Akram Sheikh proposes council of elders to transform Pakistan into a modern Islamic welfare state

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Former Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission calls for revival of Islamic reconstruction body

Zubair Qureshi/ Fahd Malik

Former Deputy Chairman Planning Commission (PC) Engr Dr Muhammad Akram Sheikh has em-phasized revival of the Department of Islamic Re-construction that was set up by the Founder of Paki-stan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah immedi-ately after the creation of Pakistan to turn Pakistan into modern Islamic welfare state.

In an exclusive interview with Pakistan Observer Engr Akram Sheikh on Monday said Quaid-e-Azam was a devout Muslim and wanted to see Pakistan as an emerging modern welfare state founded on the golden principles of Islam. For this purpose he ap-pointed within three days of the independence (Au-gust 17, 1947) a highly respected and world re-nowned scholar of Islam Allama Muhammad Asad as head of the department. Allama Asad’s transla-tion of Quran into English “The Message of The Qur’an” is recognized even today as one of the most notable works on the subject.

The primary function of the Department of Islamic Reconstruction, said Akram Sheikh, was to align the constitution of the nascent state with fundamental principles of Islam, introduce Islamic Financial System, Islamic education system and Islamic social system.

Unfortunately, this could not work as Quaid-e-Azam breathed his last only one year after the crea-tion of Pakistan and Allama Asad left the country without materializing the idea.

Dr Akram Sheikh has written a book in Urdu titled “Deen-e-Islam: Aik Mukamal Nizaam-e-Hayat.” The book discusses challenges Pakistan is facing in becoming a true model of Islamic welfare state and also gives solution to those challenges.

The feedback was overwhelming and compelled me to write an English version titled: “Pakistan: A Di-vine Gift—Quaid-e-Azam’s vision for a Modern Islamic Welfare State,” said Engr Akram Sheikh.

While elaborating his point of view (revival of the department of Islamic reconstruction), Dr Akram Sheikh said Pakistan indeed was a divine gift and in order to achieve its divine objectives, the govern-ment should set up a “State Council of Elders & Scholars” to guide, assist, and steer the state of Pakistan during its transformation into Islamic wel-fare state.

That national body (State Council of Elders) would comprise top scholars, specialists and professionals, personalities that command the nation’s trust in this noble mission, he further said.Akram Sheikh’s scholarly work also reflects his passion and dedication to Pakistan as he believes Pakistan is there to stay despite all odds.Sheikh has also published a letter in the book he has written to Prime Minister Imran Khan commending his slogan of Riasat-e-Madinah and the practical way to achieve this.

“Mr Prime Minister, in order to implement your vision of Riasat-e-Madinah, I request you to study this book, particularly the last chapter,” says Akram Sheikh in his letter dated August 14, 2020. In the correspondence, Akram Sheikh also suggests to PM Khan to first pick a team of dedicated and visionary individuals who are one hundred percent sincere to transform the state of Pakistan according to his vi-sion. In the absence of such a committed team of professionals, the concept of “Riasat-e-Madinah” I fear, would remain merely a dream, writes Akram Sheikh.

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