Jinnah’s lost Pakistan. By Prof. Anjum James Paul

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 Pakistan came into being in the comity of the nations on August 14, 1947 by the efforts of Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Parsi, Sikhs etc. The Quaid-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a champion and guardian of human rights and minority rights. After the creation of Pakistan, he immediately took steps for equal citizenship, equal opportunities and equal rights of all Pakistanis without any distinction or discrimination. He had a vision of equal partnership of all citizens in the state affairs. He discouraged all those elements that could disintegrate Pakistan. He made his best efforts for peaceful coexistence, social harmony, acceptance and equality of all Pakistani citizens. He gave practical shape to his ideology which is obvious by the steps he took to make Pakistan a moderate state and nation in the comity of the nations without any distinction of color, creed or race. He wanted to see a prosperous Pakistan by all means. The Quaid-e-Azam made personal efforts to give a sense of security and protection to Pakistani minorities.

Mr. Joginder Nath Mandal was federal minister of law and the first Chairman of the Kashmir Committee out of seven federal cabinet members. The first chiefs of the armed forces of Pakistan were all Christians. The names are;

Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan army    General Sir Frank Walter Messervy

Chief of Pakistan Air Force                      Air Vice Marshal Allan Perry-Keene 

Naval Chief of Pakistan Navy                  Rear Admiral James Wilfred Jefford.

At a Press Conference on July 14, 1947 in New Delhi just a month before the existence of Pakistan, Mr. Jinnah as Governor-General-designate of Pakistan, had assured the minorities that their religion, faith, life, property and culture would be protected in the future State of Pakistan. They all would be the citizens of Pakistan having equal rights and privileges. The Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan addressed the first constituent assembly of Pakistan on August 11, 1947 saying, “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed …… that has nothing to do with the business of the State.

…….. Even now there are some States in existence where there are discriminations made and bars imposed against a particular class. Thank God, we are not starting in those days.  We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State.

…. Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal, and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus, and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.”

Hector Bolitho, the biographer of the Quaid-e-Azam, writes that Jinnah was never generous with tears. However, he had only twice seen him weeping. One of these two occasions was when Jinnah toured the riot-affected encampment of Hindus in Karachi in January 1948. Fully sympathising with them, Jinnah assured to take the severest possible measures against the offenders…(who) shall be dealt with sternly and ruthlessly. He tried his best to discourage minorities from migrating to India. he referred to the problems of minorities and again guaranteed them secure future in the State of Pakistan.

It is so unfortunate that his early demise after the existence of Pakistan on September 11, 1948 was a big loss to Pakistan. Religious minorities are constantly crying in the wilderness after the demise of the father of the nation for their political and civil rights but no one hears them.  His followers evaded his concept of nation and the name of Pakistan was converted with addition to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. There is a clear-cut line in Pakistan on the basis of religion. National flag of Pakistan divides the citizens of Pakistan as majority and minority. The religious division has promoted superiority complex in the Muslims whereas inferiority complex in non-Muslims. The Muslims who were a minority in the undivided India became majority in the newly emerged state of Pakistan while Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Parsi, Bahai, Buddhists etc. not only lost their religious identity but also became non-Muslims (infidels/kafir) minority. Pakistani religious minorities are squeezing day by day due to discrimination and persecution on religious basis. Constitutionally only Muslims have become privileged class.

Pakistan has become a theocratic state because according to article 1 of the constitution of Pakistan the name of the state has been amended and now the official name is ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan’. Besides this, according to article 2 Islam has become state religion of Pakistan. On this basis, Article 19 of the constitution has safeguarded and protected only the religion of Islam while all the other religions have become constitutionally unprotected. As a result, there is often desecration of worship places and Sacred Books of religious minorities.

Violation of the different articles of the constitution of Pakistan against non-Muslims/religious minorities are presented below;

Article 9 is of the constitution is violated and non-Muslims are deprived of their life and liberty merely on the difference of religion. The worst example is of Gojra where eight innocent men, women and children were burnt to ashes simply on the difference of religion. Sharoon Masih, a student of 9th class at a public sector high school was murdered in Vehari. Shama along with her husband was murdered in Kasur. Many Christians and Hindus have lost their lives due to ill treatment in the prisons. There are extra judicial killings of many Christians in the blasphemy cases.

There is violation of article 20 and religious minorities have challenges of freedom to profess religion. Non-Muslims lead their lives in harassment and fear because they can be faith-based target at any time. Freedom of Religion & Belief (FoRB) has a question mark in Pakistan? Religious intolerance is on the peak level because the public sector education sectors declares Pakistan as a land of Muslims through textbooks. Non-Muslim students have to have mostly face religious persecution. They are forced to convert their religion by their classmates and teachers. In failure, they are segregated or leave incomplete education due to persecution. They are even killed due to difference of religion. Their minor daughters are converted to Islam and married after abductions. Pedophiles prey them under the umbrella of religion. So far, dozens of Churches and Hindu temples have been desecrated, demolished, locked and burnt to ashes in Punjab, Sindh and KPK. It is astonishing that only Churches and Hindus temples are targeted and attacked. Christian and Hindu residences are attacked, demolished and burnt to ashes after looting. There have been horrific incidents of violence and intolerance in the recent years in Shanti Nagar, Kasur, Lahore, Sangla Hill, Gojra, Korian in which not only residences, churches, Holy Bibles were desecrated burnt to ashes. Only in Gojra seven Christians were burnt alive. It has become a routine matter to desecrate the Holy Bible and Holy Geeta. There is desecration of the Christian graveyards and Crosses are broken. The most recent incident of desecration of the graveyard was in Okara in 2019 in which miscreants broke several crosses. The land grab mafia desecrate and occupy the Christian graveyards. 

There is violation of article 22 which is on ‘safeguards as to educational institutions in respect of religion, etc.’ Education in Pakistan is only for Muslims that’s why there is Islamization of education. Pakistani National Education Policy, curriculum and textbooks are discriminatory and a threat to the lives and beliefs of non-Muslims. They are designed only for the Muslim students under article 31 ‘Islamic way of life’. Curriculum and textbooks do not space diversity, pluralism, respect for non-Islamic religions and non-Muslims. There is glorification of Islam, Muslims and Islamic civilization even in the subjects of social sciences, basic sciences and languages while the textbooks propagate negatively against non-Islamic religion, non-Muslims and non-Islamic civilizations. Pakistani curriculum and textbooks are anti-social because they promote clash of civilizations and clash among religions.  The state run public educational institutions play the role of Islamic seminaries. The purpose of education is to make good Muslims. The educational environment is totally Islamic. The sermons are on Islamic teachings and beliefs during morning assembly. Non-Muslim students, teachers and other employees have to face the challenges of Freedom of Religion & Belief when there is criticism on non-Islamic religions, non-Muslims and non-Islamic. The religious minority students are forcibly converted to Islam due to the violation of article 22 of the constitution. A non-Muslim student has to defy his/her religion if he/she wants to receive general education in Pakistan otherwise he/she will not have any opportunity to receive education. A non-Muslim child starts his/her education after defying his/her religion. He/she embraces Islam through the textbook of General Knowledge for grade 1 in which a particular prayer is recited (Kalama Tayyaba). Whosoever embraces Islam has to say that particular prayer. Article 31 of the constitution has guaranteed the subjects of Islamic Studies and Arabic for Muslim students from primary to higher education level while minority students have been constitutionally deprived of their religious education. They are forced to study the subject of ‘Islamic Study’ or sometimes ‘Ethics’. Religious minorities are forced to lead their lives according to Islamic way as mentioned in article 31 of the constitution.

There is violation of article 24 ‘Protection of property rights’ Land grabbers grab the properties of the Christians and Hindus. The state and influential people have even grabbed churches, temples and educational institutions of non-Muslims. 

There is violation of article 25 ‘Equality of citizens’ and article 27 ‘Safeguard against discrimination in services’ of the constitution Pakistan and religious minorities have been considered as others and alien in their own motherland due to denial of equal citizenship, equal rights and equal opportunities. Posts of sanitary workers/gutter-men/sweepers are reserved only for Christians/Hindus/ non-Muslims which is the violation of both article 25 and article 27 of the constitution of Pakistan. They cannot be offices bearers of political, civil and armed forces offices because there is no space for them in the constitution of Pakistan 1973. The oath taking is only for Muslims which has been mentioned in the articles of the constitution and Third Schedule of the constitution of Pakistan. Non-Muslims have to defy their religion to take oath as Muslims. cannot take oath according to their faith but as a Muslim. Whoever takes oath as president (Article 42) or prime minister of Pakistan [Article 91(3)] has to say;

“(In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.)

I, ____________________, do solemnly swear that I am a Muslim and believe in the Unity and Oneness of Almighty Allah, the Books of Allah, the Holy Quran being the last of them, the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the last of the Prophets and that there can be no Prophet after him, the Day of Judgment, and all the requirements and teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah: …………… That I will strive to preserve the Islamic Ideology which is the basis for the creation of Pakistan:………May Allah Almighty help and guide me (A’meen).”

Federal minister or minister of state [Article 92(2)], speaker of national assembly or chairman of senate [Articles 53(2) and 61], deputy speaker of national assembly or deputy chairman of senate [Articles 53(2) and 61], member of national assembly or member of senate [Article 65], Governor of province [Article 102], Chief minster or provincial minister [Articles 131(4) and 132(2)], speaker of a provincial assembly [Articles 53(2) and 127], deputy speaker of a provincial assembly [Articles 53(2) and 127], member of provincial assembly [Articles 65 and 127]  has to say;

“(In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.)

I, ____________________, do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan:………..That I will strive to preserve the Islamic Ideology which is the basis for the creation of Pakistan:……. May Allah Almighty help and guide me (A’meen).”

Auditor-General of Pakistan [Article 168(2)], Chief Justice of Pakistan or of a High Court or Judge of the Supreme Court or a High Court [Articles 178 and 194], Chief Justice or Judge of the Federal Shariat Court [Article 203C (7)].

(In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.)

I, ____________________, do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan: ……….May Allah Almighty help and guide me (A’meen).

Chief Election Commissioner [Article 214]

(In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.)

I, ____________________, do solemnly swear that as Chief Election Commissioner ……..May Allah Almighty help and guide me (A’meen).

Members of the Armed Forces [Article 244]

(In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.)

I, ____________________, do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan and uphold the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan which embodies the will of the people………… May Allah Almighty help and guide me (A’meen).

Non-Muslims have been segregated from the mainstream politics. Mainstream political parties segregate non-Muslims and that’s why there are minority wings of political parties. They are not part of policy making or decision making. There is hypocrisy because on one hand state denies equal citizenship, equal rights and equal opportunities and on the other hand there is state sponsored ‘Minorities Day’ celebrated on August 11 every year. There are no religious, political and civil liberties to religious minorities. State sponsored so called minority figures are invited on some gatherings. A message is given with the assistance of those so-called figures that Pakistan is a paradise for religious minorities. There is fully religious freedom to minorities. Minorities are free to perform religious services.

Pakistan must announce to end discrimination against non-Muslim minorities on August 14, 2019 after 72 years and complete the vision of the father of the nation of equal citizenship, equal rights and equal opportunities without any distinction of religion, caste or creed to all citizens. There should be political and civil liberties to all Pakistanis without the distinction of religion or belief. There is no need to celebrate the ‘Minority Day’ because when religious minorities already celebrate their day then 14 August becomes ‘Majority Day’. There is utmost need of the time to promote diversity, pluralism, social harmony, peaceful coexistence. All sorts of discrimination, biases and persecution must be excluded from the educational system of Pakistan. No distinction of majority or minority in any field. Religion must not be politicized for personal gains. There must no All Christian and Hindu minor girls must be recovered from the illegal custody of the pedophiles. A girl and boy who having CNIC must only be allowed to get marry in failure capital punishment be awarded to the pedophiles. Pakistani society must be established on the golden principle of live and let live. 

(The writer is the Chairman of Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association and Head of the Political Science at Government Postgraduate College Samundri, district Faisalabad. He can be contacted via email: info.pmta@gmail.com)

 

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