywas the region which is to-dayWest Pakistan part of a Hindu Empire-that of the Mauryas a which,however, the thirdgeneration in turnedBuddhist underthe zealousleadershipof the greatAsoka..... With the adventof Islam, South-west Pakistan soon becamea Province a of MuslimEmpire that stretched fromthe Industo the middlereaches the Rhone. of Thiswasfolloweda coupleof centuries bythe conquest North-west later Pakistan of by MuslimTurkswho built new empiresacrossNorthem India and conquered the Eastern marches which today constitute East Bengal. EastBengal. . . throughout history, resisted hegemony HinduIndia. It the of became a stronghold Buddhism, of Islam.19 first of then There is generally a frustratedsilence, a suppressednostalgia for the great monuments of Muslim architecture on the soil of the Republic of India. Whatever remains of this great architecturalheritage are situated on the right side of the frontier, are repeatedly emphasized to associate the price of the "lost" heritage with the pragmatic glorification of the available and the accessible. A living tradition of architecturehas yet to develop in Pakistan, mainly because of the paucity of public funds. Not a single architecturallyoutstanding landmark, a mosque or a mausoleum or a public building has been built in Karachi or elsewhere. Whatever public construction there has been, is simple and utilitarian. Something like a new school of Pakistani architecture might yet emerge during the constructionof the new capital, Islamabad,which is planned as a crucibleof internationalstyles. The traditional inhibitions of Muslim orthodoxy in relation to the art of painting has been long supersededin the sub-continentby the rich heritage of Mughal art, and in more recent times by the Westernized lelite'sadmiration for Europeanpainting. Sculpture has had no such tradition of liberal acceptance. In so far as painting is concernedthere is generally no resentmentagainst it, except possibly a not too local one among the fundamentalistsor the traditionalists, who however draw a line strongly to exclude and denounce the nude as obscene. In 1947 Pakistan inherited at least one remarkably talented artist, 'Abd al-Rahman Chaghtd'i, who softened and stylized the Safavid-Mughalheritage into a lyrical delicacy of line and sensitiveness of color. More than that, however anemic in expression, his style offered at this juncture the chance of

19. Crescentand Green, A Miscellanyof Writing on Pakistan,London, 1955, Foreword,v-vi.



an aesthetic an historical and with the Muslimart of the past. This continuity offer and this chancewas unequivocally rejectedby the youngergeneration of Pakistaniartistsas revivalistic and anachronistic, who turnedto the vast range of modernWesternstyles for inspiration.One has to admitthat most of Pakistani paintingis rathera mixedand a mediocre from medley,suffering a povertyalike of tradition and spontaneous local inspiration.Unlikemodern Indianpaintingit has no ancientmythopoetic iconographic In or anchorsheet. modern Pakistani painting occidental-primitivist inspirationsremain unharmonized with generalpatternsof historicalheritagewhich still permeate the country's sociallife. SomeEastPakistani artists,especially Zain al-'Abidin, certainly show signs of distinction, mainlydue to theirpassionate closenessto the soil. The Westernized6lite of Pakistan,however,takes its modernart seriously. A very active Art Councilhas been functioningfor some years with its branches in several cities. It brings out a quarterlyjournal, Arts Contemporary in Pakistan. The problemof the theaterin Pakistanis essentiallythe problemof the lack of intellectual communication betweenits Westernized creativeelite and its semi-literate illiterate masses, divided by a wide and unbridgeable or economic,social and culturalgulf. Respectable womencan hardlyappearon the public stage and face the lewd jeers, even the risk of being lynchedor assaultedby a sex-starved urbanmob used to strict segregation the sexes. of The actualfrequency homosexuality a segregated of in societymakesit difficult for boysto play women'sroles, as they did in Shakespearean Englandor even underthe rigidlyenforcedPax Britannicain India duringthe first decadesof this century. Since there is no public stage and there is no prospectof its emergencein the foreseeablefuture, there is hardly any dramaworth the namein the Pakistani languages.And yet theateris one of the preoccupations of the Art Councilof Pakistan.It is developingvery slowly as a privateart form, in which the elite performsin front of audiences cosmopolitan of elite, in Englishmoreoftenthanin Urduor Bengali. Two-wayimmigrations followedthe Partition the sub-continent, that of hit hard the Muslimelementof India'sflourishing film industry.Some talented Muslim personnel,directors,actors and scenario-writers migratedto Lahore from Bombayin quest of opportunities; the film industryin Pakistan but remainedqualitatively a mediocrelevel due to a multiplicityof causes. at Unlike Bombay, where the film industry was financedby the stock exchange or speculator the black-market therewereno corresponding racketeer, financial resources availablefor large investments. Until the middleof the 1950'sthere was also a general lack of technicalfacilities due to obstructions resulting from the Government's importand censorship policies. By far the most crippling factor for the Pakistanifilm as a popular art has been the general of atmosphere culturalinhibition,a lack of tolerancefor social criticism,a



rejection starkrealismand of otherelements frankness free expression of of or whichcontribute makea filmgreator powerful. to TrendsSince1958 It is difficultto pin down any specifictrends in the intellectuallife of Pakistan particular the periodwhichbeginswith the militaryrevolution as to of 1958. Cultural artisticmovements hardlybe measured termsof in and can quinquennia.Two distinctdevelopments can, however,be classifiedas landmarksof this period. The firstof thesewas the organization systemization and of officialpatronage. The Dominion and the "FirstRepublic"of Pakistan (1947-1958) had employedwriters to purchasetheir talent or to control theirpen or to silencethemwithoutacknowledging theirnationalstatus,without regardfor free intellectual creation a matterof nationalpridein its own as right. The militaryregime confirmedthe position of the intellectualas a nationalasset in his own right. It conferred titles upon distinguished writers, guarded greatscholars Mawlawl'Abdal-Haqqagainstirritating like intrigues, and encouraged nouveaurichemillionairesto instituteprizes for literary the or scholarly performances. The seconddevelopment the formation the Pakistan was of Writer'sGuild, a tradeunionof authors themand theirdependents providing with somesocial securitywhich the pooreramong them had hithertolacked. In general the militaryr6egime, though strictwith the press, was benevolentto the creative writer. Conclusion The creativewriterhas, however,forgottenthe art of writingwith agressive independence.The presentsituationof uncreative drift in the literature and art of Pakistan largelya reflection the generalinertia. This situation is of andthisdriftcanbe traced a number causes. to of To begin with, Pakistani literature, like the Indiansince 1947, shows the familiarsigns of a disintegration momentum of which follows a successful revolution. Then there have been other and externalfactors. Security measfor ures,necessary a stateand a nationstill involvedin the throesof becoming, inhibitedthe growthof sociological economic and analysisin fiction. Government's sensitivenessto adversecriticismstilled or drove underground such healthy satire as that of SayyidMuhammad Ja'fari. Ranks of the writers themselveshave been torn by internecine personaland clique rivalries,suppressing objective standards criticism.Academic of disciplines havemadesome valuablecontributions research, in literarycriticismthey have hardly in but risenabovethe standards by popularliterary set journalese.Pressures reliof



gious opinion are more conservative more intolerantin Pakistanthan in and most Muslimcountries.Fundamentalists Mawdiidi's of JamWat-i Islami have infiltratedin the Government's censorshipmachineryat lower levels with disastrous consequences.Editorsof well-knownand oft-published18th century romances like Tilism-iHzishruha have been threatened with persecution on charges obscenity.Amongthe bannedbooksare suchclassicsof Western of orientalismas BernardLewis' Arabs in History,and irony of ironies,A. J. which is perhapsthe most beautifuland The Koran Interpreted Arberry's of convincingtranslation the Muslimscripture made so far in any language. All this is hardlyconducive independent fearlessreligiousand historical to or thinking by Pakistanischolarsin Pakistan. The military regime, and the have restoredto the Pakistanintellectualhis self-respect; "SecondRepublic" let us hope they would restorehim his fearlessfreedomof expression.