By Aiman Sohail
It’s 2016, Pakistan is almost 70 years old and I wonder if this is how Sir Jinnah had wanted Pakistan to turn out? Probably not. People are going to think I’m being negative, which isn’t true. I’m not filled with negativity; Pakistan itself is filled with it.
Look around. You’ll find people who think very highly of themselves and pass hateful comments about other people, giving their own verdict on whether they are kafir or not. It seems harmless, but it isn’t; not when it causes bloodshed on a daily basis.
Most Muslims are under the assumption that they have ownership over Pakistan. Yes, Pakistan came into being because of the religious differences between Hindus and Muslims, of the subcontinent, but that doesn’t mean that Muslims have the right to make the lives of minorities miserable. Let’s not forget Pakistan, itself, was made because of the brutalities Muslims were subject to at the time. Jinnah saw how Muslims, who were in minority at the time, were suffering. Sir Jinnah spent most of his life fighting for a united and secular India and had Muslims not been facing troubles in India, Pakistan would not have ever been created.
The point of going back in the history of Pakistan was to remind everyone that Jinnah only became a separatist when he saw the minorities i.e. Muslims being mistreated. Considering history, Pakistani Muslims are some of the biggest hypocrites. Think about it. Pakistan was created to bring justice to the minorities of India because they were being oppressed. Now, the oppressed have become the oppressors. Sunni’s in particular are not only oppressing minorities of other faiths but those of different Muslim sects as well. There is a conflict between Sunni-Shia, a debate on the eligibility of Ahmadis to be Muslims. The list goes on. We’re oppressive towards people in our own religion; let’s not even mention the discrimination faced by the non-Muslims in Pakistan.
Quaid-e-Azam was strongly against the oppression of minorities. He wished for a peaceful Pakistan, where people were free to practice their own religion and faith. Jinnah’s Pakistan is a land where the state has no business with a person’s faith, and where people are free to practice their religion as he said in his infamous speech on 11th August 1947:
“You are free; you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any region or caste or creed –that has nothing to do with the business of the State..”
“We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State. ”
It’s very clear here that Quaid-e-Azam wanted the people to be united as Pakistanis instead of being divided by their religion, caste, etc. He wanted people to live in harmony. He wanted peace amongst people, not disputes with the minorities. He never wanted Pakistan to become a theocratic state. Unfortunately, Pakistan is becoming exactly that; the mullahs are trying their best to rule Pakistan and it is, in fact, turning out to be a disadvantage for us. People are being killed in the name of Islam with the support of some Islamic clerics. The government, on the other hand, is silent on this matter and after what happened with Salman Taseer, I wouldn’t exactly blame the government officials for being silent. Then again, who allowed the situation to get to this point in the first place anyway?
The father of this nation never wanted Pakistan to turn out this way. The least we can do is let go of our own perception of what Pakistan should be like and instead respect his ideology of what Pakistan should have been like. Maybe do some research first? Pakistan was never meant to be a country ruled by Islamic clerics, so please stop trying to make it one. To those people, who will still go on to make life miserable for the minorities, you never deserved a separate nation for you are no less than the Hindus who were discriminating against Muslims, pre-partition. We are a hypocritical nation and surely, we are a disappointment to our Founder.
We have lost sight of the fact that we all are Pakistanis. Be it Sunni, Shia, Christian, Hindu, Atheist, etc. Ultimately, what’s being damaged is our beloved Pakistan. Let’s learn to live together and respect one another. Make Pakistan great again.