In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State — to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non- Muslims — Hindus, Christians, and Parsis — but they are all Pakistanis, says Jinnah
Agha Iqrar Haroon
Islamabad: Last night I had been searching my old diary that is full of some quotes of founder of Pakistan—Muhammad Ali Jinnah. I used to find and write his quotes since my childhood –before 1977 so I have interesting collection with me. After radical rule of Ziaulah Haq in 1977, moderate quotes of Jinnah were dumped and even eliminated from our text books and even research books thanks to a certain mindset. At last I found my diary and share following Jinnah’s broadcast to the people of the United States (February 1948):
“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 men, justice and fairly play 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. We have many non- Muslims — Hindus, Christians, and Parsis — but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan”.
In this broadcast, Jinnah, the constitutionalist that he was, refused to forestall the shape of the constitution, in order not to fetter the Pakistan Constituent Assembly from taking decisions it deemed fit. While he laid a good deal of stress on Islamic ideals and principles, he ruled out theocracy, saying “Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it. Islam demands from us the tolerance of other creeds.”
Before the establishment of Pakistan, the first public picture of Pakistan that Jinnah gave to the world was in the course of an interview in New Delhi (1946) with the correspondent of Reuter’s news agency:
the new state would be a modern democratic state, with sovereignty resting in the people and the members of the new nation having equal rights of citizenship, regardless of their religion, caste or creed.
Jinnah speech on August 11, 1947:
“I cannot make any well-considered pronouncement, but I shall say a few things as they occur to me” — it is considered a policy statement. He said:
… If you change your past and work together in a spirit that everyone of you, no matter to what community he belongs, … 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. …we must learn a lesson from this [our past experience]. 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 religion 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 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…. 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.
Unfortunate to say today’s Pakistan cannot have any non Muslim as its head of State and even Muslims do not have equal rights.
wo intezaar tha jiska, ye wo sahar to nahin.
ye wo sahar to nahin, jiski aarzoo lekar
chale the yaar ki mil jaayegi kahin na kahin
falak ke dasht me taaron ki aakhiri manzil.
abhi giraani-e-shab me kami nahin aai.
nijaate-deeda-o-dil ki ghadi nahi aai.
chale chalo ki wo manzil abhi nahin aai.