Fighting a losing battle?

Published: September 3, 2011

ayesha.siddiqa@tribune.com.pk

A recent television debate between columnist and political activist Marvi Sirmed and televangelist Zaid Hamid has invited many comments. The discussion revolved around Zaid Hamid and Meher Bokhari’s accusations that the South Asian Free Media Association is being funded by Indian intelligence agencies.

The debate reminded me of a duel between renowned boxer Muhammad Ali and Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki. The competition between the masters of their respective fields was a mismatch in which both men felt out of place — a wrestler fighting a boxer.

Both speakers spoke different political and social languages. The debate at best was a zero-sum game since neither side made inroads into the other’s camp. While the liberals patted Sirmed, Hamid’s followers pelted abuses at her. Today, Ms Sirmed is an endangered species who may not even be helped by the ‘liberal’ PPP government in case she gets into life-threatening trouble.

The liberal discourse is based on certain assumptions starting from the impression that a large majority of people subscribe to liberalism, which they express by not voting for religious parties. This is a fallacy. In fact, the post-Salmaan Taseer reaction proved that a number of PPP jiyalas did not sympathise with what Taseer stood for and the party was absolutely clueless about mustering support for Taseer, leave alone Aasia bibi. Second, for the liberals it is a particular group, political party or agenda that personifies liberalism. For instance, a human rights activist sent around a message recently asking people to demonstrate against the film censor board’s decision to ban a Pakistani film. This was seen as a decision taken under the influence of the religious right. However, the same person was hesitant to protest an act of blatant misdemeanour by the present government. There are many others who wouldn’t protest certain issues out of fear of being labelled as anti-liberal. So it’s not the issue which is important but the right tag.

The question that the liberals fail to ask themselves is that in the absence of any legwork to eradicate growing radicalism, such as having the will to change the curriculum or creating a social agenda tied with political objectives, how can anyone even begin to change the mindset of Zaid Hamid followers? Today, Jinnah’s August 11 speech does not mean anything except what our state-sponsored historian Akber S Ahmed calls political pragmatism. We could debate until the cows come home that Jinnah did not want a theocratic state. But the fact is that Pakistan’s underlying philosophy espoused a separation between ethnic communities on the basis of a religious identity. Having done that, neither Jinnah nor his Muslim League could claim sole ownership of a political narrative laced in religion.

The state, the political class and the bulk of the intelligentsia owned the religious identity-based politics to a degree that national identity became synonymous with religious identity. It’s due to the state’s ownership of this peculiar discourse that no one was able to convince the common man that the two-nation theory needed serious revision after the breakup of Pakistan in 1971. The inability to introspect even then made us put the responsibility solely on India’s doorsteps. Resultantly, Zulfikar Bhutto’s slogan of a ‘thousand years of war’ with India strengthened the age-old narrative. Similarly, it is false to argue that Musharraf encouraged liberalism through his policies as he was one big supporter of militancy. The fact is that all our leaders, be it civilian or military, have contributed to this selective narrative.

However, Pakistan needs to graduate from a two-nation theory to a one-nation narrative that is all-inclusive. It has to cut across religious-ideological, ethnic and sectarian divides. The Zaid Hamids of this country have to appreciate that the two-nation theory might have created a country, but it has run out of steam and must be replaced by slogans that can join people without coercion. An all-inclusive agenda will strengthen us even more than our neighbour India, whom we insist on contesting all the time. This also means that only the political group we support will not colour political and intellectual choices.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2011.

Reader Comments (66)

  • faraz
    Sep 3, 2011 - 11:32PM

    The utility of two nation theory ended with partition. Jinnah didn’t ask to run foreign policy according to two nation theory. Language riots in Dhaka in early 1950s should have been enough to indicate that two nation theory has no role in nation building.

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  • Abdul Rehman Gilani
    Sep 4, 2011 - 12:09AM

    Liberals are a minority in this country and they must accept this reality instead of imposing their will on the rest of us. Under the garb of freedom of speech attacks on Islam are being justified and plans are afoot to change the blasphemy law. If liberals have their way two nation theory, islamic law etc everything will be revised to suit their deranged view.

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  • Kaiser Hameed Khan
    Sep 4, 2011 - 12:25AM

    Respected Madam Ayesha Siddiqa,
    You attained a lot of fame from your book on the alleged corruption in the Armed Forces of Pakistan. It did certainly create a lot of ripples in the international media and also on the national front. BUT the nation does not seem to beleive you because still the majority of the nation beleives that the only institution in Pakistan which can be depended on is the Military.
    Are you satisfied with the honesty and integrity of the politicians particulary those in the government? If not why are you silent ? I am sure you coulsd not be scared of this inept lot!
    Now even kids speak volumes about the inept governance because of corruption of the government.If you do not raise voice against them will it not be correct to assume that you had a grudge against the Army or Particulary some unifirmed person which became the impetus behind your famous OR infamous Book.
    Will you please do a favour to this nation by looking in the eyes of the corrupt politicians who have surpassed the corruption highlighted by you and belittled what you have written in your book about the Army! I am not a protagonist of the Army but observe a missing link in your stand against corruption in Pakistan.I am certain you were not against the Army and what you wrote reflects your Patriotism with Pakistan.
    There are characerless people in the government who are looters, extortionists, hoarders, Murderers, and Liars(Not Lawyers) but like most of us YOU TOO seem to have accepted them as our “FAIT ACOMPLI” Well may then I dare to ask what perfection did you have in mind when you literally pulled down the pants of the Army?
    I have had the opportunity to speak to a number of Army officers and Mind you, you have been too harsh to the Army as a whole, which comprises of 90 % junior young officers , who are laying down their lives for this Nation.These were their sentiments! I wish you had interviewed at least one such officer who would have given you the feel of what the younger lot in the Army feels about You.
    Your Admirer.
    Kaiser Hameed Khan

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  • Jameel
    Sep 4, 2011 - 12:34AM

    There are many others who wouldn’t
    protest certain issues out of fear of
    being labelled as anti-liberal. So
    it’s not the issue which is important
    but the right tag.

    You are right. I always thought 99.99% of so called liberals in Pakistan are just hypocrites. They call themselves liberals to separate from the Mullahs, just to remain in Class. They don’t know what liberalism is.

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  • Khurram
    Sep 4, 2011 - 1:45AM

    “But the fact is that Pakistan’s underlying philosophy espoused a separation between ethnic communities on the basis of a religious identity. Having done that, neither Jinnah nor his Muslim League could claim sole ownership of a political narrative laced in religion.”

    Ms Siddiqa: “Hammam Mein Sab Nange HaiN”. No one can escapes the blame, when it comes to exploiting religion to push one’s own agenda including Mr. Jinnah, he often quoted the superiority of Islam and its non-compatibility with Hinduism. He said so many things at so many times in the heat of the moment to prove his point without really taken into a perspective the repercussions or ripple-effects of those words in the building of a newly created nation. His 11th of August speech was mostly for the consumption of rest the world not for the would-be Pakistanis why? If he wanted a country where the Muslims and Hindus would live peacefully then it itself defeats the very logic behind the demand for a separate country they could have done this in a united India, I am sure he knew in his heart that it would never be possible to make Pakistan a secular nation. In her book, “Half Way to Freedom” Life Magazine’s photo journalist Margarete Burke-White very clearly compares Mr Jinnah’s plight with that of Dr. Faustus. He was fully aware that force(religion)he he called upon to achieve Pakistan would one day be also responsible for her destruction. It is very sad and deeply hurting but the people who have power to do something and change the course from self-destruction are afraid, do not have the will power and moral courage.

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  • Sep 4, 2011 - 2:25AM

    The writer herself says that the debate was meaningless as both the parties spoke different languages.

    What Marvi Sirmed says is Venus, what Zaid Hamid speaks is Mars. Both live far from reality. The reality are facts that we need to comprehend without complicating facts and turning them into twisted conspiracy theories.

    Pakistan is in a state of war, along side its all time partner Afghanistan. When US entered Afghanistan, it not only bombed Afghanistan, but as per its foreign policy, it wreaked havoc all across Pakistan as well. Before US landed in Afghanistan, there was no terrorism in Pakistan and/or Afghanistan.
    Similar was the case with Iraq. Before US landed there, there weren’t any suicide bombings etc.
    US is a war machine, that takes war to Muslim countries achieving two objectives at a time. Killing Islamic ideologues who speak of Khilafat or an Islamic system of governance or those who defy American interests and American pressure tactics ; and to keep its defense manufacturing units alive and kicking with billions of Tax dollars.
    Writers like Ayesha Siddiqa who blame Pakistan Army for the mess that Pakistan is in, should look back at their ideal state “the United States of America” and listen to what their own people are saying regarding this war on terror, in which both the terror and the anti-terror contingents are American backed – and should also take a closer look at the chaos that America has indulged itself into by immersing itself into wars that were not meant to be.
    US is a dying superpower, not only does it know it, but they also carefully chose a black President to take the fall of the defamation of American defeat in Afghanistan.

    Siddiqa should take a look at her name, and know that her name suggests she speak the truth. its about time she figured what actually went down in the past 10 years, and who is in worse shape, the US or Pakistan – and should stop wasting time writing articles on useless TV debates that hardly have any influence on the mentality of people. Thanks to the “freedom” of media, today there are so many opinion producers in the media that the masses hardly know what is right and what is wrong, what needs to be believed and what needs to belied.

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  • Sep 4, 2011 - 2:40AM

    Two nation theory will soon metamorphosise into three or four nation theory…the pillar of which will not be religion (as in the orignal) but sects or ethnicities (Sindhi, punjabi, Balcoh etc)…this is what Zaid Hamid and his minions must understand.

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  • sandy
    Sep 4, 2011 - 3:55AM

    The biggest flaw of the two-nation theory is that it falsely claimed that people of different religious backgrounds could not live side-by-side together as equal citizens of the same state. Such a notion was, and will always be, morally abhorrent and indefensible, whatever spin one puts on it.

    It is just self-serving hypocrisy for Pakistanis to now make the argument that the two-nation theory was valid when muslims were in a minority i.e. in undivided India; and is now no longer valid in present-day Pakistan since they are in a majority.

    If you want to move forward, you have to reject the entire philosophy and thinking behind the two-nation theory in totality and just accept that it was plain wrong, and that people of different communities – hindus and muslims and whoever else – can and must live together! If not, the poison you have unfortunately fed yourself for the last 64 years will continue to stunt your future generations, and always get in the way of a common prosperous future for South Asia.

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  • ikmundapunjabi
    Sep 4, 2011 - 6:42AM

    why the hell is everyone writing essays on this forum,guys just be short and curt.and pakistany society in general overwhelmingly to the right.

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  • Mustafa
    Sep 4, 2011 - 7:33AM

    A united India after the British left, would have created a civil war in India and much of the losers would have been Muslims. What happened to the Sikh minority, is just a tiny fraction of what could have happened to Muslim minority in undevided India. Jinnah knew the situation but Muslim leaders like Abul Kalam Azad who were against the partition of India had no vision.

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  • xlr8
    Sep 4, 2011 - 7:37AM

    @sandy
    well said

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  • narayana murthy
    Sep 4, 2011 - 8:40AM

    It is about time, somebody wrote on this topic.

    It was funny watching the argument between the two. However, Zaid Hamid was way off his mark. Not only did he fail to prove his accusation, he used obscurantism to confuse the audience. In the end he only said “we’ll prove it in court”, which he could have said much earlier. His condescending ways, arrogant smirks/gestures, saying that Marvi has dressed like the enemy of Pakistan proves how immature/illogical this guy is.

    Coming to the two-nation theory. The general acceptance among the intellectuals is that, two nation theory failed the day 1/3rd of Muslims stayed back in India in 1947. It was debunked again in 1971.

    Today, the two nation theory is debunked everyday in Pakistan, when SUNNI muslims in Pakistan are killing SUNNI muslims, on ethnic, sectarian and language grounds.

    Javed Akthar (Indian), in an interview to Pakistani news channel says that JINNAH did not create Pakistan for all the Muslims (which is about 18 crore today). Pakistan was created only for the Jahgirdards, Zameendaars and some rich industrialists, who feared a raw deal from the Hindus of the subcontinent. In other words, Pakistan was created only for some rich people.

    This is SO VERY evident today in Pakistan where a few thousands of rich Pakistanis are happy and enjoying their lives, while a vast majority of Pakistanis are suffering.

    Having said that, moving forward, Pakistan should give up two nation theory. This is not to advocate the unification of two countries. No way. Nobody in India wants 17 crore problems to add to our 1 billion problems. This means, moving forward Pakistan should strive to be one nation for all Pakistanis (not JUST for Sunnis or Punjabis or Wahhabis or the army/isi).

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  • narayana murthy
    Sep 4, 2011 - 8:51AM

    Abdul Rahman Gilani says “Liberals are a minority in this country and they must accept this reality instead of imposing their will on the rest of us. Under the garb of freedom of speech attacks on Islam are being justified and plans are afoot to change the blasphemy law.”

    “attacks on Islam”, could you please explain this? Has anyone claimed that Muhammad (PBUH) was a false prophet? Has anyone claimed that Quran is Khurafar (the word I learned recently)?

    Who is attacking Islam? Can you give one example with quote. Why do you lie and mislead people?

    AND, what is wrong in changing blasphemy law? Is changing blasphemy law an attack on Islam? How is that?

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  • DR AZHAR MUKHTAR SINDHU
    Sep 4, 2011 - 9:01AM

    Two nation theory is the most “disturbed” and the idealiest theory of recent political history.i mean if someone dont know much about pakistan and its history,and told this,that pakistan came into being as hindu and muslims were two seperate entities,and thereafter, 64 years passed! still M-M(military-mullaha) alliance beleieves 2nation theory valid!
    A joke of the earth.
    Comeon.
    Be pregmatic !
    Yes we must adorn it heartedly as a past theory of pakistan’s creation bit one must not be always ready to die for its existence even at present day when our biggest security threat lies within our own “nation”
    Torn history has torn us, if taught wrong history the next generation ll be a lost generation unable to come out of debate of religion and its politico economical role.
    Hence its survival at stake

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  • Sep 4, 2011 - 9:15AM

    I feel compelled to object to the the chilling indifference implied in,

    ” Ms Sirmed is an endangered species who may not even be helped by the ‘liberal’ PPP government in case she gets into life-threatening trouble.”

    Most respectfully, this smug, “know-it-all” fatalism and fatwa by silence is more disturbing than all the abuse & death threats that the harbingers of unconventional wisdom have to endure.

    Yes, the blight of “groupism” is a nuisance, but not as much of an threat as the groupism of the dominant.Recommend

  • ashok sai
    Sep 4, 2011 - 9:38AM

    Dear Author,

    I think current Pakistani generation is already spoilt, courtesy red cap hero and some others like him. So, let us hope for the future generation.

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  • N
    Sep 4, 2011 - 10:19AM

    It is a losing battle assuming there were liberals and they were fighting!

    We were born in the crucible of religion, grew up hating “others” and loving ourselves. We have no desire to include all our citizens and offer equal opportunity to all of them. The most we are willing to compromise on is our version of secularism i.e. peace within the Islamic framework as long as the “others” in our midst – Ahmadiyas, Hindus, Sikhs and Christians pay us taxes. The Islamic supremacists and bigots like Zaid Hamid and Hamid Gul have already said that ours is an Islamic land and the “others” can pay jeziya to live in it! Giving our “others” equal opportunities and treating them with respect – both of which we seek and get when living in someone else’s country, is neither our intent nor goal.

    The battle in our country has never been between Islamists and liberals – the fight has been over the pace of Islamization of our society. It is only a matter of time before we get to our destination – a fully burqua clad Islamic state. We will get there either through a theocratic coup – a la Iran or through elections – like Turkey. To that end there are no divides amongst us. That is the uncomfortable truth.

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  • Sep 4, 2011 - 10:32AM

    First of all, Creation of Pakistan was not on basis of ‘Two Nation Theory’. This theory was just chosen by Jinnah to supply ‘petrol’ for movement of Pakistan so that Pakistan build in early dates. This theory purpose was to get ‘destiny’ early. Everyone know Jinnah’s daily life was full of ‘Western Culture’ and they are liberal by birth. Jinnah also always wear Western Costume i.e. Pent Coat, he wear ‘Sherwani’ just in very rare moments. But, after death of Jinnah, establishment show him in pictures/movies/photographs wearing ‘Sherwani’. Conspiracy against Pakistan boots up from this point that what meant to wear ‘Sherwani’ to Jinnah? although he not like it and he was not like to wear it too regularly?

    Second, without changing curriculum and mind-set of Teachers/Professors and procedure of selection of teachers by the PPSC and FPSC, ‘liberalism’ can’t growth and ‘Mullahs’ culture will remained dominating on Pakistan and its people. But, here it not means to change the curriculam as pin pointed by the NGOs and naam nuhaad ‘Roshan-Khayal’ Bloggers and Journalists. Curriculam must prepare according to the 4 nation’s history, languages, culture, folks, social, values… ‘Mirathan Race Curriculam’ and ‘Child Abuse Noise’ advisors must kicked out from the media as their voice is not according to the social life of the land but they wish to make Pakistan ‘Hong Kong’ and want to see GF and BF under LAW and they are doing such agenda just for their personal matters i.e. obtaining unlimited rain of ‘$’…

    Third, silence of Pakistan Peoples Party after murder on Salman Tasir does not means they are looser. When dominating ‘Mullahism’ ruled, when it is not good to show War Against ‘Mullaiat’ openly, If it did, it will equal to ‘self sucide’ which will not good for liberal group. Further, in living river, it is psycho’ism to fight with crocodile.

    As per my common sense, concerned Blogger try to ‘Warm-up’ liberal ‘PPP’ for standing against ‘Mullahism’ under something hidden her own agenda i.e. ‘divide and rule’ so that liberal journalists and NGOs can ‘rocks’ on roads, tv, express tribune and newspapers. Thanks

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  • Hamid Raza
    Sep 4, 2011 - 10:33AM

    Madam

    I hope you would write the next article to advise the government on ways to convince India not to usurp irrigation waters of Pakistan. Let’s start with waters and then ultimately resolve other issues. That will surely help resolve The Two Nation Theory as per your recommendation.

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  • Abdul Rehman Gilani
    Sep 4, 2011 - 11:21AM

    @sandy:

    You need to seriously take a course in history. And if you go to india, and are forced to live in a slum in mumbai, then we’ll see for how long you live in denial. Sir Syed, Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam were much learned than you, that much is certain.

    @HAMMAD QURESHI:

    Excellent point. Fact is, that “liberal extremists” like this writer, are very phobic of religion. Just a few articles ago, she was lambasting an author just because she had written a book on Islamists in Pakistan. The writer of this article declared that the author of the book had shown a militant view! May Allah help people like her.

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  • Ibrar khan
    Sep 4, 2011 - 11:29AM

    Two nation theory or otherwise, liberalism or vice versa, why isn’t anyone thinking about the plight of the common man? Everyone is pushing his or her own agenda from his own cloistered house without an iota of concern for the people of Pakistan. I think we need to realise that we are going to dogs sooner than expected if the current situation continues. We need to arrest the rot as soon as possible and the people will surely welcome whoever would attempt to do so.
    But if we continue to engage in hair splitting arguments on whether something that happened 64 years ago was right or wrong, then rest assured that we will continue to chase our tails the way we have been doing it over the past six decades.
    And one more thing, we have become very garrulous of late, and have started presuming perhaps unconsciously, that talking about something is the solution while in reality it’s action that should be our forte.

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  • Wellwisher
    Sep 4, 2011 - 11:38AM

    @Kaiser Hameed Khan:
    Politicians/civilians were exposed both by media and judiciary on many occasions. But can you site even one worthwhile incident exposing Army/armed forces? If the media and judiciary are allowed to expose the armed forces fully nobody will back army men in the place of civilians.
    The best example is 1971 East Pakistan war. How many Pakistanis know the details in full? You never learn from the past. You live in imaginary world. Accept the reality around you and the world. Then try to formulate your internal and external policies.

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  • R. Khan
    Sep 4, 2011 - 11:44AM

    Excellent Articke

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  • SharifL
    Sep 4, 2011 - 12:05PM

    I have read Marvi Sirmed’s article in Daily Times and support her views. She says she has received threatening letters from many. To have a different opinion on a subject, particularly about the extent of faith in our lives, is understandable, but showing aggressional attitudes is nothing but a shame. I also wrote to her to support her; probably that was like sand in the ocean which got lost in translation.
    WE need to learn from others that a peaceful and progressive society is better managed in a liberal society. Recently a local friend asked me why is it that most of Muslim societies are in turmoil, unhappy, violent and edgy, but all this changes when Muslims move to a non Muslim tolerant societies of the west. I had to admit that it was because western societies tolerate difference of opinion as part of their way of life. You can wear headscarfs, wear a bikini, drink or remain a teetotaler. Go to your religious places or remain away from them. Nobody will accuse you of being a non Christian or an infidel. It is more evident in its treatment of women; they are accepted as equal partners and can do whatever they want, without the ‘permission’ of male guardians.

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  • BruteForce
    Sep 4, 2011 - 1:40PM

    @Abdul Rehman Gilani:

    I know more Indian Muslims than you, sitting across the border, can ever know. Some I know very well, some not quite as much. They all agree that they are better off in India.

    You might quote an incident which happened a decade ago but what about the incidences that happened in the past months in Pakistan?

    Oh, then you would brush it under the carpet saying India is behind this accepting the Urdu Media’s words. I ask you how do you know they are right?

    Just take the holy month of Ramzan. How many Muslims died in India during that month due to ideological violence? Zero. How many dozens died in Pakistan?

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  • Abdul Rehman Gilani
    Sep 4, 2011 - 2:29PM

    @SharifL:

    You mean the hindu woman who denied the Two Nation Theory, and started going beserk in a program with Zaid Hamid! Guess what, she should go to india where she really belongs.

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  • Sep 4, 2011 - 3:15PM

    Difference of opinion is a blessing till such time aim is well being of people of this country but if it is ISI vs RAW then any debate will be no debate.A vast majority of people of this country jealously guard two nation theory which goes far and beyond the creation of Pakistan,Liberals do have a point but then above mentioned so called intellectuals can only complicate the matter.

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  • vickram
    Sep 4, 2011 - 3:45PM

    One of the greatest things that happened to India was the Two Nation Theory of Jinnah that helped create Pakistan.

    The present generation of Indians are forever grateful to Jinnah for taking Muslims with him, those Muslims who did not believe that the two communities could live together. Thanks to Jinnah, India also got millions of Muslims, who believed in pluralism and who wanted to stay in India and build a new India. People with an radical bent of mind migrated to Pakistan while people who believed in enlightened moderation stayed back in India.

    If Partition had not happened, the undivided India would have 400 million muslim population and this would have been disastrous for county. With that kind of population, the Muslims, with their obscurantist, 7th century mindset, would have put the entire sub-continent back to cave ages. India would have been subjected to thousand ‘Kashmir type of agitations’ and the country would have split into 40 or 50 Somalia type countries.

    India had to pay a heavy price during Partition, but, looking back now, I feel, whew, what a narrow escape !

    If India should offer its gratitude to anyone, it is to Jinnah, for helping India on this course !

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  • Sep 4, 2011 - 4:14PM

    I strongly beleive that SAFMA is funded by RAW and Anti-Pakistan Entities.Recommend

  • kailashsethy
    Sep 4, 2011 - 4:44PM

    sadly people don’t realize religion must not be part of day today live. its ok to be religious but within home. People can be happy and good person, live and let live other different minded person in a society. Indonesia and Malaysia still much better Muslim countries comparing to Arab countries.

    I have to admit I am not a fan of any God.

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  • Aziz
    Sep 4, 2011 - 4:45PM

    @ Gilani.

    Muslims living in slums in India? I won’t mention the minorities, please consider your Muslim brothers living in slums within Pakistan. At least Indians had the courage to accept it.

    I went to a catholic school in the heart of lahore, had Christian friends. Please trust me, id rther be a Muslim in India rather than a Christian living in Pakistan.

    I was poisoned in the same way you were, but I chose to open my mind and tried to look at the things differently. There is something called ‘critical thinking’ and honestly, its not a myth.

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  • Roflcopter
    Sep 4, 2011 - 4:50PM

    Zaid Hamid is awesome.

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  • It Is Economy Stupid
    Sep 4, 2011 - 5:18PM

    In diplomacy what is said in public is far different than what is discussed behind the door. Two nation theories are for public consumption. In my opinion the reason for partition was to prevent Muslim majority in Indian Parliament. Imagine for a minute the voting power of Muslim MPs in the Parliament of a United India with Muslim votes from Bangladesh and Pakistan. Looking back it is OK to say that thank god partition occurred and it allowed India to be secular. In retrospect the Indian model worked and we have 64 years history to look back to come up with a score card to prove it. Both Pakistan and Bangladesh want to improve relations with India.

    I would like to narrate a true incidence for Pakistani Muslims. I live in North America. My son became friends with two freshly arrived Pakistani well mannered handsome boys on student visa from well to do family (read filthy rich) in Karachi area. I asked my Indian (born and raised in Mumbai and lived few years in Middle East) Muslim family friend (lower to middle class family) who are Canadian citizen and have lived in Canada for over ten years, if they would be interested in meeting these boys as a potential match for their daughter (hizab wearing and very religious). They refused to meet them just because they are from Pakistan and there is a potential that their daughter may have to visit or may have to live in Pakistan. It made me pause for a minute and think that something has gone terribly wrong in last 64 years with the Pakistani Muslim society. I do admit Sania Mirza from India did marry a boy from Pakistan but this family never met these two boys.

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  • SharifL
    Sep 4, 2011 - 6:18PM

    @Abdul Rehman Gilani: I respect your views, but disagree completely. There are only a couple of million hindus living in Pakistan; a lot more Muslims have left Pakistan to other non Muslim countries willingly, where they demand equal rights and respect for their faith. Nobody has the right to ask them to go back; that is against liberal ideas. And not to mention over 120 Million Muslims living in India. I did not know that Marvi is hindu: Now I feel like supporting her more.

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  • Abdul Rehman Gilani
    Sep 4, 2011 - 6:50PM

    @BruteForce:

    Just because it isnt reported, doesnt mean Muslims didnt die at the hands of extremist militant hindu organizations like RSS,BJP,Shiv Sena. Please as compared too living off as a slave in india, I better die free in Pakistan. Rest assured, Muslims are brutally marginalized as second-class citizens in “secular” india. And lets not talk about Bihar shall we?

    @Aziz:

    So your implying that rivers of milk are flowing for the minorities in india, or that poor dont exist there? Thank you, thats all I wanted to hear……. :D

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  • Abdul Rehman Gilani
    Sep 4, 2011 - 6:59PM

    @BruteForce:

    Dear, why are you wasting your time in Pakistan then, go join your “brethren” across the border then if they are so happy!

    Pakistan is an identity, and people who have been brainwashed by fascists like SAFMA, are too little to even count.

    @SharifL:

    I cant and wont stop you from going on a path of self-destruction. So you can support marvi if you want. madness exists, especially in those who love denying the two-nation theory. By the way, the same woman tried miserably justifying giving gays the right to openly get married in Pakistan, so if you want to support mentally deluded people, go ahead! :)

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  • Abdul Rehman Gilani
    Sep 4, 2011 - 7:16PM

    @Arsalan:

    SAFMA should be banned in Pakistan.

    @narayana murthy:

    Fact is that removing the death sentence from the blasphemy law will happen over the dead bodies of millions. Religion is infused with our psyche, and its time you understood it.

    Fact of the matter is, that liberal extremists can continue lambasting the state, just because it cant become godless like them! So they can dub their perverse ideology “secularism”, it will still remain so.

    And tell me, half of that time in the program the woman was going beserk whilst Zaid kept his cool, even though she openly denied the Two-Nation theory. Making puerile remarks in the whole program, but some people living in an intellectual cesspool give applause to her. May Allah help them.

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  • billybob
    Sep 4, 2011 - 7:33PM

    @vickram your comment is very interesting. really amused me. :)

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  • Pk_paris
    Sep 4, 2011 - 7:49PM

    I did see this debate but I have seen Zaid Hamid videos. He is security analyst but Looks like he is only busy in TV interviews. He seems very patriotic but his views & opinions are not helping at all. Most of time, same tape of raw/mossad/CIA. If he is really concerned about Pakistan, he needs to come on TV with some social economics programs rather than only security. But seems he wants to continue 63 years brain washing program which is helping him a lot by earning money from TV channels but not to common Pakistanis at all. He has done more damage to Pakistan than his usual enemies India/Israel/America

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  • faraz
    Sep 4, 2011 - 7:54PM

    @Abdul Rehman Gilani

    1/3rd Muslims of Subcontinent remained in India and 1/3rd got rid of us in 1971. People are getting killed in Karachi and Baluchistan every day over ethnicity. Thousands have died in sectarian killings. Taliban and army (defenders of ideology) have killed each other in thousands. Suraiki, Hazara and Bahawalpur want separate provinces over linguistic basis. Everyone is trying to get out of this country. There are pushtoon, Sindhi, Mohajir, and Baloch nationalist movements which don’t believe in the ‘Pakistan ideology’. The educated ones are trying to get out of this country. And you are still stuck with two nation theory.

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  • narayana murthy
    Sep 4, 2011 - 8:56PM

    @It Is Economy Stupid

    It’s interesting that you mention Sania Mirza.

    Sania Mirza can actually marry someone from Eritria and still be happy. She’s so rich that she can choose to live wherever she wants.

    After her marriage, I don’t think, she has lived in Pakistan for a substantial period of timeRecommend

  • mind control
    Sep 4, 2011 - 9:10PM

    @Hamid Raza

    I hope you would write the next article to advise the government on ways to convince India not to usurp irrigation waters of Pakistan. Let’s start with waters and then ultimately resolve other issues.

    Please do yourself and your fellow countrymen a favour and read the following document. I have also quoted a paragraph from the same document.
    http://ipripak.org/factfiles/ff127.pdf

    In late June 2009, Pakistani Water and Power Minister Raja Parvez
    Ashraf observed that India does have a right to build dams, but that it cannot
    stop the flow of water into Pakistan in order to fill the dams. In fact, Jamaat
    Ali Shah, Pakistan’s Indus Water Commissioner, gave a rare candid interview
    in April 2008, stating that the Indian water projects currently undertaken do
    not contravene the provisions of the 1960 Indus Water Treaty.

    Now that the ‘water issue’ stands resolved, can we proceed with the ‘two nation theory’ please.

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  • Austin
    Sep 4, 2011 - 11:12PM

    @ Gilani

    I am a christian, my parents came to Mumbai before partition, in the early 60′s they lived in the slums and then we progressed along with the nation, and now we live in apartments. This is the same to a Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Parsi, Jain, or anyone else.

    This discrimination i hear a lot about in Pakistan about Muslims suffering in India are based on false facts. There is no discrimination in jobs, education based on religion.

    There is discrimination based on Caste, but it is official Government policy. There is in some cases discrimination against a particular religion in residential societies in Mumbai

    There is no discrimination in the job market. The one who performs wins. This is the only way India can grow and we are all aware of it.

    Having said that, i would also like to mention that there are more Hindus living in slums in Mumbai then Muslims. This has to do with economics and nothing else.

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  • MD
    Sep 4, 2011 - 11:54PM

    @vickram,
    You stole those words from my mouth buddy! You are absolutely right. I shudder to think about the united India, where we would have been living with 180 million Paks and 160 million Bangladeshis. Had if Mr.Jinnah not taken his folks away from us, then today, may be, you and I, would have been defending our respective families by sitting on rooftops our houses holding AK47s.
    A million thanks to Mr.Jinnah for partitioning the sub-continent!!

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  • Max
    Sep 5, 2011 - 7:12AM

    Oh poor Marvi! Stay away from these venomous snakes.

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  • Ali Hasnain Ghumman
    Sep 5, 2011 - 12:32PM

    Not “liberals” my friend. “Enlightened moderates”.

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  • Tony Singh
    Sep 5, 2011 - 12:44PM

    @Abdul Rehman Gilani:
    1. How do you know Sandy is not as learned as Jinnah if not more? Sandy anyway appears to be more wise than him. Look around you and see what Jinnah has created. There is an excellent interview of Dr. Abul Kalam Azad. Here is the link
    http://www.newageislam.org/NewAgeIslamArticleDetail.aspx?ArticleID=2139
    May be this will open your eyes unless if you want to be an ostrich and are intent on keeping your head buried in sand.

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  • Abdul Rehman Gilani
    Sep 5, 2011 - 1:36PM

    @faraz:

    so if your analogy is accepted……
    does that mean all murders in india should be classified as hindus killing hindus or hindus killing muslims,christians,sikhs,daltits and untouchables? What about the Naxaalites? What about the barbarism in Kashmir? And lets not even turn a blind eye to extremists in india, shall we?

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  • Infidel Humanist
    Sep 5, 2011 - 1:37PM

    @SharifL:

    I did not know that Marvi is hindu

    I don’t think she is. I think she is a MuslimRecommend

  • Aziz
    Sep 5, 2011 - 3:07PM

    @ Gilani.
    I’m glad I read the rest of your comments. I understand. I’m not flabbergasted. I know where you’re coming from. I was suffering from ‘muta’alia I pakistan syndrome’ in the same way you are right now. I was so deluded. Nawai waqt was my favorite newspaper. But guess what happend; I came to the age of reason and grew up.

    Nothing in my comment suggested that the milk flows in the rivers of India for Muslims, that’s what you assumed. The only thing I suggested was that minorities in India are living way better than minorities in pakistan.

    Oh and while mentioning all the indian right wing extremists, would you care to enlighten us about the TTP, Lashker I Jhangvi, Sipah Sahaba, Sunni Tehreek, JTI etc?

    We have to look down at the atrocities committed by our own associates before we can sniff around our neighbours bum.

    Oh and the blasphemy laws? I hold a degree of LLM in sharia laws. Let’s clear one thing here; sharia is a man mad law, its derived and interpreted from divine. There is always a chance of a law being flawed. It has errors that must be addressed.

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  • SharifL
    Sep 5, 2011 - 3:49PM

    @Infidel Humanist: Gilani wrote in his comment above that she is hindu. It is not important which religion she has. A Pakistani is a Pakistani. But in this country of pure, people lie just to win an argument. Shame really.

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  • Singham
    Sep 5, 2011 - 4:09PM

    Hi Vickram, millions of Indian also want to say the same thing.If i would be the president of India,i would award Bharat Ratna to Mr.Jinnah.He had done a great service to India.Though we had lost our some land,but it cure us from ulcer.I can’t imagine for a second if India would be united,how much humiliation we would have to suffer in civilized world.Two nation theory united all hindus,sikh,budhhist,jain of sub-continent in one part and divided muslim in three parts.At the time of partition muslim were 1/4 of total population now it has become a 3/4 of total population in sub continent.Any one can easily guess this much of population whose loyalties is Arab can wreck havoc in India. Partition has paved the pathway for India to continue her way of life.

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  • Abdul Rehman Gilani
    Sep 5, 2011 - 7:58PM

    @SharifL:

    I did not use religion as an argument. Already her deluded opinion is enough!

    @Aziz:

    Thank you for “growing up” into a more deluded person. Dear, since you have a degree in Sharia’a kindly tell whats the punishment for theft in Islam? And by the way, you will know, that the punishment is prescribed in the Noble Qur’an, so claiming it as man-made is out of the question. And dear, just take a trip of Bihar, and ask the Christians how are they living there! Maybe if you go beyond the rosy picture, you will see the truth. I dont say rivers of milk flow in Pakistan, but rest assured, the true picture of “incredible india” should also be revealed.

    @Tony Singh:

    Dear, your asking me to read the comments of a pro-Congress mullah who belonged to the class which called Quaid-e-Azam kafir-e-azam. Sorry, but Allama Iqbal had already answered Maulana Azad’s views on a nation.

    And by the way, by what yardstick are you claiming that Sandy is more educated than Quaid-e-Azam? And can we apply the same to Nehru as well?

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  • Abdul Rehman Gilani
    Sep 5, 2011 - 8:14PM

    @Infidel Humanist:

    Here is your answer, she is a hindu.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvi_Sarmad

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  • Iftekhar
    Sep 5, 2011 - 9:03PM

    Like Talibans went berserk on Mush’s U-turn after 9/11 similarly Islamist/rightist did the same with Jinnah on his 11 August speech, which was a total U-turn. But no one accepted it then and it is very hard sell that now. It may be bargaining strategy for Jinnah but sadly he disappointed the secular traditions much. How one will defend his adovacy of Ghazi ilam din and in today’s Qadri will find arguments from that case in their own favour. As per in qazi Hussain’s word Jinnah was just an advocate for Muslims’ cause n no more. And his tons of speeches on Islamic ideals and Pak as lab for Islam are here to stay. Jinnah’s pak was long dead with passage of objective resolution. Or in his own life with killings in Bengal on language issues. Then after ’71 Bhutto’s Pak started where a Ahmedi can no more attain position of prominence and the Zia’s Pakistan. It is hard really hard to go back to that 1 nation narrative unless we go for united states of Pakistan under OIC solution to regional and nationalities issue be sought otherwise no durable solution to these bleeding of Muslim dominated countries.

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  • SharifL
    Sep 5, 2011 - 9:56PM

    @Abdul Rehman Gilani: You are right about her faith. Sorry I accused you of lying.

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  • Mustafa
    Sep 5, 2011 - 11:15PM

    The “Two Nation Theory” of Mohammad Ali Jinnah is quite consistent with true teachings of “Islam” where all Muslims are one Ummah or one nation. If Pakistanis had adhered to what Jinnah propagated, Pakistanis would not have split as Bengalis, Punjabis, Pushtoons, Baloch, Sindhis and Mohajirs. All Pakistanis would have remained united as one nation. Look at America where people are American first, not Blacks, Spanish, Irish, German, Polish, New Yorker, Californian etc. etc. first. It may take few hundred years before Pakistanis will be united as one nation, the dream of Jinnah.

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  • Prakash
    Sep 6, 2011 - 12:01AM

    @Mustafa:He is asking what happen to Sikh…then he should also know that at present a Sikh refugee from Pakistan,is Prime Minister of India.

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  • Mustafa
    Sep 6, 2011 - 3:17AM

    @ Parakash India had a Muslim President at one point of time and now it has a Sikh Prime Minister. Does this mean all Muslims and all Sikhs living in India have the same freedom and have the same rights as Hindus, the vast majority of India,

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  • Aziz
    Sep 6, 2011 - 4:20AM

    @ Gilani!

    I do not present an argument unless I’m heavily paid for it but since you have just dig your own grave by mentioning the punishment of theft in Quran, would you help me finding the punishment for blasphemy? That too, death? No, wait, you can’t cause its not in there. Hence; man made law.

    I can go on and give a lecture about sharia laws since you have learnt to spell ‘sharia’a’ about hud and ta’azeer and what are the sources and how and when it was derived but whats the point? You will still call me deluded. You heard the saying ‘naym mullah, khatra I eemaan’? Yrs that’s you.

    Anyway, like all us pakis, you’ve done what I expected you to do; deny and point fingers. You’re not saying oh we have that problem. You’re saying oh they have that problem. Bihaar? You stay in labored and Karachi and call a Christian a ‘choooras’ and burn their churches in the.outskirts of shiekhupura. Forget minorities, Sunni killing shia, Sunni killing Sunni, Wahabis killing everything that moves, distribution of mithaee at the murder of 86 ahmadis in lahore, 300 ethnic murders in Karachi in less than a month and you have the cheek to say Hindus are bad with the.minorities? Let’s just Corret ourselves before, like I said, go sniff Indian bum.

    Yes India is not as shining as what they present, but I’m sorry, we are not a.land of paak people either. That was the whole point of my debate.

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  • nasir
    Sep 6, 2011 - 11:06AM

    The bigext flaw in entire exercise is deciding the Islam into liberal and conservative islam. There is only one Islam that was preached by our prophet p.b.u.h., sands and sufis.rest is nonsense.and what they preached could be our saviour i followed in its true spirit. So called liberals must understand that it it is not Islam but its distorted interpretation which is causing havoc. Why…a misiterpretion of easily laws does also make same impact on the society. Muslim ummah is having all the troubles not due to Islam but rashers its absence in their social life.

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  • BruteForce
    Sep 6, 2011 - 8:19PM

    @Abdul Rehman Gilani:

    So if you follow your own theory then due to under-reporting more Muslims die in Pakistan than it is actually reported!

    If you want to die a free man, go to a Mosque in Lahore or Peshawar or Quetta, your wish will be fulfilled.

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  • Mustafa
    Sep 7, 2011 - 12:51AM

    @ Aziz You said “I can go on and give a lecture about sharia laws”.

    Hold your toung. Do you know what is “Sharia Law”. It is the Laws of Allah within the universe. Scientists know the laws of Allah more than a Mullah,

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  • Aziz
    Sep 7, 2011 - 3:07PM

    Yaawn. I rest my case.

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  • Infidel Humanist
    Sep 8, 2011 - 9:20AM

    @Abdul Rehman Gilani:

    Here is your answer, she is a hindu.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvi_Sarmad

    Thanks for that. Now I am even more afraid for her life.

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  • jehanzeb khurshid
    Sep 8, 2011 - 4:26PM

    Being a Muslim country we should follow Islamic law in its healthy shape .

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