Q. How can Dr. Manzoor describe Pakistan as an Islamic state when all the religious parties were against its creation and the society itself has never given them mandate ever since?
Hameeda Khuhro, educationist and writer

Dr. Manzoor: In a sense I agree with you that Pakistan is a Muslim state [rather than Islamic] but the problem is that your country is named the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Constitution also declares that sovereignty belongs to Allah. Even those political parties who claim to be secular have to take refuge with the so-called Islam. After all, who was it to introduce Friday as a holiday, and to prohibit drinking in Pakistan?

I do not consider it an Islamic state, nevertheless, the growth of the civil society (which does not mean public in general) has been hampered by the introduction of these [Islamic] provisions into your Constitution by fiat.

Dr. Alvi: [In support of Hameeda Khuhro’s point] … There seems to be a misunderstanding among the Indian nationalist historians and equally among the religious Pakistani historians who seem to agree, quite wrongly, that Pakistan was created as an Islamic ideological state.

Dr. Manzoor Ahmad: I agree. But the problem is that [if you look at the material that the Muslim League used during its movement for Pakistan] whether those who wanted to create Pakistan wanted an ideological state or not they nevertheless caused confusion because they used the name of Islam and were playing ethnic politics… the poor person was romanticised into thinking that Pakistan would be a state where the Khulafa-i-Rashideen would be ruling. And when it came into being he realised that those who were now ruling Pakistan were neither interested in Islam nor in good governance.

I think the problem in Pakistan is not Islam at all, it is good governance. That is why I said that ideologies are coercive and, again, Islamic ideologies are also coercive.

Fundamentalism, for a fundamentalist, is that Islam is not complete without state power – a thesis accepted especially during the twentieth century even though it has existed in the earlier stages of the Muslim history.

Jinnah Sahib did not want partition between India and Pakistan – he tried his best to avoid it. Supposing he actually wanted the partition, then what he might have meant when he talked about a secular state was that Islam gives certain social values like justice and good governance.

There are strong indications in the Islamic history that the early state i.e. in the days of the Khulafa-i-Rahideen, was a secular state and not an Islamic state.

Q: If the focus of this seminar is on conflict-resolution then I would like to bring out certain issues that seem to have been side-tracked in today’s proceedings. Firstly, the two nation theory emerged because the Muslim nation perceived itself as an out-caste nation, and that two leaders did not create Pakistan, there was a huge force – the force of the people who voted in the 1946 election – that created Pakistan…Blame for the rise of BJP has been placed on Pakistan – a convenient ploy… The caste has been identified as class in modern judicial and legislative documents [of India]… The Supreme Court in 1995 defined the Indian nation as Hindutva… Mother Theresea given a state funeral but buried within the graveyard of the Sisters of Charity because of a fear of desecration of her remains

Shahida Jameel, lawyer Mr. Khanna: The provisions made for the outcast in the constitution have really worked well as they have diminished the very reasons for which certain classes were made outcast in the first place: today the deprived classes are ruling the largest state in India.

Q. Is India a failed state in the context of state level or is India not a failed state in the context of NGOs?

Raju: There is no such thing as a failed state, there are only failed governments as they come and go. That was also my immediate reaction when I saw a feature in a newspaper with a heading ‘Is Pakistan a Failed State?'

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