Leftists, Liberals, Progressives … Time To Live Up To Your Claims


Those Pakistanis like me identifying themselves as Muslims are required – thanks to General Zia-ul-Haq’s military dictatorship- to state the following at the time of the renewal of their passport:

  • I am a Muslim and believe in the absolute and unqualified finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad the last of the Prophets.
  • I do not recognize any one who claims to be a prophet in any sense of the word or any description whatsoever, after Prophet Muhammad or recognize such a claimant as a prophet or a religious reformer as Muslim.
  • I consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani to be an impostor prophet and an infidel and also consider his followers whether belonging to the Lahori, Qadiani or Mirzai groups, to be non-Muslims.
  • I have signed this statement on atleast three occasions in my life.  My passport is set to expire soon.  When I renew this time around,  I intend to refuse to sign this statement not out of any love for the founder of the sect of Qadiani/Lahori Ahmadi Muslims or because I want to get into such spurious arguments about theology and religious propriety-  I don’t subscribe  to the beliefs and religious principles of  Ahmadiyya Movement any more than I subscribe to the teachings of the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith or Bahaullah .  To me an abstract debate about religious delusions is utterly irrelevant to law and constitution.   

    I have only one reason:  The statement absolutely and totally goes against Mr. Jinnah’s vision of a liberal, pluralistic and just Pakistan based on equality of citizenship, justice and fairplay .   Jinnah repeatedly refused to expel the Qadianis from the Muslim League.   He described the anti-Ahmadiyya attempts to be nothing less than a conspiracy to divide the Muslims.   To Jinnah – a person who professed to be a Muslim was a Muslim and religious belief was the personal faith of an individual.

    Jinnah entrusted Pakistan’s case to none other than Sir Zafrullah, a leading Qadiani Ahmadi Muslim.    Jinnah’s enemies – the Majlis-e-Ahrar-  then started a vicious campaign against Zafrulla and Ahmadis which finally ended in 1974 with the thoroughly unconstitutional “constitutional” second amendment (incidentally – if the principle against Legislative Judgment as embodied in Indira Gandhi v. Raj Rarain 1975  which forms the basis for the recent landmark judgment against NRO is honestly applied,  it may be argued with complete justification that the 2nd amendment to the constitution of Pakistan is void ab initio. )

    I am not sure what the consequences would be of my action but we will just have to wait and see.  The legal position in my view is that I’d be asked to take a pick from non-Muslim categories.   Whatever the case,  I intend to put my mark of constitutional defiance and I suppose it might well cost me any chance of going for Haj.  So be it.   I am not going to compromise on my principles any more.

    But what of those people who lay claim to greater ideals and principles than I do i.e. the left liberals, the progressives,  the jet setters, the editors and nay sayers?   Will they also follow suit and do the right thing?  In my opinion every right thinking Pakistani and every right thinking Muslim should refuse to sign this statement.   There can be no divine sanction for religious intolerance.



    Filed under Law, Pakistan

    207 responses to “Leftists, Liberals, Progressives … Time To Live Up To Your Claims

    1. yasserlatifhamdani

      This post is not an invitation to discuss the merits and demerits of your sect…. whatever they may be.

      Any comments containing “theological arguments” and an appeal to divine authority shall automatically be deleted.

    2. Hasan

      YLH, I’m afraid liberalism of most Pakistani ‘liberals’ stops at Ahmadis. Unfortunately 99.9% of Pakistani liberals are just hypocrites who call themselves liberals not because they care for or even understand what liberalism is but only to feel and look good compared to Mullahs.

      You have criticised Asma but I think she’s one of those rare who actually understand and stands for liberalism.

    3. Hasan

      I think Late Eqbal Ahmad was one who refused to sign this while living in Washington (?) and actually got the passport without it.

    4. yasserlatifhamdani

      “You have criticised Asma”

      I haven’t. I just disagree with her approach to the Supreme Court judgment.

    5. Luq

      1. Can you file a litigation in the public interest?

      2. Can you ask a court of law to strike down this requirement for the renewal of passport on the grounds that it is
      a. Absurd
      b. Not a requirement for being a Muslim


    6. AZW


      During the coming days, be prepared for the following:

      1) Be labelled a Qadiani imposter masquerading himself as a liberal Muslim

      2) A Jewish agent hell bent upon disrupting the religious “harmony” that prevails in Pakistan

      3) An apostate since you will be judged solely on the basis that you do not sign on the finality of the Holy Prophet

      None of the above accusations, as well as your accusers will even bother to check the fact that wearing your religion on your sleeve and prove your religious credentials to the state and be certified a Muslim, or a non Muslim are none of state’s business.

      I am a Sunni Muslim. I have no allegiance to Qadiani or any minority sect. Yet I do not wish to proclaim this to the state every time I apply for a passport. My passport is coming up for renewal very soon. I do not intend to sign the statement in full support of your initiative. I do not have to prove my Islamiat to anyone, anywhere and sign anything to be certified a Muslim or not by the state of Pakistan.

      Kudos to you for taking this initiative. I wish to see a prosperous, tolerant and plural Islam. I hope Pakistanis wake up from the dormant slumber of the last many decades, that keeps them shackled to an intolerant mindset. We see the extreme examples of this mindset that has made our country the most dangerous state in the world, and a good example of why the religion and state have to be completely seperate.

    7. vajra


      I salute you for the step that you have decided upon. While I do not hold with religious belief of any sort, this is an important step for democracy and the equality of all citizens before the law in the specific context of Pakistan, and I understand and support the issues involved.

    8. I have a question from a purely legal point of view: can a Pakistani citizen appeal to the higher courts to have these non-sensical statements purged from the Passport form? Or is it only the prerogative of the Parliament to pass a bill and have these removed?

      Just my 2 cents!

    9. mazbut

      as if this is the only issue which poses threat to the correspondent’s sensitiveness after having ‘defaulted’
      thrice earlier!!

      as if the word of Jinnah was something ‘heavenly’ which couldn’t go wrong!

      as if all the dreams of Jinnah have already been fulfilled!

      as if we the Pakistanis continue to have set an example of Jinnah’s other ‘teachings’ such as Unity , Faith and Discipline!

    10. AZW

      @ Mazbut:

      It is quite apparent from your email that the idea of plurality that sees every human as equal in the eyes of the state, irrespective of the sect, no matter how blasphemous it may be, is not an idea you are comfortable with.

      And your rambling message where you yourself want to selectively choose Jinnah’s words to comfort your religious sensibilities, comes across rather emptily to YLH’s initiative.

      Jinnah was not an infallible human being, and a few of his contradictions, especially of invoking the religion when many of his speeches and conversations said clearly otherwise, have been amply discussed and appropriately criticized on this forum before.

      I hope this thread does not get diverted into an empty religious boasting and sect bashing as you and your rightist brethren would love to do. I hope we stay away from the religiosity that many people feel is their right to do, and impose upon others through business of the state. Let’s focus on the fundamental aspect of this thread; that showing my Muslimness is nothing for state to observe and judge. That everyone’s life, property and rights are equal and the same irrespective of their caste, creed or sect.

    11. dr jawwad khan

      hey YLH!
      it was a long since we chat last time.
      how are you?
      still doing the same old thing?
      i believe that there could be lot of positive aspects of liberalism. why don’t you discuss those issues.
      i mean its boring to see beating the same drum of persecution again and again.

    12. Hasan

      “i mean its boring to see beating the same drum of persecution again and again.”

      Has persecution stopped? If not then why stop complaining about it? Unless you are in favour of persecution.

    13. Bloody Civilian

      Hasan, YLH (and all)

      Eqbal Ahmad was given the new passport regardless for it was still 1979 and Zia feared a media scandal so soon after hanging bhutto, and without having become the hero of the war against the soviets.

      if a few of us can do as YLH has resolved and challenged us to do, and if a few better known people can join in, the present govt too will have a media situation.. western media, that is. the domestic media will have to make a clear choice. sooner or later, the govt/state also will have to make a choice.

      while the SC has reiterated even in the NRO verdict that it will uphold the ‘Islamic character’ of the 1973 constitution, of course opinion will have to change and form that the 2nd amendment is unislamic, or at least nothing to do with islam. without that change of opinion taking place, the SC’s reiteration to preserve Islamic character, IMO, will trump the ‘legislative judgment’ (no matter how despicable and diabolical) charge against the 2nd amendment.

    14. Mestro96

      Bravo Mr. YLH!!

      Be the FORCE with you.

    15. Ex-Muslim

      Spare a thought for ex-Muslims and atheists living in Pakistan.
      Our passport declares us Muslim and if we try to practice or proclaim the lack of faith,we are prosecuted under Apostasy and Blasphemy laws of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
      Even the declared minorities,Christians ,Ahmedis,Hindus and others cannot freely practice their faith.

      Muharram and Shia traditions are a minefield for the mainstream Sunni tradition.Great leader M A Jinnah was a whisky drinking liberal Ismaili Shia,which the Islamist saw as a threat to their indoctrination of the masses.

      We as a Pakistani nation are heading fast-forward into a Wahabi culture like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.Mono-chrome culture and religion will destroy the diversity the Pakistan.

    16. Bloody Civilian


      can you please quote this so-called Apostasy Law of Pakistan? There is no such law. There is no ‘Apostasy and Blasphemy Law’ either. There are the despicable Blasphemy Laws, and there is an even more abominable Apostasy Bill (introduced in Parliament by the MMA under Mushrraf) which lies in cold storage at the committee stage (so it is not law).

    17. YLH


      Please delete Punjabi the crook and Junaid. Then please also delete my post.

      Thank you.

    18. Alethia

      I consider myself a friend of Pakistan and have defended the people of your country on several subjects in several forums against unfair criticism.

      But I must say that on this issue of “Qadianis”, and the discrimation which exists against them, it unfortunately makes Pakistan look like a backward, uncivilized and medieval state.

      When one talks about religious faith, whether it be Islam, Christianity, Sikhism or otherwise, nobody else has the ability to harm that faith when your own faith is strong. Keeping your own faith strong does all the work. It should not matter to you what other people believe or do not believe.

      I respect the Islamic religion and I respect Muslim people, but I cannot fathom this obsession with Qadianis as a “danger” to Islam.

    19. Alethia

      Calm. Calm. Calm…Please

    20. Luq

      YLH, why go after red herrings.

      Since you have signed thrice before, could you just go ahead and sign once more and get the passport renewed first.

      Since you have already stated that you don’t agree with the last paragraph, even if you sign, it is equal to having signed under duress and it does absolutely nothing to your integrity.

      If it is a law of the land, then you have no choice but to sign (even under protest). And then legally get this law dropped.

      Just my 2 cents worth.



    21. YLH

      Those who sign the statement against Ahmadis are hypocrites, crooks and part of an anti-Pakistan conspiracy hatched some 60 years ago by Majlis-e-Ahrar – an Islamo-fascist party committed to United India – against Pakistan’s stability.

      General Zia-ul-Haq, ladies and gentlemen, had Majlis e Ahrar roots … the same Majlis e Ahrar whose main spokesman was one Agha Shorish Kashmiri who forged that horrendously inaccurate interview with Maulana Azad.

    22. YLH


      The law of the land gives me the right not to sign it and be declared Non-Muslim. I intend to use it.

      Unless we all stop this – even if some of us agree with the statement- we will never come out of the hole that we dug for ourselves.

    23. Luq

      junaid + punjobi = red herrings.

      >The law of the land gives me the right not to sign it
      >and be declared Non-Muslim. I intend to use it.

      Please elaborate.

      And after you get this passport renewed, what is the legal option open to you to get that law dropped? Or to be declared a muslim again (if you so desire).


    24. Majumdar

      Yasser Pai,

      The point is what can be done about it now?

      Is it possible to prove that the original amendment was ultra vires (correct???) of either the basic principles of Constt of Pak or Islam or some such principles or any international law that Pak is committed to follow.

      I presume introducing a bill to nullify the earlier amendment wud be a tall task.

      Btw, I do agree with Punjabi that saying that Ahmedi (or any other) faith was based on a delusion was uncalled for – that sort of stuff can be left for Kashif mian or Vishwasbhai.


    25. AZW

      May I point a few things here:

      1) This topic is bound to generate tremendously heated discussion; I am all for the courageous step that YLH has taken in registering his protest against the unfair law that Pakistan introduced in its constitution some 35 years ago. He deserves nothing but appreciation for his courage. Trust me, we can count on one hand number of people out of 160 million strong nation who have guts to protest this unfair law so openly

      2) I agree that calling Qadianis and their founders by name goes against the spirit of registering the protest. We are not arbitering over the truthfulness or deficiencies of any sect. We want state to treat everyone as complete equal, irrespective of the sect.

      3) I have deleted the foul language in this thread , and I would delete it again if used by anyone. Please do not use the previous foul language as carte-blanche for doing away with niceties going forward. I will delete and spam anyone getting down to personal insults. I would do it reluctantly, but I would do it surely nevertheless.

      4) I have seen Punjabi commenting on this website before and on Facebook seperately under his real name. I have high regards for his views. Therefore I was shocked to see a “Punjabi” losing all decorum and civility in a previous thread regarding Tarek Fatah’s article. My initial guess is that it may be a different Punjabi commenting and hijacking that handle. Now that the real Punjabi is here, I would ask to please contribute without enflaming and settling scores. If it was a mistake, we do not need to repeat it any more. You are welcome at PTH as long as no below the belt tactics ensue.



    26. yasserlatifhamdani

      All “faith” is delusion. I have the right to hold my view.

      The issue is whether X, Y and Z should be asked to sign a statement that their delusions are better than other delusions?

    27. Majumdar

      No, of course not.


    28. yasserlatifhamdani


      In my opinion Punjabi is an Indian chauvinist who gets ticked off whenever he sees Pakistanis like you and me. He thinks Indians like him have a copyright on secularism and liberalism … therefore it is his wont to attack people like me (contrary to his professions he doesn’t seem to get into conflict with those Islamists, christian fundamentalists and Hindu fundamentalists he claims to be fighting).

      That he would choose this thread to point out that I am being a hypocrite … instead of choosing to see the very obvious reason as to why I used the word “delusional”… i.e. I don’t want Kashifiat and other assorted crooks like Jawwad Khan to attack my initiative as a “religiously driven Ahmadi initiative” … shows us that he is not interested in anything but protecting his self assumed copyright on secularism.

      If you think the word “delusional” is akin to calling someone a name… and does not express the feeling that I am not theologically affiliated with Ahmadiyya beliefs …. then I recommend that you kindly edit the post itself to fully express my point of view … which is that I am not an Ahmadi and my objection to the statement does not equal an acceptance of Ahmadi beliefs.

    29. yasserlatifhamdani

      A leading Pakistani Non-Muslim wrote to me earlier today:

      Have been stuck with the same dilemma myself.

      But practicality has prevailed.

      Whether you declare yourself a Buddhist or a Taoist you will be required to sign the declaration if you want a passport.

      I am always obliged to much against my conscience – but as I say practicality wins out.

      This lot now on top are incapable of thought and their successors will be worse and in no position to knock out this reprehensible bit of hanky-panky.

      If you stick to your principles it will not help you.

      Though must say your stand laudable – admire it.

      But suggest you be practical and get on with life.

      Can a Non-Muslim Pakistani confirm that this is the case… that you are supposed to sign this statement even if you identify yourself as a non-Muslim?

    30. yasserlatifhamdani

      “And after you get this passport renewed, what is the legal option open to you to get that law dropped?”

      I think if enough people refuse to sign this statement, this would have to go.

    31. yasserlatifhamdani


      I have removed the word delusional and replaced it with a lengthier statement….

    32. Punjabi


      My handle was not hijacked, but in appreciation of your welcome to me and in recognition of the challenges of moderating such a blog, I’ll not argue further in my defense, much though I am tempted to protest innocence.

      So, in that spirit, thanks again for giving me the benefit of the doubt and the opportunity to participate.

      Best regards.

      To Yasser, if we both claim to be secular liberals, then nominally such a dispute should not exist. but it does, I think, because we have a disagreement on whether religious nationalism (a nation for muslims, a hindu nation) can ever be reconciled with liberal secularism. You think it can, I think it can’t.

      Our respective sensitivities make us each appear an intemperate religious/nationalistic chauvinist to the other.

      Maybe we are intemperate religious/nationalistic chauvinists. maybe we aren’t. It’d be better for each of us to find that out about ourselves, more so than to presume it for certain about the other.

      On the subject at hand here, let me applaud you and appreciate the sentiment that you have expressed and the stand that you have articulated.

    33. yasserlatifhamdani

      Dear Punjabi,

      “I think, because we have a disagreement on whether religious nationalism (a nation for muslims, a hindu nation) can ever be reconciled with liberal secularism. You think it can, I think it can’t.”

      I frankly don’t think you have the mental capacity to understand my point of view except in such simplistic terms… well I don’t wish to explain it to you any further. You may continue to see that as the point of difference.

      In my opinion the point of difference between us is of inferior IQ (yours) and superior IQ (mine).

      Thank you

      Yours sincerely,


    34. Punjabi

      To continue on the subject at hand, I want to ask a question. the answer may be all too obvious, but not being a muslim or a pakistani, the answer is not apparent to me.

      If Person A identifies as a muslim and God knows that he is a muslim, and he also considers himself a secular liberal (if such a thing is possible), and this person objects to the government demanding attestations of faith from muslims, whats to stop this person from declaring to the government that he is not a muslim and therefore need not sign the statement? Is it not enough that he is a muslim in his heart and before the eyes of God?

      Does telling government and society that he is not a Muslim constitute apostasy to the extent that he’d rather do without a passport than make such a declaration? Or is it a matter of pride, in that the person will neither renounce his faith, nor sign papers and will just live without the passport because it is important to declare that a muslim rejects the government presuming to demand declarations of faith?

    35. yasserlatifhamdani

      Already answered this question.

      The word “Muslim” any where has always had a bigger cultural meaning than just a believer in Islamic theology. Let me make a controversial statement and say that there are Muslims who are not believers at all.

      Most of the atheists of Muslim origin – anywhere in the world- nonetheless describe themselves as Muslims… do bakray ki qurbani… go for Eid prayers… get the maulvi to perform the ritual of azaan in new born’s ear… etc etc … raise their hands for fateha when at a funeral…

      Incidentally I don’t do any of these things…well except the last because it is rude not to…

    36. Majumdar


      Frankly speaking I can’t understand some of your positions.

      If Person A identifies as a muslim and God knows that he is a muslim, and he also considers himself a secular liberal (if such a thing is possible)

      What prevents a devout Muslim or adherent of any other faith from being a secular liberal.

      whats to stop this person from declaring to the government that he is not a muslim and therefore need not sign the statement

      Why shud a Muslim be forced to declare something that is repugnant to him? It is a matter of principle.

      You are an Indian, you must have seen your passport it has no reference to faith. Why can’t Pakistan follow such a procedure (that is if its people want to)


    37. Majumdar

      Let me make a controversial statement and say that there are Muslims who are not believers at all.

      Ha, ha, ….. this has often been discussed on chowk UP.


    38. yasserlatifhamdani

      Pakistan’s Passport had no reference to faith till about 1979….

      And technically Machine Readable Pakistani Passport did not have a reference to faith either… till that crook Chaudhry Shujaat capitulated to that other anti-Pakistan Islamo-fascist bigot Qazi Hussain Ahmed.

      Now we have a reference on Page 3.

    39. Punjabi

      I recognize that you can associate culturally and socially with a community that has a religious identity, without being a believer yourself.

      Ideally the government wouldn’t involve itself in religion, but if it does involve itself, it doesn’t really give a damn whether you are culturally and socially a muslim. It cares about your loyalty to the religious dogma and it asks you to declare that loyalty.

      Now, I understand that the best case scenario would be to just get the government to stop demanding this, but short of that I would like to understand why people wouldn’t just tell the government that they are not believers, and let the government classify them as non-muslims if it wants.

      Is it important to muslims that the government of Pakistan recognize them as muslims?

      Why would Yasser not tell the government that he will not sign, and that if that is the GoP’s definition of muslim, then he is not a muslim by the govt’s definition, and should be treated as such by the govt and issued a non-muslim passport?

      Why is the govt of pakistan able to extract this declaration? Why do most people make this declaration instead of choosing to be regarded non muslims by the government?

      I’m not trying to win any points here. I want to understand what I’m missing. I have been limited to interacting with secular governments so I’ve never wrestled with the question of having to declare faith to the government, or the implications of refusing to do so.

    40. yasserlatifhamdani

      Punjabi mian,

      Well … in the balance considering the dichotomy of identity and religious dogma … your second paragraph contradicts your own earlier positions. But I am not going to get into a discussion that is beyond your limited mental capacity.

      Secondly your characteristic dishonesty (or stupidity take your pick) has rendered you incapable of even comprehending the exact course of action that I have recommended… I have said in very clear terms that I intend to tell the state exactly what you are now recommeding I do.

      I have been limited to interacting with secular governments so I’ve never wrestled with the question of having to declare faith to the government

      If you’ve grown up under the jurisdiction of the secular government of India, you have declared your faith (or lack thereof) many times… right from the census to family law. The census of India does give figures on the basis of faith etc.

      If you are referring to the United States … then you have a point… but only on paper. The US does not overtly carry out a faith based census survey to my knowledge.

      Since your point makes no sense whatsoever and is merely an exercise in “I am so much better because I have only dealt with secular governments” etc… kind of metaphorical masturbation… I suggest you take your nonsense elsewhere.

    41. yasserlatifhamdani

      Junaid mian,

      Instead of trying to deflect the discussion tell us if you’ll sign the statement next time around?

      No point raising an issue which I have already clarified above and have also amended it.

      Apologists for Jamaat-e-Islami and other Islamo-fascist crooks hardly have any moral authority to question what I have or haven’t written.

    42. yasserlatifhamdani

      In Pakistan there were two major movements against Ahmadis started by the Mullah fascists to put pressure on the government.

      One happened when there was a Muslim League Prime Minister was in power… a right wing conservative in the British sense and a deeply religious man in his private life…. 1953… Khawaja Nazimuddin.

      The second happened when there was a PPP Prime Minister… a “liberal” … a “leftist” …. a man who was known to be a playboy in his personal life… in 1974.

      Guess which one of the two decided to bow down before Mullah demands? Hint : It wasn’t the Muslim Leaguer.

    43. Bloody Civilian


      let a military dictator introduce, through dictat, a religion column in the indian passport. then ask the majority of hindus of secular india to declare themselves non-hindu. even some of my very secular hindu friends say they would refuse to make such a declaration.

      yasser’s point is not about asserting his rights but protesting the usurpation of the rights of another. but since he, by one definition of identity, is also the victim, he made a clear effort to repel any possible accusations of selfish subjectivity. unfortunately, those who completely misuderstood that labelled him a hypocrite for that pre-emptive clarification of his stand. of course he could have explained it more fully, which i believe he has done now.

    44. K -

      Nice effort YLH but I believe it will take ages for Pakistanis to get that liberal. Seeds sowed by “Angel” Zia will not be vomited out by this land so quickly.

      Removing these few lines while getting passport, erasing anti-Ahmadiyya specific amendments from the constitution or declaring them as Muslims is a far cry.

      The very first step is to remove the hatred which has been fueling in 99.9% of the population of the country. It will take time. Media has to play a very important role in removing the discriminations so that every citizen of state enjoys same rights and respect regardless of one’s belief. Interestingly we have yet to see any effort by media on this. i.e. just removing the extreme hatred.

      Javed Ahmed Ghamidi’s arguments on this were sane to hear that you may disapprove their belief, you can disagree with them, you can negate them rather you can invite them but stop this madness of giving fatwas and not letting them practice their religion with freedom.

      Kudos to another “saint” Maulana Maududi for creating further divisions in already divided Pakistan by calling Ahmadis “Wajib-ul-qatal”.

    45. Milind Kher

      I am in complete agreement with what YLH says in this post.

      It is time that the real values of human living be given the top consideration rather than theological debate and the subsequent differences created on that account.

    46. Hayyer

      It is very difficult for a Hindu dictator inclined to impose a Hindu state on Indians to lay down a definition of Hinduness for Hindus through the use of passports or any other official document.
      With its myriad sects, bhagwans and cult forms it is hard to exclude anyone from being Hindu. It is even possible to be an atheist and a Hindu at the same time. Hinduism tends to treat everyone as a Hindu. Consider for example Advani’s advocacy of the term ‘Mohammadi Hindus’. Every definition would exclude most Hindus.
      To protest against one exclusionist definition would be impossible. Nearly all definitions would be exclusionist.
      In Pakistan’s context and that of this piece, if the intention is to make a statement, one rejecting state imposed definitions of faith, or rejecting of a state imposed exclusion, then all that will be achieved is loss of a passport.
      And it may well expose refuseniks to other forms of harassment, from religious lobbies and from governmental agencies.
      It would serve well however to start a movement of sorts if enough people join in and are brave enough to face the consequences. There may be legal remedies available if the issue is raised in the courts, but if there are none then a peoples movement can only succeed if enough of them come on board.

    47. Bloody Civilian


      there is every possibility that a court action may succeed. the passport thing is no constitutional provision. YLH has told us about the experience of a non-muslim pakistani. it would suggest that refusing to sign the paras would get you classed as a qadiani, regardless of your professed religion or lack thereof.

      as for what you have said about hinduism, are you saying that the same cannot apply to islam? or can never apply to muslims? or that no muslims believe the equivalent in case of their own religion?

      or has the contrary never applied to hinduism, in all its history? or to any hindus? or any hindu dictators?

      eqbal ahmad was a refusenik and got the passport any way because the regime wanted to avoid embarrassment. this applies far more strongly to the post 9/11 state, the post-musharraf democracy and the emancipated media. this dark age cannot stay forever. the march out of darkness has to start somewhere.

    48. @civillian
      The apostasy laws are implemented by the ‘mob justice’ of vigilante Mullahs on the streets og Gojra, Shanti Nagar and Ahmedis villages of Pakistan, almost yearly.
      Afzal Sahi the ex-speaker of Punjab assembly wanted to introduce apostasy laws in Punjab.

      What do you think, will happen to me if I go to renew my passport or National ID card claiming I am not a Muslim?

    49. Bloody Civilian

      you will be given a NID the same as any other Pakistani and the discriminatory religion column of your passport should say you are an athiest, or whatever religion you are. those are the rules (ie lesser form of law) and there is plenty to complain about them. but you cannot blame the rules if the passport clerk fails to follow them correctly.

      similarly, the mob is not following the law. nor is afzal shahi the law. the blasphemy laws are not an apostasy law. they are used to harass, routinely in the case of ahmedis. the second amendment apostatized them. but even the second amendment is not as horrible as the apostasy law that lies in cold storage, indefinitely, within Parliament.

    50. Only a few months ago, police constables in Punjab shot dead an accused(of apostasy and blasphemy) in police custody.The case was widely reported in the media.

      Does the Supreme Court consider the universal declaration of Human Rights a part of the basic contitutional rights of Pakistani citizens?

    51. aliarqam

      Let Us allocate a corner for condemning persecutions of Ahmedis, Shiaas, Sikhs and Christians in Pakistan here at PTH….
      When Siddiqul Farooq shared stage with the leaders of banned outfit and accussed Musharraf for supporting Ahmedis…No one on the blogsphere and media has condemned it.
      When young Ahmedi boys of below the age of 15 were arrested on false accussations, No one raised a voice…
      When CJ Punjab attended a gathering and did Ahmedis bashings…No one had objections
      When meetings of Majlise Khatme Nabuwwat were sponsored by Punjab Auqaaf Ministry…No one condemned it…..
      When Ahmedi Doctor couple was killed in Multan…No one has regrets
      And it continues………

    52. aliarqam

      Next time come up with the title
      “Shame on U Khaadim E Aalaa and Law Minister”
      for not taking necessory steps against extremists and banned outfit…though alarmed and warned…..
      and allowing his ministeries to sponsor such sectaran programmes

    53. swapnavasavdutta

      Discrimination against Ahmadiyas is
      a symptom of a maliase.
      Unless, the source is fixed, water will
      remain polluted.
      Todays Ahmadiyas are yesterday
      Hindus and Sikhs.
      And there is every possibility that tomorrows Shias will be todays Ahmadiyas.

    54. YLH


      The source is Majlis e Ahrar the pro-Congress, pro-United India party which started the whole matter in Pakistan. There is a judicial report ie Munir Report which lays down exactly where the source comes.

      may I suggest sir that you go take care of Dalits and the Muslims you burn alive in India before you come here and take it upon yourself to comment on issues you nothing of.

      Moderators – if you are reading this please remove Mr. Dutta because he has no locus standi and is run of hill Pakistan-obsessed Hindu fanatic on the loose. This is too important an issue to be allowed to be hijacked by people like him.

    55. aliarqam

      Supreme Court take suo moto notices when the issue is popular not in unpoplular issues……
      SC took suo moto notice when it was reported that Nation’s poultry is endangered by a feed having ingredients of pig fat…..
      SC came to save our Emaaaaaans

    56. YLH

      run of the mill not hill.

    57. YLH


      I hear you man. However having gotten a chance to see Shahbaz Sharif’s style of government from close quarters…the man is no bigot.

      I have more faith in SS than AAZ or AHKH or AWK to take action.

    58. Milind Kher

      I think it is wrong to assume that Pakistanis in general believe in discrimination against and persecution of religious minorities.

      We must recognize and appreciate that there are a good number of liberal people too, and we must give encouragement and support to such forces.

    59. Bloody Civilian

      Does the Supreme Court consider the universal declaration of Human Rights a part of the basic contitutional rights of Pakistani citizens?

      the SC considers the basic constitutional rights of the citizens of pakistan to be the basic constitutional rights of pakistani citizens. but it considers universal declaration of HR to be highly persuasive. this legal position is not in any way unique to pakistan. UK and US and many others have the same situation. national courts look to national law, first and foremost, as they must.. and are not bound by any other law.

      the second amendment denies the right to freedom of religion that the constitution of pakistan itself guarantees; there is little need to look to the universal declaration. blasphemy laws and the religion column are lesser laws when compared to the constitution. these can be challenged first. we almost got rid of the religion column (introduced by a dictator in the first place) a few years ago but for ch shujat hussain, JI and the military dictator’s selfish hypocracy. mush promised to reform the blasphemy laws and then conveniently forgot all about it as he sought to keep his uniform on.

    60. Freedom of religion is a vague term, UN’s HR declaration is clear on the specifics and the nations of the world signed as an ecumenical documental beyond religious or national divisions.
      Anything less, like the Islamic HR charter will not do.

      Europeans and Americans,despite extra-ordinary measures, guarantee freedom to practice and preach religion.Europeans experienced the horrors of Nazism and the persecution of Jewish minorities in 2nd World War.

      East and Muslim world is still experiencing terrorism and Islamism which shares similarities with German Nazism.Bush era and detentions during War on Terror have eroded civil liberties but not cancelled them.

      Its unfortunate that Islamists demand basic human rights for themselves during detention and trial but refuse to acknowledge its universal application to all citizens.

      Pakistan’s legal schizophrenia cannot continue indefinately,campaigners like YLH can challenge these discriminatory laws in SC.

      Thanks to the moderators of this forum for starting this timely debate,YLH,RR,AZW,BQ,BC ,Hayyer and others.

    61. YLH


      Kiyounkay teri qaum aur mulk kay kuch log is baat pur israr kar rahe hain kay hum source yani kay maakhaz pur mufassal guftgoo karein.

      It wasn’t 60 years after partition that majlis e ahrar – the anti-Pakistan party- started the anti-Ahmaddiya movement in Pakistan… It started in 1949 and by 1953 it was very strong.

      I am just setting the record straight. Bharat ki miqaad shareef shaheed karnay ki qatan koi niyat nahin thee meri.

    62. Ali Abbas

      Every passport renewal is a blow to the conscience as one has to undertake the sickening practice of apostasizing fellow muslims. All of us at PTH should wish and support YLH’s initiative in this regard, in whatever way possible. Sunnis apostasizing Shias and Ahmedis as well as Khomeini-inspired Shia Islamists supporting the Taliban and condoning the apostasization of Ahmedis need to be confronted and taken on. We cannot ignore this anymore and should raise our voices against this grave injustice!

      @YLH, you mentioned that Shahbaaz Sharif is not a bigot. However, in the recent pogrom against the Christains in Gojra, his provincial Govt. was largely ineffective. Similarly, his party has been defeaningly silent against the Taliban; do remember that there have been dozens of attacks against the ANP and PPP by the various Taliban affiliates; whilst the PML N and PML Q have openly supported the Lal Masjid bigots. IMO, the PML N sympathies at the top level clearly lie with the Jamaat and the Taliban.

      While the present Govt. should definitely repeal the apostasization of Ahmadi muslims (they will probably get the support of the ANP and MQM and they have been lacking in such initiatives), what about the Supreme Court? Will they entertain a petition to this effect, given the clear support they have from the Jamaat Islami; one of their chief backers currently….

    63. YLH

      Dear Ali abbas,

      Can you tell me which of the parties named by yourself were either ruling or the main opposition in 1973 (when we got our brilliant Islamic constitution) or in 1974 (when Ahmadis were ex-communicated)?
      Your choices a) PML Q and PML N. b) PPP and PML.c. Left PPP and Left NAP. (Hint it wasn’t PML)

      Or can you tell me which party banned alcohol, instituted Friday holiday (and which party repealed it), which party banned horse racing ?

      Similarly can you tell me if ANP was part of the PNA alliance which called for Nizam e Mustafa? (Ironically it was these two parties that ultimately signed, sealed and delivered “nizam-e-adl” to Swat).

      I am sorry but I think PPP and ANP are the worst enemies of Pakistan’s minorities and Pakistan’s liberals.

      MQM is better and I can have hope there.

      What is needed in Pakistan is a new party based on a coalition and an alliance of Pakistani liberals, civil society and Pakistan’s religious minorities. This then should ally itself with MQM.

      Pakistan needs a two party system… two federal parties – center left and center right …but PPP and ANP are disastrous … Instead leaders of the aforementioned groups should make efforts to come together. Then and only then would constitutional aberrations be reversed.

    64. swapnavasavdutta

      May be this needs to be attacked starting at micro level.
      May be a small liberal city or a big
      city like Karachi can pass an ordinance
      that Ahmadiyas are Muslims as long
      as they are in the city or locality.
      Then take it to provincial level.
      If this can’t be addressed at the top, may be it should be addressed from bottom.

    65. Ali Abbas


      Yes, ZAB was wrong, no doubt about it. However, there was no PML N or Q then. Today, the PML N has shown sporadic maturity as a political party but questions regarding its affinity with the dark Islamist forces that pose an existential threat to Pakistan remain.

      And yes today, the mistake prone and far from perfect PPP-ANP-MQM coalition is a better bet against the Taliban than the PML N that has still not taken a clear stance against the Taliban. If it were upto the PML N and PTI, we would still be looking for a “dialogue”with the Taliban. Furthermore, the Taliban itself has made it very clear which parties it would rather take on and they are not the PML N and Q or JI and PTI; nearly indistinguishable from one another in their stance towards the Taliban.

      The most important objective is to remove the constitutional abberrations that allows the State to persecute Ahmadi muslims; I still feel that the PPP-ANP-MQM and hopefully an evolved PML N are the best step forward. Somehow, I am not too enamoured of any judicial activism in this crucial matter by the SC in this regard; given their affinity and symbiotic link with the Lal Masjid and Jamaati facists.

    66. hoss

      There is no evidence to prove that PPP-MQM-ANP coalition is a better bet against the Taliban. Things are not that simple.
      Anyway, that has nothing to do with this issue.

      Your mission is noble but whatever you do, you will be complying with the law. This is not Rosa Park situation where she was able to defy a law. Here any choice is following the law because the law is giving you the options.
      The right thing would be to generate the public opinion on this issue. I think people from many parties would support removing this requirement from the books.

      Otoh, I personally think that picking up this issue would again unite the religious right. It is currently fragmented and losing support in the current political environments. Actually the religious right has been marginalized by the swift changes in the political landscape in Pakistan. This issue would again provide them a platform to hijack the important political shift to the center in the country.

      This is one battle that has to be fought, no denying that. How high it is on the priority list, needs some thinking.

      A noble cause, but a little too early.

    67. AZW

      @ Hoss(p):

      Interesting that you mentioned Rosa Parks in your comment. I was thinking if Second Amendment in Pakistani constitution was a very light Pakistani version of Jim Crow Laws from the beginning of the century US. I believe that the Second Amendment does discriminate against a non-visible minority, but the “separate but visible” intent of Jim Crow Laws of the 19th Century American era is not strictly applicable to the way a group of people are discriminated against in Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

      However the public vigilantism that shows up sporadically in Pakistan against the Qadianis and non-Muslims is a result of the officially sanctioned discrimination, where the majority group somehow feels that the official intent is being fulfilled in a private role by taking law in their own hands. Talking to a few of my Qadiani acquaintances, I have always sensed a feeling of fear and uncertainty in their lives as the majority looks down upon them due to their faith. Jim Crow was an extreme example of discrimination; the Second Amendment is a lot subtler yet still a potent version of discrimination based on private faith and beliefs.

      This brings me to Rosa Parks and her defiance against an unjust law. Her defiance united the Right Wing Southern folks who took their last united stand for an unjust law. I concede that the liberal left in Pakistan is fragmented, but so was the 1950s liberal US. US had been moving steadily towards emancipation in previous decades, yet Rosa Parks stance was the spark that lit the tinderbox and catapulted the movement against unfair laws into a spotlight. I have no doubt that religious right in Pakistan will unite to defend the Second Amendment. Yes there is virtue to patience; yet we need a spark in our nation that has been showing an awareness to wake up to a threat. This nation still has audacity to ask itself some really tough questions and keeps rejecting an extreme version of faith that never stops trying to impose itself on the country by any means.

      I sense that you look for a secular shift in the public perspective away from the religious extremism, and towards moderate version of Islam. And then you wish to do away with the Second Amendment and blasphemy laws from our penal code. But remember that the religious right lies in wait as well, for things to cool down and they shall make another backdoor entry on back of another security threat or destabilization of the democratic structure.

      Maybe time is not right to take the Second Amendment head on; or maybe it is. Maybe this act by Yasser, if followed by thousands of conscientious Pakistanis, will radically shift the perspective away from the injustice we perpetrate on a daily basis towards minorities in our nation. Maybe this will move us towards a fair and equitable Pakistan that we all yearn for.

      Or maybe nothing will happen. A few brave souls will be classified as non-Muslims in the electoral vote and will be condemned and flogged by the right wing nationalist print media for betraying their religion and the country

      I am conflicted here but I do lean towards the former option. Rosa Parks was all alone sitting in the front of the bus. But then, her courage was not really counting her odds for success, was it. It was a gesture of utter defiance, grounded in her conviction against an utterly unfair law of the land.


      P.S. Some links to the information related to Jim Crow Laws and Rosa Parks are given below:


    68. yasserlatifhamdani

      Even if we go by the constitutional definition inserted by the second amendment… point 3 of that definition is just purely discriminatory and unconstitutional.

      The statement says:

      1. I am a Muslim and believe in the absolute and unqualified finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad the last of the Prophets.

      2. I do not recognize any one who claims to be a prophet in any sense of the word or any description whatsoever, after Prophet Muhammad or recognize such a claimant as a prophet or a religious reformer as Muslim.

      3. I consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani to be an impostor prophet and an infidel and also consider his followers whether belonging to the Lahori, Qadiani or Mirzai groups, to be non-Muslims.

      As much as one disagrees with such ridiculous insertion of religion, 1 and 2 may be considered constitutional and according 260 3(a) of the constitution that PPP placed on our heads for all times to come…. till we change the damn thing.

      3 however is not from the constitution and in of itself is discriminatory towards a sect/minority faith. It is offensive and in any event unconstitutional because it abuses a class of persons who are citizens of this republic.

      Constitution’s 260 3 b defines Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Ahmadis of Quadiani and Lahori jamaats, Bahais and Scheduled castes as Non-Muslims.

      If these crooks were consistent … 3 should read:

      “3. I consider Hindu, Christians, Sikhs, Scheduled Castes, Bahais and Ahmadis of Lahori, Qadiani or Mirzai groups, to be non-Muslims. ”

      Ofcourse this would be ridiculous… but then all of the exercise is ridiculous.

    69. vajra


      Nobody who is not prepared to take a role, either by the side of yourself and YLH, or proposing a different strategy, like hoss in his multiple avatars, and sticking around to show people that he will actually work through that different strategy, that it isn’t a distraction to draw away people’s attention, has a right to comment on this. We, who are sitting at a psychological distance, certainly do not have the moral right to urge one course of action or the other on our brothers and sisters. I mean this term in a secular, democratic context and not in any ethnic or revisionist sense.

      Having said that, sooner or later, the thistle has to be grasped. As a sympathetic and friendly onlooker, it does not seem that it will ever be possible to move the initiative in favour of democratic forces except through repeated movements and clear stands taken against the forces of evil.

      Nobody will descend from the heavens above and set right all wrongs with a wave of the wand. The people of Pakistan have to take back the power that has been stolen from them in bits and pieces.

      In the ultimate, it is thepeople of Pakistan, through their elected delegates, who have to stand sovereign;
      the people have to be unified as one people, and not as votaries of this or that religion, or this or that sect, or even as this or that ethnic or linguistic grouping;
      the people have to have the confidence that they are free to make their decisions, even if they be mistaken decisions, and that they and none other – no self-appointed Deus ex Machina – will correct their mistakes, at pre-determined times; and
      the people have to be sure that the fruits of their hard work will not be swindled by collusive corruption between the land-holders, the big business interests and the servants of the state, both civil and military.

      Which mixture of issue-based movements and refusal to comply with the criminal misdirections that state policy has been given in the past will work for Pakistan must be left to the people of Pakistan and their home-grown leadership. We can only support and will you to victory with all the passion and ardour that we can summon.

      Solidarity with the people of Pakistan!

    70. yasserlatifhamdani

      Dear Vajra,


      On another note: While looking through various sources and legality of this issue… I came across a rather shocking paragraph … as I am sure it will be for you as well as anyone else who is a well wisher of secular democratic India … and those of us who want a secular democratic Pakistan.

      A lot has been said and written about the plight of the minority Ahmedis of Pakistan where they were declared non-Muslim. So I was perplexed when India’s own Ahmedi or Qadiyani leaders (meeting in a conference in New Delhi as I write) revealed that they were not allowed to be members of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, a body of religious leaders recognised by the government as representative of the 150 million Indian Muslims, for reasons that are similar to the ones cited in Pakistan. In effect, the Indian government has accepted the sectarian approach to informally exclude the Ahmedis.

      Unless there is a more valid explanation for keeping the Ahmedis out of the Muslim body where is the basis for a secular state to accept one of the sects as non-Muslim?

      This is very disturbing indeed. http://www.dawn.com/weekly/jawed/20080109.htm

      I have two comments…

      1. To fellow secular democrats like yourself… you have to put moral pressure to undo this in the Republic of India…

      2. To people from India like Punjabi and others who point to this – in isolation and utter disregard for history- and try to connect it to our basis falsely- stop it. We are all reaping the “benefits” of the ill-thought out alliance between the Indian independence movement and darul uloom deoband… both in india and Pakistan.

    71. Majumdar


      This is certainly very disturbing. But completely on expected lines. We saw a display of this on the infamous Shah Bano issue.


    72. Bloody Civilian

      anyone signing para 3 of the religion section of the passport application should face 3 years imprisonment, a fine, or both, under 298-A, if the state were to apply the law honestly. of course, the accused could claim in defence that the state had left her little choice. indeed, those publishing para 3 themselves, that is the state itself, are guilty under 298-A. ideally, we should have no blasphemy laws at all, but while they are there the state is duty-bound to enforce them. it cannot pick and choose and enforce 298-B&C against a minority but not 298-A against itself.

    73. Bloody Civilian

      several state-sponsored acts carried out against ahmedi mosques in rabwa and elsewhere, and the defiling of dr abdus salam’s grave even, are criminal acts (committed by the state and/or its agents) under 295 and 295A. but here again, the state is only interested in enforcing 295B&C.

    74. karun1

      To fellow secular democrats like yourself… you have to put moral pressure to undo this in the Republic of India…

      I do not know of any apostasy or blasphemy laws in India which put ahmedis at any disadvantage against muslims

      why should govt bother with this?

      tommorow section of hindus will say declare the muslims as ‘mohamaddiya hindus’ as an earlier participant had remarked.

      question is the constitutional non equality of minorities. dont make the discussion frivolous.

    75. karun1

      and what is this necessity to hark back every time to find out roots of extremism in pre-partion india.

      oh of course pakistan has no responsibility to whats happening now, it was always a conspiracy of congress in pre partition India.

      by the way did u know tha Zia was an Indian stooge? perhaps nehru had pre-planned it all.

      My advice: Dont chicken out! dont take cover under history!!!

    76. Bloody Civilian


      i agree with you. either we’ll win, or we’d lose this time round. there is no point postponing what must be done.

    77. karun1


      having said all that, yes i do support your cause:

      i know u wouldnot like it but it does remind me of MKG refusing to wear yellow bands in south africa. Treat it as a complement.

      just be brave. dont hark back to pre partition india to drum support from fellow pakistanis.
      Do it as an ideal/moral/idea that is the future of every 21st century human being. no history is needed to justify it.

      i hope your idea catches the fancy of people and more people join you.


      feels happy to be back after long sabbatical

    78. yasserlatifhamdani

      Karun mian,

      Your inability to argue logically should be no surprise to anyone here.

      Given that Government of India recognizes the quasi-judicial AIMPLB as the representative Muslim body on personal law in India, the extrapolation is that India does not recognize Ahmadis as Muslim. For me it is as surprising as you.

      As for we looking for roots in pre-partition India… well because Majlis-e-Ahrar and Aga Shorish Kashmiri types who led the anti-Ahmaddiya movement were Indian “patriots”, ” Indian nationalists” and votaries of United India …. how ironic that you love to quote his forged Azad interview… but don’t take credit where it is inconvenient.

      The reason why the government of India de facto and government of Pakistan de jure don’t accept Ahmadis as Muslims has everything to do with the Indian Independence Movement and Mahatma Gandhi’s sordid alliance with the Ulema starting in 1919. Poor Nehru had nothing to do with it. Gandhi made Islamo-fascists a factor in South Asian politics. Every major leader of the “Khatme-nabuwatt” movement in Pakistan was an ally of Mahatma Gandhi before partition. Can you logically deny this?

      Ofcourse in this they were aided by crooked and weak political leaders like Mumtaz Daultana and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto….

      No one is chickening out… chickening out of what? Now you’ve ceased to make any sense whatsoever.

    79. yasserlatifhamdani

      Also… just FYI… there are people who trace Zia’s family history in the Majlis-e-Ahrar… who claim very convincingly that Zia’s father and uncles were card carrying members… hence the hatred for Ahmadis.

    80. karun1

      which personal law applies to ahmedis in India?

      ohh! so bringing to prominence the muslim ulema was congress & gandhis fault?

      How convenient!!

      better you go back and find who were their ideological fathers and shoot at them, by the way who was the founder of deobandi school? sorry we cannot raise fingers at them? can we? Blasphemy!!

      oh! perhaps mahatma also taught them how to do suicide bombings and kill innocent people

      i better not drag you in this debate bcos you always find a convenient detour to skirt the main issue.

    81. yasserlatifhamdani

      Dear Karun,

      You mean the main issue which I have raised I would also want to skirt? I am afraid you haven’t followed the comments. It is people like you who have been trying to skirt off and start a completely different debate.

      Now pray tell what suicide bombings have to do with this discussion? How is pointing out the obvious about the origins of the Anti-Ahmaddiya movement related to suicide bombings? Anyway… I am not interested in discussing the history of the issue any more than you are so long as you are aware of the history which I hope you are now.

      The reason why Majlis-e-Ahrar started the anti-Ahmadiyya movement was to bring down the Muslim League government (which it ultimately succeeded in doing) … and its foreign minister Sir Zafrulla Khan who was an Ahmadi. My suggestion – read th Munir Report. It is a very poignant document.

    82. Majumdar

      Karun mian,

      feels happy to be back after long sabbatical

      I am happy to see you back too. It is a lot more entertaining when you are here.


    83. yasserlatifhamdani

      “which personal law applies to ahmedis in India”

      The same one that applies to ahmadis in Pakistan -Hanafi Muslim Law.

      That is neither here nor there.

    84. ranjit

      I hope every pakistani realizes how dumb, ridiculous, shameful and asinine these passport statements are……and why just passport?…….do pakistanis need to sign this quadiani nonsense for other documents?……what about property documents, tax returns, marriage certificates, high school certificate, college degrees etc?……what about electricity and phone connections?……I mean you might as well put it on every piece of paper anyone signs with the government…..

      Can you imagine if Indians have to sign a passport form that says that I consider all untouchables to be chamaar and that brahmins are the highest caste?…….this is as stupid as that…….

    85. Hoss

      It is frustrating to see some Indians trying to hijack this issue. There is no need to reference India in this regard and please refrain from doing that.

      India and Pakistan are two different countries with their own sets of problems. Mixing the two in every issue is counter-productive.

      Some unnecessary interventions by Indians are not only rude but turns the thread in to a Indian-Pakistan duel and nothing else.

      I would recommend that the Moderator please delete all posts which bring in India in to this discussion for no reason at all.

    86. Hasan

      “do pakistanis need to sign this quadiani nonsense for other documents?……”

      Yes a lot of the…even jobs and college application forms..

      Check top of page 2 and top of page 6

    87. ranjit

      I just read YLH’s comment about the All India Muslim Personal Law Board…….I doubt the Indian government even understands or is aware of this…….muslims control this board and they select their members……as far as I know, I have never seen anyone in India make anti quadiani comments, except amongst muslims themselves……

      I think the problem is the visceral, almost primordial hatred amongst majority of muslims everywhere against quadianis…….the revulsion is so deep that even moderate muslims suffer from it…….this is not a government imposed dictat at all…….and the root of this hatred is the fear that accepting quadianis will mean that there can be future prophets of islam, who may be able to modify and dilute the message of islam………in other words, it would be a slippery slope where eventually it might end Islam as is known to mankind today……..that primordial fear is the root cause for this instinctive hatred against quadianis and viewing them as a mortal threat to Islam…….

      This is a fear that no one can reduce…..unless muslims themselves realize that it is unfounded, baseless and irrational………..just as whites have not lost their racial basis by accepting blacks as equals in USA or South Africa, similarly Islam is not going to disappear just because you accept a slightly heretical sect…….one has to have confidence it one’s own religious faith and principles……..one has to believe that Islam is strong enough to defend itself from any challenger prophet in the future……..if Christianity can handle so many sects and heretical sects, why not Islam?……..

    88. Hasan

      Section 7 at page 2;

      State your religion ___________________________________________________
      Are you Muslim/Christian/Marzai _______________________________________
      Do not forget to sign the declaration at the end of the application.
      Non-Muslim are not required to sign.

      Decleration at page 6

      I solemnly declare that I believe that Hazrat Muhammad (peace and
      blessing of Allah be upon him) is the last Prophet of Allah and there is and
      was no prophet after him. And that I have firm faith in Islam and I am not
      the follower of any such person who claims to be a prophet or religions
      reformer after Hazrat Muhammad (Peace and Blessing of Allah be upon
      him). I do not belong to Qadiani Group or Lahori Group nor I am called
      Dated : ______________ Signatures
      Of the Muslim ________________

    89. vajra


      That was a nasty shock. You do remember the antecedents of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, and its constituents.

      I think we have our own little cleaning up to do. The question is, how? For a kaffir to oppose that Board, after all the brouhaha over the Shah Bano case, will instantly freeze attitudes. Therefore it must be a body of Muslims, secular democrat Muslims.

      Finally, one for the road: please don’t get distracted by trolls.

    90. Milind Kher

      As per the Holy Qur’an , the passport to heaven is valid for “whosoever believeth in God and the Last Day”.

      And here on earth some two bit Maulanas are deciding what a person needs to declare on his passport for him to be judged a believer or not.

    91. YLH


      It very much understands it. The reason why what Deoband says goes vis a vis AIMPLB is because Congress feels it owes Deoband something…

      Shahbano Case was a similar issue..

    92. Milind Kher

      Jamiat ul Ulema is a bunch of what is known in India as Sarkari Maulanas. They therefore will echo what the establishment says, and the establishment in turn regards them as favorites, turning a Nelson’s eye to the obscurantists that they are.

    93. Bloody Civilian


      Therefore it must be a body of Muslims, secular democrat Muslims.

      is the abdication by the state of its duties to law and all citizens as bad as that? is that why it has to be moderate muslims who must provide a solution to the ayodhya dispute as well?

    94. Gorki


      “is the abdication by the state of its duties to law and all citizens as bad as that? ”

      You ask tough questions but as a non-Muslim well wisher, I am with Vajra on that one.

      What can secular Indians do on this issue; even a hint of interest by others will be decried as an interference in affairs of the Muslims.
      And it is not all the congress’ fault.

      Take the case of Sikhs for example; their religious affairs are goverened by the SGPC, an organisation with a thousand crore budget but run by semi-literate jathedars (the equivalent of the maulanas).
      Due to its power and influence the SGPC kept firmly in its pocket by the Punjab Akali party. The Akali Dal (now a family run business) almost appoints the president of the SGPC.
      The Akalis are vehemently opposed to the Congress and are currently allied with; of all the people the BJP.
      The Akalis jealously guard the SGPC against any poachers; any attempt even by the congress Sikhs to raise a voice is decried as an interference in the affairs of the Sikhs. Like the Sunni-Ahmedyia issue, the Sikh mainstream (read SGPC) also shuns a sect, the Nirankaris.
      It is an abomination but what can the state do? It can’t ask the Sikhs to accept the Nirankaris because if it did that, even though morally right, it indeed would amount to interference. The state does recognise the Nirankaris as what ever they like to call temselves; Sikhs in this case (which is irrelevant for the matters of the state anyway)
      Now vilifying the Nirankaris as false Sikhs (or not good enough Sikhs) is unacceptable but the only ones who can do anything about this are the other secular Sikhs if they want to rescue their religion from bigotry.
      This is just an example (one among many) of many Catch-22 situations in India and not an invitation to anyone to discuss the Sikh-Nirankari issue.
      The point is that not all abstain votes by the ‘state’ in the affairs of the religious communities is motivated by vote bank politics or other cynical schemes some of it is a case of choosing a lesser evil.
      Ironically it is the Hindutva Right that loudly complains of the ‘pseudo-secularism’ of the Congress yet Congress is but one party among the many in India. Even when the BJP came to power, it did not change the state’s equation with the minorities on the religious matters.

      The Ayodhya issue is entirely different; a dispute among communities and best solved privately by enlightened leadership from both parties, social rather than the political leadership. If all else fails it will have to be the Judiciary and the executive backed by it rather than the legislature that will have to tackle this issue.

      Last but not least, I don’t want to hijack this discussion for an Indian issue; YLH has made a very bold and a noble gesture with his post, I admire this young man and his courage and commitment to his country.
      However, since this is a sensitive Intra-Muslim, intra-Pakistani issue; like Vajra, I too extend my best wishes but will desist from commenting any further.


    95. hoss

      I think every issue at the national level has more politics to it than just the religious zealotry. Both politically and religiously it is a non issue in Sindh, Baluchistan, and NWFP. Though there are pockets of religious elements in all three provinces but they are not politically powerful enough to sway the public one way or the other on such an important issue.

      The core support for the Ahmedi amendment came from the people who moved from the East Punjab and settled in mostly the eastern and north western Punjab or the top half of Punjab along the Indian borders. Ahmedis too are mostly from East Punjab and they too settled in the same areas. So we can say that the historical roots of this issue are from the Indian Punjab.

      I can only speculate as I have not read any account of what transpired politically before the 1974 amendment was passed. ZAB won handsomely in 1970 elections from the same areas and around 1974 he had started purging his party. The leftist and liberal factions were losing ground quickly to the PPP’s right wing and establishment types.

      Again, I am just speculating that at that time in the wake of the violent mullah demands and protests in parts of Punjab, specifically around Lahore, some in his party convinced ZAB that if he did not respond favorably to the mullah demand, he might lose support in the top half of Punjab and especially Lahore. (Maybe I should just call it the Nawaiwaqt half of Punjab.) Bhutto did win 1977 elections from that area but later on the PPP support dwindled to a point that in 1988 elections the PPP barely won any seats there and the trend continues.

      I seriously don’t believe that Bhutto anticipated any long term consequences of this decision. He probably thought that the whole thing would stop after the amendment. Politically the amendment allowed the religious right to regain the center stage it had lost in the 1970s elections and the subsequent creation of Bangladesh. But the fact is that the religious parties never won any elections in that area so in terms of votes they did not gain anything out of it.

      Demographically, it is the same area where anti Indian sentiments runs high. So we can say that the Anti-Indian sentiments and Anti-Ahmedi sentiments converge and that makes it hard for the politicians from that area to deal with this issue. The PPP, ANP or the MQM wouldn’t touch this issue because it has no political impact for them. PMLn is the sole representative from the Nawaiwaqt half of the Punjab and I am sure it is the only party that can be made to help resolve this issue. Based on its overall political standing, it will not lose any political ground, if it decides to resolve it.

    96. Bloody Civilian

      Thanks Gorki

      i appreciate the difficulties, but don’t accept them being used as an excuse.

      The state does recognise the Nirankaris as what ever they like to call temselves; Sikhs in this case (which is irrelevant for the matters of the state anyway)

      it’s no business of the state to ask mainstream sikhs to accept the nirankaris as sikhs. just like it is not for the state to do anything but accept the nirankaris’ own label for themselves. but once the state has accepted the nirankaris as sikhs, how is not the state’s business to ensure that they are not barred from the SGPC?

      in case of ayodhya, the duty of the judiciary is to deal with the petition or prosecution before it.. until and unless either is withdrawn. it may give some consideration to a resolution between the litigants, but not with the view of abdicating its responsiblity to do justice. the court can have no more interest in the legislature other than whether it has changed the law(s) which the court has to follow to its(their) logical conclusion.

      What can secular Indians do on this issue; even a hint of interest by others will be decried as an interference in affairs of the Muslims

      you have mentioned at least three types of indian citizen there. what are these distinctions? how distinctive are they? i am afraid, i am confused.

      i thought it was only about the state ensuring that the AIMPLB does not discriminate. whether muslims do or don’t, or islam does or doesn’t, is no business of the state.

    97. Punjabi

      In my view, the recognition of religion by Indian law, and its variability by religion, is an absolute disgrace. It mocks India’s supposed secularism and betrays the idea of equality of all persons before the law. I am disgusted that the government takes into account the religion of a citizen, that indian courts pass judgment on who is or isn’t a sikh.

      I hope that in my life time I will see India adopt a truly uniform civil code and I hope that the indian government will become blind to the religion of a citizen.

      If the ahmedis are not represented by the muslim personal law board, the solution is not to force the government to get ahmedis representation. It is to stop the government dealing the muslim personal law board or any other body of its type.

      unfortunately, this issue is a darling of the saffron brigades, who have no interest in secular law, only in getting sharia out of Indian law. So how I do I sound off on this issue provoking accusations of being a hindu nationalist?

      I don’t say much because I expect the hindu nationalists are saying what needs to be said while they are pretending to only be interested in a uniform civil code.

      I spend my energies attacking hindutva, hindu nationalism, anti pluralistic hindu supremism, and the wonderfully stupid rhetoric about how hinduism is currently under threat of extinction because of muslims (thats always a good one).

      I let them fight my cause, while I fight them (if mouthing off on the internet counts as fighting)

      Works ok.

      and I am not too worried because while I am very aware of 1984 and babri and godhra and just waiting for the next event, but I don’t worry too much about what consequence non-agnostic law has.

      but I do get pretty mad. It bothers the hell out of me that an indian muslim woman is legally not protected from polygamy if she desires that protection. Its easy for me to say “then renounce your religion”, and I could do that very easily myself since I am a godless heathen anyway, and I would expect all men to have the balls to do that. but given the status of women in our societies, thats not really an option.

      more importantly, and from the matter of principles its a pretty sick situation because it means Indians don’t have complete freedom to practice the faith of their own choice. If I have to change my religion to get legal protection (or protection from the law), then I am not really free to practice whatever religion I choose. I am constrained by the laws.

    98. ranjit


      I do not agree with this idea that an uniform civil code is the right answer for India…….in fact, I feel that it is the completely wrong answer……..why should there be a one size fits all code for personal issues when there is so much diversity in our country?……..

      There is a reason why muslims in UK, France and other western countries are having a hard time assimilating……….these countries want muslims to behave like other citizens regardless of cultural and religious diversity……….what business does the state have to ban burkhas or headscarves?…….if muslims want to wear it, they have every right……..in India, the muslim personal code gives a lot of freedom to muslims to practice their faith as they seem fit…….as a result, they have lesser grievances against the country and lesser reasons to feel threatened……..hence we have very few extremists or jihadis among indian muslims………on the contrary, they are more integrated and nationalistic than ever before………the freedom to do what they want to do as a community ironically gives them the security they need to feel a part of India………so I think it is a system that works well and tearing it down will actually create a lot of ill will for no reason……

      I understand that as secular hindus, we may find polygamy or burkha wearing distasteful……..but who are we to impose our ideas on others?………if muslims in India want to change and dump those practices, they are free to do so……but let them do it out of their free will……not because hindus are forcing them to change……..

    99. banjara286

      this issue has become, by now, badly muddied and more complex than a basic emotional argument for or against it would indicate.

      the requirement to sign such a declaration seems unfair. it is unclear to me why this requirement was established in the first place for obtaining, or renewing, a pakistani passport; the latter is, after all, just a travel document which establishes a valid national identity.

      without knowing the underlying purpose, it is difficult to say whether there is a genuine need for such a declaration by a pakistani citizen in any context.

      if the purpose is to simply differntiate between ahmadis and non-ahmadis, there might be some other more palatable means of doing so, which do not require a declaration of one’s faith on the passport.

    100. YLH


      The test for any issue will be and should be whether it violates fundamental rights enshrined by the constitution.
      Since India has now come up, the correct secular position would be to allow personal law only upto the extent that it does not violate fundamental rights…so for example Supreme Court of India was right in Shahbano case …but was struck down by Congress and that was wrong.

      Should there be an AIPMLB? Secular Courts of India and Pakistan have over 150 years of experience in using Anglo-Muhammadan laws and interpretting them.

      Furthermore the state may curtail any act that is not obligatory in a faith ie one does have to be married more than once to be a Muslim. So polygamy can go out the window.

      Ayub Khan’s enlightened Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961 had made polygamy next to impossible in Pakistan.

    101. YLH


      I think you have to make some very important distinctions before you claim that anti-Indian and anti-ahmadi sentiments today.

      One that historically the anti-Pakistan pro-United India pro-Congress Clerics like Majlis e Ahrar and Shorish Kashmiri etc were behind the anti-Ahmaddiya movement in the 1950s and the 1970s.

      Two that pro-Pakistan is not equal to anti-Indian.

      Three PPP and NAP (ANP) sat in the constituent assembly.

      Four there is no real basis for that claim about East Punjab refugees. Majlis e Ahrar was quite active in this part of Punjab before partition.

      The sentiments thus converge only to the extent that Kashmir-inspired Jehad of the 1990s in Punjab is led by forces like Lashkar e Taiba etc which are anti-Ahmadi doctrinally. However LeT is largely inspired by the Deoband Islamic philosophy and LeT leaders like Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed are the followers the same historical forces including Ataullah Shah Bukhari – the rabid Islamist pro-Congress anti-league fanatic from pre-partition era… Who is a favorite of all Jehadis especially those that target India.

      May I then suggest that today anti-Pakistan and anti-India forces have also converged.

    102. YLH

      The reason why Bhutto brought the amendment was because Bhutto was a weak man and a crook who wanted to save his government …it was the same story when he banned alcohol, nightclubs, horse racing and made Friday the weekly holiday.

      Remember that Khawaja Nazimuddin’s Muslim League government that refused to entertain Mullah demands in 1953 was entirely right wing. But the difference was that Nazimuddin was not a crook like Zulfi.

    103. Punjabi

      hmm. my response to ranjit hasn’t appeared. seems to have disappeared into the cyber void.

      Anyway, YLH, I largely agree with you, though my response to ranjit would have added more color to my position on personal law.

      In short, I agree with you that personal law cannot be allowed to violate fundamental rights but I go further in holding that even once you get past those fundamental rights, it is not the government’s job to interpret and apply religious law, rules, or procedure. If it is something that is so unserious that there can be different rules for different people, then its not serious enough to need government involvement. If its serious enough to merit government involvement, perhaps because government can enforce things, then its serious enough to require equal rules for everyone, without exception.

      I hope this will appear on the site.

    104. vajra

      @Bloody Civilian

      Apologies for the late and fleeting appearance, but this is the point: there was a clear, well-defined Supreme Court judgement on Shah Bano’s matter, a judgement which was humane and fair, and took Muslim Personal Law into account while basing its decision on the realities of modern life and the circumstances of the case.

      Muslim ulema in general, supported by a wide spectrum of Muslims in public life, not excluding politicians, opposed the ruling, opposing it on the grounds that the courts could not deliver judgements relating to these matters which exceeded the provisions of Muslim Personal Law. The Congress party had been losing power steadily in the cowbelt, and panicked at this sign of opposition. They legislated in a confirmation of the conservative ulema position on the matter of the case, and left the progressive Muslim minister who had been trying to bring some order and sense into people’s minds, Mohammed Arif Khan, dangling from a political rope.

      In the wake of all this, the Muslim Personal Law Board was set up – the famous sectarian, Syed Shahabuddin, was one of the members – as an advisory and guiding body for government to follow, or to consult. This was totally a private, community initiative.

      The courts bided their time, and decided all cases exactly as they should have been decided, and their role in the whole matter has been exemplary.

      Should the government have intervened? It could have, and blood would have flowed.

      In general, I agree with ‘Punjabi’ on these matters, rather than with Ranjit. When chieftains in a particular location demanded of Napier that sati should continue to be permitted, he asked why. “Because it is our time-honoured and socially-sanctioned custom.” “Well, then, go ahead and do what you must. I must inform you, however, that it is the time-honoured and socially-sanctioned custom of our race to hang those who burn women. I will hang you after you have done what you have said you will do.” The gathering dissolved peacefully.

      There is no justification for perpetrating mediaeval barbarism under the cover of religious freedom or individual liberty.

    105. Punjabi

      Reply to Ranjit, attempt II. rewritten somewhat. if the original post also appears, would the moderators please delete the FIRST one.


      Firstly, it is about equal protection and equal responsibility under the law. Why is a hindu woman protected from polygamy or arbitrary talaq but not a muslim woman? It is not satisfactory to say “thats their way, don’t force your own values on them”. The whole purpose of secular government is to enable all faiths, all religions, all cultures, to find equal accommodation, equal treatment, equal protection, without favoritism, persecution, limits on rights and opportunities.

      Secondly, If there is an issue on which rules should be driven by religion, the law should be mute on that issue. If hindus don’t want to eat beef, then let them not beef. Its not for the government to enforce the hindu ban on hindus eating beef. Similarly, if hindus are to be allowed only one spouse and muslims upto 4, and thats to bepreserved, then government should have no laws on who is allowed how many wives. Let hindus and muslims obey their religious codes. It is not the the government’s business to force people to comply with their religion. If its a religious/social issue, then get the government out of it. Its not the government’s job to interpret religious law and enforce it. its government’s job to create secular law and enforce that.

      A society with secular government can approach religion in one of two ways, only in one of only two ways:

      1. Identify issues where religious sentiment is to be paramount, then just anull any laws, regulations and procedures that exist. Let the matters be entirely religious, out of the purview of government.


      2. Declare principles that are apply uniformly, regardless of religious or social doctrine, without any exceptions.

      Thats it.

      If India cannot even have a set of laws that apply uniformly to all citizens, if its kept together through exceptions and exclusions in the law, then it is not one country. Its just a set of overlapping populations with not even basic law in common.

      Fortunately, the discrepancy is limited to marriages, divorces etc. While those discrepancies are disgusting, as highlighted by the shahbano case, they are small compared to the crisis India would be facing if its entire legal framework was riddled with religious discrimination.

    106. Hoss

      “One that historically the anti-Pakistan pro-United India pro-Congress Clerics like Majlis e Ahrar and Shorish Kashmiri etc were behind the anti-Ahmaddiya movement in the 1950s and the 1970s.”

      Majlis e Ahrar was never a political force in Pakistan or before it. And btw, was there any Mullah group in Punjab that favored Pakistan?
      The 1953 agitation was started by JI and JI was always on the forefront of the Anti-Ahmedi agitation. Before Partition Mudoodi moved to Pathan kot in East Punjab to primarily work against the ahmedi.

      Bhutto was never a weak man. Had he been weak, the army would not have bothered to hang him. He was an opportunist no doubt about that and he amended the constitution to save his constituency in certain areas of Pakistan.

      Anyway, I think you need to research more on this subject. You need to look at it from the political point of view instead of just mullah or religious pov.
      There were some forces that helped mullah launch the agitation in 1974.

      Every mullah movement in Pakistan had some support from some quarters, starting from the the Objective resolution, to 1953, and 1974. PNA movement was a prime example.

    107. yasserlatifhamdani


      JI no doubt was a major player (which also fits into my general push) but Majlis-e-Ahrar was the main force behind the Anti-Ahmadiyya Movement. JI joined in after 1951…. Ahrar was involved in it from pre-partition era and had started its agitation in 1949… with that Sahibzada Faizul Hassan and Aga Shorish Kashmiri.

      There are no two opinions that the agitation was used by the establishment … Iskandar Mirza and the Ghulam Muhammad types… to weaken the Muslim League government in 1953 … which ultimately fell….

      Bhutto was a crook and a weak man who had a keen sense of history… he realized that the Rabwa incident was fomented by the establishment which had assumed that Bhutto would never move against Ahmadis (who had played a major role in the PPP in 1970) … Bhutto instead did what right wing Nazimuddin refused to do.

      There is no doubt that PNA’s “Nizam-e-Mustafa” was aided and abetted by certain forces… especially the anti-nationalization capitalists, the Army and as Bhutto claimed… the CIA. The CIA disbursed funds to PNA allegedly through Mian Muhammad Tufail- other assorted crooks ie. Mufti Mahmood, ANP wallahs etc were probably not privy to the deal…. General Zia was given the green signal from Washington… which is why Zia moved at a decisive moment after it seemed like Bhutto was about achieve a breakthrough.

      The moral of the story : No matter how much you pander to the religious right, they’ll find a way to get you.

      So let us not make a hero out of Bhutto (I used to be a major fan some time ago) anymore. He and General Zia were both jointly the worst thing that happened to Pakistan.

    108. yasserlatifhamdani

      …PS: The army hanged him… because the army was like him … crooked, weak and cowardly.

    109. Gorki

      Sorry for the ambiguity. I meant the following:

      Secular Indians = others = Non Muslim secular Indians (Someone like Vajra 😉 )

      As you can see from the ensuing discussion this is a very complex issue that goes beyond the vote bank politics. Two obviously secular, non Muslim Indians (Ranjit and Punjabi) have two well reasoned positions which are diametrically opposite to each other. Personally I agree with Punjabi but can’t discount Ranjit because his position, though obviously against my own instinct, arises from compassion and consideration for a minority and in keeping with the spirit of the Indian Union.

      YLH: “The test for any issue will be and should be whether it violates fundamental rights enshrined by the constitution”
      This statement, in my opinion summarizes the very essence of the constitution of India and all that makes it worth defending. While the Supreme Court gave the right decision in the Shah Bano case, I believe it did no go far enough to stand up for the citizens of India because I believe it was well within its right, nay it even owed a duty to Indian citizens to strike down the Shah Bano law passed by the Congress controlled legislature. Thus it postponed the day of reckoning but the battle will have to be fought another day.

      Vajra: “Should the government have intervened? It could have, and blood would have flowed.”

      The blood flows because the Indian democracy has so far failed in educating its citizenry thoroughly about the role that each branch of the government plays in running the republic. Thus all decisions are blamed on the Govt. of the day (executive) and sometimes even a mildly unpopular decision is followed by the standard South Asian protest drama complete with the ‘Hartals’ and the bus burnings etc.
      The only solution is an all party commitment over the long term to educate their respective cadres to understand that the judiciary is the final neutral arbitrator and the guardian of the constitution and executive is sworn to uphold its verdicts. Once that happens, the governments can carry out the law and order aspects of enforcing the judicial decisions (even unpopular ones). Until that happens, we will have to keep the divisive issues like Ayodhya on a back burner.

      Punjabi: I agree with your position and also with your assessment that as a staunch secularist, I sometimes find myself agreeing with the Hindu right when they demand a uniform civil code. It is only when I remember their conduct over Ayodhya or their threats over against the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project that reality sets in and Iquickly recover from the momentary memory lapse. 😉

    110. yasserlatifhamdani

      Vajra, Gorki sb,

      Just want to point out something that might put things in perspective…. Shahbano’s courageous lawyer who won her that verdict was Jinnah’s associate and trainee and a left leaning Muslim Leaguer (who was thrown out of Pakistan in the 1950s ironically)… and a truly secular Indian Nationalist …. Danial Latifi… the grandson of Badruddin Tyabji…

      Since we were talking about secular Indians… and secular Muslim Indians.

    111. karaya


      the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, a body of religious leaders recognised by the government as representative of the 150 million Indian Muslims

      Without challenging the validity of the overall argument that Naqvi makes, I don’t think this is correct.

      To the best my knowledge, the AIMPLB is just a private body which strives to act as a pressure group—it’s not the de jure “representative of the 150 million Indian Muslims”. FYI, there is also a Shia personal law board. It is not the GoI’s business to dictate which stream a religious body will or will not represent, so in this case at least there’s nothing out of place.

      India has no theological conditions to be met to be considered Muslim so in that respect it would be wrong to equate it with the Pakistani situation.

      Aside from that, the AIMPLB btw, has some terribly odd ideas—I remember this one time when they were campaigning to lower the marriageable age of girls to fit in with Sharia or some shit like that. Sadly, the GoI has often assented to the stand taken by the AIMPLB/M clergy for short term political gains.

    112. karaya

      Anyway, what India does or does not do is hardly germane to the issue at hand. Any Indian who talks down to anyone on this matter is not too knowledgable about the ways of his own government. Let’s leave it at that.

      Good luck.

    113. Gorki

      Thanks for the last post and the bit of historical trivia.
      Your knowledge of people, personalities and political organisations is truly astonishing.

      You have much to offer that perhaps some day the Indians will have the good sense to invite you officially to tell us more about our country.

    114. yasserlatifhamdani

      Gorki sb,

      The great irony is that India inherited M C Chagla and Danial Latifi from Jinnah…

      And we inherited Sharifuddin Peerzada ( though there are serious gaps in his story about his alleged association with Jinnah)

    115. Majumdar

      Yasser Pai,

      We have discussed this often in the past. Chhagla and BRA, India inherited from the Jinnah Camp. (Didnt know about Danial Latifi- that was a surprise) Pak inherited Maudoodi, Ipi and some other folks from the Gandhi camp.


    116. Majumdar

      Btw, is this Latifi dude the same guy who penned the Punjab Muslim League Manifesto for 1946 elections?


    117. ranjit

      Punjabi and Vajra,

      I understand you points of view…….my only disagreement is that I believe that we need to look at criminal law separately from civil law…….criminal law must be uniform in a secular society…….but civil laws related to personal/social matters cannot be top down……..real social change happens in a bottom up manner and not on a top down basis…….a majority community should not force a minority community to conform to its way of life……that is the root cause of communal strife in any diverse nation…….rather, there can be movements to educate people and propagate values whether they are secular values or campaigns against social evils………the british were our colonial masters and forced a lot of change at the barrel of a gun…….that approach worked in the 19th century……it cannot work in today’s democratic society, especially where we are not supposed to be masters over anyone else…..

      Lets look at the situation carefully……….Indian muslims feel relaxed in India because they have an extraordinary degree of religious freedom………its not just equality before law and freedom of religious association……….its also that India allows muslims to practice their way of life fully to their heart’s desire without anyone interfering whatsoever unless they break any criminal laws……..a muslim can send his kids to madrassas, marry multiple wives, put them in burkas and lead a backward lifestyle…….or he can send his kids to school, marry one wife, be educated and work as a IT professional………it is entirely up to him or her………..this freedom in the Indian system is unique for muslims as compared to any other country………as a result, muslims in India are actually more integrated than muslims in any other non-muslim country…….there have virtually been no interest in jihadi activities by Indian muslims……..Indian muslims do not even support Kashmiri separatism…….and there is little love lost for Pakistan much to the anger of Pakistanis……….interestingly enough, muslims like everyone else compare themselves with their neighbors………so when they see hindus going for education and entrepreneurship, they also want the same for themselves and their kids………no one needs to force anything down their throats……..the peer pressure and observing everyone else is good enough………as a result, I dont think polygamy and burka wearing is actually that much popular in muslim circles in India………….otoh, indian muslims are very much into getting their kids a proper education and better job opportunities……….ironically, their ability to lead a separate lifestyle actually provides them with the security and mental peace to do the right thing in a diverse multi-cultural nation like ours……….

      You can contrast the Indian approach to the European approach where they are banning headscarves and banning minarets in a desperate effort to make muslims conform to the majority norms………those are the kind of moves that ironically makes muslims more insecure…….as a backlash, they tend to become more radicalized and more amenable towards extreme ideology and ‘islam khatrey mein hai’ type rhetoric……….they feel alienated and do not feel a sense of ownership of their own country of birth……….hence they are more susceptible to jihadi activities……..

      The real question you may ask is why this approach is needed only with muslims and not other religious minorities………the reason is that Islam is different from other faiths……..its a sharply delineated structured religion…….it has its own group dynamics that other communities find hard to fathom……..even muslims struggle with it as we see in Pakistan which is still not able to figure out how to balance Islam and a civil polity in the right manner, as is evident from the topic of discussion here…….the Indian approach is not perfect given the communal riots that we have once in a while……but on the whole, we have managed to keep 150 million muslims fairly happy in a non-muslim country……that is an incredible accomplishment considering that it is roughly equal to the population of Pakistan….at least we do not have muslims killing muslims in our mosques…….

    118. Majumdar

      Ranjit bhai,

      I agree with you. And that is why inspite of being the resident Hindoo rightwinger on PTH, I have never been too hot on the UCC unlike my Sanghi counterparts.

      Rather than go in for UCC, a better approach do be to let the religious codes be interpreted by Judges on their own rather than depend upon dubious characters and let them interpret it based on the most liberal interpretations available.


    119. Majumdar

      the reason is that Islam is different from other faiths……..

      Ha, ha, the influence of Kaal bhai lives on, although he himself has taken a long leave.


    120. ranjit

      Coming back to the main topic of this thread, the real issue is how can Pakistan balance the needs of a civil society versus the demands of a religious identity……….YLH and others favor a strict secular delineation like a western nation………that is a noble goal but will never work in an Islamic society………Islam is a different type of faith with a very unique set of group dynamics based on the religious doctrine………its a force that cannot be ignored……

      In my opinion, muslim societies need to evolve their own flavor of a secular system that is different from the secular systems as we know them today……..it has to be a framework that accommodates the needs of Islam, yet provides for a non sectrian treatment for all citizens……for starters, criminal law and civil law should be separated………criminal law can be completely secularized and made uniform……you commit a crime, you get the same punishment regardless of community…….and blasphemy cannot be a crime….within civil law, government administration functions that are common to everyone can be separated and made consistent for everyone for e.g. passport forms…………however, laws that are purely related to social and personal matters, can and should take religion into account……..marriage/property inheritance laws/education systems etc can and should have islamic flavors…….trying to make everything secular just will not work in a society like pakistan………..it is better to draw clear lines and operate within them…….otherwise the religious angle will creep into all matters, as it already has………..

    121. ranjit

      Majumdar bhai,

      Kaal’s influence on me is only to the extent that he considers Islam to be an unique system…..I agree with him on that…….and that is something that no one can really deny……..however, I do not share his absurd enthusiasm and encouragement for the taliban and other fanatic forces in the name of this uniqueness, which is why he such a fan of zeemax……….that is a crazy mindset which I do not endorse at all…….

    122. Majumdar

      Ranjit bhai,

      Wrt your last para- going by that India is already an Islamic state, a Hindu rashtra and God’s kingdom on earth- all rolled into one!!!


    123. Majumdar

      Well, as a matter of fact, I am a big fan of Zee sahib myself, inspite of differing from him in being a Jinnah style secularist.


    124. ranjit

      Majumdar bhai,

      Indeed you are right……I would say that India is closer to an islamic system as intended in islam itself than pakistan is………and the evidence is that indian muslims are content with the system from a religious pov……they may have economic grievances, but they do not have any religious complaints………..can u imagine muslims attacking mosques and killing kids on the floors of the mosques or exploding bombs?…….this is happening in Pakistan these days…….it is unimaginable in India…….no indian muslim will do it and in fact, no hindu will do it either……

      This is a matter of great accomplishment for India…….we have smartly balanced the needs of religion with the needs of a civil society………it is something we take for granted until we watch our neighboring country going up in flames as they cannot figure out how to balance mosque and state……..

    125. YLH

      Ranjit mian,

      Now you are just blowing your own horn.

      What is happening in Pakistan vis a vis bombs and explosions has more to do with Afghan war than anything else.

      Had India shared a border with Afghanistan, you would have seen the same if not worse kind of violence…

      India has three times the number of seminaries and madrassahs for a population of Muslims atleast 10 million less Pakistan’s corresponding population.

      As there will be more globalization, India’s officially patronized Deobandi Islam will come bite you in the rear end.

    126. YLH


      Yes it is the very same Danial Latifi…

      Like Sajjad Zaheer, Latifi was also driven out of Pakistan in the 1950s.

    127. karun1

      ok good fun…..u all have a merry christmas…..i have a long-long holiday thanks to christmas and muharram on monday…….enjoy!!!

    128. ranjit


      That theory does not hold……India had a very violent militancy in Kashmir for 20 years which was comparable to the Afghan violence, including involvement of foreign jihadis…….yet it did not impact Indian muslims at all, deobandis or otherwise………

      The root cause is the mixing of religion and politics in an incorrect manner in pakistan………as I mentioned, Islam needs its space and a role in society…….that is just the nature of Islam as a doctrine…….that can be accomplished by letting it thrive in the domain of personal law……..instead, Pakistan has let religion come into everything including foreign policy……the use of non-state actors as a foreign policy tool is biting Pakistan back…….

      What you call Deobandi, is the mainstream Islam in the subcontinent……..whether you like it or not, that is the reality of muslims in South Asia…….as hindus we cannot ingnore that or suppress its legitimate demands……..we have to partner with it for the benefit of everyone……

    129. Majumdar


      I never knew that DL came back to India, was under the impression he was a Punjoo Muslim.

      Btw, I just did some google search on DL- located an obituary in the commie rag mag E&PW. Had lots about his joining the (alleged) Indian freedom movement, his fight for the cause of Urdu, civil rights and minority rights and lots about the Shah Bano case.

      But it was completely silent on his role in the AIML/Pakistan movement apart from a cursory mention that he “joined legal practise with MAJ” which did not come as any surprise to me.


    130. aaina

      ylh is a fraud nikhatoo.he has an asshole the size of an elephant’s which keeps on tittering the whole bludy day.Yasser the qadiani, you will have to be shot deadd coz the day u r dead, pakistan will have a lil bit of more sunshine. qadiaNI PARASITE

    131. YLH


      Wrong again. Most Muslims in the subcontinent are Barelvi Muslims not Deobandi.

      There are many problems that religion has caused in Pakistan but it was the Afghan war that created terrorism. If you theory was to hold there should have been such terrorism in Pakistan through out but I am afraid it is post-Afghan war.

      The violent militancy in Kashmir itself is from Afghan war. It is not militancy that would radicalize a country but active involvement of a country in such a war.

      I am sorry but I am not going to accept spurious logic as a legitimate argument. I suggest you connect the dots again.

    132. YLH

      Moderators please allow aaina’s post to stay on for referencing of personal threats.

    133. Bloody Civilian


      Muslim ulema in general, supported by a wide spectrum of Muslims in public life, not excluding politicians

      what percentage of the muslim pop did they form? what were their democratic credentials, esp specific to the issue? should a prediction of bloodshed and then pre-empting it by denial of a fundamental right to millions of citizens acceptable? was any time given to test the prediction? was there reasonable, tangible evidence of spreading violence?

      is there a similar percentage within the majority community asking for, say, a temple at ayodhya? do they have similar, if not better, democratic credentials? should the GoI bow down to them similarly? in this cae, there already has been violence; on a large scale. there is no need for predictions or pre-emption.


      Until that happens, we will have to keep the divisive issues like Ayodhya on a back burner

      won’t that greatly hinder the very education and awareness you hope for? what message does it send to the perpetrators? what is the psychological impact of it on the victims? why should then either learn, in a hurry, what you want them to learn?

      i believe the near-consensus forming here is quite sensible. do away with unelected personal law boards, but have personal law… only as far as it does not conflict with fundamental rights. let the learned judges, not the unelected boards, decide. the judges should strike out any inconsistencies brought in by fickle or myopic politics.

    134. YLH


      Isn’t it strange that the Indian government and the Congress party bends over backwards for Deoband…as in Shahbano case…but never tries to come to an understanding with secular minded liberal Muslims?

    135. Majumdar

      Isn’t it strange that the Indian government and the Congress party bends over backwards for Deoband…as in Shahbano case…but never tries to come to an understanding with secular minded liberal Muslims?

      Not really. After all, if Pakistan, which was founded by the secular and liberal Muslims/AIML, can bend backwards to accomodate Deobandis, you can hardly blame the INC which was a Deobandi ally to begin with to do the same.


    136. Bloody Civilian

      or looking at it another way, if the Indian state can have the good sense and diligence to protect the majority community from its own rabid/regressive fringe, why can it not be expected to do the same for the minorities… case in point: muslim minority? if it won’t formally allow a temple to be built in ayodhya, why would it formally strip away the rights of muslim women, on the other hand?

    137. Bloody Civilian


      …except that you are comparing a democracy with a non-democracy. the ‘bending over backwards’ in pakistan was not done by the AIML, or its legtimate successors.

    138. Majumdar

      The first step towards bending backwards (aka OR-49) was done by AIML, if I am not mistaken. Declaring Pak an Islamic republic, the infamous 2nd amendment, ban over daroo etc was done by a legitimately elected GoP (in 1974) again if I am not mistaken.

      I will respond to your previous post (438 pm) a bit later. It requires some thought and need to be drafted properly.


    139. YLH

      The stage of development the “Muslim” bourgeoisie makes it susceptible to coups and religion-laced propaganda.

      It is not surprising at all that AIML and the Pakistan became what it did.

      It does not explain why the Congress chooses Mullahs over normal Muslims.

    140. Milind Kher

      Mullahs were chosen in the mistaken belief that the Muslim community would feel supported and honored that their leaders had a special status.

      Ultimately, that did not help.

    141. Bloody Civilian


      these interludes between dictatorships in pak cannot be called democracy. we need a 30-year run before we can know that it is not just a temporary, controlled disruption. ZAB was the sec gen of the Muslim League that Ayub Khan was the president of.

      OR-49 would have meant not much – after all it had zero legal effect or power – had it been followed by constituional continuity and democracy.

    142. Bloody Civilian


      ” their leaders “??? leaders by what definition? when did they vote for them? they totally defied them in the 1946 elections.

    143. hoss

      Let us just get the historical facts right here first. Congress did not choose mullahs of any variety. The mullahs reached the top of the Indian politics during the Khilafat Movement. They provided a platform to Gandhi to launch his political career. And to be honest here, they did an effective job of making Gandhi the undisputed leader in the 20s. Obviously, Gandhi and the Indian National Congress had no choice but to work with them in future too. The Khilafat Movement not only helped Gandhi in politically ousting Jinnah but as a result of that movement, some other liberal and progressive leaders were also alienated by Gandhi. That included Motilal Nehru, and Jinnah’s mentor in Congress. (I completely forgot his name, lala Lajpat Roy?) I would also add Ms. Annie Besent(sp) though I am not really sure of what her politics was.

      It was only in the 30s that many progressive Muslims joined the Congress but eventually ended up with the Communist Party. They never made a dent in Mullah’s hold on Gandhi. They allied with JLN and shaped his liberal secular credentials. I can’t remember all the names now but the 1935 progressive movement supported Indian National Congress. Dr. Rasheed Jehan, Faiz, Sajjad Zaheer and many others including the Qidwais of Meerut at one time or another, were close to the Congress.

      The majority of conservative Muslims in central India remained tied with the Mullah until the mullah’s stranglehold was broken by Jinnah.

      The secular Muslims though a minority within Central Indian Muslims never left Indian Congress/CPI or joined the Muslim league. It is unfortunate that the role of progressive and secular Muslims in Indian freedom struggle is overshadowed by the events of 1947. In the current Pakistan, some of the progressives who moved from India for different reasons launched the progressive movement in Pakistan, starting with their stand against the Obj. Res. and students’ agitation by the Democratic Student Federation, a wholly progressive-Urdu speaking owned subsidy.

      The current Pakistan or the West Pakistan then was a political wasteland at that time. With literacy in teens, the building of a progressive movement in Pakistan was a Herculean task and we should give credit to the small left in Pakistan-which initially was mostly immigrants from Indian UP and CP-for providing the leadership and education to the political workers.

      We need to understand that Pakistan’s shift to the bureaucratic rule and its natural corollary of religion based dominance in politics was due mostly to the extremely low literacy rates and the resulting political, ideological or intellectual barrenness at partition that prevented the emergence of any popular and large liberal or progressive movement to block the Mullah-Feudal-and Army control of the country.

    144. vajra

      @Bloody Civilian

      We need to understand that Pakistan’s shift to the bureaucratic rule and its natural corollary of religion based dominance in politics was due mostly to the extremely low literacy rates and the resulting political, ideological or intellectual barrenness at partition that prevented the emergence of any popular and large liberal or progressive movement to block the Mullah-Feudal-and Army control of the country.


    145. Milind Kher


      Without being elected leaders, the mullahs are perceived by the political parties in India as the leaders of the Muslims.

      It is a different matter that this holds true only for illiterate and obscurantist sections

    146. Bloody Civilian


      The stage of development the “Muslim” bourgeoisie makes it susceptible to coups and religion-laced propaganda.

      within the context of south asia/india, the chronological gap between ram mohan roy and sir syed (with all his shortcomings) is important; as is the similar gap between the brits arriving in bengal and in the punjab. the economic backwardness is the other reason.

      why indonesia went through dictatorships, with america supporting a genocidal dictator, does not have the same explanation as the one for, say, egypt being a dictatorship. or syria or turkey. the present right-leaning tendencies amongst indonesians are also to be out at the dictatorships’ door.

      it would be difficult to generalise, even with or without the ‘al-rashid khalifa’ syndrome.

    147. Bloody Civilian


      hoss has not mentioned mian iftikharuddin. he was a lahori congress-ite (until he switched over to jinnah’s side), not from CP or UP. and he was a liberal.

      he, and others, did stand up to the bureaucrat-military-feudal-mullah usurping people’s sovereignty. btw, hoss didn’t mention tayabji either. a non-mullah congress president before the time of the khilafat movement.

      but returning to pakistan’s non-democracy. all indians can take pride in and credit for their democracy. those who think india is doing well despite the politicians, obviously do not understand democracy.

      no one need be blamed for pak’s non-democracy other than the non-democrats. why should i be blamed for leaving the window open that allowed my own watchman to rob me?? or blame the bank clerk for not doing anything except just lying there with his hand and feet tied up and mouth taped, as the robbers went about their business?

      so pak dictatorships were the fault of those who were EBDO-ed, sent to prison and worse?

    148. nameshavereligions

      I notice that the word ‘love’ has been used 4 times in this discussion (excluding the ad columns). Interestingly all 4 times the word has been used in a negative context.

      The thought that comes to my mind as I write this is, humanity basically is at a cross road of 2 choices; love of religion/love of the country VS love of humanity and love of life itself.

      As I see it the great problems of this tiny tiny world of ours can only be mitigated when the latter form for love is instilled in the hearts of everyone. This should be the one and only aspiration of all life.

      Terribly sorry to say something that is probably completely out of context of this blogpost and the discussions but I felt like saying this.

    149. hoss


      I did not mention many and countless others no names because it is not easy to jot down the whole Indian history of the 20th century in a few lines. But there is no doubt that the secular Muslims in central India contributed substantially to the Indian independence movement.

      Apropos my previous post, I would add that the ML at the time of partition was heavily dominated by the conservative Indian Muslims and many of them believed in religion as a political ideology. ML was a party where Jinnah was actually to the left of the party. CPI inspired second ranking leaders who joined in 1945 notwithstanding.

      Now if we look at Jinnah’s ideological bend, we find that he was nowhere close to be a liberal or progressive. In reality he was close to what we now call a classical liberal. He was closer to the Conservative Party in UK than to the labor party. On the flip side the Congress mostly took positions closer to the Labor Party positions in UK.

      Jinnah agreed more with Conservative positions than the liberal positions.
      There is no doubt that he was an enlightened man who understood what secularism and equality for all meant but that was part of his conservative ideology.

      Therefore, there was hardly any opposition to the Obj. Res when it was presented. Even the opposition from the Bengali leaders was not energetic. The Bengali group in the assembly was led by not Suharwardi but Khaja Nazimuddin group including Fazalullah who was originally the leader of the Karshik Saramik(sp) party in united Bengal and Bengal chief Minister before partition.

      With this much of conservatism at the top Pakistan was bound to regress in to the cesspool of religious activism. However, if we analyze it more objectively, we would see that this conservatives and further regression in to the religious activism was used to support the elites at the top. A vast majority of the people despite low education levels and no measurable liberal movement in politics, still never supported the brazenness of the religious leaders, army, and the civilian bureaucrats. It was the army generals who imposed dogmatism in to Pakistan politics.

      In the current Pakistan at the time of Partition, there was no opposition party in Punjab. Ironically, the parties that existed in Sindh and NWFP (GM Syed and Bacha Khan led) were conservative based on the political agendas they supported. In fact their agenda was closer to Muslim League ideologically than even the current PPP.

    150. Bloody Civilian


      i agree with your analysis. i didn’t entirely agree with your paragraph that Vajra has reproduced, but the latest analysis is more as i see it too. that is:

      However, if we analyze it more objectively, we would see that this conservatives and further regression in to the religious activism was used to support the elites at the top. A vast majority of the people despite low education levels and no measurable liberal movement in politics, still never supported the brazenness of the religious leaders, army, and the civilian bureaucrats. It was the army generals who imposed dogmatism in to Pakistan politics.

      and the generals broke the law; committed a crime. the victims are not responsible or the reason for the crime.

      OR-49 was of course a regressive step. and you have already analysed the reasons for it going through practically unchallenged by the majority community. but had democracy and rule of law continued, there might well have been a correction too. and another regression at another point may be, followed by another correction at another. until some sort of semblance of stability would have been reached… as happens in the process of any democratic evolution.

      democracy and rule of law naturally defend against extremism. extremism by definition, almost, cannot be and never is popular. an elite ruling illegitimately used religion in an effort to divert attention from their illegitimacy. although they have never been successful in fooling the populace, the use of religion has emboldened and strengthened the extremists.

      democracy even now can correct this by empowering the people. considering that it is a people who have always rejected them, mullahs would automatically lose their power.

    151. YLH

      I am afraid I cannot agree with Hoss’ version of history.

      First of all..within the British political spectrum Jinnah would not be considered a conservative I am afraid.

      Jinnah was a John Morley-inspired liberal who had taken up causes such as suffrage and equal rights before they were popular…. and he was a member of the Fabian Society in the 1930s. In his correspondence with Irving… Jinnah is often found complaining about the Conservative Party (i.e. opposition to Ramsay Macdonald) and its imperialism. Politics of 1940 put him in an unspoken alliance with the Conservative Party… but that was not his politics.

      The secular Muslims were mostly in the Communist Party… not in the Congress… and in the 1940s, they switched from the Communist Party to Muslim League…. individually there may be some Muslims – very few and far between- who might have held Indian nationalism as their main identity who might have stayed in the Congress… but most of Congress’ Muslim support from came from the Islamist Muslims who were roped in by Gandhi and Azad…. or from other smaller ethno-nationalists.

      Jinnah deliberately created a left wing within the Pakistan Movement. Mian Iftikharuddin, Daniyal Latifi, Sajjad Zaheer all followed Mr. Jinnah by 1946 in Indian politics (though most leftists don’t accept this now). Then Jinnah asked Iftikharuddin to start a left wing Muslim Newspaper…. this is how Pakistan Times came into being on 1st January 1947. Faiz Ahmad Faiz was Pakistan Times’ first Editor in Chief. (For Dawn, Jinnah had chosen a Syrian Christian leftist Indian Nationalist…. Pothan Joseph …. as editor).

      Hoss’ analysis falls flat on its face when one considers that it was Khawaja Nazimuddin the conservative who refused to accept Mullah demands and consequently lost power… and Bhutto the “left liberal” crook who accepted every demand of the Mullahs … from Ahmadis to friday holiday… from alcohol to nightclubs.

    152. YLH

      And just a clarification…. it was not Jinnah agreeing with Conservative Party in the 1940s… but the other way around.

    153. Hayyer

      YLH: (4.04)

      “Isn’t it strange that the Indian government and the Congress party bends over backwards for Deoband…as in Shahbano case…but never tries to come to an understanding with secular minded liberal Muslims?”

      You must distinguish between the Congress party leadership and the Government of India.
      The Congress party makes unprincipled alliances with religious fundamentalists. The Government of India likes to think it is above all compromise.
      Congress makes opportune concessions which it intends to ignore. Government of India gets caught in the web woven by the Congress.
      Currently Government of India is caught in precisely such a web over Telengana and Andhra.
      Secular minded liberal Muslims are no different from secular minder liberals of other faiths. They don’t need understandings of any kind.
      GOI has to face religious fanatics of every faith. It is the political parties that make the compromises and dictate government policy. Government of India has a never to be acknowledged, but nonetheless mild, subliminal confusion over the words Hindu and India. Being manned predominantly by Hindus, it cannot anticipate or take Muslim opinion for granted, even notionally. During the Shah Bano episode there was only poor Arif Mohammad Khan to stand up and be counted. He had to leave the Congress.
      The Congress and other parties fear upsetting Muslim voters who they believe to be easily primed by Maulvis. How many votes does the secular liberal Muslim leader have in comparison?
      Muslim voters who see themselves adrift in an ocean of Hindus are not going to be persuaded when the Maulvis tell them otherwise.
      The parties that take on the Maulvis are those that are anti Maulvi anyway because they are anti Muslim, such as the BJP and Shiv Sena. That counts for nothing. Even the Commies, being mostly Hindu, while strident about the Hindu right are careful with the Muslim fundamentalists. Knowing that the Hindu right won’t vote for them they are keen to retain the poor Muslim vote by pandering to the Mullahs.
      The former IFS officer Shahabuddin (not the Bihar crimimal MP of the same name) resigned his job to take represent Muslims but he too eventually ended up attacking the Shah Bano judgement. Muslim politicians wanting a career, and hoping to carry Muslim support cannot be seen as puppets of Hindus. They have to defend traditional Muslim positions.
      One would have thought that it would be easy for liberal and secular Muslims to set up an effective and vocal political grouping in a Muslim majority country like Pakistan, but we don’t see it. And, though PTH shows that there is no dearth of secular liberal persons in your country liberal secular groupings have yet to come power anywhere. It is difficult in India for a secular liberal Muslim to rise in a party like the Congress and yet retain a Muslim base without taking the Maulvis on board. Hindu secular liberal leaders do it all the time. How could Muslims succeed without a similar ambiguity?

    154. YLH

      Also applying the British conservative/liberal divide on Pakistanis is a bit counter-productive.

      One would have to leave it to the historians of a later date to pass a verdict as to which era was more “liberal” in its policies towards women, minorities and social norms…. the “conservative right wing era” of say… Ayub Khan… or the “left populism” of say…. Bhutto.

      In 1969 and mid 1970s …. Pakistani “left populists” presented educational policies…. which recommended:

      1. Replacing English with Urdu and other languages as medium of instruction.

      2. Nationalizing Church Educational Institutions because they were votaries of American and British Imperialism.

      3. Downplaying the role of people like pro-British loyalists like Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Sir Aga Khan and Sir Fazli Hussain and playing up the anti-imperialist contributions of “Darul Ulooms”… towards the education of Muslims….

      “Left Populism” in Muslim countries is a very ugly form of post-colonial hogwash.

      Even historically… you cannot always apply these distinctions comfortably … on say the American divide…. especially in the period 1850 to 1950.

    155. YLH


      The last question you asked has the key to all issues … now we are removing cobwebs – I hope you will pursue this line further…. one man managed to do that I must point out… but I’ll let you decide.

    156. Ranjit


      The 800 lb gorilla in the room is Islam itself……Islam is a very different religion from all others……..it has a highly structured, assertive doctrine that wants to occupy the civic and private lives of its followers…….the group dynamics unleashed by Islam are like no other……..an individual hindu and an individual muslim are comparable to each other…….but if you take 10 hindus vs 10 muslims, the group dynamics of the latter set is many times more powerful…….that is just the nature of the faith……

      Secondly, the mullahs, maulvis and other religious figures play a disproportionately influential role amongst muslims in any muslim society…….they are the middlemen between ordinary muslims and Allah…….this may not be sanctioned in the faith itself, but this is the way Islam is practiced all over the world…….this is not something that hindus have created or enforced…….

      People are blaming the Congress party of cozying up to the mullahs……..what choice did the Congress have before or after partition?………if the Congress party only talked to the secular muslims, it would have faced immediate accusations of trying to destroy islam as it is practiced in South Asia……you couple that backlash with the group dynamics amongst muslims, you have a real trouble on your hands………even after the Congress cozied up to the mullahs, it had to face partition……imagine if it had gone in the other direction and only supported the secularists……..we would have seen suicide bombings in Delhi and Bombay in the 1930s, let alone today…………

      So the real solution lies in acknowledging the special nature of Islam……….that is the first thing that secularists and liberals have to admit………the current thinking is that Islam is just a faith like Hinduism or Chirstianity…….that mindset needs to change……..secondly you need to devise solutions where you give reasonable space to Islam as it is practiced today…….dont interfere in its personal aspects……..once you are able to defang the group dynamics and the mullah effects by giving it a suitable outlet and safety valve, you can adopt other measures that are more secular and liberal…….

    157. vajra


      I wholeheartedly endorse Hayyer’s analysis in his posting of 10:31 today, but with a pang of pain at the bankruptcy of the Indian left:

      Even the Commies, being mostly Hindu, while strident about the Hindu right are careful with the Muslim fundamentalists. Knowing that the Hindu right won’t vote for them they are keen to retain the poor Muslim vote by pandering to the Mullahs.

      On personalities, he has mentioned Syed Shahabuddin as a compromised politician; true enough, but Shahabuddin never gave the impression of being even remotely secular, it seemed from the outset that he was pandering to the lowest common multiple.

      So it was not necessarily the Shah Bano case that sealed his position and forced him to the right; he was already there and merely had to articulate his view afresh.

      It is a pity that Arif Mohammed Khan could not last longer or gain the heights that he fully deserved; he was a breath of fresh air and a welcome contrast to ‘sarkari’ Mussulmans.

      Regarding your scathing criticism of ‘Left Populism’ (perhaps it overlaps what has been narrowly described as ‘Economism’), there was an almost identical situation in India. Every mental inflection you have mentioned was repeated here, at Central level by Indira Gandhi and her subsequent imitators, at State level certainly by the governments of Kerala and West Bengal, often by quasi-left quasi-populist parties like Mulayam Singh’s SP.

    158. YLH


      The truth is that if the Congress had only stuck to its basics and kept Gandhian influence out, Mullahs would not have been politicized. Gandhi used Mullahs to out-flank liberal and secular Muslims… then liberal and secular Muslims turned the tables on him. The result is we see the kind of issues you are raising.

      Islam is exactly a faith like Christianity…. there is no difference between the claims either makes. The difference is between the stage of evolution at which the followers of either faith are.

      No one is asking anyone to undo personal law. I for one think that so long as it is voluntary and does not violate any fundamental rights, it is perfectly valid to have a personal law … and is recognized by English law.

      However Congress-led Indian government always imposes Deobandi fundamentalism on an essentially Barelvi populace.

      And in Pakistan… as the state moved towards a religiously defined polity, the Barelvi popular Islam i.e. low church got replaced by the Deobandi approach i.e. High Church which gives the doctrine you are talking about. Then the cold war intervened to make it violent.

    159. G.Vishvas

      A pakistani muslim wrote to me that islam is 99% judaism. Not christianity.

      The spirit of the kuran is totalitarian – there may be sentences in the kuran that sound different but are and will hence remain ineffective, or just decoration or camouflage. The kuran contains incosistencies, ambiguities and even contradictions, mistakes and idiocies. To call it divine revelation is an insult to god (whoever he is in his most-idealized version). A book has a spirit – its how, why, where, when etc. This spirit (not in the spiritist or metaphysical or ghost-bogey-under-white-bedsheet sense) determines the outcome of the book. The kuran is a totalitarian idea. Its why, how, when, where etc. is totalitarian.

      All this left-right polit-stuff, especially in islam-dominated areas, comes afterwards, after understanding the above jinx (or jinn). Jinnah (yet another jinn) had no political intelligence for all that. He was a megalomaniac who wanted to go down in the history of mankind as some great guy, liberator, Moses-leading-enslaved-israelites-from-Egypt-to-promised-land etc. The whole pakistan idea is obnoxious islamic-semitic nonsense and nuisance imposed on idiotic hindus (even the pakistanis are really idiotic hindus = islamically idiotized inhabitants of the Sindhu river basin). To be a muslim means to be a bootlicker of arabs and the arab god-concept – and then they talk of honor and self-respect in Pakistan and even kill for this so-called honor. Voila!

      The concept of revelation is itself an insult to man and god. Revelation-based claims will always lead to fascism. Even Hitler claimed revelations (and in Nazi Germany they actually played to it). After taking over tiny helpless Bohemia (1938) he was ascribed divine military(!) abilities – even old prussian generals began to adore him and bow down in front of him – in spite of knowing better! Islam and muslims are in the same category.

    160. Ammar

      Dear Vishas,

      “There is no compulsion in religion”- does that sound totalitarian to you? Well if that basic ayat of the Quran sounds totalitarian to you, then I do not know what would be non-totalitarian.

      Judaism, Christiainity and Islam were all revealed in the Middle East. Why just accuse Muslims of being bootlickers of Arab concept of God.

      If Jinnah’s only wish was to go down in history as a great guy, he could have realized that wish by becoming Prime Minister of united India-specially when people like Gandhi seemed to have suggested that idea to Mountbatten. India as a geographical entity was much larger than what he got in the end- ” a moth-eaten Pakistan” as he put it. If he were the “megalomaniac “that you are potraying him to be- he should have strived for leadership in India- when a Muslim having ruled over Hindus was not a new thing and had been the case for centuries and the Congress leadership, barring Nehru, did not consider it to be a bad idea- considering it would it would have avoided partition. He could have gone down in history as as the first leader of independent India but the “megalomaniac” did not take the offer seriously and just remarked: “wily Gandhi”. What sort of “megalomaiac” was this man?

    161. Bloody Civilian

      Muslim voters who see themselves adrift in an ocean of Hindus are not going to be persuaded when the Maulvis tell them otherwise.

      or so the ‘congress and other parties’ think. what is the credible factual basis for that? in both 37 and 46 the muslim voters voted for a party and a leader declared unislamic and kafir by the maulvis. in 37 it was the muslims of UP and Bombay (Presidency) etc. what is the evidence, other than congress imagining, predicting and pre-empting stuff, that the muslims have any problem in running roughshod over the decrees and opinions of deoband?

      of course we have the narrative of muslim voter being swayed by ‘deen in danger’, yet no one cares to explain that how did he think that he would save deen by openly and totally defying the custodians and protectors of deen.

      in pakistan’s case, those who claimed to occupy the liberal slot in politics were themselves creation of the military/dictatorship. or they were traditional reactionaries who were opposed more to centralised and – in their view – liberal/modernist dictatorship than to conservatism, per se. have 30 years of democracy not controlled by the military in pakistan, then lets see if hayyer’s hypothesis still holds true or not.

      any military is conservative, as an institution… almost by definition. for a military wishing to control politics, its worst enemy is the liberal. in pak too, the true liberals were the first to be sorted out by the dictatorship. psuedo-liberals were not a problem and did fine to create the right optics of a benign dictator or even some kind of democracy.

      what muslim politicians of the stature of azad has india produced since azad? why did mian iftikharuddin feel he had to leave congress? did arif khan’s political career come to an end at the hands of congress or the muslim electorate?

    162. Hayyer

      YLH, Ranjit and Vajra;
      I should, I think, take up YLH’s suggestion to develop my line of thought further, and also try to respond to the points raised by Ranjit and Vajra-but not tonight. I have a wedding to attend; if I can get back early, tonight, otherwise tomorrow morning.

    163. Milind Kher


      Islam and Christianity may be similar in history, eschatology etc, but as ideologies they are very different.

      Christianity believes in separation of the church and the state whereas Islam does not. That is where, in Islam, the Deobandi fundamentalism gets imposed on a Barelvi populace.

      That is also the reason it is difficult to get Muslims to agree to a common civil code.

    164. Ummi

      It was refreshing to see the image of Jinnah’s passport in today’s Jang in which he’s wearing famous “Jinnah Cap” , the image looks more muslim than “secular”.

    165. YLH

      Your stupidity is indeed boundless …. only to be matched by those idiots who suggest that one cannot be a Muslim and secular at the same time.

      Thanks also for telling us that Qarakul aka Jinnah Cap is a symbol of Islam… I suppose Nehru was a Hindu theocrat because he wore his signature Gandhi cap.

    166. vajra

      To Whom It May Concern

      Will someone – ANYONE – explain to our resident idiot (no, not I, Luq, look a little more carefully, there’s a dear chap?) that without revelation, we would never know about God in the first place?

      The concept of revelation is itself an insult to man and god. Do we have another atheist or agnostic here?

    167. Luq

      Dear Vajra,

      There are plenty of signs on the bloggers highway saying “Do not feed the trolls !” The best way to deal with trolls is to ignore them……… well however, if you want to cure yourself of low blood pressure, sure – have a go. 🙂 Incorrigible arnchya?

      P.S : I have to admit, things get interesting when these trolls drop by. Gets your grey matter up and running.

    168. Luq


      So tell us about the concept of a god who does not reveal himself to anyone.


    169. Hoss

      Can some of us not able to ignore a troll?
      G.Vishwas is a troll. Please show some maturity and ignore him.

    170. vajra


      Apologies. I haven’t had so much fun ever with my clothes on. No more; I will ignore it henceforth.

    171. Hoss

      December 25, 2009 at 10:24 am
      “Jinnah was a John Morley-inspired liberal who had taken up causes such as suffrage and equal rights before they were popular”

      Classical liberalism has roots before John Morley even got to the political limelight. They took up these issues before John Morley. John Morley’s economic policies were utterly conservative.

      Liberalism and conservative are defined in terms of economic policies too. Muslim League was an issue based part and in the two elections under Jinnah before the partition, the ML had no significant economic program to boot.

      There was hardly any left in the ML until the communist Party sent its few members and most of them had duel memberships. This was partly due to the tradition that Congress established when it allowed members of the other parties to become member of the Congress too. Congress had both Mahasabhai and communists as members.

      The entire left group deserted the ML as soon as partition was complete. That was because they did not see how they could reconcile with the ML Platform in independent Pakistan. This exodus happened when Jinnah was a still alive but his grip on political issues had definitely weakened due to his deteriorating health.

      It is correct that we cannot exactly apply the liberal and conservative constructs in Indian-Pakistan context but since both groups come in different shades and hue, we sure can use some criteria to determine political leaders ideological bent. In the Subcontinent context, before the partition there was no liberal leader at the top in both parties. If we do a one on one comparison Nehru would certainly be far ahead of Jinnah on a liberal matrix and he too was a Fabian type socialist.

    172. Bloody Civilian


      other than their views on big government, what was the difference between jinnah’s and nehru’s liberalism? morley was mostly pre-labour. jinnah was no socialist but his libertarian tendencies weren’t as great or acute as morley’s.

    173. ranjit

      YLH and Bloody Civilian,

      The mullah element in any muslim society is enormously powerful and not completely understood……..the mullahs literally use emotional blackmail to rile up the population…….in India, most communal problems happen right after the Friday sermon, when some mullah goes beserk in a mosque spouting venom of some kind…….this is a force that no one has tried to control among the muslims………in fact, most liberal and moderate muslims turn a blind eye towards it and ignore its existence……..

      For an ordinary muslim, the mullah effect is a curious one……typically the mullah effect is highly intense but shortlived in most ordinary muslims……..they get riled up and occasionally do something crazy upon instigation………however, later they calm down and realize the folly of their actions……..in a few people, the mullah effect become permanent……..that is why mullah backed parties cannot win elections anywhere but they wield a lot of power and in a short period of time, they can whip up intense frenzy of the mobs, only to see it subside after a while……..

      Given this situation, it is very difficult for any secular, liberal party to ignore the mullahs……..if you thumb your nose at them, they will whip up the mobs in intense frenzy of ‘islam khatrey mein hai’……..just a few thousand taliban with this kind of brainwashing is holding pakistan hostage these days with their suicide bombings…….it is this phenomenon of intense, short lived frenzy that scares the daylights out of the Congress party or any other party in India………….that is why they always tried to come to an agreement with the mullah class and somehow get them towards their side, so as to blunt this effect………..otherwise, if India tries to forcibly change muslim society like the way Ataturk tried in Turkey, there will be rivers of blood flowing……..Pakistan is trying to stand up to the mullah element and look what is happening to it today……….so you can hardly blame hindus or the Congress, can you?……….if you want everyone to treat muslims in a secular, liberal manner, you have to absolutely defang the mullah elements……..that means putting in social mechanisms to discredit and devalue the mullah elements……..but can even one muslim try to attempt it?………so why blame hindus?……

    174. Luq

      BTW, nice of them to allow internet access at your institution.


    175. yasserlatifhamdani


      Hossp acts on impressions and assumptions not on any real substantial history. Nehru obviously thought he was far ahead of Jinnah in liberalism as well…. However in reality the fact that is the League manifesto- after it was re-organized by Jinnah in 1936.- was identical to Congress’ manifesto…

      The difference between Nehru and Jinnah was not of politics…. but of political style. Nehru was a post-war socialist … Jinnah was a Victorian/Edwardian constitutionalist. But their inclinations were the same…. i.e. social justice, equal rights for men and women regardless of religion caste or creed and secularism.

      Nehru cannot be described as “far ahead” on the liberal matrix… simply a different kind of politician with a different kind of inspiration for his liberalism.

    176. Hoss

      In the absence of any book written by Jinnah, you can only judge his ideological tendencies by the his acts on the ground.

      John Morley was just one of the politician or a protégé of Gladstone. His influence on British political currents and ideologies of that period was not significant enough for any politician to model after him.

      Nehru wrote many books that provide enough insight in to the man. Then we have some significant educational and other social reforms that he initiated. It is not hard to understand
      Nehru’s thought process. Compare to Nehru, Jinnah never really showed what his over all agenda was.
      I don’t intend to start a debate here to compare Nehru and Jinnah but Jinnah’s political thoughts are unclear on many issues such as the two world wars and many others issues in the intervening period. He made significant contribution to the quality of Muslim life in India and compared to his own colleagues in ML, he was a liberal but not beyond that.

    177. yasserlatifhamdani

      Hoss uncleji,

      That is because you haven’t read enough about Jinnah… or his speeches and debates in the central legislature of India… Jinnah took very clear positions on all the issues of the day… and these positions were always the most liberal… I’d be happy to quote his view on any issue that you might want to bring up.

      I wrote very briefly on some of these… but these are not based on exhaustive study that I later conducted:


      To sum up Jinnah’s positions … he was stood for greater responsibility for the legislature, universal adult education, child marriage restraint, reforming personal law to bring it in conformity with fundamental human rights, constitutional due process, equal voting rights for men and women, women’s participation in the work force, better working conditions for the labor, rupee tenders instead of pounds, Indianization of the Armed forces, better treatment of political prisoners, opposition to emergency powers…. he stood for freedom of conscience, expression, free academic inquiry (his warning on the issue of blasphemy law was farsighted)…

      These would be considered liberal positions in any day and age.

    178. Gorki

      “And then Franklin smote the ground and up rose George Washington, fully dressed and astride a horse! Then the three of them, Franklin, Washington and the HORSE, proceeded to win the entire revolution single handedly!” –John Adams 😉

      History is not always fair.
      Nehru is admired for leaving behind the Republic of India, and he truly deserves a great degree of credit for it but he was but one among several giants of his time. He was perhaps not the tallest but certainly was the most favored by fortune. MAJ had a much harder hand dealt to him by fortune by virtue of the fact that he represented a minority. I believe Majumdar Da has often mentioned this fact before but it is interesting to speculate what if MAJ too had been born a Hindu, a thus a leader of the majority community?
      Nehru had another advantage over MAJ; he was younger and also the son of one established congress leader and an anointed heir of another. To his credit, he did acknowledge these advantages. Writing about his elevation to the top post of the congress party in 1931, he wrote self depreciatingly “It was not even like I was brought in through the backdoor but more like I was sprung out of a trap door”!

      One of the biggest strategic mistakes made by Nehru (that cost everyone dearly) was in 1937 when he spurned MAJ’s offer of coalition between the congress and the ML. Perhaps it may have been otherwise if he, the leader of congress was the older man (and more mature politician) and MAJ of the ML leader was a younger man.


    179. Bloody Civilian


      no one is asking GoI to go beyond its own laws, let alone do an ataturk. just not to treat citizens differently when deciding how much of its laws and principles GoI is prepared to compromise, depending on the citizens’ religious identity.

      in pakistan sectarian and other mullah-driven disturbances tend to follow the friday prayer. there’s nothing surprising about that. the mosque is the mullah’s platform. he has no other access to the public.

      if anything more than a tiny minority formed the post-friday prayer mob, imagine the sheer scale of the consequences that will ensue.

      your observation about the taliban etc is fatally ahistorical.

    180. Bloody Civilian


      talking of socialists and their revolutionary pretences and constitutionalists, did faiz have an opportunity to reject all association of the communist party with a planned military takeover? if yes, then is it true that he failed to reject the suggestion out of hand?

    181. Hoss

      “did faiz have an opportunity to reject all association of the communist party with a planned military takeover?”

      It is not clear to me that you are referring to one specific instance or in general.

      The Pindi Conspiracy case was as bogus as the Agartala Conspiracy case of the 60s and the Hyderabad Conspiracy case of the 70s.
      It was a purge of some army officers who were more vocal on Kashmir within the army and differed with the establishment group. The communist leaders were implicated for no rhyme and reason.


      I am not in to personalty cult type worship of politicians. Jinnah was a politician and there is plenty of evidence he was not always right on every issue. Neither was he a liberal in any sense of the word. Plenty of conservative politicians make similar speeches.

    182. Bloody Civilian

      thanks hoss. i know that the communists were framed. but i am not sure whether the establishment’s case was based on 99% lies or 100%.

      i was referring to the gen akbar case only. faiz did work for the GoP during the ayub khan regime, for periods of time. i wish he hadn’t.

    183. Bloody Civilian

      The communist leaders were implicated for no rhyme and reason

      it was obviously to convince the americans that we were their true cold war allies, even when they knew it as well as us our real purpose for wanting american aid.

      there are the communications from US mission in karachi expressing satisfaction to washington, for example. but there are also police reports/evidence etc. related to the pindi sazish case… i just wasn’t sure if it was fabrication as pure as agarthala or not.

    184. G.Vishvas

      To bloody civilian and Luq etc.

      Abusing a person because you cannot answer him is an old old trick.

      Vajra even called my criteria of fascism as “self-made derived by reading Reader’s Digest”. Not that he bothered to analyse them. Then comes he up with the idea that religions need not be checked for their fascism content – they are supposedly divinely exempt from such scrutiny by some god’s order.

      No one is an atheist. It is only that our definitions of god differ. So don’t try to reserve a seat for yourelf in allah’s heaven by vilifying me. May be the arabic-kuranic allah wants it that way, but then he does not deserve to be called god (by my definition).

      As regards revelation – it is to be put aside in favour of intelligence, which too is god-given and hence need not be insulted or disused. Means: if there is any conflict between revelation and intelligence (observation) then the latter takes precedence. Revelation is too personal, subjective and private and incapable of being scrutinized (if at all it takes place) to be of any good value in case of such a conflict. It is a clash of subjective vs. objective. If someone claims god has revealed him this or that, then we are under compulsion to verify whether he is delusionary or not. Such a scrutiny has proved to be impossible for reasons of emotions and violences which accompany such declarations. Islam itself is an advanced pathetic case of this malady going far beyond the follies and fascisms of all earlier revelations (or so-called revelations).

      A wise god knows how the very word revelation can be misused and to what social disaster it lead and leads. Revelation is one man’s truth being imposed on all and sundry. Why would god discriminate against others? Does god (by any definition) not have the ability or freedom to talk to everyone in clear modern language? 7th century arabic is not the last word of communication, is it?

      Intelligence is what everyone has – be it differently developed or refined. Through a public discussion (as per some decent rules of communication) a consensus can be reached about our lives, similarities, differences, limitations etc. and how to manage them.

      Every revelation has become a fascism centered around a person or land or book or some ethnic-historical one-sided narrative. Time to come off it.

      Want to still continue calling me bad names in this forum? Or want to debate really? You call me a troll because I do not fit into your collective trolley?

    185. G.Vishvas

      To Ammar

      Jinnah was a megalomaniac – as per his OWN plan. He was offered the prime ministership of a united India and he rejected it? That is proof of his not being a megalomaniac? Why forget the islamic component of his megalomania which worked in his soul even as he went about creating a secular image about himself in the company of non-muslims? It was for him more “heroic” and hence more “glorious” to play the leader of a supposedly persecuted minority of self-declared victims.

      How does megalomania and the closely related martyrdom-complex function? Islam and muslims are pathetic examples of this other-worldly misguidance.

      The kuran may say at one place there is no compulsion in religion but there are other sentences which have an opposite intention and effect. It is like mixing 1 gram of poison in 99 grams of honey – the resulting mixture has to be labeled killer and not sweetner although the amount of honey is much larger. You muslims are naive flatterers or self-flatterers. The flatulance of this (self-)flattery is unbearable and has spread all over the world now. It has choked the muslims and is now choking the non-muslims too.

      There is the turkish saying : “Friend speaks bitter”.
      True in deed.
      The flatterer is never the true friend. Honesty and flattery do not form any coalition.
      Take that to heart.
      God too does not like flatterers (I guess). I hope so. The flatterers (esp. god-flatterers) have ruined us all along.

    186. yasserlatifhamdani


      Thank you for your cop out and hiding behind the usual “cult of personalities” line. I am not the one who brought up a one to one comparison you did.

      I hold the view that despite different political styles…. Jinnah and Nehru had identical views on all issues except the issue of minorities where they differed … former taking a constitutional federalist view and the latter a socialist centralist European one. The differences between Nehru and Jinnah were always akin to the differences between Alexandar Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson…. with Jinnah and Nehru each being part Jefferson part Hamilton.

      You claimed that Jinnah’s views are not clear on these issues because he didn’t write a book. I on the other hand have said we have a clearer idea of Jinnah’s positions as he took them in 40 years as a legislator in the Indian Central Legislative Assembly.

      Does taking consistent liberal stances on issues enumerated above make Jinnah a liberal. I think so. In exile in Britain, Jinnah decided to seek election to House of Commons. Using his Fabian Society credentials, Jinnah tried to get a Labour ticket. The Labourites rejected him for being too well dressed and elegant .. not the kind of image they wanted to project.
      Subsequently… he did try to seek a similar ticket from the Conservative Party in which he was recommended by his colleagues at the bar….. they rejected him for being too liberal.

      Jinnah was not the kind of man who would change his lifestyle or his political views to fit in atleast not till 1940 or so.

    187. yasserlatifhamdani


      From some of the sources… all bonafide Communists from that period… I have learnt that Communist Party was approached by General Akbar to fill the political vacuum that would emerge after the coup was successful. I think the Communists were sitting on the fence.

      The Communists had supported the Pakistan Movement because in their calculation… Pakistan would be the right size for a two-stage revolution… that Bourgeoisie National Democracy will make room for a Dictatorship of The Proletariat. It might well have worked but for two reasons…

      1. Starting apparently with Jinnah, Pakistan’s top leaders were Pro-Western bloc…

      2. The Army intervened to destroy the bourgeoisie democracy.

    188. Ammar

      Dear Vishas,

      What was Jinnah’s “Own Plan”- to get a “moth-eaten Pakistan”? Is that what the “megalomaniac” wanted when he could have been the PM of a large India.

      Indian Congress leadership drove him to that point and now you are saying that he had his “own plan” which had something to do with his martyrdom/victim complex. I think you need to read Jaswant Singh’s book and that would probably disabuse you of such notions. Reading a book would be a better way of getting rid of such prejudices instead of debating on a forum.

      By definition, a megalomaniac should play for the highest possible stakes and going by that definition he should have accepted PM of India- that is very simple to understand. Becoming PM of an independent and united India was a bigger prize and any megalomaniac should have plumped for that.

      There have been many totalitarian systems even in the last century- Nazism, Communism etc- which had nothing to do with religion or Islam. There is a very strong tradition of dissent in Islam also which militates against your stereotyping of flattery. Even in a theocracy like Iran, the recent demise of Ayatullah Montezari and his popularity shows how well-entrenched dissent even within religious regimes is. If it were all flattery- as you have proclaimed it to be in the world of Islam- one would not have seen schisms within Islam (Karbala) or dissident personalities like Montezari.

      Again my advice would be to read a good book- perhaps Karen Armstrong on Islamic history and that would again dispel your notions about flattery and lack of dissent in the world of Islam.

    189. yasserlatifhamdani


      It is not useful to engage G.Vishwas….

      It is just enjoyable having him comment. Makes us less despondent over our own Islamist bigots.

    190. aaina

      ylh,are you less of a bigot than vishvas?

    191. Milind Kher


      Islam needs no defense, it is far too evolved and sublime to need that. Yes, if we want to tell people more about it so that their exposure to the higher things in life is increased, it is a laudable objective.

      That dissent in Islam is tolerated is well borne out by the scholarly debates theologians have had over centuries.

    192. yasserlatifhamdani


      Do you really think you are authority given your inclination to threaten murder when someone disagrees with your point of view…

      If standing up for the rights of persecuted minorities is bigotry… then hell yeah I am a bigot.

    193. Bloody Civilian

      thnaks YLH. therein lies my problem with commnists. they ruin any chances of proper economic or social equality by not understanding the importance of political equality. they do not understand that no one – including the Proletariat – is immune to the fact that power corrupts.

      btw, aaina is based in india.

    194. aaina

      ylh, now give me a break, you , like most papertigers , have stood up for persecuted minorities only in paper.Have you done anything solid to improve the lot of persecuted minorities in our fatherland?what are your credentials?what have you sacrificed ?nothing
      and bludy civilian, fyi ,delhi’s diplomatic enclave also houses many pakistani citizens,like myself.

    195. aaina

      and milind kher, are you a computer program? your comments are so predictable..

    196. Bloody Civilian


      of course.

    197. Milind Kher


      Khisiyani billi khamba nochey. Carry on 🙂

    198. yasserlatifhamdani

      “and bludy civilian, fyi ,delhi’s diplomatic enclave also houses many pakistani citizens,like myself.”


      Frankly sir you’ve been exposed. You are not a Pakistani citizen… you are a little crook holed up somewhere who is a loser and does not have the integrity to argue his points honestly.

    199. Mustafa Shaban

      @YLH: I support your decision for not signing the declaration. Who are we to judge who is right and wrong. The Master of Judgement and Judgement Day is Allah and not us.

    200. dr jawwad khan

      the name of our beloved country is islamic republic of pakistan where shariyah is accepted as supreme law and source of law making.
      we have the recorded history that how people struggled for pakistan movement. what was the slogan..”pakistan ka matlab kia la ilaha illallah”
      we have lahore resolution.
      we have speeches of Quaid e Azam…
      what else we need?
      every thing is decided my firends.
      islam is the ultimate destination because we got this country from Allah(swt) on one pledge…THE ISLAM….
      i believe sooner true massihah will come and clear all the false claims which polluted the pakistan ideology by disgusting and cheap lies..(insha Allah ul aziz)

    201. Zia Ahmad

      Jawwad Saab!
      If you do happen to be in Saudi Arabia (rumour has it that you do) try asking any of your friendly random Saudi bystander Pakistan ka matlab kya? Chances are his response may not be the one that you expect.
      And its mighty optimistic of you and so many many others of the ilk to expect the fabled solitary maseeha to clear up the mess piling up for the last couple of hundred years. Common sense would demand us to get rid of the mess collectively and it might take a couple of decades.

    202. YLH

      Dr. Jawwad Khan,

      I already exposed your lies about the Quaid-e-Azam on the other board… especially the way you selectively quoted April 1943 speech which actually said the exact opposite of what you are saying.

      Must you insist on lying about the man on every board?

    203. YLH

      “Pakistan ka matlab kiya la illah ilallah”

      To quote Adnan Syed’s article again:

      Pakistan as an Islamic state idea was advanced by a small faction inside Muslim League, whose most visible face was Raja of Mahmudabad. He formed Islami Jamaat cell within the Muslim League. Raja Sahib mentioned to Jinnah that sinceLahore Resolution was passed earlier in the year, and when Pakistan was formed it was undoubtedly to be an Islamic State with the Sunnah and Shariah as its bedrock. The Quaid’s face went red and he turned to ask Raja whether he had taken leave of his senses. Mr. Jinnah added: `Did you realize that there are over seventy sects and differences of opinion regarding the Islamic faith, and if what the Raja was suggesting was to be followed, the consequences would be a struggle of religious opinion from the very inception of the State leading to its very dissolution. Mr. Jinnah banged his hands on the table and said: We shall not be an Islamic State but a Liberal Democratic Muslim State.” Also quoted in http://www.dawn.com/events/pml/review38.htm, “Raja Mahmudabad, a pillar of strength of the Muslim League” by Dr. Muhammad Reza Kazimi

    204. YLH

      First and the last meeting of All Pakistan Muslim League was held under the chairmanship of the Quaid-i-Azam at Karachi’s Khaliqdina Hall. During the meeting a man, who called himself Bihari, put to the Quaid that “we have been telling the people Pakistan ka matlab kia, La Ilaha Illallah.” “Sit down, sit down,” the Quaid shouted back. “Neither I nor my working committee, nor the council of the All India Muslim League has ever passed such a resolution wherein I was committed to the people of Pakistan, Pakistan ka matlab….., you might have done so to catch a few votes.” This incident is quoted from Daghon ki Barat written by Malik Ghulam Nabi, who was a member of the Muslim League Council. The same incident is also quoted by the Raja of Mehmoudabad. [41]


    205. Milind Kher


      All the evidence that you have presented is enough to convince any rational seeker of the truth that Mr Jinnah wanted a secular state.

      The real challenge before Pakistan is now to be able to live up to his vision and ideals

    206. G.Vishvas

      A liberal democratic muslim state is meaningless and impossible. Islam does not allow that or make it possible.

      Liberal and democratic are two adjectives which do not tolerate further adjectives like muslim, hindu, christian, marxist, socialist, capitalist etc. So Jinnah goofed.

      Mentioning muslims as majority means to lay the foundation for the take-over by islamic fanatics later. Any collectivist identity of muslims is dangerous for the polity.