Pakistan: The state and the CII


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? 


Sabina Khan

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

1 reply

  1. A very good writing by Sabina Khan. The history of state interfering in the religion is very old. It goes back many centuries to a time of King Nimrod (?) who was using religion for politics. He argued with Hazrat Ibraheem a.s. about the Great Lord. He tried to punish Ibraheem a.s. on the basis of his faith. Allah delivered Ibraheem a.s. from the hands of King.

    Then we have a good example of the King Pharaoh of Egypt who tried to be the great Lord. He said “Ana rabbu kum ul A’ala. = I am your great Lord.” He tried to hold Israelis in Egypt against their will.
    Israelis under the command of Musa a.s. were delivered to safety by the will of Allah.

    The problem gets multiplied when the corrupt rulers (politicians) use religion for their dirty politics. They try to take double advantage.
    People have love for religion. That is natural. The politicians use the love of religion of the people to gain power (votes). While they themselves have no real attachment with the right religion.

    Shariyat is not bad but people do not understand it. The present condition of the Mullas in Pakistan (and elsewhere) is like that described in the Quran in chapter 62:6 shown below:
    [62:6] The likeness of those who were given the task to bear the law of Torah, but they did not bear it, is as the likeness of an ass carrying a load of books. Evil is the likeness of the people who reject the Signs of Allah. And Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.

    The present day example of Muslim clergy is like a donkey who is loaded with many books. The donkey with many books cannot be a scholar.
    If any one really understood Islam, the Shariyat is not bad. But, still why to meddle religion into politics in a multi-faith society? Establishing peace through Justice is the best course.
    The Judges (in courts) are supporting the constitution. But what is in the constitution? If constitution is bad then the judges cannot do any good.

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