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‘Religion & politics’


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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.


Comments (9) Closed

Tahir Nov 10, 2012 09:22am
Well, it is not hard to see who was instrumental behind the liberal ZAB when he declared Ahmadis as no-Muslims. It wasn't the democratic force that dictated the decision per se, there was more to it then meets the eye. Secondly, you quote India as being secular but religious bigotry etc exists there too. Surely as a Muslim nation which practices a peace loving religion, you do not want to set and emulate bad examples of others. Instead I would think the real Islamic good examples are seen in some of the more tolerant and developed contries of the West.Follow those.
observer Nov 10, 2012 12:24pm
With due respect, if there is ever a referendum on keeping Objectives Resolution a part of constitution of throwing it in the dustbin, I would opt for the dustbin option.
Humanist Nov 11, 2012 03:01am
Majority in Pakistan are ignorant brutes, they choose ignorant brutes as their leaders, therefore Majority rule is a dangerous kind of democracy in Pakistan ....
Igloo Nov 10, 2012 02:45am
Fair comment. However, If extreme 'liberalisms' is over-represented in respected English medium newspapers it is because the country is failing to produce enough intellectuals with a viable alternative vision for a progressive Pakistan.
Keti Zilgish Nov 10, 2012 06:59pm
In a representative democracy the majority-rule principle is not unconditional. It is based on the principle of respect for the minorities. I admit however that it is confusing. Direct democracy is more endowed with clarity.
Laeeq,NY Nov 10, 2012 12:34pm
Writers views should not be the views of the majority. It is their analysis after much thoughtful analysis. Majority of writers in Dawn news are the people who represent the silent majority of the nation. Bringing religion in national politics only gave way to extremism and more violence against the minorities( including our Shia brothers and sisters). Sporadic violence in India is no way comparison to Pakistan. In India most riots were between Two different religious groups but in Pakistan we are slaughtering each other with minor difference in the same faith. At least this is not happening in India. I believe we were better off living as a minority with our Hindus majority in united India than creating our own country and bring all this religious mayhem upon us.
kamaljit Singh Nov 10, 2012 08:11am
Why do you bring India in ,Janab.Think independetly.
JAY RAMAN Nov 10, 2012 08:14pm
Yes, The majority of Pakistanis do not want secularism they want an Islamic state where only Sunnis can live with diginity. Everybody else can either get converted to be a Sunni or live as a second class citizen. Pakistan is paying for this ideology in blood.
Zafari Syed Nov 10, 2012 03:52pm
Very well said Mr. Ghouri. Our English language media should accept that a very vast majority of Pakistanis still wants Islamic laws to be implemented in letter and spirit, Smart leaders and politicians like Quaid-e-Azam, Liaquat Ali Khan,ZAB and Benazeer understood it very well and worked for it to the extent they thought practical. Quaid's quotes have been twisted by some vested interests to purport that he wanted a secular Pakistan, which is not borne out by his other speeches and interviews. This also was not what a great majority of Muslims who supported Pakistan Movement thought. There was no point in sacrificing their lives and properties to carve a secular Pakistan out of a Secular India.