From many sections of society, the decision of the Election Commission, not to use religious or sectarian attachments, during the election campaigns is being criticized. They argue that the inception of Pakistan, two nation theory and even demand for partition of sub continent was based on Islamic ideology. In addition, religion and politics cannot be divorced, as Islam is a complete code of life and also provides its followers the civic system and political awareness.

I have some reservations on the subject, and will try to explain by logic. Pakistan has seen too much killings and bloodshed in the name of sects; I denounce Islam being used for politicizing. In this crucial situation the permission to further any particular sects would further deteriorate the situations and possibly the aftermaths may derail the elections. Secondly, there is a gargantuan difference between Pakistan Movement on the religious basis and today’s election campaign in the name of Islam.

Now it is high time to mitigate the religious divisions since all the parties have political motives and manifestos and when all are standing on the same grounds why the man with a beard should be allowed to use the religion as a political tool? No one is demanding a secular state nor are others calling for Sharia. All political parties are just fighting for power and rule hence the religious preferences should be discouraged. Besides the industrialists, landlords and tribal chiefs’ one major hindrance in the way of transition of power at grass root level are the Peers, Sajada Nasheens, Makhdooms, and Syeds with whom the layman has religious allegiance and they know very well how to cash these feelings in political fields. They have family seats because they are divine ‘Makhdooms’ and people regard it sinful to elect anyone else but them or the representative suggested by these religious leaders.

I conclude with the fact that being a part of a global village there are some requirements of contemporary era to keep up with. At national and international level we need the leadership which is able to meet international challenges and can turn the course of history and to rebuild the foundations and structure of Pakistan. Hence the parameters necessary to choose a congregational leader must not be applied in the membership of Majlis-e-Shoora.


Lahore, April 15.