Exclusion in post 1974 Pakistan and the ideology of Muslim Nationalism

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Yasser Latif Hamdani*

* The author is a practicing lawyer based in Lahore.  He is also author of the book: “Jinnah; Myth and Reality.” His email address is Yasser.hamdani@gmail.com


(Pakistan is a Muslim state in so much as that its most identifiable characteristic is that it is home to 97 percent Muslim population and the raison d’etre of the creation of the state was the Muslim right of self-determination in the subcontinent.  Beyond that what role should religion have in nation making and statecraft is a question that must be addressed… Author)

Pakistan’s only Nobel Laureate in Physics, Dr Mohammad Abdus Salam, was dressed as a traditional Punjabi Muslim when he wore a SherwaniQula and Khussa to the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm’s City Hall in 1979.  In his remarks, the proud Pakistani Punjabi quoted the Holy Quran as his inspiration for his work.  He said:

“Your Majesties, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of my colleagues, Professor Glashow and Weinberg, I thank the Nobel Foundation and the Royal Academy of Sciences for the great honour and the courtesies extended to us, including the courtesy to me of being addressed in my language Urdu.

“Pakistan is deeply indebted to you for this.

The creation of Physics is the shared heritage of all mankind. East and West, North and South have equally participated in it. In the Holy Book of Islam, Allah says:

‘Thou seest not, in the creation of the All-merciful any imperfection, Return thy gaze, seest thou any fissure. Then Return thy gaze, again and again. Thy gaze, Comes back to thee dazzled, aweary.’This in effect is, the faith of all physicists; the deeper we seek, the more is our wonder excited, the more is the dazzlement for our gaze.”[i]

Clearly a Pakistani Muslim identity and citizenship was central to Dr. Salam’s sense of self. He remained wedded to it till his death in 1996.Yet, since 1974, his country had refused to acknowledge him as a Muslim because of his Ahmadi beliefs, when the parliament of the country amended the constitution to declare his sect outside Islam.

Those familiar with Dr Salam’s incredible life know one thing about him: Like Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Salam remained committed to his homeland; despite persecution and marginalisation, never giving up his Pakistani citizenship; despite offers from Britain, US and even India. As early as the late 1950s, Jawaharlal Nehru approached Salam to come to India and head up their Physics research. Dr Salam refused and instead offered his services to Ayub Khan, and after Ayub, he was the Chief Science Advisor to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. It is Salam who set up SUPARCO as well as Pakistan’s Atomic Energy Commission. It was Salam who founded Pakistan’s nuclear program. All these are undeniable facts. Even after Pakistan officially ex-communicated Salam’s sect, the Ahmadis, he continued to be actively involved in his endeavours to promote science in Pakistan.

Much has been written about the second amendment from the angle of human rights and the right to self-identify.  It strikes me however that this singular act of Pakistan’s National Assembly struck at the very root of the much touted “ideology” of Pakistan i.e. Muslim Nationalism or the Two Nation Theory that created Pakistan. The debate in Pakistan about the nature of the state i.e. whether it was to be an Islamic state or a secular state – a question I have addressed in several pieces in this journal- has eclipsed perhaps the more important debate about national identity and citizenship that should have been undertaken to determine the contours of nationality and citizenship in Pakistan.  By drawing margins around the concept of Muslim nationalism, the framers of the 2nd Amendment overturned the wisdom of keeping Islam an ontologically emptied idea while utilizing it as a positive marker of cultural identity.  Faisal Devji, a professor of intellectual history at Oxford and the author of the provocative book “Muslim Zion,” argues Muslim Nationalism was the product of enlightenment politics whereby the contours of the said nationalism lay in pure “will”.[ii]  Central to this conception was the idea of self-definition.  In this piece I argue that by drawing narrow margins around the Muslim identity, Pakistan’s constitution makers in 1974 have sapped from the foundational idea of Muslim nationalism its key vital ingredient i.e. will.

Jinnah and Muslim Nationalism as the general will of the Muslim people(s) of the subcontinent

The hackneyed question of whether Pakistan’s creation was right or wrong is an exercise in futility because Pakistan is fait accompli, regardless of what one’s conclusions are about it. What is far more important is to understand the historical process which led to the creation of a country envisaged as a homeland for the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent.  This historical process has its roots partly in the consciousness of upper classes as well as the rising Indian Muslim bourgeoisie and salaried classes – i.e. to use Hamza Alavi’s term “Salariat”[iii] – which feared exclusion from political power at the hands of the three times more numerous Hindus in the inevitable post-British democratic India.  This gave rise to Muslim nationalism and can, as an idea, be traced all the way back to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan who exhorted his followers not to join the Indian National Congress, the main political vehicle of Indian nationalists. The idea of Muslim nationalism was born and brought up in Aligarh Muslim University. It was this idea that led to the formation of the All India Muslim League in 1906 and the Muslim demand for separate electorates soon thereafter.

However, it is equally important to note that Jinnah’s political upbringing had entirely different roots. Having been called to bar in London and from a family of merchants rather than landed elite, Jinnah escaped entirely the trends that were in vogue amongst Aligarh Muslims.[iv] A confident young lawyer, who succeeded in the legal practice at a time when the profession was dominated by British and Hindu lawyers, Jinnah had very little practical use for ideas of Muslim exceptionalism at that time.  More importantly, he saw himself as an Indian first second and last, with the fact that he was a Muslim being entirely incidental and largely confined to his name, which in any event he abbreviated to M A Jinnah. Amongst his closest friends and associates, there were hardly any Muslims in that early period. The few Muslims who did get entry into his circle were like him, incidental Muslims. It is well known that Jinnah followed none of the dietary prohibitions prescribed by his religion.  Nevertheless after a dispute with the Aga Khan, owing possibly to his sister Mariam Bai’s marriage outside the Ismaili community, Jinnah had nominally converted to Khoja IthnaAshari Shia Jamaat in 1901.  If, however, he had any religious convictions he kept them absolutely private.

Jinnah’s political vehicle of choice was the Indian National Congress, which under the leadership of men like Pherozeshah Mehta, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, DadabhoyNaoroji and Badruddin Tyabji was a nationalist party committed to attainment of self-rule for Indians through constitutional means. When the Muslim League was founded in 1906, Jinnah not only stood apart from it but attacked its leaders as unrepresentative landed reactionaries and willing tools in the British policy of divide and rule.  Jinnah was also a fervent opponent of separate electorates even after he, as the Congress candidate, defeated the Muslim League candidate in 1910 on a Muslim seat.   In 1913 Jinnah also joined the Muslim League, at the behest of his Congress mentors, with the objective to bring the Muslim League closer to Congress.  He did so, remaining a member of the Congress, on the condition that his membership would in no way impinge on his commitment to the Indian nationalist cause to which his life was dedicated. Not only was he able to woo the League away from its stance of unquestioning loyalty to the crown but in 1916 managed to bring the League and Congress together in what is known in history as the Lucknow Pact.  This December marks the 100th anniversary of that important constitutional document that made Hindu Muslim Unity possible, however briefly. For his untiring efforts with respect to bringing Hindus and Muslims together in the struggle for self-rule, Jinnah was hailed as the best ambassador of Hindu Muslim Unity. [v]

So how did such a man, whose early politics was marked with a genuine desire to see Hindus and Muslims march together and wrest from the British the reins of government of their common motherland, later turn so vociferously against the same unity? This question has vexed many a student of Indian history and the freedom struggle.  Having studied Jinnah’s political career in some detail, I do not think there is any room for the idea that he underwent some kind of transformation in his political ideals.  Nor do I accept entirely the supposition that he acted entirely on the Namierian impulse of seeking power, though inevitably some of that did play its part.  Jinnah had come to believe very early on that constitutional advance in India depended entirely on Hindus and Muslims coming together and speaking with one voice.  This necessitated the idea of a social contract between these two groups and Lucknow Pact further solidified the position that the agreement between these two entities, as the largest culturally informed religious identities, was sine qua non to Indian independence. It was on this premise that Jinnah proceeded from 1916 onwards, and whereas till 1920 Jinnah acted as a Congressman trying to bring the League into the nationalist fold, his defeat at the hands of Gandhi on the issue of constitutional methods versus non-cooperation and the issue of the Khilafat Movement, which Jinnah opposed, drove him out of the Congress fold. Still he persisted in his goal of achieving that ever elusive social contract between Hindus and Muslims. Increasingly though he realized that he was forced into a position of approaching the Congress as a Muslim partisan rather than an Indian Nationalist trying to build bridges.

The idea of Pakistan developed independently of the efforts of people like Jinnah who had approached the issue top down from an all India center.  There had been countless schemes to divide India into Hindu majority and Muslim majority areas by Hindus, Muslims and the British (88 by KK Aziz’s count), by the time Allama Iqbal delivered his famous address in Allahabad. By the late 1930s several schemes emerged, including Rahmat Ali’s Pakistan scheme as well as what became known as “the Confederacy of India” by MianKifayet Ali who wrote under the name “A Punjabi”.  Of all the schemes it was Kifayet Ali’s scheme that encapsulated best the idea of Muslim nationhood and its search for an escape from the “minority” status.All of these schemes had one thing in common- they all postulated that the idea of an all India center was a British creation and that India’s diversity called for not one but multiple federations which could then come together as a confederation or a supra-federation of states.  An early variant of this had been the Aga Khan’s proposal for a United States of South Asia.  The underlying sentiment – on part of the Muslim proponents of these schemes- was for Muslim majority areas to be autonomous (or independent) of a unitary Indian center that would be dominated by the Hindu majority in the subcontinent.

For someone who was to ride this sentiment ultimately to the creation of Pakistan, Jinnah curiously was never a Muslim nationalist ideologically. Faisal Devji, for example, writes that not only did Jinnah consciously not identify with the Muslims but was contemptuous of them.[vi] This does not mean of course that he was not sincere about the cause once he took it up.  Jinnah was foremost a thinker of sovereignty who believed in representative politics through consensus of the people.  By 1938, after being rebuffed by Congress in UP, Jinnah was looking to unite the Muslim community in the subcontinent behind his leadership to bring to fruition that long sought after social contract between the Hindus and Muslims.  To do this, he needed a demand that could embody at once the impulse for autonomy in Muslim majority areas and the desire for Muslims in Hindu majority areas to escape their minority status.  Pressed by the British to produce an alternative to Congress’ demand for a constituent assembly where Muslims would be a perpetual minority outvoted 3 to 1 at best, the Muslim League produced the Lahore Resolution.  Was this a bargaining counter?  The term “bargaining counter” has been used to reduce Ayesha Jalal’s argument in her book “Sole Spokesman” and consequently much energy has been expended by historians like Venkat Dhulipala to disprove it.  Her argument, on the contrary, was that the demand for a federation in the Muslim majority areas was made in earnest but that what kind of relations such a federation would have with the rest of India was a matter that was the subject of negotiation.  Another point was that at the crunch point of that negotiation, Jinnah had climbed down from that demand and accepted something less than Muslim majority federation by accepting the Cabinet Mission Plan.  However, at no point did Jinnah waver from his goal, which essentially was a contract between Hindus and Muslims to achieve the independence of India. Whether the consideration of the transaction was to be a federation or a confederation or complete separation was a question of negotiation. It is equally important to note that Jinnah never claimed that all Muslims were a nation. He said that only for Muslims in undivided India who he felt constituted a nation within the subcontinent and were therefore entitled to an equal say in the Constitution-making regardless of their numbers. He made it clear when he said that Muslims had demanded self-determination on the basis of India for Indians and that Muslims were Indians. In other words, their claim to the right of self-determination was based on the principle that Muslims were the sons and daughters of India and not outside its milieu.

So what was the role of Islam in Jinnah’s politics post 1937?  Jinnah was a secularist by inclination, but as much as he was an admirer of Kemal Ataturk, he recognized that unlike Kemal he had no revolutionary army at his disposal by which to resolve India’s communal problem and drive out the British. He said as much in a speech in 1938 adding that his weapons were logic and reason.  More importantly he had the measure of his constituents, the Muslims.  Secularism simpliciter would have little appeal to them.  Here he deployed what some, like a rising young historian Cambridge Adeel Hussain, have called “Islam almost entirely ontologically emptied.”This essentially means that meaningful structures behind Islam as a signifier were entirely rewired as a shell to produce progress and change.  It was to be a vehicle for advancement of the Muslim community in a positive sense.  Therefore it is never easy to put Jinnah into the Islamic or secular categories.  Islam was to be the positive marker of identity for Muslims but when confronted with the idea of an “Islamic state” Jinnah’s reaction was irate to say the least. Here is an account of that discussion.

“The Raja started off by saying that since the Lahore resolution had been passed earlier that year, if and when Pakistan was formed, it was undoubtedly to be an Islamic State with the Sunna and Shariah as its bedrock. The Quaid’s face went red and he turned to ask Raja whether he had taken leave of his senses. Mr. Jinnah added: Did you realize that there are over seventy sects and differences of opinion regarding the Islamic faith, and if what the Raja was suggesting was to be followed, the consequences would be a struggle of religious opinion from the very inception of the State leading to its very dissolution. Mr. Jinnah banged his hands on the table and said: We shall not be an Islamic State but a Liberal Democratic Muslim State.”[vii]

Faisal Devji, the Oxford Professor and author of Muslim Zion, perhaps best explains Jinnah’s relationship to Islam when he writes:

“This was why Muslim nationalism placed itself alongside other ideological movements like communism, for which factors like land or language were inconsequential. But if Muslim nationalism was to present itself as an ideology, or at least an idea transcending all that was given a people by history or nature, it could not be religious in any conventional sense.  It had, in fact, to secularise Islam by making belief and practice entirely nominal, thus doing something very different from the liberal confinement of religion to private life or the communist exclusion of it. And it was this lack of religious familiarity in the Muslim League that explains its rejection by so many Muslim clerics, who preferred supporting the Indian National Congress, which was pledged to continue the colonial policy of granting them jurisdiction over an Islam defined by personal law and ritual practice. It also explains Jinnah’s much discussed and, yet, inexplicably popular lack of religious feeling, which for him was simply an historical accident that made a national will possible among India’s Muslims.”(Emphasis added throughout) [viii]

Jinnah the politician thus referred to Islam and its structures in that sense while simultaneously Jinnah the constitutional lawyer made sure that any reference to Islamic principles or to theological issues was skillfully omitted from any official resolutions or documents of the Muslim League.  There were several attempts, most notably in 1943 at the Delhi session to commit the Muslim League to an Islamic polity based on Quran and Sunnah which Jinnah vetoed. The second thing Jinnah was extremely careful about was keeping theological arguments out of the question of who is a Muslim. To him Ahmadis were Muslims because they professed to be Muslim.  Again several attempts were made to influence him both by Congress backed Majlis-e-Ahrar and people within the Muslim League but he steadfastly refused to turn Ahmadis out of the League on grounds of a theological disagreement.[ix] Indeed, the one man Jinnah came to rely on in his career was Zafrullah Khan, an Ahmadi. Not only did Zafrullah Khan go on to represent Pakistan’s case before the boundary commission but he was Jinnah’s choice for a foreign minister.[x]

The state that Jinnah had in mind was to have the same kind of relationship with Islam that modern Britain had with the Anglican Church.  That the British model (of the relationship between religion and state) weighed heavily on his mind is obvious from his 11 August speech. Those who claim that secularists and liberals only refer to two lines from this speech haven’t bothered to read the whole speech which delves into the Protestant and Catholic conflict in Britain before making the case for an inclusive and democratic Pakistan where Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in a religious sense, but in a political sense. It is in the light of the British model that one must examine Jinnah’s apparently contradictory statements. A Muslim majority democratic state was by its character already a Muslim country, just as Britain was an Anglican country and India was, by virtue of its Hindu majority, a Hindu country. There was no need to translate its Islamic character into a binding constitutional document. Pakistan was to be a Muslim majority mirror state of India, with minorities as equal citizens of the state.  This is why Jinnah had chosen scheduled caste Hindu leader Jogendranath Mandal to represent Muslims in the interim government shortly before partition as well as to preside over the first session of Pakistan’s constituent assembly.  Mandal then became Pakistan’s first law minister at Jinnah’s request.[xi]Again the implication was clear. Pakistan of Jinnah’s conception was to have no bars against Non-Muslims from seeking the important offices of the state.

Against this background it is easy enough to see why Jinnah might want to dissociate himself from the state he created. If Jinnah had hoped for a social contract between Hindus and Muslims, leading to perpetual peace, it was shattered with the bloodletting that the two communities engaged in at the time of partition.  Contrary to his vision of a South Asia where Pakistan and India would have a relationship like the US and Canada, the two countries have engaged in a nuclear arms race. The communal issue that Jinnah sought to resolve has now metamorphosed into an international conflict.

Nor has his vision of an inclusive statebeen realized. His colleagues in the Muslim League, themselves Muslim modernists, made the first crucial mistake by passing the Objectives Resolution. By referring directly to the Quran and Sunnah, they ensured the interpreters of the future constitution would not be them, the lawyers and politicians, but the ulema. Inevitably a Pakistan based on Objectives Resolution would be a theocracy, notwithstanding the intentions of its authors. In 1971 Pakistan lost its more secular minded East Pakistani majority and with it its raison d etre as a Muslim homeland. The terminology of Muslim homeland was replaced by the terminology of an ideological Islamic state.  By 1973, when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, again a modernist, had gotten MaulanaMaududi to vet the new constitution, the Ulema and forces of religious orthodoxy, most of whom had been trenchant opponents of Jinnah in the 1940s, were finally ascendant in Pakistan.  The embarrassing pronouncements of the Council of Islamic Ideology are a constant reminder of that.

In 1974, Pakistan’s National Assembly undermined Jinnah’s idea of the right to self-identify and inclusive citizenship by declaring Ahmadis Non-Muslims, severely limiting that community’s right to religious freedom.[xii]The logical conclusion of that was on display recently in Chakwal when an Ahmadi place of worship (for since 1984 they are not allowed by law to call their places of worship mosques) was ransacked by a crazed mob.[xiii]

The situation is equally bad for Non-Muslim minorities like Hindus and Christians, whose numbers have steadily dwindled in Pakistan.[xiv]  Pakistan has become a badly majoritarian state that is routinely on the list of worst offenders of religious and individual freedoms. Far from being equal citizens that Jinnah imagined them to be, Non-Muslim Pakistanis are at best second class citizens barred from holding the highest offices in the land and systematically marginalized from the economic and political life of the country.  Socially they face forced conversions and blasphemy charges, often to deprive them of their life, property and religious beliefs – the three things the preservation of which Jinnah termed as the foremost responsibility of a civilized government.

It is true that some Muslims, amongst those officially recognized as Muslims, have done well in Pakistan but even there the situation is far from exemplary. Jinnah had imagined that Pakistan would afford Muslims the opportunity to excel in science, economics and other fields.  Yet in these fields, over all, the performance of Pakistan and especially its Muslims has been woeful. In 70 years, the world’s second largest Muslim majority state, has produced just one Nobel Prize in science and that recipient too has been forcibly declared Non-Muslim.  Jinnah the politician wanted Pakistan to be a democratic state where civilians, and not the military, would rule through consensus of the people.  Close to half of Pakistan’s life as a nation has been under military rule. Even in the remaining half, the military has ruled from behind the scenes with the help of an unelected bureaucracy.  This is not even close to the high hopes Jinnah had for this country. It is easier to create a country but harder to preserve it.This sadly has turned out to be true enough in our case.

Iqbal versus Jinnah: nation, identity and state

To say Allama Muhammad Iqbal was an extremely complex individual is an understatement. The poet, philosopher and political thinker that Allama Iqbal was, he constantly evolved, or some might argue, regressed in his approach to the idea of a Muslim political identity and how it translated into reality.

Iqbal was, at various times, a Muslim modernist (he endorsed the founding of secular Turkish republic as a seminal event in Islamic history)[xv], a Muslim reformer (his lectures compiled as the Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam show the breadth of his reformist vision) and an uncompromising Muslim firster believing in theological unity and purity of the Muslim community (his views towards the Ahmadis towards the end of his life are an indication of this).[xvi]

The undercurrent of Islamic identity was always evident in Iqbal’s poetic endeavours. It is important to place him, for after all a person is a product of his social and material conditions. Mirza Ghalib was the poet of Muslim political decline and embodied the despondence of the Delhi’s Ashrafia at the loss of political power. Iqbal was the poet of Muslim resurgence and revival embodying the growing aspirations of a nascent Muslim middle class. His poetic classics Shikwa, the lament, and Jawab-e-Shikwa, the response to the lament, encapsulate his thinking from very early on.

The idea of the loss of Muslim political power had been the preoccupation of many modernists amongst Muslims, most notably Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. A recurring theme in this line of thinking was the idea of ‘theft’ – worldly progress and glory was the inheritance of the Muslims stolen from them by the West. In the lament and its response, Iqbal strongly emphasises this theme. His solution was a subtle departure from Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. Whereas Sir Syed Ahmad Khan only exhorted the Muslims to edify themselves with western education, Iqbal pointedly refers to the failure of Muslims to live by the Quran, which he argues the West has already done. He also denounces mindless aping of the west by pointing out that Muslims dress and act like the Christians and Jews, while Christians and Jews have internalised the lessons of the Quran. This idea took a life of its own.[xvii]

Iqbal’s earlier outlook on Muslim identity was decidedly inclusive rather than exclusive. This explains his close ties to the Ahmadi community and his effusive praise for Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of that sect.

By the 1930s, however, Iqbal’s views seem to have undergone a sea change. Iqbal argued for a separate status for Ahmadis as a religious community. In his essay, Islam and Ahmadism, a rejoinder to Nehru’s articles on the subject, Iqbal exposes his basic anxiety; solidarity of Islam and the danger impacting it by the ideas propounded by Ahmadism. Arguing that the founder of Ahmadism, who he had praised earlier, may have heard a voice, he puts it down to spiritual impoverishment of the Muslim people. He proceeds to vilify Ahmadis as pre-Islamic Magianism which takes on – or steals – the important externals of Islam.[xviii]

The idea of theft comes into play. Iqbal argues that the finality of prophethood is the key to establishing Muslim solidarity and that Ahmadis, by denying this tenet, would cause the pre-Islamic Magian condition where societies would be broken down and recast in a new light. As a corollary of this argument Allama Iqbal goes on to argue against religious tolerance or the state’s indifference towards being “harmful” to religious communities.[xix]In other words, Iqbal was opposed to absolute religious freedom.

Therefore modern historians of thought in Pakistan must grapple with the fundamental discord between Iqbal’s ideas and Jinnah’s vision both of Muslim solidarity and religious freedom. Jinnah as the leader of the All India Muslim League repeatedly ruled out the idea that Ahmadis could not join it.  Contrary to Iqbal’s view of Muslim solidarity emanating out of theological consensus, Jinnah’s test was simple: if a person professed to be a Muslim, he was welcome in the Muslim League.

This became a major point of contention in Punjab, where elements in the Punjab Muslim League wanted to exclude Ahmadis from the Muslim League on the ground that Ahmadis were non-Muslims.  Simultaneously Jinnah was attacked by pro-Congress Islamic parties like Majlis-e-Ahrar and JamiatUlema-e-Hind for his tolerance of Ahmadis in the Muslim League. However Jinnah did not budge from his principled position on the issue, going so far as to call such theological and sectarian issues as a danger to Muslim unity.

Similarly, Jinnah was a lifelong advocate of the state’s neutrality in matters of religion – an idea which Iqbal considered as problematic. Throughout the Pakistan movement Jinnah promised freedom of religion as a cornerstone of the future state of Pakistan and on August 11, 1947, as the founder of the country, he made his policy plain once again in that memorable address. Jinnah was also wary of theological issues creeping into political discourse. He understood that the question of who is a Muslim would open up a Pandora’s Box where everyone would be fair game, including his own Shia community. He therefore tiptoed carefully around Iqbal’s ideas, never endorsing them.

The All India Muslim League itself had utilisedAllama Iqbal selectively. They had pointed to his address in Allahabad in 1930 as having laid the foundations of Pakistan. On his part, Iqbal had realised the importance of winning over Jinnah and had written a series of letters in 1936 and 1937 asking Jinnah to take up the cause of Muslims in North-West India and to ignore Muslim minorities in the rest of India.

How influential were these letters in Jinnah’s eventual transformation from ambassador of Hindu Muslim Unity to an apostle of Muslim separatism, is a matter for a historian to determine. What we do know, however, is that these letters were long forgotten until Muhammad Sharif Toosi chanced upon them in Jinnah’s personal library. When these were published in the 1940s, Jinnah wrote in the preface that he had not saved his replies to these letters and therefore the famed Iqbal-Jinnah correspondence would remain incomplete. As an amateur biographer of Jinnah, I find it very strange because Jinnah usually saved his replies.

Jinnah in any event was not Iqbal’s first choice to lead the Muslims. They had not seen eye-to-eye during the Round Table Conferences in England. Apparently their relationship was not free of rancour even in the end. Iqbal told Nehru in his last days,

“What is common between Jinnah and you? He is a politician and you are a patriot.” [xx]

These differences are very conveniently swept under the rug by our ideologues who want to concoct the equation “Iqbal+Jinnah=Pakistan”.In fact Iqbal has long trumped Jinnah in Pakistan. Pakistan of today, a befuddling religious state that has taken upon itself the burden of spiritual wellbeing of its people is precisely the kind of state Iqbal, the theocrat, had in mind and precisely the kind of state Jinnah, the democrat, wanted to avoid.

Pakistan is a Muslim state in so much as that its most identifiable characteristic is that it is home to 97 percent Muslim population and the raison d’etre of the creation of the state was the Muslim right of self-determination in the subcontinent.  Beyond that what role should religion have in nation making and statecraft is a question that must be addressed by the people of Pakistan.

[i]http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1979/salam-speech.html accessed on 17 January 2017

[ii]Devji, F. (2013). Muslim Zion: Pakistan as a political idea. Hurst Publishers.

[iii]Alavi, H. (1988). Pakistan and Islam: ethnicity and ideology. In State and ideology in the Middle East and Pakistan (pp. 64-111). Macmillan Education UK.

[iv]Javed, A. (1998). Secular and nationalist Jinnah. Kitab Pub. House.

[v] Ibid

[vi]http://www.dawn.com/news/1122838 accessed on 16 January 2017

[vii]http://www.thefridaytimes.com/tft/early-islamists/  accessed on 16 January 2017.

[viii]http://www.wionews.com/south-asia/ma-jinnah-the-founder-of-muslim-politics-as-a-modern-phenomenon-10540 accessed on 16 January 2017

[ix]http://www.dawn.com/news/1104077 accessed on 17 January 2017

[x]Bhutto, Z. A. (1964). Foreign Policy of Pakistan.

[xi]Syed, J. (2008). Pakistani model of diversity management: rediscovering Jinnah’s vision. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 28(3/4), 100-113.

[xii]Khan, A. M. (2003). Persecution of the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan: An Analysis Under International Law and International Relations. Harv. Hum. Rts. J., 16, 217.

[xiii]http://www.dawn.com/news/1308457 accessed on 17 January 2017

[xiv]Forte, D. F. (1994). Apostasy and Blasphemy in Pakistan. Conn. J. Int’l L., 10, 27.

[xv]Rahman, F. (1984). Muhammad Iqbāl and Atatürk’s Reforms. Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 43(2), 157-162.

[xvi]Iqbal, M. (2013). The reconstruction of religious thought in Islam. Stanford University Press.

[xvii] See generally Shikwa and Jawab-e-Shikwa by Allama Iqbal

[xviii]Iqbal, M. (1974). Islam and Ahmadism (No. 86). Lucknow, India: Academy, Islamic Research & Publications.

[xix] Ibid

[xx]Nehru, J. (1956). The discovery of India.