A Minority Wing within the Pakistan Nationalist Association?

March 22, 2010

Written By Havi Zayed

Editing and Sources by Flora Xavier

“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.”

Quaid E Azam, (Hazrat) Mohammed Ali Jinnah

The most respected and righteous Leader of Pakistan the Great Quaid E Azam was always in the favour of providing minorities equal rights as the citizens of the Pakistani State. How much or how little the Quaid E Azams vision is being implemented remains a subject that is ferociously being debated today. Nonetheless one thing is clear. Christians in Pakistan today are fighting for acceptance and recognition as a patriotic community amongst Pakistan’s highly emotional Muslim majority.

The Christian community in Pakistan which numbers anywhere from 2.8 Million according to the government and 15 Million according to some Pakistani Christian Organizations have constantly been fighting a bitter war for acceptance and recognition as a patriotic community that has rendered supreme sacrifice for the country. The great accomplishments of National Christian heroes such as Justice Alvin Robert Cornelius, Air Vice Marshal Eric Hall, Group Captain Cecil Chaudhry, Wing Commander Mervyn Middlecoat shine as an example of the commitment of not just Christians but in general minorities towards Pakistan.

Unfortunately these sacrifices and many others made by the Pakistani Christians have often been glossed over or even ignored. Since this is the case in Pakistan it may be the case in the Pakistani Nationalist Organizations as well. This is the reason some Christians have been vouching for a separate Christian Nationalist Wing within the PNA.

The Nationalist stand on Minority Rights

Due to the regrettable attitude of some members who overdo patriotism to the limit of ignorance some people may see the Nationalists as denialists of reality who are trying to refuse any responsibility for mistakes of the past made by Pakistanis and are unwilling to admit any wrong occurs in Pakistan. This is absolutely untrue.

Quoting from the Rules and Regulations, Nationalist Ideology section of the Pakistan Nationalist Association, Article 36B clearly states that it is our duty to find and point out our internal flaws and weaknesses and put in every ounce of strength to solve the problems within. This includes the poor state of minorities in the country which are faced with increased intolerance in the tough times Pakistan faces today.

The above stated article stands true however the one place the Nationalists take an extremely tough stand is when it comes to foreign relations as stated in all of Article 54 and Article 55A and B. This is where the criticism of US foreign policy and our traditional arch rivals comes from. As far as the traditional Pakistani point of view is concerned it is not baseless criticism.

So to put things in perspective the Nationalist philosophy focuses on pointing out and solving the problems within the country with none or minimal foreign interference especially that which sacrifices our interests while at the same time showing Unity and standing up to foreign hypocrisy and aggression against our motherland. This is the backbone of the Nationalist ideology.

This clears up the Nationalist Stand on Minority Rights. The inhumane Hudood Ordinance and the vaguely phrased Blasphemy Laws which are against the instructions of the Quaid E Azam himself are two laws that Leaders backed by our members have continually been waging war against. The Pakistan Nationalist Association’s goal along with many of its other goals is to work for the absolute elimination of Sections 153A, 295A, 295B, 295C, 298A, 298B and 298C from Pakistan’s Criminal code which are biased towards Pakistan’s minorities.

As such the Pakistan Nationalist Association proposes no religious affiliations and presents itself as Secular. This is the reason why members belonging to minorities make up over 800 of PNA’s members.

A Christian Wing: A tall order

Today some secularists and Christians are demanding a separate Christian Wing within the Pakistan Nationalist Association. This demand has widely been seen as hypocrisy by the more religious Muslim members the reason being that Islamic thought process has sometimes been suppressed when it comes to decision making in the various Nationalist Organizations, especially from the Left Wing.

According to the terms and conditions of Pakistan Nationalist Association itself religion is to have as minimal a role in our decision making process as is humanely possible. This has caused the PNA to avoid working on items that have too much to do with Islam and in general religion.  This was made clear when a distant Pakistani came to a rich Nationalist Community Leader in Britain asking for a charity to be organized by the Pakistani community for a mosque to be built for the Pakistani community in Bradford. The leader denied taking any part in this and spent his money instead on educating poor children in Pakistan.

Almost all would agree that this policy should work both ways. This is why a separate Christian Wing when none is allowed for Muslims is likely to raise a great number of eyebrows and is very likely to hurt the pride of not only the more religious Muslims but also the Seculars that are a part of the Nationalist Organizations. This is what makes a separate wing in the name of religion a controversial task and according to many an impossible task.

A solution that appeases all

We know very well that minorities still do not have many of the equal rights the Quaid E Azam had envisioned for them. Admitting that we still need to march towards a Pakistan where each and every individual is treated equally without religion, creed or ethnicity playing a factor it may be sensible to set up a Minorities Wing to balance the situation and give a voice to minorities within the Pakistan Nationalist Association, showcase and highlight the sacrifices including the great achievements of Christians and members of other minority communities for the country.

Although some Christians are proposing it it’s understood that a special Christian Wing even within the Pakistan Nationalist Association may be seen as a huge flouting of rules and may create an uproar even in the Secular environment that Nationalists are used to. However since the policy papers themselves clearly state that it is a duty of Nationalists to solve the problems within the country and these same papers clearly admit that minorities do have issues within the country with increasing intolerance and vague, biased laws it is necessary to take steps to balance the situation.

A solution that appeases both the traditionalists who want no religious affiliations and the Minorities of Pakistan can definitely be a special Minority Wing within the Pakistan Nationalist Association. This should be completely controlled and dominated my minorities themselves since the community involved is best at dealing with their issues however anyone who wants to help can volunteer.

Since the organization will be a Sub organization within the PNA the Nationalist principles will naturally not be sacrificed. Therefore this is the best way to give minorities a voice and empowering them a little more in order to change the constitution of Pakistan to what it was in 1948 under the visionary Quaid E Azam.

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3 Responses to “A Minority Wing within the Pakistan Nationalist Association?”

  1. Mashal the light of the future said

    Haavi, I love this line like you also. Explains Nationalist thinking in one paragraph:

    “So to put things in perspective the Nationalist philosophy focuses on pointing out and solving the problems within the country with none or minimal foreign interference especially that which sacrifices our interests while at the same time showing Unity and standing up to foreign hypocrisy and aggression against our motherland. This is the backbone of Nationalist ideology.”

    Very nice work. We trust you completely with our future

  2. Muneer said

    Very very well written.

  3. Muneer said

    I know this guy since he came to Canada. Little kid pata nee tha PCQ or PRC mein difference kia he. From that time he has developed his skills so much that he is now a leader.

    Kudus Havi. Kudus. Just don’t overdo the chilling bit and remember u gotta run an organization.

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