The establishment of one religion as the state religion to the exclusion of others diminishes equality of citizens of other faith. How can Pakistan be a democracy if all citizens are not treated equally?
Within a decade of the nation’s inception, the 1956 Constitution declared Pakistan an Islamic Republic. It also deemed Islam the official religion of the country. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the patron of the 1973 Constitution, took it a step further and declared Islam the state religion. An amendment was also added to the Constitution a year later which proclaimed Ahmadis non-Muslims.
Bhutto’s government went on to make Islamiat compulsory in schools and banned alcohol in Pakistan. Ultimately, his government’s policies led to the empowerment of Islamist groups. Add in Ziaul Haq’s inclusion of the Objectives Resolution to the Constitution and Pakistan’s destiny was on a treacherous path. Zia managed to indoctrinate religion into the society, media, armed forces and universities. Politicians have relied on religion since that point to garner votes which encourages extremism to seep even deeper into the societal fabric of Pakistan.
The 1973 Constitution, a consensus document, is full of contradictions. For instance, Article 25 states that all citizens are equal under the law, whereas Article 2 declares Islam the state religion… read more at tribune.com.pk