Secular Pakistan: ‘Pakistanis should know Quaid’s Aug 11 speech by heart’

Published: August 12, 2012
The original recording of Jinnah's address to the Constituent Assembly has gone missing.

The original recording of Jinnah's address to the Constituent Assembly has gone missing.


Speakers and the audience at a seminar Jinnah ka Pakistan (Jinnah’s Pakistan) on Saturday agreed that the Quaid had wanted to keep religion and state separate.

The seminar was organised by the Awami Party in Model Town to mark Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s August 11, 1947 speech.

Jamil Omar, the party’s general secretary, compared Jinnah’s August 11 speech with the Gettysburg address by Abraham Lincoln and Jawaharal Nehru’s August 15 speech. Every child in the United States and India knows these speeches by heart since it is part of their syllabi, Omar said, but in Pakistan this speech has been censored from the press and never included in school syllabi.

The people of Pakistan should know the speech by heart, he said, but the few who know about it have seen only a censored version of it. Omar said the speech had touched upon four important points: that nepotism will not be tolerated; that the government’s “first, second and last” responsibility is the people’s welfare; that citizens of all faiths will be treated equally; and that Pakistan is an independent and a self-sufficient country.

He said it was the third point which had led to the speech being blacked out. Jinnah had reiterated secularism and wanted to keep state and religion apart, said Omar.  If these four points had been adhered to, he said, Pakistan could have been the best country in the world.

Wajahat Masood cited references from several books quoting from Jinnah’s speeches that promote a tolerant Pakistan where religious minorities had equal rights.

He said the Quaid had objected to slogan Pakistan ka matlab kia, La ilaha illallah. Quoting from Malik Ghulam Nabi’s book Daghon ki Bahar he said during his last address to All India Muslim League in December, 1947, a man had asked the Quaid if the slogan was the foundation of Pakistan’s ideology. The Quaid had told him that was not what Pakistan stood for, Masood said.

He said three articles of the national constitution needed to be expunged – Article 2 (a) upholding the Objectives Resolution; Article 227, which says that no law can be repugnant to Quran or Sunnah and Article 203 that gives the Federal Shariat Court the power to strike down any law passed by the parliament that is repugnant to Quran or Sunnah.

He also quoted Thomas Jefferson who had warned that if church was not separated from the state half the people will be hypocrites and the other half stupid. “We should not care if Jinnah was a mullah, a secularist or a pluralist; a nation-state by definition is a secular entity,” he said.

He ended his speech by quoting Jinnah, “In the course of time, Muslims will cease being Muslims; Hindus will cease being Hindus, not religiously, but politically.”

IA Rehman urged the participants to reflect on Jinnah’s views. He said Jinnah had wanted a government that worked for the citizens’ welfare and a country where everyone had equal rights.

After the speeches, the participants asked the party to demand that the clauses added to constitution during General Zia’s rule be removed and the Objectives Resolution declaring Pakistan an Islamic state be denounced. They also demanded that the federation should retain minimal authority and give more powers to the provinces.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2012.


Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (44)

  • sam
    Aug 12, 2012 - 8:19AM

    Pakistan is not ready for secular.every country has its version of secularism.Thats why Jinnah never used the word “secular”. In Pakistan we should use the word “Liberal”. so it would stand for freedom,liberty and equality.


  • Zalim Singh
    Aug 12, 2012 - 8:41AM

    does it really matter now?


  • Bilal
    Aug 12, 2012 - 9:19AM

    It is encouraging to see some people reminding us about Jinnah’s Pakistan. This news item also shows how contradictory our present constitution is to Jinnah’s ideals.


  • Australasia
    Aug 12, 2012 - 9:56AM

    This report is highly appreciated. It’s a bold report, looking at the increase in the religious intolerance and extremism which mushroomed in Pakistan from the days of the despot Zia-ul-Haq. It’s high time that people of Pakistan be told of Jinnah’s August 11 speech.Recommend

  • nav
    Aug 12, 2012 - 10:07AM

    sonia you forgot to mention he also said pakistan should not follow the capital banking system and not deal with interest instead it should follow an Islamic welfare system……Recommend

  • moonjely sony
    Aug 12, 2012 - 10:08AM

    what we to do with Mohamed Ali Jinnah s speech,why should we learn his speech in syllabus .


  • moonjely sony
    Aug 12, 2012 - 10:36AM

    its all power game, don’t try to change the truth. instead of staying out of politics-like Mk GANDHI, he himself crowned has VICEROY of Pakistan,THE ULTIMATE POWER,Karachi was made the capital of Pakistan becose he trusted more THE MIGRATED. Punjabi’s realized the fact quickly changed the power point in to Islamabad, they could have created planned city somewhere near karachi, why in Punjab faraway from Karachi.Recommend

  • Aug 12, 2012 - 10:38AM

    Quaid-e-Azam clearly opposed a “theocratic state” ruled by the religious elite (something like Iran’s Guardian Council) with the ultimate veto power over the will of the people and the democratic processes and institutions. In fact, he believed in the separation of religion and state, just as much as he favored the superiority of political leadership over the military officer corps in running the nation’s affairs.


  • Falcon
    Aug 12, 2012 - 12:11PM

    Couldn’t have agreed with you more. However, I think constitutional amendments suggested above might take some time to push through. In the meanwhile, we can put the ground work in place by including Quaid-e-Azam’s speech in the curriculum.


  • Haider
    Aug 12, 2012 - 12:23PM

    Read this article by Fahd Ali missy. “Moving beyond Jinnah’s Pakistan”:


  • maestro
    Aug 12, 2012 - 12:44PM

    Completely agree. Religion and state should be separate and that is what the Quaid had envisioned for Pakistan also. Now look where we are. A bunch of jahil wanna be religious zealots who actually no real clue about what Pakistan was created for nor about Islam itself. Repeal the Hudood ord., and all other religious amendments enforced by Zia! Just look at the status of Pakistan in the late 50s and 60s – Pakistanis didnt visas to go through Europe! Foreign heads of state including Queen Elizabeth rode around Lahore standing in a open top car!! It is unbelievable how successfully what used to be a small religious minority has destroyed the fabric of this country. Sad and happy independence day indeed!Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Aug 12, 2012 - 1:01PM

    Today Jinnah is seen only in the Pakistan Rupee. Soon, when the Caliphate becomes a reality the Pakistani Dinar shall have a Sward instead.


  • Shariq
    Aug 12, 2012 - 1:39PM

    I dont understand why the emphasis is so much on secular. Why cant Pakistan be a Muslim state based on Islamic Shariah? Islam doesn’t allow minorities to be sidelined. Islam doesn’t allow minorities to be tortured and killed. Islam doesn’t allow minorities to be held back from their hard work. A true Islamic state will uphold the minorities as great as a secular state would, if not better.


  • Hairaan
    Aug 12, 2012 - 2:57PM

    He was neither God nor Prophet. So his speeches at the best come third on the priority list. So the Pakistanis should know the speeches of the God (Read: Quran) and the speeches of the Prophet (PBUH) (Read: Ahadees) by heart.


  • Ishtiaq
    Aug 12, 2012 - 2:58PM

    Separation of the religion from the state is the only way forward for a tolerant and progressive Pakistan. Countries or states are not people; its is the people who have faith and religion not the country the live in. So why should Pakistan not be “the Republic of Pakistan” only, representing all its’ people regardless of their religion. It amazes me when I hear people say the constitution of Pakistan gives equal rights to all its’ citizens. Nothing can be far from truth than such farce statements. It is time to reclaim Pakistan, long hijacked by the bigots and obstruantists.


  • Mj
    Aug 12, 2012 - 3:07PM

    Some thing are only good on paper – like communism…


  • nomi
    Aug 12, 2012 - 3:47PM

    @ Hairaan

    This is what you guyz do so conveniently. Give a generic statement that we must follow the Quran and Sunnah.

    How do we implement it? The answer is in the constitution of Pakistan It is a consensus documents. Implement it and it will be fine

    Quran gives you targets and so does Sunnah. For daily lives we need a parliament that will legislate laws.


  • nomi
    Aug 12, 2012 - 3:53PM

    @ Shariq

    The problem with a theocratic state would be deciding the type of interpretation of Islam. In Pakistan you cannot have one type of interpretation like Saudi Arabia that has only a 16 million arab population and rest outsiders.

    Pakistan is and will be torn apart on disagreements on religion. Taliban have their own version. They would resist your version. Others would resist you both and it will go on and on.

    The solution is implementation of the 1973 constitution.


  • Muzaffar
    Aug 12, 2012 - 4:25PM

    Unfortunately this term and style of interpretation moreover caught ground when Justice Munir (The CJ who pioneered the downfall of Pakistan political system ie when Isikandar Mirza dissolved the parliament in 1958 and announced martial law, Justice Munir and the Supreme Court placed a judicial stamp of approval on what had taken place) wrote a book from Jinnah to Zia and mis quoted a statement of the Quaid…(other reasons also but due to limited space one cannot go into details)

    If I am saying that Quaid was not secular that does not mean that he did not want what the writer is stating (modern, peaceful, rights of women/minorities etc etc). Yes he wanted but not necessarily by being called a secularist…..One can achieve all this even if we are able to follow the true Islam and individual and thereby as a society follow the true teachings of Quran.

    If I am saying that Quaid was not secular that does not mean that he did not want what most pro secular group state–i.e. modern, peaceful, rights of women/minorities etc etc. Yes he wanted but not necessarily by being called a secularist…..One can achieve all this by following the true Islam /Quran. There are many examples in which the Quaid stated that that was the basis on which he wanted the foundation of Pakistan….Further, the two nation theory itself is evident of the fact that how would he have strongly supported such a theory if he was wanting secular governance of the country which was made for muslims.

    As to Awami party well the type of mindset the involved people have is enough to figure out why such way Quaid is interpreted. Many books have been mentioned I think such mindsets need to also read ” Secular Jinnah & Pakistan by Saleena Karim who probably is based in UK. And we need to also keep in mind examples of Turkey , Egypt, Iran, etc. where secularism was made part of the system but has not succeeded.
    strong text


  • Sayyed Mehdi
    Aug 12, 2012 - 5:22PM


    As somebody pointed out earlier, what brand of Shariah? If a Shi’a president comes over and replaces all Islamic laws with the ones promulgated by the Ayotollahs in Iran, will you be totally okay with it? Or do you just want your own version of Shariah imposed on everyone else?


  • Sayyed Mehdi
    Aug 12, 2012 - 5:27PM


    “Every country has it’s own version of secularism”

    False. Every secular country has it’s own laws and systems. But their “secularism” is the same: A certain interpretation of a certain religion doesn’t dictate the laws.


  • andleeb
    Aug 12, 2012 - 5:41PM

    It is time Pakistan moves on beyond Jinnah. It is now an Islamic state and Jinnah’s speech is not relevant to the reality of today.


  • elementary
    Aug 12, 2012 - 5:48PM

    Religion and state should be kept separate. Seclarism does not mean becoming atheist; it only means respecting and treating all faiths equally. Religion remains strictly a private matter.


  • Doch
    Aug 12, 2012 - 6:24PM

    Wow. What a nation !! They destroy evidence and distort history !! A disgrace to an Islamic State ! Why can’t anyone dig out the original speech of the founder and just publish it on the internet !


  • Indian
    Aug 12, 2012 - 6:28PM

    @Riaz Haq:
    Quaid-e-Azam clearly opposed a “theocratic state” ruled by the religious elite (something like Iran’s Guardian Council) with the ultimate veto power over the will of the people and the democratic processes and institutions. In fact, he believed in the separation of religion and state, just as much as he favored the superiority of political leadership over the military officer corps in running the nation’s affairs.
    For once brother i totally agree with what you said with all the heart and mind…. Best of luck in rebuilding Pakistan on these lines…


  • andleeb
    Aug 12, 2012 - 7:26PM

    @Ishtiaq: “So why should Pakistan not be “the Republic of Pakistan” only, representing all its’ people regardless of their religion.”
    If that be so, then what was the purpose of making Pakistan and how would we be different from India? Your statement is a slap on the 2 nation theory.


  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    Aug 12, 2012 - 9:24PM

    A nation created on the basis of religion could never have been and can never be truly secular… Full stop. Keep on quoting Mr Jinnah or anyone and keep debating forever, it can never happen.


  • Kaleem
    Aug 12, 2012 - 10:11PM

    Thats the problem with you liberals. The discussion about Jinnah should not be about secular vs non secular. Jinnah was very disciplined, hardworking, visionary person and we should rather promote these values, and his speeches about these.


  • Wajahat
    Aug 13, 2012 - 1:10AM

    The day is not far when Shariah will be established in Pakistan from Karachi to Khyber.Insha Allah.


  • Raj
    Aug 13, 2012 - 2:11AM

    Not required anymore. Things have changed a lot since then, percentage of minorities have come down to 5% from 30%. And its ever decreasing, in another 50 yrs probably the remaining 5% will either migrate or get converted. So no need to start on the secular issue again. Pakistan is going to be a 100% Muslim country in near future and all problems with religious biases will get sorted eventually.


  • S
    Aug 13, 2012 - 6:07AM

    @Kaleem, true. These westernized liberals want to make Pakistan like europe. Pakistan was made for Muslims (an Islamic Republic), all the laws,moral values, society should be based on Islamic principles. And on major society issues there is no differences between different sects, e.g. no alcohol, no interest, domestic system, modesty, no corruption, accountability etc.

    I.e. All the values and laws should be based on Islam, within which one is free to practice what ever sect they prefer. Minorities should have all the freedom to practice their religion and no discrimination against them as Islam teaches us as long as every one adheres to Islamic principles.


  • Noor
    Aug 13, 2012 - 10:22AM

    If one day, the parliament tells you, by a majority vote, that there will be no Nikahnama or Maulvi’s interference w.r.t wedding, do we mean to abolish?
    Yes it is on the cards, sooner or later.

    I wonder how many Muslims will endorse such an act of parliament.

    If Jinnah was given a duty by Allah to lead Pakistan’s foundation, did we sell our faith & souls to him?

    He didn’t have the cheeks to take the burden of all dis-obedient Muslims on the day of judgement.

    His being secular has not been verified by even Indian records

    Why are we so adamant to force Allah Mian remain in Masjids only & not be part of our practical lives?

    Have we read Quran, as to what it demands?

    Please read to know as to what type of confrontation we are taking up against Quran.

    Still time to wake up, before Allah’s wrath comes in!


  • Muhammad Saleem Usmani
    Aug 13, 2012 - 10:38AM

    What about 100s of speeches that Quaid delivered saying that Pakistan will be based on principles of Islam. Please read “Quaid’s Letters” before writing unfounded pieces. As for Mr. Omar, Quaid’s speech is part of Pakistan archives and can be taken from Radio Pakistan. If he has seen the “uncensored version”, why not print it and get it certified.

    I assume that it is a blog and not an article in the newspaper. If its a blog, then please have the courage to write your own views instead of labeling them as Quaid’s.

    Quaid-e-Azam was the greatest leader of 20th Century and likes of Nehru and Gandhi are dwarfed in comparison with him. He never said what he didn’t want to. Never went back on his words. It is heart breaking to see people attribute things that are even remotely linked with him.


  • Sadeed Ahmad
    Aug 13, 2012 - 7:46PM

    Dear Pakistan …. Let’s returns to Jinnah’s Pakistan ……..PLzzzzz..Recommend

  • Cheema
    Aug 14, 2012 - 1:09PM

    Jinnah did not just make one speech. The secularists are obsessed with Jinnah’s August 11 speech and ignoring his 1,000 other speeches. To understand Jinnah, you need to study him as a whole, not by one speech.


  • mkz
    Aug 14, 2012 - 3:58PM


    Please move to Saudi Arabia.


  • KM
    Aug 14, 2012 - 7:45PM

    Secular is the opposite of Islam

    A secular government would mean that Islamic values and principles are not implemented in matters of governance and upon the populace.

    We are muslim and therefore should be ruled by Islamic Law…..that time is coming soon InshAllah


    Aug 15, 2012 - 2:12PM

    If that be the case why a separate state. If the majority/minority divide had not been exploited to partition the huge and rich country we would have been a Global Giant.The Combined India’s strengths could have made it superior to any one else including China. The two economies have wasted time energy and money in INTRA and INTER RIVALRY, the result of partition. What could have been a world SUPER POWER or an ECONOMIC GIANT was pushed to be society of religious intolerance, be it India/Pakistan or Bangladesh.


  • Gulshan Allawadhi
    Aug 15, 2012 - 3:35PM

    Geographies can be divided and but not the nature. Does the air, earth, nature, water has any religion.As the civilization become more advanced, the basic unit of the civilization, human being is becoming a loser to political and religious exploitations.Recommend

  • hamza
    Aug 17, 2012 - 3:43AM

    its a sad thing that even after more than 60 years of our independence….we are still confused in what was pakistan made for and what kinda state do we want….


  • malik
    Aug 18, 2012 - 2:43AM

    i honestly don’t understand why there is even an argument about a religious state versus a secular state. has pakistan not already tried to be a religious state? tell me, how did the attempt at becoming a religious state turn out for our country? answer: civil war, sectarian violence and intolerance to such a degree that it is disgusting what people can say about other faiths and other beliefs while still professing to be muslims.

    and what shariah law would u ppl like to implement? shia law? ismaili law? maliki, hanafi, alawi, ahmadi, sufi? do u understand how many different interpretations of shariah there are? or should we be like the saudis and implement wahabbi shariah law so that our mothers, daughters and sisters are no longer humans, just slaves for the men in their lives? so that a woman that is raped can be whipped in public, instead of given the proper physical and psychiatric help that she deserves? and exactly what gives pakistan the right to force religious laws on to its christians, hindus and sikhs? they have just as much a right to pakistan as any muslim does!

    ladies and gentlemen, open ur eyes! secularism is the only way pakistan can unite all of its people. our country is full of so many different beliefs! so many different muslim sects, christians, hindus, sikhs! so many different cultures, languages and ethnicities. open your eyes and realize that Jinnah, our Qauid e Azam, wanted a free and secular Pakistan. yes, it was supposed to be a homeland for the Muslims of the Indian continent, but it was supposed to be secular, and open for those ppl who werent muslims! we have been lied to by the mullahs and politicians who want to use a corrupted version of Jinnah’s Pakistan for their own means. PAKISTAN MUST BE RESTORED TO THE TRUE VISION OF JINNAH!!


  • Muhammad Saleem Usmani
    Aug 18, 2012 - 10:05AM

    @Malik….Pakistan has always been ruled by people who never aimed to make Shariah the supreme law. Therefore the civil wars and other problems that you point to is basically a product of going the other way rather than the way Quaid and founders wanted it to be. What we conveniently forget that Objectives Resolution was passed from the first national assembly, which comprised mostly of founders and had there been an inkling of foul play, they would not have let it pass unanimously.

    If Pakistan was supposed to be Secular, then can you point to a single speech by Quaid which had the word “secular”.

    In terms of which Shariah, most of them agree on all matters related to criminal code and family code. Assuming if someone comes up with a singular version of Shariah, what will be your main objection then?


  • hassan
    Sep 1, 2012 - 3:14AM

    dont try to detoriate the facts man

    We should have a State in which we could live and breathe as free men and which we could develop according to our own lights and culture and where principles of Islamic social justice could find free play.”
    Address to Civil, Naval, Military and Air Force Officers of Pakistan Government, Karachi
    October 11, 1947

    “We must work our destiny in our own way and present to the world an economic system based on true Islamic concept of equality of manhood and social justice. We will thereby be fulfilling our mission as Muslims and giving to humanity the message of peace which alone can save it and secure the welfare, happiness and prosperity of mankind”
    Speech at the opening ceremony of State Bank of Pakistan, Karachi
    July 1, 1948


  • Muhammad Saleem Usmani
    Sep 1, 2012 - 7:21PM

    @Hassan..Very Well Quoted. Thanks a lot for fortifying the correct image of Quaid.


More in Punjab