Pakistan, the only atomic state of Muslim world, is globally the fifth most populated country with 95-98% population being Muslims. The official name of the country is Islamic Republic of Pakistan with Islam as the state religion. The country came into being on 14th August 1947, after a long bloody struggle of the Muslims of Sub-continent who wanted to create a state based on the principles of Islam and where Muslims of the Sub-continent could freely practice their religion. So the basic objective of the creation of Pakistan was to have an Islamic state where Muslims could live peacefully however over the past few years a question about the possibility of secularism in the country is circulated among the political analysts of the country. The debate of Secularism in Pakistan got momentum especially in 2015, when the then Chief Justice of Pakistan, Nasir-ul-Mulk while hearing petitions that challenges the procedure of appointment of superior courts judges under 18th amendment and the establishment of military courts for terrorists’ trials under 21st Amendment asked for the possibility of replacement of Article 2 of the constitution. Since then a burning debate over the question “Can Pakistan be a secular state?” is going on in the country. To answer this question we have to analyze it from all perspectives.
Of Two Nations Theory: If Pakistan’s government or people
of Pakistan try to move towards secularism in the country, it would be in one
or another way negation of Two Nations Theory which had formed the basis of
Pakistan’s movement. In this case the legal basis of Pakistan’s demand and her existence
would be vanished. If Muslims of Pakistan have no problem with secularism in
the country then why did they created a separate Muslim state? They could live
with Hindus in United Hindustan.
With Martyrs Of Pakistan’s Movement: Such an act would be a
betrayal with the martyrs of Pakistan’s freedom movement. It would mean as if
millions of fighter of the freedom movement at the time of creation of Pakistan
shed their blood for nothing. In real terms movement towards secularism in
Pakistan would be like disrespecting the martyr of freedom movement.
Religion As Per Objective Resolution: The objective
resolution of 1949 that was adopted by the first Constituent Assembly of
Pakistan on 12 March 1949 had demanded that Islam would be the state religion
of Pakistan, which was unanimously supported by all Muslim members of the
assembly. This shows that the early framers of Pakistan too wanted the country
to be a religious and an Islamic state.
Threat To Integrity: Pakistan has a multi-ethnic population with distinguished cultural values and customs. In case of secularism there are high chances that some ethnic groups of the country such as Pakhtoons and Balochs, who have strict social and cultural values, may get up against such decision of the government.
Of Other Muslim Countries: Before moving towards secularism
in the country it is necessary that a thorough analysis of the social,
political and economic situation of those Muslim states who are secular should
be conducted. Mustafa Kamal Ataturk turned Turkey to a secular state and for
more than 95 years the country remained a secular state but today we see that
most of the political leaders such as Tayyab Eradogan and Turkish public want
to turn the country back to Islamism.
Case: The supporters of secularism in the country often
quote that most of the prominent Muslim scholars of the Sub-continent were
against the creation of Pakistan. They actually quote one part of their view.
Most Muslim scholars of that time were of the view that a separate Islamic
state should not be formed because according to them whole India is the land of
Muslims and one day Muslims would regain their power and would acquire control
of the country but if they were alive today, they would admire the idea of
creation of Pakistan especially because of the ongoing communal riots in India
and India occupied Kashmir.