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Actualizing the ideal

Actualizing the ideal

Period Consensus person Events

1886 AD
1905 AD

In 1886, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-1898) called a representative session of Muslim leaders from all over India who arrived at a consensus to form “Mohammedan Educational Conference” to promote modern learning among Muslims.

In the sub-continent, the years from 1885 to 1905 were dominated by two developments. The British had introduced “nominal representation”, which meant that community leaders would be asked their opinions on behalf of communities. Then Indian National Congress was formed in 1885, claiming that India was not just one country but also one nation.

1906 AD
1925 AD

Muhammad Ali Jauhar (1878-1931), journalist, poet, political leader and promoter of patriotic songs inspired the Muslims, faced trial and prison for inciting mutiny, and died on foreign land while pleading freedom for his country.

In 1906, a representative gathering of Muslim leaders at the annual session of the Educational Conference founded the All-India Muslim League for participating in politics.

1926 AD
1945 AD

Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938), already known as the leading poet, became a political leader by getting elected to provincial assembly in 1926. Presiding over the annual session of the Muslim League in 1930, he laid out the case for a separate Muslim state.

In 1926, the first general elections were held in India and they incorporated the principle of separate electorates, i.e. representation of Muslims as a separate community in the parliament.

1946 AD
1966 AD

Ibne Safi (1928-1980), the fiction-writer who was popular with all segments of society, was neither progressive nor conservative but simply preached respect for law, and loyalty to state.

In the elections of 1945-46, the Muslim League's demand for Pakistan received a majority of Muslim votes and Pakistan came into being. In its first twenty years the new state saw experimentation with various forms of government.

1967 AD
1986 AD

On the cultural front the consensus of the nation was on Waheed Murad (1938-1983) – writer, producer, director and actor, who made films in Urdu as well as regional languages and preached integration of society through love. He was also a catalyst in turning Pakistani films and the music associated with it into a modern parallel of folk culture.

In the elections of 1970, the PPP of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (formed in 1967) received a majority of votes in West Pakistan with a 3-point formula, “Socialism, Islam and Democracy”. Disagreement with East Pakistan led to the separation of two wings after much bloodshed. The next two decades, divided between Bhutto and General Zia, saw crude socialism and rigid Islam turn by turn.

1987 AD
2006 AD

On the cultural front, the travelogues of Mustansar Husain Tarrar inspired a new zeal among Pakistanis for exploring the geographical beauty of their country. These twenty years were also marked with the emergence of independent channels on television and a popularity of soap serials.

In the elections of 1988, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif emerged as the two major leaders. Each of them got two turns but failed to complete either. In 1999, General Pervez Musharraf took over and his program of "enlightened moderation" remained the hallmark till 2006.

2007 AD
2026 AD

Pakistan, collectively as a nation, is likely to actualize the ideal contained in the foregoing process.

In the elections of 2008, the consensus of the nation seems to be on consensus itself: the Pakistani society cannot be ruled except through a consensus government, the verdict seems to have stated.


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