The ideology of Pakistan

Daily: Daily Times
Date: 05.03.14

It is known that, in 1958, the then General Ayub Khan circulated a questionnaire amongst a
select few to comment on the ideology of Pakistan. However, it is not known what prompted
him to do so. Secondly, it is also not known on what standards he selected the people to
circulate the questionnaire amongst. Thirdly, it is also not known what the exact format of
the questionnaire was (reportedly having nine questions), as even the (latest version of
the) book, The ideology of Pakistan, and its Implementation, published originally in 1959,
written by Justice (retired) Javid Iqbal in response to the questionnaire, is devoid of the
format in its appendix. The book was lauded by General Ayub Khan when writing its
foreword. Hence, it was a seal of approval on the ideology of Pakistan.

Out of the nine questions, the first question asked by General Ayub Khan was, “What is the
ideology of Pakistan?” Before answering this question, one should read the second
question: “What kind of socio-economic order does the ideology aspire to establish?” In the
second question, there was no mention of the words ‘political order’. Perhaps it was
required that the response should be focused on the socio-economic domain only.
Moreover, in the second question, there were at least two underlying assumptions: the
ideology aspired to establish an order and that order would be a socio-economic order, not
a political one. It is apparent that the original idea was to establish a new socio-economic
order but the idea of founding a new political order clicked later on.

The third question is also important: “How should the state be brought into conformity with
the ideology?” One may argue that the word ‘state’ means the words ‘political order’.
However, the word ‘state’ cannot be defined in terms of the ‘political order’ because the
meaning of the word ‘state’ may be the ‘country’ or it may be the ‘government’, which is
formed after a political order is defined or established. Moreover, the (third) question was
based on at least two assumptions: the state of Pakistan was, somehow, not functioning in
conformity with the ideology of Pakistan and that the status of non-conformity was
producing certain adverse effects. Hence, there was need for a mechanism to bridge the

The fourth question was this: “What are the duties of the state to the individual and of the
individual to the state in terms of the ideology?” This question was based on an assumption
that the ideology would answer issues pertaining to the state-individual relationship.
Moreover, the question was also a declaration that the constitution of 1956 had failed to
address the issues related to the state-individual relationship.

The fifth to ninth questions were these: “What is the significance of fundamental rights
according to the ideology?” “What does the ideology recommend for realising the ideals of
the national solidarity and territorial integrity of Pakistan?” “What constitutes an ideal citizen
in the context of the ideology?” “How can the offensive of Hinduism against the ideology be
combated?” and “How can the goal of complete self-reliance or self-sufficiency be secured
through alignment and bilateralism?” Taken together, the last eight questions were the
guidelines on which the answer to the first question should be given. Moreover, the last
eight questions reveal that the originator of the questionnaire already had an idea of the
kind of ideology he was asking about. Additionally, the last two questions were about
political relations at the regional and international levels.

It is not difficult to understand that questions can be framed in the light of the expected
answers and it is also not difficult to understand that questions can be answered in the light
of the expectations of the originator of the questionnaire. If someone at the helm of affairs,
after being a party to the abrogation of the constitution of 1956, was asking these nine
questions, it meant that he was trying to justify the violation of the constitution on the
grounds that the constitution was actually taking Pakistan away from certain ideals. This
point begs another question: why did the subsequent constitution of 1962 fail to fulfil the
objectives and principles ascertained through the discovery of the ideology of Pakistan in

Before 1958, it was known that Pakistan was founded on the basis of the two nation theory.
However, after 1958, it was said that Pakistan was founded on the basis of the ideology of
Pakistan. It is not yet known why people of all hues failed to discover the ideology of
Pakistan before 1958. Likewise, it is not yet known what was missing in the Objectives
Resolution of 1949 to necessitate the discovery of the ideology of Pakistan. Equally, it is
not known that had the ideology of Pakistan been discovered before 1949, what the shape
of the Objectives Resolution would have been. Similarly, it is not yet known how the 1971
debacle can be seen in the context of the ideology of Pakistan. Also, it is not known what
the future of the two nation theory is in the presence of the ideology of Pakistan.

After the discovery of the ideology, a new political order was disseminated in certain ways.
First, General Ayub Khan became a role model for the next military chiefs to devise ways
that could be sanctified through the religious (or sentimental) route to justify their takeovers
and prolong their stay in power. Secondly, the concept of pan-Islamism was rationalised
and perhaps legalised. Third, the ideological frontiers of Pakistan were constructed and the
military took upon itself the task of defending those borders. Fourth, a crop of sycophants
surfaced, which supported military actions of all sorts by forwarding religious justifications.

Now, in 2014, a group of Pakistanis is trying to convince another group that the Objectives
Resolution already overshadows the rest of the constitution. A ceasefire has been declared
between them to mull over this point.

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