Jinnah’s Pakistan

Published: August 14, 2010
The writer is a historian and editor of the quarterly Tarikh

The writer is a historian and editor of the quarterly Tarikh [email protected]

It has become a ritual to celebrate Independence Day every year without considering whether we have achieved it or not. The question is how far independence has accomplished its objective by creating historical consciousness among people: whether it has changed the life of the common people or increased their sufferings and miseries. If it has, how do we respond to the challenges that we are facing today?

There are some liberals who think that the solution is to put in place “Jinnah’s Pakistan”. To me, it would be quite interesting to find out who invented this term. When we use it, it gives the impression that he solely created this country. We seem to be in denial of the fact that other forces helped him to fulfill his dream. Moreover, the term also indicates that Pakistan is Jinnah’s property.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah was not a thinker or a philosopher. He was a politician.

In the early period of his political career, he was the staunch Indian nationalist and anti-British. When he joined Muslim League, he changed his stance and championed the cause of the Muslim community of the subcontinent. He supported the two-nation theory and in a number of his speeches declared that the Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations with different culture, customs and traditions. The two-nation theory became a hallmark of the Pakistan movement.

When Jinnah delivered his August 11, 1947 speech, declaring all religious communities equal in the soon-to-be-born Pakistan, it not only shocked but surprised the leadership of the Muslim League and the bureaucracy. That’s why the speech was censored. The very act of censoring the speech of the founder of Pakistan and its first governor-general shows that he failed to convince his followers that after Partition the situation had changed and the country needed the theory of one nation rather than two.

In 1949, when the Objectives Resolution was passed by the Legislative Assembly, Muhammad Ali Jinnah became irrelevant to Pakistani politics. It was decided that Pakistan would be a religious country. All three constitutions were drafted in light of the Objectives Resolution. As a result, the Pakistani state has become an Islamic state and the process of Islamisation is continuing unabated.

Under these circumstances, to refer to Jinnah’s Pakistan or his vision shows our intellectual bankruptcy. In a backward society, where intellectuals and politicians have failed to produce new ideas, they resort to the past and propogate outdated and rusted ideas. Hero worship is not the solution to our problems. New challenges require new ideas. Muhammad Ali Jinnah alone cannot help us get rid of our present problems.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (32)

  • Aug 14, 2010 - 2:35PM

    This article only provides a couple of inadequate arguments in favour of discarding the term “Jinnah’s Pakistan”. Apart from this it very well shows the writer’s incapacity to see that though Jinnah was a politician, looking at his various speeches we very easily reach the conclusion that he was a thinker as well and which sort of Pakistan he thought to be the best. Now whether we act to fulfill those conditioins that will eventually make Jinnah’s Pakistan it is upto the us. It is not the writer alone whose opinion matters rather every Pakistani who has got to have his say in it.
    Quaid e Azam did not forbade us to think of new ideas as far as Pakistan is concerned, we can by all means do so but the term “Jinnah’s Pakistan” is vast enough to embrace all those new ideas as long as they are Islamic in their origin and employment. The ideas that belong to the term “Islamic” are still valid and vice versa. Similarly is the case with the term “Jinnah’s Pakistan”. It might not go as far as 1400 or 1500 years but it will surely go along the term “Islamic” as far as we are willing to take it.
    I would love to see Jinnah’s Pakistan being achieved.Recommend

  • Abhijit
    Aug 14, 2010 - 4:21PM

    That was a good article.
    One point that discomforts me is the term “Jinnah’s Pakistan”.

    Does Pakistan belong only to Jinnah and Iqbal?
    Don’t the people of Pakistan have wisdom to understand the real meaning of Independence?

    I don’t feel infuriated when some very elder people from the society praise the English rule and crediting them for uniting people.

    Was the cost of Independence so high that even after 65 years, we still owe a lot.

    Anyway, I believe that everybody understands this today including my brothers and sisters from Pakistan.

    Lets hope for better Pakistan and best of the Indo-Pak relations.

    Jai Hind !!Recommend

  • Abhijit
    Aug 14, 2010 - 4:24PM

    Apologies !!
    I forgot to wish you all a “Happy Independence Day”.

    Let the almighty bring success, fortune, health, and prosperity.

    Jai Hind !!Recommend

  • Mian Amir Hakim
    Aug 14, 2010 - 5:37PM

    The writer has contradiction in his own views. It looks like that less thought provoking and more ideas borrowing has been done in this article. Simple to say and understand our problems started when we drifted from Jinnah’s secular Pakistan to a religious state. No politician with a vision such that of Jinnah has been produced yet. If we look back to him for guidance there is no harm in it.
    The writer has a poor knowledge and under standing of the great leader, philosopher of all times. Just to fill in the editorial gap every one should not be tasked to write on sensitive issues particularly those involving the creation of Pakistan and the father of the Nation.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Aug 14, 2010 - 8:32PM

    Jinnah was not big on consensus. Most of the enlightened leaders from India did not support the Partition. Look at the case of Maulana Azad. He predicted Pakistan is a bad idea and would prove counter productive to Islam. Today his words ring true when the country created in the name of Islam is knows as epicenter of Terrorism by the World Community and world leaders openly put down Pakistan for supporting Terror and Intolerance. Recommend

  • Hassan Siddique
    Aug 14, 2010 - 9:55PM

    MR mubarik, yes! I agree Mr. Jinnah was not a philosopher but he was backed up by MR Allama Iqbal who was indeed a great think he says “Juda ho deen siyasat say; tu reh jaati hai changaizi”

    Jinnah himself said that “Quran is the constitution of pakistan”
    Misquoting his speech of 11th Aug has become a fashion for our secular scholars especially of late, even though Islam respects the minorities and Jinnah never used the term secular, he was just against theocracy, and no one obviously support theocratic Pakistan.Recommend

  • Amaar
    Aug 14, 2010 - 11:00PM

    Weak arguments! Does the writer want a Pakistan where religious freedom is not protected and the medievalistic mindset of the likes of Zia and Taliban rule?

    Fact of the matter is that Jinnah was a completely secular person who fought for Pakistan as a constitutional and legal project based on socio-economic conditions of the minority Indian Muslims. He was a champion of minorities. Pakistan must heed his words if it has to heal its sectarian and religious divide. By making his words irrelevant we have only served to make Pakistan irrelevant in the world today.Recommend

  • SKChadha
    Aug 15, 2010 - 2:53AM

    Abhijit – The division which we see is not India-Pakistan division; it was INC-ML division of ‘Raj Gaddi’ for their political rule. Why discomfort for ‘Jinnah’s Pakistan’ or for that matter ‘Nehru’s India’? Every nation boast its historical visionaries. Such visionaries are different from democratically elected dynastic representatives. In India we look it in ‘MKGandhi’ and Pakistan in ‘Jinnah’. Nothing wrong buddy and we do not owe anything to such visionary except due respect. Yes, on this day we owe a lot, not to our past leaders but to our younger generations. We have to give them an atmosphere where they can live in peace, prosper and have neighborly brotherhood. Good wishes to all and many many happy returns of the day.Recommend

  • Hassan Siddique
    Aug 15, 2010 - 5:01AM

    Mr. Amaar kindly read Quaid’s speech of 1st july 1948 while inaugurating state bank, where he emphasized on running the economy on Islamic principles.Recommend

  • Asad Munir
    Aug 15, 2010 - 11:12AM

    Mubarak Ali sahib,its so nice to read a piece by a great historian like you.I have a collection of all your books including copies of “SEH MAHI TARIKH”.Since most of us are not fond of reading, many may not have heard your name,and the great contributions you have made in the field of history.Your articles may not be received well initially,since we are used to reading engineered history.Please keep writing.Recommend

  • Iqbal
    Aug 15, 2010 - 11:19AM

    Pakistan was created on the basis of two nation theory. It has become a fashion to criticize the great leaders. It is a shame for me to call Quid-e-Azam as Mr.Jinnah only.Please be brave and be a true Pakistani Recommend

  • Aug 15, 2010 - 11:55AM

    I don’t know why the writer moulded his thoughts in such a way. He should have written an impressive and analytical piece of writing. Anyway, I would like to comment in the following way:

    1. Jinnah’s Pakistan means the kind of Pakistan envisaged by Jinnah.
    2. Jinnah was a politician and thinker (not a philosopher). Do you think Delhi proposals and 14 points could be given by a politician who was not a thinker? Kindly read them again and try to find out their impact on the subsequent history.
    3. Jinnah’s Pakistan also means that the country called Pakistan could not have been established, had there been no Jinnah. Ask Allama Iqbal why did he plead Jinnah to lead the cause of the Muslims of the Subcontinent? Ask Stanely Wolpert why did he praise Jinnah.
    4. Objectives Resolution was a product of the Islamic tinge (fervour) gathered during the Pakistan Movement (1940-47). Jinnah tried to cool down the religious sentiment on August 11, 1947, but perhaps he was late.

    I can’t understand why did the writer produce the last para of his essay. That is rubbish!Recommend

  • Tony Khan
    Aug 15, 2010 - 1:22PM

    Undo the Objectives Resolution, separate the state and religion.Recommend

  • Ghausia
    Aug 15, 2010 - 4:22PM

    First of all, you’re very brave for writing something that would so obviously enrage or at the very least, offend some people. That being said however, I think that the article was well written in terms of quality, but not in terms of content. It just reminds me of all the times my teachers tell us that a massive failing of editorial teams is that they hand out assignments to journalists who would not be able to handle the topic as well as someone who is specialized in the field, and has better knowledge of his topic.Recommend

  • Faseeha Arjumand
    Aug 15, 2010 - 10:35PM

    In Pakistan the term Islamization means the imposition of penal commandments and facets relating to clothing and general behavior only. The Islamic pronouncements relating self-sacrifice, self-discipline, self-reformation and complete submission to Allah’s will are always missing. The cleansing of one’s thoughts of temporal masters, invoking His help and guidance in every sphere is at the most paid only lip service. The Islamic welfare regime is seldom mentioned. It seems Islamists think that Islamic penal commandments implementation will roll-in Islamization. In my humble view it’s the other way round.Recommend

  • cmsarwar
    Aug 16, 2010 - 4:06AM

    Mubarak has stated that August 11 speech of Jinnah shocked the leadership of Muslim League and bureaucracy.The proof–the speech was censored and later on Objective Resolution of 1949.His assertion has not been properly explained and substantiated.Was some portion of Mubarak’s article deleted in editing? He could cite some specific voices of dissent raised at that time and Jinnah’s response to that.He is a professional historian and should have avoided making a very big statement without dilating on it and substantiating it fully before moving on to a much bigger statement that Jinnah has become irrelevant to Pakistan.To say that Jinnah was not a philosopher,he was just a politician.Coming from a historian it is ridiculous statement.Jinnah was no ordinary politician .He was a statesman of outstanding stature.Any objective historian should be given full freedom to evaluate Jinnah dispassionately on the basis of documented historical facts.But making half-baked,sweeping statements which are not fully explained and substantiated authentically is not writing history.Jinnah’s August 11 speech is still relevant.Pakistan is a Muslim country but it is not Mullah’s Islam.I do not think even Objectives Resolution is a hindrance in promoting and strengthening a welfare state based on Islam’s principles of social justice ,a goal which Jinnah had in mind and for which he struggled.What happened to Pakistan after Jinnah(Ayub,Yahya,Bhutto,Zia,PPP,PMLN,Musharraf and now Zardari) needs separate discussion and should not be blamed on JinnahRecommend

  • Aug 16, 2010 - 7:16AM

    @ Asad Munir: The writer will not get credit for what he has done before or what he is capable of. We have to go on merit and give out applaudits to those who deserve them. If he writes anything against our Quaid he is bound to be criticised. On one thing I agree with you. We are in the habit of reading engineered history. The present article is the case in point.Recommend

  • AA
    Aug 16, 2010 - 7:55AM

    Jinnah was a brilliant lawyer and an extremely successful politician, but, Mubarak Ali is right, Jinnah was no philosopher. He never wrote a book or even a paper on philosophy. In fact, Jinnah never wrote a book, a paper or a column even on his vision of Pakistan. The only written record of his vision of Pakistan is his speech of 11 August 1947, which the establishment wanted to keep away from the public eye and, after his death, even tried to tinker with it.Recommend

  • yousaf
    Aug 16, 2010 - 9:09AM

    This is apiece of irresponsible writeup lacking wisdom but at the same time providing full throttle logic to Pakistan haters by discussing Objective Resolition in negative radiance and showing disdain for Islam. Such pseudo intellectuals should be condemned by all and sundry as Two Nation Theory means nothing more but the difference between Muslims and Hindus and the only thing which seperates the two is the “QALMA” otherwise there was no difference in their culture or so many other customs, some of which are still present in muslim society.Recommend

  • Hamza Baloch
    Aug 16, 2010 - 10:20AM

    Agree with Hassan Siddique views.

    But few more things to add in this article, Yes Qaid was not a philosopher but was the choice of philosopher(Iqbal). He wrote a letter and ask him to come back.
    On his 11 august speech, i never find that its was censored, but yes on his hundreds of other speeches(speech even after 11 august) should not be neglected.Recommend

  • Ammar
    Aug 16, 2010 - 10:32AM

    Azad believes that the implementation of the Cabinet Mission plan, which would have entailed India’s segmentation into three sections within a federal context, would have been the ideal solution to the nation’s communal woes. The Muslim League had scuttled the 1945 Shimla conference under Lord Wavell’s auspices through Jinnah’s insistence that the League alone could nominate Muslim members to India’s executive council, chiefly in order to deny the Congress its nationalist, multi-communal credentials, even though it boasted a Muslim president.

    Both it and the Congress accepted the Cabinet Mission Plan, but an inopportune statement by Nehru to the effect that nothing was written in stone facilitated the League’s decision to reject the plan on the grounds that the Congress could not be trusted to honour its commitments.

    Azad was taken aback by Nehru’s announcement, and he was even more disenchanted in the summer of 1947 when his closest colleague in the Congress hierarchy fell in with Sardar Vallabhai Patel — whose impulses Azad had always been suspicious of — to support partition as the least painful outcome in the circumstances. Another Muslim nationalist who was shocked by the Congress stance was Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan. Azad’s final hope was Gandhi, but the combined influence of Patel, Nehru and Lord Mountbatten proved irresistible even for him.

    These are the excerpts from Mahir Ali’s article The Burden of History published in Dawn dated August 11, 2010. The impression that only Mr. Jinnah was responsible for division of India is wrong, because Mr. Nehru and Mr. Gandhi both were under the influence of extremist Hindu leaders like Patel, who fueled the sense of insecurity in Muslims of undivided India. No doubt that Muslim feudal wanted to protect their lands by making Pakistan and played a major role, but Nehru and Gandhi are equally responsible for the division.

    But I agree with the writer about the irrelevance of Quid-e-Azam after passing the Objective Resolution and making it the part of subsequent Constitutions. This is a fact, no matter how people are annoyed with this expression but the fact is fact. At least if not in 1949, but today he surly is irrelevant. This really is a burden of history. And if we don’t put it aside we cannot speed up the growth and development in every human affair of Pakistan. And I think Bureaucracy is the biggest hurdle in the development process, which our media does not touch as they (it’s my personal openion) have to be analysts after their retirements. Which means they never retire :)Recommend

  • shahid ali
    Aug 16, 2010 - 5:05PM

    It is baseless article. Two nation theory itself shows the main theme of Pakistan and its requirment. This is another opinion that we have failed to run pakistan as state.Jinnah’s Pakistan, it does not mean the owner of land. It does mean the founder of Pakistan.And we all know what the objectives have been set to get the freedom later which are not being proven by our leaders. If we subject the two nation theory then we find the objectives of Pakistan creation and then we come to conclusion Pakistan should be based on islamic way of rule. The name of Islamic republic of Pakistan is result of 1973 constitution and it shows Jinnah’s pakistan should be an Islamic state. Writer pointed out a particular words of speech of Mr. Jinnah that does not exist in record and ignored other speeches which are significative as islamic point of view.Recommend

  • Dr. Altaf ul Hassan
    Aug 16, 2010 - 5:21PM

    @Dr. Mubarik Ali


    I appreciate you for presenting a point of view that will be difficult to digest for the majority of people in Pakistan being it in contrary to their emotions.People speak with emotions and you speak in the light of history.

    Moreoever,after reading a fabricated history in our schools and colleges with one-sided point of view projected to the next coming generations,they will rather blame you to present “an engineered history”.No one will believe if you tell the people that Pakistan was born on August 15,1947 and not on August 14,1947.Same is the case for the so-called vision of Quaid-e-Azam M.A.Jinnah,he might be having for Pakistan as he could not find ample time before his death to frame it in the consttitution of newly created state when pakistan was still in its nascent stages.Later on any document to give some guide lines and to fill this gap was the Objective Resolution when Quaid-e-Azamw was not alive to respond to it positively or negatively and which is so appealing and aspiring to read but practically it is in fact in contradiction with the speech Quaid-e-Azam made on august 11,1947 and has opened a pandora box which has been impossible to close to-date.

    I feel there is an ever growing need to present the history to the young generation in its original shape and you are doing it quite rightly.I solute you Sir.Recommend

  • AA
    Aug 16, 2010 - 9:03PM

    By the way, two eminent judges of Pakistan, Justice M.R. Kayani and Justice Muhammad Munir, who had not only seen and heard Jinnah in real life but also joined the judicial service during Jinnah’s lifetime (in 1938 and 1942, respectively, and rose to become chief justices) had termed the Objectives Resolution a “hoax” which “not only does not contain even a semblance of the embryo of an Islamic State but its provisions, particularly those relating to fundamental rights, are directly opposed to the principles of an Islamic State” Recommend

  • Tony Khan
    Aug 16, 2010 - 10:27PM

    Zafarulla Khan as a Muslim; very ably piloted and supported the Objectives Resolution under the guidance of the Prime Minister. The Hindu members objected tooth and nail against the resolution. The speeches made by the opposing members were like a crystal ball reading of our present day dismal affairs.
    Its an irony that Zafrulla died as a minority for the purpose of the constitution and law. Recommend

  • Muhammad Ahsan Khan
    Aug 17, 2010 - 7:09PM

    Dear AA,

    You write:

    [By the way, two eminent judges of Pakistan, Justice M.R. Kayani and Justice Muhammad Munir, … had termed the Objectives Resolution a “hoax” which “not only does not contain even a semblance of the embryo of an Islamic State but its provisions, particularly those relating to fundamental rights, are directly opposed to the principles of an Islamic State”]

    Any statement does not become TRUE because it comes from a higher authority. Any Religious State cant become Secular because the two are exclude to each other. Any religious state will have a religious system of government. For that the state will have a religious constitution. The religion of the state will be clearly declared in the constitution itself. The “Objectives Resolution” is not a hoax but a simple reality for an Islamic State.

    It will be nice, if you could find the principles for an Islamic State according to the Holy Book.

    Thanks and Regards.Recommend

  • Dr HR Ahmad
    Aug 18, 2010 - 10:23AM

    United India and United Arab were not in the economical interest of the West.
    Therefore, India got freedom but not unity.Our leaders became victim of the vested interest.
    Dr Mubarak Ali should be understood in the light of outcome of populism of our
    leaders before and after partition. AIML did not have any roadmap and grooming
    of potential leaders to serve the commoners.Dr Mubarak Ali is guiding us to transform
    our country from for-by-of elites to common people by taking leave from the
    personality cult of our historical leaders.Their experiments have totally failed
    being not on the pathway for commoners wellfare in terms of good economy, education and governance

  • hakeem
    Aug 18, 2010 - 10:44PM

    The article has only one line relevant “after Partition the situation had changed and the country needed the theory of one nation rather than two
    Pre-Partition and Post-Partition situations are entirly diffrent Pakistan was achieved for muslims not to become Religious State but it was achieved because of fear that muslims wont be allowed to practice islam in free all india. Objectives Resolution and Urdu national language are two main reasons of Dhaka Fall on philosophical side.Recommend

  • Muhammad Ahsan Khan
    Aug 19, 2010 - 7:44PM

    Dear Web Editor,
    If you do not publish the following, I will not mind.

    Secular Jinnah

    Every year the Independence Day is a great occasion for Pakistani Intellectuals to remind the drowning people of Pakistan, the Vision of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.. They claim that the vision of the Father of the Nation was a Secular State and not the Islamic State which is becoming more and more Islamic.

    If the Secular Democracy was real aim of Mr. Jinnah, then he had enough popular support, enough political power and docile and dwarf (Yes Sir Men) collaborators to declare Pakistan, as a Secular Democratic State, as Indian leaders did on 15th. August 1947.

    The secular intellectuals forward many political and legal arguments in favour of the lack of the courage of their Hero. The simple fact is that he did not declare Pakistan as a Secular State because he had some other vision. His hesitation is a sign of his doubtful sincerity in secularism.

    The Secular Scholars cite very often the 11th. August, 1947 speech of Mr. Jinnah where he guarantees the complete religious freedom to the citizens of the state and declares that State has nothing to do with the religion. The problem is that it is only half definition of a Secular State. The other half is that “the religion has nothing to do in the state affair (the system of the government.)”. He always ignored this other half of the secularism. It is a clear indication that Mr. Jinnah wanted the religion in the state (Government) to govern the people in the name of Allah without the interference of the religious authority. He simply did not want “theocracy”. Perhaps he did not know it but he was following the advice of the other proclaimed secular philosopher Allama Iqbal .

    جدا ہو دین سیاست سے

    تو رہ جاتی ہے چنگیزی

    There is another class of Secular Scholars which claims that Mr. Jinnah was indeed a Secular Politician because:

    “Jinnah never wore his religion on his sleeves. In fact, he never wore it anywhere. It is known that he did not offer his daily prayers, did not fast, did not perform Umra or Hajj, and never started his speech with the ritualistic “bismillah”

    All this proves that he was not a practicing Muslim. He was not a religious man. But it does not prove that he had no religion. He could be a good serious Sufi??
    Any religion is regarded by the common people as TRUE (1), by the wise as FALSE (2) and by the rulers as USEFUL (3)”
    He belonged to the third category. He used the religion to divide India. The “Objectives Resolution” was to establish an Islamic state. Liaqat did not have the courage to take any personal initiative. He was a “Yes Sir” man of great Jinnah!
    In his personal life he had a deep root of his religion. He married his only Parsi wife when she converted to Islam. He wanted her daughter to marry a Muslim husband and not a Parsi boy. It is certainly a conservative religious attitude.
    In any case the religion and secularism in a state can exist as parallel components without meeting or crossing each other which Mr. Jinnah failed to realise in the State of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Bashy Quraishy
    Aug 21, 2010 - 2:07AM

    After reading the pysodo-intellectual comments of different people on Mubarak Ali’s article; Jinnah of Pakistan, I was just wondering, what would all these thankless people be doing if Quaid-e-Azam and his few associates have not worked tirelessly to create an independent homeland for the Muslims of a British India. I can bet that many of these critics of Quaid, would be holding low paid jobs in socially deprived Muslim ghettos in many big Indian cities.

    Anyhow, the last comment of Muhammad Ahsan Khan forced me to answer him in detail.
    There are many points in Mr. Ahsan’s article, which not only can easily be refuted but also disclose his own ignorance of the struggle of Pakistan and Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s political life and achievements.
    I would however confine myself to two comments. First the use of the word Islamic in connection with Pakistan and then Mr.Ahsan’s homemade assertions that;
    • Quaid-e-Azam’s real aim of creating Pakistan was not a secular democracy because he lacked courage and had another vision, namely an Islamic state.
    • Quaid-e-Azam’s hesitation is a sign of his doubtful sincerity in secularism.
    • Alama Iqbal, was a proclaimed secular philosopher
    • Quaid-e-Azam used the religion to divide India.

    First, Mr. Ahsan’s claim that Pakistan is an Islamic State, which is becoming more and more Islamic needs correction. There is a huge difference between a State where the majority of the population has Islam as the main religion and which bases its principles and morals on universal justice, welfare of people and rule by consent and a theocratic State which is run by religious leaders, like in Iran.
    Pakistan is not becoming more Islamic because Islam in a religion and not an ethnicity or nationality. Its population may be becoming more religious but the State is not becoming more religious or in the worst case, a theocracy. Pakistani people have never elected religious parties to run the state affairs.
    For Mr. Ahsan and the readers benefit, I would like to set the record straight in separating three terms, he used in his article.
    Theocracy is a form of government in which GOD is recognized as the state’s supreme civil ruler, or in a higher sense, a form of government in which a state is governed by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided.
    Secularism on the other hand asserts the right to be free from governmental imposition of religion upon the people, meaning that State must be neutral on matters of belief.
    And then, we have democracy, which is a form of government where governing authority is derived from the people, either by direct referendum or by means of elected representatives of the people.
    What does it mean? Pakistan is a democracy, which does not separate people from their religion but is inclusive.
    Quaid-e-Azam never claimed to be a secularist, atheist or a religiously inclined person. He was a parliamentarian and a democrat. Quiad never once said that Pakistan was being created on the name of Islam but for the Muslim Milat. There is a huge difference between these two variables. Quaid disliked any form of label. He even admonished a crowd who was chanting slogans;” Amir-ul-Momanin, Zindabad”. He told them;” I am not your religious leader but a political leader”. I very much doubt that he would approve being termed as Islamic.
    Anyone who reads the following words of Quaid-e-Azam would know, what he wanted Pakistanis to be.
    “If we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well-being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor… you are free- you are free to go to your temples mosques or any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state… in due course of time Hindus will cease to be Hindus and Muslims will cease to Muslims- not in a religious sense for that is the personal faith of an individual- but in a political sense as citizens of one state”
    The demand for Pakistan was a reaction to the foreseeable dictatorship of the majority that would have been imposed on the Muslims by the Indian National Congress. India’s former foreign minister, Jaswant Singh said in his book; “Jinnah- India – Partition – Independence; “ that had Congress accepted a decentralised federal country then, in that event, a united India was ours to attain.

    The problem, he added, was Jawaharlal Nehru’s ‘highly centralised polity.’
He said: ‘Nehru believed in a highly centralised policy. That’s what he wanted India to be. Jinnah wanted a federal polity. That even Gandhi accepted. Nehru didn’t. Consistently he stood in the way of a federal India until 1947 when it became a partitioned India.’ Jawahal Lal Nehru in 1945 said that “Pakistan would not survive beyond 30 days” and “they would come crawling back”.

    If one looks at the three dominant strands in the Quaid’s political career, you will see that he had a firm belief in a united Indian nation, with Hindus and Muslims being co-sharers in the future Indian dispensation. Then he worked for Indian freedom through Hindu-Muslim unity and for the unity in Muslim ranks through strengthening the Muslim League. These strands continued until, with the years he changed his priorities, as the Congress’s ultimate objectives underwent a radical change under the influence of Hindu extremists, as exemplified at the All Parties National Convention deliberations on the Nehru Report in December 1928. Here the Muslim demand for federalism, designed to ensure the substance of power to them in their majority provinces, was countered by Hindu insistence on a unitary form of a highly centralised government, with majority, as the basic premise and principle which, for that precise reason, envisaged all power to the Hindu-dominated centre and only marginal powers to the provinces.
    As a very visionary politician, Quaid worked very hard for years for national freedom for both Hindus and Muslims. That was his supreme goal, but the means he adopted to achieve it, underwent a dramatic change. He realised that if the goal of freedom could not be achieved through Hindu-Muslim unity, it must be achieved through Hindu-Muslim separation; if not secured through a composite Hindu-Muslim nationalism, it must be done through separate Hindu and Muslim nationalisms; if not through a united India, then through partition.
    I and millions of Pakistanis are grateful that Quaid-e- Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah gave up the idea of a united India and insisted that Muslims in Hindustan should have their own homeland. Recommend

  • Muhammad Ahsan Khan
    Aug 23, 2010 - 6:51PM

    @Bashy Quraishy

    You have a particular opinion concerning a Secular State based on the definition which is only half of the definition of a Secular State.

    Here is a Dictionary definition:

    “A secular state is a concept of secularism, whereby a state or country purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor ir-religion. A secular state also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion, and claims to avoid preferential treatment for a citizen from a particular religion/non-religion over other religions/non-religion. Most often it has no state religion or equivalent.

    Secularism is the concept that government or other entities should exist separately from religion and/or religious beliefs.”

    You are free to reject the second part of the definition and stick to your own.

    I have no intention and certainly no authority to make you change your mind.


  • Bashy Quraishy
    Aug 24, 2010 - 11:46AM

    Dear Mr. Khan
    Thanks for providing me the full dictionary definition of the word: Secularism.
    I am always happy when people enlighten me.
    I gather that you believe that secularism entails that there should be no state religion or equivalent, meaning a state which is totally cleansed of religion.
    If we were living in an ideal world, it may be possible to have a perfect secularism but there is no country in the world, where there is total separation of state and religion.
    I live in Denmark which is proud to call it self a secular democracy. So some extent, it is true too but if you go deeper, you will find that the Danish king or Queen has to be a Christian, the country has a State paid Ministry of Churches, State pays for the upkeep of its churches and priests pay, a big red Cross in its flag, the parliament starts its session with a Christian mass, is closed on Xmas and Easter holidays and the list goes on and on.
    Now, the article, which I commented was not about secularism. It was about Quaid and the way Mr. Muabarak Ali tried to sow doubt about Quaid’s intentions regarding the future course of Pakistani legal identity. It was this, I objected to because Mr. Ali does not back his arguments with sold documentation and relies on conjecture.
    I strongly believe in self-criticism, but not in self-denial or self hate which some modern day Pakistanis academics, intellectuals and journalists indulge in.
    Quaid’s greatest achievement was the creation of Pakistan, whose air we breath, on whose passport we travel and which is our identity, we like it or not. You may call me a nationalist or a naïve patriot. Pakistan is a reality and what we do with it is our sacred duty, responsibility and not Quiad’s.
    That is why, I find it futile to discuss in 2010 if Quaid was a secularist or a lover of Islam. I hope that both you and Mr. Ali would understand it.
    Kind regards

    Bashy Quraishy Recommend

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