-Illustration by Khuda Bux Abro

If I were a rational person I would not be writing this blog. In the past I have lamented the proliferation of garbage, lauded junkies and soothsayers at a sufi saint’s shrine, delved into nostalgia about rail travel, and written about other harmless subjects.  These blogs and features received mostly bouquets and some brickbats from the readers. But today I want to talk about a very difficult subject. No, I am not confessing that I am a serial killer or a closet drag queen; sorry, nothing juicy like that. This particular subject has been like a thorn in my heart for many years but good judgment and sane counsels from friends has stopped me from pulling it out of my heart and speak out what I really think about it. Pakistan’s poet laureate Faiz Ahmed Faiz perfectly expressed this feeling thus:

Harf-e-haq dil mein khatakta hey jo kantey ki tarha Aaj izhar karein aur khalish mi tjaey

(The truth that lives in the heart like a thorn) (Speak it out, now, and banish the pain)

You see, I have a serious problem with the question, “What is the ideology of Pakistan?” I can see you, dear reader, sniggering and saying, “Every man, woman, transvestite, child, the 25 per cent literate or the 75 per cent illiterate, and even some intelligent well brought up parrots know that there is a single word answer to this question, and it is Islam. Even the country’s full name is “The Islamic Republic of Pakistan” and according to the constitution, “only a Muslim can become the head of the state”.

So case closed; get back to writing about garbage dumps because that is where you rightly belong.

I think dear reader, you are right and I should stop here. But, what to do about the thorny medical condition that Faiz Ahmad Faiz has talked about in his verse?  No, I cannot stop; I belong to the Faiz tribe and must banish this pain, now.

You see, all manner of thinkers, whether liberal (simple, leftist or Islamist flavour), or radical (again of the three flavours) or secular, and any valid combination thereof have me totally confused.

The simple liberals say: Pakistan was created for the Muslims who could not possibly thrive in a Hindu dominated India. Hindus and Muslims are two different nations. Thus, the ideology of Pakistan is Islam.  They quote Quaid-i-Azam’s speeches to support their point of view.

I humbly submit the following questions and opinions to this august group:

1.    What about the large number of Muslims that were left behind in India? If the larger Muslim populace could not survive under the domination of the powerful Hindus what chances did the much-diminished population of Muslims have? Imagine, if today all the Muslims were in an undivided India they would have constituted nearly 40 per cent of the total population! That would have given them serious political clout to fight for their rights.

2.    Consider that by creating a new state based on distrust and hatred, it actually created two warring states on day one of their creation. This intense animosity between the two countries has remained the single most important factor in the formulation of Pakistan’s foreign policy. Internally, every leader in Pakistan has cynically invoked the specter of the fear of India and milked the cow of national security whenever faced with domestic unrest and disaffection. The distrust of India gives immense clout to the army that gets a free hand to spend the poor country’s money on defense. What has that expenditure given in return? Half the country was lost and the remaining is living under very insecure conditions. Soon there may be nothing left to defend!

3.    What happened as early as 1971 to that great common bond of religion that was the basis of creating a new nation? Just 24 years after the creation of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan more than half the population decided they had enough of being part of the great Republic?

4.    Following the partition of India in 1947, Mohammad Rushdi’s lovely voice sang to us on the radio;

Hum laayen hein toofan sey kashti nikal key Iss mulk ko rakhna meray bachoo sumbhal key

(We have steered this boat through stormy waters) (My children, take care of your precious country)

And stormy waters they were; millions killed, maimed, raped and displaced on both sides. A human tragedy occurred on a colossal scale that was not anticipated by any of the great leaders of the Hindus, Muslims or British. Who should history hold responsible for these massacres?

The same saga was repeated in 1971. Once again, thousands killed, raped or maimed. Only this time it was the blood of Muslims mingling with the blood of other Muslims and the semen of Muslim Pakistani soldiers entering bodies of Muslim Bengali women. No Sir, this does not fit well at all in your raison d’être for Pakistan, the famous “Two Nation Theory”. Where was the mother of all bonding, “Islam”? Unless, of course, you say that East Pakistan and West Pakistan were two nations in this case! More likely, years of exploitation by the West Wing gave the Bengalis a broken heart that no bond could keep together and no balm could heal.

“To hell with the short, dark, cowardly Bengalis, they were a burden on our economy anyway. Good riddance!”

Sir, I cannot argue with this impeccable logic based on sound military and economic theory.

5.    But the thorn is still residing in my heart and it is asking you, “Do you realise that the Bengalis are doing far better now in Bangladesh than they were in Pakistan? And the good Muslims, the Biharis (labeled Bhikaris or beggars by our great erstwhile Amir-ul-Momineen, Gen. Zia-ul-Haq) who supported a united Pakistan are still rotting away in the infamous “Geneva Camp”, homeless and stateless. And I guess it is relevant to remind you that you left a lot of Muslims back in India in 1947 too! Who is next on the list of your “Jamaican Farewell”?

6.    Fast forward from 1971 to now. The country is splitting apart like a rag doll.  The glue of Islam has come unstuck. It is not the infernal enemy India that has caused this. We are our own worst enemy.  The Balochis are demanding a separate province. Parts of Pakistan are not in the control of the state. The demand for an autonomous Sindh is picking up steam. How do you explain this?  All these people demanding independence are Muslims, not a Hindu or Sikh is to be seen. Reminds me of the famous poem about the five mice that set out to hunt and only one came back alive! I think you can guess who the last mouse left in the Islamic Republic is.

The secular / left-liberals claim that Pakistan was envisioned as a secular state. This group, ad nauseam, quotes M.A. Jinnah’s 11thAugust, 1947 speech that talks of equal rights for all religious groups in the newly formed Pakistan.

I pose the following questions to these well-meaning idealists:

1.    Respected Sirs, if Mr. Jinnah had envisioned Pakistan as a secular state why did he bother to create it in the first place? Pre-partition India was secular and remains secular to this day.

2.    If Pakistan was to be a secular state why do religious groups wield so much clout that even a so-called liberal, Mr. Bhutto, bowed down to their demand for banning alcohol (that he imbibed with a gusto himself) and declaring Ahmadis as non-Muslims? It is clear that the religious extremists have far greater power than their performance at the polls suggests. Acts of violence against minorities continue unabated. Draconian laws created by Zia-ul-Haq continue to thrive and no one dare repeal them.

Lastly, the Religious groups claim that Pakistan was created to be a “true” Islamic state where every aspect of life and death will be according to the tenets of Islam.

To this fine group of Islamic scholars and fighters, I ask how did they determine that “true” Islam forbids modern education, imposes severe restrictions on women, instructs elimination of non-Muslims or bans a good game like football?

I will not insist on an answer since it is most likely written on the tip of a bullet.

So now I am in a situation that the great Caribbean crooner Harry Belafonte found himself in when he asked his father to tell him about the birds and the bees:

It was clear as mud, but it covered the ground And the confusion made my head go around

Therefore, friends, liberals/leftist/rightist/centrists, I am going to give my answer: get ready to swallow the bitter pill.

The Muslim extremists are morally right! The ideology of Pakistan is Islam (remember, everyone is Pakistan knows that). The creation of Pakistan gave the perfect weapon to the likes of TTP and LeT. A weapon that was more powerful than any nuclear device. They got a complete country called Pakistan, beautifully packaged in green, with a big card on it that said, “Made for Islam”. You can argue till the cows come home that the brand of Islam of the TTP is not the “Real Islam”. If theirs is not the real Islam can anyone present an alternative model of an Islamic state? Saudi Arabia? Afghanistan under the Taliban? Iran? (Sorry, these guys are Shias, thus non-Muslims). Mr. Bhutto tried to sell “Islamic Socialism”; he was hanged. Poor Mr. Salman Taseer just mentioned his dislike for the blasphemy law; he was killed and the killer was garlanded by no less than our lawyers.

No one can come up with such a model for the simple reason that a theocratic state cannot work in modern times.

I have no cure to offer. We cannot turn back the clock to 1947.  However there are three minimum prerequisites for making a new start:

1. We must have the moral courage to privately and publicly declare that religion cannot be the basis for creating a nation-state. Once we have established this basic premise we do not let anyone – whether an elected representative or a religious extremist – use religion to exploit those honest, hardworking Pakistanis who are only seeking a square meal, some security of life and property, a decent education, healthcare and a little hope for the future.

2. We must insist that religion is a matter of one’s belief and faith and there can be no restriction on practicing it in the private realm, but that we must separate it from the affairs of the state.

3. We normalize our relationship with India and shift our priority from defense to regional cooperation.  Internally, we divert our resources from national security to the social sector.

But I am afraid that none of the above will happen and we are more likely to hang the messenger.

Faiz Sahib, the thorn is out and the pain is gone and now as you said:

Ik mout ka dhanda baqi hey, uskko bhi hum nipta leingey.

(All that is now left is the business of death, and that too will be taken care of soon).


The author is an engineer turned part-time journalist who likes to hang out at unfashionable places like shrines, railway stations and bus stops.


The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

The author is an engineer turned part-time journalist who likes to hang out at unfashionable places like shrines, railway stations and bus stops.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (237)

November 7, 2012 3:59 am
Satish Raina
November 7, 2012 2:13 am
Amazing! How did you survive in Pakistan thus far? Kaisey? All I can say is this: May your tribe grow and flourish, not only in Pakistan but all over this planet. I have no doubt in my mind that the world shall eventually evolve towards a common religion of humanity and universal brotherhood. People like you pave the way. God Bless.
November 7, 2012 4:05 am
Another confusing opinion...
Adil Jadoon
November 6, 2012 11:33 pm
Eye opener ???
Shahzad Salam Kasi
November 7, 2012 4:22 am
Excellent article, and it really clean BOWLED the MMA (Military Mullah Alliance) that rocked Pakistan's history for their own good.
November 7, 2012 3:47 am
Points have been made before, but never so clearly and succinctly - straight from the heart. Sad as it appears, though things will have to get worse before they start getting better, i.e., once the terror and lack of development hits the heart of Pakistan instead of being far away somewhere along the Afghan border.
November 7, 2012 3:49 am
Kia baat hai - what a talk :) joke aside .. This is the thorn in every sensible pakistani, We are ready to take the pre-requisites however we lack the leadership :(
November 7, 2012 4:34 am
Excellent article and very thought provoking. You were right in saying that India was and is secular and even has had three Muslim head of states. Religion should not be the guiding factor in running a nation because persons belonging to other religions will always get a raw deal. As long as there persons like you articulating such thoughts and ideas, may be, there is some hope.
Rim a
November 7, 2012 12:25 pm
But a country cannot be built on religious fanaticism.
November 7, 2012 5:26 am
what an article!!
Shrirang, Navi Mumbai
November 7, 2012 3:36 am
Best Ever article i read on dawn. Salute to Author and Dawn for such a wonderful thought.
B r Chawla
November 7, 2012 3:35 am
Bravo well done. A courageous analysis. May Allah protect you from the predators Let loose by the mullahs and military combine. Keep on writing. The number of like minded shall swell to bring in correction in the attitude of people whose views have been doctored by the successive regimes. Chawla
Tarun Arora
November 7, 2012 5:08 am
I think partition was a blessing in disguise for Hindus of India.Otherwise,just imagine the plight of Hindus in a country having 35-40 % muslims.Thank you,Mr.Jinnah sahib,thank you very much. by an Indian Hindu(much hated by Pakistani muslims).But now we can be atleast good neighbours(without any fighting,may or may not doing trade.Sorry to the friends who may be hurt(no intentions to hurt anybody)
November 7, 2012 12:05 am
Salute to you sir
November 6, 2012 8:26 pm
Wow! Vaqar Ahmed Sahab, Well done, I hope Pakistani Politician and Military Generals read this article. Keep up the good work.
November 6, 2012 5:56 pm
Bravely written, given Pakistan's reality. Would it be fair to ask the following question: If Pakistanis convert to other faiths, will their passion, as currently associated with Islam, be similarly visible with the new faith? Will introspection help with Religion or Religion help with introspection? Roger
November 6, 2012 6:20 pm
'No one can come up with such a model for the simple reason that a theocratic state cannot work in modern times'. Islam is a complete religion. I do not agree with the author that Islam and a modern state are at odds. We allow Islam to be interpreted by people who hold tribal values then what can we expect. The best among us have no incentive to explore our religion and find answers to our problems in the divine law. we have failed our religion. Islam is a religion of peace and justice. True Islam will never fail either the believer nor the state that draws inspiration from it. Islam does not stand in the way of India and Pakistan making peace, selfish interests do. Poor health care, illiteracy and poverty could be solved if people pay zakat honestly. Islam considers life, dignity and property of a believer as well as that of a dhimi(non-believer who lives in an Islamic state) to be sacred. In a true Islamic state you would not have been afraid of the tip of the bullet but undoubtedly the shooters of Malala would have been. May Allah guide us.,
Shamsheer Singh Rana
November 7, 2012 5:21 pm
what experiance of religion you are talking Abasyn.... just look what religion has done to this country. yes if you want to live in isolation then go ahead, live according to your own theory... but prove first that you don't need rest fo the world. this was taliban going to do in Afghanistan... religion has divided the entire nation. if not then why shia's are killed brutally... why hindus are dealt so badly. is this your islam? Islam is religion of peace... tell me where is peace in your islamic repulic of pakistan. please look for a place where all can live under one and same direct law ... all should be dealt equally and all should be allowed to grow .. only then the country will grow.
Laeeq, NT
November 7, 2012 5:27 pm
Even If Jinnah did not mentiones a secular Pakistan, the only way forward for Pakistan is being secular. There is no way out no matter how much you hate secularism.
kamaljit Singh
November 7, 2012 5:31 pm
Salute to Vaqar Sahib and to Dawn too to show such a courageous thought.
November 7, 2012 5:36 pm
This is most Bold Blog written with true passion of the great tragedy of partition engineered by British and selfish politicians on both sides how ever India under Nehru srongly struggled to practice secularism through constitutional means and judicial system backed and democracy worked insite of breif Indira s emergency rule.Decimation of minorities shows intolerance and lip service to secularism.I feel same thorns as author and admire Dawn publishing showing the world the power of free press.people must be allowed express eventhoug they may not like views.I witnessed backward social movement in Muslim women as they free to study in early 50' and 60's before the dawn of fundamentalism even Arab countries are changing so keep the pressure on politicians to repeal laws which block progress.
Gir na
November 7, 2012 5:58 pm
@Vaqar Ahmad I endorse your statement . If Jinnah wanted a secular nation , then why did he ask for one more ? They could have better treatment in united India than now pakistan .Indian muslims have grown from 3 percent to 20 percent till now , Pakistani Hindus have grown from 25 percent to -3 percent . Which country is secular ? We have our beloved president ,Mr.kalam and Mr.Singh as PM , none of them Hindus.If Jinnah was secular and modern minded and non-violence believer like Gandhi , then why did he ask for "act direct" ?Many pakistanis (not like you ) don't understand Indian Hindus , because education and modernity has reached mass hindu population , but couldn't reach any Islamic country .
November 7, 2012 6:23 pm
Even if we agree your point, Jews are not killing other Jews. They are helping for poor Jews to bring them to Israel...
November 7, 2012 2:44 am
As long as there are Pakistani's who can think rationally like this author, there is hope for bright future.
November 7, 2012 2:39 am
Everybody knows but nobody has the courage to say it openly
Foha Rafiq
November 7, 2012 2:35 am
At last a blog that speaks the truth!!! Seriously the idea of creating Pakistan was the worst thing that happened to Subcontinent. I am a Pakistani and I am no fan of Jinnah. What he did and those who followed him are not heroes. They were just power hungry people. We fell for the divide and rule policy so beautifully. But the saddest part about this truth is that most people won't agree with you. And even if they do, they will remind you that you are lucky to be able to write such a blog. You have the "freedom" etc etc But kudos to you sir. Honestly we need people like you.
November 7, 2012 4:19 am
Dear Author, Saeen G.M Sayed had uttered all this very clearly some 40 years ago (what u are telling now) and the Pakistani authorities labelled him as a traitor and got his books banned. Would request you to go thru the ideology of Sindhudesh by G.M Sayed which is based on the idea of a nation-state. G.M Sayed also stated that Pakistan is going to be religiously extremist n hardcore country posing a threat to world peace, in a conference in Vienna, Europe in 1952.
November 7, 2012 6:03 am
"Imagine, if today all the Muslims were in an undivided India they would have constituted nearly 40 per cent of the total population!" In contrast, the 3% of Hindus in West Pakistan in 1951 have been reduced now to what, 1.5%? And the 14% of Hindus in Bangladesh in 1974 is now 10%? I am indeed thankful for partition.
November 7, 2012 6:39 am
You make me feel jealous my friend. Here, when my son, who is in class III, returns back from school, he tells me that some students do not make friends with him because he is Hindu and Indian. One day when he did not have any homework to do, I asked him to write something to gain some writing skills. He wrote: “I hate India”. I noticed it and asked him why he thought so, he did not reply that day. Next day I asked again, he responded that his friends call him Indian. It reminded me of my school days when, for the first time, I found out that I am a Hindu. A guy pushed me and said: "You Hindus will rot in hell".
Zaki Haider
November 7, 2012 7:31 am
I do not understand what is the point of wasting so much energy on proving the point that the partition shouldn't have happened in the first place... Pak has already 65 years old now and our energy should be utilized to make it a powerful state!!! You should tell your readers what should we do now in this circumstances rather than pointing out bad decisions made around 100 years ago... Good effort but a serious waste of energy, resource and time by you. Will appreciate if you take my advice positively.
November 7, 2012 7:38 am
For me two things in the article stand out. "Respected Sirs, if Mr. Jinnah had envisioned Pakistan as a secular state why did he bother to create it in the first place? Pre-partition India was secular and remains secular to this day." The prerequisites for a new start. What have the muslims gained from partition?
November 7, 2012 7:46 am
The author has conveniently forgotten to mention the Holy Jewish State of Israel. A country allowed to do as it pleases on religious and ideological grounds. Also, the people of Bangladesh did not merge with West Bengal, India so the two nation holds true. The independence of Christian states of East Timor and South Sudan in 2002 and 2011 respectively from their respective Muslim majority countries under the United Nations is ample proof of the veracity of the Two Nation Theory and the enduring spirit of our forefathers. Pakistan was created for a noble aim, that we have conveniently forgotten. An islamic state, not in the name but in essence. Giving all rights to humanity as ordained and getting rid of all things unislamic, beginning democracy. Our constitution, a confused and hotchpotch of western notions has led to our ruin. Islam, the raison d’être of Pakistan was never given a chance. Pakistan will keep on lurching from one debacle to another, until we fulfill the promise made by our forefathers to Allah Almighty. There are no brands of Islam, its a fallacy propagated by pseudo intellectuals and liberals to confuse people. Islam is what is in the Quran and Sunnah; the rest does not matter.
November 7, 2012 7:49 am
This is a New Pakistan and we want it to flourish every person has an individualistic view because our Creator gave us a Soul which is individual and that is why HE has given us free will.The presumption are your own and does not take into account the Thinking of that Time when our forefathers were asking for separation. Because of the making of Pakistan the Muslim got rights which everyone now take it for granted for them,as such if you want to follow Faiz Ahmed Faiz whose leaning everyone knew, it is your own view, I being an individual. do not agree with your views although I am just a reader of Dawn and not a columnist like the blogger, however when a country was made because of a particular view and if the majority does not want it to be like that then they should work towards that goal like Quaid e Azam Jinnah and other leaders did and that was to go to the people in question and let them decide, nothing can be right or wrong after the time has passed.
November 7, 2012 7:57 am
Disagree with the article! ideology is set of ideals who a person or a society adheres to as the perceived path to ultimate success. The best ideology ever to be provided to humanity is the code of conduct handed over by the All Mighty (SWT) thru His Messenger (PBUH). The ideology is not at fault it is the muslims who have lost the touch with their creator by abandoning the implementation methodology of the Islamic Ideology (the code of conduct as practiced by the Messenger (PBUH). Now, for the question if Islam is the true ideology of Pakistan, no doubt as muslims we strive to come close to the Creator (SWT) by following the ideals of Islam which forms our Ideology; the best that humanity have ever known. Faults of Muslims or crimes of Muslims has nothing to do with the principles as laid down per Islamic Ideology. Islam or Islamic Ideology is not at the dock it is the muslims who have failed the ideology rather than the other way around. For the two nation theory, Muslims throughout the planet have a distinct identity and common code of conduct and that is the basis of of the separation of muslims from the rest. One can take this in context of of Indo-Pak Subcontinent or throughout the world it is always going to be MUSLIMS AND THE REST. Nothing derogatory in any sense at all, muslims a different nation must live peacefully with all other nations. peace
Ahmed Sultan (India)
November 7, 2012 8:09 am
what do you want to say?/
November 8, 2012 8:41 am
I applaud you sir. You are one in a hundred and seventy million. Yours truly, An animal ,from the Sharia law of Dubai
Hassan Tariq Qureshi
November 7, 2012 8:37 am
There is only one reason behind that we are not following the teachings of our beloved Holly Prophet (PBUH) and whenever we go against it we see the fall of Dhaka, Baluchistan Issue, etc. The two nation theory still exist and it will be there always.
Saravanan, India
November 7, 2012 8:47 am
Brilliant Article, Vaqar Sahib! There may be an occasionally differing voice from India in these columns about your views, but majority of Indians will no doubt agree with you. After all, people of Pakistan need to understand that Partition of India need not be a painful memoryonly for Pakistan and Bangladesh, it may be the same case for India also - after all, it created the monster of distrust between our two nations. But it was all way too long ago. And trust us - majority of Indians do not want the existing conflicts. Try to understand India in spite of the frigent Hindu extremism and the equally misplaced mistrust on Pakistan and its people
November 7, 2012 8:48 am
Dawn is quite sane,,,,it is a window to insanity called Pakistan,and so,we Indians get an objective view of things!!!
November 7, 2012 9:09 am
my hats off to Dawn and the author Mr VA for airing same thorns I have been feeling in my heart since late 50's as a Hindu and born and raised in Hyderabad state under Nizam and studied with Muslim women very intelligent and respected in medical school and felt proud of Muslim presidents of India the Last one was a Rocket scientist from Tamil nadu not a typical Punjabi Pakistani Muslim.I share the agony as both nations wasted trillions of money in fighting each other with whipping up public emotions as we shared common heritage, languages,food and anthropological features as we cannot be mistook as Arabs as living in USA I am asked if I am a Pakistani and i consider as compliment.I wish Frontier Ghandhi(Khan abdul gaffer khan) and Gandhi's wishes prevailed and keep India undivided as author pointed Muslim population would have been 40% and would have had First Muslim as Mr Manmohan singh a Sikh and from 10% or less of population.This is the best article I read about Partition and I once again admire Dawn for publishing this bold analysis which some extreme right wing Hindus have difficulty.
November 7, 2012 9:09 am
Sorry to tell you that Taliban have already tried implementing the perfect form……. this may disappoint you but that’s the truth and that’s what you are asking for.
November 7, 2012 9:13 am
Few more questions you could have added to the wonderful list. 1) If Jinnah wanted a Secular Republic why did he use Islamic symbolism to ask for Pakistan? Like calling for Direct Action day during Ramzan? 2) Why did Jinnah's own Lieutenant Liaquat Ali Khan, allow Pakistan to become an Islamic republic if indeed it is not what Jinnah wanted? 3) Why is only the August 11 speech quoted but not others where Jinnah invokes the Quran? And calls Gandhi and Nehrus representative of Hindus only(The only great leader in the entire world History till date to have done so), when he knew Gandhi and Nehru kept the Religious forces at bay in Congress? I'll stop here.. But, be thankful that Pakistan was created. Otherwise the Secular India that you see and admire today would have been long gone with escalating Hindu-Muslim riots and Muslims would have risen in protest demanding the implementation Sharia, like in Malaysia. I am very very thankful to Jinnah.
haris rana
November 7, 2012 9:14 am
we should honestly accept our guilt and tried to sort out our problems without throwing ourselves in religious controversies.Religion should be our personal matter and it has nothing to do with the state of affair.Resolve our problems through mutual consent.Since.military need public support and lion share from our budget,so therefore they have to work under civil ruler without creating fuss and tried to manipulate them. Rather than provide assistance which is the role assign to them.
November 7, 2012 9:16 am
Reblogged this on peddarowdy and commented: Written a similar themed article. But, this is a Pakistani perspective. There is one difference though. I express elation at the creation of Pakistan, he is dismayed by it. But, an article worth reading.
November 7, 2012 9:31 am
A United India would have been disastrous to Hindus of India. Muslims would have formed 50% of the population in India and the obvious demands would be the imposition of Sharia, like in Malaysia. Shah Rukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan can easily come on TV and give ads for a liquour brand today in India, would that be possible in a united India?
November 7, 2012 9:35 am
meaningful article
November 7, 2012 9:37 am
And what an amazingly sane country you have, your newspapers gushing with tales of wisdom, humanity and sanity. How we envy you, O mighty Indians.
November 7, 2012 9:44 am
first of all British under Mountbatten proposed partition there was no socalled vote by people.Mr Jinnah was playing with secularism for getting Hyderabad and junaghad. I was not aware of 1949 objective resolution putting a lid on secularism.
November 7, 2012 9:44 am
On the contrary. 40% Muslims would have made sure India would be engulfed in a state of perpetual riots. Muslims would have asked for the imposition of Sharia, like it happened in Malaysia. Today Shah Rukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan come on TV for ads for a Liquor brand. They are so free and unafraid to do so! Could that have happened in a United India? I am very thankful for Jinnah. I am only angry that he called my idols Gandhi and Nehru names. Apart from that he is very right. Two Nation theory is correct. Its not Hindus and Muslims cannot live together. Its Islam and Hindus cannot live together. Jinnah is correct in every other way, though.
Deepen C
November 8, 2012 9:48 am
You ended it right, nothing can be changed now. Too too too late. Good bye!
November 7, 2012 11:09 am
The truth spoken without fear and compromise, I salute you sir !
November 7, 2012 11:13 am
Jinnah never wanted a Secular Pakistan. Show me any official statement from him where he stated his vision of having a secular state in South East Asia. On the other hand, I can show you many official statements from him where he clearly stated of setting up a Islamic based Economical and Social system in Pakistan.
November 7, 2012 11:16 am
Completely agree with you. Whether in majority or minority, Muslims only have problems and can never secure their rights and prosper like other groups.
November 7, 2012 11:42 am
Good for you. I think you got your Jinnah's Pakistan.
Rim a
November 7, 2012 12:27 pm
Banning alcohol for religious reasons is religious extremism.
November 7, 2012 12:33 pm
Language, Race and Region can only be the bases of nation state... where did this theory come from? Please admit the fact that had we followed the true principles of Islam things would have been different. Please don't impose the experience of West with religion on us
November 6, 2012 6:50 pm
A country can be built on religion---look at Israel.
November 7, 2012 12:07 pm
Atleast we are not struggling with the question of why our country was created even after 65 years of independence!!
Abdullah Hussain
November 7, 2012 12:46 pm
I am happy, the truth came out of your heart. I salute the 2 nation theory of Allama Iqbal. Pakistan was rightly created. 40% in un-divided Hindustan would only have been a population without teeth.
November 7, 2012 6:35 am
Even though I agree with each and every word of your blog, I am still thankful to Quaid-e-Azam for giving us Pakistan, he wanted to safeguard the rights of south Asian muslims and he succeeded in doing that, compare the condition of muslims in india with Pakistani Muslims and Bangladeshi muslims. Sachar commission report is an eye opener for all those who think that muslims in india are doing well just because their population has increased since partition. And secondly I would’ve regretted the partition had I not read Shahab Nama by Qudratullah Shahab where in one chapter he wrote about the state sponsored attacks on muslims by hindu extremists.
Shahid Masud (@HotMasud)
November 6, 2012 8:28 pm
The writer has shown a lot of courage by writing on such a sensitive issue and for this he should be appreciated . I always wanted to express my views ( which are not different from that of the writer ) but perhaps I never had the courage to do so. Answers to your questions are: 1. Jinnah had personal reasons to create Pakistan , though he himself was secular in his beliefs,( it is evident from his personality as he drank , smoked cigar and according to some ate ham sandwiches and the most important is that we never came across any picture of him in a Masjid while praying ) exploited Islam for his personal gains , in my opinion in order to grab the power he had to split the country and to achieve this goal , besides " Islam " he had no other political slogan that he could have benefitted from. unfortunately some Hindu politicians for the same reasons indirectly helped him achieve his goals. 2. We definitely can not turn the clock back to 1947 , Pakistan , India and Bengladeish are realities and now we collectively have to work on: A) how to get rid of the distrust that exists between these countries , B) how to teach the people of the subcontinent the concept of co-existence, I don't think that people who share a common history that is spread over a thousand years can't live like a brotherly neighbors anymore , the only thing we need is the WILL TO DO IT. PAKISTAN ZINDABAD , INDIA ZINDABAD , BENGLADEISH ZINDABAD ,
November 6, 2012 2:26 pm
Well expressed, written and boldly posted by Dawn too. Ironically, Harry Belafonte also sang "there is a hole in my bucket" and Pakistan seems to be that bucket right now with a massive uncontrollable hole that is getting bigger by the day. The bottom line surely is "we must have the moral courage to privately and publicly declare that religion cannot be the basis for creating a nation-state". Period.
November 6, 2012 1:51 pm
What the author says is nothing but the truth which is a bitter pill to swallow. How can people acknowledge that all the investment done over the years in ideology is worthless and only a u-turn makes sense? In any case I want to share with the readers that we in Bangalore had the great fortune of seeing pakistani singers zeb and haniya perform a couple of days back along with a wonderful band - a lead guitarist, a fantastic flutist, a percussionist and drummer. They played songs from afghanistan, turkey and pakistan. Music as they say is divine and makes one forget even if temporarily the borders that separate humans. What a pity it would be if such talented pakistanis are prevented from performing music in the name of religion ? If God indeed forbids music why pray is he creating people with such wonderful natural talent ? God cannot be wrong. All the best to pakistan.
November 6, 2012 4:46 pm
I am glad articles like this, questioning ideology of Pakistan and two nation theory, are openly being asked. It is a sign that the country is maturing. in the past, such questions were tentamount to blasphemy.
November 6, 2012 1:36 pm
I think a good start would be to REMOVE the word ISLAMIC from the name and be called Republic of Pakistan. ( just as for eg. Italy does not call itself the CATHOLIC Reublic of Italy). This would both internally and externally send a msg what Pakistan is and WISHES to be. In all religions fundamentaists are always more united than the moderates. The former feel they are the true torch bearers. Their opposition to change is FEAR. Of loss of POWER. The armed forces have well exploited the trough of distrust between the two to cretae bogeyman of India And now USA and become the overlords. Lastly a good article...but is ANYONE in The islamic Republic listening ?
November 6, 2012 2:21 pm
Sir, the problem is that we know everything, but most of the time we are in a denial mode. Best of luck, my Pakistani brothers and sisters.
November 6, 2012 1:16 pm
Nothing in this article that we don't already know.
Nabarun Dey
November 6, 2012 4:21 pm
Yes, time to ponder. Good stuff techie. Bravo DAWN.
Avik Ray
November 6, 2012 8:20 pm
I just hope persons of Mr. Vaqar's mentality increase in number in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Thanks to dawn and the author for the honest statement. I have only one small point to make. While MA Jinnah was blamed for creation of pakistan, I believe many hindu leaders, small and big, silently wanted it to happen. Why? because in undevided India muslims would have had a tremendous clout in the most important states (Punjab, Bengal, Sindh, Baluchistan, UP and Bihar). Most of the powerful member of parliaments and central and state ministers would have been muslims. Probably this is the reason even the communists (hindu leadership mostly) were silent during the partition. The solid block of Indian muslims were divided into two in 1947 and then three in 1971.
Lareb Hussain
November 6, 2012 9:13 pm
The writer has left 'everyone' Speechless, Indeed. Feelings well expressed whether out of exaggeration of Media or desperation, must be appreciated! We just simply are lost with our identity and ideology from the very first day of our existence, that too are contradictory as expressed in the article!
Abdul j Sheikh
November 6, 2012 5:11 pm
What kind of hope you talking about or is it a hype?
November 6, 2012 5:11 pm
Well said... I hope you also processes the courage to return the bullet when it unjustly comes your way, and that this forsaken nation has the guts to stand up with people like you...
November 7, 2012 6:15 am
@John I think Dawn is doing a fabulous job given the current circumstances. It'd help if you encouraged them further! :-) Good Luck to you in everything you do bro! Kudos Dawn! :-) :-) :-)
Abdus Salam Khan
November 6, 2012 7:23 pm
Way back in the fifties I happened ot be living in the Indian Students Bureau in London( ther being no such facility provided by Pakistan), and Krishna Menon, the Indian High Commissioner, used to address the students once a week.. In one of his lectures he referred to Pakistan as a theocratic state; I jumped to my feet and challenged him. A theocratic state is one that is run by the clergy; Iran is a good example. But United Kingdom, for example, though the monarch has to be a member of the Church of England and is annointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time coronation and is a Defender of the Faith,, cannot be described as a theocratic state. He disagreed with me, but had the courtesy of saying, "With due respect to my Pakistani friend over there..." whenever he described Pakistan as a theocratic state. So, for your information, Viqar Shib, Pakistan is not a theocratic state. In fact, this is what the Taliban platform is based on; they want to convert it in to a theocratic state.
November 6, 2012 6:44 pm
We all know the truth in our hearts but it takes courage and honesty to express it as this author has done.
November 6, 2012 2:24 pm
Bravo, very well written. I could not agree more, the writer is only saying what all of us have been wondering about. Excellent piece, should be required reading for everyone.
November 6, 2012 6:53 pm
Wow!!!!! All I can say is take care Mr. Vaqar Ahmed. You have put words to my thoughts which kept struggling in my heart to get out. I always complaint about the lack of Muslim moderates; rational thinkers. And you my friend made my complaints smaller; if not make it vanish. Thank you and take care; for the believer's brigade will come after you.
adam memon
November 6, 2012 8:54 pm
When our neuclear scientist A.K.KHAN did not get addmision in India he came to Pakistan in 1953 and got addmision in NED College Karachi.He still remember fresco sweet of burns road karachi.This is the idiology Pakistan.
November 7, 2012 7:22 am
@ V and Anshu magnanimous: generous in forgiving an insult or injury; free from petty resentfulness or vindictiveness.... What I meant was, even after 65 years we seldom think of moving on and accepting that Pakistan is another nation....which may have been created out of fear (real or imagined) that the majority community in India decimating them once the Brits leave....but is nonetheless a nation by itself now. Why the acrimony when we can't change the past....let's look forward to building a better future of being Peaceful and Cooperative neighbours. Of course that requires two to tango! Love and Peace! Rakesh :-) :-) :-)
November 6, 2012 4:49 pm
Sir, You are a very brave man indeed and I salute you . I also salute the Dawn for publishing it. You are right about almost all you have brought out and I also agree with you that your conditions would not be met since many powerful people on both sides of the fence have made lucrative businesses exploiting the carefully nurtured mutual suspicion.
November 8, 2012 6:24 am
Mr Khan: Be carefull out there, I am afraid for your safety in today's Pakistan.
November 8, 2012 5:42 am
Barring a few liberal people of pakistan like the author, India does not miss the rest! In fact the muslims in India should consider themselves fortunate as they got to grow up in a plural society rather than a society obsessed with religion! Pakistan has created its own mess and it is upto them to evolve their way out of it! The first step would be to seperate religion from state!
November 8, 2012 12:33 pm
Prasad - if that person is capable then why not? But not because he is Muslim or a Hindu...
November 8, 2012 5:01 am
Times dont remain the same. History has its own way of judgement. Its a shame that after sixty odd years of creation we are trying to change the ideology instead of mending our ways. If one cannot change oneself how can one even think of changing the ideology of its own creation?
John F
November 8, 2012 3:45 am
Loved your satire.
November 8, 2012 1:37 am
Very good article. We cannot change history but can change how we act. There is no reason for Pakistan to feel insecure about India. India is busy pursuing its agenda of economic growth which can be achieved without geographic expansion of its governance. If only Pakistan had focused its energies on its own growth, they could have been as growth oriented as India is. It would have saved many lives lost in wars, money spent on defence on both sides and created a ecosystem of peace in the subcontinent making it a good investment magnet..... Not too late, can start now if there is political will and guts to state facts. The terror support within Pakistan has hurt Pakistan in the recent past. You cannot rear a poisonous snake and hope it would not spite you.
November 8, 2012 1:28 am
The point if we look back now... (i.e. 2012 or even 1999...), the way the globe is shaping and how powers are in play, the division of India is all wrong and untimely!!! The "Leaders" back then should have had and EYE for this back then/ they did not! So OK they were leaders with no plans, no strategy, and no vision, just the blind lust of getting their names in History books!!! They are not "leaders" they were "opportunists"... there is marked difference!
SLN Prasad
November 8, 2012 12:29 am
I am an Indian (also hindu).I love to see a muslim as our prime minister and also as Chief of Army
November 7, 2012 10:16 pm
he survives because this article is in English,if this was in Urdu then it hadn't able to publish.
November 7, 2012 10:07 pm
Read the article again.
Shafiq Khan
November 7, 2012 8:17 pm
Just name ONE islamic country that is Islamic according to your definition of Islam? For that matter any such country ever? Out of all the versions of Islam which one do you favour? Shafiq
November 7, 2012 8:15 pm
well done .u have stollen my words .thanks. for 12 centuries muslim were ruling india by sword fom mohd bin qasim from sind and sbgakat from peshawer ,they were never threa,tened it was only when under british felt threatened because of some good governance and justice but muslims who ruled for so many centuries be happy.thank god india is divided otherwise these indus and ganga would be in full blood by klashenkofs which they would use without impunty as they did in bangladesh when was jinnah muslim .he was guju greedy and got his share without doing any sacrifce .
November 7, 2012 8:14 pm
Congratulations you are the first Pakistani who has been honest and clear in your assessment of the situation in Pakistan. Jinnah did not want a two nation state, he was put in a corner and there was very little option left to him. Please, (to abasyn), please stop blaming the West. The Taliban, the Fundos, whatever the term are the problem as is denial.
November 7, 2012 7:02 pm
We do not want any muslim to return to hinduism. Let them take another BIRTH! ( If their KARMA allows it! )
November 7, 2012 6:57 pm
Religion can be the basis for sure sir, don't blame religion for us being selfish,immoral,unpatriotic,insensitive,disloyal ..these are the requirements for being a human, a nation.We have left these qualities somewhere and now like west we want to keep religion out of state affairs,why?Is it because then we will become patriotic,caring,sensitive towards others,loyal?I don't think so,our being this way has nothing to do with religion.We have incompetent leaders is it because of the religion?we have sky rocketing inflation is it because of religion?no law and order,i dont think so religion has anything to do with it,what about being ignorant,does the religion preaches us that?how many of us have bothered to go to less privileged and extended them a helping hand??Just because we have nt done something does nt mean we cant do it.First we have to become patriotic,have to love our country,our people.We should reject incompetency,corruption,help each other only then we can take our country out of this mess.
November 7, 2012 6:47 pm
Yeah typical rhetoric of a large pakistani society in denial. It's always others to blame... continue on..
November 7, 2012 6:46 pm
What is wrong with hindus remaining silent on partition. That was the idea originally proposed by Veer Savarkar, a true hindu Indian patriot!
November 7, 2012 6:40 pm
is it not 'A theocratic state' now? If not; what would you call a state run by religious mob? need to find a word for that.
November 7, 2012 6:35 pm
@peddarowdy very well said. All right minded Indians should be thankful to jinnah; for sparing us a lot of pain in an united India. It's saddening to see what is happening in Pakistan.
November 7, 2012 6:32 pm
that is the actual truth. In order to make mythical figure out of jinnah; factual analysis takes a back seat. And what follows is just a consequence.
November 7, 2012 6:31 pm
This is truly heartbreaking! At least, our children (Indian, Pakistani, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, just about anybody...) don't deserve this!
November 7, 2012 6:30 pm
We do not want sharia law in India!
November 7, 2012 4:07 pm
The truth is Pakistan was created based on Religion, We all can agree on this, However it is not clear if Jinnah envisioned Pakistan as Secular and there is no point in discussing this after 60 plus years, However subsequent leaders from past and present (Imran Khan) is using Religion to get elected to highest office as it is very easy to do so. These actions left Pakistan in despair and it will be daunting task to undo, I really see no hope unless influencial leaders of Pakistan come to a consensus and make all efforts to seperate Religion from state, During this processes there is a good chance fear of India will diminish among Pakistanis, if this happens then Pakistan cannot justify the huge spending on defence. If Pakistan focuses on progress and does not spend on defence and make peace with India, US and China will lose its bargain power, I don't think they are going to like this scenario Everything is interlinked and appears to be complex but in reality you have to let go few bad things to get something good,
November 7, 2012 4:04 pm
brave and daring article on the true state of pakistan.. if people like you are still there, i have some hopes for the well being of pakistan state.
November 7, 2012 3:52 pm
The youth of Pakistan are following Imran khan. So there is no hope. They may end having a worse effect on Pakistan than the oldies with their twisted ideology.
November 7, 2012 3:41 pm
Pathan, you are wrong if you think that English speaking Pakistanis are by definition moderate and rational. Imran khan and many of his followers are English speaking too.
November 7, 2012 3:32 pm
"Kia baat hai – what a talk joke aside" Do you find this article funny?
abdul narayan
November 7, 2012 3:24 pm
Clear,frank,honest,concise and perceptive.A brilliant objective mind
November 7, 2012 3:19 pm
sorry bro but u dont know the ground reality about indian muslim.do visit india
Muhammad Ali Safdar Khan
November 7, 2012 3:15 pm
I would love to commend the administration here who failed to have the courage for letting some strong critisim come up !! Bravo...Keep on following the Hitler's Policy of a strong propaganda ! Keep repeating a lie and soon the people would take it as "the truth" and would follow like a herd. Three cheers for DAWN for letting such people be in the administration. I know this comment would not show up either but hope for it to have some effect on the "enlightened" extremism with in them :) Regards Dr Ali
November 7, 2012 3:00 pm
The flaws in polity of Pakistan is APPARENT as the sun at high noon. The author and the publisher are holding up the mirror to Pakistanis / Muslims to take a good look at themselves. It is NOT an eye opener!
November 7, 2012 2:58 pm
Delusions...Pakistani preoccupation!
November 8, 2012 9:35 am
Praise Dawn for publishing such a good article.
m. mushtaq haji
November 7, 2012 2:17 pm
Very Very true Mr.Waqar.Mr.Jinnah wanted a country for muslims,his speech of 11th aug 1947 become irrelevant.
Md Imran
November 7, 2012 2:11 pm
Naresh Sharma, you are absolutely right ! We have everything same like culture, language everything ! Same buses, same cars,same light poles, everything is same ! Since everything is so same, when are you moving to our country ?
raja hindustani
November 7, 2012 2:06 pm
Pakistan was created for Muslims.....not for Islam. The day people of Pakistan realize this fact, half of the problem will be automatically solved.
November 7, 2012 1:58 pm
@ V, English Teacher and Anshu magnanimous: generous in forgiving an insult or injury; free from petty resentfulness or vindictiveness…. What I meant was, even after 65 years we seldom think of moving on and accepting that Pakistan is another nation….which may have been created out of fear (real or imagined) that the majority community in India decimating them once the Brits leave….but is nonetheless a nation by itself now. Why the acrimony when we can’t change the past….let’s look forward to building a better future of being Peaceful and Cooperative neighbours. Of course that requires two to tango! I hope I have made my point clear Love and Peace! Rakesh
November 7, 2012 1:52 pm
Extremely brave of the author to open his mind in this blog. I am sure that many in Pakistan may have similar thoughts, but hardly few will admit them in public.
November 7, 2012 1:30 pm
We also have a perfect Islam in Saudi Arabia. I would definitely not want to live there.
November 7, 2012 1:27 pm
"I do not agree with the author that Islam and a modern state are at odds". Hard to find examples where Islam and modern state are not at odds. Even Malaysia is turing intollerent gradually.
Does not matter
November 6, 2012 4:45 pm
Dear Mr. Ahmed, I think the article is a bit too late. Many generations in Pakistan are brought up on venom against India/Hindu and non Muslims. The people from these generation are part of ruling/Mulla elite. They feed on this hostility. Its their bread and butter. The Pakistani army, and may i say Punjabi Army, can never let a chance go by to seek revenge of 1971. As long as army is dominated by Pakistan Punjab, there can not be a permanent peace between India and Pakistan.
English teacher
November 7, 2012 12:58 pm
He means magnificent.
November 7, 2012 11:57 am
Very well written. But I beg to disagree on a few points. I have no doubt that Jinnah sahib's vision for Pakistan, which we call ideology today, was not flawed. He wanted a nation for Muslims separate from Hindus. Whether he wanted a Muslim theorocracy or not is another question, and perhaps only he could answer. But I am sure nobody in Pakistan: right, left or center wanted Taliban. If it had not been the greedy leaders, wrong policies by few, and our 'nalaiqee' to elevate the corrupt, this country would have made much more sense then it seems today.
Free Thinker
November 7, 2012 11:58 am
Agree with everything he's written. A brave and clearheaded man.
Ejaz Butt
November 7, 2012 11:59 am
You are absolutely right. Vaqar has written and discussed this taboo topic in a great detail. This truth should have been told ages ago. Hats off to you Sir and many thanks for timely article and I do agree with your points. thank you
November 7, 2012 9:59 am
dear msf123 and fatima, directly or indirectly, you proved the author's point that the creation of pakistan on the basis of religion was totally a mistake. If there were problems with fellow countrymen on politics, issues and policies, that could be solved without involving religion and going for partition. as you have rightly mentioned that it is fault of people and not of the religion that they are corrupt and do not follow honestly, so in reality, partition does not remove those corrupt people and corrupt mentality from taking charge.
November 7, 2012 11:04 am
Very nicely put .....good one ! ...
Waqas umer
November 7, 2012 10:42 am
agree... Only sensible voice in the middle of compulsive lies and incorrect analysis....These so called intelectualls shows up in Dawn only...They may want to go back to Bharat and raise their families rather cutting the roots of Islamic Republic Of Pakistan and dilute the very purpose of this land. Pakistan is as QaideAzam said , No power in this factor earth can undo Pakistan........ Pakistan Zindabad and Islam Zindabad....
Talha Naeem
November 7, 2012 10:46 am
One of the best article i ever came across (Y)
November 6, 2012 2:06 pm
Peoples eyes are opening and it is always a good sign for any country. While you have drawn the outlines well the problem is really compounded by the hatred preached from Mosques and taught in schools. This hatred whether for Hindus, Indians, Jews or Americans is too deeply engraved in the mind to be eliminated now. A start can be made by penalizing hate speech and enforcing that law simultaneously revamping the curriculum in schools. This way the next generation will be saved from being brain washed and indoctrinated. The ideology being shoved down the throat of the citizens currently is neither Jinnah's ideology or Islamic ideology. It is the ideology of hate perpetrated by the Military and the Mullah(to safeguard their fiefdoms) of which the violent Militant is the residual bye product often used by these two as proxies. These three groups hold not just Power but also the weapons to silence any voice. Currently they are killing whoever gets in their way, subsequently they will attack each other and destroy themselves. The threshold for non violent change was crossed a long time ago.
November 6, 2012 2:07 pm
Thank you for saying the things that have sadly become dangerous to say but must be said.
Naresh Sharma
November 6, 2012 2:08 pm
Dear ... We have alot of sympathies to our Pakistani people but you people always trust on your enemy . we have everything same like culture, language everything.. but you people dont love us.. as you always in love with Muslim countries, USA and china try to come out from these things .. they are destroying u not us.... We are Same like two brothers who are now staying separately and has their own identity as individuals... Love and Wishes from India...
November 6, 2012 1:40 pm
Wonderful, It is slap on the mouth to all those who think Pakistanis are hopeless; They are doing their best to whatsoever revive and rejuvenation of the the society very well. Hope is still alive & thriving !
arif mehdi
November 6, 2012 2:10 pm
its nice article.u r right truth is hard to accept bt i agree wth u
November 7, 2012 6:11 am
@Aysha Agree with you as much as I agree with the writer! As you say, "concepts tend to evolve"....may be the concept of a state will soon be obsolete, and the Earth will be inherited by Humans. I don't mean to say that we shun our differences and diversity. Rather, I'd pray that we are mature enough to celebrate them. Imagine a world legislature, a government without borders. A world without scams or war, hunger or rapes.... :-) :-) :-) Utopia I know, but if keep dreaming on, and spreading the message of peace, it shall be a reality! Here's wishing a peace for all! Rakesh :-)
G M Patra
November 6, 2012 1:42 pm
TOOOOOO GOOOOD. Thank u Mr. V Ahmed.
G M Patra
November 6, 2012 1:47 pm
With the military/ISI being so strong and siffoning most of the resoucres to itself, with the Federal Govt. being so corrupt, it will be difficult for any state to do well specially when state authoriries are corrupt too. Still it is better to have one less "bomb" on their head - religion.
November 6, 2012 1:48 pm
eye opener!
November 6, 2012 2:36 pm
If a Pakhtun from Quetta and Peshawar is 'one nation' with a Punjabi and a Seraiki then why is he not 'one nation' with the Pakhtuns of Kandahar and Kabul?
November 6, 2012 2:36 pm
Nice description about the author! I am reminded of my history classes in 80s now. Pakistan was introduced to us in one line only: with the division of India and Pakistan in 1947. Nothing more. No villainification nothing. Passionate debates would follow on re-unification theory when everyone of us including the teacher would condemn Gandhi and Nehru and hail Jinnah who was forced to make choices. This is how schooling was for us in those days. Fastforward to a classroom in 2000s. My son came back home from school, shocked totally to learn from his history lessons in class 6 that India and Paksitan were one country until 1947. His teacher hailed Gandhi and Nehru and Jinnah I believe for their longsighted vision. In the same class he had an English prose lesson on Gandhi that showcased the humane side of Gandhi: how he failed in math and english in school, how he tried meat surreptitiously with his friends behind his parents back, etc. No glorification of the father of the nation. Just a glimpse of his personal life. Overnight, my son became a Gandhi admirer along with his friends. This generation is much smarter than us. Its better always to state the facts to them as they are and let them arrive at their own conclusions. That such an erring boy became the national hero at last is something I or his teachers never told our children. It was a good guess work by him; and kudos to NCERT for drafting such fine text books.
November 6, 2012 4:43 pm
I will never blame our founding fathers for the creation of Pakistan. Pakistan rose from a movement that had its roots in the efforts initiated by the likes of Sir Syed and Iqbal, who died long before the movement started talking about actual and total independence. Even Jinnah was advocating a confederation within a United India until as late as 1946. Pakistan’s disastrous course was charted only after Jinnah had passed away. Pakistan got hijacked by the military and the religious right, who have used fear, fear of India and fear of Allah, to rule Pakistan. Without these fears, these two entities would not have any legs to stand on. We will never know if the very concept of Pakistan was fundamentally flawed. The Pakistan of Jinnah was destroyed even before it had the chance to come out of its buds.
November 7, 2012 6:10 am
What do you mean by constant threat of Indian muslims?
Shahid Latif
November 6, 2012 1:50 pm
Modern day nation states need constant struggling to survive. Geography and History provide respite to some. None is on our side. Islam was not the only element as raison d’être for creation of Pakistan.It was all the above. Muslims in India were at a crucial juncture and they achieved what they envisioned. Salute to their struggle. Our greatness would be to do something great. Creation of a nation state is not an every day phenomenon. With no democratic traditions or aspirations, we lacked statecraft and the ensuing power structure weakened the foundation. We have not been able to ensure our rights as a majority. What makes you think you would be able to do same as a 40% minority?
Baighairat Kafir
November 6, 2012 2:57 pm
WOW! Never heard such an honest from any Pakistani ever! Hats off to you sir. The best reasoning on Jinnah's failed ideology and bunch of lies- "India was secular before partition, and to this day remains secular. They why create another secular nation."
November 6, 2012 3:02 pm
I think you generalize too much. Although the questions you raise should be asked. In fact one is free to ask any questions one likes. But when you are seeking answers it is better if you expand your view of things. For instance, the TTP and Let got perfect weapon in the shape of Pakistan. Did these groups exist when Pakistan was created? Think again. I guess you should learn about the waves of Islamic revivalism in post colonial era, and the co-option of religious sentiments into international politics. Perhaps that will help you understand that rise of religious militancy is not an outcome of creation of Pakistan. There is a vast array of factors involved, Cold war being one of them. As for your moral declaration on the concept of nation state, I will suggest you delve deeper into the concept of 'nation state'. You'll come to know that in itself the 'nation-state' is a questionable concept. Why should a 'nation' be entitled to a state? What is nation after all? Does a nation define a state or does a state define a nation? Why do you think Americans are a nation? If you will check the 18th century (and earlier) definitions of nation, you would come to know that common language ethnicity & culture define a nation. By that definition most of the modern states are inhibited by several nations. So the 18th century ideal of pure racial nationalism is obsolete and new concept of multi-ethnic states is prevalent. Now as you see, multi-ethnic state violates many postulates of the original nation-state theory. However, this doesnt mean that multi-etnic states are absurd. (which would mean all states on planet earth are absurd). Now think about this: the idea of a religious-based state may be an innovation. It may violate the ideal concept of nation state, but then, concepts tend to evolve, and can take several shapes and even contradict the foundations. There is a dialectical process involved in evolution of ideas. What I want to suggest is that you not only question the facts and events but also the conceptual tools you are using. I guess this line of thinking will deepen your analysis and your search may lead you to more profound answers.
November 6, 2012 3:03 pm
This seems to be one of the best remedies for the progress of Pakistan but the writer is not aware of one basic thing which seems to be the case with the rest of pakistan as well. In pakistan there exists a province called KPK (or NWFP as some still like to call it) where the majority are pustuns also called ethnic afghans. the only reason we are part of pakistan is because of the claim of pakistan that its ideology is islam(regardless of whether it is right or wrong, I am just stating the facts) otherwise we do not share much, including history, culture, language and global interests. And to those who think I have no facts, please cross the border of attock for once and see for yourself that you are in a totally different region.
Narinder Dogra
November 7, 2012 6:22 am
Vaqar Ahmed Sahib You have spoken out for a billion and half souls. Good Luck to you.
November 6, 2012 3:14 pm
@Surinder " All right thinking Pakistanis should put their head together and decide the best course for Pakistan for its survival and ......" And these right thinking Pakistanis will meet the fate of Salman Taseer and Malala.
November 6, 2012 12:48 pm
Wow. This is one superbly written article. I salute the bravery of the author. It keeps the hopes of a better future alive.
November 6, 2012 3:15 pm
Excellent article. Kudos to the author. See the irony of the history- whatever the founding fathers of pakistan feared about the condition of muslims in India is what exactly is happening in pakistan and whatever they wanted (or atleast pretended to show) for muslims in pakistan is already there in India. In my opinion, there is another thorn in this ideology of pakistan based on "Two Nation Theory" about the different heroes for Hindu and Muslim communities and that too the hero of one community is the foe for another and vice versa. This is one of root cause of the current situation of pakistan. Choosing wrong heroes gives you wrong inspirations and wrong directions and thus wrong results. Taking all those who attacked your motherland and plundered it impunity as your hero just because they belonged to your religion leads to the wrong conclusion of keeping your loyalty for religion above to your loyalty towards your motherland. Betraying your motherland in the name of religion will not be considered taboo in society and thats what exactly is happening in pakistani society. Pakistani society is sympathetic towards TTP, taliban etc. even though taliban has occupied quite a good amount of land of pakistan and TTP is attacking its own countrymen, military installations. despite this TTP is not considered Traitors and taliban is not considered as enemy just because they are of same religion as that of pakistan society. Power of religion should be used to uplift the Nation and not the other way round.
November 6, 2012 3:15 pm
Ahmed Sahab...this is a brave column indeed. My salutations to you for writing this. However, as an Indian there is one thing I would like to mention here. Also a lot of people will not like what I have to say. I personally think that the partition of India was the best thing that happened to India. Given the kind of politicians that both our countries are "blessed" with, I shudder to think how they would have used religion to further their dirty motives. Also there would have been lot many religious riots, more than what we have seen so far. I feel a civil war would have been inevitable and due to that we Indians would have lost a much bigger portion of our country. So while at one time I thought that the partition of India was the biggest folly of the 20th century, putting things into perspective, I feel it happened for the best for the Indians.
November 6, 2012 3:16 pm
And That Is The Truth.
November 6, 2012 3:20 pm
Excellent article!
November 6, 2012 3:21 pm
Awesome article..... hopefully one day your writing willl make sence to more people(majority) in Pakistan leading to prosperous and peaceful Pakistan and perhaps prosperous subcontinent as well :)
November 6, 2012 3:21 pm
Too late. The cancer has spread too far, Amputation may help.
November 6, 2012 3:23 pm
Sir Your article is addresses part of Pakistan's problems that are faced today. My answer to the questions raised by you will be like that. First you had to be Muslim to expect others to be Muslims, see the political leadership of 1971 did violate the rights of Bangali people but denying the rule the parliament, so if any one is to be blamed it has to be political leadership of that time. The separatist of today's Pakistan are gaining velocity cause of same mistake denial of the rights see Baloch people are suffering while Sindh is loosing Karachi so it's natural for them to go to extreme. Regarding 2 nation theory you can say all these stuff against our forefathers but the lives of Muslims in India are miserable till right now, they under constant threat of Hindu violence but we have made our lives more miserable than theirs so from far away they seem to us better. (Door kay dhool suhany) And lastly, sorry to say, but you seem to me more like resident of subcontinent of 1500 years old that just have restriction to not go out of dharty mata while inspired by Christian relgionlessness.
November 6, 2012 12:55 pm
Good analysis of the problem called Pakistan.
November 6, 2012 3:27 pm
Vaqar - The ideology of Pakistan as seen by it's early founders was to create a dominion that ensures equal rights, employment and opportunities for the 'minorities' of India which at the time included Moslems, Sikhs, Christians, Lower Caste Hindus, Parsees, Zoroastrians and several other small sects. It's a shame our youth has been fed the altered history.
November 6, 2012 3:28 pm
As a historian of South Asia, this article appears to me as a common statement of disillusionment I have read elsewhere. It can't be denied that the author is correct so far as Pakistan has failed to live up to its promise. But is that because the idea of Pakistan (whether as a homeland for Muslims or an Islamic state) has failed or because Pakistanis have failed the idea? If Pakistan were no more than secular, liberal state of European design, would it have not suffered the loss of Bangladesh, given that nationalism is based on ethno-linguistic homogeneity? Would it have done better even if homogeneous, given the corruption and brutality of its ruling classes? Neither Talibani, JI or JUI visions of an Islamic state can deliver a just, egalitarian society, to be sure, but has anyone even looked at Iqbal's work on theology, jurisprudence and state to begin the work of crafting an alternative, non-theocratic version of an Islamic state? The answer to all questions is no. As such, all that is left is to bemoan partition itself and wish Pakistanis were Indians. But one has to be careful what one wishes for. Never mind Hindu radicals who have been around since before partition. What about the fact that Muslims remain Muslims, even if in India.The tension between secular liberals and Islamists remains, doesn't it? Last I checked, Deoband was still in India. The only solution, therefore, is to be creative, rather than cling to old ideas, whether secular or religious. This article echoes so many more by showing no imagination at all.
November 6, 2012 3:32 pm
Brave article! Brave on part of Dawn to publish this as well..
November 6, 2012 3:32 pm
I don't think you know what 'magnanimous' means.
adam memon
November 6, 2012 3:36 pm
It is better to make friendship with India. We being muslim is not in position to make jehad.We must give addmision on merit When Pakistan was created there was only 5 medical colleges but now there are many.If you dont give addmision to deserving student how can we progress.Moreover talban dont allow female education but army renovate the schools again in Swat...Alhamdulillah.India and Pakistan are fighting and third person is taking advantage.Bangalees are our muslim brothers .They are living separatily and being muslim try to help them.We have negleted balochistan and therefore we must give more attention to their problem otherwise same thing happen which happen in 1971.May Allah bless muslim umma ,make them highly educated and full of knowledge.May ALLAH solve the problem of Khasmir and Palastian.May Allah make all of us a good muslim to get reward.
November 6, 2012 3:41 pm
Let the oldies in pakistan perish and with them take their twisted ideology. It is upto the youth of pakistan to build a bright future. The question is will it happen am i expecting too much from a brainwashed millions.
raw is war
November 6, 2012 3:45 pm
excellent article
November 6, 2012 1:06 pm
Excellent column!!!!! Hope it is also published in Urdu so that the masses in the land of the pure can read and wake up from their slumber and mould this once great nation into prosperity. Pakistan Zindabad!!!
November 7, 2012 6:26 am
Awesome Article!!! A truth that is always afraid to come out infront of people.....
November 6, 2012 3:49 pm
It is this fear that does not allow any reformation of Islam to make it compatible with modern times. And this fear is built into the very DNA of this religion. The author has himself admitted this fear.
John Doe
November 6, 2012 3:49 pm
Dear Dawn - People all over the world already know / understand all this - and ask these same questions around coffee table political discussions. Are you telling me its a new idea for your readers? You have the responsibility to pull out your masses from the dark dungeons. You have to be the dawn. You should send this in a questionnaire form to the political parties and publish their opinions. You are the media - you have to lead the change. Send these questions to the religious parties. You need to do something - think about all the people in teh media who gave their lives for the truth.Are you afraid to die ? Are you afraid your offices will be burnt down ? Shame on you for keeping your masses ignorant of the real world.
john d'costa
November 6, 2012 1:07 pm
better option is for pakistanis to convert to other faiths so nation automatically becomes secular
Ibrahim Shamsi
November 6, 2012 1:08 pm
Wow how conveniently your generation can lay of the responsibility of past 65 yrs of mistakes and question the very ideology of the country. Sir, it is not the fault of the founding fathers or the people who struggled for this beloved land. It your confused generation that has caused all these miseries. It is you people who did not understand and therefore did not realize the dream an ideology of Pakistan. The ideology of Pakistan is very simple "this was a country for created on the basis of providing the people of the subcontinent a state that gives freedom to practice all faiths" given that at that time Muslims were going through a time if discrimination. This was to fix that and provide an even platform. People who did not migrate is there choice. But ad the creation it is your generation if confused thankless people who hijacked the country, remove people like Fatima Jinnah, Liaqat Ali Khan and did not stand to military Tyrants. I like many of our generation will strive hard to realize the true dream and make this country the greatest country in the world.
Amir Bangash
November 6, 2012 1:44 pm
The Late Indian Prime Minister Mrs. Indra Ghandi was the first one to celebrate and announce the throwing of two nation theory deep into the ocean just after the fall of Dhaka. Today a class of Pakistani intellectuals is following her foot steps mainly because of some of the failures of Pakistani rulers who made wrong decisions and the country got into the grip of terrorism. Pakistanis are lucky to have a separate Muslim country and the two nation theory is as applicable and dearer to the Pakistani nation as before the independence. Pakistan was not created on the basis of hatred but to safeguard the interests of Muslims of Hindustan.
November 6, 2012 3:56 pm
Amazing piece of writing, thank you so much! If only we could implement your suggestions, a peaceful Pakistan for future.
November 6, 2012 3:58 pm
John, Pakistan will not allow any conversion from Islam even if it is on ones own will. Its wajib-ul-qatal(Qualified for death penalty by state, in case state is inactive then the mob is ready to perform the 'duty' of the state) Forget self conversion, if you marry a Pakistani girl and both of you are perfectly happy to coexist with each others faith, Pakistan will not allow that. Either you will be forcefully converted or both of you qualify for death penalty.
mazhar memon
November 6, 2012 1:27 pm
Author has mentioned Sindh who wants to be autonomous, but let me tell him, sindh will agree to all of his 3 points and has been struggling for it since last 50 years. Mazhar
Tariq Asam_NY
November 6, 2012 1:40 pm
A very timely and thought provoking discussion I mostly agree with your analysis and the need to rethink about how we would like to make Pakistan viable for the next generation. However, your conclusion about Bangladesh leaving is off mark. It was unjust sharing of power and the development resources. In those days, Islamic ideology was not as strong in West Pakistan. This is gift to us from the GREAT ZIA. Secondly, you used Liberals and Left-Liberals as two different groups and two different ideologies. I have not heard of any Right-Liberal. All Liberal are Left-Liberal. My personal view is very similar to yours about the creation of Pakistan as neither Islamic or for Muslim. I would go further. It was a product of the circumstances of time where two stubborn politicians named Jinnah and Nehru did not want to work with each other. Rumor has it that Jinnah was inclined to become the Governor General of combined India and Nehru objected. And off course our famous lame excuse about the British as the source of all evils was at play. When Pakistan was created it was not the Islamic Republic and now it is neither Islamic or Republic. Let’s rename it Yugoslavia where no one gets along.
November 6, 2012 2:31 pm
Jinnah wanted a Pakistan as a separate homeland for Muslims. He did not want a theocratic Pakistan. The people who voted for Pakistan wanted a democratic, progressive and secular Pakistan. That Pakistan ceased to exist on March 12, 1949 when the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan passed the Objectives Resolution. Objectives Resolution proclaimed that the “Sovereignty belongs to Allah alone but He has delegated it to the State of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him as a sacred trust”. How did the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan know that Allah has delegated His Sovereignty to the State of Pakistan. Isn’t that Blasphemy. But who care and who understands.
Tariq Asam_NY
November 6, 2012 2:21 pm
It seems like you are an old timer and haven't really moved to 21st century. “this was a country for created on the basis of providing the people of the subcontinent a state that gives freedom to practice all faiths” Are you saying that Hindu and Christians in Pakistan have more religious freedon that the Muslims in India. If you believe so, I hope you don't have followers
November 6, 2012 4:10 pm
Completely agree with the conclusion about the prerequisites. Economic development is not on the agenda of Political class or military of Pakistan. All they have on agenda are stragetic alliances with big global players, hidden territorial designs, controlling other countries through proxies and being only global nuclear power amongst Muslim nations. As long as Pakistanis think that they don't have roots here in South Asia but they are Arabs they will never a modern progressive state. Middle east is different. Their economies run on oil and populations comparatively small so they can afford whatever they do, including making religion the central platform for all things but Pakistan is different. They are more like Indians than arabs.
November 6, 2012 1:26 pm
An excellent article. It is difficult now to put the clock back. All right thinking pakistanis should put their head together and decide the best course for Pakistan for its survival and properity. Best wishes.
Adil Jadoon
November 6, 2012 11:36 pm
Pakistan is not the problem but the solution. Shame on you.
November 6, 2012 8:44 pm
Yes. Pakistan is already the greatest country in the world. And after the next election, it will certainly reclaim its glorious destiny of becoming a model islamic state. The two nations, india and pakistan is an undisputable reality, and it the the single most greatest achievement of the british empire..
November 6, 2012 4:23 pm
Sorry, but which generation do you belong to. And generation are you labelling as the 'confused generation'.
akil akhtar
November 6, 2012 10:58 pm
Is DAWN trying to capture indian viewership by printing only anti Pakistan views....It seems to be working looking at teh likes and dislikes
November 6, 2012 10:59 pm
Written in plain English, one could not express the real truth any better.Same sentiments should be written in Urdu, Pushtu, Punjabi, Sindhi and other languages in media other than Internet for the masses to get the message, understand it and try to bring about positive changes for the betterment of the country. I wish the writer to write more.
akil akhtar
November 6, 2012 10:56 pm
So sad to see so called pakistanis questioning the existence of their own motherland. Do they think the world would respect such people. Sadly we have a large number of people who have been more sincere to the outside masters than the country that feeds them from the beginning. Based on his logic the concept of india as a nation has failed also as millions did not want to live with it.
November 6, 2012 10:56 pm
you are the voice of every logical mind and broken heart for this country, a voice which will be ignored I am afraid. But we must speak, this is all that we can do with a hope to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
Shahzad Kazi
November 6, 2012 5:21 pm
Great article. This is the way to go. Liberals and democrats time for you to wake up and do something.
Cyrus Howell
November 6, 2012 8:59 pm
How would that be possible for people who have no forgiveness toward each other?
November 6, 2012 5:31 pm
Then why can't you say a new thing how to come out from this problems. This is what you people think and say. You all know the issues bit won't like to fix them....
Khalid M.
November 7, 2012 1:23 am
I loved reading your blog. I could not have said it any better. You probably meant Mohammad Rafi when you wrote Mohammad Rushdi
November 6, 2012 9:42 pm
Extremism is taking roots in our society especially in Punjab and KPK. If we are to, for example declare that a modren state cannot rely on theocratic ideals (which is evident in Pakistan by the way) it will immediatly creat an upraor by the rightists and will be translated as anti islamic,thus giving likes of TTP more opportunity.
Hoshiar Singh
November 6, 2012 10:45 pm
Gently and briliantly put. Please keep on writing - much of the world need such thoughtful and clear - headed message.
November 7, 2012 1:12 am
Partition was very good if I consider the present scenario of extremist. Would it have been undevided India, there could have been communal riot almost every day. Now India is Almost happy if I say something about practice of Religion. Since India is a Secular state, as per constitution communal forces has been demoralised. Still confused people, being extremist, operating terrorist organisation in their backyard.
November 6, 2012 10:43 pm
This article will probably go into Pakistan's history as a turning point in its quest for secularism. Or Pakistan will be history.
November 6, 2012 10:40 pm
Though may not be an immediate possibility, and possibly a hated option for many on either side, can someone explain how reunification with India be a step backward? I do not believe in such permanence of hatred or divorce.
November 7, 2012 7:09 am
Mr. Historian. I totally agree with your analysis. However, I wish to add, majority of Muslims, swear on religion rather than their nation. If and when the nation comes first, that day will be the new beginning of their respective countries,
November 6, 2012 10:31 pm
''freedom to practice all faiths''...never in the country's history and will neither in the future...Thanks to the young generation mirred half-truths
November 6, 2012 9:57 pm
Wow man, brave. Keep safe and keep writing
November 7, 2012 12:55 am
Excellent Article Vaqar Ahmed Saab!! Religious practices are personal and should not interfere in the state or administrative matters ..a very well said and Matured thought ...We can understand the pain you experienced all along and hopefully this article be an eye opener to administrators and they take measures that give much greater relief to you..Best Regards..
Cyrus Howell
November 6, 2012 9:26 pm
The Balochis are demanding a separate province. Parts of Pakistan are not in the control of the state. The demand for an autonomous Sindh is picking up steam. How do you explain this? . The central economy has been robbed and mismanaged, and the people led astray.
Bikash Chandra
November 6, 2012 9:25 pm
I salute Mr. Vaqar Ahmed for this good piece of work. I wish this article be published in India, Bangladesh and Kashmir also. This makes us re-think strategies for future plans where we can imagine fusion and a peaceful as well as safe and secured Indian-subcontinent where there will be trust and support for one-another.
Abdul j Sheikh
November 6, 2012 5:16 pm
Author took a long time to express his thoughts, I had known all this when I was 6th grade student.
November 6, 2012 6:50 pm
Sir you are 110% right and frankly you articles have given words to my feeling. However, people like you and me are dying breed.
November 6, 2012 1:20 pm
Fabulous article Sir! Many/Most of us on this side would agree with you. But we are not a potent lot to seek immediate remedy or to have a large heart and accept the reality. Being from the southern region, I don't share the cliched "common language, common culture, etc". But I still feel a connect, perhaps of the common ancestry of a once magnanimous country! Let's all pray and strive for peace so that there are no hungry stomachs or harassed minds left.
Krish Chennai
November 6, 2012 4:45 pm
Really bold article! There is an economic policy which has something called "enlightened self-interest", which is essentially capitalistic and has some kind of trickle-down theory of economic betterment of the people. The writing on the wall is that partition only created misery for the teeming millions, with some compound effect, and more pitiable is that the younger generation still look to migrate Westward, close to 70 years post-independence. Alas, Faiz was not optimistic towards his end, resorting to poetry and alcohol.. May God save us. In simper terms, we should have obeyed the dictates of geography which indicated that all these countries in South Asia are one, rather than one of faith and sunshine-and-moonshine salvation, which is a personal matter anyway.
November 6, 2012 4:25 pm
Misguided thoughts portrayed in the article by the author. Seems to be a man troubled by his own existence. It is very easy and convenient to blame religion for all the troubles of Pakistan. But I ask, how many so called 'rightist' conservative and religious leaders have been at the helm of our country since independence apart from Zia - Ul- Haq and Nawaz Sharif (around 15 years of rule in total out of 65)? Is the corrupt elite (Bureucrats, politicians, generals, businessmen etc) known to be very religious or are they really known to espouse religion to further their corrupt designs? The separation of East Pakistan was wholely and solely due to religious reasons? It is true that religion failed to keep the country together but was it really responsible for its breakup? Wasnt it the fact that the bengalis were deprived of their legal, economic, social and political rights by the alcohol drinking, partying and so called liberal west pakistani elite? We can very well banish the use, name and any mention of religion in our country if the author so desires, hoewever, will it rid the nation of its corrupt psyche which is so well entrenched in every strata of its society? Apart from the mismanaged Hudood laws, which islamic law has been properly implemented in the country? or for that matter someone please tell me any law which to this day is properly implemented in this country? Is that the fault of Islam too? Religion is not the problem. The problem lies within the mindset and the psyche of people who form this nation. We have a habit of blaming others for our problems, be it some other individual, country or even religion which has become a common target for pseudo liberals nowadays! The truth is, we have miserably failed to adhere to the ideology of our founding fathers and implement the true concepts of Islam, the way it was meant to be implemented, for that we cannot fault religion but only ourselves and our leaders! If our leaders and society itself is not capable of implementing islamic laws, jurisprudence or way of life in the coutnry in its proper form, then what guarantee is it that they will be able to properly implement secular values and laws as well? In truth, they will continue to do whatever it takes to fill their own pockets and serve their interests through whatever means possible and available to them. Blaming religion for every ill in this country is not a solution to the problem, the solution lies in an in depth examination of every single strata of our society which has degenerated and regressed beyond repair! Religion, or the lack of understanding of it by our people, might be a part of the problem, but it is by no means the problem itself!
Capt C M Khan
November 6, 2012 2:42 pm
Excellent article although I DISAGREE that Jinnah had the Muslim Sharia Law in his mind when he asked for Pakistan. The Problem is HYPOCRISY in our blood (I don't know where it came from), otherwise why would Bhutto ban alcohol although he himself was fond of it. That was the turning point. Clerics gathered courage and started making economically suicidal demands to stay in news. Today there is no solution. Suffering for the poor and minorities for the next generation at least.
November 6, 2012 6:09 pm
Truly an eye opener Sir! I agree to your point that religion should not be the basis of a country's ideology.
November 6, 2012 6:55 pm
true that
November 6, 2012 5:36 pm
Your generation is living in caves with guns and AK47s to kill each and everyone of you who are talking against them. Then how can you bring this country back into a good country. Keep on dreaming.... Don't blame anyone else but you.
November 7, 2012 1:08 am
I can't agree more , you have penned a great column, keep it up, unfortunately your thought will not reach to majority of the Pakistanis since its in English language. Urdu press is in the hands on right wing but I would suggest you to please translate it and send it to some Urdu daily as well.
November 6, 2012 6:57 pm
Your first and second suggestion is historically incorrect. For literally hundreds of years modern nations of egypt, iraq, saudia arabia and many more were stringed together by Islam. A more modern example is the jewish state of Israel. I believe we are the south asian versions of Israel. On the defense at all times. Pakistan's very survival is dependent on staving off multiple enemies at once. The only reason we see these doom and gloom articles has been due to the ineptness of the civilian government. It has failed the people over and over again. Liberate trade, collect taxes, invest within the country and for god sakes stop begging and you will watch this country flourish. I have no problem with normalising trade with India but that doesn't occur without solving the kashmir issue.
November 6, 2012 5:54 pm
Very heart touching and honest description of the present,past and future predicament of Pakistan..
November 7, 2012 12:41 am
The article by Vaqar bhai fulfills the wishes of all those who want the people of this most beautiful and rich land to follow. May Allah, bless the new generation to be energetic and bold enough to adopt new ideas to convert Pakistan to be the leading country of the world.
November 7, 2012 7:06 am
Agreed. word by word. couldn't have expressed myself better in reaction to this article. Misguiding indeed. It pains me to see how easily people tend to put all the blame on Islam. The author has quoted faiz but fails to quote Iqbal who put the basis of ideology for this country! and in whose poetry lies the true essence of Islam.
Shahid Masud (@HotMasud)
November 6, 2012 8:39 pm
Dear Ibrahim Shamsi, what freedom you are talking about , Muslims killing Muslims in the name of religion , forget about the minorities .
Cyrus Howell
November 6, 2012 9:03 pm
"I didn't say it would be easy. I just said it would be the truth." -- Morpheus
John F
November 6, 2012 6:36 pm
True. But I haven't heard anyone say it aloud and so eloquently.
suresh vohra
November 6, 2012 8:52 pm
Thoroughly enjoyed reading the article.I leave it to the citizens of Pakistan to chart the future course.As one born in Bhaun(Chakwal) I do not remotely suggest putting the clock back,I only wish I could drive down and see my ancestral house and may be see my first school in block 13 of sargodha Best wishes to the people of Pakistan
November 6, 2012 2:42 pm
A few individuals,some reputed Indians and others famous Pakistanis,divided this subcontinent so cruelly that millions lost their lives, homes and honour. Can any effort revert them back. The need on both sides is to stick to truth. Truth in knowing our origin, history, relationsahips may solve the problems a bit. Whatever happened, let it be bygone. Come on - be a nice friendly Pakistani, a nice brotherly Indian so that our children live in peace.
November 7, 2012 1:25 am
Let us begin the debate now and let us have it in the urdu press too. Its high time... We may still be able to save our next generation.
November 6, 2012 7:50 pm
In the immediate future I hope the author stays safe !
Adil Jadoon
November 6, 2012 11:35 pm
I guess more Indians then Pakistanis read the Dawn? Pakistan Zindabad. Good luck to India too.
Naeem Malik
November 6, 2012 4:16 pm
I agree with the Blog that India has given our elite the opportunity to waste the nations resources on expenditure they would have found hard to justify otherwise - but we also need to look how much of our military effort has really been engaged in the war with India - I would argue, certainly in the last 3 decades all our resources were directed towards meeting the requirements of Powers that do not belong to the region. A United India would have been a disaster for those Powers and perhaps very good for everyone in the region including ourselves. We cannot bring peace to our region today without upsetting our masters somewhere. Making peace with India will not help because we are not fighting India in the first place we are fighting something else.
November 6, 2012 7:18 pm
Yes it's not new, but nobody tries it..
taranveer singh
November 6, 2012 4:29 pm
excellent sir. hats off. nothing will improve in Pakistan because they will never agree that religion is root of all problems in pak. they are filled with false proud of religion. thinking only Muslims and Islam are best and solution of all problems.
November 6, 2012 1:18 pm
Beautifully written. I see the common feeling of fear that won't allow us to tell the truth publicly.
November 6, 2012 7:49 pm
Nice one. We call it the minus one formula.
Mandar (Mumbai)
November 6, 2012 4:48 pm
nice article... I copied my comment and pasted here... articles like this will keep coming on DAWN for years... and so my comments... because nothing is going to change in Pakistan for ever... sorry but its truth... I congratulate Muslims who stayed back... now please don't give me few example of riots... overall Muslims are doing much better here... Salim agrees with me.... he is sitting next to me while I am typing... we are going for lunch and decent movie after his Namaz...
November 6, 2012 5:37 pm
More and more deep thinking articles are coming from Pakistanis living in Canada. We see a viable multi ethnic society here and see the huge gap in basic idealogy formulation.
November 6, 2012 7:41 pm
While the author is absolutely right and courageous in writing this article; he is barking up the wrong tree. We the English reading readers (a vast majority) of DAWN are already in sync with him. You are wasting your time. Publish this article in EVERY URDU NEWS PAPER OF PAKISTAN, LOCAL AND NATIONAL, IF YOU WANT TO EFFECT CHANGE.
aik pakistani
November 6, 2012 4:49 pm
Since when has banning alcohol come to be known as 'religious extremism'?
November 6, 2012 7:37 pm
That is the problem. All these rational, honest and clear headed articles are published in DAWN and that too in English where the reader is already cognizant of these points made by the author.....and agrees. The need of the hour is to open the eyes and minds of the illiterate and semi-literate poor Pakistanis who been given the unceasing doze of hatred, untruth and exclusivity and told of unceasing consipiracies to pull down Pakistan. Till you deprogram these majority Pakistanis, nothing else will help.
November 6, 2012 1:44 pm
That is right. And yet we are not taking any steps to make a change and move forward.
Fawad Masood Raza
November 6, 2012 6:06 pm
Pakistan was envisioned to be an Islamic Welfare State, whether you like it or not, this is the will of the people of Pakistan. Secularism is not the solution, if it were, the secular countries of the world would not be the ones 'killing' the most number of human beings and spending billions in the arms race.
November 6, 2012 6:50 pm
Magnificent! No one is going to give it a second thought or for even a second consider following any of your suggestions. Nonetheless, Bravo!
November 6, 2012 6:03 pm
Kudos to the author and Dawn for such honest and thought provoking blog. I wish more people on either side of the divide could read it.
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