Revisiting the constitution

Published: May 31, 2010

“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state. You will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state.”

This is the Pakistan, our founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah envisioned. The attack on two Ahmadi places of worship on May 28 is saying that we have failed him – and we have done so miserably. Jinnah wished to see a Pakistan where faith or belief was to be left as one’s personal choice; instead we have created a country where you dare not disagree with a cleric or else you will be branded a non-believer.

If we have to survive as a nation, we cannot just expect divine intervention to fix this mess for us. We have to fix it ourselves. It has to start from the very basic question: Who are we? And the answer to that is that we are Pakistanis and nothing else. The 1973 constitution that continues to hold us together was one of the many remarkable things Zulfikar Ali Bhutto did for Pakistan. But he erred gravely when he caved in to Jamaat-e-Islami’s demands of declaring ‘Ahmadis’ as non-Muslims, for the simple reason that it codified in law the state’s intervention in religion and in what was and remains a decidedly private matter.

The story of Dr Abdus Salam, the brightest of all Pakistani scientists, stands out. He is the first and only Pakistani to have won a Nobel Prize. He played a lead role in setting up Pakistan’s first ever space exploratory and nuclear research centres including the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission. He sent hundreds of Pakistani students to the top international universities of the world for PhDs in nuclear physics and other scientific disciplines. When he died, the epitaph on his tomb read: ‘First Muslim Nobel Laureate’. The word ‘Muslim’ was later erased by local authorities. Here was a man, who did far more for his country than all of the religious parties combine could ever claim to and yet we denied him the respect and the legacy that he deserved because of his personal beliefs.

Until 1977, when Bhutto’s government was toppled, Pakistan was free of any major sectarian and ethnic tensions. The ten years of Zia-ul-Haq’s dictatorial regime would transform Pakistan from a tolerant society into one marred with ethnic and sectarian divisions and hate-driven politics. He fully crippled the religious freedom of minorities by imposing draconian laws in the name of the Anti-Islamic-Activity Act. Zia vanished, but we continue to pay for his sins.

The remnants of his era, in the shape of many in our media now and others, continue to insinuate hatred against minorities, the West, and all others who disagree with them. It goes beyond my imagination that we let these hate-mongers freely express their extremist sentiments on TV channels under the pretext of freedom of speech. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom to spread hate.

To build a stronger and a united Pakistan, we need to cleanse our constitution of the provisions that continue to divide us.

The issue here is not about any one particular sect or minority group but about the state getting into the business of judging people’s faiths and then on that judgement including or excluding them from the rights (in particular the right to equal treatment under law) otherwise guaranteed to them as citizens of Pakistan.

Published in the Express Tribune, June 1st, 2010.

The writer is a doctoral student at Cornell University

Email: basit.sheikh@tribune.com.pk

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Reader Comments (43)

  • Jun 1, 2010 - 3:09AM

    The constitution of Pakistan must reflect the best interests of each and every Pakistani citizen. The constitution should be purged of laws that discriminate against minorities. However, it may be naive to believe that changes made in the constitution are an end in themselves.

    Sadly, while the law might change individual behaviour will not. Cases where individuals are accused of blasphemy are usually registered after a mob has already beaten the accused to death/near death.

    While laws may be revised that protect individual sects, biases and stereo-types will remain.

    Along with legal revisions, our society, from the family unit, educational curriculum, religious congregations etc, would have to begin individual journeys of education and reflection of the role of the state in the personal affairs of the individual.

    Without societal support and shared understanding, the laws may change, the violence will continue. Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Jun 1, 2010 - 4:11AM

    To hear the Quaid’s words even now makes me shiver. This is a great piece. Recommend

  • Jun 1, 2010 - 7:14AM

    Express Tribune has not provided background informayion about Basit Riaz Sheikh.Has he anything to do with Riaz Sheikh,the infamous ex-Chief Justice of Pakistan?Recommend

  • Jun 1, 2010 - 9:05AM

    I agree with Mr. Basit Sheikh. As Pakistanis must loudly reject fundamentalism that is destroying our beloved nation. We can’t let the extremists, the jehadis, the suicide bombers destroy our lives. No more can we let them tie bombs to the belly of our youth…no more can we let them hide our women behind veil. No more can they deprive us of art, culture, science, and humanity. No more!

    No more can we dilute our debate by blaming external conspiracies; imperial design, Zionist strategy, Hindutva resurgence etc. Our enemies are within… Jihadis are the enemies no matter what cause they represent; Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Kashmir etc. No land, no territory, no nation, no state, no freedom, no independence can justify violence. No more can we tolerate those who preach voilence.

    Majority of the Pakistanis like me have resigned ourselves to the fate of oppression. We have been fearfull of the extremists. Instead of outright rejecting the authority of religion in our daily lives, we acquiesce. No more can we surrender to the oppressive religious zealots of our society.

    We must celebrate the secular leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah; rationale guidance of Allama Iqbal, and the vision of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan.

    “If we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well-being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor… you are free- you are free to go to your temples mosques or any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state… in due course of time Hindus will cease to be Hindus and Muslims will cease to Muslims- not in a religious sense for that is the personal faith of an individual- but in a political sense as citizens of one state”
    Quid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, Karachi, August 11, 1947

    In respect of Quiad, Allama and Sir Syed we must re-write our constitution. Our constitution must represent two principles; people belonging to different faiths and sections of society should be equal before the law, the constitution and government policy.

    Secondly, separation of state and religion. We must modify our constitution to limit the realm of validity of religion in the public arena and society.

    We should recall what Allama Iqbal taught us: democracy does not become inclusive merely by giving everyone the right to vote; its institutions must be even-handed as well.

    In memory of Sir Syed we should understand that the struggle against militancy should go beyond a security response to providing justice, economic and political, to all.

    It’s time now to recognize that growth with welfare is the only long-term bet against religious extremism.

    It’s time now to promote a way of thinking and living that aims to bring out the best in people so that all people can have the best in life.

    It’s time now to reject authoritarian beliefs.

    It’s time now to take responsibility for our own lives and the communities and world in which we live.

    It’s time now to emphasize reason and scientific inquiry, individual freedom and responsibility, human values and compassion, and the need for tolerance and cooperation.

    It’s time now to reject violence.

    It’s time now to act!Recommend

  • Adil Khan
    Jun 1, 2010 - 10:03AM

    I agree with every single word of Ibrahim Sajid Malick. Talk only is not enough. WE MUST TAKE ACTION.

    I DEMAND SECULAR PAKISTAN.Recommend

  • Murad
    Jun 1, 2010 - 10:08AM

    Mr. Ibrahim is caught amongst the darkest misunderstandings.
    First of all, Muslim is a Fundamentalist…he acts on the fundamentals of Islam…and if he wont, what will be the difference between a muslim and people from other religions?
    Secondly, Islam dont BOTHER science, technology or education… There have been many great muslim inventors…
    and also, if u read and understand the Quran, it have many things on the science and philosophy which are being discovered today!
    Thirdly, If someone teases your daughter or wife, why u become so tempered at that moment?
    Why dont u just chill and relax…as u r LIBERAL/secular…let him do that!
    My friend, this was jus an example, if somebody murders someone’s loved one, that A reaction is just and obvious!
    If u respect Quaid-e-Azam, he was the man who use to respect Molvis of that time, and had an opinion of having guidANCE from them in the field of politics also!
    Iqbal wrote many verses that religion cant be exempted from the ways of life.
    I hope that u ll take in a positive sense…
    I ll be glad to hear your further queries.Recommend

  • Fareed
    Jun 1, 2010 - 10:48AM

    Mr. Ibrahim are you out of your mind? Pakistan is and will always be for Muslims only. Our constitution does not need to changed. Please learn about our history first.Recommend

  • Common sense
    Jun 1, 2010 - 2:43PM

    @Fareed,

    If Pakistan was made for Muslims only then why did all the religious parties heavily opposed Pakistan and termed Quaid-e-Azam as Kafir-e-Azam and Pakistan as Paleedistan?

    You better look at the history books first before concluding on something.Recommend

  • Ansari
    Jun 1, 2010 - 4:28PM

    Mr. Ibrahim, if a secular Pakistan was what our ancestors sacrificed there lives for then excuse me for saying it was the biggest blunder of the recorded man kind history.
    Why doesn’t Israel think like you Mr. Ibrahim Sajid Malick?
    Why didn’t the NATO and UN thought like you when they order the separation of east timore?

    Islam is the religion of peace the system of peace, we failed to implement it, you know why because in every government or so called democratic government which comes in power with votes of the people always had advisors like you.

    Indeed it’s the end of the times and it’s a shameless slap on the faces of the thousands who where butchered during the partition, and we are thinking secularism?????????

    One thing more where does balooch sindi pashton sarikies fit in secularism aren’t they all Muslims what does secularism have to do with lingual distributions.
    Mullas are coming sooner or later this is a fact that we have to except some might believe today some will believe tomorrow and rest will believe when they see them.

    Finally I hope you will not say that the sugar crisis in Pakistan is due the Islamic fundamentalismRecommend

  • Mahvesh
    Jun 1, 2010 - 4:39PM

    Zia, Zia, Zia… we keep placing the blame firmly at his doorstep every time something like this happens. How long has it been since Bhutto and Zia died? Are they still arm wrestling us into toeing their line? We keep pointing fingers at their regimes and their actions, yet have been unwilling to make any changes to right the errors they committed. It’s time to stop blaming them already, and start wondering what we’ve done to change the mindsets they promoted. Recommend

  • Sana
    Jun 1, 2010 - 6:22PM

    @Mahvesh
    Please look at the comment above by Ibrahim Malick. He has suggested a list of action items. Are u willing to act upon those?

    I agree we should stop the blame game and “ACT NOW!”Recommend

  • Jun 1, 2010 - 7:17PM

    Ibrahim Sajid Malick, Assalam o Alikum,

    Even though i genuinely believe people who want to abolish Islamic rule from our society do not deserve this noble Islamic greeting, I still wish u life. And that’s how peaceful Islam is. As far as Mullahs are considered “They” are like you, just how you want secularism, they want Islam, Islam, they don’t know. Just like you, you want secularism because its apparently more satisfying since it supports the lifestyle you might like! but then again I doubt you know anything about Islam and its practices.

    Yes I am a fundamentalist. A true Muslim Fundamentalist, and I see no problems with an Islamic system being implemented.

    In your comment above you wrote, “Jihadis are enemies no matter what cause they represent,” that is where you bluntly display your idiocy, they are people who are trying to protect what little they have. I’m pretty sure you’ve heard “One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.” America can not go around dictating terms! Someone or somebody has to stop the White Elephant on rampage. If Those JIHADIS are doing so, it’s the best thing to do.

    I do agree that people of all faiths and beliefs should have equal rights and should be equal before the law.

    PS: please read a little more about Islam. I highly recommend Quran for that. It covers all the issues.

    Allah Hafiz.Recommend

  • Waheed
    Jun 1, 2010 - 7:48PM

    @Ibrahim Sajid Malick
    Say no to Secularisim (Elhaad), be a pure and fundamental muslim. May Allah forgive us, and give hidayat to secular muslims!Recommend

  • Bari Khan
    Jun 1, 2010 - 10:28PM

    Bravo Mr. Malick! Well said and I am ready to act. Sign me upRecommend

  • BASMA
    Jun 2, 2010 - 12:15AM

    I think its okay to be muslim fundamentalist if u know the true relgion..but important point is to know the TRUE RELIGION .Our relegion is of peace and love.please look at our prophet SAW sunnah and find out how he spent most of his life.how he dealt with his enemies.how he took care of old lady who threw garbage on him.He didnt tell his followers to kill any body who says bad things about him, .yes he faced some wars but those ALL were for self defence.
    these people are trying to change islam into religion of intolerance,wars, and mass murdrs.They r trying to change the face of islam and are v much successfull in convincing a lot of people for that.
    please bring back true islam in pakistan,our religion of peace,love ,regard for everybody,relgion filled with goodness and work together for the prosperity of pakistan.Recommend

  • Tariq
    Jun 2, 2010 - 12:56AM

    @Ibrahim Sajid Malick

    I am with you man. We can’t take this anymore. Religion and politics don’t mix like water and oil. Keep writing.Recommend

  • Mirza Baig
    Jun 2, 2010 - 12:59AM

    @Ibrahim Sajid Malick
    You are a fundamentalist. Religion is integral part of life. There is no public and private. I pray publicly. I want my life governmed by Shariah.
    Inshah Allah we will impose Shariah in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Iftikhar Chaudhry
    Jun 2, 2010 - 1:05AM

    There is no conflict between Islam and our system of governance. But there are otger serious problems. For example, in parliamentary system, there is no legal article to have president’s advice. Where is the role of president for rules of business in 18th amendment?

    BTW- why is everyboday talking about ibrahim sajid when this article was actually written by Mr. Basit?

    Anwser me right away Recommend

  • Shereen
    Jun 2, 2010 - 1:07AM

    Mr. Ibrahim you say, “No more can we surrender to the oppressive religious zealots of our society.”

    OK – so what should we do? Stop going to mosques? start beating them up?Recommend

  • Jamal Naqvi
    Jun 2, 2010 - 1:13AM

    Mr. Malick is right in saying that the events as they have unfolded in Lahore over the weekend have once again underscored the need for Pakistan to be a constitutionally secular state.

    Instead of getting into the debate as to whether Pakistan was meant to be a secular state (which I believe it was but that is not the point here) or a modern Islamic state (whatever that means), let us be very clear- it was NOT meant to be a state where rogue raggle taggle groups like the Taliban would challenge the writ of the state and then establish its own system of “justice” based on a misinterpretation of Islam. Islam is not the problem here. I tend to agree with the interpretation of Islam that is favored by Allama Ghamidi but the question that comes up is “which Islam?” Ghamidi’s? Or Israr Ahmad’s? Rahman Baba’s ? or the Taliban’s? Iqbal’s? or Maududi’s? Recommend

  • Jamal Naqvi
    Jun 2, 2010 - 2:00AM

    @Iftikhar Chaudhry

    I guess we are talking about Mr. Ibrahim Sajid Malick because he speaks his mind clearly – without hesitation. As they would say at any IVY league school “Mr. Malick doesn’t speak from both sides of his mouth.”

    BTW- I hope I responded to your question promptly (LOL)Recommend

  • Syed Alam
    Jun 2, 2010 - 2:08AM

    @Ibrahim Sajid Malick

    The ‘ideal’ democractic state is one that can be anything, as long as each iteration or ideology is forced to leave open the possibility of being swept aside at the next vote.
    But religion (as opposed to faith etc) cannot allow that. To survive all these centuries it has to include an element of compulsion and permanance. Without these things religions wither, as countless have. Also lets not forget Islam, Christianity and other similar faiths have a hell. That is if you are spiritually corrupted you are damned for all eternity, and if you see others going in that direction surely every element of compassion in you cries out to stop them at any cost to save their souls from an eternity of punishment?
    Really Christians in Western countries must be cruel indeed to have allowed the moral greyness that a lack of religion in private life allows, they are cheerfully condeming their countrymens souls.Recommend

  • Khalid Farooqi
    Jun 2, 2010 - 2:13AM

    Mr. Malick, you are forgetting that Islam is a rational and pragmatic religion which aims to create a just and egalitarian society.

    Unlike what is happening in Pakistan, Islam does not favor any exclusivism of any kind and treats faith as a matter between man and God. Islam also does not favor form over substance.

    A state does not become Islamic simply because it is called Islamic. Similarly a state meets certain criteria of social justice, equality and human solidarity, it is perfectly Islamic, even if there isn’t a single Muslim living there. This is what prompted Iqbal to call the British Empire the “greatest Mohammadan Empire on Earth”.

    The issue of what constitutes an Islamic state has no consensus and therefore it much more advisable to strive for a just society that Islam seeks to create. Recommend

  • Naheed
    Jun 2, 2010 - 2:17AM

    Secularism means two things !

    1) How diverse is a nation State…and how are the minorities taken care of ! ?

    2) Ideological Secularism as it exists in France etc is a complete separation of State and Religion !

    Thus Muslim Secularism conforms to the first notion ……IF a Muslim majority exists then they rule PROVIDED the minorities are allowed to live in peace, own property, conduct bussiness, congregate, display their religious symbols, even to the extent of living their lives by THEIR OWN rules !!

    Ideological Secularism exists in parts of Europe BECAUSE the people WANT IT ! In our case it will never work because mass majorities do not want it !! See what happened in Iran ……we do not want to see that repeated !!! Recommend

  • Jasmine
    Jun 2, 2010 - 2:28AM

    Islam is an integral part of Pakistan. Stop dreaming of secularismRecommend

  • BASMA
    Jun 2, 2010 - 2:41AM

    I agree with mr Jamal lot of muslim clerics had distorted interpretation of islam THATS WHY people r getting crazy for the kind of jihad they r doing in pakistan.and for mr mirza baig i will say first of all imposing is against the spirit of islam.in Quran if u ever read its clear that there is no compulsion in religion. u have right to impose anything on ureself if u want( exept for the suicide which is forbidden).but no right to impsoe on others.Recommend

  • Bushra
    Jun 2, 2010 - 2:53AM

    The idea of secularism in Islam means favoring a modern secular democracy with separation of church and state, as opposed to Islam as a political movement. Secularism is condemned by Pakistanis because we feel that religious values should not be removed from the public sphere. Secularism has acquired negative connotations in Pakistan and is often criticized by conflating it with anti-religion and colonial intervention.Recommend

  • Bushra
    Jun 2, 2010 - 2:59AM

    Mr. Malick please remember that religious pluralism existed in medieval Islamic law and Islamic ethics, as large population of other religions, including Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism, were accommodated within Islamic states, as exemplified in the Caliphate, Al-Andalus, Ottoman Empire and Indian subcontinent.

    In medieval Islamic societies, the qadi (Islamic judges) usually could not interfere in the matters of non-Muslims unless the parties voluntarily choose to be judged according to Islamic law, thus the dhimmi communities living in Islamic states usually had their own laws independent from the Sharia law, such as the Jews who would have their own Halakha courts.

    Dhimmis were allowed to operate their own courts following their own legal systems in cases that did not involve other religious groups, or capital offences or threats to public order.

    Non-Muslims were allowed to engage in religious practices that was usually forbidden by Islamic law, such as the consumption of alcohol and pork, as well as religious practices which Muslims found repugnant, such as the Zoroastrian practice of incestuous “self-marriage” where a man could marry his mother, sister or daughter.

    According to the famous Islamic legal scholar Ibn Qayyim (1292–1350), non-Muslims had the right to engage in such religious practices even if it offended Muslims, under the conditions that such cases not be presented to Islamic Sharia courts and that these religious minorities believed that the practice in question is permissable according to their religion.

    There is room for tolerance in Islam.Recommend

  • Omair
    Jun 2, 2010 - 3:29AM

    I am in agreement with Ibrahim. We need to get rid off these fundamentalists. And, we should chase them out of here.Recommend

  • Malik Rashid
    Jun 2, 2010 - 5:15AM

    It is a great conversation but the hypocrisy of restraining from criticizing religion in general and Islam in particular has been upheld. Names of M.A. Jinnah, Sir Mohammad Iqbal and Sir Syed Ahmed Khan have been invoked to scrutinize religious intolerance. Actions have been suggested that include purging the constitution of its prejudice.
    India was partitioned due to an observation that Hindu and Muslim communities could not live together and the two were called separate ‘nations’ because of their religious difference. Sir Syed, Iqbal and Jinnah made their respective contributions to such division of Indian polity. Invoking their names to build harmony across religious divide might not serve the purpose.
    Separation of religion from state or its exclusion from public sphere is another question. Role of religion in pluralistic societies must be examined. Role of Islam in building and nurturing a plural society in the past 60 years has not been ideal. Arab societies continue to be generally oppressive towards women and emphasis on Islam as the state religion in Indonesia and Malaysia has fractured a traditionally accommodating society.
    I apologize for crossing some sensitive boundary in this conversation but analysis of subjects that determine lives and deaths of millions cannot be compromised. Peace. Respect. Recommend

  • Basit Riaz Sheikh
    Jun 2, 2010 - 5:16AM

    Those wishing to see Pakistan as a strictly theological state need to read the first paragraph of my article AGAIN, where I quote our founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah. In fact, let me quote that again for everyones convenience:

    “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state. You will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state.”

    Pakistan is a country created by a religious minority of Indian subcontinent for themselves and all other religious minorities (hence that white vertical patch on our flag). If it wasn’t for Jinnah, Pakistan would never have been created. Hence, Jinnah’s words should be our only guiding principle in reforming the current state of Pakistan. And I think his message is pretty clear: “In Pakistan, faith is one’s personal affair. It has nothing to do with the matters of the state.”

    Now you can either call Jinnah’s Pakistan a ‘secular’ state or a true ‘islamic state’ (because in my opinion, Islam is all about tolerance and peace as Bushra pointed out). It’s really needless to get ourselves entangled in the debate of labels.

    The issue here is not about any one sect or a community. It is not about whether they qualify as Muslims or not. It goes way beyond that. It is about reclaiming Jinnah’s Pakistan. It is about recreating a progressive Pakistan based on the principles of live and let live (which is what Islam stands for).

    “Aghaaz-e-Huqooq-e-Balochistan” was a remarkable step by the present PPP regime. It helped to heal the wounds of hundreds of thousand disenfranchised Balochis who have been denied their basic rights for years. It is time we open our arms and hearts to many others who have long lived under a cloud of fear and uncertainty. It is time we re-write that epitaph on Dr. Abdus Salam’s tomb as First Muslim Nobel Laureate.

    The constitution of Pakistan rests the final authority with Almighty Allah. Let HIM alone judge, who is a believer and who isn’t. Recommend

  • Yasir Ali
    Jun 2, 2010 - 7:26AM

    @Ibrahim Sajid Malick
    Anyone would agree that we should reject violence, but no Muslim that knows some basics of Islam will agree to a Secular state. Read the Quran which says that if Muslims are given governance of a piece of land then it is their duty to make it an Islamic country and enforce Islamic laws. If you dont agree to that then you should stop calling yourself a muslim or if you dont know about it then increase your knowledge about Islamic teachingsRecommend

  • Azhar
    Jun 2, 2010 - 7:31AM

    Salams..
    My dear ibrahim sajid.. U talk about secular Pakistan and about Allama Iqbal.. Have u even read Iqbal’s Poetry?? coz i dont think u have.. If u would have read it u would have known how Iqbal greatly support of the making of a muslim country or a muslim nation sounds better.. and about democracy he says.

    ”jamhoriat wo tarz-e-hakumat hai ke jis mein, bandoon ko gina jata hai tola nahe jata”

    and about Qauid u have only one saying.. what about when he said that we need a place 2 test the islamic principles. it is due to these secular goverments that we r in such a great mess and a poor man has his whole life spent paying taxes..

    im not in favour of so called fanatics… but if these people donot represent islam rightly that doesnt mean that islam is wrong.. islam gives protection to every community under it.. I suggest u go and read the history of ur releigon and sahabah for the fact that what islam offers is a complete system..and also read Iqbal..
    Thnx and Allah Hafiz..Recommend

  • baloch
    Jun 2, 2010 - 8:26AM

    @Khalid Farooqi
    I wonder if you are Geo TV reporter from Europe. ANyways I am sorry that you think that way. I have yet to see a religion that is rationale. It sounds like an oxymoron like military intelligence.

    Malick sahab you rock!Recommend

  • Munir Akran
    Jun 2, 2010 - 8:58AM

    “It’s time now to emphasize reason and scientific inquiry, individual freedom and responsibility, human values and compassion, and the need for tolerance and cooperation.”

    You expect this to happen in Pakistan? What are you smoking Ibrahim?Recommend

  • Qureishi
    Jun 2, 2010 - 9:01AM

    very interesting blog. i like this conversation. even if talk about it maybe one day we can have a secular pakistan.Recommend

  • Mian
    Jun 2, 2010 - 3:57PM

    Azhar you need to remember that during the Pakistan movement, when the Muslims of the subcontinent were striving for an independent homeland, the Jamat Islami and other Deobandi Mullahs on payroll of Congress, vehemently opposed all such efforts. Jamatias and their Deobandi associates hate Quaid-e-Azam. Below is an excerpt from a news item from the Feb 9, 2007 edition of Daily Times that depicts the level of hate these Islamists harbor for our Founding Father Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah.

    The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) will celebrate 2007 by paying tribute to the heroes who played an important role in the independence of Pakistan ignoring Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his companions, JUI officials told Daily Times on Thursday. They said that the party would hold conventions in Peshawar and other cities of the NWFP in March to highlight the services of “real freedom fighters”………. JUI information secretary Maulana Amjad Khan said that Jinnah and his companions would not be commemorated because they had not done anything for Islam. “Jinnah was not imprisoned during the independence struggle. That is why he did nothing worth remembering,” Khan added.Recommend

  • Somroo
    Jun 2, 2010 - 4:05PM

    Towards Secular Pakistan. A reminder of the dream that led to the Independence of Pakistan. Pakistan was created as a secular state not as a theocratic state.Recommend

  • Jun 2, 2010 - 4:24PM

    Everyone who has commented on my post above – I am truly indebted to your kindness. Whether you agree with Basit Sahab’s assertion or not, I am very happy that he wrote about something that actually matters and opened a valuable thread.

    Basit: I couldn’t agree more, “It is about reclaiming Jinnah’s Pakistan. It is about recreating a progressive Pakistan based on the principles of live and let live.” I am pleasantly surprised to read some of the conversations at Tribune. It is refreshing :-) Specially because Pakistan’s media managers (for that matter – any other countries) create, process, refine, and preside over the circulation of images and information which determine our beliefs and attitudes and, ultimately, our behavior.

    During Gen. Musharaff’s dictatorship Pakistan’s media managers produced messages that did not correspond to the realties of social existence. Using private TV channels, Mush regime intentionally created a false sense of reality and produced a consciousness that cannot comprehend or willfully reject the actual conditions of life.

    It is, therefore, refreshing to read new sets of writers who tell us: “It is time we re-write that epitaph on Dr. Abdus Salam’s tomb as First Muslim Nobel Laureate.”

    Well done!Recommend

  • irfan haider
    Jun 2, 2010 - 4:52PM

    mr basit i am not agree with ur views.okRecommend

  • BASMA
    Jun 3, 2010 - 6:23AM

    I agree with mr Basit,and mr Ibrahim and others who want to see a progressive pakistan but right now there is more of a question of saving pakistan.I really wonder as a nation we are so vocal and always ahead in condemnation of any evil outside our country,so easily we can gather on streets and do protests for any problems in the world but we so are so blind to see our own issues or have so much tolerance for that. when it comes to these extremists/ terrorists inside our own country , we are almost mute nation. Actually many of us inspite of all that hatred ,intolerance, killings and destruction caused by these terrorists have sympathies to them. its really hard to understand the morals of our society.
    Why we lack major discussions on tv media on ways to tackle these issues,why our people never do protests against these forces, why we failed to convey message to them that we despise their actions.
    This malignat cancer is speading fast.lot of young children and teenagers are becoming their prey.by giving them the gauantee of heaven they are making them do all kind of evil deeds.
    . .We should talk about it openly and despise their actions so that this cancer does not spread to whole country.Recommend

  • Abdul Alim
    Jun 4, 2010 - 11:55AM

    Has anyone considered the possibility that Islam actually recommends secularism and that Secularism is a religious value divinely sanctioned by the Quran.
    read carefully the verse “there is no compulsion in religion” this verse clearyl indicates that when state mixes with politics or interferes in people’s personal beliefs it goes against the quranic princicples of no compulsion in matters of faith.
    Another verse that is quite clear says” when you govern among people govern with justice” now this is quite clear and says that justice should be yardstick and not who comes from what religion.
    I hope those who are educated can take a moment and reflect on the universal principles of Islam as practiced by our dear Holy Prophet of Islam in the State of Madinah. The charter of Madinah speaks of people in Madinah as belonging to one Ummah. This included christians and jews.Recommend

  • Qureshi
    Jun 8, 2010 - 8:57PM

    Again nothing justifies killing of innocent humans.Recommend

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