From Resolution to Celebration NATIONAL SECURITY IMPERATIVES OF AN IDEOLOGICAL STATE
Chief of the Air Staff's order of the day on 23rd March, 2008

Judiciary versus President A case for constitutional survival

From vision to reality One nation, one pride: Pakistan
Pakistan Movement and the Challenge Today 23rd March: A Fateful Day
What do we know about our country? Should Pakistan Honour the Lahore Resolution?
Where are we headed?  
 
From Resolution to Celebration
By Muttahir Ahmed Khan


It is a nationally acknowledged fact and a recurrently reiterated notion that 23rd March 1940 is a "red-letter day" in the history of the subcontinent, in general, and of Pakistan, in particular. Yet, the question, arises whether it is good enough to mull over this day, merely as an occasion, to arrange annual celebration festivities amongst the social spheres, to organise debate competitions in educational institutions, or to hold seminars and forums at luxury hotels and glamorous TV shows about it? What else do we have to attribute to this auspicious day, in regard to the epoch-making Lahore Resolution? Another signifying aspect may be that it has provided us with a levelheaded chunk of material to fill in the pages of our course books and a patriotic angle to design our syllabi. Historically speaking, every state and society undergoes several pleasant as well as unpleasant experiences associated with the different phases of it's evolution and the course of development. Every nation is, and must be, naturally of a mind to depict an optimistic, promising and soul-elevating image of it's past glories and struggle, to infuse the spirit of jingoism and national solidarity into the veins of its blooming generations.

A country's educational objectives, policies, and the curriculum planning, as a path towards achieving the educational goals, are always based on national interest and long-term planning. So, the role of these historic declarations and events in the realm of academic teaching is, beyond any cavil, an appreciable move. But, the most precious outcome of such national milestones, which is, decidedly, missing in our culture, is that they apprise a nation of the distance it has covered as well as guide it en route for the right direction that can lead it to a promising future.

Have we ever endeavored to ponder over and to value the profound meaning of the word "Resolution"? Have we ever learnt or made our successive generations learn something from the backdrop, proceedings and the prospects of that congregation? Have we ever, during last 60 years, ventured to analyse our present, and to look into the future of our motherland, in the perspective of such historical pronouncements? These are a few questions that are hard to answer with confidence and clarity, in the wake of our ubiquitous intellectual behaviour.

In the present era, with the explosion of information technology and the emergence of scientific and logical approach to analyse and study facts, figures and theories, it has become incumbent on the scholars and experts of strategic policies of a nation to provide logical and appropriate information and knowledge to the students. We have not yet, realised this scenario and are satisfied with preparing our youth by teaching orthodox ideas and notions through course books at school levels. And, when these children grow up and come across diverging concepts, regarding the issues of national importance, propounded by our pseudo-intellectuals, unfinished-politicians and half-baked scholars, through print and electronic media, they find themselves in utter chaos and cynicism.

It has become a drift amongst our regional nationalist politicians to criticise the "two-nation-theory" and the creation and federation of Pakistan. The Pakistan Resolution has also fallen a prey to negative propaganda, and it is deliberately misinterpreted for and wrongly associated with the promotion of provincialism. Unfortunately, our rightist leaders and thinkers always attempt at avoiding open and liberal discussions on such delicate issues. They think that certain issues, their related fallacies and veracities must be dealt as a taboo, because they, if dragged into deliberation, may spoil the minds of our youngsters. On the contrary, their passive approach has further paved the way for those elements that exploit this intellectual vacuum to brainwash the public mind-set. Who will counter the questions that sprout in the adolescent minds when they discern a huge gulf between the contents of their course books and those which are vehemently presented by our "elders" through the print and electronic media, regarding certain patriotic and nationalistic affairs?

A famous historian and columnist, who is also a Professor at the Sindh University Jamshoro, comfortably asserted, in a T.V. program that Pakistan was not created on democratic basis through a democratic process. Since he is a teacher at higher education level, what would be the effect of his statement on the minds of the university students? Moreover, what is left behind to support our reliance on the subject matter we include in the course books at basic levels? The learned scholar did not explain what would or should have been a democratic process to establish Pakistan. Had he been a contemporary of the Quaid-e-Azam, he would have guided him towards a better and right policy. However, the Quaid-e-Azam was unlucky to have such intellectuals around him during his era.

Last year, I also happened to listen to the views of Mr. Mumtaz Bhutto, the former Governor and a towering political icon of Sindh, during a talk show telecast on a private TV channel. He categorically denied the verity that all the Muslims are the part of a single nation due to being adhered to Islam. He was of the view that people are united on the basis of their ethnic, lingual and cultural bonds, and not on religious basis. To prove his plea, he referred to the prolonged war between Iran and Iraq, the two Muslim states. He once, in his article for a newspaper, wrote, "When Pakistan came into existence, it would be a union of originally independent states which would group together to form a multinational country". In response to this article, Mr. Irtiza Hussein, a very experienced bureaucrat and analyst, explained, "The misconception about the status of the provinces in the dominions is the result of misreading the Lahore Resolution which was actually a declaration of intent not the approved final draft of the constitution of Pakistan as it is sometimes presumed and projected to be". Furthermore, it is irrational to think of a sovereign and independent state with all its constituent units having sovereign and independent status. There was no mention or intention to establish more than two sovereign states in the subcontinent.

It was partitioned into two states for two separate nations, the Hindus and the Muslims. Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinah, who was, earlier, a strong advocate of the unity of all the native communities, including the Muslims and the Hindus, soon after, got adhered to the firm verdict that the Muslims of the subcontinent, as a nation, had their distinctive culture, traditions, way of life, and moral and social values.

Therefore, he began to struggle for the foundation of a separate homeland for the Muslims. The Quaid-e-Azam, foreseeing this evil of ethnic prejudice, warned, "If we begin to think as Bengalis, Punjabis, Sindhis, etc. first, and Muslims and Pakistanis only incidentally, then Pakistan is bound to disintegrate". In the light of this quote we must reflect on where we are heading towards now?

It seems that we have wasted our 60 valuable years in mere euphoric carousing at our national days and events and in sharing the epics of our past glories. We have done nothing concrete to play our due role on both individual as well as collective levels, for the welfare and solidarity of our motherland.

On the other hand, we have developed a habit of criticising and condemning our present, in a comparison with our achievements of the times of yore. As far as the future is concerned, we are completely dependent on the Almighty and His compassionate help and do not stive to achieve our goals.

If you believe that He has gifted this Pakistan to us then let us change our ways, for the betterment of our nation. Let us ponder over the very spirit of such national days and make a resolution to build a better, educated, healthy and vigorous Pakistan.

 Back to TOP 
  

NATIONAL SECURITY IMPERATIVES OF AN IDEOLOGICAL STATE
By M Sharif


On 23 March 1940 All India Muslim League in Lahore passed the Pakistan Resolution that demanded a separate homeland for the Muslims of the Sub-continent exclusively on the basis of Muslim nationhood. Derivatives of the nationhood were Islam, Islamic history and culture, social customs, way of living and literature that in certain respect were in direct contrast and irreconcilable with their counterparts, the Hindu philosophy, culture, history, social customs and their way of living. From 23 March 1940 onwards, the Muslims of India struggled for an independent Muslim state because they were convinced that the Indian Muslims could not live with Hindus after the British had left within any constitutional arrangement that, "would necessarily result in the permanent rule of a permanent majority," the Hindus.

Political struggle of the Muslims culminated in carving out the state of Pakistan on 14 August 1947 against the wishes of the Hindus. The reasons for their reluctance were historical and understandable. They carried with them a sort psychological insecurity for the new state of Pakistan that was manifested soon after partition when India annexed the state of Hyderabad, Daccan and Junagarh. It has since then remained the epicenter of national security of Pakistan with changing parameters. Despite the fact that regional and global security environments have undergone radical changes, much has not changed tangibly as far as the security environment between India and Pakistan is concerned. This really concerns all peace loving people on both sides of the great divide.

The psychological insecurity was translated into territorial insecurity by aggressive Indian designs when India aimed at annexing Kashmir. This resulted into the first armed conflict between the two states over Kashmir, generally known as the Kashmir War of 1947/48. It started in October 1947 when Pakistan launched irregular forces with the support of Kashmiri people to gain control of the Kashmiri territory that was illegitimately occupied by the Indian forces. The thrust of Pakistani action was to capture Srinagar but the same did not materialise because of the qualitative and quantitative disadvantage that Pakistan had. Nevertheless, it convinced the government of Pakistan that in the face of aggressive Indian designs that would put existence of Pakistan at stake, it was imperative to look out for economic and military support to make Pakistan economically and militarily strong. This very conviction arising out of insecurity, dominated the Pakistani mindset through it's short history of six decades. It struggled to achieve this objective but in it's passion to secure Pakistan through strong military it could not concentrate and in fact relegated other ingredients of national security such as ensuring social equality and economic development, strengthening of state institutions and political system that were no less if not equally important.

Quest for national security pushed Pakistan to the Western camp led by the US in the midst of cold war. It, at that time was the only viable entity that was economically and militarily strong with global reach that could meet Pakistan's requirements, of course, in return of anti-communism policy that it were to adopt. From the decade of 50s onwards Pakistan's foreign policy became security-centric and security concerns became India-centric. Their root causes were insecurity from the eastern border and the Kashmir issue whose resolution according to the UN resolutions became quite impossible with the passage of time because of India's diplomatic manoeuvering, great powers reluctance to displease India and helplessness of the UN to play any effective role.

A security dominated foreign policy and quest to build a strong military establishment to secure Pakistan against any aggression worked smoothly because of liberal financial and military assistance provided by the West and the US. By mid-60s Pakistan's military forces were much more stronger than they could be without Western support. Pakistan's achievements in economic growth and development were no less significant. Strengthening of armed forces and economic development took place under direct control and supervision of the army leadership that had succeeded to impose first martial law in the country in 1958 on the pretext that the political leadership had failed to deliver what the country needed the most at that time. Since then it has been the main political role player and initiator of more or less all the security and foreign policy related initiatives.

A strong Pakistan in the mid-60s became eager to find a quick solution to the Kashmir issue. India had emerged stronger because of the Western and the US military assistance after it's defeat at the hands of the Chinese, in a border clash in 1962. It had a strong desire to prove to the world in general and to the West in particular that it was a match to China. The inconclusive skirmishes between the forces of the two countries in early 1965 in the Runn of Kutch gave greater confidence to the Pak Army commanders to take on to India in bid to resolve the long outstanding issue of Kashmir through military means.

Army for being at the helm of affairs thought convincingly that it was the only way and by resolving the Kashmir issue. It would be making Pakistan more secure than it was because of perpetual tension that existed between the two states. It launched 'Operation Gibraltar' bases on flawed intelligence reports, which said that the Kashmiris were ready to rebel against the Indian military occupation of the Indian Held Kashmir. It did not turn out to be true and the two countries ended up having a second war in 1965 war. It ended up in a stalemate but left Pakistan weaker and vulnerable politically and militarily as developments of events unfolded subsequently. They later caused dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971. A simple conclusion that could be drawn is that the military and political leadership except military overlooked the other ingredients of national security imperatives.

Post -1971 political and military developments in Pakistan, ironically, have been no different than they were from 50s till the dismemberment of Pakistan. Imperatives of national security were ignored and the emphasis was on enhancing military strength on one hand and practicing centralised system of governance rather than federal system of governance given in the 1973 constitution, on the other hand. Army after withdrawing into barracks soon after 1971 debacle remerged in 1977 as a political force and has continued to stay firmly in the corridors of power with greater hold on civil institutions and of civil society particularly during the past eight years. It had a direct bearing on diluting national security. The 1971 debacle convinced the political leadership that the country's security could be ensured squarely by making Pakistan a nuclear weapon state. The dream was realised in 1998 when India decided to become a nuclear weapon state openly. It was followed by Pakistan against the wish of the Western world that till now remains skeptical about the efficacy of nuclear weapons for national security. The Post-Kargil conflict tension between the two countries and border tension between them in 2003 when their armies remained locked on borders for months but did not opt for any adventurism simply proved that the nuclear deterrence had worked. It is relevant to national security.

It is to be appreciated that nuclear weapons alone are insufficient guarantee for national security. They only meet one security imperative vis-s-vis India. Pakistan is still a long way away from fulfilling other than military security imperatives of national security particularly with reference to strengthening the federation by following the spirit of federation as enunciated in the constitution, creating a socio-economic order that bridges greater inequality that is visible in the society and strengthening of political system and the state institutions.

One of the significant developments that have taken place after 9/11 is Pakistan's involvement as a front line state in US war on terrorism. It's involvement is deep rooted and has affected each state institution and all facets of national life. It brought a greater adrift in security and foreign policy, the foreign policy is no more Kashmir and security- centric and on the face of national security concerns are less dominated by threat from the eastern border. The threat perception is now dominated from the threat from within and from the western border. The Pakistan Army that is trained for conventional warfare and safeguarding nuclear weapons is on it's way to combating an unseen enemy and local insurgency. It is being assisted by the US in its new onerous responsibility but the important point is that it should not strengthen public perception that Pakistan is pursuing Washington's agenda.

The serious fall out of war on terrorism for Pakistan as an ideological state has been identifying it with conservative Islam that the Western countries believe is responsible for waging war of terrorism. The West is interested to prolong the war and fight it out more or less on the same scale and with similar vengeance as it fought communism during the post World War-II era. It is ironic that the West sees practically no threat to national security of Pakistan. The West on the contrary sees a threat from Pakistan to itself and to other countries because it believes that Pakistan is the breeding ground of militants who are willing to go to any extent to pursue their agenda. It does not want to have a profound look at the causes that are basically Western foreign policy decisions in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and Middle East that have turned many against the West with vengeance. The Western countries in general and the US in particular need to review their policies on the issues that concern these countries. The policy of dominating the Muslim world by force and through proxy governments because it is oil rich should be done away with. The West should allow genuine democracies to take roots in the Muslim world and should encourage practically instead of simply paying lip service.

Defining one country-specific national security imperatives, for Pakistan, was comparatively easy during first the five decades of its existence than defining security imperatives in the backdrop of existing ground realities. Existing environments demand analysing and defining national security imperatives in broad national, regional and global perspective. They have to be encompassing. Narrow band security imperatives driven by military inputs alone or war on terrorism would hardly suffice.

 Back to TOP  
 

Message
Chief of the Air Staff's order of the day on 23rd March, 2008


1. It gives me immense pleasure to extend my heartiest greetings to all my countrymen and women on the anniversary of Pakistan Day. It was on this historic day, 68 years ago, that the Muslims of the subcontinent unanimously passed a resolution for an independent country, where they could live in accordance with their wishes and aspirations. Soon thereafter, they launched a struggle under the inspiring leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and despite numerous hardships, succeeded in transforming their dream into a reality.

2. Today, the challenges that we, as a Muslim state, have to contend with are innumerable. While Islam is a universal religion of peace, amity and tolerance, certain elements with confounded perception have been portraying it in negative colours; thereby, tarnishing the good image of the religion. As Muslims, we need to stay away from such parochial prejudices and remain united and steadfast in our resolve to build an enlightened, forward-looking and tolerant Islamic state.

3. On the auspicious occasion of Pakistan Day, I wish to assure my countrymen that Pakistan Air Force is fully geared up to discharge its national obligations. Being the guardians of the country's aerial frontiers, the personnel of Pakistan Air Force, imbued with the spirit of sacrifice, are determined to focus their energies on achieving the assigned mission. May Allah Almighty guide our endeavors and enable us to defend our motherland, in line with the wishes of the people of Pakistan! Aameen.

                                                                                                                                       Back to TOP

Judiciary versus President A case for constitutional survival
By Huzaima Bukhari & Dr Ikramul Haq 

History marks the destinies of men but rarely is the case the other way. In August 1947, when two nation states gulped their first breath of freedom, history was made. Several forces were in motion for a long period of time converging at that moment and several men toiled and died to accomplish what the subcontinent achieved that midnight, but none of them shaped the face of that actualisation as radically as one man. He almost exclusively led a colossal multitude of populace, of diverse cultures, with striking disparities of language and tastes and chronically prone to internal power struggles, and unified them under the banner of their religion - his religion, Islam. Religion might be the only thing common between him and the men he led, but Mr Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the father of Pakistan, the Quaid-e-Azam, gave them the earthly glory promised in the holy Quran and in the process, altered the entire course of history of the subcontinent for decades to come.Since then the politics of Pakistan has seen a million up and downs, from the rise and fall of dictators to the formation of political alliances between various political parties .

On March 10, 2008, in the wake of historic Murree Declaration signed between Nawaz Sahrif and Asif Zardari, Pervez Musharraf, self-styled-unconstitutionally-imposed President, on the advice of his legal team, challenged their pledge of reinstatement of deposed judges within 30 days of formation of the federal government. The allies of dictator reportedly convinced him that his extra-constitutional action (which he himself confessed as unlawful) of November 3, 2007 had "comprehensive constitutional cover and could not be reversed by a simple National Assembly resolution". Legally speaking, their assertion is fallacious, untenable, indefensible and based on self-assumed interpretation of established principles of constitutional principles. Morally, it is reflective of complete bankruptcy. Politically, it amounts to disrespecting and denying the mandate of people given by them unequivocally and unambiguously in general elections held on February 18, 2008, a historic day in the history of Pakistan.

Musharraf has been making lip service regarding establishing "democracy" and ensuring political stability as his top priority, but the fact remains that he is inclined and determined to wage a war with the newly elected parliament if it restores the deposed judges. He has said, "I'm looking forward to work with the new government for full five years", but never bothered to ascertain whether the new parliament also possesses the same desire. Can he unilaterally take such a decision? Should he impose himself on a parliament whose vote of confidence he can never win? Whenever he has been asked about people's demand to step down, he says, "Question does not arise"!

In the wake of the King's Party humiliating defeat, there is a consensus among political circles that the mandate given by the people of Pakistan should be respected, through the restoration of the pre-November 3, 2007 judiciary. The political will shown by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) in Murree on March 9, 2007 and a large number of independent election winners, who have agreed to cooperate with each other in the National Assembly for this purpose, has posed a serious challenge to Musharraf and his associates.

The proponents of the status quo and supporters of Musharraf are of the view that in the presence of the Supreme Court's judgment in Tika Iqbal Muhammad Khan v General Pervez Musharraf and two others PLD 2008 Supreme Court 6 and dismissal of review petition against it, validating the Proclamation of Emergency declared by Chief of the Army Staff Gen Pervez Musharraf on November 3, 2007, the deposed judges cannot be restored even by the new parliament unless constitution is amended by a two-third majority in both the houses.

On the other hand, the opponents of Musharraf insist that since the Proclamation of Emergency Order of November 3, 2007, by the then-Chief of Army Staff was declared unconstitutional by seven-member bench of Apex Court, all subsequent actions are void ab initio and reinstatement of deposed judges can be made through an executive order implementing the said decision. In their view, the subsequent two orders -- the Provisional Constitution Order No 1, 2007, and the Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007 has no legal binding, being ultra vires of the constitution. Since the new parliament, meeting on March 17, 2008, will not validate constitution (Amendment) Order, 2007, the cause behind the Supreme Court's judgment, relied upon by the President Camp, would become inoperative, paving the way for the restoration of the pre-November 3, 2007 judiciary through an executive order alone.

Musharraf and his allies know that any amendment in the constitution through a two-thirds majority in the parliament will be a difficult proposition. The lawyers community is of the view that even if Musharraf's opponents manage to muster two-third support for any such amendment, it would amount to endorsing unlawful actions of an individual and in future any Army Chief could dismiss parliament and judiciary.

People of Pakistan are now determined to resist any subversion of constitution by any Army Chief. The Musharraf era, they have voted, to end now. In these circumstances, for the restoration of constitutionalism in Pakistan, people will file and fight a case 'Judiciary v President' in the Supreme Court. The will of the people alone can establish a free and independent judiciary and force Musharraf to step down. Since the two leading parties have resolved to reinstate the deposed judges within 30 days of the formation of the federal government, Musharraf and his associates may try to take the matter to present the Supreme Court, which experts believe is working in violation of judgement of 7-member bench delivered on 3rd November 2007.

In view of the hierarchical character of the judicial system in Pakistan, it is of paramount importance that the law declared by courts should be certain, clear and consistent. It is an established fact that most decisions of the courts are of significance, not merely because they constitute adjudication on rights of parties and resolve disputes between them, but a fortiori in doing so they embody a declaration of law, operating as a binding principle (stare decisis) in future cases.

In the constitution of Pakistan, the doctrine of stare decisis is reflected in Article 189 and 201, which reads as under:
"189. Any decision of the Supreme Court shall, to the extent that it decides a question of law or is based upon or enunciates a principle of law, be binding on all other courts in Pakistan."

"201. Subject to Article 189, any decision of a High Court shall, to the extent that it decides a question of law or is based upon or enunciates a principle of law, be binding on all courts subordinate to it."

Since the doctrine of stare decisis has constitutional backing, it needs to be implemented in letter and spirit. Any violation of this rule will amount to violation of the supreme law of the land. In the light of above explicit provisions, it can be safely concluded that an important element of our legal system is that the reasoning and decisions found in preceding cases are not simply considered with respect or as good guide, but are binding. This is known as the principle of stare rationibus decidendis; popularly referred to as stare decisis. It translates simply as 'let the decision stand'. Stare rationibus decidendis is the more accurate statement because, it is the reasoning (rationibus) that is the vital binding element in judicial precedent.

There exists one exception to the rule of stare decisis i.e. a per incuriam judgement is not binding on it. A decision is per incuriam when the court has acted in ignorance of a previous decision of its own or of a court of co-ordinate jurisdiction which covered the case before it, in which case it must decide, which case to follow or when it has acted in ignorance of decisions of higher courts, which are binding; or when the decision is given in ignorance of the term of a statute or rule having statutory force.

The Supreme Court in Criminal Review Petition No. 44 of 2003 (On review from the judgment/order dated 08.05.2003 passed in Cr. Misc. Appeal No.27 of 2001) explained "a decision would be treated as given per incuriam when it is given in ignorance of term of statute, or a rule having the force of law". Earlier, the apex court in the case of Province of the Punjab v Dr S. Muhammad Zafar Bukhari (PLD 1997 SC 351) elaborated this principle in great detail and cited the same while declaring it's own judgment per incuriam in the above-referred case. In this background, Para 4(vi) of the apex court judgement in the case of Tika Iqbal Muhammad Khan vs General Pervez Musharraf and 2 others (PLD 2008 Supreme Court 6) holding that judges who were not given or refused to take oath under the Oath of Office (Judges) Order 2007 "have ceased to hold their respective office on the 3rd of November 2007" is per incuriam judgement having no binding force inter alia for the following:

1. The observation that Chief of Army Staff was competent to issue Proclamation of Emergency of the 3rd day of November 2007 is made without citing the language of Article 232 of the constitution, which gives exclusive powers to the President of Pakistan to take any such measure. Thus the judgement was given in ignorance of Article 232 of the constitution of Pakistan and is undisputedly per incuriam as decided by the apex court in PLD 1997 SC 351.

2. On one hand, it has been recoded in the order that "Prime Minister apprised the President of the situation through the letter of 3rd November 2007" for imposition of emergency, and on the other order passed by the Chief of Army Staff was approved. It has not been elaborated under what authority of law Chief of Army Staff interfered in the matters relating to imposition of emergency. This renders the judgement per incuriam.

3. It is held that "the situation which led to the issuance of Proclamation of Emergency of the 3rd day of November 2007 as well as two Orders, referred to above, was similar to the situation which prevailed in the country on the 5th of July, 1977 and the 12th of October 1999 warranting the extra-constitutional steps". The two acts, namely, Provisional Constitution Order No.1 of 2007 and Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007, issued by the Chief of Army Staff were prima facie ultra vires of constitution and wrong comparison was made with situations on 5th July 1979 and 12 October 1999 when martial laws were. Hence order on the face of it is per incuriam.

4. It is held that judges who "who have not been given, and who have not made, oath under the Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007, have ceased to hold their offices on the 3rd day of November, 2007. Their case cannot be reopened being hit by the doctrine of past and closed transaction." Since the Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007 is not valid law any proceedings taken in pursuance of the same is void ab initio. There is no way other way except the one provided in Article 209 of the constitution to remove any judge of Supreme Court or a High Court. The judgement given in ignorance of Article 209 is per incuriam.

Since the judgement of apex court is per incuriam, the reinstatement of judges, deposed through a law violative of express provisions of the constitution, poses no problem. As soon as the new government is installed and deposed judges are reinstated by implementing the seven-member judgement of 3rd November 2006, a review petition will be filed in the Supreme Court praying to declare PLD 2008 Supreme Court 6 a per incuriam judgement given in ignorance of the term of a statute and rules having statutory force and in violation of verdict of seven-member bench declaring imposition of emergency by the Army Chief unlawful. A full bench of the Supreme Court, after the reinstatement of deposed judges, can declare PLD 2008 Supreme Court 6 a per incuriam judgement. Even otherwise, since the newly-elected parliament is not going to validate Article 270AAA, the judgement of Supreme Court in Tika Iqbal Muhammad Khan v General Pervez Musharraf and 2 others (PLD 2008 Supreme Court 6) will automatically become ineffective as held in 2005 PTD 2286 [Para T, Page2334] holding that where basis of a judgement is removed by the Legislature, the order of even the Supreme Court has no bearing.

There is no need for any constitutional amendment, for which two-third majority is required, as propounded by Malik Qayyum et al. The matter is of simple legal nature and should be solved through a legal procedure rather than entering into political polemics and undue controversies. This will not be the first time that the apex court will declare its earlier judgement per incuriam, there are numerous precedents available. The Supreme Court after reinstatement of deposed judges will certainly take cognizance of the matter suo moto or on the initiation of aggrieved party (which is public at large) to correct the mistake.

It will restore the rule of law in its real sense in the country. All the (deposed) judges are still judges as action of 3rd November was coram non-judice. The must assume their offices immediately, but in no case later than 17th March 2008. They do not need any support of executive or parliament. On the contrary, in terms of Article 190 of constitution all executive and judicial authorities throughout Pakistan are legally required to act in the aid of Supreme Court. Thus, the new government will be duty bound to implement the order of seven-members bench of apex court of 3rd November 2007. There is no justification to wait for 30 days. The pre 3rd-November judges who refused to take oath under unlawful order of Musharraf should assume work on 17th March 2008, if not earlier, and members of Parliament should as acknowledgement of mandate of people march up to the building of apex court after taking oath to show respect for rule of law and constitutional supremacy.

The judiciary must be independent in its real sense, but at the same time, it ought to admit its own wrongdoings of the past supporting unconstitutional acts of usurpers of power. This time they should invoke Article 6 so that in future nobody dares to subvert the supreme law of land. Such a decision will go a long way to start a new era of independent and strong judiciary, rule of law and constitutionalism in Pakistan. All the organs of the State need to remember that it is always the constitution that represents the will of people, and not the legislature. There is a wrong notion in Pakistan that the Parliament is above everything and all other organs are subservient to its will. The newly elected parliamentarians should work for the supremacy of constitution in the country and all the organs must discharge their functions within the parameters and powers given by the supreme law of the land. This is the only way to sustain democracy, establish responsible government and protect the rights of masses guaranteed in the constitution.

Dispensation of justice is the main pillar of democracy. The legislature, in fact, exercises delegated powers given by the mandate of people within the framework of the constitution, which should not be distorted or mutilated by the elected representatives, let alone by an individual usurping power through unconstitutional means. The judiciary should be the custodian of constitution and must never in future condone its violation, subversion or mutilation at any cost by anybody, parliament, executive or the men with guns.
                                                                                                                                       Back to TOP

From vision to reality

On March 23, 1940 the Muslims of the subcontinent resolved to establish Pakistan. The decision was not taken in haste nor precipitated by a sudden, dramatic turn of events.Hindus and Muslims had lived in India for centuries but had remained two distinctly different cultural entities presenting marked dissimilarities that neither time nor assimilative forces could erase. They were like two streams running a parallel course. So manifest and so profound were the differences that the London Times, commenting on the Government of India Act of 1935, had to ungrudgingly concede: 'Undoubtedly the difference between the Hindus and Muslims is not of religion in the strict sense of the word but also of laws and culture, that they may be said indeed to represent two entirely distinct and separate civilizations.'

This incontrovertible realisation found a more convincing elucidation in the words of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah: 'Notwithstanding thousand years of close contact, nationalities which are as divergent today as ever, cannot at any time be expected to transform themselves into one nation merely by mean of subjecting them to a democratic constitution and holding them forcibly together by unnatural and artificial methods of British Parliamentary Statutes.'

The background of Pakistan Resolution is such that in 1937, provincial autonomy was introduced in the Sub-continent under the Government of India Act, 1935. The elections of 1937 provided the Congress with a majority in six provinces, where Congress governments were formed. This led to the political, social, economic and cultural suppression of the Muslims in the Congress ruled provinces.

The Congress contemptuously rejected the Muslim League's offer of forming coalition ministries. The Muslims were subjected not only to physical attacks but injustice and discriminatory treatment as regards civil liberties, economic measures and employment and educational opportunities. The Congress Ministries introduced the Wardha scheme of education, the object of which was to de- Muslimise the Muslim youth and children.

Ian Stephens, former editor of the newspaper' Statesman ' and an eyewitness to the working of the Congress Ministries, says: "The effect of this simultaneously on many Muslim minds was of a lightning flash. What had before been but guessed at now leapt forth in horridly clear outline. The Congress, a Hindi-dominated body, was bent on the eventual absorption; Westem-style majority rult?, in an undivided sub- continent, could only mean the smaller community being swallowed by the larger."

The animosity shown by the Hindus to the Muslim and their own experience of two-and-a-half year Congress rule strengthened the Muslims belief in their separate nationality. The discriminatory attitude coupled with attempts by the Hindu dominated Congress to suppress the Muslims impelled the Muslims to finally demand a separate sovereign state for the Muslims.

However, the Muslim demand was violently opposed both by the British and the Hindus; and the Congress attitude towards the Muslims led to the hardening of the Muslims belief that only a separate homeland -Pakistan -can guarantee their freedom. This demand was put in black and white on 23rd March, 1940.

However the path to independence and separate nationhood was strewn with a multiplying myriad of problems. First and foremost was the claim to nationhood vehemently contested by the Congress stalwarts and their supporters. How could a community of converts claim itself to be a nation? Gandhiji posed the question as he ridiculed the Muslim League's claim to independent nationhood. The Quaid was quick to furnish the answer: "Mussalmans are a nation according to any definition of a nation, and they must have their homeland, their territory and their state...
"The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs, literature. They neither intermarry, nor interdine together and, indeed they belong to two different civilisations, which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their aspects on life and of life are different. It is quite clear that Hindus and Mussalmans derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics, different heroes and different episodes. Very often the hero of one is a foe of the other and, likewise their victories and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a state..."

After adoption of the Pakistan Resolution, Quaid-e-Azam had a clear objective before him and he struggled hard to achieve it. In one of the meetings, he said: "We are a Nation of a hundred million and what is more, we are a Nation with our distinct culture and civilization, language and literature, art and architecture, legal laws and moral codes, customs and calendar, history and traditions, aptitudes and ambitions. In short, as Muslims we have our own distinctive outlook on life". He further said that by all cannons of international laws, we are a nation.

In 1945, Quaid-e-Azam proclaimed that only Muslim League represented the Muslims, and proved it to the hilt during 1946 polls, winning 100 per cent seats at the Centre, and 80 per cent in the provinces. Nothing could have been more conclusive to shatter the Congress claim of being a national body. If the British had read the writing on the wall in this verdict, Pakistan could have come into existence two years earlier without bloodshed.

With his charismatic personal Quaid-e-Azam turned the dream of a separate homeland into reality on 14th of August 1947. Thanks to the Quaid's unwavering leadership and untiring efforts, Pakistan was transformed from an ideal into a reality in a short span of time. In 1947, seven years after the passage of the historic Pakistan Day Resolution at Lahore, the world witnessed the emergence of the largest Muslim state.

Back to TOP

One nation, one pride: Pakistan
By Desiree N Francis

I truly believe that all Pakistanis, including myself, owe a mountain of debt and gratitude to Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah for giving us this nation. Having said that, though, I would also want to venture a bit further to say that while it was (and still is) our solemn duty to establish the Pakistan of Quaid's dreams in 1947, it is perhaps time now to re-evaluate that aspiration and take a more realistic view of our circumstances.

In the intervening 60 years, the reality of Pakistan's politics and society has turned out to be everything but Quaid's dream. We, as a nation and as people, have wandered around aimlessly looking for an identity and a reason for our existence. However, our quest to find our destiny has often been hijacked by unscrupulous elements lending us with their own versions of Quaid's dream.

Quaid's message to the nation was "search your hearts and see whether you have done your part in the construction of the new and mighty state. It is now up to you to work, work and work and we are bound to succeed. And never forget our motto, Faith, Unity and Discipline."

I really do wish each one of us could ask ourselves if we have really honestly contributed in the development of our nation. Have we really done our part?

Yes, we have done our parts in forming garbage dumps on the road, we have done our parts in burning tyres and creating chaos in our city, towns, streets.

I don't claim to know what the Quaid's vision of Pakistan really was. But I do know this, that above everything else, the Quaid would have wanted us, all Pakistanis, to live in peace & harmony and would have been happy if we could decide for ourselves, today, how we want to live our lives.Quaid stated "Peace within and peace without" as the goal of Pakistan's policy.

He declared that Pakistan wished to live in peace and to maintain cordial and friendly relations with the world at large, and that it had no aggressive designs against anyone.

Far too often in the past, we have let the best become the enemy of the good with the result that in our desire to create the ideal Pakistan-the Quaid's Pakistan-we have ended up losing an opportunity to create a "good enough" Pakistan-a Pakistan that works for most of us. What Pakistan was supposed to be 60 years ago, never materialised in the first place. But it does certainly matter what we can make of it today, and it is our greatest duty to make the best of what we have. Learning about Pakistan's history and what the Quaid thought and did, and why he did it, is an important input into the process but the ultimate choice of what Pakistan needs to be rests with all of us, the people of Pakistan.

Ultimately, Pakistan should be what it's people want it to be and would be most comfortable living with, and not what an opportunist religious or political leader would like us to believe what it must be. In a very peculiar way, I have complete faith in the wisdom of the Pakistani people. Well, no matter how uneducated they may be, they do know what is best for them. The only unfortunate thing is that they don't want to do what is best for Pakistan because they don't feel Pakistan is part of them.Jinnah gave us a message of hope, courage and confidence, asking us to mobilise all our resources in a systematic and organised way and tackle the grave issues that confront us with grim determination and discipline worthy of a great nation.
According to Jinnah, religion had "nothing to do with the business of the State." While Iqbal believed that Islam itself was no less a polity, Jinnah declared to his listeners, "If you change your past and work together in a spirit that everyone of you, no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his colour, caste or creed, 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 should work with this spirit of the Quaid and after a certain period of time has past, we will see that Muslims will cease to be Muslims, Hindus will cease to be Hindus, Christians will cease to be Christians, not in the religious sense of course, but in the political sense. When there will be no divisions of cast or creed but only one Nation, one pride, Pakistan.

Back to TOP
Pakistan Movement and the Challenge Today

While there are many reasons for Pakistanis to complain and express their despair, maybe one thing we could all celebrate about on this year's Pakistan Day is the rise in Pakistan's literacy rate. Yes, despite the tightening of educational resources in Pakistan, the extraordinary voluntary efforts of concerned Pakistanis, as well as the human development programs have resulted in the highest growth in Pakistan's literacy rate in a decade.

Nations celebrate national days to rejoice and celebrate the fruits of freedom and progress. On March 23rd, also known as the Pakistan Day, every year, Pakistanis commemorate the Pakistan Resolution, which was passed in 1940 in Lahore. However, at this critical juncture of our checkered history, we must pause to assess our achievements and reflect on the missed opportunities dispassionately.

Pakistan Day is certainly a time for every Pakistani to review the rich and dynamic history of Pakistan. Muslims in India were not an occupying force as the Hindu fundamentalist government of India is trying to depict in its revision of history, which is being protested by all historians in India. Waves of people came to India along with the Aryans who brought features of Hinduism with them. Among these waves were some Central Asians, who, like the Aryans before them, settled down, married, declared the place their country, contributed and died in India. The name India itself is an English version of the Arabic word Hind for India. With hundreds of years worth of heritage when Muslims failed to defend India from Europeans, it was the beginning of problems for South Asia's Muslim population.

For 500 years, India witnessed a tolerant Muslim rule, under which economic prosperity, educational reforms and relative racial equality were a norm. However, as the British East India Company took over India by the mid-nineteenth century, masses of Muslim-owned agricultural and commercial lands were annexed and multitudes of Muslim professionals, elites, and officers were dismissed from government positions. While the Hindus were promoted, the Muslims of India were ignored and reduced to second-class citizens. A comprehensive analysis of the state of Muslims under British rule is documented by a British author, William Hunter, in his monumental work, Indian Musalman, published in 1871, in which he explains, "Now all sorts of employment, high or low, great or small are being gradually snatched away from the Mohammedans [Muslims], and given to other races particularly Hindus. They are reduced to Bahistee, wood cutters, peons or pen menders in offices."

This biased treatment of the British against Muslims, along with Hindu chauvinism, gave rise to Muslims' demand for proportionate representation in government jobs and electoral seats. The constant opposition of Hindus for minority rights and the worsening prejudiced treatment of Muslims germinated the Pakistan Movement and the Two-Nations Theory. One response surfaced in the form of the All-India Muslim League, founded in 1906, in Dhaka, which served to protect and advance the political rights of the Muslims of India. Hindu nationalists, however, heavily promoted the name of Pakistan, before even Muslims adopted it as their goal.

By the 1930s and 1940s, the Muslims of India and the leaders of Muslim League realised that while politically their very existence and survival in Hindu-led independent India would be perilous from a cultural and social standpoint, it foreshadowed their gradual extinction. This was a real fear which, running through their rank, fuelled and intensified the Pakistan Movement.

As the poet-philosopher Muhammad Iqbal states in his presidential address of the Muslim League at Allahabad in 1930: "The formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Muslim State appears to me to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of North West India...The life of Islam as a cultural force in this country very largely depends on its centralisation in a specified territory."
The approach of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal towards Indian Muslim freedom was deeply rooted in pragmatism - it was embedded, on the one hand, in universally accepted democratic and constitutional norms and, on the other, it represented the inalienable right of Muslims to statehood in areas where they excelled in numerical strength. The claim of Muslims to nationhood was an expression of both truth and reality of the situation.

The Pakistan Resolution of March 23rd, 1940, signified the peak of a long trailing freedom struggle of 100 million Muslims of South Asia, as well as a focal point of their destiny - Pakistan. This resolution, which was presented by Maulvi Abul Kasim Fazlul Haq, Premier of Bengal, demanded that the Muslim-majority areas in the Northwestern and Eastern zones of India should be grouped to constitute independent states, using a confederatory model, in which the constituent units should be autonomous and sovereign.
In a moment of enthusiasm, the resolution was later amended to ask for one country instead of a federation. However, Bangladesh movement succeeded in achieving what the Muslim leadership in South Asia originally wanted. One only wishes that was all accomplished through peaceful dialog instead of warfare.

Despite its meager resources, Pakistan and the idea of Pakistan have survived more than half a century despite the prediction by the Indian leadership at the time of independence that in a few years, Pakistan would be begging to join India. Hundreds and thousands of Muslims throughout India, Bangladesh, Burma and Afghanistan voted with their feet by migrating to Pakistan. On the ideological front, it symbolised Muslims' aspiration to develop a sanctuary where they could shape their lives in conformity with the principles postulated by Islam. As Quaid-e-Azam once emphasised, "Islam is not only a set of rituals, traditions and spiritual doctrine, it is a code for every Muslim, which regulated his life and his conduct - all aspects; social, political, economic etc. It is based on the highest principles of honor, integrity, fair play and justice for all."

Although the constitution of Pakistan has undergone a number of amendments, the ideology of Pakistan has survived in the preamble to the country's constitution. Pakistan was a milestone in the Pakistan movement, but the struggle continues until its ideals are achieved for all Pakistanis.

Back to TOP

23rd March: A Fateful Day

It was 23rd March when a historic Resolution - widely known as 'Lahore Resolution' - was passed.The Resolution cast off the concept of United India and recommended the creation of an independent Muslim state consisting of Punjab, NWFP, Sindh and Baluchistan in the northwest, and Bengal and Assam in the northeast. The Resolution was seconded by Maulana Zafar Ali Khan from Punjab, Sardar Aurangzeb from the NWFP, Sir Abdullah Haroon from Sindh, and Qazi Esa from Baluchistan, along with many others.

It laid down only the principles, with the details left to be worked out at a future date. It was made a part of All India Muslim League's constitution in 1941. More importantly, it was on the basis of this resolution that in 1946 the Muslim League decided to go for one "maverick" state for the Muslims, instead of two.
Having passed the Pakistan Resolution, the Muslims of India altered their ultimate goal. They set out on a path whose destination was a separate homeland for the Muslims of India, in lieu of seeking union with the Hindu community.
Different participating leaders of the session of All-India Muslim League held on March 23, 1940, including the Quaid-i-Azam, agreed that India was never united; rather it was split between Muslim India and Hindu India and it would remain so in the future. The entire outlooks, customs and traditions of civilisations of these two different nations were different anyway. They were different not only in their religious beliefs, but their entire mode of life bore a different imprint.

The words of the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in his presidential address to the session carried a far deeper impression on the oppressed and demoralised Muslims at the hands of ruthless and undemocratic Congress rule. Mr Jinnah said: "The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs and literature. They neither intermarry nor inter-dine together, and indeed they belong to two different civilisations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions."

Such a far-reaching speech by Mr Jinnah paved the way for the demand of a separate independent homeland for the exploited Muslims of India, who believed their rights and privileges could not be guarded under a parliamentary form of government. They also realised that the bloody brutes of the majority without any democratic traditions turned the Hindu rulers tyrannical in their behaviour and due to missing of any administrative experience they acted in a way that could be unacceptable in a democratic society.

One of the key demands made in the Pakistan resolution moved by chief minister of Bengal Maulvi Fazl-ul-Haq on March 23, 1940, was that no constitutional plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to the Muslims unless it was framed on the followed basic principles.

That geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions, which should be constituted with such territorial readjustments as, may be necessary.

That the areas wherein the Muslims form majority as in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India be grouped together to constituted 'independent States' in which the constituted units shall be autonomous and sovereign.
That adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards be specially provided in the constitution for minorities in these units and in the regions for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political administrative and other rights of interests in consultation with them and in other parts of India where the Muslims form minority.

Having analysed the crux of the resolution, one comes to a conclusion as to it (the resolution) laid emphasis on a necessity of separate Muslim-state for the Muslims of India by grouping the North-Western and Eastern zones of India where they were in majority, constitutional protection to minorities and their rights-cum-interests.
Passing of the Lahore Resolution, which was dubbed by the Hindu and the British press as 'The Pakistan Resolution', ended in a great hue and cry in the Hindu, Sikh and British circles. The Indian press found a new target to incessantly make evil designs and unfurl campaigns against the Muslims and leaders of the Muslim League.

Gandhi declared that partition would mean suicide and the Two-Nation Theory was an unreality. The vast majority of Muslims of India area concerts to Islam or are the descendents of the converts. In consequence, they did not make a separate nation as soon as they become converts, he maintained.

Others who flatly opposed the Lahore Resolution were Raj Gopal Achari, B R Ambedkar, Master Tara Singh, Nationalist Muslim group.

On the other hand, the resolution was massively bolstered by many other noted leaders representing different provinces of India, who unanimously adopted it. Sindh too lead, which passed a resolution for Pakistan.
Till now, the resolution is deemed to be the quintessence of goal-orientation of untiring and unfailing struggle of Indian Muslims, dating back to 1857. One of the major impacts of the resolution was that under the leadership of towering personality in Mr Jinnah not only it did stimulate the Muslim middle classes to unprecedented political action, but also it caught the imagination of the people of all classes of Muslim community

It was the resolution, which made the Muslims of India discern their own destiny and spelled out destination and itinerary of action for them to a separate Muslim-state.

After the downfall of Muslim empire, it was first time that the resolution proved a 'line of direction' for drifting Muslims. The resolution not only injected new blood into the veins of the Indian Muslims to speed up their struggle to their destiny, but also rejuvenated their slow-down political activity for self-determination in the areas where they made a numerical majority.

Back to TOP

23rd March: A Fateful Day

It was 23rd March when a historic Resolution - widely known as 'Lahore Resolution' - was passed.The Resolution cast off the concept of United India and recommended the creation of an independent Muslim state consisting of Punjab, NWFP, Sindh and Baluchistan in the northwest, and Bengal and Assam in the northeast. The Resolution was seconded by Maulana Zafar Ali Khan from Punjab, Sardar Aurangzeb from the NWFP, Sir Abdullah Haroon from Sindh, and Qazi Esa from Baluchistan, along with many others.

It laid down only the principles, with the details left to be worked out at a future date. It was made a part of All India Muslim League's constitution in 1941. More importantly, it was on the basis of this resolution that in 1946 the Muslim League decided to go for one "maverick" state for the Muslims, instead of two.
Having passed the Pakistan Resolution, the Muslims of India altered their ultimate goal. They set out on a path whose destination was a separate homeland for the Muslims of India, in lieu of seeking union with the Hindu community.
Different participating leaders of the session of All-India Muslim League held on March 23, 1940, including the Quaid-i-Azam, agreed that India was never united; rather it was split between Muslim India and Hindu India and it would remain so in the future. The entire outlooks, customs and traditions of civilisations of these two different nations were different anyway. They were different not only in their religious beliefs, but their entire mode of life bore a different imprint.

The words of the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in his presidential address to the session carried a far deeper impression on the oppressed and demoralised Muslims at the hands of ruthless and undemocratic Congress rule. Mr Jinnah said: "The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs and literature. They neither intermarry nor inter-dine together, and indeed they belong to two different civilisations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions."

Such a far-reaching speech by Mr Jinnah paved the way for the demand of a separate independent homeland for the exploited Muslims of India, who believed their rights and privileges could not be guarded under a parliamentary form of government. They also realised that the bloody brutes of the majority without any democratic traditions turned the Hindu rulers tyrannical in their behaviour and due to missing of any administrative experience they acted in a way that could be unacceptable in a democratic society.

One of the key demands made in the Pakistan resolution moved by chief minister of Bengal Maulvi Fazl-ul-Haq on March 23, 1940, was that no constitutional plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to the Muslims unless it was framed on the followed basic principles.

That geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions, which should be constituted with such territorial readjustments as, may be necessary.

That the areas wherein the Muslims form majority as in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India be grouped together to constituted 'independent States' in which the constituted units shall be autonomous and sovereign.
That adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards be specially provided in the constitution for minorities in these units and in the regions for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political administrative and other rights of interests in consultation with them and in other parts of India where the Muslims form minority.

Having analysed the crux of the resolution, one comes to a conclusion as to it (the resolution) laid emphasis on a necessity of separate Muslim-state for the Muslims of India by grouping the North-Western and Eastern zones of India where they were in majority, constitutional protection to minorities and their rights-cum-interests.
Passing of the Lahore Resolution, which was dubbed by the Hindu and the British press as 'The Pakistan Resolution', ended in a great hue and cry in the Hindu, Sikh and British circles. The Indian press found a new target to incessantly make evil designs and unfurl campaigns against the Muslims and leaders of the Muslim League.

Gandhi declared that partition would mean suicide and the Two-Nation Theory was an unreality. The vast majority of Muslims of India area concerts to Islam or are the descendents of the converts. In consequence, they did not make a separate nation as soon as they become converts, he maintained.

Others who flatly opposed the Lahore Resolution were Raj Gopal Achari, B R Ambedkar, Master Tara Singh, Nationalist Muslim group.

On the other hand, the resolution was massively bolstered by many other noted leaders representing different provinces of India, who unanimously adopted it. Sindh too lead, which passed a resolution for Pakistan.
Till now, the resolution is deemed to be the quintessence of goal-orientation of untiring and unfailing struggle of Indian Muslims, dating back to 1857. One of the major impacts of the resolution was that under the leadership of towering personality in Mr Jinnah not only it did stimulate the Muslim middle classes to unprecedented political action, but also it caught the imagination of the people of all classes of Muslim community

It was the resolution, which made the Muslims of India discern their own destiny and spelled out destination and itinerary of action for them to a separate Muslim-state.

After the downfall of Muslim empire, it was first time that the resolution proved a 'line of direction' for drifting Muslims. The resolution not only injected new blood into the veins of the Indian Muslims to speed up their struggle to their destiny, but also rejuvenated their slow-down political activity for self-determination in the areas where they made a numerical majority.

Back to TOP

23rd March: A Fateful Day

It was 23rd March when a historic Resolution - widely known as 'Lahore Resolution' - was passed.The Resolution cast off the concept of United India and recommended the creation of an independent Muslim state consisting of Punjab, NWFP, Sindh and Baluchistan in the northwest, and Bengal and Assam in the northeast. The Resolution was seconded by Maulana Zafar Ali Khan from Punjab, Sardar Aurangzeb from the NWFP, Sir Abdullah Haroon from Sindh, and Qazi Esa from Baluchistan, along with many others.

It laid down only the principles, with the details left to be worked out at a future date. It was made a part of All India Muslim League's constitution in 1941. More importantly, it was on the basis of this resolution that in 1946 the Muslim League decided to go for one "maverick" state for the Muslims, instead of two.
Having passed the Pakistan Resolution, the Muslims of India altered their ultimate goal. They set out on a path whose destination was a separate homeland for the Muslims of India, in lieu of seeking union with the Hindu community.
Different participating leaders of the session of All-India Muslim League held on March 23, 1940, including the Quaid-i-Azam, agreed that India was never united; rather it was split between Muslim India and Hindu India and it would remain so in the future. The entire outlooks, customs and traditions of civilisations of these two different nations were different anyway. They were different not only in their religious beliefs, but their entire mode of life bore a different imprint.

The words of the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in his presidential address to the session carried a far deeper impression on the oppressed and demoralised Muslims at the hands of ruthless and undemocratic Congress rule. Mr Jinnah said: "The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs and literature. They neither intermarry nor inter-dine together, and indeed they belong to two different civilisations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions."

Such a far-reaching speech by Mr Jinnah paved the way for the demand of a separate independent homeland for the exploited Muslims of India, who believed their rights and privileges could not be guarded under a parliamentary form of government. They also realised that the bloody brutes of the majority without any democratic traditions turned the Hindu rulers tyrannical in their behaviour and due to missing of any administrative experience they acted in a way that could be unacceptable in a democratic society.

One of the key demands made in the Pakistan resolution moved by chief minister of Bengal Maulvi Fazl-ul-Haq on March 23, 1940, was that no constitutional plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to the Muslims unless it was framed on the followed basic principles.

That geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions, which should be constituted with such territorial readjustments as, may be necessary.

That the areas wherein the Muslims form majority as in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India be grouped together to constituted 'independent States' in which the constituted units shall be autonomous and sovereign.
That adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards be specially provided in the constitution for minorities in these units and in the regions for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political administrative and other rights of interests in consultation with them and in other parts of India where the Muslims form minority.

Having analysed the crux of the resolution, one comes to a conclusion as to it (the resolution) laid emphasis on a necessity of separate Muslim-state for the Muslims of India by grouping the North-Western and Eastern zones of India where they were in majority, constitutional protection to minorities and their rights-cum-interests.
Passing of the Lahore Resolution, which was dubbed by the Hindu and the British press as 'The Pakistan Resolution', ended in a great hue and cry in the Hindu, Sikh and British circles. The Indian press found a new target to incessantly make evil designs and unfurl campaigns against the Muslims and leaders of the Muslim League.

Gandhi declared that partition would mean suicide and the Two-Nation Theory was an unreality. The vast majority of Muslims of India area concerts to Islam or are the descendents of the converts. In consequence, they did not make a separate nation as soon as they become converts, he maintained.

Others who flatly opposed the Lahore Resolution were Raj Gopal Achari, B R Ambedkar, Master Tara Singh, Nationalist Muslim group.

On the other hand, the resolution was massively bolstered by many other noted leaders representing different provinces of India, who unanimously adopted it. Sindh too lead, which passed a resolution for Pakistan.
Till now, the resolution is deemed to be the quintessence of goal-orientation of untiring and unfailing struggle of Indian Muslims, dating back to 1857. One of the major impacts of the resolution was that under the leadership of towering personality in Mr Jinnah not only it did stimulate the Muslim middle classes to unprecedented political action, but also it caught the imagination of the people of all classes of Muslim community

It was the resolution, which made the Muslims of India discern their own destiny and spelled out destination and itinerary of action for them to a separate Muslim-state.

After the downfall of Muslim empire, it was first time that the resolution proved a 'line of direction' for drifting Muslims. The resolution not only injected new blood into the veins of the Indian Muslims to speed up their struggle to their destiny, but also rejuvenated their slow-down political activity for self-determination in the areas where they made a numerical majority.

Back to TOP

What do we know about our country?
By Sana Lakhani and Samreen Razi

It was 23rd March when a historic Resolution - widely known as 'Lahore Resolution' - was passed.The Resolution cast off the concept of United India and recommended the creation of an independent Muslim state consisting of Punjab, NWFP, Sindh and Baluchistan in the northwest, and Bengal and Assam in the northeast. The Resolution was seconded by Maulana Zafar Ali Khan from Punjab, Sardar Aurangzeb from the NWFP, Sir Abdullah Haroon from Sindh, and Qazi Esa from Baluchistan, along with many others.

It laid down only the principles, with the details left to be worked out at a future date. It was made a part of All India Muslim League's constitution in 1941. More importantly, it was on the basis of this resolution that in 1946 the Muslim League decided to go for one "maverick" state for the Muslims, instead of two.
Having passed the Pakistan Resolution, the Muslims of India altered their ultimate goal. They set out on a path whose destination was a separate homeland for the Muslims of India, in lieu of seeking union with the Hindu community.
Different participating leaders of the session of All-India Muslim League held on March 23, 1940, including the Quaid-i-Azam, agreed that India was never united; rather it was split between Muslim India and Hindu India and it would remain so in the future. The entire outlooks, customs and traditions of civilisations of these two different nations were different anyway. They were different not only in their religious beliefs, but their entire mode of life bore a different imprint.

The words of the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in his presidential address to the session carried a far deeper impression on the oppressed and demoralised Muslims at the hands of ruthless and undemocratic Congress rule. Mr Jinnah said: "The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs and literature. They neither intermarry nor inter-dine together, and indeed they belong to two different civilisations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions."

Such a far-reaching speech by Mr Jinnah paved the way for the demand of a separate independent homeland for the exploited Muslims of India, who believed their rights and privileges could not be guarded under a parliamentary form of government. They also realised that the bloody brutes of the majority without any democratic traditions turned the Hindu rulers tyrannical in their behaviour and due to missing of any administrative experience they acted in a way that could be unacceptable in a democratic society.

One of the key demands made in the Pakistan resolution moved by chief minister of Bengal Maulvi Fazl-ul-Haq on March 23, 1940, was that no constitutional plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to the Muslims unless it was framed on the followed basic principles.

That geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions, which should be constituted with such territorial readjustments as, may be necessary.

That the areas wherein the Muslims form majority as in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India be grouped together to constituted 'independent States' in which the constituted units shall be autonomous and sovereign.
That adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards be specially provided in the constitution for minorities in these units and in the regions for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political administrative and other rights of interests in consultation with them and in other parts of India where the Muslims form minority.

Having analysed the crux of the resolution, one comes to a conclusion as to it (the resolution) laid emphasis on a necessity of separate Muslim-state for the Muslims of India by grouping the North-Western and Eastern zones of India where they were in majority, constitutional protection to minorities and their rights-cum-interests.
Passing of the Lahore Resolution, which was dubbed by the Hindu and the British press as 'The Pakistan Resolution', ended in a great hue and cry in the Hindu, Sikh and British circles. The Indian press found a new target to incessantly make evil designs and unfurl campaigns against the Muslims and leaders of the Muslim League.

Gandhi declared that partition would mean suicide and the Two-Nation Theory was an unreality. The vast majority of Muslims of India area concerts to Islam or are the descendents of the converts. In consequence, they did not make a separate nation as soon as they become converts, he maintained.

Others who flatly opposed the Lahore Resolution were Raj Gopal Achari, B R Ambedkar, Master Tara Singh, Nationalist Muslim group.

On the other hand, the resolution was massively bolstered by many other noted leaders representing different provinces of India, who unanimously adopted it. Sindh too lead, which passed a resolution for Pakistan.
Till now, the resolution is deemed to be the quintessence of goal-orientation of untiring and unfailing struggle of Indian Muslims, dating back to 1857. One of the major impacts of the resolution was that under the leadership of towering personality in Mr Jinnah not only it did stimulate the Muslim middle classes to unprecedented political action, but also it caught the imagination of the people of all classes of Muslim community

It was the resolution, which made the Muslims of India discern their own destiny and spelled out destination and itinerary of action for them to a separate Muslim-state.

After the downfall of Muslim empire, it was first time that the resolution proved a 'line of direction' for drifting Muslims. The resolution not only injected new blood into the veins of the Indian Muslims to speed up their struggle to their destiny, but also rejuvenated their slow-down political activity for self-determination in the areas where they made a numerical majority.

Back to TOP

Should Pakistan Honour the Lahore Resolution?

Each year on March 23 the state and people of Pakistan commemorate the passage of the Lahore/Pakistan resolution with parades, decorations, illuminations, parties,

music, and speeches. Ironically, the speeches are predominantly made by the propagators of the so-called Pakistan ideology and/or by pro-establishment sycophants, who rarely, if ever, discuss the actual content of the resolution. The Lahore resolution, which was moved on March 23, 1940 by A. K. Fazul Haq - the Bengal Chief Minister - and approved by the general body, reads as follows:

". . . Resolved that it is the considered view of this session of the All-India Muslim League that no constitutional plan would be workable in this country [i.e., the British India] or acceptable to [the] Muslims unless it is designed on the following basic principles, viz. that geographically continuous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted, with such territorial adjustments as may be necessary, that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the north-western and eastern zones of India should be grouped to constitute Independent States, in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign. . . . Adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards should be specifically provided in the Constitution for minorities . . . for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights" (quoted in Ali, 1967: 38).
This resolution unambiguously called for the establishment of the Independent States of East and West Pakistan, while accepting the autonomy and sovereignty of their constituent units. Hence, many Muslim League leaders, particularly from Bengal, interpreted this resolution as a demand for two independent states. Although subsequent attempts by the central command to modify the Lahore resolution in favor of one state met considerable opposition from some Bengali Muslim Leaguers, a convention of Muslim League legislators finally passed a resolution (on April 9, 1946; in Delhi) demanding that the six provinces of Bengal and Assam in the northeast and Punjab, Sind, Baluchistan and North-West Frontier Province in the northwest be constituted into a sovereign independent state . This resolution was a de facto amendment of the Lahore resolution. Some Muslim Leaguers (mainly the Bengalis) questioned the validity of the amendment on the ground that the council had no jurisdiction to amend a resolution that was passed by the general body in an open conference. Hence, the Muslim League leadership, rather than honoring the pluralist mandate of the Lahore resolution, opted for a centralist-assimilative framework that engendered an unnecessary rift within the Muslim League. What responsibility should Jinnah bear for this tension? A detailed critical analysis and interpretation of the South Asian historiography may provide a satisfactory clue.

Callard (1957) observes that Jinnah by nature was "a commander and leader of men". Jinnah indeed laid the foundation of an autocratic form of governance in Pakistan on August 14, 1947, by becoming not only the Governor General of Pakistan, but the President of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan and the President of the Pakistan Muslim League. Although Jinnah lead Pakistan for little more than one year, his actions were guided by his relentless desire to assimilate all Pakistanis in unity. It was this centralist-assimilative approach that led him to mistakenly curb dissent. A case in point is his oft-mentioned Dhaka speech of 1948 where he said,
". . . let me make it clear to you that the State Language of Pakistan is going to be Urdu and no other language. Anyone who tries to mislead you is really the enemy of Pakistan. Without one State Language, no Nation can remain tied up solidly together and function" (Quoted in Jahan, 1972: 37).

Unfortunately, unlike the Quaid-e-Azam's wish Pakistan has never been able to achieve integration in true sense.
The Pakistani political regimes have consistently looked at the crisis of national integration in exogenous terms - particularly the adversarial role of India - and have thus painted the more vocal opposition parties and leaders as secessionists, disloyal Pakistanis, or traitors. One victim of such policy was the Awami League of Shaikh Mujeebur Rahman in East Pakistan. During Ayub Khan's regime, Governor Monem Khan (who himself was a Bengali) adopted a dual policy to build political support for Ayub Khan in East Pakistan. On one hand, he provided official support and patronage to pro-establishment individuals and groups. On the other, he tightly controlled the press and media, revived a movement propagating that Bengali is a non-Muslim language, undermined the significance of Rabindranath Tagore, victimised intelligentsia, planted pro-establishment student groups in colleges and universities, encroached the autonomy of Dhaka University, and created "the atmosphere of a fascist state" (Jahan, 1972: 165). For example, the ministers in Monem's regime would simply call the young officials directly and order them to imprison a man for purposes of harassment and the dispersion of his family (The Observer, London, March 23, 1969).

In 1966, the Awami League started the Six-Point Movement. This movement was different from the previous Bengali autonomy demands of 1950 and 1954. The first point in the Six-Point manifesto called for the establishment of a federation on "the basis of the Lahore Resolution and a parliamentary form of government, with supremacy of the legislature to be directly elected on the basis of an adult franchise" (Jahan, 1972: 167). Unlike the student-literati alliance of the previous movements, this new movement was not so peaceful due to the added participation of workers and street mobs. It involved various expressions of wrath against local symbols of authority, including "raids on police stations, looting of arms, and violent confrontations with the police" (Jahan, 1972, p. 169). Although Mujeebur Rahman made several offers to settle the matter politically, Ayub's regime chose to adopt a confrontationist approach. Ayub Khan opposed the Awami League vehemently and threatened to use the military force against its allegedly secessionist and (so-called) disruptionist activities. Ayub's reaction and rhetoric enraged the Bengalis further. As expected, Ayub imprisoned the top Awami League leaders for more than two years. After Ayub's downfall, Mujeebur Rahman and his compatriots were released to eventually take part in the national elections. The post-release politics, particularly the blood bath in East Pakistan, is a black spot on Pakistan's national history .

Today, Pakistan is once again embroiled in conflicts between Islamabad (and Punjab) and the smaller provinces. The people of Pakistan need to ask why Pakistan failed to become a confederation in accordance with the spirit and content of the Lahore resolution. Was it politically necessary and/or wise to replace the Lahore resolution by the less democratic resolution of 1946? Should Pakistan honor the Lahore resolution? Or, should Pakistan honor at least the spirit of the Lahore resolution and work toward the formation of a federation of autonomous administrative units - with a reasonably strong center - through a democratic-political process? Politics entails compromises. Shouldn't Pakistan engage in a democratic-political process to honorably and amicably achieve the dual objective of ensuring citisenship and human rights and enhancing (multi)national cohesion?

Back to TOP

Where are we headed?

The concept of nation states is a relatively novel one for South Asian region. It is one of the several regions of the world whose course of history has been eternally altered by colonial rule and its legacies. It hardly surprises one, considering the comparatively worse destinies that colonial legacies imposed on some other regions of the world such as Palestine, that the colonial rule culminated in some of the most profligately catastrophic events witnessed in many centuries. It also marked the culmination of a quest of extraordinary parameters, which carved out a theocratic Islamic state within a decade of its conception - state of Pakistan.

It has been sixty years since the hopes and wishes of millions of people were transcribed into a declaration. The poignant gathering of so many in Lahore on that fateful day brought into existence what seemed to the detractors nothing but an insane poet's dream.

Undoubtedly, we will not know to any extent of completeness, all the sacrifices given by the common man, woman, child and old. Our history, unfortunately was written by either foreigners still breathing colonial air, or it was told by dubious characters who mended it, patched it and exploited it according to their own political advantage. Otherwise how did we so criminally forget to dwell on every word of the Quaid's first speech to our first legislative parliament?
The mere thought of the pertinent importance and responsibility it brings with it should make us tremble. It is a good thing that we don't have to look into the eyes of the Quaid-e-Azam and answer uncle Allama Iqbal's questions. Thankfully, the dead are not afforded such abilities. But our next generations can do so. What will we say to our next generations?

Sixty years into the inception of this idea of Pakistan, we are still indecisive on the most fundamental of questions. Should there be a religion section in the passport? How do we implement Sharia? What is our constitution? Are we going to be generous hosts to our minorities or will we become extremist exploiters of the same principles which shaped the idea of Islamic Republic of Pakistan?

While we see a maturing media take the government to task over matters of such inexplicable incompetence, isn't it a shame that such matters exist in the first place. What can we say about an Islamic Republic where the task of providing clean water, basic health and education is left to a group of past sportsmen and artists? Where have we lost the sound of reason raised by that jurist we know as Quaid-e-Azam? The colonials have left us long ago. But the caretakers never forgot the rule of divide and conquer. Newspapers and TV media should stop paying attention to the puppet play directed by the government and its opposition. We cannot be left to watch the puppets create an issue and then quarrel over it publicly while our children are looking up to us. Unfortunately this doesn't end here.
What will we say to our next generations? Will we leave Pakistan a better place for them with more promise and resources to find their destinies? Or will we leave them a divided, bitter Pakistan, devoid of any positive impression and full of echoes of past mistakes?

It is a heavy responsibility demanding action and not mere drawing room politics and hand wrangling.

Back to TOP