Friday, November 11, 2011

Plight of "Pakistani" Hindus.

Ramesh Kumar, the Hindu Council chief, told AFP that a dispute had been brewing for the past three weeks between the Hindu community and the Baban Khan Bhayo tribe after Hindu boys brought a Muslim dancing girl to the area. “Police raided the house where the girl was dancing and arrested four boys,” said Ramesh Kumar. The issue was referred to a jirga, which decided to arbitrate over the case after Eid holidays, but before that could happen the matter took a gruesome turn, he added. Members of the Hindu community began a three-day mourning in response to a call by the Hindu Council and the Hindu Punchayat Committee...Three Hindu doctors shot dead in Shikarpur Dawn Report Front Page | From the Newspaper

While the rest of the country was feasting, three Hindu men were shot dead in cold blood in Shikarpur district on Eid day. The men who were killed were pillars of their community — a doctor and two businessmen. The unfortunate fact is that crimes against members of minority communities are often not investigated. The motivation for this crime seems pretty clear and so, if the police has the will, it should make arrests and convictions. The Hindu community had been a target in the area ever since three Hindu men were accused of sexually assaulting a Muslim girl, and it was only a matter of time before the tension spilled over into violence. Sadly, when a crime is committed by a minority against someone in the majority community, it usually leads to collective punishment. It goes without saying that this should not be allowed to stand. Such murders will continue to occur and go unpunished as long as there is persecution of the Hindu community at the official level. A recent study by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom found that hatred for Hindus is instilled in official Pakistani textbooks. The study said that “Hindus are repeatedly described as extremists and eternal enemies of Islam whose culture and society is based on injustice and cruelty.” From a young age, Pakistanis are taught that being Hindu equates to being Indian, while the cultural and economic role played by the community in Pakistan is ignored. Repression against the Hindu community is especially acute in Sindh. In recent years, young Hindu girls have been kidnapped and forced into marriage after being unwillingly converted to Islam. Local clerics claim that the girls willingly converted and so no crime was committed. In fact, they welcome the supposed ‘conversions’ for bringing more people to the Muslim fold. In Balochistan, too, where Hindus have been part of the community for centuries, they are now being forced to flee out of fear for their lives. All of this is taking place with officials turning a blind eye, even if they are not actually sanctioning it. The hope would be that the murders on Eid would be the last straw. Unfortunately, the history of violence against Hindus would make that diagnosis far too optimistic. Published in The Express Tribune, November 10th, 2011. REFERENCE: Violence against Hindus Editorial Published: November 9, 2011

Protest Against Killings of Hindu Doctors in Shikarpur, Sindh - Pakistan - 1

Reference: The Global World of Indian Merchants, 1750-1947: Traders of Sind from Bukhara to Panama (Cambridge Studies in Indian History and Society) Claude Markovits

Protest Against Killings of Hindu Doctors in Shikarpur, Sindh - Pakistan - 2

In Sind the Sikh population was not large, though the Hindus formed about 30% of-the population of the province. Out of the total non-Muslim population of 14 Lakhs, now1 only about 2 lakhs are left in Sind, the rest having come to India as refugees. The turning out of non-Muslims from Sind is very amply illustrative of the naked policy of turning out of Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan, for no other reason whatever except that they were not Muslims. There was a policy of systematic terrorization of Hindus. Their business premises were looted, their womenfolk molested, and the avenues of normal respectable life entirely closed to them. Thus, through terror and intimidation, within the period of less than a year twelve lakhs out of the fourteen lakhs of Hindus in Sind have been forced to migrate to India. This has happened in spite of the fact that in the words of Shri Mansukhani, Secretary, Sind Congress Refugee Relief Committee, New Delhi, “not one single Muslim lost his life at the hands of Hindus in any act of retaliation or self-defence, not to talk of any act of aggression; but where from the first day of the birth of Pakistan, Hindus have been systematically done to death, by the knife, by the bullet. by the throwing out of the windows and doors of running trains. The object has been one and the goal clear. Pakistan has desired that it should be a theocratic state in the sense that all its citizens should be Muslims. This battle has been remorselessly waged on one long front of Western Pakistan.”

Hindus’ houses were forcibly occupied, in Karachi and everywhere else, their property and land snatched from them, and no option left for them but to, seek a safer life free from unbearable indignities, in India.

Other portions from Shri Mansukhani’s article, quoted above. are: -

“Soon after August 15, 1947, was organised the ousting of Hindus and Sikhs from their residences and business premises, from their agricultural lands and industrial concerns.

“No Hindu’s house was his castle, he had to retreat at the point of the dagger and run away from the back-door. The Police of the Province and the War-time established Rent Control Department helped ‘legally’ to throw out the members of the minority community.

Traces of Hinduism Erased

“It is not an uncommon phenomenon for prominent Hindus who are sticking on to the soil of Sind to be accosted while going about even on the main streets by Muslims and threateningly asked to either embrace Islam or go out of Pakistan.

“Hindu passengers can travel by railway only for short journeys and during day time and that too at great risk of their lives.

Our Shrines

“Our Gurmandir in Karachi became lately the residence of Sydney Cotton, the smuggler of arms to Nizam’s Hyderabad of yesterday. Most of our religious places, shrines, temples and Gurdwaras have been occupied by Muslims. The scriptures have been destroyed and the valuables have been pilfered and safely appropriated. Some of these places have also been turned into mosques where the Faithful congregate and read their Friday prayers to Allah. All educational institutions are similarly occupied and converted into the Schools and Colleges for Muslims.” (“The Tribune”-January 16, 1949)

As for the Sikhs, their elimination and extermination began at about the same time as in West Punjab. By August all Sikhs in large towns had left Sind, and came over to the Punjab. It was not infrequent for trains carrying these Sikh refugees to be attacked on the way. On the 2nd of August, Sikhs were attacked in several villages in Nawabshah District. On the 1st September, 1947 one train was stopped at Nawabshah, and the Sikh passengers attacked. Of these 15 were killed, and 17 injured. The only Sikhs in Sind after August, were those in the interior-small tradesmen, pedlars and craftsmen. These began to be evacuated. Their condition was described in news agency reports as being extremely miserable and pitiable, as they could not ply any trade, and were in the last stage of destitution. So much were the Muslims indoctrinated with the gospel of hate preached over years by the Muslim League, that on the 6th January, 1948, long after killing had stopped in East Punjab, a terrible massacre of evacuee Sikhs, awaiting embarkation for India occurred at Karachi. That this was no isolated incident of its kind in Pakistan is witnessed by the terrible Gujrat massacre of the 11th January, 1948, and the Parachinar massacre of the 23rd January, 1948. These three huge massacres of Sikhs and Hindus occurred in such quick succession at a time when all attacks on the Muslims in Indian territory had ceased three months before. Certain details of this above mentioned Karachi massacre are of interest as revealing the conspiracy, cynicism and heartlessness of the Government of Pakistan, in the matter of getting Sikhs murdered.

As for the details of the massacre, the District Magistrate’s report from Karachi is reproduced below:

“Communal trouble started in Karachi today when 184 Sikhs arrived from Shikarpur by the morning train. From the station they went to a Gurdwara near Ratan Talao. A mob of nearly 8,000 gathered on the arrival of the Sikhs and surrounded the Gurdwara and set fire to it, and started stabbing and killing and a number of persons2 were killed,” In the town of Karachi ‘there was looting in several quarters and there were four cases of arson.”3 There was looting on the next day as well, in the houses of Hindus. The situation was described in ‘an appeal’, issued by the Editors of several Karachi newspapers as ‘appalling’ while admitting that some Muslims gave shelter to ‘the Hindu victims of mob frenzy.’ In the Gurdwara, where the massacre took place, women and children were also killed, as admitted by the Sind Premier in his statement.
The result of the disturbances of January 6 was described in ‘The Civil and Military Gazette’ in these words:

“There was negligible loss of life suffered by the minority community (Hindus) compared to the looting that took place throughout the city…… The lives of members of the minority community (Hindus) were saved at the expense of their property.” About 10,000 Hindus had to be kept in refugee camps, and Hindus had to be evacuated early to India, to save them from being murdered by Muslims. Looting went on uninterruptedly. So bold and open was this loot, that police and employees of the Chief Court of Sind openly participated in it. The Chief Court building was used as a dump for this loot. The Chief justice, an Englishman, his patience exhausted, had at last to intervene and stop the loot from being stacked at least in the Chief Court Building.

This was the limit of the collapse of the law and good government in Pakistan.
Further facts in the situation are:

(1) About 800 Sikhs were killed in Karachi and not 184, as stated in the Pakistan communique.

(2) Not a word of regret was expressed by any responsible person in Pakistan over this tremendous loss of Sikh life. The Sind Premier made only the insulting statement that the sight of these Sikhs ‘provoked’ the Muslims and only added the still more insulting directive that Sikhs be not brought to Karachi ‘in open carriages.’ The Premier’s statement also makes it clear that no police precautions were taken for the protection of these Sikhs, whose lives were evidently so cheap that any one was at liberty to take them without the Pakistan Government moving its little finger.

The Governor-General of Pakistan, Mr. Jinnah, who sent a message of sympathy for the sufferers, did not so much as mention the Sikhs, who had been killed in overwhelming numbers. All that he said was that he had sympathy for the Hindus in their losses. This was symptomatic of the attitude of the Pakistan Government, which did not regard Sikh life as worthy of any kind of protection and as meriting any sympathy. The masses in Pakistan knew very well what their Government thought of any attack made on the Sikhs. Jinnah’s statement was, furthermore an attempt to create a rift between Hindus and Sikhs, which the Muslims have been trying to, by posing to dislike the Hindus less than the Sikhs. All these happenings occurred at a time when in India, Mahatma Gandhi undertook his last fast to get better treatment for the Indian Muslims. That was the response in Pakistan to the Mahatma’s gesture, and the faithfully carrying out of the Mahatma’s instructions by Hindus and Sikhs. Exactly when Delhi was being made safe for Muslims, in Karachi 800 Sikhs were massacred, and all Hindus looted and despoiled, had to move into refugee camps. REFERENCE: SIND

KARACHI: Kidnapped and forced into sex work at the age of 12 years, N, a Hindu girl, thought it was a nightmare that would never end. Duped by a man named Younus who was welcomed into the family home in Teen Hatti as an old friend, N and her family never suspected that a man who showered attention and presents on them would do such a thing. N claims that he would drop by their house quite often and one day when she was alone he showed up with his wife and lured her to their house in Korangi. What followed remained a mystery for two years till August 23 – the day she escaped. An unlatched door led N, now 14 years old, to freedom from the brothel in Nasir colony run by Younus, his wife and son Rehman. She was forced to work as a sex worker along with three young girls, including two other Hindu girls, who escaped with her. N claimed that one of the girls had been abducted before her while the other two were brought in after her. She was taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for a medical examination where the medico-legal officer said that N’s results showed that she had routine sexual intercourse. The officer added that she had been given a contraceptive injection every two months to avoid a pregnancy. N said that she was forced to do what her captors said, as they had drugged her. She told The Express Tribune that sometimes she had two to three visitors per night and the family charged them Rs1,500 to Rs2,000 per person. Cursing her time at the brothel, N added that Younus and his son sexually abused her and the other girls as well. Talking about the girls who had escaped with her, N explained that they hired a rickshaw and instructed the driver to head towards a main road. She added that when they recognised the area, she dropped off the girls and went to her parent’s house in Teen Hatti. “Her family immediately contacted Roshni Helpline, a child rights non-government organisation (NGO) that had been following the case for two years,” said the NGO’s Mohammad Ali. Ali told The Express Tribune that a neighbour caught Rehman trying to stop one of the girls from escaping. In his statement in front of the authorities, Rehman admitted that his family had been involved in the business and they targeted young girls from different minorities. “Their backgrounds were not influential so there was little that they could do once their daughter was abducted,” he said. “The brothel ran unnoticed in a small area usually inhabited by labourers.” While Younus and his wife are still at large, the investigating officer ASI Rana Nisar from the Supermarket police station in Liaquatabad claimed that Rehman’s statement had provided leads to his parent’s whereabouts. He added that they would conduct another raid to find out more. Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2011. REFERENCE: Teen Hindu escapes 2-year forced sex work nightmare By Samia Saleem Published: August 25, 2011

Persecution of Hindus in Pakistan - 1

SUKKUR: More than two dozen armed men believed to be from the Kalhoro clan raided Pannu Aquil town last night and attacked properties belonging to the Hindu community. They were attempting to take revenge for the alleged sexual assault of a Kalhoro girl by a private school’s gatekeeper, who is said to be a Hindu. Sukkur’s SSP had been expecting an attack, which is why a heavy contingent of police, led by Pannu Aquil’s SHO, Jawed Alam Abro, promptly arrived at the spot. During an exchange of fire between the police and attackers, a trader, Dharmo Mal, and a police constable, Shahzado, were injured. The SHO told The Express Tribune that two of the attackers were shot dead and the police have been successful in pushing back the attackers. Pannu Aquil’s Hindus had also been fearing a backlash from the tragic incident and they kept their businesses shut Thursday, however, the suspected Kalhoro clansmen managed to torch three of their shops. The SHO said that the firing between the police and the attackers is ongoing, but it has lost its intensity. The tragic incident began on Wednesday, when a seven-year-old Kalhoro girl was on her way home, and the gatekeeper of a private school in Sufi Mohalla, Sadhu Ram, allegedly lured her into the school and attempted to sexually assault her. The girl fainted while screaming for help and the gatekeeper locked her in a classroom. Meanwhile people who had heard the girl’s screams rushed into the school and manhandled the gatekeeper who managed to escape. The people then broke into the classroom, found the unconscious girl and immediately took her to the Pannu Aquil taluka hospital. After the girl was safely in the hospital, a mob, led by the girl’s father, protested outside the police station. The mob was carrying stones and wooden sticks and they demanded that the culprit be arrested immediately. The police sensed the gravity of situation and on the girl’s father’s complaint, they registered an FIR against Sadhu Ram. He was later found in Rohri and booked and arrested on the charges or allegedly sexually assaulting the young girl. Pano Akil taluka hospital’s in-charge, Dr Suhrab, told The Express Tribune that the young girl was brought to the hospital while she was unconscious. Dr Rozina performed the girl’s medical examination and samples have been sent to a chemical laboratory in Rohri. He said that the doctor will submit her report once she receives the results. Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2011. REFERENCE: In revenge for sexual assault, men torch Hindu property By Sarfaraz Memon Published: September 9, 2011

Persecution of Hindus in Pakistan - 2

The Politics of Commensuration: The Violence of Partition and the Making of the Pakistani Stateby Tahir Naqvi

Persecution of Hindus in Pakistan - 3

The Politics of Commensuration: The Violence of Partition and the Making of the Pakistani Stateby Tahir Naqvi

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry remarked that it was a criminal negligence to bring changes in the documents like Objectives Resolution as former president General (retd) Zia ul Haq tampered with the Constitution in 1985 however, the sitting parliament had done a good job by undoing this tampering. At one point Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed that the word ‘freely’ was omitted from the Objectives Resolution in 1985 by a dictator, which was an act of criminal negligence, but the then parliament surprisingly didn’t take notice of it. He said the Constitution is a sacred document and no person can tamper with it. The chief justice said credit must go to the present parliament, which after 25 years took notice of the brazen act of removing the word relating to the minorities’ rights, and restored the word ‘freely’ in the Objectives Resolution, which had always been part of the Constitution. The chief justice further said that the court is protecting the fundamental rights of the minorities and the government after the Gojra incident has provided full protection to the minorities. “We are bound to protect their rights as a nation but there are some individual who create trouble.” - DAILY TIMES - ISLAMABAD: Heading a 17-member larger bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry termed as criminal negligence the deletion of a word about the rights of minorities from the Objectives Resolution during the regime of General Ziaul Haq in 1985. Ziaul Haq had omitted the word “freely” from the Objectives Resolution, which was made substantive part of the 1973 Constitution under the Revival of Constitutional Order No. 14. The clause of Objectives Resolution before deletion of the word ‘freely’ read, “Wherein adequate provision shall be made for the minorities to ‘freely’ profess and practice their religions and develop their culture.” DAILY DAWN - ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry on Tuesday praised the parliament for undoing a wrong done by the legislature in 1985 (through a constitutional amendment) when it removed the word ‘freely’ from a clause of the Objectives Resolution that upheld the minorities’ right to practise their religion. The word “freely” was deleted from the Objectives Resolution when parliament passed the 8th Amendment after indemnifying all orders introduced through the President’s Order No 14 of 1985 and actions, including the July 1977 military takeover by Gen Zia-ul-Haq and extending discretion of dissolving the National Assembly, by invoking Article 58(2)b of the Constitution. After the passage of the 18th Amendment, the Objectives Resolution now reads: “Wherein adequate provision shall be made for the minorities freely to profess and practise their religions and develop their culture.” The CJ said: “Credit goes to the sitting parliament that they reinserted the word back to the Objectives Resolution.” He said that nobody realised the blunder right from 1985 till the 18th Amendment was passed, even though the Objectives Resolution was a preamble to the Constitution even at the time when RCO (Revival of Constitution Order) was promulgated. REFERENCES: CJ lauds parliament for correcting historic wrong By Nasir Iqbal Wednesday, 09 Jun, 2010  - CJP raps change in Objectives Resolution * Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry says deletion of clause on rights of minorities was ‘criminal negligence’ * Appreciates incumbent parliament for taking notice of removal of clause by Gen Zia’s govt in 1985 By Masood Rehman Wednesday, June 09, 2010\story_9-6-2010_pg1_1  CJ lauds parliament for undoing changes in Objectives Resolution Wednesday, June 09, 2010 Says minorities’ rights have to be protected; Hamid says parliament should have no role in judges’ appointment By Sohail Khan 

"Religion did not mix well with the state. He said talk of ijtihad was meaningless because there was no guarantee that any Muslims would accept it. He said every time someone did ijtihad it gave birth to a new sect. He said the two-nation doctrine was no longer valid in Pakistan. The concept of ummah was equally irrelevant." end quote of Mr Mubarak Ali [PhD (on Mughal Period, India) from Ruhr University, Bochum,Germany] - Religious ‘scholars’ who could not even agree on the definition of a Muslim when they were questioned by Justice M. Munir and Justice M. R. Kayani in the court of inquiry into the Punjab disturbances of 1953. The inquiry was launched after the campaign against the Ahmadis initiated by the then Jamaat-e-Islami chief Maulana Mawdudi. 

Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan and Mr. President Herry Truman leaving the airport together in Mr. President's car. -


The Munir Commission Report (Lahore, 1954) states:

“Keeping in view the several definitions given by the ulema, need we make any comment except that no two learned divines are agreed on this fundamental? If we attempt our own definition, as each learned divine has, and that definition differs from all others, we all leave Islam’s fold. If we adopt the definition given by any one of the ulema, we remain Muslims according to the view of that alim, but kafirs according to everyone else’s definition.” The report elaborated on the point by explaining that the Deobandis would label the Barelvis as kafirs if they are empowered and vice versa, and the same would happen among the other sects. The point of the report was that if left to such religious ‘scholars’, the country would become an open battlefield. Therefore, it was suggested that Pakistan remain a democratic, secular state and steer clear of the theological path.

Unfortunately, this suggestion was not heeded and, consequently, the exact opposite happened. Pakistan became hostage to the mullahs and is now paying a heavy price. Our politicians played into the hands of these fanatics for expedient political reasons and overlooked the diminishing returns from such an unwise overture.

The journey of politicising Islam began with the Objectives Resolution. Jinnah envisioned a secular Pakistan, but Liaquat Ali Khan made the mistake of adopting the Objectives Resolution in 1949 that stated, “Sovereignty belongs to Allah alone but He has delegated it to the State of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him as a sacred trust.” This stipulation gave the mullahs the chance they were looking for, a chance to flash their religious card and put fear in the heart of the ignorant masses. After moving the Objectives Resolution in the Constituent Assembly, Liaquat Ali Khan said, “As I have just said, the people are the real recipients of power. This naturally eliminates any danger of the establishment of a theocracy.” Although he believed in the power of the people and aimed for a secular, democratic rule, yet by bringing the name of religion into the Objectives Resolution, he gave an edge to the mullahs who later claimed it as their licence to impose the Shariah. And so began the rise of the fanatics.

Ulema did not wait long to demand their share of power in running the new state. Soon after independence, Jamat-i-Islami made the achievement of an Islamic constitution its central goal. Maulana Maududi, after the creation of Pakistan, revised the conception of his mission and that of the rationale of the Pakistan movement, arguing that its sole object had been the establishment of an Islamic state and that his party alone possessed the understanding and commitment needed to bring that about. Jamat-i-Islami soon evolved into a political party, demanding the establishment of an Islamic state in Pakistan.

It declared that Pakistan was a Muslim state and not an Islamic state since a Muslim State is any state which is ruled by Muslims while an Islamic State is one which opts to conduct its affairs in accordance with the revealed guidance of Islam and accepts the sovereignty of Allah and the supremacy of His Law, and which devotes its resources to achieve this end. According to this definition, Pakistan was a Muslim state ruled by secular minded Muslims. Hence the Jamat-i-Islami and other religious leaders channeled their efforts to make Pakistan an "Islamic State."

Maulana Maududi argued that from the beginning of the struggle for Pakistan, Moslems had an understanding that the center of their aspirations, Pakistan, would be an Islamic state, in which Islamic law would be enforced and Islamic culture would be revived. Muslim League leaders, in their speeches, were giving this impression. Above all, Quaid-i-Azam himself assured the Muslims that the constitution of Pakistan would be based on the Quran.

This contrasts to his views about the Muslim League leaders before independence: Not a single leader of the Muslim League, from Quad-i-Azam, downwards, has Islamic mentality and Islamic thinking or they see the things from Islamic point of view. To declare such people legible for Muslim leadership, because they are expert in western politics or western organization system and have concern for the nation, is definitely ignorance from Islam and amounts to an un-Islamic mentality. On another occasion, Maulana Maududi said it was not clear either from any resolution of the Muslim League or from the speeches of any responsible League leaders, that the ultimate aim of Pakistan is the establishment of an Islamic government.....Those people are wrong who think that if the Muslim majority regions are emancipated from the Hindu domination and a democratic system is established, it would be a government of God. As a matter of fact, in this way, whatever would be achieved, it would be only a non-believers government of the Muslims or may be more deplorable than that.

When the question of constitution-making came to the forefront, the Ulema, inside and outside the Constitutional Assembly and outside demanded that the Islamic Shariah shall form the only source for all legislature in Pakistan.

In February 1948, Maulana Maududi, while addressing the Law College, Lahore, demanded that the Constitutional Assembly should unequivocally declare:

1. That the sovereignty of the state of Pakistan vests in God Almighty and that the government of Pakistan shall be only an agent to execute the Sovereign's Will.

2. That the Islamic Shariah shall form the inviolable basic code for all legislation in Pakistan.

3. That all existing or future legislation which may contravene, whether in letter or in spirit, the Islamic Shariah shall be null and void and be considered ultra vires of the constitution; and

4. That the powers of the government of Pakistan shall be derived from, circumscribed by and exercised within the limits of the Islamic Shariah alone. On January 13, 1948, Jamiat-al-Ulema-i-Islam, led by Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, passed a resolution in Karachi demanding that the government appoint a leading Alim to the office of Shaikh al Islam, with appropriate ministerial and executive powers over the qadis throughout the country. The Jamiat submitted a complete table of a ministry of religious affairs with names suggested for each post. It was proposed that this ministry be immune to ordinary changes of government. It is well known that Quaid-i-Azam was the head of state at this time and that no action was taken on Ulema's demand. On February 9, 1948, Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, addressing the Ulema-i-Islam conference in Dacca, demanded that the Constituent Assembly "should set up a committee consisting of eminent ulema and thinkers... to prepare a draft ... and present it to the Assembly.

It was in this background that Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, on March 7, 1949, moved the Objectives Resolution in the Constituent Assembly, according to which the future constitution of Pakistan was to be based on " the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice as enunciated by Islam."

While moving the Resolution, he said: "Sir, I consider this to be a most important occasion in the life of this country, next in importance only to the achievement of independence, because by achieving independence we only won an opportunity of building up a country and its polity in accordance with our ideals. I would like to remind the house that the Father of the Nation, Quaid-i-Azam, gave expression of his feelings on this matter on many an occasion, and his views were endorsed by the nation in unmistakable terms, Pakistan was founded because the Muslims of this sub-continent wanted to build up their lives in accordance with the teachings and traditions of Islam, because they wanted to demonstrate to the world that Islam provides a panacea to the many diseases which have crept into the life of humanity today."

The resolution was debated for five days. The leading members of the government and a large number of non-Muslim members, especially from East Bengal, took a prominent part. Non-Muslim members expressed grave apprehensions about their position and role in the new policy.

Hindu members of the Constitutional Assembly argued that the Objectives Resolution differed with Jinnah's view in all the basic points. Sris Chandra Chattopadhyaya said: "What I hear in this (Objectives) Resolution is not the voice of the great creator of Pakistan - the Quaid-i-Azam, nor even that of the Prime Minister of Pakistan the Honorable Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, but of the Ulema of the land." Birat Chandra Mandal declared that Jinnah had "unequivocally said that Pakistan will be a secular state." Bhupendra Kumar Datta went a step further: ...were this resolution to come before this house within the life-time of the Great Creator of Pakistan, the Quaid-i-Azam, it would not have come in its present shape...."

The leading members of the government in their speeches not only reassured the non-Muslims that their position was quite safe and their rights were not being impaired but also gave clarifications with regard to the import of the Resolution. Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, the Deputy Leader of the House, while defending the Resolution said: "It was remarked by some honorable members that the interpretation which the mover of this Resolution has given is satisfactory and quite good, but Mr. B.C. Mandal says: "Well tomorrow you may die, I may die, and the posterity may misinterpret it." First of all, I may tell him and those who have got some wrong notions about the interpretation of this resolution that this resolution itself is not a constitution. It is a direction to the committee that will have to prepare the draft keeping in view these main features. The matter will again come to the House in a concrete form, and all of us will get an opportunity to discuss it."

In his elucidation of the implications of the Objectives Resolution in terms of the distribution of power between God and the people, Omar Hayat Malik argued: "The principles of Islam and the laws of Islam as laid down in the Quran are binding on the State. The people or the state cannot change these principles or these laws...but there is a vast field besides these principles and laws in which people will have free might be called by the name of 'theo-cracy', that is democracy limited by word of God, but as the word 'theo' is not in vogue so we call it by the name of Islamic democracy.

Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi further elaborated the concept of Islamic democracy: Since Islam admits of no priest craft, and since the dictionary meaning of the term "secular" is non-monastic -- that is, "anything which is not dependent upon the sweet will of the priests," Islamic democracy, far from being theocracy, could in a sense be characterized as being "secular." However, he believed that if the word "secular" means that the ideals of Islam, that the fundamental principles of religion, that the ethical outlook which religion inculcates in our people should not be observed, then, I am afraid,...that kind of secular democracy can never be acceptable to us in Pakistan.

During the heated debate, Liaquat Ali Khan stressed:

the Muslim League has only fulfilled half of its mission (and that) the other half of its mission is to convert Pakistan into a laboratory where we could experiment upon the principles of Islam to enable us to make a contribution to the peace and progress of mankind. He was hopeful that even if the body of the constitution had to be mounted in the chassis of Islam, the vehicle would go in the direction he had already chosen. Thus he seemed quite sure that Islam was on the side of democracy. "As a matter of fact it has been recognized by non-Muslims throughout the world that Islam is the only society where there is real democracy." In this approach he was supported by Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani: " The Islamic state is the first political institution in the world which stood against imperialism, enunciated the principle of referendum and installed a Caliph (head of State) elected by the people in place of the king."

The opposite conclusion, however, was reached by the authors of the Munir Report (1954) who said that the form of government in Pakistan cannot be described as democratic, if that clause of the Objectives Resolution reads as follows: " Whereas sovereignty over the entire Universe belongs to Allah Almighty alone, and the authority which He has delegated to the state of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust." Popular sovereignty, in the sense that the majority of the people has the right to shape the nation's institutions and policy in accordance with their personal views without regard to any higher law, cannot exist in an Islamic state, they added.

The learned authors of the Munir Report felt that the Objectives Resolution was against the concept of a sovereign nation state. Corroboration of this viewpoint came from the Ulema themselves, (whom the Munir Committee interviewed) "including the Ahrar" and erstwhile Congressites with whom before the partition this conception of a modern national state as against an Islamic state was almost a part of their faith. The Ulema claimed that the Quaid-i-Azam's conception of a modern national state....became obsolete with the passing of the Objectives Resolution on 12th March 1949.

Justice Mohammad Munir, who chaired the committee, says that "if during Quaid-i-Azam's life, Liaquat Ali Khan, Prime Minister had even attempted to introduce the Objectives resolution of the kind that he got through the Assembly, the Quaid-i-Azam would never have given his assent to it.

In an obvious attempt to correct the erroneous notion that the Objectives Resolution envisaged a theocratic state in Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan repeatedly returned to the subject during his tour of the United States (May-June 1950). In a series of persuasive and eloquent speeches, he argued that "We have pledged that the State shall exercise its power and authority through the chosen representatives of the people. In this we have kept steadily before us the principles of democracy, freedom equality, tolerance and social justice as enunciated by Islam. There is no room here for theocracy, for Islam stands for freedom of conscience, condemns coercion, has no priesthood and abhors the caste system. It believes in equality of all men and in the right of each individual to enjoy the fruit of his or her efforts, enterprise, capacity and skill -- provided these be honestly employed."

The Objectives Resolution was approved on March 12, 1949. Its only Muslim critic was Mian Iftikhar-ud-din, leader of the Azad Pakistan Party, although he believed that "the Islamic conception of a state is, perhaps as progressive, as revolutionary, as democratic and as dynamic as that of any other state or ideology."

According to Munir, the terms of the Objectives Resolution differ in all the basic points of the Quaid-i-Azam's views e.g:

1. The Quaid-i-Azam has said that in the new state sovereignty would rest with the people. The Resolution starts with the statement that sovereignty rests with Allah. This concept negates the basic idea of modern democracy that there are no limits on the legislative power of a representative assembly.

2. There is a reference to the protection of the minorities of their right to worship and practice their religion, whereas the Quaid-i-Azam had stated that there would be no minorities on the basis of religion.

3. The distinction between religious majorities and minorities takes away from the minority, the right of equality, which again is a basic idea of modern democracy.

4. The provision relating to Muslims being enabled to lead their life according to Islam is opposed to the conception of a secular state.

It was natural that with the terms of the Resolution, the Ulema should acquire considerable influence in the state. On the strength of the Objectives Resolution they made the Ahmadis as their first target and demanded them to be declared a minority.

After the adoption of Objectives Resolution, Liaquat Ali Khan moved a motion for the appointment of a Basic Principles Committee consisting of 24 members, including himself and two non-Muslim members, to report the house on the main principles on which the constitution of Pakistan is to be framed. A Board of Islamic Teaching was set up to advise the Committee on the Islamic aspects of the constitution.

In the course of constitutional debates, a number of very crucial issues were raised that caused much controversy, both inside and outside the Constituent Assembly over specific questions such as the following:

1) The nature of the Islamic state: the manner in which the basic principles of Islam concerning state, economy, and society were to be incorporated into the constitution.

2) The nature of federalism: questions of provincial autonomy vis-a-vis federal authority with emphasis on the problems of representation on the basis of population and the equality of the federating units; the structure of the federal legislature -- unicameral or bicameral.

3) The form of government: whether it was to be modeled on the British or the U.S. pattern -- parliamentary or presidential.

4) The problem of the electorate: serious questions of joint (all confessional groups vote in one election) versus separate (each confessional group votes separately for its own candidates) electorate.

5) The question of languageboth national and regional. These very fundamental issues divided the political elites of Pakistan into warring factions that impeded the process of constitution-making.

Source for further reading: Report of the Court of Inquiry constituted under Punjab Act II of 1954 to enquire into the Punjab Disturbances of 1953 (Lahore: Government Printing Press, 1953), pp. 201-235. Section numbers have been added by FWP. Paragraphs in the original text have been lettered for convenience in discussion, and then broken into shorter ones for ease in reading. Punctuation has occasionally been adjusted for clarity, and small errors have been corrected. All editorial annotations in square brackets are by FWP. All italicized transliterations are those of the original text. Selections from Part IV of the MUNIR REPORT (1954)


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