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Ideology of Pakistan

21 June, 2010

By Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)


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It was indeed brave of Ghazi Salahuddin to stir a sensitive subject like  “Induction of Religion in Politics” and thereby obliquely question the efficacy of Islamisation of Pakistan in his article “Nawaz Sharif’s Chance”  “The News” Sunday June 13th . He advised MNS against being an Ameer ul Momineen if he is elected PM for the third time and keep the state and religion separate from each other.  I agree with him. Much is talked about the Nazria e Pakistan (Ideology of Pakistan) by our intellectuals – pseudo as well as genuine, and it has become fashionable to paint it in an Islamic hue. 

I am 80 and saw Pakistan coming into being. Though Islam was used extensively in uniting the Muslims of the sub-continent and to expound the Two Nation Theory yet, nowhere did I witness any kind of religiosity in the party and public meetings of All India Muslim League during the entire Pakistan movement. Not a single meeting – party or public - ever started with what to talk of recitation from holy Qura’n followed by a Na’at or Hamd even with the Bismillah ar Rahman ur Rahim. At the most a poem of Hali, Hasrat Mohani or Iqbal appropriate to the occasion was recited to start the proceedings.

The reader is requested not to misconstrue it as something anti-Islam. It was just not the practice then. Islam was in the hearts and not on the lips. May I, therefore, ask those who say now and say it emphatically too that Pakistan was created for Islam,  was Islam in any kind of danger in the united India and Pakistan had to be created to save it?  If it were so then why did the religious parties and almost all the ulema and mushaikh oppose its creation? A very important question arises here. Did an accomplished and astute politician like Jinnah not know the power of the pulpit?  Could he not measure the damage they could cause and were actually doing to the League’s political efforts by alienating them? Why did he not, therefore, try to draw them into the ambit of his political struggle? The answer that comes to my mind is simply because he knew that once the clerics were given some space in a political arena, how so ever small it may be, they would expand it to its entirety. Once religion, more so Islam, is mentioned in any context no one would dare say even a word remotely at variance with it.  They (ulema) would prevail upon the innocent masses in the name of Islam and dictate their diktats to the extent that the religion will overshadow the governance in its all spheres. And,  he did not want theocracy in Pakistan about which he had made his thoughts amply clear to all at many an occasion. Therefore, Pakistan was NOT created for Islam in that sense but to ameliorate the socio-economic lot of the down trodden Muslims of India.

Next, we have to examine if the Islamic Ideology was given to us by the founding fathers?  If yes, then why was Pakistan not named The Islamic State of Pakistan to start with on its inception on August 14th, 1947?  Not only that, why did Quaid have Dr. Jugandar Nath Mandal as his Law Minister?  Imagine, the law minister of an Islamic state being a non-Muslim Hindu and that too of the lowest caste !  Why was Sir Zafar ullah Khan – a known Ahmadi – appointed as the Foreign Minister of the newly born  “Islamic” state of Pakistan?  Did Quaid not know of the bias against the Ahmadis in the Muslim world, particularly amongst the Muslim Arab countries?  Why was CE Gibbons – a Christian - elected as the Deputy Speaker of the Constituent assembly – the constituent assembly that was to frame the constitution for the “Islamic” state of Pakistan?  Why did Quaid say what he did in his August 11, 1947 speech ---  Hindus will cease to be Hindus and Muslims shall cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense but in the political sense ----?  Also, please note what else did he talk of in his ever first address as the first President of the Constituent Assembly of sovereign Pakistan? The very first thing that came to his mind was Law & Order, next Corruption, then Black Marketering & Hoarding, then Nepotism and Jobbery and finally a word of advice to all those who had opposed Pakistan to accept it now that it had become a reality. Not a word about Islam or anything Islamic in his entire speech of 45 minutes or so!  This all could not have been there just co-incidentally!

Let’s examine a few more historical facts connected with the Pakistan movement to clarify our thoughts more. Is it not a fact that Quaid wooed the Sikhs to side with Pakistan instead of India? Had they opted for Pakistan and the Punjab with all its Hindu and Sikh population not divided and its boundary extended up to Shahdara on the home bank of Jumna with Delhi across on its other bank, would Pakistan still have been an Islamic state in the strict sense?  Next, we all know of the Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946, dividing India into a Confederation of three Zones, A, B & C.  A zone comprising of Assam and undivided full Bengal.  Zone B comprising of present Pakistan with undivided Punjab. And, Zone C comprising of Central (or remaining) India. Imagine, Quaid and the Muslim League accepted it. Again, mercifully Congress didn’t agree to it and we got Pakistan.  Had Congress also agreed to the Confederation of United India, where would have been Pakistan and its (Islamic) ideology?  And, mind you it was to happen in 1946 – six years after the Lahore (Pakistan) Resolution and the struggle for Pakistan and only a year before the actual birth of Pakistan!  If Pakistan were to be created for Islam, would the founding fathers have agreed to the Cabinet Mission Plan? 

From the above it is amply clear that Pakistan was neither created for Islam nor did the founding fathers give it an Islamic Ideology for us to follow it blindly. Pakistan was, however,  certainly created in the name of Islam but for the amelioration of the Musalmanan e Hind.  Islam was never in any danger in the pre-partitioned India.  It were the down trodden Muslims of India who were badly oppressed by the non-Muslims and needed a socio-economic amelioration for their survival. If Pakistan was created for Islam, why is there not-with-standing The Objectives Resolution  any Islamic centre of authority in it even after 63 years of its existence?  Would we all follow the Islamic verdict given by the Banuri Town Karachi, the Makhdooms and Pirs of Hala, Hur or Multan, the Maulanas of  Okara, Akora or DI Khan, or the Popalzeis of Peshawar who in any case rarely see eye to eye with the rest of country’s clergy.  As a matter of fact, the real centres of authority are still in India - at  Deoband and Breilli for the most and at Qum, Al-Azhar and Saudi Arabia for the others.

Next, the question arises should we have an ideology for Pakistan – Islamic or otherwise?  But before we delve into it let’s see as to how did this expression “Ideology of Pakistan” come into being. During the first fifteen years of Pakistan nobody knew or used the term Ideology of Pakistan, till in 1962 Maulvi Abdul Bari of Jama’t Islami used the term for the first time when the political parties bill was under discussion.  Chaudhry Fazal Illahi, who later became the president of Pakistan objected to it and asked as to what was meant by it.  The mover of the bill said that the ideology of Pakistan was Islam.  That was that. Nobody raised any objection or asked for further explanation and the bill was passed.

Naturally no one raised any questions.  Who could dare do so and invite the wrath of the clerics calling him a heretic, a murtad and what not ?! That’s how we got the Islamic Ideology for Pakistan.  Thanks to Jama’t e Islami, the party who had opposed the very creation of Pakistan gave it the ideology and started dictating Islamisation of the country.

Coming back to having an ideology or not raises an important question. Can we subordinate the acquisition of knowledge to any ideology?  If we do, would we not  restrict the field of knowledge only to what the ideology teaches us? The ideology has to run through a groove or a defined channel and does not permit one to go out of it. Europe and the West suffered from the Christian dogma for centuries. To them the earth was flat and centre of the universe. Sun revolved around it. Galileo had to face an inquisition tribunal for having expounded a theory opposed to the Christian ideology. The object of education is to acquire knowledge, knowledge of everything, of universe, the space, the remotest nebula, the oceans and the seas. Now if we subordinate the acquisition of knowledge to any ideology, political, economic, or religious, we reduce the field of knowledge because it imposes limitations on human intellect and its activities.

Never-the-less education was subordinated to the so-called Islamic Ideology and, the zealots in the process did quite a damage to Pakistan.  A case in point is the education imparted in madressas. It does not inculcate quest for knowledge among the students there. Their young and impressionable minds are ingrained with the thought that only their creed is based on truth. All other faiths and creeds are manifestations of evil. For this the curriculum was redesigned and textbooks rewritten to promote the ideology of Pakistan and create the monolithic image of Pakistan as an Islamic state. Muslims were the only citizens of Pakistan, others could also live if they wanted. Forgotten was the fact that Pakistan is a multi-lingual, multi-ethnic and multi religious society. Non-Muslims are an integral part of it. Many of them having contributed to the image, stature and wellbeing of the country.

The process is not confined to the madressas only but even the secondary school text books of regular institutions contain fantasies like the Pak army soldiers laying themselves in front of the Indian tanks with mines tied to their chests in Chawinda 1965 war (implying to attain Shahadat -- ) Soldiers from outer world  (angels) dressed in green with swords in hand were seen fighting alongside the Pak army in 1965 etc.!  When the rest of the world is invading  space, travelling to moon and the mars,  we are being taken back 1500 years in the name of Islam and Islamic ideology for Pakistan.

The bottom line is, please do have Islam but as a personal matter and not that of state.  There are no two views that Islam is the best religion, the ultimate, the universal and most beneficial to the humanity. It is our heritage and a proud one too. But for God’s sake do not confine it to the medieval and fifteen century old religion only.  Keep it abreast of time, as ordained in the holy book. Let’s draw on Qura’n to fashion (I am intentionally not using the word ‘mould’ which smacks of restrictions) our lives commensurate with the progress of the mankind.  And, Pakistan will soon INSHALLAH be the envy of the most developed nation on this planet.

 

Reader Comments:

How long the world should wait?

Mr.Col.Riaz. Your dream is Indians dream as well. We can live in peace. But the current rank of Pakistan as a failed state is 10.So..lets pray to God.

Sanj, Pakistan - 22 June, 2010

Why NOT?

Sir,
I ask of you a simple question. Below, is a statement you've made in the article "There are no two views that Islam is the best religion, the ultimate, the universal and most beneficial to the humanity."
.
Considering it at its face-value and that its true in every sense, please explain this next statement,
"The bottom line is, please do have Islam but as a personal matter and not that of state."
.
Since ISLAM is the ULTIMATE, and MOST BENEFICIAL TO HUMANITY - why *restrict* it to just PERSONAL LIFE and not that of state?
.
I'm a Hindu and currently not in India. If Quran is to be used to fashion/ mould our lives - why do you want to ditch it for *secular* or other *western* concepts for administration/ government & army?
.
As a Hindu, I find it amusing that you term my religion as 'not the best, not the ultimate, not the universal and not the most beneficial one to humanity' - and yet seem to somewhere think you are respecting me & my religion.
.
Sir, while I have no qualms in accepting your fantasies about Islam being this & that - I find it detestable that you'd insult my religion - since obviously Hinduism cannot be THE BEST - if Islam is already THE BEST - in your perspective.
.
First - to your own self - admit that Islam (if it is a religion) is EQUAL to any other religion - and if it is THE BEST then every other religion is also THE BEST.
.
Do you have the spine to admit that, sir? Make a response on this site and state that Christianity, Hindusim, Buddhism, Taoism, Zoroastrainism, Baha'i, Paganism - are ALL BEST RELIGIONS, THEY'RE ALL THE ULTIMIATE, THEY'RE ALL THE UNIVERSAL AND THEY'RE ALL MOST BENEFICIAL TO HUMANITY.
.
If you cannot make a statement like that - then obviously you're as much of a hate-infested Islamic Mullah/ Moulvi/ Peer or the current joker (Peace TV Naik) - NOTHING MORE THAN THAT.
.
Adios - or should I say Shiva-hafiz or Brahma-hafiz? Obviously not Allah-hafiz - need I remind you I'm a KAFIR in the eyes of you, your people and your administration/ army/ ISI/ TTP, etc etc etc.

NarayaN, Hungary - 22 June, 2010

Ideology of Pakistan

So true, does anybody care today.

dv, United Kingdom - 22 June, 2010

Islam Khatre mai he

What are you talking about.
Its always the brainwashing of mullas maulavis of greater india with a statement Islam khatare mai he, created a public opinion of hatred. It is same now haunting to pakistan. If you look at any congress/ or even hindu mahasabha leaders explaination of polity in new india, you will find that everybody was saying religion and state matters are apart.
Then how could seperate nation became the trump card for jinnah. Stop fooling yourself and entire muslim quam. Root cause is hatred sowed in "islam khatre mai hai".



Mahesh Kulkarni, Pakistan - 22 June, 2010

Well written article. Wish all religious fanatics of Pakistan read and understand the point the author is trying to arrive at. Also the army should read and understand it.


srinivasan, Hungary - 22 June, 2010

THE IDEOLOGY

Well said Col Jafri.
You along with Anwaar Hussain are the only two sane contributors to this paper

j.narula, Hungary - 23 June, 2010

Response to Why Not

Dear Narayn
Normally I do not respond to comments on my writings as it leads to a dialogue. This is the first and probably the last time I am doing so.

My stating Islam being the best was essentially for the Muslims with whom it is matter of belief. As far I am concerned ALL religions are good and no religion in the world preaches hate or harm to mankind in any way. Various Prophets (Messengers of Allah, Ram, Bhagwan, Eeshwar - call whatever you like - but He must be ONE with no one sharing anything with Him) sent various Prophets (Messengers) at various times in history. According to our belief, and it looks logically too, each succeeding religion incorporated all the good of previous religions and added some fresh goodness as well needed by the era it was revealed in. Islam being the last religion in the line of divine religions, we believe that it has all that other previous religions had too. Since it is theb last religion it will extend up to the last day (dooms day) and as such it is ultimate. So would most other religions be unless any of them suffers extinction. As it can be practised any where in the world and space we think it to be universal. Please do not misconstrue me if I say there was a time in Hinduism when travel across the sea was forbidden.

Dear Narayan, I am sorry for causing you anguish, which was never intended.

Regarding my asking to keep the state and religion separate, it is because unfortunately the present day Islam has many sects and they could create conflict and problems. So, till we resolve our superficial and petty sectarian differences amongst ourselves, it would be better to keep the religion as personal affair. It will also be good for the non-Muslims residing in Pakistan.

Please accept my apologies for causing you any offence inadvertently.

Best Regards
Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)


Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd), Pakistan - 24 June, 2010

Dear Col Jafri,
I am a retired Indian Army officer, writing for the first time to my counterpart across the border since I found your above article to be excellent and highly informative. You do have a deep and intricate knowledge of political happenings before partition and I fully agree with your analysis of separating politics from religion. What has happened in Lahore about a month back has saddened us also. One of my friend(course-mate) who is from Ahmedi community sent me a mail stating that he considers himself lucky and thanks Allah to be born in India and also there is no Taleban type movement here.

Pakistan should take a cue from India where people of different religions, castes and creeds live under one roof with peace and harmony. I feel your rulers must re-launch Pakistan as a secular state after taking all right minded people like your good self and opposition into confidence. Religious extremism and inequality breeds violence and slows progress of a country. Situation in Pakistan is too complicated and alarming, therefore steps like changing curriculum in Madressas and text books, banning hatred sermons against particular communities and sects from Mosques etc etc must be undertaken at the earliest. Pl do reply.
Warm regards and best wishes.
COL R S JOHAR RETD
INDIA


COL R S JOHAR RETD, Hungary - 24 June, 2010

My reply to Col. Johar.

Dear Col. Johar:

Assuming your good name to be Ranbir Singh Johar, allow me to greet you with Sat Sri Akal.

It was indeed a pleasant surprise to hear from a comrade in arms though from across the border, more so because I could somehow read between the lines a message and a piece of sincere advice in it for the betterment of Pakistan. Col. Johar, thank you for wishing us well.

Yes, it is unfortunate that sectarian and religious strife has been going on for sometime now in Pakistan. What happened in Lahore is really condemnable and it gives us all a ray of hope that the incident was condemned unequivocally by all segments of society here. Killing of innocent people and that too at a place of worship cannot be by any stretch of imagination permitted in Islam - the religion of peace. And the irony is that the perpetrators of such heinous crimes claim to do it in the name of Islam! Could there be anything more preposterous than it?!

I am glad to know that your Ahmedi colleague feels better and safer being in India and probably he has a reason to think it so. Unfortunately, the distrust between our two neighbouring countries has been hyped so much by the politicians and to some extent by the media on both sides that such statements look strange. Minds of the people over here are much affected by incidents like 2002 killings in Gujrat, the Godhra train carnage and the role played by Colonels Purohit and Jayant in it, demolition of Babri mosque, the threats and the utterance of Bal Thakery and likes and of all the persons even Advani (Karachi born) reducing Pakistan to nothingness (May 1998 after Pokhran detonations by India). The images of Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal, RSS, Mahasabha etc. are anything than savoury here. We have our share of such parties and religious and political good for nothing braves too and Qazi Hussain Ahmed (ex- Ameer Jamaat Islami) bragged about flying the Pakistan flag on Red Fort Delhi – God alone know how? So, my dear Sir, better sense has to prevail on both side, though admittedly we need it a little more than you. There is a reason for it also, if you come to analyse it a little dispassionately. You may come to the conclusion that Pakistan being a smaller country has reasons to be apprehensive of its bigger neighbour. Whatever, we may call it, the fact remains that India did dismember Pakistan in 71. Col. Johar you may be a post-partition born officer but if dig a little deeper you will find Pakistan to have been wronged on a number of occasions before 71 also. It was created on the night 14/15 August 1947 but its boundaries were announced three days later on 17th August 1947. Imagine a country coming into existence but without any borders! What happened in those three fateful days is the bone of contention till today between the neighbours. G! urdaspur district was divided to provide India with a land route link to Kashmir. Feroze Pur district was divided to give Fazilka, Abohr and Head Sulemanki to India. To this day we are fighting each other over Kashmir and God alone knows for how long we would keep on doing it. Just imagine the amount of colossal resources both countries are wasting on the upkeep of their armed forces – Billions and Billions every year for the past 63 years!!. If only all this money had been spent instead on the welfare of the masses on both sides, imagine where would we have been today among the comity of the nations? India is too big a country that it cannot survive without Kashmir. Whereas, Col Johar I beseech you to think it coolly and be fair, can Pakistan live without it? Would not the giants like Baghilar and drying out of Chenab render the fertile lands of the plains of our Punjab into desert? Why is India doing it to us?. What options do we have or let me ask you, what would you have done had it happened to you?

Kindly think over it and let’s resolve such bones of contention and live and let live peacefully.

Warm Regards
Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)
Rawalpindi, Pakistan.


Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd), Pakistan - 24 June, 2010

Salam dear Riaz Jafri brother!

Really i have no word to appreciate you because there is lack of people who think each and every thing from every corner like you ...I am 100% agree with your every comment.....In wish Kashmir problem should be solve very soon because we can't live without it.....May ALLAH give us more strength to save that very country...AMEEN

HINA RUBAB, Pakistan - 10 March, 2013

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