Was Jinnah secular?

Published: March 20, 2011
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The writer is a director at the South Asia Free Media Association, Lahore
khaled.ahmed@tribune.com.pk

The writer is a director at the South Asia Free Media Association, Lahore [email protected]

On the night of March 7, 2011, Justice (retd) Javid Iqbal was interviewed on a TV channel on the nature of the Pakistani state. He held that Pakistan, as envisaged by Jinnah, was to be a secular state. This is the package he has always accepted as the ‘modern Islamic state’ imagined by his father, Allama Iqbal, too.

Javid Iqbal was clear that what Pakistan is now was not what Jinnah had thought of. The word ‘secular’ put off the TV host who insisted that ‘secular’ was the opposite of ‘Islamic’. He even once erroneously equated ‘secular’ with ‘communist’, not knowing that an atheist state cannot be secular. Javid Iqbal said hard Islam was not the project of Jinnah: The Islam of hudood and blasphemy laws was imposed by General Zia.

He even named Dualibi as the Arab scholar who was sent to Pakistan by Saudi Arabia to impose the laws that Pakistan was averse to enforcing. The fact is that the 1980 Zakat & Ushr Ordinance, imposed by General Zia on Sunnis and Shias, was framed by Dualibi in Arabic. Javid Iqbal clearly said that moderate and liberal elements were silent because they feared harm at the hands of extremist forces. He equally despaired of politicians.

He said that only the ibadat (prayer rituals) were unchangeable in Islam; muamilat (affairs) had to change in tune with the times. One reason Islamisation did not improve the Pakistani character was the state’s retrogression towards laws that were no longer compatible with modern times. He referred to an effort made by late MNA MP Bhandara who, as a minority representative, wanted the August 11, 1947 speech of Jinnah incorporated into the Constitution.

The August 11 speech is clearly a secular manifesto issuing out of the mouth of the Father of the Nation. The secularists lean on it; the others think Jinnah still meant a state based on Sharia. One historian even went as far as to say that Jinnah had become ‘infirm of mind’ when he spoke on August 11.

Saleena Karim in her book Secular Jinnah & Pakistan: What the Nation doesn’t Know (Paramount 2010) has probably tackled the case most thoroughly in defence of those who reject the secular label. She has dug up an interview that Jinnah gave to a Reuters’ journalist on May 21, 1947, which was used by chief justice Muhammad Munir in his book From Jinnah to Zia (1979) to infer that Jinnah had wanted a secular state.

She has dug up what Jinnah had really said: ‘But the Government of Pakistan can only be a popular representative and democratic form of government. Its parliament, and cabinet responsible to the parliament, will both be finally responsible to the electorate and the people in general without any distinction of caste, creed or sect, which will be the final deciding factor with regard to the policy and programme of the government that may be adopted from time to time’ (p.31).

She writes: “Instead of calling the proposed Pakistan a ‘modem democratic state’”, Jinnah says only that it will have a “democratic form” of government. He was actually averse to imitating “modern” (read: contemporary) democracy as a political system, considering it a failure’. She thinks it contains a presumed reference to a non-secular state. One could also conclude from this that people may democratically decide to have a non-secular Islamic state with a Sharia.

It is up to the reader to decide whether the argument for a non-secular state is convincing or not, on the basis of what Jinnah is supposed to have said.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (91)

  • Ashok
    Mar 20, 2011 - 2:05AM

    Dear Mr. Khaled Ahmed,

    You may wish to read what has been posted in the following link to further your own understanding of Jinnah:

    http://pundita.blogspot.com/2011/01/quaid-i-azam-has-bad-cold-margaret.html

    RegardsRecommend

  • faraz
    Mar 20, 2011 - 2:15AM

    Jinnah had little idea of the different forces operating inside a state. Once he carved out Pakistan under two nation theory, using religion to attain political objectives; the rise of clergy became inevitable. Only a strong political government could have held clergy back; here again Jinnah made a deadly compromise and allowed the Muslim landed aristocracy to take over the Muslim League. Recommend

  • Ashok
    Mar 20, 2011 - 2:39AM

    Many people are questioning what Jinnah said because of the current turmoil in the country. However, if one analyzes what the type of turmoil really is – I don’t think this is a new type of phenomena – it is predictable phenomena. Jinnah didn’t flinch when direct action day took place, neither did he flinch when he authorized Mehsud tribals to plunder their way across Gilgit Baltistan. The minority population of what constitutes “Pakistan” today is negligible as a percentage of what it used to be in 1946-47. The same can be said about Kashmir over the past one thousand years. Even if Pakistan declared itself to be secular tomorrow and removed the blasphemy law, that won’t stop killings (which are intended to intimidate and harass the religious minority population into silence) and one has to be forthright enough to ask if there is a sizable population of nonmuslims such that the removing the law is even relevant when examining the course of the country through the lens of history. I think so long as the religious minority population in Pakistan is less than 5%, the majority community has a feeling of satisfaction, or a sense of “mission accomplished”.

    One has to ask important, though difficult questions – why did partition of India (Bharat) take place? In the history of humanity, there are always those who seek power, fortune or a combination of those two. Jinnah was one of those individuals. What allowed him to access power? It was an underlying phenomena among at least half of the Indian-Muslim population (who now either refer to themselves as Pakistanis or Bangladeshis or in some cases Kashmiris – emphasizing the state where they are in the majority rather than the larger country they belong to where they are a minority) that wherever they are, they have a “human right” to resort to violence if necessary to impose Sharia law. This is not at all shocking when examining the message of many televangelists from that community who insist that they are “scholars”. One of the popular phrases one comes across is “ya shariat, ya shahadat” trans. “sharia or sacrifice by death to achieve sharia”

    Who are the heroes in Pakistan looked up to by the majority?

    Jinnah
    Mohammad
    Aurangazeb
    Babur
    Tipu Sultan
    Bin Qasim

    All of these were military commanders of some sort or had authority over military command. Neither is this group composed purely of indigenous origin individuals fighting against a temporarily occupying outside force.

    What enables a military to be an effective force? Weapons. What are weapons designed to do? Kill.

    So those who say that Pakistan is peaceful or seeks peace needs to understand that the country was born of violence, and is a country that does not seek a status quo, but seeks purpose in using violence against others in order to expand its territory and ideology (currently in Kashmir).

    Hence, one is not shocked at all by the sequence of events coming to fruition in that country. It is the near completion of a process that aims at asymptotic convergence of first religious ideology, and later, expansionist ideology, which aims to repeat the former in order to repeat the latter until the whole world follows a central religious ideology based command system. This won’t happen throughout the world, but it has already happened in the Indian territory now called “Pakistan”.Recommend

  • Goga
    Mar 20, 2011 - 2:54AM

    Pakistan is was, is and will always remain sacular. Mr Jinnah’s vision will translate into reality once the imperialists are gone and the K in Pakistan is attained.Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    Mar 20, 2011 - 3:21AM

    Quaid was secular or ultra-religious is irrellevant for us now ——- he was what he was then and that was a long long time ago ——- what is of prime importance for us is we must separate our State from our Religion, any religion in any form or manifestation. Running a state is a craft and one needs to be crafty and if you mix religion in this matter, religion would also become a crafty affair and God would appear playing tricks and politics which could hardly be either our intention or desire. Let religion be there for our spritual meditation to rejuvenate our energies and resolution to fight political situations and play politics, local and international, with new vitality and crafty skills. Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Mar 20, 2011 - 4:00AM

    It’s a shame that the country is wasting it’s time on issues that don’t even matter on a wider scale. Religion is a very delicate issue and should be left to be a personal matter. Thousands are dying in our country as a result of the aftermath of the floods and people are bent on killing eachother. This is definitely not what Jinnah wanted. If he had known that his efforts would have gone to waste, he would never have bothered. Recommend

  • Sardar Khan
    Mar 20, 2011 - 4:05AM

    Mullaiyyat and theocracy began with Jinnah!Recommend

  • Venky
    Mar 20, 2011 - 6:37AM

    Nice researched blog. Even though I am a second generation after 1947, I have always felt that if Jinnah was really secular, he would have never carved out a nation for Indian Muslims citing culture. Recommend

  • Nakamura
    Mar 20, 2011 - 6:55AM

    Dear Author! Good but one sided article. The whole problem of what Jinnah really wanted about pakistan is not new and is confusing, inpart because we have put too much onus of ideological shaping of the country to JInnah. Historical fact is that Jinnah tried till May 1946 to avoid any division of India. It was congress that refused Cabniet Missions May 1947 proposal Jinnah himself was not a scholar or visionary. His staements about the new state at times were vivid and reflected the ideological aspirations in line with those of Iqbal and Jamaludin Afghani and at times were more practical and reflected the way day to day business of the state should be or should have been conducted. For example, in 1948, speaking at inauguration of the state bank, he envisioned the creation of islamic or interest free economy. When the question of new constitution was put before him, he reportedly said that muslims have Quran as their constitution for 1400 years and hence they did not need a new one. On practical front, in his life time, state bank of pakistan run the business as any other capitalistic bank would do and we all know that till 1956, we run our country on what was created as legal frame work by British to run India. How and what Pakistan should have looked like, it was up to us. However, we must not be ashamed to say that the religious right in Pakistan was always strong even before state started giving support to it ad it had enviable public popularity. On the otehr hand, our liberal left was weak, timid and at times opportunistic. Actually, except for a few brave fellows, true left never existed in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Mar 20, 2011 - 7:09AM

    Even if we were to establish that Jinnah supported the separation between mosque and state, that wont be enough to silence those who argue otherwise. They will then just find another line of argument to justify their narrative. Or, they will return to the: “Jinnah drank alcohol so his views are not relevant” counter argument. Recommend

  • raza saleem
    Mar 20, 2011 - 8:00AM

    If Jinnah was true secularist and his vision of Pakistan had nothing to do with islam, then why did he himself propagated the two nation theory? Why was it so that in his prsence, most of the meetings of muslim leauge would start with recitation of Holy Quran? If he was truely secular why didnt he stop this practice or atleast once had wished or asked to have the meeting started with a christian or hindu prayer? Why did he allow the famous poetric verse of ” Pakistan Ka matlab kiya….La ilaha illalah!” by asghar saudi to be recited in his rallies and across the inidia? Wasnt it a clear message that he just not only wanted a muslim state but an islamic state? Why did he say that Pakistan would become the fort of Islam? Why did he asked Mufti of Palestine to specialy pray for Pakistan to become an examplary islamic nation? Why would he say that pakistans economy will be based upon the economy of islam? Why would he time and agin say that he wanted astate for muslims where they could live their lives freely in accordance with their religion, traditions, customs and laws? Recommend

  • John
    Mar 20, 2011 - 8:13AM

    Who is Jinnah? PAK knows only Zia.

    Jinnah wanted a Muslim sate where in the rights of minority are guaranteed in constitution, as explicitly stated in Lahore, oops, Pakistan resolution.

    In then All India Muslim Leagues mind future India will be a Hindu state and hence the Lahore resolution. Jinnah may be secular in his personal view but his idea of PAK was not secular.

    Had he lived to see the Indian constitution, perhaps he would have fought in Pakistan constitution assembly for secular state. Jinnah left behind little on this important subject matter that was burning the Indian sub continent. Certainly he had ample opportunity to write about it at least soon after the failure of AIML in general election even in Muslim majority states at that time in British India, As we are all writing about it now in the present atmosphere of PAK

    One can objectively say that He was ambivalent, but AIML was anti-secular, and Jinnah was a member of it, and never written about his view on religion in sate politics at that time when congress clearly defined it’s view.

    Indian historians and PAK historian view on Jinnah are different. Indians view is that Jinnah wanted a Muslim state. PAK historians view was then and is now that Jinnah wanted Islamic state.

    Historian who has no stake on this matter after reading through copious political and newspaper writings of that time can say that Jinnah was indifferent rather than ambivalent on his view on this matter.

    What Jinnah wanted has no bearing in PAK history because what PAK people wanted is clearly defined in past and present PAK constitution: A theocratic Islamic state where the minorities rights are “protected” even spelt out on what they can not have in PAK- the highest office of the land. Zia only implemented it.

    PAK state goes to the extent of defining “Who is a Muslim” in her second constitutional amendment, an event never happened in Islamic history, and her constitution was born out of Lahore resolution, in which Jinnah was a signatory. As the columnist says here “Let the readers decide” if Jinnah was a secularist. Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Mar 20, 2011 - 8:31AM

    We can talk till we are blue in the face on whether Jinnah was secular or not. But, actions always speak louder than words. So, always heed the actions not the words! We can dig up references that make Jinnah look secular. We can equally well dig up more references to make Jinnah look islamic. But, the truth always lie in his actions. Fighting for and creating a separate nation on the basis of religion is the opposite of secular. And, that will paint Jinnah as non-secular and islamic for ever and ever. Never mind “famous quotes” gathered from dusty old books stating otherwise.Recommend

  • White Russian
    Mar 20, 2011 - 9:32AM

    This question is only of historical interest. Practically, it is quite irrelevant. “What Jinnah wanted” and “What Pakistan became” kind of discussions may be good for dogmatic hair splitting, but are these kind of revisionist retrospections of any practical use?
    Pakistani moderates are loosing one after other front in the face of extremist onslaught, and repeated reference to a single speech of Jinnah can hardly be of any repose.

    Let us focus on What We want in 2011 instead of unsuccessfully trying to convince others with What Jinnah wanted in 1940. Moderates should learn from the tenacity and organisational capabilities of Maudoodi, who started as an isolated pamphleteer in 1940’s, but has been successful by 1970’s to convince a considerable slice of population.

    I would like Khaled to enlighten us in his typical analytical style, how the Maudoodi’s pamphlets during 1945-1949 turned the tables on moderate Muslim Leagures, and what started as 11 Aug speech, ended up in Objectives Resolution.Recommend

  • sanjithmenon
    Mar 20, 2011 - 9:34AM

    Pakistans Identity crisis, is that of the proverbial, Crow and Cuckoo story . The cuckoo laid eggs in the crows nest, crow, sat on the egg and hatched it, and now when the cuckoo bird is singing and the rest of crows are croaking, poor crow does not have a clue, as to what happened! Pakistan is the child of the Deoband Ulema (cuckoo bird) and Jinnah Saheb and the liberal Pakistani (the crows)Recommend

  • Rahul Singh
    Mar 20, 2011 - 10:37AM

    Jinnah most probably wanted a secular Pakistan but he forget that Islam is intrinsically undemocratic and incompatible with other religions. In most of the countries where Muslims are in majority people of other religions feel insecure and live in fear. I think Islam has been militant from the beginning. Suppression of dissent is a tradition instituted by the Prophet himself, who had a number of his critics murdered or executed. The modern day Pakistan is a perfect example of increase in violence against dissent views. In majority of Muslim countries there either is no democracy or it is a sham. Comparing with other religions like Christianity and Hinduism we can see that there has been a lot of changes in them and it has more or less become progressive but sadly few positive changes has taken place in Islam. Recommend

  • ani
    Mar 20, 2011 - 10:46AM

    The question mark is enough to debate and torture Pakistan for years to come. For how long will you keep hiding behind whether he was or not? He did his bit – gave you a country where none existed.

    Now for a moment let us assume he was not secular. Now what? Just because he founded the nation, would you not change? When will you ever take responsibility and build a modern society that gives justice and equality to all its citizens? Recommend

  • Don
    Mar 20, 2011 - 11:11AM

    Jinnah was no different from politicians which we have today in the subcontinent who will use any card whether it is religion,ethnicity or caste to their advantage and once their objective is achieved, they will pretend to be a saint.Nehru was no different.In their lust for power millions were sacrificed and displaced.coming to the article, if jinnah was secular he would have never followed the two nation theory.Recommend

  • harkol
    Mar 20, 2011 - 11:19AM

    There are two aspects to Jinnah. Personally he perhaps followed a secular life style – i.e. independent of what his religion said. Apparently he wasn’t a religious man.

    However, his politics was entirely non-secular. He subscribed to the thought that religion defined a nation (which is anathema to the idea of secularism).

    So, he was neither a religious person or a secular one. He was responsible for an outcome that created one of the biggest massacres in 20th century. He founded a country that hasn’t been able to resolve its identity or ideology and is patently un-secular.

    So, basing his secular credentials on just a couple of speeches is entirely wrong.Recommend

  • John
    Mar 20, 2011 - 11:40AM

    @Don:
    I think you read the.history incorrectly. Neither Jinnah nor Nehru were in lust for power. They knew that power of office were thrust upon them, and being a PM or governor -general of a nation was the last thing they had in mind.

    Both were men of ideals except their ideals of each and their parties were different. Recommend

  • I See Dumb People
    Mar 20, 2011 - 11:47AM

    It doesn’t matter what Jinnah’s ideology was. His personal opinions do not take precedence over the will of all the people who supported the Pakistan Movement; and the people of the present need not suffer for the actions of the people of the past.

    If the Pakistanis are to live in peace, there must be a plebiscite throughout the country, and it must be settled once and for all: do the people want an Islamic Republic of Pakistan or a secular Pakistan?Recommend

  • Mar 20, 2011 - 11:49AM

    Khalid Sahib your article is indeed very interesting and informative. The speech of the late, great Jinnah Sahib has been abandoned with indignity and excerpts are telecast on TV channels representing ‘lip service’ by one of our present day politicians.

    Please do continue to push through the ideals of the Quaid and sooner than later the nation will realize the value of education and tolerance, if not already. This book must be read by me after purchasing it. Many thanx.

    Salams for 2011 and ever.Recommend

  • Mar 20, 2011 - 12:34PM

    The discussion of Jinnah’s ideology about Pakistan & mixing it with current situation are really creating confusion among young generation about Pakistan. I hope the intelligentsia can cope with the true identity of Jinnah & Pakistan. Disturbing Pakistan & its generation with ideological fights can create dangerous results.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Mar 20, 2011 - 1:29PM

    64 years! have passed and you guys are still debating what Jinnah thought and on what basis he created Pakistan. 64 years is a long time for a debate which is as important as this to go on without a clear answer.

    This is where the failure of Jinnah lies. He was unclear on his motives. He sung different tunes depending on the Audience and the circumstances.

    Compare this with his counterpart Nehru. There is not a single word uttered by Nehru or any action which one can argue with to suggest Nehru was anything but secular. He was a rock when it comes to principles. To think that Jinnah didn’t trust this wonderful man with impeccable character is testament to how wrong was Jinnah.

    Pakistan is Jinnah’s greatest mistake. Bangladesh has retreated back on the 2 nation theory and look how progressive it is now. Now, its time for Pakistan to dump Jinnah and embrace Nehru.

    Nehru was not a perfect man, far from it. But, he was not unclear what he wanted India to be. That is reflected in India’s Constitution. India has only one way to go and its in the upward direction. Recommend

  • Mar 20, 2011 - 1:37PM

    Jinnah was neither secular nor religious, he was an opportunist. Recommend

  • pakpinoy
    Mar 20, 2011 - 2:02PM

    @Rahul Singh:
    Yours words are so true, but hard to swallow and accept by the narrow-minded and confused who don’t know who they are or what they want to become.Recommend

  • Talha
    Mar 20, 2011 - 2:05PM

    As usual, I would like for the dear readers to ignore Anoop’s comments, you see folks this man is so filled up with hatred that he has to being up his agenda on all stories.

    I guess that forum you post regularly in does not have a large viewership, now does it?Recommend

  • Talha
    Mar 20, 2011 - 2:09PM

    If Pakistan was not going to be secular and Jinnah was not not a secular man, then the certain Christian’s Parsis, Hindu’s, all Ahmadi’s, all Aga Khani’s, and countless other groups like these would not have opted for Pakistan.

    They threw their support behind this nation knowing that it would be a secular state where religion would be a personal matter.

    It was the treacherous clergy who inevitably destroyed the nation and people like Bhutto and Zia helped them in the process.Recommend

  • M M Malik
    Mar 20, 2011 - 2:11PM

    Secular state will make no law respecting any religion, or will prohibit the free exercise of any religion.Recommend

  • gunjan
    Mar 20, 2011 - 2:17PM

    @Tanzeel – Opportunitst he was, responsible for breaking away this nation of mine and yours, displacing 12.5 million people and killing 3 millions in the process. Just because he chose to become a muslim? Is Islam bigger and more important than the motherland?Recommend

  • Mar 20, 2011 - 2:17PM

    Had Jinnah been ‘secular’ he would have objected to the war cry of Muslim League i.e. Pakistan ka Matlab Kya, La-illaha-il-Allah. Though admittedly his personal conduct was far from an Islamist ideal.
    In any event what the Qaid wanted and what the ‘Awaam’ want are two different things. So on this historical and hysterical debate, as they say in Punjab, ‘mitti pao ji’.
    Time has come for Pakistanis to chose afresh what do they want. And looking at the content of their Pakistan Study books,this is not too hard to answer.
    Welcome to the Talibani Caliphate of Pakistan.

    PS-As the Awaam creates this Caliphate, I hope they will be honest enough to carve out a country for the rest of the hapless ‘Pakistanis’.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Mar 20, 2011 - 2:35PM

    @Talha,

    Just show me a single line or a phrase, from my comment, which is untrue and I’ll accept your argument. Otherwise, your ignore call will end up showing your ignorance and rigidity of mind.

    “Parsis, Hindu’s, all Ahmadi’s, all Aga Khani’s, and countless other groups like these would not have opted for Pakistan.”

    –> No they didnt. The Sikhs who were in largest numbers in Pakistan moved to India. Majority of them moved, very few unlucky ones stayed back. Heck, our present Prime Minister is a refugee from Pakistan and is a child of Partition!!!!

    I understand your desire of calling Jinnah secular, but the above statement is just not true. PM Manmohan Singh would strongly disagree.

    “It was the treacherous clergy who inevitably destroyed the nation and people like Bhutto and Zia helped them in the process.”

    –> Again, this was inevitable. Pakistan’s slide started when creation of Pakistan became a one man show. The Freedom movement created hundreds of leaders, but Jinnah shunned almost all of them. For example, the greatest Muslim leader and intellectual of the time – Maulana Azad chose to stay in India and even predicted the break up of Pakistan(His prediction came true in 24 short years).

    The acts of Jinnah ensured that while India had a long list of intellectuals, patriots and scholars willing to lead India and don the leadership role, Jinnah was left with none to secure the place of backup. This proved fatal when Jinnah died shortly after Pakistan’s “Independence from India”(note not Britain) and there wasn’t a leader worth his salt who can lead the nation. As a result, Islam was adopted as State Religion and the slide magnified from there onwards(A leader like Nehru or Patel would have never let Religion play such a dominant role in the framing of the Constitution).

    India had Nehru, Patel and a host of others who could have occupied the leadership position. Recommend

  • Mar 20, 2011 - 3:06PM

    @gunjan:
    Break up of Hindustan had nothing to with religion but keeping the powers, why should Jinnah remain behind when congressmen were enjoying sole authoritarianism on subcontinent. Jinnah being pro active and intelligent man hit the nerves of Hindu leaders by talking about Muslim majority etc and tapped the large chunk of extremist Muslims who called him Quaid e Azam. My question is if Jinnah was so practical and had a great vision why couldn’t he plan something good for Pakistan. Didn’t he know the country making in the name of religion would behave a like a madhouse where Muslims amongst themselves would fight on sects. How on earth they would allow nourishment of other religions in the land of pure which is supposed to be created for MUSLIMS only.

    Today’s Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh proves how wrong and failed Jinnahs leadership was. Recommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Mar 20, 2011 - 3:39PM

    Let us place Mohammad Ali Jinnah on one rostrum and Zia ul Haq on the other? Then place our questions to both. But we cannot do that for it will be sacrilige of the dead!
    Whether we decide to become a full-fledged Islamic state based on extremist values that we are moving towards or Secular state where we would still look down upon non-muslims it does not matter. We have made mockery of both religion and secular ways of life. Let us first learn to
    respect the basis of human life itself then decide between Sharia and Secular society.Recommend

  • Mar 20, 2011 - 3:53PM

    he was a statesman; he was not looking for another ‘secular’ state else it was a void exercise then. 2-nation theory is not secularist theory when it roots in religion…Recommend

  • Raj
    Mar 20, 2011 - 3:56PM

    Jinnah was only motivated by the power politics, he was not deeply religious, nor did he have time for clergy!! He was more familar with the chambers and social circuit in Bombay and london than the streets of lahore or karachi and he certainly enjoyed his scotch and gin too, he was way out of his depth for the task of creating a nation!!! i rather not create one then have one which after 50 years turns into failed state with population of 180 million miserable lives. The people would have been better off under goras if not indians then the rulers they have endured over past few decades.Recommend

  • Fact Check
    Mar 20, 2011 - 4:00PM

    @Talha:

    Did you just crawled out of cave? Every one of the groups you mention have left Pakistan decades ago and those who could not get out are discriminated every day. Don’t you guys call muslim brothers migrated from from India in 1947 Mujahirs?

    Jinnah was an opportunist. Not skilled in anything other than oratory. Recommend

  • Rashed Khan
    Mar 20, 2011 - 4:02PM

    @Anonymous: It does matter. The stature to which we hold Jinnah demands that he should have imagined destruction of using religion for political agenda. Once the enemy was out of sight, we were engulfed by the same hatred we had kindled for Hindu. Jinnah is so much ‘Exalted’ here that you no more can question his wisdom and actions.

    If he didn’t expected this, I am sorry to say but then he was not a leader but a demagogue. Maulana Azad and Bacha Khan were right. Recommend

  • Rashed Khan
    Mar 20, 2011 - 4:04PM

    Like always Mr.Khalid attempts something interesting but treads away from the crux. This is a debate Pakistanis cannot tolerate to hold. Why waste time and energy.Recommend

  • Nasir
    Mar 20, 2011 - 5:04PM

    “The word ‘secular’ put off the TV host who insisted that ‘secular’ was the opposite of ‘Islamic’. He even once erroneously equated ‘secular’ with ‘communist’, not knowing that an atheist state cannot be secular.”

    So you have problem with Secular != Islamic BUT according to you Atheist = Communist, yeah i am amazed at your intellectual vigor.Recommend

  • Talha
    Mar 20, 2011 - 5:10PM

    I for one am very glad that we created Pakistan and I am a minority in this nation.

    I do not have anything to do with these people who are so obsessed with us.

    The only problem though is that there Muslims fanatics especially from Deoband moved to Pakistan.

    When they will be dealt with, the great nation we had pre Zia would return. Recommend

  • G. Din
    Mar 20, 2011 - 5:16PM

    @Tanzeel:
    “.Jinnah was neither secular nor religious, he was an opportunist.”
    Spot on. Except that if he had any views at all, he tended towards secularism. It has been well-established that he was not religious at all; in fact, he abhorred the Muslim religious leaders of the time.
    Disgusted with the politics of the time, he returned to his law practice in England. Having established himself as an extremely brilliant lawyer, he was a natural candidate when Muslim League was looking for an effective spokesman of their cause. When approached by Liaqat Ali Khan in England, he accepted the assignment purely in his professional capacity. He did not have to believe in Two Nation Theory; his job was to only argue the issue mustering the best arguments to win his case. He had proved to be good for such a commission.
    After that, what you see is a story of a shyster ( a pejorative term for a lawyer) unfold. Imagine, if you will, a widow who felt she had a substantial inheritance coming but she could not get it without a good lawyer to argue her case. In the course of that trial, although the lawyer is not even remotely attracted to the widow, he eyes this fortune and persuades himself that the widow could not have won it but for him and so he has a claim on it. This is when Jinnah turned a shyster. Instead of bidding good-bye to Muslim League at the conclusion of his efforts, he stayed on to the utter consternation of the latter. He had no business in Pakistan of Muslim League. There were several assassination attempts on him. To make the matters worse, he began to sing the secular song to the very people who hated secularism. He made nonsense of all the argument of the Two Nation theory that went into achieving Pakistan. He was indeed an opportunist!
    Although he was brilliant in the well of a court of law, he was an utter failure outside it. His whole social life was a disaster. Even his daughter refused to accompany him to newly-minted Pakistan. He handled Kashmir so clumsily, so amateurishly that one wonders how could his considerable legal acumen be reconciled with lack of even simple commonsense in worldly affairs. He summons General Gracey, the acting C-in-C for (not of) Pakistan Army, and “orders” him to attack Kashmir and annex it to Pakistan. General Gracey was not reporting to him, even though Jinnah was the Governor General of Pakistan. General Gracey got up, saluted the man and said, in effect, “Go, take a hike!”. It was an illegal order, considering that it would be in breach of the Stand Still Agreement Jinnah had signed with the Maharaja of Kashmir which required both India and Pakistan to desist from any precipitate action for a reasonable period. General was duty-bound to report this to his boss General Auchinleck, he to his boss Lord Mountbatten, now the Governor General of India. Mountbatten, as the head of the Indian government was duty-bound to inform Nehru about this. What a stupid way for Jinnah to proceed in a matter which required extreme stealth to ensure surprise for any chance of success! It must be said to the credit of Nehru and India that they were not provoked by this development and waited for the Kashmir apple to fall into their lap in its own time.
    Based on the circumstantial evidence, it can be argued that Jinnah did not want Pakistan as a separate territorial entity at all. This would have been a breach of faith with the Muslim League. But, it is a fact that he went on fighting for special quotas for Muslims in the united Indian Union. This could not be accepted since the basis for the Indian Union had to be “one person, one vote”. Besides the Indians had seen how Muslim League had messed up the governance of provinces it had controlled, India was only too glad to bid good riddance to Muslim League. We see that performance resurrected in the governance of Pakistan today.
    It is precisely because Jinnah tried till the last moment to remain part of United India that he never even made any preparations for the emergence of Pakistan. While Indians were already arguing about the future constitution of their new republic much before the actual independence, Pakistan could not enact its constitution till 1963.
    @Talha:
    “…As usual, I would like for the dear readers to ignore Anoop’s comments,…”
    And, how should we proceed about the comments made by others, Talha. You are our leader who knows best. If you don’t like Anoop, we don’t either. Now, which other comments should we read or ignore, please speak to us?Recommend

  • R S JOHAR
    Mar 20, 2011 - 5:25PM

    A good topic for discussion but to even deam that Pakistan will be a secular in next twenty years looks improbable unless the country breaks up during this period which appears to be on the cards. Recommend

  • Anoop
    Mar 20, 2011 - 7:08PM

    @Talha,

    “When they will be dealt with, the great nation we had pre Zia would return.”

    –> You seem to think that Pakistan’s slide started with Zia. Rubbish. It started when Islam was adopted as the State Religion and attempt was made to make everyone the carbon copies of each other by imposing Urdu(an Alien language at that time) as the national language. Why did this happen? Answer: Jinnah shunned all the progressive leaders of the Freedom movement and had denied himself quality backup. That trend continues to this day, with each leader having skeletons under his/her closet. That includes all the Bhuttos. All of them.

    Even Jinnah had preferred Urdu as the national language, completely ignoring the Bengalis and their love for their Language. This shows how little Jinnah valued ethnicity. You can even say Bangladesh was created even before Pakistan was born.

    So, my friend, Jinnah had laid the foundations of Bangladesh along with Pakistan. He, by arguing for one set of people, created a dangerous precedent which encourages divisive mindset to this day. Zia played his role, but Jinnah is the man to blame here.

    Lesson from Pakistan is encourage unity at all costs. Sometimes people dont know when to stop. Recommend

  • Adil
    Mar 20, 2011 - 8:56PM

    Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah wanted a country in order to safeguard rights of Muslim masses without kicking out people of other religions. To protect a community is way different than securing a faith and religious lifestyle.

    It’s also interesting to note that the area of present day India,Pakistan and Bangladesh has been a site of internal conflicts and wars for past many centuries. Had Britishers not been around,then I guess that rather than 3 we would have 12 nations there by now,and maps of neighbouring nations of India and Pakistan would also have been different in that case.

    The word secular has become some abusive word all thanks to Mullah politicians. Jinnah always wanted to keep religious fundamentalists away from the country since he wanted the Islam which was progressive,tolerant and rational, as envisaged by Allama Iqbal and based on the ideas of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.

    Mullahs who called Jinnah Kafir-e-Azam, belonged to the same category of bigots who issued fatwas against using print media,English education system and so on earlier.Jinnah wanted to free Muslims from the dictatorships of religious bigots which are enemies of Islam and humanity.Recommend

  • Ali
    Mar 20, 2011 - 9:13PM

    I think this debate is useless because the solution is simple. Jinnah helped in the creation of Pakistan for Muslims, not the Muslims helped in the creation of Pakistan for Jinnah. So whatever Jinnah was, either secular or non-secular, Pakistan has to be Islamic state as per Islamic laws and those who are doubtful in following the Islamic laws so let me remind you these are the rules by the God. Islam tells us the way we should live our lives and it also tells us how to run a country. Finally, dont worry about Pakistan because

    Pak hai gard-i watan say sar-i daman tera
    Too wo Yusuf hai ke har misr hai kanaan teraRecommend

  • Ron(Indian)
    Mar 20, 2011 - 9:27PM

    It took 63 years to reduce minority population percentage from 15% to 3%. Now next 63 years will be enough to removing 3%.. Forget about secularism.. It hurts when a pakistani talks about secularism.. Thanks.Recommend

  • ani
    Mar 20, 2011 - 9:31PM

    This is a debate for Pakistani intellectuals and ‘liberals’ to feel good about themselves. In competition for power, these ‘liberals’ silently and actively participated in accelerating the rise of Islamism. They have lost and are relegated to the English print media. To keep themselves relevant they invoke Jinnah’s “secular” credentials. But the evidence is lacking to bestow such an honor. In fact it is so dubious that a continuous PR campaign is required to spin his actions in “context” by the so called ‘liberals’.

    Jinnah’s record of actions between 1940 and 1947- not words, is what matters. You cannot sugar coat it. Jinnah used religion to get what he wanted. His calls for violence (Direct Action Day, as one example only) and ultimately the partition, resulted in millions of deaths of innocent Muslims and non-Muslims. Those facts cannot be hidden by that one speech in August 1947 that is cited again and again by ‘liberals’. (Compare this to Nehru, Azad and Gandhi – despite India’s unity in jeopardy, they never resorted to words or actions like Direct Action day. So Pakistani’s may dispute this and put this in “context”. Look at Nelson Mandela – he sought unity and tolerance for white, zulu, indian and black. He wanted unity, uniform laws, and equality (one man / one vote) and not divide his country even though many whites wanted to.)

    Jinnah wanted Pakistan first and foremost. He got it no matter the means. Once he did, perhaps he tried to shed the hard liners around him and govern in the company of ‘moderates’. He correctly realized that his new country had many ethnic groups and religions. But even here his ‘secular’ vision was always within the Islamic culture and values. He perhaps believed that Islamic societies of past had democratic traditions and temprament that allowed all muslims and non to live in complete harmony and tolerance of each other. It is a hard fact for Muslims to swallow that any such period was only temporary and lasted until the non-muslims were emasculated by the believers. Compare the percentage of Hindus / Sikhs in 1947 and today in Pakistan, as an example. Jinah’s definition and that of most Muslims of “secular” is at odds with the definiton of the same in genuine democratic societies the world over today. One seeks its as a ploy until all non-muslims have been sidelined, the other seeks it as a principle for all, including muslims in its midst. Recommend

  • observer
    Mar 20, 2011 - 11:19PM

    @Talha

    When they will be dealt with, the great nation we had pre Zia would return.

    Objectives Resolution and Ahmadi Amendment predate Zia. If that is the ‘great nation’ you are trying to reclaim in the context of ‘secularism’ , who can argue with that.Recommend

  • hamza
    Mar 21, 2011 - 2:46AM

    @Rahul Singh

    hey veggie eater…keep your uneducated, uninspired and senile comments to yourself. go read a fu##ing book you ignoramus. its amazing that indians, of all people, have the courage to dictate to pakistan what islam and the founding father of our country wanted for us. this is a nation built by a naked fakir and today being run by armed communists and trident wielding hindu fundamentalists, to the point that the leader of the largest Congress party feelings hindu terrorists are a bigger threat than any so called muslim extremists. fix your own ‘secular’ fraud and then lecture pakistanis. Recommend

  • LOL
    Mar 21, 2011 - 2:54AM

    As many posters have clearly pointed out, what Jinnah was or wasn’t is not very relevant at this point. It’s an intellectual exercise. However, if you really care what he was, he was an opportunist. Everyone who has read the History of Partition knows this. Much of Jinnah’s wealthy family stayed in India (e.g. Ness Wadia’s parents of Bombay Dyeing).

    The “Quaid” is really not the hero Pakistan would like him to be. Just another power hungry man like those that fill the ranks of the ISI, Army, and other Pakistani institutions.

    Somewhere out there is a true Pakistani leader who cares about the country and not his own power. I hope for all of us that this man is found soon.Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Mar 21, 2011 - 5:48AM

    For all the forum participants, A simple question about Mr. Jinnah, If you look at any freedom struggle, the leaders are imprisoned, hanged, beaten to death. Why Muslim League leaders were never prisoned including Jinnah. Recommend

  • John
    Mar 21, 2011 - 7:23AM

    @M M Malik:
    “secular state will prohibit free exercise of any religion”.

    Your second part of the statement quoted above is factually incorrect. Only in secular state there is TOTAL chaotic free exercise of any religion including atheism. This is because as your first part of the statement says, the state will enact no laws respecting any religion.

    Religion in politics never mixed. The issue was discussed extensively when England was moving towards constitutional monarchy and rediscussed during the formation of US constitution.

    The issues were well understood in the constitution assembly in India, and most of the arguments were on states rights rather than religion. In fact the minutes of those meetings barely discussed anything on religious issues, except the Cow business.

    Jinnah who was also from the same school as Nehru and Gandhi etc., also understood it, but then it contradicted his argument for separate state for Pakistan.

    So he may be a secularist or even irreligious, but his actions leave him as a non-secularist.Recommend

  • pmbm
    Mar 21, 2011 - 7:40AM

    Mr Jinnah said ” Pakistan will be an Islamic state but not a theocratic one” (radio address to Australia and USA).He apparently wanted the Islamic principles of Honesty , Justice and Equality for all as basis of the state. And Not having a clergy in Islam such state could not be theocratic.
    But what we have made of the state is indeed very sad.Recommend

  • ba ha
    Mar 21, 2011 - 8:25AM

    Beware of the foreigners carry “labels”! Recommend

  • Adil
    Mar 21, 2011 - 8:51AM

    @Ron(Indian):

    It took 63 years to reduce minority population percentage from 15% to 3%. Now next 63 years will be enough to removing 3%..

    If we take a right step right now,then who knows the future? With better mode of communication and information technology,it may take lesser number of years to create the environment in Pakistan which Jinnah would always have cherished.

    Forget about secularism..

    Well Secularism is not an exclusive property of Indians, Americans, or any other nation. Plus it is not some opportunity, or obsolete pattern which can’t be employed by someone anymore, either.

    It hurts when a pakistani talks about secularism.. Thanks.

    So in other words, it’s not gonna hurt you if Pakistan or Pakistanis continue with the problem of extremism. It hurts you when a Pakistani talks about secularism (as it’s something invented by you exclusively for someone), but it hurts us when religious bigots try to hijack our country and run it as per their ambitions. Recommend

  • Mar 21, 2011 - 10:06AM

    Why this “desi liberals” did not write on davis?

    Ohh… Jinah secular/Islamic.. is a very hot debate now a days, espically for english writeres:)Recommend

  • Rana Asghar
    Mar 21, 2011 - 11:56AM

    Very few people know that Zia was Jinnah’s nephew & Jinnah was highly religious & used to pray six times a day (including Tahujjad) but hiding himself in a a closet specially made by Nehru since both were very close friend but in public used to act like enemies. Very few people knew that by profession Nehru was a carpenter & that is why he was hired by Jinnah to make a very secret place. Jinnah performed Hajj six times by impersonating as Maudoodi & putting beard on his face. My grandfather was witness to all of above, he used to reside in Multan Mental Hospital & expired there when he started telling the truth. Pakistan should a religious state & only Muslims should be allowed to reside in the country. Christians should be shipped to Australia & Hindus to India. If these things are done Pakistan would attain # 1 position in the world & start donating aid & loans to Western countries. Islam Zindabad & Jinnah Paindabad. Zia’s mother was Jinnah’s real auntry & Zia was Jinnah’s Mammo. This is state secret which I am exposing to our country men. Recommend

  • syed ali
    Mar 21, 2011 - 12:20PM

    @Ron(Indian):
    There were 15 % of minority population in Pakistan in 1947. About 3/4 of it lived in east pakistn as Hindus. Courtesy to the Indian friends who helped create Bangladesh, that 3/4 ( about 11% of total population) of the 15 % were left to live and enjoy life in Bangladesh. We were left with 3to 4%, the majority of which is still living with us. Hope your effort of giving wrong information on this forum was addressed.Recommend

  • Indian
    Mar 21, 2011 - 1:32PM

    60 years is too late for idealogy behind a nation. Now, the need is to start afresh, on a clean slate, as to where the nation wants to go. Redefine the constitution, its laws, its ideals, its institutions. But ofcourse, its impractical in the current turmoil. & as a neighbour, i hope for the best for pakistan & also hope there are no terror attacks on us from across the border. Good luck!Recommend

  • chandran
    Mar 21, 2011 - 2:20PM

    how can guajarti be secular? honorable jinah and narendra belongs
    to same indian gujarat state.Recommend

  • pakpinoy
    Mar 21, 2011 - 2:22PM

    @hamza:
    My words from my previous post below ring so true…thank you for verifying their accuracy!

    pakpinoy Mar 20, 2011 – 2:02PM
    @Rahul Singh: Your words are so true, but
    hard to swallow and accept by the
    narrow-minded and confused who don’t
    know who they are or what they want to
    become.

    Rahul Singh’s comments are the top rated in this stream…seems like he’s not the only one with similar views. Sorry, I’m neither Indian nor Hindu, so you’ll have to come up with another derogatory term for me…I’ll help you — I’m Christian, American but 14 yrs in Asia, including 9 in your country, speak several of your languages, know your culture and religion, love the Pathans, saddened by the current state of Pakistan and the regressive views of its people.

    My strong view from all my years in your country, which continue to date 3-4 times per year, is that as one became a better Muslim, he/she also became a worse human being. Islamic piety as observed in Pakistan is highly self-focused and self-absorbed. It is divisive, judgmental, critical, intolerant and narrow-minded. ME becomes the focus..at the expense of all those around. Either others conform to and accommodate my beliefs and practices or they become unacceptable or even worse, the enemy. This contrasts so drastically with other religions that focus on serving others out of love, acceptance and grace, sacrificing one’s own self-focus and at times needs and desires.

    Authentic character and piety doesn’t come by how you wash, how you pray, how you dress or how you present your outward self to the world. Authenticity is determined by one thing and one thing only — what is real, true and genuine on the inside where no one can see.Recommend

  • chandran
    Mar 21, 2011 - 2:23PM

    one indian gujarati leader jinah created a country for muslim
    anonther one indian gujarati leader narendra modi start killing the
    muslimsRecommend

  • Rahul Singh
    Mar 21, 2011 - 2:27PM

    @hamza:
    I don’t want to match your words you just read the comment of @pakpinoy you will get your replyRecommend

  • pakpinoy
    Mar 21, 2011 - 3:07PM

    @hamza:
    My words from my previous post below ring so true…thank you for verifying their accuracy!
    want to become.

    pakpinoy Mar 20, 2011 – 2:02PM
    @Rahul Singh: Your words are so true,
    but hard to swallow and accept by
    the narrow-minded and confused who
    don’t know who they are or what they
    want to become.want to become.

    Rahul Singh’s comments are the top rated in this stream…seems like he’s not the only one with similar views. Sorry, I’m neither Indian nor Hindu, so you’ll have to come up with another derogatory term for me…I’ll help you — I’m Christian, American but 14 yrs in Asia, including 9 in your country, speak several of your languages, know your culture and religion, love the Pathans, saddened by the current state of Pakistan and the regressive views of its people.

    My strong view from all my years in your country, which continue to date 3-4 times per year, is that as one became a better Muslim, he/she also became a worse human being. Islamic piety as observed in Pakistan is highly self-focused and self-absorbed. It is divisive, judgmental, critical, intolerant and narrow-minded. ME becomes the focus..at the expense of all those around. Either others conform to and accommodate my beliefs and practices or they become unacceptable or even worse, the enemy. This contrasts so drastically with other religions that focus on serving others out of love, acceptance and grace, sacrificing one’s own self-focus and at times needs and desires.

    Authentic character and piety doesn’t come by how you wash, how you pray, how you dress or how you present your outward self to the world. Authenticity is determined by one thing and one thing only — what is real, true and genuine on the inside where no one can see.Recommend

  • Hanif awan
    Mar 21, 2011 - 3:17PM

    In nut shell;;;;;;;;;;if QUID was not SECULAR,then why all the so called ISLAMIC PARTIES were against the creation of PAKISTAN( EXCEPT AVERY FEW).Recommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Mar 21, 2011 - 3:54PM

    Mohammad Ali Jinnah may his soul rest peacefully with the Creator had refused to see his most
    trusted Lieutenant when lying ill at Ziarat in 1948. His personal physician was told by Mr Jinnah
    I could never believe that Nawabzada Sahib could be a racist and secretly talks of Islamic state.
    But could any passionate Muslim explain why does GOD need us for His Existence? Allah can
    create two legged creatures who could never fail to obey and never falter. But what He knows and why Allah gave us the most disobedient creature the power to think- reason! Did any of the
    Prophets question the Will of Allah or otherwise. God does not exist in a mosque or temple and
    neither in a synagogue. and church. If God is not in our heart or our psyche then forget about a
    Islamic State or Secular State because we have failed to accept His existence within our soul.Recommend

  • Naive
    Mar 21, 2011 - 5:23PM

    Its been 62 years since Jinnah passed away. What is the point in discussing whether he was secular or religious?
    Forget Jinnah, forget everything else. Solution is to bring the system which the people of the country think is right for them.Recommend

  • G. Din
    Mar 21, 2011 - 5:37PM

    @Anoop: to Talha
    “Jinnah shunned all the progressive leaders of the Freedom movement and had denied himself quality backup. “
    This is indeed quite amusing!
    One has to ask: why did Jinnah decide to return to his law practice in London? He most certainly was not an icon of Muslim separatism at the time. The only answer: he did not see any future for himself in Indian politics because he was dwarfed by Colossuses that strode the land then – Gandhi, Patel, Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, Maulana Azaad, Rajagopalachaari, Sarojini Naidu, the list goes on. He could not compete with even the second rung leadership. He was a proud man and could not have been happy. He had absolutely no charisma needed for leaders of men and so did not have a niche in Indian politics.
    Then, why did he decide to return? Overwhelming ego and a sense of hurt pride that he had not received his due from his peers even though he felt “he had advocated secularism and was better than every one of them intellectually”. This is the usual Muslim feelings of victimhood which we witness even today. In particular, he was peeved with Nehru as, supposedly, he had overheard Nehru belittling him. He was going to “show” them what stuff he was made of. And, he did.
    He was a loner who just could not fit with those around him in any setting. He kept aloof because he just did not have the social skills needed for the role he wanted to play. So, what to speak of “denying himself quality backup. “, there just was “no quality back-up” to shun or deny. Period.
    Immediately after he moved to Pakistan, he was sidelined within months. Then, he tried to pull the Kashmir caper and he failed exposing a huge flaw in his character being dishonourable and dealing in bad faith. Now, alone amongst those who proved to be as strangers as the rest, he is reported to have predicted at that time the internecine warfare Pakistan would eventually descend into . At least that has come true. His loyal lieutenant, Liaqat Ali Khan (remembered by Indians as the first of many Pakistani rabble-rousers who showed a clenched fist to India, later lynched by a crowd), also deserted him due to political imperatives. For the most part of the rest of his brief life that was left to him, he remained cloistered in his presidential palace which was ordered to be kept flood-lit 24×7 due to security fears. Contrast that with how all Indian leaders moved amongst the Indian masses. We were to rue that uplifting feeling by an assassin’s bullets pumped into perhaps the most beloved leader, Gandhi. And our innocence was also lost!Recommend

  • Mar 21, 2011 - 5:53PM

    Before going further on judging great leader’s personality on the parameters of today’s dirty politics & ideological clumsiness, I urge reader to read more about Jinnah as he was very sincere to every community & made Sub-Continent a better place by his dedication & love to humanity. He was against of jingoism which was then promoted by major players in politics. He stood with the lowest & oppressed community of that time & gave them identity which is still not digested by other. Read about him at http://jinnah.pk Recommend

  • alim
    Mar 21, 2011 - 6:07PM

    I am not surprised by the comments from our Indian friends. They are typical of the very mentality that forced jinnah to create Pakistan to safeguard the rights of minorities. Islam is a secular religion and Jinnah followed that to the spirit. Ignorance and harsh words do not substitute for actual history. Jinnah did not coin the phrase to raise islamic sentiments. The debate between him and Nehru was about a two political views. Nehru wanted a strong federation where Hindus as could reign as a majority and Jinnah, who saw through that wanted a loose confederation (This is why Muslim League agreed to both British missions in 1946 for a loose confederation which would kept India united and Congress disagreed leading to the break up). Jinnah only countered the treachery of Nehru to force the Brahmin led Hinduism with finally resorting to Islam when all had failed. Among minorities only Sikhs left Pakistan but all others opted for it. Yes the 64 years of history of Pakistan are a tragic story, but look at what has happened to muslims and dalits in India. Why are Naxalites out to kill and take over? References to Islam and Holy Prophet being undemocratic are purely admission of ignorance. Hindu religion and culture based on caste system is the ultimate abyss of injustice. I am an ahmadi and proud to be a Pakistani no matter what happens to us in our country. We opted for Pakistan and we will live and die here. But we are muslims and we are one of the oldest democratic, highly educated community of Muslims and this is all a gift and teaching to us from our Beloved Holy Prophet, who remains without dispute, no matter how much venom is generated by fundamentalist hindus, the greatest ever reformer that humanity has known (May Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him). We will take care of Pakistan. Our Indian friends, if they mean to be really secular, should take care of their shiv senas, bal thackerys and extremist hindu groups which are out to get their own muslim citizens. Let us stop this hate mongering and abusive language and cool our heads. We need to move on and take on the world instead of being locked in these old debates. Let sanity prevail.Recommend

  • Ron(Indian)
    Mar 21, 2011 - 8:08PM

    To those commented on my comments(mostly pak people):
    I stand by what I said. I don’t have to prove anything to you. Just wait for 5 years your millitary nation with fake democracy will prove me correct. Mark my words. talk to me after 5 years regarding this.. Proud to be an Indian minoriy. Thanks. Recommend

  • H I
    Mar 21, 2011 - 9:52PM

    @hamza
    Thank God at last we have one Pakistani defending their nation against Indian intruders.It is amazing to see how some Indians are trying to lecture others with out looking in to their own house.One has mentioned that Muslim role model is Mohamed (PBUH) and Jinnah there fore justifies the violence in Pakistan.I think he has not read MahaBharat,where Pandous slaughter their own cousins for the sake of a women.He doesn’t seem to be knowing why Ganesh has Elephant head.He is blind to the current happenings in Gujrat where 5000 innocent Muslims where slaughtered by their role model.Christians in Assam are being killed and Sikhs in Punjab have yet to get justice for what they have gone through,and not to mention kashmir.And finally they seem to be knowing nothing about Jaswant Sing and his book.Advani when visited pakistan praised Jinnah so much that his country men came on to streets to protest. HypocritesRecommend

  • Talha
    Mar 21, 2011 - 9:58PM

    The indians have once again proven to the world why Pakistan was an excellent decision.

    Their mentality reeks of bitterness and hate.

    They also still can’t get over the fact that Pakistan was created.Recommend

  • Awan
    Mar 22, 2011 - 1:52AM

    its would be naive to just declare Quaid Secular or Islamist. Why should we be embarrassed of being an Islamic state? its our deeds not the the religion which has brought us to the point where we are right now. In my opinion its the rule of the law which makes the difference not the ideology. what difference it will make if we become a secular state? I don’t see my problems being solved by becoming a secular state like India. BTW we know how secular they are and what we would have been if we were a part of greater India. The time when we will stop blaming RAW, CIA or Mosad being responsible for most of our problems, we will rise again. Remember even if Sharya is declared in the country it will be again me and you suffering from the injustices and the elite class would be enjoying the fruit of it. I someone ask what is the change you would like to see in the country then it would be the rule of law.Recommend

  • G. Din
    Mar 22, 2011 - 3:09AM

    @alim:
    “…comments from our Indian friends. They are typical of the very mentality that forced jinnah to create Pakistan to safeguard the rights of minorities.”
    Now, is that so? Unless you define minorities as being only Muslims, this comment by you holds no water. Did any other minority – Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists or Jains or Christians stay in the Pakistan he “created” after Muslims became a majority? And, what happened to ones who stayed. They were decimated, that is what!
    And, pray, how many sects of Islam itself has Pakistan excommunicated since the “creation” of Pakistan by Jinnah for minorities, and now turned into minorities? Why was the eminent scientist Abdus Samad Khan excommunicated, although a Muslim, and banished into self-exile? What happened to Sir Zaffar Ullah Khan who tried valiantly to plead the case of Kashmir for Pakistan in the UN? He also belonged to a sect of ISLAM, excommunicated and turned into a minority! Why are you killing off Shias, another sect of Islam which has brought Pakistan’s relations with the Shia world, especially Iran, to a breaking point many a time? Because Shias are a minority now? Shows how much love Jinnah had for minorities because he was a minority himself once?
    He did not “create” a country; he got it handed it over on a plate just to get rid of him, if you ask me! Easy come, easy go! And, Pakistan is “going” in style! Recommend

  • Sameer
    Mar 22, 2011 - 9:34AM

    Quite strange, link given in above article says that Jinnah wanted a modern state, but in this article it is suggested he did not want modern
    Secular state is intrinsically anti islamic since it is entirely possible to make a law which is repugnant to Islam such as legalisation of prostitutionRecommend

  • bvindh
    Mar 22, 2011 - 10:35AM

    Jinnah was someone relished pork, consumed wine, rarely (if ever) sat down for a prayer and took a lot of pride in being often mistaken for a British “gentleman”. And he proceeded to carve a country divided by hundreds of kilometers of territory rendered hostile by his own actions…… a country that’s carved out of muslim religious identity but declared to be secular.

    Which proves that the only religion he ever practiced was – OpportunismRecommend

  • alim
    Mar 22, 2011 - 11:48AM

    Well not only Ahmadies but Christians and many Hindus did opt to stay in Pakistan. Let us separate the idea from the practice. Yes Ahmadi muslims have not been treated well by our Muslim brothers, but that has nothing to do with the formation of Pakistan. I invite my Indian friends to refute my argument that it was the Nehru’s Brahmin instincts that did not allow Jinnah’s secular idea that muslims and Dalits should have a proportional representation in a loose confederation. It was Hindus who hated the idea of muslims living in united India and enjoying equal status in what was to be a Hindu Majority state led by Brahmins. So Muslims did not separate, they were pushed out, let that be clear. Jinnah wanted to show how the beautiful ideals of secular Islam can be practiced. He was invited to come back by Ahmadiyya mission in London to join the politics on behalf of Muslims (he had to be persuaded several times before he gave in) and not because he was a self serving egotist.
    Yes there are problems with the practice of the idea of Pakistan. We will solve them within ourselves, but we exist as a nation state and we will live forever in style (unlike the wishes of some indian friends here for us to go out in style). We will defend the idea of Pakistan. Despite the injustice suffered Abdus Salam (not abdul samad khan) or Sir Zafarullah Khan never gave up thier Pakistani passports (they were showered with offers from around the globe and in fact India too offered that). Injustice is a blip on our national history and that will be resolved. In the meantime instead of Pakistan bashing, our indian friends should, and I say again, please clean up your own mess. You have serious hindu fundamentalists roaming around. You have naxalites and you have the largest number of poor people in a single country in this world. And to top it all, you have the caste system to resolve. We should live as decent neighbours and talk decent. We can move the world together. Our peoples are suffering on both sides. We are here to stay and the earlier you realize it and support us the better our common future would be. This animosity will not take us anywhere except to debate and hate each other unnecessarily. We dont hate you and dont want to hate you. We have more in common as decent human beings, our nationalities, caste, creed are not and should not define us. Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Mar 22, 2011 - 12:26PM

    @Talha, Hamza and others
    Many commentators talk of “Typical Indian Mentality”. Can anyone of them explain what do they mean by this? What are its chracterstics? Is it found in all Indians? In short what does this term mean? And by corollary, is there something called “Typical Pakistani mentality”? Also list the traits and chracterstics of it. And if there is no such thing you can define, please refain from using such terms.
    So far as Jinnah’s views are concerned, he was like a split personality or more precisely he was an opportunist and would mould his views according to his audience. He did not particularily care about any religion. He only cared about himself and his inflated Ego. In that sense he was truly secular.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Mar 22, 2011 - 12:53PM

    @Talha,

    “Their mentality reeks of bitterness and hate.”

    –> If there is one thing an educated Indian would not feel is bitterness.

    Instead of proving that any of my points wrong you start throwing accusations and start calling us names. That just shows that you have a very rigid mind.

    You couldn’t prove the simple things I point to, for example how Jinnah shunned every single progressive leader Muslims/Non-Muslim, which led him to have no backup.

    If you call our opinion biased and hence, untrue, then think about this: Indians have been predicting Pakistan struggling economically, sociologically and politically from the start of the previous decade. Every single prediction has come true to a certain extent. Heck, we even predicted Raymond Davis would get away when all Pakistanis thought he would be imprisoned for sure.

    If this was due to just hate then it should not have been so. Turns out we were right more often than not in the last decade. No wonder Pakistan barely managed to grow even 1/3rd of India’s rate.

    Those who do not learn from History are doomed to repeat it. You can either learn and accept the fact that Jinnah had a grey area or believe in his secular credentials and still believe in the contradictory nature of his actions which led him to propagate the 2 nation theory. Your call.Recommend

  • harkol
    Mar 22, 2011 - 1:48PM

    A simple way of looking at this is to consider Jinnah’s primary motive.

    In 1940 Jinnah made a speech – that Hindus and Muslims belonged to two different religious philosophies, cultures with conflicting ideas, thus are two separate nations. He betrayed his patent non-secular ideology in that speech.

    Foundation of the idea of secularism is in the belief that governments or nations exist separate from the religion (Seperation of church and state). So, a primary principle within secularism is that religion is in the personal domain and not in political, legal or governance domain. In a secular state all religions are treated the same.

    In Indian school history curricula, we study just as much about Mohammad Paigambar, as we learn about Sikh Gurus, Mahaveera (jain), Gautam Buddha, Jesus Christ and some religious figures of Hindu religion like Vivekananda (Not mythological figures like Krishna/Rama, but historical). That allows the students to grow up with a wider worldview, balance and tolerance.

    A secular person, party or nation should be able to tolerate and live with all religions (and even lack of religion – Atheism). Can anyone say The ‘Muslim League’ Was secular? Was it representative of anything/anyone but the islam/muslims?

    Any nation founded on religious ideology thus can’t be secular. And any person propounding a two nation theory on the basis of religious identity can’t be secular either. For he fundamentally disbelieves people of different religions can co-exist!

    So, It is absurd that people keep arguing Jinnah was secular. Recommend

  • harkol
    Mar 22, 2011 - 1:58PM

    @syed ali

    You got all your numbers wrong. West Pakistan had close to 20% Hindus in 1941 (British era) census and that percentage had reduced to less than 1.9% in 1998 Pakistan census.

    The creation of Bangladesh had nothing to do with this, as these figures are specific to WEST PAKISTAN.Recommend

  • Mar 22, 2011 - 9:21PM

    @Alim

    Brother, your ideas are admirable, but divorced from reality. Tell me looking around you, how many people in Pakistan are worried about Ahmadis and other minorities.Do you believe that the Ahmadi amendment will ever be repealed, or minorities will be allowed to become President,PM or Army Chief in Pakistan.Forget such targets, do you think even Pakistan Study rextbooks can be reformed.
    However, as ‘ummeed par dunya kayaam hai’ , I sincerely hope your vision becomes the reality.Good Luck.Recommend

  • alim
    Mar 23, 2011 - 8:00AM

    @Harkol
    I agree with your observations and I think it is excellent that you are taught comparative religions in India. However that does not preclude the possibility that You may not have understood or taken time to understand Islam well. I would recommend reading some of the Ahmadiyya literature on how Islam declares that Secularism is a religious value. There are several verses in the Quran that clearly translate to defend secularism. The Quran declares that ” there is no compulsion in religion”. Now that to me clearly indicates that both politics and state affairs where compulsions are rife, whether due to money or expendiencies, religion should be kept out of that sphere. When I say Jinnah was a secular Muslim and he envisioned Pakistan as a secular Muslim State, he was just following this understanding of the Quran. He was quite close to Sir Zafarullah Khan, and was in regular contact with the head of Ahmadiyya community in Qadian. This interpretation of Quran that we support, reconciles this confusion. I would recommend for you to read an excellent article on relationship of politics and religion by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the 4th head of Ahmadiyya community at alislam.org.
    Yes the fault is not in Islam, the fault is with Muslims. All civilizations and religions go through this. We will also go through this and come out winners. My question to you is how will you within the Indian society get rid of deeply rooted caste based system which holds your society back from real development. The fact that Indian Constitution is secular is good, but ultimately people must be all equal even within a secular society on the basis of essential human principles. These unfortunately are not supported by the current form of Hinduism which remains dominant in India still led by Brahmans. I say again, Muslims did not break India, it was the Hindu Brahmans who did. Take me up on this one instead of discussing Jinnah, who is not such a a dilemma if you read some more on the sources I have quoted. Many thanksRecommend

  • maynotmatter
    Mar 23, 2011 - 9:14AM

    @alim
    Yes we have laundry list of filth to wash. And we are cleaning. We have reservations for those castes almost to the tune of 65 %, We have reservations for muslim. Caste system still prevails but only in remote villages where education ( not just bookish but intellectual ) is not deep rooted. Our president was a muslim and prime minister is Sikh, both belonging to “minority” group. Anywhere in your history or foreseeable future do you see that happening in Pakistan? You dare comment on our caste system which existed even before Islam existed, and mind it most of you poor souls are converted lower caste , hence you have this genetic hatred towards Brahmin class of India. To comment on caste system and get disgusted by it’s end result you have to understand the history and origin of the system. Everything in society starts with good reason , but as it passes on to generation what remains is practice and the original meaning and intentions are lost. Well most of my own fellow country men are unaware of the caste system history and truly most of us these days don’t even care. And caste system is in every religion and every nation, just the labeling and sub classification is different. As for naxalite, do you even know who they are and what their cause is? Or just becoming happy in your ignorant world to know India has an internal problem called naxals ? We create reservation we give free education , we save them seats in our educational institutes so they can prosper and help bring up their community. What more can we do ? participate in their failure and feed them when they still cant perform and get jobs? If the minority thinks they dont get job because they are profiled then why dont they setup their own business and hire their own people ? One of our leading industrialist is muslim ( Wipro ) , if he had felt the kind of unjust treatment as you are projecting here what stopped him from hiring only minorities and kick away “brahmins”. That India does not care of its minority is just a myth created by your leaders and army to keep your support on their adventures in Kashmir. Remain fool as you are or wake up and improvise your life. Atleast we are not stopping you from doing that or are we? Stop pointing problems in India, cause we have interesting long list of problems in Pakistan to point at, but tahts not the objective of this blog. So either participate in constructive blogging or just be a silent spectator stop spreading half baked information.Recommend

  • alim
    Mar 23, 2011 - 12:38PM

    @maynotmatter
    Please read the blog carefully to read what I am responding to. I am responding to half baked, ignorant understanding of Islam and Jinnah and had to point towards your backyard so that some modicum of self reflection should be restored. I close this here. We do not need to spew venom at each other and I hope that as you mature you will learn how to write a decent blog. But calling some one foolish or ignorant does not help. Do point to some readings that can add to my knowledge of how you and your fellow citizens have decided to reform your society. I have recommended readings for Harcol. I am a fan of Amartya Sen and do read him a lot. Yes I have the courage to admit ignorance, and I hope you do to. I call on the core of best human decency you posses to become a fellow learner and let us be forgiving and not harsh. By using this language again the Indian friends prove who was really responsible for the breakup of India. Let us now move on. Thanks to all and be good.Recommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Mar 23, 2011 - 1:29PM

    @Rahul Singh:
    Should I call you an ass who despite eating thistle remains a blatant liar. Why were you there to
    see the opposition executed or this lightens your heart to bloat.Recommend

  • Rahul Singh
    Mar 24, 2011 - 8:36AM

    @Khalid Rahim:
    I am not surprised with such comments because ignorant persons like you are in large numbers in this part of the world. Had it not been so we would not be debating this topic. People like you are responsible for making Islam the most hated religion in the world and Pakistan becoming the largest manufacturer and exporter of terrorist. I just feel sorry for good Muslims who have to suffer because of persons like you.Recommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Mar 24, 2011 - 7:05PM

    @Rahul Singh:
    Thank you for letting me know of my ignorance! but one of teachers who lived long long time back in Baghdad told me on occasion such as this remind the learned like yourself;
    ‘ To your mind, I am mad. To my mind you are all sane.
    So I pray to increase my madness and to increase your sanity,
    my ‘madness’ is from from power of love.
    Your sanity is from strength of unawareness.Recommend

  • harkol
    Mar 25, 2011 - 11:58AM

    @alim

    how will you within the Indian society get rid of deeply rooted caste based system

    The above statement doesn’t take in to account what has happened to caste system in past 65 years in India.

    Govt. has turned the caste system upside down in an attempt to force uplift the downtrodden. Upto 50% of all seats and jobs in govt. is reserved for those who were discriminated in old caste system. The situation is so dramatically different that there are multiple states where it is unthinkable for a non-lower caste person to rule. Think of largest states like Bihar, UP, Tamilnadu, AP – all these have had Lower caste dominance.

    Besides, Brahimn Dominance is a historic myth. Please check the historic records of various ruling dynasties of India in 2000 years. You’ll realize India was ruled by lower caste dynasties. There are only handful of exceptions. Chera, Chola, Pandya, Hoysatal, Rashtrakuta, Pallava, Vijayanagara and Even Mourya kingdoms were founded by lower caste men. For close to a 1000 years India was ruled by various muslim rulers too. The reality of India was, BRAHMINS NEVER RULED INDIA.

    Regarding your statement that Islam is secular, because Quran says so doesn’t make sense. All religions at their core tell people to be good, be fair and do good. If it wasn’t so, majority of people won’t accept it as a religion.

    However, teachings of tolerance of another religion is not secularism, though it is one of the parts of secularism. The foundation of secularism is in the belief that Religion doesn’t matter in Politics and law, thus not pulling in the religion in to politics/law. Jinnah never prescribed to that principle. He openly believed that religion is a basis for creation of a nation and a system where Hindus and Christians will be ‘tolerated’!! IAC, His tolerance wasn’t because Quran says so!

    Be that as it may, Islam is not Quran, it also comprises of Sunnah/Hadiths and various other interpretations of scholars. These are not ‘words of god’ even if you accept Quran as such. These are words/rules of men.

    Even in Quran the sentence you quoted is followed by another “There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error…” implying that the following of any other direction/faith is ‘an error’!! So, what it advocates is tolerance of an error.

    However true tolerance, as we are taught in India, is to accept all faiths as different ways (directions) of reaching the same spiritual objective. Not as an wrong direction or ‘error’. That is why Indian schooling curriculum is patently secular.

    “Ishwar Allah Tere naam, Sabko Sanmati de Baghwan”.Recommend

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