Quaid’s Vision of One Nation and Sectarianism in Balochistan
During three decades of his political life, Mohammad Ali Jinnah had believed in the possibility of Hindu-Muslim unity and was awarded with the title of “Ambassador of Hindu Muslim Unity” by prominent Hindu politicians. However, the dubious character of Indian Congress and Hindu leaders convinced him that a Muslim homeland on the subcontinent was the only way of safeguarding Muslim interests and the Muslim way of life.
He philosophized the “Two Nation Theory” with his intellectual acumen to convince British rulers of subcontinent that Hindu and Muslims are fundamentally two separate nations. Their religious, cultural, social and political values are contradictory and both the civilizations have a long history of animosity.
The above mentioned facts elucidate that Jinnah became exponent of Two Nation Theory just to prove the implacability of a single state for Hindu and Muslim civilizations. He never believed in religious and sectarian divisions.
In his first presidential address to the Pakistan’s Constituent Assembly, he made clear that all the Pakistanis; Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and Muslims will be free to practice their religious beliefs in the new country. He had a vision of a state that will be Islamic in character with full respect to Hindu and Sikh temples, churches and mosques.
However, some thinkers attempt to distort Quaid’s vision of a separate nation for Muslim by misinterpreting it as a source of religious fanaticism amongst Pakistanis.
They also curse Objective Resolution – an articulation of Quaid’s vision – for creating sect and ethnicity based polarization in the Pakistani society and hold it responsible for the current state of sectarianism in the country. Yet, they omit the fact that Jinnah was a strong advocate of religious freedom and harmony. They also overlook Quaid’s notion of national integration which transcends the concept of religious discrimination, limited nationalism and racialism.
No doubt, the delay in constitution making gave India an opportunity to create confusion on the national identity of Pakistan. The nefarious Indian agenda to create divisions in Pakistan was materialized in the form of Indian intervention in East Pakistan, which is well known to the historians. Continuing the same scheme, RAW is now highly active in Sindh and Balochistan in fomenting sectarian and ethnic violence.
Recently, IG Sindh Police Fayyaz Ahmed Leghari made startling revelation that forensic investigations of sectarian killings indicate that same weapons and killing patterns are used in targeting the leaders of various sects. These facts take us to the conclusion that a third group is staging assassinations of rival sectarian parties to provoke large scale violence in Karachi. This scheme is a handiwork of a hostile agency and we should see the attacks on the Hazara Shia community in Balochistan in the light of these findings.
The rich minerals treasures of Balochistan and strategic importance of Gawadar Port are the focus of all the major powers. The various schemes of division and maps of independent Balochistan projected by strategic organisations of these powers make this fact evident. Balochistan share border with Iran and Afghanistan and the attacks on the Hazara Shias are mainly linked with their influence and the presence of hostile agencies.
The overall deteriorating situation of law and order in the province is also contributing factor for the brazen attacks of LeJ on the members of Shia sect. In fact, it is the part of strategy of Al-Qaeda, TTP and LeJ to break the social fabric of Pakistan through sectarian violence and Balochistan is feeling the heat.
The friendly Muslim countries are involved in promoting and strengthening of sectarian organizations in the country in general. Iran is backing Shia organizations and Arab states are financing Sunni sectarian groups to further their own interests. The Western countries are also providing funds to moderate religious groups as part of their strategy to counter radicalization in Pakistan. These foreign interventions are major agents of sectarianism in the country, which are eventually harming the cause of national integration.
The sectarian violence remains limited only to the members of sectarian groups and the general public in Pakistan is living in religious harmony. In fact, people never became involved in religious riots on community level. However, the sectarian violence has heightened recently and it can engulf whole population of the country, becoming the greatest security threat. The government and law enforcing agencies must take concrete steps to dismantle militant groups, enforce bans on hate speech and sectarian propaganda, and reform the madressah system in order to tackle the problem of sectarianism