Pakistan and abuse of religion

Dr. Khurshid Alam

Dr. Khurshid Alam

Pakistani ruling elites hold Pakistan acrimonious to Islam and proudly claims that it was the first country which was carved from the belly of India in the name of Islam. Unless one has detailed knowledge of philosophy, one cannot use it for a particular mission. Every mission needs a driving force and the religious scholars were not a driving political force at the time of partition of India. The fathers of the country were liberal folks and the co-sailors were the affluent Muslims and vested interests. The driving force was an abhor for Hindus, which surfaced when a bluff was called by clergy.

Muslim leaguers were more interested in a confederation of India but demanding an equal share in power. The slogan of separate state was used as a “bluff” which bounced back on them; thanks to a section in the Indian national congress led by Mr. Patel & Nehru who refused to accept and allowed them to go ahead for separate country in spite of accepting the proposal of cabinet mission after initial refusal (Bluff). There were multiple reasons:

On congress side it was the unacceptable equal sharing of power, slimming of a huge minority to a manageable size and their profound belief that it would not survive. On Leaguer side, it was the thirst for political power and incompetence of political leadership to compete with battle hardened seasoned political leadership of All India congress.

The same was the case of Muslim industrial magnets to get a protected enclave. Even the logic doesn’t support that with the distribution of Muslim population in India, any sane mind would have gone for a separate state, leaving behind an almost equal population of Muslim behind in India. My narrative is proved by the speech of M.A.Jinnah at Palam (now Indira Gandhi) airport while addressing the “left behind Muslims” and advising them to be the good citizen of their country. Jinnah never abandoned his wish to spend his retirement age in Bombay.

British interest in the creation of Pakistan is understandable that they could not use India for their international interest and secondly to have a ring of Muslim states around the then godless USSR. The last governor of North West Frontier did write to the governor of Bombay to use his good offices and convince the viceroy that a nationalist Afghanistan/ Pakhtunistan will be as effective as a Muslim State but the viceroy refused to heed. This new found love for Pakistan was uncomprehending able. When Gen Raheel says that the partition was incomplete, I say it is flawed as well as it was against the wish of the elected government and recommendation of their own nominated governor and carries more weight than Kashmir.

The Islamists jumped onto the bandwagon when they found that the Congress has slammed the door on the face of the “Bluff”. The League was used as a ship of a Hindu to go for pilgrimage, in the words of Maulana Shabir Usmani. This class did have a quest of the imperial past. Islam was used for the political end. Pakistan was in fact not an Islamic but a precedence of hatred followed by Israel, Timor, and southern Sudan.

From the founding fathers to the subsequent rulers, none of the rulers was practising Muslim, if Islam is not to hate Hindus and Afghans/ Pashtun. Even the father of radicalization, Zia didn’t utter a word about Islam from 77 to 81 when the Russian landed in Afghanistan, in the words of Abdul Wali Khan. How could Zia miss the golden opportunity to legitimise his illegitimate government and get the perks of frontline state and to get rid of Mr Bhutto shadow? His foxy nature apart but he did give free hand to clerics who were in waiting and invited unholy war into our fatherland. The blood let started by him is still going on unabated and has assumed more beastly oddity.

They have erased the infrastructure to the land but the drama is carried to the logical end to weaken the will of destroyed Afghans to accept Durand line and create a strategic depth.  Islam was not in danger from a change of regime in Kabul because there were several changes in Pakistan but Kabul never felt a threat perception.  The threat to the country was from the rulers of Pakistan. It was Zia to convert Islam into sectarianism and the fortress of Islam was made the safe haven for unholy warriors or terrorists. It was a marathon run for surrogacy and associated perks. An obsession to be at par with India. The rulers really masturbated with the religion if I may be excused for the word but no other word could express the atrociousness of their crime. Even the military commands were changed to religious commands and minorities including Shia Muslims have a rough time in the army.

Islam has become a narrative of crimes, hatred, intolerance and jihad has become synonymous with terrorism. Pakistan has become the flagship of terror. Terrorism is the fifth pillar of the state structure. I am yet to remember in sixty years that state has ever celebrated a day of peace and prosperity but defence day, Kashmir day, Atomic explosion day all signify the genetic coercion in the state structure. It is utter rubbish that the only army is involved. Though they have the dominant narrative but the civilian elites are equally venomous. They share the same constituency which carries precedence over Islam and Pakistan. There is a cultural suffocation as one author said.

The rulers and all establishment are snakiest. As one American diplomat put it that it is the height of hypocrisy that Pakistan is a pathological liar even in conducting foreign diplomacy. {The Envoy) Pakistani state negates all the three official words, Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It has lost every logic to exist as a state. Two nation theory has been buried in the slums of Dhaka and Islam is abused for the vested interest of Punjabi elites.

Honestly speaking it is a dark blind tunnel to expect a ray of hope could be schizophrenia but not a sign of healthy mind. All the three hinterlands should mind their way. It is impossible for a liberal democrat in Punjab to be electable. Pashtun must start looking towards West, there they have their holy Kaaba and fatherland, and otherwise they are doomed. And be ready to live in their home on rent or refugees forever.

Pakistani patriotism has been slimmed down to the following:

  1. Hate India
  2. Kashmir is an integral part of Pakistan. No matter whatever is their wish?
  3. Support nuclear build up.
  4. Accept the mastery of the army.
  5. Foreign, finance and defence is solely the jurisdiction.
  6. Pakistani nationalism that means to say surrender of our identities.
  7. The educational syllabus as desired by the army.

Where do we stand in this frame? The recent example is Raddul Fassad in Baitul Fassad and the treatment meted out to Pashtun/Afghans.

Writer: Prof.(Dr) Khurshid Alam

The writer is a columnist with THE PASHTUN TIMES. He can be reached at


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