Was Jinnah wrong?

Source: Dawn

MANY who listened to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s maiden speech on Aug 19 would not have failed to note the striking similarities in his address and the Quaid-i-Azam’s oft-quoted speech of Aug 11, 1947. That’s not really surprising, given that Khan described Jinnah as his role model, one who practised politics with a mission. Both speeches expressed deep concern at the prevalence of corruption and the absence of justice for the poor. They also spoke of the need to address the welfare of the common man.

But on one vital issue they differed: the status of religious minorities. Imran Khan touched on this in passing, in the context of the rule of law and everyone, including the minorities, being equal before it.

The Quaid, on the other hand, was more emphatic regarding the role of religious minorities and dwelt on the subject in a substantial way. He categorically declared, “You are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or any other place of worship … You may belong to any religion … that has nothing to do with the business of the state”. He hoped that ultimately this equality would lead to “Hindus [ceasing] to be Hindus” and “Muslims [ceasing] 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”.

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2 replies

  1. A well but cautiously written article. May be there are grey areas for writer or for newspaper. Take example of all the countries of the world. None has constitutional discrimination for its citizens on the basis of religion. This aspect is unique with Pakistan. What ever one feels can write but as long the amended religious clauses in Pakistan constitution prevail nothing will happen. Once Rana Sanaullah ex Law Minister of Punjab while giving interview to TV of Ahmadiyya community opined that he does not see any possibility for removal of these clauses from Pakistani Constitution. Every body talks of Qaide Azam and quotes his speech but it does not go beyond lip service. So as long no courageous ruler comes to abrogate these religion clauses all will be just a lip service.

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