The Pakistan idea had been developed on the communal plank of “negative non Hinduism”. The League leaders had targeted Congress as a representative of Hindu interests. The adversarial approach had become a matter of principle and faith and was to be seen in operation at every turn and twist of politics in the country. Days before India was partitioned, as members of the Viceroy’s executive council, the League’s objective, as noted by one scholar was “to fight rather than cooperate” and its next step was to boycott the Constituent Assembly.6
The Pakistani establishment relied on the two-nation theory and Islam to sustain a combative mood against India.
With regard to the Princely States which were to be forbiddingly the Independence Act to declare themselves independent and sovereign, “the League did not show as much eagerness to persuade the states within the borders of Pakistan to join the new state as to dissuade Indian states from joining the Indian Union it was one of their major tasks to prevent the consolidation of India, to Balkanise it, if possible, in order to make the inevitable contrast between India and Pakistan in size and population look unimportant”.7
Other events relating to the partition and episodes thereafter augmented Pakistan’s suspicions and hatred against India, which was identified as Hindu rather than secular by the League leadership. The communal massacres of 1947, creating a refugee influx, the division of assets notably the military stores between India and Pakistan after the departure of the British, the Indus water dispute, and the incorporation of Junagarh into India (November, 1947) and Hyderabad (September, 1948) were cited in Pakistan as instances of malevolent intentions of India against Pakistan.
The tensions, which grew out of this forcible application of the two-nation theory, set the tone of all future relationships between India and Pakistan. The establishment in Pakistan felt that India had now also become a military threat to Pakistan.
The Radcliffe Award, giving Gurdaspur, the district that provided Indian access to J&K state to India, had elicited severe condemnation from Jinnah himself. Following this award, he was to describe Pakistan as moth-eaten and truncated. Some statements in India nostalgically hoping for reunification of the two countries or giving expression to the majority view in the Congress that partition was unfortunate, were seized upon in Pakistan to claim that India would try to undo Pakistan. The Pakistani establishment relied on the two-nation theory and Islam to sustain a combative mood against India.
Jinnah might have hoped that the truncated and moth-eaten structure of Pakistan would be somewhat rectified by the incorporation of J&K state into Pakistan but the simple logic behind his ordering a tribal incursion into the state, followed by infiltration of regular military troops, was the two-nation theory. Being a Muslim majority princely entity, he wanted to make sure that it became a part of Pakistan. As has been noted earlier, the influential Muslim political leaders in the state, like Sheikh Abdullah had no belief in such a theory. Accession of the state to India that inevitably followed, became in the Pakistan eyes a fraud by India.
The tensions, which grew out of this forcible application of the two-nation theory, set the tone of all future relationships between India and Pakistan. The establishment in Pakistan felt that India had now also become a military threat to Pakistan. Frequent recourse to Islam became one of the ways to combat the psychological pressures of such perceptions. There also commenced a drive to strengthen the Armed Forces, which have since grown into one of the largest in the world. Islam and Armed Forces have thus become the bedrock of the foundation of Pakistan.
Moves towards Islamisation
Pakistan, however, did not move full throttle towards Islamisation until General Zia-ul-Haq arrived on the scene in 1977 as a military dictator. The earlier period marked a tug of war between liberal politicians and western oriented bureaucratic-military hierarchy on one hand and the Islampasand orthodox parties and Ullemas on the other, over how much polity and governance could be Islamised. The former wished to keep the levers of power in their own hands but could not publicly go against the increasing Islamic demands of the latter. The latter, using Islam as an instrument, were anxious to get a foothold in the structure of power.
The first Pakistani Constitution of 1956 declared the country Islamic but gave no legislative or policy role to Islamic groups.
There often was a compromise between the two, which allowed the former’s political, economic and social interests to remain intact by and large, while at the same time not obstructing growth of orthodoxy. A demand for declaring Qadianis as non-Muslims in 1953 was thus not effectively countered by the establishment. The first Pakistani Constitution of 1956 declared the country Islamic but gave no legislative or policy role to Islamic groups. Only a Muslim could be the Head of the State but the Prime Minister was to be the fountainhead of all executive power. The constitution provided that no law contrary to the injunctions of Islam could be enacted but took away the power of the Judiciary to intervene if such a law actually got passed by the National Assembly.
Nevertheless, the role of the Ullema had increased in the body politic of Pakistan and it became all too evident during the 1965 election campaigns for the office of the President under the 1962 Constitution. The candidates were Fatima, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s own sister, and General Ayub Khan who had seized power in 1957 and fathered Pakistan’s second Constitution of 1962. The elections were indirect and the voters were the basic democrats, members of the Village and Union Councils, known as basic democracies. Fatima was supported by JI, Ayub took recourse to Islam to neutralise her. At his instances several Islamic clerics issued fatwas against a woman becoming the head of a state in an Islamic country. Ayub Khan’s use of Islam for political purposes marked the beginnings of a relationship between the military as an institution and orthodox groups, which was to lead to greater Islamisation of the country.