The basis of the demand for an independent Pakistan


—File Photo

A western historian and a few Pakistani columnists/writers have been propagating that the Quaid wanted Pakistan to be a secular state. In support of this premise they quote the Quaid’s speech of 11, August 1947. It is significant to note that this view was expressed only after the death of all the leaders of Pakistan independence movement in early nineteen nineties.

The speeches and writings of both the Quaid and other Muslim League leaders show that they visualised Pakistan as an Islamic State. They emphasised that in Islam there are no compartments that Islam is a complete code of life which includes every aspect of human activity both individual and collective and the Quaid himself clarified and highlighted this point in several speeches. Muslims make a distinction between ‘Deen’, which means a complete code of life and religion or ‘Muzhab’ which is the mode of worship and prayer. It is therefore, not strange that neither the British nor the Hindus understood what the Quaid was saying, because even today non -Muslims do not completely understand Islam, and consider it to be only a religion.

As far back as 1938, Jinnah spoke about Islam and statehood. When the question of revising the law of inheritance was raised, he said: “Islamic code of law with regard to succession is most equitable, most just, most advanced and most progressive. I therefore say that let Muslims at least be governed by it.” (22nd November 1938, API and Star of India).

In the Quran, Islam is always referred to as Deen and not as Muzdhab, the Arabic word for religion. Deen means a complete code of life and is inclusive of religion (Muzdhab). Jinnah understood the importance of this matter and in his famous speech at Patna on 10, January 1939 said:

“Many people misunderstand us when we talk of Islam, particularly our Hindu friends. When we say this flag is the flag of Islam they think we are introducing religion into politics — a fact of which we are proud. Islam gives us a complete code. It is not only religion but it contains laws, philosophy and politics. It contains everything that matters to a man from morning to night. When we talk of Islam we take it as an all embracing word.” Star of India 11, January 1939.

In his own words he said: “I am not a learned Maulana or a Maulvi. Nor do I claim to be learned in theology. But I also know a little of my faith and I am a humble and proud follower of my faith”. (Page 1334, volume-3, Speeches, Statements & Messages of Quaid-e-Azam by K. A. K. Yusufi).

Those who have read the speeches and the statements of the Quaid and have also read and understood the Quran know that he was being modest in the above speech. He had a very clear and deep understanding of the Quran which not only comes out very strongly in his speeches but also his whole life reflected it. Jinnah was extremely conscious of the polity and the social order of Islam and believed that the Muslim community had every right to live according to the precepts of Islam. Jinnah had learned a lesson – it was impossible to protect the interests of the Muslim community by mere sanctions and safeguards. Realistically a separate Muslim state was the only way that the Muslims would not have to forsake their way of life. Thus he overtly changed his position between the years 1934 -1937, by rejecting the concept of a federation and demanding a separate state for Muslims.

In the words of the British historian and civil servant, Rushbrook Williams: “Jinnah began to make contact with the Muslim masses, to understand the feelings that swayed them, and to appreciate the rich fund of loyalty to Islam and to Islamic way of life which they could dedicate to the service of a Muslim leader whom they trusted. He began to realise the importance of enlisting the support of the religious leaders—–the mullahs, the pirs and the ulema—–in his campaign for creating Muslim solidarity. He saw that good Muslims had become alarmed at the prospect of Hindu rule.”

He further remarked that; “from the point of view of Muslim masses, it was the religious factor which counted most.” (page 22, The State of Pakistan by Rushbrook Williams, 1962)

“In the first place, they were country folk, far removed from the realm of high politics and the sophistications of city life. Secondly they looked to find in Pakistan, not only a land where good Muslims would be free from the exploitation by Hindu cleverness, Hindu wealth, and Hindu weight of numbers, but also a land where the principles of Islam would prevail, where oppression of the poor by the rich would be forbidden, and the social justice which their Faith enjoins would guild their new rulers.” (Ibid page 34-35).

“The masses had rallied to Mr Jinnah because they were hoping for the creation of an Islamic state.” (Ibid page 127) This is the unbiased considered reflection of an Englishman who had over fifty (50) years of experience in British India and had a ring side view of the Partition of British India and the establishment of Pakistan. Moreover, he knew most of the leaders of the Congress and the Muslim League, including the Quaid. He had been his contemporary in the Legislative Assembly and had attended the Round Table Conference with him. Furthermore, since these observations were made in 1961-1962, they had the benefit of hindsight and were made after discussions during 1958-60, with political leaders, businessmen and bureaucrats who took part in the establishment of Pakistan.

The actual demand for independent Muslim states was not articulated by the Muslim League until 1940. However, in the intervening years the Quaid, as the spokesman for the Muslim League, advocated Muslim separation on the basis of fulfilling the Islamic way of life. In his speech at a large meeting in Patna on 10th January 1939, which was over a year before the Lahore Resolution, the Quaid spoke about Islam and the Muslim League as being one:

“The Honour and regard which you have shown to me as Mr Jinnah you have shown them to the Muslim League and Islam. That is you are showing that you are wholeheartedly with the Muslim League. Today in this huge gathering you have honoured me by entrusting the duty to unfurl the flag of Muslim League the Flag of Islam, for you cannot separate the Muslim League from Islam. Many people misunderstand us when we talk of Islam, particularly our Hindu friends. When we say this Flag is the Flag of Islam they think we are introducing religion into politics – a fact of which we are proud. Islam gives us a complete code. It is not only religion but it contains laws, philosophy and politics. It contains everything that matters to a man from morning to night. When we talk of Islam we take it as an all embracing word. We do not mean any ill will. The foundation of our Islamic code is that we stand for liberty, equality and fraternity”. (Star of India, 11, January 1939.

The Quaid believed in democracy based upon Islamic principles: “Democracy in the abstract was quite different from democracy as practiced. Democracy was like a chameleon, changing its complexion according to the environment. Democracy was not the same in England as it was in France and America. Islam believed in equality, liberty and fraternity, but not of the Western type”. Civil & Military Gazette 9, November 1939.

In proclaiming this he was not only stating his own view point but that of the overwhelming majority of Muslims who supported the League. Simultaneously, the Muslim League rejected the concept of a Western liberal democracy for India: “Democratic systems based upon the concept of homogeneous nations such as England are very definitely not applicable to heterogeneous countries such as India and this simple fact is the root cause of all of India’s constitutional ills…..The whole concept of democracy postulates a single people…The British people must realise that Hinduism and Islam represent two distinct and separate civilisations and, moreover, are as distinct from one another in origin, tradition and manner as the nations of Europe.” (Jinnah’s article in Time and Tide 19, January 1940, pages 115, 116 & 117, Speeches & Writings of Mr Jinnah by Jamiluddin Ahmed).

It is quite apparent that the Quaid was extremely conscious of the essence of Islam which demanded expression and could not be expressed under a secular liberal democracy that assumed homogeneity of population, in united India. The Congress could not see, or choose not to see, how Islam penetrates every facet of a Muslim’s life and consequently made Muslims in India a separate nation from the Hindus. The Quaid found this denial of the Muslim nationhood by the Congress extremely frustrating:

“It is extremely difficult to appreciate why our Hindu friends fail to understand the real nature of Islam and Hinduism. They are not religions in the strict sense of the word. But are, in fact, different and distinct social orders, and it is a dream that Hindus and Muslims can ever evolve a common nationality.” (Ibid, page 160). The Quaid in his Presidential Address at the All India Muslim League, Lahore Session, March 1940 had said:

“The problem of India is not an inter-communal one but manifestly of an international character, and it must be treated as such. So long as this basic and fundamental truth is not realised, any constitution that may be built will result in disaster and will prove destructive and harmful not only to the Musalmans but also to the British and Hindus. If the British Government are earnest and sincere to secure the peace and happiness of the people of the subcontinent, the only course open to us all is to allow the major nations separate homelands, by dividing India into ‘autonomous national states’.” (Ibid page159)

With the unanimous adoption of the Lahore Resolution on 23, March 1940, the All India Muslim League forcefully started the struggle to achieve and establish Pakistan. In the next few years one by one Muslims of all shades of opinion came under the banner of the Muslim League. Jinnah and the other Muslim leaders like Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, Zafar Ahmad Ansari, Pir Saheb of Manki Sharif, Raja Sahib of Mahmudabad and Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung in their speeches stressed the distinction of Islam, that it was a Deen and not just a religion like other religions, that it is a complete code of life and encompasses every aspect of human life including politics and economics.

Two months after the passing of the Lahore Resolution on 24, May 1940 Raja Sahib of Mahmudabad in his presidential address to the Bombay Provincial Muslim League clearly articulated the object of establishing Pakistan: “They intend to work out their own destiny unhampered and undaunted by un-Islamic influences. The creation of an Islamic state – mark my words gentlemen – I say Islamic and not Muslim, is our ideal. The greed, the lust for power, the self-seeking of those calling themselves Muslims, but not practising the commandments of their noble faith will not be allowed to have sway in the state we contemplate to bring into being. The state will conform to the laws as laid down in Islam. It will deal justly and fairly with every community and every section of its constituent members. The unchangeable laws of Islam will ipso facto be applied and enforced. There will be no fresh legislation in regard to them because Islam has already legislated forever and ever.

In this speech he further said; “Then let us be clear on the point at least that the problem of Muslims being a separate nation is not only a theoretical one but on the other hand, is a living and practical problem. If the Muslims do not want to share the fate of the Muslims of Spain, Poland, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, if the Muslims want to save their culture and political thought, if they want to revive Islam, then the establishment of an Islamic State is the only course open to them. I cannot understand how the conception of democracy is lauded to the skies in one breath and its application denied in another”. (page 46 to 57, file No: 383, National Archives of Pakistan Islamabad).

The above extracts from the speech of Raja Sahib of Mahmudabad clearly indicate that the Muslim League’s objective was to establish Pakistan as an Islamic State. Raja Sahib of Mehmoodabad had predicted that if the Muslims wanted to save their culture, political thought and wanted to revive Islam then the establishment of an Islamic state was the only alternative.

The demand to establish Pakistan as an Islamic State was even commented upon by the Secretary of State for India in his letter to the Viceroy: “One of the anachronisms about the whole movement is that its leaders have a conception of the Islamic world outside as still thinking of Islam as the first and only object of political devotion, whereas both in Turkey and in the Arab world it has in the last twenty years become entirely secondary to racial and geographical nationalism”, (Emery to Linlithgow letter No: 6 of 14, March 1941, page 37, para-8, MSS EUR F 125/10).

The speech of Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung the President of the All India States Muslim League is very explicit on this subject. At the conclusion of the Thirty-first Session of All India Muslim League held at Karachi on 26, December 1943, Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung was invited to address the Session by Jinnah who was presiding over the session. He spoke in Urdu, (the English translation of this speech is given in Volume II of Foundations of Pakistan edited by Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada (1970), page 485 to 487), the relevant extracts from this speech are:-

“The Quaid told us that that we were not a minority; for 100 million people cannot be called a minority. We were a nation – a separate and self-contained nation – whose ingredients and structure differed fundamentally from those of other nations of the world, and which was founded on fundamentals that transcend geographical boundaries, race and colour.

When the idea that we are not a minority but a nation earned the general support of the Muslims, the Quaid-i-Azam told us that the Parliamentary system of Government cannot be suitable for a country which is inhabited by two separate nations having nothing common with each other. When this too became popular with the Muslims, the Quaid-i-Azam went further and gave practical shape to Iqbal’s dream by demanding the establishment of sovereign and free Muslim States in the North-West and North-East of India, which are predominantly Muslim zones. This demand is now popularly called Pakistan”.

In this speech he further said: “The achievement of Pakistan will not be so difficult as its maintenance. Your Quaid-i-Azam has proclaimed more than once that the Muslims have no right to frame the constitution and law of any one of their States. The laws governing the constitution of a Muslim are definitely laid down in the Holy Quran. There is no denying the fact that we want Pakistan for the establishment of the Quranic system of government”.

This speech establishes that the demand for Pakistan was for the establishment of an Islamic State based upon Quran and Sunnah and not just the protection of the economic and political interest of the Muslims. Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung clearly stated that Quaid-i-Azam had more than once stated this. These statements by Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung were made in the presence of the Quaid as he was presiding over the Session.

The assertion that Islam is a complete code of life was again emphasised in the Quaid’s Eid message in 1945: “Everyone, except those who are ignorant, knows that the Quran is the general code of Muslims. A religious, social, commercial, military, judicial, criminal, penal code; it regulates everything from the ceremonies of religion to those of daily life; from the salvation of the soul to the health of the body; from the rights of all to those of each individual; from morality to crime, from punishment here to that in the life to come, and our Prophet (PBUH) has enjoined on us that every Musalman should possess a copy of the Quran and be his own priest. Therefore Islam is not merely confined to the spiritual tenets and doctrines or rituals and ceremonies. It is a complete code regulating the whole Muslim society, every department of life, collectively and individually.” (message on Idd September 1945, page175, Speeches and Writings of Mr Jinnah by Jamiluddin Ahmad)

In this message, Jinnah again clearly and unambiguously states that in Islam there are no compartments and that it is a complete code of life encompassing every department of life, collectively and individually. This speech when read with the speech at Patna irrefutably establishes that Jinnah did not believe in the separation of religion from statecraft ie secularism.

In some of his speeches before the elections in 1945-46 he explicitly stated: “The Muslims demand Pakistan, where they could rule according their own code of life and according to their own cultural growth, traditions and Islamic Law.” (Speech at Peshawer on 21, November 1945 page 237 Jamiluddin Ahmed).

“Our religion contains a code of life in the conduct of every department and we want to live according to the same ideals but the Hindu leadership is bent upon establishing ‘Ram Raj’ and treat the Muslims as a minority”. (Speech to the students of Edwards College, Peshawer, 27, November 1945, page 249, Jamiluddin Ahmad). “The League stood for carving out states in India where Muslims were in numerical majority to rule there under Islamic law.” (Address to students of Islamia College, Peshawer page 253 Jamiluddin).

“Strengthening yourselves is, really speaking, strengthening the borders of Pakistan, a thing which will enable us to achieve our goal and thus maintain our freedom, honour, prestige and glory of Islam for which we are now fighting. You have asked me to give you a message. What message can I give you? We have the greatest message in the Quran for our guidance and enlightenment.” (Message to NWFP Muslim Students Federation of 4, April 1943, Vol-I page 472, Jamiluddin Ahmad).

“It should be our aim not only to remove want and fear of all types, but secure liberty, fraternity and equality as enjoined upon us by Islam”. Quaid’s reply to the civic address on 25, August 1947, page 2615, Speeches, Statements & Messages of the Quaid-e-Azam by K. A. K.Yusufi.

In the elections of 1945-46 the Muslims of British India voted for Muslim League because the Quaid had assured them that; “The Muslims demand Pakistan, where they could rule according their own code of life and according to their own cultural growth, traditions and Islamic Law.” The Quaid in his letter to the Pir Sahib of Manki Sharif in November 1945 clearly stated:

“It is needless to emphasise that the Constituent Assembly which would be predominantly Muslim in its composition would be able to enact laws for Muslims, not inconsistent with Shariat laws and the Muslims will no longer be obliged to abide by the un-Islamic laws.” (page 46, Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, Volume V, 9, March 1949). This letter was written just before the 1945-46 elections, it conclusively establishes that the Quaid expected Pakistan’s Constituent Assembly to repeal un-Islamic laws and enact Shariat laws. This letter was quoted by Shabbir Ahmed Usmani in March 1949 when Pir Sahib of Manki Sharif was alive. He died in an automobile accident in 1960.

The five speeches quoted above irrevocably establishes that, the Quaid wanted Pakistan to be established as an Islamic State where Islamic laws would be enforced and the un-Islamic laws would be repealed. The contention that the Quaid wanted Pakistan to be a Secular state is in complete contradiction to what was stated by him and it is difficult to equate his vision of Pakistan with anything other than an Islamic state.

Quaid-i- Azam’s Speech of 11, August 1947 The Quaid was rightly worried about the reaction in Pakistan to the bombing in the evening of 9, August of the special train carrying Pakistani government servants and the rapidly deteriorating conditions in East Punjab and its repercussions in West Punjab. These were the factors weighing heavy on his mind when he arrived at the Constituent Assembly to deliver the speech in the morning of 11, August 1947. Jinnah’s objective in this speech was to assure the minorities that they would be equal citizens and that there would be no discrimination on the basis of colour, caste, creed or religion. As quoted below, Jinnah said;

“Hindus will cease to be Hindus and Muslims will cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state”. Here Jinnah was talking about the personal faith of the citizens and Jinnah clarified this when he spoke of sects among the Muslims in this speech. Sequentially, the salient point points of this speech are:

“The first observation I would like to make is this: You will no doubt agree with me that the first duty of a Government is to maintain law and order, so that the life, property and religious beliefs of its subjects are fully protected by the State”. “The second thing that occurs to me is this: One of the biggest curses from which India is suffering – I do not say that other countries are free from it, but, I think, our condition is much worse – is bribery and corruption. That really is a poison. We must put it down with an iron hand and I hope that you will take adequate measures as soon as possible for this Assembly to do so”.

“Black-marketing is another curse”. “The next thing that strikes me is this: Here again is a legacy that has been passed on to us. Along with many other things good and bad, has arrived this great evil – the evil of nepotism and jobbery. This evil must be crushed relentlessly”.

“Now, if we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor”. “If you work in co-operation, forgetting the past, burying the hatchet you are bound to succeed. If you change your past and work together in a spirit that every one of you, no matter to which community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his colour, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this State with equal rights, privileges and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make.

I cannot emphasise it too much. We should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these angularities of the majority and minority communities the Hindu community and the Muslim community because even as regards Muslims you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias, Sunis and so on and among Hindus you have Brahmins, Vashnvas, Khatris, also Bengalese, Madrasis, and so on – will vanish. Indeed if you ask me this has been the biggest hindrance in the way of India to attain the freedom and independence and but for this we would have been free peoples long ago.

Therefore we must learn a lesson from this. You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State. As you know history shows that in England conditions some time ago were much worse than those prevailing in India today. The Roman Catholics and Protestants persecuted each other.

Today you might say with justice that Roman Catholics and Protestants do not exist; what exists now is that every man is a citizen, an equal citizen, of Great Britain and they are all members of the Nation. Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State”.

The straightforward meaning of the Quaid’s statement; “You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State” is that there is complete freedom for one to belong to any religion. All he stated is that the business of the State has nothing to do as to which religion, caste or creed one belongs to ie complete freedom of religion.

This is exactly in accordance with the injunctions of the Quran: “There is no compulsion in religion” (Surah Al-Baqra, Aya-256.) “To you your religion, and to me my Deen (religion)”. Surah Al-Kafirun 108-6) The secularist interpretation of the 11, August speech would be in contradiction to all the speeches where Jinnah and the other Muslim League leaders clearly stated that they wanted Pakistan to be an Islamic state. Furthermore, if one interprets that the speech of 11, August 1947 to indicate that the Quaid wanted Pakistan to be a secular State, it follows that the Quaid and his associates had been lying for the past thirteen years (1934 to 1947) to the Muslims of British India. Even his sworn detractors acknowledge the truthfulness, moral uprightness, integrity and honesty of Jinnah. No one can accuse him of hypocrisy and duplicity or using Islam to achieve a political objective. The incident of his outright rejection to use the amorous letters between Lady Edwina Mountbatten and Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, to expose their relationship demonstrates the character of Jinnah. Stanley Wolpert in his book Jinnah of Pakistan interprets the 11, August speech as being a reversal of Jinnah’s previous position:

“What a remarkable reversal it was, as though he had been transformed overnight once again into the old ‘ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity’ that Sarogni Naidu loved.” If one accepts Wolpert’s interpretation of the Quaid’s “reversal” then one would be faced to accept another reversal because, one would be at a total loss to explain his speeches after 11 August 1947. Jinnah was a constitutionalist and was careful with his words and spoke in precise terms. Campbell-Johnson in his book ‘Mission with Mountbatten’ while narrating the events of 3, June 1947 states that Jinnah himself stated that “a spade should be called a spade —— I always think in constitutional terms”. He was consistently a man of principle from which he never wavered. To accept Jinnah’s reversal on 11, August 1947 and another reversal on 30 October 1947, just three months later is not only inconsistent with Jinnah’s character, but is also illogical.

In his speech on 30th October 1947 at Lahore Jinnah stated: “We thank Providence for giving us courage and faith to fight these forces of evil. If we take our inspiration and guidance from the Holy Quran, the final victory I once again say will be ours. ——- You have only to develop the spirit of Mujahids. You are a nation whose history is replete with people of wonderful grit, character and heroism. Live up to your traditions and add to it another chapter of glory. —- All I require of you now is that every one of us to whom this reaches must vow to himself and be prepared to sacrifice his all, if necessary, in building up Pakistan as a bulwark of Islam and as one of the greatest nations whose ideal is peace within and peace without. —— Along with this, keep up your moral. Do not be afraid of death. Our religion teaches us to be always prepared for death. We should face it bravely to save the honour of Pakistan and Islam. There is no better salvation for a Muslim than the death of a martyr for a righteous cause.”

The above speech totally contradicts any secularist interpretation of the speech of 11 August. The importance of this speech can be judged from the fact that the same evening the full speech was broadcast by Radio Pakistan followed by the translation in Urdu and next morning the full text was published in the newspapers. This was also the only public meeting addressed by the Quaid after independence in West Pakistan.

The Quaid in his speech to the Sindh Bar Association in Karachi on 25, January 1948 said:- “Why this feeling of nervousness that the future constitution of Pakistan is going to be in conflict with the Shariat Law. — There are people who want to create mischief and make the propaganda that we will scrap the Shariat Law. Islamic principles have no parallel. Today they are as applicable in actual life as they were 1300 years ago. Islam and its idealism has taught democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fair play to everybody. – No doubt there are many people who do not quite appreciate when we talk of Islam. Islam is not a set of rituals, traditions and a set of spiritual doctrines, Islam is a code for every Muslim which regulates his life and his conduct in all aspects, social, political, economic, etc. It is based upon the highest principles honour, integrity, fair play and justice for all”.

Quaid-i-Azam in this speech has explicitly stated that the future constitution of Pakistan would not be in conflict with Shariat Law. In addition he referred to the Shariat Law as opposed to the ‘Quran and Sunnah’. This is of particular importance because he was addressing lawyers and judges.

In a broadcast to the people of USA and Australia in February 1948, Jinnah reaffirmed:

“I do not know what the ultimate shape of this constitution is going to be, but I am sure that it will be of a democratic type, embodying the essential principles of Islam. Today they are as applicable in actual life as they were 1300 years ago. Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fairplay to everybody. We are the inheritors of these glorious traditions and are fully alive to our responsibilities and obligations as framers of the future constitution of Pakistan. In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state —- to be ruled by priests with a divine mission”. ( page 44, Speeches by Quaid-i-Azam Mohamed Ali Jinnah, Governor-General of Pakistan, published by Government of Pakistan, printed at Sind Observer Press Ltd, 1948.)

In his speech at the Sibi Durbar he said: “In proposing this scheme I have had one underlying principle in mind, the principle of Muslim democracy. It is my belief that our salvation lies in following the golden rules of conduct set for us by our great law giver, the Prophet of Islam. Let us lay the foundation of our democracy on the basis of truly Islamic Ideals and principles. Our Almighty has taught us that; “our decisions in the affairs of the State shall be guided by discussion and consultation”. Speech at Sibi Durbar on 14, February 1948.

In this speech he quoted the Quranic injunction in his own words. The actual translation of Quranic injunction is:- “Conduct their affairs with mutual consultation” Surah As-Shura 42, 36-39. In his address to the Officers and men of the 5th Heavy Ack Ack and 6th Light Ack Ack Regiments at Malir on 21, February 1948 he stated: “Now you have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of Islamic democracy, Islamic social justice and equality of manhood in your own native soil”.

And in the broadcast people of Australia 19, February 1948 he pointed out that: “But make no mistake Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it. Islam demands from us the tolerance of other creeds and we welcome in closest association with us all those who, of whatever creed are themselves willing and ready to play their part as true and loyal citizens of Pakistan”.

LIAQUAT CONFIRMS THE VISION OF AN ISLAMIC STATE In addressing the first session of the Pakistan Muslim League Council on 20th February 1949, Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan said:

“The only reason why we and the Quaid-i-Azam demanded Pakistan was to secure, in this sub-continent, a homeland where the Muslims could live in their own way. We wished Pakistan to be a laboratory where we could practice the Islamic principles-the best in the world—and thus demonstrate to the world what Islam had taught thirteen centuries ago was needed as much now as it was then.” ((page 207, Speeches & Statements of Quaid-i-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan, 1967).

Liaquat Ali during the debate on the Objectives Resolution in the Constituent Assembly stated:

“I would like to remind the House that the Father of the Nation, Quaid-i-Azam, gave expression to 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 the subcontinent wanted to build up their lives in accordance with the teachings and traditions of Islam”

He further stated: “You would also notice, Sir, that the State is not to play the part of a neutral observer, wherein the Muslims may be merely free to profess and practice their religion, because such an attitude on the part of the State would be the very negation of the ideals which prompted the demand of Pakistan, and it is these ideals which should be the corner-stone of the State which we want to build. The State will create such conditions as are conductive to the building up of a truly Islamic society, which means the State will have to play positive part in this effort. You will remember, Sir, that the Quaid-i-Azam and other leaders of the Muslim League always made unequivocal declarations that the Muslim demand for Pakistan was based on the fact that the Muslims had a way of life and a code of conduct. They also reiterated the fact that Islam is not merely a relationship between the individual and his God, which should not in any way, affect the working of the State. Indeed Islam lays down specific directions for social behaviour, and seeks to guide society in its attitude towards the problems which confront it from day to day. Islam is not just a matter of private beliefs and conduct.” (Ibid, page 229-232)

Both these speeches were made in early 1949 when all the Muslim League leaders, Congress and Hindu leaders in Pakistan and people who had seen the Pakistan Movement were still alive. No one in Pakistan or in India challenged Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, no one in the Constituent Assembly or outside contradicted him. No one said that Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in his speech of 11, August 1947 had wanted Pakistan to be a secular State.

Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah made several thousand speeches and statements spread over a period of about forty years (1908 to 1948) and there is not a single speech or statement in which he has said anything in favour of secularism. On the contrary, there are over two hundred (200) speeches expressing his Islamic orientation out of which only a few have been quoted above. The speeches contradicting Secularism quoted above were made both before and after 11th August 1947 therefore, it would be unreasonable and illogical to give an interpretation in favour of secularism to his speech of 11, August 1947.—Business Recorder

Written by Inam Khawaja