Justice Munir’s report (1954)

Raza Rumi

AH has been kind enough to share a document MunirReport_1953 of great historical value with us. The REPORT OF THE COURT OF INQUIRY CONSTITUTED UNDER PUNJAB ACT II OF 1954 TO ENQUIRE INTO THE PUNJAB DISTURBANCES OF 1953 authored by Justice Munir is a classic study in the core dilemmas of Pakistani state and society. Notwithstanding the controversial role of J. Munir, his secular moorings are all too clear and so is his firm stance against Mullahism, bigotry and courage not to be cowed down  by those who use faith to advance their personal and political agendas. We are uploading the full report.

What is then the Islamic State of which everybody talks but nobody thinks ?
Before we seek to discover an answer to this question, we must have a clear conception
of the scope and function of the State.
The ulama were divided in their opinions when they were asked to cite some
precedent of an Islamic State in Muslim history. Thus, though Hafiz Kifayat Husain, the
Shia divine, held out as his ideal the form of Government during the Holy Prophet’s time, Maulana Daud Ghaznavi also included in his precedent the days of the Islamic Republic, of Umar bin Abdul Aziz, Salah-ud-Din Ayyubi of Damascus, Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, Muhammad Tughlaq and Aurangzeb and the present regime in Saudi Arabia. Most of them, however, relied on the form of Government during the Islamic Republic from 632 to 661 A. D., a period of less than thirty years, though some of them also added the very short period of Umar bin Abdul Aziz. Maulana Abdul Haamid Badayuni stated that the details of the ideal State would be worked out by the ulama while Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari’s confused notion of an Islamic State may be gathered from the following portion of his interrogation :—

“Q.—Were you also in the Khilafat movement ?
Q.—When did the Khilafat movement stop in India ?
A.—In 1923. This was after the Turks had declared their country to be a secular
Q.—If you are told that the Khilafat movement continued long after the Turks had
abolished Khilafat, will that be correct?
A.—As far as I remember, the Khilafat movement finished with the abolition of
the Khilafat by the Turks.
Q.—You are reported to have been a member of the Khilafat movement and
having made speeches. Is it correct ?
A.—It could not be correct.
Q.—Was the Congress interested in Khilafat ?
A.— Yes.
Q.—Was Khilafat with you a matter of religious conviction or just a political
movement ?
A.— It was purely a religious movement.
Q.— Did the Khilafat movement have the support of Mr. Gandhi ?
Q.— What was the object of the Khilafat movement ?
A.— The Britisher was injuring the Khilafat institution in Turkey and the
Musalman was aggrieved by this attitude of the Britisher.
Q.— Was not the object of the movement to resuscitate the Khilafat among the
Musalmans ?
Q.— Is Khilafat with you a necessary part of Muslim form of Government ?
Q.— Are you, therefore, in favour of having a Khilafat in Pakistan ?
Q.— Can there be more than one Khalifa of the Muslims ?
A.— No.
Q.— Will the Khalifa of Pakistan be the Khalifa of all the Muslims of the world ?
A.— He should be but cannot be.”

Throughout the three thousand years over which political thought extends, and
such thought in its early stages cannot be separated from religion, two questions have
invariably presented themselves for consideration : —

(1) what are the precise functions of the State ? and
(2) who shall control the State ?


Filed under Pakistan

13 responses to “Justice Munir’s report (1954)

  1. Raza thanks for reminding us all, how we collectively embarked on the slippery slop of Islam.
    We spread hate against anyone who is “different” first Hindus,Sikhs,then Christians,Ahmedis and finally Shia and Barelvis are all considered dangerous by the state religion which is Deobandi.Thanks to General Zia ,Jamaat Islami and Tableeghi Jamaat.

  2. M

    Most people are not getting the importance of this document. They need someone like Taliban to teach them these lessons the hard way.

  3. M

    Here is a study of this report by Javaid Aslam

    Relevance of Munir Report on 1953 Riots For Today’s Pakistan

    Click to access 65_MunirRptRelevance.pdf

    Recommendations of the study;

    – We should seriously move away from considering Islam as the basis of our nationhood. In the last 59 years we have achieved much as a nation. We are a nuclear power. We have won Olympic 60 gold medals in hockey and have been World Champions in squash and cricket. One of our citizens has won the Nobel prize. Such events are the basis of creating fierce national pride and even as a new nation we now have enough motivation to have nationalism as our ideological basis. The message in this connection needs to be explicitly and implicitly built into our curriculum. Our independent media, specially the new T.V channels are already discussing this issue. Our state controlled media should also systematically work on this aspect. Patriotism instead of religiosity needs to be stressed further. Attention should however be on stressing our positives without raising jingoistic feelings that may compromise our peaceful existence.

    – The popularity of religious parties is over-rated. Without crutches of the establishment they tend to flounder. Petty interests in supporting these parties should end and our next elections should be completely free and fair in order to promote the mainstream parties.

    – Our salvation is in true democracy. Cure for bad democracy is more democracy and not greater control of undemocratic forces. Efforts at creating controlled democracy should end. Under the present scenario there is no likelihood of a popular movement that could unsettle the establishment. This public attitude has more to do with a total disenchantment with affairs of the state, than any 61 political consideration. Such disenchantment, however, eventually compromises all feelings of nationalism. The Army as a strong national institution has to rise above petty interests and has to recognize the importance of building civilian institutions. True democracy is possible only if it is actively allowed to continue as such by the army as an institution. The powerful in this case has thus to recognize its patriotic duty. As a beginning, a sense of responsibility in this connection needs to be built up in the armed forces. The true import of the oath taken by all members of the armed forces needs to be stressed in all military training institutes at all levels. Greater civilian control over military training institutions would help in this context.

    – Media should be allowed to be completely free. Monthly envelopes for journalists should end. State advertisements through press should be discontinued and they may be made through internet. Joy rides for journalists on foreign tours should also end, as all these interventions are mere euphemisms for bribing the media. A free media shall ensure the necessary external check for keeping democratic governments on track.

    – Judiciary should be completely free. Mode of selection of judges should be changed and a US style selection system may be adopted. This would provide backbone to the judiciary to withstand illegal demands of un-representative governments and 62 would transform them into truly bi-partisan defenders of the Constitution.

    – Bureaucracy should be given protection to play its due role in a Whitehall style relationship with political masters. Service organizations may be encouraged and they should become the watch guards for maintenance of standards within the service groups. Whistle blowing may be encouraged as this would in itself promote a system of checks and balances within civilian governments. The start in this connection would be through completely free elections as validly elected governments would themselves realize the benefits of such arrangements for ensuring strengthening of civilian institutions.

    – As there is little likelihood of any further war and we already have nuclear deterrence, the size of army and defense outlays may be reduced. Provision of higher funding for social sector development would in itself ensure development of enlightened institutions in the longer run. We should learn the futility of large military machines in the absence of equitable social development by observing the fate of the Soviet Union.

    – Provinces should be provided maximum autonomy and the control of federation may be minimized. Larger resource transfer for provinces may be ensured through amending NFC mechanism. A regular NFC secretariat, that works around the 63 year to finalize resource allocation proposals should be set up. Stronger Provinces would entail a stronger Federation. This would also reduce inter-provincial frictions.

  4. Bloody Civilian


    Had there been no Munir, there would have been no Zia.

  5. Rambler79

    I can never get over the fact that Gandhi supported the Khilafat movement and Muslims of india were fool enough to buy his notion of “Hindustan Chod do Movement”. Imagine the benefits that Hindus achieved by the folly of Muslims.

  6. Rambler79

    On a 2nd note: the link provided for Justice Munir report is broken. Could you please fix it.

  7. bonobashi


    Another cunning_Hindus_made_fools_of_trusting_Muslims thread? Please, no.

    I just don’t feel cunning enough today.

  8. M

    Rambler79, search on

    Report of the Court of Inquiry 1954 (Punjab Disturbances 1953)

    and you’ll get the link. Also search for study

    Relevance of Munir Report on 1953 Riots For Today’s Pakistan

  9. Rashid

    Click here to get to Munir Inquiry Comission report:
    English version:

  10. Rashid

    Click here to get to Munir Inquiry Comission report:
    English version:


  11. Majumdar

    I am forgetting the exact words but it goes something like this “The good stuff that a guy does dies with him, the evil lives on” Sadly that is the case with Justice Munir. His finding that too literal a dependence on the mullah cud lead to sectarianism has largely been ignored by the powers that be in Pakistan but the evil that he did by invoking the Doctrine of Necessity has damaged the cause of democracy in Pakistan severely.


    Gandhi supported the Khilafat movement and Muslims of india were fool enough to buy his notion of “Hindustan Chod do Movement”. Imagine the benefits that Hindus achieved by the folly of Muslims.

    Interesting hypothesis. Why don’t you elaborate on this, maybe you cud submit an article to Rumi sahib for publishing.


  12. Gorki


    “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;

    I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.

    The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones;

    So let it be with Caesar”.

    Julius Caesar; Act III, scene II