Rediscovering the real ‘ideology’ of Pakistan: Why Secularism Failed?

Daily Times: The fact that politically motivated interpretations had divided the human race and had caused immense misery to countless people throughout the centuries was foolishly overlooked.

More than six decades since its creation, Pakistan is still searching for its lost soul, the soul that went missing when Jinnah passed away. How many of the youth of today have had the chance to go through Jinnah’s speech to the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947? A reading of this masterpiece is a must for all Pakistanis. The Quaid said: “If we want to make this great state of Pakistan happy and prosperous, we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well-being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor…We should begin to work in that spirit and in the course of time all these angularities of the majority and minority communities, the Hindu community and the Muslim community, because even as regards Muslims you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias, Sunnis and so on, and among the Hindus you have Brahmins, Vashnavas, Khatris, also Bengalis, Madrasis and so on, will vanish. Even now there are some states in existence where there are discriminations made and bars imposed against a particular class. Thank God, we are not starting in those days. 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. I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in the 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.”
Following his words, Jinnah unfolded cabinet appointments and sprang no surprise. In the country’s first cabinet, foreign affairs rested with Sir Mohammad Zafrullah Khan, law, justice and labour with Jogendra Nath Mandal, finance and statistics with Sir Victor Turner and minorities and women with Ms Sheila Irene Pant. No one dared to say at the time that Zafrullah Khan was an Ahmedi.
To the eyes and ears of the present generation who have been fed propaganda for many decades, Jinnah’s words and deeds may seem alien. Had Jinnah lived to see the constitution of the new state drafted, we would have had the most progressive of states and the most dynamic of people united in equality. Unfortunately, Jinnah’s untimely death let loose the forces of darkness that dared not confront him in his lifetime.
The Quaid had the right that his public funeral prayers be led by a Shia like himself but forces that had designs on Pakistan’s identity succeeded in denying him this right and made Shabbir Ahmad Usmani lead his funeral prayer. Syed Anisul Husnain, a Shia scholar, deposed that he had arranged the ghusl (bathing of the body) of the Quaid on the instructions of Miss Fatimah Jinnah and then led his private funeral prayer in a room of the Governor General’s House. After the Shia ritual, the body was handed over to the state. This was a very clever move that signalled the ascendancy of the hardliners. The vast majority of clerics who were at the forefront of the opposition to Pakistan took full benefit of the leadership crisis after Jinnah’s death. They avenged the shameful defeat of their lot at Jinnah’s hand by selling their ware to the first prime minister of Pakistan and prompted the tabling and subsequent passage of the Objectives Resolution in the Constituent Assembly. This resolution was to mark the future of today’s Pakistan. A number of members of the Constituent Assembly opposed the resolution on the grounds that it would make the state a theocracy.

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