Is this Jinnah’s Pakistan?

Published: May 30, 2010
The writer is consulting editor, The Friday Times (

The writer is consulting editor, The Friday Times (

The massacre of Ahmadis in Lahore has once again exposed the inner fissures of our society. As if treating them like second class citizens was not enough, the attacks on their private space of worship has confirmed that militant Islamism is now an embedded reality. Those who have been denying the presence of Punjabi Taliban will have to construct another web of denial and disbelief. We saw signs of that after the fateful tragedy. Instead of constituting investigation teams and ensuring that all necessary leads are collated, senior officials of the Punjab government made a direct reference to RAW, the infamous Indian intelligence agency.

That the terrorists can attack anyone and anywhere is now an established reality. The fact that they chose Lahore and a vulnerable community is a clear message. Indeed, Pakistan as a state should reconsider its goals and strategy of survival. The symbolism of the day chosen for the heinous mass murders is also significant. It was Yaum-i-Takbeer when Pakistan’s atomic prowess was proved on the global stage. Perhaps the greatest delusion of the state’s might and invincibility seems to have been blown to bits. The process of bigotry that started in the 1950s culminated in Zulfikar Bhutto’s tragic action of declaring Ahmadis as non- Muslims in 1974. The Zia years deepened this culture of intolerance. Whilst we may have secured our ‘external defence’ through the much touted nuclear deterrence, internally Pakistan and its hapless citizens are more vulnerable than ever. Fundamentalism is a cancer that has widely spread in the body politic. Yet few wish to tackle it. For the past two years, get-Zardari debates have dominated Pakistan’s public discourse punctuated by the anti-Americanism of the right. The interior minister has been portrayed by the media Taliban as a corrupt nincompoop; and blood thirst for him is evident from the news pages and TV screens. Taliban apologists cannot confront the military establishment directly but the truth is the fight against the Taliban requires political stability and a domestic consensus. The right of Ahmadis to worship and lead a normal life according to the Constitution of Pakistan has been violated. What should a community do when the state and non-state actors are all geared to hound them? Is this Jinnah’s Pakistan? No.

We have gone too far and pessimists are now saying that the process of destroying Pakistani society is irreversible. There is still hope that we shall overcome this menace if Pakistani public opinion is fashioned to look a little deeper inside and not find all sources of evil in Washington or Delhi. The electronic media has a critical role to play but lack of self-regulation and introspection is missing. If anything, we find more and more analysts and commentators siding with the militants. Pakistan’s fight against terrorism has entered a new, decisive phase. If the political forces are not going to unite against this menace then they should learn a lesson or two from history. The secular and moderate political parties will be the obvious victims of this menace. Similarly, Pakistan’s military establishment needs to revise its paradigm of national security. If the offshoots of Taliban and al Qaeda are going to destroy Pakistani society and further incapacitate the state then what good are nuclear weapons and state-of the- art equipment? Clearly, there is a need for concerted action now. Political mobilisation against terrorism, involvement of moderate religious leaders and media campaigns must precede further military action in the north. We cannot let Taliban sympathisers run media campaigns and interfere in state operations.

Most importantly, the governments at the federal and national level need to acknowledge that the state and its civilian institutions have lost their core capacities due to decades of misgovernance. Police reform and reorganisation of intelligence agencies is perhaps most vital at this juncture.

The battle for Pakistan’s survival cannot be lost. This is the only country we have.

Published in the Express Tribune, May 30th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (33)

  • aftab
    May 30, 2010 - 2:05AM

    Right on! The Pakistani intelligentia has learnt to keep mum on occassions like these. Somenone needs to realize that evolution is not very friendly to timidity.Recommend

  • Ahmad
    May 30, 2010 - 2:13AM

    Plz Listen to the Friday sermon by the head of Ahmadiyya Jamat Archived at official website : It may open ur eyesRecommend

  • May 30, 2010 - 2:28AM

    The author writes:
    **The process of bigotry that started in the 1950s**

    It is not true that it started in 1950s.Dr. Rafiq Zakaria,Indian Muslim freedom fighter (father of Fareed Zakaria, CNN acnchor) describes in his book. Elder Zakaria went along to one of Jinnah’s meetings in Bombay in 1946. He was shocked by the “venom” in the speeches, which “aggravated the hostilities between the two communities as never before.”

    What you have is the only possible natural evolution of the idea called pakistan. this IS jinnah’s pakistan.Recommend

  • Nusrat
    May 30, 2010 - 2:28AM

    I am really ashamed on this indecent… its awful Recommend

  • May 30, 2010 - 2:56AM

    The Maldives will sink beneath the sea in the next 40 years. The current President is running pillar to post to gather international support to tackle climate change. Yet, those who produce all the green house gases causing global warming do not share the same degree of urgency.

    In the same way, we have a problem, and we need to tackle it, urgently. We cannot wait for someone to rescue us, nor will our gradual appeasement and toleration of greater Taliban influence satisfy those ferment hate. Even if the US-India-Israel are behind all these attacks, that still doesn’t explain why our government or we as viewers tolerate hate speeches on television, political rallies, fund-raising by militant outfits.

    We are running out of excuses, and unlike the Maldives we are capable of tackling the problem as the causes are within our power to eliminate. If we choose not to, do we have anyone but ourselves to blame? Recommend

  • Amir
    May 30, 2010 - 10:10AM

    Second class citizen? What are your talking about. We the Ahmadis are not even considered citizens. It’s institutionalized discrimination – laws that restricts jobs, freedom, right to travel, right to rent places, etc. I cannot even tell my employers, colleagues and friends that I belong to this community.

    I recall I once told one of my colleague that I am an Ahmadi, and his first reaction was that I was lying, and do not jest like this. You do not look like or talk like one. Are we supposed to have horns for identification? My sister had a best friend since school days. At university, her friend told my sister that now she has to walk to her home from a different route because some Ahmadis have moved nearby. My sister told her that she also belongs to the same community. Her reaction was the same…my sister is lying, do not jest like that. After that day she never spoke to my sister.

    This contempt has been built over years, and starts from schools, parents, which has now culminated in government, media. Look how easily Aamir Liaqat through his channel was able to broadcast his and others hate. His broadcast was followed by a murder of a Doctor in Mirpurkhas. Look how another well known media persons has allegedly shown his contempt on tape.

    Right now no one wants to touch this topic with a ten foot pole. Especially politicians and media. Even when politicians were deploring this act, no one mentioned whom it was against. Some reporters who were boradcasting live when they mentioned that this happened at “Juma” time, while Ahmadi’s were offering “prayers” in their “masjid” were immediately cut off.

    Yes you will write articles deploring it, but you will never challenge this in an open forum, fear of brining wrath of our clergies.

    Jinnah never envisioned this. His vision was hijacked on 9/11.Recommend

  • faraz
    May 30, 2010 - 11:11AM

    Jinanh appointed Sir Zafarullah Khan as our first foreign minister despite protests from mullahs. In these lahore attacks, Sir Zafarullah’s nephew was also among the dead; what a tribute to the great leader of our independence movement.Recommend

  • May 30, 2010 - 3:44PM

    Thanks for the comments here. We must not be quiet and stand up against this barbarity – Recommend

  • Sharjeel Jawaid
    May 30, 2010 - 7:57PM

    No it is not! Jinnah’s Pakistan was burnt in Dacca on March 26, 1971.Recommend

  • Fakhar
    May 30, 2010 - 10:43PM

    Fuounder of Pakistan Quaid e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah entrusted Sir Zafrullah Khan an Ahmadi with the responsibility of building relations with foreign nations as first Foreign Minister of Pakistan.Ahmadis stood for Pakistan in our freedom movement.But no history book gives them credit for that. Jammat Islami and Jamiaat ul Ulmai Hind (now Jammiaat ul ulmai Islam) opposed the idea of Pakistan. Maudoodi, Abul Kalam Azad,Mufti Mehmood and Attaullah Shah Bokhari were not only against the creation of Pakistan rather they made nasty satements against founder of Pakistan and Pakistan itself.Jinnah did not envision Pakistan to be a theocracy. His speech on 11th Agust 1948 to constituent assembaly of Pakistan should have been megnacarta of Pakistan where he outlined the equality for all religious groups and separated religion from the affairs of state in crystal clear words:
    “ You are free ; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed-that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”
    “Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State”

    We should have made that speech part of our constitution instead of objective resolution. But ruling elite intentionally neglected and played down that speech and got locked in competition with clergy to undo Pakistan by going one step ahead of clergy in promoting obscurantism against the secularism of Jinnah. Objective Resolution was murder of Jinnah ideology and conspiracy against people of Pakistan. Ziaul Haq’s draconian rule imposed obscurantism and fundamentalism as official religion of Pakistan and fuelled ethnic and sectarian wars to undo Jinnah’s Pakistan. Zia is father of all these Jihadi and extremist monsters. We should return to ideals set by Quaid e Azam. We should separate religion from affairs of state. All these extremists should be eliminated and stupid distinction of good and bad extremists need to be done with if we want to save Pakistan and its people. Clergymen that were against the idea of Pakistan, they continue to conspire against Pakistan. This is high time to eradicate all these anti-humanity and anti-Pakistan elements without showing any mercy. But I doubt any one in the echelons of power will follow the Mustafa Kamalism to get us rid of this menace. Recommend

  • Zubair Torwali
    May 31, 2010 - 1:07AM

    Jinnah and his Pakistan!!! Oooff! It is ZAB’s Pakistan. It is Zia’s Pakistan and it is a security state which is a security risk for itself.
    I am an utter despair, Raza. My head broods but cannot think.
    In Keats’s words: I fell upon the thorn of “bigorty” and bleed.
    Religion in Pakistan is now an anarchy in mask.
    I could not write, I have no nevres to narrate and locate this gruesome state.

    But my yearning for a true democratic pluralistic and secular society will never yield!!!Recommend

  • Ali Abbas
    May 31, 2010 - 3:32PM

    As per most recent investigations, the horrific attacks on the Ahmadis have been traced to the Lashkar Jhangvi, Malik Ishaq’s group. This group is also responsible for killing over a dozen members of a Shia family and the case has been lodged against them for years. However, when it comes to sectarian and Jihadi leaders, our honourable Judiciary releases them on lack of evidence; a departure from their modus operandi in as far as hounding democratically elected leaders and their senior ministers. Shame!Recommend

  • Rashid Saleem
    May 31, 2010 - 5:57PM

    To revive the Pakistani society, it is important that we revive ourselves on ideological grounds. We need to stop finding the roots of everything in Washington and Delhi. The whole world is not conspiring against us.Recommend

  • Hamza Baloch
    May 31, 2010 - 6:24PM

    I was expecting such kind of articles in also.
    Can some one tell me after how much years such kind of incident occur in with ahmdis? On globe Pakistan to destroying Pakistan image there is a great hand of ahmdis also.
    Second thing, during quaid time, there was no such kind ahmdis issues.ahmdi got the status in Pakistan constituation after their killing of Muslims Student.
    anyhow this was indeed a sad news,but its advise to muslim do not active like ahmdi to change this incident against Pakistan!Recommend

  • May 31, 2010 - 8:31PM

    Ahmadis have always proved to be loyal to Pakistan!History is full of the sacrifices that this most peaceful community has given for it’s beloved country!I hope that every Pakistani and well every muslim will stand side by side and pray for the whole nation!Only God can save us from every kind of havoc!Recommend

  • Malik Rashid
    May 31, 2010 - 8:37PM

    Dear Raza Rumi
    Great analysis. Nice sentiments. You said,
    “Is this Jinnah’s Pakistan? No.”
    If Ahmadis had a Jinnah, he could claim that Ahmadis and Muslims are two nations. Wonder if MA Jinnah had the same moral substance in his demand that an Ahmedi-Jinnah would possess. Peace.Recommend

  • Amir
    May 31, 2010 - 9:51PM

    Pakistan does not need Ahmadi’s to tarnish its image; it is doing an excellent job on its own.

    Not sure where you are getting your history lessons from, but let me place some facts straight, maybe that would give you some impetus to do some research instead of reading one-sided literature or listening to bigoted sermons, before making such comments.

    1953: 2000 Ahmadi killed. Led by JI Madudi and AML Maulana Niazi, the riots were quelled by Pakistan Army. You can read more here: Both Madudi and Niazi were sentenced to death, later commuted to life imprisonment

    1974: On May 22 Nistar Medical College students passed through Rabwah shouting insulting slogans. A week later when the students came on their way back, Ahmadis were waiting, and they beat them up. But no casualties happened. Violence then spread throughout Punjab, resulting in 42 deaths, of which almost 27 were Ahmadis. Following this incident, 18 religious groups, led by JI, renewed their demand for declaring Ahmadis non-Muslims which was finally granted by ZAB in September 1974.

    9 April 1995: Town of Shab Qadar, NWFP. 2 Ahmadis stoned, 1 was killed. This happened in front of Police who just stood there watching.

    Oct 2000: At a prayer meeting gunmen killed 5, wounding 7.

    Oct 2005: 8 Ahmadis killed:

    2008: Aamir Liaqat thru his program incited murder of a doctor.

    2009: Almost 11 lost their lives.

    April 2010: 3 killed in Faisalabad

    You can go and check this website for more details about persecution, but I believe our Government has blocked this site recently.

    I can go on and on. And if you ask other minorities, they can present their own list.

    The reason there was no issue when Jinnah was alive was because he did not tolerate such nonsense from the clergies or other politicians. That is why I said on 9/11 the tolerance he wanted in Pakistan died with him.Recommend

  • Jun 1, 2010 - 7:42AM

    One of the few sane things that I read on tribune.Recommend

  • Hamza Baloch
    Jun 1, 2010 - 9:53AM


    so according to your detail after 1953 to 2010, 5 ahmdi killed… you know how much Shia brothers killed and how much Suni brothers killed in during these years by baned orginazations?
    seond thing,here the comments of muslims show that they all are sad on this incident.. than why “some people” start blaming “whole Pakistan”? terrorist org. is dangerous for all Pakistanis,than do not know why such kind of articals are start publishing mostly after attack against ahmdis..??

    … and yesterday, 12 muslims were dead in lahore by terrorist !Recommend

  • anny
    Jun 1, 2010 - 11:26AM

    @MR AMIR
    You are absolutely right….i agree with you every word you said…..we are not even considered humans in pak….and if we tell any one in schools,neighbourhood,colleges,universities,workplace we are considered aliens and every one pretty much socialy boycott us…no body giv us place for rent,even teachers behave biased with us,and our friends with whom we have spend our whole childhood together once they are grown up they are so poisoned by their brainwashed parents that they behave like strangers with us….we are nt allowed to give azan in our mosques.

  • Blizzard
    Jun 1, 2010 - 2:59PM

    No! This is ‘George ka Pakistan!’Recommend

  • Zahid
    Jun 1, 2010 - 8:00PM

    A lot is being said and heard about it. Jinnah’s Pakistan. This is not new. We can not and will not make our country of Jinnah’s Pakistan until and unless we attain literacy rate of above 90%. Our people are easily get trapped in with so called moulvi’s trap who have mastered the psychology of our people in general and our tribal areas people in particular. The main reason for today’s Pakistan is Illiteracy. The main culprits are our elected MNAs and MPA who never wanted our rural Pakistanis get educated. Was it not better that we were under British Raj and get educated. I am sorry and feel ashamed that our Pakistani brothers are dieing every day in the terrorist attacks. If I get chance to punish the real culprits I would hang Ziaul Haq and his company, still present in Pakistani politics, pumped money through ISI and created IJI. For Today’s Pakistan Ziaul Haq is responsible who allowed extremist to grow and prosper to promote his own ideology to rule the country. If we want Jinnah’s Pakistan, we should ban all the political parties who uses Islam’s name and gather people under their umbrella in the name of hatred. There is visible difference in their thoughts and ideology one can understand by listening to their lectures. First of all we should provide basic health care facility and education in the remote areas of Pakistan as well. We should not elect these two major political parties and try to look for the third force. Recommend

  • Saif
    Jun 2, 2010 - 5:57PM

    Geeting sick and tired of the whole “Is this Jinnah’s Pakistan” tirade.
    Forget Jinnah’s Pakistan, the focus to make Pakistan a livable country first. Recommend

  • Ahmad
    Jun 2, 2010 - 6:37PM

    Plz enforce law in Pakistan and every person, Muslim or non-Muslim, who persuade anyone to kill should be penalize.Recommend

  • Engr SALMAN
    Jun 5, 2010 - 10:39AM

    Ahmides are in minorities,separate religion declared by the parliment.So should treated as separate religion as christians,hindus etc and give rights to them as according to islamic state which historically, slahuddin given.Recommend

  • Jun 6, 2010 - 3:43AM

    I am glad to read the comments here. First of all, the title of the article is not rhetorical. It is quite a simple question: did Jinnah envision Pakistan to have turned into a violent and fractured society? The answer is no. Mr Jinnah was categorical that he did not want a theocratic state. However, we are now turning into a sectarian society where tolerance is at an all time low. Hence my plea to remind ourselves that we have moved away from the ideal of Pakistan’s founder.

    @Saif: Indeed, Pakistan has to become a ‘liveable’ place. And such a state requires that we are a economically just, democratic and a pluralistic society. All of that is possible if we keep Jinnah’s August 11 speech in front of us.Recommend

  • Malik Rashid
    Jun 7, 2010 - 11:43PM

    “Before Pakistan came into existence, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, addressing a public meeting had said that he wanted this country to be a laboratory where Islamic ideas could be experimented upon. This saying of Quaid-e-Azam is taught in Social Studies and History books at every school.

    Successful experiments at laboratory turn out products that are mass-produced. The successful experiment of producing Kafir in the 70s did not stop there. 80s and 90s saw emergence of the slogan, ‘Kafir, kafir, Shia Kafir'(Shias are dis-believers). Doctors, teachers, lawyers, traders and intellectuals belonging to Shia faith were so brutally murdered that Ahmadis must have exclaimed, “Thanks god, we are Kafir, not Shia.”

    Quoted above is an excerpt from Mohammad Hanif’s article ‘Kafir Factory’ published in urdu at Recommend

  • Tariq Mahmood Yasir
    Jun 8, 2010 - 12:40PM

    Offcourse he is the founder and the maker of this country .
    but this country dosent growing like he want to be . he want to see every Religon have their own rights and living standards. but situation is Nagative as u can see . there is a big war Yeh its Religon war.
    no matter whats Religon but peoples are following the bad Mullahizm .. the Mullahh who are the worst Creature of this world .they are nagative before during Partition and ask that we dont neen other country like pakistan .. and if u make then its called Palleetistan .. how discusting their thoughts about this country before .and know they try to prove that .
    ALLAH may finish these Mullaah’s Inshallah .
    and this country will grow faster with JINNAH’S Thoughts with his dreams that he saw before .
    we LOVE JINNAH yes he is our HERO ..
    as u can see the Ahmadi Muslims are true Followers of ISLAM and MOHAMMAD (PBUH) is the last Prophet and The Holly Quran is last Book and believe all Arkan e Islam and did all daily Five prayers ..
    this is the Religon of Mohammad (PBUH) and the one thing from God who try to follow his Rules is The Pormised Messiah Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (AS)
    he is the founder of Illaahi Jammat .
    we know what is ISLAM islam is PEACEFULL .
    thats it .Recommend

  • Rashid Saleem
    Jun 23, 2010 - 1:23PM

    To stop the acts of terrorism, first we must stop using the intellectual venom against each other. Because this forms the basis for someone going to the next level and conducting an act of violence. We must learn that condemning a wrong in true sense would make the general public more aware and hence slowly the ideology will be refuted.Recommend

  • Hira Mir
    Jun 23, 2010 - 2:19PM

    This is not the Pakistan any one leader wanted  Sadly poverty and terrorism have surrounded the country so badly. The price hikes are influencing the masses and we all stand hoping for a mirace. God bless Pakisan!Recommend

  • ali hamdani
    Jun 24, 2010 - 12:43PM

    @tarq. The Pakistan of Jinnah was destroyed in the regime of Zia when breeding groud was given to the extremist such as Taliban. Now we must kill them and whatever it takes to free this country of maniacs like Taliban who have introduced a different level of violence in the country.Recommend

  • Zarghun Khan
    Jul 2, 2010 - 4:02PM

    Jinnah’s speech of 11 August is not the only speech he delivered. On hundreds of occassions he cited “Islam” and “muslim” as justification for Pakistan. Now forget about what he wanted. Let him rest in peace. Let us debate what kind of Pakistan WE want. It is not Jinnah who will live in today’s Pakistan. It is me and you who live today, and WE should decide on the meaning and purpose of Pakistan. This Jinnah mantra is too much.Recommend

  • Choudhary Saeed Aslam
    Jul 3, 2010 - 4:04PM

    Ashamed to be a Pakistani since what we have done to our Ahmedi brothers & sisters. May God forgive us! Recommend

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