What Jinnah envisioned for Pakistan as a state remains a distant dream. In a nutshell, perceiving from this quote, he wanted citizenship not religion as the founding principle of the new state. Pakistan was only three days away from achieving independence. Secondly, the forum was the Constituent Assembly of the new state, tasked with the responsibility of framing a new constitution. Jinnah, like many other Muslim leaders of the subcontinent who strived for the creation of a new state comprising the Muslim majority areas, was a modernist. The three streams of philosophy that influenced movement for Pakistan, unfortunately, got pushed back with the second generation of Pakistani leaders — constitutional struggle for the protection of minority rights, modernism and a territorial state.

Today, countless reports highlight the atrocities that take place in Pakistan, against almost anyone not fitting the conventional mold. Active state repression, violence against religious groups, apostasy and blasphemy laws, restrictions on religious attire and expression, are only a few. Acts of violence against religious minorities as well as societal and governmental discrimination, there is rarely any investigation or prosecution the perpetrators of increased extremist attacks on minorities and the majority promoting tolerance- deepening the climate of impunity.

“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.”

–Presidential Address to the Constituent Assembly of

Pakistan by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, on 11th August, 1947.