Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Ahmad Saeed, July 20, 2006

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Family background

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Partial Transcript: Today is Thursday, July twentieth, I believe.

Segment Synopsis: Saeed gives a brief overview of his biographical information and talks about his upcoming book about the two nation theory. Abbas also describes her project, which will be her master’s thesis. Saeed then describes his biographical details, such as his birth date and place of birth. Next, Saeed describes his family’s migration to Pakistan via truck when he was a young boy. Saeed describes his family’s pro-Pakistani position in the 1940s. He then talks about his uncle, who was educated at Government College University in Lahore (Pakistan), which was unusual for a Muslim at the time.

Keywords: Aligarh Muslim University; All-India Muslim League; Books; Chandigarh (India); East Punjab (India); Families; Fathers; Government College University; Grandfathers; Houses; Husain, Wajahat; Indian Army; Jinnah, Mahomed Ali; Lahore (Pakistan); London Times; Minault, Gail; Muslims; Nazria-e-Pakistan Foundation; Pakistan; Pakistan movement; Partition of India; Professors; Restaurants; Retirement; Servants; Teaching; Trucks; Two nations theory; Uncles; University of Texas

Subjects: Aligarh Muslim University; All-India Muslim League; Books; Chandigarh (India); Families; Fathers; Government College University (Faiṣalābād, Pakistan); Grandfathers; India--History; India--History--Partition, 1947; India. Army.; Jinnah, Mahomed Ali, 1876-1948.; Lahore (Pakistan); Minault, Gail, 1939-; Muslims; Pakistan; Pakistan movement; Pakistan--History; Professors; Restaurants; Retirement; Teaching; Transportation.; Uncles; University of Texas

GPS: Lahore (Pakistan)
Map Coordinates: 31.5546, 74.3572
00:09:00 - Education

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Partial Transcript: And where were you educated?

Segment Synopsis: Saeed describes his educational background and the place where he obtained his degrees.

Keywords: Aligarh Muslim University; Degrees, academic; Education; Government College University; History; Islamia College; Lahore (Pakistan); Uncles; University of the Punjab

Subjects: Aligarh Muslim University; Degrees, academic; Education.; Government College University (Faiṣalābād, Pakistan); History; India--History; Islamia College, Peshawar (Pakistan); Pakistan--History; Uncles; University of the Punjab

GPS: Islamia College
Map Coordinates: 33.999923, 71.475956
00:10:54 - Mahomed Ali Jinnah / Saeed’s grandfather

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Partial Transcript: What kind of stories did you--do you remember hearing from your parents or your grandparents when you were coming up about independence or Pakistan movement? Did they talk about that time? Did they tell stories about it?

Segment Synopsis: Saeed describes the day that Mahomed Ali Jinnah died. He then shares a memory of going to listen to Jinnah speak with is grandfather. Saeed then expounds on his grandfather, who was a government contractor who supplied meat and vegetables to German prisoners of war and started a school to educate Muslims. He then returns to the topic of Mahomed Ali Jinnah and talks about Jinnah’s vision for Pakistan.

Keywords: All-India Muslim League; Cars; Chandigarh (India); Chief ministers; Constitutions; Death; Education; Germans; Germany; Girls; Government contractors; Grandfathers; Jinnah, Mahomed Ali; Ladies; Lahore (Pakistan); Muslims; Nazimuddin, Khawaja Sir; Pakistan; Pakistan movement; Partition of India; Prisoners of war; Punjab (Pakistan); Quaid-e-Azam; Radios; Uttar Pradesh (India); Watches; Women

Subjects: All-India Muslim League; Chandigarh (India); Chief ministers; Constitutions; Death; Education; Germans; Germany; Girls; Government contractors.; Grandfathers; India--History; India--History--Partition, 1947; Jinnah, Mahomed Ali, 1876-1948.; Lahore (Pakistan); Muslims; Pakistan; Pakistan movement; Pakistan--History; Prisoners of war.; Punjab (Pakistan); Radio.; Transportation; Uttar Pradesh (India); Women

GPS: Lahore (Pakistan)
Map Coordinates: 31.5546, 74.3572
00:25:20 - Opportunism and the establishment of Pakistan

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Partial Transcript: So, I, I think, I am of the view that Pakistan should have been established in C.P., in U.P., because those people worked for Pakistan.

Segment Synopsis: Saeed talks about why he feels the nation of Pakistan should have been established in Uttar Pradesh (India) and describes the opportunists who took advantage of the establishment of Pakistan.

Keywords: All-India Muslim League; British; Civil servants; Delhi (India); East India Company; Great Britain; Khan, Liaquat Ali; Legislative counsels; Muslims; Nicholson, John; Pakistan; Pakistan movement; Punjab (India); Uttar Pradesh (India)

Subjects: All-India Muslim League; British; British--India--History.; Civil servants; Delhi (India); East India Company.; Great Britain; India--History; India--History--Partition, 1947; Khan, Liaquat Ali, 1895-1951.; Muslims; Nicholson, John; Nicholson, John, 1822-1857.; Pakistan; Pakistan movement; Pakistan--History; Punjab (India); Uttar Pradesh (India)

GPS: Uttar Pradesh (India)
Map Coordinates: 26.85, 80.91
00:34:21 - Benefits and drawbacks of the establishment of Pakistan

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Partial Transcript: Do you think that Pakistan has been, um, um--has Pakistan been a benefit to the migrant community economically or politically, do you think?

Segment Synopsis: Saeed talks about the benefits relating to the establishment of Pakistan, both to the migrants and the individuals already living in the area. He then talks about problems that are endemic to Pakistan, such as filling leadership positions solely with people from the upper class.

Keywords: Bashir, Mujahid; Cars; Jinnah, Mahomed Ali; Lahore (Pakistan); Migrants; Muslims; Pakistan; Parliaments; Partition of India; Quaid-e-Azam; Refugees; Sharif, Mian Muhammad Shehbaz; Umar, Hazrat

Subjects: India--History; India--History--Partition, 1947; Jinnah, Mahomed Ali, 1876-1948.; Lahore (Pakistan); Muslims; Pakistan; Pakistan--History; Refugees; Transportation

GPS: Lahore (Pakistan)
Map Coordinates: 31.5546, 74.3572
00:46:07 - Islamic intellectual tradition

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Partial Transcript: Well, let's change gears just for a moment.

Segment Synopsis: Saeed talks about his family’s religious faith and the religious education he received as a child. He then discusses the effect that Islam has had on his teaching. Next, Saeed talks about the role of Islam in the government of Pakistan. He also talks about the relationship between Islam and democracy.

Keywords: Classes, social; Democracy; Grandfathers; Islam; Mosques; Muslims; Pakistan; Qur’an, the (Book); Religion; Religious education; Teaching; Zia-ul-Haq, Muhammad

Subjects: Democracy.; Grandfathers; India--History; Islam; Mosques; Muslims; Pakistan; Pakistan--History; Qur'an; Religion; Religious education; Teaching; Zia-Ul-Haq, Muhammad, Ph.D.

01:01:00 - Independence and partition

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Partial Transcript: Um, I want to think a little bit, kind of in a third part of our conversation...

Segment Synopsis: Saeed talks about what independence means to him, which includes independence from both Great Britain and India. He then talks about what partition means to him.

Keywords: British; Great Britain; Hindus; Independence; India; Jinnah, Mahomed Ali; Lahore (Pakistan); Muslims; Pakistan; Pakistan Movement Workers Trust; Partition; Partition of India; Punjab (India); Punjab Assembly; Singh, Tara; Violence

Subjects: British; British--India--History.; Great Britain; Hindus; Independence.; India--History; India--History--Partition, 1947; Jinnah, Mahomed Ali, 1876-1948.; Lahore (Pakistan); Muslims; Pakistan; Pakistan movement; Pakistan--History; Partition; Punjab (India); Singh, Tara; Singh, Tara, 1919-; Violence

GPS: Lahore (Pakistan)
Map Coordinates: 31.5546, 74.3572
01:10:30 - History of Pakistan

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Partial Transcript: In the writing of history--

Segment Synopsis: Saeed talks about how he views the history of Pakistan, which he feels should start in 1947. He then talks about the lack of nostalgia his family feels for India as it was before partition, recounting a story about returning to the city of his birth in the 1950s.

Keywords: Chandīgarh (India); History; Jinnah, Mahomed Ali; Muslims; Nationalism; Pakistan; Partition of India

Subjects: Chandīgarh (India); History; India--History; India--History--Partition, 1947; Jinnah, Mahomed Ali, 1876-1948.; Muslims; Nationalism.; Pakistan--History; Partition

GPS: Chandīgarh (India)
Map Coordinates: 30.75, 76.78
01:16:07 - Muslim intellectualism in Pakistani colleges and universities

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Partial Transcript: Is there anything like, um, like the Aligarh Muslim University in Pakistan? A place where Muslim sentiment is focused or centered?

Segment Synopsis: Saeed discusses Islamia College in Lahore (Pakistan), which he feels was a center of Muslim intellectualism in Pakistan. He then talks about the state of history study in Pakistan, which he feels is “shameful,” which he attributes to the economy.

Keywords: Aligarh Muslim University; Aligarh movement; Books; Hindus; History; India; Islamia College University; Lahore (Pakistan); Muslims; Pakistan; Pakistan movement; Teaching; Universities

Subjects: Aligarh Muslim University; Aligarh movement.; Books; Hindus; History; India; India--History; Islamia College, Peshawar (Pakistan); Muslims; Pakistan; Pakistan movement; Pakistan--History; Teaching

GPS: Islamia College
Map Coordinates: 33.999923, 71.475956
01:24:12 - Monument to partition

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Partial Transcript: What, um--if you were in charge of designing or creating some monument to independence or partition, what do you think you would want that to say? What would that monument be for?

Segment Synopsis: Saeed talks about his idea for a monument in memory of people who worked to establish Pakistan.

Keywords: Libraries; Monuments; Pakistan; Partition of India; Punjab Public Library

Subjects: India--History; India--History--Partition, 1947; Libraries; Monuments; Pakistan; Pakistan--History

01:25:47 - Shiites and Sunnites

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Partial Transcript: Well I have one, one final question which is--

Segment Synopsis: Saeed talks about Islamic sectionalism in Pakistan, which he feels is encouraged by agencies inside and outside of Pakistan. He then talks about the biggest impediment to modern day Pakistan. Finally, Abbas and Saeed discuss the scholarship of Abbas’ professors in the United States.

Keywords: Biographies; Chandigarh (India); Education; Gilmartin, David; Hyderabad (India); India; Islam; Jinnah, Mahomed Ali; Minault, Gail; Muslims; Pakistan; Punjab (India); Quaid-e-Azam; Richards, John; Rights; Schools; Sectarianism; Shias; Shiites; Sunnis; Sunnites; Women

Subjects: Biographies.; Chandīgarh (India); Education; Gilmartin, David, 1949-; Hyderabad (India); India; Islam; Jinnah, Mahomed Ali, 1876-1948.; Minault, Gail, 1939-; Muslims; Pakistan; Pakistan--History; Punjab (India); Richards, John; Shiites.; Sunnites.; Women