Jinnah’s Pakistan in 21st Century By Dr Nasreen Akhtar

STANLEY Wolpert greatly acclaimed Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, in his book Jinnah of Pakistan. Wolpret writes, “Few individuals significantly alter the course of history, fewer still modify the map of the world, hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.” Definitely, Jinnah was an exceptional leader and statesman who had wisdom and vision – he had convincing power, through dialogue, he forced both British Empire and Hindu leadership that Muslims had their own identity and they could not live with a different nation – Hindu. Jinnah’s course remained democratic and he never chose undemocratic tactics in achieving a new Muslim state-Pakistan. After independence, Jinnah gave an inclusive image about the new country that how the new State should be made a great, peaceful and progressive in the world. In series of speeches he delivered, as Governor General of Pakistan, provided the path to the policy makers that how Pakistan should be; on Pakistan’s Constitution he said, “The Constitution of Pakistan will be of a democratic type, embodying the principles of Muslim democracy.
Our salvation lies in following the golden rules of conduct set for us by the Prophet of Islam [Peace Be Upon Him].The Quran is the general code for the Muslims” a religious, economic, social, judicial, criminal and civil code. Objective Resolution 1949 defined Islamic principles – this resolution remained the core part of Ayub’s Constitution 1962 –the Constitution of 1973 also included Objective Resolution and Article 227 states, “All existing laws shall be brought in conformity with the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Hoy Quran and Sunnah, and no laws shall be enacted which is repugnant to such injunctions”. Theoretically, all three Constitutions -1956, 62 and 73 provided Islamic clauses but it’s never been practised in accordance with Quran or Shariah. Even judicial system does not reflect Article 227 in its verdict. For instance, in recent judgment (in Musharraf’s case) Para 66 has become bone of contention and new debate has taken place in the country. Judicial system is being criticized- one would like to know that if is it Jinnah’s Pakistan or Islamic State without Islamic values?
To know Jinnah’s principles the contextual explanation is very important for any speech. As the President of the first Constitutional Assembly, Jinnah categorically defined the future of the new state that lied in Islamic principles. Though he preferred ‘parliamentary democracy’ in new Pakistan but he desired to practise the golden rules set by the Great Prophet (PBUH). Jinnah tasked to the legislators to make Constitution. But post- Jinnah Pakistani political leaders could not frame a democratic Constitution and ruled Pakistan without its Constitution till 1956 – the first Constitution was made and abrogated in 1958.
Over the past seventy two years, Pakistan has experienced different systems. Four military rulers (Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, General Zia, Pervez Musharraf) and civilian rulers mainly from the two political parties – PPP and PML-N, badly failed to practise Jinnah’s political principles and they did not even care to create peace and harmony among the four provinces – federating units. However, all of them politicized the diversity of culture and divergence of opinions in different regional units. Their politics never represented Jinnah’s Pakistan who strongly believed in “Faith, Unity, Discipline”. Four federating units are being governed by people who never understand the philosophy of Federation – we have to accept this reality. Hence, Jinnah’s Pakistan is waiting for socio-economic justice, rule of law and corruption free society.
Jinnah’s Pakistan has not been ruled by the statesmen or visionary leaders. Consequently, rulers promoted ‘patrimonialism’ instead of democratic norms and values. Prime Minister Imran Khan immensely idealizes the ‘Madina State’ and wants to make Pakistan a welfare state. He is facing multiple challenges –mainly opposition political parties are not interested in legislation, whereas bureaucracy which has been politicized by the previous rulers – is a main hurdle in removing the old practices. Founding father, Jinnah, knew the bureaucratic behaviour. He gave his message to the Pakistani bureaucrats. On 25 March 1948, in his address to the Gazetted Officers at Chittagong Jinnah said, “Your conduct and dealing with the people in various Departments, in which you may be; wipe off that pat reputation- you are not rulers. You do not belong to the ruling class, you belong to the servants. Make the people feel that you are their servants and friends, maintain the highest standard of honour, integrity, justice and fair-play. If you do that, people will have confidence and trust in you and will look upon you as friends and well wishers”.
Jinnah wanted to establish a welfare State. If we look at his historical speeches from 1943 to 1944 Jinnah decisively stated that the “new Muslim state will be a true welfare state, based on principles of Islamic social justice with equal rights for all citizens, including minorities. Jinnah had observed, Muslims in United India were badly treated, discriminated and targeted by Hindu extremists- they [Muslims] were not enjoying their fundamental rights. Today’s India, under Prime Minister Modi, has proven Jinnah’s vision was right and his ideology to defend Muslims ‘as a separate nation’ was inevitable. Presently, Pakistan is facing internal and international challenges. Internal challenges include: societal and institutional issues and imbalance of power among the federating units. Emerging primary external challenges is India and Afghanistan – their nexus is a grave threat to Pakistan’s security. But Pakistan has achieved adequate power to defend its sovereignty and survival – Jinnah, certainly, knew Pakistan’s enemies and he said, “There is no power on earth that can undo Pakistan”.
—The writer is Assistant Professor, IIUI, Islamabad.
Source: https://pakobserver.net/jinnahs-pakistan-in-21st-century/

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