Pakistan's Islamic Factor Essay

646 words - 3 pages

History proves that religion has been repeatedly used by various classes to secure
their personal or class aims and objectives ! Religion as a political factor to
unite Indians against the British was introduced in politics by Gandhi ! Gandhi
represented the Hindu middle and professional classes funded by the business
classes who were western educated , outwardly secular in outlook but relied on
Hindu religious symbols to achieve their political ends ! When Gandhi sidelined Mr
Jinnah from main congress leadership after 1921-22 Mr Jinnah also abandoned his
initial ideology of Indian nationalism based on constitutionalism and adopted
Islam as his slogan ! In most of his political speeches Mr Jinnah stressed on the
fact that the Indian Muslims were a separate nation and their unique religious and
social practices entitled them to have a separate country ! This slogan was
convenient and politically expedient to unite the pre 1947 Indo Pak Muslims
against the Hindu ...view middle of the document...

time were dominated by the professional middle classes or landlords who had merely
viewed religion as a slogan to galvanise the masses and never wanted a theological
state ! The landlords wanted to get rid of a Hindu money lending class and a land
reform threatening congress party while the middle classes enthusiastically
supported Pakistan because they viewed the new state as one with greater
opportunities of advancement for their class since the Hindus who were more
educationally advanced were eliminated from the competition !
The religious parties which had initially opposed Pakistan’s creation based on the
idea that partition would only divide Indian Muslims now turned the table on the
Muslim League by demanding that since the Muslim League itself declared that the
Indo Pak Muslims needed a separate country to practice Islam , the new country
must be based on the Islamic Sharia ! The non religious feudal and middle class
Muslim Leaguers led by Liaquat Ali Khan initially outmanoeuvred the Islamists by
moving the Objectives Resolution which paid lip service to Islam while preserving
Pakistan’s initially envisaged secular ethos ! The Islamists however were not
pacified and the 1953 Anti Qadiani riots proved that the Islamists were a force to
be reckoned with ! However massive US aid from 1954 to 1965 marginalised the
Islamists and strengthened the secular forces under the military dictator Ayub
Khan ! In 1970 the Islamists were again unable to gain much except in NWFP and
Baluchistan and the neo-socialist PPP and the nationalistic Awami League swept
West and East Pakistan !
Islamists parties were strengthened in between 1971-77 because of the 1971 defeat
and because of some of Mr Bhuttos policies ! In 1977 the religious right gained a
new benefactor in shape of USA who viewed the Islamist dominated anti Bhutto
Pakistan National Alliance as a safer bet than an anti US charismatic leader like
Bhutto ! Thus the 1977 agitation and the Zia military coup of 1977 which toppled
Mr Bhutto !
Pakistan’s military dictator decided keeping in view the immense political
strength of the anti Zia PPP that his best bet to survive was use of Islam as a
political slogan ! Thus Zia’s Islamisation measures and the various stunts and
ploys employed by the military junta to demonstrate that Zia was a true soldier of

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