Volume 5, No. 12, December 2023
Editor: Rashed Rahman
Pakistan was clearly intended as a homeland for the Muslim minority of pre-Independence India that felt intimidated by the Hindu majority. It is therefore ironic to note what has happened historically and continues to happen to the minorities in the state of Pakistan. Given the developments, evolution and achievements articulated by and from the perspective of a minority community in pre-Independence India, viz., the Muslims, it is clear that Pakistan’s primary, fundamental and founding objectives were inextricably based on safeguarding and maintaining the rights of minorities. However, Pakistan has failed to maintain these principles and concomitant rights for the minorities now dwelling in Pakistan. The ongoing repugnant treatment of the minorities in Pakistan since 1947 and their current existing highly oppressive situation is deeply tragic and ironic, given Pakistan’s founding history and genealogy. As a country founded by and for a minority, this historical development should be heavily emphasised and should act as a constant guide, informing the process of making policies, developing legal and jurisprudential structures and administrative edifices to deal with the status and rights of the minorities in Pakistan.
I have thought a great deal about how to do this presentation and what aspects of this broad topic to cover. So, if I come across somewhat aphoristically, then I lean upon Nietzsche’s famous dictum about the epistemic claustrophobia imposed by systems that are set in place by the powerful, while at the same time avoiding banality from reducing the issue under consideration. I am also drawing upon Nietzsche’s concept of the genealogy of morals to understand comprehensively the contemporary world. This approach not only establishes historical roots, their evolution and their current manifestation, but also provides us guidance for transformative politics in our current context. It, therefore, requires a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding this topic, not in some abstract form, but rather by dealing concretely with the historical depth of the world at hand. Only then can we go on to apply an ethics of caring and concern, to quote Heidegger’s “besorgan sein”, for a more moral, virtuous, ethical, democratic, just, participatory, sustainable and transformative way of dwelling together.
I. A Brief Overview of Islamic Relevant Sources
I could of course begin this presentation with an analysis of the Islamic foundational sources, policies, ethics and injunctions as they apply to non-Muslims dwelling within a given Islamic jurisdiction and in Muslim majority states. Concern for Islam is the ubiquitous justification for the vigilante fervour that generates constant violence against the minorities in Pakistan. Yet, too often, there isn’t a true knowledge, appropriation, or understanding of the Islamic sources and their historical and current hermeneutics that deal with these issues. For example, there are many instances in Islamic history of just dealings with minorities: the Constitution of Medina in 622 AD (1 AH); the Prophet’s (PBUH) treaty with the Najrani Christians (631 AD; 9 AH); the earlier treaty with the monks of St. Katharine’s of Sinai (624 AD; 2 AH); the status assigned in the Qur’an to the “People of the Book”, the Ahl-e-Kitab (and how that concept gets expanded beyond the Qur’anic reference to Jews, Christians and Sabeans to include the Zoroastrians in Baghdad and Iran, and even the Hindus in our Subcontinent, etc). We can also look at the vast expression of the Millet system in the huge Muslim Turkish Empires, beginning with the Seljuks (1050-1153) and continued with the Ottomans (1299-1924).
Then there is the current hermeneutics and attempts at irenic harmonious dwelling of a multi-religious people from an Islamic perspective. For example, the Marrakesh Declaration of January 2016 when 250 scholars from around the world (over 120 countries) gathered in Morocco to discuss the very pressing issue of the status of religious minorities in Muslim-majority lands. The Declaration denounced all forms of bigotry and intolerance and called for a commitment to the principles of justice, freedom and equality for all on the basis of the various covenants that the Prophet (PBUH) made with Christian communities. There were similar earlier attempts, such as the open letter signed by 138 Islamic faith leaders to leaders of the Christian faith, entitled “A Common Word Between Us and You” (October 13, 2007). Like the Marrakesh Declaration, “A Common Word…” also elicited an almost universally positive response, but the Marrakesh Declaration is more detailed in terms of citing critical Islamic sources and their hermeneutics for contemporary life.
II. Pakistan: a New Hermeneutic of Islamic History and Traditions
I want, however, to begin this presentation exclusively in the context of Pakistan, the first modern Muslim nation state, and its struggle both with this reality as well as with the broader, transcendent, generic Islamic political identity and its ideal of a global Ummah. In the creation of Pakistan, Islam itself had undergone a substantial theological advance, transforming itself to deal with the contemporary world. Thus it showed a high level of hermeneutical flexibility given the contextual imperatives. To do so, it drew upon the corpus of Islamic teachings, which gave it the capacity to transform itself to deal with the contemporary world. This meant that the Muslims of India read the Quran as well as the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the context of their political life as a minority and their overall colonial experience and, in the process, there were interpretive shifts based on deep reflection, Ijtihad (independent reasoning based on Islamic jurists and scholars), Ijma’ (consensus) and Qiyas (analogy).
Such contemporaneous theological and political interpretive moves had been set in motion in Turkey, starting with the March 3, 1924 abolition of the Caliphate, which had been in place since 622 AD after the Prophet’s (PBUH) hijra to Medina. This was a major shift within Islam itself and within its own context. Not unsurprisingly, there was a backlash to this move, most notably among the Muslims of India, who were the driving force of the Khilafat Movement to restore the Caliphate. Even Gandhi, a Hindu, supported the Khilafat Movement, as part of his ‘Quit India’ movement. There was a similar movement against the formation of Pakistan among various Ulema, who attacked Jinnah as well as the Muslim League for proposing a new nation-state counter to the universality of the Ummah.
The Turkish experience was followed by another major revolutionary innovation, also from within Islam. It is critical to remember that the Caliphate and the Ummah were the two central pillars of religion, theology, political theory, political ethics and political authority in Islam, and were based on the concept of a new identity and community not bound officially to any ethnicity but by the commonality of one religion.
The concept of Ummah was first fully articulated in the Constitution of Madina in 622. Here the concept of Ummah is used to define a Muslim community, transcending tribal, ethnic and other
 W. M. Watt, Muhammad: Prophet and Statesman (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1961, pp. 227-228). Watt argues that the initial agreement was shortly after the Hijra and the document was amended later, after the Battle of Badr (624 AD; 2 AH). Serjeant argues that the charter is in fact eight different treaties, which can be dated according to events as they transpired in Madina, with the first treaty being written shortly after Muhammad’s arrival (R B Serjeant: “The Sunnah Jâmi’ah, Pacts with the Yathrib Jews, and the Tahrîm of Yathrib: Analysis and Translation of the Documents Comprised in the so called ‘Constitution of Medina’.” in Uri Rubin, Ed: The Life of Muhammad: The Formation of the Classical Islamic World: Volume IV (Brookfield: Ashgate, 1998, p. 151, and see same article in Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 41 (1):1-42, 1978: 18 ff). See also, Leon Caetani: Annali dell’ Islam (Milan: Hoepli, 1905, p. 393, and Julius Wellhausen, Skizzen und Vorabeiten IV (Berlin: Reimer, 1890, p. 82f), who argues that the document is a single treaty agreed upon shortly after the Hijra. Wellhausen argues that it belongs to the first year of Muhammad’s residence in Medina, before the Battle of Badr in 624 AD, 2 AH. Wellhausen bases this judgement on three considerations: Muhammad is very diffident about his own position, he accepts the pagan tribes within the Ummah, and he maintains the Jewish clans as clients of the Ansars (See Wellhausen, Excursus, p. 158). Even Moshe Gil, a sceptic of Islamic history, argues that it was written within five months of Muhammad’s arrival in Madina (Cf. Moshe Gil: “The Constitution of Medina: A Reconsideration” (Israel Oriental Studies, 1974, 4:45).
identity markers, i.e., it is the creation of a completely new identity for the Muslims. However, even more critically, it is also used as a religiously inclusive concept to include the idol-worshippers, the Hanifs, the Jews, and even the few Christians who were dwelling in Madina at the time. This was central to the formation of the “Islamicate”, to use Marshall Hodgson’s profound term  . As a member of this new Ummah there was, however, to be no coercion or duress to give up their original organic identities. Instead, the distinct religious identities were to be honoured and sustained.
The current Muslim leadership is very quick to point out the paradigm of Madina and all the Sunnahs of the Prophet (PBUH) related to it while discussing an Islamic polity, statecraft and the character of citizenship. However, they consciously and constantly ignore or simply do not mention the practices, teachings and political praxes of the Prophet (PBUH) vis-a-vis other religions – especially and critically the fact that other religions were part of his Ummah in Madina where he was the political and religious head of the new city-state 
In the making of the new state of Pakistan, there was an intertwining and merging of the concept of the overarching non-statist Islamic Ummah, which was now to be viewed within the confines of a nation-state as defined by the Treaty of Westphalia (1648). It is essential to remember that the Treaty of Westphalia restricted the emerging nation-states after the breakdown of the Holy Roman Empire on the basis of:
 Marshall G. S. Hodgson: The Venture of Islam, Three Volumes (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977).
 For more details on the character and practice established by the Prophet (PBUH) in the city-state of Madina vis-a-vis the Ummah, please see Excursus I at the end of this paper.
The religious identity (Clause 2 above) of these new states is neither fully recognised nor fully acknowledged and there is therefore the development of the much later myth of the European secular nation-states. The question of religious identity was fully encapsulated in one of the critical clauses of the Treaty, viz., Cuius regio, eius religio (Whosoever’s realm, their religion).
The major difference here was that in Pakistan a clearly new experiment was established on the basis of Muslim identity. A minority community of another state formed a new nation-state for itself. Further, this new nation-state for the Muslims had numerous other religious minorities dwelling within its new borders.
Getting rid of the Khalifa (in Turkey) and narrowing the concept of Ummah (in Pakistan) were both radical shifts and major reformations of the accepted critical core of Islamic theological concepts. They were a Reformation set into motion in Islam qua Islam without external pressure, duress, or input. Therefore what is of great interest is that this was happening as an unfolding or adaptability of Islam from within itself rather than simply bowing to, or borrowing from, some external duress, pressure, or circumstance. What is further enlightening is that it established a new pattern for the whole Islamic world. Since the formation of Pakistan in 1947, the contemporary Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is now the closest thing to a consolidated notion of the Ummah, as a representative body of 57 Islamic member nation-states, just as the UN is for all the nation-states of the world. Unlike the Caliph, the OIC has no religious and political authority as such, but has to reach negotiated agreements, and there are clearly serious differences of opinion and politics in the OIC, though the member states are all Muslim. For example, there are major tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and Qatar and the other Arab Gulf States.
The next new formation was the religious state of Israel, which also paradoxically followed the Westphalian pattern of state formation but with an established Jewish identity and as a Zionist state. This Jewish identity is now much more dominant than the Zionist secularism that some of its founding fathers espoused, and which is now progressively exerted more legislatively and legally than practically, but then this has also happened in Pakistan. We are also witnessing a similar process unfolding in India under the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ‘saffronisation’ of India from a clearly secular liberal mandate articulated by the Indian National Congress during the struggle for independence and the early period until around 1986 (the BJP displays an evolution in its political and national power since 2014).
III. The Many Coercions of the Minorities in Pakistan
In order to do full justice to the issue of the “Historical and Contemporary state of Minorities in Pakistan”, a genealogical and historical assessment within the context of the founding moments of the country is critical. We must examine the promises that were articulated, the assurances that were given to the minorities, and examine these in the light of the continuing violations and reneging on these promises and assurances over the last 74 years. This has kept the minorities very insecure and unhappy as they continue to live with an ever-present sword of Damocles hanging over their heads. Their religious institutions are constantly under threat and they are continuously fearful of the eruption of the next series of violence, accusations, calumny and perfidy laid at their door. They face attacks on their persons, destruction of their properties and their religious institutions, as well as serious threats to the safety of their children, especially girls. For example, a constant challenge confronting the minorities is that young Hindu and Christian girls are kidnapped, coercively ‘converted’ and then forcibly married off to some much older Muslim man. A recent example of this is the case of 13-year-old Arzoo Raja, who was abducted by a 44-year-old Muslim male neighbour on October 13, 2020.
This continuing and long-term tragic problem had forced the Sindh province to legislate the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act 2013, passed in 2014, which restricts the minimum marriageable age to 18 years, and holds all those involved in violating this restriction as culpable and subject to penalties and rigorous punishment. The federal laws are less restrictive in that the national minimum marriageable age is 16 years, but the punishment for violating that law and coercing young girls and their families is theoretically more severe. Though these laws are now on the books and seem fine on paper, they are rarely implemented because of the vulnerable situation of the minorities and the deep prejudice of the state institutional structures. Further, even attempts at establishing laws to deal with these crises can easily undergo rejection and amendments purely on some presumed religious grounds. The best example of this was the rejection of The Prohibition of Forced Conversion Act, 2021. This Act was prepared by the current government’s Ministry of Human Rights based on international human rights standards and Pakistan’s constitutional guarantees for the minorities. It was, however, summarily rejected by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony purely on ideological grounds, without any consultation with the minorities. So dealing with these issues remains fraught with false religious fervour, religious emotional blackmail, and violent vigilantism.
 Nabila Feroz Bhatti, “Law: Conscience or Conversion?” in Dawn, October 10, 2021, available at https://www.dawn.com/news/1651074/law-conscience-or-convenience.
IV. Vision for, and Promises to, the Minorities in the Early Days of Pakistan
In this context it is important to remember the oft-quoted and much-repeated critical speech of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the Quaid-e-Azam (Father of the Nation) on August 11, 1947, i.e. three days before the actual formal Independence and Partition of Pakistan and India. This is the immediate context of this speech, but most critically it dealt with the serious and tragic religious communal violence that had taken place around this period in undivided India. Inter-religious communal crises had been flaring up in India periodically since at least 1909 in Bengal and had undergone a number of different permutations over the decades. It had led to massive tragedies and fatalities during the last stages of the Independence struggle and resulted in the Partition of India into two separate independent nations. At the final tally, at least 14 million Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus were displaced as they crossed the border both ways to ensure their safety in a highly lawless and communally rife environment. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), this was the “largest mass migration in human history”. The newly formed states were clearly completely unequipped to deal with this tragic migration of such staggering magnitude, and the mass violence and slaughter that ensued. The Partition cost anywhere between 200,000 to two million lives, depending on the relaying sources. Another 2.23 million went missing, and between 10-15 million people were displaced, losing their homes, property, etc. As usual these staggering numbers do not specifically mention women who are
 The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): “Rupture in South Asia” (2010, http://www.unhcr.org/3ebf9bab0.pdf). According to Barney Henderson, however, writing on the 70th anniversary of the Independence: “In the days, weeks and months following Partition, 15 million Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs, fearing discrimination, swapped countries in an upheaval that cost more than a million lives.” (Barney Henderson: “Indian Independence Day: Everything you need to know about Partition between India and Pakistan 70 years on” (The Telegraph, August 15, 2017, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/15/indian-independence-day-everything-need-know-partition-india/)
 Crispin Bates: “The Hidden Story of Partition and Its Legacies” (BBC, March 3, 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/modern/partition1947_01.shtml); William Dalrymple: “The Great Divide: The Violent Legacy of Indian Partition” (The New Yorker, June 29, 2015, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/06/29/the-great-divide-books-dalrymple); and Sarah Ansari: “A Partition too deep: How events in 1947 shaped Pakistan today” (Herald, August 13, 2017, https://herald.dawn.com/news/1153498).
always particularly targeted during such crises, suffering everything from rape, torture, incredible inhumanity, destruction of dignity, and even murder, because of the vile male attitude towards vulnerable ‘enemy women’. This then was the immediate and urgent context of the Quaid’s August 11, 1947 speech, which gives us a concrete understanding of the promissory emphasis that he made and the imperatives that he laid at the very foundation of Pakistan:
“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State…We are starting in the days where there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle: that we are all citizens, and equal citizens, of one State…Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal.”
 Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s first Presidential Address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan (August 11, 1947), from G. Allana: Pakistan Movement: Historical Documents (Karachi: Department of International Relations, University of Karachi, nd , pp. 407-411). Available at http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00islamlinks/txt_jinnah_assembly_1947.html).
We all know that the first speaker/president of the new National Assembly that was established on August 11, 1947, was indeed Muhammad Ali Jinnah. But however often this speech is held up as a beacon of inclusivity, it is rarely recognised or acknowledged that Jogendra Nath Mandal, a Hindu, had been elected as the temporary chair at this inaugural session. Mandal was therefore the chair when the Quaid delivered this famous speech to the Constituent Assembly, and through it to all the people of the new State that was yet to formally come into being. This speech was a bold articulation of an ideal: a vision, a promise, and a covenant to all the citizens of Pakistan, irrespective of religion, caste, creed, etc.
Mandal was not only a Hindu, but a Dalit, an untouchable, or in colonial euphemistic parlance, a member of the ‘Scheduled Castes’ (over against the caste Hindus). Along with Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, also a Dalit, who was the illustrious author of the Indian Constitution, Mandal had established the Bengal branch of the Scheduled Caste Federation in 1942. During the massive communal riots in Bengal in 1946, Mandal had travelled around the province exhorting Dalits not to participate in the inter-religious violence against Muslims. Jinnah had appreciated these efforts immensely and took the very bold and symbolic step of putting Mandal forward as a representative of the Muslim League (ML) (note the irony). Mandal was in fact one of only five representatives of the ML in the Interim Government of India in 1946, and was even appointed the Minister of Law in the Interim Government – a highly critical portfolio. After the Partition, Mandal was one of the 96 founding members of Pakistan’s Constituent Assembly. He not only retained the portfolio of Law but was further appointed as the Minister of Labour. Both these ministries were very close to the Quaid’s heart. As an eminent lawyer at the Bombay court, law had been a dominant vocation throughout Jinnah’s adult life. Further, labour was equally important for the Quaid in his political vocation, as he had served as the President of the All India Postal Staff Union (elected to this position in 1925), representing 70,000 postal workers. He won his seat in the Indian Legislative Assembly as a representative of the Muslims of Bombay, but also struggled hard on the issues of labour as a representative of the Indian Postal Staff Union and secured, after much contentious debate, the passage of the famous India Trade Union Act of 1926. Both of these portfolios were therefore critically important in the newly emerging state, and Mandal’s appointment reflects the awe-inspiring richness of the founding ideals of Pakistan. Mandal is therefore rightly dubbed one of Pakistan’s founding fathers, not that this is often publicly acknowledged. This should remind us of the ongoing commitment of the Quaid-e-Azam to minorities in the new state, not just in his speech of August 11, 1947, but in his broader actions and policies as well.
V. Pakistan: A State for Minorities and its Changing Patterns
Pakistan was created not simply as an Islamic state (the more conservative reading of that history), or even just as a state for Muslims as such (as per the more liberal reading of that history). Rather it came about specifically for a minority community of India, namely the Muslims, who did not feel safe in the context of the Hindu majority in the nascent independent India where they constituted at most only 25 percent of the population.
The Muslims had already experienced deep dislocation after the 1937 elections, even in those states (provinces) where they were a substantial majority. They had neither a place in the statecraft or any real status in the state bureaucratic mechanisms in these newly established states (1935) and the elected governments that came into place after the 1937 elections. According to their reading of the context, the Congress majority state governments had neither provided any protection nor given the Muslims under their jurisdiction any confidence that the rights of the Muslim minorities would ever be established with justice and fairness. Validating their own minority status, and fully cognizant of the violations of their rights, they therefore demanded that they and other minorities living in these states should all be treated with equal dignity, fairness, and justice. Thus for Jinnah to make the statement he made on August 11, 1947 was simply a continuation of those principles, establishing the very character of Pakistan and determining the measure of justice and fairness for the minorities who were to be its citizens.
I will briefly outline here some of the major milestones for Pakistan as it came into being as part of a minority demand. We will discuss different aspects of these milestones and how they were reflected through the independence struggle itself and in the establishment of the rights of minorities in the early years of Pakistan. These major milestones are important for seeing the changing patterns in Pakistan’s history, particularly towards the minorities.
1. The British ‘Political Reforms’ leading up to Independence
The immediate context for the generation of the Lahore Resolution was the fact that the British had introduced representative political reforms in India in 1935. The British had ruled India by comprehensively exercising the old colonial practice of ‘divide and rule’. They had successfully broken up the larger concentrations of power into smaller units along existing fault lines, and where such fault lines did not exist, they contrived to generate them in order for the parts to be easily captured and British power and rule entrenched. The British established protective and patronising relations with these new entities and enforced upon them a high dependency, supposedly for their protection. As the independence movement became more and more vocal, robust and vociferous, the British once again utilised this policy, and in this context they generated a number of ‘political reforms’.
The first of these were the Morley-Minto Reforms of 1909, which established a separate electorate to create reserved seats exclusively for Muslims. This was later expanded by the
 Though better known as the Morley-Minto Reforms, it was actually the Indian Councils Act of 1909 enacted by the British Parliament, which directly introduced the elective principle to membership in the imperial and local legislative councils in India. The act was formulated by John Morley, the Secretary of State for India (1905-10) and by Lord Minto, the British Viceroy of India (1905-10). These reforms allowed a small minority of Indians to be part of the legislative council of India; they were authorised by property ownership and education. In 1910, 135 elected Indian representatives took their seats as members of legislative councils throughout British India. The Act also increased the maximum additional membership of the Imperial Legislative Council from 16 (to which it had been raised by the Indian Councils Act of 1892) to 60 (Encyclopedia Britannica: “Indian Councils Act of 1909 United Kingdom-India”, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Indian-Councils-Act-of-1909).
Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms (1919), to include other minorities: Sikhs, Indian Christians, Anglo-Indians, Europeans, as well as distinct regional groups (like the Marathas in the Bombay Presidency), and special interests like women, organised labour, business, landowners, and universities. Most critically, these reforms also offered a separate electorate for the so-called ‘depressed classes’, i.e., the Dalits. The Congress Party generally resented these separate electorates, but was particularly incensed by the separate seats allocated for the ‘depressed classes’. This was not simply because it was seen as a challenge to the Hindu caste system, but rather because this took away 50 million Hindu Dalits from the control of higher caste Hindus and thus diminished the latter’s strength and power.
The British concern was not to serve some higher virtue, nor was it intended to reconcile Indian religious pluralism, their rhetoric notwithstanding. Rather, they were attempting to create an elaborate electoral formula to weaken the Congress Party’s majority through winning the support of the minorities and thus undermining the Congress’ claim to be India’s sole united nationalist movement. This was also an effort to wean the educated elite of the minority communities away from the revolutionary independence fervour of the Congress Party and its “Non-cooperation movement”, launched ostensibly for the whole of India.
The third of these ‘reforms’ was the Government of India Act 1935 , which established representative elected governments in all the provinces and generated an Indian federation – British India plus some of the princely states. It increased the direct franchise from seven million to 35 million. However, the British placed a huge caveat on this emerging representative democratic federation, in that the British Viceroy maintained the power to veto any legislation proposed by these elected governments that he alone considered unacceptable. Thus the voice of 35 million Indians could be wiped out by a single stroke of the Viceroy’s pen.
 The Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms of the colonial government introduced gradually self-governing institutions in British India. They were introduced by Edwin Montagu (the Secretary of State for India from 1917 to 1922), and Lord Chelmsford (the Viceroy of India between 1916 and 1921). They were actually prepared in 1918, and implemented as the Government of India Act 1919. The most important feature of this act was that the Imperial Legislative Council was now to consist of two houses: the Central Legislative Assembly and the Council of State. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montagu%E2%80%93Chelmsford_Reforms
 The Government of India Act, 1935 was generated in the British Parliament and received royal assent in August 1935. It was a rather long Act and therefore had to be divided into two parts.
Crucially, the Government of India Act 1935 also created two separate new provinces in the east and the northwest of the country, viz., Orissa separated from Bihar, and Sindh separated from the Bombay Presidency. Significantly for the history of Pakistan, Sindh became the first Muslim majority province of British India since the reunification of Bengal in 1911.
The resultant state governments under the Congress rule had displayed clear indications that the Muslims were being reduced to becoming a permanent political minority and second-class citizens. Being barely one-fourth of the total Indian population, to exist within a huge Hindu majority state was clearly sealing the Muslim fate indelibly. This pervasive Hindu presence in the anticipated democratic post-colonial India would mean not only that the Muslims would be reduced to the status of a perpetual and largely powerless minority, but further, they would have no recourse to protect their fundamental rights. Therefore, to ensure and protect their political, social and religious rights, Muslims envisioned a separate state for the Indian Muslims as the only workable solution. This objective had overwhelming support from the Muslim masses in India. They first demanded autonomous contiguous Muslim states in the eastern and northwestern parts of the country that had clear Muslim majority populations. This, however, very quickly morphed into a demand for an altogether separate homeland for the Muslim minority, namely Pakistan.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah had come back to politics in India in the 1930s after a brief stint in Britain, and once again became the formal leader of the ML in 1937. Much earlier, Jinnah had played a crucial role in the shaping of the Lucknow Pact of 1916 between the Congress and the All-India ML. He had even been recognised as “the best ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity” by no less a person than Gopal Krishna Gokhale, a senior leader of the Congress, a social reformer and the founder of the Servants of India Society. However, Jinnah had become less enamoured with his role in the Congress over time, having taken over the leadership of the ML, of which he remained a titular head even during his hiatus in England. He resigned from the Congress in 1920 and by the late 1930s was totally disillusioned with any possibility of living under Congress rule (‘Hindu Raj’).
 Bengal had been briefly divided into Eastern Bengal and Western Bengal in 1905, creating a shortlived Muslim majority state in East Bengal. This majority lost its status in 1911 when East and West Bengal were reunited. But when the division was made during the creation of Pakistan, the old division was revived and East Bengal, because of its Muslim population, became East Pakistan, and West Bengal remained part of India.
 Stanley Wolpert: Jinnah of Pakistan (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984, pp. 34-35).
By the 1930s it had become evident to the Indian Muslims that they needed separate provinces for their minority community, especially in the northwestern provinces, the eastern half of Bengal, and pockets of the United Provinces (UP). Allama Iqbal, while presiding over the ML’s annual meeting in Allahabad in 1930, had already proposed that “the final destiny” of India’s Muslims should be to consolidate a “North-west Indian Muslim state”. For him, presciently, this included the major provinces of modern-day Pakistan: Punjab, Sindh, the North-West Frontier Province (which is now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), and Balochistan. In 1933 a group of Muslim students at Cambridge led by Chaudhary Rahmat Ali proposed that the solution for India’s Muslims would be to give birth to a Muslim “Fatherland” – Pakistan – for the Muslim majority of the north western and north eastern provinces.
Jinnah himself, however, only took up this demand for a separate homeland for the Muslims at the Lahore ML meeting in March 1940. He had arrived at this position after a series of political developments and machinations of the British and the Congress when, after the 1937 election, Nehru had not permitted the ML to form coalition ministries with the Congress majority in UP and elsewhere where there was a large Muslim presence. Nehru had insisted that there were only “two parties” in India: the Congress and the British Raj. Muslims began to view the ‘Hindu Raj’ after the 1937 elections as highly biased and deeply tyrannical, and their controlling ministries were insensitive to Muslim demands, redress of their grievances, appeals for jobs, etc. Muslims believed that they had become second-class citizens, and on the cusp of the emergence of an independent India it was obvious that it would be dominated by this majority Hindu Raj and the Muslims would be a permanent and highly depressed minority. The Muslims insisted, and Jinnah articulated this very successfully, that they were a highly formidable third party (besides the British and Congress). This conviction was ultimately vindicated in the formation of Pakistan for a minority Muslim community.
2. Lahore Resolution/Pakistan Declaration
The Lahore Resolution or Qarardad-e-Lahore, now mostly referred to as the Pakistan Resolution or the Declaration of Independence of the Muslims, was a formal political statement adopted by the All-India ML during its three-day general session in Lahore, March 22-24, 1940. This was the first gathering of the ML since the outbreak of WWII and was its largest to that point. The delegates declared forcefully that any future constitutional plans for the federated India would not be acceptable to the Muslims unless the Muslim majority states in the northwestern and eastern zones of India were “grouped to constitute ‘independent states’ in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign.” The resolution theoretically provided the foundational blueprint for the formation of a completely new independent Muslim state, which had never existed as such prior to this struggle. It was engendered as part of the broader Indian struggle for independence from British colonial rule, but in the process ended up also seeking a narrower independence from the Hindu majority itself, namely, from the ‘Hindu Raj’.
The Resolution was authored by Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, soon to become Pakistan’s first Foreign Minister in 1947, a post he held for seven years until 1954. From 1954-58, he was the first Asian and Pakistani to serve as a judge at the International Court of Justice, and went on to become its vice-president from 1958-61. He then served as the president of the UN General Assembly from 1962-64. He rejoined the ICJ as a judge in 1964, and even served as its president from 1970-73. Ironically, he was an Ahmadi, a community who were later forcefully classified as a minority by the Pakistan Constitution (Second Amendment) Act, 1974. Sadly, this happened under the arguably ‘most liberal political leadership’ of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, though it must be also acknowledged that the Ahmadis have faced ‘non-constitutional’ and non-legal persecutions throughout the history of Pakistan.
Among other things the Lahore Resolution stated:
 The Constitution (Second Amendment) Act, 1974, specifically targeted Ahmadis, featuring an amendment to Article 260 of the Constitution in the following terms: ‘In the Constitution, in Article 260, after clause (2) the following new clause shall be added, namely – (3) A person who does not believe in the absolute and unqualified finality of The Prophethood of MUHAMMAD (Peace be upon him), the last of the Prophets, or claims to be a Prophet, in any sense of the word or of any description whatsoever, after MUHAMMAD (Peace be upon him), or recognizes such a claimant as a Prophet or religious reformer, is not a Muslim for the purposes of the Constitution or law.’
 See Excursus II at the end of this paper.
“That adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards should be specifically provided in the constitution for minorities in these units and in these regions for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights and interests in consultation with them; and in other parts of India where the Mussalmans are in a minority, adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards shall be specially provided in the constitution for them and other minorities for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights and interests in consultation with them.”
At the time, the Quaid was the President of the ML, and was therefore leading the deliberations of the General Session discussing the character of the independent Muslim states and the rejection of the existing 1935 separate electorate process in anticipation of the departure of the British from India. In his presidential address to the General Session, the Quaid said:
“You know that the British people are very obdurate people. They are also very conservative; and although they are very clever, they are slow in understanding…We stand unequivocally for the freedom of India. But it must be freedom of all India and not freedom of one section or, worse still, of the Congress caucus – and slavery of Mussalmans and other minorities…
We reminded them [Congress provincial governments] of their special responsibilities to us and to other minorities, and the solemn pledges they had given to us…
 These zones comprised Bengal and Assam in the Northeast, and the Punjab, North West Frontier Province, Sindh and Balochistan in the Northwest of India, where the Muslims were a dominant majority. The demand was to constitute these states into sovereign independent ‘states’.
 See, “Appendix C: Pakistan Resolution of the All India Muslim League (24 March 1940)” in Ishtiaq Husain Qureshi: The Struggle for Pakistan (Karachi: University of Karachi, 1969, pp. 324-5). See also,“Lahore Resolution”, Wikipedia.org, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lahore_Resolution
Hindus and Muslims brought together under a democratic system forced upon the minorities can only mean Hindu Raj…
One has only got to look round. Even today, according to the British map of India, out of eleven provinces, four provinces where the Muslims dominate more or less, are functioning notwithstanding the decision of the Hindu Congress High Command to non-cooperate and prepare for civil disobedience. Mussalmans are a nation according to any definition of a nation, and they must have their homelands, their territory, and their state. We wish to live in peace and harmony with our neighbours as a free and independent people. We wish our people to develop to the fullest our spiritual, cultural, economic, social, and political life, in a way that we think best and in consonance with our own ideals and according to the genius of our people…”
A year later, in the Madras session of the All-India ML on April 15, 1941, the Lahore Resolution was incorporated as the ML’s constitutional creed. However, during this adoption the text of the resolution was subtly but fundamentally changed from the original Lahore Resolution of March 23, 1940, replacing the original plural ‘independent states’ with the singular ‘independent state’. This was not a spelling or typographical error, but was a clear political projection of where the ML thought the situation was vis-a-vis the emancipation and independence of a state for the Muslim minority, already by this early date, just a year after the Lahore Resolution of 1940. Thus the Lahore Resolution was radically converted and was viewed as an unequivocal demand for the establishment of Pakistan and as part of the core process of independence from British rule itself.
3. Cabinet Mission and the formation of Pakistan
In the elections held in the winter of 1945-46, Jinnah’s ML won all 30 seats reserved for Muslims in the Central Legislative Assembly and most of the reserved provincial seats against the Congress and other parties’ representatives. Thus the Congress, though successful in winning all the general Assembly seats, could no longer claim that it spoke for the entire population of British India. Subsequent to Nehru’s repudiation of the Cabinet Mission’s constitutional formula, Jinnah was compelled to struggle for a Muslim ‘nation’.
 Address by Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah at Lahore Session of Muslim League, March, 1940 (Islamabad: Directorate of Films and Publishing, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad, 1983, pp. 5-23). Available at http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00islamlinks/txt_jinnah_lahore_1940.html
At the end of WWII, European states and colonial powers were reconfiguring their colonial patterns and global influence. Britain had undergone a major shift in its own governance through the landslide victory of Clement Attlee and his Labour Party in 1945 over the much-acclaimed victorious wartime Prime Minister (PM) Winston Churchill, who was an indefatigable colonialist. The British government found that their divide and rule policies that had pragmatically generated a clear patronage for the Muslims as well as the ML, now conflicted with their contemporary need for a united independent India. The desire for such a united India was both a matter of pride as well as their propaganda that they had been able to ‘politically unify’ the Subcontinent with all its plurality, fissures and conflicts. However, this concern for a united India was also a product of serious doubts by most British authorities vis-a-vis the feasibility of Pakistan that was being envisioned by the Muslims.
Therefore, at the instigation of PM Attlee, the Cabinet Mission was sent to India in 1946 to initiate a post-independent India and the transfer of power to the Indian leadership. It also wanted to determine the form of the state to emerge as well as the kind of leaders needed to undertake its governance. Ostensibly the Mission’s aim was to grant India’s independence while preserving India’s unity. Not surprisingly, therefore, the members of the Mission were Lord Pethick-Lawrence, the Secretary of State for India, to deal with the political issues; Sir Stafford Cripps, President of the Board of Trade, to deal with the issues of the economy and market; and A.V. Alexander, the First Lord of the Admiralty, to deal with the defence and related role of the British in the region. Lord Wavell, the Viceroy of India at the time, did not participate at every step but was present off and on, thus reflecting his “commitment to a newly independent India”.
The Cabinet Mission, upon arriving in India towards the end of the British rule, found an India unbridgeably divided and both the leading parties, viz., the Indian National Congress and the All-India ML, deeply entrenched and totally unwilling to reach any compromise. Both the parties had performed very well in the elections and had emerged as the two main parties in the Subcontinent, the other provincial organisations having been thoroughly defeated. This was largely due to the separate electorates system that the British had put in place through their reforms over the last 30 plus years (the Morley-Minto Reforms 1909, the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms 1919 and the Government of India Act 1935). While the Congress had been very successful in the general elections, the ML had been victorious in approximately 90 percent of the seats allocated for Muslims, thus negating the Congress’ claim that it represented the whole of India.
These Muslim victories had provided Jinnah a strong hand with which to bargain, both with the British and the Congress; he therefore felt no need to compromise with either during these negotiations. Further, having established the system of separate electorates, the British could not now reverse its consequences in spite of their new genuine, if convenient, commitment to Indian unity. As an alternative, the Cabinet Mission proposed a two-tiered federal plan, which was intended to maintain national unity while conceding the largest measure of regional autonomy. There was to be a federation of the provinces and the states, with the federal centre controlling only defence, foreign affairs and communications. At the same time, individual provinces could form regional unions to which they could surrender, by mutual agreement, some of their powers. Ultimately, however, the Cabinet Mission failed to convince either of the parties involved towards the goal of a united India.
Finally, the British Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act in July 1947, reflecting the failure of the Cabinet Mission and their own governance to produce a united resolution. They ordered that the dominions of India and Pakistan be demarcated by midnight of August 14-15, 1947, and that British imperial assets be divided within the next month. In this context two Boundary Commissions were appointed to work on the partition of Punjab and Bengal.
4. Radcliffe Border Commission and the formation of Pakistan
In this context, it is critical to remember that the Muslim-majority British Indian provinces which were to become Pakistan were:
Both these two provinces were automatically slated to be part of Pakistan. The other three provinces that eventually became part of Pakistan had complications:
North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) (92 percent Muslim). Although NWFP had the highest percentage of Muslim population, it was not completely dominated by
 Priyadarshi Dutta: “A dense pre-Partition history of NWFP that fails to hold attention” (Deccan Chronicle, October 8, 2019) https://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifestyle/books-and-art/081019/a-dense-pre-partition-history-of-nwfp-that-fails-to-hold-attention.html
the ML but had a strong Congress Party leaning. The Chief Minister of NWFP at the time was Khan Abdul Jabbar Khan of the Frontier National Congress (a provincial affiliate of the Indian National Congress). Then there was a very popular and strong Pashtun movement of the Khudai Khidmatgar (also known as the Red Shirts/Surkh Posh) led by Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Bacha Khan). Both Jabbar and Ghaffar were vehemently opposed to the partition of India. A controversial referendum was therefore held in NWFP in July 1947, boycotted by both these dominant figures in the Pakhtun province. An overwhelming majority voted to join Pakistan, and this was accepted as determining the location of NWFP as part of Pakistan;
Punjab in the north-west had a majority Muslim population but not an overwhelming one (55.7 percent Muslim). Therefore, the province was split, the western portion of the Punjab (with a larger Muslim percentage) became part of West Pakistan, and the eastern portion (with majority Sikh and Hindu population) became the Indian state of East Punjab;
Bengal in the north-east had only 54.4 percent Muslim population. It was therefore partitioned into East Bengal with a much larger Muslim population, which became East Pakistan, and West Bengal with a large Hindu base stayed part of India.
Thus two provinces of the old British India were partitioned, ostensibly on the basis of religious communal identity, while the other three provinces maintained the status quo. The ultimate division of these two provinces was finally settled barely a month before the actual Partition by the famous Radcliffe Commission, and the Radcliffe Line was finally implemented. Radcliffe himself chaired both Boundary Commissions with two judges representing the Congress and two the ML. The Commissions were thus completely legal structures. While Bengal was a relatively easy division to make as it had already been divided once in 1906 and rescinded in 1911 and that paradigm was available, Punjab was more complex and presented a difficult situation. This was especially because it also involved the Sikhs, who had demanded their own state of Khalistan – a quest that has surfaced many times since the Partition with tragic consequences.
During the Partition negotiations, Jinnah had warmly invited the Sikhs to live in Pakistan with safeguards for their rights. However, the Sikhs refused because they opposed the concept of Pakistan and also because they were opposed to being a small minority within a Muslim majority. Besides this, there were various reasons for the Sikh refusal to join Pakistan. One clear outcome of this Partition of Punjab, however, has been that it has left a deep impact on the Sikh psyche, culture and religious identity, since many of the Sikh holy sites are located in what is now Pakistan, and as Indian citizens they do not have easy access to these sites for the necessary pilgrimage.
By contrast, as early as 1942, the All-India Christian Association had assured the Quaid of its fullest unconditional cooperation vis-a-vis Pakistan and advised the Christian community to move to Pakistan upon its coming into existence. Joshua Fazluddin, a critically important Christian leader, agreed with Chaudhry Rehmat Ali (who devised the name Pakistan) regarding the separation of this territory from India. Some other examples were people like Dewan Bahadur Sataya Prakash Singha, Speaker of the Punjab Assembly; Justice Alvin Robert Cornelius who later became Pakistan’s Chief Justice; Pothan Joseph who was recruited by Jinnah to be the first editor of Dawn in Karachi; Chaudhry Chandu Lal; Fazal Elahi; journalist Elmer Chaudhry (the father of celebrated Pakistani war hero Squadron Leader Cecil Chaudhry); and B L Rallia Ram, National General Secretary of the YMCA of India, Burma and Ceylon, Chairman of the Students’ Christian Association of India, Burma and Ceylon, Secretary of the Punjab Indian Christian Association, and the first General Secretary of the All India Conference of Indian Christians.
Dewan Bahadur S P Singha, a prominent Christian leader who was already the Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, played a particularly historic role, following Mountbatten’s June 3 Plan announcing the Partition of India. Singha and the Christian leadership in Punjab expressed their opposition to the Partition of Punjab and demanded that the whole of Punjab be included in Pakistan. Joshua Fazluddin presciently went on to warn the Congress that the division of the province would result in a human disaster. At the June 23, 1947 meeting of the Punjab Legislative Assembly considering the future of the undivided Punjab, three Christian members of the Assembly, namely Dewan Bahadur Singha, Mr Cecil Gibbon and Mr Fazal Elahi voted for the inclusion of the whole of Punjab in Pakistan. The final vote was 91 for Pakistan and 88 for remaining with India. These three Christians clearly tilted the vote in favor of the whole of Punjab being part of Pakistan, but that is seldom if ever recognized or acknowledged. However, this judgment ended with the Radcliffe Boundary Commission that finally decided the future boundary
 Cf. Salman Tarik Kureshi: “How Four Christian Votes Made Pakistan Possible” (The Friday Times, June 1, 2018) available at https://www.thefridaytimes.com/how-four-christian-votes-made-pakistan-possible/
 Singha actually had two votes, one as a member of the Assembly and another as the Speaker of the Assembly; thus four Christian votes were cast in favour of Punjab being in Pakistan.
of Punjab and Pakistan. When the Commission’s proceedings took place, the Christian leaders, led by Singha, asked that in the demarcation of the boundaries, the Christian populations should be included with the Muslim populations. Cecil Gibbon, appearing before the Commission, demanded that the city of Lahore must be considered as part of Western Punjab and additionally requested that the Anglo-Indian Christians in Indian Punjab should be transported to Pakistan.
Clearly, the Christians had supported the cause of Pakistan in the belief that a Muslim society would be more secular and fairer to them than the caste-ridden Hindu society that would inevitably emerge in India. This was based on the articulation for the minorities by Jinnah and in the Lahore Resolution and vehemently stressed and reinforced on August 11, 1947 in the Quaid’s speech confirming these principles. Thus Pakistan, they believed, would be more concerned for the rights of minorities and preserving their religion, culture and traditions.
5. Overall Role of the Minorities in the formation and the early history of Pakistan
We must therefore take note of the general overall critical role of the minorities and minorityness in the independence movement and in the creation of Pakistan. Minorityness was the critical core of the struggle for Pakistan by the ML. It was the central idea and justification behind the ML’s demand first for configuring new Muslim autonomous states, which later evolved into a demand for an independent separate nation-state of Pakistan, as part of the independence struggle from British rule over India. This ML demand was a rejection of a simple universal Indian independence because this would inevitability lead to majority Hindu rule, which would equally inevitably oppress the Muslim minorities. This was an overwhelming rejection, and even a negation, of the Congress’s claim of representing all the citizens of India equally. It was therefore a firm establishment of the right of minorities to have critical input and control over their own affairs and futures and that these must be guaranteed.
On August 11, 1947, Quaid-e-Azam gave a broadly inclusive concrete roadmap of his conception of Pakistan, and how it was to be legislatively and politically governed. He categorically stated: “You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the state.” Honouring this promise, Quaid-e-Azam’s first Assembly of Pakistan included 13 non-Muslim members out of a total of 53 members, i.e., recognising officially the nearly one-fourth non-Muslim population in Pakistan at the time. Jogendra Nath Mandal was given the portfolios of the Labour and Law Ministries, and ironically, he also served as the Second Minister of Commonwealth and Kashmir Affairs. In these moves the Quaid was manifestly establishing the total equality of all citizens in the governance of Pakistan.
This central role of minorities continued in the early years of the nation. Unfortunately, i.e. consciously or unconsciously, this is ignored not only by those who read this struggle through a convenient Islamic prism, but also by those who have a much broader understanding and hermeneutics of this history. They too have uncritically accepted the basic premise of exclusive Muslim identity, rather than Muslim minorityness, as an epistemic truth.
When we recognize Muhammad Ali Jinnah as the ‘Muslim’ founder of Pakistan, we tend to overlook a number of complexities in such a definition. The Quaid actually came from an Ismaili Khoja (Sevener Shia) family, a minuscule minority even amongst Pakistan’s minority Shias. There are a number of uncorroborated assertions that he later became a mainline Ithna Ashari Shia (Twelvers), and even some assertions of his being a Sunni later in life. These critical nuances of his background are either conveniently left unstated or it is simply stated that he was a Muslim, ergo a Sunni. The ignoring of these nuances, or at least not giving them the due importance they deserve in the state biographies and documents, denies the minorityness within Islam itself and within the person of the founder of Pakistan.
Nadeem Paracha notes: “In 1981, the University Grants Commission of Pakistan issued a directive for authors and publishers of school and college textbooks that stated: ‘The depiction of Jinnah should be that of a man of orthodox religious views who sought the creation of an Islamic state. The ulema should be promoted as genuine heroes of the Pakistan Movement. There should be an emphasis on ritualistic Islam, together with a rejection of liberal interpretations of the religion. The books should guide students towards the ultimate goal of Pakistan, which is the creation of a completely Islamised State.’ The complete text of the directive can be found in Mutala-e-Pakistan, published in 1983 by Allama Iqbal Open University.”
 Ramesh Kumar Vankwani: “Forgotten Hero” (The News International, October 6, 2017) https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/234965-Forgotten-hero
 Nadeem F Paracha: “How Jinnah’s liberal Pakistan was turned into a conservative Islamic state” (Scroll.in, October 16, 2019) available at https://scroll.in/article/940464/how-jinnahs-liberal-pakistan-was-turned-into-a-conservative-islamic-state
The Ismaili Khojas have been variously evaluated; theologically however, they are mostly classified as a heretical sect by the Sunni Muslims, who in fact generally consider all Shias as at least partially heretical, but in the case of Ismaili Khojas this epithet is much emphasised. Even some Ithna Ashari Shia scholars consider Ismaili Khojas heretical. Thus a minority Ismaili Muslim not only founded Pakistan, but was actually the first head of the state at its Independence as the Governor General of the Dominion of Pakistan, a paradigm simply denied and always ignored. Further, Jinnah was married to a Zoroastrian woman, Rattanbai Petit (often informally called ‘Ruttie’), who ostensibly converted to Islam upon their marriage and became Ruttie Jinnah or Maryam Jinnah. Their daughter, Dina, however, married a Zoroastrian entrepreneur, Neville Ness Wadia, and only visited Pakistan twice after its founding in 1947. She continued to live on as a Zoroastrian, as do her two children and her grandchildren.
It should also be kept in mind that both Jinnah’s Islamic identity as well as his struggle for the formation of Pakistan were vociferously attacked by certain conservative Islamic orthodox Sunni groups, i.e. Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind headed by Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani; the Khaksar Movement headed by Allama Inayatullah Mashriqi; and the Majlis-e-Ahrar headed by Mazhar Ali Azhar. All of them fiercely tried to discredit Jinnah as a Muslim leader. Madani was vehemently opposed to the idea of Pakistan itself and was at the forefront of Muslim opposition to it. In the national elections of 1945-46, Azhar joined ranks with Mashriqi and Madani in criticising Jinnah and made a last-ditch effort to defeat the ML and bury the very idea of Pakistan. They even went on to slander Jinnah by naming Quaid-e-Azam as Kafir-e-Azam (i.e., the great leader was a great infidel).
 Madani, the principal of the Deobandi Darul Uloom and one of the foremost Islamic scholars in the country, advocated an undivided India and was the most prominent alim opposed to the ML and its demand for Pakistan. He even ridiculed the idea that Pakistan would be an Islamic State based on principles of the Sharia, quoting Jinnah’s promise that the constitution of Pakistan would be created by a Constituent Assembly elected by its people. He therefore likened Pakistan to a European-style democracy and not the basis for an Islamic state. He went on to mock Jinnah’s demand that basic industries of Pakistan would be state controlled, arguing that Jinnah was actually creating a socialist State and not an Islamic one. Further, since Jinnah was not a practicing Muslim, Islamic practices had no meaning for him, he was a Kafir-i-Azam and Churchill’s show-boy. He went on to note that Jinnah’s newspaper Dawn had only three Muslims while it had six Hindus, two Christians, a Jew, and even a Qadiani such as Z A Suleri as senior staff members. Cf. Venkat Dhulipala: “How the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hindi Fought against the Partition of India” (The Caravan: A Journal of Politics and Culture, March 7, 2015) https://caravanmagazine.in/vantage/madani-jinnah-muslim-league-partition; see also Saad S. Khan: “Jinnah married Parsi Ruttie after her conversion to Islam. Slander, boycott followed” (The Print, December 18, 2020) https://theprint.in/pageturner/excerpt/jinnah-married-parsi-ruttie-after-her-conversion-to-islam-slander-boycott-followed/569319/
The first Minister for Foreign Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, from 1947-54, was an Ahmadi, Sir Zafarullah Khan. He was one of the first signatories for the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR) in 1948, and even spoke for the adoption of Article 18 (the famous “right to conversion” clause) from the floor of the UN after some serious Muslim objections, especially from Saudi Arabia.
Finally, the first PM Liaquat Ali Khan was married to a Christian woman (Begum Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan, nee Sheila Irene Pant) who ostensibly converted to Islam upon marriage. She was an influential member of the inner party structure and an advisor to Jinnah, and some have claimed that she also served as a member of his first cabinet, holding the position of Minister for Women and Minority Affairs. She later became the first female provincial governor of Sindh (1973-1976) under Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
Given these few examples it is especially critical to take the paradigmatic value of J N Mandal and S P Singha as two members of the struggles for Pakistan who were critical in its early formation, where they ended up, their utter sadness during the Islamisation process let loose before and after the passage of the Objectives Resolution (OR), and how they evaluated and perceived this Islamisation process.
It is important therefore to present the sense of loss and brokenness experienced at the passage of the OR by the leading beacon of the minority communities who was highly critical in the foundation and the early history of Pakistan, namely, Jogander Nath Mandal. Mandal, a Dalit Hindu from East Bengal, presciently perceived that the OR was a cudgel that would subvert the rights of the minorities, dislocate them and place them in a political quagmire as highly vulnerable minority citizens. He saw that the OR was providing a foundation for limiting the minorities’ rights as fully endowed citizens of Pakistan. The Muslim minority having rightly fought the Hindu Raj, were now generating a Muslim Raj of their own over Pakistan’s minorities. The bill was rammed through post-haste in the face of the grave unease, strong resistance and bold condemnation of the minority members and the few Muslims who joined them.
 Article 18: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”
All the minority Assembly members, including Mandal, therefore voted against the OR.
The negative aftermath of the passage of the OR was felt almost immediately by the minorities in Pakistan. Jogendra Nath Mandal had been appointed the temporary Chairman of the first Constituent Assembly. This is especially critical, as he was in the Chair when the Quaid delivered his boldly inclusive and now-famous August 11, 1947 speech.. After the passage of the OR in 1949, which he opposed vociferously, a brokenhearted Mandal migrated to India in 1951, having seen his hopes for an inclusive Pakistan, as promised by Jinnah, dashed.
In his own voice, quoting from his resignation letter to Liaquat Ali Khan in 1950, Jogendra Nath Mandal said:
“Implicit in this formula [the 1940 Lahore Resolution] were (a) that northwestern and eastern Muslim zones should be constituted into two independent States; (b) that the constituent units of these States should be autonomous and sovereign; (c) that minorities’ guarantee should be in respect of rights as well as of interest and extend to every sphere of their lives, and (d) that constitutional provisions should be made in these regards in consultation with the minorities themselves. I was fortified in my faith in this resolution and the professions of the League leadership by the statement Qaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah was pleased to make on the 11th August 1947 as the President of the Constituent Assembly giving solemn assurance of equal treatment for Hindus and Muslims alike and calling upon them to remember that they were all Pakistanis. There was then no question of dividing the people on the basis of religion into full-fledged Muslim citizens and zimmis being under the perpetual custody of the Islamic State and its Muslim citizens. Every one of these pledges is being flagrantly violated apparently to your knowledge and with your approval in complete disregard of the Qaid-e-Azam’s wishes and sentiments and to the detriment and humiliation of the minorities…What is today the condition in East Bengal? About fifty lakhs of Hindus have left since the partition of the country…” 
 Sris Chandra Chattopadhyaya, Bhupendra Kumar Dutta, Professor Raj Kumar Chakraverty, Prem Hari Barma, Kamini Kumar Datta, Birat Chandra Mandal, all spoke strongly in opposition to the Objectives Resolution. All of them were East Bengal general members of the Constituent Assembly (as opposed to East Bengal Muslim members, as Liaquat Ali Khan was).
 Jogendra Nath Mandal’s resignation letter written to Liaquat Ali Khan on October 9, 1950. https://wikilivres.org/wiki/Resignation_letter_of_Jogendra_Nath_Mandal
The other towering figure of the minority communities, Dewan Bahadur S P Singha had already met this repugnant treatment articulated by Mandal. The fate meted out to him because of his religion was vile, violating the spirit behind the founding of Pakistan and all that Jinnah stood for and promised. It was a precursor to the attitudes and values towards the minorities adopted in the OR less than a year later.
Dewan Bahadur S P Singha had been an elected member of the Punjab Assembly and its Speaker until Partition, whereupon he became the first Speaker of the Pakistani Punjab Assembly in August 1947. The move towards Islamisation, even prior to the passage of the OR, had begun, and his status as the Speaker of the Punjab Assembly was made untenable; he was summarily ousted from that position. He was informed that a non-Muslim could not preside over a Muslim House, only a Muslim could be Speaker of the Assembly, and a vote of no-confidence was moved against him on the grounds of his religion. This unexpected and unanticipated vile treatment affected him profoundly and shattered his faith in the country he had fought for and believed he had achieved. He was really shocked that he would meet such profoundly odious treatment, violating the promises Jinnah had made to him, and emphatically reinforced in his speech of August 11, 1947. This was especially devastating given his years of devoted service to the cause of Pakistan, to be punished simply for being a Christian in the new Pakistan. He died just a few months later in the Autumn of 1948, shortly after Jinnah, and six months prior to the passage of the OR.
Salman Tarik Kureshi evaluates the current situation in the light of this betrayal: “…violence against Christians has become the order of the day. Churches have been attacked and destroyed, the homes of Christians have been torched, and innocents are being viciously targeted. Punjab is the province where Christians are targeted the most. The vast majority of attacks against Christians have taken place in the very province that Dewan Bahadur S P Singha had struggled to make a part of Pakistan.”
 Nasir Saeed: “Why are Christians missing from Pakistan’s history books?” (Pakistan Christian Post, November 21, 2013) available at http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/opinion-details/1848
 Salman Tarik Kureshi: “How Four Christian Votes Made Pakistan Possible” (The Friday Times, June 1, 2018) https://www.thefridaytimes.com/how-four-christian-votes-made-pakistan-possible/
6. Objectives Resolution and the status of the Minorities
It is therefore essential for us to look at the most critical moment for the minorities dwelling in the newly formed state of Pakistan, which was the passage of the OR on March 12, 1949.
The main task assigned to the Constituent Assemblies in Pakistan and India was the writing of post-Independence constitutions for their respective new states with due diligence and efficiency. As the character of the new Constitution and related legislative process were being discussed, it is important to remember that Pakistan was shaken by the death of its founder and first Governor General, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, on September 11, 1948, barely 13 months after the country’s foundation. This absence proved to be profoundly detrimental for the development of democratic, participatory and inclusive political norms and especially for protecting the rights of minorities in the new independent state. The process of writing the Constitution was also rather negatively impacted, both in terms of efficiency and the content of the constitutional debates.
It took 19 months for PM Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan to introduce a very small document, viz., the OR, in the Pakistan Constituent Assembly on March 5, 1949. The inexplicable delay reflected the difficulty the Constituent Assembly felt in defining the character of Pakistan as articulated in the objectives outlined in the Pakistan Resolution of March 23, 1940. Hence, the need for the establishment of a totally new second set of objectives, very different from the first set of well-defined and developed objectives of the Pakistan Resolution. The OR was ostensibly an articulation of the parameters, character and objectives for the country and the Constitution being drafted for it. But in fact, instead of meeting the needs of the Muslim minority as its goal, it shifted to a framing in which Islam was to provide the determination, borders, parameters and grammar for the new state. This de facto strongly limited the status and locus standi of the minorities who were now part of Pakistan. Their status in Pakistan was completely jeopardised and changed and they were made highly vulnerable to the whims of the majority Muslims. This document was thus hurriedly rushed for ratification within a week of its introduction at the Assembly, minimising any serious debate and ignoring the many overriding objections raised, especially by the minorities. First, the delay of almost two years in producing any constitutional document and then only to come up with that small document is highly vexing in itself, but even more vexing was the inexplicable circumstances of the speed and secrecy as well as the rejection of minimal transparency and accountability.
The minorities were vociferously against the intentions and contents of the OR, but their deep discomfort and foreboding were paid little heed by the government in its great rush to ratify the OR in the Constituent Assembly. The Hindu minority was especially apprehensive that the Islamic provisions of the OR, when interpreted by Muslim groups, would go against the interests of the minorities. B K Dutta in his speech in the Constituent Assembly asserted: “I feel I have every reason to believe that were this Resolution to come before this House within the lifetime of the Great Creator of Pakistan, the Quaid-e-Azam, it would not have been in its present shape.” The Congress members concluded that the OR reflected the views of neither the Quaid nor the PM but the ambitions of the “Ulema of the Land”. It was therefore not surprising that every minority member of the Constituent Assembly voted against it en masse, along with a few Muslim members of the Assembly who either abstained or voted against it because they found the OR equally objectionable.
The introduction, the passage, and the process followed in getting the OR ratified by a very small majority of the Constituent Assembly were a clear death knell for the inclusive democratic and participatory dreams of the Quaid and the stated expectations of the ML expressed so well in the Pakistan Resolution of 1940 and on many other occasions. Looking at the available documents it is not always very clear as to how many members of the Constituent Assembly actually voted for the OR. Hamid Khan, a historian and Supreme Court Barrister, simply states: “It is important to mention that 21 members out of 69 voted for the Objectives Resolution.” That is to say substantially less than one-third of the Constituent Assembly members voted for the OR. This is quite surprising, given the overwhelming Muslim makeup of the Assembly at the time.
Political instability in Pakistan was further exacerbated by the assassination of its first PM, Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, on October 16, 1951, four years after he was appointed to this position on August 15, 1947. These two tragic losses of the Quaid and Liaquat Ali Khan, so early in the history of Pakistan, led to major political trauma and chaotic jostling for political and economic power in the new country. As a result, a consolidated nexus of power  emerged that
 As quoted in Kausar Parveen: “The Role of the Opposition in Constitution-Making: Debate on the Objectives Resolution” (Pakistan Vision, vol. 11, no. 1, 2010, p. 146).
 See: “Objectives Resolution” at HistoryPak.com. https://historypak.com/objectives-resolution-1949
 Hamid Khan: Constitutional and Political History of Pakistan (3rd ed.) (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2017).
 This nexus of power was variously constituted of the bureaucracy, militocracy (note: militocracy and not military, i.e., the ruling army rather than a defending army), feudals (especially the Punjab feudals who had acquired their land in perpetuity under the British), industrialists and financial giants (who had been imported from what was later India and were not territorially native born), and the ulema (who were first against the founding of Pakistan, and also against the Quaid and even the ML).
made its first move to covertly exercise this power without any democratic normative and rights-based mandate. The Constituent Assembly itself was ultimately dissolved on October 24, 1954, by Governor General Malik Ghulam Muhammad and a second Constituent Assembly was constituted almost ex cathedra on May 28, 1955. This resulted in further consolidating the non-democratic oligarchies of power, which came together to ensure that they would remain in control of Pakistan, whether it was democratic or not.
The first Constitution was finally promulgated on March 23, 1956, some nine years after the founding of the country. It is also critical to note that this Constitution renamed the country the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. However, just two and a half years later this, the same nexus of power, with the assistance of President Major General (retd) Iskandar Mirza, abrogated the Constitution, which started the final destruction of democracy in the country. This nexus has controlled the destiny of Pakistan over the last seven plus decades.
Martial law was originally imposed by Iskander Mirza and his army chief, General Ayub Khan, on October 7, 1958. The latter was then appointed Chief Martial Law Administrator and the Constitution of 1956 was summarily abrogated, having been declared “unworkable”. Just two
 Mirza was a Sandhurst-trained Bengali General, a businessman and also a civil servant, who had been appointed the Secretary for Defence from October 1947 until May 1954, Governor of East Pakistan from May 1954 till October of that year, and then became the Governor General 1955-56. He finally became the President on March 23, 1956. He therefore represented almost all the elements of this new nexus of power.
 See Salahuddin Ahmed: Bangladesh: Past and Present (New Delhi: APH Publishing, 2004, pg. 151). The full text of the letter from Mirza to Prime Minister Firoz Khan Noon is as follows:
7th October 1958.
My dear Sir Firoz,
After very careful searching of the heart I have come to the conclusion that the country cannot be sound unless I take full responsibility and take over the administration. The Constitution of the 23rd March 1956 is not only unworkable but dangerous to the integrity and solidarity of Pakistan. If we go on trying to work it we will have to say good bye to Pakistan.
As Head of State, therefore, I have decided to abrogate the Constitution, take over all powers, dissolve the assemblies, the Parliament and the Central and Provincial Cabinets. My only regret is that this drastic revolutionary action I have to take while you were Prime Minister. By the time you get this letter Martial Law will come into operation and General Ayub whom I have appointed as the Chief Martial Law Administrator will be in position.
For you personally I have great regard and will do all that is necessary for your personal happiness and well-being.
[signed by Mirza on 9/10/1958]
Malik Firoz Khan Sahib,
Prime Minister’s House,
[contributed by Malik Adnan Hayat Noon]
weeks later, however, Mirza and Ayub had a complete falling out and the army directly took over the governance of Pakistan on October 27, 1958. This was the end of bureaucratic control over the destiny of Pakistan, and its replacement by the military. It was thus just the first of many martial laws in Pakistan’s history that have constantly impeded the evolution of democratic structures and participatory politics in Pakistan.
As a contrast, India produced its entire Constitution (considered the longest Constitution ever written) within a period of two years on November 26, 1949 (ratified just two months later, on January 26, 1950). The question is why was the writing of the Constitution so much more delayed in Pakistan than in India, which faced similar and even more difficult circumstances of a Hindu majority and much larger minority communities (Muslims constituting around 9.8 percent, Christians 2.3 percent, Sikhs 1.8 percent, and Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, etc, around 1.0 percent of the overall population). Exacerbating this situation in India even further was the fact that the Constitution was almost entirely drafted by a Dalit (untouchable or Scheduled Caste) Hindu, Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. This was unpalatable for the caste Hindus and their objection to this effect has surfaced many a time in India and especially after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) saffronisation of political, economic and social policies.
By contrast, the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan had taken the inexplicably long period of around two years to produce only a rather small, one page long OR. The Constituent Assembly then took another eight years to produce the first Constitution of Pakistan, ratified on March 23, 1956. So while the Constitution had taken almost nine years to produce, it was summarily nullified by the first military dictator of Pakistan in 1958, thus lasting barely two years before meeting an ignominious demise.
The OR was, and is, a bone of contention vis-a-vis the Islamic identity of Pakistan. Pakistan is one of the few states that has had two different stated objectives for its creation: 1) The Pakistan Resolution of 1940, and 2) the OR of 1949. Even after its adoption the OR never acquired a full role in the various Constitutions of Pakistan and was simply part of their preambles, thus not
 Based on the Indian Census of 1951.
legally binding. This changed under Zia’s Islamisation processes. In 1985, the OR was made a part of the Constitution as Article 2(A), which reads: “Wherein the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice as enunciated by Islam shall be fully observed.” This was clearly a fulfilment of the predictions made by those who objected to the OR, stating that it would exclude non-Muslim citizens of Pakistan.
a) Proposal of the Objectives Resolution
Liaquat Ali Khan introduced the OR as the foundational grund norm for the Constitution to be drafted, just six months after Jinnah’s death. But in doing so, he altered, and dare I say even negated, Jinnah’s ideal inclusive vision and promise of Pakistan to all its citizens. He completely violated the guarantees, promises and assurances publicly given by the Quaid to the Constituent Assembly and to the people of the new state, especially to its minorities, even prior to the actual foundation of Pakistan, on August 11, 1947.
Liaquat Ali Khan made a long and convoluted speech proposing that Islamic religion and identity be the prerequisites for the new Constitution of Pakistan. He did make some conciliatory noises and promises to the minorities, but the latter were very quickly violated, first during the debate over the passage of the OR in the Constituent Assembly, and then in the subsequent 70 plus years. It is therefore important to quote extensively from Liaquat Ali Khan’s speech introducing the OR to the Constituent Assembly, specifically the promises made to the minorities. Over time all of these promises have also been violated, leaving the minorities deeply insecure.
“We, the people of Pakistan, have the courage to believe firmly that all authority should be exercised in accordance with the standards laid down by Islam so that it may not be misused. All authority is a sacred trust, entrusted to us by God for the purpose of being exercised in the service of man, so that it does not become an agency for tyranny or selfishness…it has become fashionable to guarantee certain fundamental rights, but I assure you that it is not our intention to give these rights with one hand and take them away with the other…we want to build up a truly liberal Government where the greatest amount of freedom will be given to all its members. Everyone will be equal before the law…We believe in the equality of status and justice…So far as political rights are concerned, everyone will have a voice in the determination of the policy pursued by the Government and in electing those who will run the State, so that they may do so in the interests of the people. We believe that no shackles can be put on thought and, therefore, we do not intend to hinder any person from the expression of his views…In short, we want to base our polity upon freedom, progress and social justice…there are a large number of interests for which the minorities legitimately desire protection…the State is not to play the part of a neutral observer, wherein the Muslims may be merely free to profess and practise their religion, because such an attitude on the part of the State would be the very negation of the ideals which prompted the demand of Pakistan, and it is these ideals which should be the corner-stone of the State which we want to build.”
In spite of all the positive sophistry utilised in this speech to make it palatable to the minorities, not a single minority member of the Constituent Assembly was convinced or bought the validity of the OR. They could not see it as in any way being the right document to provide the grund norm for the new Constitution of Pakistan. In spite of all these objections, the OR was pushed through, reflecting the tyranny of the majority – precisely the tyranny that the Muslims had feared from the Hindu Raj in a post-Independent India. The Muslim majority refused to acknowledge the anxiety and the deep unease of the minorities who were present in the Assembly at the time, or the future implications and projections of the OR they predicted.
Attempting to allay this unease of the minorities, Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan (then simply as a Muslim member of the Constituent Assembly and not as a minority, a status that was imposed much later in 1974), addressed the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan:
“It is a matter of great sorrow that, mainly through mistaken notions of zeal, the Muslims have during the period of decline earned for themselves an unenviable reputation for intolerance. But that is not the fault of Islam. Islam has from the beginning proclaimed and inculcated the widest tolerance. For instance, so far as freedom of conscience is concerned the Quran says…“There shall be no compulsion” of faith…
 “The Objectives Resolution” (Islamic Studies, vol. 48, no. 1, Islamic Research Institute, International Islamic University, Islamabad, 2009 pp. 89–118).
 The Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, Saturday, 12 March, 1949, Official Report, Vol. 5 No. 5 (Karachi, 1949, pp 69). See also, as quoted in Syed Ishrat Husain: “Equal before Allah, unequal before man” (Daily Times, May 17, 2020) https://dailytimes.com.pk/613452/equal-before-allah-unequal-before-man/
The chief author of the OR was Dr I H Qureshi, a very conservative academic historian. This choice was clearly cynical and therefore somewhat puzzling. It clearly reflects that the very top leadership of the ML, though familiar with Jinnah’s position about equality of citizenship of all, regardless of caste, creed or religion, completely ignored these commitments and therefore, dare I say, also openly rejected the Quaid’s vision. Dr Qureshi acknowledged that the OR was quickly prepared and passed ‘in a snap’ at a meeting of the ML. This was both highly ironical and reeked of Machiavellian cynicism when dealing with the character and future of the new state in its infancy and formative processes. It was playing around with the central raison d’etre for the formation of Pakistan, and brought a completely different self-serving interpretation to that Independence struggle and the decisions made by Jinnah and the ML in their struggle for Pakistan.
This altered the fact that Pakistan was conceptualised as a land for the security of the Muslim minorities dwelling within the majority Hindu context (the Hindu Raj) of the British Raj in India. Now the Muslim leadership was obviously taking a very hard position as a majority. They did not consider providing the minorities dwelling in Pakistan the same freedom and independence to develop their spiritual, cultural, economic, social and political life that the ML had sought and pleaded for themselves, and had promised the other minorities within their future borders from 1940 onwards.
b) Objectives Resolution under Ayub Khan
When the OR was introduced, the country was simply named “Pakistan”. It did not have the modifier the “Islamic Republic of Pakistan” attached to it. This modifier was only introduced through the 1956 Constitution, following the Islamic ideological parameters established through the OR. General Ayub Khan’s 1962 Constitution (promulgated on March 1, became effective on June 8, 1962) had not only expunged the OR itself as the preamble to that Constitution, he went further and even removed “Islamic” from the nomenclature of the country. It was therefore back to simply the “Republic of Pakistan”. However, in December 1963, under heavy pressure, he rescinded both these shifts, reinstated the OR as the preamble to the 1962 Constitution and changed the country’s name back to the “Islamic Republic of Pakistan”.
 His opponents have been quite critical of I H Qureshi as he promoted the right-wing’s agenda. Professor Feroz Ahmed, a prominent scholar on ethnic nationalities in Pakistan, writes: “One of the favourite right-wing ‘scholars’ of the ruling alliance, I H Qureshi, went to the extent of stating that Bengalis were a different (implying inferior) race than the West Pakistanis.” (Feroz Ahmed: Ethnicity and Politics in Pakistan, Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1998 p. 28) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishtiaq_Hussain_Qureshi
 Ikramul Haq and Huzaima Bukhari: “The Pakistan Dream” (The News on Sunday, April 9, 2017) available at https://www.thenews.com.pk/tns/detail/563064-pakistan-dream
General Ayub Khan had pushed for the famous Muslim Family Laws Ordinance of 1961, which empowered women, especially in matters of marriage and divorce. It has been evaluated quite positively by progressive groups, especially by women activists. He also established the Advisory Council of Islamic Ideology on August 1, 1962, which has ensured a very conservative and exclusively Muslim character of Pakistan over many decades. This was not originally his idea, because an Islamic Commission was initially proposed in the First Constitution of 1956 and was to be established within one year of the promulgation of that Constitution. This however did not take place until Ayub’s promulgation. It was later renamed the Council of Islamic Ideology in Bhutto’s Constitution of 1973. Ayub Khan mitigated the impact of the Islamic Council by also establishing the Central Institute of Islamic Research and appointing the internationally famous modernist Islamic scholar, Dr Fazlur Rahman, as its head, a position he maintained until 1967.
All through this, Ayub had the unmitigated support and backing of the US. When he did accept the establishment of an electoral process in Pakistan, he was most threatened by the possibility of the victory of Fatima Jinnah who had the backing of nine political parties at the time, and even won the two biggest cities in the country, Karachi and Dacca. Ayub was therefore willing to woo and placate the conservative Muslim elements by conveniently feeding into their prejudice against women’s leadership and seemingly re-establishing the Islamic identity expressed through the OR.
In spite of General Ayub’s well-established reputation of being a secularist, these policy flip-flops reflect his quick and easy giving in to the pressures of the religious orthodoxy, if such turnabouts would prolong his control over power. That pattern has been repeated throughout the history of Pakistan and we are witnessing it yet again.
c) Zia and the Objectives Resolution
The OR has continued to plague Pakistani politics. However, during the Islamisation of General Ziaul Haq, it was naturally revived to a much higher status. In 1985, Zia reworked and deeply
 For more details on women’s leadership in Islamic countries, see Charles Amjad-Ali: “Women Leadership in Islam” in Islamophobia or Restorative Justice: Tearing the Veil of Ignorance (Johannesburg, South Africa: Ditshwanelo CAR2AS, 2006, pp. 37-49).
manipulated the Constitution of 1973 and included the OR, not only as the preamble to the Constitution, but also as part of its main text as Article 2(A). Thus the OR became legislatively and legally binding – a status it had never acquired as simply the preamble. But in both the preamble as well as in Article 2(A), the wording of the original OR was slyly and conveniently tweaked by Zia. The original language of the OR was not “Almighty Allah” but “God Almighty”, a more inclusive reference to the Divine from the Persian language, rather than the exclusivising Muslim nomenclature and its Arabic roots. Thus the shift from Khuda hafiz to Allah hafiz, etc.
The more fundamental shift, however, was in the clause which in the original OR had ensured that “adequate provision shall be made for the minorities to freely profess and practice their religions and develop their cultures.” The word “freely”, an essential concept of democracy and human rights, was consciously and slyly removed from this clause when it was made a part of the Constitution itself as Article 2(A). It now simply reads: “adequate provision shall be made for the minorities to profess and practice their religions and develop their cultures”, without any reference to “freely”. It, however, remained in the preamble unchanged. In essence this took away the freedoms assured by the OR, and took away whatever little rights were left for the minorities, even in terms of professing and practicing their own faiths and developing their cultures. The words free, freely or freedom, a definitive rights-based understanding of the citizens, have been central to the development of critical democratic political thought and all the rights-based international debates and discussions. Even more interesting is the fact that these freedoms were also guaranteed by the Islamic state in Madina and by the Prophet (PBUH) himself in the treaties and covenants he initiated.
Thus the open manipulation of even the sacred documents of the state by the military head of the state was a highly ignominious, dubious and harmful act affecting the life, properties and security of the minorities. The Constitution ostensibly protects the rights of the citizens and sets up the parameters of the administrative structure to enable this as broadly as possible. The manipulations by Zia, however, not only heavily curbed these rights, they protected these moves behind the veneer of ‘ideological commitments’. So in the name of service of Islam, Zia introduced these draconian changes that were violative of the deeply held convictions that
 For fuller details of this see Charles Amjad-Ali: “The Historical Vicissitudes of Hagia Sophia” (Journal of World Christianity, Vol 11, No 1, 2021, pp 131-159).
informed the founding of the country and were articulated by different Muslim leaders, including the Quaid and the ML itself. What is even more scandalous is that these violations were contrary to the critical teachings of Islam vis-a-vis the minorities dwelling under Muslim rule, the parameters of the Quran and Sunnah, as well as the promises made to the minorities by the Prophet (PBUH) through various treaties.
The OR substantially altered the vision of inclusivity and plurality in Pakistan forever. In the very writing of the Constitution for this newly independent state the Quaid’s vision and promises made to the minorities were radically altered. The OR established the grammar of the patronising bestowal of selective rights on the minorities when being gracious, and was thus clearly highly restrictive in the inclusivity towards minorities. All this had a clear deleterious effect that was articulated by the minorities at the time. The 1973 Constitution under Zia’s military dictatorship and Islamisation process made Pakistan into an absolutely exclusive Islamic state, and for this the cudgel was the OR. De facto and de jure the minorities were taken out of the mainstream citizenship of the country, and the separate electorate was a clear manifestation of this. And then there were the absolutely vile Articles 295-B and 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), which have mostly targeted and completely traumatised the minority communities, and most particularly the Ahmadis. Since then the minorities have been trying to catch up and claim, clawing with nail-wrenching attempts, some of the rights promised in the foundational speech of Quaid-e-Azam on August 11, 1947, and even in Liaquat Ali Khan’s precursor to the OR, and further articulated in the original 1973 Constitution. The coercive power brought to bear on the minorities does not allow them to agitate, resist, or struggle for the larger issues of the rights of citizens of the state and the democratic principles involved in such a struggle, their freedom to do so having been deleted from the constitutional mandate.
VI. Two Critical External Historical Elements
We need to cover two more historically critical elements in evaluating the current situation of minorities in Pakistan:
1. Large parts, and at times the whole of the Subcontinent, were ruled by various Muslim dynasties for well over a thousand years; and
at the end of the Muslim Mughal period (1526-1857), the helm of the state did not democratically pass onto the majority Hindu population, but came under an outside imposed minority British colonial rule (1857-1947).
These two elements provide insights and clues as to the character of the Muslim rule in the Subcontinent. Despite a thousand years of prolonged Muslim rule, the substantial majority of the Indian population was not converted to Islam. This may reflect the religiously non-coercive character of the Muslim reigns in India. There were clearly historical attempts at religious coercion/conversion of Hindus to Islam by some Muslim rulers, e.g. Aurangzeb. However, when faced with the challenge of amicably negotiating with leaders at different levels, and for pragmatic efficacious rule and statecraft, these conversions were mostly not enforced and were therefore never large enough to overwhelm the Indian population. Muslims remained numerically a rather small minority, overwhelmingly outnumbered by its Hindu population, which was at least five times as big as the Muslim population as late as 1947. So the level of coercion of the Muslim rule upon Hindus is exaggerated cynically by the Hindutva, but it also challenges the projection of the character of Islamic rule/state by the leading Muslim Ulema. What is critical to remember is the fact that even after the creation of Pakistan, there was quite a substantial Muslim minority left in India who are now facing all kinds of problems. Indeed, today India has the third largest Muslim population in the world, 14.6 percent of its overall population, following Indonesia and Pakistan. On the other hand, at Partition in 1947, around 5-7 percent Hindu population was still present within the then East and West Pakistan.
The lack of coercion and the failure to convert a high number of Hindus, however, also illustrate the deeply entrenched Hindu identity, and an unwillingness on the part of those in power to change it. Here it should be honestly acknowledged that the Hindu caste-based status quo ante and social system, e.g. Brahminism, etc., not only provided strength for the caste Hindus, it in fact deeply affected all religious groups in the Subcontinent irrespective of their particular scriptures, doctrines, dogmas, ethics and various social egalitarian positions, their protestations
 In 1947, Hindus constituted 12.9 percent of Pakistan, which made Pakistan (including present day Bangladesh) the second-largest Hindu-population country after India. After Pakistan gained independence from Britain on August 14, 1947, 4.7 million of the country’s Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India. C.f., Arif Hasan and Mansoor Raza, Migration and Small Towns in Pakistan (IIED, 2009), p. 12. When the British Indian Empire was partitioned in 1947, 4.7 million Sikhs and Hindus left what is today Pakistan for India, and 6.5 million Muslims left India and moved to Pakistan. C.f. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism_in_Pakistan
to the contrary notwithstanding. This was especially true for the ruling Muslims and their own social construction, which still dominates in their attitudes and handling of minorities.
A third element should also be mentioned here, of which one must be cognizant in evaluating the religious character and the role of minorities in the state of Pakistan. This is of more recent historical provenance. Over the last several decades, the Islamic identity of Pakistan has been a dominant analytical lens for the local and international community. First, Pakistan was seen as a Muslim bulwark against the Soviet takeover of Afghanistan from 1979-88. Second, it was a bastion of Sunnism against the Shia militancy of Iran under Khomeini after their Revolution of 1979. Both these advanced the US strategic foreign policy needs for the region and thus the west cynically supported Zia’s ruthless military dictatorship and his Islamisation of Pakistan. This dislocated the minorities living in the country and left them with little succour for human rights and other democratic needs; not that the Muslim citizens fared much better.
Third, after 9/11 Pakistan’s Islamic identity became highly complex and problematic for the west. Pakistan’s careful, and dare I say cynical, inculcation of Islamic identity necessary for the prolongation of Zia’s draconian rule had been fully aided and abetted by the west and especially the US. After the collapse of the USSR, Islam was no longer needed as a bulwark against communism, and so Pakistan’s Islamic identity was now seen as highly problematic. Islam and Muslims were the new binary in a post-Soviet world order.
The US had already reduced its support to Pakistan after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan starting in February 1988. Unfortunately, this change coincided with the emergence of a democratic dispensation in Pakistan and the first female head of a Muslim state (Benazir Bhutto), and therefore, when needed most, the west abandoned Pakistan in its consolidation of democracy and human rights, including those of the minorities. After 9/11, Pakistan was once again initially needed as the sole supply conduit for the west against the Taliban and al Qaeda elements in Afghanistan. Thus it was still supported but with much diminished funding and not so enthusiastically. With the growing stability of the US presence in Afghanistan, Pakistan was viewed as a major impediment to the US’s regional interests and future projections, and was therefore now a part of the problem and not part of a solution. Pakistan’s democratic institution-building against communism was no longer a major concern for the west. The current perception
 Pakistan was at one point the second largest recipient of US aid after Israel, and later third largest recipient after Israel and Egypt.
of Pakistan as being a conservative, Jihadist, Islamist state stems from that development, a projection based almost exclusively on the west’s own particular interests. This Muslim credentialising of Pakistan is now the ubiquitous problem, which does not relieve the situation for the minorities in Pakistan in any way.
VII. Conclusion and Possible Future Projections
Looking even very briefly at the Islamic foundational sources that deal with the religious minorities dwelling within and under Muslim rule, one sees an incredibly broad and nuanced foundation for a just order. The evolving patterns of jurisprudence and statecraft through Islamic history reflect the justice and fairness that guided Muslim leaders in their dealings and interactions with the minorities living in their midst, and the treatments that were meted out to those minority communities in different Islamic contexts. The tragedy is that these foundational sources are neither consulted nor made a point of discussion in contemporary public Islamic pronouncements, and are consciously and constantly ignored while making pertinent constitutional and legislative proposals, and/or enacting public laws in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Most people are either religiously intimidated, threatened, or coerced into a particular hermeneutical strand in the evolution of Islamic society. This position inevitably leads them to act pejoratively towards the minorities rather than to adopt the positive status that has been provided from the foundational times and in subsequent historical political practices of Islamic rule. What is especially worrisome is the constant vigilante refrain and chorus of ‘Islam in danger’, which is the rallying cry that is used, especially against the minorities. This should be viewed negatively by Muslims themselves, especially in Pakistan where they constitute roughly 97 percent of the population. Why are they so easily threatened by some three percent of the population that constitutes religious minorities?
An honest evaluation of these Muslim sources dealing with minorities dwelling in Islamic societies, states and contexts, as well as a critical evaluation of the foundational visions and promises made by Jinnah and the ML is absolutely necessary to move the country toward a future in which minorities in Pakistan are dealt with justly and society can move toward a peaceful and harmonious social contract. To achieve this only those groups of academics or otherwise intelligent leaders and thinking communities should be invited who are not involved in apologetic or polemical attacks against the minorities and are honest brokers. They will help in developing strategic documents that make us move forward towards these goals.
Most importantly, the state has to actually pick up its central role in implementing the constitutional and legal protections for its citizenry, especially the minorities, against the extreme vigilante groups that tend to dominate the socio-political and cultural grammar in Pakistan and are apparently so easily able to coerce and threaten the state. They should be held accountable according to democratic rules and international rights-based regimes to which Pakistan is a signatory state. A just retributive and punitive justice should be openly and visibly meted out to the vigilante violators and conversely the appropriate restorative and compensatory justice should be provided to the victims. We have examples of this in the history of Pakistan that we can and should invoke/evoke, like the vigilantism of the Ahrar movement and the fate meted out to them and their cohorts, and especially we should revisit Justice Munir’s Report on these issues as they can provide a relevant precedent and paradigm for us today. These should act as guiding beacons for such an ethical, just, participatory and sustainable social order, legal and judicial system, social contract and institutional expressions.
Excursus I: The Ahmadis
On February 1, 1953, a major religious agitation took place in Lahore that then extended to all of Pakistan. It was led by the conservative religio-political parties, claiming that the Ahmadis (or Qadianis – a derogatory term) were converting Muslims and leading them astray and especially those occupying important official positions in Pakistan. This agitation was mostly led by Muslim ulema such as Abul Ala Maududi, Abdus Sattar Khan Niazi, Syed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari, Mohammad Abdul Ghafoor Hazarvi, Syed Faiz-ul Hassan Shah, Syed Abuzar Bukhari, Mazhar Ali Azhar, Taj-ud-din Ansari, et al, representing religio-political parties like Jamaat-i-Islami, Majlis-i-Ahrarul Islam, Majlis-e-Tahaffuz-e-Khatme Nabuwwat and Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan. They applied heavy political pressure to classify the Ahmadis as non-Muslims. At the All-Pakistan Muslim Parties Convention held in Karachi from January l6-18, 1953, they formed a joint action committee (Majlis-i-Amal). Just a few days later, on January 21, a deputation of these ulema delivered an ultimatum to PM Khwaja Nazimuddin. The ultimatum was to the
 In this context we should also mention Dr Abdus Salam (a theoretical physicist and a 1979 Nobel Prize laureate and a scientific advisor to the state) who resigned his position in the state institutions of Pakistan because of the passage of this bill in 1974.
effect that if within a month the Qadiani Ahmadis were not declared a non-Muslim minority and Chaudhri Muhammed Zafarullah Khan, the Foreign Minister, and other Ahmadis occupying key posts in the state were not removed from their offices, the Majlis-i-Amal would resort to direct action. Ironically they resorted to the direct action strategy adopted by the Congress, which the ML had rejected as early as 1935. The strikes lasted for over three months from February 1 to May 14, 1953. They were anarchic, violent and widespread, and forced the declaration of the first martial law in the history of Pakistan in Lahore on March 6, 1953. The PM himself was dismissed by the Governor General on April 17. That martial law finally ended on May 14, 1953, and with it also the violent chaos.
As a response, a committee under the presidentship of Justice Muhammad Munir, and including Justice M R Kayani, was formed to identify the cause of the disturbances. After a year-long intensive inquiry, taking evidence from all the concerned parties, the committee issued a comprehensive report of 387 pages laying out the evolution of the Islamic system over the past 1,000 years and the evidence of the rise of religious factionalism. In his conclusion, Justice Munir said that it was not the issue of Qadiani and non-Qadiani friction or of law and order but rather the evolution of political idealism. The report argued that the character of law and order in a given state is dependent upon the ideals and practice of democracy and the democratic system in place, which in Pakistan was full of “fearful nightmares”. Most importantly, the report decisively established that no two Muslim scholars could agree on the definition of a Muslim. Each had their own interpretation that they believed to be the sole truth, and each issued fatwas declaring the other a Kafir or unbeliever. Justice Munir specifically noted:
“Keeping in view the several definitions given by the ulema, need we make any comment except that no two learned divines are agreed on this fundamental. If we attempt our own definition as each learned divine has done and that definition differs from that given by all others, we unanimously go out of the fold of Islam. And if we adopt the definition given by any one of the ulema, we remain Muslims according to the view of that alim but kafirs according to the definition of everyone else.”
 “The Punjab Disturbances Court Of Inquiry, Lahore”, April 10, 1954. http://www.thepersecution.org/archive/munir/intro.html
 Report of the Court of Inquiry Constituted under Punjab Act II of 1954 to Enquire into the Punjab Disturbances of 1953 (Lahore: Government Printing, 1954, pg. 218) https://www.thepersecution.org/dl/report_1953.pdf
The report concluded that this issue was something that was best left to the individual and certainly not something that could be defined in law. The Munir Report reinforced the notion of freedom of religion. Its findings revealed the shocking injustices done to Ahmadis, and the Ahrar Party was found most guilty of these injustices, and was therefore banned in 1954. This was a very important decision and if it had been followed judiciously, sectarianism would perhaps have never raised its head again in Pakistan.
However, the banning of the Ahrar Party did not put an end to anti-Ahmadi agitations in Pakistan’s history. When the report was finally made public, attention was focused on the issue that had been spearheaded by the Ahrar and others – that of seeking to declare Ahmadis non-Muslim. Other conservative Muslim parties and leaders took up the mantle against the Ahmadis to gain political power through religious coercion and not through the ballot.
This early agitation eventually bore horrendous results in 1974, when it was given a legislative cover through the enactment of a Constitutional Amendment specifically targeting Ahmadis, declaring them ‘not Muslims for purposes of law and the constitution’. What is most ironic and shameful is that this Constitutional Amendment was enacted by PM Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, arguably one of the most liberal heads of state in Pakistan’s history. No justification whatsoever can be allowed as an excuse for this highly despicable and utterly cynical act. The constitutional cover this Amendment provided led to a full-fledged state-sponsored persecution against the Ahmadis that has continued unabated and was a watershed moment for the minorities in Pakistan’s history. For the first time, parliament made an inquisitional judgement defining the veracity of the beliefs of a community, restricted them, and passed a fatwa declaring them non-Muslim, ergo, a minority.
The persecution of the Ahmadis intensified under the military dictator General Ziaul Haq and his ‘Islamisation’ process. In 1984, just 10 years later, he consolidated the constitutional stance against the Ahmadis further through an ordinance (Ordinance XX), which prohibited the Ahmadis from preaching or professing their beliefs. This violated even the meagre promise made in the preamble of the Constitutions since 1956, defining the rights of minorities to “freely profess and practice” their religion. Zia then went on to amend the blasphemy laws of the PPC, which made it a criminal offence punishable by three years imprisonment and/or fine for Ahmadis to call themselves Muslim or practice Islam. Ahmadis were denied the right by law, under PPC 298-B and 298-C to offer Islamic prayers, observe the month of Ramadan, call their places of worship ‘masjids’ (mosques) or practice any aspect of Islam ‘either directly or indirectly’. The simple act of offering the Islamic greeting ‘Assalamu Alaikum’ (‘Peace be on you’) became a criminal offence for Ahmadi Muslims, punishable by imprisonment.
General Zia had promised to “ensure that the cancer of Qadianism is exterminated”. Thousands of Ahmadis were charged under these laws, and Pakistan developed a sickening culture of anti-Ahmadi harassment, violence and murder. All of this has been justified under the guise of ‘Khatme-Nabuwwat’ (the anti-Ahmadi movement that claims to safeguard the concept of the ‘Finality of the Prophet’) now fully legitimised by the Constitution and law. This of course had deep negative implications for all the minorities of Pakistan.
Excursus II: Ummah
The early Muslim community in Mecca was a viciously persecuted minority, starting from the first revelation to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in 610, until they finally migrated (Hijrat) to Yathrib (later Madina) in 622. This migration was clearly a flight from this persecution by the Quraish. Further, it is also important to remember that because of this vicious persecution there had already been an earlier migration of a number of Muslims from Mecca to Abyssinia in 615 at the urging of the Prophet (PBUH) himself. There they were protected by the Christians (especially the Negus/al-Najashi) who shielded them and defended them against the persecuting Quraish who had chased them all the way to Abyssinia. The Hijrat of 622 was therefore the second such flight from Mecca and the persecution of the Quraish. When the Muslims arrived in Yathrib, they were highly displaced, impoverished, with little or no material resources, and totally dependent upon the graciousness and generosity of their local Yathrib hosts. They were a small minority community with little material sustainability, dwelling in the context of an almost entirely non-Muslim population. This majority non-Muslim community warmly welcomed the Muslim refugees and hosted them, providing for their needs and exercising high moral altruism. The majority community went further and offered the leadership of their city state to the Prophet (PBUH), for whom they had shown great respect in inviting him in the first place to arbitrate
 The Pakistan Penal Code, available at http://www.pakistani.org/pakistan/legislation/1860/actXLVof1860.html
 Charles Amjad-Ali: “Challenges of Diversity and Migration in Islamic Political Theory and Theology” (in Elaine Padilla and Peter C. Phan, Eds.: Theology of Migration in the Abrahamic Religions, New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2014, pp. 187-208).
between the internally warring tribes of Aws and Khazraj of Yathrib. This majority community selected the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) from a dependent minority community to be the head of their city state. This sunnah is seldom studied or articulated in Pakistan, but should be evoked when dealing with minority communities in an ‘Islamic state’ like Pakistan.
Further, the Prophet (PBUH), as the head of this new city state, wrote a Constitution that proposed one united ummah (community) – made up of non-Muslims and Muslims – out of the plurality and diversity that existed in Madina. The population was mostly idol worshippers, Hanif (pre-Islamic monotheists), a large contingent of Jews and even a few Christians, and to this plurality was now added the refugee Muslim Muhajirs from different Meccan tribes. This famous Constitution was a formal agreement between Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his Muslim companions and the full diversity and plurality of those dwelling in Yathrib at the time. There was clearly a need for some code of conduct for this plurality to live together irenically, as well as to face new threats that were bound to come from the Quraish of Mecca. Consequently, the various caliphates, as well as the post-independent nation states in Islam, all looked to this document as a significant source for their respective contemporaneous politics.
The most significant and comprehensive contribution of the Constitution, however, is the notion of ummah (community). Ummah here is not based on the exclusivity of Islam (the later restrictive interpretation that is applied to it today) but on the inclusivity of the plurality and diversity of religions that lived in Yathrib at the time. The document states:
This is a document from Muhammad the Prophet [governing the relations] between the believers and Muslims of Quraysh and Yathrib, and those who followed them and joined them and laboured with them. They are one community (umma) to the exclusion of all men…Believers are friends one to another to the exclusion of outsiders. To the Jew who follows us belong help and equality. He shall not be wronged nor shall his enemies be aided…The Jews…are one community with the believers (the Jews have their religion and the Muslims have theirs)…Yathrib shall be a sanctuary for the people of this document…The contracting parties are bound to help one another against any attacks on Yathrib…God is the protector of the good and God-fearing men.
 A. Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, with Introductions and Notes by A. Guillaume (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1982, pp. 231-33).
The Prophet (PBUH) thus declares not only a new community but also that Yathrib will be a haram, a sacred enclave or sanctuary, where there will be trust, responsibility and peaceful coexistence. Some have rightly argued that that the “major, and indeed revolutionary, contribution of the agreement is that it begins the process of creating a single community out of disparate kinship and religious groups”, creating “a ‘supertribe’ in which a new determinant of relationship was to replace the old kinship ties…the agreement established a single, common, political community made up of Muslims, Jews and idolaters” and that this community was “under the authority or supervision of Muhammad…it became the basis for the powerful institution of the Muslim Ummah…an extremely effective and powerful religious, political and military force.” Yathrib is later, therefore, renamed the Madinat un-Nabi (the City of the Prophet) abbreviated simply to Madina, and later called Al Madinah Al Munawara (the Enlightened City).
 Ruven Firestone, Jihad: The Origin of Holy War in Islam (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 118).
The writer is the Martin Luther King, Jr., Professor of Justice and Christian Community (Emeritus), Director of Islamic Studies (Emeritus), Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN 55108, US and the Desmond Tutu Professor of Ecumenical Theology and Social Transformation in Africa, University of Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa. This Paper was delivered on the occasion of the Karachi Conference December 7-9, 2020 at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi.