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Bishop of Lahore: ‘Pakistan falling short of Jinnah’s vision’: The Church of England Newspaper, Aug 19, 2011 p 6. August 19, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Pakistan.
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Muhammad Ali Jinnah

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Pakistan has failed to live up to the ideals of its founding president, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the Bishop of Lahore said last week in a statement marking the country’s Minorities Day.

On Aug 10 Bishop Alexander Malik released a statement saying it was wrong to equate the Christians of Pakistan with Europeans or Americans, or to claim Christians were ‘fifth columnists’ of the West.

He also reminded his compatriots of the five ideals that lay behind the founding of Pakistan as expressed by Muhammad Ali Jinnah in 1947 had yet to be fulfilled.  In a speech delivered on Aug 11, 1947 to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan following his election as the first president, Muhammad Ali Jinnah said “the first duty of a government is to maintain law and order, so that the life, property and religious beliefs of its subjects are fully protected by the State.”

The second responsibility of government was to combat “bribery and corruption. That really is a poison. We must put that down with an iron hand,” President Jinnah said.

“Black-marketing is another curse,” the president said, as is this “great evil, the evil of nepotism and jobbery.”

The fifth principal, the bishop said was of freedom of religion.  “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. Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.”

These ideals had yet to be fulfilled in Pakistan, Bishop Malik said.  The state should respect the grievances and concerns of religious minorities and should combat the prejudices of the Muslim majority against the Christian minority.

“All minorities deserve fair representation in public policies and decision making bodies both levels at federal and provincial,” the bishop said, according to an account printed in the Nation newspaper.