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‘Religion & politics’

November 09, 2012

I ALWAYS read Zubeida Mustafa’s column with admiration. But I am afraid I could not appreciate her article, ‘Religion and politics’ (Nov 7) because it is full of ideas harped upon by several columnists in your paper -- besides the liberal ‘slant’. I do applaud liberalism but not at the expense of democratic choices, majority opinions and the mantra – Vox populi vox dei.

Her criticism of the Objectives Resolution is an anti-thesis of goal-setting by one of our founding fathers, Liaquat Ali Khan. It was subsequently incorporated as Article 2A in our constitution and never abrogated.

Another refrain in the writings of your columnists, including Zubeida Mustafa, has been the criticism of liberal ZAB’s declaration of Ahmadis as a minority and the secular interpretation of the Quaid’s valedictory speech in the Constituent Assembly in 1947. I regret to opine that such views are not shared by a majority of Pakistanis as reflected in the retention of these Islamic provisions and Article 2A by several governments elected since the 1970 elections.

What Ms Mustafa espouses and so many other columnists in your paper say are the views of a minority unrepresentative and unreflective of the majority of Pakistanis. If one stands for democracy, i.e., the rule of majority and electoral choices, then a continuation of the above provisions of our constitution mirrors the views of the Pakistani electorate. India, despite its secular constitution, has witnessed several communal carnages and is home to religious bigotry, as seen in the Gujarat riots, the rise of Bal Thackery and BJP and the destruction of the Babri mosque.