Thursday, October 27, 2011

As promised by Jinnah

SSridhar writes on BRF:

Jinnah told Islamists like Abu Ala al Mawdudi that he was getting them the land [namely Pakistan] and it was up to them to construct a mosque there. He knew what he was getting into.

Jinnah's letter to the Pir of Manki Sharif promising shariah was produced in the Constituent Assembly in 1949 to push through the Objectives Resolution. It is available in the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, Volume 5, 1949, Page 46.

While addressing the Karachi Bar Association on 25 January 1948 on the occasion of the Holy Prophet’s birthday, Jinnah said: “Some are misled by propaganda. Islamic principles are as applicable to life as they were 1,300 years ago. The Constitution of Pakistan will be made on the basis of the sharia”.

One of Pakistan’s renowned political scientists, Prof. (Late) Khalid bin Sayeed narrates in his book, ‘Pakistan: The Formative Phase 1957-1948’ Jinnah’s assurances to a group of visiting Islamists thus: “…Constituent Assembly…will be predominantly Muslim…and would be able to enact laws for the Muslims not inconsistence with Shariah Laws and the Muslims will no longer be obliged by un-Islamic laws…”

While portraying himself as a secularist and a Constitutionalist, Jinnah nevertheless asked only an Islamic clergy, Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani who had apostatised Shias, to raise the flag of Pakistan on Aug. 14, 1947. Later, Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, who had apostatized Ahmedis and calling for them to be stoned to death, was made Sheikh-ul-Islam-i-Pakistan. It was Shabbir Usmani who drafted the Objectives Resolution.

In passionate speeches that Jinnah delivered to masses of the new state of Pakistan, he addressed them as ‘Mussalmans’ instead of as ‘Pakistanis’ and used terms like ‘mujahid’, ‘tenets of the Holy Quran’, and referred to Pakistan as a ‘bulwark of Islam’.

On the other hand, the only time he appeared to be secular was a feeble attempt in his August 14, 1947 speech when he said, "You are free . . ." etc. He neither said nor did anything before or after that to discourage establishing an Islamist Pakistani state.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Gilani declares "victory"

After the then JCS Admiral Mullen made his remarks about Pakistan's support for the Taliban, there was a bit of a diplomatic dust-up. Then, e.g., here,

Prime Minister Mr Yousuf Raza Gilani has claimed “victory” in the recent stand-off with the USA, saying he has received a message from Washington that America needs Pakistan's support to win the war on terror.

Mr Gilani made the remarks while addressing a gathering in Bili Wala near his hometown of Multan in Punjab province yesterday, amidst tensions between Islamabad and Washington over ISI-Haqqani network links.

“It is due to the all parties' conference as well as the unity of Pakistan's political leaders that the USA has sent a message that they need Pakistan and that they cannot win the war (against terrorism) without Pakistan,” he said.

“They have also distanced themselves from the statement of (former US military chief Admiral Mike) Mullen. This is the victory of the Pakistani nation, political parties and the government's policy of reconciliation,” he said.

He did not say when the message was conveyed to Pakistan.

With that backdrop, this morning I read Peter Singer's review of Steven Pinker's new book, The Better Angels of Our Nature

Peter Singer observes the following:

[quote]That morality can be grounded in some commitment to treating others as we would like them to treat us is an ancient idea, expressed in the golden rule and in similar thoughts in the moral traditions of many other civilizations, but Pinker is surely right to say that the escalator of reason leads us to it. It is this kind of moral thinking, Pinker points out, that helps us escape traps like the Cuban missile crisis, which, if the fate of the world had been in the hands of leaders under the sway of a different kind of morality — one dominated by ideas of honor and the importance of not backing down — might have been the end of the human story. Fortunately Kennedy and Khrushchev understood the trap they were in and did what was necessary to avoid disaster. [/quote]

I'm pondering right now whether one of the problems is that India and Pakistan are differently gripped by this morality "dominated by ideas of honor and the importance of not backing down", and that is one reason for the utter failure to meaningfully communicate.