The History of Extremism in Pakistan. By Riaz Anjum Advocate
13 Jul 2013
During Pakistan Movement religious groups and parties opposed Quid e Azam (founder of Pakistan) and creation of Pakistan but after the existence of Pakistan these people came to Pakistan with a design to convert it into an Islamic state of their own vision and binding. That was a plan to hijack a progressive Pakistan that Quaid e Azam had visualized. These elements declared that they will not accept liberal and secular Pakistan. The rulers of that time(Liaqat Ali Khan) came under the pressure of Mullah’s and constituted a committee headed by Moulana Shabir Ahmad Usmani and committee prepared a resolution (objective resolution) which was passed on 12 march 1949 and was made part of constitution by a dictator General Zia.it was first victory of extremist wing.
In 1962 a jam ate Islamic member of national assembly for the first time used the word (Pakistan Ideology) in parliament. This term did not exist during the Pakistan Movement and nor was it present at the time of country’s creation. Rulers of Pakistan especially dictators have been using Islam as weapon for their personal benefits. Department of Awqaf was created under the regime of president Ayub Khan and religious group/parties were permitted to collect funds from Mosques and shrines. In this way these elements became stronger.
In 1973 when major Ahmadia riots erupted, the extremist people tasted their second major victory as Bhutto government decided to declare Ahmadi community as non-Muslim under the pressure of extremist elements. Third victory arrived for them in 1976-1977 when religious parties/groups formed Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) and agitated against Bhutto government, consequently paving the way for Zia Ul Haq coup.
With the arrival of Zia government extremist elements finally found state power. We can say extremism as project was set into motion by Zia Ul Haq.In his regime Islam was used as an instrument. During his dictatorship religious groups/parties were supported by government. In his regime objective resolution was made part of constitution and declares Christians and other non-Muslims secondary citizens. All these demands which were not accepted by Quid e Azam (founder of Pakistan), his companions and Bhutto were converted into laws in regime of Zia. Many religious groups came into existence and some of them were having military wings in his regime. These military wings started to dominate each other. During their war of ideological domination, they did not even avoid to assassinate each other. It is misfortune of Pakistan that these elements have become so powerful that they always been compelling governments for achieving their objectives. Almost no social change has come even after the dictatorial tenure of Zia. Extremism and terrorism which Pakistan is facing are the outcome of self-centered policies of general Zia. Generally regime of General Pervez Musharraf was considered a enlightened and modern because he pretended himself a modern and liberal person at national and international level but real situation was different from general perception. He did not make any effort to repeal or amend most controversial Blasphemy laws of Pakistan. Which are always misused against Pakistani Christians? In his regime rubber stamp parliament did not table the "amended bill of blasphemy laws 2007"which was presented by M P Bhindara non-Muslim Member of Parliament.
Now extremist elements have dominated almost all the fields and departments including print and electronic media. It has become very difficult for human rights activists especially Christian human rights defenders to work for human rights and persecuted Christians.Kaleem Ullah a well-known Christian social worker who opened many schools for Christians and other deserving students and Francis George Gill a well know Christian journalist have left Pakistan due to continuous life threats from extremist elements. Now Napoleon Qayyum a well-known human rights defender who has been working for persecuted Christians under banner of American center for law and justice (ACLJ) and European center for law and justice (ECLJ) has been receiving continuous life threats from these elements. Pakistani Government, security agencies and establishment should take immediate steps to provide protection to Christian human rights defenders.
If we wish to develop our country and make Pakistan great and prosperous we all should condemn extremism and terrorism and should adopt tolerance rather than extremism. Establishment should encourage liberal and secular people because secular people made the Pakistan and secular people will develop and make Pakistan great and prosperous