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Pak's ex-FBR chairman voices regret over family's partition choice; says prefers Delhi over Peshawar (WATCH)

In a candid interview on the Raftar YouTube channel, Shabbar Zaidi, former Chairman of Pakistan's FBR, revealed shocking sentiments regarding his family's historical decision to opt for Pakistan during the partition in 1947.

Pakistan ex-FBR chairman shabbar zaidi voices regret over family's partition choice; says prefers Delhi over Peshawar (WATCH) snt
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First Published Jun 3, 2024, 2:34 PM IST

In a candid interview on the Raftar YouTube channel recently, Syed Mohammad Shabbar Zaidi, former Chairman of Pakistan's Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), revealed shocking sentiments regarding his family's historical decision to opt for Pakistan during the partition in 1947. Zaidi expressed profound regret over his maternal grandfather's choice, asserting that residing in India would have been more favourable for his family.

Zaidi's comments were prompted by a question regarding the feasibility of accumulating significant savings through a government position in Pakistan, particularly in light of recent reports detailing the extensive travels of one of Pakistan's most infamous law enforcement officers, Rao Anwar, who made 74 trips to Dubai over a span of approximately six years.

Also read: Explained: How Pakistani hackers 'Transparent Tribe' are targeting Indian Govt, defence & aerospace sectors

"My maternal grandfather was a government servant. During partition, he opted for Pakistan by mistake. He made a mistake. I regret this. I do regret this. My grandfather did make a mistake. I used to argue with him a lot over this. If we were living in India today, it would have been better for us. Don't know why he opted for Pakistan, while sitting in Delhi in 1947. During my graduation days, he told me that never take up a government job. I asked why and in response he said, 'Government jobs means you'll have to feed your children with 'haram' money'," the former chairman of Pakistan's FBR said.

He further noted, "One of the reasons why the government keeps such low salaries is because they want their officials to indulge in corruption and in turn the officers will have a control over such officials. This is a system which the Britishers created to have a control over those working under them and Pakistan have adopted the same."

"More comfortable in Delhi than Peshawar"

During the interview, when asked about his preference between India and Pakistan, Zaidi unreservedly expressed a strong inclination towards India. He reminisced about his comfort in Delhi compared to Peshawar, Lahore, or Karachi, highlighting cultural affinities and personal connections that transcend national borders.

"Incase we have a confrontation between Pakistan and India so I will love it. No, now I can't go to India right? 70-80 years is a long time. For me personally, I am more comfortable in Delhi than in Peshawar. Even today. I have lived in Lahore for 20 years. Even today, Amritsar is more comfortable for people of Lahore than Peshawar. Even today Karachi's Memon is more comfortable in Mumbai than Peshawar or Lahore. I am not saying destroy Pakistan. When I was the President of South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA), my office was in Delhi. While living there, I asked the then ICAI President Ved Jain to come share a meal with me in Old Delhi. That person was surprised and asked which place is this? I was like this is your city, I've come from another country. But, I told him this is our area," he said.

"Even today, if you go to Mohammad Ali Street, Crawford Market in Mumbai during Iftari, you'll feel like you're sitting in Mecca Madina. This is your story that Narendra Modi came to power and killed Muslim community. But the fact is that you've never been to India. What do you know what happens in India? When I live in Delhi, the people of Delhi cannot touch me because my four generations have lived there," Zaidi firmly stated.

"Comparing India-Pakistan is like comparing an elephant with an ant"

The discussion pivoted towards recent geopolitical events, including India's defiant stance in signing a decade-long deal with Iran for the operation of the Chabahar port, despite US warnings of sanctions. Zaidi emphasized the stark contrast between India and Pakistan, citing India's economic prowess and global influence as factors enabling its autonomy in decision-making.

"Firstly, you can't compare India and Pakistan. It's like comparing an elephant with an ant. America cannot fight against India, but they have a lot of trade interests with India. The IT infrastructure in several American companies is all thanks to India. America cannot make two enemies at one time. Both India and China are a 1.4 billion economy. Can America afford to make two enemies - China and India? Regardless of what America says, they will still go with India and they should because India have a huge influence on the American economy and society. For several years Pakistan operated Gwadar Port, but could they do a good job? Aren't your relationships with Iran still tensed? The entire matter now lies in the fact that how subservient will you be with India? India is now out of your control. India cannot come under your control anymore. India has 6% growth and has the largest road network after America," former chairman of Pakistan's FBR remarked.

Also read: 'Kashmir is a foreign territory': Pakistan AAG admits in Islamabad HC during Ahmad Farhad hearing (WATCH)

"Has Kashmir story slipped out of Pakistan's hands?"

During his interview, Zaidi also expressed bewilderment over unrest in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), speculating on potential foreign interference and the implications for Pakistan's control over the region.

"To be frank, I didn't understand the PoK unrest. If this is real, then we have to seriously look into it. I think, a conspiracy against us may have worked. Although, I am not a believer of conspiracy theories, but it is possible that India may have played a hand in this. Why are people not worried that Kashmir's story is going in another direction. Has the story of Kashmir slipped out of our hands?" he remarked.

Zaidi further stated, "This is a very dangerous thing. Pakistan government has been rattled by the Kashmir unrest. The kind of violence and protests has now forced Pakistan to think what is happening. What happened? It's a point to think right? Thousands came on the road to protest... what is happening? Tomorrow, if they go towards India, then what will the Pakistan government do? What if they say we are going to align ourselves with India, then what will the Pakistan government do? These are things that they have to think. Have you observed, the day a new government is formed in Pakistan, that day the government in PoK changes. Why? We have made a mockery of Kashmiris through this. This shouldn't happen."

Zaidi's candid reflections shed light on nuanced sentiments within Pakistan's intellectual circles, revealing a yearning for a more prosperous and stable future, juxtaposed against the complexities of national identity and geopolitical realities.

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