Jinnah’s vision by Afrasiab Khattak
“Jinnah’s vision was that of a secular and democratic country. Unfortunately the derailment of the state from his vision started immediately after his death.
The passage of the Objectives Resolution in 1949 provided the foundation for the efforts of extremists to turn Pakistan into a theocracy. In 1954, when the civil and military bureaucracies usurped political power, they opened the gates to subsequent political and constitutional distortions.
Ayub Khan’s martial law in 1958 removed every doubt about the intention of the Punjab-dominated ruling class. Crises of the system created by unconstitutional and undemocratic rule culminated in the country’s disintegration in 1971.
Hopes inspired by the country’s first legitimate constitution in 1973 were short-lived as military dictatorship raised its ugly head again in 1977. During Gen Zia’s 11-year rule, Pakistani state and society were comprehensively derailed as the dictatorship patronised religious extremism and sponsored ‘jihad’ to fight the war of Western powers in Afghanistan.
Religious extremism and ‘jihadism’ and the national narrative based on them have been eating into the vitals of Pakistan. If Jinnah were alive he would have great difficulty in recognising the country.”
- Afrasiab Khattak, Khyber Pakktunkhwa president, Awami National Party