Tag Archives: Jinnah’s Pakistan

Objectives Resolution And Secularism 3

From Aaj Kal

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Calling A Spade A Spade

VIEW: Parliamentary theocracy —Yasser Latif Hamdani

The 18th Amendment reintroduces the requirement for the prime minister of the country to be a Muslim. Pakistan’s slide down the slippery pole of religiosity is quite clear

Frederick Douglass — the
great 18th century American statesman and abolitionist — once described democracy as a way to take turns. He was a one-man resistance to the tyranny of the majority and its confusion about democracy. It did not occur, however, to the framers of the 18th Amendment that this was also the principle on which Pakistan was founded, i.e. a permanent majority shall not, by sheer force of numbers, dominate and oppress a permanent minority.
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Jinnah Was The Most Secular Statesman Produced By The Muslim World

Liaqat Ali Khan with Mahomed Ali Jinnah

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

It is amazing that given the confusion created about the word “secular” in Pakistan by both the right and the left has so thoroughly disoriented the thought process of our intelligentisia, especially that which is christened by the state,  that it has failed to capitalize on the fact that Pakistan’s founding father was not just unambiguously secular but was the most secular statesman in the history of the greater Muslim world,  even more so than the great Kemal Ataturk, who is justifiably hailed as the father of secularism in the Muslim world.   Even Kemal Ataturk through an amendment to the constitution of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 instituted Islam as the state religion [1], which remained in the constitution till 1928 when Ataturk had it removed.   Jinnah never instituted a state religion and blocked every resolution or move whether in the Pakistani Constituent Assembly or the All India Muslim League Central Working Committee [2].  Continue reading

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Secularists And Jinnah’s 11th August Covenant

There is no more a sacred covenant than this speech by the founding father, statesman, law-giver and philosopher in chief ,  Mr. Jinnah,  for this country and it spoke clearly, undeniably, incontrovertibly, clearly not vaguely that religion would be separate from the state and that religion would be the personal faith of an individual. I’d like to add that there are 30 odd other speeches of Jinnah which also speak of an inclusive democratic polity unfettered by priests with a divine mission but 11th August is the most important speech because it is spoken to the constituent assembly which was about to start framing the constitution of Pakistan.    This is a solemn promise and should have the status of a sanctified compact between the state of Pakistan and all its people.   It is this compact that the honorable justices of our Supreme Court should have considered when they chose to spray the judgment against NRO with Islamic injunctionsYLH

By Ishtiaq Ahmed

No ideological tendency in Pakistan identifies itself with the August 11 speech of Jinnah with greater enthusiasm than the secularists. Among them are included the marginalised leftists, oppressed minorities, retired senior bureaucrats and radical intellectuals. Both Marxist and liberal versions of secularism inform their thinking. The secularists are divided on many things, but agree that the secular nature of the Quaid’s message is unequivocal and incontrovertible. Their lament is that his unworthy successors broke a sacred covenant of equal rights bequeathed by the Founder of Pakistan. Continue reading

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Separate Religion From Politics

From Pakistan Observer

Nosheen Saeed

Hats off to Bangladesh’s Supreme Court! Banning politics on the basis of religion was a giant leap, which will no doubt make Bangladesh a modern, prosperous, secular, democratic country. Will Pakistan follow Bangladesh and end decades of exploitation in the name of religion? Will it take into account the fact that resistance offered by cross-sections of Pakistani society to extremists and the people’s resolve to fight the Taliban-led terrorists, showed clearly that the majority of the people, though religious, openly condemned being exploited on the basis of religion. Continue reading

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NRO Debate Continues …

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

Duniya ki tareekh gawah hai,  adl bina jamhoor na hoga  

History bears witness,  there shall be no republic (democracy) without justice

-From Aitzaz Ahsan’s Poem “Kal, Aaj Aur Kal” – the anthem of Pakistan’s Lawyers’ Movement.  

“I am for the Law.  We wish for a republic of laws.”   John Adams- one of the founding fathers of the United States of America.

 “The first observation that I would like to make is this: You will no doubt agree with me that the first duty of a government is to maintain law and order, so that the life, property and religious beliefs of its subjects are fully protected by the State.”   Mahomed Ali Jinnah- our Quaid-e-Azam.

The decision on NRO was a historic one.   Based on the short order, however, a reasonable apprehension exists that by invoking articles 62-f and 227,  the Court has effectively brought into play dormant Islam-inspired clauses which shall further strengthen rightwing in Pakistan.   This apprehension is obviously not without merit.   Articles 4, 8 and 25 – 8 and 25 being fundamental rights which according to constitutional theory are supreme-  were much stronger clauses and the court did well to invoke these but this is where the court should have stopped.  Ofcourse this is entirely a conjecture without the detailed judgment.   That said the important thing is that the NRO has been reversed and it has strengthened democracy whether nay-sayers accept it or not.  The people need to see that the system works and punishes crooks no matter how powerful they are.  And there is no doubt that the Supreme Court should also take to task those holy cows that have run amok in the country but that will also happen in good time.   Continue reading

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Pakistan Meant To Be A Secular State, Quaid-e-Azam Did Not Want An Islamic Republic, says Haji Adeel of ANP

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

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. Continue reading

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