The ideology of Pakistan and its implementation

Daily: Daily Times
Date: 12.03.14

It is known that an ideology in the name of Pakistan was discovered in 1958 by the then
General Ayub Khan, who circulated a questionnaire with nine questions pertaining to said
ideology that was endorsed by some people including Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal, who
wrote a detailed response with suggestions published later in the form of a book titled The
Ideology of Pakistan and Its Implementation in 1959. However, it is not known why the
ideology was not the construct of an independent mentality originating in a thinking mind
independent of external factors. In other words, why did Pakistan’s intellectuals and
scholars fail to discover the ideology without the guidance of a military dictator? Why was a
military dictator required to help Pakistanis see the absence of an ideology to steer the
country in a certain (erroneous) direction? This question brings Pakistanis to the next
question: who was a better intellectual, the person who originated and circulated the
questionnaire or those amongst whom the questionnaire was circulated? Precisely
speaking, who was a better intellectual: the person who asked questions or the people who
answered them?

General Ayub Khan must have been a great statesman. If he had not taken over the
country after President Iskander Mirza abrogated the constitution of 1956 and declared
martial law on October 7, 1958, the process of the discovery of the ideology would not have
been possible. General Ayub Khan, after becoming the chief martial law administrator on
October 27, 1958, showed that the discovery of the ideology was more important than
sanctifying the constitution framed by the constituent assembly. He also showed that a
military dictator was required at the helm of affairs not only to discover the ideology but also
to implement it. In this way, the emergence of General Ayub Khan as a military dictator was
a blessing in disguise, to discover the ideology and let others expound it.

With the imposition of the first martial law, the constitutional and democratic ideals of
Pakistan’s founding father, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, were disgraced publicly. That was why
justifying the (first) martial law must have been a herculean task for Ayub Khan. On the
other hand, pandering to the needs of a military dictator must have been an easier job.
Otherwise, a book would have been written demanding General Ayub Khan respect the
constitution (by restoring it) and revere the democratic path. Unfortunately, no one
rendered this service to Pakistan. Consequently, a wrong precedent of such magnitude was
established that the constitution of Pakistan is still vulnerable to the exploits of a military
dictator. Secondly, a crop of toadies has surfaced, which find a great statesman hidden in
any constitutional violator and helps him justify the (military) takeover on one pretext or
another. Jinnah’s Pakistan has been subjected to the will of constitution violators and their
sycophants, who now exist in almost all walks of life.

Once the ideology was discovered, elaborated on and approved, the second phase —
called the implementation phase — started. It was this phase that strengthened the grip of
General Ayub Khan on the affairs of the state and justified the perpetuation of his stay.
This aspect, the ‘implementation of the ideology’, gave birth to the idea of a parallel
constitution. The constitution that was meant to define the rights of Pakistanis, was now
itself defined by the ideology. Perhaps Jinnah did not know the significance of the ideology,
its potential to construct a parallel constitution and its power to colour the constitution. The
pre-ideological era (from 1947 to 1958) sans the ideology must have done great damage to

In 1958, Pakistan learnt about not only its ideology but also its ideological frontiers, which
were an extension of the ideology above or beyond the physical borders of Pakistan. It is
known that under the patronage of General Ayub Khan, the military took upon itself the role
of defending or protecting the ideological frontiers of Pakistan, which was how the
implementation of the ideology extended the mandate of the military. However, it was not
known what the country’s ideological frontiers were. Likewise, it was also not known what
made ideological frontiers vulnerable and in need of protection. Jinnah remained focused
on the physical frontiers of Pakistan and could neither define nor envisage the significance
of the ideological frontiers of Pakistan. To date, perhaps no study has been done to
compare the difference between the ideological frontiers and physical frontiers, and
similarly between ideological frontiers and the economic frontiers of Pakistan.

In 1958, instead of playing a role to make Pakistanis surrender their emotions to rational
thought, efforts were undertaken to stir those emotions in the name of ideology. This was
done at the individual, political party, and state level to further vested interests.
Talibanisation actually started the day Pakistan drifted away from its course of
constitutionalism and federalism, and instead adopted emotionalism embedded in the
ideology. Similarly, the forces of disintegration became stronger on the day Pakistan
deviated from its path of federalism (and provincial autonomy) and instead adopted
centralism under the influence of the ideology.

In response to the questionnaire, nobody wrote a book indicating that the constitution was
supreme, and that General Ayub Khan had no right to abrogate it and continue with martial
law. Not even a single word on the sanctity of the constitution was mentioned in the book
written by Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal. Instead of endorsing and elaborating the views of
General Ayub Khan on the ideology by writing the book, if a book to criticise or condemn
his anti-democratic stance had been written, the history and the situation of Pakistan would
have been considerably different from what it is now.

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