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FIRST STEP TAKEN TO MERGE STATE AND MOSQUE

Now that Mr. Jinnah was out of the way, there was no formidable authority to challenge the new "leadership"  from sowing the seeds of transforming Pakistan into an "Islamic State".

This "planting" was taken in the form of a declaration called The Objectives Resolution,  which was a set of principles adopted by the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan in 1949. It proclaimed that the future constitution of Pakistan would not be modelled entirely on a European pattern, but on the ideology and democratic faith of Islam.

The Objectives Resolution comprised 12 written Principles. The writer has selected to highlight Principles 1, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9, because he thinks these impacted most on the non-Muslim communities.

The most critical is Principle 1, which says:

"Sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to Allah Almighty alone and the authority which He has delegated to the state of Pakistan, through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust."

The above statement is ambiguous because it is open to wide interpretation. It is, however, clear this statement implies Islam stands above any other religion in Pakistan.

Principle 4 says:  

"The principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed."

Again, this bolsters the underlying thought in Principle 1, that Islam stands above other religions. It also makes clear that the 'mini-principles' enunciated within Principle 2 will be ultimately interpreted in context of Islam.  

Principle 5 says: 

"The Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives in the individual and collective spheres in accordance with the teachings and requirements of Islam as set out in the Holy Quran and Sunnah."

The above statement further reinforces Islam's dominant position in Pakistan. The above three principles say, in effect, Pakistan is a Muslim theocratic state and quietly hints that minority communities will have to accommodate themselves to this environment.

Principle 6 says: 

"Adequate provision shall be made for the minorities to freely profess and practice their religions and develop their cultures."

Principle 8 says: 

"Fundamental rights shall be guaranteed. They include equality of status, of opportunity and before law, social, economic and political justice, and freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship and association, subject to law and public morality."

Principle 9 says:

"Adequate provisions shall be made to safeguard the legitimate interests of minorities and backward and depressed classes."

 

The Resolution was seen as an attempt to appease both Muslims (the ones who favoured a religious state) as well as provide assurances to the minorities that their rights to practise and live their Faith will not be hindered.

But the Resolution nevertheless subconsciously opened the pathway that led to the formal merger of State and Mosque. It is also very clear from the wordings that Islam stands above other religions.

The Resolution was formally incorporated into the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan, which, in effect, formalized the merger and relegated non-Muslim citizens to second-class status.

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