Jinnah's Vision of Pakistan "In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-Muslims-Hindus, Christians and Parsis -- but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan." Quaid-i-Azam, Feb. 1948  The founder of the nation, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah envisioned Pakistan as a modern democratic state to be run strictly on the basis of merit and where all citizens will be equal before the law. Jinnah's ideas about what the new state should be like were very clear as can be seen from his speeches and statements. He meant Pakistan to be a progressive state in which there would be scope neither for intolerance nor for obscurantism and whose highest aims would be expressed in the social, cultural and economic uplift of the masses. Before the establishment of Pakistan, the first public picture of Pakistan that Jinnah gave to the world was in the course of an interview in New Delhi (1946) with the correspondent of Reuter's news agency: the new state would be a modern democratic state, with sovereignty resting in the people and the members of the new nation having equal rights of citizenship, regardless of their religion, caste or creed. Only three days before Pakistan formally appeared on the world map, Jinnah, in his memorable speech to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan stated the principle on which the new state was to be founded said : " You may belong to any religion or caste or creed -- that has nothing to do with the business of the state ...... We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and citizens of one state....... in the course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state." This speech as President of the Constituent Assembly on 11th August 1947 is one of the clearest expositions of a secular state. Jinnah was the founder of Pakistan and the occasion on which he thus spoke was the first landmark in the history of Pakistan. The speech was intended both for his own people including non-Muslims, and for the world, and its object was to define as clearly as possible the ideal to the attainment of which the new state was to devote all its energies. It is not without significance that the first Constituent Assembly inaugurated by the Quaid-i-Azam had as its temporary chairman a scheduled caste Hindu, Joginder Nath Mandal, before the Quaid himself was formally elected as its first chairman. The Quaid also appointed Mandal a member of his cabinet, which, as Chief Justice Mohammad Munir points out, was consistent, "with his conception of a secular state. Even after his unambiguous proclamation of August 11, 1947, Jinnah did not leave anything to interpretation and took every opportunity to drive home his commitment to a secular Pakistan. One could go on quoting ad infinitum from his speeches and observations. On each occasion he insisted that Pakistan would be a modern democracy, with the hierarchy of mullahs and priests playing no role in the molding of its destiny.  Jinnah was basically a secular liberal who had studied British political history and practiced common law. For such a man the Muslim cause, which inescapably bound up with Islam, embraced nationalism and patriotism as well as the strict meaning of religion. He wanted to see Pakistan as an embodiment of dynamic and forward-looking Islam. Jinnah believed that Islam fosters, upholds and extols values such as freedom, equality, solidarity and social justice which may also be termed secular or humanistic; these, he repeatedly emphasized, constitute the bases of Pakistan's polity. In emphasizing the dynamic pursuit of these transient values of religion rather than its outward, static elements, Jinnah had placed himself in the mainstream of modernist approach that began with Shah Waliullah 1705-62), the first reformer in the sub-continent who broke away from the orthodoxy.  And his Pakistan becomes explicable only as an integral part of the deepening and hardening of the late 19th century reawakening of a political, social and religious nature into what might generally be termed as "Islamic sentiment" which can be recognized as being religious in so far as it draws its driving force inter alia from religion but which is directed mainly towards social and political ends. We should not forget that the struggle for Pakistan was a secular campaign led by men of politics rather than religion. It was not the Ulema who began to organize for an independent Muslim state, but rather the most secularized classes. The background of the men who organized the campaign for Pakistan was not theology and Islamic law but politics and common law; not Deoband (the prominent seat of Islamic religious learning in India), but Cambridge and the Inns of Court. Jinnah and his lieutenants such as Liaqat Ali Khan won Pakistan in spite of the opposition by the so-called nationalist Ulema. A study of the Pakistan movement clearly indicates that "Islamic state" did not figure prominently during the period of struggle. An advocacy of Pakistan as an "Islamic state" sometimes brought Jinnah into confrontation with his colleagues. Raja Saheb of Mahmoudabad, in his memoirs recalls: "During 1941-5,.......we advocated that Pakistan should be an Islamic state. I must confess that I was very enthusiastic about it and in my speeches I constantly propagated my ideas. My advocacy of an Islamic state brought me into conflict with Jinnah. He thoroughly disapproved of my ideas and dissuaded me from expressing them publicly from the League platform lest the people might be led to believe that Jinnah share my view and that he was asking me to convey such ideas to public. As I was convinced that I was right and did not want to compromise Jinnah's position, I decided to cut myself away and for nearly two years kept my distance from him, apart from seeing him during the working committee meetings and other formal occasions. The propelling slogan during the struggle for Pakistan was to establish a distinct identity of Muslims as a nation. Islam was used as a motivating force to rally the Muslims to the cause of Pakistan politically. But the state they aimed to create was to be secular, not a theocracy. And the method to achieve the goal was not a religious movement but political agitation. However, Islam's inherent drive towards a religio-political community was not the only factor at work in the hectic, complex days of the 1940's. The coming into existence of Pakistan was conditioned by the multitude of mundane matters, concrete and human, obtaining at that particular juncture of time and place. Political, economic, sociological, psychological and other factors in the independence movement and its environment were operative and important. According to Jinnah, the demand and struggle for Pakistan had been ensured mainly because there was a danger of denial of basic rights to Moslems in the Indian sub-continent. "The story of Pakistan, its struggle and its achievement is the story of great human ideals struggling to survive in the face of odds and difficulties ...... I reiterate most emphatically that Pakistan was made possible because of the danger of complete annihilation of human soul in a society based on caste." While scanning through records of British India's history, one finds numerous instances, where a galaxy of Muslim political thinkers and intellectuals have professed that partition of the sub-continent into Hindu and Muslim majority regions was the only viable solution to safeguard the legitimate interests of the Muslims after the departure of the British rule. It was as early as in 1862 when Sir Syed Ahmad Khan for the first time realized that Hindus and Muslims of India could not live together peacefully as one nation.  This realization came to him when Hindus of Banares started an agitation demanding to replace Urdu by Hindi in Devnagri " script in all government offices and courts. Hindu priests further demanded that Muslims should be banned by the government from sacrificing cows and performing their religious rites near or inside the areas dominated by Hindus. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan saw the coming bitter split between the communities and immediately launched opposition to the idea of the creation of the Indian national Congress as the representative body of the whole country. He emphasized that the Indians did not form one nationality which was the basic requirement for making democracy successful in any country. He took the stand that the Hindus and Muslims being unequal in numerical strength and permanently divided on the basis of religion, the democratic form of government was unworkable in India because the larger party was bound to permanently hold the smaller one in its servility. The call for a separate Muslim homeland in South Asia should have been a predictable outcome of the history of the region. The fact that the British appeared interested in leaving behind a unified political state, and the Indian National Congress was determined to maintain the geographic unity of the subcontinent in the face of the political and social realities of centuries of division and separatism, doesn't seem most surprising.  According to H.M. Seervai, Advocate General of Maharashtra, the partition became inevitable because Hindu leaders, including a leader as eminent as Jawaharlal Nehru failed to realize that by 1946 "the Muslim League dominated the Muslims as the Congress dominated the Hindus and that the Congress and the League would have to live and work together if India was to remain united.  In considering whether Jinnah and the League were responsible for the partition of India by raising the cry of Pakistan, it is necessary to ask, and answer, two questions: First, were the fears of the Muslim community that it would be permanently dominated by a "Hindu Raj" genuine? If so, was the community entitled to effective and not mere paper safeguards against such permanent domination? That the fears of the Muslim community were genuine is beyond dispute. After the Congress committed the grave error of refusing to form Coalition Ministries in 1937, the first opportunity of avoiding partition was after the 1937 elections when Jinnah showed that he was not thinking of a separate state of Pakistan and made a public appeal to Gandhi to tackle the question of Hindu-Muslim unity. The second opportunity of avoiding partition was the 1945 Desai-Liaquat Ali Pact -- to form a temporary League-Congress coalition government -- which, had it been implemented with goodwill, might have broken the deadlock. The repudiation of Bhulabhbhai Desai by the Congress put an end to the hope of repairing the damage which had been done in 1937. One more opportunity remained. It was seized by Azad when he put his ideas before the Cabinet Mission, and succeeded in persuading the congress working committee to adopt his plan. The Cabinet Mission Plan remained substantially the same as Azad's. This opportunity of keeping India united was lost, firstly, because the Congress accepted the plan with a qualification which destroyed its value for the Muslim League; secondly, because of the failure of the mission and, later, of the British government to make their intention clear before damage had been done by allowing the Congress reservations about the Cabinet Mission Plan to remain outstanding for over five months. The movement that ultimately resulted in the creation of Pakistan was comprised of diverse groups, both regionally and socially. Jinnah and the All-India Muslim League gave the various regionally based groups a convenient voice at the center of the Indian politics.  The landed magnates, who ruled over the Muslim majority provinces, backed Jinnah and Muslim League that was transformed into a mass-based movement in the early 1940s. The idea of a Muslim nation gained ground, and Jinnah became the embodiment of that conception. The Pakistan movement became a national movement, on the basis of the two-nation theory that Jinnah propounded, affirming that Muslims of India were a separate nation from Hindus. Insofar as their politics entailed the establishment of their own state, their objective was the creation of a nation state and not a theocratic state.  Much can be written about the various factors which culminated in the formation of a separate homeland for Muslims in the sub- continent. However, the important issue here is to understand the ideas held by Jinnah and others when they called for a separate state for Muslims of India. It is important to note that Jinnah and his closest lieutenants were determined to build Pakistan into a constitutional democracy. To them there was no contradiction between the Islamic state and a polity governed according to modern democratic principles. Moslems tend to reason that what passes for democracy and hence constitutionalism is at the very heart of Islamic teachings. According to this body of opinion, fairness, justice, compassion and honesty are all tenets of Islam: therefore, Islam made it simpler not more difficult to build democratic structures. With this in mind Pakistan's Muslim League leaders sought to fit Islam into their contemporary constitutional design, not the reverse. Jinnah's speeches are abound with references to the Islamic principles of social justice and fairplay, but he made it clear, on more than one occasion, that he was against theocracy. He had consistently opposed theocratic ideas and influences and never minced his words about his commitment to a secular state. "Make no mistake: Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it. Islam demands from us the tolerance of other creeds and we welcome in closest association with us all those who of whatever creed are themselves willing to play their part as true and loyal citizen of Pakistan" On another occasion Jinnah said : "The great majority of us are Muslims. We follow the teachings of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). We are members of the brotherhood of Islam in which all are equal in right, dignity and self-respect. Consequently, we have a special and a very deep sense of unity. But make no mistake : Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it."