by Baseer Naveed

The most popular slogan during the movement for the creation of Pakistan was, “Haath main lota munh main paan — laiker rahain gay Pakistan”, believe it that this was the ideology of Pakistan

It was on March 25, 1969, when General Yahya Khan imposed another period of Martial Law by sending General Ayub Khan home after he had ruled the country for almost eleven years. I was among those (young) students who were released after serving a jail term of four months on the charge of offending the ‘Defence of Pakistan Rules’ (DPR). General Yahya announced that general elections would be held in October 1970 but this was postponed to December 7 because of flooding in former East Pakistan. We were not voters in those days but very active in the students movement and had launched a country-wide movement against the military regime of General Ayub.

As the elections were announced, suddenly Pakistanis heard the phrase, the “Ideology of Pakistan”. Everybody was surprised with this terminology. In those days many leaders were still alive who had been in the forefront of the Pakistan movement in both East and West Pakistan. All the leadership denied this terminology but later on when Bangladesh was formed and those who preferred to live in West Pakistan used this phrase to justify the killings of innocent Bengalis for the punishment of disassociating with Pakistan.

Clip_56The true story behind the Ideology of Pakistan was that General Yahya Khan had a Minister of Information by the name of Nawabzada Sher Ali Khan. He was short of stature and liked to be called Bonapart. Indeed, he had a statue of himself at his house and took great delight in showing it to his visitors. One leader from Jamat-e-Islami (JI), Mian Tufail Mohammad, was very close to Nawabzada and treated him as a true Muslim or ‘Islam Pasand’. The JI and its leader, Abul Aala Maudoodi, invented the term Islam Pasand for the Islamic religious parties but generally people said that the religious parties were not, in fact, Islamic but only paid Islam lip service. So, Jamat-e-Islami was, in those days, declared as Islam Pasand.

Nawabzada and Mian Tufail started campaigning for the new-born Ideology of Pakistan. This was the first time the phrase was introduced and more than 70 percent of the population was not considered as Islam Pasand. A strong propaganda campaign was initiated by the state about the Ideology of Islam by using the Ministry of Information which was virtually under control of the Jamat-e-Islami. Then May 31 was declared as the day of “Shoukat-e-Isam”, the supremacy of Islam. Hence, the Jamat-e-Islami started at country level under the patronage of the Martial Law government.

To impose the slogan of the Ideology of Pakistan many student groups, trade unions, professional associations such as the Pakistan Medical Association, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, bar associations and several civil society groups were declared non Islamic. Again we (the young) students were arrested in 1969 with hundreds of ‘infidels’ and tried by military courts. I was sentenced by the military court to one year of rigorous imprisonment and was incarcerated in Bahawalpur Central Prison with hardened prisoners. The prison was used for under-trial prisoners of murders and it was just next to Phansi Ghat (the place where executions took place by hanging). We were also booked under section 124A of the Pakistan Penal Code on charges of hatching a criminal conspiracy against Pakistan. This charge was framed against us because we were very much vocal against the Islamic Ideology.

The General and his favourite party, the JI, failed to convince the people on the Ideology of Pakistan and Jamat-e-Islami only got four out of the 300 seats. The Ideology could not take off at the initial stage and it crashed. The JI leader, Maudoodi cursed the people calling them donkeys and not true Muslims. The JI created two militant organizations, the Al-Shams and Al-Badr, who were given the task of punishing the anti Ideology of Pakistan elements and extending full support to the Pakistan army for cleansing the anti Pakistan element from former East Pakistan, present day Bangladesh. Over 30,000 women were raped and killed and millions of people were killed in East Pakistan in the name of this ‘Ideology’.

Whenever there is the chance of free and fair elections in Pakistan this Ideology stupidity resurfaces to call the supra constitutional forces to safeguard the ideological boundaries of the country. This is an intentional initiative from these forces and now the judiciary is also involved in the attempt to stop the Pakistan becoming a ‘nation state’. It looks very much as if Pakistan is not a country but an ideology. The judicial officers at the helm of the elections are asking questions about the personal behavior of the candidates and then associating it with the Ideology of Pakistan.

The real back ground of the Ideology of Pakistan was that it has never existed during the movement for the creation of the country. There was only the two nation theory; the Hindu nation and the Muslim nation and this was the basis of the creation of Pakistan which within a period of 24 years proved to be foolishness as another Muslim state was created from the womb of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It was claimed that religion cannot be a bonding element for the different nationalities.

The Bengalis were more Muslim than the people of West Pakistan but they had to prove themselves before the ordinary soldiers of Pakistan by opening their sarongs (Lungi) or trousers to prove that they were circumcised. One can find these photographs on the Google engine.

All these absurdities were created to turn a country into a theocratic state but it has always failed. One example of this was General Muhammad Zia ul Haq’s attempt to create an Islamic state and he added articles to the Constitution for the election of righteous and pure people. However, despite the fact that he had the full support of the military he failed. He wanted Pakistan to be an Islamic state based on 1400 years of Islamic teachings and the result was that the most corrupt people from the society of the day were elected to his parliament.

Today, only state run institutions practice this Islamification order to provide protection for their corruption, nepotism and undemocratic way of governance. The founding fathers have never used these words in their speeches or manifestos. But the most popular slogan of the movement of Pakistan was “Hath main lota munh main paan—laker rahain gay Pakistan”. Lota means a spherical water vessel of brass, copper or plastic used in parts of South Asia for self cleaning. The meaning of this slogan is that by holding the lota in one hand and beetle nuts in the mouth we will ultimately get the Pakistan we want. However many poets and writers tried to develop many slogans including some religious ones but those never gained in popularity among the Muslim population of the Sub Continent of India.

The proponents of the Ideology of Pakistan want to snatch the fundamental rights of the people by refusing them the possibility of individual liberty, freedom of expression and opinion and the choice to elect the representatives they want in government. They want a rigid and theocratic society based on their version of Islam so that they can negate the concept of a modern state.

If the persons elected were, in fact, pure Muslim according to the so-called Ideology of Pakistan then this means that Pakistan will become a pure Islamic and theocratic country where there would be no room for democracy. Religion and democracy cannot coexist as democracy is essentially a secular phenomenon. In a secular system all sections of a society are treated equally. The sole purpose of the Ideology of Pakistan is to deny the people of the country their sovereignty, equal rights, prosperity and the rule of law.