Maulana Wahiduddin Khan - Imran Khan’s party has emerged victorious in the recently concluded parliamentary elections in Pakistan. I listened to his victory speech and pray for the fulfilment of his good intentions to build a positive future for Pakistan and fulfil the vision of its founder for their country’s development.

In his speech, the new prime minister-elect observed that his inspiration derives from the first state of Medina established by the Prophet of Islam. Taking Medina as a reference point marks a right beginning. As a nonagenarian witnessing this development, i would like to offer some words of advice. I have extensively studied the life of Prophet Muhammad. I discovered that one of the most crucial lessons from the Prophet’s life is that the key to ensuring success of any endeavour is to make the right beginning. Prophet Muhammad started his mission in Mecca in the seventh century. At that time, he had opportunities as well as problems and he opted for what can be termed as the delinking policy. This right beginning was the secret of his success.

As a part of this policy, he placed controversial matters on the negotiation table and at the same, strove to avail of all the opportunities that presented themselves in the field of non-controversial issues. This delinking policy of the Prophet was based on superior wisdom. Due to this, he found a great opportunity to make progress in the newly established state of Medina.  However, after the establishment of Pakistan, instead of following such a delinking policy, its leaders attached prime importance to the acquisition of lands which they thought had been lost for various reasons.

History testifies to the fact that the delinking policy of the Prophet proved to be highly successful, both in principle and in practice. Its greatest benefit is that it affords the opportunity to undertake re-planning and focus on nation building. After the Second World War, many countries adopted this policy and experienced great success with it. Germany and Japan made tremendous progress in the field of education and scientific development.

The need of the hour is for Pakistan to adopt this delinking policy. As pointed out by Khan, today, trade is the most promising field to ensure the progress of a country. Due to prevailing universal norms, the field of trade is fully open between India and Pakistan and it is an opportunity which must be availed of. The two countries must set all controversial issues aside and work towards building strong trade relations. Such a delinking policy will certainly ensure progress for both nations.

India and Pakistan have, in equal measure, inherited the subcontinent’s historical traditions. In fact, the similarities between the two nations are so numerous that it would be no exaggeration to say that there is already a pre-existing basis for a delinking policy between the two. Now, it should be availed of in an organised manner.

India and Pakistan, can work together, towards the development of their respective nations. Many avenues are open to forge a healthy alliance between the two nations in the field of education, health services, technology and the media, for instance.

Being immediate neighbours, India and Pakistan cannot afford to remain antagonists; rather, they should strive to forge cordial relations in all possible spheres in order to lead the two nations onward, along a parallel path of development!