KARACHI: Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar warned the Pakistan Parliament on Tuesday [Feb 22] that infringement on one fundamental human right led to the violation of the other and finally to fascism. Public opinion could not be curbed by force. [He] was opposing the resolution demanding a ban on communal organisations engaged in political activities. The resolution was moved by Professor Rajkumar Chakravarty (Congress) and was withdrawn after a 75-minute debate.

Professor Chakravarty and Mr B. K. Dutta … pleaded that Muslim League should give up its communal character. They feared that allowed to continue in its present form it would turn Pakistan into a theocracy. To confuse theocracy with an Islamic State was ignorance of political science, Dr I.H. Qureshi challenged. Priesthood was the prerequisite for a theocracy and Islam did not recognise any priesthood.

“To ask that Pakistan should not be an Islamic State is asking for the impossible.” If a section of the people wanted a particular set of laws for themselves allowing others to live according to the tenets of their own religion what objection could be raised against such a demand, he added.

Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2024

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