FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

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.

Secularism

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 brgowani@hotmail.com

More articles by:

B. R. Gowani can be reached at brgowani@hotmail.com

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
July 15, 2019
David Altheide
The Fear Party
Roger Harris
UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Bachelet’s Gift to the US: Justifying Regime Change in Venezuela
John Feffer
Pyongyang on the Potomac
Vincent Kelley
Jeffrey Epstein and the Collapse of Europe
Robert Fisk
Trump’s Hissy-Fit Over Darroch Will Blow a Chill Wind Across Britain’s Embassies in the Middle East
Binoy Kampmark
Juggling with the Authoritarians: Donald Trump’s Diplomatic Fake Book
Dean Baker
The June Jobs Report and the State of the Economy
Michael Hudson – Bonnie Faulkner
De-Dollarizing the American Financial Empire
Kathy Kelly
Remnants of War
B. Nimri Aziz
The Power of Our Human Voice: From Marconi to Woods Hole
Elliot Sperber
Christianity Demands a Corpse 
Weekend Edition
July 12, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Skull of Death: Mass Media, Inauthentic Opposition, and Eco-Existential Reality in a Pre-Fascist Age of Appeasement
T.J. Coles
“Strategic Extremism”: How Republicans and Establishment Democrats Use Identity Politics to Divide and Rule
Rob Urie
Toward an Eco-Socialist Revolution
Gregory Elich
How Real is the Trump Administration’s New Flexibility with North Korea?
Jason Hirthler
The Journalists Do The Shouting
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Pâté Politics in the Time of Trump and Pelosi
Andrew Levine
The Electoral Circus as the End of Its Initial Phase Looms
David Swanson
Earth Over the Brink
Ron Jacobs
Presidential Papers
Robert Hunziker
The Flawed Food Dependency
Dave Lindorff
Defeating the Trump Administration’s Racist, Republican-Rescuing Census Corruption
Martha Rosenberg
Pathologizing Kids, Pharma Style
Kathleen Wallace
Too Horrible to Understand, Too Horrible to Ignore
Ralph Nader
An Unsurpassable Sterling Record of Stamina!
Paul Tritschler
Restricted View: the British Legacy of Eugenics
John Feffer
Trump’s Bluster Diplomacy
Thomas Knapp
Did Jeffrey Epstein “Belong to Intelligence?”
Nicholas Buccola
Colin Kaepernick, Ted Cruz, Frederick Douglass and the Meaning of Patriotism
P. Sainath
It’s Raining Sand in Rayalaseema
Charles Davis
Donald Trump’s Fake Isolationism
Michael Lukas
Delisting Wolves and the Impending Wolf Slaughter
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Shaking Off Capitalism for Ecological Civilization
Julian Vigo
North America’s Opioid Addiction Problem and the Institutional Machinery Keeping It Alive
Russell Rickford
Lights of Liberty Vigil Remarks
Stansfield Smith
Bernie Sanders’ Present Fight against Corporate Rule vs. the Bernie of 1989
Steve Early
A Plant Closing War, Viewed From Inside
Jill Richardson
The Good News About Trump’s Very Bad Environmental Speech
John Kendall Hawkins
The Language of Languishing: One Kurd’s Journey Into Mythopoesis
Monika Zgustova
Russia and the Manipulation of the Past
Binoy Kampmark
Out of Kilter: National Security and Press Freedoms in Australia
Robert P. Alvarez
Return of the Poll Tax
David Macaray
A Hideous Ending
David Barsamian
The Slide to War with Iran: An Interview with Nader Hashemi
Graham Peebles
Breaking the Spiral of Hate and Intolerance
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail