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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

How Pakistan’s political leaders failed Quaid-e-Azam

Fahad Qureshi laments how political leaders have failed the country as they use religion for their own gains and agendas. This is not the Pakistan that Quaid-e-Azam envisioned for his people.

What kind of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah wanted us to live in? This has been an ongoing debate for decades. Even if you don’t know the facts of what Pakistan is capable of, even if you are unaware of the strengths of this place, still you will always love this country.

There is something special about Pakistan. The amount of freedom and space we get living here should be attributed to our founder.

Read more: Beautiful Pakistan: Classed as top travelling destination for 2020

Every country goes through some difficult times, so does Pakistan. We have been dealing with terrorism for years, bad economic conditions, and political unrest. Despite witnessing almost everything in Pakistan, all possible highs and lows, we have found our way towards progression together.

In the past couple of days, what I have learned is that it doesn’t matter how much we criticize politicians such as Asif Ali Zardari, Nawaz Sharif, or even Imran Khan, we’re absolutely free to do that.

Read more: Op-ed: Pakistan’s politicians are just ‘sand-dune’ leaders without a view of life

We don’t feel any sort of pressure or extreme backlash in most of the situation because we all know that regardless of how corrupt some of them are, they are still democratic enough to take any sort of criticism.

But when it comes to talking about religion we all hesitate, even now I won’t be writing anything about it because as a young individual I would not like to put myself and people around me in trouble. Now that is a harsh reality. Pakistan has come a long way from dealing with all sorts of issues and now this should be our time to move forward.

Read more: The truth about freedom of religion in Pakistan

Need for collective dialogue

Despite facing several problems over the years, this country stood tall against internal and external enemies. We have faced hard times together and came out of this with a winning fist.

However, it’s about time we address the rising issues together. It doesn’t matter how you use the religion card to help you, when you’re in opposition to damage votes, it will eventually hurt you.

We need a collective dialogue for long-term solutions. Politicians should do politics that will help them get into power but politics on religion or getting help from religious groups is something we need to end.

Read more: Is TLP dictating the state?

Our politicians and leaders need to stop using religious groups and see the larger perspective. Politicians relying on religious groups will not take them anywhere; in fact, it will gradually start damaging the country. People will lose the fear of challenging the state to meet their demands. This will encourage more people to use religion and challenge the writ of the state.

Over time, every political party in this country, along with the establishment, has been unable to address this issue, but the collective dialogue is ‘need of the hour’.

Read more: Pakistan needs robust riot police to thrash protests

We must act!

I always wonder what if Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah is not alive? He must be somewhere watching us and thinking ‘what has happened to my people?’ He wanted us to live freely but that doesn’t mean we should stop others from following their faith, belief, or religion.

This is not what Islam teaches us. Hurting people, destroying their vehicles and shops is surely not what Islam teaches. Islam doesn’t allow suppressing women. Islam has rights for everyone regardless of their faith.

Read more: Debunking the Western myths about women in Islam

That’s the kind of Pakistan our founder has made for us to live in. But are we following his idea? Are we even following the idea of Islam? It’s a big question mark on us as a nation.

Aren’t we equally responsible for our religion being portrayed negatively in the west? We as Pakistanis and Muslims need to fight this out together. We can change this tarnished image of our religion and country by our actions.

Read more: No concept of forced conversion and forced marriage in Islam, Allama Tahir Ashrafi

Almighty has given this country a lot but we need to start respecting that. We need to start respecting the efforts of every single person who has given their life in order to get independence.

We have learned how important the role journalists and writers played at the time of independence, now as we’re moving towards new and progressive Pakistan, here is my contribution to it. Not that bold, not that courageous, but a small effort!

Read more: Pakistani journalists begin march to Line of Control

“Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State – to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-Muslims – Hindus, Christians, and Parsi’s – but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan” – Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Fahad Qureshi is an MPhil scholar, analyst, and journalist. He has expertise in national and international politics. The writer can be reached at thefahadqureshi@gmail.com
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.