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Iskander Mirza's letter to Nazimuddin

GG Iskander MirzaThe movement against the Ahmedies (considered to be a heretic sect) reached a full swing in the early 1950's. Mirza Zafrullah Khan, one of the finest Pakistani diplomats but also an Ahmedi, was a common target of angry rhetoric, and the Government was severly criticized for not persecuting the heretics. This "top secret" letter was written by the Secretary of Defense Iskander Mirza (later President) to the Prime Minister Nazimuddin a little before the army action became necessary.

Top Secret; Personal

Ministry of Defence
26th February 1953

My Dear Prime Minister,

After considerable heart-searching, I have come to the conclusion that it is my duty to give you my views for what they are worth, on the present condition of the country and the rapidly deteriorating situation.

1. The problems created by your personal enemies including the Mullahs, if not dealt with firmly and now, will destroy the administration and the country. Lately I have been sending my own intelligence men to meetings, etc. in Karachi - the abuses hurled on you and the government are of such a violent and offensive nature that the prestige of the Government in Karachi to-day is at its lowest ebb. What the feeling is in the capital to-day will be the feeling in the whole country tomorrow. Such a thing as loyalty and teamwork does not exist in your Government, both in the Centre and in the Provinces. By want of action and Government directive, encouragement is being given to all disloyal elements and selfish and dishonest careerists.

2. Though I am not a very religious man, I have the greatest respect for your religious beliefs and realize your hesitation and dislike for vigorous action against those persons who are working against you in the garb of religion. But is it religious to destroy the very foundation of the administration of the premier Muslim state? In Cairo, Sir Zafrullah Khan is being received with the utmost honour and respect. He is also meeting the heads of all the Arab countries where he has a very high reputation. Whereas in Karachi he is being abused in public meetings and his photographs are being spat upon. Last night he has been cartooned with a Donkey's body. Can anybody say all this is not being reported to all foreign capitals? What then is the position of Pakistan today internationally? And you can imagine the disgust created by all this.

3. There is a school of thought which believes in masterly inactivity. This school harps ad nauseam on our economic situation, on the dangers of a wholesale uprising, the food crisis, etc., etc. No administration can exist on the basis of fear, specially if it has got to rule Muslims.

4. Don't think for a moment that you have no friends. There are people who will stand by you till the last. I guarantee the Armed Forces will carry out any directive you may choose to give. For God's sake become a courageous leader and take decisive action. Once you do this, the whole country, with the exception of rascals, will rally round you, and the prestige of Pakistan will go up. The country will be saved.

Yours sincerely,

Iskander Mirza

The Hon'ble Alhaj Khawaja Nazimuddin,
Prime Minister of Pakistan,

Source: Humayun Mirza From Plassey to Pakistan - the family history of Iskander Mirza, the first President of Pakistan. Ferozsons, 2000 Lahore (Pakistan)

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