Author: Chaudhry Faisal Hussain
THE concept of a Muslim state vis-à-vis its minorities, as envisaged by those that oversaw the creation of Pakistan and the members of the first Constituent Assembly, is hardly understood today.
In his Aug 11, 1947 speech, Mohammad Ali Jinnah delivered a message of freedom to not just Muslims but also the minorities living in the country.
Assuring them of equal status, he said famously: “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or 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 in the days where there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle: that we are all citizens, and equal citizens, of one state.”
Following this vision, the first Constituent Assembly adopted the Objectives Resolution which said that “adequate provision shall be made for the minorities to profess and practise their religions and develop their cultures.”