My religion is not the business of the state

Source: Daily Times

This last week when the Electoral Reforms Bill was introduced, someone — someone who is gifted with both heart and a first rate brain — removed the ‘religious oath’ from the bill. It was about time. What kind of nation state in the 21st century is still bothered by what the personal faith of an individual is? Need I remind you of what the founder and maker of this country, Jinnah, — “You may belong to any religion caste or creed- that has nothing to do with the business of the state”.

Why then in God’s name are my religious beliefs then the business of this ‘Islamic’ constitution imposed on us by those in the National Assembly of 1973?

One of these constitution makers, Ahmad Raza Kasuri, made quite a scene in Islamabad High Court two weeks ago after his cell phone rang during court proceedings. He refused to turn the phone in screaming at the judge “I am the founding father of the constitution, how dare you take my phone away”. Yes he is many of the founding fathers of the so-called ‘Islamic’ Constitution.

Pakistan will not progress — whatever we imagine its founding myth to be — unless it separates religion from state completely and uncompromisingly

Another founding father of the Constitution was Maulah Bux Soomro, brother of Allah Bux Soomro, the arch pro-Congress “secular politician” who presided over conferences of Ahrars and Momins in Delhi against the Muslim League some time before the Hurs got rid of him for killing Pir Pagaro. Maula Bux Soomro would take special pleasure in abusing and attacking Jinnah and who later, quite appropriately, became chief advisor to Martial Law dictator General Ziaul Haq. He had wanted his son Illahi Bux Soomro to become the Prime Minister instead of Muhammad Khan Junejo.

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