The basis of nationhood in Pakistan is Islam. Islam acted as a nation-building force long before the establishment of Pakistan. Muslims eventually developed a national consciousness in the indo-Pakistan Sub continent, they collectively struggled for the right of self determination and the establishement of an independent homeland to be carved out from those territories where they formed majorities. They eventually secured what they wanted. Hence the historical fact which could not be denied is that the formation of the muslim nation preceded the demand for muslim homeland. Pakistan by herself didn’t give birth to any nation; on the contrary, the Muslim nation struggled for and brought Pakistan into being. Therefore pakistan is not the cause of any kind of nationhood. She’s only an affect, a result or a fruit of the struggle of the Muslim nation for territorial specification.
Our identity as a Pakistani:
We claim to be Pakistanis, only for the purpose of distinction or identification among other nations of the world. Pakistan nationhood is not the real basis for the unity of the State in Pakistan; it is merely an apparent basis. Our primary consideration is Islam which cements us as a nation and also provides the basis for the unity of the State.
The same can be said regarding Patriotism, i.e., laying down one’s life for the country. Muslims DO NOT have a notion of Pakistan as a ‘Motherland’ or a ‘fatherland’. They do not believe in worshipping the geographical features of the country. They are not supposed to lay down their lives merely for the dust, trees, deserts, mountains or rivers. This form of patriotism according to them, is idolatrous. But in their native soil, Muslims are ups in arms to lay down their lives for the religio-cultural principles on which the state of Pakistan is founded i.e, Islam. Quaid-e-Azam clearly illustrated these principles in his following address:
“Now you have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of Islamic democracy, Islamic social Justice and the equality of man in your own native soil. You will have to be alert, very alert, for the time of relaxation is not yet there.”
Our ideology - Islam:
Pakistan is an ideological state for it claims to be Islamic. It is not a ‘theocratic’ State because Islam is essentially a polity and aspires to create a civil society. Quaid-e-Azam clarified this point in his broadcast as:
“Make no mistake: Pakistan isn’t a theocracy or anything like it. Islam demands from us the tolerance of other creeds and we welcome in closest association with us all those who, of whatever creed, are themselves willing and ready to play their part as true and loyal citizens of Pakistan.”
Islam doesn’t recognize the distinction between the ‘spiritual’ and the ‘profane’. According to Islam the spiritual and the temporal obligations are not only connected with each other but it is necessary for every Muslim to constantly endeavour to realise the spiritual values while performing his temporal ones. Hence “Secularism” is an integral part of Islam and it is for the very reason that the Islamic State assimilates the qualities of an IDEAL ‘Secular State’.
‘Secular’ in a sense, where the state guarantees religious freedom to every citizen with out distinction of religion or race, aims at promoting the material advancement and welfare of all its citizens. The Islamic State as envisaged by Quaid-e-Azam, embraces the qualities of the very same ideal ‘Secular State’.
In this state, every citizen is granted the right of their religious freedom. Sunnis, Shias, Wahabis etc., Hindus, Christians, Parsis, Buddhists and all other religions are free to profess their respective personal faiths. Islamic theology recognizes a distinction of meanings of the words ‘Mazhab’ and ‘Deen’. ‘Mazhab’ means personal faith, viewpoint or path; whereas ‘Deen’ means a body of universal principles of Islam which are applicable to the entire humanity. Therefore Islam being our ‘Deen’ is the fundamental pillar of the State of Pakistan unlike ‘Mazhab’ since it is neither founded on any personal viewpoint nor on any particular sect. Thus in the political sense, irrespective of their religion or race, all Pakistanis are citizens of the Islamic State of Pakistan on equal terms. This vital aspect of the Islamic State of Pakistan was illustrated by Quaid-e-Azam in his famous presidential address to the Constituent Assembly on 11th August, 1947, when he proclaimed:
“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. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State.”