Pakistan and the exploitation of religion

Every year August 14 brings with it debates and discussions on topics like “Why Pakistan was made”, “Did Jinnah envision a Secular or an Islamic state”, “Was Pakistan ka mutlub kia – La ilaaha illallah the original slogan or was added later on”, “Who coined the term Nazriya e Pakistan ” and so on. A never ending debate if you ask me. So where everyone has an opinion, here’s what I think.

The basic purpose of any movement is to see success. To organize a movement and mobilize people, all possible means are used. Some are temporary and other permanent. Religion is a tool and it was used as a temporary one in Pakistan’s case to ensure success of the movement.

If Jinnah wanted Pakistan to be an Islamic State, why did he choose a communist leader, Daniyal Latifi to write the manifesto of Muslim League. Even though that manifesto was never approved and implemented by the Nawabzaadas, Jaagirdaars & Zameendaars of Muslim League. Why did Jinnah choose a non muslim from his cabinet to be the law minister if he wanted an Islamic State. As I stated earlier, basic purpose of any movement is success by all possible means, even if that means exploiting religion. The exploitation of religion that was started then continues till date and has led Pakistan to where it stands today.

Religion has been used as a weapon by every leader of this country. A weapon used to prolong tenures of governments. Ayub Khan laid the foundation of Department of Auqaf and made Maulvis caretakers of Masaajid all over Pakistan. Yahya Khan made the Nazriya e Pakistan Trust and its information minister Nawabzada Sher Ali Khan declared Pakistan Army the protector of the geographical and ‘ideological’ frontiers of Pakistan. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto declared Pakistan an Islamic Welfare Democratic State. When a movement started to topple his government, given the name ‘Nizam e Mustafa’ after it was hijacked by religious parties, Bhutto countered it by declaring Friday as a holiday and banning the sale of liquor. Then came Zia ul Haq. With Zia came Majlis e Shoora, Shariat Courts, Shariat Council and a “Jihad” to further US interests in the regions after the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union. Zia did not stop here.

Zia made Objectives Resolution part of the constitution and replaced History with Pakistan Studies in the curriculum. The sole purpose of all this was to brainwash the generation that Pakistan movement was a religious movement with the purpose of making an Islamic State. This was the era where many religious political parties were formed, with some having militant wings. Those militant wings did not hesitate in killing their opponents to establish their ideological dominance no matter how irrational it was. Furthermore, after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, the “Mujahideen” and the militant organizations that Pakistani state had given birth to started returning home. They too joined the race of ideological dominance leading Pakistan to sectarian bloodshed.

Irony is that in the post Zia Pakistan we have not seen any changes in our society and social setup. This is still the same Pakistani society that was engineered by Zia during his 11 year rule. The only difference I see is that the monster he created has grown more bigger and violent and is killing everybody coming in its way.

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