The big news making the headlines today is that Haji Adeel of ANP has spoken out against the Islamic character of the Pakistani state. Coming out of an official Christmas celebration, Haji Adeel said:
1. Pakistan was meant to be a secular state for all people of Pakistan.
2. Quaid-e-Azam Mahomed Ali Jinnah did not name Pakistan an Islamic Republic. Pakistan should become the Republic of Pakistan.
3. Quaid-e-Azam and Bacha Khan both believed in secularism.
4. Denying Non-Muslims of Pakistan the right to become president or prime minister is discriminatory, wrong and against the basic principle of Pakistan.
Haji Adeel was right ofcourse and this is a point that has been driven home by us on PTH many times. What is interesting is how other politicians reacted.
The first to react was Liaqat Baloch of the Jamaat-e-Islami who said: “Haji Adeel’s Party opposed Quaid-e-Azam in referendum”. I have written in some detail on the issue of referendum and criticized Bacha Khan and his party for it, but I wonder who gave Jamaat-e-Islami – which opposed Jinnah tooth and nail- to bring up this point? Just shows how Jamaat-e-Fitna-e-Maududiat is a party of crooks and hypocrites.
PML-Q’s reaction was middle of the road. S M Zafar said that Jinnah wanted equality of citizenship and freedom of religion and if that is amounted to secularism, Jinnah was secular. He however said that under a parliamentary democracy there is nothing wrong with limiting the office of president to Muslims. However there was no justification for any other office being closed to non-Muslims (incidentally the constitution does not say the PM has to be a Muslim but is subject to a Muslim only oath).
Then in came Munawar Hassan of Jamaat-e-Fitna-e-Maududiat. He too declared that Haji Adeel was playing with fire. He then went onto say that “secular lobby” is only basing it’s case on one speech and that too is being misinterpretted- how does one interpret “religion is a personal faith of an individual” and there would be no bars against anyone is beyond me. Furthermore Jinnah’s entire life as a whole shows and proves quite convincingly that Jinnah stood for equality of citizenship, freedom of expression, freedom of religion and a democratic polity based on rule of law- this is secularism.
But perhaps the most disgusting reaction came from ANP’s Zahid Khan who completely disowned Haji Adeel and said that Haji Adeel had nothing to do with party policy. He said further that Khan Abdul Wali Khan was a signatory to the Constitution of 1973 and therefore ANP saw Pakistan as an Islamic Republic.
How is history distorted in Pakistan and given a spin to suit the Islamists is perhaps indicated by Aaj TV’s “Blackbox documentary” on Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan. Jinnah had said: ‘The tolerance and goodwill that the Emperor Akbar showed to all the non-Muslims is not of recent origin. It dates back to thirteen centuries ago when our Prophet not only by words but by deeds treated the Jews and Christians after he had conquered them with the utmost tolerance and regard and respect for their faith and beliefs’
Aaj TV translated this as “Shahinshah Akbar nay jo rawadari ghair muslimo ko dikhai wo hamaray liye namoona nahi”
Shame on Aaj TV! Shame on Aaj TV’s crooked owners and shameless editors.
Picture- Courtesy Mobilink