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It is surprising that Ms Ayesha Jalal ...
Nov 2015

It is surprising that Ms Ayesha Jalal in her recent work The Struggle For Pakistan has implied the hope that 1947 onward Pakistan will go the way Mohammad Ali Jinnah had hoped in his 11 August speech to the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. To quote Mr. Jinnah : "You are free; you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed - that has nothing to do with the business of the State…..We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of the State….and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State".  

All those who are familiar with Islam realize that for a momin (faithful Muslim) state is political design of Islam just as a masjid or a mausoleum must have been a minimum of essential Islamic character. So much as an Islamic state has certain minimum characteristics. For example, sovereignty belongs to Allah, the Merciful. Sharia must be the law. All non-Muslim residents, being kafirs, would not be equal citizens.
Pakistan was conceived, demanded and granted exclusively on the basis of religion. Mr. Jinnah was the champion.  But for a temporary mental disconnect, what was the logic to his 11 August 1947 speech quoted above?  Whereas he should have been insisting on his own repeated demand for an exchange of populations so that all or most Muslims could gather in their newly won homeland and live there ever happy. He should have been contemplating how his colleagues in two different wings of the new country, would be integrated.  In fact, on his first visit to Dacca he declared that Urdu would be the only national language of Pakistan. To the East Pakistanis, Bengali was dearer than Islam. An extraordinary mental disconnect!
If anyone clearly thought through the future of Pakistan, she would have more or less foreseen the course her country's history in the last 50 or 60 odd years.


April 2017


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