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Can There Be Islam Without Quran?

It is with great regularity and persistence that President Mushar-raf talks of ‘Pakistan First’ theme. Let it, in this context, be acknowledged that ‘love of his country’ is ingrained deep in the President’s patriotic soul. So deep indeed that he has been led to declare in no uncertain terms that such ‘things’ as ‘democracy’ and ‘the constitution’ cannot be placed above the interests of the country. The implied meaning of his latest statement is that when his beloved country(i.e Pakistan) is threatened, and is facing a critical crisis because of mounting terrorism, he simply has no time to pay heed to the calls for the restoration of constitution and democracy. But the vital question that arises in this context is realistic enough to demand the President’s careful attention. Could there have been any Islam, had there been no Al Quran? Can one think of Islam without instantly bracketing it with Al Quran and its teachings? By the same logic, Pakistan cannot be Pakistan without the document that defines its laws, its characteristics, its ethos, its morality, its reach, its essence, its spirit and its purpose. Simply the facts of Geography do not create a country. This maxim is more pertinent in the context of Pakistan which had no existence, no geography and no history before August 1947. Pakistan is a creation of the will of the people who constitute its population. These people happen not to speak the same language, not to belong to the same race and not to share the same culture. What binds them together is their common faith. Pakistan is their homeland because of this commonality of faith. Their common “will” happens to be incorporated in the constitution that now stands suspended. This constitution guarantees the supremacy of the people’s democratic rights to govern themselves. How can Pakistan be Pakistan without its constitution and without the rights of its people that this constitution guarantees? Meaning thereby that unless Pakistan’s constitution is respected, and unless the people’s rights that this constitution guarantees are protected, all claims of high patriotism are likely to become questionable. The President’s reference to mounting terrorism is an unfortunate admission of guilt. Who has been ruling Pakistan for over eight years now, if not President Pervez Musharraf himself? Whose policies have resulted in the present state of affairs, if not President Pervez Musharraf’s? The only sound argument that can be advanced in the President’s favour in this context is, that he has got himself “caught up” in the present ‘tumult’ not by his free will, but because of the currents and the cross-currents that have been caused by the U.S policies. Had there been no war on terror, there would have been far less terrorism in the world today. Terrorism in Pakistan has thrived because of Pakistan’s active participation in America’s war. From the consequences of one’s decisions and actions there is no escape. But these consequences can be halted and reversed by the reversal of the decisions taken, and the actions pursued. This is a point that both Washington and Islamabad should ponder upon.

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