When did Pakistan change from being a liberal country to a fundamentalist one?

Published: August 14, 2016

It was led not by cultural relativists in flowing robes, but by modern Muslim men and women, most of whom felt that they could reconcile their faith with modernity.

When and how did Pakistan go from being a moderate Muslim majority country to a fundamentalist society within a relatively short span of time and is this trend irreversible?

Pakistan emerged out of a Muslim nationalist movement organised around the group identity of the Muslims of British India. It was led not by cultural relativists in flowing robes, but by modern Muslim men and women, most of whom felt that they could reconcile their faith with modernity. Jinnah’s objectives in any event were to create a united Muslim voting bloc within united India and his demand for a Muslim majority federation was more of a maximum demand he did not expect to be realised.

Jinnah had no truck with the millennial ambitions of certain sections of Muslims who imagined Pakistan to be an Islamic utopia. He repeatedly shot those ideas down, asking his comrade and fellow Shia Raja of Mahmudabad if he had taken leave of his senses by advocating an Islamic state from Muslim League’s platform, suggesting that if what Raja was saying would be followed,

“Consequences would be a struggle of religious opinion from the very inception of the State leading to its very dissolution.” Jinnah then told him categorically that Pakistan “would not be an Islamic state” but a “liberal democratic Muslim state.”

Critics of the Pakistan movement, like Venkat Dhulipala, who want to deliberately ascribe a religious motive for Pakistan often quote Raja of Mahmudabad’s utterances but fail to mention Jinnah’s response, because their entire thesis would fall flat on its face if they would.

It is not often appreciated that the realisation of Pakistan in 1947 and partition of Punjab and Bengal came as a shock to Jinnah and his colleagues who had not really expected Congress to ever agree to a division of India. Now came the hard part – laying the foundations of the new state. On August 11th, 1947, Jinnah made his vision plain. It was to be state where religion of an individual would be a private matter between him and God and where, in due course of time,

“Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in a religious sense for that is the personal faith of an individual, but in a political sense”

As a citizens of the state and where angularities of majority and minority would vanish. It is a searing irony that we celebrate this day as “Minorities Day” when Jinnah envisaged a Pakistan where there would be no distinction between majorities and minorities.

Choosing his first cabinet, Jinnah picked Jogindranath Mandal, a scheduled caste Hindu lawyer from Bengal, as Pakistan’s first law minister. It was the same Mandal he had chosen to represent Muslims in the interim government of India in 1946 and the same Mandal who presided over the inaugural session of Pakistan’s constituent assembly. As far as symbolism goes, this was as clear as it got. A scheduled caste Hindu could represent 90 million Muslims, a scheduled caste Hindu could preside over the inaugural session of the largest Muslim majority state of its time, and a scheduled caste Hindu could be the law minister in that state, because the state that Jinnah envisaged would be a modern and liberal democracy not a theocracy to be run by priests with a divine mission.

With these beginnings, how did we go wrong?

The truth is that Jinnah was an exception in even the ostensibly secular liberal Muslim elite around him. There was in Jinnah still the erstwhile secular Congressman of the pre-1921 era who believed in Hindu Muslim unity and a secular polity – a veritable civic nationalist who believed in a secular Pakistani identity. Lacking Jinnah’s clarity on Pakistan’s civic nationalism, Liaquat Ali Khan and other Muslim Leaguers, soon after Jinnah’s death, promoted the ‘Objectives Resolution’ which was seen as a compromise between the liberal opinion and the religious opinion. If one analyses the Objectives Resolution, it becomes clear that Pakistan’s rulers were searching to find a reason for why Pakistan was created in the first place. This reason, they lazily concluded, was the establishment of an Islamic order.

To be fair to them though, their understanding of this Islamic order was at variance to how Abu Ala Maududi and Shabbir Ahmad Usmani understood it. Liaquat Ali Khan, Abdur Rab Nishtar and Sir Zafrullah Khan imagined that the interpretation of Islam and its doctrine in modern Pakistan would remain in the hands of men like them and not in the hands of priests with a divine mission. This was a major miscalculation, the results of which were not immediately obvious because Pakistan continued for the next two decades as a relatively liberal and modern state mindful of its religious diversity. Another check on Islamic millennialism was the existence of a large Hindu majority in East Pakistan. In 1971,when for the first time in history the majority of a country seceded, Pakistan was stripped off its Hindu minority almost completely.

This is precisely why the 1973 Constitution took on a more religious colour than the 1956 and 1962 Constitutions. For the first time Pakistan had a state religion. The office of the prime minister was reserved for Muslims. Then in 1974, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a liberal and secular man, threw open the floodgates by allowing the National Assembly to decide the fate of the Ahmadi community in Pakistan. They were declared non-Muslims by a unanimous vote, including the votes of secular politicians like Wali Khan and his party members. These ostensibly liberal politicians laid the foundations of a fundamentalist state.

Promises by Jinnah were jettisoned for the sake of political expediency and sectarianism became state policy. Dr Ayesha Jalal has hinted in her book, Struggle for Pakistan, that Saudi Arabia might have been behind the decision. They had apparently conditioned their support for Pakistan’s nuclear program on this decision. Whatever the case, Saudi influence began raising its tentacles during Bhutto’s government.

In 1977 when the elections were called, a nine party alliance of religious and secular parties, including the Awami National Party (ANP), organised themselves around the demand for “Nizam-e-Mustafa” or Islamic order. In a bid to out-manoeuver them, Bhutto instituted his own Islamisation program. Alcohol and night clubs were banned. Horse racing was banned. Friday became the national holiday instead of Sunday. As election results came out, Bhutto was accused of massive rigging. Enter General Ziaul Haq who sent Bhutto to the gallows in 1979. General Ziaul Haq now took the “Nizam-e-Mustafa” demand to its logical conclusion – the unveiling of an Islamic order based on narrow interpretations of right wing religious scholars like Maududi.

Countless new Islamic laws were added to the statute books. A Federal Shariat Court was introduced as a super court to determine whether laws conformed to Islam or not. Religious freedom of groups, like the Ahmadis, was further curtailed and in 1986, 295-C was added to the Pakistan Penal Code which called for death or life imprisonment for any blasphemous comments, intentional or unintentional, about the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Women’s testimony was reduced to half in financial matters through the Qanun-e-Shahadat Order which remains the case even today.

Simultaneously, General Zia instituted social engineering through syllabus changes prescribed by Jamaat-e-Islami and other religious groups. General Zia’s regime had the complete support of his American allies who thought that a staunchly fundamentalist Pakistan would be the best guarantee against communism’s spread to South Asia. The Cold War ended, but it is only now that the children schooled in General Zia’s syllabus have come to the forefront. Their world view is shaped by three decades of state propaganda about the ideological foundations of Pakistan – more myth than reality. Many of them today reject democracy as kufr. An entire generation has been radicalised into thinking in terms of violent jihad. It is no wonder that you find extremists in every walk of life in Pakistan. The liberal democratic state that Jinnah had in mind, for the present, is a thing of the past.

Yet, as Jinnah used to say, nothing is permanent in life. The people of the Indus Valley have a glorious past that goes back 8000 years. Extremism has never lasted in this region in its history. The radicalisation that General Zia has brought about will ultimately be a passing phenomenon. I have no doubt that the posterity will undo the harms done to Pakistan in the last 30 years and will hark back to Jinnah’s words on August 11, 1947, as the right and proper vision. Of that there can be no doubt. Future Pakistanis will revisit, revise and re-order their state according to that vision.

Yasser Latif Hamdani

Yasser Latif Hamdani

The writer is a lawyer based in Lahore and the author of the book Mr Jinnah: Myth and Reality. He tweets as @theRealYLH (twitter.com/therealylh)

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

  • rtnguy

    Pakistan is an artificial concoction and not an inheritor to the glorious tradition of Indus ValleyRecommend

  • Fawad

    Asian was created to be Islamic republic where Islam is supreme, if not then what was problem with India. If secularism with equal rights to Muslims and Hindu, that is what India does. So separation was so that Muslim can rule Muslims, not Hindu who were in majority and most probably rule.Recommend

  • Yourown

    I commend Yasser’s plain speak and sincerity as a writer. It is certain that to unwind the effect of the harm done to the society would be a Herculean task. But I am hopeful that the generation of Yasser and his fellow scholars would be the beacons of light and hope Pakistan can get its place on the world stage again! God bless you son!Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    1) Jinnah said he wants special rights to Muslims in India but after he did get Pakistan, did not even utter a single word about giving those same rights for minority Hindus in Pakistan. His demand was based on personal ambition and profit, not principles. This means Pakistan was not based on the principles that India was found on. Nehru, whom Jinnah opposed bitterly, spoke of giving equal rights to all and followed up on his words when he was instrumental in creating a secular Constitution. Jinnah changed his tactics after Partition.

    2) This Author claims Jinnah wanted to unite the Muslims, but Pakistan achieved reverse of that. Jinnah divided the Muslims of India into 3 equal parts. I can’t believe people believe Jinnah’s falsehoods so many decades after Independence. Jinnah gave back India to its Indigenous Religions. When India won in 1971, India was in a hurry to get out of Bangladesh. India, not for a second, tried to take over it. Less Muslims the better in India, everyone thought in India.

    3) Jinnah wants Secularism in one speech, wants Sharia in another. The man is very inconsistent. If the crowd was wearing suits and coats, Aug 11 speech would happen. If the bearded fellows protested, he would give the speech he gave in Kar Bar Association asking for Sharia, basically nullifying his earlier speech.

    I can write more. Pakistan was created because of all the wrong reasons. Nehru and Congress had predicted Pakistan will fall soon in a few years. Pakistan, like a terminally ill patient hung on for 24 years, before splitting into Bangladesh and Pakistan.

    The lies Pakistanis have been told about their own history!Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    People like YLH lie. Jinnah wanted a Pakistan where Islam was supreme.

    He has said that clearly in his speech in Karachi Bar Association in 1948 where he said he wanted Sharia in the Constitution. This is against the tenets the virtues of Secularism. This is soft Islamism, like the one practiced by Muslim Brotherhood and many such new Islamic Political Parties.

    “I could not understand a section of people who deliberately wanted to create mischief and made a propaganda that the constitution of Pakistan would not be made on the basis of Shariat.”

    People like YLH are hero worshippers. He is no better than fans of Salman Khan who swear by his innocence when he drove over the poor people on the footpath in India, for example. Jinnah’s actions and his words clearly indicate secularism was not Jinnah’s pet obsession, as people like YLH will have you believe. YLH will try to quote Aug 11 speech, while completely ignoring the Karachi Bar Association one. This is classic Hero worshipping.

    If one reads Jinnah’s quotes, you can only come to the conclusion that he was a confused man.Recommend

  • ab

    Why did millions of people migrated to liberal state. aren’t they better of in that so called liberal state? why did people leave there million of rupees properties and migrated to Pakistan?Recommend

  • Parvez

    Ameen……I am a little older than Pakistan and I sincerely hope that I see what you visualize …. within my life time. But I am also a realist, so I say I sincerely hope that what you visualize will happen.Recommend

  • Human

    Are Muslims safe in India?if u can answer this u can answer ur own question aswellRecommend

  • Shahbaz Asif Tahir

    This author,s understanding of Islam, is shallow. He is anti Islam, and anti Muslim.
    If you read his previous articles, you will find that he is an extremely ignorant person. Pakistan is and will In sha Allah always remain an Islamic state. Shame
    on such secular, liberal, individuals, who write such non sense.Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    Question is whether “Pakistan to be or not to be.” Pakistan became Bangladesh in 1971. The land which gives migrane to the world, was created in London for specific purpose of containing India, bugging Soviets and keeping check on China.Recommend

  • Farhan Khan

    Even if Pakistan was a liberal country, it would have been that way only 1 or 2 days long… just see your poll about ‘Blasphemy Law’ you will have your answer that Pakistan was never meant to be a secular/libtard state… NEVERRecommend

  • Farhan Khan

    NO tradition is absolute… otherwise you should be living like monkeys.Recommend

  • Paki Terrorist

    1. Maulana Abul Kalaam Azaad had predicted about seventy years ago, that with Jinnah and Liaquat Ali gone, Pakistan’s liberal facade will crumble in no time, religious fundamentalism and extremism will take over. That was an accurate prediction !!
    2. The optimists like Yasser Latif Hamdani will like to believe that Pakistan will eventually change its course for the better, and emerge stronger, no matter how long it takes. Others would argue that Pakistan will be torn apart by its internal contradictions, and cease to exist in its current form in the future. Recommend

  • Paki Terrorist

    Muslims in India are in as good, and as bad in shape, as an average Indian. No discrimination on the basis of religion. Pakistani media propaganda are misleading and not based on facts.Recommend

  • rtnguy

    Yes but there is continuity in tradition. The harappan religion was carried over to hinduism. That is a fact.Recommend

  • Gp65

    So Why did the Hindu law minister actually return to India within 3 years of formation of Pakistan? Was it a liberal Pakistan then?
    When was the Objective resolution passed? Was it a liberal Pakistan then?
    Why was the first constitution abolished within 2 years? Was it a liberal Pakistan then?
    Why did Pakistan not have universal adult franchise until 1970? Was it a liberal Pakistan which did not permit universal adult franchise?

    No. The seed of Pakistan has become a tree now. But the seed was always there. Those who said they could not live with Hindus now say they cannot live Ahmadias and Shias. What has changed?Recommend

  • Np

    safer than they are in Pakistan. No one gets killed while they are praying in a mosque in India.Recommend

  • Gp65

    “In 1977 when the elections were called, a nine party alliance of religious and secular parties, including the Awami National Party (ANP), organised themselves around the demand for “Nizam-e-Mustafa” or Islamic order. ”

    Was the 2nd amendment that denied right of worship to Ahmadis and make them constitutional kafirs passed before or after the nine party alliance called for Nizam-e-Mustafa?Recommend

  • rationalist

    Pakistan was never ever a liberal county, and will never be one. How can a county be “liberal’ when its founding principle is based on ideologies of religion and the two nation theory that advocated “we can’t live with non-Muslims,, we are a separate race, religion and nation”?Recommend

  • rationalist

    Definitely safer than Ahmadis, Sikh, Christians, Buddhits, Shia, Sufis, Muhajirs, Baoch and Ismailis in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Mike Pilgrim

    These ridiculous labels, Liberal, Conservative, Orthodox, Fundamentalist have NO place is Islam or with Muslims. These labels are Jewish, used to describe their divisions. There is no Liberal Islam in Qur’an, nor is there Fundamentalist Islam in Qur’an. Straying from Qur’an leads to destruction.Recommend

  • Mike Pilgrim

    Every Muhajir street sweeper from Bombay claimed to be a Nawab. Nobody is fooled by these tricks, in India, Christians and Muslims are considered the lowest of the low. They weren’t millionaires.Recommend

  • Mike Pilgrim

    Hindus are not safe in India, they kill unborn Indian girl babies and gang rape women Recommend

  • Mike Pilgrim

    Indus Valley civilization had nothing to do with India. The old division was Sind and Hind. Sind was never part of Hind, your opinion is Hindu warmongering justifications for your crimes, like Kashmir and Hyderabad Recommend

  • Sid

    They are as safe as Hindus or Christians are in India. In India muslims suffer as much as any Hindu does. The problem with Pakistani media and people is they do not count Hindus’s suffering at all, only thing which matters to them is Muslim’s suffering. It is quite understandabley. Otherwise it will be too much of a confusion for you all to defend the reason why Pakistan was ever created.Recommend

  • vinsin

    Majority of those who migrated still hold properties in India.Recommend

  • vinsin

    If Pakistan supposed to be a liberal state then why Jinnah didnt accept the marriage of his daughter to a parsi? Why Jinnah disowned his only daughter? Why Jinnah didnt oppose demand for forced conversion during Noarkali riots? Why Jinnah converted her wife to Islam on marriage? What happened to Freedom of religion and liberalism then? Did Jinnah condemn Mopilla riots?

    You are right that there was difference of opinion for creation of Pakistan between Jinnah and Muslim league but Jinnah never condemn them also.Recommend

  • Fix_NY

    First of All Two nation Theory was brainchild of Jinnah. Mandal, a hindu minister fled Pakistan after submitting long list of prosecution of minorities within a year of Pakistan’s formation. Zaffarullah Khan, a Ahmedia who pilotted the demand of Pakistan was forced to resign after riots in streets of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Fix_NY

    If Muslim are not safe in India then how they are represented in every walk of life and even Three Presidents has been Muslim and why more Muslims are in India than in Pakistan.As Hindu population in Pakistan has dwindled from 40%(at the time of partition) in Pak Punjab & Sindh to 2% ,while Muslim population has increased in India.Recommend

  • Ravi Blr

    What is the point of talking about minorities rights after the minorities are all gone? Recommend

  • BJK

    Well-written piece! Obviously, Jinnah will remain a controversial figure — and so will the contention that he wanted (or bluffed that he wanted) an Islamic majority without an Islamic dispensation. Even if that were true, it can be argued that such a dispensation (i.e., a secular dispensation) is a practical impossibility in such a setup, has never been in reality achieved nor ever can be achieved (even if it were allowed per religion) under such a majority wherever the majority has exercised its free will!Recommend

  • BJK

    Farhan Khan, it can be argued that monkeys have the advantage over us in several areas of life. At least, they don’t brandish nukes to threaten their own existence.Recommend

  • Kickass

    Pakistan never changed. Only the west changed to worse. To foolishly find cover they used Pakistan. Terror was spread. They are now trying to show remorse.Recommend

  • saukat ali chughtaih

    I fully support the author of this article. Our next generation will have to revisit the constitution, revisit fiqah and islam. We must be compatible with the world and enter into new phenomenen to become Democratic Republic of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Pure Ind

    Compare it with the situation of Hindus in Pakistan,we in India have given equal opportunities to all communities constitutionally. We Indians dont have a problem to work under a Muslim Boss, or with Muslim colleagues. Indians dont have a problem to have a Muslim President, or a Muslim as Captain of our cricket Team, just giving small egs. human.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    Shias and Ahmad’s are Muslims as well. They are very safe in India. Just look at the number of attacks on their mosques in Pakistan and then India. In India they are very free to call themselves Muslims.Recommend

  • Vish

    Jinnah himself was Pakistan’s first Governer General with absolute dictatorial powers. As he himself told the Sikhs, during negotiations, his word would be law in Pakistan. Being a dictator he brooked no opposition and dismissed elected governments in Pakistan and imposed Urdu on an unwilling Pakistani public. He had no faith in liberal democracy or the one person one vote system. The very basis of his demand for Pakistan was the repudiation of liberalism and accommodation. All his textbook liberal ideas were only for non-Pakistani audiences. To believe that such a man would lay the foundations of a liberal democracy is to live in cloud cuckoo land. Pakistan has turned out exactly as envisaged by Caliph aka Quaid E Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, a country that cannot live with the other. It was the Hindus at first now it’s Ahmadis, Shias, Hazaras, Ismailis, Christians. The irony was that Pakistan ended up devouring its own creators from Liaquat Ali Khan, Zafarullah Khan to Fatima Jinnah and countless Bengalis who originally fought for Pakistan.Recommend

  • Fahad

    The true heading should be When did Pakistan change from being a truly Islamic countries to a Liberal country.Recommend

  • Pure Ind

    The basic education system of Pakistan is flawed,
    Firstly they refuse to acknowledge the common history between India & Pakistan, secondly the education syllabus is ridden with biased opinions about hindus. When these children grow up they too have biased & suspicious opinions about other religions. Somewhere thats not the case in India, the education set up is fairly secular without any religious intervention.Recommend

  • Yasser Latif Hamdani

    The facts are: Jinnah never disowned his daughter. That is a lie which has been proven to be a lie many times. Read his will. Jinnah did not support any forced conversion. Ruttie’s conversion to Islam was because the law did not allow people of different religions to marry without renouncing their faith. Jinnah actually tried to get the law passed allowing people of different faiths to enter into civil marriage but his efforts were frustrated. As for Ruttie she was never a practicing Muslim, remaining a theosophist to the end of her life. As for Moplah riots Jinnah was opposed to Khilafat Movement – so obviously he was against Moplah uprising.Recommend

  • Yasser Latif Hamdani

    Mandal did not flee Pakistan one year later. He left Pakistan in 1951. Long after Jinnah was dead.
    As for Two Nation Theory – it was a consociationalist demand and not a religious one. Yes look up the word and you are welcome.Recommend

  • Yasser Latif Hamdani

    First of all the contention that Jinnah wanted a secular state is not “controversial”. All impartial historians agree with this contention. Only ideologues on both sides disagree. And ideologues are not historians, even if some of them present themselves as that. Secondly your argument is that a Muslim majority can never have a secular dispensation. This shows your prejudice. One could argue that India will never be a secular state despite tall claims in the constitution given the country’s treatment of religious minorities and even caste minorities. Could one say then that a Hindu majority can never be secular? Please stop being patronizing. In reality there is very little to differentiate India and Pakistan in terms of their treatment of minorities.Recommend

  • Yasser Latif Hamdani

    So what about the Dadri lynching? Did Pakistan make that up? Or the events in Una?Recommend

  • Yasser Latif Hamdani

    Actually you are the one who hasn’t read his Karachi Bar Association speech. The next line in the speech says:
    “What reason is there for anyone to fear democracy, equality, freedom on the highest sense of integrity and on the basis of fair play and justice for everyone? Let us make the Constitution of Pakistan. We will make it and we will show it to the world”
    Only Islamists in Pakistan and rightwing Indians like you argue that it means that Jinnah wanted some sort of theocracy. On the contrary, Jinnah was arguing that Sharia did not oppose democracy, equality, freedom … he was telling his audiences that a modern democratic state was not opposed to Islam. Context is everything. Anyone familiar with Jinnah, his life, his contributions to the Indian legislative assembly will never make the claim you are making here. Shows your ignorance of history more than it says anything about Jinnah.Recommend

  • Yasser Latif Hamdani

    If you read carefully, I have answered this question in the article itself. But people are obviously not in a habit of reading before commenting.Recommend

  • Yasser Latif Hamdani

    1. I suggest you read Jinnah’s speeches and statements carefully. He was very much minded to give minorities all the safeguards in Pakistan.

    2. Read the article carefully. “Less Muslims the better in India” as you say – that lays bare how “secular” the Indian policy actually is.

    3. The 11 August speech happened in Constituent Assembly where there were people in suits as well as bearded mullahs. Jinnah did not backtrack from that speech one bit. You haven’t bothered to read the Karachi Bar Association speech in total, quoting one line out of context. The very next line gives the context: “What reason is there for anyone to fear democracy, equality, freedom on the highest sense of integrity and on the basis of fair play and justice for everyone? Let us make the Constitution of Pakistan. We will make it and we will show it to the world”. Jinnah was arguing that there is nothing in Islam that opposed modern democracy and equality.
    4. Jinnah had agreed to an independent Bengal in 1947. It was Nehru who had insisted against an independent Bengal. Read Shameful Flight by Stanley Wolpert. Recommend

  • Yasser Latif Hamdani

    Two nation theory at no point advocated that Muslims could not live with non-Muslims. Two Nation Theory said that Muslims were a nation entitled to joint governance of their common motherland i.e. India. Please read the article instead of venting your own ignorance on these forums.Recommend

  • Yasser Latif Hamdani

    I think if you had read the article carefully you would know the answer to your question.Recommend

  • Bibloo

    Hail Ganga Mata. Hail the Safron Lord. Hail the Vermilion Throne.
    Hail Shining Hindustan. Hail toilet-less Hindustan. Hail Jai ki Hind.
    Hail Gau Mata. Hail Brahmaputra Mata. Hail Jumuna Mata. Hail
    Our Promised Lord Modi. [now it’s nirvana all over Hindustan]
    Hail the sewer behind Modi’s palace. Hail auto rickshaws. Hail
    the two rickety aircraft carriers hindu navy. Hail the sinking submarines.
    Hail the Hindustani retreating Army from Kargil. Yup. Got them all.
    [Fervently hope nothing was left out. Believe got all the hails]Recommend

  • Sridhar Kaushik

    Honest attempt at analyzing a difficult subject. I am from India so my views may sound biased but i am giving it anyways.
    The author asks right in the beginning “When and how did Pakistan go from being a moderate Muslim majority country to a fundamentalist society within a relatively short span of time and is this trend irreversible?”
    I am reminded of a scene from the Hollywood movie “The Judgement at Nuremberg” where the Nazi Judge Janning on trial tells Judge Dan Haywood (as depicted superbly by Spencer Tracy): “We never knew that it would come to that.” Judge Haywood replies, “Herr Janning, it came to that the first time you sentenced a man to death you knew to be innocent.”
    Pakistan’s fate was sealed the day it was decided that it would become an Islamic nation, not a nation with Muslim majority and when it became a security state instead of a welfare state.
    Author further says in his article (Liaquat Ali Khan, Abdur Rab Nishtar and Sir Zafrullah Khan imagined that the interpretation of Islam and its doctrine in modern Pakistan would remain in the hands of men like them and not in the hands of priests with a divine mission.)
    This is laughable.
    Once you decide that Pakistan will be an Islamic state (Liaquat Ali Khan introduced the Objective Resolution and set that nation on that course) then other things get added on along the way. Mullahs became powerful and started interpreting who was a good Muslim, who was not. Sooner or later it was inevitable that Ahmediyas would be ex-communicated. It remained for a religious bigot and military dictator Zia-ul-Haq to complete the process.
    Zia was an affable man and often talked to Indian journalists. In a off hand remark to M.J.Akbar, he once asked “If Pakistan were not to become Islamic nation, what is it then, a second class India?”.
    Zia had a point.
    Pakistanis keep debating today what they ought to be: secular or islamic? should they be ruled by a dictator similar to Ataturk or a democracy? etc etc.
    That debate continues to this day.
    Jinnah created a nation without much forethought as to what shape it should take. He left no books, guidelines to guide future generations. We find every Pakistani interprets Jinnah in the way he/ she choses. Mullahs think he wanted an Islamic theorcracy. Saner minds like this author think he wanted a secular democracy.
    But make no mistake, it all started on the day when it was decided that Pakistan should become an Islamic nation.Recommend

  • BJK

    Yasser, I disagree that Jinnah’s secularism is an open and shut case. Further, when you start comparing and equating India’s and Pakistan’s treatment of their minorities — be carefulRecommend

  • Np

    Dadri lynching was a case of bigotry and vigilantism, no different from the Safoora Goth killlings in Karachi or the honor killings in all parts of the Pakistan or killing of the killing of the Sialkot boys. Dadri lynching was not state sponsored and the killers are in jail.

    No one is killed while praying in mosques in India nor are Ahmadis constitutuonally declared kafirs.Recommend

  • Gp65

    To claim that a theory that says Hindus and Muslims are two nations who cannot be yoked together is not based on religion is laughable.

    The fact that Mandal returned to India in 1951 shows that at least in 1951 Pakistan had not remained liberal.Recommend

  • Gp65

    Please listen to the speech in 1940 Lahore session.Recommend

  • Muhammad Zeshan Akram

    On this blog, I will rather say, this is the typical manifestation of secular radicalization. All leftist writers in Pakistan, always try to blame Islamic figures on current chaotic situation. Haven’t likes of Ayub Khan, Jhangir Khan and Pervaiz Musharraf any role in gifting us today’s situation. I don’t know what kind of country you people want it to be.
    In addition, let me correct you on some facts:
    First of all, Mr. Jinnah is proclaimed in PAKISTAN as Quaid-e-Azam, I wonder if your height of secularism has loosen grip on memories. Secondly, even in USA, a prime minister’s sect should be close to Roman catholic, how can this constitution’s clause can be challenged in country like ours?

    In conclusion, it is my request to all seculars to stop hating Isla- mists on face value. They don’t incite or condone any misbehavior. Instead, they are repeatedly used by other players like generals and feudals. Do your research in this topic also, I believe, you will wonder to the know the fact.Recommend

  • Kamil

    Jinnah actually later said in Febuary 1948 that

    “I do not know what the ultimate shape of this constitution is going to be” ( he had addressed them in August 11), and went on to say “Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and Parsis , but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan.”

    In any case ,YLH, I think it’s better off that you stop arguing with every commentator. Recommend

  • rtnguy

    I am sorry but you represent a class of pakistanis and muslims who simply are blind to realityRecommend

  • rtnguy

    Let us see
    1) Namaste
    2) Bindi and Sindoor
    3) Worshipping shiva and shakti
    4) Yoga
    5) Swastika
    The list is even more . Do u want me to continueRecommend

  • siesmann

    Islam might be neutral,Muslims are not. They are and have been fundamentalists. Muslims have always strayed (and stayed)from Quran(at least the one you want others to believe)Recommend

  • siesmann

    Whatever the vision of founding father,Pakistan has increasingly become Mullahized over years. And now Mullah is firmly installed/established ,in every facet of life. He is the final arbiter on everything over experts who have studied their respective fields all their life.It is improbable,if not completely impossible to uninstall him off of his position. He has all the tools of persuasion and intimidation at his disposal.Recommend

  • rationalist

    My comment was on the heading that you selected for the article.

    With due respect, you seem to feign ignorance, of the core ideology behind the “two nation” theory. The enunciation. “Muslims were a nation entitled to joint governance of their common motherland ” is a ruse of a statement.

    The TN ideology never accepted the principle of secular equality and the equality of all votes. It was designed as a subterfuge to declare independent muslim state after 10 years.

    Please note that I do appreciate your personal liberal ethos and points of view in general. My main point is that the conception and execution and start of Pakistan was never a liberal agenda.Recommend

  • Khan Saab

    i guess you havent read the history that well…Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    We have seen many Islamists say this. Islam is this, it is that. Lets impose Sharia, it is fair and will benefit mankind. Isn’t this what Muslim Brotherhood was saying?

    Jinnah is no different. Recommend

  • Waleed

    It turned Islamic when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto turned it Islamic.Recommend

  • Paki Terrorist

    What are Shia, Sunni, Ahmadia, Ismaili, Bohra, Mohajirs, Hazaras and so on … ?? .. what are these, if not divisions … ??Recommend

  • Bana Post

    Jinnah sahib could have committed suicide if he happened to see present PakistanRecommend

  • Fix_NY

    Jinnah also gave direct action call in August 1946 to create religious divide ,he used religious leader for electioneering that rake communal passion, his letter to Muslim peer where he promised to make Pakistan on the line of Islam. Mandal submitted his resignation letter to Liaqat Ali Khan,who was Jinnah’s closest confident. Mandal accused at that time of forced conversions and attempts to squeeze Hindus out of Pakistan.Please read Jinnah’s own explanation of Two Nation Theory were he clearly says that Hindu & Muslim can not live together as they have different Hero like at present Burhan Wani is Terrorist for India and Freedom Fighter for Pakistan.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    In Dadri people lynched a thief who had stolen a calf from his neighbours and ate it. Lynching thieves is not a uncommon incident in the subcontinent. Have you forgotten the lynching of Mughees and Muneeb Butt?Recommend

  • Gratgy

    Lol! There was no division of Sind and Hind. Persians who conquered Sindh had a tendency to replace S with H and hence the origin of the word Hind. YRecommend

  • Mike Pilgrim

    Those items were adopted by copycat Hindus from the Sindhi Indus Valley Civilization. Hindus have been struggling and failed to explain the Sindhi Indus Valley Civilization, its motifs of bearded men and bulls, which are completely unique to ancient Sindh. I am aware of some Hindu efforts to compare the Moenjodaro, Harappa languages to ancient Sanskrit, however those attempts are failures, about as successful as arguing Arabic is the same as ancient Phoenician.Recommend

  • Mike Pilgrim

    Those labels are remnants of the Hindu caste system, which Hindu beliefs remain in part in Pakistan, despite calling themselves”Muslim” The evidence of Hindu practices by Muslims is very clear when you observe “Muslim” weddings in India and Pakistan. Recommend

  • Agha

    “Secondly, even in USA, a prime minister’s sect should be close to Roman catholic,” USA has a PRIME MINISTER!!! Oh boy, that is some next level misinformation you have managed there. But let me tell you; you are fooling no one but yourself if you believe the lie you just told.Recommend

  • Mike Pilgrim

    Are you saying the word Hind, reflects the fact that it was Sindh? You have broken the back of any claim for the existence of Hind or Hindustan. Luckily for you, your claim is your conjecture unsupported by facts. The division into Sind and Hind represented the people of the sons of Som and Hom, part of the mythology of the subcontinent. Recommend

  • Paki Terrorist

    By that logic the Muslims still practice “remanants of the Hindu caste system” … therefore are not Muslims …. and by the way which of these divisions do you belong ??Recommend

  • rtnguy

    So u can copy a whole culture. How foolish. Which means that pakistanis should now speak arabic as islam came from arabia. The culture was not copied, the people of harappa migrated en masse to ganga valley due to change in weather and river flows. Obviously they will carry their culture to that region. . As for beards and bulls, all hindu sadhus have beards and bull nandi is a motif of shiva who is the part of trinity of gods in hnduism. There goes your logic of difference between sindh and hind. Recommend

  • Mike Pilgrim

    Typical Hindu response, so backward as a result of stone age beliefs, expects everyone to be as backward as himself. Recommend

  • hye sun ku

    We all know no country, well except for Nordic countries, is close to equality, justice and peace! so cut the crap, and accept your flaws so that you can work toward fixing them. Neither India nor Pakistan is Switzerland for Christ’s sake! so stop pretending that you are! Pakistan has problems (social imbalance, infringement of rights of minorities, economic dependence, etc etc) but India has problems too (increasing inequality, sexual harassment, rape, gang wars and crimes, Hindu-Muslim riots, Hindu-Christian riots etc etc)! Slaughtering of a cow is banned because majority of people worship cows! Rights of Dalits are infringed every day! they are regarded ‘untouchables’ for Christ’s sake! what kinda freedom and equality is that! just like USA (racism), just like China (freedom of speech), just like Korea (social imbalance and homeless elders) and just like any other country that is not a welfare State. Just because your media is adept at covering your flaws, deficiencies in your system and manipulate almost everything doesn’t mean you are the heaven of social justice in Asia or in the World! Why are you pointing figures at each other? if you are to distance yourselves from the perpetrators of extremism and social injustice then you must unite and fight it together. It is really deplorable how both sides, India and Pakistan, mock, deride and humiliate each other for issues they know plague their societies as well! There is no ‘comparison’ of injustice that rules both countries and many other countries so stop comparing and start uniting!!!Recommend

  • hye sun ku
  • hye sun ku
  • Gratgy

    Lol no one ever contended that Hindu word emerged from the word Sindhu. it is even mentioned in the Mahabharata where Jayadratha was the ruler and took active role in the battle.
    The word Hindu were coined by the Persians who could not pronounce S. According to Gavin Flood, “The actual term ‘Hindu’ first occurs as a Persian geographical term for the people who lived beyond the river Indus (Sanskrit: Sindhu)”,] more specifically in the 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I (550–486 BCE). The term ‘Hindu’ in these ancient records is a geographical term and did not refer to a religion.[ Among the earliest known records of ‘Hindu’ with connotations of religion may be in the 7th-century CE Chinese text Record of the Western Regions by Xuanzang, and 14th-century Persian text Futuhu’s-salatin by ‘Abd al-Malik Isami

    The Arabic term for the region was Al hind. Recommend

  • siesmann

    “Secondly, even in USA, a prime minister’s sect should be close to Roman catholic, how can this constitution’s clause can be challenged in country like ours?”

    For one thing USA doesn’t have PMs but Presidents.
    Secondly there was no roman catholic President until JF Kennedy became President,and Protestants fought hard to stop him.Only requirement to be President in USA is he /she should have been born in USA..
    Don’t rely on Mullah-fabricated history. They are never right.Recommend

  • disqus_MKeynes

    The real facts are:

    Jinnah was a intellectual but also an opportunist who wanted power and was prepared to use religion. When he lost Punjab election (I think 1921 or thereabouts), he got a chock as he was expecting to won from Muslim votes. He then laid a plan with guaranteed Muslim votes in each province in India which Gandhi and Nehru rightly rejected as it would have lead to negation of democracy and huge separatism issues later on. He also did not accept the Prime Minsitership of united India that Gandhi offered and Nehru was prepared to give up his claim upon.

    Jinnah was envisioning greater role for himself (that of Governor General) knowing fully well that Indi had asked Mountbatten to continue as its Governor General post independence. When that failed, he called for Direct action movement knowing full well the mayhem it will cause just because he wanted to use his bargaining power with British before they left the scene. Once Pakistan was formed and he became its Governor General . so his party Muslim league, his politics of Direct Action etc were all religion based.

    He also gladly played into the hands of wealthy Muslim Punjabi elites who held large land holdings from British raj rewards for ‘sucxing up’ to them. Nehru had already announced his plans in advance to abolish land holdings, takeover of private units etc..this was another big reason by Pakistani elites to go for a separate country to retain their advantages so that they could rule over the rest as they imagined themselves to be scions of erstwhile Mughal rulers of India.

    If Jinnah was secular, he would not have imposed Urdu language over 99% Bengali speaking population.

    He would not have sent in tribals to attack Kashmir to take over simply because Muslims resided there.

    His 1947 speech was a mixture of grandstanding knowing fully well that it will be carried across the world by airwaves and also he being an intellectual, western-read man that he was, he knew he was guilty of leading millions of people up a garden path which was wrong and full of bloodshed. He was probably trying to do some course correction but it was a losing battle giving the choices he made earlier, positions he had already taken and company that he kept.Recommend

  • disqus_MKeynes

    You too Latif !! Dont treat sporadic exception scenarios of a large country with large population same as regular, citizen backed, constitution backed scenarios in Pakistan. What happens in India more as exceptions are not due to flaws in its constitution but due to governance ineffectiveness and illiteracy.Recommend

  • disqus_MKeynes

    the whole of Pakistan came out to cry for Mumtaz Qadree at his death, almost all lawyers came out in support of Mumtaz Qadri at his jail sentencing and lawyers association even garlanded him, not a single Mullah was ready to lead prayers at Punjab governor’s funeral. Is this what you call equality or respect for all religions?Recommend

  • disqus_MKeynes

    Evolution and tradition are not mutually exclusiveRecommend

  • disqus_MKeynes

    “little to differentiate” !!!! when there is so much.

    1) Constitution that has always been sacrosanct
    2) Liberal peaceful, people who believe in non-violence
    3) Seculrarism
    4) Democracy
    5) Equality
    6) Freedom
    7) Justice
    8) Approach of Non alignment & Pancsheel (example of great & independent foreign policy)
    9) Multi cultural India
    10) United India where every citizen is an Indian firstRecommend

  • disqus_MKeynes

    11) Development & progress in every field (not a few selected areas)Recommend