Daily Archives: August 4, 2009

The Idea of Pakistan: Iqbal-Jinnah correspondence 1

Given the discussion that emerged out of my article on the same theme,  I am reproducing the letter from Allama Iqbal to Quaid-e-Azam in 1937.   Iqbal was instrumental in converting Jinnah to the idea of Muslim nationhood and  Muslim statehood.  These letters show the depth of feeling as it emerged in Punjabi Muslim middle classes for the idea of an independent Muslim majority state in North West of India and the historical forces that were at play.  Unlike Mian Kifayet Ali’s scheme,  this was fanciful.  For example how would the law of Islam- albeit modernized and liberalized-  solve the problems of Muslim poverty?  Similarly Iqbal totally miscalculated in his estimate of Hinduism’s and Islam’s ability to imbibe new and modern ideas.  It turned out to be the exact opposite.  Iqbal’s vision was ideological even if his ideology was liberal and not conservative. Jinnah was obviously not too inclined towards such a vision hailing as he did from the minority Khoja sect which applied Hindu law to inheritance issues. In 1943 when Dr. A H Kazi tabled a resolution to commit the League to an Islamic constitution,  Jinnah described it as nothing less than “censure” on every leaguer. When asked about Sharia, Jinnah replied “Sharia? Whose Sharia? No. I shall have a modern state in Pakistan”-   to him modernity was not in conflict with the true spirit and the true sharia of Islam.  –YLH

My dear Mr. Jinnah, 

Thank you so much for your letter which reached me in due course. I am glad to hear that you will bear in mind what I wrote to you about the changes in the constitution and programme of the League. I have no doubt that you fully realise the gravity of the situation as far as Muslim India is concerned. The League will have to finally decide whether it will remain a body representing the upper classes of Indian Muslims or Muslim masses who have so far, with good reason, no interest in it. Personally I believe that a political organisation which gives no promise of improving the lot of the average Muslim cannot attract our masses.  Continue reading


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Lenin and the Permanent Revolution

by Taimur Rahman

One of the things that I have realized while talking to Trotskyists is that their understanding of Marxist theory specifically with respect to the bourgeois democratic revolution is actually very weak.

They all think that Lenin came around to the view of permanent revolution in April 1917. This is actually completely incorrect and is obvious to anyone that has read Lenin in any detail. Continue reading

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Making Martyrs of Gojra Count

 By Yasser Latif Hamdani

Gojra is Pakistan’s Godhra/Gujurat moment. For years we pointed to India and the horrific communal violence to claim that something like this couldn’t happen in Pakistan despite all of Pakistan’s flaws. The events of Gojra three days ago have changed all of that coming only days before the purported minorities celebration week leading to August 11th celebration of Minorities’ Day. Now the minorities will commemorate a week of mourning ending on a black day commemorating the betrayal of the promise that Jinnah made to all citizens of this country ie protection of life, liberty, religious freedom and equality of citizenship Continue reading


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By  Samson Simon Sharaf

The recent incidents in Gojra are a grim reminder of how existing half laws can be manipulated for personal and political ends. Besides loss of life, property or the reputation of the country, it also reflects an opportunist political system in which strange bedfellows can be espoused for political expediency and where rule of law can be applied selectively. Worse, it exposes false claims of the provincial and federal governments over constant surveillance of banned militant outfits in Punjab. Continue reading


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Alexandar John Malik Asks For Judicial Inquiry In Gojra

LAHORE – Bishop of Lahore Dr Alexander John Malik has demanded of the government to appoint a judge of
the Lahore High Court for judicial inquiry into Gojra violence.
Addressing a Press conference at Press Club on Sunday, he strongly condemned the Gojra incident, which
resulted riots erupted in the city and claimed at least 7 lives. Continue reading

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Intelligence Agencies Warned the Punjab Govt about Gojra



Intelligence Agencies warned of Gojra violence two weeks in advance.

 Intelligence agencies present Gojra violence report to IG
 Updated at: 1743 PST,  Sunday, August 02, 2009
 LAHORE: Intelligence agencies have presented the report into Gojra violence to Inspector General of Police Punjab.
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An alternative view – “Don’t get fooled”

AN alternative view of the recent historical judgement by the Supreme Court of Pakistan:

Pakistan is a country where the Supreme Court building was attacked by hundreds of activists of a ruling political party. Judges ran for their lives and requested the military to intervene, which declined. The man behind this unique display of democracy in action, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, was never punished. He went on later to hijack a plane carrying the army chief. Today, he is considered a champion of independent judiciary. We have a president and political party in Karachi cleared of blatant charges of accumulating unexplained wealth and running armed militias. The best part is that 14 judges aggrieved by a former president want to try him. This is a messed up system that needs to be corrected.

Read more here


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