Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

The Real Winners in Pakistan


Undoubtedly, Pakistan is now a “democracy”, that is, the Western style democracy where the elections are held, people vote, and the people losing power accepts it without much fuss. 

One corrupt leader and party is being replaced by another corrupt leader and party. But there is a difference. The incoming party had the blessings of the Taliban, that is, they refrained from hurting their candidates. The same treatment was not accorded to the outgoing party-it was openly threated with violence. Due to this, the PPP (Pakistan Peoples Party) suffered a loss of seats and candidates. The Karachi based MQM (Muttahida Quomi Movement), and ANP (Awami National Party) were the other parties who suffered because of Taliban.

All the three parties are secular.


The term “secularism” was coined by George Jacob Holyoake (1817-1906). Secular politics means that politicians don’t use religion in politics. Secularism can be applied to other things too, including our daily life-that is, not invoking God, gods, and goddesses, or scriptures, and other religious things during our interactions.

Mohamamad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948), the creator of Pakistan, started his political career as a secularist and a moderate who wanted to be a “Muslim Gokhale”. Gopal Krishna Gokhale (1866-1915), one of the senior leaders of the Indian National Congress Party, was considered a mentor by Jinnah. Gokhale praised Jinnah thus: “He has true stuff in him and that freedom from all sectarian prejudice which will make him the best ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity.”

But Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) was not so kind to Jinnah during their first encounter. Jinnah welcomed M. K. Gandhi wholeheartedly in 1915 in a welcoming ceremony arranged by the Gujar Sabha. How did Gandhi thanked him? By reminding Jinnah and all those present over there about Jinnah’s religion, “glad to find a Mahomedan not only belonging to his own region’s Sabha, but chairing it“.

Jinnah was born in a Muslim family but was not a practicing Muslim. From his lifestyle, his dressing, his looks, his name (he preferred and used his name as “M. A. Jinnah”), his consumption of alcohol, and his language (that is, he preferred to use English language), he could be mistaken for either a South Asian, an Arab, a Latin American, or a Southern European.

Jinnah was absolutely against mixing politics with religion and he tried his best to do that for a long time; but then he failed to do so against Gandhi’s mixing of religion with politics. Then he himself used religion and created Pakistan in the name of Islam but he remained a secularist till his death. Later in his political life, he used Islamic vocabulary, Indian Muslim clothing, and tried to attend prayers, but he never turned a communalist. In 1943, he had asked the reporters not to bring up the issue of Sunni, Shia, or Ahmadi Muslims. He emphasized that his party, the Indian Muslim League, was open to all , including the Ahmadis.

Contrary to popular presentation of Jinnah as a soldier of Islam, he remained a secularist who had just used Islam as a tool. If he was a soldier of Islam he wouldn’t have tried till the mid 1940′s for the unity of India. He would have grabbed, as soon as possible, whatever little territory he would have been able to get from the British to create Pakistan to spread Islam and jihad.

Pakistan’s first cabinet had Joginder Nath Mandal (a low caste Hindu) as a Law Minister and Chaudhry Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan (an Ahmadi Muslim) as a Foreign Minister.

Election results 

The Indian Subcontinent is made up of many nations. The outcome of the recent election in Pakistan has made that too obvious. Each nation for itself and God for herself. The Punjabis in the province of Punjab voted for a Punjabi Nawaz Sharif. Sindhi Asif Ali Zardari’s PPP is now restricted to the province of Sindh. Pashtun Imran Khan’s PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) party won in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. (Dawn for details.)

Relations with India 

Sharif’s victory has gotten a good response in India. Sharif, who wants improved relations with India, has asked the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to attend his inauguration.

In the Province of Sindh, the two major parties (PPP and MQM) who wants better relations with India should try to pursue on their own to do so by increasing trade and other such initiatives.

Real winners 

Right now, obviously Sharif, who has been prime minister twice before, is the winner. But then the Taliban and the other Islamic militants who who were careful with his and Imran Khan’s parties are the winners too. And it can stay that way, provided, Sharif introduces more Islamic laws making the Taliban and Islamists happy but making people’s life more miserable. The chances are that it will be like that, unless Sharif has the courage and the power to go after the Taliban and the Islamists.

B. R. Gowani can be reached at

B. R. Gowani can be reached at

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


Weekend Edition
October 28, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Inside the Invisible Government: War, Propaganda, Clinton & Trump
Andrew Levine
The Hillary Era is Coming: Worry!
Gary Leupp
Seven World-Historical Achievements of the Iraq Invasion of 2003
Paul Street
Standing Rock Water-Protectors Waterboarded While the Cleveland Indians Romped
Stanley L. Cohen
Israel: 1984 Everlasting
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Comfortably Dumb
Michael Brenner
American Foreign Policy in the Post-Trump Era
Luciana Bohne
Crossing the Acheron: Back to Vietnam
Robert Hunziker
The Political Era of Climate Refugees
Stephen Cooper
Alabama’s Last Execution was an Atrocity
Michael Munk
Getting Away With Terrorism in Oregon
T.J. Coles
Confronting China: an Interview with John Pilger
Pete Dolack
Work Harder So Speculators Can Get More
Joyce Nelson
Canadians Launch Constitutional Challenge Against CETA
John Laforge
US Uranium Weapons Have Been Used in Syria
Paul Edwards
The Vision Thing ’16
Arshad Khan
Hillary, Trump and Sartre: How Existentialism Disrobes the Major Presidential Candidates
Peter Lee
It’s ON! Between Duterte and America
Chris Zinda
The Bundy Acquittal: Tazing of #oregonstandoff
Norman Pollack
America at the Crossroads: Abrogation of Democracy
Bill Quigley
Six Gulf Protectors Arrested Challenging Gulf Oil Drilling
Joseph Grosso
Starchitects in the City: Vanity Fair and Gentrification
Patrick Carr
Economic Racial Disparity in North Carolina
David Swanson
Public vs. Media on War
Chris Gilbert
Demo Derby in Venezuela: The Left’s New Freewheeling Politics
Ira Helfand
Nukes and the UN: a Historic Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons
Brian Cloughley
The US, NATO and the Pope
Binoy Kampmark
Nobel Confusion: Ramos-Horta, Trump and World Disorder
Sam Albert
Kids on Their Own in Calais: the Tip of an Iceberg-Cold World
Russell Mokhiber
Lucifer’s Banker: Bradley Birkenfeld on Corporate Crime in America
Ron Jacobs
Death to the Fascist Insect! The SLA and the Cops
Cesar Chelala
Embargo on Cuba is an Embarrassment for the United States
Jack Smith
And the Winner Is….
Ken Knabb
Beyond Voting: the Limits of Electoral Politics
Matt Peppe
An Alternate Narrative on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
Uri Avnery
The Israeli Trumpess
James Rothenberg
Water Under the Bridge
Louis Yako
Remembering Rasul Gamzatov: The Poet of the People
Dave Reilly
Complete the Sentence: an Exploration of Orin Langelle’s “If Voting Changed Things…”
Jonathan Woodrow Martin
When Nobody Returns: Palestinians Show They are People, Too
Louis Proyect
The Outsider-Insider: Isaac Babel’s Big Mistake
Simon Jones
The Human Lacunae in Ken Loach’s “I, Daniel Blake”
Martin Billheimer
Now and Then, Ancient Sorceries
Charles R. Larson
Review: Brit Bennett’s “The Mothers”
David Yearsley
Bach on the Election