- From Jinnah’s Pakistan to Naya Pakistan
There is a need today to reiterate the five basic tenets of the state that Quaid-e-Azam Muammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal wanted to carve out of British India. Federalism ensuring autonomy to all provinces was on the top of the widely-known 14 points that the Quaid-e-Azam presented in 1929. Later the Lahore Resolution (1940) visualized maximum autonomy for the provinces, requiring federating units to be “autonomous and sovereign.” The Objectives Resolution (1949) which later became the justiciable preamble of the Constitution, maintained that “Pakistan shall be a federation and its constituent units will be autonomous.” Prime Minister Imran Khan is unhappy with the 18th amendment and has repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with the federal structure complaining that it leaves little powers in his hands.
The second feature is civilian supremacy that the Quaid stressed while addressing army officers at Staff College Quetta in 1948. “Do not forget that the armed forces are the servants of the people. You do not make national policy; it is we, the civilians, who decide these issues and it is your duty to carry out these tasks with which you are entrusted.” Four military rulers directly administering and several years of background directions indicate how the Quaid’s direction was violated.
The third component is treating minorities as equal citizens. Does anyone in the PTI leadership remember that the Lahore Resolution stipulates that “adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards shall be specifically provided in the constitution for minorities in the units and in the regions for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights”?
Do those flaunting religiosity with abandon remember the Quaid’s address to Constituent Assembly on 11 August 1947? “You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State.” The Quaid wanted Pakistan to be a pluralist and inclusive state.
Responding to Iqbal’s concerns about poverty, the Quaid opted for a welfare state where big landlords or capitalists were not to be allowed to flourish at the expense of the masses, the economic system was to be based on the Islamic concept of equality and social justice and the public sector played a major role in the fair distribution of resources between the haves and have-nots. This is altogether opposed to the PTI government’s policy of letting wealth be created for a few who would then throw crumbs to the poor.