Pakistan – A Pseudo State

Pakistan – A Pseudo State

The rights of the people of Pakistan would not have been trampled upon had the ruling elite faithfully followed the constitutional and democratic path set for the nation by its founder. Jinnah stated “You are free; you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state”.

Many political thinkers have never come to know about the true nature of the state of Pakistan whether it is a liberal, secular or an Islamic State? Mere Article 2 of the Constitution of Pakistan stating “Islam to be the state religion” doesn’t make any sense.

The seventeenth century British philosopher John Locke separated the concept of state from that of religion. Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States of America expressed that religion is a matter solely between man and God and legislature should “make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or publishing the free exercise thereof”. Thus building a wall of separation between the state and the Church. The concept of Protestantism eliminated the role of the Pope and the Church from the legislature. Later on, Countdown to Church flourished the nations.

The US Supreme Court held, “There must be a secular legislative purpose and a primary effect that neither advances nor inhibits religion”. The western jurisprudence giving rise to the concepts of Hedonism served good in European countries.

Mahatma Gandhi stated, “If I were a dictator, religion and state would be separate. I swear by my religion. I will die for it, but it is my personal affair. The state has nothing to do with it. The state would look after your secular welfare, health, communications, foreign relations, currency and so on, but not your or my religion. That’s everybody’s personal concern”.

Muslims at the time of independence assumed that India in reaction would be a Hindu state but it turned out to be a secular nation. The current status of Pakistan needs to be examined. The Islamization of state is not the dogma but there are material reasons. If Pakistan is an Islamic State then why is the Constitution (and other laws) mingled with the western jurisprudence?  It must be stated at this point that Islamic jurisprudence does have a complete code of life and perfect system of governance. A single and qualified path helps to achieve destiny as expressed by Bob Marley, “One love, one heart, one destiny”. The state of Pakistan like Saudi Arabia, America, India etc. has to choose a single path to flourish and overcome the frustrations.

Inter alia, the state of Pakistan has failed to come through the Social Contract Theory between the individuals and the state as expressed by Jean Jacques Rousseau. States do have a contract to ensure certain rights to its individuals considering loyalty and fidelity in return. But the state of Pakistan has not provided its citizens with education, health, equality, freedom etc. Minorities are marginalized. There is a democratic principle, “state as means and individuals the ends”. But the State of Pakistan has never served as means for maintaining individual freedom and rule of law. Over half of the population lives below the poverty line. Terrorism and the separatists movement in Balochistan are clear outcomes of state breaches.


The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of or any organization with which he might be associated.

Usama Saleem Dogar

Author: Usama Saleem Dogar

The writer is a student of Shariah and Law at International Islamic University Islamabad and has keen interest in political science, history and literature. He is a social activist and has served with many NGOs, including the British Council, in promoting human rights. He was also the National Coordinator for Education and Human Rights at the National Youth Assembly.