What Dr Hoodhboy got wrong

Published: March 6, 2012

An opinion piece in The Express Tribune “Run for your life” by Dr Pervez Hoodhboy on March 5, 2012 read:

This essay deliberately excludes Hindus, Christians, and Parsis. The reason: these communities were never enthused about India’s partition (even though some individual members pretended to be)…

First of all, bravo Dr Hoodbhoy for such a brave article on the injustices faced by the non-Muslim Pakistanis in the name of religion.

While Dr Hoodbhoy painted a factual picture on the general state of affairs, he conveniently made some very disturbing assumptions on behalf of people, that to date, are fighting for their right of “Pakistaniyat” just as Shias or Ahmadis, thanks to the Pakistan studies books we were fed on.

With all due respect sir, I expected better of you.

I would be surprised if you had not heard of Mr Jogendra Nath Mandal and his role in the freedom struggle. A leader of the scheduled castes, he ‘enthusiastically’ fought for the cause of Pakistan along with the Muslim League, convinced that Jinnah’s Pakistan was a superior ideology than ‘MaBharata’. Born in Bengal, he was chosen to be Pakistan’s first Minister of Law and Labour— but is now a forgotten Hindu.

Mr SP Singha was the speaker of the Punjab Assembly when the resolution for Pakistan was moved. Short of three votes he ‘enthusiastically’ rallied the Christian members to vote in favour of Jinnah. Muslim League won, resulting in the inclusion of several populations near Sialkot, Chunia, Kasur etc. in present day Pakistan. Singha died a Pakistan “enthusiast” Christian -conveniently ignored.

And who can forget Samuel Martin Burke? He was the magistrate of the Election Petition Commission of Punjab in 1945 who moved 16 petitions in favour of Muslim League, all to the chagrin of Congress and Sir Hayat’s Unionists who wanted a United India. These petitions eventually won Pakistan’s case, and after partition Mr Burke chose Pakistan as his native country.

To date, he is revered as a pioneer of Pakistan’s foreign policy. As Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Canada, he is accredited to convincing USA and Canada of Pakistan’s need of nuclear reactors. Mr Burke passed away as a Non Muslim Pakistan “enthusiast”. Ignored again.

These are, but a few names that shared Jinnah’s dream of Pakistan and were instrumental in leading thousands of Hindus and Christians to join the cause. Whoever thinks that it’s only the Muslims who migrated on that glorious night of August 13, 1947, needs a history lesson. Several thousands of non-Muslims left the Ganges behind believing that Pakistan was their true calling – my family included.

Where is it that we have fallen short of patriotism or denied service to our country? Christian, Hindu and Parsi soldiers have fought and accepted martyrdom as recently as the operations in Swat. They have been both war heroes and prisoners, enduring harrowing tortures for the country. Who can forget the Cecil, Cyril, Anthony Chaudhrys, Mervyn Middlecoats, Peter Christies, Brig Golwalas, Nazir Latifs, Justin Sharafs and many other like them who answered the call of Labaik?

Since independence, missionary schools and hospitals have opened their doors to every Pakistani without difference. According to recent stats only 2.1 percent of the total Christian population has immigrated abroad, the rest stayed put. So where is it you see that we were never enthusiastic about the creation of Pakistan?

I am sorry Sir, but please don’t insult us by assuming that we, as a community, were never better than frozen poultry that was waiting to be re-branded as “minority” Pakistanis rather than “minority” Indians. Not from you sir…not from you.

Danielle Sharaf

Danielle Sharaf

An Electrical Engineer from NUST, Danielle heads a multifaceted technology venture and currently resides in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Salman Arshad

    As far as I remember, even before the Objectives Resolution, the Pakistani flag was already created with a clear demarcation of “minorities” with the white stripe.

    The founders of the country already were clear that “minorities” were supposed to be labeled as such.

    The personal liberal views of Jinnah should not be confused with the conservative views held by the Muslim League as a party.Recommend

  • http://NewYork Falcon

    Bravo Danielle. A good reminder. Let’s put our hands together to defend the diversity of this nation and protect the weak of this nation. Let’s get our country back from the violent extremist! Recommend

  • arjun

    The authors long letter is JUST NOT NOT supported by realtity that is so loud to hear for the world. The author mentions as if in the past, Pakistan gave great rights to minorities.You cannot bend the truth to your views. Thats the law.Recommend

  • Samir

    Mr Hoodbhoy was being ironic. You took it literally. He meant in a society where Islamic sects have to fear each other, non muslims are best not considered in an argument.Recommend

  • http://pakistani-edu.blogspot.com Usman Shahid

    It is really hard to relate this topic with dr hoodbouy one. Recommend

  • Tight Chuddi

    The author has taken one point of Dr Hoodbhoy and beaten it to death. As one mentioned, he was being ironic. Cherrypicking these names and telling about their contributions does not lessen the grieveances of Pakistani minorties with the Sunni majority of Pakistani Punjab. Recommend

  • Outsider

    The theme of the article is inappropriate. Dr Hoodhboy primarily did not aim to ridicule the minorities of Pak. He made a case, indeed a good one, against the military establishment and people in general for neglecting these atrocities; he has rather spoken for the sidelined minorities of Pak so there was no genuine need to write this blog. Ms Sharaf’s article has unnecessarily attempted to undermine Dr Hoodhboy’s effort.. Recommend

  • ali

    Hoodbhoy was talking about partition; you are talking about role of minorities in Pakistan. Interestingly even Muslim league didn’t want partition. Jinnah wanted autonomy and accepted the cabinet Mission plan 1946.

    Mandal resigned and left for India as protest over the Objective resolution. Btw, why did non-Muslims support partition that was based on Two nation theory.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    Why would a sane non-Muslim agree and move to a Country whose primary ideology is 2 sets of people cannot ever live together?

    Hoodbhoy is absolutely right. Direct Action day called by the Muslim League under Jinnah, didn’t target the occupying British but their fellow Indians who happened to be Hindu.

    In site of Direct Action day bloodbath condoned by Jinnah, what not-out-of-his-mind Hindu would support him, if not for personal reasons?


  • kaalchakra

    Bravo Denielle Sharaf! Glad that at least some Pakistanis still think properly. If most Pakistanis approached history as Dr Hoodbhoy did, non-Pakistanis would be concerned. Thanks again for restoring mankind’s confidence in the future.Recommend

  • Kenneth James

    Danielle a lovely piece in the mainstream press, you have aptly bought forward the contribution of the non-muslims in the creation of Pakistan. You should have mentioned the poem of your grandfather too delivered at the Pakistan resolution. Joshua Fazal Din also needs to be mentioned, as he as speaker Punjab assembly warned Master Tara Singh of not to speak against Jinnah. Emmanuel Zafar has deliberated a lot on the the support of non muslims however we donot fint his work in the mainstream press. We Pakistanis Christians however need to convince the government to include our contribution in the Pakistan Studies curriculum, as once the future generation of Pakistan is made aware we will be duly recieve our dignified status. Recommend

  • sharjeel rauf


    professor Hoodboy has long been a vocal and strong voice for the rights of non-muslims in our country.He has repeatedly and at great risk to himself spoken publicly of the growht of religious extremism in our society.Even in his articles he has been very courageous to defend the rights of the minorities.i think you misconstrued his words.He has always been a friend to the oppressed as far as i’ve seen him speak on tv and by reading his articles.Recommend

  • Talha

    The Christians of Punjab, the Hindu’s of Bangladesh, a substantial percent of Parsis supported and fought for Pakistan.


    Don’t get too worked up, the reality is that Pakistan was created as a secular state and hence the support of it from multi-religious groups.

    It started to wither later on, Gen Ayub’s time was especially good for minorities.Recommend

  • beenish khan

    No non-muslim needs to justify his/her existence in pakistan to anyone.You are as much a citizen of pakistan as we are.You don’t need to list down the patriotic things the minorities have done/are doing.No one has any right to ask you to prove your loyalty or allegiance to this country.this society has treated non-muslims as second class citizens in every respect.
    we made sure that non-muslims were officially made inferior citizens by enshringin in our constitution the clause which bars any non-muslim from becoming the president or prim minister of pakistan.
    Inspite of all the atrocities and humiliations we’ve brought on the minorities they still live peacefully with us.I just wish a day would come when they would not need to provide clarifications or justifications of their existence in our society.Recommend

  • Animesh

    This blog, with all due respect, is a rather sad and pathetic piece of apologia. You ask “where is it you see that we were never enthusiastic about the creation of Pakistan?” WHY WOULD any non-Muslim want to become a citizen of an Islamic state that banned its own citizens, if they were Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians or Atheists, from even aspiring to become its President or Prime Minister? Why would they leave a secular state, India, behind to become citizens of Pakistan? You want to apologize and make excuses for your country; that’s understandable. Pakistan, no matter what your “dream” of Jinnah, was always going to end up exactly as it has. When Jinnah said “Islam is so important and Muslims are so different from other Indians that we don’t consider ourselves Indians and want our own country” then Pakistani Hindus or Pakistani Christians were always destined to be the second-class citizens that they officially are now. Have a little self-respect and stop trying to defend the creation of a country based on religious supremacism. In India, a Roman Catholic Christian woman is now the most powerful person in politics and government. In Pakistan, such a thing is unimaginable as well as illegal, to come back to the point that Pakistani Christians are banned from being PM or President.Recommend

  • PK Christian

    Dear Danielle…

    thankyou for such a wonderful piece of work. i will keep thi article printed and in my record till my life time. i salute you for this work.Recommend

  • http://www.thetrueperspective.com Uncle J

    What a wonderful, wonderful article. Beautifully written and what a way to express your sentiments. Bravo Danielle. Wonderful piece of writing.

    But I will have to agree with the majority, Dr sahib did not mean to belittle the contributions of the minorities. He was only making a case against the establishment because the establishment has been unfair to the “Muslims” themselves, what to talk about the minorities.Recommend

  • Bow Chick Bow Wow

    Quaid-e-Azam : “Pakistan will be a modern democractic State”

    Open your history books and read Objective Resolution, you will know why Hindus don’t trust us. This state was supposed to be a ‘modern democratic state’ providing equality for ALL, not a Muslim state as was asserted by Liaquat Ali Khan in defence of Objective Resolution. Do you know that this resolution was passed 21 to 10, with 21 all Muslims and 10 all Hindus. What is this if not injustice?
    Ahmedis have been repressed since the creation of Pakistan – Constitutionally, they are not Muslims. Their mosques have been bombed, their graves desecrated, their people killed…

    Your article singles out exceptions. You’re forgetting that exceptions prove a rule! and the rule is that we have and continue to, usurp the rights of minorities, particularly Ahmedis.Recommend

  • y

    Pakistan has not done justice by its Hindu, Christian, Parsi citizens; it has also done wrong to its Muslim population. Even the majority of Muslims are repressed.

    Pakistan was won by Jinnah on the negotiating table by Jinnah but the new country was hijacked by the likes of Liaquat Ali Khan who were dishonest and insincere and imposed the seeds of hypocritical and divisive division on religious and ethnic lines in Objectives Resolution.

    Since Pakistan was achieved without the sacrifice of blood spilled in a war of freedom (as in American Revolution), Pakistanis have never learned to value and respect their country and the freedom as they got it too cheaply and without sacrifice. They will have to learn to offer sacrifices with their lives and blood now to protect the ideal of freedom and their country and reclaim the country hijacked by terrorists and extremists.

    Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti were martyrs in this struggle paying the price with their lifes. Many more will need to follow or else the terrorists will eliminate the decent Pakistanis one after another.Recommend

  • Pole

    “glorious night of August 13, 1947”

    It was a bloody night for many people. There is nothing glorious about splitting a country on religious grounds and pulling for a country formed on a religious basis is nothing to be proud of. Dr.Hoodhboy was honest and rational when he said that nonmuslims were not enthusiastic about being a part of a country which was based on religion. Theere is no rational reason for nonmuslims to be enthusiastic about such an entity. But many people are not free to choose where they live. People may have properties, land or even love for their ancestoral land which would prevent them from moving. Having made their decision to stay in such an entity, they will have to find a rational basis for that decision which extends beyond just their love for the land or wealth. Danielle is trying to make such a case but in my opinion has failed. She has not come out with basis for why a nonmuslim would feel enthusiastic about an Islamic entity. Just repeating what Jinnah said once or twice about the secular nature of the state he had in mind is not enough if you also take into account the many more nonsecular comments Jinnah has made. At the same time, she has also failed to state what is so bad about about India which was clearly formed in a secular basis. Just saying “MaBharat” does nothing to dent the basis on which India was formed.Recommend

  • Nadir Tareen

    Hoodbhoy was talking about partition.Has nothing to do with the conditions of Minorities in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Amer

    I didnot get to read Dr Hoodhboy article and the differences that the Author had with his opinion but all I know is that Ms Danielle did an excellent job by adding so much about the contribution of non-muslim Pakistanis (I won’t use the word Minority, since this word itself generates discrimination) in the making and progressing of Pakistan.
    Thanks Danielle for enlightening us…keep up the good workRecommend

  • A Pakistani

    I think the author has made it pretty clear that she commends Dr. Hoodbhoy for the general article. However, he did get a few things wrong.

    Well articulated Danielle! Keep writing.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/242/nicholas-sharaf/ Nicholas Sharaf

    I doubt anyone here is claiming that Hoodhboy is a extremist who wants to see all minorities burning at the stake. I’d assume that is why this article starts off by praising his relative article.

    The important thing to note however is that whether in jest or sarcasm, it is not appropriate or funny for anyone to dismiss the contributions of ‘other minorities’ as the meaning can be misinterpreted as it so often is.

    Since no one teaches this kind of history at school, rather focusing at plunderers now named glorified muslim heroes, when such notions start appearing on mainstream opinion forums as well, it can be extremely problematic. Dr Hoodhboy should know, he’s been in the education system business for a while now.

    I also doubt anyone here is seriously aware of the contributions of different sects in the formation of Pakistan. So when some one comes up and starts making jests about rather sensitive stuff, its unfair.Recommend

  • http://www.aliani4u.livejournal.com Elie Khan

    As far as i know Pakistan had bars, clubs, brothels opened up even in 70’s when Mr. Champion of democracy bhutto laid secularismm in the feet of mododi for his support..Recommend

  • Vinayak


    Whoever thinks that it’s only the Muslims who migrated on that glorious night of August 13, 1947, needs a history lesson. Several thousands of non-Muslims left the Ganges behind believing that Pakistan was their true calling – my family included.

    The article for which you have given the link, pertains to an Indian female who became Pakistani by marrying a Pakistani national 20 years ago. It is no proof for thousands of non-Muslims having left for Pakistan in 1947. Non-Muslims (Sikhs) actually crossed over to India in large numbers.

    Professor Hoodbhoy implied that in general non-Muslims in Pakistan were not too enthused by the partition, and it seems to be obvious. Afterall Pakistan was founded for the Muslims of the sub-continent.

    I think Professor Hoodbhoy chooses his words very carefully, and it is difficult to find mistakes in what he writes or says. Your attempt to do so seems to have pleased his detractors judging from some of the comments above. But I think you need to do more homework.Recommend

  • Ahmad

    Its interesting how you took this topic and twisted it just to make a point for the sake of it. But let us not forget that it was Gandhi who took the religion genie out of the bottle. It was Gandhi who supported the Khilafat movement, not Jinnah. And Jinnah had this to say:

    “I will have nothing to do with this pseudo-religious approach to politics. I part company with the Congress and Gandhi. I do not believe in working up mob hysteria. Politics is a gentleman’s game.”

    So at least get the whole story right. But I guess facts must not stand in the way of a good polemic.Recommend

  • Hazheer Hazara

    You Missed The Sarcasm LADY !Recommend

  • Ahmad

    apparently ET also missed the sarcasm.Recommend

  • Shakky

    I think the point of this article is that all Pakistanis are equal, regardless of their religious faith. Non-Muslim Pakistanis are no different to Muslim Pakistanis. They are not hapless minorities. Rather, they are vibrant members of Pakistani society who continue to contribute tremendously to the country. A very good article!Recommend

  • Zalmay

    What is Mabharata? Did you mean Mahabharata, was this a typo or a deliberate attempt at feigning ignorance. Recommend

  • Jalib

    Absolutely brilliant Danielle. Absolutely brilliant!!! Recommend

  • Parvez

    Irrespective of what Dr. Hoodhboy wrote and what you thought it meant, your rebuttal is both passionate and worthy.
    Dr.Hoodhboy’s statement if taken at face value seems like a fair general statement of things at the time of partition and if anyone is a voice with sense and reason today in Pakistan its Pervez Hoodhboy.Recommend

  • Maria

    Thanks for this great comment, Danielle! You forgot to mention Chief Justice Cornelius, who called himself a “constitutional Muslim”, while being a devout Catholic at the same time. Thanks again for your piece, it’s a valuable comment on the whole debate!Recommend

  • geeko


    I think Professor Hoodbhoy chooses his words very carefully, and it is difficult to find mistakes in what he writes or says.

    Lmao, I’m sure that you feel the same about Arundhati Roy ;)
    The author presented facts, like some Hindu leader aware of the idea of Pakistan and even more aware of the fact that he wanted to join it. These are facts. And there are still Sikhs in Pakistan ; if some left, it was not for a democratic India or such thing, but the local violences (which triggered the departure of Muslims from East Punjab too.)Recommend

  • saleem

    Good work lady keep it up.Now Shahbaz Bhatti laid down his life. May be Dr hoodbhoy did not articulate his words properly Recommend

  • Talha


    This Anoop is a serial troll, I am glad you put him in his place.Recommend

  • http://- Abid P. Khan

    @Elie Khan:
    “…in 70′s when Mr. Champion of democracy bhutto laid secularismm in the feet of mododi for his support..”

    Here lies the key to the decline. The person was ready to sell everything as long as he could stick to kursi. Breaking up the country for his own ego trip.

    The damage done by him and is now being perpetrated by his worshipers. The disease will last for generations to come.

    Some people who have tried to analyse his actions clarify, it as his unease, stemming from Lakhi Bai’s (his mother) past. He was trying to purify himself from the sins(?) of the past, though not committed by him.

    Col Rafi, in his book, states how he seriously claimed that no one has served{sic} Islam that much as he did. Delusion of grandeur of one person is the bane of future generations of the country. Recommend

  • http://www.rozee.pk Monis Rahman

    While Dr. Hoodbhoy’s article may not have been intentionally malicious, his comments were certainly insensitive to a vibrant segment of our country whose sacrifices in many cases surpass those of average citizens. It is careless and irresponsible to render the historic struggle of Pakistan’s minorities as collateral damage while making his case. Yes, Dr. Hoodbhoy should know better.Recommend

  • kaalchakra


    I strongly protest your attempts to introduce Dr Hoodbhoy-like thinking into the minds of literate Pakistanis. Yes, millions of Hindus might had to leave Pakistan – a nation being created for Muslims, but one Joginder Nath Mandal did opt for Pakistan and, as expected by fleeing Hindus, went on to become a great Pakistani name, mover and shaker. And we can’t ignore the Hindu woman who willingly and enthusiastically became a Pakistani through marriage. True, Christians might have not played the smallest role in the Muslim League since the days of Mr Syed, might not have figured even microscopically in the plans and the vision Iqbal or Rahmat Ali or in the speeches of Jinnah, but once it was clear people would be divided, you can’t deny the author’s grandfather convinced some other fellow Christians, who brilliant men and women all, believed in the Islam that Mr Jinnah argued would guide Pakistan. And about Parsis, yes, they may have had little to do with anything but who would deny the enthusiastic support Mr Jinnah had received from a young Parsi girl? Nobody who is fair and who studies history objectively, not being drawn into ludicrous and absurd conclusions through focusing on eccentric elements.

    Pakistan was not merely the dream of the Muslims who followed Mr Jinnah – the sole spokeman of all Muslims, of also of millions of Hindus, Christians, Parsis, Sikhs, and Jains who fought long and hard for and laid down their lives for the great nation, who had written poems and plays envisioning Pakistan – all unfortunately lost in the archives somewhere.

    Dr Hoodbhoy’s attempts to look at reality any other way, like the attempts of those who are thoughtlessly blaming Pakistanis and Muslims themselves for Pakistan’s current violence, must be strongly resisted by one and all.Recommend

  • Charmaine Hoodbhoy

    I’m sorry if this sounds rude but it’s like you’ve looked only at your own interpretation of what Dr. Hoodbhoy has said.

    The craziness has to stop. You’ve blown things out of proportion (understandable given your thought process).

    You need to UNDERSTAND the context in which he said what he did and you yourself will want to start from scratch again. Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    Something really new to me thank u maam and god bless uRecommend

  • American

    I didn’t know minorities worked so enthusiastically for Pakistan…. thanks for the articleRecommend

  • ayesha

    @Talha: “Don’t get too worked up, the reality is that Pakistan was created as a secular state and hence the support of it from multi-religious groups.”

    I generally see very level headed comments from you. I am perplexed by this comment from you but perhaps you have a perspective I have not considered.SO would appreciate if you can elaborate.

    2 Nation theory says that Muslims are separate nation and CANNOT live with Hindus who are a different nation. This theory does not even consider other minorities as worth mentioning. This 2 Nation theory was the basis of creation of Pakistan. Indians to this date do not accept this theory because we believe that people of diverse faith can and do live together successfully (this does not mean there is any desire to roll back the partition by the way). SO when this is the foundation of the nation, ho can that nation ever be secular? Yes I am aware of the 11th August speech but that speech itself is not consistent with the 2 nation theory.Nor is Jinnah’s claim that he did no expect a transfer of population. How could the 2 nation theory be implemented without a transfer of population?Recommend

  • arjun

    It takes a sane mind to respect facts and history. Minority population dropped to 2-3% from where YOU need to know. Are they still a threat that they are harassed and killed? Whats your basis for your reply? Just the factual basis or illusions.Just the facts are what you need to ask and answer NOT my comment. That it self is the truth and the basis of Hoodboys article- not what you think. Nations are respected on facts and not on religious arrogance/alliances. Brushing off or mentioning events to demean is not the goal. Its better to get worked up for the sake of peace.Recommend

  • arjun

    SO WHERE ARE THOSE MILLIONS OF HINDUS CHRISTIANS SIKHS AND JAINS who according to you wanted Pakistan? You sure know what happened to those millions the last 60 years. Recommend

  • Ahsan

    Salute. Great article.Recommend

  • Rajendra Rana

    But then what you are trying to prove here by giving examples of a few block heads.These people failed see how minorities were treated by muslims in muslim majority areas even in that time(1945-1947)Recommend

  • a-reader

    The link “pakistan was their true calling” brings up an article by one Dr.Imana Fasih. I have read this article before and as implied in it, assumed that the author of the article lives in pakistan. Later, I read comments stating that she really lives in Canada ! Anyway, in a subsequent article, she sheepishly acknowledged that she was indeed living in Canada but still defended the main thrust of her article. Recommend

  • Muhammad Aslam Khan

    Well done Dr. Hoodbhoy, you have been able to activate and move so many minds in Pakistan to discuss and debate about some sensitive areas in our society.Difference of opinion is natural and needs to be understood and respected and this notion is lacking in our society. Keep it up.Recommend

  • Nasir

    Danielle: Seriously you need to get educated! Hindus, Christians and Parsis were never in favor of partitioning India. Read Stanley Wolpert’s Jinnah of Pakistan. In Jinnah’s Pakistan he explains why most of the Hindu, Christian and Parsi leaders were not ready.

    Forget about few Hindus and Christians who maneuvered votes, big deal! Primarily, Pakistan was created when Jinnah was brought back on insistence by Abdur Rahim Dard, who was the missionary in-charge of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community on the orders from his master the second Caliph of the community Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad. Mr. Dard held long meeting with Mr. Jinnah at the London Fazl Mosque ( now international Head Quarters of the community) and convinced him to lead Muslims of India to a separate homeland of Pakistan.

    So the amount of sacrifice other Muslim communities did one cannot compare them to a handful of Individuals. Dr. Hoodbhoy rightfully wrote when he said, “This essay deliberately excludes Hindus, Christians, and Parsis. The reason: these communities were never enthused about India’s partition (even though some individual members pretended to be)…”

    Not saying Hindus, Christians or Parsis didn’t contribute ask Ardhshire Cowasjee he will tell you. However, from Ardhshire’s articles many times written in Dawn newspaper, supports Dr. Hoodbhoy’s argument.Recommend

  • Sonam Shyam

    I think this talk that Pakistan was created as a secular Muslim majority state is erroneous. When a country is created on the basis of religion then the first casualty in that country is “Secularism”. If Jinnah thought that by whipping up communal frenzy he will get a Muslim majority state and after formation of that state the same communally charged people will overnight become secular, then I think he was terribly wrong. Jinnah rode the tiger of communalism and after reaching his destination of Pakistan, he hoped that Tiger will become a benign goat. Well friends! That actually never happened. Recommend

  • Azam_Ramay

    I don’t know what the bantering is all about. She was point on. We are in ideaological conflict as a nation and non muslim Pakistanis get the brunt of it. A bold attempt Danielle. Don’t stop writing. You make every Pakistani proud!Recommend

  • Natasha Q

    Danielle, thoroughly enjoyed your essay. Very informative. I’m not in Pakistan yet I felt so proud reading this. Recommended to all my friends. Recommend

  • BlackJack

    The writer did not understand Dr. Hoodbhoy’s article, but has still managed to use his equity to get enough readers to visit this blog and flog a dead horse (yours truly included) – hence kudos. What pains me is the sheer hypocrisy of those who actually subscribe to this logic. It is undeniable that minorities in Pakistan face an identity crisis (as did muslims in India, at least for the first 30 years post-partition) – this leads to these repeated claims of allegiance and patriotism which should not be required if you were a regular citizen of the country. The fact is that Pakistan was created as a homeland for the muslims of the sub-continent – according to Jinnah everyone else was welcome; this was in part due to his liberal leanings and the other to prevent the exodus of the wealthy trader communities that largely belonged to the minorities. However, the 2-nation theory holds no room for minorities – this is why Sikhs migrated in large numbers. I am sure the most confused were the Christians – who may have wondered whether the departure of the British could result in alienation and neglect – hence the percentage of Christians in India before and after partition remains the same (hardly any migration). The select examples here are glaring exceptions, and for any one successful Christian/ Parsi/ Hindu/ Sikh in Pakistan (I think most of them are already in the article and comments), India can offer scores of successful Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Parsis whose families thank their stars for making the right choice.Recommend

  • Arun, USA

    An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight goes on inside everyone,” he said to the boy.

    “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope”
    The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

    Pakistan has been feeding the wrong wolf all along.Recommend

  • karimshah

    When I was reading the article by Dr Hoodhboy I too got a little shock when I came across that sentence but I assumes that the Hindu and other communities might be not enthusiastic as I had no knowledge of their contribution (Thanks to our so history taught!). This article has at least served one purpose that I got to know what these communities have contributed. and I am sure these are just a glimpse. Keep up your voice.Recommend

  • ijaz Gul

    What ails Pakistan today is what ailed Pakistan during the infighting between the progressive group and Unionists within Muslim League after the formative years. Dismissing the entire argument as a falsification of ‘oft on and oft off’ notions of Jinnah outside the ambit of the Policies of Muslim League is a biased simplification that has and continues to hurt Pakistan. Pakistan was made in the name of religion and everything else that came with bag and baggage is secondary. This is what Rafia Zakarai in her opinion in Dawn has also alluded today and what Nisar Hussain was trying to rebut Zahid Hamid about on express TV yesterday. Living in a false aura of greatness and superiority and perceiving a global role built around exclusivity was never the Pakistan that Jinnah envisioned nor one the world will ever allow to become.

    After 1947, Pakistan’s inventive culture of nationalism flipped. The liberals and modernist who grew out of Aligarh; who opposed Khilafat Movemen;t and who once appointed Sir Zafar Ullah as the President of Muslim League changed guards with the elitist of Punjab (ex Unionists) in an environment that saw a Muslim Pakistan inevitable to fight godless communists. The military rather than take orders from the brown sahib’s felt more comfortable with its new ally the USA as did the British trained bureaucracy. So the triangle of exploiting religion for political means and objectives came to being and has remained the scourge called inventive nationalism. Jinnah’s progressive guard became traitors long ago.

    Hoodbhoy is not new to making controversial remarks. He styles an intellectual with a very strong bias. Danielle has rightly taken him to task. I am reading comments made by Kaalchakara my old friend with interest.


  • Asgar

    We are still in Time-Warp.

    Mr. Jinnah died in 1948. Sixty years has passed.
    As it can be inferred from his speeches, Jinnah may be right. May be he wanted minority tolerating Pakistan. May be he wanted prosperous Pakistan.
    But I think Pakistan’s public wanted something else.
    I think there was a disconnect between what Jinnah wanted and what he assumed Pakistan’s Public wanted.
    That’s why today’s Pakistan is so different from Jinnah envisaged of.Recommend

  • Baba

    @Salman Arshad:
    Mr. Salman, please make a distinction. The white in the green flag was not for ‘minorities’, it was for non-Muslims. The non-Muslims were not supposed to be relegated to be a minority in Pakistan, they were supposed to be just as much of a Pakistani as any Muslim. Ofcourse then the disaster of Objective’s resolution happened through the mischievous Liaqat Ali Khan and Maulvi Shabbir Usmani.Recommend

  • failed cricketer

    Someone draws a line on a map and suddenly people had to leave everything they
    had, their homes and ‘Run for your life’. The people who ran for their lives far exceeded
    the few who did not.Recommend

  • Ziber

    “First of all, bravo Dr Hoodbhoy for such a brave article on the injustices faced by the non-Muslim Pakistanis in the name of religion”

    Author, you yourself defied the conviction u raised in the article above by terming Shias “non muslims” in the above lines, with the words gibbering!

    Selection of words of perhaps you got carried away with the verve adrenaline gush on Hudbhoy.
    I am a Shia and i did mind it.Recommend

  • Agnes Massey

    I want to add more Historical facts to your knowledge wich are as follows:

    Late SP Singha former Speaker All India Punjab Assembly broke tied vote of Punjab

    resulting West Punjab was being declared part of Pakistan.


  • http://India vasan

    Ahmad : And what did Jinnah do after that. Took the genie and it resulted in a monster. Did he not ask for Pakistan on religious grounds.Recommend

  • altaf bhojani

    The focus of the article of Mr. Hoodbhoy was the genocide of Shias in Pakistan. Madam has over reacted in her blog. Mr. Hoodbhoy had made an assessment of contribution of non muslims towards creation of Pakistan only.In all cases, for minorities or non muslims, what ever term is used for them, they should have identical rights in Pakistan. The minorities who may not be treated fairly should be relieved after looking at what Shias are getting in Pakistan, the ones who belong to Mr. Jinnah’s sect.Recommend

  • Zehra

    Hey good going girl! Regardless of the accuracy of your information (in some cases youre correct), the fact is that non-muslims can be equally patriotic. But we dont understand that the debate is no longer between muslims and non-muslims. A large number of muslims today in Pakistan, are shameful specimens of motherland-haters, and their religion hasnt taught them LOYALTY to their land (yeah I am talking to ‘Pakistani-born American Desis’- PBADs). Neither is the ‘protection of rights’ mantra true for ANYONE in Pakistan today. Shias hate sunnis. Sunnis hate shias. Within Sunnis, Barelvis hate Deobandis. If youre Urdu-speaking you may hate a Paukhtoon. If youre Baloch you might as well hate Punjabis. If youre rich youll hate the poor. Your office colleague hates you for landing better career opportunities and my maid hates me for not giving her Sundays off.

    Get the picture? Its no longer about minority rights. Once rule of law has been trampled on, everyone’s vulnerable. Rule of Law needs to be upheld. Because once thats ensured, I guarantee you that our constitution gives excellent safeguards to minorities. Oh and yeah, why does it call Ahmadis non-muslims? Because according to 99.5% of muslim ulema in the WORLD, not just in Pakistan, they cannot be considered muslims from a technical PoV-democracy at work you see. Doesnt mean they shouldnt be guaranteed rights as citizens. Recommend

  • antony

    It will be disgusting to say any sane christian will attempt to migrate from india to pakistan for better protection of religious and social life.Recommend

  • Zehra

    And one important fact. All the religious sects and ethnicities that hate each other do so at a level nobody on this blog can relate to. Its only once someone decides to formally associate themselves with religious outfits or political parties when these elements are used to spread the hate-usually through violent means. So statistically, it isnt people like you and me, its the unemployed, downtrodden or the illiterate and social misfits who think like that i.e, sunnis hating shias and vice versa, etc. In rural areas Shia-sunni inter-marriage is WIDESPREAD. In urban centers, inter-marriage between various ethnicities is now common. Christian and hindu kids studying in schools/colleges arent befriended by their own kind only. They have more muslims friends than their own kind. They are equally supported-as is demonstrated by the umpteenth comments under this blog. So we’re talking about a small percentage of population who will hate just about anybody given the chance. Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk

    @Danielle Sharaf,

    I bet you could bake an entire wedding cake with just one cherry and nothing else!!Recommend

  • Ali Taseer

    Please read the article again. Sarcasm, context or a play of words, the marginalized communities in this so called Democracy are battling for their right of legitimacy each day. Dr. Hoodbhoy with his standing, should’ve picked better words to convey his point of view. Why add insult to injury?Recommend

  • Rimmel Khan Hussani

    Thank you for the article Danielle. Refreshing to see a Christian finally speak up. Ignore the Hoodbhoy fan club. They’ve OBVIOUSLY MISSED THE POINT!!Recommend

  • Shumail

    very good answer , Shaheed Bhatti is also an example ,being enthusiastic he sacrificed his life not only for a single community but for everyone , for Pakistan, as Prime Minister Yusaf Raza ali Gillani acknowledged (Bhatti’s manifesto and services for Pakistan ) on 6th March at convention center Islamabad, PM added that Shahbaz Bhatti was a promoter of humanity , social justice and peace.
    On a very same day 6th March 2012,Speech of Jinnah (11th August 1947) was memorized twice a time 1. Farooq Satar (Federal Minister) and later by P.M. Recommend

  • Shumail

    very good answer , Shaheed Bhatti is also an example ,being enthusiastic he sacrificed his life not only for a single community but for everyone , for Pakistan, as Prime Minister Yusaf Raza ali Gillani acknowledged (Bhatti’s manifesto and services for Pakistan ) on 6th March at convention center Islamabad, PM added that Shahbaz Bhatti was a promoter of humanity , social justice and peace.
    On a very same day 6th March 2012,Speech of Jinnah (11th August 1947) was memorized twice a time 1. Farooq Satar (Federal Minister) and later by P.M.
    strong textRecommend

  • Pole

    @Ahmad: What you say is true. Gandhi started pandering to communal groups and the congress party has not stopped pandering to such groups till this day. But to their credit(?), they pandered to minority groups. Maybe they thought they were being inclusive even though I don’t see anything inclusive in communal political ideology on which the khilafat movement was based on. Recommend

  • Zohair

    More people like you need to speak up before these opportunistic Mullahs hold everyone hostage!!Recommend

  • Sabah Hasan

    I agree with Ms. Sharaf. I dislike the use of the word ‘minority’ – a gift of misuse of the Objectives Resolution – whether condescendingly or derogatorily. And it is rich that now the minority Deobandi terrorists have included hundreds of millions of Pakistani Shias among what they label as minority. As Ms. Sharaf has shown it was the struggle of these ‘minorities’ that got us Pakistan.Recommend

  • Alee Siddiqui

    No one is majority and no one is minority …. every Pakistani has right for justice, since Pakistan Came into being till this day we are all living side by side. Please don’t spoil this, we are already into the war which was, is and will be ours.Recommend

  • http://www.wix.com/asharamjad/ashar--amjad ASHAR AMJAD (FIRST PAKISTANI INVENTOR)

    All Pakistanis are equal well done Dr. Hoodbhoy & Thanks Danielle Sharaf, she is a Daughter of Nation, her father is Pride for Whole Nation.


  • Kenneth James

    Dr Hoodbhoy spoke of Christians in general, and that probably is true, as areas on India where Christians dwell in large number never favoured the division of the sub-continent. We also need to understand the plight the Christians faced under Muslim rule, Tippu ordered the destruction of 27 Catholic churches. Among them were the Church of Nossa Senhora de Rosario Milagres at Mangalore, Fr Miranda’s Seminary at Monte Mariano, Church of Jesu Marie Jose at Omzoor, Chapel at Bolar, Church of Merces at Ullal, Imaculata Conceiciao at Mulki, San Jose at Perar, Nossa Senhora dos Remedios at Kirem, Sao Lawrence at Karkal, Rosario at Barkur, Immaculata Conceciao at Baidnur.[35] All were razed to the ground, with the exception of Igreja da Santa Cruz Hospet also known as Hospet Church at Hospet,owing to the friendly offices of the Chauta Raja of Moodbidri, He caputred 92000 Christians of the Manglorean community and killed around 3500. Thus Christians in general never supported the division of the subcontinent. However [35][35][35]Danielle should speak of the Christians of Punjab[35][35][35] as they were the only supporters.
    Moreso, it is not only Christians who have been failed, the Ahmedis in 1953, the shias in the 80’s and now the Hindus and Christians all have been failed. Even the Sunnis who have protested have faced the axe. Dr Tahir ul Qadri and Dr Gahmidi both live abroad because of the dagers they face, and my hero Salman Taseer has been killed.
    Dr Hoodbhoy is a true patriot and has spoked for the opressed always, but unfortunately his work is not available in the mainstream press.Recommend

  • Noble Tufail

    bit overcooked daniella .. but very powerful arguments ideed. the intensity is completely justified .. and truely the voice of all the marginalized citizens. Recommend

  • Observer

    Dr. Saab wrote a fantastic article but did make a few errors. This one included. Your grievences are justified Danielle and you’ve articulated them aptly.

    That said, I’m more intrigued by the writing methodology of this upcoming breed of contributors. You win the case for research.Recommend

  • http://- Abid P. Khan

    @failed cricketer:
    “suddenly people had to leave everything they
    had, their homes and ‘Run for your life’. “

    …and are still running. Ayub Khan once advised these runners,”Where would you do now? You face the ocean.”
    This is after his son Gohar, has had a shooting spree.Recommend

  • Sane

    Hoodbhoy may just be a good scientist, but not a historian or has deep insight about religions. What he says and writes are mostly not rationale or supported by facts. He should stick to his subject only.Recommend

  • Cleopetra


    Pity You for your ignorance!!!!!Recommend

  • Sane

    However, insane were not barred.Recommend

  • Jibran Khan

    @ All readers.

    Minorities were never considered minorities in Pakistan. People of Pakistan never accepted minorities. Why do you all go blind when you don’t want to accept the reality? If it was not true, then why do we still have all the cleaners/sweepers Christians n Hindus? Why don’t I see any minorities in higher ranks of government or civil services (exception of their quota seats)? What quota? You can only excel if you come through quota system being a minority?
    I give credit to minority community solidarity and brotherhood among themselves through which they try to help each other and progress.Missionary schools are one of their example and I have studied in those schools and give them all the credit.
    C’mon people…by saying “aal is well” won’t fix all the problems.Recommend

  • L. Manohar

    A nation or country can speak of diversity if the largest ethnic or religious group or sect is no more than 10% of the total population.

    With Pakistan being 96% islamic the non-muslims cannot be regarded as any real diversity factor.

    Some few non-muslims were fooled by Jinnah and the likes into believing that Pakistan will be secular and minority rights will be protected under islam – an impossibility.

    If Jinnah had written a long analytic rational articles praising hindus and hindus religions and their goodnesses and insisted on restoring/protecting the hindu component in Pakistan (25% in West Pakistan and 40% in East Pakistan) then Pakistan would/could have developed better. Now it is a lost country – lost for ever to islamic fascism. Recommend

  • Ali Murtaza

    Danielle you made my coffee break so much more interesting. I have a table-talk discussion topic with my fellow “Islamists” today. Hoodhboy should really stick to teaching Physics.

    Looking forward to more contributions from you.Recommend

  • Sonia Wahab

    Hoodhbhoy is completely missunderstood by the author.Recommend

  • Ali Taseer

    He should’ve chosen his words carefully. Recommend

  • amlendu

    If these Hindus and Christians really enthusiastic about Pakistan and struggled for Pakistan then I would say that the minorities in Pakistan are getting their just reward. If you are willingly join a struggle for a state for a particular religion, where you would be in a tiny minority then it is your fate to be discriminated against. I would say Danielle, that you are reaping the rewards for what Mr Jogindernath, Mr Sangha and Mr Burke did long ago. If there was no petty benefit for them in what they did then they were stupid that they could not understand that a state made for a particular religion on religious lines will increasingly become fundamentalist and discriminate against minorities. Recommend

  • Aisha

    Brilliant effort!!Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    Ijaz Gul

    With elections drawing nearer, you must be getting busier, my friend. The very best of luck to you and to your causes. May good and intelligent Pakistanis like you get more power to make a positive change! Many of us will be praying for you even though we aren’t exactly the religious folks. Always good to see you, Ijaz. Best regards. :)Recommend

  • ijaz ul

    Unlike you, I am in awe of the elections. As parliamentarians play games to secure their positions and the inertia, it becomes clear that each one is on uncle sam’s roll. So any party that challenges this status quo shall have to face a pack of wolves and elections therefore bloody. These psuedos vying and pretending to be liberals are actually neo liberals not realising that they are also contributing to silencing sanity. The game plan remains to work at an implosion and people like us will endeavour it does not succeed. I am working fervently towards a National Integration agenda.
    You have raised some very valid points and I wish someone addresses them.

  • Olga

    I bet you that the Hindus of India will never allow the Roman Catholic Christian woman to become the prime minister!Recommend

  • whoever


    Seeing Pakistan’s current condition ,I am bound to say that Jinnah couldn’t guess the consequence of establishing a country on the basis of religion .Why me , everyone will say so . Even many pakistanis say so.If now Indian gov asks any interested Muslims to settle in Pakistan ,I wonder how many will select to do so. Future always has the answer and after 60 years , we have got the answer .Recommend

  • Musthaq Ahmed

    @Salman Arshad:
    “The personal liberal views of Jinnah should not be confused with the conservative views held by the Muslim League as a party.” It was not a tea party Mr Salman !Recommend

  • antony

    @olga, what rubbish . A sikh is current prime minister in india and if any eligible candidate for prime minister if roman catholic woman then she would be elected too. However an italian woman becoming indian prime minster to rule 1.2 billion indians is asking for too much and hence one lady is managing from behind the scenes.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop


    The difference between Gandhi and Jinnah is, as said by M.J.Akbar, is that Gandhi used Religion to unite, Jinnah to divide.

    Gandhi never came up with such absurdities like 2 nation theory, which essentially says two set of Human Beings cannot live together under any circumstances.

    “I do not believe in working up mob hysteria. ”

    Seriously, man? The guy who condoned Direct Action day; the guy who hung out with Feudal Lords like Suhrawardy and Liaquat Ali Khan is saying this. This is an utter lie.

    It was not Jinnah who fasted to stop the mobs from killing each other in Calcutta, it was Gandhi. It was not Jinnah who spent 11 years of his life in Jail for his Country, for the people it was Gandhi. Recommend

  • kamran

    General EA Vaz of India, a karachiate goan was asked why he did not opt for Pakistan, he responded that a state based on religion would change into a theocracy, i think he was right, beacuse religion be it Israel or Pakistan have resulted in theocracies.Recommend