70 Years of Independence: Achievements, Losses and Hopes
What Pakistan achieved and lost in the last 70 years? To know this it is inevitable to ascertain the importance of Pakistan. Without that, we cannot come to know our journey of the last 70 years. In a historical context, Pakistan has exceptional importance because of the following three reasons.
In the current era, Pakistan is the only state which was created on the basis of religion. Some argue that Israel was also created on the basis of religion but that is a wrong argument. There is no comparison between Pakistan and Israel. Pakistan is in real terms a religious and ideological state. On the other hand, Israel was created on the infamous racism of the Jews. In the present era, the constitutions of nations have an important significance in the identity of nations. When we look from this perspective, then Pakistan is constitutionally an Islamic republic. On the contrary, Israel is a secular state. There could be no comparison between the two also because Pakistan was created by the mass movement of a people while Israel was created by murky conspiracies of world powers. By this analogy, Pakistan is from beginning to end haq and while Israel is batil.
The second significance and importance of Pakistan is that it is the manifestation of the great historical and civilizational demand of the Muslims of the sub-continent. However, some people consider that the Two-Nation Theory is the outcome rather than retaliation of the circumstances faced by Muslims of the Sub-continent, which is not correct. The Two Nation Theory is a very old ideology. This is the reason Quaid e Azam said that The Two Nation Theory came into existence the day the first Hindu of the Sub-continent reverted to Islam. Such a statement cannot have been said without a deep understanding of the history and civilization of Muslims of the Sub-continent.
During the rule of Jahangir, Muslims were very stable and dominant both politically as well as economically but for Mujadid Alif Sani, there was no significance of such stability and dominance. For him, the most significant thing was the separate religious and civilizational identity of Muslims. He was so much concerned about the identity that he persuaded Jahangir to revoke the policies of Akbar. In essence Mujadid’s insistence was upon the Two-Nation Theory. Initially, Jahangir opposed him and imprisoned him but later on, he followed what Mujadid had taken the stand for. Jahangir cancelled prostrating in his court and allowed the slaughtering of a cow. By this, we can conclude that Mujadid alf Sani was the founder of the Two-Nation Theory in Sub-continent.
The crisis between Aurangzeb and Dara Shikoh was also due to the Two-Nation Theory. Dara Shikoh was influenced by Hinduism. He wanted to give an ideology based on the fusion of the Quran and the Geeta. He actually wanted to carry forward Akbar’s Deen e Illahi concept but with more intellect and power. Aurangzeb was well aware of this threat because he understood the Two-Nation Theory. This is the reason he was supported by Sufis and scholars of that time.
It is on record that once Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was also a strong advocate of the “one nation” and he used to say that Hindus and Muslims are the two eyes of a beautiful bride. But the Hindi-Urdu crisis opened up his eyes and he told Muslims not to join the Congress but create their own independent platform. Allama Iqbal was also a nationalist in his initial days. He used to say “saray jahan se acha Hindustan humara….” But his views also changed and after a few years when he said, “cheen o arab humara…..’’. Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s case is also evident. He was a Congress leader. Sarojni Naidu called him the “ambassador of Hindu Muslim unity” but later Muhammad Ali Jinnah became Quaid e Azam and ambassador of Two Nation Theory. In this context, the Two-Nation Theory isn’t a reality that came to fore between 1930 to 1940 but it is deeply rooted in our history.
Another significance of Pakistan is that it the biggest dream of our times. The Quaid had declared it as a laboratory for Islam. It means we were supposed to provide a new platform for re-experimenting the state of Madinah, which would be having the old soul but new manifestations. So Pakistan is unique in this sense, having no parallel.
But unfortunately, after being successful in the creation of a separate state we couldn’t make it a laboratory of Islam or formulate its actual creative potential. No doubt our religious organizations and scholars succeeded in making it as “Islamic republic” but our military and civil administrators imprisoned the constitution and many times suspended it. So Islam seems to have no impact upon the arrangement of military and civil govt anywhere.
Our economy is based on usury which has been so much dear to both Musharraf and Nawaz that none among them paid mere lip service to abolish it. Our educational system is Islamic to such extent that Islamiyat is a mere subject along with other subjects there. Not only our rulers but even our media has made fun of articles 62 and 63 because they believe that it is impossible to have a ruler inheriting qualities of honesty and truthfulness in modern times. If we ponder, this is not making fun of article 62 or 63 but of the Islamic concept of honesty and truthfulness.
Unfortunately in 1971, we couldn’t save our geographical boundaries. Both our civil and ruling class gave India a chance to say that the Two-Nation Theory had been drowned into the Bay of Bengal. Those who were culprits said that East Pakistan got separated by the external conspiracies and involvement of India but such huge tragedies occur more due to internal factors and shortcomings than external ones. Our biggest internal weakness was that our ruling class didn’t make even a small attempt to make Islam, which was the prime reason behind its creation, functional and impactful in the collective and social life of the people of Pakistan. Had we implemented the Islamic concept of justice in our system, foreign hands and India would not have been successful in their goal.
One of the huge landmarks in the history of Pakistan is its success in the making of the Atomic Bomb. This accomplishment plays a significant role in understanding the possibilities of Pakistan. When Pakistan started the program of the Atomic Bomb, at that time even the appropriate means to teach basic sciences were lacking. We lacked both resources as well as experts but even then we were successful. It signifies that as a nation if we set a target and the government formulates policy of 10 to 15 years for its achievement, the skies can be our limit.
Despite facing too many hardships on the economic front the Pakistani nation spends more than 300 Arabs (300billion) in charity. It means that there are sentiments reserved for nation-building which if properly channeled could help us in achieving many big programs and projects.
One of the aspects of our national history is that after every 5 or 7 years there comes up a dictator to rule us. Due to the incompetence of certain politicians, he gains some public support but finally, the nation resists against them. So the nation showed resistance before Gen Ayyub, Gen Zia and Gen Musharraf. It is because of this resistance that a dictator couldn’t hold office for more than 10 years. On the other hand, if we look at Arab countries, Col Gadhafi ruled for about 40 years. Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak was there on the throne for about 30 years. In this matter Pakistani nation has deep-rooted sentiments for its freedom, liberty and independence. And by such sentiments in place, a new world can be created.
In the awakening and progress of nations, the concept of an enemy plays a significant role. Coincidently we have India as our enemy. But we couldn’t make out any significant achievement because of this enemy. The presence of the enemy can make us even more sound in our ideology as well as it could keep us awakened. It could make us dynamic in achieving our materialistic goals. But what we need is “leadership” for this.
One of the merits of the Pakistani nation is it is still emotionally and sentimentally attached to its ideological roots. We should understand that the ideology by which we created a nation can also help us in standing in the rows of world powers. But it requires two conditions i.e. the ideology should be made impactful and functional for national life and the leadership should exhibit Taqwa and Knowledge in their public and private lives. Without these two things, there can be no success neither for Pakistan nor for Muslim Ummah.
The author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(This is a translation of Shahnaz Farooqi’s article which appeared in current issue of Tarjuman Ul Quran).
Disclaimer: Views expressed are exclusively personal and do not reflect the editorial policy of Oracle Opinions.