“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed, that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”


Jinnah’s aspirations for Pakistan, the nature that the state would come to adopt, have been a subject of debate and speculation for the longest time. Regardless of what he dreamt of establishing, some deductions are warranted. The Muslims of India, being an overall minority, escaped potential oppression at the hands of the Hindu leadership. Religious sentiments became the vehicle that carried millions towards acquiring a separate state for themselves.

The anarchy that emerged during the partition took many lives. As religious fervour grew, communities turned against each other. Murder and looting became normal.

Today, the same state has fallen to religious conflict and xenophobia. There is disharmony between different sects. Non-Muslims often become victims of mob justice and fail to find any legal redress. Aren’t we establishing the same system of oppression that we once escaped?