Tag Archives: secular Pakistan

Objectives Resolution And Secularism 1

For the benefit of our Urdu readers, we are reproducing in full the multi-part series by Lahore-based writer and intellectual Wajahat Masood who writes in Daily Aaj Kal.  -YLH

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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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Filed under Egalitarian Pakistan, Jinnah, Jinnah's Pakistan, Left, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, liberal Pakistan, minorities, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, People's Pakistan, secular Pakistan, secularism

Jaswant’s Book And Partition

Yasser Latif Hamdani writing in The News

Jaswant Singh’s book “Jinnah India — Partition Independence” has elicited interesting reviews in Pakistan. They are interesting entirely because of how off the mark they are which shows how little our country’s so-called intelligentsia understands the finer points of political science, constitutional law and history, especially those deep wells from which Jinnah himself professed to have drunk. Much has been written about the book – including the justified criticism that has been levelled at it for terrible punctuation and grammar. If Jinnah was calling, from beyond the grave, for his definitive biographer, the definitive biography now calls for an able editor. However, not many critics have addressed the political theme which has made it so famous. Continue reading

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Filed under History, India, Jinnah, Jinnah's Pakistan, minorities, movements, Pakistan, Partition, Politics

Red Salute to Baba Bhagat Singh Bilga

Last of the Ghadar revolutionaries 

The revolutionary movement, and all Indian progressives and patriots, lost the last living link with one of the most glorious pages of India’s anti-imperialist history when Comrade Baba Bhagat Singh Bilga, popularly known as Baba Bilga, passed away on 22 May in Birmingham at the age of 102.

Baba Bilga was the last surviving member of the Ghadar Party, a revolutionary party of Indians overseas, founded in California, USA, in 1913, pledged to the liberation of India from British colonial rule by means of armed struggle. Continue reading

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Filed under India, Left, Pakistan

Ishtiaq Ahmed on “Islamism” in Pakistan

Professor Ishtiaq Ahmed offered a historical perspective on Islamism in Pakistan for the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center.  Shuja Nawaz, director of the South Asia Center, moderated the following Q&A session.

In his presentation, Professor Ahmed outlined how and why Islamism came to dominate Pakistani politics, despite the secular vision of the state put forth by its founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, in 1947:

If you change your past and work together in a spirit that everyone of you, no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his colour, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this State with equal rights, privileges, and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make. … [Y]ou will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State. Continue reading

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