Stories about Jinnah

Was Pakistan always destined to become an Islamic republic? – Part 2

This article is the second in a two part series which looks at pre-partition and post partition events that led up to Pakistan being declared an Islamic republic. Read part one here. ~ In the 1945 elections, although Thanvi had died, the Muslim League had the support of one of his protégés, another Deobandi scholar named Shabbir Ahmad Usmani. The ulema offered their help to the Muslim League and sent 24 scholars, including Hasrat Mohani,across Uttar Pradesh (UP) for campaigning. Mohani later became a member of the UP assembly. Usmani’s JUI lent their support to the League officially and Nawab Ismail Khan recognised the leadership ...

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Was Pakistan always destined to become an Islamic republic? – Part 1

This article is the first in a two part series which looks at pre-partition and post partition events that led up to Pakistan being declared an Islamic republic. Read part two here. ~ Saturday, 29 February 2020, will mark the 64th anniversary of the day when Pakistan was formally declared an Islamic republic. However, was Pakistan always destined to be a Muslim state? This was one of the critical questions faced by Pakistan’s founders and the subsequent leadership soon after the country’s independence in 1947. The question, however, was not new. Ever since the Muslim League’s Lahore Resolution of 1940 and Jinnah’s ...

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Why the struggle for a secular Pakistan was doomed from the very beginning

Pakistan has always tried to portray itself as a beacon of moderate Islam. However, the fact of the matter is, Pakistan at present stands at the cusp of becoming a populist theocracy. After his victory in the 2018 elections, Prime Minister Imran Khan highlighted his intention to restore the country to the glory of ‘Riyast-e-Madina’ during the time of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Slogans currently being raised by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf are somewhat similar to what the All India Muslim League propagated during the movement for independence; creating a state which gives Muslims supremacy. Therefore, campaigning in the name ...

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Is being a lawyer in Pakistan contingent upon one’s faith?

As Muslims, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that we treat non-Muslims residing in Pakistan fairly and with dignity and respect. It is therefore imperative that we safeguard the rights granted and guaranteed to them by both Islam and the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Unfortunately, we have collectively continued to do the very opposite of this, thereby actively violating not only the injunctions of Islam, but also the vision of our founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. However, before divulging on the disservice we are doing to Jinnah’s legacy, we must reflect upon the important role our ...

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Communism’s love-hate relationship with Pakistan

A sizable amount of literature suggests that the Left supported the Pakistan Movement. However, a deeper reading into the politics of the Left in the crucial last decade of the British Raj reveals a far more complex situation. In 1936, three young communists, namely ZA Ahmad, Sajjad Zaheer and Kunwar Muhammad Ashraf, upon the alleged instructions of the Communist Party of India (CPI) [1], joined the All India Congress Committee under Nehru’s presidency. Nehru had initiated the Muslim Mass-contact Programme (MMCP) to increase the Muslim members of Congress and had placed it under KM Ashraf. He and his two ...

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Kashmir proves why the Two Nation Theory was necessary

“Us Pakistani liberals have long defended India, so much so that it has almost become a reflex, but honestly an India that has sunk into such depths just cannot be defended: dishonest journalism, joke of a secularism, knee-jerk Hindutva reactionism.” Us Pakistani liberals have long defended India, so much so that it has almost become a reflex, but honestly an India that has sunk into such depths just cannot be defended: dishonest journalism, joke of a secularism, knee-jerk Hindutva reactionism. https://t.co/6pyrZW6yMP — Sabahat Zakariya (@sabizak) September 4, 2019 These words are so reflective of the way monumental and rapid changes in India ...

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Raja Changez Sultan: the sage artist behind the canvas

When I sat down with Raja Changez Sultan to talk about his journey as an artist and a poet, I was already in awe of him. I had been following his work, both poetry and painting, for many years. Seven years of my life were spent sitting under a beautiful large azure green and vivid blue canvas from his Himalayan Odyssey series. The beautiful canvas that hung on the wall of the international donor agency where I worked at that time was a welcome relief in that drab, grey, reticent building. “It has been wonderful for me. You live ...

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A presidential system will only ‘save’ Imran Khan, not Pakistan

A presidential system does not mean one person can wield unlimited power. Sorry to break this to those who have recently grasped on to the idea that a presidential system will somehow save Pakistan. If you want that kind of government structure, you’re looking for a dictatorship. Most advocates of a presidential system in Pakistan are hoping for an unchecked executive being granted limitless powers. A person above the petty politics of Parliament, and who – through their iron resolve – will steer Pakistan out of the choppy waters it has found itself in and on towards the shores of ...

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Mr and Mrs Jinnah: A story of love that wasn’t enough to save an ill-fated marriage

For the masses of the subcontinent (India and Pakistan), Sheela Reddy’s Mr and Mrs Jinnah tells the fascinating tale of a small yet poignant romance that some people might experience in life (if fortunate enough). The book explores some of the most vivid details of the lives of Rattanbai Jinnah (Ruttie) and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Jinnah’s political stalwart for projecting his career above communal rights, and the doomed marriage that ended in separation despite the unusual love that lived on. Colonialism and the pre-Partition history of the subcontinent still enthrall the minds of both the old and the young. Since the populations of both India ...

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From a great writer to a great a leader: How Manto came to terms with Jinnah’s passing

On the 142nd birth anniversary of Muhammad Ali Jinnah today, a little-known piece by the great Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto is being presented for the time in its original English translation. This piece is part of Manto’s published but uncollected writings that are only recently seeing the light of day. Though there is little or no evidence that the great writer ever met the great leader, this piece – originally published in the Daily ‘Imroz’ just three days after Jinnah’s death in September 1948 – crystallises the raw emotions of a writer in the aftermath of a national tragedy ...

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