Tag Archives: separation of church and state

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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One Unit Faith

By Nadeem F. Paracha

 From DAWN:

Recently, while giving a speech to the Peshawar police, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said that no one could separate Islam from Pakistan. One wonders what prompted the army chief to digress, and start assuring his audience about Pakistan’s Islamic credentials. I guess he chose the occasion to comment on the military’s take on a (albeit unsubstantiated) news report stating that the Awami National Party (ANP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) wanted to change the country’s name from Islamic Republic of Pakistan to People’s Republic of Pakistan. Even though both the ANP and MQM were quick to refute the news, General Kayani’s reassurance in this respect yet again underlines the dilemma the military and the state of Pakistan have been facing for years. Continue reading

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Fighting for Jinnah’s Pakistan

 

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From DAWN

 

By Ashfak Bokhari

 

There has never been so great a need to revisit Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s legacy as now, under the changed circumstances, to renew our resolve to adhere to his ideals, his principles and his vision of Pakistan. Nor has there been so much urgency to disseminate and popularise the political philosophy of Mr Jinnah — the Quaid-i-Azam to most of us — which has now largely been either ignored by the political community or hijacked by obscurantist forces and even distorted by Islamists to suit their designs.

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