Pakistan Still is in Search of Itself: Dr. Akram Zaheer

Dr. Muhammad Akram Zaheer

Pakistan’s Independence Day on August 14 can be considered a double Independence Day. Indian Muslims also fought for independence from British rule and later armed for their own nation-state, the current state was once a part of the Indian subcontinent. After the British crushed the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Crown took full control during the British Raj. This continued until Pakistan’s independence in 1947. The Mountbatten Plan separated Pakistan (consisting of West and East Pakistan) from India and made it an independent Muslim country. In 1971, East Pakistan gained independence and known as Bangladesh. Today West Pakistan is only known as Pakistan. The main Independence Day ceremony is organized in Islamabad, where the national flag is raised up on the Parliament and Presidential House buildings. The national anthem and widely broadcast and televised speeches by the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan follow. Pakistan, India and Bangladesh were originally part of a larger region known as the Indian subcontinent. Since the introduction and acceptance of Islam in the subcontinent, peace has been disrupted by conflict and Hindu persecution of Muslims. Intellectual thought and philosophy were set in the movement after the 1857 War of Independence to protect the Muslim minority. Circumstances were not in the Muslim ummah’s favor, but with courage and faith, the disappointed Muslims living in the subcontinent were able to put their dream of freedom to true. The All India Muslim League was founded in 1906 and on October 1 of that year the first delegation of 36 Muslim leaders met to the Viceroy of India in Shimla with the demand for a separate state for Muslims. For Muslims, the idea of ​​Pakistan and freedom would have remained a dream were not for one man’s extraordinary effort and struggle to make it a reality. Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a lawyer and politician who later became the father of the nation of Pakistan. Jinnah was the leader of the All India Muslim League from 1913 until Pakistan’s independence. Allama Muhammad Iqbal was another visionary who promoted the idea of ​​Muslim separation from India. In his presidential address in Allahabad on December 29, 1930, Iqbal introduced this idea. The title of Allahabad is now revolutionary in history. The name “Pakistan” first appeared in a 1933 brochure entitled “Now or Never”. It was a great day in history. The meeting was attended by prominent Muslim leaders from across India and ultimately resulted in a legitimate solution to the centuries-old Muslim struggle for autonomy and independence. A turning point came on February 20, 1947, when British Prime Minister Clement Attlee announced full independence for India by June 1948. Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, said after several consultations with the British Government and leaders of Congress. Both the Indian Congress and the Muslim League welcomed Mountbatten’s plan. In July 1947, the British Parliament introduced the Indian Independence Act. Separate provisional governments of Pakistan and India were formed on July 20. Finally, on August 14, 1947, the great subcontinent was divided into two countries, India and Pakistan.

The partition was fraught with bloodshed and carnage. Since the introduction of the concept of a separate nation for Muslims, Hindu barbarism has intensified and the ideas of Jinnah and other Muslim leaders to create an independent identity for Muslims have been strongly opposed. Our ancestries and relatives were destroyed and histories of division are collected and preserved to this day. “You are free; you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or other places of worship in this state of Pakistan.

Pakistan was the result of a powerful intellectual, Muslim modernity, which exploded in subcontinent and then developed rapidly among the educated Indian Muslim middle class in the 1930s and 1940s. Muslim modernization explained the social, economic, and political decline of the Muslims of India was due to Muslims were reliant on of the “antiquated” methods of Islamic law and the study of the sacred texts of Islam according to their primitive conditions; the conventional attitude towards science and modern education; a rigid mindset among Muslims due to the way they were taught their faith by traditionalist/orthodox ulemas; they also preferred delusion to reason and open debate to faith. Their lacked the understanding that history is not just a collection of old stories.

          In Indian subcontinent with a social, economic and educational application, Muslim modernity then transformed the ideology of a reformed and modernized cultural Muslim separatism into an equally enlightened and economically dynamic political polity within itself. A political dimension was also included. On February 14, 1948, Jinnah spoke about “Muslim democracy and told to a journalist that he did not know what theocracy meant. He added that “We (Muslims) learned democracy thirteen hundred years ago,” he clearly said, referring to the claims of early Muslim modernists that Islam was an inherently enlightened and progressive religion. By using the term ‘Muslim democracy’, Mr Jinnah was also referring to Iqbal’s vision of an ‘Islamic democracy’ in which the people would send scholars to meetings and decisions would be made and the laws of ijtihad would be enforced by approved and consensus (unanimity). Therefore, although the country’s two main founders, Mr. Jinnah and Pakistan’s first prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, insisted that Pakistan should not become a theocracy, they often explained their vision of a progressive and liberal country in secular terms but through Islamic symbolism and language. For this reason, there are also indications that the two leaders are talking about the Islamic Republic. But it is defined in a modernist way as flexible and able to meet the needs of modern times.

Therefore, the central debate in Pakistan revolved around the two competing currents of Muslim nationalism in South Asia: one postmodern and the other politico-theocratic. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan pioneered the idea of ​​Muslim modernity in the 19th century. Allama Muhammad Iqbal developed it further in the early 20th century to Mr Jinnah mobilizing it into a popular movement for a country to them. Pakistan was to become a project of Muslim modernity. In theory, Muslim modernity emphasized the rational and timely interpretation of Islam’s sacred texts, the adoption of a scientific mindset, and the incorporation of social modernity into practice, as modernists viewed Islam as a flexible and inherently progressive faith. Since it was the modernists who led the movement to create Pakistan, they wanted a country where the project of Muslim modernity could be fully constructed without obstacles such as “Hindu majority thinking”. The current hybrid system is just a continuation of that practice of new faces in same clothing. Instead of social and economic justice, we have economic inequalities and social repression of the weak. Islam enjoins rule of law but in Pakistan the people are at the mercy of the whims of the rulers who are swayed more by their vested interests rather than the welfare of the people at large.

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