Dr. Iqbal Sedai: Arab’s Perceptions about Muslims of Subcontinent
On 17th August 1947, I went to Alexandria and stayed in Hotel Savoia.
At 5.30 P.M. Pasha’s secretary came to my hotel and accompanied me to the house.
There were some six other persons also, H.E.Suleiman Gannas Pasha, Moharram Pasha, Fehmi Bey (a Christian and member of the Wafd party) Paad Pasha etc. After customary salutations asked me why Indian Muslims had asked for a separate country.
I gave him reasons “economic, social and political-which convinced him.”
He said that “He met the Quaid-i-Azam who said that we Muslims eat cow and the Hindus worship it.”
I said that as Quaid-1-Azam did knew French language, therefore, he could not argue in detail but he said in a nutshell.
I said mischievously “Pasha the Egyptians worship you but I would like to come with me to India and without telling anybody we would enter a Hindu house.”
The house would become impure with the “NIJASAT” of Mahas Pasha. And the Nijasat of Nahas Pasha would be cleaned with the plaster mixed with the dung of cow, water, and mud”.
He was quite surprised at it and said if it were true.
I replied that I would go with him to India to prove it.
The talk went on for four hours in French language.
At ten P.M. he said that from that moment I shall take him as a Pakistani.
I invited the Pasha to take part in the celebration of “Pakistan Day” which be celebrated on 23rd August 1947 in Cairo.
He said he would take part if I would celebrate it in Alexandria, and his Party would incur all the expenses.
I replied that the Day would be celebrated in Cairo, the capital of Egypt, and the expenses would be incurred by the Pakistanis.
He said that in that case two of his ministers Moharram Pasha and Ghannam Pasha would represent the Wafd Party. At 10.30 p.m. I took leave of him and the other gentlemen.
Nahas Pasha deputed Ghannam Pasha to show me different manufacturing firms which were situated around Alexandria.
Ghannam Pasha came to my hotel at 6 in the morning of 18th August, 1947, and took me to Qasr-ed-Davvar, a very nice and modern textile fabrica.
It was a wonderful place to see. Workers’ quarters were very clean and nice in every respect. There was a very nice and clean restaurant for the workers. There were playgrounds for the workers.
I had seen many textile fabrics in Europe but this a Qasr-ed-Davvar was next to none as regards cleanliness and for the welfare of the workers medical treatment, I was told, was free. When I came to my hotel, I found a very nice piece of cloth for several shirts which the textile fabrique had sent for me as homage. I thanked Ghannam Pasha and through him Nahas Pasha.
In the afternoon of 18th August Galal Hussein, a great friend of Pakistan and a very big businessman, accompanied me to the house of Ali Maher Pasha, an ex-prime Minister of Egypt and a very able person rather one of the best brains in Egypt Maher Pasha was also anti-Pakistan.
I had two hours meeting with him and explained to him why we Muslims of India could not live together with the Hindus. The argument with him was the same as I had with Nahas Pasha and other Egyptian leaders-i.e. social, economic, and political.
After two hours of discussion, Ali Maher Pasha also said that from that day he would think of himself as a Pakistani.
I thanked him and requested him to honor us with his presence in the celebrations of “Pakistan Day” in Cairo on 23rd of August. He said that he would be very glad to take part but, on that date, he had to leave for Europe for urgent affairs.
Anyhow, he said, that I must take him as an ardent pro-Pakistan.
I thanked him on my and, on behalf of Pakistani compatriots.
Sayed Galal Hussein congratulated me on the success I had with Ali Maher Pasha one of greatest political personalities, of Egypt. No one, he said, could convince him about the just case of the Pakistani Muslims. Well, it was a great compliment to me.